August 27, 2013
Note: This entry is from Seth (Leah’s brother’s) perspective and is just part one. The continued entry will be posted soon.
The day after I had sneaked out to ask Sam about Leah, I slept in late. Mom didn’t come and wake me up although I knew she was home. Dad had plans for the day with Billy so I was sure he was already gone. Around ten thirty, I finally got up and got dressed. I’m glad I showered the night before, although I don’t yet have any plans for the day.
I go downstairs to find Mom mixing a large bowl of what appears to be banana bread and swoop my finger into the bowl and with practiced movements, to my mouth without dripping.
“Thanks, Seth. This was for Billy and Jacob. Now I guess I get to start all over, ” Mom says.
I shrug, “Well, I’ll eat this batch then.”
She shakes her head, “I wouldn’t give you the pleasure. I’ll make more for me and Dad later.” I can’t help but notice she doesn’t say Leah’s name as well. I miss Leah, although she’s only been gone a few days and Dad is convinced she will be back after Christmas.
“So what’s for breakfast? ” I ask.
“You missed it. By a lot. Emily invited you over for lunch though at eleven.”
“Why’s that?” I say, glancing up at the clock. It’s nearly eleven now.
“Her brother came down for the day with his daughters. You remember Luke? It’s been awhile since we’ve seen him. And I don’t think you’ve ever met his daughters.”
Once she says Luke’s name, I do remember him although I was a lot younger the last time I saw him. It was at Leah’s thirteenth birthday party that he last came to La Push with Emily. He was probably close to twice Leah’s age then, and had just adopted a little girl, although he wasn’t married. He did get married later though and have a second girl. His first daughter had been close to my age, but had stayed at home with a babysitter.
“Oh, cool. Well, if I’m going to be on time, I ‘d better hurry.”
Mom nods, “Have fun and behave.”
“I will, ” I say as I put on my shoes.
Just as I’m going out the door, Mom calls, “Stay safe!”
“I will, ” I repeat and head outside.
It’s a sunny day, rare for December. Gray clouds linger on the horizon with the promise that normal weather will return. Since the ground is dry, I grab my bike from the small shed in the backyard and pedal quickly down the road. The way to Emily’s house is uphill part of the way, so I’m still late arriving.
I lay my bike on the ground, to the side of the walkway and knock on the door. Within a few moments the door opens, and there stands a beautiful girl I’ve never seen before. I would most definitely remember if I had. She looks close to my age and smiles brightly when she sees me. I find myself hoping that this isn’t Luke’s daughter, because that would make us related, even if it is third cousins.
“You must be Seth, ” she says in a soft, voice I would never get tired of.
Not trusting my mouth to find the right words I just nod.
“Well come on in. I’m Ann, Cally’s friend.” I don’t know who Cally is either but I think and hope it’s Luke’s daughter since the name sounds familiar.
She leads me to the kitchen where Emily is standing, arranging vegetables on a tray.
“Hi, Seth, ” She says. “Glad you could make it.”
This is the second time I’ve seen Emily since she got attacked by the bear, and I can’t keep myself from quickly scanning over her scars again since last time I was exhausted and it was dark. It doesn’t look like an attack from a bear at all. I don’t ask though. Leah always says that I never keep my mouth shut and I’m determined to prove her wrong.
“Food’s over there, ” Emily says pointing to the table around which Luke sits. Another girl is seated next to him with a toddler on her lap. “Help yourself.”
I walk towards the table and Luke greets me, “Hey, Seth. Been awhile, hasn’t it? Where’s your sister?” Luke’s tone seems happy but he has a familiar expression in his eyes that I can’t place.
I nod and it takes me a moment to answer his second question. I glance back at Emily, surprised that he doesn’t seem to know anything about what’s happened. Does he even know that Sam was Leah’s boyfriend first?
“Uh, she’s in Seattle. We think, ” I say.
“You don’t know?” He says
I shake my head, not wanting to say anything more for fear that I won’t keep my mouth shut.
“Well, Seth, these are Luke’s daughters. This is Cally, the baby’s Claire, ” Emily says gesturing to the girls seated beside Luke. “And you met Ann, Cally’s friend.”
I nod, trying to hide my secret happiness that came when Emily said that Cally was Luke’s daughter, not Ann. “So where’s Sam today? “
“He, um, ran to Seattle. Had some last minute Christmas shopping to do, ” Emily explains. I’m not sure if she’s telling the truth for Luke, and hinting at something to me or not. Maybe Sam went to look for Leah.
I nod again and sit down across from Cally. Emily sets a stack of plates on the table and we all dig in
“So are you from Makah too, Ann?” I ask.
She smiles and nods, “Yep. Cally talks about how pretty the beaches here are after every trip she makes. I pretty much live for the ocean so I had to come and see for myself.”
“Well you came to the right place. The beaches here are the bomb, ” I say proudly.
“Cally and I hoped to go after lunch. Maybe you can be our tour guide for the day. That is, if you want to…”
I can’t help but contain my excitement. I grin, “Totally. I’d be honored.”
She smiles back sweetly and her and Cally continue talking, Cally recounting when she was last here. I hurriedly eat, anxious to get going. I finish eating long before everyone else. Cally notices that I’ve finished and hands Claire to Luke so she can eat faster. Claire falls asleep quickly in Luke’s arms and he complains.
“I’m so boring, Claire falls asleep every time I hold her,” he says and Emily laughs.
“Maybe if you weren’t so quiet. You used to be so loud, we could hear you from down the street, ” Emily says.
“Dad’s still loud, but only when he yells, ” Cally counters.
Luke produces a sad smile and only then do I realize what seems so familiar about him—he acts like Leah.
A few minutes later, Cally and Ann finish eating. I take their dishes for them, against protests from nearly half the crowd, while they get ready to go.
“Do you guys want a ride?” Luke asks.
“Nah, it’s not too far, ” I answer.
I wait by the door as the girls scurry about the room. Geez, I think, I guess all girls do take a long time to get ready.
Finally, they are ready and we head out the door. I lead the way down the road towards First Beach, leaving my bike at Emily’s since both girls are on foot. I can’t find the words to make much conversation with either of the girls on the walk. It seems like there’s a third wheel, making it awkward.
“Well, here it is!” I announce when we reach the beach.
“Wow, it is pretty, ” Ann says, slipping off her shoes and walking ahead with her eyes on the ocean. She stops when she is standing on the hard wet sand lined with pebbles. When the white foam reaches her bare toes she squeals and I laugh.
“That’s the downside. The water’s like ice, ” I say as Cally and I join her.
Ann nods, “It’s worth it, though. It is so beautiful here.”
Laughter from behind us interrupts then and I turn my head. My friend Cody and his little brother Andrew are walking up the beach.
“Hey, dude!” I call out.
“Hey, man. You’re mom said you were out at lunch but I guessed I might find you here. My mom made me bring Andrew out anyways.” Cody makes a face and looks toward his brother who is digging in the sand a few yards away.
Cally and Ann have turned around now and I go about introducing everyone.
“Ann, Cally, this is my friend, Cody, and his brother, Andrew. Cody this is Cally, my third cousin, and Ann, her friend,” As I say Ann’s name, I shoot Cody a look telling him to stay away. His eyes are on Cally, so I am sure he will comply.
“Nice to meet you,” Cally says, her eyes still on Cody. Her cheeks are bright pink.
Cally joins Cody in following his brother down the beach.
To be continued…