Some walks you have to take alone.
“You could tell me, you know. I’m good at keeping secrets. Even from Mother.” She’s really gone, then. The little girl with the back of her shirt sticking out like a duck tail, the one who needed help reaching the dishes, and who begged to see the frosted cakes in the bakery window. Time and tragedy have forced her to grow too quickly, at least for my taste, into a young woman who stitches bleeding wounds and knows our mother can hear only so much.
We hunt, like in the old days. Silent, needing no words to communicate, because here in the woods we move as two parts of one being. Anticipating each other’s movements, watching each other’s backs. How long has it been? Eight months? Nine? Since we had this freedom? It’s not exactly the same, given all that’s happened and the trackers on our ankles and the fact that I have to rest so often. But it’s about as close to happiness as I think I can currently get.
After lunch, Gale and I are scheduled to go down to Special Defense to meet Beetee. As we ride the elevator, Gale finally says, “You’re still angry.” “And you’re still not sorry,” I reply. “I still stand by what I said. Do you want me to lie about it?” he asks. “No, I want you to rethink it and come up with the right opinion,” I tell him. But this just makes him laugh. I have to let it go. There’s no point in trying to dictate what Gale thinks. Which, if I’m honest, is one reason I trust him.