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Disclaimer:I don't own what comes later into the story,like characters from The Twilight Saga,but I do own Crystal,Rae,Bert and Alison.
Crystal Clear Chapter Two:Can't avoid meeting people
I wasn’t very good with describing persons,always using the plain words.But the problem was,there was nothing plain about this one.I knew I was about 1.78 m but he was ridiculously tall.He could very well be over 7 feet,and that was one of the factors that made me not-so-confortable.I was unconfortable at the idea of talking to him,I wasn’t scared of him-I was about to jump off a bloody cliff,for God’s sake.Hey,maybe he’d do me a favor and push me if I was too big a coward.
His muscles were just plain surreal,but I don’t think he was one of those bodybuilders who obsess over their bodies so much.They look kinda disgusting to me,those with muscles to spare.But his looked amazing,and would probably not look so good on any other person.For a second I imagined my father with this kind of muscles-and the thought frightened me.
”Hey.You into diving?”
Okay,I’m usually a person who catches up fast with things,but this one took me aback,and his voice seemed to add to it.It was so deep,I pictured the one who’d try and disobey him.Oh,not a pretty sight,but who’d be stupid enough to do that?Despite his deep voice,he had a friendly tone about him.
My mind was tearing itself apart,what with the option of running away-now why the hell would I do that?I was annoying myself because I couldn’t find anything to say.Diving..right.I like diving,but into a pool or something,and not from higher than 2 meters.But diving from a cliff?I wondered what he thought I was doing,a person with headphones on-currently in my hands-listening to a now suicidal song,since I’d made it look like that to my mind,and standing over a cliff prepared to jump.Obviously,he thought I was ’diving’.
Finally,my mouth opened,but that wasn’t exactly what I wanted to say.
He took a few steps until he was at my side,but he was facing the sea,so I turned a bit to face his side.
”Yeah,cliffdiving.Isn’t that what-”
I think realization hit him,and I wanted to laugh.Now,what would he be thinking...’I’m standing next to a weirdo thinking she’s into cliffdiving,but in fact she’s into suicide’.
Something along those lines.
He looked at me with a frown.
”Don’t worry,I’m not suicidal.” I assured him.
His eyebrows disappeared under his shaggy black hair.
”Cliffdiving..you can call it that,since I was planning to jump but didn’t know what would follow.”
I had no idea why I was telling him I wanted to jump.I could very well be standing up here for the view.
”The water’s agitated,the wind is blowing and there’s a temperature of probably 16 degrees.You still planning on jumping?”
Hm..if I want to go into hypothermic shock.
”Good point.But why are you here?”
I had no idea what made me ask.Probably the fact that I’ve always been more curious that cautious.
”Cliffdiving.” He said with a grin,taking off his shirt.
Now,whoa,I could be going into shock without jumping.
”And he thought I was suicidal..” I muttered,loud enough for him to hear me.
He gave a laugh,but otherwise stepped back.My eyes widened as I realized he was actually going to-
He closed the distance between him and the edge with two big steps,and dove like an expert as my mouth hung open with words that didn’t come out.
I didn’t see him for 10 good seconds,and I thought he might’ve drowned or something,and when police would go around asking for him,I’d either have to keep quiet or simply tell them ’He jumped off a cliff under the pretense of cliffdiving’ in a sweet innocent voice.
Luckily none of that had to happen since he surfaced,way further than I expected him to,and from what I could spot at this height,he had a grin on his face.I didn’t know if he could hear me from this distance,but still I yelled:
But he seemed to hear me perfectly,as he yelled back at me.
”Look who’s talking!”
Yes..he was kind of right,I was planning to jump because I thought I’d make it to somewhere else.Not necessarily a better place,no,but somewhere new.
I guess he was crazier though,since he actually jumped.What I didn’t understand was why I was standing there,staring at him making his way to the shore.
I put my headphones back on and made my way on the same path I had followed to get here.
