Chapter Twelve: SeveredA Chapter by Joshua Donahue
Forbidden. Evan's head is confused as he tries to determine what he should do. So, in the heat of the moment, he decides to take Summer along with him as they leave Hale together. But does she agree?
BY: J O S H U A D O N A H U E
I didn’t know what to do today. My head was boggled -- a playpen cluttered with a child’s belongings -- , and I was sick. Sick of this town, these people, and their lies and secrets, my mind repeated at least thirty times. One minute it would seem like one gargantuan nightmare, and then, as soon as I turned around, it was real -- too real for me to handle, causing me to feel like I wanted to run away from it all.
You can’t just push a sixteen-year-old teenager across the country to live, and then have his long-lost family pop up and say “Oh, didn’t I mention? You’re a werewolf along with every other freaking male in your family. Oh, and your father? Well he was one too! Not to mention the girl that you may be obsessed with, who is actually a supernatural nymph meant to save the forest!? I thought out of frustration.
I mean, you just couldn’t do that, could you? There had to be some kind of law against it, or something! Oh, what to do…
What to do, I thought. What to do…
I honestly didn’t know on this one. It seemed since I had arrived here in this small, freakishly messed up town every question I had would get answered in time. But not this one. No, this one I had to answer for myself. The way I saw it, I had three options to choose from: one, I could go on about life and ignore everything that has happened since I had arrived and start off on a clean slate -- which was practically impossible; two, I could leave Hale and begin to start a new life -- with Summer, if she wanted to tag along; or three, I could do as Otis and his pack ordered me to do, and I could truly harness my so-called “gift” for the wild, including staying away from Summer.
My mind was currently scrabbled over my three options.
I thought about it as I wondered through the halls of Hale High School. I was headed to my first period class.
My second option seemed to make the most sense to me, though. After all, my dad had left Hale when he got older and had gotten a normal life, even though he did…die. But at least he died the normal way, and not because of some supernatural stuff.
After a mere five minutes of contemplating my future, I had made up my mind: I was going to leave with Summer (if she wanted) and go somewhere else. I knew my mom would be alright because she had family and friends surrounding her now. Besides, this day would come sooner or later, I just choose sooner, I added mentally. The only catch was I had to be street-smart with my hunting family on the prowl for me; they would be looking, I knew.
I walked into chemistry Monday morning, and there it was: my heart beat a little faster, butterflies began to hatch and fly in my stomach, and my brain started to freeze. Summer -- just as appealing as ever. I liked her. A lot. Even more than a lot, I realized. “Young and dumb” some might say, but whatever.
As I walked to my table, she looked at me with a small smile lighting up her expression. Abruptly, Summer stiffened as if something awful had just petrified her. My mouth then started to move so I could ask her what was wrong with her, but before I could murmur a single syllable, she quickly looked away and stuck her nose in her chemistry book.
Weird behavior, I voiced inside my head as I took my seat at my proper lab table.
Throughout the entire class, I tried to get her attention several times, but she never responded to me. I even had the perfect opportunity, and I seized it when Mr. Wallace rushed out for the bathroom, muttering something about an omelet that he shouldn’t have had previously. I began calling her name while the rest of the class chatted away about the latest gossip and whatnot, but she never acknowledged my existence. She seemed to be ignoring me.
Eventually I became a little frustrated and gave up.
By the time I arrived in the cafeteria, she was already seated with her friends, and they were huddled together, talking (odd, considering they had daily stares that they usually let loose). Then I pushed out all thoughts about werewolves, nymphs, and my screwed up family history, just so I could focus on Summer.
“Hey, can we talk…in private?” I asked Summer when I arrived at the table of her and her friends.
They all looked at one another like they knew something I didn’t, and Rose (the rude and inconsiderate one) looked like she wanted to say something callous once again at me, but Summer intervened, “Um…yeah. Sure.”
We walked down the stairs and out the door, entering into the cool breeze of spring and becoming enveloped by the fresh scents it brought. But there was tension in the air between Summer and I, so it felt more like winter to me: blistering and cold.
Outside was practically empty, but my mouth felt dry and cracked from lack of liquids and I wanted to act as if everything was as normal as before. I casually went over to the canteen leaning against the outside-brick wall and bought a soda.
“Want one?” I offered to the girl that stood several feet away from me.
Summer shook her head in reply.
Something was wrong. But I pushed it away, choosing not to believe it.
