I paced through the trees waiting for Sam to return, it had been almost an hour now! I still wasn’t sure how I felt about him. He obviously was not giving up his pursuit to win me over. He was nice enough but he was Leah’s boyfriend and he had just dumped her when he saw me. He didn’t even break up with her; just left her alone after she saw us together. Sometimes, he could be so sweet and I can’t imagine ever being with someone else. Other times…I missed Leah and knew what she would be thinking of us; then I hated him for what he’d done. Part of me wished that he would return to her, but the other part just wanted to forget it, and love him back. I knew I was falling more and more in love with him and further and further away from Leah every day. Maybe it was time for me to put my foot down before my heart got broken too…
He bought a house ‘for us . . . ‘ he’d said, ‘or just you,’ he quickly added when he saw my expression. He let me move in and stayed in his old house but frequently came to visit with or without an invitation. I had fun cooking for him and his friends who always gave tons of help on how to make everything taste better and ate as much as a herd of elephants.
And then there was his secret. Not just his, but the tribe’s. It seemed like more and more people found out nearly every week.
He’s already shared it with me, about why everything had happened the way it did and I’ve seen him and his friends in their other forms which was a little frightening. He explained why they exist and answers all of my questions. If only he would explain to Leah, then maybe we could set things right. He is so nice and handsome, but I still feel like Leah has a better claim on him. Maybe if she didn’t want him anymore, and as long as we could still be as close as sisters…
Sam suddenly burst through the trees, coming the opposite way I had been expecting.
“EMILY!” he shouted at me though I couldn’t tell if his words were meant to be harsh or simply filled with concern. He picked me up into an embrace that lifted my feet off the ground. “Where have you been? I told you to go home, not back here!”
“I was waiting for you to come back, Sam,” I explain. “I love Leah too you know; she’s still my cousin. Practically sister, although she apparently would not say the same anymore. You’ve hurt her you know. You need to just go back to her and forget me. I like you Sam, but you’re better off with her. She loves you so much. Please just go and give me my sister back. She hates me right now and I can’t live with that. Maybe someday, if she doesn’t want to be with you anymore than we—”
He lets go of me, not seeming to hear what I am saying and starts shaking. “Emily, that was something I needed to take care of on my own! You should have done as I’d asked! Leah won’t listen to a stinkin’ word I say. She doesn’t care. I love you, Emily. I need you, not her. I love her, but I’ve explained to you before; you are the one for me. Just deal with it ’cause I’m not going anywhere. It’s not like I get to control all of the . . . trashy circumstances. I know that it ‘s not fair for her. Life isn’t fair.” His words were half shouts, angry but I didn’t know if it was me or Leah that had him upset. I started backing away from Sam as the shaking grew stronger.
I yelled back, angry that Leah didn’t matter to him and I apparently didn’t either since he wasn’t listening to me. I was going to loose the only sister I had and it was all Sam’s fault. “Stop! Trashy circumstances? Is that what this is? Because to me it seem like you’re just acting to much like a Uley to know a good thing when you’ve got it. Leah was good to you and now you’re treating her like the last few years didn’t even happen. You’re so selfish! What about what everyone else wants? Or are you the only one who’s opinion matters? How can you be so mean to her? To me? You’re just like your father!” He takes a step toward me and I push him away, “I’ve heard the stories and—”
That’s when Sam lost it. His clothes exploded into a million pieces. His limbs seemed to reach out in every direction, his right paw catching my face on its way toward the forest floor. Sam’s sharp claws scrapped down the right side of my face and then my arm and shoulder. I cried out in pain and fell back towards the ground in shock.
It took him a moment to phase back—he seemed to be having trouble with it. Then in an instant, the monstrous wolf disappeared. He shouted my name again, this time his voice was for certain full of concern. Sam scooped me up into his warm arms and began running, murmuring words of comfort along the way.
