Loch Ness Monster
I believe that every teenage girl feels like a freak at some point on the road to adulthood. I, however, am a real freak. Nessie's story.
10. Die Young
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“What did he see?”
“That’s all I was thinking. I can’t really be sure.”
“All right. Don’t worry. We’ll find him.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’ll be okay. Just…stay there.”
The phone went dead. Tears were drying on my cheeks, ruining the face Rosalie had created earlier.
At first, I’d gone back inside to try and find Justin. I’d tried desperately to act like nothing was wrong when I asked my friends if they’d seen him. Emily had laughed, “Nope, not since he left with you. Geez, what do you do to ‘em, Loch Ness?”
I’d almost wept right there, as if I’d needed a reminder of how much of a monster I was. Then, I’d headed back outside and searched the perimeter of the building. Nothing. Finally, I tracked down Carlisle’s limo driver, who said that Justin had asked him to drop him off at home and then come back.
So that was where my parents were headed now, along with Carlisle and possibly Jasper, too, to help calm Justin down. I was paralyzed on the bench outside, clutching my phone desperately, hoping for a call saying everything was okay.
The wind rustled the leaves on a tree not too far away, and I turned like a hawk, hoping it was Jacob. Every sound that anything made, I prayed it was Jake. I needed him near me. I needed him to hold me.
I still felt horrible for my part in his servile destiny, but I was beginning to break down. I wasn’t used to being away from him, especially at times when I was in any kind of pain. How pathetic was that? I was almost an adult, and I’d never had to be in pain on my own. I’d never felt more childish than I did sitting on that bench in my navy blue dress helplessly crying for someone to console me.
I wasn’t exactly sure what my parents planned to do when they found Justin. I didn’t know how what had happened could be explained. Would they tell him he imagined it? Would they tell him the truth? No, they couldn’t do that; could they?
I only remembered the Volturi very vaguely. I remembered the way they looked at me with such strange faces. They hated me, but they knew they had no reason to. It was the strangest expression—an argument between rational and emotional. For that moment, rational had won out, but if there was any kind of reason for that decision to change, I had no doubt that they would use it.
A chill shot up my spine. That could not happen. My family did not think like the Volturi; we were utterly emotional, and, just as I would do for any of them, they would all give their lives to save mine.
Another gust of wind blew, but I forced myself not to look to see if Jacob had appeared. I was determined to deal with this pain on my own. Besides, Jacob should be helping the family look for Justin. That should be everyone’s main objective.
Moments passed before I noticed that I was shaking. My body was past control, and my mind was in no state to be calming it. There was such incredible fear bubbling out of me. I had never thought I would have to think of this. That was my best perk of being a freak. I never had to watch my family die. I never had to consider it a possibility. And now, because of me and my thoughtlessness, that safety was gone.
I’d never hated myself before tonight. It was terrible. I wanted to crawl out of my skin and be someone else. I wanted to stop existing.
God, how much happier everyone would be if I’d never existed! Jacob would be whoever he was before I forced him to belong to me. Mom and Dad would have a chance to be as young as they wanted. Justin would have a prom date that could hold his hand without a crisis.
I shook my head. It would have been so much better for everyone involved. I checked my phone in the absurd hope that I hadn’t heard it ring. No such luck. All that was there was the picture of Jake and I making faces at the camera with my banner, “die young. stay pretty.” It was something Alice had said once, jokingly, when our English teacher had asked us all to come up with our own personal philosophies. It didn’t seem at all funny now.
I closed the phone, unable to see Jacob’s face for more than a few seconds without that absurd pain of separation stabbing its way through my chest.
Another gust of wind that I refused to feel.
Ah! My body exploded with relief. Jacob. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob!
“Jake!” I called out and anther flood of tears poured out. “I’m so sorry.”
He approached slowly with an impossibly pained expression, “Stop it. None of that. It’s all going to be okay.”
“Did they find him?” I asked hopefully.
“Not yet,” he admitted, looking the slightest bit uncertain. “He wasn’t at his house, so everyone’s sweeping the town. He couldn’t have gotten far.”
“Oh, my God,” I put a hand to my mouth. “How could this have happened?”
“It’ll be okay,” he repeated. “I promise.”
I sighed and looked up at him desperately.
“What?” he smiled. “Don’t you trust me?”
I waited a long moment, staring deep into his warm eyes. Of course I trusted him. I trusted him more than I trusted myself. I cringed, “I’m still sorry.”
“About what?” he shrugged. How could he be so calm?
“About…you…?” I could hear my voice get smaller, but I did not have the energy to make it any louder.
He chuckled, “You realize how odd that sounds? You’re sorry about me? Carlie, I promise you. I have never been happier than you’ve made me tonight.”
“You said you love me,” I shook my head.
“Yeah,” he nodded. “And I meant it.”
“And I ran away,” I stared at him with wide eyes. How much crap could I possibly put him through before he began to hate me?
“You were freaked,” he shook his head and sat down next to me. “It’s understandable.”
“No, it’s not!” I yelled. “How can it be okay? How are you just fine with all of this? I…I’ve been horrible to you.”
“Yeah?” he titled his head. “You think so?”
“See!” I stood up. “You can’t even tell when I’m being horrible to you, because I’ve unintentionally given you this…like, lobotomy that makes you totally blind to anyone else!”
He chucked, “Is that how you see it?”
“That’s what it is, Jake,” I shrugged, feeling incredibly frustrated with him, though I knew he was only saying what I allowed him to say.
He seemed endlessly amused, “Carlie, I love you desperately, but you are so off track.”
He said it again! And so nonchalantly! How did he do that, as if it were easy?
“I know when you’re being a bitch,” he smirked, trying not to laugh again. “You didn’t give me any type of lobotomy. I’m still me. I’ve always been me. I just…I want to make you happy.”
