There Are Miracles
Her people are gone, they are dead, wiped out by the Saviours, because she was too weak to protect them. She was too weak to kill Negan.
To Jadis, all seems lost, she hasn't see the helicopter in weeks and she believes that she will never see it again. Her will to live is fading with every passing day. She considered going to the Hilltop but she knows her presence is not welcome.
A loud banging from inside a nearby crate draws her attention, with caution and her pistol raised she slowly opens the container. What she finds inside catches her completely off guard.
Lying inside the crate is a young boy. His long brown hair is covered in dirt and bloody, his clothes are torn and he has a nasty bloody wound on the right side of his head.
It takes almost a minute to recognize the boy…he is the son of Rick Grimes, the son who is believed to be dead, but here he is very much alive.
The boy looks up at her, "Help Me…Please." He says as his voice cracks.
Jadis looks the boy up and down, why should she help him? She owes him nothing nor does she owe his father anything. Still something about his plea for help pulls on her heartstrings and she is compelled to help him. Slowly she bends down and begins to look over the boy.
"I will help you." She says.
The battle is over. The saviours are either dead or captured and Negan remains heavily guarded in a cell.
It is a hell of a lot to take in and as Rick Grimes sits on the steps of the Barrington House, he realizes that after all of this, life is somehow still beautiful. He slowly begins to come to terms with the biggest loss he has ever experienced.
His son is dead, Carl is dead and part of him wants to blame himself for not being there to protect his son. The other part of him, however is proud of his son.
Carl lived a beautiful life right up until he died. He was a good kid, kind, loyal, brave and always putting those he cared about before himself.
He was a good person, a good brother, a good lover and he would have been an amazing father. Most of all he was a good son, and his letter to Rick saved his father from falling further into the black hole that this war was.
In his mind, Rick can almost picture walking with a three year old Carl all the way to Ross's Farm.
Judith suddenly runs into his arms and cuddles into her father. It's a perfect moment between father and daughter.
It's going to be hell, living without Carl, but Rick won't let his inner monsters prevent him from honouring his son.
He looks around the area and takes in the scene before him. Tara is helping Siddiq treat the wounded, Daryl is cleaning his crossbow while Rosita attempts to get him to drink a bottle of water. Maggie and Jesus are handing out rations to the Saviours, who are currently behind a fence.
Jerry and Eduardo are looking out over the wall keeping watch. King Ezekiel is helping Father Gabriel sit down. Aaron is talking with Cyndie from Oceanside, thanking her for the help. Carol is handing out food to members of the militia.
He looks over and sees Enid sitting against a tree, the girl his son loved is taking to Michonne and occasionally the teen places her hand on her stomach where Carl's child is currently growing.
His family is going to make it, life is beautiful, but it's complicated. None of them understand why certain things have happened, but together they will live on and they will make it.
Minutes later as Rick is reading a book to Judith, a commotion is heard at the gate and before he knows it, Jerry is waving frantically at him.
Rick gives the friendly giant a questioning look.
"Rick you're needed over here… there's some lady named Jadis, she says she has a gift for you."
Rick stands up when he hears this. He thought he had seen the last of the leader of the trash people and he really wasn't in the mood for any "gift" that Jadis had for him. Slowly he gets up and walks over to the gate.
When he gets there, Scott and Diane are looking at the women cautiously, their weapons at the ready.
"I told you, I mean you no harm…I simply wish to deliver a gift to Rick."
"And what might that gift be?" Rick asks as he approaches her, "I thought I told you that you weren't welcome here?"
She nods, "You did and once I deliver your gift, I will be on my way."
Rick furrowed his brow, "What gift?"
Jadis doesn't respond, instead she motions to someone out of view. A figure appears from behind the gate.
At first, Rick doesn't recognize the figure, but then the figure removes his hood and for a split second Ricks heart stops.
Standing before him, looking almost the same except for new cloths and short hair, a bandage on the right side of his head is Carl.
Cries of shock are heard as several people see the person Jadis had arrived with.
Rick stumbles back in shock, "How…what…what kind of sick joke is this?" He demands furiously.
If Jadis is playing some sick joke on him then peace be damned, he'll kill her himself.
"Dad it's not a joke…it's me Carl." the boy says and he smiles warmly at his father. The sincerity in his voice makes Rick believe his statement.
His son is alive!
In this beautiful but complicated world, miracles happen. Rick doesn't understand how Carl is standing before him alive and well but he doesn't care. All that matters is that is son is alive and well.
"Carl," Rick says softly and before he knows it, his son is running into his arms, just like he used to when he young. Rick is holding him so tightly that Carl's ribs might break. His son has once again escaped harm and had now run back into his father's arms.
