"I was going to get you a birthday cake, but the shop had run out of them, so I got you a cucumber instead." Isaac grinned as I flopped down into the seat opposite him, laughing.
"You're mad, but I do love cucumber" I said, putting the cucumber into my bag. "So this was the famous present I spent all weekend awaiting?"
"Of course not! Your mum let me know that she was getting you the bracelet," He nodded to the silver charm hanging off my wrist. "So I got you this to go on it" He handed me a small bag, and I smiled at him before opening it, it contained another charm: This one was a small silver rectangle, engraved with the words quia cor est simper dari. I turned it gently in my fingers.
"What does it mean?" I asked, looking up at Isaac.
"It means "For the heart is always to be given" He said, meeting my gaze, his eyes dark.
"Thank you" I said, fastening it onto the chain and reaching across to hug him. He hugged me back hard.
"So how does it feel?" He asked "To be sixteen?"
I shrugged, taking a long sip of the drink I'd ordered "Not much different really; still waiting to change" I said. I felt more comfortable talking to him about this than my mother, perhaps it was just because we were a close age, or that he was like a brother to me. I withdrew from telling him about Jax, partly because it felt like a personal piece of information, partly because I didn't want to put myself in that category.
"It'll happen soon, I'm sure," Isaac smiled at me reassuringly "It happened to Leo after his sixteenth, and he was fine. You still feeling sick and stuff?"
"Mmm, sometimes, but it's not too bad, just... odd feelings inside and stuff. What do you reckon mine could be? We know it reflects who you are, so it's going to have to be something that's beautiful, athletic, unique, gorgeous-" I laughed as he smacked my shoulder.
"All right all right! They say modesty is an attractive trait you know. And I have no idea, you're such a... character, no one like you Aria." He nudged me and I nudged him back. "Come on, let's get out of here, go walking up near the river or something." He pulled me up, tossing a few coins onto the table to pay for our drinks, and we walked back towards the parks, talking all the way.
We ended up sat on the swings in the small playground, drifting back and forth. "Remember when we used to come here as kids?" Isaac asked me, and I couldn't help smiling at the memories.
"And that time you dared me to jump over the wide part of the river, and I fell in and you had to pull me out" We laughed, we'd come here a lot as kids, when life was easier.
"Isaac.. can I ask a favour?"
"Anything" he smiled.
"When I change, can you help me through it." He reached out and took my hand, squeezing slightly.
"Course I will, I'll always be here to help you."
I got home, feeling good. It was nice to catch up with Isaac, it felt as if nowadays people were expecting us to do so much more, we didn't have time to be the way we used to be.
I trudged upstairs to my room, pulling the door shut behind me. I took off my jacket, and went to hang it up when it happened. My head spun and whirled, spots danced on my vision and I fell against the wall. Suddenly I saw an animal, stood across from me. It appeared and vanished so fast I didn't see what it was, but it was huge, and dark. Then on my wall in front of me was the symbol I drew: the triangle. It flashed on my vision, blinding me momentarily. I shut my eyes and shook my head hard, tears in my eyes. When I opened them there was nothing, my room was as it should be, no symbols, no animal. I slid to the floor, breathing hard. Whatever was happening to me, if I was finding my Okan or being cursed, all I could do was hope it would be over soon.