Tales of a Broken Soul
Leah is plagued by her memories. Leaving La Push behind, she strives for a new life in New York. But when she returns for her brother’s graduation, her life gets irreversibly turned upside down.
1. when worlds collide
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1558 Review this Chapter
My hands clenched around the steering wheel, my heart fluttering as the first houses arrived on scene. They were small and dainty while New York was huge and magnificent. I was doomed.
I navigated the roads easily. Even if the route wasn’t ingrained in my brain, it wouldn’t be too hard to find one’s way around such a small area. But even the obvious familiarity of La Push wouldn’t have made it easier on my battlefield of a mind. When I left La Push, I stayed away. Hopefully never to return. I abandoned the pack, my family, my nonexistent friends and I highly doubted I would get a happy “Welcome back!” when I finally arrived. I expected hostility at the least. The only reason I was even setting foot in La Push again was because my brother had finally graduated from high school—and he had emailed me and begged me a million times to be there.
So there I was, parking outside the house I once called home, waiting for my doom to come.
As the rented car came to a stop, I could have sworn my heart stopped beating along with it. Not enough air was being inhaled. Not enough blood going to my brain. Not enough common sense for me to take deep breaths and stop freaking out.
But I was back. I was going to see all the people I left behind. Face their reactions. Face their blunt words. I was going to see my mother. My father’s gravestone. I was going to have to see him, the reason for my forever-scarred heart. With her. With a child.
I felt like vomiting. My stomach was so queasy; I rolled down the window to the stuffy car and prepared to spill my guts.
“Leah!” I heard a vaguely familiar voice call. I turned around, expecting to see one of the older pack members like Paul or Jared (even if it was doubtful they would be so happy to see me). But instead I saw my brother—lean and huge—bounding towards me with the largest grin on his face. I was in awe. Seth changed so much in three years and I wasn’t even there to experience it. I wasn’t there to tease him about his first girlfriend, blab to mom about a hicky, or anything that a big sister was entitled to do. I felt tears burn my eyes, but I didn’t bother wiping them away. I could foresee lots of crying in my future.
“Leah,” he repeated when he was by my window. He had stubble! My little brother had stubble… “You’re crying,” he gasped, clearly as shocked to see the change in me as I was him.
“Yeah,” I muttered, finally dragging the sleeve of my shirt across my cheek. “Things can change.”
My mother embraced me, muttering about her baby girl. Immeasurable guilt welled in me, tainting the bittersweet homecoming. She looked old. Wrinkled. Grey. Lonely. I turned my head away, trying not to betray the array of emotions that were screaming to be let free. I may have matured, but my need to keep my emotions hidden was still intact-even if I had a few moments of weakness.
“I know we probably should have a nice family dinner tonight,” my mom started. I only nodded, not voicing my repulsion at the idea. “But, Seth’s employer always wanted to come over for dinner. This was the only night he could make it,” she sighed and stared up at me with pleading eyes. I tried to hide my joy and nodded.
Seth and my mother breathed a sigh of relief before dissolving around the house. They must have been trying to give me my space. I looked down at the floor, knowing that they were still afraid of me. No matter how much they loved me, I was a monster to them.
I picked up my bags and stumbled up the stairs and into my old bedroom. I hesitated before opening the paint-peeling door. My breaths caught in my throat before I pushed the rotting piece of wood open. I flinched back from the scene before me.
Everything was the same as I had left it. The bed, the pictures, the furniture. And it was even dusted, too. My bottom lip quivered and I had the extreme urge to hit something. Anything.
Instead I threw my suitcase into my room and shut the door with too much force. I suddenly felt old in my collared shirt and knee length skirt. Flopping down on the bed, I looked around my room and tried not to cry. Tried not to get angry. Tried not to show any emotion at all. I sat on my bed, my face was a brittle mask. And I stayed there until my mother called me down for dinner. I yelled that I would be a moment before gathering semi-adequate energy back up.
I heard muffled voices downstairs, but didn’t really pay attention. How was I expected to socialize when my heart was torn into pieces? My chest hurt and the tears in my eyes threatened to spill over.
“Leah!” I heard my mother’s desperate cry. I sucked in a ragged breath and fell off the bed. With shaking hands, I brought myself back up and stumbled over to the full-length mirror that had a large crack running up it. I tried not to remember how it got there. I tried, but failed. I remembered the heated words of my mother. The screams from me. The tears of my brother. The blood dripping down my hand from the contact with the glass…
I quickly fixed myself up, applied three year old lipstick, combed my boy cut hair which I never really grew back out, fixed my clothing and made sure my eyes were not puffy. Despite my efforts to look happy and upbeat, I just appeared to be miserable as always. Deep lines were under my eyes. My lips were in a permanent frown. I was supposed to be physically beautiful, but there was nothing remotely attractive about me at the moment. I sneered at myself in disgust before slipping out of my old bedroom.
I sneaked around the corner, glancing at the scene from the corner of my eyes. There was my mother, laughing as if she just heard the funniest thing in the world. Seth had his arm wrapped around her, sheltering her. Like I should have been doing. Resolve outweighing fear, I finally took the last step down the stairs. My mother smiled when she heard me come down.
“Oh, Mike! Here is Seth’s sister, Leah,” my mother explained. I smiled back at her unconvincingly before turning to face whoever this Mike guy was. And my heart just about stopped for the second time that day when I saw him.
Pale blonde hair. Clear blue eyes. Prominent cheek bones. Handsome all around. And he was smiling at me with perfectly white teeth.
The rest of the world disappeared. All that was left was him. My heart jumped towards him and I stumbled forward. I sucked in a lung full of air, my face reddening like it never had before.
Thankfully the darkness of my skin camouflaged it well enough. Embarrassment was the last thing on my mind, though. Because when Mike caught me as I fell, the contact between us felt so right. Too perfect.
I yanked away from him, muttering ‘sorry’s and then excusing myself to go to the bathroom. When I was finally free of my family’s prying eyes, I fell to the cold floor and started to hyperventilate. Mike’s face flashed in my mind and I groaned, feeling my stomach toss around.
I saw this same exact thing happen through Quil, Jared, and Sam’s eyes. But I couldn’t believe it. It was too crazy.
I staggered upwards, using the sink as a support. I swallowed nervously, my face feeling as if it was 200 degrees. I looked into the mirror; my eyes were wide, my mouth formed a small ‘O’. But I still refused to believe what happened. It was impossible. My heart belonged to Sam and it always would. Mike’s laughter floated from the living room at the worst possible moment, and I almost leaped out the door and into his arms again. I was mortified at how I was acting, and how I wanted to act.
I groaned again and covered my face with a discarded towel. I had to face the facts, even if I didn’t like it.
I imprinted on Mike Newton. And I hated it.