Thinking back to that day, standing on the edge of the cliff, I wonder why I didn't just jump and spare myself the ridicule. I a frightened 11 year old, but that didn't stop my best friend, Evelia, from having already made the jump thrice. Her older brother had done it several time more, but in my defense he was 13 at the time and had had more time to build up courage.
"Damali, just jump. You'll be fine," Evelia, the plucky blond that stood behind me spoke up. I turned on the platform I was supposed to dive from, and smiled though gave her a hard look, upset she used my given name. A beautiful vision I was not. I was short and rather chubby; even more so, compared to her tall and thin stature that she claimed was because her wolf trait.
"Do you really have to take this long?" a voice from behind her piped in. I felt my heart clench up at the angry tone, and tears pricked my eyes. "She's obviously worried that all that fat will pull her down!" That voice happened to be Evelia's brother, Zander. He had only ever been kind to me once, but that one time was enough to ignite a crush in me, regardless of his harsh words. I couldn't blame him. I was only chubby to human standards, but to a wolf I must have been grotesquely huge.
I glanced back to the cliff, deciding I would just chicken out and walk back to ground level to the lake below. Before I could do this; however, Zander shoved me over the cliff. The harsh impact of the water muffled the screech of Evelia. I pushed myself above the water's surface to see Evelia swimming towards me, intent on dragging me to shore and insuring my health was intact.
The last thing I saw before falling into unconsciousness was the shocked and semi-apologetic look on Zander's face. I assumed that he hadn't meant for me to fall and forgave him. The crush lived on.
While the wolf pack that Evelia's family belonged to was large, it was not a widely spoken of fact that most of the town's population was wolves. I'm fairly certain that my aunt hadn't known when she had brought me to live here after my parents split. To the day my affable aunt passed, I don't believe she ever expected the majority of the town's population were werewolves.
I shrugged my jacket on one arm at a time, as one hand had to keep a firm grip on my cell.
"Evel- Evelia calm down. I'm sure you'll meet him this year. If not this year then the next! What's the ru-" Evelia cuts me off again with her speech on the importance of finding her mate, or rather having her mate find her. "We're only 16, Eve. You're going to be fine."
I hear a honk outside my house and end our call, hopping out of the house and into Eve's sleek, green car.
Without a greeting, she quickly picks up our conversation where we left off. "Damali, you have to understand that a lot of pups are born in the winter because of wolves heat season happening earlier in the year. That means that a lot of the guys will be turning 18 soon!" she squealed.
"So…?" I questioned, though I knew fully well what she would say.
"So that means that a bunch of guys are going to be able to smell for their mate! Even Zander! It's so weird to think that he could be settling down and," she drifted off, having caught sight of my chubby face scrunching up slightly.
I never had overcome my crush. It was the random kindnesses that kept me hopeful. As we grew older and matured he treated me a bit better. Nothing close to showing interest, but he would exchange pleasantries with me as I would wait for Eve to do one thing or another. He never did apologize for all the names he had called me, but I didn't really want him to bring up the past ridicule. He was treating me better. He was becoming a respectable young man, and eventually we would be the alpha of this towns pack.
Eve started talking again, as if she'd never mentioned Zander, "Honestly, how embarrassing would it be if I get a mate that's younger than me?"
I sighed before replying, "Well what makes you think your mate must be living here? Maybe he's already searching for you, scouring the country in search of his one true love." I may have over romanticized it, but she smiled at the thought and nodded in approval. I sighed again, trying to make it seem as if I weren't into reading cheesy, supernatural romance novels.
Eve sighed as we pulled into the small school's parking lot. Turning off the engine, she faced me and smiled a luminous smile. "Well, we'll just have to see. I happen to know that 8 of our schoolmates will be turning 18 today, 5 of which are guys." She giggled, and fell silent, her eyes lighting up with an idea. "Maybe you'll even be mated and brought into the pack. Ooo, wouldn't that be exciting!" She squealed in excitement at the idea before scooting out of the car.
I pulled myself out of the car, and followed Eve into the school. I noticed that most of the guys, as they usually do this time of year, greeted all the females kindly, which including me. A friend of mine from my trigonometry smiled at me, and asked me if I could help him out during trig – something I usually did anyways. Eve nudged me playfully after he walked away, spewing nonsense swiftly, the way she did when she was excited, "Oh, have you and Nathan been getting on well then? He'll be turning 18 just a few days after Zander. I bet he's hoping you'll be his mate. You'd be so cute together. He's a mega hottie! I didn't know you guys were friends."
She continued on, but I stopped listening when Zander walked in the front entrance with his loud group of friends. They started to make their way towards Eve and I. I quickly turned my attention back to Eve, hoping that Zander hadn't spotted my stares, as I always did.
One of Zander's friends threw his arm around me, and squeezed my shoulders. "'Sup Dot?" he asked casually.
I smiled. There were some really nice guys that didn't ridicule me about my appearance, and Jason was one of them. I let out a small laugh at his nickname for me, and shoved him away from my shoulder. "Not much, Jase." I replied.
From the corner of my eye I saw Zander shift in an uncomfortable manner, as he always seemed to do when one of his friends talked to me. I could tell he didn't want me to talk to them, and it always made me feel as if he still looked at me as the ugly, fat girl that hung around his sister. He probably did, but no longer voiced it. I felt my heart drop in my chest again.
Eve and Zander bantered back and forth until the warning bell rang, and Zander and his friend made off to find their first classes. Eve spun around to look at me again.
"What did I do this time?" I asked, a sigh escaping my lips.
"You are just a man's lady today, aren't you?" she giggled yet again, but I knew she was sensitive around this time of the year, so I stayed quiet.
We parted ways, and I scooted into my seat in the French classroom. However, I found myself just as unfocused as Evelia usually is during this time of the year. In 2 days Zander would be 18 and searching for his mate would take up most of his time. All the hope I had clung was slowly being drained from my body. In 2 days time Zander probably wouldn't even remember that I existed.
Please let me know what you think, and if I should continue with this story.