Survivor's Guilt - Page 15

“Yeah, it doesn't make me feel any better either,” he admitted. “It never does.”

Something about the way he said that forced me to look at him and realize something, but I couldn't find the words to say it, so I ended up stammering, “I'm . . . I'm not the first that you've . . . you've . . .”

“Had to pick over others?” Tyr finished so I didn't have to.

I managed to nod.


And the way he said that one word felt like it broke something in me. I didn't think I'd be able to ask what I asked next at all, and if I did manage it somehow, I thought I'd have to scream it, but that one quiet word made me feel all small and petty and spiteful for not being grateful for being alive.

But I still had to know.

“Why me?” I asked, and this time I couldn't stop the tears. “I mean . . . look at me! Mark was the strong one, Johnny was the smart one, Jenny was the pretty one, and I'm just . . .”

“The other one?” Tyr finished for me again. “It doesn't work that way," he said firmly. "I don't know anybody pretty enough, smart enough, or strong enough to avoid death forever.” His lips twisted ever so slightly into a gallows grin. “Some day she'll claim me too, but when she does she'd better be damn polite about it if she doesn't want a fight on her hands.”

I laughed, not much, but a little. “But why me?” I asked again.

And then he told me.


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