This is a STAWP flashback to when Saf was still living with her dad, to the day when the Rogue brothers attacked. If you're subscribed to my newsletter, you may have read this one already.
Please let Dad be in a good mood tonight, I pray to the Moon Goddess. He'd been gone for the last three days—off somewhere on a drinking binge—but he stumbled back to the house early this morning. I heard him crash into something—probably the coffee table—and then stomp up the stairs swearing a blue streak. I'd though he'd storm into my room, itching for a fight or demanding I hunt up some breakfast, but he slammed his bedroom door and was snoring loudly when I left for school.
"Sofie! Anna! Are you guys even paying attention?" Jen, one of my best friends, snaps.
We're at Oakburg Public Library, seated around our favorite table by the window. The sun is only just starting to set, but the crescent moon is already visible in the darkening sky. It draws my gaze like a magnet, and I struggle to tear my eyes away. My other best friend, Anna, seems to have the same problem, only hers is with her phone. Her eyes are glued to the screen, and I wonder if there's something she wants to escape, too. I've never told her, or Jen, about the my problems with Dad, or the fact that I'm a Wolf. Maybe Anna has her secrets, too.
"I'm trying to help, you know." Jen looks up from her notes.
"We know, Jen." I smile. "And we really appreciate it."
"We do," Anna mumbles, her thumbs dancing across her phone's screen.
"Thanks." Jen smiles for a split second and then turns to glare at Anna. "Will you put that away?"
"Sorry." Anna quickly slides her phone under some notes, but I know she won't be able to go ten minutes without checking it again. It's like she's addicted—but to what? I've tried to sneak a peek, but she always turns the screen away or hides it under the table so I can't see.
"Okay, let's go through this again." Jen skims her notes, which are all typed up and organized, and flips back a page.
She's printed extras for me and Anna, and I flip through my own three hole punched copy. I've got it in my silver, duct-taped binder, and I notice that the spine seems to be coming apart—again. "Hey, can one of you guys bring some more tape to school tomorrow?"
"I'll bring some," Anna says, glancing longingly at the spot where her phone's notification light blinks through her stack of notes.
"We're on page three," Jen reminds us, and with that, Anna and I do our best to focus.
We study for another hour, with Jen keeping us on track and quizzing us the entire time. I do pretty well, and when we've gone through all the notes, Jen looks relieved. "You're going to do great, Sof. You know this stuff better than me!"
"You do," Anna chimes in. "No offense, Jen."
"None taken." Jen grins. I swear she looks proud.
"Just remember to relax," Anna adds. "You'll be fine."