Thursday 17th September 2003
"I'll see you later, okay?" I glanced to Logan as I held onto the phone. He crossed his arms and I turned away from him.
"Okay." Seth replied. "Are you sure you're alright?"
"I'm alright." I mumbled. "I'll, err, talk to you about it later."
He sighed a little. "See you."
I hung up, feeling slightly guilty that I hadn't talked to him about Logan. I gently pulled on my thick jumper and turned to see the family was gathering. My grandpa was outside and breathing in the fresh air while my grandma was making sure she hadn't forgotten anything. Logan and I walked out together- I could tell he was nervous by the way he stared daggers at the car.
Rolling my eyes, I took his arm and he grumbled.
"Come on tiger! You can do this!" I encouraged. He narrowed his eyes at me as we came to the gate.
"This is your idea, Lynnie." He pouted. I smiled at the old nickname he used. He couldn't say my name properly, apparently, when I was born, and so resorted to Lynnie. My parents thought it was adorable.
My smile faltered and I sighed, gripping his arm tighter. "You'll do fine. Just let your heart out."
"That sounds horrible." He moaned as we got to the car.
I shook my head, letting go of his arm as we climbed in. The drive was quiet. My grandparents talked to each other about mundane things, and I knew they were trying to fill in the silence. I gazed out the window as the grey world flitted past quickly. I had wanted to tell Seth about Logan and what we were doing today, but for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to it. Would he understand?
When we got to the hospital, Logan enclosed in on himself. I grabbed his hand, towing him in, and he was like a cowering mouse. I could see the shadows of his former self disappear like yesterday. We had gotten him an emergency appointment with a psychiatrist last night when I had talked to my grandpa. Fortunately, he knew the doctors there pretty well since he had many fishing accidents in his time.
"We're here for Doctor Eathom," he asked at the desk. "Logan Hund?"
The nurse quickly found where we were supposed to go and soon we were waiting on the uncomfortable blue plastic chairs in the mental ward. Logan was twisting his palms in his lap and I glanced to him. His long blonde hair was falling into his eyes as he looked at the ground. I wanted to comfort him, but I didn't know how.
Eventually, his name was called, and he nervously disappeared into the room with my grandpa. My grandma pulled out a magazine. I bit my lip, pulling my legs up to my chest.
Chewing my lip, I listened to the far off noises of the hospital. I could hear a baby crying, and I craned my neck down the hall to see a young, bedraggled woman with dyed red hair with the baby on her hip. My grandma glanced over and shook her head.
"What?" I asked her quietly.
She sighed heavily. "It just reminds me of myself, and of your mother."
"How?" I questioned, my voice becoming fainter. My grandma sat back, placing her magazine down for a moment.
"We both gave birth young. Your father was a surprise, and he came when I was only twenty." She told me as she crossed her ankles. She was wearing her usual, casual bright clothes, sporting a light blouse and purple cardigan. She had several large bangles on her right wrist which made little sounds whenever she moved. "Your mother gave birth to Logan when she was eighteen." She glanced to the woman again who was now swinging her crying baby back and forth, cooing words coming from her. I deflated temporarily, thinking of my mom and the handful Logan must have been when he was a baby.
"Is it a curse?" I asked. My grandma chuckled, pulling up her magazine again.
"I hope not, for your sake my dear." She smiled, returning to her reading again.
After fifteen minutes sitting and worrying about Logan, I got up to grab a drink from the water dispenser down the hall. I chewed my bottom lip as I filled the little cup, shifting between both of my feet. Why was I so nervous? Logan was being seen by a professional now. I wanted to know what was going on, if he was okay. Just remembering him last night made me feel hollow inside. He had been so devastated, so completely different from the Logan I've always known.
I sat cross legged on my seat, humming to myself one of the tribal songs Seth had taught me over the summer. I knew I should've brought a book or something at the halfway point.
Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, they emerged from the room. Logan looked washed out and looked to me instantly as they came out.
