Claire never knew much about her mom's family, let alone imprinting. Hearing voices and having strange dreams leads her on a path to La Push, finding answers to questions she never asked.
2. Chapter 2
Rating 0/5 Word Count 1278 Review this Chapter
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Graduation rolled around a week after the exhibition. I wasn't too worried about my final results like everyone else seemed to be. Thanks to my exposure at the exhibition, I had already earned an early admission to an Art School in Seattle I was desperately hoping and praying for since I was sixteen, so how I did in Calculus or Biology wasn't really a concern of mine anymore.
I was scheduled to board on campus for the semester, which was terrifying for my parents, but strangely exhilarating for me. I'd never slept a night in a bed other than my own, and honestly wasn't sure if I was even at a capacity to take care of myself so completely. Nonetheless, I didn't feel scared like I probably should have.
I still hadn't shaken the suspicion of the secrecy regarding my mom's family. I kept looking for windows of opportunity to re-open the discussion, but found myself biting my tongue just as the words were about to come out. I'd spout off crazy explanations in my head as I lay in bed every night, until the mental exhaustion won me over – sending me straight into my familiar dream sequences. My dreams became more intense and began to feel more real. Lately, I'd often wind up in my dream, knowing it was a dream. Dreams had never worked that way for me before, but I guess after eighteen years, that part of my brain eventually put two and two together. The first night I realized I was dreaming, I tried to talk to the beautiful boy. He stood in front of me, and I asked him who he was.
"Why am I always dreaming about you?"
Still no response, just smiling.
My dream was cut short after only a few seconds. I awoke to a shaking motion as I realized my father was leaning over my bed, nudging my shoulder and calling my name.
"What?" I asked, bewildered by his urgency to wake me up on a random Monday night.
"You were.. having a nightmare," he replied, looking a little stunned.
I was? No I wasn't. Was I? I couldn't remember by now.
"Why don't you go downstairs and have a cold drink of water before you go back to sleep?" he offered.
"Um.. no.. thanks."
He walked back towards my door, wearing the strange concerned expression I rarely saw on him. Before he was out, he took a quick glimpse back at me, then flicked off my light and closed my door. I sat staring after him, even after he was gone and I was left in the dark.
It was so strange. Never, has my father made an effort to wake me up from a nightmare before. Why would he wake me up for something so insignificant? Why would he want to protect me, an eighteen year old, from a nightmare? Wouldn't a cold drink of water just stun my system and keep me awake longer? Again, the eerie suspicion washed over me. He wore the same look of concern tonight as he did the night of the exhibition, while watching me in his rear view mirror. I didn't sleep well the rest of that night.
My dreams were chased away by my father's interception.
The time finally came for me to pack my bags, and prepare for my new life as a grown up. It took me three full days to sort through all my things; deciding what I really needed, sort of needed and definitely didn't need. Mom thought it would be best if I moved into my new place a few weeks before school started, so I could get used to living alone earlier and not feel overwhelmed when classes began. It was such a mom thing to consider. I didn't mind though, it meant I could leave sooner.
On the third day of packing, I ran down the steps of the basement to collect my art supplies that I could never bring myself to part with, no matter what kind of fancy tools Art School had to offer. I stopped short on the last step, as I realized the stool in front of my canvas had been moved aside. Someone had been in here? It almost felt like an invasion of privacy, knowing someone else had been in here and seen the painting of the boy from my dreams – even if it was just someone from my family. It was strange that who ever it was had never brought it up in conversation. Surely they would be curious. But there hadn't been any questions as to who he was, or why I painted him. Or why I never showed anyone. I wondered who saw it. Aside from me, no one ever went into the basement anymore. Maybe I wasn't home at the time, and then they just forgot to ask.
As I looked at the painting from this angle on the bottom step, I realized the boy was looking directly at me. I continued off the step and veered to the left a little; still looking at me. I began to walk along the back wall, leaning side-to-side, only to find that wherever I stood in the room, the boy's eyes were still on me.
No matter where I went, he was always watching.
I hadn't painted it like that intentionally, and was surprised to find I had never noticed until now. I used to find contrived portraits like that creepy, but this only made me smile now.
I pulled the painting off the stand, and tucked it under my arm as I ran back up the basement stairs. I tried to rush back up to my room, not wanting anyone else in the family to see the painting; sure I wouldn't be able to dodge the questions if I were caught with it in hand this time.
I froze on the first step at the sound of my father's voice coming from the kitchen. After a few seconds of no response, he continued.
"Can you come in here for a second?"
I laid the painting carefully against the wall, faced down. I would have quickly sprinted my way up to my room to hide it away, then returned downstairs, but that may have seemed conspicuous.
I entered the kitchen to find him sitting at the dining table, with an almost empty cup of coffee placed in front of him. I didn't even know he was home. He must have been sitting there in silence all morning. I'd never seen my dad sitting alone pensively, at the table with coffee before. He was always in a rush to a meeting, or watching T.V or in the garden, or just..anywhere. But never just sitting at the table, relaxing over a cup of coffee, like a woman on a Sunday morning.
"Yes?" I hesitated, still standing just in front of the doorway.
He looked confused for a second before speaking, looking down into the cup.
"Why did you paint that picture of that boy?"
"What picture?" I asked, defensively.
"The one of that Native American boy I saw in the basement."
I mentally paused at that before processing an answer.
Native American? Was he Native American? I'd never even considered that, and I'd seen him almost every night in my dreams for more than a decade.
"Claire?" he continued, the concerned look resurfacing.
"I don't.. know."
"Do you know him?"
If this was my father's attempt to have the talk with me, it was not going well.
"I don't.. know.. I-"
He cut me off, making eye contact with me for the first time before he spoke again.
"You dream about him."
It was a statement, not a question.