Friday 25th March 2006
I sat swirling my food around my plate, my lips pursed as I thought for the millionth time today about it. It was just me and my grandparents since Logan was out with his friends. Just not having him here now made me realise how empty this place really is without me. He would always be the one I'd run to and tell him my woes, but now I was alone. Again.
"Not hungry?" My grandpa asked from the head of the table. I glanced up at him, seeing he was finished, my grandma washing up.
"Not really." I mumbled, pushing my plate away. I felt kind of sick honestly.
"I know you don't like talking about it, but what did Seth do?" He asked calmly. I let out a small sigh.
"I've been thinking about it all day."
"We know." My grandma said, coming to sit down, wiping her hands on her apron. "Tell us darling, it might make you feel better. It's no good keeping it pent up inside."
I breathed out, looking to my plate, twirling my fork in my hands. "He's so strange. I know all boys are strange, but he... I don't understand. Why can't he tell me anything any more?"
"He has a lot going on sweetie." Said my grandma. "Do you remember the week your-"
"Yes." I said hastily. "Of course. It was awful. But he has me. When I saw him yesterday, with all those guys, looking so happy..." I sniffed. "He said he'd tell me if he could. That if I only remembered..."
"Remembered what?" My grandpa asked.
"I don't know. He said something about legends..."
"Okay..." My grandpa sighed, stretching his arms out. "I know some legends. Told on fishing trips, over camp fires. Your father would make friends as a child and come back and tell them to us and his sister."
"Scared her out of her wits." Grandma chuckled.
"Yes, well," my grandpa smiled ruefully, "he was a good story teller. I'm sure he exaggerated a bit." He looked to me. "Is that all he told you?"
"He said it was one far back." I told him numbly.
"Hmm..." He sat back in his seat, crossing his arms. "I faintly remember your father telling me an ancient one on a camping trip. The Spirit Warriors, if I'm not mistaken. The Quiluetes were people of magic, and when their tribe came under attack, they'd leave their body and use the elements to scare them away, since their tribe was small. Then there was another one," he stroked his chin, "something about the tribal leader being betrayed while in the spirit world and having to share a body with a wolf. But he could change back into a man and saved the tribe or something like that... I'm not sure, my memory isn't the best these days."
"Share his body with a wolf?"
"Yes, I'm pretty sure about that."
I shakily stood from my seat.
"But, they're just silly legends Evelyn-"
I ignored them, running up to my room, sitting on my bed in the dark, breathless. Remember. Seth had once told me a story like that... that the Quiluete were magical. Was that what he meant? Was that what he wanted me to remember? I swallowed back my tears, remembering the beasts that protected me in the forest. The wolf I saw eat the doe. What did this all mean?
I shuddered into my blanket, hardly daring to move as I remembered the black wolf. It could have killed me and Logan if we were just metres closer to the river. I felt confused, feeling as if I was losing my grip on reality again. Screwing my eyes shut, I desperately tried to remember Seth's face, the smoothness of his palms, the grin he wore. Don't forget. Not again.
The next day
I awoke early and formed my plan.
Obviously I couldn't figure this out on my own. My grandparents knew too little of the legends and if my father was alive, I would've asked him. But he isn't. So I gathered my courage as I dressed myself, taking my old canvas satchel and placing the essentials in. I quickly scribbled a note for my grandparents, telling them I was gone and not to worry. I'd be back soon. Hopefully before lunch.
Then I set off into the brisk morning, my breath forming in icy particles before me. I felt better today, more assured with myself. I had a purpose, is what I'm trying to say. And that purpose was to find out what Seth had been keeping from me. I knew he wanted me to know. It was only my lack of wit standing in the way.
I knew the path to the reservation like the back of my hand. I moved like a ghost, quickly and fleetingly, aware of my surroundings. Through the forest was the quickest way, and the way I knew the best. Though I was still afraid, I was stern. I was brave.
