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Chapter 15

This has all happened so fast. First, I find out I’m a shape shifter, next I find out my mom hates me, then I decide to risk my life on some guy who my best friend is attracted to. Let’s hope I’m not crazy, which I am beginning to think I am beyond crazy, and way past help. We decided to wait until next weekend so we can plan it out a bit more. Alex is hoping to get more information from the pixies and hopefully even get their help.

In just a couple of hours I’m doing the unimaginable. Going to Oliver’s to be there when he tells his dad he is gay. I really do think he will take it easy. He loves his son; you can see it whenever he looks at him with pride. I don’t want Oliver to be there when we try to get Alex’s parents back. I don’t want anything to happen to him.

Before the week is over, Evan is going to show me a few tricks and help me shift easier. So far all I’ve been able to shift into is a tiny bird. I don’t think that is going to help me if we get into trouble. I guess I could always fly away, but then I’d leave everyone else behind. He says it will get easier, and I’ll be able to do more once I do it a few more times. His parents are stumped on why I can’t change into anything bigger since I had already changed into a lion. They think it is just because I have suppressed this part of me for so long, it is just taking a while longer than most.

I haven’t been to Evan’s house. His parents have come here to talk to me about everything that is going on. His parents are really nice\ and you can tell how much love they have for each other. I secretly wish that one day I have a love like that, one that can surely stand the test of time, but then I realize I have no one like that in my life. Not anyone that can accept me for me and my shape shifting part. Even if I wasn’t a shape shifter, I don’t think anyone would even remotely be interested in me. His mom Avery is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, with long jet black hair, sharp cheek bones, a soft chin, and a small nose. His dad Alexander has short jet black hair; his face is masculine, very strong. Evan is such a nice mixture of both his parents. It always makes me wonder who I look more like, Lillian or my dad. I wish I knew what he looked like. Even just his name would have been nice. People have found their parents with much less information than that. There isn’t even a name for him on my birth certificate. I wonder if there is any kind of supernatural who can look into your past and tell you. “Wouldn’t that be nice” I think to myself.

Walking up to Oliver’s house, my hands start to feel clammy so I rub them on my pants. I don’t want to admit to Oliver that this might not work out as well as I think it will, I think he can tell how nervous I am though.

“Hey Riley. How has the first week of school been for you? Oliver said you were sick so you missed a day. That’s too bad. I hope you are feeling better now.” Mr. Mabrey says to me after I walk in. That’s the thing with us, we just walk into each others houses. It isn’t awkward or strange. We’ve just been friends for so long that it is normal. We are like family. Oliver’s dads name is Paul. He is on the short side and a little bit on the chubby side. Looking at the wall I see Carla, Oliver’s mom. She passed away when he was 9. He doesn’t talk much about her, but she is beautiful. They share the same dark features, dark hair, a slight natural tan to their skin, and brown almost black eyes. There is just something magical about her, I get lost staring at her picture when I hear Paul clear his throat. “So what is going on? Oliver has been a little... Weird lately. Is something the matter?” He asks me looking a little uneasy.

“Dad who are you talking to? Oh hey Riley, I didn’t know you were here yet.” Oliver says as he walks in the room.

Trying not to look nervous, I smile and shrug “I just thought I’d talk a bit with your pops first.” Oliver has a little chill run through his body, I notice him shake a little. I give him a sincere smile and a nod.

“I guess I’ll leave you two kids alone.” His dad says with a sigh, I give Oliver a look as if to say “You need to say something right now”. Hopefully he understands what I am trying to say to him.

“Uh, dad. Can you wait a minute? I umm, need to talk to you.” Oliver says looking at his dad, I can already tell there are tears brimming his eyes. Paul looks at his son, nods, and sits on his favorite chair that is closest to the TV. He has spent a lot of time there since Oliver’s mom passed. When he isn’t at work, he is in this chair. Oliver says he sometimes finds him there in the middle of the night sleeping or looking at Carla’s picture. He has two pictures of her beside his chair. One is of their wedding day, but with just her. There is a beautiful tree behind her; I think it is a weeping willow with its branches blowing in the trees. My eyes play a trick on me as I can almost see them swaying in the wind. Rubbing my eyes, the branches stop moving. The other picture looks like it was taken just after they had Oliver. I can see she is in a hospital gown and he looks so small. She has a look of pure joy on her face, holding Oliver and looking down at him. She was so beautiful I think as my heart starts to ache for Oliver and Paul. His dad never decided to date again after that though. He always tells Oliver “Once you’ve been with the one, you can never truly be happy with someone else. They are your one forever, even once they have gone. I hope you are lucky enough to find your one Oliver. One day it will happen for you. When it does, you’ll know. I cannot wait to meet that person when the day comes.”

