Reliving memories filled my eyes with tears, but I held them in. I would not cry. At least, that’s what I kept telling myself. I needed someone to be with me so badly, but, at the same time, I wanted to be left alone. I needed to be alone in my misery for now.
It was then that I heard the voices. I recognized most of them; Zeke, Joe, Ben, Catherine, Hope, TJ—they were all calling my name, looking for me, expecting me to answer.
Of course, I thought bitterly. When I desperately need someone with me, there’s no one. But, as soon as I want to be alone…
Why does God hate me? I wondered.
After about an hour, they stopped calling my name, finally realizing that I wasn’t going to answer. They didn’t give up searching though. No, now my simple need for solitude became a giant game of hide-and-seek.
After a while, I thought that everyone had left the room. That was until; I could hear the rustling of moving cornstalks. I held my breath and tried to be as small and as quiet as I could.
“Nicole? I know you’re in here. Come on out, it’s just me here.” I should have known. Zeke.
Leave me alone! I silently wailed as a tear escaped.
Zeke pushed his way through the corn into the small area that I was hiding in. He took one look at the expression on my face, and his filled with pity. “Oh, Nicole,” he whispered.
That did it; I broke down. Those two words broke through the dam that was holding back my tears and I started sobbing hysterically. Sobbing into my hands, I felt Zeke sit down next to me and wrap his arms around me. I turned into the hug and threw my arms around him, bawling into his shirt. Zeke just held me.
“They’re gone! They’re all gone!” I wailed.
“I am so sorry,” he whispered. It felt like he wasn’t only apologizing because he had brought my family here—he was apologizing for everything that had happened to me.
I sobbed harder.
They’re all gone…