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Chapter 29

As soon as I am in my car, I start hyperventilating. “Come on Riley, calm down.” I say to try and calm down. It doesn’t really help, I make matters worse by looking in my mirror when I notice my eyes are swirling the mix of colors I am feeling. They aren’t just normal flecks now, they are moving. “What the hell?” I wonder out loud. I close my eyes, and take in 10 deep breaths. Once my heart is back down to normal, and my emotions are in check, I look back in the mirror. My eyes are back to normal, with only flecks showing yellow. Well thank god they didn’t stay that way. Add that one to my list of questions that I still need answered. My phone beeps from inside my pocket; I take it out and see Oliver’s face on it.

*Where r u? U ok?*

I take in a few more deep breaths before I respond; I don’t want to be mean to him. He is after all my best and closest friend. I don’t want to push him away.

*In my car. I’m fine. Might go home.*

I wait a few minutes, then a few more, no reply. That is weird; I thought he would have said something back. I guess not. Starting my car I see Evan running towards my car.

“Oh hell no!” I say out loud, then put my car in gear and drive away. I see him in my review mirror, running after the car. I just keep going, eventually he will stop. After I left the parking lot he stopped chasing after me.

I don’t go anywhere but home, I just want to be in bed. That is what I do. I get in my bed and pull the blankets up over my eyes. I stay there and cry for what seems to be for the rest of the day. William knocked on the door a while ago, but I told him to go away. Oliver has been calling nonstop for the last hour, even though his ring tone is annoying, I don’t want to talk. Not to him, not to anyone. I’m so mad at him, he must have told Evan I was in my car. How else would he have been able to find me so quickly? I especially don’t want to see Evan. After my phone is quiet for a few minutes, a text message comes in, but it isn’t any of the tones of people who know my number. I wonder if it is spam, or something. Only a few people know my number. My curiosity gets the best of me and I retrieve my phone from the floor. I look at the number, and it isn’t one I recognize and the message only says hey. That doesn’t really help me out. Just as I am about to type who is this, it buzzes in my hand.

*It’s Caleb. If you were wondering.*

It feels like my heart is about to leap out body when I read his name. My hands start to get a little sweaty from the thought of him. Then it hits me about us hanging out after school.

*Sorry I kind of ditched. I just needed to come home and hang out. Sorry.*

I wait, a few minutes goes by he is still in class. So I get that he doesn’t reply right away.

*You said sorry twice. I get it. Do you still want to do something?*

What should I say? I could say no. Evan did kiss me, that might mean something, but he did it without asking. Plus he has a girlfriend. It is none of his business who I see outside of school. A smile creeps onto my face as I text Caleb back.

*Well I don’t really want to leave the house. U could always stop by here. If u want.*

A couple of minutes go by before he replies saying he will come over. I text him the directions. He said he would come by a bit after school is over. I start to get anxious about him coming over. I pick things up off the floor. “Wait.” I tell myself. “He isn’t coming in my room. No, I can’t have that happen.” I say out loud, making sure I hear myself. No we could watch movies, or something. I don’t think Jennifer will bug us if we are in there, plus I think she has some stupid cheerleader thing to do after school today. So it doesn’t even matter.

Ding dong.

“Oh great.” I say out loud. I head up the stairs, there he is outside. Just the person I wanted to see... not. What the hell does Evan want now? I ask myself. I really wish they didn’t have glass in the door. How do you hide from people you don’t want to see? Since he has already seen me I go answer the door.

“What do you want? Make it quick.” I snap, trying to hide emotion from my eyes. I am glad he is here, but I’m not at the same time. He confuses me, more importantly he confuses my emotions.

“Can I please come in and talk to you?” He asks with serenity in his voice. I can tell he is upset, it reaches his eyes.

“No you can’t. I’m having company over soon.” I try not to sound happy about this. I’m confused over the two boys.

“Who is coming over? Oliver?” The panic is in his voice, the calm serenity is gone.

Oh great what did I get myself into I think to myself.

“What do you mean? What did you get yourself into? Are you in trouble?” He asks one after the other without taking many breaths.

“What? How the hell are you always able to read my mind? I am just thinking things and you hear them. That is not supposed to happen.”

“I think you are projecting them Riley. I think you want things to be heard sometimes. What is going on?”

“Nothing. Caleb is going to come over. We were supposed to go hang out after school, but someone decided to mess up my day. I came home, he still wants to see me though. So I invited him over.”

“No, you can’t have him over.” He says with force. I mean it’s hot, but he can’t do this again.

“You stop right there!” I take in a deep breath to try to calm myself, it doesn’t help. “I don’t need your permission to have a friend over or if I can see that person. Why do you even care? No I don’t care. I don’t want to know. Why don’t you just go and see Mila? Maybe you should focus more on that. Bye Evan.” Before he even gets a chance to say anything, I shut the door in his face and lock it as he reaches up to the door knob. The look on his face is one that is going to haunt my dreams. Stand your ground Riley, I tell myself. So I turn and walk away from that face, the big eyed lost puppy dog face. Each step I take away from him, pulls on my heart. If he wasn’t the way he is, or with Mila maybe things could be different. I don’t even know why he is acting like this, he hasn’t even told me. “Duh Riley, you didn’t give him the chance to explain.” I say out loud. “Oh great and now I talk to myself.” I smack my forehead; this day could not get any worse. I slip on the stair and bump down 3. “Perfect. Thanks universe!” I yell at the ceiling.

