Thursday, October 9, 2014

Part 88

"Out of it?  Yeah, you could say that," I told him.

I could feel him starting to relax.  "You scared me."

I asked, "Why?"

"'Cause you did.  You are such a runt but you are always doing such big things.  I mean you aren't much more than a couple of mouthfuls for an infected yet ... I don't know ..."  He shuddered.  "You don't seem afraid of anything."

"Don't be so stupid.  I get scared of plenty.  Fear is the thing that has kept me alive.  I usually just don't let it ... you know ... run my life."

I felt him moving around trying to get comfortable.  "Are you OK?" I asked.

"Cold.  And you might be a runt but getting you out of that tree was like hauling a hundred squares of shingles in one load."

"Uh ... what's a square of shingles and should I be insulted?"

"Yeah, you probably should but dang girl for a little thing you're heavy."  I slapped my mitten covered hand in his general direction and he just chuckled.  "Seriously DeeDee what the hell were you doing up that tree?  I almost didn't see you."

"What were you doing out in the woods by yourself and ... well, just and all of it?"

He got still and I could tell he wasn't smiling anymore.  Quietly he told me, "I guess Major Watson explained things."

"If you mean that he told me that you survived on your own for a couple of weeks when my old town got overrun, yeah he did.  But that's not the same thing as explaining.  If you don't want to you don't have to.  I don't want to get in your business, I was just wondering why you were out by yourself."

He sighed.  "Sometimes things just get to me.  I can't stand being closed up.  I ... this past storm ... I got stuck bunking with ... look, just sometimes I gotta get out.  It's like I can't breathe or something."

I patted his arm.  "Like I don't like people getting too close."  He started to move backwards again and I said, "Not you Stupid.  People, people ... you know ... strangers."

That stopped him.  "So you don't think I'm a stranger?"

"Well, maybe I don't know you much but what I do know isn't too bad.  I've learned to see whether I can trust someone, or put up with them, really fast."  I gave him a few examples like Jace, Sunny, Sarge, and then Michelle.

"Hey, about that.  I'm ... I guess I'm sorry about Lee."

Confused I asked him, "Why?"

"Didn't he like ... I don't know ... break your heart?"

I snorted.  "First off I'm not too sure I have a heart to break ... at least not anymore, or not that kind anyway.  After you see so much, live so much ... look, I just don't know if I do.  Maybe I used to have a little girl kinda crush on Lee.  And that's only maybe.  But like I told Sarge, life took us in two different directions.  I still like Lee - or at least I think I do unless he has really changed - but it's as a friend ... for memories, that sort of thing.  I kinda just feel more sorry for him than anything now that I know what a mess he's in.  He did such a dumb guy thing - and I don't like that Michelle at all - and now they are both kinda stuck with a baby of their own making."

"They don't have to be."

"Huh?  You mean ... I mean ... an abortion?"

"No!" he said almost angrily.  "No, I just mean, my birth mom got knocked up with me when she was real young and my bio dad was supposedly a year younger than her.  She was like fourteen ... fifteen when she had me ... and she gave me up for adoption.  It wasn't a bad way for me to grow up.  My parents never hid that I was adopted or anything, just treated me normal like they did my sisters who were their bio-kids."


He nodded.  "Yeah.  Not bad.  I mean I guess you can tell I don't exactly look like a Cochran but they never treated me any different."  I shook my head and even though my hood didn't move I guess he must have felt it.  He asked, "Are you laughing at me?"

I wasn't and told him so.  "No.  I just don't know what a Cochran is supposed to look like.  It sounds ... I don't know ... strange when you say it like that."

Explaining he said, "I mean I'm not straight white."


"I grew up in a family of curly blonde haired, blue eyed short people.  I had a mustache by the time I was twelve, was taller than my dad by the time I was fourteen, and I've never needed the sun to have a suntan."


"So my bio dad was a tall white boy but my birth mom was half Indonesian and half Thai."


"So ..."  He stopped and then said, "So, I guess nothing.  I was just explaining why I don't look like a guy named Cochran was supposed to look."

I shook my head again.  "You're definitely short a few bricks.  How am I supposed to know what a Cochran looks like when you are the only Cochran I've ever met?"

I felt him shrug.  "Don't know.  I guess I just thought I should explain."

"Uh ... ok.  You wanna know why I'm short?"

He surprised me by saying, "I know why you're short.  You were one of those preemie babies.  Lee told me."

Not sure I liked my business being known without my permission I asked, "Why the heck would Lee tell you something like that?"

"I guess I was kinda making fun of you being small and he went off on me.  And ... this is a really stupid conversation isn't it?"

"Pretty much but what else have we got to do?"

He snorted and said, "Don't even go there."

"Go where?"

He groaned and then snickered.  "Never mind.  I'm obviously not impressing you."  Then he got quiet again before saying, "No reason I should."

I knew immediately what he was thinking about.  "I think they call it PTSD or PSTD or something like that."

Irritated he asked, "You a doctor now?'

Matter of factly I told him, "No, but hero or no hero I'll kick you if you go off on me like you want to."

He was quiet for a long time then snickered.  "You know, no one has done that in a long time."

"Done what?"

"Not felt sorry for me.  I think I like it."

It was my turn to snicker.  "You have definitely gone strange Cochran."

"Yeah maybe, but I'm learning to live with it.  I just wish people would leave me alone about it."

"Then tell them."

"I do," he huffed.  "Just everyone seems to want to help.  I get so tired of people being helpful you wouldn't believe it."

"Oh yes I would," I told him in complete agreement.  "Everyone always thinks they know what is best for you.  The worst ones are the ones that mean well.  Geez, you'd think they'd get the message after a few times but nope ... it's like they can't help themselves or something."


It was like being with someone that totally understood where I was coming from.  I'd never felt that before.  It kinda gave me the heebies.


  1. Thanks for the updates,I liked the last one best.They were all good,just the last best.

  2. Great story Kathy thanks for the new chapter