We went and sat down at a table, and I took a sip of my drink, wetting my mouth enough for me to speak. Her chair was abnormally seated a little too far away from the table, but I didn’t indicate that I noticed.
“Listen, Summer, I -- ” I stopped. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her exactly. I mean, how did you ask someone to leave with you? How could you expect someone to give up so much just for you, especially when you barely knew each other but you knew there was something there?
Was I selfish? Yes.
Did I care? Not at the moment.
“Evan, we can’t be friends or anything else anymore,” she said before I could say anything further.
“Why not?” I asked. Great. First, my family tells me no because she’s a nymph, and now she’s telling me no herself. What next?
“Have you talked to your family yet?” she asked.
“About your -- Well, your condition.”
“You don’t know?”
“Don’t know what, exactly?”
“Evan, I think you better talk to your grandfather first and see what he has to say about me.” She began to get up and leave.
“Wait. I -- I already talked to him. And I know. I know everything, Summer. About me, about my family, about you and your friends -- everything.”
She sat back down, but only at the edge of her seat like she was about leave in a minute either way our conversation was headed.
“Then why are you talking to me? Didn’t he tell you to stay away from me?”
“Yes. And that’s exactly why I asked to talk to you, no matter what my stupid family says.”
“Evan -- ”
“You like me right? I mean, more than a friend?”
She looked confused, and I didn’t really blame her; I felt the same way.
She said, “I don’t quite understand, Evan.”
“Neither do I. But, Summer, listen to me. I’ve been thinking. Why don’t we leave? Why don’t we leave Hale and go somewhere else?”
Her reaction was strange -- like the teacher’s pet being talked into skipping class to go do something non-educational.
“Evan, we can’t! I can’t!”
“Why? You like me. I like you. So why not?”
“Because, Evan, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be! We aren’t supposed to communicate with one another, let alone get involved into a relationship! Trying to escape would be suicide, if not impossible.”
“We’ll figure out a way, Summer. It’s the only way to stay together.”
“Then maybe it’s not such a good idea that we be together at all. Plus, leaving is forbidden, Evan! We just can’t.”
My heart dropped a thousand feet.
“You mean, you don’t want to stay together?”
“If we have to leave and run away, then no. I can’t leave! And neither can you! We both have duties to carry out for both of our families, and we cannot let anything get in the way. Not even this. Understand? Besides, what we had wasn’t even a ‘together’ kind of thing. We were just friends. We could have been more, but we didn’t have the time, and we never will.”
“But -- ”
She seemed to be deciding whether or not she should voice her next words aloud or not. Then I saw a small tear begin to stream down her cheek. I barely caught it, but the sunlight reflected it enough.
“Evan, I have to be honest with you. I don’t like you. It was only a joke that Rose put me up to. Do you get it now? I don’t have any feelings for you at all. It was all a lie!”
“You don’t mean that,” I muttered, looking in a different direction than in her face.
She then went from the normal sweet and innocent Summer that I knew, to a malicious and cold-hearted Summer that was never thought to exist. “I do. And I never wanna see nor speak to you again. And if you try to talk to me, I will say you’re planning to leave your little mongrel pack behind, and inform your family that not only are you attracted to a nymph, but you keep trying to talk me into going with you.”
My jaw dropped, and my heart that had fallen earlier had just landed…in pieces.
She got up from her chair, and she stormed off. She headed back into the cafeteria with her friends.
I was upset, and I felt lost, like a puppy trying to find a home that had been stolen from him. I thought…I thought…I don’t know, but I thought she liked me a little more than that. I thought she had some feelings, and that everything I felt for her was returned to me.
I didn’t believe her. It just wasn’t possible that everything I thought we were was just one big show in which I had the leading role while the entire audience laughed at me. Impossible, is what it was. But then why would she say such a thing? I asked myself.
Undesirably, it must have been true.
Lies! All lies! Everything and everyone here! I screamed inside. Maybe I am just meant to leave on my own and find my own way in life. I can’t stay here. I have to leave. Go somewhere.
So I went around the school building and out to the road, where I started on foot. I didn’t know where I was going; I just knew I wanted out of Hale and away from its wretched people because it was obviously not working out for me.
© 2010 Joshua Donahue
AboutUPDATE! 04.11.13 Oh, how I have missed writing deeply. I always plan to return to this site ASAP, but it just never happens. I have not been inspired really. But I want to be inspired again. I wa.. more..