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Without Zack

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The cops are onto them, they run down into the woods to avoid the cars that are blaring sirens. Forcing the cops to stop and take time to get out before chasing them on foot, the two used this as an advantage to get ahead. The two come across a lake and jump in. They pull themselves under the water. Above the surface they can hear the various voices of officers shouting and directing. They swim to the other side until they can't hold their breath any longer. Ray pokes her head up and hurries to the ground.  Zack follows behind and drags himself out with Ray holding his hand.

"F-fuck, When are these fuckers going to give up?!" Zack shouts in frustration.
"Quick! Lets hide over there." The two jump into a nearby bush. They lay low hoping the cops won't come to the area and find them. They hold their breath as they can hear the cops stomping through the woods.

"Check over there! They couldn't have gone far!" they were closing in, One officer who was a female, saw a piece of Zack's scythe on the ground. She went to examine the area, only for Ray to jump out. Ray knocks her down and covers the police lady's mouth. Zack then jumps out and slashes her dead. The two take off away from the corpse to avoid being caught. The two come to a halt when they stand in front of a cliff that plummets into the river. The raging waves collide uncontrollably while Zack and Ray stand above hesitating to jump.

"Freeze! Drop the weapon and return the girl now Issac!" an officer joined with backup stood behind them. One takes a shot at Zack knocking him a step back to the edge of the cliff.

"Stop it! Please don't shoot!" Ray pleas. Her pleas go on deaf's ears as another one shoots Zack and he plummets into the water. Ray tries to grab him, but only manages to pull a bandage off his hand. She went to go join him in the river but is grabbed by a cop and dragged away from the cliff.

"Nooo!!! Zack! Noooo!" She squirms as the officer escorts her back to the police cruiser. They set her down but she punches the cop to run out. Before she could crawl out of the car, a few others come and hold her down. A medic makes to the scene and injects her with a sedative, making her fall asleep.

9 YEARS LATER

The hospital door to Patient no. 4396, A.K.A Rachel Gardner. She was sitting peacefully on her bed, still strapped into the straight jacket. Her beautiful blonde locks, now a long tangled mess. Ray's eyes are covered with dark lens from little rest. She looks up at her therapist who is accompanied by two guards.

"How are you feeling today Rachel?" She asks while the guards unhinge the straight jacket.
"I'm fine." Ray replies.
"Let's take a small walk. You need to leave this room for some fresh air." Ray stands up as the guards walk in sync side by side with Ray in the middle. They walk out in the recreation yard with Ray spotting the bench she used to sit in and think about Zack. She later sees the hedge full of flowers and picks one off.

"You love flowers don't you Rachel?" she asks.
"Yes. They're petals are soft and give a calm scent." Ray holds the flower close to her heart and keeps walking along the sidewalk.
"Rachel, you've made such improvement in recovering since those years ago. I believe the board of this hospital has set a schedule for when you can be released." The therapist writes down on her clipboard. Ray's head perks up at the sound of being released. She's been begging to leave since the 1st time she was sent here. The two make their way to the bench and sit down to explain the situation.

"When will I be able to leave?" Ray asks.
"If you cooperate in a group session, they'll see if your ready to be released. You also have to prove that you can be able to live on your own without any relapse. I'll  help you find a safe place to live and a stable job to pay for any living expenses." She explains. Ray went to make a smile until her therapist put one finger up.

"However there is a catch. I will be making check ups and visits to see how you're adapting to the new environment." She slouches on the bench with her head looking down on the ground. "I'll also have to place you on Prozac and Zyprexa. To help with your hallucinations and depression.” She writes on the yellow prescription paper.

1 MONTH LATER

Ray was finally able to leave the hospital, however she still felt unhappy about it. For the longest time, something or someone was still on her mind. Her therapist hasn’t brought up any news about Zack. Unlike her previous visit before being sent back, he never came to rescue her. She began to have a sinking feeling that he really did die from the police shooting him into the river. Even when she was sitting in the main front lobby waiting to be freed, she still felt uneasy. Her eyes closed as she began to drift off into a nap. In front of her was a vision of Zack. he was standing in front of her holding out his hand, the same way he did those years ago whenever they made a jump out of the hospital room window. Her eyes snapped open as she begins to hear someone calling her name.

