Scarlet tossed and turned over and over. It was no use. There was too much on her mind for sleep. She wouldn’t get rest until everything was taken care of. Instead, she made her way to the kitchen for a nice cup of hot tea, careful not to wake her hostess.
She used a pot to warm the water, not the whistling kettle and she snatched a teabag from the cabinet. Miss Allen wouldn’t mind. Only hours ago she had offered Scarlet a cup.
When it was finished, she sat down at the little table with a sigh, and rubbed her forehead. Oh, her aching forehead.
Her view shot up when she heard something by the window. She stared there for a minute, but after thinking it was only her shot nerves, she took another calming sip of tea.
Again. It was like a knock, or a pound on the wall.
Slowly, Scarlet stood to her feet, knees shaking. “Who’s there?” she whispered.
Another pound, then a slide and the window was open. A figure began to slip through.
Scarlet knew better than to scream. Instead, she grabbed a pot from over the stove and stood there, waiting to attack.
The figure rose to his feet and turned to face Scarlet. When he saw her, he nearly jumped. “Put the pot down,” he said and sat slowly at the table. “It’s just me.”
Relieved to hear the familiar voice, Scarlet put her pot away and made another cup of tea. “Where’ve you been?” she asked handing it over to him.
“All sorts of places.” He scratched the table ruffly. “Had any trouble while I was gone?”
She shook her head. “How’d you know I was here?”
“I watched you knock on her door this morning and ask if you could stay. She know anything?”
“No. But I need to leave. Will, she’s an old lady. I don’t want any of our danger hitting her. She’s such a sweet-”
“You’ve got no place else, Scarlet.” Will hissed then quickly calmed himself. “Mama and Daddy are alright. They’re staying in the country, but not with Aunt Jenna.”
“What do you mean?” Scarlet inched forward on the edge of her seat.
“Hard times have changed everybody, you know that. She’s not letting anyone stay with her. Family or not.”
“So… where are they staying then?”
Will took another swig of his tea. “Some neighbors of Aunt Jenna took ‘em in for a while. Not long though. They have to figure out another plan.”
Scarlet rubbed her fingers through her soft blonde hair. “Let’s face it, we’re bad luck. Can’t blame anyone for avoiding us.”
Will smiled. “You look nice. Brushed hair nice clothes. I guess it makes you look a little less depressed.”
“Sure don’t feel that way.” She had to admit though, a bath had been nice. She hadn’t bathed in weeks. She was too busy running.
“I’ve gotta go back, but I’ll come and get you when Daddy and I have figured something out. Think Miss Allen will let you stay that long?” He sighed.
“Well, ya, but… just take me now. What if they find me here? I can’t protect myself and neither can Miss Allen. Besides, I haven’t seen Mom in months. Daddy… I saw a few weeks back but… you! I hardly see you anymore either.” she said a little louder. “When the government first stared rallying us up. When they first started changing things around. When we first decided to join the Resistance. When things first started to get bad, we promised as a family, we’d stay together, Will. We haven’t. We’re all in different places now!”
“Shh…!” he hissed. “I’m not supposed to be here.”
Scarlet gritted her teeth to keep from yelling and went for another sip of her tea, only to find her cup empty.
“Look, Scarlet. I want just as much as you do to be all together again, but more than that, I want us all safe.” He tapped his finger on the table before standing to his feet. “I’ve told the others that you’re done helping the Resistance.”
Scarlet’s eyes nearly popped out of her head. “You what?”
“It’s too dangerous. Look what it’s gotten us into. You just said you want everything to be back to normal again.” He slowly backed towards the window.
“It won’t be normal until we’ve gotten America back the way it was, Will. Until we’ve changed things in our country.” Scarlet’s hands balled up into fists.
“It’s 4097. Things have been like this for years. We’ve been trying to change things for years. I’m not saying it won’t happen,” He leaned against the window frame. “I’m just saying it’s gonna be a while.”
“It’ll be even longer if people start to drop out.”
“I’ll still be helping, and so will Daddy, a little bit, but not you. I’m sorry. I just want you safe.” He shook his head climbed through the window.
Scarlet poked her own head out and stared angrily at him.
“I’ll be back for you soon.” he said, then ran off quietly into the shadows.
(c) 2014 Carrots