“Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow.”
~ Dylan Thomas
I’m not that old. I know that’s a strange way to start a story, but I’m not. Mommy always said to be honest. So I am. I’m only seven years old. My birthday is today and I’m excited. I met this kind boy the other day named Liam. He’s been hanging out with Jackson and I. Oh, I should probably tell you, Jackson is my twin, though we are a lot different in so many ways.
The grass is soft against my skin. I often do this. I wake up as early as possible and lay outside to watch the stars before the sun comes up. It’s really pretty. My house isn’t that big, though the backyard is nice. I’m amazed my whole family can fit in my house. There are so many of us. I have seven siblings and both my mommy and daddy. Gregory is the eldest brother, Peyton is my eldest sister. Then there is Derek. They are the oldest three. Then Jackson and I and finally Rebeca, Jade and Lagton. Lag is still just a baby but mommy says that when he is older he can play with us more.
I love my life. And out here under the stars, it feels like nothing bad can touch me. I’m free to do what I want, be who I want and I love it! I close my eyes and just feel the things around me. Daddy says that I should enjoy being young because it’s harder when you have to grow up. I don’t think I believe him. I mean, it doesn’t look that hard. But I guess I am only seven. I still have a lot to learn.
“Kaylee?” I hear my mommy calling me from the house. Is she already awake? She isn’t usually up this early, maybe she sensed that I had left and got worried even though I do this almost everyday. I open my eyes and roll onto my stomach before pushing myself to my feet.
“Coming, mommy!” I shout, though I worry a lot about if I woke anyone. I hope I didn’t but I can already hear Lagton crying, and that means that soon everyone will be up. He cries loudly. Really loudly. In fact, he cries so loudly that daddy had to soundproof the room but of course, that only helped to lower the level of his cries by a tad bit.
I’m to the sliding door that leads into the house when I hear a rustling in some bushes just outside our fence. I’m a naturally curious person, so I blink and make my way to that part of the fence. “Hello?” I say hesitantly, wanting to open the gate that leads to an alleyway. It has a lot of bushes and it’s dark. But I’m not confident enough to push open the gate. “Who’s there?” I called out softly, not wanting to alert my mommy of anything bad.
I almost give up and go back inside, thinking it must have just been the wind, when I hear a soft growl. Normal people might freak out but I’m a werewolf living in a city of wolves. I’m used to hearing growling and now I’m even more interested. “Who are you?” It’s stupid to ask, I know. Werewolves can’t mind-link strangers and my wolf hasn’t been awakened yet. So it’s not like he can answer me.
I do see a snout appear and I squeal softly with delight. “It’s okay, you can trust me. I won’t hurt you.” I’m so excited! This is so- don’t get ahead of yourself. More of the wolf’s face appears until his whole head is showing. I hold out my hand and he sniffs it before he seems to relax and steps fully out of the bush.
I can’t help the gasp that escapes me. He is at least two and a half times my size but way too skinny. I can practically see his ribs. “Poor baby! Are you hungry? I can get you some food!” I offer it without a second thought. I know mommy would be upset but I can’t help it. I love to assist those who need it. The wolf seems to almost frown before reluctantly nodding. He hangs his head as if he is ashamed to ask such a young child. But I don’t mind.
“Okay! Wait right here!” I pat his neck gently, a habit I have from doing that many times to my brothers and daddy before they would leave. And then I bolt inside and run to the kitchen. I had forgotten mommy was up so I nearly jumped out of my skin when she touched my arm and said good morning.
“Darling? What’s wrong? Did I startle you?” Mommy asked, likely concerned when my face paled. I guess I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts that I ignored the world around me. I know mommy would never approve of me giving away our food. She would definitely be even more upset to know I was talking to a complete stranger around four in the morning. That all being said, I’m going to have to lie. I hate lying and am no good at it. But I have to try so I can help the wolf.
“Oh. Nothing! I’m just going to fetch some food and eat outside! The sky is really pretty this morning!” I wasn’t lying about the last part so saying the rest was easier too. Score for me. I probably shouldn’t be proud of lying to mommy. But it’s for a good cause so it’s okay… Right? Or will Moon Goddess see this as a horrible sin? No matter. I have to help him, the wolf outside.
“Okay, baby. I warmed up your favorite.” She gestured to the microwave and I nodded. But rather than go and just snatch the food and run, I look at her. My beautiful mommy. I look a lot like she did at my age. Her long blonde hair is braided loosely over her shoulder. Mommy’s sky blue eyes twinkle and I’m reminded that I inherited my daddy’s jade green eyes. But my mommy’s soft kind smile, the one she uses now, is something I got from her. She’s taller than me by a lot but mommy says that’s because I’m so little. She says it will change when I get older, I hope she is right.
I finally move to grab the food, mumbling a quick thank you before running out. I usually eat a lot so I’m not surprised when I open the container to find five eggs, six pieces of bacon, two pancakes, and three sausages. The wolf is sitting exactly where I left him. He perks up at the smell of food and I swear, his tail wags. I giggle as I set the large container in front of him.
It doesn’t take more than a few seconds before he is tearing into that food. I should probably be disgusted by the mess he is making, but I’m just too fascinated. A stranger. Is he a rogue? No. It’s not possible. A rogue would be more crazy and for sure try to kill me. He just seems a bit lost. Staring. He’s probably homeless. Which pack does he belong to? I won’t be able to tell until my wolf awakens. He might be from ours, then mommy would have to help. I just don’t want to risk her hurting or killing him if he is an enemy or stray.
A soft head against my leg jolts me back into reality and I smile down at him. He rubs his large head against my leg some more, causing me to giggle. I reach down and hug him, throwing my arms around his large neck the best I can. My hands can’t reach each other. He seems surprised by my sudden action, yet he is quick to press the side of his head against my back and hug me closer. I feel warm and happy.
We stay like that for a while and I almost fall asleep before I hear daddy’s voice. “Kaylee, sweetie? You have to get ready for school! Oh, and Liam is here!” My entire face lights up at Liam’s name. I pull away from the wolf and I think I hear him growl, though not at me. But I dismiss it as nothing and pat his neck gently.
“I’m sorry. I have to go. Stay hidden but please don’t leave!” I whisper in his ear, hoping that he listens. I think he will. I really hope he does. I want him to stay. I can’t just abandon him or let him leave in this condition. I would blame myself if anything happened to him. The wolf nods in understanding and I squeal happily before running back inside to meet my friend.