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May

24th

Leah’s Diary: Something New (Part I)
Dear Diary, 
Reluctantly, I follow Seth across the street to the pasta party at the Black’s house. Mom and Dad walk behind us on my flanks, in case I try to bolt. Since my foot healed a little too quickly, Mom said I had to go being as I had already said I would. Little do they know, I won’t try to leave. I’ll just spend my night on the phone. I told Rachel to call me at precisely 8:07 when the food wouldn’t yet be ready and I’d already said hello to everyone. She was quite anxious to help me avoid her family and mine. Everything goes according to plan except that Charlie and his daughter, Bella, arrive just as my phone rings. I answer without even thinking about it, earning a glare from Mom as I do. I go inside and plop down onto the couch to talk. Jacob, Seth and Bella come in for a moment to dish their plates and I hear my name but continue my conversation with Rachel. A few minutes later though, Rachel has to stop talking to help her roomate and in the gap of silence, Mom, Dad, Billy and Charlie come inside. Mom starts to yell and order me off the phone and I shoot her a glance that I hope she reads as “leave me alone.”
 
“Who’s she talking to?” Charlie asks.
 
“Rachel,” Dad answers, seeming to know my intentions without us having talked about it. I love that about Dad. We can be so close and neither of us have to say a word.
 
“Ahh, let her talk,” Billy says. “Maybe she can talk her into paying us a visit.” 
 
Billy winks at me and Dad frowns, knowing that is the opposite of both my plans and Rachel’s.
 
“Fine,” Mom snaps. “Ten minutes tops, Leah.” I’m tempted to stick my tongue out at her but that would just get me grounded with extra chores which I’ve been having more than enough of lately. Since my foot got hurt, I’ve been running a fever but felt fine otherwse giving Mom only the slightest hesitation when it came to chores. Seth tried pulling the fever card too—he was as warm as I was even without an injury—but he too had no luck. Rachel returns and I go back to talking but out of the corner of my eye, I notice Dad talking Mom back into a friendlier mood as they visit with the others. 
 
For the most part, everyone spends the evening outside elving me to discuss my plans freely with Rachel. A couple hours later, a car starts and goodbyes are shouted from the porch. Then Seth and Jacob come inside, claiming bar stools at the counter. Mom, Dad and Billy are quick to follow and congregate in the kitchen. Their voices die down to whispers and one by one begin glancing my way. Finally Mom just stomps over and plucks the phone from my hand, snapping it shut.
 
“Hey!” I yell, rising quickly from the couch. In an instant, the rest of the room falls to silence leaving only the sound of the clock ticking slowly.
 
“I told you to be off the phone almost two hours ago! I thought that maybe you would grow up and be responsible enough to watch the time yourself.”
 
“I did,” I snap. “But then I called her back. It’s called being grown up and making your own decisions. I am not a child!”
 
“As long as you’re living at home, you’re accountable for doing as your father and I say, young lady.”
 
“Well lucky for both of us, that’s just what I was taking care of.”
 
“What? Discussing Sam I’m sure. That’ll be nice; the three of you all cozied up at their place.”
 
Her words sting, but quickly I retort, striking in a place that will hurt Mom by hurting others. “You’d love that, huh? Even better, I’m skipping town. It seems tradition for the oldest daughters to get out of the underworld they were raised in.”
 
Mom’s eyes flash in anger, then fear and she steps back as though I’ve slapped her. She turns back to the kitchen as if checking on everyone else. “Harry? Help? You’re the only one who seems able to predict our daughter’s mood swings even though it seems hormones would be more easily predicted by another woman. Especially your own daugher. But I’m not sure she’s mine at all. No daughter of mine acts like this,” her voice is flat and even, void of emotion.
 
My hands shake and I fight the urge to yell something more. I recall what Rachel said to me earlier, It sucks to leave your family on a bad note. I wish I could make things right with my Dad but things are so strained and awkward between us. Promise me you’ll try to get along with them before you leave. I am trying. But something else is fighting back.
 
Deep inside of the center of my soul, something sparks. Then time stands still and slowly the fire begins to burn, it spreads throughout me with warmth and rage, with heated anger, with scalding outrade, but most of all, kindling fear. Fear of so many things but only one fear—the fear of myself—stands out. I’m afraid. Terrified, because in that instant when the clocks froze, something changed. I’m no longer human. No. I’m something new.
 
—Leah
Whew! You have no idea how many times, I’ve rewrote this! I’d love to hear your thoughts below or on Facebook :) Like Leah’s Diary on Facebook here! XOXO Annee

May

17th

Leah’s Diary: The Message (Emily’s POV)

This entry is told from Emily’s perspective

Dear Diary, 

When I see the number on my screen, I nearly drop my phone, which is not a good thing since I am driving. I never expected to see the number calling me ever again. Even so, it could be someone else calling. I flip my phone open before I get my hopes up.
 
“Hello?” I say, trying to sound normal.
 
“Emily?” It is her. Startled, I don’t reply quickly enough but she continues. “We need to talk. Do you think you could stop by?”
 
“Uh, okay. I’m just heading out of Forks. Give me a few minutes and I’ll be there.”
 
“Okay,” she says and hangs up. 
 
What could this possibly be about? I doubt—but hope—she’s decided to be my bridesmaid and forgive me and . . . 
 
I start to drive faster before I get my hopes up even more but as bad luck would have it, blue and red lights start flashing behind me. I sigh and pull over. Charlie appears at my window a moment later and begins to speak but stops when he sees it’s me. I sigh when I see it’s him, relieved that it’s a family friend coming to lecture me instead of a stranger. 
 
“In a hurry to get back to Sam?” Charlie asks.
 
“Actually I was just going to see Leah.”
 
Charlie’s eyebrows shoot up and he raises a hand to rub his chin. “Whatcha going over there over for?”
 
“She called me and asked if we could talk.”
 
Charlie exhales slowly. “Well then. Have fun with that. I wouldn’t be in too big of a hurry if I were you though.”
 
He returns to his cruiser and turns the lights off, driving away. Still a little confused about the afternoon’s events, I pull back onto the road and head to the Clearwater’s. There’s no cars in the driveway when I arrive so Leah’s probably home alone. Out of habit, I knock in a pattern and let myself in. 
 
Leah’s sitting on the couch, a pillow in her lap and her foot bundled in ice, resting atop the coffee table. I smile at her and take the closest open seat, across the room from Leah.
 
“What happened?” I ask.
 
“That’s what we need to talk about.”
 
“Oh?” Confusion engulfs me.
 
Without warning, tears start sliding down her face. She makes no move to wipe them away. “You went out of town this weekend, right?” she asks and I nod. “Thought so.”
 
I start to ask why when she blurts out, “Sam came to see me. Well actually, he left me a note on the porch and threw rocks at my window around midnight. So I went out to see what all the fuss was about. Not like I sleep, you know?”
 
The more she says, the more confused I am. “What did he say?” I ask, looking for reassurance that the ring on my finger means something. 
 
She scoffs. “Say or do? Which one matters to you more?”
 
I shrug as I answer. “Both I guess. I don’t know. Which one should?”
 
She lets out a laugh void of humor. “Well let’s see then. . . . Before he left, he told me basically that I was wrong for him. But before that he kissed me and told me he loved me.” She laughs again and shakes her head, sending tears cascading in all directions. 
 
I try to put the pieces together in my mind; Sam’s hurried phone calls and distant behavior this weekend. Charlie’s reaction to me coming over here. Leah’s hurt foot. It all comes together and I find myself standing. “Thank you for telling me,” I whisper, fighting off tears of my own. “And I hope your foor feels better.”
 
Leah nods, sobbing now into the pillow. It feels wrong to leave her like that but she wouldn’t want me to stay. And we both know that I have to go. Hurriedly, I go home and grab my things from the car. I walk inside, hear Sam and a few of the others say my name and greetings but I don’t—can’t—answer. I side step around Sam’s out stretched arms and go to the bedroom. It only takes a second to drop my things and grab a pillow and blanket from the storage bin by the window. I stomp back to the living room, throw the blanket at Sam, the pillow on the couch and then return to the bedroom, slamming the door behind me. I’m positive he—and everyone else—got the message. 
—Emily
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April

29th

Leah’s Diary: Troubles (Harry’s POV)
This entry is from the perspective of Harry Clearwater, Leah’s Father.

Dear Diary, 

For once I plan to sleep in late—no plans for fishing or hunting—but of course that doesn’t happen. I wake up to Sue yelling my name, well, more like shrieking. I groan and roll over, planting my feet on the floor and quickly changing clothes. In the kitchen, I find Seth sitting at the table quiet as a mouse and Sue on the phone.
 
“What’s going on?” I ask when she hangs up a moment later. She turns to face me and I can tell she’s been crying. Instinctly, I reach for her and pull her into my arms. “Sue?”
 
“Did Leah say anything to you about leaving?”
 
“Um, no? Why?”
 
Sue pulls away from me, grabbing at her hair, “I checked on her last night and she was asleep! Where could she have gone?!”
 
“What do you mean? What’s going on?” I ask, worry settling in.
 
Sue goes to the window and stares outside unanswering.
 
