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Colourful days

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Nessie turned physically six and started to ask more and more questions Jacob wasn’t prepared for.

‘Jacob, do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Jacob, why is your skin always so hot?’ ‘Jacob, what happened to Emily’s face?’

It was hard explaining those last ones; they had decided not to tell her about the shape shifters until she was older. Jacob had heard about Jared and Sam showing their wolf form to their imprints the first time, and no one ever took it well. He didn’t want to scare Renesmee, certainly not at such a young age. So he made up stories, said ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’ll tell you one day’. 

The hardest one, however, was this: ‘Jacob, do you have a best friend?’ 

Part of him wanted to throw the Ken doll in the fireplace so bad, but every now and then a memory of Embry came back. You love her, Jacob. You’d do anything for her. Isn’t that what love is? You should know. So he smiled at her and said: ‘No, not at the moment.’  

‘Mommy said that Embry was your best friend when you were young’, she carelessly chattered, ‘but I think that isn’t true because I don’t know an Embry.’ 

Renesmee wasn’t even looking at him; she was too busy putting a new dress on her doll. For a second, Jacob really hated that. It always vexed him when people casually talked about Embry. And though he wasn’t a very emotional guy, the shame he felt would blurry his sight every time. 

‘Embry left.’, he admitted, yet twisted the truth a bit when he went on. ‘Something happened and we couldn’t deal with it.’ 

‘Who is we?’ 

‘My friends and I’, he told her through gritted teeth. 

Now she looked up at him. Renesmee put her Barbie down and sat next to Jacob. ‘Are you mad at me?’

‘No’, he said, unable to resist her doe-like eyes, ‘I’ll never be’. You’d do anything for her. The words echoed as angrily in his head as they did the first time and the underlying message even more.

Don’t be such a hypocrite .

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When Renesmee was about ten years older, Jacob explained imprinting to her. 

‘Can you choose it?’, she asked out of curiosity. 

‘No, you can’t.’ 

‘So, if I were a werewolf, I could imprint on anyone. Like anyone, anyone?’ 

‘Anyone’, Jacob laughed. He pulled her a bit closer and stared at the sea. Nessie cracked a smile. ‘Even my dad?’ 

‘Theoretically, yes.’ 

Then she wondered why he suddenly kept such a pokerface on. 

‘What’s the matter, Jacob?’ 

He shrugged it off. 

‘Alright then’, she said, taking a deep breath of air, ‘but there’s something I want to ask you.’ She hopped on the hood of his car. ‘I suddenly thought of it yesterday. Remember when I asked you about… what was his name again? Em...?’ 

‘Embry’, Jacob corrected, not really liking where she went with the conversation. 

‘Yes. Embry. Whatever happened to him? I know you told me something but it wasn’t really an explanation, I guess.’

Jacob sighed. ‘It’s not something that I’m proud of.’ 

Renesmee took his hand and told him it was okay. ‘We have all done bad things.’ 

So he continued.

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The Egyptian blue couch was the showpiece of Tiffany Call’s living room. Her son was sleeping on it, flat on his back, and you sat at his feet. A ray of red afternoon light shone through the open French windows, making the droplets of sweat on his forehead visible. You lightly touched his hand, which was burning up. 

Outside, a few figures emerged from the woods. They entered your backyard, and you quickly recognized one as Sam Uley. You got up and ran towards the window. Before you could close it and the curtains as well, he called out your name. An angry face was what they got in return, but how could it be something else when they stood there like that? Those abnormal muscles, that ridiculous tattoo, … everyone would be suspicious of them. 

‘We need to talk to you.’

Sam and the other two were waiting at the porch. Barefoot you walked towards them.

‘What for?’

‘It’s about Embry’, the guy at Sam’s right said.

You crossed your arms and looked away. ‘He doesn’t want you here. Neither do I.’

‘It’s not about what he wants, sweetheart’, the one on the left said. He stared at you intensely and suddenly you felt very uncomfortable in your yellow summer dress.

Sam noticed. ‘What Paul means to say, is that we only want to help Embry.’

‘How? He’s sick. He needs a doctor.’ And then you said in an unfriendly tone; ‘And I don’t really think you guys will be ‘helping’ him. Whatever you are, he doesn’t want to be a part of it.’

