Chapter Seven- Torn
The sound of light footfalls wakes me up. My hand flys to my knife as I sit up to see the source of the noise.
"Ssh. It's just me." I am startled by the gentle voice that Grey is using with me. I look up and see his face that has its normal kind look, illuminated by the glow of the moon behind him, and I startsmiling wildly as I think that maybe things have gone back to normal with me and Grey, but then my heart suddenly sinks. I look over at the corner and see Finch asleep in his own pile of furs and consider waking him up.
"Where are you going?" I whisper to him, hoping that Grey will give me a simple answer, like he's just going to the toilet. "Leaving." Grey answers quickly, delivering the harsh blow swiftly instead of drawing it out.
"Why?" I ask, my voice breaking on the word.
"Because I'm acting stupid around you. I'm hating you for not returning the feelings I have for you." Grey answers. He still doesn't understand that I'm just to scared to risk what we had, and now my cautiousness is causing Grey to leave.
"Where are you going to go?"
"I don't know. Away from here until I cool off a bit." Grey replies. I'm so scared that he will leave and not come back,or that something will happen to him, or that he might be found by a tribe. Just thinking about that sends chills down my spine.
"Don't go. Please. I don't care if you hate me everyday, just don't go." I plead on the verge of tears. Grey starts walking out of the doorway. I follow him out into the cold night air and follow him when he crawls through the cacti. Grey begins walking off towards the hill that he took me to last night.
"Grey!" I scream as loud as I can at him, making sure he can hear me and won't miss what I say. He turns around and faces me, his brown eyes are sparkling in the moonlight, boring into my own. "I love you." I say as tears tumble down my face. Grey looks up at the huge silver moon for a minute, lost in his own thoughts.
"Bye Gilia." He says and turns his back to me and walks off. I cannot move at all except for the tears streaming down my face. I watch Grey leave as he slowly becomes smaller and smaller until finally I can't see him anymore. My knees buckle and I sink to the ground. He's gone. He's actually gone and it's all my fault. He can't be gone. He can't. I think this over and over as I rake my fingers through the sand as if I'm looking for something to hold onto. I probably am. Something strong and warm and safe that I can use to anchor myself to the earth now that Grey is gone. I look up at the sky and remember all the nights that me and Grey had spent lying on our backs and looking at the millions of stars that are scattered across the sky. Grey had tried to explain constellations to me, insisting that clusters of stars were in the shapes of women or animals or things such as spades.
"Long ago people looked at the stars through telescopes." Grey had said to me once.
"A what?" I had aske
"A telescope. It's like a long tube that you put your eye to and you see things as if they're right in front of you. My tribe had one for stargazing because they thought it was possible to tell the future through the constellations order. Kind of like a story." Grey had explained to me.
"Who wants to know whats going to happen in the future? Things are only going to get worse." Grey had then looked at me, his deep eyes full of sadness because he knew what I said was true.
Another night flashes through my head. It was freezing cold and the wind outside was blowing the sand past so fast that all you could see was black specks whizzing through the air. I was shaking so hard under my many layers of blankets as the cold stabbed my entire body like icy knives. I had heard someone get up and the next thing I knew I felt Greys arms wrap around my body as he lay next to me. It was like he had sucked all the cold from my body and replaced it with a magical, fiery warmth that coursed though my veins like wildfire. He didn't say a word to me during any of this and I fell asleep in his arms. When I woke up he was still holding me, looking out of the doorway. I wondered if he had slept at all that night. Hundreds of memories fly through my head of me and Grey. Him teaching me how to hunt, quickly pressing me against a wall when an animal that I couldn't handle came by. Grey showing me what I could eat and us making a picnic with all the food that was edible. Greys arms on mine as he helped me aim with the bow, letting his hands slide down to my waist and then pulling me close to his body, causing me to laugh hysterically and throw my arms around his neck. Greys hand finding mine as we ate dinner together. Grey grabbing me by the shoulders and pulling me close to his body as we watched a thick sandstorm in the distance, praying it would not reach us. And another memory that keeps coming back to me. My first night with Grey and Finch I couldn't take my eyes away from the fire that had been brought to life. When I finally looked up from the dancing orange tongues of flame, I saw Greys eyes locked on me. He didn't look away when I looked up. He just kept staring at me. And what was weird was how Grey staring at me had made me feel safe. You'd think it would have creeped me out and make me feel awkward but it had me decide that, yes I think I will go along with these guys. It had made me trust him, and we both held each others gaze until Finch came over mumbling something about the temperature.
