Leslie's Journal

Leslie's Journal Leslie's Journal

Status: In Progress

Genre: Horror

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Horror

Content

Submitted: December 18, 2018

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Content

Submitted: December 18, 2018

A A A

A A A


1

The world went to shit on the date of February 12th 2035. It all started with a strange virus that made its way into the civilian communities. Giving its victims suffering with severe rashes over their bodies, constant bloody noses, agonizing pain and the whites of their eyes turning into a light red color. When the symptoms of the eye color change would come, it would be a sign that person was near death. And death would come immediately, striking them down without a moment of mercy. Outside of that, there was the sudden change in the person's attitude and actions that would become so evident. Becoming delusional, emotional and even violent. So, for those who wouldn't be infected, would probably be killed by those who were. It was a really fucked up time, when no one could find who they could trust. For there were those who hide the color of their eyes with colored fake eye contacts. When their eyes first would start changing color, so no one would leave them isolated. That was until they would start acting up with their delusions, believing something was there, when their wasn't anything there.

Within five months, the well known aspects of the human race was almost nothing more than a faded memory. The city of Chicago was almost nothing more than a large ghost town, with the bodies of the dead scattered along the streets, sidewalks and in the buildings as well. Just about everyone within the city was dead from the virus that they called Doctor Death. Even though, no one really knew its real name, it didn't matter anymore. Those who probably did, the scientists who probably created it, had died already. Maybe the first of the poor bastards that became their victims, and probably died even faster than everyone else. Only I could hope that would be the case, which seemed like poetic justice. Paying for them playing with something they shouldn't have... playing as if they were God. Now, the city, which once was called such a magnificent city, was nothing more than a shell of what it once was. Of course, the past was something which my couple friends, a couple others we found, (who was left as survivors) and myself, wouldn't have to worry about it. There were others within the city, we knew that for sure. We just haven't come across them yet, or Doctor Death was starting to take hold of them. But, as the time went by, a few of them ended up dying as well. That was until there was only six of us left, from our group anyway. Anyone else in the city...or the world, was something none of us was aware of.

 

2

It was in the middle of June and we sat on North Shore Beach, watching the small white caps coming into the shore. Even though it was always a beautiful sight to anyone, it seemed slightly depressing in a way, knowing there were no others to enjoy this. Remembering how it normally it would be so crowded, no one would be able to find a place to sit. No screaming little kids running around, couples making out on their beach towels, or people having barbecues closer to the street. That was something I knew I would have to forget about now, for it was something that can never return. Just like everything else in this city, the things we had taken for granted were gone forever now. And not having any time to really realize how important something really was.

I sat on the beach with my friend, Ricky Sanders, who I practically grew up with, smoking a cigarette as we watched two girls our age near the water. The blond girl with a ripped denim mini skirt and black tank top, we both knew from the neighborhood. She was Leslie Williams, who had been a cheerleader in high school, miss popular and dating the quarterback. But Doctor Death had changed all that and left her as alone and scared as the rest of us. No popular crowd to hang around with, no special treatment. Just us, the regular guys, to band together to survive whatever would come around. The other girl, we found a week ago, when we explored the stores on State Street on the North Side of Chicago. Finding her breaking into Macy's department store, probably wanting to get the last latest fashion trend for herself. She had told us that her name was Lucy Brandon and she was visiting here from L.A. Boy, what a hell of a time to come for a visit. That was the only thought which stayed in my mind, not only when we met her, but even up to now. She was short with long brown hair, medium build for a woman her age, with tanned skin. Not your typical image of a California girl. Yet, what really was, since everyone had their own opinion.

“I could use a drink.” I said as I looked over at Rick.

Everyone always called him Rick, because if anyone were to try and say Ricky, he would punch their lights out. He hated that name, ever since his older sister had called him that, in front of a bunch of Juniors in school. And for a while the name stuck, until he started fighting back and bringing such fear into everyone,

“Well, that depends the kind of drink you are talking about. We could get a soda over at Shenanigan's over on Michigan and Jackson....or...” Rick started to say.

“I mean the or!” I said abruptly, cutting him off.

“Boy, you are in such a mood today. Are you feeling alright?” Rick asked.

“Physically, I am healthy, if that is what you are asking. Emotionally and mentally...” I started to say then hesitated for a moment. Thinking how in the hell could I really be fine, when everyone we knew...almost all of society was gone? “I mean, how could I be, when we are practically the only ones left on Earth.”

“Jack, we don't know that for sure. There has to be others that survived just like us. And I'm sure we will find them. I mean, we found Lucy last week.” Rick said in a positive voice. “And answering your first comment.... we have all the bars and restaurants in the downtown Chicago area to chose from.”

Rick laughed as he tapped my shoulder, trying to cheer me up. Even though it wasn't really working, he still kept trying. It always seemed that his humor had always been able to cheer everyone up. And in a way, made them forget about what they were mad about. Most of the time I appreciated how positive Rick could be, but right now I truly hated it. How could there be anything good about this whole situation, outside the fact that we were alive? That was the one thing, which I really couldn't wrap my mind around. Of course, that was something I really didn't let bother me.