A black fog threatened to engulf me, blurring my vision and making my head spin. I could feel warm liquid on my cheek and arm. My right eye closed and once it did, it wouldn’t open. I didn’t try to open it anyways because of the pain that came when I did. Instead I closed both of my eyes and focused on my other senses. I struggled to concentrate on Sam’s voice, on the gentle, steady rhythm of his foot falls. The smell of the forest around us, then the smell changed to home. I was faintly aware of when Sam climbed the steps to our porch and a minute later laid me on the couch. I could hear him talking to someone but as the warm trickled to my ear, I stopped listening, for a moment.
I was almost asleep before Sam hoisted me into his arms again and ran out the door. It was raining now. The soft, cold drips felt good on my skin. We had a car, but I guessed Sam thought it would be faster this way, and it probably would. Since he had first turned into a wolf, he could outrun most of the cars on the highway. Or so he told me. I never got to be with him when he was a wolf apart from one time. He said it was dangerous, and after what had just happened, I now believed him. I heard Jared, another wolf in Sam’s pack, join us but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Sam was practically flying as he sprinted through the forest along the edge of the town. I began to drift to sleep again. I felt so tired.
“Sam. Tired. Stop running? Sleep?” I mumbled the words the best I could knowing they would probably be incoherent.
“No Em, don’t go to sleep. We’re almost there baby. I’m so sorry. Hang on,” Sam whispered more gentle words in my ear.
Then Sam and Jared spoke. I only made out a few words; sleep, angry and pain.
Sam slowed to a walk and then paused for a brief second. There was the sound of a door opening and then the voice of a woman quietly saying, “Come in! Put her on the couch Sam.”I recognized the voice as Sue Clearwater’s. She continued speaking in hushed tones, “I don’t know what I can do to help with my limited medical knowledge but I will do what I can. You really should take her to Forks. They really could help more than me.”
Sam laid me on the couch and someone pulled a blanket up over my legs. “You know I can’t do that. It would just make things worse.”
“You will take her if I say. If I can’t do enough then—”
“Then I will take her, ” Sam finished. “But please—” his voice was full of pain as he choked back tears. “Do what you can.”
And that’s when I fell asleep.
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It was a few minutes past five—quitting time—so I hurry to finish straightening the boxes I’ve been putting on the shelf. Walking to the back of the store I take off my apron and grab my jacket. I leave through the back door, to avoid the customers, and slip my jacket on. Finally, it was Friday, the end of my work week.
There was a slight salty mist in the air that wasn’t really rain, but still felt nice on my skin. I walked toward the woods, and then I was on the trail towards home. I always used the trail as my route to get wherever I was going as another precaution to avoid seeing anyone. I strode slowly, admiring the evergreens that smelled so sweet and familiar this time of year. I usually wasn’t in any hurry to get home and spent more time walking there than necessary. The scenery was enjoyable and I never got tired of the nature around La Push. That part, I would miss when I finally left.
The small clearings along the sides of the trail—that Sam and I had usually kept free of weeds and plants—were now grown over by a light cover of vegetation, as I had supposed would happen. Occasionally families or tourists would go on picnics in them but this summer after they had grown over with weeds, they hadn’t been used as much. We used to lay out there on a blanket in the middle of the night and watch the stars when the sky was free of clouds.
As I passed the second clearing on my walk, which was more hidden by the trees than most, I was surprised to see it was clear of any plants. Maybe the city council had decided to—a flash of movement caught my eye, interrupting my thoughts. Then a giggle. I took a few steps back, since I had nearly passed it now. Standing between three young evergreens was two figures standing with their bodies closely intertwined.
I recognized them almost instantly, their postures familiar, and gasped. The man heard and looked up.
“Lee-Lee.” He groaned quietly, throwing his head back like a child who had been caught stealing candy.
I began to sprint towards home quickly. The even pace of Sam’s bare feet sounded behind me as he began catching up. Angry did not even begin to describe how I was feeling. How could he share our place with her? I ran faster, pushing myself harder. This was our place, not theirs! Even now, since he had left me heartbroken and alone, it was mine. The only place I had left to be completely alone. Sam’s hand caught my shoulder and spun me around, knocking me hard to the ground.