Seth watches her for a second and then turns to me and whispers, “Leah’s missing.”
 
“Missing? Or left?”
 
“Missing, I think. No note, no mention to you or I. Nothing big to even make her want to leave more. Mom’s called Rachel and Billy. She tried Sam and Emily too but there was no answer.”
 
“Okay. You stay here and watch your mom. Call me if Leah shows up.”
 
I quickly pull on my shoes and dial Charlie’s number at the same time.
 
“‘Ello?” Charlie answers.
 
“Charlie, got a little problem. You busy?”
 
“On duty. Sitting between towns waiting to give someone a ticket. Whatcha need?”
 
“Leah’s missing. Can you come help?”
 
Charlie sighs, “She didn’t run away again did she?”
 
“Doesn’t appear so.”
 
“Okay. Crap. I just got called in. Pull up a team there and I’ll be over as soon as I can, okay?”
 
“Thanks. I’ll drive around town and stop by Sam’s,” I hang up and start the car outside, driving to the beach.
 
After scanning every coastline, I drive around town, looking up and down the streets for any sign of Leah or someone who might know where she is. Finally I end up at Sam and Emily’s place, out of other options. I climb out of the car and knock on the door.
 
Sam answers the door with Jacob, Jared and Kim behind him. Sam’s face pales when he sees me and his voice cracks when he speaks, “Hey, Harry. Everything okay?”
 
“Not really,” I answer. “Leah’s missing.”
 
Sam turns away and leans his forehead against the doorjam. Jared coughs enticing Sam to turn around and punch him although not hard.
 
“Do you have any idea where she is?” I ask them.
 
“We can find her,” Sam says, his voice shaky. I know what he means. They will find her, probabl faster than anyone else could.
 
“Are you okay, Sam?” I ask.
 
“Uh,” he steps outside and closes the door, leaving the others inside. That won’t stop their superhuman ears from hearing though. “Leah…I, um….Gosh. You’re gonna kill me.”
 
I raise an eyebrow, “Sam? What happened?”
 
“I missed her.”
 
“So you, what? Met up with her?”
 
“Yeah, kinda…Uh,”
 
I grab Sam’s arm and I’m ready to give him a piece of my mind when Charlie drives up in his cruiser. He’s out of his car in just a few seconds and has joined us.
 
“What’s going on?” he asks looking between us.
 
“Sam was just going to find Leah,” I say, giving Sam a stern glare. “He’ll meet us at my place.”
 
Sam takes off down his driveway without a backwards glance and Charlie grunts. 
 
“I’m not even going to ask.” 
 
I nod in agreement and we head back to my house in our own cars.
 
Sam walks at an even pace with Leah in his arms, headed down the street from town. Sue lets out something between a gasp and a squeak and then heads inside. I probably should’ve warned her about Sam going out to look for Leah, but I’m still pretty upset myself. He reaches us and without saying a word heads inside. He returns a moment later, and circles around us to stand by Jacob who’d appeared without drawing our attention. 
 
“Leah had this,” Jacob says, holding a canvas out towards me. 
 
“Was she at the Council Building?” I ask Sam.
 
He nods, “I think she went over there last night after….Hurt her foot on the way though. It’s swollen. She was asleep when I got there.”
 
“You seem to cause her a lot of foot injuries,” I note. Sam’s head drops in reply. “Let’s go for a walk, shall we?”
 
Sam lifts his head again and meets my eyes. He seems to already know exactly what I’m going to say, but he nods and we walk toward the woods. As soon as we’re out the other’s line of sight, we stop.
 
“I’d break your arm or give you a black eye or something but it’d be better by the time you got back to Emily so I don’t see the point in that.”
 
Sam bites his lip and doesn’t reply.
 
“Breaking her heart the first time was one thing. This time she’s not the only one you’re hurting.”
 
“I know,” he says quietly.
 
“How are you gonna fix it?”
 
“I won’t be back around Leah. I hate myself for hurting her but I know she won’t be able to forgive me. So I’ll stay away. Move if I have to.”
 
I snort, “Like that’ll happen. I heard about Jacob. So good luck getting away.”
 
“Seth’d be next in line if I gave up the position.”
 
“Seth is just a kid,” I argue. Not to mention too gentle and kind-hearted. Seth would never thrive as Alpha—heck he’d probably befriend the worst of enemies. 
 
Sam shrugs, “Just saying.”
 
“Leah may have disowned her, but Emily is still my niece. You can’t go breaking the heart of every girl in my family. You need to tell her.”
 
Sam chokes, “I can’t. How could I?”
 
“Find a way. Or I will,” With that said I walk away having made the only threat to Sam that will matter.
 
Back at the house I find Charlie waiting outside for me. 
 
“Okay, what happened?” he asks, sitting on the trunk of his car. I lean against the car.
 
“He came back and talked to her last night I guess. I don’t know all of what happened, but I’d suppose he rekindled some old feelings and then said goodbye for good. When I couldn’t find her around town, I guessed he’d know. I let him know he needed to stay away from Leah and come clean to Emily or else I’d make sure she found out.”
 
Charlie nods, “Leah and Bella could be great friends. Well, if either of them wanted friends. They sure seem to have the same life.”
 
“No kidding. Maybe someday when everything’s resolved.”
 
“Yeah. Well I’d give you adivce for her, but I think Leah should just leave for awhile.”
 
“I think that’s her plan. And as much as I’ll miss her, I know it’s best. I just want her to find her happy ending. She deserves it. Poor girl’s been through a lot. I don’t know if she even remembers all the stuff that went on when she was a kid, but it wasn’t easy on her all the same.”
 
“Yeah, well we’d better head inside before she wakes up and your wife starts her inquiry session.”
 
We walk in to find Leah on the couch and Seth behind it, handing Sue supplies as she wraps a bandage around Leah’s ankle and props it on a pillow.
 
“Do I even want to ask?” Sue says when she hears the door close.
 
“No,” I answer quickly. “Just don’t freak out if she leaves home once her foot is better.” Sue sniffs and nods, standing up. “C’mere.” I open my arms and Sue laces her arms around me. I can feel her slight frame tremble as she fights tears. “It’s gonna be alright. She’ll be fine,” I reassure, although I can’t shake the feeling I might be wrong. 
 
It’s not too long before Sue has busied herself in the kitchen and Charlie has returned to his own house to see Bella home from school. Seth retreats to his room and I sit in the living room, watching Leah stir in her sleep. I get up once to check on Sue and when I return, Leah’s awake, her eyes on me. I go sit on the coffee table beside her.
 
“Hey,” I whisper. 
 
Tears fill her eyes, “Hi. Did you..?”
 
“I talked to him. We didn’t know where you were…but he found you at the council building. Quite the picture you painted,” I answer, turning my head towards the canvas leaning against the wall. A detailed acrylic of the ocean, the cliffs, and a nightmarish wolf howling a top the cliff. 
 
Leah’s eyes don’t move to the painting, instead she stays looking at me. “I hate him, Daddy.”
 
“I know, baby. Your foot got a little banged up last night but once it heals, we’ll see about getting you a place somewhere else if you want.”
 
She nods, tears spilling onto her cheeks. I kiss her forehead and go to my bedroom. I have nearly a shoebox full of letters to my family, ones I never plan to give, filled with things that need to be said, but not heard. I pull the box from another box in the closet and get a fresh piece of paper. This one will be different. It will be a history. Because one day, Leah will need to know what happened to her grandparents.

—Harry

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April

17th

Leah’s Diary: Over And Done With

Dear Diary,

I lie in bed out of boredom, not because I’m tired. I quit school. After the last little incident, I refused to go. Dad talked to Mom and after several arguments and him sleeping on the couch for a few days, he took me to Seattle and I took the tests for my GED.  Now I’m officially graduated. Yippee. But what now?

My iPod sends a variety of music to my ears—anything and everything but love songs—but that doesn’t stop me from hearing the tap at my window. I pause my music and wait to see if the sound repeats. It does. I reach over and turn on my lamp, illuminating the room. I go to the window, curious of what I’ll find. Down on the lawn is a pile of rocks lying on a worn out jacket. Immediately I know what’s going on and I have no clue what to make of it. There’s only one way to found out though.

I tiptoe downstairs and slip on my shoes before stepping onto the porch. A piece of paper sits on the bottom step under a rock, fluttering in the light breeze. I kick the stone away and snatch the paper to read it. In a handwriting I would recognize anywhere it says: You know where to go. 

I do know where to go. But do I want to? What could this possibly be about? Has—no. I can’t even consider that; won’t allow myself. It would hurt too much to be wrong, especially now that I have nothing tying me down to La Push. Nevertheless, I head across the lawn, breaking into a sprint as my feet trace the familiar trail.

Sam is standing when I get there, quietly pacing back and forth. In fact, he’s so quiet his feet don’t even make a sound. I fold my arms defensively across my chest and stop a few yards away. Sam glances up from the ground when I stop.

“Hey,” he says gently, coming a few feet closer.

“What do you want?” I ask, trying to keep my voice steady. Even so, my voice cracks in the end. It’s too familiar, being back in this place with him. A longing spreads through me, for Sam, for us.

“I, uh . . . we need to talk. Would you like to sit?”

