There was only a single set of clothes in the whole house that I could find.
I fought off those... well, fuck, I know they could only have been other— people, who'd been people just the night before, but. Well.
I don't want to think about it.
I don't want to think about their flesh drooping and falling from bone and falling to the floor as I strike them with all these empty cans and bottles and, god, fuck, nevermind about the few times I've touched one or two of them, just to push them away...
I take a moment, outside in the back, with the sickly illuminated pool. There's what I don't want to acknowledge as a body floating in it.
I press my back to the house's siding and I shut my eyes and I breathe, in, out, in—
There's noises in the bushes. Breathing that isn't mine.
I pulled away from the wall, went around to the source of the noise in the bushes. And someone else is there. Someone alive, someone not like them.
I don't see him, in fact he tells me off for trying—
But he needs clothes too.
I suck in a breath as I push through a gap in the bushes the set of clothes I'd been hunting down for you. I try to tell myself it's no big deal. Maybe there's something in a drawer I missed.
But I looked in all the drawers in the bedroom and even every room I could after that and I know there's no clothes, no nothing, a guilt gnaws at me, what am I going to tell her? What am I—
By the time I realize the rustling in the bushes has stopped, he's gone. No further comment. I never even saw the guy or anything.
He could've had the decency to stick around and help with... Well. Whatever. I guess it doesn't matter now.
By the time I'm upstairs again, I swear that faint smell of rotting is back.
And then I see you.
You're dripping wet, holding together better than the others, for just a moment I wonder if I'm mistaken because you managed to do up a towel around your hair- but no. No.
It isn't a mistake, and your glazed eyes lock onto my movements as I reach for another empty bottle.
Like I did with the others.
I only talked to you once, through a glass shower door.
It shouldn't be a big deal.
It isn't anything dramatic. It wasn't anything special.
So why does it hurt to realize I couldn't even do one thing for you?
I take a moment in the hall when you're gone. I don't cry.
I light one of the cigs I found lying around the house. I take a long, slow drag. I breathe out.
I move on.
The last thing on my mind now is an unanswered plea for help.