Sequel: Their Rebellion

When the Sun Goes Down

New Priority

I rolled uncomfortabley to my side and felt an involuntary groan escape my lips. I arched my back upwards and felt it crack from it's lower region up. I pulled myself to a seated position and looked around the back of the van. I was alone within it's thin metal cover. I slowly lowered myself back to my sleeping position and hugged one of the twin's pea coats against my head. I could already feel the over whelming emotions come washing over me as the remnants of yesterdays memories came flooding back.

I could still see the burial as if it were happening once again. I could see every tear that trailed down the groups cheeks and hear the sweet, memoriable prayer that Noah had graced Mama with. I took in a deep breath and tried desperately to rid of the memories. I didn't want to start the day with a fresh trail of tears. I found myself alone for a few more moments before the van door slid open, revealing the bright rays of sun light.

I kept my eyes on the wall for a split second before turning my head slightly toward the door. Murphy stood at the door with the most comforting of smiles he could manage. I didn't return it, but rather turned back toward the steel wall of the van. The vehicle shifted slightly as he stepped inside. He pushed a plate in my direction and said, "Got some squirrel fer ya, Adrienne. Connor and I got it. I promise, there's no bullets."

His light chuckles put no sense of tenderness on my heart. With a quiet sigh, I whispered softly, "Thankyou, Murphy, but I'm not very hungry."

A gentle, but frustrated sighed echoed into the van, which only put a frown on my lips. He knelt down beside me and placed a paper plate of food by my head. I turned to face him and found such a heart wrenching frown pressed tight against his thin lips. I rolled back to the wall, in fear that he would see me well up in tears once more. He gently ran his fingers along my shoulder and whispered, "Ya need yer strength, Adrienne. Jus' take a few bites."

"I'll have it later, Murph."I breathed."I promise."

I tried to clear my throat in an attempt to hide the shakiness in my voice. Murphy shoved the plate closer and said, "Alright, Adrienne. Ya win. I'll leave ya be."

He pushed himself away from me and stepped out of the van. Before he could shut the door, however, I turned back toward the group. I watched as his eyes fell on me with such hurt and worry. Behind him, I could see Abby dance away from the dead fire with a mouthful of food. I felt my chest tighten with sorrow when I realized how important she meant to me. I didn't expect it to take the death of my own Mama to have it hit me so hard.

Abby was my next priority. Murphy's fingers fell from the door handle when he noticed the familiar glimmer in my eyes. I slowly sat up and brushed my hair over my shoulders. He pushed his long sleeves up his arms before stepping back into the van. I brought my knees to my chest and felt Murphy sit comfortably beside me. He snaked a heavy arm over my shoulder and asked, "Ya realize now, Adrienne?"

I nodded my head slowly and felt the first sign of my tears crawl down my cheeks. I wiped it away with my thumb before swallowing down the last of my pride. I turned toward Murphy and whispered, "I'm sorry for bein' so down, Murphy."

"Don't be."He hugged me closer to him and rested his head on the top of my own."Yer Ma is in a better place. Don't be sad, Adrienne. Be happy. She's comfortable now."

"I know."I choked out."But I know what I have to do now."

"What's that, sweetheart?"He whispered sweetly.

"Make sure Abby is comfortable and safe."I wiped heavily at my eyes and continued with, "I promise I wont break this last promise."

"Ya don't have to promise much, Adrienne."Murphy said softly."Just one wee lil' thing."

"What's that, Murph?"I turned toward him and found his heavy eyes.

"Jus' make sure ya talk to Connor and I if ya have a problem."He whispered softly."Don't make an irrational decision over spilled milk."

I forced a hurt smile and watched as Murphy reached his hand up to brush away my fresh tears. Quietly, I responded with, "I promise, Murphy."

"That's a lass."He pressed a warm kiss to my forehead and smiled warmly."Now eat up before the wolves get to it."

I chuckled lightly before reaching down for my plate of food. Murphy was absolutely right when he told me not to worry or get so down on myself. I shoved a small portion of the tender meat into my mouth and swallowed it down hard. It wasn't as good as I would have hoped it to be. If I could be honest on one thing, it would be how truly grateful I was that Murphy was by my side. If it weren't for him, I would be lost in a world of infected.