Later that night I go into Cassie’s bedroom. She likes to spend like half an hour playing PSP before she goes to sleep. I wave as I come in and shut the door and she holds up a finger. I sit silently on the bed until she shuts it down.
“I wanted to talk to you about something Sam brought up today.”
“Okay,” she raises her eyebrows and scoots back against the headboard.
“Sam asked if we want to stay here with him,” I say and then just about hold my breath waiting for her response.
“But there aren’t any adults here,” She frowns.
“No. But we’re safe here. We have plenty of food and we’re not constantly running from zombies. Plus, there’s a lab. Lots of labs.”
Cassie crosses her arms. “Delilah, it’s more than being safe from zombies. I’m a kid. I’m supposed to have a mom and a dad.”
“They’re both gone sweetie,” I say as gently as I can.
“I know. But kids used to get adopted all the time. I know I won’t ever get my real mom and dad back. But I still want parents. Somebody to take care of me.”
“I thought we were doing that,” I swallow.
“You’re not a grown up. What do you know how to cook? You don’t read me stories. There aren't any other kids to play with - you're off with Sam and it's just me.”
“I can play with you more often.”
“It’s not just that. I want a mom.”
“I thought we were taking care of you okay,” I say, as tears slip down my face even though I don’t want them to. I wipe them roughly and quickly away.
Cassie hugs me. “I know you’re trying real hard. But you’re not a mom. You’re not a little kid, but you’re still a kid too. It’s okay.” She pats my back.
I hug her back. I didn’t realize that she felt this way but it makes sense. I’m older than her. I miss my Mom, but really I’ve enjoyed the freedom and I’ve enjoyed making decisions on my own.
“I didn’t know,” I say over Cassie’s shoulder. “We’ll find you someone.”
“Thanks Delilah,” She pats my back again.
We both calm down, and I tuck her in and shut the door behind me. It’s at that point that I realize that I told her that we would find her someone – not that we would find us someone.
I go into the living room and find Sam still playing video games. He pauses the game when I sit down on the couch.
“What’d she say?”
“How did you know I talked to her?” I smile.
He shrugs. “Just assumed. So?”
My smile slips away. “She really wants a mom and dad.”
He nods, his eyes focused on the TV. “Yeah, okay. And you?”
“What do you mean – and me?”
Sam puts down the controller and looks right at me. “Do you want to stay?”