Hinting at them being in some gang clearly pissed Paul off, so he said he was going to talk to Embry himself and walked right past you. 

You grabbed his arm and jerked him back. ‘Leave him alone! All of you, just go before I call the police.’

‘There’s no need for that, sweethe-’

‘What’s going on?’, Embry asked with a husky voice. He rubbed his eye with his hand and it scared you how much he looked like them.

‘Nothing’, you tried, ‘they were just leaving.’

‘We’ve got to talk to you, man’, the guy, whose name you didn’t know, explained.

Embry suddenly seemed very annoyed; ‘I don’t think that’s necessary.’ Then he called you and told you to go inside.

Sam spoke up, said it was, and tried to calm him down.

‘I don’t want to hear it - none of it! Go away!’

You heard his voice betray him and knew he was scared. Why, you had no idea, but he started to tremble heavily.

Sam told him not to get angry, but it got worse, right until you touched his shoulder from behind. Your soft fingers on his skin, the cold metal of your ring, his whispered name. Embry took a deep breath, placed his hand on your lower back and guided you inside. Completely ignoring Sam and his friends, he got inside as well, closed the window, locked it, and shut the curtains.

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But their predictions were true, and Embry changed.

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A good fifteen minutes after you had called, he entered the room. Jacob Black found you in a pile of Embry’s clothes, frantically searching for something. 

‘There’s no suit. No suit at all. He doesn’t even have a single suit’, you told him with big, watery eyes. You picked up a shirt and watched the emersion of dark dots on it. 

Jacob, shocked by your heavy emotions, finally managed to ask you what on earth was wrong.

‘He’s gone, Jacob.’ Your voice broke as you said the words. You collapsed and fell right into his arms. Jacob held you there for a while as you cried, clothes scattered across the floor, with your face in his neck.

Then you told him; ‘He won’t come back, I just know. He’s dead and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can only find him some nice clothes for his funeral; that’s the only thing I can do for him.’

Jacob cupped your face with his hands and looked you sternly in the eyes. ‘Embry’s just gone, not dead. There’s no need to mourn him already.’

‘But there is; I know, I just know’, you whispered, tears still forming and falling.

‘He’ll come back - that’s what I know.’ 

Jacob covered your mouth when you tried to object, and told you to hush. Whether he did that because you were telling nonsense, or he just didn’t want to hear the truth, he did not know. He only knew that he wanted to stay there like that, and that was quite alright with you.

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Jacob stayed the night as your mom often worked late on her second job as a waitress. You both lay on the couch Embry lay on only a few days ago, you in front of Jacob, his face in your hair. He had his arm wrapped around you and you stared at his fingers, now white, now gray, as the television was the only source of light in the room. 

‘What are we even watching?’, Jacob asked softly.

La Grande Illusion . Do you want to watch something else?’

He quickly responded ‘no’; he was fine with whatever you wanted to see. 

Then you whispered: ‘I know you don’t believe me, but Embry is dead. I don’t know what I saw, but he must be. Otherwise it would make no sense.’

As you said this, you turned around in his arms, looking up to meet his eyes. There you found confusion, but you said nothing, as you couldn’t explain yourself. 

‘What did you see?’

‘I don’t know’, you answered, and after a while: ‘One moment he was there, and the next he was gone.’

‘Where was he?’

You stared through the window, rain heavily falling down. ‘In the garden, close to the woods. He got angry with me - I don’t even remember why - and ran off. Then… it seemed like his skin broke . Gone, he was just gone then. And I’m not sure how he could still be alive when his skin broke, so he must be dead.’

Jacob had no words for what you said, but it never once occurred to him that you might be mad. He just figured you were tired and therefore wrapped his arms a bit tighter around you and told you to sleep. ‘Sleeping won’t take away what I saw, I-’. He cut you off by gently pressing his lips upon yours, and then said: ‘Sleep now’. 

And who knew Embry was out there, standing on the porch, soaked by the rain, watching through the window? Only God saw. Angry and scared, he ran off and phased.

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‘But Embry wasn’t dead. He just phased’, Renesmee stated.

‘Indeed’, Jacob said, and stared somberly at the waves.

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It took Embry a day after you had last seen him to figure out he’d better tell you. He picked up the phone at Emily’s house and nervously waited for you to answer.