The boy I realized I didn’t know the name of was nowhere to be seen,not that I minded.I jogged my way back home-the word was stuck in my throat like a fist to the stomach-and as soon as I opened the front door my dad stood there,his hands folded.
”Young lady,where were you?”
What,suddenly worried about me,dad?I narrowed my eyes slightly at his raised eyebrows and tone of the voice.
”I was..out.On the beach.”
”Don’t you ever leave without telling me where you’re going again,understood?”
”Why should I?You never told mom where you went at 3 in the morning.”
His eyebrows came back down,and he glared at me,raising his hand.
”Yeah,that’s right!Hit me!Is there anything else you know to do?!”
His hand stayed raised in the air,I bet he really wanted to hit me.I didn’t even know how he hasn’t done it yet.
When I realized he wouldn’t,I walked past him to my room and slammed my door.
I kept a disgusted look on my face as I took a shower,water splashing on me and the pink walls.Then I remembered about the paint.
I didn’t like the idea of leaving again-especially telling him where I’d go because it was none of his business-but the idea of staying wasn’t exactly thrilling either.
I pulled on my dark jeans,a t-shirt and jacket and got about a hundred dollars from my luggage.I had no idea how I’d managed to raise about 700 in only 3 months.I put the hundred in my pocket and the rest back into my very neatly folded hoodie in the wardrobe.
I walked down the stairs in a bit of a hurry,hoping I wouldn’t catch my father on the couch,but there was no such luck for me.
He cleared his throat just as I put my hand on the doorknob.
”I’m going to town.”
And luckily it wasn’t far away,because I didn’t have anything to drive.I was in still a bit of shock as my father offered to lend me his truck whenever I wanted to move around,but I said no.I couldn’t stand the thought of being in that car,let alone driving it.
As I made it to the street leading to the few shops in the center of La Push,I wanted to turn around,because my brilliant memory forgot to bring the mp3.But sure as hell I’m not going back there for it.
I cursed under my breath and kept walking,praying it wouldn’t start raining too.Dark grey coulds were gathering rapidly,but I made it to the nearest store and got in right before the downpour started.
It was actually a library,and it was the kind of place I hung out in lately.I loved reading,especially because I liked seeing how the human mind thinks.What fantasies occur in people’s minds and just what horrors creep through them.
I haven’t brought any books with me,just my particular favorite,The Stranger,by Albert Camus.I didn’t know why I found myself so much in Meursault,probably because he wasn’t able to feel any remorse or general regret at his mother’s death.Sure,I was more than devastated on the inside,somewhere deep in my mind,but I didn’t let any of that surface most of the time.My mother’s funeral was no exception.I couldn’t stand all the people mourning and voicing their regrets and all that crap-I knew they didn’t really mean it.Who has been there for mom when she and dad divorced and she was put into hospital?I was there,no one else.Another thing I found in common was that both of us focused more on the people there than on my actual mother being buried 7 feet under.
”Hello.” The shopkeeper greeted me.I just nodded and went ahead to the section where I knew I had to find something interesting.
My fingers ran over the titles and stopped every so often,only to keep going.
When I finally found what seemed appealing,I started taking it out,but another hand reached for it.
The first thing I did was withdraw my hand.Then I looked up,and I was strongly reminded of the boy I met an hour ago or so.
It wasn’t the same boy,but they could be brothers,considering how many features they shared.He was tall,but I knew my numbers well enough to say he was shorter than the first,but not by that much.He was well over 6 feet.
Another thing was his russet skin,covering an amount of muscles that was,again,too much for a boy looking about his age.I don’t think he was much older than me,but I’ve been wrong before.
As my eyes traveled to his face from his body,I couldn’t help but stare.Okay,so maybe I could help it,but did I want to?He wasn’t as scary as the first boy,not only because he seemed more relaxed,but because he had that face that stared at me in such a way I was completely baffled.
I shook my head a bit.