“Leah,” he began and paused kneeling to help me up. I growled in protest and scrambled to crawl away but he grabbed my ankle, bringing him back to the ground in almost an army crawl. His skin was still hot, like a scorching fever.
“Kîka!” I shout, spitting the Quiluete word for ‘get away ‘ at him.
Sam ignored what I said and began again. “Leah, I’m sorry, really . . . it just happened—I wish I could explain.”
Emily caught up with us then. “Hey. I—” She didn’t finish her sentence before Sam was shouting.
“Emily, go back to the house now!” He was trembling, his hand shaking my leg. I kicked and kicked trying to get free but his grasp was still tight.
“But, Sam, I—” Emily protested but was cut off by Sam again.
“Now!” He pointed in the direction we had come from.
Emily walked back towards the clearing, her head hung low. I wasn’t sure whether it was because of shame or grief. Sam let go of my ankle then, but moved to sit beside me when she was out of sight. I stood up, ignoring him.
“Lee-Lee.” He stood next to me and reached for my hand.
I jerked away from his reach and put a hand up to stop him. “Don’t even . . .” I shake my head. “That isn’t my name.”
“Sorry, Leah.” He paused. “Hey, I love you.” Sam’s words repulsed me. How could he even stand to say that when it obviously wasn’t true? I had seen them together more than once now and Seth’s gossip told more honesty than Sam.
I rolled my eyes and turned on my heel, stomping away. Sam grabbed my swinging hand with his fiery grasp.
“Leah, I love you. But Emily . . .” I tried to get away again while he spoke, his sharp words cutting at me. “Emily is the one I need to be with. I’m going to ask her to marry me. But I do love you, you and her. I know she is your cousin but . . .”
I finally broke away and started running home again. Why? was the only question in my head. Sam ran after me but not as quickly as before.
When I got home I slammed the back door shut, and kept my stride, running up the stairs. I caught a glimpse of Seth and Mom, who were in the living room watching me, confused. I slammed the door to my room too, and a moment later I could hear Sam’s deep voice talking to my mom downstairs. He had followed all the way. I stood hovering behind my closed door. What to do, what to do? I was hungry. And had to use the restroom. The sound of footsteps coming up the stairs forced me to hurry my decision. I locked the door and sat on my bed, already foreseeing what would happen.
Sam came down the hallway and knocked on the door, calling my name and trying to coax me out. I didn’t answer and pretty soon he gave up. The Sam I had known before would have sat down outside the door and waited. It might have taken me hours, but eventually I would have opened it to face him. Not anymore. Now he had a fiancee to go home to and I no longer mattered.
“Leah, hon, can you open the door please? He left.” This voice was soft but strong. The voice of my mother replaced Sam’s.
I sighed as I got up and unlocked the door, then laid back down with my face against my pillow as she walked in.
“What happened?” Mom asked me. She sat down on my bed, her voice was soothing but nothing could help.
“Didn’t Sam tell you?” I spoke quickly, hurrying to spit his name from my mouth. It always tasted bitter now, like a bad aftertaste to our relationship.
“Yes, but your perspective would help. And it might help you to talk about it. I know you have had a rough time but you’ve hardly spoken to anyone since before he was missing.”
“I hate Sam.”
“Don’t say that. He is just trying to do what’s right.”
“Yes it is. He ruined my life. Emily too.”
“Leah-h!” She said my name louder this time, not liking that I could say something so harsh about my ‘almost sister’.
“You’re on their side anyways! ” I half yell. “You wanted my perspective and you got it.”
Mom sighed and left the room, returning later and throughout the weekend to bring me food, which I picked at but hardly ate. It was almost like when I first saw them together all over again. Once again, my heart was broke. Broke, broke, broken, always breaking heart.
