Sean drives off after leaving me at my house and my stomach churns with nerves. I have never met someone that makes me feel this way, it isn't normal for me. Sometimes I catch myself looking at carefree humans at the mall, near the edge of Diente, holding hands or kissing as a way to broadcast their love. I always wonder if the feeling of love is weaker or stronger in my kind, but so far love remains a mystery to me.
Until I met Sean.
Slowly, I walk up the driveway towards my house and catch a glimpse of my mom's Mercedes Benz. I remember it being her dream car back when we still lived in a smaller house. When her and dad both got promotions at their law and accounting firms and when my grandparents both died, her dreams and our needs were accomplished and met.
"Yes, I understand Doberman," mom is arguing on her Blackberry in our spacious kitchen, "well, funny thing is that I don't care. Get it done, or someone else can do it," she waits while the other party speaks. I can hear the nervous edge on the man's voice on the phone. "Fine, just please, get it done." She turns off her phone and starts to pace.
"Mom?" I walk quietly behind her, she hates loud noises because her ears are much more sensitive than us young wolves. Her dirty blond hair is up in a tight bun and her red lips are pressed together. Her regular office outfit that consists of an expensive black blazer and fitting black dress pants, is topped off with a pale pink dress shirt.
She sighs and stops her pacing, looking me squarely in the eye. "Hi sweetie, how are you?"
I shrug. "Fine, going to a pack meeting in a couple of hours." I walk over to the marble kitchen island and quickly tap my index finger on the surface. "You all right?"
Mom smiles slowly and walks over to me, leaning on one of her elbows. "Yes," she says, "I'm just tired and work is so hectic that I--" her phone starts playing The Swan Lake and she looks warily down at the screen. She looks at me quickly with an apologetic smile before answering her phone. "Hello? Yes, I did receive that paper but I had a question that..." she starts walking towards her office upstairs and her voice slowly fades.
When my mom is gone I suddenly realize how quiet my house is. No one else is home, or else I'd be able to sense Davis or dad. Slowly I walk up the stairs to my bedroom and as I pass my mom's office I can hear her arguing on the phone. I open my door and close it slowly behind me. After lunch with Sean I feel like I need to process things before actually doing them. Like a human.
I drop my purse on my bed and several things fall out, including my phone. The LED light is flickering red as most Blackberries do when they have an unread message or missed called. I sit down heavily on my bed and watch my phone for a moment. I hadn't even looked at it when Sean and I were together and now I'd forgotten who the message is from.
Somewhere in the house the phone rings and after several loud chimes, my mom picks it up in her office. Slowly, I pick up my phone and dial in my password. The screen flashes and the picture of a rare Polar Wolf that some lucky photography managed to take, stares back at me. One unread text message. I open it and see that it's from my cousin Patricia. "Weird," I mutter before opening the text.
I reread the text several times before my mom bursts into my room. I can hear her heart rapidly beating and I can smell the dried tears on her cheeks as she shakes her head, as if trying to erase what she has just heard over the phone.
"Meredith," mom gasps as her tears begin to fall from the same pale blue eyes that have been passed down through our family for generations. Her hair is out of its bun and her clothes are slightly wrinkled. "It's Patricia, my sister just called me crying--honey, she's dead."
I stare at my mom for a long minute before running out of my room quickly; quicker than any human can ever hope to be. Tears are already falling down my face and dropping drunkenly off of my chin. I hear every splatter of the drops as I rush outside, away from the quiet of the house. Patricia was the only human left in our family. Everyone waited until she was seventeen to rule her our as a werewolf. I was fifteen, two years ago, when she left to go to the University of Toronto in the city. We were close until she left. She asked me for help and what had I been doing? Sleeping.
Unlike my family, who kept the werewolf gene a secret until one of us turned, Patricia's family had always been open with her and she had accepted the reality of things. I reach the bottom of my driveway and howl as loud as I can. The only time that I am in too much distress to turn and remain half wolf-half human is when something tragic happens. I can't turn because of my pain, but I don't want to be human because of how amplified human emotions are.
Across town I can hear several more howls and I fall to my knees, sobbing into my hands. Tears run rapidly down my face, soaking my hands and I am sure my eyes are swollen and that my nose is red because it is running like it always does when I cry.
Crunch, crack, crunch.
I look up and see a white wolf staring at me. It's paws have broken through the new snow and ice as it exited the woods. It's eyes are sad as they try to read my pain. It's nuzzle is the same as the Polar Wolf's in my dream and it's nose is the same salmon pink. It's vibrant green eyes send me its sympathy and its head is slightly cocked to the side. It is a beautiful wolf, a rarity in these parts of Canada.
I sob and look down. Closing my eyes I see the words from the text floating in the darkness. Help me.
"She wanted me there," I say softly. "She needed me and I wasn't anywhere to save her."
I open my eyes and punch the snow covered gravel beneath me. If it weren't for the toughness of my skin, my hand would be destroyed. Instead, there is a dent in the ground beneath the gravel.
"She died because of me!" I yell out and find that I'm alone. Snow has begun to fall again, but the wolf is gone.