Chapter 4Mature

Chapter 4

The paramedics were all over us, checking us over for injuries. It was overwhelming, but I get why they had to do it. Logan woke up within a few minutes of the police finding us, confused and hurt by what Luke did. I chose not to tell the police about it, though I probably should have. The problem was, I didn’t have any proof and the story would sound completely idiotic. Nobody would believe it. So, it looks like Luke will get away with what he did, and, to be honest, as long as I never seem him again, I’m fine with that. However, if he does something else, I’m turning his ass in.

The only one actually injured, besides Luke, was Diana. She was alive when they pulled away in the ambulance, lucky for her. I’m so happy that she’s all right, not just for her well-being, but for Logan’s, too, as selfish as that may sound.

The cops didn’t understand why Luke was beaten unconscious by Elijah, and why Logan was hit over the head with a rock, but in the end, I’m guessing the thought in their mind was, Teenagers.

I’m just happy it’s over. It was such a terrible idea in the first place. Although I feel mostly relieved . . . a part of me feels like it isn’t over. Logan is still a werewolf, has still killed four people, and she still has problems that we’re going to have to work through. And then there’s the person who’s after me. Whoever it is is still out there, and I don’t know who they are or what they want, but it worries me. They were there in the woods, I’m sure of it. Not only that, but they had glowing eyes. Which leads me to believe that, for whatever reason, a werewolf is after me. Plus, the eyes were red, which makes me think of the man in the alley who attacked me. Could they be the same person? Is he the one who is after me? And why? Why am I so special?

The police drive us to the police station, where our parents meet us. We have to give reports, but we all stay pretty vague about what happened, saying we were unsure what was out there and what exactly happened to Diana. Looks like there will be another story about an animal attack for the newspaper.

My mom, of course, freaks out upon seeing us. She starts hugging us, asking if we’re all right; just acting like a mother, I guess, which I’m completely fine with. I don’t understand why some people get embarrassed of their parents in public. Not sure about it, but I’ve had enough danger for one night, so I’m just relieved to see her again.

What I find sad is that between the five of us–Sarah, Logan, Elijah, Parker, and me–there are only five parents. Parker’s mom, Elijah’s dad, Logan’s and my mom, and Sarah’s mom and dad. She’s the only one who still has both parents. Elijah’s mom died a few years back from cancer, and Parker’s dad, well, he just up and left soon after Parker’s younger sister was born and hasn’t come back since. That was eight years ago, so he’s not coming back. Now it’s just them and their mom.

It seems like it takes forever for us to be released so we can finally go home. I go hug Parker and Sarah’s parents, telling them goodbye whenever they leave. I plan to do the same for Elijah, but come up short when I see him and his dad talking. His dad seems angry and from what I can tell it’s being directed at Elijah. I don’t like it. Milton is standing next to Elijah, holding on to his pants. I wish I could hear what they’re saying.

Milton’s head turns and he spots me sitting there. His little face lights up and he says my name, letting go of Elijah’s leg and running over to me. He’s so adorable. I notice that Elijah and his dad turn to look at me in the background when I glance at them.

“Julia!” Milton says. I smile and he starts talking to me something that happened in school. I try to listen to him but keep an eye on Elijah and his father at the same time. I can see his dad mouth, “Who’s that?” but that’s all I can tell he said. He keeps staring at me.

They eventually finish their conversation and his dad leaves, without saying anything to me though he stares for a long time, even as he passes. It’s a little unsettling. I try not to let it bother me and wait for Elijah to come over once he’s gone.

“Sorry about that.” He looks down at Milton. “We gotta go home now, Milton. Will you call me when you get home?” he asks, looking back at me.

“Of course. And I really want to talk to you about your dad.”

He stiffens, his face freezing. “My–my dad?”

“Yes. I want to meet him.”

I can see him gulping, his eyes glancing around the room. Then he nods his head. “Yeah, yeah, we can do that. We can set up a day next week for you to come over and have dinner.”

“Perfect,” I say. I see my mom waving at me by the door, wanting me to hurry up, so I move things along. “I’ve gotta go. But I’ll call you when I get back.”

“Okay.” He bends down and kisses me, making my heart race. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” I can practically see Milton cringing now, and I refuse to let him leave without giving me a hug. He reluctantly gives in, with me kissing the top of his head before letting him go. He doesn't hug me back, never does, and he hates hugging people, but I always make him give me one anyway because I’m just mean like that. He'll just stand there stiff as a board whenever someone hugs him. Sometimes, I feel like he’s my little brother instead of Elijah’s.