“You're right about that, who knows who else is out there. But....”

“But nothing, Jack.... we have no idea what tomorrow will be or where we will be. The only thing we can worry about is right now, nothing more.” Rick said smiling as he took another drag from his cigarette.

He was right about that and I really didn't want to really admit to it. How I hated it when he would do that and he knew it. In fact he lived to feel that feeling of being right about something. Probably because of his parents had always cut him down by telling him he was wrong all the time. No matter what it could be, I would never bring it up, after all it was the way Rick was.

Right at that moment, Leslie and Lucy moved toward us in a slow paced run, as their eyes seemed to look beyond us. At first, I really didn't think anything about it, because my mind was focused on the thoughts within my mind. Still, there was something about the expression on their faces which worried me.

“Did you guys see that? That smoke that's coming from beyond the buildings over there.” Leslie said in a uneasy voice.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Rick said in a jokingly.

“That smoke over there in the distance behind you.” Lucy said in a worried.

We stood up and turned around to see what it could be that they were talking about. When I did, I could see the black smoke billowing beyond the tall buildings of the city. Even though it looked close to us, it didn't seem it was. For we would have smelled it and it would have rolled down the streets and sidewalks.

“Probably someone burning the dead. Nothing for us to really worry about.” Rick said as he took a step forward to it.

For a moment I thought, Rick was going to suggest we go and find it, but it could be miles away from us. The only thing I wanted was to stay away from the who thing. Yet, I knew he wouldn't do anything like that, for we wouldn't know what to really expect. They had to worry about the girls safety as well as there own. Even since the outbreak had gotten out of control, they have ran across people who had gone crazy from it. To the point where the victims would become some wild, cannibalistic beast, with no rational thoughts. From the first time we encountered them, we swore we wouldn't let that happen again. We waited to see what Rick would do, as he stood there in silence, his body motionless.

“Rick, are you alright?” Leslie asked.

“What?” he said as he turned back to us with a confused expression on his face. “I...I guess I was just heavy in thought.”

“And what were you thinking about?” Lucy asked as she stepped to him.

The look on his face was that of a cross of such seriousness and terror, which brought about such a strange feeling deep inside me. Mainly because, I've known Rick since we were seven and never before had I seen him acting like this. And for some reason, it terrified me even more than Doctor Death.

“Nothing.” he said and then hesitated for a moment. “Let's get out of here. I think I could use a drink right now as well.”

3

Later, they arrived at the tavern of the Congress Hotel, taking bicycles which had been found abandoned on the street. Some lying next to the decomposing bodies of the owner, which we tried to avoid. Mainly because of the virus, thinking that could be a way to catch it. With everything that was going on, there was no way we could take a chance. And as for sitting here in the elegant Congress Hotel, was something I never thought I would ever be doing. For this was a place for the people of the higher class, not like the lifestyle we lived. That was except for Lucy maybe, for we didn't know the way she lived before the shit hit the fan. None of that mattered....nothing mattered now... only survival.

It amazed me that the hotel hadn't been vandalized with everything that had happened. Especially during the period when society itself had become a worldwide madhouse. People looting and destroying most of the city, knowing there was no authority anymore. But, there was still parts like this that hadn't been touched for some reason. And I was grateful about it, for it was a safe place for us, at least for a brief moment. That was until we tried to figure out what we were going to do next.

Nick walked behind the bar, making himself another drink, as I sat with Lucy, trying to find something to talk to her about. While Leslie sat at the bar by herself, writing into a leather journal, which we took from a nearby bookstore. It really didn't matter anymore, because it wasn't stealing...but surviving. Neither Rick or I asked her if she was alright, for Leslie would just closed her book and say it was none of our business. To me, it was nothing more than just the way a woman was, especially in such a situation like this. Still, my eyes couldn't help looking at her, every couple seconds, worried about her. I couldn't help it, because she was a close friend to me. The one who I practically told everything that was happening with me. As she would with me as well. Hell, she was the girl who I had my first kiss with her, which almost led to the first time for something else. Yet, her parents coming home made that impossible for us to see where this would have gone to. I never regret it, even though I had wondered how far we would have went. Something that I couldn't help thinking of, which I figured she probably have wondered as well.

“Jack.... Jack, have you been listening to me?” Lucy said in a slightly annoyed voice.

“What? I'm sorry, what did you say?” I replied as I looked at her.

The way Lucy looked at me wasn't really that of anger, but curiosity. How I wished she wouldn't start to ask what it was I was thinking. It was obvious what I was looking at, for there was only the four of us. For a few seconds, she just sat there looking at me, brushing away a few strands of her long amber hair. It really didn't bother me, but it was those light blue eyes of hers that did. Those eyes that seemed to burn right through me, as if she was looking for the answer, which I wouldn't answer. If she were to keep this way, it would have gotten to the point where I couldn't take it any longer.

