Again just before I start, I would like to add that since Leah has left La Push and has settled down in North Vancouver at college, she has become a more normal and happy person. I didn’t want her to be all doom-and-gloom, but rather quite cheerful and in high spirits with a new life. She now has good friends, a crush, enemies, college classes, a job and an apartment.
- Leah, Clearwater
I’d been in North Vancouver for a few months now and I was pretty happy. I was enrolled in the local college, had some new friends, was enjoying my courses and even had a part-time job along with a near-by apartment. Life was good at the moment and for once I no-longer felt sour and depressed – I was perky and enjoying life.
I had lived with my Aunt Maggie to start off with, but I felt restrained. I wanted to get out there – experience life first hand without being held back or caged. She had helped me find my college accommodations (although I was welcome at her’s at any time), and even paid the rent for the first few weeks while I got started at my waitressing job a few blocks away at a local restaurant.
“I’m fine mom, you don’t have to come and visit again that soon,” I chimed through the phone to my mother when I got home after my Psychology class.
I could hear Seth in the background shouting, trying to talk to me; that got me laughing – my brother actually wanting to talk to me! Has my new-found happiness made his brotherly affection for me increase? “Oh honey, we miss you terribly. Can’t you come home for a visit –” she sobbed through the phone miserably.
I interrupted her. “The semester doesn’t end for at least another two months. I promise I would if I could.”
“You will be home for your fathers… uh…” her voice cut off from the phone line, but I already knew what she was going to say.
I grimaced painfully as I sought the confidence to speak the words. I swallowed the lump in my throat, “I will be home to visit father’s grave,” I promised, my eyes glassy with tears. It would be the anniversary of my father’s death soon and we were all visiting his grave together. I looked at my watch, “Oh mom. I gotta go; I’ll be late for my next class. Can we talk later?”
“Of course, sweetheart. Do be careful,” she crooned in motherly tone.
“I will. Tell Seth I said ‘hello’ as well.”
There was a muttered ‘yes I will’ and the phone line went dead. I put the phone back in its receiver and dashed to resupply my bag with my books for Astronomy. When I had locked the apartment door and stepped outside, the cold wind cooling my flushed face, I met up with one of my friends.
Ben wasn’t from around North Vancouver either and we had met up on our first days at the college – we also had Astronomy together – we got on like two peas in a pod, except we weren’t all snuggled up and we definitely weren’t in a relationship sort-of-thing. Ben was gay; but, that didn’t bother me. He was just a great friend. A great listener.
He ran his fingers through his blonde hair nervously as we entered the coffee shop to grab a drink before class. Ben liked the boy at the counter, and his name was Jeremy. Ben smiled, a timid smile, as we approached the counter. “Do you want to order?” I asked Ben as my gaze strode towards Jeremy.
“Of course. Do you want the usual?” he chirped in enthusiastically.
“I’ll just have an Espresso today,” I replied.
Ben’s eyes lit up, “What’s with the sudden change?” He punched my shoulder playfully while smoothing out his T-shirt, trying to make himself more presentable for Jeremy.
“I just feel peppy today.”
“Peppy, hmmm? Is that because smoking hot Joshua is going to be in class today?” he laughed.
I smacked him – not hard, just as a response. “Quiet,” I hissed through my teeth. It was true that, I, Leah Clearwater who had never really looked at a boy before because of all my wolfy charm and abilities, actually had a crush on a boy. Joshua Watson to be exact. He was the nicest guy in school; but what made my crush worse was that Hannah and her copy-cat crew were after him as well.
The mean girl crew consisted of: Hannah Pickering – aka: The Leader – with her long golden locks and baby blue eyes. Then Tara Leigh, a tall slender girl with short brown curly hair whose father was a fashion designer – and then there was Georgina Rink. She was a smaller but plumper girl with shoulder length hair that was straightened, her cat eyes always scowling at me.
They never had liked me, even when I started at the college they hated me. What for? I had no idea. They now hated Ben because he hung out with me, but he didn’t mind. “Those hags from hell couldn’t have me if they tried their best, I’m too good for them,” Ben snorted. I said I was sorry. Every time they tried to sabotage my chance of getting closer towards Joshua I just chuckled at how I could leap into a wolf and rip their heads off. (I haven’t been in touch with my wolf side for a while, for now I felt steadier on two legs!)
“He wouldn’t want me even if I launched myself on my knees and begged him to go out with me,” I said.
Ben chortled, “Don’t be stupid. Your exotic and beautiful; any guy would be lucky to have you, Leah Clearwater. Now stop moaning and let me see my guy,” he protested and walked away leaving silent laughter on my lips.
I watched him at the counter for a while chatting to Jeremy. I waved when he noticed me, but my mind wandered. I scanned over every booth in the coffee shop; inspecting for any familiar faces in the crowd, but to my avail there were none.
Suddenly, my heart longed to see the faces of the La Push pack again – Jacob, Seth, Paul, Jared, Embry, Sam… I lingered on his name but nothing came. There was no throttling pain and my heart didn’t feel like it wanted to snap. Was I cured?
Out of the blue, lightening roared before my eyes. All I knew was someone new walked into the coffee shop – russet skin, almond eyes, tousled hair like Seth’s and a smile that made my heart leap into my throat – and his hand brushed against mine setting my skin alight with electricity. Was he the boy from the dreams I’ve been having lately? And why is he here?
My eyes were magically opened for the first time in my life and I kept them on the new boy every second without even blinking.
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