I looked in the mirror of my bathroom and examined myself, nothing looked too bad. I wasn't bulging out in awkward places, and my make-up wasn't smudged, but I smoothed down my shirt anyway, and I brushed my hair once more just to make sure. My uncle had said that they were having a bonfire on the Friday of this week, like they did every other Friday, and wanted to also celebrate our move to La Push.
It would only be a few people; including my dad and uncle's friends, the guys Jake hung out with, their girlfriends, and the elders. I looked at myself again, my outfit didn't look as good as I had originally thought it would, and no matter what I did, it just didn't feel right. I went back to my room, pulled off my flowing top, and pulled on a t-shirt along with a sweatshirt from my previous high school. I went back to the bathroom, and decided that this was the look that I wanted. It was comfortable, and didn't look like I was trying too hard to look good.
I fussed with my hair for a bit, then just left it down, and went out to the living room where my brother was waiting for me. Our dad had left early to help set up at the beach, and had told us to come later because he had some sort of surprise for us. Michael shot straight up as I walked in, and opened the door for me like the gentleman he was. Kind of. I steadied the door he had swung open with my good hand, and tried to walk out. But the universe decided that simply walking out was too easy, I had a slow motion fall as I walked out the door. I almost fell onto my face when our cousin came out of nowhere and caught me.
I let out a breath I didn't even know I was holding as he righted me, Jake gave me a hug as I collected my wits. I breathed in my cousin's homey scent, it calmed me down a little bit, because if he hadn't caught me, my brains would be splattered on the sidewalk in front of our new house.
"Thanks, Jake," I adjusted myself and my cast as he let go of me. "I'm not sure how that story would have ended if you weren't there." He smiled at me and rubbed my head like I was a little kid.
"You're welcome, Josy," He hugged me again, then did a weird bro-fist thing with my brother. I don't even try to understand that. "Hey, Mike, your dad sent me over to pick you guys up, he said something about not wanting you to drive on a slick road at night."
I raised my eyebrow, "So, instead of putting Michael in danger, he's putting you in danger?"
He shrugged, "No, he said it's because the roads are slicker than they usually are, and I can navigate them better." In Oklahoma we would get torrents of rain when it would rain, so I was pretty sure that Michael could have navigated some slick roads just fine. We all filed out the door, chattering about school and what we had all done that day.
"So, you're working on a project in Spanish, right, Josy?" my cousin asked me suddenly, before that he and Michael had been talking about the school's sports record, and were worrying over whether or not the baseball team would prevail in the upcoming game against Forks High.
"Yeah, I'm working on it with that guy, Seth. He's your friend, right?" Jacob nodded at me and focused back on the road.
"I've known Seth for a little while now, his Dad died a year or so ago, and he hasn't been the same since." He shook his head sadly, and looked on. We were almost at the beach and could see the dim light that must be coming off of the bonfire they had built. "He seems to be quite taken with you, if I do say so myself." He wiggled his eyebrows, and did a fake British accent. I rolled my eyes at him and saw flashes of a wedding go by in my mind's eye. I shook the odd thought out of my head and focused on the blur of trees going by my window.
I sat on a log that Quil had dragged over, and listened to Uncle Billy tell the stories of our ancestors. I had heard these - and many others – from my father over the years, and I thought they were an amazing piece of our culture that we had to hang on to. So, I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of the night, but there was food as well. Nothing fancy, just hotdogs and hamburgers that a girl named Emily had grilled, as well as some potato slices that had been cooked in an oven beforehand. All the boys at four plates of food, filled until pieces of food were falling off, and even when they landed on the ground, the boys still ate them.
As I ate, I noticed that Seth was getting ever closer to me. Every few minutes or so, he would get up and scoot to a different spot in the circle. I stayed in my place; it only looked like he was trying to talk to everyone, until he bumped Quil off of the log and sat down right next to me. I scooted away a little and kept eating my hot dog, he scooted closer to me. Just a fraction of an inch closer, but I still noticed it.