“I think I’ll stand.”

Sam shrugs. He seems to struggle with speaking, almost as if he literally chokes on his words. I wait, wondering and—despite my efforts—hoping.

“I . . .” he pauses, drags in a breath. “I still love you.” I’m ready to turn and walk away before I can be friend-zoned, but Sam calls out, walking closer, “Wait. It’s not like you think.”

“Oh, really? It’s not what I think? How would you know? How could you when you always promised was to be there for me and that’s all I haven’t had for the last couple years. And that’s not all you promised. There was other things—things I counted on. I’m not about to be friend-zoned, Sam. It’s either you’re here or you’re not.”

He sighs. “Can I just explain please, Leah?”

“Explain that you disappeared for a month, left me practically catatonic and worried as heck and then you came back and weren’t at all the same person, then you see my cousin and bam!, love at first sight, not even a second thought for me?”

Sam nods, his eyes on the ground. “I’m sorry. But you’re wrong about one thing: second thoughts. You have no idea how much I think about you. How much I hate myself for what I did. It was . . . stupid and immature of me. The truth is, Leah, I’m really not myself. Not without you. With Emily, things are so complicated and I have to plan everything out ahead of time just because there’s so much that . . . I don’t know. But with you, it was as easy as breathing. I’d do anything to make it that way again.”

His words sound so honest, so sincere, and I know he’s not lying. I still ask, “You want it to be easy with her?”

“I’m not sure it can be. Do you think that maybe . . . ” I wait for him to continue, my heart beating quickly inside. Sam reaches over slowly and takes my hand. A shock races through me. His other hand snakes around my side, drawing us closer together. “I miss you.”

Those three words are the ones that unleash a stream of tears cascading down my cheeks. I rest my head on his chest, soaking his shirt with tears. Sam moves one of his hands to my chin and lifts my head to face his. And then he’s kissing me and it’s like all the nightmares never even happened. Sam never left, he’s still here, it was just a bad dream. Emily and Sam were never together. But when he pulls back, all the time spent apart comes rushing back in, forcing us apart although we’re still touching.

“My Lee-lee,” he whispers. “You’ll always be my Lee-lee.”

“But you can’t leave her,” I state plainly, my voice void of emotions although tears stream down my face, now out of sadness.

“I’m so sorry, Leah. I wish . . . that things were different. Maybe someday they will be.”

He kisses my forehead one last time and before I know what’s happening, he’s gone, running away into the dark forest. I’m still standing there, trying to make sense of the night’s events when a soul piercing howl fills the air. It makes me shudder. I start to head toward home, but instead I find myself in front a canvas in the council building. Tears cloud my vision but I fight them. I’m going to talk to Rachel. I’m going to leave home and never look back. My family will have to visit me because I just can’t come back here. I have to end this chapter of my life because Sam isn’t coming back. He got what he wanted, I got a broken heart. So it’s over.

 

—Leah

 

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April

7th

Leah’s Diary: Second Thoughts (Sam’s POV)

[google-translator]
This entry is from Sam Uley’s point of view. Dialouge is italicized for conversations taking place while in wolf form.

 

Dear Diary,

I wake up from another dream, thinking once again that it is only a memory of yesterday and is Leah in my arms. Then I remember and come to he present time. It’s Emily. The dreams used to be bad, and slowly faded away. But now, since my engagement, I’ve had nightmares—if you can call a memory of a drop dead gorgeous love of my life a nightmare—every night. Emily doesn’t know, though. I untangle myself from her and sit up in bed watching her sleep soundly for a moment. Her lips form my name in her slumber and for a second I wish it was Leah. It shouldn’t be like this. I imprinted. So what the heck is wrong with me? Why, oh why does this have to be so complicated? No matter what I do, a heart and a half will always be broke. Leah’s is now, as well as part of mine. If I left Emily, hers would be, as well as mine. Imprinting is full-on no question for the others, so why for me?
I do love Emily. I do. But I also miss the carefree, easy going me that appeared when I was with Leah. With Emily, I’m so serious and uptight. I have to think of ways to tease and joke hours ahead of time. With Leah, it flowed freely. Why not now? Is it the new responsibility? The weight of protecting my tribe? I wonder if I went back to Leah if I’d be the same as I am now.
Emily stirs in her sleep and I lean down and kiss her upturned cheek; the one left unscared—that’s just another thing making life complicated. It’s nearly time for me to run patrol, so I climb out of bed and go to shower. Before leaving the house, I glance in at Emily seeing that she’s still asleep. I hope she sleeps the whole time I’m gone; she worries too much when I’m gone.
Jared is running nearby when I phase and greets me with a yawn.
I got this if you want to go,  I tell him. I need to think through some things anyways.
 
Nah, I’m good for awhile. Kim won’t be up yet. You wanna talk about it? Or….
I shrug in my mind since that’s a difficult movement to imitate while in the form of a running wolf. Jared scans my thoughts; there’s no privacy in our pack. It’s mentally exhausting to try to keep the others from knowing something and never really worth it anyways, being as we’re pretty much a family.
Jared’s eyebrows raise. Wow. I mean, like…Whoa. I would say congratulations on your engagement—since I haven’t seen you in a while—but it looks like you’re having second thoughts. 
His words sound awful when stated like that and outside my mind.
 
What should I do? Do you ever—
Seeing where my sentence is going, Jared interrupts. Ha. Ha. No. Kim is it. She’s always been it. She just didn’t notice me until a Universal force was telling her to. For a moment I wonder if it’s possible that imprinting has less to do with the imprinter—us wolves—and more with the supposed imprintees. If you want to see how you are around Leah, why don’t you? It’s better to know now, right?
 
I guess. But Leah kind of hates me.
 
And she has a reason to. But you know better than anyone what would work—if anything—to get her to talk to you. You probably even know how to get her to forgive you.
I don’t answer. I know he’s right. I think of Leah, my Lee-Lee. Us. With the memories comes a longing that I haven’t had since I first phased, before imprinting.
Just go see her, he persists.
What about Emily? I ask.
Isn’t she going out of town this weekend?
 
I forgot about that. She leaves right after school today. I’m supposed to bring her the car after work.

Jared doesn’t reply because it’s obvious what I’m going to do. What I need to do.
Well I guess I will head out. Kim should be up soon and I wanna shower; there’s a mud bank on the west side to look out for. Smells like vampire mud washed down here.
 
Ick. I flinch at a memory of smell. Cullen?
 
Nah they don’t usually go to that area.
 
I’ll check it out. Anything else?
 
Well I think we should keep an eye out. There hasn’t been much happening since the Cullens left. 
 
Yeah. Well thanks, Jared. Have a good day. Paul’s switching me for an hour at seven, right?
Far as I know. Good luck, man. You’ll need it. Be sure to wear a bullet proof vest when you go to see her.
 
I sigh and Jared fades out. He’s right more than I’d like him to be—except for the bulletproof vest, since Leah doesn’t own a gun. I head to the west, slowing my pace to avoid the mud and check out the new scent. For once, I hope for some action—anything to distract me from the acting I’ll have to do when I see Emily later.
—Sam
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March

23rd

Leah’s Diary: Seth’s Party

Dear Diary,

Seth’s birthday was yesterday, and since it’s now the weekend we are going to dinner. He warned me last night that Sam and Emily would be there. In addition, Billy and Jacob Black, a few of Seth’s close friends, and us. He had had lunch earlier with his large group of friends. Sometimes, I envy my brother for his talent at making friends. I don’t think he knows anybody who doesn’t like him. On the other hand, I could probably count on my fingers how many people actually like me. Besides my family, I can only think of Billy and his kids. Maybe Charlie, but I might have ruined that when I ran away for Christmas. Maybe Rachel’s friends, but chances are I will never see them again so that doesn’t really count; it’s be like counting imaginary friends. 

I shower early in the afternoon and put on sweatpants until it is nearly time to go and then I quickly change into an outfit I know will make Emily and Sam grit their teeth—the one I wore the day they . . . yeah. I leave my hair straight, the way it dried. Downstairs, I have to wait for everyone else who is still getting ready to go. Seth stands in the front hallway, combing his hair by the mirror as I put on my shoes. 

“Why do guys take so long to get ready?” I tease.

He laughs but doesn’t unleash a comeback.

I try again. “You didn’t invite a girl did you?”

Seth lets out a nervous chuckle and avoids my stare. My mouth falls open in disbelief. “My brother invited a girl to his birthday? Does Mom know? Is it someone we know?”

“I don’t know that she’ll even be there. Yes, Mom knows. And no, I don’t think you know her. She’s from Makah.”

I still couldn’t believe it. “How do you know her?”

Seth looked away again and put his shoes on. “Uhh, Emily introduced me when she was here with Luke’s daughters over Christmas break.”

“Oh,” is all I say—what else could I say? It’s been years since I’ve seen Luke, but I used to know him pretty well from all my trips up to Makah with Emily.

Leaving Seth to straighten his shoelaces and scan his polo once more for lint, I head out the door. Mom was still inside getting ready but Dad was in the yard ready to go, passing the time pulling weeds from the flowerbed. I head over to join him but he stands when he sees me coming. Dad raises his eyebrows when he sees my outfit but doesn’t say anything. 

