You always hear how forgiveness is important for personal welfare. In truth that only applies to forgiving others for the things they have done to you. The hardest person to forgive is always yourself. Since I had left La Push, I have gone through an array of emotions including anger and disgust for my current situation. So when Sue and her son decided to show up and speak with me, I was teetering on the edge of anger at them for being so happy regardless of the torture I have and currently am putting them through. The fact that Seth was able to forgive me for trying to ruin his happiness because he knows what it is to love and loss, pissed me off even more. Yes, I read his letter multiple times trying to see what the point of it was. To me it seems that he is looking for a continued relationship because he "refuses to give up on me, even though everyone else has." His constant optimism and hopeful nature tend to rub me the wrong way because I feel there's no hope for us as siblings. He took the one thing I wanted more than anything and for that I cannot forgive him. Sue on the other hand has washed her hands of me, her daughter. She relayed through Jacob that she will always love me but she cannot allow me to drag her down with me anymore.
"Rise and shine, Leah. It's breakfast time."
I get out of my bed and head over to the cell door where Calvin waits to cuff me while escorting me over to the breakfast. Calvin is the closest thing to friendship I have nowadays. He doesn't sugarcoat things and is constant source of comfort. Sometimes I see myself falling for him but then I think of the last shapeshifter I fell in love with and what that love caused as a result of me giving into the love I felt for him. Sam was a breath of fresh air when I first met him all those years ago. He has always been the man of my dreams, the one I planned my life around. To know that it wasn't me he dreamed of forever with still hurts and I can admit that I am bitter.
"Hi. How are you today? Reconsidered seeing your family?"
"I'm fine, Calvin. Or at least I was until you mentioned them."
No matter my mood swings, Calvin still talks to me and treats me the same regardless.
"You have to stop thinking about them and how this visit helps them. Instead look at the visit as beneficial to you, Leah."
"What do you mean? HOW will seeing them again help me? How will seeing them happy and living their dreams make me happier?"
"It will help you find CLOSURE! Maybe then you will see the benefits of the things that are right in front of you Leah. YOU could be happy if you let yourself move on with the good choices presenting themselves to you. Open your eyes and your heart Leah. Allow this to be the first step to healing yourself."
The way he was speaking to me has me thinking that he is talking about the option to be more than friends in the future. Maybe it's time to consider closure. Eating breakfast I finish up in record timing. Getting up I ask Calvin to escort me to the library to access the computer. Arriving I sit at the first available computer and sign in. Opening up word I stare at the screen for a long while before I begin to type.
I am not guaranteeing that me responding to your letter is the start of something more than forgiveness and closure. For both our sakes we need to move on with our lives and that requires closing the chapter on the past. I am no longer trying to steal Sam from you or be his wife, however, I must admit that I want nothing more to do with anything to do with Quileutes or the Clearwater family. In order for me to find happiness I have to say goodbye to all the things that destroyed me and ruined my life. That means you, your mother, your husband, and your spawn.
Though I am gaining closure and moving on doesn't mean I don't still hate you all so please no more correspondence. I am giving you the acceptance of your forgiveness offer. Please leave it at that.
Printing the letter I sealed it and mail it off. Feeling a lightness I decide to focus on my future here no longer concerned with the past and ex-family.
Typing the letter was the first step to finding closure and moving forward. The next step is trickier for me. I have been trying to prepare myself for what I must do next. I have to write a few more letters for all the tribal elders to express my feelings about things and ask for permission to visit my father's grave. He is the one who I need to ask for forgiveness as well. He was my rock and strength when he was alive and I feel like such a disappointment for how I reacted to not having the affection and love from Sam like I wanted. Speaking with the tribal elders here, they have informed me that if I am given permission to visit my father's grave, I will have to be escorted to La Push and back by three of the pack here. Of course, I requested that Calvin be one of them since we have a rapport. Granted that is the excuse I am using to not get my hopes up about us being more than friends.
Heading over to the library, I sign on to the computer and open Word.
Dear Quileute Tribal Council,
I am requesting permission to head over to A-Ka-Lat, where I will be able to visit my father's burial site. I have already spoken with the tribal council here and they said if you all agree that they will escort me to the island and back for whatever day you all choose. I know that a decision must be made not just by you all but the pack as well. Therefore, I will write a separate letter explaining my need to speak to my father and ask for forgiveness for my trespasses. My heart is heavy with the burden of pain that I have caused not only my pack and family but the tribe as well. It has taken me a long time to see that not only was I wrong for what I brought upon the pack but I almost risked exposure to the world which would have destroyed all that we hold sacred in our world.
I am not asking to return to La Push, not because I don't wish to, but because I know that it is time for me to leave behind the pain and sorrow that my presence has brought. This visit is a step in my path to redemption.
Please take your time to consider.
Once I finished the letter to the tribal council I decided that I should just go ahead and get the other two letters out of the way tonight.
Dear La Push Pack,
I know that I am the last person any of you wish to hear from, but I feel this is a necessary step in all of us moving on with our lives without the past haunting us.
I am truly apologetic for all of the pain that I caused you. I held a grudge for a loss of something that was never truly mine. I drag others into my plot to be selfish and it cost them their lives. For the loss of Rachel I am sorry. She was a pawn in my game of revenge.
I have no words to explain my choices and resulting behavior. I wish not to excuse but accept my actions as sinful. Though I cannot change the past I ask that you all know that I am truly sorry for all that occurred that cost not only Seth and Jacob their lovers but their children their fathers.