“Rachel! It’s time to wake up.” Her therapist wakes her up. She taps her on the shoulder signaling for Ray to respond.
“What’s happening?” Ray asks.
“I’m taking you to your new home. Everything has been taken care of and I have you set up with a job interview in three days.” The therapist hands Ray a suitcase full of her belongings. Ray takes the suitcase and they are escorted outside by two guards. Ray gets in the car with her therapist shutting the passenger seat behind her. The therapist later drives them down a few roads before coming to an apartment building. She flashbacks to when her and Zack was inside the building, when they were fighting to survive when the building caught fire.

“Come on Rachel. Time to look inside your new home!” She hesitates to exit the car. Her therapist holds the passenger door open before leaning against the door. “Rachel, you’re nervous but we need to hurry.” Rachel stops hesitating and stands up out of the car. They walk inside the building stopping in front of a reception desk that has a glass window in front of a elderly woman.

"Hello Dearie. Are you visiting a relative today?" She asks.
"Actually ma'am we're here for Rachel's new apartment. Is it ready for her to move in?" The therapist asks.
"Ahh ok. One moment while I get the lease paper." The elder lady turned around and got out of her chair to an old black filing cabinet. She faces them again holding a yellow folder and hands it under the slot. The therapist opens the folder and takes out her pen signing the documents. When she was done, she hands it to Ray who signs her name. Ray slides the folder back into the slot as the lady types on the calculator.

"That'll be $397 for rent plus a Deposit of $200. Would you like to pay it now or tomorrow?" She asks them.
"Now please. I also want the first 3 months paid as well." The therapist pulls out her credit card and hands it over to the lady through the slot.
"Alright you all are set. Your home is down the hall at room 106. Have a nice day!" The elderly lady slides 2 keys through the slot. They walk down the hall to reach the apartment. The door with the numbers 106 on a silver plate with the matching knob. The therapist takes her key copy and opens the door. She walks inside and spins around to get a view of the place.

"Here we are Rachel! Home sweet home! How does it look so far?" She asks while Ray looks around the place. Ray walks over to the kitchen that shares a space with the living room.
"It's pretty empty here. There's not a couch or kitchen table in here." Ray looks inside the empty but clean fridge. She then takes a look inside each kitchen cabinet and examines the stove.
"Sorry, I promise you'll have a couch in here soon. However I did make sure to buy a bed set for your bedroom. Come and take a look." She waves her hand for Ray to come over to the door that leads inside the bedroom.

Inside Ray just spots a queen size bed in the center with two nightstands on each side. Four pillows that varied in size but the big ones in blue and the smaller ones in white. The overly large blanket on top of the mattress was a light blue with white sheets tucked in. Ray sits onto the bed, then lays down.

"Do you like it?" the therapist asks.
"Yes, it's really soft. I wish Zack was here to see all this." Ray slips his name out. She sits up and looks at the therapist who joins a seat next to her.
"Rachel, I told you not say that name. That person was a bad man. He kidnapped you and almost killed you." She scolds Ray.
"He may have been a bad man to everyone else, but he helped me. He saved me from Dr.Danny who was the real kidnapper and tried to murder me." Ray looks out the window. Unable to look her therapist in the eye as she told her past.
"That still doesn't change the fact that he broke into the hospital and kidnapped you."
"It's not kidnapping if I chose to leave. Did you really think I enjoyed being locked up? I had restless nights and stress thinking about how I still wanted Zack to deliver on his part of the promise. I'm grateful to still be alive, but what's the point of even trying to live if I'm going to be alone again. A life without Zack is worse than death." Ray cries out. She tears up thinking of the night years ago when the police shot him off that cliff. The first night of being back in the hospital she cried all night. Ever since that day she shed any tears until now being reminded that Zack is probably not going to find her and they'll be separated forever.