“What?” I ask defensively.

“Nothing. Just wondering what your mother will say is all. I’m all for someone else taking the heartbreak if it means you won’t have it.”

I don’t get a chance to answer because Mom and Seth come outside then. Mom huffs when she sees my outfit and tells me to change but I follow Dad to the car without a backward glance. When we’ve started down the road, Seth tells me I look nice. I smile and turn to look out the window.

It’s not long before we pull into the parking lot of the restaurant, which hosts the majority of our celebrations. Mom had made reservations so the restaurant host greets us at the door and leads us to our table. Several tables have been pushed together and balloons are tied down with weights as centrepieces. A chair in the middle of the tables had also been tied with balloons and the host holds the chair for Seth.

Before we’ve even taken our seats, some of Seth’s friends show up along with Billy and Jacob Black. Seth’s friends instantly sit down around and across from him and Mom, Dad and Billy claim one end of the table, leaving only a few empty seats. There’s one in the midst of Seth’s friends, but that’s probably for the girl he invited. I reluctantly head for the four empty seats at the end of the table and claim the outside one. 

Jacob hesitates before following me then pulls out the chair across from me and politely speaks. “Mind if I sit here?”

I shake my head, noticing something different about him. It takes me a minute but I finally pinpoint what’s changed. “You cut your hair.”

Jacob nods. “It’s easier this way.”

Easier? That doesn’t even make any sense. “What is?” I ask, hoping for a logical explanation. 

Jacob doesn’t hear me though, his focus on the entrance of the restaurant where Sam and Emily just came in. 

I clench my jaw as they head towards the only two seats at the table other than the one Seth has saved; one is next to me, the other across from it and next to Jacob. Sam sits down by Jacob and Emily walks around the other side, hesitating with her hand on the chair. After a minute of avoiding eye contact with her, she sighs and sits down. I lift my eyes and find Sam and Emily both watching me.

“Nice outfit,” Sam says through his teeth.

“Oh, you like it?” I stand up and spin. “It’s my favorite one,” I say with a smirk. Emily coughs into her hand and Sam’s face pales. I smile widely as I sit, not afraid to show that I’m pleased with their discomfort. Jacob just looks confused. “So you were saying?” I ask Jacob. 

“Huh?”

“You said your hair was easier this way. I was just wondering what you meant. You always hated getting your hair cut. So why have it this short now?”

“Uh,” Jacob quickly glances to Sam and back—something I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to notice. “Um, I’ve been running around a lot lately. Motorcycles and mechanics and stuff.”

His answer didn’t make much sense because he’d been doing those things his whole life as far as I knew. I drop the subject anyways, not truly caring. 

“How’s Bella?” Emily asks Jacob.

“She’s okay, I guess. I haven’t seen too much of her, been pretty busy, ya know?”

Emily nods.

“What’re you busy with? I haven’t seen you at school in weeks.”

Sam’s voice cuts in, as though he’s in charge. “It’s not always convenient for everyone to go to school, Leah.”

“Right,” I say, dragging the word out. “I mean, some people should just skip class to meet people, right?” I glance toward Emily suggestively.

Sam begins to shoot back a remark but Emily’s shout stops him. “Sam!”

“Probably not all too convenient for those people to support their families, either, I suppose. Or is it? You, Mr. Know-it-all, should know from experience, right?”

Emily looks back and forth between us, a hurt look on her face. For a fraction of a second, I feel remorse but that fades when Sam reaches across the table and takes Emily’s hand.

The waiter comes then, bearing pitchers of water and a stack of cups, saving us all. Once everyone had their water poured, the waiter returned with a couple more employees who carried trays of sandwiches and other snack foods that Seth and Mom had ordered ahead of time to make his birthday dinner easier. Our end of the table stays silent through all of that, and even after. Seth talks to us for a few minutes but after a series of one word responses he turns his attention back to his friends.

Jacob tries to get us all to talk again. “So, uh, my dad and I are having a pasta party at my house in a few weeks. You guys wanna come?”

Sam waits for me to answer so that he can determine his own answer.

“Sure, I’ll go,” I say just to spite Sam.

Emily speaks before Sam can. “We can probably go too, right Sam?”

“No. Not if all the guys are gonna be there. Somebody needs to . . . ” He stops talking in the middle of the sentence but both Jacob and Emily act as if he had finished it.

“Just for an hour, Sam? Seriously, what is it going to hurt?” Jacob asks, annoyed.

“That’s all it takes, Jacob.”

Jacob shakes his head, irritated, but doesn’t say anything. I am completely lost with their confusing talk.

Mom, Dad and Billy at the other end of the table have fallen silent and been listening to our conversation. Dad stands and comes over to us.

“Everything okay down here?” he asks.

Sam nods. “Jacob was just inviting us to a party that he and his father are having in a few weeks.”

Dad turns to me. “Billy was just saying the same thing. You going?”

“I guess so.”

“Good. That’ll be good.” Satisfied, he returns to his seat.

We fall silent again until Seth starts up a conversation with Jacob. I notice one of Seth’s younger friends staring at Emily’s face. She doesn’t notice because she is eating, but Sam does.

“Hey!” he shouts, making several people at the table jump. “It’s rude to stare.”

The kid mumbles an apology and looks away. Emily reaches across the table and takes Sam’s hand. I look away and Seth returns to distracting his friends from us.

Still holding Emily’s hand, Sam watches me for a minute and then says, “Leah?”

“What now?”

“I, uh, think I can finally explain a little.”

I raise my eyebrows in surprise, not expecting this. I struggle to not get my hopes up, already dismissing the thoughts in my head trying to figure what he will say.

Sam hesitates. “So, um . . . about when I disappeared for awhile. . . . My dad had called me and my mom. We all met up in Seattle and, well, I’m not sure what you would call it. Dad sat there and watched TV the whole time and only talked to me during the commercials. Mom went shopping with his credit cards, which I’m sure she maxed out just to make him mad. I was so caught up in him actually paying a speck of attention to me, that I didn’t call. Not just you, but anyone. I should have, though. Going there was a mistake. It didn’t end very well.”

I sat silent for a minute, taking it all in. I wasn’t sure I believed him because he had been so different when he returned. I suppose that could have been from spending time with his messed up family but what about the heat of his skin? Could it have been just a fever? The day Emily got hurt he had touched my ankle and it burned then. I didn’t know whether or not his skin still burned now and I wasn’t about to touch him to find out.

Sam continues without me saying anything. He gestures toward Emily as he speaks. “About us—”

“Stop! I don’t care to hear that part.”

Emily turns to face me. “Please, Leah? I wanted to ask you something.”

“Just ask then. I don’t need a stupid explanation for why my boyfriend broke up with me so he could get together with my cousin. I’d say that’s more information than I ever wanted to know. “

Emily nods, seeming to understand even though my words were bitter. “Sam has asked me to marry him. “

“Arghhh, ” I groan and turn away. “This is exactly what I don’t care to hear!”

“I know. I know, ” Emily says quickly. “But Leah, you’re practically my sister. I don’t see how I could get married without you there. Won’t you be my bridesmaid?”

I sigh. When we were young, maybe twelve or thirteen, and had started actually liking boys instead of pretending they had cooties, we had promised each other that we would be in each other’s weddings and would plan them together. When Sam and I started dating, she used to joke and say that she was already drawing up wedding plans. Now, the situation was almost completely reversed. I wonder if she remembers this and sees the irony of it.

I realize it has been several minutes since she asked and she is still waiting for me to reply. Most of the other conversations have died down again and they have been listening to us.

“Do I have to answer that now?” I ask.

“Nope!” she chirps. “Anytime. We don’t have a date set and probably won’t for awhile. Just let me know when you decide.

I nod and don’t say anything more. I knew this was coming, but it still hurts. Like Emily had thought, I too was sure that Sam and I would be married. I look around the table and just seeing their hands intertwined sends daggers through my heart. I love them and hate them both so much still. I wish I could just forget everything that had happened and start fresh.

Finally, an eternity later, we migrate outside. I lag in the back behind all the split groups of people, and climb in the car the first chance I get. Dad says a few goodbyes and then gets in the car as well. Mom and Seth taking longer, thanking everyone for coming. They get in the car too a few minutes later. Mom asks us all if we had a good time. Dad grunts, Seth answers with an, “Yeah, thanks!” I don’t answer, which is an answer itself.

It isn’t until we’re almost home that I realize Seth is unusually quiet. After a few minutes of thinking about it, I realize the girl never showed up.

“So, um, the girl? What was her name?”

“Ann.”

“Yeah, she couldn’t make it?”

“I guess not.” His tone is bitter.

“Stinks. I’m really sorry. Maybe she just had family stuff.”

He shrugs and turns to the window. Dad glances back in the mirror at us and meets my eyes. For once, I’m not the only broken one. Sharing the sorrow isn’t as great as I thought it would be.

—Leah

 

 

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March

11th

Leah’s Diary: Everybody Talks
Dear Diary,
“Jacob?” Mrs. Claymore asks.
 
“He’s not here, ” a girl from the front of the classroom answers.
 
“Embry?”
 
“He’s not here either.”
 
