“Children shouldn’t play with guns.”
“Who said I was playing?” I asked. Thomas turned to me with almost a look of disgust. “What?”
“You know what. Now give me the gun.”
“I was only, you know, saving your life. Maybe a thank you would be nice.”
“God Dammit, Ellie! Just give me the gun,” Thomas said grabbing the gun from my hand. “You don’t even know what the hell you’re doing. You’re only 13, you don’t know anything. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even be here. I wouldn’t have had to kill that guy! You wouldn’t know anything even if it knocked you on the side of your head. You’re a dumb little girl that I have to look after now. Did you ever think that maybe I wanted to find my family? Maybe I didn’t want you as my responsibility? Oh, no. All you think is how much of a little princess you are and that you deserve everything!” Why was he saying all of this? I never did anything to irritate him or give him a reason to hate me. I could only look at him with shock. I just didn’t understand why he was acting like this.
“No, no more excuses. I don’t want to hear it from you anymore.” I may have been his so called responsibility, but I was not dumb or… Or maybe I was. Maybe I was causing him all of this unneeded stress in his life. He was right that he had other family that he was looking for before I came along. But it’s not like I forced him to help me. I didn’t even know what the place I was supposed to was for. All I knew was that the world was slowly coming to an end, but I was “needed” someplace else. I didn’t want to bother him anymore.
“I’m sorry, Thomas.” I said quietly and started to walk away. It started as a slow walk, then turned into a sprint. I didn’t want to be anywhere near Thomas. All I was doing was causing him stress. I just wanted to disappear. I didn’t know where I was going. Half because my tears were fogging my vision and I just didn’t know where I was at anymore. As I was running, it started to snow. Everything slowly started to turn pure white. So with the tears, everything looked the same. Then out of nowhere, I slipped. I hit my head pretty hard on the ground. Each time I tried to get up, I kept slipping. I looked around and realized I was on ice. By the size of what I could see, it looked like a pond. After a minute or so, I finally got my groundings and could stand up. I slowly started to walk to the edge. I was almost there and slipped again, but this time I heard a crack. I didn’t want to look, I just got on my hands and knees and slowly tried to make my way to the edge again, but it was too late. More of the ice started to crack. I could feel the coldness from the water that started to come up.
“Ellie, where are you?” Thomas shouted.
The ice started to break even more and I couldn’t grab onto anything. I was hoping Thomas could hear and see me, because I didn’t know how to swim. “Thomas! Over here!” Before I could see if he turned my direction, I started descending into the freezing water. All I could see was darkness around me. Everytime I tried to swim up, it felt like my backpack was weighing me down more and more. Then, something fell into the water. I blinked a few times and saw that it was Thomas. He grabbed a hold of me and swam with me to the top. Once we reached the surface, I coughed up a bunch of water. Thomas lifted me up and out of the water. Everything suddenly felt like chilling shocks were sent through my body everywhere. I tried to get myself up, but each time I slipped. Thomas wrapped something around me, which helped me feel a little warm.
“What were you thinking?” Thomas exclaimed.
“I didn’t want to be a burden to you anymore. I’m sorry, Thomas. I really am.”
“Shh, it’s okay. You did nothing wrong.” Thomas lifted me up and carried me back to the cave we stayed the night before. And then everything was a blur.
I woke up next to a fire and with a blanket wrapped around me. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Across from me was Thomas. He looked sad. “How do you feel?”
“Fine.” I kept looking at him, but he looked at the fire instead. “I never meant to-”
“Nothing’s your fault, Ellie.” Thomas got up from where he was sitting and sat next to me. “I had no right saying any of that. It’s just that I hated seeing you hold that gun. You shouldn’t have to. I hate that we live in a world that you should have to do that.” We both sat there staring at the fire. Thomas turned to me. “I can’t lose you. Right now, you’re all the hope I have.”
“I don’t know what it’s like to have family, but it seems like it would feel like this. Maybe you could be my big brother.” Thomas began to smile.
“I could do that. Just as long as you promise me you won’t go running off again.”
“I promise, as long as you promise to be there for me and I’ll be there for you.”