Ding dong.

Oh great the door again, I think to myself. At least this time it is probably Caleb. He texted a few minutes ago just saying he is leaving the school and if I needed anything. I limp up the stairs from falling earlier; I can be such a klutz. As soon as I see him outside, my heart does a weird little jump and my palms start to get a little sweaty. Oh this is going to be so much fun, I think as I roll my eyes.

“Hi.” I manage to say to him, as I open the door, no doubt my face is red.

“Hey, what’s up?” He asks as he walks in. Then looks down at his shoes and I nod. He takes them off. I don’t think he wanted to, not like Evan who took them off without even asking.

“Not much. What about you?” I ask it back, and then as he is bent forward I notice a scar on the back of his neck, just below his hair line. I wonder where he got it.

“Just about the same. What’s up with your body guard?”

“My what?” I’m so confused.

“Your body guard?” He says again, but it sounds more like a question, like now he is questioning his own statement.

“I don’t have a body guard. I have no idea what you are talking about.” I say with a brow raised.

He stands and shrugs, “You know the dude who was at the facility helping you or you were helping them. I’m not too sure. When he said bye to you he was all “stay away from her” kind of thing. He’s like at the end of the drive way. Gave me one heck of a dirty look too.”

“He’s what?!” I yell and then take off down the porch. I notice I change right away, because I meant to this time. I can see my brown paws, with claws that could probably rip through skin. Hopefully I don’t by accident. This is kind of fun, being a grizzly bear. I should shift more often.

“Hey I just took off my shoes!” I hear Caleb call from behind me. Then in my head he says, “This is going to be good.” I’m not too sure he meant to say it in my head though, inside I am laughing that I’m not the only one who broadcasts it to everyone around.

I can smell him before I even see him. His woodsy fresh rain smell that I love so much, then I see Evan’s face light up with fear as he sees me running towards him.

“Riley you need to stop.” I hear him calling in my head. I keep running at him until I am hardly a foot away. I can see my black nose almost touching his human nose, my breath is labored, I can feel the sharp teeth with my bear tongue. I can hear a growl forming at the back of my throat, I pull back my bear lips to show the sharp teeth, and let the growl come out.

“Riley.” He says out loud. I see the concern in his eyes. “You need to stop. You can’t do this. Change back. Please. We can talk about this.”

I take a step backward and shift back into my human form. The relief shows in his eyes, more than it does on his face.

“Ah man. I was hoping to see some action.” Caleb calls running up to us.

“Riley...” Evan softly says.

“Go away Evan.” I say harshly.


“NOW!” I yell in his face. He just looks at me, then at Caleb his eye brows come together like he is concentrating again. “No Evan. Don’t do that. Just get on your bike and leave.” He looks back at me; grief is all over his face.

“Now let’s go back to the house. Want to watch a movie or something?” Caleb suggests.

“Sure. I’d love to.” I say to him, one last glance at Evan, then we walk back to the house.

“That was pretty sweet you know. Watching you just change like that. It makes it really hard to believe that you haven’t known your whole life. Imagine what you could do, if you had known.” He says with a sigh at the end, then he does this grunt thing. I have no idea what it is about him.

He picks some action movie that was in the collection that Jennifer has. I wasn’t all that interested in the actual movie. I would have gone for something funny, but he didn’t even ask me if this was what I wanted or not. What is it with boys and thinking girls can’t make up their own minds? I don’t think I will ever understand them, well besides Oliver but he is not like Evan or Caleb. Not at all. Even though I hate this movie, I am enjoying it. That might just be because Caleb is sitting beside me. My heart tells me that this is wrong and that I shouldn’t be here, but I am letting my brain lead me on this one. Whenever you follow your heart, it just gets broken. I don’t want that, so I’m following my brain. That little voice in the back of my head is telling me how wrong I am, but I ignore it to the best of my ability. Caleb does sit rather close to me. I can smell him. He smells like gingerbread, I’m not a big fan of the smell and it is giving me a small headache. I won’t say anything though. Even though we have been sitting this close together for the movie, my heart is still racing, and my hands are still sweaty from before. He makes me nervous, but in a good way. I think anyways. He also isn’t much of a talker, and he hides his emotions from his eyes really well. I wonder how he can do that so well, I might need to ask him some pointers one day.

“Riley, will you shut up.” He looks at me with this angry face, he looks better when he smiles. Which has only been once, unfortunately. I hope he smiles more.

“Um... I’m sorry. I think someone needs to teach me how to not project my thoughts into everyone else’s head.” I sound defeated.

“Or you could just not think and watch the movie.” He says. I think he is pretty rude. “Yes I am rude, you might want to get used to it.”

“Oh my gosh!” I smack my forehead. “I’m sorry. I will shut up now.” I turn and watch the rest of this horrible movie. He grunted after I thought that, I’m still projecting. Fantastic way to end the night.

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