"See you next week Logan." Doctor Eathom told him. He was a tall man wearing casual clothes- it looked as if he had been interrupted on a weekend of golfing. Logan nodded meekly and my grandpa turned to continue talking to the psychiatrist.
"Hi." I greeted, jumping onto my feet to give him a hug. "How was it?" I asked him as we began to walk out. He made a face but then smiled a little.
"Okay. I'll be seeing him twice a week from now on." He informed me. I beamed.
"See? Told you. You worry too much."
He laughed and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. "You worry too, you know. I saw how you were this morning talking to the Native kid."
I scowled at him. "Don't call him that!" I sighed. "His name is Seth."
"Alright, Seth." He grinned, and for a moment, I truly believed I saw the old Logan shine through.
When we got home, I was surprised to see Seth sitting outside the house. Carefully, I emerged from the car, and he stood from sitting on the porch steps. He smiled at me in greeting.
"Hi." He said happily.
"G' mornin'." I said, imitating him. He smirked, giving me a face, which I shot right back at him.
"So, what's going on?" He asked curiously, peering around to watch my family come out of the car. My grandparents were chatting with Logan quietly, who eyed me and Seth cautiously. I glanced back to Seth and took his arm.
"Let's go, huh?" I widened my eyes at him and he shrugged a little. I turned around to my grandpa. "I'm going to Seth's, grandpa, okay?"
"Alright. Have fun." He murmured. I grinned and spun around to Seth.
Once we were far enough away, I began to explain to Seth about what had happened. It was difficult to clarify it to him. I knew he didn't understand things such as mental illnesses, neither did I really, but he had made me part of his family, and I had to include him in on mine.
"He'll be alright, though." I finished, plucking a leaf from a bush as we walked through the forest. I knew Logan would be fine. He always was, no matter what.
Seth smiled sadly next to me, picking a leaf too. "You'll be alright too, Eve."
I let out a sigh and nodded. "I hope so."
"Anyway," Seth's smile turned to a grin. "I was going to tell you something."
"My dad got a call from the tribal education minister, and he told him the superintendent was going to come next week, before the start of school to talk to you and your grandparents."
My eyes widened. "Seriously?"
He nodded happily. "Yeah, they say they're really taking this seriously."
I beamed, hugging him without a second thought. "This is amazing! We could actually go to the same school!"
He laughed. "It would be hella awesome." He agreed. "But there's still a long way to go."
"But just the thought that they're taking this seriously makes me happy!" I bounced on my feet, taking his hand in mine and swinging it. "You've got to come too, Seth! He's got to know that we're friends."
"Best friends." Seth corrected. "I'll be there."
Tuesday 23rd September 2003
Clutching my coat anxiously, my eyes wandered around the room. I was in the principal's office of the Tribal School. It was quite small with wooden walls, and many pictures of smiling, tanned children were hung up. Some were even in grey tone. I tried to control my breathing as we waited for the superintendent to arrive. My grandparents sat on my right, Seth and his dad on my left. We had met them here ten minutes ago, and I felt better that Mr Clearwater was here as well as Seth. It was currently raining outside, and I couldn't help but feel as if it was a bad omen.
My grandparents were talking to Mr Clearwater over me and Seth. I ducked my head, my hair falling around me like a veil. Suddenly, I wished very badly that Logan was here. His outburst about my schooling made me feel more confident that we should go for what is morally right and him not being here made me more afraid.
Seth scooted his chair closer to me and I glanced to him, seeing he was giving me a sad smile. I let out a breath, sitting up and tucking the hair behind my ears. He nodded, sitting up straight too, and that was when the principal and the superintendent walked in.
"Hah-ch chee-eh everyone." Greeted the principal, who was a broadly smiling darkly tanned man who was wearing a red checked shirt.
"Hah-ch chee-eh." Seth and Harry said at the same time. The superintendent smiled as he joined the principal behind the desk. He was a large man with long greying black hair and a scruffy beard. He wore a dark blue suit. Seth glanced to me.
