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With you by my side

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Today was finally the day. The day that she would speak up for herself and show she can do more than just babysit or do simple chores around the prison.

She knew she was going to take a huge step by volunteering to go on the supply run. Nobody would baby her anymore and would finally respect her as a woman once she accomplished this feat.

Maggie had always been the one with the audacity to go against what daddy said. Once he saw the fiery look in her eyes he knew that there was no stopping her. Maggie’s strength was one of the things Beth had always admired about her.

After finishing up her task of laundry, she readjusted her pony tail which had come loose and headed towards the dining area where Rick had called the meeting. As she got closer, voices could be heard and that was when she could feel butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

As she stepped through the door, she saw Rick holding a hand up, causing the room to be completely silent.

”As you all know, we are running low on food and medical supplies so I think it would be best to organize a run into town. Would anyone like to volunteer to go on the run along with Daryl, Glenn and Maggie?” Rick asked as he looked around at the group.

It was now or never.

Taking in a deep breathe, she gathered up her courage.

“I would like to go.”
Immediately, everyone looked back towards Beth surprised. All the attention was causing her to blush, but she wouldn’t back down now.

“Are you sure about this?” everyone’s attention was drawn to Hershel who had spoken.

Beth couldn’t nod any faster, “Yes I am daddy! I ain’t a lil’ girl no more.”

“No! I ain’t sendin’ my lil’ sis out there!” Maggie exclaimed and walked over to stand in front of her, “I’m sorry hun but you don’t even know how to fight n’ protect yourself out there.”

There was a murmur of agreements around the room and that’s when Rick’s commanding voice hushed everyone,

“Maggie’s right. You shouldn’t be out there. You don’t know how to protect yourself from a walker.” He shot Beth an apologetic look.

This caused Beth to turn red out of anger and embarrassment. Before she could even think about it, the words flew right out of her mouth. A collected gasp was heard from everyone throughout the room.

“Well then, it’s a good thing I got Merle to agree to teach me!”

___________

After her proclamation Rick and the others had stumbled over saying something about how she can go on the next supply run.

However she didn’t have much time to dwell on it because she had to go talk to Merle and get him to show her how to take out a walker and fast. No matter how scared she was or how her body trembled in fear at the thought of having to talk to him.

She waited until Carol took over Judith and the others left on the supply run to go find Merle. Beth wondered outside towards the perimeter they set up around the prison in hopes she could find him there.

She ended up looking all outside to find him but she had no such luck. She went inside of the prison with her shoulders slumped in disappointment that she couldn’t find him.

As soon as she entered the canteen she saw Merle hovering around the place where breakfast was served longingly. It didn’t occur to her that he missed breakfast so he probably hasn’t eaten anything yet.

For some reason he turned and left without getting his portion of the food. Puzzled she went and got his portion from this morning that was untouched and silently followed him.

As he maneuvered through the prison she realized he must have been going to a place he frequented because he made so many twists and turns that she didn’t even know existed in the prison.

Merle came to a halt outside a door that he pushed open then slipped inside. She looked at the plate in her hands and realized she grabbed it on impulse because she didn’t want him to be hungry. Plus he did his fair share of work around here especially hunting and gathering food.

Standing behind a wall she drew a deep breath and gathered up some courage and went over to knock on the door.

“Come n’.” His raspy voice came through the door.

Beth tries to open the door but it seems stuck on the hinges and soon she’s trying to pry the door open with the hand that has nothing in it. Then all of a sudden it opens smoothly causing her to jerk back.

Something flickered in his eyes that looked close to surprise but it was gone just as quickly as it appeared.

“What brings ya here suga’?” his southern accent inquired as he leaned against the door frame with his good arm.

A blush rose to her checks because no one ever called her that before. “Don’t call me that!” She quickly said and then when one of his eyebrows rose she moved on to say,

“M-Merle, I need ah favor ta ask of ya.” Unconsciously her southern accent came out trying to match his deep rooted one; she would have to be more conscious of the way she spoke.

He titled his head down more to look at her better then and she could feel her blush return under the intense gaze. That’s when he moved out of the doorway and further inside which she took that as a sign to come in, and that’s exactly what she did.

Once inside she looked around the room to find that there was only a table, mattress, pick-up truck that had blankets in the back, toolbox and several weapons leaning against the wall next to the table. It was a tad bare but then again it seemed like Merle.

She straightened up and looked him in the eye and said in a stern voice, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Then she shoved the bowl in his direction glaring him down. She doesn’t know where this courage was coming from but she wanted him to know just how serious she was.

He looked from the bowl then back to her and slowly reached out his arm and took the bowl from her with a nod. The older man walked towards the table and leaned against it while lifting the bowl to his mouth and eating the chunky soup from breakfast.

She sighed of relief because he hadn’t lost his temper with her yet or kicked her out. She stood there waiting for him to acknowledge her once more after he finished eating.

“So wha’ was that favor ya was talkin’ bout’?” Merle asked setting the bowl down on the table.

She closed her eyes and prayed to the heavens, “Will you teach me how to fight please?”