Mrs. Claymore sighs and puts down her paper, “Well where on earth is everyone today?”
 
“I heard that Jacob has mono, ” someone else answers.
 
No, he doesn’t, I think but don’t say anything outloud. They probably dropped out like the rest of them. I saw Jacob and Jared at the store together last night.
 
“Well, I heard that Embry has mono, ” another student counters.
 
“Wonder how they both got it within a week of each other,” a boy from the back of the classroom says suggestively and everyone laughs, except for me.
 
Mrs. Claymore hushes herself then the class and quickly finishes the roll. 
 
“Well since Mr. Claymore is visiting his mother in Seattle this week, I’ll be filling in. I’m not sure how much you guys have learned of the Quileute language but I thought that maybe we could just work on easy phrases today. Some of them you may already know, but hopefully there will be some that you don’t know yet,” Mrs. Claymore says, getting my attention. 
 
The one thing I do like to learn in school is our language. It makes me feel at home, and like I belong.
 
“You all have learned pronunciation, right?”
 
The class mumbles quietly which Mrs. Claymore interprets as affrimation.
 
“Good. I’ll read these phrases and words and you guys try to tell me what they mean, okay? First, Hach chi’i?”
 
I wrack my brain for the definition. A memory hits: I’m walking down the stairs as a little girl, my favorite blanket in hand and rubbing my eyes with the other. “Hach chi’i, Leah,” My grandmother says. “Morning, Gramma,” I answer.
 
“Good morning!” I shout before I realize what I’ve done. Surprisingly, I’m not too embarrassed although every pair of eyes in the classroom is on me and some of them whisper. A lot of the whispers seem to be still dwelling on the drop outs.
 
“Good, Leah!” Mrs. Claymore says. “How about this one? Ayàsochid?”  This one I remember even faster; how are you?
 
Xlià’li,” I answer with the closest word I know to match my mood; I’m grouchy.
 
“How do you know so much?” Mrs. Claymore says setting her papers down.
 
“She’s a whiz, she’s just quiet,” Someone says.
 
“My grandparents,” I whisper.
 
“Well, you’re very good at speaking the language. You should consider learning more and maybe you could teach the elementary class,” Mrs. Claymore says and continues saying phrases.
 
I stay quiet, afraid of the spotlight I brought upon myself, and to give the others a chance. Still, Mrs. Claymore asks me the questions when the others are stumped. During the quiet moments though, I think about what she’d said. When I try to think of the Quileute words, I can’t. But when someone speaks to me or I am mad, the words just seem to come on their own. I don’t think I could teach, but I could easily have a conversation. Teaching wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, but I guess it was always an option if I ended up dropping out with the rest of my classmates. Our classes had started out small and now our numbers dwindled more and more.
 
The courage of answering questions and bringing attention to myself reverts quickly the instant the bell rings and I move unnoticed among the small crowd to my next class.
 
Mr. Olbert was teaching history as per usual. His lips move and he writes on the whiteboard but I don’t hear or see any of the words. This was somewhat normal for me—even before, when Sam and I were dating I would get distracted watching him in class and lose focus on the instructor. But it became even worse after Sam left me and hadn’t improved.
 
History was usually one of my more attentive classes of the day, but not today—not after my dreams last week as well as my abnormal participating earlier which had drained me. For the past several weeks I hadn’t been dreaming and it was a nice break. The other night’s memory though had awakened more dormant memories and I was afraid of going to sleep again for the nightmares that would surely come.
 
“Leah?” Someone says, making me aware.
 
“Sorry?” I answer.
 
“I was asking you about the cabinet?” Mr. Olbert repeats himself. “What roll does the cabinet play in the U.S. government?”
 
The cabinet? What the smack is that supposed to mean? I never paid much attention to American history, preferring Quiluete history. I didn’t understand why we had to learn American history anyways. Probably just because the teacher wasn’t Quileute himself. These were always the worst classes.
 
“I don’t know, ” I say softly and my face heats up. A few of the other kids snicker and Mr. Olbert shakes his head. I hear their whispers about my downfall from knowledge in the last class.
 
“Please try to pay more attention, Miss Clearwater, ” He continues to teach and I hear him speaking but the words don’t make sense.
 
I watch the clock, anxious for my classes that come after lunch becuase after that comes work and home. 
 
“Psssst, ” Someone whispers. “Here.” The boy sitting behind me hands me a note. I take it, ready to pass it along, but realize it has my name on it.
 
I open the note and just as I do, Mr. Olbert appears at my desk. He hold out his hand and waits for me to give him the note. I do and he reads it quickly to himself.
 
“Who wrote this?” He asks the class, and all laughter ceases. No one answers him. “You will all be staying late if no one answers.”
 
Someone must raise their hand in the back of the class because everyone turns their heads, except for me.
 
“Office. Now. You too, Leah.”
 
My face heats up again and I gather my things, heading for the door. I walk down the hall to the office, the sound of Mr. Olbert’s and one of my other classmates following. The boy ends up being someone I don’t know very well named Jay. We enter the office and I wait in one of the chairs as Mr. Olbert explains the situation, note in hand to the prinicpal in his office. Mr. Olbert closes the door to the principal’s office on his way out joined by the school counselor that we share with Forks, Mr. Hayes.—he only comes out for an hour or so around lunch each day.
 
“Leah?” Mr. Hayes says. “Mind if we talk for a minute, ” he says it as a statement instead of a question.
 
To talk to a counselor is the last thing I want to do but I don’t see that I have another option. I don’t answer.
 
“This way, ” he says pointing toward his office. Mr. Olbert returns to the hall and I stand up, slowly dragging my feet to his office. The room doubles as the teachers lounge and has several couches on one side of the room, and Mr. Hayes’ desk on the other. To make things less formal, Mr. Hayes tells me to have a seat on the couch. He sits on an arm rest of one couch while I sit on the cushion of another.
 
“So, Leah, I know you’ve had a rough year, ” he waits for me to say something and when I don’t, he continues. “Why is that?”
 
I snort, “Like it’s a big mystery?”
 
Mr. Hayes shrugs guiltily, “Sam. Is that it? Because it seems like there might be more to it.”
 
“Well there isn’t.”
 
“You’re doing pretty good in school considering. You’re very smart, Leah. I noticed you already have everything done that you need to do to graduate. Do you have any plans for after graduation?”
 
“Get out of here.”
 
He nods, “I thought that might be it. What about school? A career? It might be a good distraction.”
 
I shake my head, “If I knew that would work, don’t you think I would have done something already?”
 
“I guess so. I don’t know what to do to help you, Leah. You’ve shut everyone out of your life.”
 
“Then don’t. Didn’t you ever consider that maybe they shut me out?” I stand up and walk out of his office. I leave out the front door of the school since another class has already started and I can’t stand more humiliation from going into class late.
 
I don’t go home, since mom would wonder why I was home early and then I’d have to explain everything. Instead I go to the beach.
 
After walking up and down the coast I have memorized, I sit on the sand with my knees pulled up and watch the waves move in and out, in and out, in and out. I love the way the ocean has a familiar pattern of waves, yet is different each time. I sit there contently, trying to keep my mind off school, until it is time to go to work.
 
At the store, I enter through the front. Big mistake today. A group of girls from school are standing at the sunglasses display by the door and don’t notice when I come in. I freeze at the sight of them.
 
“I heard she wrote a note to Jay first being all rude and stuff, ” One girl says.
 
“I don’t know. She doesn’t seem like the person who wants to talk to anybody ever. Especially someone she doesn’t know very well like Jay, ” Another says.
 
“Maybe so. Could be she was hitting on him. What is her problem anyways? I mean, plenty of guys have broke up with me and you don’t see me still moping around a year later.”
 
“True. They were pretty close though. Did you ever see one of them alone?”
 
“Not until now. But still. Seriously she should just get over it already.”
 
Having heard enough I walk closer to the girls. One of them sees me in the mirror while admiring a pair of glasses and gasps. They all spin around.
 
“Maybe,” I say. “She had her heart broke and it never gets any better because everyone gossips about her behind her back. Next time, if you have a problem with me, tell me, not your friends. Or even better, stay out of other people’s business.”
 
I walk away toward the back of the store to clock in, leaving them alone with their jaws dropped.
—Leah
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February

23rd

Leah’s Diary: Memories
Dear Diary, 
It was the last day of summer and the sun was shining through the treetops. My Junior year would start tomorrow as well as Sam’s Senior year. We walked hand in hand on the our trail that runs through the forest.
 
“Sam?” I ask with an austere tone.
 
He responds by ending his lengthy stride mid-step and kissing my cheek. I grin despite the seriousness of my awaiting inquiry. 
 
“What’s going to happen to us? After school is all finished?” I say, spitting the words out before I change my mind.
 
“I think we both already know the answer to that, silly.”
 
I wait, not saying anything. I may already have an idea or two about what I hope will happen, but I want to hear him say it.
 
“I’ll talk to your dad, you’ll pick out a white dress. It’s a love story. Baby, just say yes.” Sam sings the Taylor Swift song off key, making me laugh. He twirls me but I force myself to a quick stop and face him.
 
“I’m serious,” I tell him sternly, fighting my lingering urge to laugh at his answer.
 
