Ten minutes my clock told me. I was practically a ball of energy, shaking in excitement of the upcoming hour. I was supposed to be asleep three hours ago, but I couldn’t stay still long enough to let sleep take me. Sleep had never come easily to my excitable form. I was just too happy! I had been dreaming of this day for years. I was finally becoming a teenager; thirteen, here I come.
I thought back to my middle school years and the past year as a twelve-year-old. Everything I did then seemed so childish since I was soon to be a teenager. All the times I’d yell across the classroom at friends about what their answer was as soon as the teacher stepped out of the room, or all the times I spent dating a silly boy for a few weeks and then saying I couldn’t see a future with them and we needed to break up. I didn’t realize then, though, how I would be impacted by my childhood, turning into a woman a few short years later.
I thought about all the friends I hadn’t seen since school ended a bit over a month ago. I would see them again when high school started up a few weeks later. Why did summer always seem so short back then? Now summer takes decades of dreading going back before school starts up again. Why was I always so excited to go back? I can never seem to remember.
I remembered when Kyle asked me out in November, possibly the highlight of my year, and how Marie was screaming at me to say yes. When I did the entire grade eight population started to clap for us. Kyle was the grade’s jock, and he instantly went to all his friends for congratulations. I was surrounded by my many friends, and I remember hearing Jenna yelling at me about going on double dates now. I thought about how stupid that all seemed to me the night of my thirteenth. We had spent more times bragging to our friends about each other than we spent together- typical prepubescent kids, right?
I reminisced when Jenna, Marie, Samantha, Melissa, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Caitlynn, and I all did a secret santa for the first time, and Caitlynn had gotten me a super cute and frilly pink shirt to match my favourite skirt. I had gotten Melissa a Brittany Spears CD, and she screamed when she opened it. That was definitely my favourite Christmas of all time... Yet again, though, I said that every year.
I thought back to when Kyle and I broke up, and Jenna threw a slumber party where she had invited all the cool girls in our grade (Pretty much everyone except Jan. She was just plain weird.) to spend the night in order to make me feel better. We had spent the night braiding our hair, watching chick flicks like Mean Girls, and eating tubs of my favourite ice cream- chocolate chunk. I had such great friends, and I hoped they would follow me into my thirteenth year of life.
I checked the clock again: 11:58. My hands started to shake more violently, and my legs tingled and ached. I frowned... Maybe, I was a bit too excited about turning thirteen. My moms always told me about how excited I used to get about my birthdays, but they said my thirteenth was the worst for excitement. And, after that year, I was never excited for a birthday again.
I muffled a moan into my pillow as the minutes changed, bringing me one minute closer to my birthday. My legs suddenly twisted beneath me. My entire body started to hurt, and I feel an urgent need to rush outside; to see the moon shining in the sky. I couldn’t understand it but all I saw was a moon filling my vision even though I was still inside.
I jumped to my painfully arching feet and stumbled through the house as quietly and quickly as was possible. Once outside, I got an urge to run to the forest behind my home; the image in my eyes changed from the moon to the greenest trees filling a valley. That’s weird, I thought, I’ve always hated the forest behind our house. It scared me half to death since we moved into this house. I’ve always avoided going close to it, but all I wanted was to run through the looming trees.
Hopping off the porch into the light of the moon, I tried to make my way to the trees to fulfill my oddest need. I heard snapping noises as my entire body fell into a heap of flaming pain. What’s happening?!
The pain got so extreme I couldn’t even open my mouth to scream for help. I could feel my bones shatter to pieces loudly and begin to reform themselves. My skin started to prickle as something burst through the surface, ripping my clothing to bits. I continued withering on the ground helplessly. I just want my moms, I squeezed my eyes close as my nails sharpened and hardened. What is happening to me?
My bones finally found their proper places and started to settle down, lessening the pain a little bit. I was thankful but extremely scared and confused. I was finally able to open my eyes, and everything seemed sharper, more in focus. I was finally able to open my mouth, and I let out a wail. My breathing slowed down slightly, and the pain diminished to a dull ache. I laid down in the soft, dewy grass to catch my breath, but I couldn’t quite lay just right.
Eventually, the pain left my body altogether after what seemed like hours, and I brought my hand up to brush the hair out of my face. I screamed- or, rather, barked- at the sight in front of my face. Where’s my hand?! All I saw was a furry paw.
I stood up awkwardly on my four new hands... er... paws and stumbled a bit before getting a hang of my new feet. My head was buzzing with this new development that my brain just couldn’t wrap its mind around. This was like something out of one of those werewolf books I used to read when I was just a young kid. What if I have to eat Little Red?!
I started walking around, practicing on my new feet. The grass felt soft between my toes, and the air smelt fresher. This is the weirdest dream I’ve ever had, I decided.
Somehow, I made it over to the back window of my house and stared at my beautiful reflection. My wolf- I didn’t know why, but I somehow knew it was my wolf- reflected my natural hair which was black with white tips. My wolf was midnight black, blending in with the dark night around me, while the white tipped ears and tail stood out like the twinkling stars in the sky. I am quite stunning as wolf, I thought, Maybe this is my brain’s way of reasoning my unnatural natural hair colour.
I started trotting around the backyard, weaving through the trees at the edge of the forest. I didn’t want to go in, though, because I was still scared of getting lost.
Hello, Rylie. I’m your wolf.
Wow, I had to stop in my spot to concentrate on what I was saying, we can talk in my head?!
Yes, her chuckle echoed through my head, we can. We continued talking for a while longer before I eventually got tired and quietly make my way back up to my bedroom. I stood in front of my full-length mirror and tried to figure out how to change back into a human. I shut my eyes as tightly as possible and concentrated but every time I reopened my eyes, I was still a wolf. If I was a human right then, I would’ve have been on the verge of tears out of the frustration I was feeling.
Then, I figured since this is all just a dream, I could just go to bed and wake up as a human again.
As I made my way to my bed, I yelped quietly not wanting to wake up my moms as a tuft of fur got caught on my belt which was laying on the floor. I left it there and got into bed, curling up in a little fur ball. Sleep came easily to me.
Waking up to my alarm, I was extremely groggy. I felt like I hadn’t gotten any sleep and after that weird dream last night, I didn’t think I was as refreshed as I needed to be- especially since I was supposed to celebrate my becoming a teenager today with all my family. However, I did smile when I saw myself in the mirror; a mere human who was finally thirteen. Thank God.
I pulled on my cute birthday dress bought just for today. It was a light pink since that was my colour of the year. I then went looking for my belt to make it look more stylish. That was what all the girls did at school.
I gasped when I saw it. Wrapped around the belt loop was a tuft of black fur. I flashbacked to when I got a tuff of fur ripped out of my wolf during my dream last night. Someone had to be playing a prank on me, I decided with a terribly pale face.
I closed my eyes tight, deciding to try something against every thought screaming at me not to in my head. I pictured my wolf from last night and felt my bones moving just like before. It was only sore this time, not a full out pain, though. I opened my eyes as I fell with a soft thud to the ground on four new paws to see a beautiful wolf in the mirror before me- My beautiful wolf. This is so surreal! I thought.... I’m a mother freaking werewolf!