Lenore

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LENORE


The pounding on the door jarred her in her seat. She dropped the copy of War of the Worlds she was reading near the window in the orange chair. Her heart leapt to her throat as she heard her name yelled through the door in panic. That moment is finally here, Lenore thought to herself. It had been a week or so, the days all blended into each other, since Lenore had agreed with Daniel to keep Nathan’s secret. Nothing had changed in that week, and Lenore had spent the entire time on the edge of constant fear of the inevitable, and now here it was. Nathan pounding on her door, and the worst possible scenarios flooded through her head.

“What happened?” she asked as she scrambled from the chair. She hesitated at the door, waiting for a reply with her hand poised on the handle. If Hayley was truly sick, then his constant exposure to her could very well mean that he was now as well. She didn’t want to take the chance of it spreading to her as well, or getting into their living space where Sebastian could get it.

“Are you sleeping or something? Look out the window!” He pounded on the door again for good measure. The voice on the other end of the door registered in her head, and she flung open the door in relief.

“Davidson. I can honestly say I am relieved to see you.” Her heart continued to pound, but it was settling back to its normal rhythm.

“Are you blind, woman? We have work to do!” When he stopped yelling at her, she could hear the soft patter of rain against the window panes and was surprised and embarrassed that she hadn’t heard it before. Without another word, she followed him out of the apartment, not even taking the time to lock the door as she hurried to the stairwell and up to the roof after him.

When he burst through the door onto the roof, she realized what a huge mistake she had made. The rain was more than just a light shower. The rain fell in sheets, and she couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed it earlier herself. From that point on, they moved in tandem without words, the actions a perfected routine between them. They each grabbed a corner of the mesh and pulled it from the top of the trough. Leaning it against the side of the trough, they both grabbed the closest bucket and dunked it into the raising water level to fill them. They worked quickly and efficiently, while being careful not to splash a single drop of the precious resource.

Each with a bucket in hand, they moved back to the stairwell and made the trek back down to the 11th floor. It was times such as this one, with the storm blessing them with water and they had to waste time lugging the buckets up and down four flights of stairs, when Lenore wished that they had agreed to move up to the vacant apartments on the fourteenth floor. Davidson had wedged a shoe to prop open the door on the 11th floor landing to save them from having to re-balance the bucket in order to open the door. They both moved to Anna’s apartment, which was thankfully unlocked. The apartment was empty, which meant Anna was still out with Sebastian on their assignment.

Davidson led the way into the bathroom. Making sure the drain was blocked in the sink, he emptied the bucket into it. Lenore had room for half her bucket in the sink; the second half she emptied into the bathtub. She ran a small amount through the open drain to clean it out before she dropped the stopper and emptied the remainder of the bucket. Davidson was already ahead of her and heading out of the apartment by the time she finished. She hurried to catch up, but didn’t see his figure again until she was back on the rainy rooftop.

The downpour already felt lighter as she burst through the door onto the roof. Davidson sensed this as well, and wasted no time collecting extra water from the trough. He picked up two buckets of water, which were close to full anyway, and moved towards the stairwell to work on William’s apartment. Lenore moved for another full bucket, but as she set down her first bucket it tittered and tipped. She shifted her focus back to the first, righting it to make sure it could collect extra water.

She knew she needed to take two buckets with her to maximize the advantage of the storm, but trying to lug two down would undoubtedly result in one or both tipping over, so she resigned to grabbing the full bucket and heading to follow Davidson to William’s apartment.

Save for Davidson, William’s apartment was vacant as well when they arrived which surprised her. She wasn’t exactly sure what role William played to the group besides being the self appointed dictator. She figured he just spent most of his time in his apartment, waiting for them to bring him food and water. She did not dwell on the questions that rose to mind as she handed the bucket to Davidson to empty into the bathroom since he was already in the cramped space.

When he handed back the bucket, they made their way out of the bathroom and straight back to the roof. The rain had definitely lessened when she opened the door and emerged onto the roof this time. She headed to the trough, ready to refill the bucket and get water to Nathan and Hayley’s apartment next. As she went to dip the bucket into the water, Davidson set his buckets down and grabbed her wrists. Stunned by the touch, she dropped the bucket into the water as she turned to face him. “You’re wasting energy now rushing,” he told her. They both knew the heaviest rain of the storm had already come to pass.

“I’m sorry I wasted time. I can’t believe I didn’t hear the rain against the windows. I always hear the rain. And then you had to waste time coming to get me.”

“Hush, little bird,” he smiled. Cupping her face between his hands, he tilted her head upwards, and she felt sure he was going to kiss her. The thought sent a rush through her, but she wasn’t sure if it was something she actually wanted.

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