“So am I. There isn’t anything I want more. Nothing and nobody can manke me change my mind, Leah.” 
 
I raise an eyebrow although I’ve already accepted his answer; now I’m just teasing and perhaps flirting a bit, hoping to spend every last minute of our summer together.
 
“I,” he says and kisses my forehead. “Love.” Kisses my nose. “You.” He kisses my lips gently and pulls me closer, wrapping his arms around my waist. With a giggle, I sneak my arms to his neck and lace my fingers together.
 
When we end the kiss, I move my arms to around his waist and lay my head against his chest. I can hear his steady heartbeat slowing its rhythm after the acceleration caused by our kiss.
 
“I love you too,” I say. He continues to hum “Love Story” quietly. “Is that really what will happen?”
 
“Absolutely. I promise. I love you, Leah. Nothing will ever change that. “
 
We stand there for a long time, maybe minutes, maybe hours, before continuing to walk until we reach our little clearing. A large rock sits hidden a bit deeper in the trees than our clearing; it’s covered in moss that is cool but not too damp, so instead of getting my new jeans dirty on the unusually dry ground, we sit against the rock. If we were string, it’d take a good amount of time to untangle us the way we intertwine our arms, legs, fingers. 
 
After a few minutes of quiet, my thoughts drift to school. “If I can, I’m going to take on some extra classes, maybe online so I can earn my credits.”
 
“Why’s that? So you don’t have to see me as much?” Sam teases.
 
“So I can graduate earlier and see you more,” I counter, reaching up to press our lips together. The kiss lasts awhile and before I know it, the sun is setting and we’re even more tangled up.
 
My eyelids dart open and I blink rapidly as a waterfall of tears pour down my face. His name escapes my lips in a yearning whisper as I remember he’s with Emily now. I am not his and he is not mine, despite the promises I know I meant and thought he did too. Breathing heavily, I sit up and bring my knees to my chest. With my arms around them I rock back and forth. Little did I know that less than a mile away, Sam was waking from the same dream. Neither did I know that Emily, his new fianceé, was by his side. 
It’s the dreams that make everything worse. They are the same memories and daydreams that I used to replay over and over in my mind to put me in a good mood. I wish that still worked. I turn to look at the clock after a bit, when my tears have slowed. It’s four in the morning. I crawl out of bed anyways and head to the shower, knowing that sleep won’t come easily for another day or two. I’ll probably wake up everyone else since I don’t bother to be quiet but at least they’ll know not to talk to me in the morning. I can’t help but wonder as I step under the blazing water if Sam has dreams and flashbacks like this too, and if he does, how he handles them in front of her. Does she even know? Maybe he recreates our memories with her, replacing the old-ugly-Leah ones with new gorgeous-exquisite-perfect-Emily ones. 
—Leah
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February

14th

Leah’s Diary: Roses Are Red, Topaz is Blue (Emily’s POV)

This entry is from the Point of View of Emily Young.

 

Dear Diary,

I was painting my fingernails a maroon color when my phone rang. “Snap, ” I say, using my preferred form of cussing—not that I hadn’t adopted worse from being around Sam and his friends. My phone was in my front pocket and I couldn’t get it out without smudging my polish. I wipe my nails on the towel, smearing the wet polish which leaves behind a mess and take my phone out. It’s Sam. Of course; tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day so I expected him to call.
 
“Hello?” I say.
 
“Hey, beautiful,” Sam greets, his voice smooth and steady.
 
“I’m sorry, who’s this?” I tease.
 
“Oh! I must have the wrong number. Oh well. You free tomorrow night?” He says, playing along.
 
“Won’t your girlfriend mind?” I chastise.
 
“No way. She knows I live for—”
 
My voice raises into a high-pitched scold, “Sam!”
 
“You know I’m just kidding. But anyways, do you have plans tomorrow?”
 
“Yeah, Sam, I totally have a date with this guy I met last week. He’s into modeling,” I say in a sarcastic tone. 
 
“Just checkin’.”
 
“So what are we doing? ” I ask him.
 
“It’s a secret, ” he says intriguingly.
 
“Fine.”
 
“I’ll pick you up from work at four. I have to run for awhile, otherwise you could call in sick to work.”
 
I sigh, “Yeah well, be careful, ” I reply, trying not to let the worry that’s always in my voice show. When I know he’s running, it sometimes keeps me up all night. What if he got hurt? Or a vampire—No. I can’t even think about that. “Oh, and what should I wear?”
 
“Anything you want. I’ll probably just wear jeans and maybe a nicer shirt than normal, but don’t worry about dressing up. Anything else?”
 
“Nope.”
 
“See you later, Em. Have a goodnight, ” Sam says, reminding me of how late it is.
 
“Goodnight, Sam. “
 
I hang up the phone and repaint my nails, this time leaving my phone beside me although there’s no need; no one but Sam ever calls this late. As soon as my nails are dried, I check tomorrow’s lesson plans and then get ready for bed. I fall asleep quickly, knowing Sam’s safe at home for the night. I dream of running beside him in the forest under the clouds made light pink by the sunrise.
 
Morning comes sooner than I would like and too soon, I have to go to work. I dress in a red shirt with ruffles that compliments my nails, and black dress pants as I’m not allowed to wear jeans to work. I add a chunky black necklace and a pair of black sandals with a small heel for accessories.
 
All through my classes, I am distracted, wondering what on earth Sam could have planned for the evening. I let my students work on their projects and instruct only when I have to. In one class of Juniors, my students notice my lack of contentment despite my attempt to act normal.
 
“Miss Young? You seem really out of it today,” Karina says to me.
 
“Yeah, ” I say, trying to quickly think of an excuse. “I haven’t slept well this week. It’s catching up with me.”
 
“Are you sure?” She asks. “Cuz Jess thinks it’s because today is Valentine’s Day and you have that guy who always picks you up.”
 
I blush, giving them the answer. “Yeah, maybe that’s it. None of you are much better. Karina’s been making googly eyes at Cade, and Cade at Jess, Caleb at Karina, Draven at Mary, and so on, ” I say, revealing some of their crushes lightheartedly and making them forget about me for the moment. I allow them to talk through class as they paint and sketch, playfully teasing each other and revealing more crushes.
 
Finally the last bell rings and I gather my things, heading out to the parking lot. It’s not quite four, but Sam is already there, leaning casually against a car, his hand behind his back. The car isn’t ours, since Sam runs here everyday and carries me back. Whenever the subject comes up with co-workers or others, I say that he parks around the corner.
 
He’s wearing a pair of black jeans that I don’t recall him owning so they must be new. His shirt is a tight white polo with half sleeves rolled up a few times. The pounding in my chest and sudden outbreak of butterflies in my stomach don’t even begin to describe how he’s making me feel as he embraces me with a hug and kisses me on the cheek. He smells fresh and clean, but not like a clean hospital smell, more like waking up in the morning after spending a night in the forest under the stars. After letting his side embrace drop to take my hand, he brings a single short-stemmed red rose from behind his back. I smile and thank him and he tucks the flower into my hair.
 
“Hey, you,” I kiss him back on the nose.
 
“Ready?” He asks.
 
I’m about to answer when a group of my students start chanting a few yards away. “Miss Young and…a stranger, sitting in the lot, k-i-s-” That’s all they get out before another teacher ushers them onto the bus. I shoot her a grateful glance and then take Sam’s hand and we walk around to the street, where Sam ‘parks.’
 
When we are out of sight of any bystanders, Sam runs into the woods ahead of me, sprinting out of sight. I wait for him about ten yards inside the forest, facing the street. Silky fur grazes my arm and I turn to see him as a wolf towering like a shadow overhead. He lies down and I crawl onto his back where I sit, holding his fur tightly in my fists. He stands and begins to run. I’ve always hated not being able to talk as we travel this way, but Sam knows that and always makes up for it by running his fastest and after all, it’s the cheapest form of transportation. He slows his run to a walk and then I can hear cars passing by again. He lies down again and I climb off. Watching the ground carefully so as not to stumble in my raised heeled shoes, I begin walking forward. Soon I can see the edges of a town I don’t recognize from the view since the backs of buildings face the forest. I hear Sam’s quiet human foot-falls against the forest floor and wait for him to catch up.
 
We walk hand in hand into the town and once we pass by a few buildings, I recognize Port Angeles. He leads me in the direction of the several stores and restaurants facing the bay. He stops when we are in front of a nice restaurant that I’ve heard costs a fortune.
 
“Hungry?” He inquires.
 
“Yes, but are you sure this is where you want to go?”
 
“Absolutely if it sounds okay to you.”
 
“I’ve heard the food is fantastic, but also expensive,” I say, feeling guilty for even addressing it.
 
“Don’t worry about the money, Em. If I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t have stopped here. Trust me,” Sam says, kissing my hand.
 
“Okay,” I answer and let him lead me inside.
 
The food is incredible to say the least. We both have the special—Champane Shrimp & Pasta—and after taking the first bite, I sigh with delight. Sam chuckles and makes a guttural sound of agreement. We eat mainly in silence, enjoying the food. When we do talk, we laugh at the cliché cheesy couples around the restaurant (before realizing we’d be included in that group), as well as the single people along the bar, treating themselves to a night out. For dessert, we shared a slice of Chocolate Lasagna, topped with pink sprinkles in honor of Valentine’s Day. Delicious was an understatement that everyone in the restaurant seemed to agree upon. 
 
