September 13, 2013
Note: The last several entries have been from perspectives other than Leah’s but she’s back now!!!
All of Rachel’s friends have been welcoming to me and surprisingly, we get along well. I’ve had tons of fun with them already although I’ve only been here a couple of days. Rachel and Kara had picked me up in Kara’s car and we drove to Rachel’s apartment where we stayed up nearly all night, getting to know each other. Kara has hardly left Rachel’s place since then and we’ve become pretty good friends. Kayla is a couple years younger than Kara and still in high school, is visiting her sister for a few days. We’ve become friends too, in the time that I’ve been here, and she keeps telling me I should come to Seattle for school like she plans to, so that we can hang out together. I reply each time with, “I haven’t decided what I’ll do yet.”
As promised, more of Rachel’s friends are at the door. Two guys, and a girl come in and Rachel introduces them to us.
“This is Camille, Mark and Fred,” she says pointing to each of them. Camille is a small, dark haired girl with olive skin who waves when Rachel says her name. I notice she is holding hands with Mark, who is nearly as tall as Sam, with black hair, olive skin, and dark eyes.
More of the girls wave like Camille did and I see Jenny making googly eyes to Fred. He doesn’t see her though, and instead watches me for a moment. I catch his stare and he blushes, his eyes moving to the ground. As the three come further into the room, they separate, claiming territory. Fred stands in the corner and busies himself, looking at the shelves of movies and pictures while Mark and Camille sit together on the floor against the wall, their legs extending nearly to meet everyone else’s on the crowded floor. When Caden returns, with a plate piled with food in one hand and a huge sandwich in the other, he sits on the floor next to Jenny.
“Well, eat all my food, why don’tcha?” Rachel teases as she turns her ipod speakers on. “Oh, and sorry there aren’t enough chairs for everyone. “
Caden says something with a mouth full of food that no one seems to understand and Jenny swats his arm and scolds him for talking with food in his mouth. The mood is so lighthearted and friendly in the room, I don’t ever want to leave.
“I know Kayla is Kara’s sister, so I think the only one I don’t know is you, Leah,” Camille says to me. “Where are you from?”
“La Push, like Rachel. We’ve lived across the street from each other all of our lives, ” I answer with a smile.
“Oh, cool. I thought Rachel was going home for Christmas though. Are you going back with her for Christmas? ” she asks.
Rachel and I exchange another glance, “No, I’m staying in Seattle until after Christmas. The last couple of years haven’t been…” I struggle for an explanation without going into the complexities of the situation. Rachel comes to my rescue.
“Leah’s been trying to get away from La Push almost as long as I had, ” she explained. “So I helped her get away for a week for now. Maybe soon she can extend her visit.”
“Yeah, that’d be awesome, ” Camille says and I am grateful she stops asking questions then. “Oh, by the way, for you guys that don’t know, Fred is my half-brother. He’s doing some project thing out here for the next couple summers, so our mom convinced him to come stay with us for awhile and check out the area. Kind of a pre-observation, you could say.”
Fred looks even more uncomfortable now that he’s been spotlighted.
“What’s the project?” I ask him, trying to help him be more relaxed.
“Marine Biology. Plant and animal habitation for the coast, ” he says quietly.
“That’s cool. If you need any help, I know the coast up here like the back of my hand, ” I offer. It would be nice to have a distraction.
He nods, but continues staring at the ground.
“Where do you go to school?” Joey asks him.
“Stanford, ” he mumbles so quietly I barely hear it. Of course, it would probably be easier to hear him if Kayla and Jenny weren’t laughing like hyenas about something Caden said.
“Wow. Guess it makes sense that you’d come here then, for a project like that. Less pollution in the water, ” Joey replies.
The conversation branches off then and Kara and Rachel and I pick up our conversation where we had left off with Jenny joining in. Awhile later, all at once the conversations seems to slow and the doorbells rings.
Kara speaks the words I had been thinking, “I didn’t know anyone else was coming, Rach.”
“I didn’t either, ” Rachel says, standing and going to the door. The room quiets in anticipation except for the music quietly humming from the speakers. She peers through the peephole and then looks back at me and opens the door. She is blocking my view so I can’t see who is standing there but I immediately recognize the voice.
“Hey, Rachel, ” It says, “She here?”
I freeze faster than Rachel can reply. How could he be here?And why now? Why does he always have to ruin every good thing I come across?
“Leah?” Kara asks, seeing my horrified expression, “You okay?”
Ever so slightly, I shake my head no. He comes into the room then. I don’t know whether or not Rachel invited him in, but the look she gives me says she is sorry.
“What, exactly, do you think you are doing here? ” I ask with my teeth clenched tightly and turning my head to meet his warm brown eyes. “Do you have to ruin every good thing I have going? Cuz it sure seems like that’s your purpose in life.”
“Obviously, I’m looking for you. And no, I wish I could make a the bad things in your life go away but—”
I interrupt, “You started the bad things in my life, Sam.”
“So answer me this, Leah. Would it have been better for me to tell your parents that this was where you were and that Rachel lied to them? Or to come here myself and talk to you?” The answer he wants me to choose is obvious.
“Neither. You could have just kept your mouth shut. If you knew or cared about what’s good for me that’s what you would have done. How did you find me anyways?” It seems as if we are the only two in the room since everyone else is dead silent, watching us argue. Sam and I both notice this at the same time.
“Can we go talk, Leah? Please? Then I’ll answer your question,” he gestures towards the hallway outside the door that serves as the vestibule to the apartments on this floor.
“Fine, ” I spit through my teeth and get up hastily. I walk far enough around him to avoid his outstretched touch and out the door. Once in the hallway, I stand with my arms folded facing him. Rachel closes the door behind us.
“I found you, because I know you best. Emily didn’t even quite believe that you would be here. No one did. I knew it though.”
I roll my eyes, “Whatever.”
“I thought that maybe we could talk, could trade, your secret place for my explanation?”
I look him in the eyes to see how much truth he is telling because like he said, he knows me best, but I also know him best. I can tell that he won’t tattle on me even if I don’t agree to his trade. He’ll let me stay for the week out of mercy.
“Okay,” I agree, surprising him and myself. “I want to know what happened to Emily.” He winces. “You said you would answer my questions.”
He hesitates, “A bear.”
“You know I don’t believe that lie.”
“I know. I hope that one day I can tell you the truth. But for now, you get to hear what everyone else does. A bear.”
I shake my head, “I thought that day was going to be today. But once again, I made the mistake of trusting you. I hate you, Sam Uley. Kíta.” I make my way back towards the door and let myself in.
Although I’ve already closed the door, I hear him yell, “I love you too, Leah!” From the expressions on everyone else’s face, I can tell that they heard it too.
Blood rushes to my face coloring my cheeks. I just want to be alone now, instead of coming back to Rachel’s group of friends but I don’t have another option. Everyone stays silent as I return to me seat, avoiding the stares.
“Okay, how about some games?” Rachel asks, lightening the mood again and changing the mood. “Kara’s wii is here.”
She moves about the room handing out controllers to those who want them, which ends up being Mark, Joey, Caden and Jenny and then turns on the Tv. Once the game is going, conversation picks up again. Rachel returns to her seat next to me.
“Everything okay?” Rachel whispers quietly to me.
“Not really, ” I admit. “I don’t understand why he keeps doing this. “
Rachel nods, “I know. Me neither. I really hope things get better for you soon.”