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I listen to the fast murmur of dried winter leaves under my bare, exposed feet. My ancient boots must have fallen of miles ago. Tendons in my legs are sore and screaming me to stop. All of the blood I own feels frozen, but I keep on.
“If only I would have stayed away.” I think to myself. The picture of Demetri’s limp, unnatural self flashes like a racehorse in my mind, I cringe at the image. But I don’t dare slow down.
“If only I would have stayed away.” I repeat again.
It was December 8th 2007 when I first saw the gallant creature. I was 15 years old. Drifting to sleep that night, because of my bed being right beside a window, I saw those two green eyes. A thousand animal names popped in my head, and I fell to sleep knowing I had to see it for myself.
The six o’clock light dimly seeped through my red curtains, the same color as my untamed hair. I dragged my self out of my bed with sheer effort and pushed off my grandmother’s quilt. A flash of the green eyes appeared in my head, and I remembered my goal for the day. I jumped over hundreds of books, Little women, Beowulf, 1984, all my favorite’s, concealing my floor and I started to make a small dance.
I placed my hands on my boyish hips and twirled till’ I was sick. My hair danced from my waist and into the air like a restrained fire. I danced till’ I was to my phone, It was sparkly and silver. I pressed my best friend, Demetrious, number and the buttons light up. Demetri had silvery black hair and luminous topaz green eyes. His lips are normally chapped because he always used forget his chap stick on his washing machine. And the green eyes were usually supported by small light purple coloring, due to his poor amount sleep. He had a tendency to have night terrors; he’s even been close to committing suicide in his sleep. I remembered franticly that I had to get dressed, so I reached for my clothes. My favorite light blue shirt and my puffy marshmallow like coat were both lying stiffly on my desk chair. I quickly grabbed my golden cross necklace and latched it uncomfortably around my neck. It’s quite funny since im Wicca that I wear a cross. I only do so to fit in with the crowd.
“Hello? Vivian?” Demetri’s voice sounded urgent.
“Hey Demetri, can I ask ya a favor?”
Trying to balance the sparkly phone between my shoulder and my ear, I imagined Demetri standing in his plain room, weighing the odds of getting killed.
“Well, I was going to sleep last night, and you know my beds right by my window, right? You’re never going to guess what I saw!” I waited for him to guess, he didn’t.
“Aren’t you gonna guess?”
“No.” I could just feel his excitement through the phone. I rolled my eyes.
“Yes! Guess its fun!”
“No.” And that’s when I rolled my eyes for the second time in our conversation.
“Fine, Fine, I’ll tell you…..” I added a dramatic pause, which my momma says that’s all I am, one big dramatic pause.
“An animal! I saw an animal!”
“An animal? You called me at six o’clock, to tell me you saw an animal?” his voice was very dreary, I was afraid I’d woken him up.
“Yeah, of course, But I need your help. I have to see it Demetri! It had such pretty eyes. And now that I think about it…..its eyes were the same color as yours…”
“No, im not coming, you’re crazy.”
“Okie dokie, be here in one hour!”
“Viv, I said no.”
I cut the line and started dancing freely down the hall, my feet dancing on the slick hard wood.
“Viv! It’s Demetrious!” My grandmother called from down the stairs. I jumped down the stairs two at the time and made my way to our newly re-modeled kitchen. My Grandma stated staying with mom and me when she turned 77. Worst gift she ever got she said. And a few other things mom said not to repeat.
“I can’t believe you called him at six in the morning!” My grandma’s accent was heavy and her brows fused together. I shrugged and went to our fridge to get a juice box. By this time the door bell was ringing like a mad man and was getting quite annoying. Even my grandmother had her fingers in her ears, trying to block out the constant ringing. So I finally gave in, and opened the door for Demetri.
“Hey Ace.” I winked at him playfully and bolted out the door, and into feet of snow. I could hear him walking behind me, not sport enough to run. I made it to my bedroom window, along side the house and I waited for him to hurry up. I faced the forest and spoke like a robot, trying to get Demetri to laugh.
Demetrious slowed his walk even more, made his way across my lawn and stood very still. Each second he stood a bit more still. I could tell his muscles were strained, like he was about to burst into laughter any moment. Finally, he spoke up.
“Well? Are we just going to stand here?”
He grabbed my limp arm, the one where a scar was formed from a freak accident. A scar that runs from my delicate skin of my wrist, to dense skin of my shoulder, and makes me point to the woods
“Onward.’ A lovely grin melts on his face. Snow had sprinkled on his bangs, making his hair dripping wet. I smiled back, and started towards to woods.
The moment I stepped into the woods I was in awe. Soft snow was falling out of the sky, bright like diamonds cut out of the sun. A trembling love seemed to penetrate out from me for the forest. Two topaz green eyes were glowering at me from the corner of my eyes. And they weren’t Demetri’s. I stopped mid-step and put a protective hand in front of Demetrious. Beside the green eyes were three more pairs of innocent, identical eyes. A wolf. A wolf and its pups. Those same sentences kept repeating in my mind monotonously. My hands were quivering, trying to hold Demetri closer. He put his palm on my shoulder and calmly put me behind me.
“No.” I whispered gently and tipped around Demetri’s anxious body.
“Yes.” He said sternly and pulled me back.
“Can’t you see, she has…one…two…three pups. One step and your dead, she’ll kill us without regret.”
All the words he was saying were going right through my ears, I was concentrating on the wolves. The wolves’ over fur was a warm umber and she had endless black holes for eyes. But what I didn’t notice before was the faint foam forming near her mouth. There was a dangerous stillness about her, that immediately made me think of the rabid animal attacks around my town. Even rabid, her appearance made me think of the name Lionel, so I began calling to her.
“What? What are you saying?” Demetrious cocked his head just enough to not upset Lionel.
“Lionel. It’s her name, it suits her nicely. Don’t you think?”
I cocked my head to match Demetri’s perfectly.
“I, think your nuts.”
We were in a tantalizing trance when Lionel stood up. My head grew to Lionel’s furry one; I could tell she was upset. I took one glance at Demetri, a thin sheet of sweat hung on his temple. I felt a warm pulse in my hand, knowing it was his. I tried to turn around; But Lionel was much, much quicker. Pearl like snow was a veil over Lionel’s muzzle. She looked shockingly beautiful.
If only I stayed away, I thought again.