During the first few hours of the journey, I'm silent. In part because I'm tired, but also because I'm grieving for mom. I miss her. I'm still in Tiir's arms. He's being gentle as he carries me so as to not jar my injuries. He hasn't spoken much to me. He's trying to give me time, I suppose. I am grateful to him.
"Kido, are you alright?" Tiir's voice breaks through the silence.
I look up at Tiir. "Alright? How can I be alright? Mom is dead! I…I killed a man! It won't ever be alright!" I yell. Tears gather in my eyes. I bury my face against Tiir in hopes of hiding my tears.
When my tears start to soak the front of Tiir's robe, though, he becomes aware. He hugs me tighter. "Kido, it'll be alright. I know what you're going through. Most of the children I've saved have gone through similar things. You're not alone," Tiir whispers soothingly into my ear.
I pull my head away from Tiir and look up at him. "But, I…I feel alone…" I mumble, my eyes looking downcast.
"Well, you're not alone. You have me and you'll have lots of friends where we're going, other children who're like us," Tiir responds.
"Will they like me?" I ask, nervous.
"Of course they'll like you. What's not to like? I know I only just met you, but I know you're a good kid," Tiir reassures me.
I wrap my arms around Tiir's neck and rest my head on his chest. "I'm tired," I whine a bit.
Tiir rubs my back. "I know. Just go to sleep."
I yawn and bury my face deeper into Tiir's robe. I close my eyes and soon succumb to sleep.
I wake again when I feel Tiir setting me down. I feel grass under me. I look up and see Tiir still kneeling by me. "Where are we?" I ask.
"We're making camp here for the night. We'll make it to the base tomorrow," Tiir explains.
My stomach rumbles. "Tiir, I'm hungry. Can we eat?" I ask.
"Sure we can, Kido," Tiir answers. He pulls some food out of my backpack and gives it to me.
I eat it quickly, starved after not eating for a while. "Hey, Tiir, how far away is the base?" I ask.
"It'll take us another day to get there. We'll make it by mid-afternoon," Tiir answers.
"Okay," I reply. I yawn loudly, tired despite having only just woken up.
"Why don't you get some more sleep," Tiir suggests.
"No! I don't wanna sleep!" I yell, unbidden tears forming in the corners of my eyes.
"Kido, what's wrong? What's made you so upset?" Tiir asks. He hugs me gently as he tries to calm me down.
Once I'm a bit calmer, I decide to answer Tiir's question. "I…I'm too scared to sleep. I don't wanna dream right now," I try to explain.
"Why? Do you have nightmares?" Tiir asks.
I nod my head. "Yes," my answer comes out as a hoarse whisper. Tears that I've been holding back begin to fall. I sniffle and hug Tiir, seeking comfort.
Tiir hugs me back and holds me as I cry. I just keep sobbing until I have no tears left to cry. Tiir releases me from his embrace so he can look into my eyes. "Kido, it's gonna be alright. You can sleep. I promise I'll wake you if you start to have a nightmare," Tiir's words calm me. For the first time in my life, I find that I genuinely trust someone. I curl up into Tiir's arms and fall fast asleep.
The next morning, I wake to find that Tiir is already ready to go. "Are you ready?" Tiir asks. I yawn and rub the sleep from my eyes before nodding my head. Tiir picks me back up off the ground. I shift in Tiir's arms to get comfortable and wrap my arms around his neck again. I rest my head on Tiir's chest and wait for us to arrive at our final destination.