Fall of the Risen – Week 17 – Clark
“I said not a scratch,” Gianni whined. He walked circles around his car, having emotional seizures at each bullet hole Jansen caused and the damage to the front end that I caused by ramming the gate.
“Be fair, none of that would have happened if they just opened the gate.”
Gianni was about to start yelling when Daffodil spoke up.
“What’s the plan now?”
“I put some damage into that gate. With enough time, we’ll get through.”
“Not with my car.”
I turned and cocked a fist at Gianni. “We get it! You love your car. Give it a damn rest already.”
Gianni flinched and stepped back, hands covering his face. “That’s not what I meant.” He peaked between his arms and I slowly lowered my fist. Gianni motioned toward his front end. “How many more times do you think you can ram the gate before the engine gives out? I love my car, but against that gate, the gate wins.”
“And then there’s the bullets,” Daffodil said.
“Maybe we find another vehicle? Something stronger. Reinforced. Do you know how to make a car bulletproof?” I asked Gianni.
“You can. Not me,” Daffodil said. “I’m not going back. You shouldn’t either.”
“Dammit, Daffy, it’s not about getting us in. It’s about getting our friends out.”
“Your friends, too, if you pulled your head out of your emo ass for half a minute.”
“At least help me find a different car. I can’t search and keep an eye on this asshole.” I jutted a thumb toward Gianni.
“Hey,” Gianni said.
Daffodil gazed in Sisco’s direction. I couldn’t tell if the wheels were turning at record speed or if they had stopped completely.
“I need sleep,” he said.
He climbed into my van and closed the door behind him.
I looked at Gianni. “Let a guy spend one night in your van and he thinks he owns it.”
Gianni stuck out a big pouty lip. “Aww! Someone took your car? I feel so bad for you.”
I made a fire between my van and Gianni’s car. He sat on the ground with his back against the car. A long silence had fallen over us. It must have been an hour or more. Normally I’d never make a fire at night. I’d just go to sleep. But someone had to stay awake and watch Gianni.
“What are you going to do to me?”
I considered trying to keep him scared, but I just didn’t have the energy. “Nothing.” He looked at me in disbelief. “Once I know what I’m doing next, I’ll drop you off somewhere where you can’t interfere and you can do whatever you want.”
“What if I want to go back to Sisco?”
“Then that’s what you’ll do.”
“Why are you bothering trying to get back there? Jack? Friends don’t last in this world. They either die or turn on you. Either way, they usually try to kill you.”
“Why do you want to go back, then?” I asked.
Gianni didn’t reply.
“There are some people that you can tell will never turn on you,” I said. “Not even if it meant their own life. And, yeah, those people could die, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let them into your life; shouldn’t love them. I’ve met a lot of people since the world changed. A lot of them were good, some were bad, and most of them died. That just means when you find people that you can let yourself love, you hold onto them like hell and take every second you can.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t go back,” Gianni said. “There’s no one there like that for me. Not anymore.”
“Wait. Who are we talking about here? I don’t remember you with a girl.”
“That’s because we never told anyone.”
I silently went over the list of people we’d lost since Gianni had arrived at Sisco. There weren’t many. It wasn’t hard to narrow down.
“No way,” I said, barely more than a whisper. “You… and Amy?”
“Was she really… pregnant?”
“She thought so. Was pretty sure about it.”
“And was it…” I wasn’t good with wording things delicately. “Whose was it?”
He shook his head. “She never told me. Told me it didn’t matter.”
We sat for a long time staring into the fire. I always thought I had Gianni figured out. He was a car guy. I found out then, and not for the last time, there was usually more to people than face value.