"Seriously, Ace, what are you doing?" Riley asked.
"Is it not obvious?" I said, smirking. I had no idea where the words were coming from and I couldn't control them.
That was when Riley lost it. "For fuck's sake, Ace! Get a grip!"
I jumped up and threw what was left of the cigarette on the floor.
"It's got nothing to do with you!" I shouted. I stormed out of the room but he just followed me.
"Yes, it does! It has everything to do with all of us! This isn't just your problem!"
I didn't respond because I knew that if I looked at him, I'd just end up punching him. Very hard. In his face. I stormed through the house, past Darran and Zoe and out the patio doors that were still open. I turned into a wolf and jumped over the high fence. Behind the house were the woods. A massive forest that held hundreds of animals. I threw my head back and howled. I did it to release the anger, the rage. I knew that Darran and Riley would know it was me - that was another reason why I did it.
I loved being a wolf, running through the trees, being able to just act on instinct and not have to rely on the social skills I didn't have.
I regretted shouting at Riley and storming out the house, but most of all I regretted starting smoking again. I hadn't meant to do it, I just did.
I ran through the woods, jumping around to avoid the trees that I flew past. I had no direction or destination in mind, I just wanted to run, to feel the rush of wind through my fur. Eventually I stopped suddenly. I could smell other wolves. A whole pack. I turned around and headed pack the way I'd just come, but at a slower pace.
I could see a figure. I jogged towards the person and stopped a little way away. The sun was setting, even though it wasn't even 4 yet. The figure looked around - still not seeing me - and walked on. I followed, only to realise it was Zoe.
She was sniffing slightly, as if she'd been crying. She had a coat wrapped around her and her arms were crossed in an effort to keep warm. I wanted to go to her and hold her, to tell her that everything was okay and it would be fine. I didn't though. I kept my distance from her as she walked but I wasn't too far away.
Zoe walked for almost two hours, looking around often. She probably thought that if I saw her, I'd run to her and hold her like I so wanted to. But I still didn't. She stopped all of a sudden and sat down with her back against a large tree. To my great surprise, she burst into tears. She buried her face in her hands.
I sat down and watched her until she cried herself to sleep. I walked closer cautiously, to make sure she actually was asleep. She was snoring gently, tears still staining her cheeks, shattering her perfectness.
I turned into a jay and flew into the canopy of the tree she was sleeping under. I changed into a mountain lion and watched her from above, keeping her from harm while she slept. When I'd decided everything was alright, I fell asleep myself - but this time, I didn't have the nightmare. I didn't dream at all.