‘Hello?’, you said.

Embry whispered your name. 

Back in your house, you held onto the kitchen counter as relief filled your heart. You felt the flowers in the garden bloom with each word he said.

He told you he missed you, and that you needed to talk. 

Someone will pick you up in 15 minutes ’.

Silence took over and at last you realised that you had to say it. ‘I love you, you know that?’

Your voice trembled and Embry was a mile away, but he heard and knew that those words meant more than they did just a few days ago.

‘I know’.

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Fifteen minutes went by, and then five, and you found yourself in Sam Uley’s home. 

Emily Young tried to make it as pleasant for you as possible. She gave you something to drink and eat, told you Embry was fine, talked about the weather and told Paul to get lost as he touched your shoulder and said ‘I knew it was only a matter of time before you’d come to see me again, sweetheart’. Jared and Seth were watching sports on the television, and they were nice as well, but you still found your throat closed with nervousness as you tried to talk back to any of them. 

‘It’s okay, honey, it really is’, Emily told you as she noticed, ‘Embry will be here any minute, and he’ll explain everything to you.’

Any minute turned out to be a mere second, as you heard his voice from outside the house. He walked in through the open door, Sam at his left, and they were laughing together. 

‘So try to stay calm a little, ‘cause-’

Sam stopped talking the minute he saw you in the kitchen, and Embry had stopped long before him.

Within that very moment, God only knows truly how, everything changed. He had gotten even taller, and had gained even more muscles, but that was not what made such an impression on you. What did, was how you suddenly felt. You wanted to kiss him, everywhere, and let his hands touch you all over your body. You wanted to take and rip his clothes off, and make him whimper your name. With every emotion this feeling brought with it, it slowly but surely transformed into a thought, something along the lines of ‘I want you to fuck me right here and right now’, and into a more profound and pure one; ‘I want to love you forever’.

But with what seemed like all the eyes in the world on you, you dared say neither of them. So you gestured at his hair and your voice sounded as heavy as your heart felt. 

‘You cut your hair’.

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Embry took you outside, and you sat on the grass. You were fidgeting with the hem of your skirt and it took you a while to look him in the eye. Your eyes looked so much alike, your mother once said, and that made him often so confronting; you felt like you were staring at yourself. 

‘I thought you were dead’, you confessed at last, and ended the sentence with a sob. A soft breeze brushed your skin, as if the earth was trying to comfort you. But nothing ever came even close to Embry’s arms wrapped around you, and him whispering ‘I’m so sorry’ in your ear. 

It felt strange, in a way, to touch him like that again, as the feeling of his skin against yours made your heartbeat stop for a second. As if you fell into cold water all of a sudden, but then you remembered how to breathe, and that you were safe with him. That’s when you hugged him back, clasped his shirt in your fists, and said ‘I’m so sorry’ even more.

He let go, dried your tears, then told you everything.

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‘Is this the truth?’, you asked at last.

When he started explaining, the sun was still golden on his back, but now he noticed how beautiful your face looked as your eyes reflected the red dusk. 

‘Yes.’

You took a long look at Sam and Emily’s house. It seemed full of people and their laughter and their carelessness, something that now would forever be a strange thing to you and Embry. But Emily was already outside to call you for dinner, so you thought nothing of it and embraced it for as long as you could.

‘And it is their truth, too?’

‘It is.’

‘Then it will be mine as well’, you smiled at Embry and got up. You took his hand and went inside.

Chapter Text

‘Where are we going?’, Renesmee asked Jacob.

He was driving her around, a stoic expression glued on his face. ‘To where I first saw them together.’

At some point, Jacob slowed down and turned left. Renesmee recognised the restaurant from some studying and eating fries after school with her friends.

‘The River’s Edge Restaurant.’

Jacob parked the car and they got out.

‘I was standing here, I believe’, he said, looking at the ground. Then he pointed at the restaurant, to a window with an empty table behind it. ‘They were right there. It still makes me angry, you know. I now know what had happened, but then I couldn’t help but get mad. What the fuck were they even doing there in the first place, sitting like that?’

To Renesmee, it was more something like Jacob explaining his angry thoughts to himself, but he needed to get it off his chest, and it was part of the story he had to tell, so she said nothing.