For him. For my Seth.
Upon reaching the reservation, I pulled up my hood and narrowed my eyes, trying to remember the way. It came to me when I walked past the school. As I began to get closer, my fear quickly returned. No. This is for Seth. I brought myself over the dirt track and to the front door of the small, red painted house that looked like a tiny barn.
I knocked heavily on the door, the windowpanes vibrating. Standing back, I held my breath, pushing back my hood.
The door opened to a man in a wheelchair- a man I knew. He recognised me instantly and narrowed his eyes at me.
"What are you doing here so early miss Hund?"
Mr Black had taken some classes at the school for us over the years. He was a very hardy man and knew his stuff. He always regarded me cautiously but didn't block me out like the other elders. That was because he was friends with Harry, and therefore like an uncle to Seth.
"I need to talk to Jacob." I told him. "I really, really need to."
Mr Black sat back in his wheelchair. "He's asleep."
I looked over him to the small, cramped house. Mr Black didn't want me to see Jacob, that was evident. I felt too nervous to challenge him. I bit my lip, racing through my mind for answers.
"Jacob would sleep for days if he wanted." Mr Black chuckled. I smiled at him and sighed.
"Okay. I'm sorry to ask this of you, but could you tell me where chief Swan lives?"
He narrowed his eyes again. "Why?"
"His daughter. I need to talk to his daughter."
Bella. That was her name. I remembered Seth telling me about her and her connection to Jacob before his father died. I knew Seth admired Jacob, idolised him, and I can't blame him for it. Mr Black looked weary of me as I squared my shoulders. I knitted my hands together.
"Please, Mr Black. Seth said I needed to remember something, and Bella is my only way to it. Please."
He sighed and after a moment spoke. "They live on the edge of town in a small two-story white shackled house, right next to the forest. I'm sure Bella is getting ready for school some time soon but-"
"I'll get her. Thank you!" I whipped around and began running down the driveway, my heart pumping like mad. I began to follow the road to Forks, my feet as determined as my mind.
It was a long journey. It took me a good hour and a half, but finally, finally I got to the edge of town and the neighbourhood I was sure where Bella and her father lived. I had eaten an apple and a sandwich, but my stomach was still grumbling. My legs ached and I breathed in, preparing myself.
I found the house. A large, rusty red truck stood outside it, the grass dewy around it, the leaves fluttering in the trees. My throat was tight. Nervously, I meandered up to the front door. Breathing in, I knocked on it four times, feeling all shaky.
I heard someone curse as they ran down the stairs and I braced myself.
A pale, bleary eyed girl answered the door in old pyjamas. She looked me from my feet to my eyes, and then stayed there. "Umm... can I help you?"
"Are you Bella Swan?" I asked quietly. She nodded acutely. "I'm Evelyn Hund," I extended my hand for her to shake. "I know Seth Clearwater."
Her eyes popped as we let go of each others hands. "As in... Harry Clearwater's son?"
I nodded. "He told me you are a friend of Jacob Blacks."
She bit her lip. "What's happened?"
"Nothing," I assured her, "its just... I need to talk to you. Its urgent."
She looked behind me. "Did you walk here?"
"Er... yeah." I smiled nervously.
"Well, I guess you can come in. If its that serious."
"It is." I assured her.
She brought me through the small house and to the kitchen where she quickly grabbed a granola bar. "Would you like some coffee or tea?" She asked, turning around. I could hear a humming noise far away.
"No thanks." I felt too nervous to even comprehend hot beverages.
"O-kay," she came over with a glass of water, and we both sat down at the small breakfast table. "What's going on, Evelyn?" She asked in a quiet voice, opening her breakfast. I caught on instantly that she was shy, just like me. That made me a little bit more comfortable.
