Steph stood outside the door to the teacher's lounge, peering through the tiny plexiglass window on one side of the door that gave her a decent view of the situation inside the dimly-lit room. At least two dozen zombies lumbered around aimlessly, bumping into one another occasionally. At the far end of the room, the door to Savage's office was closed- meaning that the office (and Steph's keys) were likely untouched by the zombified teachers who had possibly killed off all the rest of the people in the school.
Chris and Lisa stood close behind, peeking over her shoulder at the status of the teacher's lounge; hands locked together. Steph felt her stomach twist, not wanting to think about her newly-single status and the very brief text conversation that had communicated the details of the breakup to her in crystal-clear detail.
We barely even talk about anything anymore. I just don't feel like I'm a priority to you. Idk what's been going on with you lately, but I need to put myself first.
Hope you have a nice winter break
Steph grimaced, hands tightening around the straps of her backpack as she focused on trying to track the movements of the zombies inside the teacher's lounge. No use focusing on things that she couldn't change, no matter how much she wished she could change them.
As she stared at the zombies, she noticed that they all seemed to be avoiding three tables set up in the middle of the room; set up in an almost perfect diagonal line that led right to Savage's office door. The zombies would bump into the tables, but would instinctively turn and head off in the opposite direction the second they made contact. The room was dark, and if she could crawl under the tables and avoid the zombies' attention, then maybe…
"Stay here." She ordered in a low voice, briefly making eye contact with Lisa and Chris; who immediately began protesting.
"No, Steph, we said we'd-"
"Stay. Here." She cut Chris off, not wanting to put him or Lisa into any unnecessary danger. She held her gaze steady, heartbeat pounding.
"It'll be fine." She lied, turning to open the door.
"I've got this."
Pushing the door open as slowly as she could, Steph stepped quietly into the carpeted room- holding her breath for fear of it alerting the zombies to her presence. She kept moving, slowly, laboriously; putting one foot in front of the other until she reached the first table. Bending down quickly; almost too quickly, she dove under the table- her backpack swinging forwards and almost hitting the back of her head. Her heart jumped in her chest, and she froze until she was sure no zombies were coming towards her. The next table was less than a meter away, and from what she and the others had seen of the zombies, she was confident that as long as she stayed out of sight that they wouldn't know she was there.
Breathing out slowly, she crawled quickly towards the next table.
What if Savage's office is locked? What if you did all of this for nothing?
Steph inhaled sharply, stopping under the second table just as a rogue zombie shambled past, stopping momentarily in front of the table. She froze once again, terrified of dying trapped under a table of all things.
But she wasn't going to die. Not like this, anyway.
The zombie lumbered on, and Steph let out a shaky breath she didn't know she was holding. Saying a silent prayer to whatever god or higher power was out there, she watched as a path opened up in front of her. Moving with the zombies, she crawled towards the final table- barely stopping beneath it as she made a break for Savage's office door. Scrambling to her feet as quietly as she could, she grasped at the doorknob; and as the knob turned she felt an ocean of relief crash over her. She slipped through the doorway, practically slamming the door behind her as she collapsed on the floor of Savage's office.
She'd made it. She was okay.
Breathing heavily, Steph closed her eyes and rested her head against the wood of the door. She had to get up. She had to find her keys, and find her car, and get everyone out of here.
She hoped that Anna had found her dad. She hoped Anna and Nick were still alive and that they hadn't been turned to zombies. Could she even fit five people in the back of her insanely tiny car? That was debatable- but she knew that she'd rather try to squish too many people into the backseat of her car instead of having to leave people behind because they'd been bitten. If there was one thing Steph knew, it was how shitty it felt to be left behind.
Getting to her feet, she walked around behind Savage's desk- eyeing the miscellaneous stacks of papers that covered the desktop. She looked around the room, stopping as her eyes fell on a wire crate shoved into a corner of the room. Grabbing it eagerly, she set it down on the desk and began rummaging through it.
There were a lot of miscellaneous things that Steph couldn't care less about- countless loose papers, boxes and bags of candy and snacks that were "not allowed on school grounds", a cell phone, a bottle of vodka, some lighters, a pack of cigarettes, a box of condoms, a box of dry pasta (she was unsure as to why Savage would've needed to confiscate this or why someone would've brought it to school in the first place, but she figured if the world was ending it would probably make sense to grab whatever might be useful).
Sliding her backpack off, she opened it and quickly shoved as many things as she could into it. She wasn't sure what she'd do with a bottle of vodka or a box of condoms, but she figured she might as well take what she could.
What she didn't find in the basket were her keys- and as she pocketed a chisel that she found (thankful for the weapon but very confused as to why anyone would bring it to school) she gave up on the wire basket completely; deciding that Savage likely had hidden her keys somewhere else. She started rummaging through the bookshelf that the basket had been sitting on- still no keys. Getting impatient, Steph turned to Savage's desk and began opening the drawers. Her keys had to be here.
Not stopping to think what she'd have to do if she couldn't find her keys, Steph practically tore apart the contents of Savage's desk; papers and office supplies falling to the floor, until her fingers brushed a familiar texture.
Closing her hand around a round, furry keychain at the bottom of one of the drawers, she pulled it out and gave it a triumphant squeak. The gaudy keychain had been given to her by her mother- and while it was arguably not her style, Steph couldn't be happier to clutch the furry, pastel-colored squeaky-toy-turned-keychain in her hands.
She had her keys. They had their exit. All she had to do now was get to her car and find Anna and the others.
Shoving her keys into the front pocket of her trousers with one hand and grabbing the chisel with the other, Steph got down and slipped her backpack over both arms before taking a shaky breath; facing the door that she knew she had to open. She swallowed hard, gripping her newfound weapon as she readied herself for whatever onslaught of zombies waited on the other side.
"Fuck this place."