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The Lone Wolf

The heart is such a fragile organ. Using it too much can only cause pain. Leah/Sam/Emily Submitted to the Minor Characters Challenge (October 2007)


4. When there's not enough time to heal the wounds

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1252   Review this Chapter

There’s a thin line between love and hate. Sometimes, you can’t help but step over that line and hate the person you love.

When there’s not enough time to heal the wounds

Dawn was just breaking over the horizon, and the piercing light of the sun shone through the droplets of dew that clung to the blades of grass by her feet. It looked like she was walking on sparkly diamonds; on a velvety path made especially for a queen—or even a bride. A blushing bride who was ready to meet her dashing husband. But she was not a bride, and her face was not blushing. Instead, she was very much alone, and her face was pale and cold. But her eyes held an unusual brightness, one that increased in intensity as her bare feet grew closer to the edge of the precipice.

As she reached the edge, she let her toes dangle recklessly over the lip of the cliff. The gale that was stirring the ocean waves below in a crashing frenzy, came up and whipped her long black hair violently against her face. She ignored the stinging pain in her cheeks, that was left behind by the thick strands of hair.

She seemed undecided on something, and it manifested on her face as she bit her bottom lip, and her face cracked into a painful mask. A small sob wracked its way from her chest, and got lost in the blowing wind.

With great effort, she lifted her trembling arms on either side of her, forming an effigy of a cross. She forced herself to push her right foot forward. But her foot seemed to have a life of its own, and didn’t want to budge. She let out an exasperated and angry sigh and stomped her foot against the ground. All of a sudden, part of the ground beneath her feet crumbled and gave way, and a big clump of black soil and rock tumbled to the craggy rocks below.

For a single second that seemed to last forever, she stood half suspended in time, with her arms on either side of her, her feet half-dangling in the air, and her eyes wide and white, staring at crashing waves below. The ocean roared at her and tossed its waves around, manifesting its brute strength and a lack of pity for any potential victims.

Time suddenly jumped back into place, and the young woman felt herself losing balance. She teetered on the edge, when the foot which had refused to budge before, slipped on the wet grass. She let out a terrifying scream, as she felt her body slipping forwards, and her hands scrabbled in the air, hoping to find anything in reach that may save her. Her body fell over the edge, gravity pulling it to the watery depths below. But her frantic hands found purchase on what was left of the cliff’s grassy edge. She hung on for dear life, doing everything in her power to not let go.

Let go. A small voice in the back of her mind urged her. This is what you wanted, so let go. Instead, she used all of her strength to pull herself back up. Her arms were aching, and there were several instances where she would inadvertently pull out clumps of grass clinging to earth, in her haste to save herself. But, despite that gravity was trying to pull her down, she made it back onto solid ground, where she flung herself the farthest way possible from the edge of the cliff, and lay whimpering, in a shivering lump on the wet grass. The crashing waves of the ocean below sounded angry at being deprived of a victim to feed its watery belly.

Tears were streaming silently down the planes of her face as she stared with fright at the orange and pink sky. Before long, loud sobs were being wrenched from her small body. She curled herself in the foetal position, and pulled out clumps of grass with her shaking fists. Her body shook with every sob that she let out, but they were slightly muffled, as she pressed her forehead against the ground.

Suddenly, a wild anger overcame the young woman as she realized that she was unable to jump off the cliff, and unable to let everything go when she was a finger’s breadth away from falling. Her fear and desperation had transformed into a mixture of anger and self-pity. She lifted herself to her knees, and threw the clumps of grass in her fists at the ocean. The grassy blades fell about her like green confetti.

With an animalistic scream that burned the edges of her throat, she let out an anguished and painful cry that echoed through the blowing wind.

“COWARD!” she screamed. “COWARD!”

Leah screamed out all the pain that was bottled up in her, and she cried at her inability to jump. She was a coward. She let out another long and anguished scream that ripped its way through her mouth, which sounded eerily like a lone wolf howling in anguish at the moon.

Leah wasn’t afraid of the watery death that awaited her; rather, she was afraid of the pain that it would bring. And she couldn’t take anymore pain. She needed something swift and painless. But nothing came. She did not have the courage to bring death upon herself.

Barely two months after Emily had her accident with the bear, Sam had proposed to her. Now Emily, whose face was half disfigured with terrible scars that ruined her once beautiful face, wore a ring on her left hand. The ring that was meant for Leah, and that was supposed to be Leah’s, before Emily came along.

But now, Emily and Sam were inseparable. The look that Sam once gave her, shone for Emily only. That look, which bespoke of nothing but of everlasting love; the look that once made her heart soar. Now all Leah was left with, were looks of pity. People tried to sympathize with her, but she can tell that they were happier for Sam and Emily.

Sam and Emily. Emily and Sam. The words sounded distasteful in her head, and tasted bitter in her mouth. The two people, whom she once loved more than anything in the world, now became the two people whom she hated the most. She had nowhere to turn, but to turn to hate, as her heart couldn’t take anymore pain. With hate, the pain lessened, and it became numb. But mostly, she turned to hate because it allowed her to take sick pleasure in seeing Emily’s scarred face. It gave her sick pleasure in causing others pain. And it allowed her the sick pleasure in isolating herself from those she loved.

She felt the need to build solid walls between herself and other people, in order to protect what was left of her pathetic heart.

An armour was needed, especially if she was asked to be Emily’s bridesmaid, and had accepted.

So, with abhorrence and bitterness in her body, she walked back home in her bare feet and her white dressing gown, that was now ripped and stained green and brown—the only evidence of the terribleness that had almost transpired. She brushed away the last vestiges of her angry tears with the back of her hand, and with every step that she took, she allowed her heart to grow heavy with nothing but hate.

Leah hated, because it was easier than admitting that her heart couldn’t let go of the love that it still had for Emily and Sam.