"Rachel, why are you just now telling me this?" The therapist asks while trying to lean in to hug her. Ray smacks the therapist's arms away. She stands up and goes into the corner of the room.
"Don't touch me! I didn't tell you because I know I wouldn't be released if I mentioned Zack. Have you ever had something that was yours taken away because people around you would say that it's bad?!"

"That is quite enough Rachel."
"No its not! I don't want to live without Zack by my side. It takes away the warmth feeling that I've always wanted. Everyone around me when I was little would say I'm cold and dead inside. But Zack, he was different. He gave me a reason to keep going. I know he kills because that's all he's ever known his entire life, but deep down he is only human. No more, no less." Ray held her down. She walks out of the room.

"Where are you going?" the therapist jolts up from the bed and follows her.
"A walk, I'll be back. You can leave. I want to be alone for a while." Ray grabs her apartment key and stuffs it in her coat pocket.
"Rachel I'm not leaving you to walk alone in the street." Ray turns her head and shoots an angry glare at the woman.
" I'm sick of seeing your face. I've seen it enough that I just want to kill myself. Don't come near me ever again." Ray slams the door and takes off down the hallway. She passes the elderly woman still in the office but pays no attention to her.

2 WEEKS LATER

Ray has adjusted to her new home. Ever since the first day of moving in, she hasn't seen or heard from her therapist. When she came back from the walk, the woman left her copy of the key on the nightstand. Next to it was a note and envelope of money that Ray just hid in the nightstand's drawer along with the key. Inside the envelope was $80 for her to buy groceries to stock the apartment with essentials. Whatever was left over, she just throw in the drawer and save it next time.

After finding a job at the store across from home, she spends every weekday morning waking up to work 9 to 5. After her first paycheck, she bought a couch for her living room and a small shelf to hold some of her books that were in boxes. She spruced up the house with some small decorations like wall art she bought from the artist upstairs. Most of her art consisted of Roses which made them have a hobby in common.

Even though her life felt "normal", she still missed him. She would still stay up at night with her mind wondering if Zack really is dead. She doesn't want to believe he is, but there is always that pinch of despair in the back of her mind. Either way, she justs prays that he is safe and able to find her.

The Next day on her day off from work, there was a knock at the front door. She sits up in bed and crawls out slowly. At the 2nd knock she looks the peephole to see who it is, but is still a little hazy. After the 3rd knock she finally opens the door. To her surprise its her therapist.

"Hello Rachel." She greets before receiving a door slam. "Before you shut me out I have information on this Zack person you spoke about!"
"Liar. Zack hates liars."
"I'm not lying Rachel! Just open the door and I'll explain." Ray hesitates for a minute before unlocking her door.
"Come in." The therapist swings the door open and runs in. She sits down on the living room couch.

"A man that went by Abraham Gray came by the hospital the month before you were released. He gave me money to pay for this apartment. He told me that you were a friend of someone named Zack." She explains. Ray's perked up at the mention of the priest still being alive after he was left in the burning building.

"Did he ask for anything?" Ray asks.
"No. He just wanted sign your release forms and return the favor. He also told me to give you this number to call." She digs in her coat and pulls a small white card out with an assortment of digits. Ray takes the card and walks into her kitchen where she put the phone. She picks up the phone and types the number in and waits for a response. After four rings a man's voice answers

" Hello Reverend Gray speaking."
" Hello this is Rachel Gardner. My therapist told me to give you a call." The woman leans in to over hear their conversation.
"Are you in a room for us to speak private?" Ray looks over at the therapist that is leaning in.
"One moment." Ray puts the phone down. "Can you leave? We need to speak in private."
"Ok. Sorry for eavesdropping." The therapist walks out of the front door with Ray locking it behind her. She runs back to the phone.

"Sorry about that. Now what would you like to talk about?"