Later in the evening we end up on the beach back in La Push, building a fire from driftwood. Sam pulls a box of matches from his pocket and ignites the fire. A blue flame spreads slowly, until the whole pile dances in the dark. The sun has already set but the sky still glows a perfect Valentine’s pink.
 
I sit on the sand with my back against Sam’s chest, watching the fire. He rests his chin on top of my head and laces his hands with mine. We listen to the crackling of the fire and the familiar whoosh of the ocean for several minutes without speaking.
 
“Emily?” Sam asks.
 
“Hmm?” I say contently with my eyes closed.
 
“Can I ask you something and you answer as honestly as you can?”
 
I straighten a little, turn to see Sam and open my eyes, becoming more attentive of what he’s saying, “Okay.”
 
“When I imprinted on you, you were mad and hated me and wanted me to go back to Leah.”
 
“That’s not really a question, ” I think about it for a moment before answering. “Yes, I was mad. No, I never have nor ever will hate you. And yes, I wanted you to return to Leah.”
 
Sam thinks over my answer, “You didn’t even hate me when this happened?” He brings his hand to my face and gently moves his finger along my scars.
 
“No. It was an accident, Sam.”
 
Sam is quiet for a moment and I think he is done with his questions and I turn my attention back to the fire until he does speaks again. “Do you still think I should go back to Leah?”
 
“If that’s what you want to do, I won’t stop you. I do like you, Sam, but I miss Leah. If the only way she would forgive me was for you to go back, then yes. But even if you did, I don’t know if she would forgive me. And I would miss you. A lot. If she ever decided she didn’t want you anymore…Well, I’d probably be there waiting.”
 
Sam sighs, “I wish this all were easier.”
 
“Me too, ” I agree.
 
“One more question, ” He pauses “okay maybe not. There will be more no matter how you answer.”
 
He hesitates again and I turn to look at him. His brown eyes reflect my silhouette against the rainbow flames.
 
“Do you…love me?”
 
I am taken aback by his question and have to turn away from his stare.
 
Do I love Sam? Do I? I realize I do. . But does that mean I don’t care about Leah anymore? Can’t I have both?
 
I turn back to him bravely, “Yes. I love you.”
 
Sam smiles and my heart melts with the power of this newfound  love. I love Sam Uley. I want to shout and proclaim my love for him to the world. The look in his eyes says he does too, but we settle for a kiss. Gently, he places his hands on either side of my face and comes closer, closer until our lips meet.
 
“I love you, Emily Young, and will continue to love you, until forever ends, with you in my arms.”
 
“I love you too, Sam.”
 
“So, another question then,” Sam draws himself away from me and kneels as if getting ready to stand. He reaches into his pocket and holds out a small box. My heart pounds like a jackhammer and it’s like we’re the only two people on earth. “Will you marry me, Em?” As he opens the box to reveal a silver ring, a clear round gem in the middle and lined with light topaz on either side. My eyes fill to the brim with tears.
 
“Yes, of course, ” I answer and saltwater spills onto my cheeks. He comes closer and kisses me again and I see that his cheeks are tear streaked too.
 
“I was hoping you’d say that, ” Sam says when we finally stop kissing.
 
I laugh, “I bet.”
 
Sam remembers then what he was doing before he kissed me and removes the ring from the box. He takes my hand and slides it onto my finger. In the colorful, shimmering light from the fire, the silver of the ring seems to bend and change colors. The contrast of the diamond against the topaz and the russet color of my skin is beautiful. Sam did a wonderful job choosing a ring and in that, I know I’ve made the right choice. He knows me so well and there is no one else on earth or even imaginable that I’d rather spend my eternity with.
 
We sit there for hours in each other’s arms, until the clouds above break and water falls down on us, putting out the fire. Sam scoops me into his arms and runs home, both of us with enormous smiles.
—Emily
emilysoutfit samsoutfit thering
Thank you for reading! I sure had a blast writing this entry and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it! Like Leah’s Diary on Facebook here and be sure to comment and like a lot  so that you have a chance at becoming our next Fan of the Month! Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this entry, any others, the ring, anything; just talk to me! Love ya :) XOXO Annee

January

25th

Leah’s Diary: Friends and Foes

Dear Diary, 

Going back to school after breaks is always hard. My Christmas break was interesting…not terrible but not great. Now school has returned and with it, a strong rainstorm. I walk to school anyways, not even wearing a hood. I don’t really care what my hair looks like, or if I’m soaked.

Outside the school building a group of my classmates are huddled under the shelter of the roof, chomping down breakfast before they head inside. They are quiet as I begin to approach then someone says, “Can’t even put on a jacket by herself? She’s gotta have a man for that too?” The group all snickers and the tears barely even threaten to come while I go inside.

“Leah? Can I talk to you for a minute?” One of my teachers, Ms. Mersey, catches me in the hallway.

I don’t say anything but walk with her into the empty classroom.

“How was your Holiday break?”

An flash of images enters my mind, the haunting ghosts that overtook my life more than usual over break. “It was okay,” I lie.

“I got something for you. For Christmas. I didn’t get a chance to give it to you before since I had to take a sick day just before break. My oldest daughter had her baby so I went to Seattle.”

“Oh, um, you didn’t have to do that.” I hate when people randomly give me gifts; it’s not like they care about me.

“I wanted to. Here, open it. I think you’ll like it.”

I take the present she’s holding out and hesitate a moment before neatly unwrapping the paper. Inside is a beautiful journal with the Quileute insignia in the middle surrounded by words and quotes of varying fonts and sizes. I open it and let the pages fan out as I drop them back down. Each page is an off-white with faded black lines and quotes interrupting them every few pages.

“Wow,” I say, surprised by how much I love the book. “Thank you.”

She smiles at my genuine interest. I put the journal in my messenger backpack and head to class.

My homeroom class is the first and last of the day and it’s the only one in which my teacher forces me to sit in the front of the room. Mrs. Warner is one of the few teachers not originally from La Push but she married a native a few years ago. A couple months later, he passed away and she got a job teaching at the school to pay the bills. Usually I sneak to the back of the classroom anyway, in hopes she won’t notice me there, but today, since I stopped to talk with Ms. Mersey, most of the class has already filed in and sat down. Those that haven’t had their seats claimed with their things. The seat I usually end up sitting in is vacant so I sit down with my bag atop the desk and rest my head on it.

“Jesse, Leah, heads up please,” Mrs. Warner insists after calling the class to order. I lift my head for a second and as soon as she begins speaking again, put it back down, ignoring the class that goes on around me. For the most part, they ignore me too.

“Leah,” someone whispers, nudging me. I raise my head a bit and open my eyes to see the girl who sits next to me with her hand on my arm. “We’re supposed to be finding a partner for the assignment. Do you want to work together?”

I shake my head. “I, uh, don’t—” I stop speaking when I see the look on her face. She looks…friendly. I look around the classroom and see that everyone else is already working. “Okay. You’re…Brianna, right?”

“Yes,” she says, studying me curiously. “You really don’t pay attention much, do you?”

“Why should I?” I automatically snap and instantly regret it. “Sorry, I just…I really have no reason to.”

She nods. “So we’re, um, supposed to choose a famous mathematician and do a report on them with a poster to explain what they taught and their theory and stuff.” I don’t say anything so she continues. “So I guess we should see if we can use a computer?”

She gets up and asks approval to use one of the ancient computers our school has only a few of and returns with a permission slip. We go to the computer room and sit together around the monitor. It takes several minutes for the old machine to begin to hum and come to life. While we wait, Brianna tries to make conversation, but I’m severely out of practice.

“So, what do you like to do, Leah?”

She has to repeat the question a few times before I comprehend.

“Do? Uh, I don’t know. I don’t do anything.”

“Do you like books? Movies? Sports?”

“No. I can’t…focus.”

“Oh.” Brianna gives up and turns her attention to the computer, typing in the school’s log in and opening up the slower-than-molasses-Internet. I never use the computers here. Mom and Dad have one at home that they use for work sometimes. Seth occasionally plays games on it but I’ve never really had an interest in using it. What would I do? Solitaire my life away? Talk to the friends I don’t have?

Brianna does most of the work, telling me what to write in a notebook after she finds information on the computer, occasionally drawing a quick sketch and then returning the pencil to me.

“What’s that?” she asks, taking me from a daydream I’d drifted into.

I look up at her and down at the paper where she appears to be looking. I’ve been doodling, I guess, and nearly the entire second page is covered with dark pencil lines. In the bottom right corner is a picture of a cage, a prison with me inside. The bars of the cage are actually made of feathers and beads that go up to form a dream catcher just under our few sentences of notes. I’m not in the web of the dream catcher like I was in the prison, but someone else is; It’s Sam and he’s not really caught, more like relaxing in the web. In the left hand corner, is the part I was last working on it appears since it’s not fully finished. It’s Emily, tossing a key behind her into a wolf’s mouth. I have no idea how I came up with any of it—it was all a subconcious effort. The truth in the picture is so strong it hurts—except the wolf. What is the wolf there for?