“I’ll come over soon if I can, buddy,” I say.

“You better. I have some pictures to show you,” he squeaks.

“Really? I’ll be there. I love you, Milton,” I add as he walks away with Elijah. Lately, he’s been drawing and coloring a lot of pictures because he now wants to be an artist. He likes showing them to me because I take an art class in high school and because I’m always honest about them. Sometimes I have to tell them they’re terrible, but I try to do it in a funny or nice way so he doesn’t get hurt. I refuse to lie about it, but I’m not going to be a jerk either. And he must appreciate it.

My mom and Logan are waiting for me beside my mom’s truck when I get there. “Took you long enough,” my mom says. “You two are like an old married couple. I’m surprised he didn’t walk you out here, too.”

I smile, working my way to the passenger door beside them. “You know you love him.”

She sighs. “I do. He reminds of your dad. Now get in the truck. I’ll put your wheelchair in the back.” She keeps her voice light-hearted, but I know she means what she says. He’s as much her son as I am her daughter. She’d do anything for him.

She opens the door for us, Logan hopping in in front of me. In turn, I pull myself up after. Over the years, I’ve learned how to do that on my own so now the only thing others have to do is put my wheelchair up. Needless to say, my arms are the strongest part of my body.

I slam the door shut, looking at Logan. Studying her. She just stares straight ahead, completely still, with a blank expression on her face.

I put my hand in her hand next to me on the seat and she turns to look. “It’ll be all right.”

She has tears in her eyes, but she still manages a small smile while squeezing my hand back. “Thank you.”

We pull our hands away when my mom gets in the truck, starting it and then pulling away. We’re finally going home.

She keeps asking us questions during the ride, understandably, and I try to answer most so Logan doesn’t have to.

“So what happened between Elijah and Lucas?” she asks. “I know they got into a fight, but why? I thought they were friends.” Logan tenses up at the mention of Luke, but doesn’t say anything.

“They were,” I hurry up and say. “But . . let’s just say Luke made some stupid decisions. We’re staying away from him from now on.”

“Huh. That’s a shame,” Mom says, then glances at Logan who’s staring at the floorboard of the truck. “So, you broke up with him, right? You’re staying away from him?”

“Yes.” Logan’s voice comes out harsh and deep, like it sounded earlier when she had shifted. I notice how tightly she’s gripping the seat, and how tense her entire body seems.

Looking out the window, I see the full moon shining back at me. Oh no. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but I’d be willing to guess that it’s still affecting her. I glance down at her hands since I can’t see her face underneath her hair, and find claws digging into the seat. My mom is staring at her, her face concerned, but she hasn’t noticed what’s going on ye

Not now, not now, I think.

“Logan, are you all right?” Mom asks. I’m praying that she doesn’t notice, and that Logan can somehow get herself to shift back.

I glance briefly at the road, not expecting to see anything, but instead I’m met with a figure that is clearly in the road right in front of us. “Mom! The road!”

She looks up and yanks the wheel to the right on instinct, avoiding the object in the road, but sending us crashing into a guardrail. Apparently an old one because it breaks underneath the force of the truck. The smell of burnt rubber wafts up my nose and I hear tires squealing, but it’s too late. We’re sent off the road, and the truck rolls once, twice, three, maybe four times down a hill. Someone screams, possibly me, and we come to a stop upside down after being thrown around the cab. My face bashed against the dashboard on the way down and I swear I heard something crack. There is broken glass all over the place. Both Logan and Mom are knocked out, and I feel as if I might be next.

I’m surprised I don’t immediately black out from being thrown around so much. After coming to a complete stop, I have a brief moment of clarity where I can feel all my injuries: my nose, both of my arms, and my chest, which feels like there’s a dagger in it. I–I can’t breathe. At all. I think . . I think I might be dying.

There’s injuries everywhere, except for my legs, as far as I know. The metallic sting of blood floods my mouth. I can barely hold my eyes open.

Oh god, I’m dying, I’m dying.

The only thing I can think about, besides dying and the agony growing in my chest, is what I saw in the road. It was a person–a man. Not only that, but with my head now hanging against my shoulder so I can see out the broken window, I see someone walking toward me. I see him. The one from the road.

My head starts spinning and my vision darkens around the edges. I hang on as long as I can, but after I few more seconds I can’t hold my eyes open anymore. I pass out, knowing that the person who just caused our wreck is coming toward me.

 

The End

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