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Sam was sitting, waiting for me in the clearing as I expected him to be when I arrived. I make my way through the trees to him. The first time he brought me here, I had been angry. Leah had told me before of how they sometimes sneaked out to the clearings in the forest and watched the stars. But now, we had been back several times, and every time it got easier to forget that what we now shared had once been his with somebody else.
“Hey, beautiful, ” he says to me and pats the ground next to him. I giggle—I can’t help it—and sit beside him. He takes my hand. “How did it go?”
I’ve just gotten back from Makah, where I am going to teach weaving and other arts at the high school. The woman that taught before me, and through my time in high school had noticed that I learned the arts easily and knew more than most of the other students. When she retired, she had recommended me to the staff and when no one else applied, they called to offer me the job. I drove up and was greeted by the desperate new principal who hardly bothered with an interview, and told me that I could start once school did.
I shrug, “I took it. They were pretty desperate. I had never really thought that I’d return to high school, even for a job. That’s why I graduated early.”
“Well, you enjoy weaving and stuff, right? And I’ve seen your work. You’re probably the best they’ll ever get!”
I laugh at his enthusiasm. I probably will enjoy it, even if I’m not much older than the students.
“How are we going to work out the drive? I mean, I really love it here; the house, being with you, everything.” I’d been dropping hints like this throughout the last few weeks, showing him that I didn’t completely hate him for what he’d done anymore. I understood why life had gone in the direction it had and honestly, I was starting to really like Sam. Maybe even love.
He puts his finger on his chin and stares upwards, pretending to be deep in thought. I laugh again. He turns to me. “Maybe you could hire a wolf to ride up there and back. That way you can stay in the house, and with me, and still go to work. It would save money on gas, too.”
I laugh. “Yeah, but all that money would have to go to food—payment for the wolf.”
“A gentleman wolf would always share the food with his lady, of course.”
“A gentleman wolf wouldn’t have . . . “ left Leah the way he did. We both feel the unspoken words between us and the air is tense for a few minutes. “Sorry, ” I say, breaking the silence.
He shakes his head. “It’s fine. You’re right anyways. But—”
“But I understand,” I finish his sentence and then my stomach rumbles. He laughs and I groan, embarrassed.
“What would you like for dinner?” I’ve grown accustomed to the way Sam asks me questions anymore. Instead of asking me if I want something, he asks how I want it. The way he says it is like he will get me whatever I want whenever I want it without me having to really ask. It’s nice sometimes—like a forever promise, which it kind of is with imprinting.
“You pick. You never choose,” I tell him
Sam stands up without letting go of my hand and then helps me up. I take my hand back for a moment and brush the dirt from my clothes. He turns to face me, and his hands graze the side of my face, my jaw, my neck. “I choose to let you pick. I will like whatever you want, ” he says obediently.
I shake my head stubbornly and he sighs.
“If your stomach didn’t sound like Paul when he’s mad, I’d say we go back to the house and forget dinner. Put on a movie and—”
My stomach grumbles again and we both laugh. Sam kisses my cheek. I smile and lean my head against his chest.
“What? What’s this? Could it be? Is the gorgeous Emily actually flirting back for once? She doesn’t like me, does she?” Sam teases.
I giggle and mumble against his chest, “Maybe a little more than like.”
I don’t know whether Sam hears me or not because he throws his head back suddenly, mumbles something, and groans, sending me stumbling backwards a few steps. I balance myself, and then turn to see what he is looking at.
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“Time Passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. it passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.”—New Moon
The months of April, May and the entire summer have passed. I barely finished school last year, but somehow I did. I am dreading the day when summer ends and it will return. He never came back to school last year which made it more manageable, yet still painful. His absence was waiting for me around every corner, every classroom. Even in everyone else, as their eyes reflected back only my own empty gaze, void of his accompaniment. I don’t see either of them anymore. It’s better that way. Emptiness is better than refreshing the pain.