”Sorry,did you want the book?”
Wonderful.Of course he wanted the book,so why do I have to state the obvious?Oh,that’s right,because I needed something to break the staring.My staring and his.
He blinked once and shook his head,again confusing me.
”Then can I..?”
It took him 3 seconds.
”Sure,go for it.”
Few things impressed me these days,but his voice was a sound I’ve never heard before,no sound like it even.Calm,kind and concerned,the kind of guy you’d like to talk to.His voice was deep and too matured for his age,another similarity,but it was far more relaxed.
I grabbed the book off the shelf and studied the back for a second,before I felt like I wasn’t interested in it at all,because I had something else to look at.
I looked up again,my hand falling to my side with the book in it.I was surprized to find him staring.I didn’t think I was the thing to be stared at-a horror book cover would be more interesting to look at.And I definately wasn’t the pretty one.I wasn’t the girl guys wanted to date,I was the girl guys wanted to be friends with.My ex-best friend Rae was the dating type,not me.
As soon as he realized I was looking at him,he blinked again.
”Oh,sorry,where are my manners.I’m Embry.”
What I first felt when I shook his hand was just how incredibily hot it was.At first it felt like it burned my hand,but then it got better.I hadn’t said anything yet.
I shuddered inwardly at my name.Oh the sweet irony...
”You from around?”
He let go and my hand fell to my side again,empty this time.
I could see how that was confusing,even if I knew what I was talking about.I corrected myself quickly.
”I’ve lived here all my life,I moved a few years ago.Now I’m back..”
Again I found myself telling the truth to complete strangers.But at least I knew his name.The first boy was still a complete stranger to me.
He barely knew me and he sounded concerned and hopeful.I was usually good at reading people,especially after the divorce.
To stay..I honestly haven’t considered it.I was still 17,I couldn’t go and live on my own.No,sure I could,but law said I couldn’t.Yet,I didn’t know what I’d do when I turned 18.
Truth spilled from my mouth again and I cursed mentally.
”I don’t really know.Maybe I’ll leave when I’m old enough.Legally old enough.”
A frown appeared on his face,and it looked out of place there,really.Of all people,he shouldn’t have to frown.
”So you don’t want to stay?”
”Fastest to get to that conclusion.” I admitted.
I was sure I’d regret the answer I’d give,but there was no other way to go about this,lying not even close,since even if I could lie to save my life,he sounded genuine and concerned,telling him lies would be like telling a 5 year old Santa doesn’t exist and never really did.Even if he doesn’t know they’re lies.
”My mom died and my dad’s not the parent type.I need to get away from things.”
It was the simplest description I could give of my current situation.My dad wasn’t the parent type..yes.He wasn’t the person type.A person wouldn’t have put my mother into the hospital.Only a remorseless monster could do that,after how my mom dedicated her life to him for 25 years.
”I’m sorry about your mom.”
He didn’t even know her..yet he sounded more genuine than any of the pretenders at the funeral.
I was sorry too,but that was as far as I’d go.Any other emotion would lead to something unwanted,something I didn’t want to feel in the least.
I nodded my head,already despising the subject has been brought up.
I would be eternally grateful he changed it a few seconds later.
”Hey,could I ask your help with something?”
I truly had nothing better to do,and I didn’t mind hanging around him since he seemed like an okay guy.
”I’m actually here to buy a book for my..uh..nevermind.”
I raised an eyebrow as he looked torn between telling me and turning around to leave.
”Would that be..for your mom?”
I smile pulled at my lips.
He nodded,but his head was down.
”Hey that’s fine.I’m aware people have mothers.And they often don’t know what to get them,so I’d be happy to help you.”
It was true,I was aware people have a mother and father and sisters and brothers,even if I didn’t.But I wasn’t gonna get revenge on them for being more fortunate than me.
He slowly looked up,and he smiled a breathtaking smile at me,which kept mine on my face for a while longer.