Though we will never have a true pack bond again I wish you all the best that life has to offer. I do ask that if I happen to be able to produce any children and they decide to return to La Push you spare them the evil truth about who I was and allow them the opportunity to explore the land of my forefathers.
I know that by the time you receive this letter you will probably already heard that I wish to visit my father's grave to speak to him before moving on with my life forever away from yours. Please allow me this chance to say goodbye to him.
As I am writing these letters, I realize that the final step in creating my new life is moving away from all the reminders including this land where I have been exiled to. I shall ask for permission to move out of the country and use my degree in teaching to some use. The final letter to my family has been the hardest to write because I am still coping with some bitterness towards them. My mother especially since she easily accepted that my husband loved another and broke my heart in the process. Granted I played a terrible trick to get him but he didn't know that when he first started to sleep with Seth and got him pregnant the night our engagement was announced and for that I don't see us having a familial bond again. However, I do need to clear the air so that it is building up within me and becomes detrimental to my new life.
I have been trying to figure out how to go about writing this letter. I know that when you all came to visit all those months ago, I wasn't ready to grant you forgiveness or ask for it for myself. Instead, I hung on to the hatred that had been my motivation for many years. It wasn't until I realized that I needed to let go and gain closure before I could truly be free from my past and start anew, that I understood the purpose of you all travelling out here a year ago. Forgiveness is not for others but yourself and now I am ready to grant you forgiveness and ask for it myself. I made bad choices from the moment I set eyes on Sam and began to delude myself into believing that I deserved his love above all others. His heart was no longer for the taking, Seth had owned his heart for a while before I even truly noticed Sam. For this reason alone I am sorry that I destroyed their happy ever after with my selfish desire. I wish them well.
As far as you are concerned Sue, I am sorry that I tried to force your hand when it came to being Switzerland and being neutral. Since phasing, I felt like everyone owed me for having all my options taken away from me, but that is not an excuse for my behavior. The pack, tribe, and you guys bore the brunt of my hatred and I ask that we move on past this by accepting that I understand I fucked up and I am apologetic for my choices.
I know that we will never be the family we were because I lost your trust in me but honestly I need to leave La Push and its inhabitants in the past and start fresh somewhere no one knows me or what I have done.
I shall also like to ask forgiveness from the children who were put into danger throughout the course of my deception.
I realize now that unless I let go, forgive myself, forgive the situation, & understand that it's over I cannot move forward.
I didn't notice the tears falling down my face until a droplet splashed against the screen as I went to print the final letter. That quote at the end of the letter to my mother and Seth is my constant mantra. I repeat so much to inspire myself that it has become ingrained in my memory.
Heading to the mailroom, I drop both letters off just as I did the one sent to Seth a year ago. Now it becomes a waiting game. However, while I wait, I shall look into making plans for my future.
Looking up flights, I find a couple places that are far away from Washington State but they inhabitants still speak English as well as enough nature to allow my wolf to feel calm.
"Leaving me, huh?"
I look up into Calvin's eyes and I notice a look that I have seen before but never directed at me.
"When?" I ask.
Calvin blinks and recognition clouds his face.
"When I became your guard."
Two years. For a few moments, I am mad at him for not telling but then I realize that I wasn't ready to be his imprint.
"Okay. So what now?"
"That's up to you. I'm whatever you need me to be, Lee. I may have imprinted on you but that doesn't have to mean anything more than what you want. But I can say that the imprint only made me notice you behind the anger and pain in your eyes. I got to know the real you that has been hidden away since your father past away the night you phased. I love your passion, strength, and intelligence. Please give me the chance to prove to you that love is possible for you."
I melt at the truth behind his words. I don't think, I just react. Throwing myself into his arms, I slam my lips against his. In that moment, I believe that things will be alright for all of us.
Receiving the letters from my daughter had us all hesitant to open them after the last letter sent garnered such a negative response. However, something told me that these letters would be beneficial to everyone. Meeting in the council hall, all the elders, pack, and their families, waited for Billy to read the first letter for the council. Quiet filled the room once everyone figured out that Leah no longer wanted to hurt us but wanted to move on and seek out her own happiness outside of Washington State. Before I can identify my emotions about the first letter, everyone looks to me to read the second. Tears stream down my face soaking my shirt as I realize that I have lost my daughter completely now. I will not be able to see her fall in love, get married, become pregnant, or watch her children grow up. However, she is beginning to sound like my baby girl, the one who was ruined in part by the return of the Cullens and my idiotic step-daughter's life choices.
"We will grant her permission to see her father. We will grant her forgiveness just as she has granted us. It is time to move forward from this experience. The pain of the past has to stay there because as Leah said forgiveness is key to moving on and finding true happiness."
Once I said that I got up, grabbed Charlie's hand and head towards our car.
"You okay, Sue? We don't have to go and meet Bella and Nessa tonight."
"I will be. Yes we do you love Bella and spending time with our granddaughter will be the perfect remedy for the pain I feel."
"Can we join you grandma?" Sophie and EJ ask as they join us.
Grabbing their hands I lead them to the backseat.
The car ride over has my mind racing with thoughts and I realize that I must have lost track of time when I am pulled from my thoughts and see that we arrived at the Cullen's house. Thinking about my daughter will have to wait until I leave here because I have to find a way to be in my daughter's life.