It was then Rick came back to the table with a couple beers and a martini, as well as four shots of who knows what. With Rick, I could never know what it would be that he was up to. But now, I was just grateful that he came back to the table, to break the unsettling silence.

“So, you guys ready for a time to forget?” he said placing the tray in the middle of the table. “Hey Leslie, are you going to join us. Or are you still working on your latest chapter?”

The one thing about Rick was that he didn't have a way of being polite with things. Even though I laughed, it was more about the way he talked that struck me funny. To the point, if Leslie were to slap him, I wouldn't be able to stop laughing wildly. Luckily, it was something that didn't happen, as she made her way over to us. Her one hand held the leather closed brown leather journal and pen, while the other hand held a full beer bottle. Coors lite, the only beer which she would only drink, when she was determined not to get to fucked up. And it seemed that this was one of those times.

“Why in the world are we having a toast, especially with everything that happened to the world.” Leslie said in a lifeless tone.

For a moment, Rick really didn't have anything to say within the response. Just like he always did, when someone would say something to make him look foolish. He just looked at her, with a shocked expression as if his dark secret was revealed. A look which I never thought I would ever see on his face.

“Maybe a toast that we have survived this long.” I said finally, hoping it would save Rick.

Leslie smiled briefly, and then sat down next to me, without saying another word. My eyes stayed focused on her, wondering what it could be that was on her mind. What she had been writing was something that really didn't matter to me. After all, it was her personal outlet, if it was an outlet at all.

“What do you think that smoke was from?” Lucy asked.

“Probably the pyre of dead bodies being burned by whoever the survivors are.” Rick said, trying to sound intelligent.

Leslie looked at me with a strange, unsettling expression on her face, as if there was something which she wanted to tell me. Yet, was afraid of how I would react to it, if she were to tell him it. I had no idea what was going through her mind, but her silence was making such an uneasy feeling in me, growing stronger. Mainly because, I had always found myself thinking about her, worrying what she could be going through. Even though it would only be a couple times in all the years we had known each other.

“What's a pyre?” Lucy said, looking at Rick with a confused expression on her face.

“It's what they call the ancient way of cremation.” Rick said smiling.

“Would you do that to me, if Doctor Death got me? If I were suffering with it... would you kill me if I begged you to, Jack?” Leslie asked.

I wanted to tell her that would be something we wouldn't have to worry. But, that was just bullshit, for none of us knew what would happen. And who it would be that would be effected by the virus. I wanted to tell her that I wouldn't be able to do it, mainly because I couldn't bear the thought of losing her. Especially when they were practically the last people on Earth. How could I live within a world without her, with no one else that would come to me? Still, I had to say something to Leslie, for I knew she was being serious about it.

“If that’s what you want, I will do it. I mean, I really don't want you to suffer. “ I said.Leslie smiled as her hand reached over and rested her hand on mine. For a brief second, she didn't say anything, but it really didn't matter to me. For I could see what she would probably say to me, just from her expression.

“Thank you, Jack. I would do the same for you as well.” Leslie said and then leaned over and kissed my cheek.

“Alright Jack, it's about time you got another kiss from her. After the last couple years you have been waiting for her.” Rick said jokingly.

Before I could say anything, Leslie replied as her eyes looked at him with a stern and yet sarcastic as well. Knowing she would have something to reply to Rick, which in a way, I waited for.

“You're just jealous because I always said no to you, when you had asked me out all those times.” she said and her lips smirked slightly.

Rick just sat there looking at her as the rest of us laughed for a brief moment, as he blushed slightly. But before Rick could say anything else, there was the sound of someone screaming and then a few gunshots. Making all of us jump slightly, as we looked out the tinted windows, hoping to see something. All that we could see was the empty streets, nothing more than that. Even though we should have felt relaxed that it wasn't anywhere close to them. The only thing was, I could feel the fear running through my soul, wondering what it could be that was going on. We had only seen the burning pile of bodies of the dead, never really seeing any zombie like victims or others shooting wildly in madness. Those gunshots though didn't really seem like a madman firing them. No, this seemed more focused...concentrating on one thing...only one thing.

“What the hell is going on out there?” Lucy asked in fear.

“Whatever it is, I think we need to get far away from the windows. So that way, whoever was out there, wouldn't see us.” I said suddenly.

That was if anyone would be able to see us really, but knew there was no way I could take the chance of that. Luckily, with the sound of the gunshots made it easy for the others to agree with me. We got up and started to make our way out of the tavern and into the lobby. Sitting down by the large fireplace across from the check in desk. Even though I really wanted to keep going, to find a way to escape out of this hotel and out of this town. Yet, that would be risking running into whatever it could be that was out there.

“What do we do now?” Leslie asked as she pressed her body close to mine.

“Let's wait for a little while, for it to blow over. I'm sure whoever it is that was doing the shooting will be gone.” Rick said in confidence.

We all agreed, even though I wasn't sure about the decision. The only thing we could do was to wait and see what would happen.