Brianna takes the paper and looks at each part of the drawing closer. “Wow. You’re really good. I didn’t know you could draw.”

I shrug. “I didn’t either really.”

“Who are they?”

I look at the picture once more and then look away. “I don’t know,” I lie.

The bell rings and Brianna hesitates with her hand on the notebook. “Do you mind if I keep this? It has our notes,” she says.

I shake my head and swing my bag over my shoulder. “It’s yours anyways.”

Then we head our seperate ways to the next class. Nothing out of the ordinary happens until lunch; just same old boring classes and people grumbling about having to come to school after break. At lunch when I walk into the cafeteria that holds kinderten through twelfth grade for lunch, I notice something off in the high school section. Hardly anyone is at the tables; instead they are huddled in groups and there’s a buzz in the air. I slide to a halt in the doorway but the principal pushes his way past me with the secratary and lunch duty following close behind.

“What’s going on?” Mr. Steadfoot, the principal, demands in a loud voice.

A few of the groups loosen but no one says anything.

“Now!” he continues. Someone pushes a freshman girl from their group towards him. She shuffles forward slowly with a paper in hand, gives it to him, and retreats to the lunch line—not that it does any good, because everyone has stopped moving to watch. He examines the paper with his group gathered around. “Who drew this?”

Again, no one answers. Finally someone lifts their finger to point. Other hands slowly raise to join them in pointing at…me?

Mr. Steadfoot turns toward me in complete and utter confusion. “Her?” He raises an eyebrow. “No offense to you, Miss Clearwater, but you’re not one to draw attention to yourself let alone pick up a pencil. Is this yours?”

I don’t move. I don’t speak. What has happened? After a few seconds he walks to me with the paper lifted up by a corner as if it is contaminated. It is my drawing. The one I gave Brianna earlier but since then it’s been altered inappropriately. It was obviously made to hurt me though, not anyone else. Why would someone do this? My eyes flicker around the room until I find Brianna. She’s stitting down in the middle of the floor, her eyes cast downward.

Mr. Steadfoot still has his eyebrow drawn and is waiting for my answer but I continue to watch the group. A few girls, the more popular ones, stand around Brianna. One of them—Kelsey—speaks to Brianna with her hands on her hips. “Get up. It’s not like you were her friend anyways. It’s better this way. You wouldn’t want her to come between us, would you? I mean, all she cares about is that dumb guy.”

“Miss Clearwater? Leah?” the principal says, bringing my attention back to him. “Is this yours?”

“I’ve never seen that before,” I lie. I turn on my heel and walk down the hall to my next class even though it’s not time. Mom won’t be happy if I miss any more classes for ‘no reason,’ as she puts it.

Behind me, I try not to listen to the commotion. It’s too loud though. I can hear the tapping of Kelsey’s heels as she crosses the linoleum and says, “Mr. Steadfoot! It is hers. Brianna watched her draw it in 3rd hour.”

Then his deep voice, “Brianna, is this true?”

I don’t hear an answer but from the way the noise resumes in the cafeteria, it seems as though Brianna has answered. In my next class, the bell has already rang and the teacher started class when I realize that Brianna should be in this class. She comes in late and takes the only empty seat in the room, which happens to be in front of mine. When the teacher has handed out old papers and gave us an assignment later, Brianna turns around in her seat.

“I’m really sorry, Leah. It was sticking out of my bag and Cory grabbed it. I didn’t even realize he and Kelsey had it until they’d drawn all over it and made like ten copies.”

I ignore her and pretend to do my worksheet.

“Leah? I’m really, really sorry.”

“I don’t even care.”

“Please? I do want to be your friend, Lee.”

I look up at her. “Kelsey doesn’t want you to be my friend very much. Aren’t you her puppet anyway? Never stray from the pack, right?”

The look on her face says I’m right; she’d never betray her best friend, and befriending me would be doing that. I ignore her for the rest of the class despite her attempts to apologize. The instant the bell rings, I dash towards the hallway with my bag slung over my shoulder. I’m going so fast the strap of my messenger back catches on the doorknob, slinging me into the wall like a rubberband. Instead of getting up, I sink to the floor as the tears begin to roll down my face.

“Leah?” a deep voice asks, holding a tissue in front of my face. I snatch the tissue away but don’t use it. I don’t look at the owner of the voice either who seems to have the intention of staying beside me. After a moment, he sinks to the floor beside me, our backs against the wall and legs extended. Our classmates have to play hopscotch to get through the maze of us and our things.

“Can I do anything for you, Leah?” The voice asks.

Finally looking up, I find myself drawn into a pair of beautiful hazel eyes. I frown because I can’t remember the helpful man’s name. He must notice this somehow because he holds out his hand and says, “Tony.”

I begin to shake my head in reply to his question, not shaking his reaching hand, but his hand quickly raises and catches my cheek, forcing me to look at him.

“I saw your drawing before they ruined it. You really have a talent. It was beautiful, just like you.”

I don’t plan to answer but a whispered “thank you” escapes my lips.

“Do you think maybe I could take you out sometime?”

The question catches me off guard and before something else slips out, I stand up, leaving my bag behind, and sprint out of the classroom. Where is there to go though? It seems as though no matter where I am, the nightmares are there too. Finally, I decide to go home, not caring that I’ll surely get into trouble for skipping more classes.

Mom is in the living room, chatting away with her company—Old Quil and his daughter, Mishawn, who is a good friend of Mom’s—as she irons clothes.

“What are you doing home from school?” she asks with an exasperated sigh. I shrug. “Oh Leah! You have to stop this! You can’t just come and go from school and work as you please! You do need more credits if you want to graduate with honors.”

“Maybe I don’t.”

“Well perhaps I expect it from you.”

“Perhaps I don’t care.”

“Leah Anne Clearwater! Go to your room! Now! I expect you back at school in the morning with all of your work done.”

I roll my eyes and go upstairs. What could she possibly punish me with? Deprive me of sleep? Not like the nightmares don’t already do that. Not let me see anyone? Not likely anyways. Why do I even bother living?

An hour or so later, the front door opens and closes a few times so I assume mom’s company has left. Then someone walking up the stairs—probably Mom coming to give me another lecture about missing school.

There isn’t a knock on my door before she enters. No, not she, but my father.

“Hey,” he says, sitting on the bed across from mine.

I don’t answer.

“What’s going on?”

“Did Mom send you to lecture me?”

“No. She’s in a bad mood though so I guessed you’d come home early. Wanna tell me what’s going on?”

“Not really. I don’t want to seem weak just because I come home when I get tired of being treated like crap,” I say.

“Leah, you’re the strongest person I know. You’ve been through so much more, and even before that, you were more mature than any of the kids at school. Your soul is a thousand years old. Nothing you say could make you seem weak,” Dad says gently.

I suck in a deep breath and then tell him everything. “They all hate me and think I’m weak. None of them know me. We had to work in partners today and while I was taking notes, I started to doodle without thinking about it. The notebook wasn’t mine and someone else got ahold of it. They changed the picture to something bad, and then told the principal I’d drawn it. I just can’t stand to be laughed at day after day for things that have hurt me, things I can’t control. They think I can’t do anything without Sam.”

Dad sighs and takes a moment to gather his thoughts. “They don’t know you. They don’t understand what you’ve been through. I doubt that any one of them has evern had a love like yours and Sam’s. Next time something happens, fight back harder. Explain what happened. Don’t let them push you around. You have it in you to fight and be strong. It’s in your blood, Leah.”

“You know I don’t believe all that tribe stuff anymore.”

“It doesn’t matter. It’s in your blood anyway. Did I ever tell you about what happened with me in high school?”

“I don’t think so,” I answer, trying to recall all the stories he’s told me.

“I’ll be right back,” he says, going out into the hallway and leaving the door open. He opens the hallway closet that holds extra linens and digs through a box at the bottom. Dad returns a minute later with a photo album, which he opens and sits by me, pointing to a picture of a younger version of my Dad and someone else. “This was my best friend in high school. He died the week before our senior year. It was so hard on me. I didn’t want to do anything—eat, sleep, go to school, be at home, nothing. So many people made fun of me, telling me to get over it and move on. He’d been my best friend for years, so that was not easy. In about the middle of the year, they started wondering if his accident wasn’t so accidental after all. Rumors started to fly about suicide and homicide. At school, speculations were made about me being involved. It was awful. I mean, he was my best friend. Anyone that was kind to me, the others would tell them that they were next.”

“I had no idea,” I say. Dad’s story is so similar to my own, so painful also. “Dad, how did you make it through the rest of school? And what happened?”

Dad exhales slowly. “I barely made it through passing. It wasn’t easy and I still think about the things they said to me. Whether friends or foes, you’ve got to become friends with everyone because everyone is really fighting the real enemy; yourself, and others can help you win that fight.”

I nod but don’t reply; I’m too busy thinking about everything he’s said.

Dad leaves me and keeps Mom from bothering me for the rest of the day. He wakes me up in the morning, telling me to ‘go fight and don’t let them get to you. Friends may come and go, but foes do too.’

—Leah

 

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