I sit beside Oliver on the couch. This is our couch, we sit and watch movies, the latest TV showes, but not the stupid “reality” tv, because we all know it is scripted. Sometimes though if we need a good laugh we will put one on, and laugh and point out which parts are probably scripted.

Oliver clears his throat and starts “So, dad, I uh..” He stops and looks at me. I just smile and nod.

“What is it son? You know you can tell me anything. I don’t want you to keep secrets from me. You haven’t gone and got yourself and someone else into a situation have you?” He asks and looks at me when he says someone else. I start laughing because that is so the opposite of what is going on here.

Oliver then starts laughing, especially when his dad sighs like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders. “No dad. Not even close. To be honest, that will never EVER happen.” His dad has a confused look on his face, then his eyes widen when he realizes what Oliver is trying to say.

“You... you’re...” he stutters.

Oliver doesn’t say anything, just nods his head and then looks down at his hands that are placed in his lap. I don’t think he has realized his hands have been moving the whole time. He has been picking under his nails since the conversation started. He doesn’t notice because his head is down, but his dad has a smile on his face. I kick his leg to get his attention back up, he looks at me and I nod my head in his dad’s direction. He looks over and his dad is smiling at him with a proud father look on his face.

“You know what I am trying to say right dad?”Oliver takes in a deep breath and as tears start falling from his eyes he says “I’m gay.”

“Of course I know son. When you always bring Riley around, and you’ve never made any advances towards her, being as pretty as she is, I suspected that you might be. I never wanted to ask you outright though, just encase I was wrong about it. Plus, I wanted you to be able to tell me when you were ready. I didn’t want to push you away.” His dad explains to him, his tears fall freely too. I blush when he calls me pretty. I’ve never heard anyone really call me that before and mean it anyways. His dad continues “So what made you want to tell me now? Did you find your one?”

Oliver looks at me before he answers “I kind of promised Riley when she was mad at me.”

Paul looks at me and raises a brow. “Do I even want to know?” I look down and shake my head no. He sighs, then asks, “You didn’t answer me about the one Oliver. Did you?”

I turn my head slightly so I can see Oliver and I see a small smile grow on his face. “Dad, I’m only 17, I don’t know. I might have.” the last part was a sigh.

Looking at his dad’s reaction, there is none. He just looks down at the pictures of Carla beside him and picks them up. He takes in a deep breath, and lets it out with a huff. Looks at Oliver and says, “You’ll know when you find them.” He puts the picture back down, stands up, walks over to his son who stands up when he stops in front of him, and gives him a big hug. He says in a raspy voice in his son’s ear, “I love you boy. Don’t ever forget it.”

Oliver hugs his dad back, with a big squeeze then he says “I love you too dad.”

As I sit here, I feel like I am invading this personal father son moment that they desperately needed to mend their relationship that has gone out of whack the last few years. I smile, as I think that this was all because of Evan telling me I’m a shape shifter. I guess some good has come out of that news after all.

Paul looks down at me and asks, “So what made you mad at him to get him to tell me. What did my son do to upset you?”

Feeling panicked, I start gasping for air. I frantically look at Oliver who nods his head to me just like I did to him. I try to swallow my fear, which only makes it seem like there is a lump in my throat, I choke out, “Uh, I found something out yesterday.” I manage to say.

He looks at me and asks, “So what did you find out?”

Looking anywhere but his face I manage to squeak out “I’m a shape shifter.”

Paul starts coughing, “What? You’re one of those... freaks? You need to get out of my house right now. Stay away from my son. NEVER GO NEAR HIM AGAIN!” Each word gets louder and louder, until he is finally screaming down at me. Once he says never go near him again, tears fall from my eyes. “Get out of my house NOW!” I look at him and he is pointing towards the door, his face is bright red like when you hold your breath for too long or like when you are in the sun for too long. I can see sweat on his forehead. As I stand and start heading towards the door Oliver says, “But dad, she is my best friend.”

With a huff Paul says, “Not anymore she isn’t. Those people, no those things only get others hurt, especially the ones closest to them. You are to never see or talk to her again.”

Not sure what I can say, I walk to the door then I turn and see them both standing there. Oliver looking sad and hurt by his dad’s reaction and Paul standing there furious. I’ve never seen him this ma, and I doubt Oliver has too. I meekly say “bye” to Oliver. Tears still falling from my eyes I get in my car and drive away. Oliver didn’t even try to stand up for me or say the boy he loves is a shape shifter too. I wonder how well that would work out, not very well now. He called me a freak, those things. Just as I get to the corner I slam on my breaks. “What? He knows about shape shifters.” I say out loud, like it just hit me in the head. I dare not to turn around and confront him when he is mad. I wonder if Oliver will listen and stay away. I can’t lose my best friend. I won’t lose my best friend.

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