4

It was only a couple hours that passed as we stood there in the hotel, yet longer than that to me. During that time, we had explored the hotel, since none of us never had the chance to be in a place like this. And maybe, it would help us get our minds off of everything that was going on. Rick and Lucy went to find the kitchen, so they could find something to eat. Yet, I couldn't think of food right now, all I wanted was to find a way to be alone. Even if it was only for a moment, the only thing I needed was to be alone. Leslie didn't want to go to the kitchen either and convinced me to let her come with. That was something that would probably be better, just in case something would happen. In a way, being with her would be the best thing for me, so I could be able to talk to her about what I felt, even if it was strange. I had no idea where it would be I would be going, only that I needed a change of scenery.

“So, where you want to explore?” Leslie asked in a playful tone.

“I'm not sure.” I said as I looked at her. “You got an idea?”

“Maybe.” she said giggling, holding a key card in her hand. “Follow me.”

I started to wonder how she could have gotten a key card for whatever room it would open. But, I remembered how she had worked at a hotel as a housekeeper and then behind the desk, so I could understand it. I wanted to ask her where it was she was taking me, but that seemed useless. For it would be only something that she wouldn't tell me, especially if she wanted it to be a secret...or maybe a surprise. And that could be something that I probably needed now, just to escape from everything around us.

We went up to the penthouse and then into the elegant suite, which seemed like something out of a dream. I walked into the middle of the living room. The furniture so expensive and elegant, a smooth white fireplace and glass doors which led to the balcony. There was a sudden feeling that we definitely shouldn't be there, that we didn't belong there. Of course, who would complain or get us in trouble. And I was with her and that was the only thing which seemed to matter to me.

Once we got to the top floor, we walked off the elevator and into the elegance of the hallway, with its gold and white wallpaper and a few small tables against the walls. There were also prints of classic paintings, which complimented the image, which was trying to be shown. Deep down I wondered why we had came up here, even though I had a thought which lingered within my mind. That Leslie wanted to give us the chance which her parents had stopped them from a few years ago. She had always known how much I wanted her, but not just for a one night stand, but something deeper that I never really wanted be known. Even though I had always had the feeling that she knew what I felt, even though I never told her. She would always said that I never could hide the truth of what I was feeling. I figured not to really say anything about it yet, letting her reveal to me what she had in store. The key card I knew she had to have gotten it from behind the front desk, not letting it even seem curious to me at all.

We made our way down the hallway, till we got to the dark brown door of a suite, and then she turned around to me. Her eyes sparkled with excitement in them, but there was something else in them, which I couldn’t figure out. It was something that I had felt, but really didn’t try to bring it up. Hell, I figured it was nothing more than just my own imagination that was making me feel that way.

“So, what are we doing here?” I asked as I smiled at her.

For a moment she just stood there looking at me with such a playful smile on her lips, as she tried to act as if she had no idea what I was saying. It was a cute thing she always did, that made me smile. Well, also attracted me to her, even though I never really told her. Except for a couple times when we were at a bar together and I became totally drunk. She had never got angry at me, always saying how cute it really was. Yet, that was something which I was forced to forget about and bury those feelings deep within me.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. I just thought we could use some place where we could be alone. Away from Rick and his attitude for a while.” she said slightly joking.

“Oh yes, Rick…all knowing.” I said jokingly.

“And he sees all.” she said laughing.

Because of that we both started to laughing, something which we hadn’t done in so long. But Leslie had suddenly stopped as her expression became that of such worry and what looked like…sorrow. Something which I hadn’t seen her look like in such a long time. It only lasted for a brief second, but, no matter what I had to find out what the hell is going on.

“Alright, what’s going on, Leslie? I can see there is something bothering you.” I said suddenly.

“I don’t know what you are talking about.” she said as she put the key card in the slot of the door and then opened in.

We walked inside, but I wasn’t going to drop what I wanted to know. If I did, I knew she wouldn’t go back to it. She always tried to avoid revealing anything that hurt her inside. Yet, she trusted me and there had to be a way she would reveal the truth to me.  We made our way inside and I closed the door behind us. The suite had a living room which we entered into, which was almost like something that would have been out the movies. Elegant and antique furniture, a crystal chandler hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room, a stone fireplace and glass doors which led to the balcony. It was a place which I had thought I would be taking that woman I would get married to on our honeymoon. Of course, that was something that wouldn’t happen now, or at least that was what I believed.

Leslie made her way to the center of the room and then turned to me, her arms lifted to the sides of her body, as her smile widened. She looked as if she was showing me a place which was mine. Like some prise from a contest that I played. But this was not anything like that, and there was still something I needed to know from her. That was if Leslie would do that, if she would be courageous to do so.

“So what do you think? Is this paradise or what? Have you ever seen a place as beautiful as this?” she said as she slowly spun around in a circle and giggling again.

It was beautiful, something which neither of us thought we would ever see. Yet, here we are and it was just as real as the nightmare outside…that the world had become. It was like a paradise, an escape from the reality around us. Still, it was something that would only be momentary, for we would have to leave this place and continue on, to where ever it could be we could find.

“It’s a paradise for sure and you are glowing like a princess in it.” I said, not sure what else I could really say.

