“You know it won’t get any better, right?” she said. “This is the most we can ever hope for.”
I looked at my reflection in the murky water. “I know.”
“Then why do you fight it? You have protection. Food. A room to sleep in for a few nights. You can have me. Might not be the life you dreamed of, but it’s better than most. Don’t you want a little bit of happiness? Can’t this be enough?”
I watched the water ripple, an obscured mirror of myself.
“Could be. But it’s not.”
Sonya kissed my cheek and tried to make casual conversation as she cleaned and wrapped my wounds. Thankfully nothing was broken this time. I did my best to be polite and friendly so she would smile, but my mind was on autopilot. I barely even noticed when she left.
Sonya’s words nagged at me when I was alone. Pushed against what I believed.
Three years of fighting for my life in the Crater taught me how to survive. But not how to live. And that was what I was hoping for.
A life where I didn’t have to suffer in battles for my life. Where I could trust someone on my own terms. Where I could fall in love again without worrying that I’d only be a way to pass time.
Stupid hopes in a world overrun with bloodthirsty monsters and cold-hearted warlords. But I remembered my life before The Storm. I remembered having a family. Being safe. Cared for.
I wanted those feelings to come back more than anything, but the more I fought, the more I saw, the more my hope began to fade.
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