"It's Seth." I mumbled quietly, looking down to my hands. The weight of the situation suddenly presented itself and I struggled to keep the tears at bay. "He's changed. He... he told me to remember... remember the legends... that he couldn't tell me what was happening to him if he wanted." I sniffed, crumpling my shaking hands together. "I've known him for a long time... he's my best friend. I'd do anything to get him back. So please," I whispered, looking up to her with glimmering eyes, "please tell me what I need to know. He said you and Jacob are like us. Jacob would tell you anything... wouldn't he?"
Tears burst in her brown eyes and she looked away from me, out the window. "Jake... well, Jake isn't really talking to me any more."
"But he did tell you, didn't he?" I whispered hopefully. "Seth means everything to me... more than my own life... more than anything."
She looked to me. "More than anything?"
"Yes." I confirmed, closing my eyes briefly, a tear falling from my right eye.
"Come with me." She whispered suddenly, grabbing my good arm and taking me to a tiny laundry room. The machine was on and rattled loudly. She gazed to me, her eyes large and brown. "Evelyn, you love Seth, right?"
I swallowed and nodded. "Yes."
"Good. Its very, very important that you don't let that go. No matter what happens. You never let that go." She nodded to herself. "I hardly know you, yet... it feels as if I do." She smiled sadly. "We're both caught up in this, huh."
I smiled and sniffed, tears still in my eyes.
"Okay." She breathed deeply in. "I can't tell you myself. I'd get in... very big trouble for that. But," she lowered her voice to barely above a whisper. "In my room there is a book. It is calledQuiluete Legends and Lore. You get that book, and you read it with a mind that all of the legends are true. That the book is not fiction, but real life. Can you do that for me?"
I nodded. "Yes. I'll do that."
"Then you'll know. It's a scary world, Evelyn, but a world worth living in if you are in love." She smiled, and with that, she walked out of the room and I could hear her climbing up the stairs. I didn't know exactly she was being so quiet, but her eyes told me that this was a deeply treasured secret. I didn't know what I was getting myself in for, but I knew it was worth it for Seth.
Bella drove me home before she had to go to school. I held the book tightly in my hands and she smiled sheepishly at me as I waved and walked up to the house. I watched her truck leave, wondering what world I had just walked into and if Bella was very different from me at all.
My grandparents were outraged that I had left but I promised them it was for the greater good. I now refused meals and retreated to my room, curling up on my window seat, reading the book. Beautiful pictures were in it, depicting the Spirit Warriors and their totems. I brushed my fingers over the title of Chief Taha Aki. As I read, my memories gently made their way back to me. Flickering flames, gentle smiles, the smell of hot dogs and the beach. Seth's birthday. The tears brimmed in my eyes again as I delved deeper into the rich history, imagining all of this was true, and what it meant.
Late that night I wandered outside, pulling on my scarf and coat, venturing into the forest just outside the house. It felt so surreal... yet so realistic at the same time.
"Seth?" I whispered into the cold. "Seth... if your there... I think I know." I gently walked deeper into the woods, holding onto trees as I went down a small hill. "I think I've known all along, actually." I said, standing in a tiny clearing. "It's not me who's crazy. It's the world."
"The world is pretty crazy." He said softly, coming forward behind the trees, the moonlight illuminating him. He wore nothing but shorts, his hair in disarray, his skin crusted with mud. I smiled, the tears yet again in my eyes.
"When I was in hospital, when the world was too painful to live in, I dreamt of a forest. It was beautiful. It held all my hopes." I bit my lip, looking down. "Then it changed into something darker, but I wasn't afraid, because the beasts were there to protect me." I glanced up to him, seeing his eyes were warm. "I knew each of them. They guarded me and kept me safe. They brought me back to life. Just like you did." I swallowed and a small smile lit my face, the tears making paths down my cheeks now. "I know who you are Seth. And though you're a beast, you are beautiful."
He let out a shuddering sigh and then ran to me, gathering me in his arms and hugging me tight. "I knew you'd figure it out." He laughed in my ear, gazing to me and gently brushing my tears away with his fingers. He smiled and I noticed tears in his eyes, too. "I couldn't live without you knowing."