Seth is cheerful as always and is even hyped up for school to return. Dad spends most of his time with Charlie, the police chief of Forks, and Billy Black. They go fishing a lot more often. Mom spends her time with the mothers of Seth’s friends or cooking the fish Dad brings home. But I don’t care what they are doing. None of this really matters to me anymore. I’m heartbroken. My cousin, almost sister, has fallen in love with my ex-boyfriend. And even worse, he loves her back. I despise them more than the devil hates angels. If there are such things anyways. It sure doesn’t seem like it lately.
Seth kindly notified me, when they bought a house on the other side of La Push and moved in together. He keeps me updated with the town gossip even though I sometimes wish he wouldn’t. However, it was kind of him to let me know that I was officially out of Sam’s life with no chance back in. Ever. Not that I mind anymore. I used to, but now all I can do is hate them both.
Every day over the summer there were numerous messages for me on our phone’s answering machine and I received letters weekly in the mail. I didn’t even bother to check my email, knowing my inbox was sure to be full. The messages were deleted with out being listened to and the letters thrown away without being read. At first, Seth tried saving the letters, but after awhile he gave up and didn’t even bother to tell me when another arrived.
Mom got me a part time job in La Push ‘s small store, helping keep everything in stock and ordering more of whatever they needed. I don’t mind it very much. I hardly see anyone except for my boss, who I’ve known for years. She has been one of mom’s friends since before I was born. I work Monday through Friday, eleven until five, stocking the shelves out front during the slower hours to avoid customers that might know me. The job gives me extra money, which gives me hope. Hope for getting out of La Push, eventually. Maybe going to a community college or something in Seattle. I can only wish that someday, I can move on and away from the pain.
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There were no words to describe what I felt as I walked into the lodge. The sight I saw was so incredibly, unbelievably, heartbreaking. There is now way I will ever talk to Sam or Emily again.
Their names echoed in my head along with the repeating image of them kissing as I turned and walked back out the door.
HOW COULD THEY? It was like a news headline being printed over and over a million times on newspapers across the world: ‘Emily and Sam kiss! Leah is left heart broken!’
It made me wonder if this had been going on for awhile or if it was something new. Why would they kiss in public—in front of me and our families—while Sam and I were still together? Or at least I thought we were. He apparently had other plans.
I drove home at a speed that would have made a race car driver anxious. I don’t remember much of the drive—or getting home, or going to my room—but the next thing I knew I was lying on my bed.
I wasn’t sure of how much time had gone by as I lay there and cried my heart out. When I heard the others arrive, I locked my door and clamped my windows shut, yanking the curtains closed with a harsh jerk that left my shoulder sore. A while later, my stinging eyes flew open to the sound of something hitting glass. The lights were still on in my room and the house was quiet so I went to my window.
It was him.
I don’t know what I had been expecting. Maybe I had forgotten for a moment. Sam was standing below it, throwing pebbles at the pane of my window. His face was pleading. I closed the curtain and turned off the lights. There was no way I was ever talking to him again.
When the waves of crying washed over me once more, I shed no tears. Instead, my cries were silent broken sobs. I would not cry for Sam. Only for what could have been.
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I walked into the restaurant with my practically immediate family: Sue, Harry, and Seth. Leah, who I considered my sister, was on her way here. The ride over had been quiet without her. When we were together, our noise level ensured that everyone knew we were the best of friends.
The Blacks were already here, and so was Leah’s boyfriend, Sam.
He caught my stare with a reflection of my own expression on his face; there was shock. Surprise. Wonder . . . and a split second of love. What was that about? He stood frozen like a statue, still staring into my eyes. I couldn’t seem to break away my own gaze. I had known Sam for as long as he had been friends with the Clearwaters. I looked down and my heart missed a beat.
What is this? What just happened?