“Oh Jack, you always have such romantic things you say to me. Like always, you know how to make me smile.” she said looking at me and then made her way to me.

I really didn’t know how romantic I really was, I just said those things because I knew she liked it. And because I made her feel special when I knew there was something bothering her. Normally, that would lower her defenses to the point where she would tell him the truth. This time I had hoped it would happen, just to know what it could be.

She stood directly in front of me, her dark blue eyes staring at me with a look that seems so lovingly. I could feel my heart pounding wildly, not believing what it could be that was going to happen. Or maybe, it was just my own imagination…or hoping, which had festered in my soul for so long.

“I always just want to let you know how special you are to me. I mean, we’ve known each other since we were ten. And been through everything together…. at least most to everything.” I said.

“I know you always make me feel special, more than any man ever had. And I have always found myself thinking about you when I’m alone. You are so special to me. That’s why I always stayed with you, even when you would would piss me off or I would with you.” she said.

“I always appreciated that Leslie. And I’m lucky that both of us survived the outbreak. At least we have each other now, to help get through this.” I said honestly.

Right when I said that, a discouraged expression on her face, as she turned and walked away from me. I just stood there, wondering what it could be that I had said to offend her. That was if there was something that I did. I wanted to ask her what was wrong, but found unable to speak a word. As if an invisible hand was choking me, unable to utter a word for a moment. Seeing her like this was something, which I really couldn’t stand. Feeling it hurt me in my heart, to strong for me to push it away. Slowly, I started to make my way to her, my hands resting to my sides, as she stands by the doors of the balcony.

“I can’t believe all this has really happened. I mean everyone that we had ever known is gone. Family, friends and even just people in the neighborhood we never talked to…all gone.” she said in a soft sorrowful voice.

“I know what you mean. I remember all the kids that use to harass me in school, the way they tortured me with the cruel jokes they said. And even the people I worked with at the hospital are all gone.” I said as I hesitated for a moment, feeling the pain coursing through me. I had never really thought about this ever since all this had happened. Mainly because I was trying to concentrate of surviving. But now, all those memories came flooding back in my mind, all those faces of those I knew came back as well.”I would do anything to have them all back now.”

Leslie turned and looked at me with a comforting expression on her face, making it obvious that she understands what I was saying. A slight smirk appeared on her lips as I stood even closer to her than just a moment before. She instantly wrapped her arms around me, holding me close to her, feeling her body against mine. Even though I had held her before in the past, there was something about this time which was so special. For a moment, neither of us says a word for a moment, just letting the pleasure of this moment consume us.

“Would you kill me if I asked, Jack? If that damned virus gets me?” she whispered.

“What are you talking about, Leslie? You’re sounding crazy.” I said as I pull slightly away.

“Would you kill me and throw my body onto the pyre like all the others end up?” she asked, without explaining her reason.

I felt strange about answering her, for I really didn’t know what the answer could be. Even though if the virus would take her and kill her, I would probably do that. But actually kill her? That was something which I knew I couldn’t do, even if she were to beg me to. Yet, I had to know why that could be. That was, if she was going to tell me the truth about it. After all, she had started talking about this subject, so she should tell me about her reason.

“Tell me what’s going on, Leslie. I have to know the truth. Why are you talking this way?” I asked.

I wanted to know the true answer, but in a way I really didn’t want to know as well. There was a sense of fear which burned deep within my soul, making me wish this was nothing more than a joke. Yet, with the serious look on her face, I could tell that was something that wouldn’t happen.

She started to walk over to the light brown couch in the middle of the room, holding my hand and guiding me to it. For a moment, she doesn’t say anything just yet. I could feel that she’s going to tell me about what the truth really is, but it was something that we would need to sit down. Which could never be anything that was really that good at all.

When we sat down, for a brief second she looked down at her lap as her hands clasped on her lap. She looked like a scared little child who knew she was in trouble. It didn’t make any sense what it could be that was bothering her. And the silence between us had grown so strong that I couldn’t take it much longer. I needed to know what it could be that she was going to reveal to me, that is when she was going to reveal it. The way she sat there, I could see the brief view of her cleavage, showing the smooth skin of the top of her breasts and their curves as well. Just the sight of it, brought about such temptation within my soul, which I knew I would have to forget about it. How the hell could I sit here looking down her tank top, when she is suffering with something she wants to tell me? Am I that much of an asshole? The only thought which ran through my mind, making me feel ashamed that it was exciting me so much. Bringing about the memory of that day at her house, how it felt to have her body against mine. Wanting her so much, that I knew I couldn’t have pulled away from her. Also knowing that she really didn’t want me to either. Now, this lustful feelings came back to me for her, and we were alone were it could happen between us. But, was it really lust, when I had feeling for her, more than that?

It was then, her head head lifted up and looked at me. Instantly, I turned away, so she would not see me looking at her that way. But, she knew what I had been doing, which made her giggle slightly. Not being angry at me for it, but something else. Something that I really didn’t know right at the moment, as the embarrassment consumed me and my face turned warm.

