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.
2. dinner time
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1741 Review this Chapter
When I had finally gathered the scattered remains of my dignity, I snuck out the bathroom door. Without any hesitancy, I walked impassively into the war zone-or in other words, the dining room.
While in the bathroom I came to a firm conclusion. Mike was not going to get in my way. He was not going to be in my life in any shape or form. All I had to do was ignore him and hopefully I would never see him again. At that point I was sure I had the right to rule my own life the way I wanted. Not the way magic prepared for me. As long as I had any strength left in me, my love life was going to go the way I wanted it to-a life without Mike Newton.
But of course when I saw the back of his head peaking around the corner, my heart leaped out of my chest and landed right on his dinner plate as if it was serving itself to him. I stifled a gasp before taking a few deep breaths. Focus, Leah. Focus.
My mother had already served dinner when I finally slid into a seat at the small table. I was careful not to look at the man next to me in fear that I would give in to this strange work of fate. I kept my eyes on the heap of spaghetti that my mother slopped onto my plate.
“Are you feeling okay, Leah?” My brother asked. I glanced up, careful to only have Seth in my field of vision. He dabbed his mouth with his napkin before shooting me a funny look. “You were in the bathroom for a long time,” he noted.
I opened my mouth, but my mind went blank. The first thing that should have come to my mind was to say I was feeling sick. That would have excused my behavior and allowed me to leave the table. But, since I was the biggest idiot on earth, I looked to my left and saw a little of Mike’s beautiful tousled hair. Denying myself the urge to run my hand through it, I said the first thing that seeped into my subconscious.
“Uh, it’s just PMS,” I blurted out. The table went silent. My mother was staring at me wide-eyed while Mike and Seth had a look of pure horror on their faces. I felt the blush creep up my cheeks when I fully realized what I had just said.
“I-I mean it’s…nothing,” I sighed before ducking my head to hide my mortified expression. I felt my chest compress again and I was screaming at myself in my mind. Idiot, idiot, idiot, idiot…I picked at my spaghetti, willing for the night to just be over so I could get away from the demon sitting just to the right of me.
Finally, I heard them picking their forks back up to continue eating hesitantly. My eyes were locked on my plate as Mike started a strained conversation.
“So, the weather has been pretty crazy lately,” he started. I felt like throwing up. Did I gross them out enough for them to be talking about the weather? But why was I embarrassed? I made a vow to never see him again, so what was the big deal if he thought I was disgusting?
Yet even so, a small part of me ached for his approval. I shook that part away and stuffed a large roll of spaghetti into my mouth.
“Don’t choke,” Seth muttered before cracking a smile. I glared at him and was going to talk back but the spaghetti kind of prohibited that. I was about to reach across the table and teach him a lesson, but Mike started to chuckle. The sound made me freeze in place. My insides wanted to melt. Which, in turn, made me want to hit something.
My mother glanced around at the table, her eyes full of anxiety.
“I heard there is going to be a huge carnival for the Fourth of July in about a month,” my mother mused. Seth nodded and reached across the table for a bread roll. I had to fight the involuntary move of my muscles to shove the bread in his face. “That should be fun,” she sighed, pouring sauce over her plate.
This was torture. Agony. I had to get the conversation flowing so I could just finally disappear into the background. I prepared myself mentally and physically before turning towards Mike. My hands clenched around my skirt and I looked at him full on. I managed to keep my mouth from dropping open, but that did not stop my speech from getting stuck in my throat.
He stared at me, his mouth in a toothy smile. I completely forgot what I was going to say. I probably would’ve forgotten my own name in a manner of seconds.
“Leah,” Mike said instead. I figuratively died when he said my name. I nodded dumbly and hated myself for it.
“Seth told me that you live in New York,” he started. “What have you been doing there?”
Oh, God. He was focusing on me. How was I going to be able to talk when he was staring at me like that? I fished around for my train of thought. It didn’t come up without a fight.
“I am studying biology and engineering at New York University,” I hissed. But Mike seemed completely unaware of my nasty tone. He just smiled before smearing butter onto a flaky bread roll.
“Interesting subjects,” he stated. “I was never able to do well in those,” he admitted. I nodded and hoped that he was done talking to me. I even glared at him to get the message across. “But I bet you’re doing well. All A’s, right?” he teased. I cursed the blush that spread over my cheeks. My glare was temporality forgotten.
“Yeah,” I muttered in response. Working my self crazy at school was a great way to forget how messed up my life was.
Mike ‘hm’ed in response before taking a huge bite of bread. This was my chance to sweep the conversation clear of my name.
“Seth, what exactly do you do at Mike’s shop?” I asked. Like I had planned, the conversation flowed away from me and into the realm of hiking and management. I leaned back in my chair, sighing with relief. But my joy was short lived.
“Leah, Seth told me that you used to hike when you were younger,” Mike said, interrupting the calm that I had just acquired. I held in a shudder before nodding. I used to hike with Sam…
“Yeah, but then I grew up and I didn’t want to damage my pretty nails,” I mocked before excusing myself to go to the bathroom. I didn’t need to look back to know Mike was following me with his eyes. When I reached the bathroom, I leaped into the confined space and closed the door shut with shaking hands.
It became too much. Of all the people in the world, I had to imprint on the one guy that wasn’t freaked out by me. Fantastic.
I stayed in the bathroom until I heard the dishes being cleared and Mike announcing that he had to leave so he could wake up early for work the next morning. My whole body relaxed and I was able to breathe regularly again. I picked myself off the cold floor and straightened my wrinkled skirt and shirt.
Since I figured I would never see him again, it wouldn’t hurt if I said goodbye to him one last time. It would be some kind of closure.
I creaked open the door, while my heart started to pound uncontrollably in my chest. I dragged my feet forward and saw Mike shaking Seth’s hand in goodbye. I was suddenly regretting my dimwitted decision to come out when Mike looked up and saw me emerge from the bathroom. The grin that swept across the face could light a thousand light bulbs. I tried to revive my heart as he walked over to me.
What was wrong with him? After I was extremely rude to him, he was grinning at me as if he was head over heels in love. Which was impossible since no one could fall in love that quickly---except for werewolves. I blinked before instantly turning around and running into my room. I slammed the door shut before sliding down onto the ground.
In the matter of only a few hours, my life was turned upside down. Sure, I made the promise to myself that I would never see Mike again, but La Push was really close to Forks and they were both very small towns. I would be looking out the window every morning in fear of catching sight of the handsome stranger my inner gravity suddenly started to revolve around.
I needed to leave as soon as possible. I would go to Seth’s graduation and then take the first plane out of Washington. I would promise to return soon, but everyone would know I wouldn’t mean it. I would never return. It was a large price to pay for my freedom.
I heard someone stomping up the stairs, possibly to take me down to the mental institution. My actions that night were strange to say the least. I flinched when they knocked on the door.
“Really, Leah.” It was Seth. “Did you have to act like that? If I get fired it will be your fault.” His steps echoed away from me and I curled into a ball, wishing with all my might I was back in New York. Back where there were no vampires, no other werewolves and where no one could hear my thoughts.
Another pair of steps sounded outside my room. I groaned and waited for my punishment to come. They paused out side my room before moving on. Sighing in relief, I crawled over to my bed and pulled the covered up to my chin.
I thought back to my wish to be in New York. Or in other words, a world where monsters don’t roam and where fate does not have a personal vendetta against you. But, of course, that was too much to ask, especially for me. Because nothing was allowed to go right for Leah Clearwater.