He huddled me closer to his warm chest and breathed me in. I momentarily thought of Bella, and how she could possibly know how I was feeling. Because this was love. It was frightening and it was dark at times, but it was acceptance. Acceptance that hearts could break and be mended, acceptance of the beasts in humans, acceptance that though I was an orphan, Seth did love me. I knew he did, though he had never told me and I had never told him.
We stayed locked in each others embrace for a long, long time. I could hear and feel his thumping heartbeat and I was sure he could hear mine. I didn't quite know how this worked, whether he could move into the spirit world or just remain in a wolf form, but it didn't matter. He was here, like he always promised. He was holding me, and all was well.
"I've got to show you something." He murmured after a while, pulling back to take my good hand.
"What is it?" I asked, blinking tiredly as I followed after him into the darkness.
"My spirit." He looked around to me and smiled.
"Oh." I whispered, gazing around myself as we moved deeper into the forest. "Seth?"
"Was the black wolf somebody you know?" I asked him, feeling slightly nervous as I remembered the wolf baring his teeth at the doe and her fawns. His hand softened in mine as he faced me.
"Sam Uley. That was him."
The breath went out of me and I felt my bottom lip quiver. "Does he hurt you?"
"No." He smiled as we came to a stop. "He was very hungry."
"Have you... ever killed something?"
He winced. "The first couple of days... well, I got so hungry Eve..." He sighed. "It happens to all of us. I hate eating raw meat, but I needed it."
I nodded, letting go of his hand. "I understand."
He sighed. "You don't have to be afraid of me, Eve. I won't hurt you."
Gazing to him, I knew he was being absolutely honest. "I know you won't." But, deep down, I knew he was one of the only people on this earth who could utterly ruin me.
He began to back away and my eyes widened. "Where are you going? Are you leaving me here?"
"I'll be back in a moment." He smiled reassuringly to me. "Stay here, okay?"
Biting my lip I nodded, looking down to my feet, the tips of my fingers getting very cold now. I closed my eyes, trying to assure myself that everything was okay. Seth wouldn't leave me here in the middle of the forest. I tried to calm my trembling limbs and I sniffed.
A soft sound made my eyes flutter open and I looked up, freezing in my place as I saw the creature before me. It was a tall, gangly sort of wolf, the colour of his fur sandy. He stood a metre in front of me, looking so calm, his eyes an honest, warm brown.
It was him, his spirit, and I could have recognised him as if I had seen his human face. It was Seth- the Seth I knew, and though I had missed him so much after the past few days, it all suddenly didn't matter. Now he was here. His spirit form was before me and it stunned me, honestly, that he would let me see it.
He gently bowed his large head to me and I let out a breath, my heart pumping wildly as I gingerly moved forward. He bowed deeper as I came closer. I pulled out my slightly shaking hand and gently rested it upon his head. He let out a soft sound and I smiled, coming forward further and running my hand to his ears. He whined and I laughed, fuzzing his hair and softly kissing the top of his head.
I let go of him and he backed up, his head still bowed to me as he scampered away. My eyes moistened and I shakily smiled, knowing the world I stepped into was very much the one Bella lived in.
He returned sheepishly, keeping his head down, a distance still between us. When he finally looked up to me, I knew it sealed some kind of fate for me. I yearned to know more of this frightening world, of him, of what he had gone through in the past few days. I then grinned at him, a full fledged I'm-so-proud-of-you grin and he ran forward, pulling me up and hugging me tightly. I giggled as he spun me around and placed me gently on the ground. It felt as if the world had balanced out. Before, it was like I was the one embracing him, keeping him as close as I could because we had so little time together. But now he was the one hugging me, twirling me around, laughing. Not that I could pick him up, anyway.
"Okay," he gently placed a strand of hair behind my ear, "now it really begins."
END OF PART TWO