Carol: “I’m doing first watch.”
Daryl: “I’m going too.”
Carol: “I’m going to make a water run.”
Daryl: “I’m going too.”
*Daryl can’t find Carol in the church*
Daryl: “Where did she go off too…?”
I’m pulling away ‘cause you can make me care. Season 2, episode 9.
No matter how hard you try to pull away, you can’t make me stop caring. Season 5, episode 2.
(Gifs from Isoldesong)
In the end, it’s all momentary, love is momentary.It’s just a passing dream, I don’t want to wake up yet…
The voices of the others chatting and relaxing filled the church along with the warm glow from the candles. Carol couldn’t bring herself to join them. Just days ago, she had ended a child’s life, and now she was sitting in a house of God, surrounded by scripture that reminded her, in no uncertain terms: thou shalt not kill.
She swilled the wine in her cup idly, watching the red drink roll around the glass.
Take and drink…This is blood of my body…shed for you.
She could see two small, blood stained hands, holding a knife and begging for her to wait and let Mika turn.
Carol flinched, looking up at the rafters of the church.
The sound of the single gunshot was still reverberating in her ears on an endless loop, and the unbidden image of those little yellow flowers still haunted her when she did manage to sleep. She wanted to forget…to put it behind her…but God didn’t forget.
Was she damned? What forgiveness was there for killing a sick child? What mercy could she possibly deserve?
A few feet away, Daryl had made his seat on the floor, picking at his own bowl of food. He had respected her wishes and not pressed her to tell him what had happened, merely taking a spot beside her in quiet camaraderie if and when she decided to talk.
Abraham stood to speak, but half of his speech didn’t register in her mind.
She didn’t know what the others had done to survive when the prison fell. What depths they had sunk to or the heights that they had achieved to stay alive. They were affected by it, she could see, but it wasn’t keeping them awake at night. It wasn’t preventing them from enjoying this meal. It wasn’t building a wall between them and their loved ones.
Daryl was right there, an arm’s length away, so willing and able to listen or to just be with her. His embrace and seeing the Grimes reunited had kept her thoughts warm for a day, but now the chill was creeping back in. She still felt isolated from these people, from her family.
How often had she come to her hometown church, so similar to this one? For some peace and quiet, for an escape, for that sense of calm that she couldn’t feel anywhere else. She had brought Sophia to church with her every Sunday and to every church function that she could, just to get her out of the house and away from Ed, who wanted nothing to do with her faith but had allowed her that freedom.
Now here she was, a year since she had last set foot in a holy house, and she felt like a stranger. The angels weren’t protecting her now, they were condemning her. The altar wasn’t welcoming her to worship; it was staring her down. How dare she even think of forgiveness?
Unconditional: that was what she had learned of God’s love. For the repentant soul, there was always the promise of salvation.
She wasn’t even sure if she believed in God anymore.
Carol grimaced and looked down at her wine again. She could feel Daryl watching her, but she couldn’t look back at him and see that concern and care in his eyes. He didn’t know what she’d done. She never wanted him to. It was her burden to bear.