“You see anything that you like?” she said jokingly.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.” I said nervously.

“It’s alright. I wondered if you would ever try and do something like that. And in a way, I was hoping you would. At least you are the only one who would respect me.” she said and then started laughing.

She was right about that, I wasn’t the type of person who would force myself on her. Unlike the couple other boys who had before in the past. The last one was Chad Wellington, the head quarterback in school. But Leslie had the last laugh with him, getting her revenge on that jerk. She had pulled a knife on him (which she called her little friend) and cut him. Shit, cut him was an understatement with what she had done. For she had cut his dick and yelled at him that if he ever came near her again, she would cut it off. Chad had been out for the entire football season as well as out of school. From what I remembered, his parents had moved them to another town, because of it. Not only because of the fact that he had forced himself on a girl…trying to rape her. But because a girl cut his dick so deeply that he would be left in the hospital for a couple months. And they couldn’t go to the police about it, since Leslie’s father was a police officer within the suburban town they lived in. And he would believe his own daughter over some jock who was trying to be macho and wanting his way with her. Now though, she wasn’t that tough girl she was in the past. Now she seemed like a scared child in front of me.

“Relax Jack, I’m not mad at you. Honest, it’s alright.” she said softly as her hand gently touched the side of my face.

Just the feel of her touch on me, felt so wonderful to me. Making me forget what it was that she wanted to tell me. The real reason why she had brought me here to begin with. I found myself lost within such feeling that made my heart feel like it was reborn. But then I woke up from the enchantment of it, as my eyes gazed at her.

“What was it that you wanted to tell me? What is really going on with you?” I asked suddenly.

Her hand slowly pulled away from me as her hands returned back to her lap again. This time though her head didn’t lower to it, she kept her eyes on me. She licked her lips as she took a deep breath. Knowing she was trying to get the courage to reveal the truth that she needed to tell him.

“I don’t think that I could really tell you it. Because, you wouldn’t really believe me if I said it.” she started to say.

Not believe her? How could she think that? It seemed like the only thing which burned within my mind, even though I had no idea what it could be she was talking about. Still, I had to let her show me. Not because she was determined to do it, but because, now I needed to know what it was she would show me.

“Alright, what do you want to show me?” I asked uneasily.

Without saying a word, she started to lift up the black tank top that she wore. How I hoped it would just be a playful act to give me the hint that she wanted me. Just to see the smooth skin of her stomach and breasts, which would bring such lustful feelings within me. Even though her skin was smooth, there was something else there....something that brought about a sudden rush of terror within my soul. There were rashes on the side of her ribs and the bottom of her breasts, along with a large bandage that was stained with dried blood over her stomach. It made sense now why she didn't try going into the lake and also that she pushed away if we would get close to be intimate. Just the shock of this, stiffened my body as I just sat there in disbelief. Leslie didn't try to cover her breasts in shame, even though she wasn't the type who would be so blunt. In fact she was shy around people that she didn't know, and always held herself with such respect with those she knew. That was the one thing which I always loved about her. Now though, I could feel such sorrow and pain that overwhelmed me beyond my belief.

“This can't be true. You can't have the virus...there is no way.” I said in disbelief and sorrow.

“It's true alright. Doctor Death had made a house call to me. The damned thing is, I really don't know how I caught it. But that's something that doesn't matter now.

I wanted to tell her that she still had time and that it might just go away. There had been stories of people catching only a slight case of it and surviving. But that was nothing that was really proven as the truth or not. The only truth there had been was from a broadcaster on the radio on channel 37 OXD in Springfield. How there had been reports that the virus was still on the ra,page and now the symptom seem to be happening faster than before. That people were dying faster, as if it was trying to get the human race off the Earth. That had been at the end of last month and then there was no other broadcasts made. It was obvious that the disc jockey had caught it too and was dead now. In a way I was glad about it, not being forced to listen to Highway to Hell, Hotel California, End of the World and a couple other songs, over and over again. Even though they were songs I liked, I couldn't stand listening to them constantly.

I made my way to her as I tried to think of something to say, which would make her feel better. But what can you say to someone who knows they're going to die? That was the only thing which I couldn't figure out. Maybe not saying anything, but just being there for her would be the best. Now, I knew why she had asked that she wanted me to kill her. Of course, I knew it was something that I wouldn't be able to do, no matter how hard I would try to do what she wanted.

“At least I know why you pushed me away those couple times.” the only thing that I was able to really say.

“I was so afraid to let you know about this when it started. Afraid that you would walk away from me and take Rick and Lucy away from me as well.” she said for a moment, without turning to me. “I wouldn't blame you if you had. But, you are still here...at least till now that is.”

“I'm not going to walk away from you, Leslie. Especially now, I know that you need me even more. I can't walk away from you....” I started to say.

“Why? Why can't you just leave me to die? I mean, if you stay with me, you will catch this damn virus and then you will die as well.” she said turning around to me, showing the tears running down her cheeks again. “Tell me, why are you so stubborn to stay here with me, when I'm like this? I'm no beauty queen, not even beautiful anymore. Nothing more than a freak.”

