You wake in your bed, the sheets damp and your heart thudding in your chest. You’d been dreaming of being chased but you don’t remember by what. You sit up, wiping your brow, taking note of the stifling heat in the room.
It’s still spring. How is it this hot already?
You stand, feeling slightly disoriented, and walk to the window. It’s jammed and takes all your strength to open it. You sigh, closing your eyes as a soft, cool breeze whips past you.
There’s a crunching noise to your left, and then another and when you hear a third you open your eyes. The crunching is the sound of footsteps on the shingles of the roof.
Fear paralyzes you as warm, putrid smelling air touches the side of your face. You know what’s beside you without looking. He’s found you, the wolf you hit and left dying on the side of the road. The wolf and his companion, the giant man, are right next to you and you don’t need to turn to know that. You can feel the hatred rolling off of them. They’ve come for you and you opened the window, you let them in.
“Are you with us?” Mr. Smith snaps his finger in front of your face bringing you out of your exhausted slumber. It’s been two weeks since you wrecked your car and your nights have been plagued with night terrors and horrid dreams of vengeful wolves, making real sleep impossible.
“Sorry.” You mumble as you wipe your brow. Just like in your dream, you’re sweating but this time you’re in a classroom filled with your peers. You shake your head and glance around with a slight smile, you’re beyond embarrassed but try to play it off.
The bell rings indicating it’s time for you to go home and you sigh with relief as everyone gets up to leave.
“Get some sleep this weekend.” Mr. Smith says as you stand and gather your books.
You nod and follow your fellow students out the door into the throng in the hallway.
It seems to take far too long to reach your locker. When you finally reach the assigned metal container you trade your current books for the ones you’ll need for homework and then head towards the exit.
“Hey!” Someone says next to you and you turn, surprised to find Skyler looking down at you. “Sharon said you wrecked your car. You ran into a bear or something?”
You almost smile at him, like you used to before he shattered your heart, then you catch yourself. “Yep.” You say, wondering why he has suddenly decided to strike up a conversation with you.
“I just wanted to say that I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Thanks.” You turn and began to walk away.
“I’m having a lake party tomorrow night. It’s my eighteenth birthday.”
You fight the urge to roll your eyes as you turn back to him. “Okay.”
“I just, it’d be nice to be friends. I miss our friendship.”
“What does Haley have to say about that?” You ask.
As if on cue Haley comes around the corner, her pearly whites in full view. “Hi.” She kisses Skyler on the cheek and then turns her attention to you. “You aren’t going to miss this party are you?” Her voice is sincere and hopeful, catching you off guard. “Please come? It would mean a lot to Skyler and therefore to me.”
You stare at the two of them, somewhere in the back of your mind wondering why they’ve decided to pursue your friendship. Of course, you’d never been mean or immature about the break-up with Skyler, you’d merely bowed out. You loved Skyler, thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with him but you couldn’t force him to have mutual feelings.
“I don’t know.” You answer.
“Please?” Haley says. “I’ve been telling Skyler how I just know we would have been friends if, if, you know.” She gestured towards Skyler with her eyes. “We have a lot in common and I’m not talking about the elephant in the room.”
“Right.” You respond.
“I’m going to Western Tech next year too and I’m majoring in Computer science as well, so we’re going to be stuck together. I figure, why not look past the petty high school stuff? You have to admit it’s a little less scary to go off to college with someone you know.”
She’s rambling in her effort to convince you to be her friend and despite yourself, you find it amusing in a friendly manner.
So what of it? Will you attend Skyler’s party and attempt to become friends with a girl who stole your love’s heart?