"So.." He started off, I looked at him as he tried to find his words. "Josephine, I really got off on the wrong foot with you. I really wanted to say how sorry I am that I kissed you…" He trailed off, looking at me in dismay. "Can I just start over?" I smiled at him, he seemed like a pretty sweet guy. Sweeter than I had first assumed, at least.
"Okay, thanks…um, I'm Seth," He balanced the plate on his knee as he reached his hand out to shake mine. It didn't work out quite like he wanted, as he reached over he knocked the plate off of his knee, into the sand, and got ketchup all over his leg. He stared at it for few seconds with both his arms up, and his mouth open in an "O". It was hilarious from my standpoint, but not from his. He rushed off to get some napkins and clean himself off. I watched him run, then went back to eating my dinner.
He returned quite a bit later, wearing new shorts that were ketchup free. I laughed a little at him. "What's so funny?" He asked me with a smirk. I shook my head at him, I didn't really want to give in to him by laughing, but it was hard not to. It was almost like he was the sun after months of rainy days. It was weird, because that's how I should have seen my boyfriend. But, it was almost like he had become distant since my mom had died. Almost like he was trying to give me my space, but also trying to break up with me.
He shoved me a little bit and stole one of my potato slices, I smacked his hand and he dropped it back onto my plate. "Hey, you aren't Quil, no one can take my food but him." He laughed as I raised my eyebrow at him. I kept eating as he chattered about school and his friends. It was almost like he was carrying on a conversation with himself. I laughed here and there, it was nice. I was finally at ease, and Seth really didn't seem as bad as I had thought he was. At least, not yet.
He kept on talking, enough for the both of us, and I almost stopped listening until he asked me a question. "So, do you wanna take a dip in the water?" I looked at him, looked at the water and looked back at him. I shook my head profusely at him, he just laughed.
"I could get one of my sister's swim suits for you, we only live about five minutes away from here." He gestured to the road, I weighed his proposition in my mind against my common sense telling me not to go into the frigid water.
"Sure, just make sure it's okay with your sister first, okay?" He nodded and gave me a thumbs up then ran off. I shook my head, marveling at my stupid decision. I could get pneumonia, or even drown in the rough waters the ocean.
I sat on the log thinking about Seth, he was probably running top speed back to his house just to get the stupid suit. I looked at the water, and looked back to the road where Seth had disappeared. I had to go through with the swim, I couldn't take it back.
"Augh! It's so cold!" I laughed out loud. "How did I ever agree to this?" He laughed and waded over to where I was. We were in a relatively shallow part of the water, but I still couldn't reach the sandy bottom if I wanted to keep my head above the water. Seth could still stand, and the water only came up to his chest and he was the only thing keeping me in the same place at this point. I looked up at him as he laughed, and he grabbed me up in his arms. He was awfully touchy for someone who had just met me, but I found that I didn't completely mind. Think of your boyfriend a traitorous voice in the back of my mind whispered to me. I instantly felt guilty, but Seth made me feel better in one night than my boyfriend had in six months.
He set me back down in the water, I felt the chill creep all the way back up to my shoulders. I huddled in closer to him because he was just so dang warm! The head radiated off of him like he was some sort of stove, and it felt great. I was always freezing, and my boyfriend was never warm. He was still laughing at me, oblivious to the fact that I was lost in my own head. He had a great infectious sort of laugh, I laughed along with him, and my side felt like it was going to split open, but I kept laughing anyway.
I looked up at him again, and he just smiled down at me. His teeth glinted white in the moonlight, and it shone off of his black hair just right. It was almost like a screen had been lifted off of my eyes, and I could see him clearly for the first time. He was a beautiful person, but I'm not talking about his exterior. It was almost like I could see his soul shining through his eyes, and through his very skin. It was amazing, but that little voice still niggled at the back of my mind. I felt almost guilty, but this was almost a once in a lifetime feeling. How could I feel guilty when I could be staring at someone who could very well be the only chance at true happiness?
Hey, guys! Tell me what you think about the first semi-romantic chapter of this story, please :) because I'm feeling pretty good about this one.