A beautiful day starts with a beautiful sunrise.
Sonia smiled at the iridescent sky as the casement window she just opened hit the wall.
She looked down at the window box. The plants she bought recently bloomed like a baby’s first smile.
"Aww," she cooed, leaning on the windowsill. Her eyes followed her fingertip as it traced a petal from the orange in the middle to the bright yellow at the edges.
“Smooth like velvet.”
She took a deep breath. Scentless, she thought, inspecting a thick water-retaining leaf between her fingers.
“You’re a survivor,” she said, her voice still hoarse from sleep.
Plants like these had relinquished their fragrance in favour of endurance—just like her. That was why she bought them. She needed something she wouldn't kill. A reminder, that even broken, you can thrive, you can live again.
Her home, her sanctuary, was mindfully decorated. Every single item had a meaning, everything was purchased after doing some research and set in place for a reason.
She sat on her usual chair by the window. Her breakfast was on the coffee table next to her. A smoothie in a purple mug with a picture of a white dandelion blown all the way to the other side—a symbol of a new beginning—and French toast the way she liked it, toasted in butter with a pinch of salt.
Her phone rang at the same time every morning. Without looking at the number, she knew it was her father. Even at the age of twenty-seven, she still enjoyed his attention. Their daily chatter put a smile on her face.
"Good morning, Dad."
"Good morning, my little miracle! How are you today? Is it a good day or a bad day?"
His soothing voice caused a warm feeling to spread in her chest.
"It will be a wonderful day. I can tell."
"That’s my girl. What got you so optimistic?"
"My new flowers blossomed. They're as beautiful as I had hoped. Wait, I'll send you a picture."
She snapped a picture and sent it to him. "What do you think?"
"They are beautiful, indeed."
She beamed at his comment. After a moment of hesitation, she said, "Today, I'm going to the wolves' territory. They requested someone to check their security system."
"I know. It came up in yesterday's meeting. I know it'll make you nervous, but it’s a good opportunity for you to meet new people. You don't have to socialize if you don’t want to. Do your job and leave."
"But, Dad. They are wolves. I don't know anything about them. I spent last night googling them. What if I offend them? What if—"
"Don't worry, Sonia. They're good people. They've been our clients for a decade now, and I know some of them personally. They'll like you. Just be yourself."
She fidgeted self-consciously, wiggling her toes inside her fluffy slippers.
"You know, Dad, if I act like who I am, they’ll run to the hills, wolves or not."
Her father's laughter boomed through the phone speaker.
"Don't say that, Sonia. You're the kindest, sweetest person I know. Don't overthink things. Treat it like just another day of work."
"Right. Yeah, ok. Just another day of work," she said, checking the time in the big clock on the wall opposite to her. She had just enough time to change and to drive to work. "Which reminds me," she continued, "I've to go now or I'll be late. See you this weekend, Dad."
"See you, miracle," said her dad before they both hung up.
Sonia went to her room to put on her simple brown work outfit. She looked at the mirror and crinkled her nose.
She took her large, pink bow cuff-bracelet from the drawer and wore it. She loved bows of any colour or size. She found them cute and that they added to any outfit she wore.
On her way out, she took her medication and put the tablet back at the same spot, ignoring the three figures eating breakfast at the kitchen counter—her unwanted friends.
Despite all her efforts to get rid of them, they were still living under her roof.
Istona pushed her chair angrily and left the room. Lana looked between both of them sadly while Zinn was busy eating her cereal from a Spiderman bowl, not paying attention to anything happening around her.
Without a word, Sonia took her keys and left the house.
The day dragged on uneventful and she was grateful for that until it was time to go to the wolves’ territory. Her father’s words kept her nerves from running rampant… they are good people… he knows them well… everything is going to be alright.
“You have reached your destination,” the GPS robotic voice spiked her nerves yet again. She stopped at the main gate at her right. A security man approached and tapped on her driver’s window. She gave him her name and the purpose of her visit, and he granted her access immediately.
The inside of the territory wasn't what she expected. Instead of a path leading to a house or a mansion, she found a little town with streets and shops. She drove along the street, having no clue where to go. The guard hadn’t given her instructions.
Should I stop and ask for directions? Should I go back to the guard?
Lost in her thoughts, she almost missed the bulky man who was motioning for her to stop. She slammed on her brakes and skidded to a halt. The man opened the door and sat in her passenger seat. Sonia tensed. However, before she could say anything, he faced her, sniffed the air and said, "Hi, I'm Vincent. I’ll show you to the pack house."
She hesitated for a moment, then smiled. "I’m Sonia. I’m happy to meet you. I wasn't sure where to go."
"It’s not far from here, up ahead on the left, but we have to turn onto the next street over to use the underground parking lot."
Three blocks ahead, he pointed out a large building, almost as big as her company headquarters. Nothing special stood out. She didn't know what she was expecting.
Perhaps a dark building surrounded by black clouds where evil witches fly on their broomsticks! She shook her head at her absurd thoughts.