“So, what?” I threw my arms up. “You, like, can’t get angry at me? I can’t piss you off? I can’t make you hate me?”
“I doubt it,” he started to get more serious.
“God, I wish I’d never existed! I do!” I yelled and heard my voice carry off into the night. “Everything would be so much better! I wish I could just go back and erase my entire life! I wish…!” I broke down, my knees giving out beneath me, and I fell in a heap of tears.
“How can you say that?” he just stared at me.
“How can you not?!” I screamed. “How can you possibly be happy like this?!”
“Like what?” he shrugged, his voice getting a bit of an edge.
“Like this,” I indicated him. “Sitting here with a freak while your vampire family tries and track down the guy who said freak picked over you to go to prom with, because she was so dumb as to let him—“
“Stop it!” he stood, a dangerous expression on his utterly safe face. “Don’t you ever talk about yourself like that again!”
“Why not?!” I snarled and stood to meet his furious gaze. “Does that make you upset, Jacob!? You don’t like hearing about what a god damned freak your gravity pulls you to?!”
“I hate myself, Jake! I hate myself!” I began to loose steam. “I can’t touch people! I can never kiss anyone or give anyone a hug or even shake someone’s hand! I’m a freak, Jacob! I’m a monster! How the hell do you love a monster!?”
“Renesmee!” he boomed, and I collapsed again. “I’m angry, now! Are you happy?!”
“I can’t be happy!” I shrieked.
“Carlie,” he choked out and bent down. “I promise you that’s not true.” He put a strand of hair behind my ear. “I can make you happy.”
“I’m sorry, Jacob,” I murmured, my voice tired. “I shouldn’t yell at you. You’ve never done anything wrong.”
He smiled ever so slightly, “Of course I have; you just love me too much to notice.”
I looked up at him, stunned and desperate for his words to be true.
“I promise,” he wiped away the fresh tears on my cheeks and stared at me for a moment, “It’ll all be okay. You’ll see.” His phone vibrated in his pocket, but he did not seem to notice. He just kept staring as if he hadn’t heard it.
“Jake,” I sighed.
“I’ll call ‘em back,” he smiled.
“Jacob, life or death situation here,” I couldn’t help the smile that grew on my face. How was he always able to do that?
“All right, all right,” he chuckled. “I’ll answer the phone,” he smiled his devious smile, “But because you want me to, Mistress.” He bowed mockingly, and I pushed his shoulder playfully.
“You’re not funny,” I smirked.
“No, I’m freaking hilarious,” he pointed to me and pulled his phone out. “’Y’ello?”
I could hear Dad on the other line, “We think we’ve got him.”
“You think you’ve got him,” he rolled his eyes at me. “How exactly are you unsure about that?”
“I only met him briefly, so his thoughts aren’t very familiar to me,” he explained. “But we think he’s nearby. Is Renesmee with you?”
“Right here, Dad,” I said, knowing he could hear me.
“He’s not sure about what happened, and his thoughts seem to be focusing mostly on his concern for her. He feels terrible about running off and leaving her,” he explained.
I cringed at that. I was making everyone feel terrible tonight.
“He’s not going to tell anyone, then?” Jacob asked.
“He’s not planning on it at the moment. He’s just driving around, wondering if he should go back to the prom to check on her.”
I sighed with relief. If I was his biggest concern, there was a good chance that none of my family would loose their lives.
“So what’s your plan?” Jacob smiled at my relief.
“Well, if Renesmee thinks she’s up to it, we thought if she was able to show that she was as frightened by what happened as he was but that she thinks it was some kind of electrical malfunction from the building…”
“You’re kidding, right?” Jacob sneered. “Electrical malfunction?”
“Emmett’s on his way over as we speak to make it look convincing,” he assured him.
“I don’t know if Carlie’s—“
“I’m up to it, Dad,” I took the phone. “No worries. Where is he?”
It started to rain while Jacob and I ran to the high school parking lot. Dad said Justin had been parked there for a few minutes, contemplating his stupidity. I told Jacob to wait for me in the woods, and I stepped into the familiar lot.
Justin was pacing outside of his car, getting soaked. I smiled, “Hey, loser!”
He looked up, startled. “Nessie!” he came over to me. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have left you there like that! I just…I panicked! That…that freaked me out a little.”
“Yeah,” I nodded, still smiling. “It’s okay. It freaked me out, too.”
“Yeah?” he wrinkled his forehead, and then shrugged. “I guess it was just some weird brain thing? Like, maybe our brains connected for a second or something.”
I almost laughed. Yeah, it was a little like that. “Huh,” I shrugged. “Actually, I went back in and asked one of the security guards? He said that a current right near there got all messed up the last storm we had. He said it can do a lot of weird stuff…” I smiled, “He also said we were lucky he didn’t catch us out there, because we probably could have gotten suspended.”
“Suspended?” his eyes went wide.
I’d added that part to the story myself. “Yeah. And…he sort of hinted that he would really appreciate it if we didn’t mention it to anyone else, ‘cause of, like, liability issues? I told him that was fine.”
“Oh,” he nodded. “Yeah, that’s cool. It was just freaking weird, you know?”
“Yeah,” I smirked.
He smiled, “I’m just so glad you’re okay. I was so worried. You—you are okay, right?”
“Fine,” I smiled. “I mean, wet now that I had to come find you in the rain, but other than that…”
He froze for an instant, then began to take off his coat, “Oh, my God. I’m so sorry; I should have offered…” he held it out to me.
“No!” I laughed. “Please, keep your coat, Justin. It’s soaked anyway.” I sighed, “I guess we should get home.”
“Yeah,” he smiled. “Some prom, huh?”
I smirked, hearing Jacob chuckle from the woods, “Some prom.”
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