He moved toward me and then suddenly I was in his arms and he was kissing me. He pulled back to take a breath and, “Wh—” was all that I got out of my mouth before his lips were on mine again. I didn’t kiss back, but I didn’t stop him, either. I could feel the eyes of our friends and family boring into me—into both of us—with crazed feelings.
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Morning came more quickly than I would have liked. I stayed close to the phone while I was getting ready for the day and throughout breakfast. Mom and Dad went to Billy Black’s house for awhile because Rebecca, who I used to play with when we were little, was home from Hawaii with her new husband for a few weeks. I would have gone too—if it weren’t for Emily being here and because I was expecting Sam to call. I stayed home with Seth and Emily waiting for the phone to ring.
When the phone finally rang, I jumped up to answer it, but Seth had sensed my anticipation and got there before I did. It was Emily’s mom calling. I watched TV for the remainder of the morning with Emily and then we played board games. Mom and Dad got home a little after lunch time and went to work in the office. When the phone rang again, which wasn’t until around four that evening, I didn’t reach for it. Seth watched me for a minute before answering.
“It’s for you, Leah,” Seth told me, rolling his eyes.
I exhaled sharply and took the phone from him.
“Hey, Lee-Lee.” Sam sounded excited. His mood changes were kind of bothering me. He has been so distant and weird.
“Are you okay? Goodness! Talk about bipolar!”
“Sorry. Hey, let’s go to dinner at the lodge tonight. Six?” His tone was still excited but now quieter.
“Okay . . . just me? Emily is here again visiting.”
Sam paused thinking it over. “Okay, everyone then? Whole family? And the Blacks? I’ll call the Blacks. I heard Rebecca’s in town too.”
The Blacks had been friends with our family for forever. My Dad and Billy Black went fishing every weekend with the police chief from Forks. Mom had been good friends with Billy’s wife, Sarah. Their daughters, Rachel and Rebecca, who were twins, were my age and I had been good friends with them since we were toddlers. As we grew older though, Rebecca’s chose to hang out with her other friends while Rachel and I stayed closer.
“She is. Let me ask.”
I held the phone away from my ear and yelled, “Mom!”
“What Leah? We’re working.” My parents did a lot of business financial stuff for La Push and were often busy. I wasn’t sure exactly what they did but I knew it was important.
“Sam wants to go to dinner.”
“Okay.” I sighed knowing she hadn’t understood, so I stood and walked to the door of the office.
“I meant he wants us all to go to dinner. And the Black’s. “
“Oh.” She looked at Dad who shrugged, knowing the decision was up to her anyways. “Sure, we can do that.”
“Thanks! Lodge at six,” I said as I walked back to the living room.
I returned the phone to the side of my face. “We can go.”
“Sounds good. Love you Lee-Lee,” he spoke slowly and gently, truly meaning the words.
“Same at you, Sam! See you!” I spoke incognito, hiding the true meaning of my words from my teasing brother. The look Seth gave me when I got off the phone told said he knew what I had meant anyways.
“Yup,” Sam said.
I hung up the phone and headed up the stairs in a hurry, yelling down the stairs to Seth and Emily on my way, “We’re all going to dinner with Sam. Get ready!”
I ran into my room and then closet. I immediately picked out my favorite light pink laced top. I wasn’t sure if I should wear jeans or a skirt. Dressy or casual? After a few minutes and trying on several outfits I decided on black dress pants, keeping it neutral. Then I headed to the shower.
When I got out of the shower I pulled my hair into a half up ponytail, threw on my clothes and ran into my room. Emily was in there, fixing her hair; she had already changed into something nicer. Seth knocked on the door and I opened it while trying to decide on shoes.
“Mom wants you to make sure your chores are done before we go to dinner,” Seth told me as I ran around my room putting on make-up.
“Ughh,” I groaned. “Fine. Tell Sam I’ll be a little late. And tell Mom I’ll take the car.” I chose black sequined flats for shoes and slipped them on my feet and then hurried to do my make up. I hated that I would have to be late, but taking the car meant Sam and I might be able to go to a movie or something after dinner. I smiled at my reflection in the mirror as that thought came. Maybe being late wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Seth still stood in the doorway as he said, “I don’t get why girls get dressed up for everything.”
