“Hey, kid,” the bus driver says. I move to the edge of my seat so I can see him in the mirror above his head. “You’re the last one off. I got time before my next stop. Where do you want to go?”
Where should I go? Where is Juliana at? I left with Kai this morning, but after we got drove five hours, I realized I couldn’t go through with it. I don’t care if Juliana hates me, I had to come back, I had to try. Something felt wrong even before I got here, before I called Julia’s mom. So I bought a bus ticket and snuck away before Kai caught me. I know I’m going to have to go back, but I just felt led to come here. Something feels wrong.
After calling the phone at Julia’s house, her mom picking up and telling me she can’t find either of her daughters, I know that something’s happening. Their mom is worried sick. Though it’s not like she can go out searching for them right now, so she asked for me to do it. Which just strengthened my resolve to come here.
I have to find her, and I have to try something, anything, to change her mind. It feels like she’s my other half, and without her a piece of me is gone. Maybe not actually, but I’m not just going to give up either. She helped through the hardest time of my life, and she doesn’t even know it. So did Milton. But I know where he is. I know he’s safe. Juliana . . . not so much. Though I’m not sure what I would do if she was in trouble. I just know I gotta get there, somehow, someway.
So where is she? I know what she said about Marcus wanting them to meet somewhere tonight, but where was it? That has to be where she is, whether she went there by choice or by force. Where was it, where was it . . . wait, was it in the woods? That’s it, it was in the woods. At that–that heart-rock place everyone knows about. That’s where Juliana is. And the closest place for me to be dropped off at is. . . the park.
I clear my throat. “Do you know where the park is on the west side of town?”
“You got it,” the old man says. He seems like a pretty relaxed dude. I’ve had to get on five different buses to get here, and not all of them have been as nice as he has. It's seemed to take forever.
Kai is going to be so pissed, but right now, I don’t really care. I’m still angry at him for setting up this whole “leaving” thing with Juliana. If Juliana is in danger, I’m going to be there, whether I can do anything or not. Probably not, in the case of werewolves, but I’m sure as hell going to try. So even though I’m incredibly glad he’s back, he’s going to have to suck it up on this one.
The bus slowly comes to a stop by the curb, and looking out the window I see we’ve already made it to the park. I hurry and walk down the aisle, thanking the bus driver and getting off.
I breath in a deep breath of the cool November night air, then start walking around the park fence, toward Spruce Woods. I’m making my comfortably, when I hear a scream. A loud, blood-curdling scream. And I know exactly whose it is.
Juliana. I’ve heard her scream before, but never have I heard a sound like that come out of her–come out of anyone for that matter. It sounds . . . distraught. Full of immense pain. That sound is now engraved into my head, no matter how tonight plays out. I don’t even know how I heard it from here. She’s very far away.
Without even thinking about it, my legs propel me forward, sprinting toward her scream. I can only hope I’ll make it in time to stop whatever horrifying event is taking place, with or without superhuman strength.