"It means good morning." He informed.
"Oh! Hah-ch chee-eh." I said quickly. They laughed.
"Good morning." The superintendent said, sitting down as did the principal. He placed a folder on the oak table. "I am Superintendent Moore." He told us.
"Mr Rivera," the principal introduced himself, standing up to shake my grandparent's hands and mine.
"Hello." I said, as did my grandparents.
"Now," Mr Moore opened his folder and I instantly saw a school photograph of myself and my name. "Evelyn Violet Hund, you're turning thirteen next April, am I right?"
"Yes, sir." I mumbled.
"Great," he looked up, "well, myself and Principal Rivera have looked at your case thoroughly and have made contact with Forks Middle School several times to authenticate their accounts."
"We also spoke to your lawyers and solicitors." Mr Rivera spoke, clasping his hands together. "And also to a Mrs Abigail Reyes?"
"My daughter." Grandpa said.
"We had to authenticate several private matters as well, as I'm sure you're aware of." Superintendent Moore said.
I paled. They had to make sure what had happened actually happened, that we hadn't made up that my parents had died. I began to feel a little sick and I sat back in my seat.
"And I have visited other tribal schools in the district just to see how a non-Native is in a full Native school." Said Mr Moore. I twisted my hands together. "There are some issues, but most of them all have enriched lives and many friends." He said, giving us a reassuring smile. "Obviously, you are a very special and talented girl, Evelyn, as your friend Seth told us."
My eyes widened a little and I swiftly glanced to Seth. He was beaming like an idiot. "You wrote to them?" I asked quietly. He shrugged, sitting back. I let out a little breathless laughter.
"And Seth is one of our brightest students, so we didn't have to authenticate his claim." Principal Rivera smiled.
"And so, considering all of this," the superintendent flipped over a page in his folder. He looked up. "We have decided to offer you a place in the Quileute Tribal School."
A beam formed on my face and Seth did a fist pump. They all laughed and I looked to Seth, wanting to hug him. We were going to school together!
"Of course, the issue of tribal traditions will make life a little difficult," the principal sighed, sitting back in his creaky chair. "There are days when we go to the beach and learn tribal-lore, along with trips to the forest and such, and as you know we have longer holidays but longer school days-"
"That's okay." I said confidently. "I like learning."
"As we've heard!" The principal laughed. "School begins on Thursday, and there are forms for you to sign," the superintendent handed over some papers to my grandparents and the principal began to explain each one. I turned excitedly to Harry and Seth.
"This is so great! But won't the elders be angry?"
Mr Clearwater smiled and sighed. "Yes, probably, but they know these things happen. They will get used to it."
"Eve would never take me away from the tribe." Seth grinned, wrapping a tight arm around me and squishing our faces together. "She loves me way too much."
I spluttered, letting out a laugh and forcing him away with a slap to the stomach. He choked but snickered.
The principal took us on a tour after the superintendent left for other business, and I learnt where my class was (only one teacher, only one classroom!). The library was one of the largest rooms, next to the mess hall, and the smell of books lulled me instantly. Outside, they had a small tennis and basketball court along with a football field. Picnic benches were by the doors to the mess hall and gymnasium, and the leaves on the trees swayed elegantly, creating shadows on the newly cut grass. It was a stone's throw from First Beach, which I could see from behind the trees.
"This year shall be awesome." Seth decreed as we walked through the field. I looked to my grandparents who were talking with the extravagant Mr Rivera and smiled softly. The past couple of months had been hard, but thankfully, I had met Seth. He was like a shining beacon of hope, giving me the same feeling I got every spring when I saw the violets bloom in the forest. He saw through the sadness that covered me like a veil and brought out the child in me. He was immature, idiotic and bedraggled. But he was right. I did love him in some strange way.
I grabbed his hand and placed my head on his shoulder. "It shall." I sighed happily, knowing the worst was over. For now.
END OF PART ONE