Emily laughed and then followed him as he went back down the hallway.
“See ya there, Lee, ” Emily said.
“Mhmm,” I affirmed, even though they were already gone.
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I fell asleep sometime later and didn’t wake up till eleven-thirty that same night. Snap! I nearly fell out of bed when I saw the clock but I caught myself before the noise could wake Emily. I was late meeting Sam! We usually met each night for a few extra hours together after ten or so once my parents were asleep. Sam would be waiting on the porch for me. I ran down the stairs, avoiding the creeks in the old flooring from years of practice. By the door, I paused and pulled on my shoes and then stood up and turned the knob.
Sure enough, Sam was sitting against the paneled wall by the door. His knees were pulled up against his chest and he was staring straight ahead. He looked up at me when I closed the door and crouched down beside him. Sam leaned his head back and closed his eyes as I ran my hand through his hair.
“Where to tonight?” I asked as he stood, taking my hand and pulling me up with him.
We walked around my house, heading towards the woods, and answering my question. Sometimes we went to the trail that trimmed the edge of the forest around La Push and talked or whatever, other times we ‘d go to his house and watch a movie or fix something to eat—which usually resulted in a food fight. When we had enough money, we’d drive to Forks or Port Angeles to a late dinner or a movie. I usually told my parents before we went out of town, though.
His skin was as heated as it had been this morning. As he walked and I limped, I raised my right hand—the one Sam was not grasping gently in his—and placed it across his forehead. It was just as warm.
“Sam, are you feeling okay?” I asked him. “Healthy I mean? You feel like you’ve got a fever.”
Sam waited a moment before he replied. “I’m fine, Leah.”
I watched his reaction carefully; he just looked straight ahead while we spoke. When we reached the trail, Sam let go of his grip on my hand. He pulled a small lantern out of the trees, where we had hidden it, turned it on and carried it to a clearing in the forest on the side of the trail. He turned and faced me once it was glowing brightly.
“Seriously Sam, what is going on? You’ve been acting so weird.”
“I wish I could . . . uhh,” he groaned, interrupting his own words.
I walked towards him, putting my arms around his neck, lacing my fingers into his hair.
“Hey, it’s okay. Shhh,” I hushed him.
He was shaking, and his skin was burning up, but I kissed him, trying to make up for our time apart. He held me close at first, kissing me back, but pulled away a minute later just as he had done earlier.
“Lee-Lee, I need to sleep and eat.” I tried kissing him again despite his remarks, but he pulled away once more. “I need to go home, Leah. I want to stay with you—really, I do—but not tonight,” he whispered to me.
I sighed but nodded. “Tomorrow?”
Sam exhaled sharply. “We will see. I, uh, have some things to take care of with Old Quil. I’ll call you in the morning. Promise.”
I sigh again. “Okay.”
I gave Sam one more quick kiss, turned off the lantern, then began walking back home with my hand in his.
“See you later,” I told Sam as we stood on my doorstep embracing each other. “I love you.”
Sam’s face showed no feeling as he brushed my hair behind my ear. “Love you, too.” Still no emotion.
I watched him leave and then went upstairs to my room; it was almost midnight. Emily was asleep on the second bed in ‘our’ room; there were two because she stayed over so often. I changed my jeans into sweatpants and crawled into bed. As I lay there, I tried unsuccessfully to avoid thinking about the things Sam had said. What in the world did Sam need to talk to Old Quil for? That made absolutely no sense to me. I shrugged it off my mind and focused on tomorrow. He said he would call me. I was so confused by all that had happened today, that it took forever for me to fall asleep. Sam was back. That was good. He was acting different, kind of like just before he disappeared. That may not be so good. He kept stopping our kisses and avoiding eye contact. Eventually, I fell asleep again into a quiet, dreamless sleep.
