“I happen to know what it’s like to ‘deal’ with death all by yourself. Just you and nothing else but the big empty of where everything used to be. It would have been nice, really, really nice, to have had someone there with me…”
“Hey,” Ben said softly. “Hey, Cassie, I didn’t—”
“No, you didn’t. You really didn’t.” Zombie. Because he didn’t have feelings. Dead inside, like a zombie? There were people at Ashpit like that. Shufflers, I called them, human-shaped sackfuls of dust. Something irreplaceable had crumbled inside. Too much loss. Too much pain. Shuffling, black-eyed, slack-jawed mutterers. Was that Ben? Was he a shuffler? Then why did he risk everything to rescue Sam?
“Wherever you were,” Ben said slowly, “we were there, too.” (x)