Nice Zombie…? Pt. 4


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Ava Rapport, Writer

“Good riddance!” I exclaimed. The zombie was gone, finally gone! Perhaps I do have a bit of luck, after all, I thought. Jamie didn’t say anything. He didn’t even seem sad, or happy either, just… empty. I watched him stare at the ground. My joy vanished instantly. This wasn’t like him… I’d never seen Jamie like this before. I had a void in my stomach. Why am I feeling bad now, when I did the right thing? I just don’t understand. I know that I should probably say something, but I have no idea what to say. I don’t think my typical brutal honesty is going to help anyone in this situation.

Eventually, Jamie moved. He sat down on a fallen tree’s trunk, and I joined him. It would get dark soon, and we really should be leaving, but it just didn’t feel right to say it out loud. I didn’t know what to do, but all I wanted was for things to get better. I hated seeing Jamie like this. I wanted things to go back to normal. I wanted my kind, optimistic, kinda stupid best friend back. 

I sighed, which made Jamie look at me for a few seconds, but it didn’t last very long. I don’t deserve him, do I? He would’ve comforted me, if he were in my place, would’ve assured me that everything would be okay, would’ve at least said something. I can’t just sit here. I can’t just let things pass by anymore, waiting for him to bounce back on his own. I was going to ask if he was okay, but I had a realization instead. Maybe instead of trying to comfort Jamie, I should try to understand him.

“Why do you care about that zombie so much, anyway?” I asked. Oh no, that sounded a lot better and a lot less rude in my head. I flinched and braced myself for his well-deserved anger, but he shrugged instead.

“I dunno,” Jamie said, speaking for the first time since the whole me-attacking-the-zombie thing. “I guess I just wanted… Oh, never mind. It’s stupid.”

“No, tell me! It’s not stupid.” I was lying, but I didn’t care that it was stupid anymore. I just wanted things to be okay again.

Jamie paused before he said anything. “I guess I just wanted to be the protector for once. The strong one, the valuable one,” he said with exasperation in his voice while making eye contact with me, “but I just messed everything up instead, did something stupid again. You were right,” Jamie sighed.

“I mean, you were right about the zom- about Sammy being ‘nice.’ It didn’t attack us or anything, it just kinda hung out,” I replied. “And you are valuable! You’re nice, you’re funny… and you’ve always got my back. I’m sorry that I didn’t have yours.” It felt like a weight had been lifted. I’m so glad that I finally said something right for once, actually communicating how I feel.

Jamie smiled. “It’s okay, and… thank you,” He answered. “I’m sorry that I got ahead of myself and didn’t really think it through.”

“It’s okay,” I said, matching his smile. Then we hugged, wholesome style. It didn’t matter to me anymore, the zombies and all. It didn’t matter whether or not we did end up crossing paths with Sammy again. The only thing that I really needed was the support and companionship of my best friend.