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“Lee, what happened?” a soft feminine voice whispers. Emily, my cousin, sister practically. Of course. I had forgot she was coming.
I open my eyes, “Hey, Em’.”
Emily jumped from where she was sitting on the twin bed in my room that she normally occupied during her stays. “Goodness, Leah! What happened?”
I sigh and look around; I’m back in my room with an ice pack on my swollen foot. “Went looking for Sam.”
Mom comes in my room, Seth following like an annoying puppy. Then Dad walks in, muttering to himself. He looks at my foot and up at my face. “They found him. Well actually, he found you and called us to come and get you since you were hurt.”
“What!?” I shout the word and fly out of the bed, throwing on the first clothes I find without a care for who was still watching. It surprised me that Sam hadn’t just came back here, that he wasn’t sitting next to my bed holding my hand when I woke up.
My foot throbs as I sprint down the stairs, out the door and up the road. No one follows me, expecting a reaction like this, I suppose. I got to the mobile homes and slowed down a bit, counting too fast and having to back up. I didn’t pause to knock at the door; instead I ran inside and flew smack into Sam. I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him with a ferocity that exhibited how much I had missed him.
He kissed me back at first then pulled away and spoke. “Wow, Lee.”
I frowned when he didn’t use his full nickname for me. I breathed slowly for a moment, clearing my thoughts. Whoa. Sam’s skin was smoldering hot where he was holding my hands between us; suddenly it burned me, like touching a hot stove.
“You’re skin is like, burning me.”
Sam dropped my hands and looked away. “Sorry.”
I looked at him confused. “Where have you been, Sam?” I said it some what accusingly, but I could not help it, he had been gone for weeks and I had missed him and almost every single day of school in that time. “You’ve had me worried sick.” Even when mom had made me go to school it was like I wasn’t really there without him.
“Out of town.” He still wasn’t looking at me.
“Obviously.” The word came out of my mouth harshly. What was he keeping from me?
“I need to go. You should go home. I’ll meet you later.” Sam said everything without looking back at me.
Then he walked out the door, into the rain that had started up. I stood in his house; watching him leave, walk towards town. The downpour didn’t bother him, although it soaked his hair and skin. I could have easily kept up pace with him, but I let him go, not wanting to make him more upset. I stared after him for a minute and then locked the door and headed home.
Emily and Seth were sitting on the floor in the front room playing checkers when I got home. I smiled at them, happy—despite Sam’s questionable mood—and headed towards the stairs, still limping.
“Oh my goodness! She smiled! She actually smiled! Leah smiled!” Seth jumped up and down shouting his teasing remarks and making Emily laugh.
Mom walked in from the kitchen. “Did you find him?” I nodded, and reached the stairs.
I wasn’t going to tell of Sam’s behavior today; he had acted so strangely and his skin was so blasted hot!
I went upstairs and turned on my iPod, providing a flow of soothing, familiar music floating into the atmosphere. My foot ached and throbbed as I lay down on my bed. My skin still felt torched by Sam’s burning skin. I wonder if he had a fever. That would explain the burn. He could probably stay over on our couch as he had before when he was sick if that was the case. Mom was one of the few ‘doctors’ the tribe had. Although none of them officially practiced medicine, they had the best knowledge of natural healing remedies.
Closing my eyes, I began drifting away to the sweet melody humming in my ears.
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Hey everyone! So I’ve been going through diary submissions trying to find some new volunteer fan-fiction writers for the site and stumbled across this gem. Her name is Annee, and she is going to be writing Leah’s Diary!
She is such a talented young writer, as you will see!
Her very first entry is up here! There is now a link for Leah on the side bar with the other diaries for easy access.
Please go ahead and give Annee a warm welcome. Here are her social network accounts so you can get to know her and say ‘Hi!’
Facebook page for her and her mom’s adorable hairbow business here.
Welcome to the Bella’s Diary team, Annee! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for Leah!
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