“I stay with you because...I...I...” I tried to say, to get the words I wanted to say, out of my lips.

“Well? Tell me Jack....tell me the truth!” she said in an almost demanding voice.

“I....I love you! That's why, I love you Leslie! Even when you act like a bitch, I still love you!” I suddenly snapped, revealing the truth.

Leslie suddenly started to laugh, as she wiped away the tears from her eyes. Even though seeing her like this confused me, it wasn't laughter of making fun of me. It was something more, something that was warm and caring in a way...that I wanted to find out. Still, I needed to find out what it could be that she would say within the response to what I had just told her. It wasn't really the time for something like that, but I really didn't care. The only thing I wanted was to reveal the truth of my heart and find out how she felt about me as well.

“I wondered when it would be you would tell me that. I've known for the longest time, Jack. Let's face it, you could never hide anything from me.” she said smiling and then took a step closer to me. “I have to tell you that I have had you on my mind for so many years. And because of it, I found myself falling in love with you as well.”

The look within her eyes, had a sparkle within them, one which I had never seen in them before. Even though she had already told me she loved me, her eyes told me so much more. Still, there was what she had asked me before, about killing her. That was something which I found myself unable to really do it. Especially after we had both admitted to the love we felt, how could I take her away from this world and from my life?

“If you truly love me, then you will do what I was asking you. I want you to kill me. To end this nightmare of my life, before it gets worse.” she said and then hesitated for a moment. “ I figure I have a month or even less before the final stage of the virus hits me. But, I don't want to have to endure the pain and sorrow of it. Especially watching it hurt you, knowing there's nothing you can do to save me.”

It was something which made sense in a way, but I still couldn't get myself to do it. After all, how could I destroy the woman that I've waited for, for so long. Of course, I couldn't stand there and watch her go through the pain and the madness which would come. And she was right, there was nothing I could do to stop it. The only thing, which I found it difficult was to find a way to tell her what he really thought. It was something that I needed to do it, no matter what, I need to be honest with her. Even if she wouldn't understand why I wouldn't do it, but respect my belief about it....that was if she really loved me.

“I can't...I just can't, Leslie. I love you to much to kill you.” I said as I felt myself wanting to cry because of my sorrow.

Her arms wrapped around me, holding me close to her, the warmth of her body and her breasts pressed against my chest was a dream come true. The only thing was, how would this dream really end? That was the one thing which I really wasn't sure about. Even though Leslie was going to die because of this virus, all I could think about was wanting to spend every moment we had now...together.

“I understand Jack, I knew you wouldn't do something like that. It's just the man you are...a kind and caring person, not wanting to hurt anyone. One of the many things that I love about you.” she said and then kissed me so passionately.

How I wanted that kiss to last forever, to let it consume us till there was nothing left of the world around us. But that was nothing more than a dream, which would have to end sooner or later. And then the cold truth of reality would come back to us once again. To the fact that Leslie was going to die from the hands of Doctor Death...the one thing which none of us really prepared for. None of us, except for Leslie that was. She pulled away from me briefly, her eyes looking at me with such a loving expression on her face.

“Promise me one thing....that you will read the journal which I've been writing in. Start with the last page that I had done. And keep it with you always, that way you have a part of me with you. That is the only thing I really want you to do.” she said in a soft voice.

“Oh, sure.” I said shocked and confused.

It didn't make any sense why she was so concerned about that journal, when she should have been focused about the condition of her health now. Yet, Leslie was a strange woman, always seeming to focus on other things than that which was really important. Maybe, it was a way for her to avoid the mental stress of it all.

She then turned, opened the doors on the balcony and then started to walk out on it. I had to follow her, because I wasn't sure if she had anything planned. That was ridiculous, because, Leslie wasn't that type of woman, she always try to find the different solutions to her problems. A breeze blew passed us as we stood there, looking out at Grant Park across Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan beyond it. Normally, this would have been something that was a romantic moment. The night which I had always wanted to share with her. But with what Leslie showed me, there was nothing romantic about it.

Now, Leslie stood by the railing of the balcony, looking out at the panoramic view, the breeze lifting the end of her blond hair. The shadows seemed to hide some of the rashes that were on her back, even if it didn't, she still looked beautiful to me. Not just because of the way her body had always looked, but it was the real her...the woman she was in her heart. And as far as the rashes and scars were to go, I really didn't notice it. For all I could see is the woman she was and not the afflictions she was enduring. There were still questions which festered within my mind. Ones that needed to be answered, in order for me to put my mind...my soul at ease. The only thing that stopped me from asking them was myself. Feeling as if there was something that was lodged within my throat, making it impossible for me to ask. Luckily, Leslie didn't turn around yet and look at me. I know that I probably was showing such a ridiculous expression on my face. At least, she wouldn't be asking me about that...at least not yet.

“What are we going to do about this?” I found myself able to ask.

“What do you mean we?” she said as she turned around to me. Showing such a confused expression on her face, not expecting me to say that. “This isn't your problem, only mine.”