Rick is crying and so is Carl. After minutes of embracing, Rick lifts his head and smiles at his son, who returns the smile. "I missed you dad." Carl says and Rick kissed his forehead, "I missed you too Carl."
Slowly they pull away and Rick allows Michonne a chance to see Carl.
Michonne is the first to hug Carl, they embrace for over a minute, Michonne is crying and telling Carl how much he means to her.
Around him everyone else is raw with emotion and still digesting the complicate yet beautiful moment before them.
Daryl and Rosita are holding each other close, Maggie smiles brightly at the scene before her, Carol blinks away tears of Joy. Tara and Aaron look at each other is shook, Siddiq looks at Carl in awe and Gabriel is whispering a prayer.
Carl is holding his little sister. Judith, giggles at her brother and looks curiously at his new haircut.
Life really is beautiful, no matter how complicated it is.
Carl sets his sister down and looks at all the people before him, his family is here and seeing their smiling faces and tearing eyes, it a miracle.
He looks around for one face in particular and then he sees her, her face is screwed up with emotion and she slowly starts walking towards him, picking up speed before every step.
Before he knows it, Enid's tiny but firm first are pounding on his chest, tears falling down her pale freckled face and she is screaming at him.
"You Complete…Ass Carl Grimes," she cries as she continues to hit his chest, "You make me fall in love with you and then you die and…just when I'm starting to accept it, you show up alive."
He tries to grab her fists, "Enid," he calls, but she is too worked up to listen. Finally he manages to block a couple of her punches and then lightly grabs her wrists, "Enid Stop." He says and then pulls her shaking form into his chest, she squirms at first but he holds her tightly and soon she stops resisting and simply cries into his chest, her sobs break his heart.
He rubs her back, and whispered into her hair, "I'm right here Enid…I'm right here."
She looks up at him with wet eyes, the tears have left tracks in the dust on her face. "You left me." She whispers.
He nods, his thumb rubbing her shoulder blade, "I did but I came back to you."
"No you came back to us." A faint smile appears on her face.
"Remember that night a couple weeks ago?"
A first he looks puzzled, but after thinking hard it dawns on him, "Oh yeah that night when-" another realization hits him and his eyes grow wide, "Wait are you telling me that you're pregnant?"
Tears cling to her long eyelashes and she nods, "Congrats sport, you're going to be a dad."
He stands their stunned for a few seconds and then his lips curve into a smile, he hugs her even tighter and they just stand there, holding each other and letting the moment of pure peace and joy pass.
They spend the next several hours inside the house, gathered around the den. There are a lot of tears shed and a lot of questions asked, many of which go unanswered.
None of them let Carl out of there sight, miracle or no miracle, the fear of losing him is still present and when Carl goes to the bathroom, several of the group wait outside the door to ensure he comes back.
Not even Carl knows how in the world he is still alive. "I don't remember a lot, I remember shooting myself and then everything going black," he says and he can see the pain edge on the faces of his Father, Michonne and several others. "Next thing I remember was waking up on the ground beside what I think was my grave…I don't know how I got out."
"Does it really matter?" Enid, who sits next to Carl, their hands intertwined asks.
She looks around at everyone before her eyes rest on Carl, "He's alive and he's here and that's all that freakin matters, who cares how he lived. Let's just call it a miracle. It doesn't matter how he lived, at least not to me." She says and Carl smiles at her, before pressing his lips to her forehead.
"I have to agree with Enid." Siddiq says and they all turn and look at him, "From a medical standpoint we may never know how he survived, there are several reported causes of people dying and then coming back to life sometimes hours later. Most of the time the reason can't be explained and it is simple called a miracle." He explains and Carl gives a thankful nod at his friend.
"Look guys I'm alive and it is a miracle but let's not keep dwelling on it, we've always been the strongest when we're together and there's a lot we can give this world." he looks at his family before him and slowly their faces soften and they nod in understanding.
Carl looks at all the napkins, kleenex and tissues scattered over the floor, a smile forms on his face, "You know I think we need to go on a supply run."
"Why?" Rick asks.
"Because I'm pretty sure that we've used up every single napkin, tissue and Kleenex if this place," he says, gesturing to the pile on the floor.
It is a few second before anything happens. Rick is the one who laughs first and one by one everyone else joins in, laughing hysterically at Carl's comment. Carl is back and for the first time in weeks there is no sadness is anyone's hearts, just pure joy.
Is life beautiful? Yes. Is it complicated?" it sure as hell is. Most importantly there are miracles. None of them need to understand how Carl lived, what matters to them is that Carl has survived thanks to a miracle and for the rest of their lives every member of "Team Family" would never deny that miracles exist.