© 2015, Elizabeth Dadelik

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My father wasn't always a bastard. There was a time when I loved him with all my heart and believed he would protect me. The thought that his actions would have resulted in devastation was unfathomable.

My childhood memories of him were filled with love and fairness. His parenting was idyllic. He trained my soccer team, went to every school play and bought me ice cream when it rained. I remember one day breaking my arm. He ran all the way to the hospital, never once jarring me.

My father was a metamorphic creature. In his youth he was a rebel. Partaking in petty theft and joyrides, escalating into more violent crimes. The defining change was when he met my mom. He had walked into a store, wanting to rob the place. Instead he looked into the eyes of his soulmate. Instantly he wanted to be a better man for her. The change was so profound; my mother had won over the respect and admiration of the entire pack.

As a result, everyone welcomed her into our world and supported my dad's choice to change her to a wolf. She underwent the change without hesitate, grateful that it meant that she would have a longer life with him. Their love was intentional, profound and all consuming. I saw it as a child and it became an integral part of my worldview. I grew up seeing what a werewolf soulmate did. They loved you without conditions, protected you with all their hearts and fulfilled a calling.

Then things changed.

My mother had gone to visit her brother. I was writing exams at school and my dad had to stay for a pack meeting so we couldn't go with her. She insisted on going and my father caved despite his concern of her traveling alone. She promised to stop and rest at a hotel for the night. Instead she drove straight through, wanting to surprise us with an earlier arrival.

My mom underestimated just how tired she was.

The police say that she had fallen asleep at the wheel. Her car was found at the bottom of a ravine. The steering wheel had crushed her chest, trapping her in the car. As a werewolf, she would have been able to survive if she had gotten out of the car. Her crushed ribs would have realigned, the punctured holes in her lungs and heart would have healed over. However she had sustained a head injury, rendering her unconscious. She became a prisoner of the mangled steel and bleed out. It took us three days to find her wreck. Three days to find her body.

At the age of sixteen I lost the person who inspired every dream, hope and love that I had ever had.

Her death was traumatic and had left me deeply scarred and broken. The impact on my father was a thousand times worst. When he found out that she had died, he lost all reason and went on a rampage. It took eight grown werewolves to hold him down. I would never forget how he had to be carried away, crying sobs of anguish and pain.

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