”What kind of books does your mother like?”
”Wow,we might just get along.Depends though.Most kinds of novels or particular ones?”
He reached his hand to the back of his neck,and I wanted to laugh because..
”You don’t have a clue,do you?”
I actually laughed in now 4 weeks.
He shooks his head at me,and my brain focused on a novel which would be good enough for anyone to like,even if I disliked the kind.
So far I had come up with three:Fear,by Ron Hubbard,Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,a much earlier novel.
”Hm..come with me.”
This wasn’t the section he had to look into,so I lead him to another one.
I found they have expanded the library-last time I was here you could only find about 300 books.I knew because of the amount spent in libraries,particularily this one.
The style hasn’t changed much,I see,so I knew exactly how to find what I was looking for,if they were here.You could find the oldest books,ones you wouldn’t have heard about all your life,that’s why I liked it.
I found ’Fear’ and ’The Memory Keeper’s Daughter’ and handed them to Embry to study them and see if his mother would like them,while I still searched for the one I thought she’d like most.
”Come on..where are you..”
One of the things I was grateful for was my height-I could reach top shelves.But this library appearently had extra top shelves.My eyes traveled over the dozens of titles,until they found the perfect one.
I reached for it,but it was inches away.
Right when I spotted the old chair that has been in this library for forever,the book popped in front of my face.
”Looking for this?”
I took the book from Embry and opened it to the preface.
Ah,yes.This is the one.If I had been a bit smarter,I would have probably kept it for myself.It was a book I’ve read before,yet never finished.I remember the owner of the library let me borrow it since I didn’t have enough money to buy it at the time,but I never finished it because my parents fought that one time and I returned it the next day.
It was selfish to want to keep it for myself,but I knew Embry needed it more than I did.Not many novels I had in mind would be appropriate,probably for anybody.
”There you go.Bet you five bucks she’ll like it.” I joked.
”You’re on.” But he took it seriously.Okay,I don’t mind a bet once in a while.
He handed me the other two,and I decided to keep ’Fear’,probably to laugh my head off.We walked to the counter side by side,and I remembered the person there.It was the owner!I didn’t know where the shopkeeper had gone,but I was glad to see Mr....Mr... Barlow!Yes,Mr Barlow.
His eyes flickered when he saw us,and I could see him give Embry a glare.Why,I have no idea.Maybe it was directed for me and I have bad eyesight.But I saw how his eyes moved to me,and they lit up.
”My God,I haven’t seen you in years!My,haven’t you grown!”
”Not enough so I can reach top shelves.”
It was my subtle way of asking:why’d you add another row?
”Don’t worry,there’s always the chair.” He said,winking.
”That chair is awful.It could break any moment and anyone could fall off it.” I said stubbornly.
”So you’re back?Visiting?”
”Staying...for a while.”
”And you decided you had to pay me a visit!Well I’m delighted.How’s Alison?I think I haven’t seen her in..well,longer than you.”
My eyes darkened.
”And you’re not gonna get to.She died three weeks ago.”
His expression changed drastically.
”Oh I’m so sorry.That’s...really terrible.You..alright?But,dear.Your old man must be feeling awful too.I haven’t seen Bert around here in five years.”
I couldn’t keep the snort in,despite biting my tongue.
”Yeah..he’s swirling with remorse.”
Every bit of the words was dripping with sarcasm.
I don’t know why,but people don’t tend to get when I’m sarcastic,probably because I over-do it so much,it seems like I’m sarcastic about being sarcastic.
I hurried to speed up the conversation as we paid for our books,and with a much-waited goodbye we left.
It was silent for a few seconds between us,and I noticed the rain stopped,but that was about it.I didn’t know why,but whenever Embry would talk,he’d be the only thing I’d focus on.
”I really hope you won’t hate me for this,but...what’d you mean by ’your dad is swirling with remorse’?”
I sighed.I had a feeling he’d find out more than I would ever want anyone to.