I followed them without another word, holding back tears. Levi dutifully helped me along, as we lagged behind the rest of the group.
“I told you we would be OK,” Levi said to me.
“Do I look OK to you?” I asked.
“No,” Levi said with a shrug, “but at least you are alive.”
“Barely,” I said. “I feel weak, and useless…I’m a burden.”
Levi wrapped his arm around my shoulder as I struggled onward.
“I need to rest,” I said, and hobbled over to a log. Levi sat next to me.
“Look at me,” Levi said, lifting my chin gently with his hand. I looked up at him, and met his soft gaze with mine. “You aren’t a burden.”
I was close to sobbing, and I cast my eyes down in embarrassment. I caught sight of the blood-soaked bandage around my leg and broke down into tears. I couldn’t go on anymore. Levi looked confused, unsure how to comfort me. He settled for just sitting quietly next to me until I calmed down.
“I’ll carry you,” Levi eventually said.
“I can walk.”
I was tired and weak but there was an end in sight. Tonight, we would have a roof over our heads. A real roof and, hopefully, a real bed. Perhaps a good sleep and some decent food would make Lizzie and Dylan see how stupid they had been.