I had never realised before that I need Grey. I need his eyes on me when he thinks that I don't notice. I need someone to say something stupid to put a smile on my face. I need Grey to comment on an excellent hunt when I come back with either nothing or barely enough to feed one person. I need someone to look out for me. What baffles me most is that I never noticed how much I love Grey and that something has been going on between us for quite a while. I think I'm just scared of saying it in case it is destroyed by the harsh world.
The sky is slowly getting brighter and I can't stand staring at nothing so I crawl through the small gap back into camp and get a dire going in our small fire pit. I sit near it and wrap my arms around myself staring at the tongues of fire that flicker upwards, licking at the air. After a while of looking at the flames I feel my eyelids begin to droop and I do not make any effort to stop sleep overcome me.
In my dream I am running through total blackness, if I stretch my hand in front of my face, I can't see it. But I am not running blindly. I am running towards a light that pierces through the darkness and hurts my eyes when I look at it. The only problem is that this light is at the top of a steep and rocky hill that seems to go on forever. I start the ascent to the light only to discover that the hills surface is covered in ice, but I do not slow my pace as I race up this hill, yearning with every atom of my being to have this light. I am stumbling on rocks and slipping on the ice as I go, but I do not dare give up. The higher I go the more steep, icy and rocky the hill becomes, but I cannot stop now. The light is tantilisingly close and is teasing me. I get down on hands and knees and clamber up the steep incline, cutting my hands off of the sharp rocks. Finally I get to the top of the hill and my palms and knees are bleeding heavily. The top of the hill is flat and free of ice and rocks. I proceed towards the light and just as I'm a step away from it, it explodes with a bright piercing light. I feel like crying as I watch the lastr flecks of light dissolve into nothingness. Leaving me here alone in the dark.
I wake up and taste grains of sand in my mouth and my throat feels gritty so I guess I swallowed some. I open my eyes and find that I am lying facedown in the sand. I flip myself over and squint as the sun hits my eyes. I feel something slide off me and find that a blanket had been draped over me sometime in the night. Huh, I didn't hear Finch come over to me. Mostly I wake up at the slightest noise. I inspect the blanket and find that it is quite unfamiliar to me. It has been crafted in such a way that it looks like a wolf's face with a huge silvery moon behind it. Finch must have been working on this one for weeks and hiding it from us. No not us, I have to remind myself, just me. I wonder what else Finch could be hiding. I look at the smoking remains of the fire and spot the pot with some of last nights leftovers beside the fire. I clean up the pit, get another fire going and reheat the stew. I then pour it into two bowls and find myself gazing at the third bowl that lies, unused, in the sand. Finch gets up and comes out of the hut, starts on his serving of the stew and looks at the bowl that has been abandoned in the sand. He does not say anything about Grey.
"Nice blanket." He says instead, nodding at the pile of furs in a heap on the ground then looking at me as if confused.
"Yeah." I reply. Finch is probably to modest to say that he crafted that beautiful blanket. Who else could have done it? Grey's terrible at that kind of thing. Finch tried to show him how to make a blanket once, but by time it was done it looked more like a cylinder then a square shape so Grey didn't attempt it again after that.
"Hey do you want to come and hunt with me today?" Finch asks me.
"Sure." I reply and realise that I am already letting Finch try to fill in the hole that Grey has left in me.