Unedited, unpolished, unfit for public consumption. Enjoy! 😀
I pulled out my pocket watch and flipped open the case, staring at it for a few moments until it sank in that it read 8:24, and whether that was AM or PM, it still had to be wrong. It was almost mid-day. I held it to my ear but there was only silence.
It hardly seemed like it should matter if my watch stopped working. There were no meetings to attend or schedules to keep, but it was a thin thread of normalcy I could cling to. Sure, we were running for our lives from an alien invasion, living in culverts and under bridges, barely sleeping or eating and probably little hope of surviving through the winter, but dammit, I knew what time it was, didn’t I!
The rhythm had helped me sleep for weeks, the comforting tick-tick-tick that let me pretend so long as my eyes were closed that this was just a weekend camping trip instead. The device now lay dead, hands unmoving, time had stopped. I cried. I actually cried. The last connection to the time before all this had started had been ripped from me, and it made me angry. Angry that I was so weak, angry that such a stupid thing as this had me crying, and angry at all the tears that hadn’t fallen over people we had lost.
When Ashton put his arms around me, that’s when I really broke down into deep, gut wrenching sobs. Then I wasn’t angry anymore, I was just crying all the tears I hadn’t cried for the last two months and now that they had started there was no stopping them.
I don’t know how long I cried, but eventually the tears finally stopped and the ache had retreated back to a dull numbness in my chest. The others had drawn away, giving us some privacy. I sat up, caught in that awkward moment between when the tears stop and when you try to extract yourself from the person who has just been holding you while you cried. He seemed to understand, letting me go and giving me a gentle smile.