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I gallop with Champ, following the tracks left by the truck. I need to get him back. I need him to love me again, if he ever stopped. Champ starts to tire but I push him on. I can’t be caught by anyone, foxes or dogs. I need Koda to forgive me. Pictures of my first friend appear in my brain. Zellie, dead, hit with a flying piece of debris. I shake it out of my mind. Koda will still be alive, I’m going to save him. Or at least try to. I almost fall off so many times. For some reason I can’t flow with his pace. I try to calm my mind but it continues to race. Like my heart. I just have to follow these tracks.
I’m at the camp. I’m here. I find the man in charge and ask him where Koda is. He says the hospital. I almost start crying again. I run to the tent where the hold the injured, sick and dying. I find Koda there, lying on one of the beds. I inhale. Is he ok? Please let him be ok. My throat clenches and my lips tremble. Blood is everywhere. Why didn’t they clean it off him? I walk closer. Begging, praying, pleading. When I get to the bed, he’s not dead, but he’s not alive either. It was like when we were in that cell together. When he was so drugged he was in that in between state. I grab his hand, his bloody hand. I massage it, like I did in that cell. All we need is a miracle like Jethen to help us.
A nurse appears, a smile on her face, a stain on her dress. Blood everywhere.
“Can I help you?” She asks.
“Um. What happened?” My voice is hoarse, “To him I mean.”
“Ah, got caught in the cross fire. Bullet to the knee cap. And he hit his head, he hasn’t woken up yet so we’re not sure how bad the brain damage. And he won’t walk again. Not with his leg like that.” My eyes fill with tears, yet again. This isn’t fair! I just wanted one bit of happiness. Just a little bit. Why can’t I have that? “Did you know him?”
“Yea. Yea, I knew him.” I mutter, wishing those brown eyes of his would open. Wishing those lips would part and call me Flower once last time. Wishing his rough calloused hand would hold mine back. “Come back Koda. I love you, I’m here. I still love you. Please come back.”