Only One

Betrayal Among Friends

Being friends for so long, Tanya and Hannah were no strangers to hardships. They had gone through troubles with each other since they were practically in diapers. From parents divorcing, boyfriends leaving, and friends and family members passing away, they had gone through a lot together. They thought their friendship could conquer all. That was until the apocalypse. These times would test their friendship, and they might not be able to make it through this hardship.

After the apocalypse, Tanya and Hannah only had each other to lean on. All of their family had either been eaten by the zombies, killed themselves before the zombies had a chance to eat them, or died of natural causes. The girls had found a safe place at the abandoned hospital and were able to survive from the food pantry and medicines that were left during the apocalypse. There were some others who had survived in this community. The girls were two of the youngest and most fit so they vowed to take care of the others. They only had to survive a little while longer while they waited for the rescuers to make it to their town. After they were rescued, they would be taken to the “safe place”. The safe place was set up in the Dakotas and anyone who survived would be taken here to start a new life. The girls waited and hoped they would be able to survive until every person was rescued.

Tanya and Hannah would go everywhere together. With all of the major devastation that had happened, they would not take any chances. Even though being together did not guarantee safety, it did make them feel more comfortable when they had to leave the safety of the hospital.

One day, Tanya decided to leave the hospital by herself to go see if any news had come from the rescuers. Many people were starting to get sick in the hospital, and Hannah had to stay to make sure everyone got their medicine on time. When Tanya left, she encountered a man, dressed in a nice suit and tie. His black hair was slicked back with what seemed like an entire bottle of gel. His eyes looked mischievous and the smirk he had on his face looked as if he was just that. As the man approached Tanya, she had many thoughts running through her head. She had not seen anyone but Hannah in a year. “Who this man? Is this someone who I can trust?” He got closer and her palms began to sweat. She thought, “If this man is someone I can trust, how do I approach him? I look so dirty and all my clothes are worn”. The man was right in front of her now. His deep, booming voice startled her. “Miss, what is your name? I have good news to tell you.”

Tanya answered, her voice shaking,”Tanya. What can I do for you?”

“I’ve been sent here by the rescue team to see how many people were left on this side of the States. I’ve been searching for quite some time, but you’re the only person I have seen.”

“Will the rescuers be coming soon?’

“Well, that’s what I’ve come to see about. The Safe Place is only so secure. We have no room left. We are trying to open a new one, but the only other safe place would be located across the country. It would be a hazardous journey for anyone to take.”

“What are you saying I should do?”

“I’m saying that there is a lot to think about. This safe place could end up not working out, but it is a risk some are willing to take.”

“Well, I just want to be safe again. I want to be able to live a normal life.”

“I can’t promise normalcy, but I can try. I do have something else to ask you. You see, there is only one spot for each community that I visit at the safe place. This one can’t be as large as the other one is. Are you the only one here?”

Tanya felt like her heart was sinking. She thought for a second and answered, “There are others here. My friend and I have been helping all of the others. There are so many who are sick and we are just trying to keep them alive.”

The man’s smirk suddenly left his face. He knew what he had to say would not be what Tanya wanted to hear. He proceeded, “Miss Tanya, I cannot take more than one person to the safe place. I know there are others, but with what little room we have, there is not much I can do. Let me tell you something. I will take a few more with me. Three at most, but none can be sick. We need to keep our people healthy. You choose the ones to send and the rescuers will be here tomorrow to pick them up.”

Tanya rushed back to the hospital, her heart racing. Hannah had just finished getting everyone’s supper to them for the night. Tanya told Hannah of all that she heard. Hannah was heartbroken by the news and started to go tell the others. Tanya stopped her and pleaded with Hannah not to tell the rest of the people. Tanya had come up with a plan to deceive the others. Tanya’s plan involved her and Hannah being the only ones to go to the Safe Place. She had been thinking of this since she spoke to the man. Hannah did not have to have any second thoughts about what she would do. She would not leave all of these sick people to die.

Hannah told everyone about the safe place and that only three people were allowed to go. Hannah told them to help think of ways to decide who would go. She announced that she would not be leaving and that their decisions should not be based on her well-being. Everyone thought long and hard that night and woke up early the next morning to give their final decisions. Hannah walked to the front of the room and sadly asked who would be going. Everyone looked around the room at their peers and confidently told Hannah that if she could not leave, they also would not leave. Hannah pleaded with them to choose someone that could go, but they refused. Everyone thanked Hannah for all she had done and vowed that they would either get through this hardship together or die together. Whatever they chose, they would all be together.

Tanya became infuriated at this solution. She tried to get Hannah to rethink her answer, but Hannah was firm. Tanya packed what little belongings she had left and began to walk out the door sadly looking at Hannah. “I’m still going to do this. You staying here is the worst decision you will ever make. I have a way for us to be safe together. Do you not understand that this is the only way we will get help? The food and medicine supply is limited. You might only have a few months left,” Tanya uttered angrily.

Hannah trying to keep her composure softly stated, “Tanya, if you want to go, no one is stopping you. However, it really hurts me to know that you are giving up everything to go to a place that has no assurance of helping you.”

As Hannah finished, the sound of a helicopter and blowing wind began to resonate. Tanya looked at Hannah with a sorrowful look and said, “This is what I feel is best”. Hannah watched as she climbed in the helicopter. She saw the man Tanya had described to her. He looked curiously at Tanya and said, “Only one?”. Tanya looked at Hannah and looked back at him and gloomily uttered, “Only one.”

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