“Come on Leslie, you know I can't just stand here and let you go through this alone. We have always been there for each other all the time.” I said suddenly

She smiled again, but this time she didn't come to me. For a moment, she just stood there in silence,balcont looking at me, as if she wasn't sure what to say to me. Which was something that seemed strange to me, since Leslie always seemed to know what to say at any time or situation.

“There is only one way you can help me Jack. But we both know there is no way you will be able to go through with it.” she said smiling. “And that's alright, because I know it's because you love me. Still, there's only one way I'm going to be able to get through this.”

I know what she's talking about, but I can't let her do it. Because, if she does, then I'll be alone in this empty world and not know what to do. It sound so ridiculous to my mind, but at the moment I really could only think about the pain I feel. Still, I can feel that she's right about it, but didn't want to admit it. How could I let her do this? How could I lose her, when we just discovered we love each other? Even though it brought such confusion to my mind, I knew there wasn't that much time I could think about it. I could see from the look on her face that she was waiting for me to say something. But what? That was the one thing I couldn't think of. In one aspect, I really didn't want her to die....but in a way she was dead already. The virus would kill her in a quick pace, not knowing how long she would have. And with the time she would, there would probably be pain and madness that would come. Blaming me, for not doing what she wanted me to. Maybe even hating me for it as well.

My body slumped slightly as I could feel myself shiver, as my eyes gazed down at the cement floor of the balcony. If I did what she asked, I would be haunted by the memory of killing the woman I love. If I didn't, then she would die hating me.

“I don't know what to do.” I said in an unsettling voice.

“Jack, it's okay. Remember, I already told you that. I should have known that you could never do that to me. And I love you for it.” she said. “Look at me, please.”

My head lifted up and I looked at her, trying not to show the pain which was coursing through my veins. Leslie just stood there smiling, as she motioned me to her. I wasn't sure why, but it really didn't matter to me. The only thing that did was that I wanted to hold her again in my arms, so close to me. And kiss her, even if it would be the last time. To hell with Doctor Death! If I caught it from her, then I did. Nothing mattered to me anymore, except her.

When I stood in front of her, Leslie reached her hand up and gently touched the side of my face. I looked into her dark blue eyes, and for the first time, found the real woman she was . Not some tough tomboy which she tried to be, or a sarcastic bitch to others...but the real, sensitive, loving and scared woman she was.

“You shall always have my heart, Jack. To be honest, I loved you ever since I first met you all those years ago. And like you, I was afraid to tell you... afraid that you wouldn't feel the same.” she said in a whisper.

“Let me stay with you to the end. I can take care of you, until the virus get to bad.” I said instantly.

“You already are, Jack. I love you!” she said smiling.

“I love.....”

But my words trailed off as I watched her lean her body back and let herself fall backwards over the railing. I tried to grab her, but it was too late. There was no sound of her screaming, just that of her body hitting the street below. I wanted to go and look over the edge of the balcony, but I couldn't move...couldn't scream...or do anything. I just stood there, in shock and sorrow, wanting to jump over the railing after her. Yet, the terror inside me, kept me from doing that. And I guess that might have been a good thing. Just stood there as the sorrow flooded through me, not knowing what I was suppose to do. Slowly, I turned and made my way back to the lobby and back to Leslie's journal that waited for me. And the words within it, which held all the secrets in her and in a way a part of her soul. When I held it within my hands, my fingers running over the smooth leather, I couldn't help wondering what she had written. The words which she had put on the last page, before she had decided to take her life. Even though there was a part of me that didn't want to look in it, I did anyway. Knowing if I didn't, it would haunt me forever. I sat down on the sofa in the lobby, letting the journal rest on my lap for a brief moment. My hand reached for the cover of it and then opened it up to the last page that was book marked. Taking a deep breath and then looked down at the words that were written.

I don't think that I will be able to keep my secret from the others much longer. I can feel the symptoms growing stronger within me as the scars have formed on my back now. Unlike the ones just above my ass, which I've been able to hide. Luckily, when we went to the lake, I kept my tee shirt on, to hide it. But, Jack keeps looking at me, not as if he suspects anything....more like he is worried about me. If he only knew the truth of how I feel about him...about how I've found myself in love with him. Jack seemed to be the only one who wasn't acting like a jerk or snobbish. I know that my time is coming short and I have to have him know the truth. And now is the time. As for Doctor Death's hand on me, I know what to do. I can't let myself go mad, especially taking the chance to hurt him. But before I do, I have to let him know how I feel about him. And how he feels about me, even though I've always known that he loved me. God, I just hope he can forgive me what I'm going to do...if I have the courage to do it. And if I do, I want him to keep this with him forever. To make sure there is a part of me that he can keep with him. I guess, it's my last dying wish.

Leslie


 

And that was just what I knew I would do, keep this brown leather journal with me. Keeping it for the memory of the love that I had lost. Something that I would never let go of...to always have something of my beloved Leslie with me forever.

THE END!!!!!


 


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