Chapter Twenty-Three

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"Hey sweetie" the figure says as it steps out of the shadows.

Oh, it's just mom. I sigh a breath of relief as she bends down to pick up the trays she had dropped.

"You scared me" I laugh as I bend down to help her.

"I know, I can read your thoughts" she says back with a smirk. I roll my eyes.

We finish picking up the trays and place them on the counter.

"So how did everything go? Did you see Blake?" She asks without making eye contact. Ok so she's acting weird again.

"It went great actually. It was planned way in advance. I didn't even know because I guess me not knowing how to fully block my thoughts yet made me a liability. I think everything is going to work out" I smile.

Mom smiles slightly. "That's good sweetie" she says quietly to herself as she continues to tidy up.

We stand in silence for the next couple of minutes. I'm confused because she knows why I'm here. She said she'd explain what she meant by me being important to a lot of people.

My mom sighs and looks at me through the corner of her eye. "If you could please stop thinking so loud... I'll finally explain everything to you...go sit down. I'll be with you in a moment."

I make my way to the dining room table and sit down. She joins me a few moments after and sits down opposite me. She sighs again out of frustration and rakes her hands through her hair multiple times.

"Mia...I'm not sure how to explain this but you and Blake can't be together anymore" she begins.

I roll my eyes. "Oh, for God's sake Mom. Let it go. Blake isn't like Jared. He literally just captured Jare-" before I can finish, I'm cut off.

"That's not what I mean Mia. I know Blake is kind and just can't be together anymore" she says quietly. "A deal was made."

I look at her with a confused expression all over my face.

"A deal was made? By who? To who? Who are these people who I'm important to?"

Mom sighs again.

"STOP SIGHING DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW TO BREATHE PROPERLY?!" I yell out of frustration. Can she behave?

"It's easier if I just start at the beginning" she answers quietly. I nod my head and wait for her to start.

"After Jared had bitten me, I started to experience changes. I could hear other people's thoughts. I could communicate telepathically to a few people. When a full moon came about, I felt myself needing to shift. Like something inside of me was trying to come out. And I did end up changing. But what I did after, I don't know. I just remember finding myself naked in the woods or by a stream. I didn't know what to tell your father when I would come home in the morning and eventually, he started to think I was having an affair, but he didn't care much as we were already in the process of getting divorced.

However, one night Mia, you and Noah got into an argument. It was over the TV remote, but it was a bad one. You were screaming the house down and Noah was throwing things around. I had just finished a long shift at the store and had come back home to deal with you two alone whilst your father was at work. I was physically tired, mentally exhausted, and on top of that, I was dealing with the stress and uncertainty of what my body was going through. I wasn't in the right frame of mind.

Anyway, you two wouldn't stop or listen to a word I said. I ended up feeling so overwhelmed with anger that I could feel myself changing. My breathing got harder and faster. My clothes started to feel tighter. My vision started to blur. But I knew you guys wouldn't be safe if I turned, so I ran and I didn't stop. I ran and ran and ran until I was out of sight and I eventually gave in and shifted. Next thing I know, I had woken up on the other side of town. It was inside of a forest but not too deep, there was still a path for cars to drive through. Next to me was a crashed car by a tree. The driver was dead. I assumed the worst. He must have seen a wolf in front of his car, swerved to miss it and ended up hitting a tree. It was an unfortunate accident. I panicked and I took off his shirt and put it on as I was naked.

My clothes had ripped off during the shift. I dragged his body out of the car to try and bury him but then I got an idea. It wasn't safe anymore for me to be around you guys, and until I had found a cure, I would have to stay away. In order to do that, I would need a good enough reason. And it had just been handed to me.

I remember dragging the man back into the car and plucked off a few of my hairs and left them on the seat. I made sure to put a little saliva and blood on the seat. It would make it look as if I was there. I then phoned 911 using his cellphone and waited for the cops and ambulance to arrive. I knew that they would find my hair, saliva and blood and instantly believe I was there. But after seeing his body and the state of the crash, as well as being unable to find mine, they would presume I was dead. Probably somewhere in the forest after I had tried to get help. The place was too big to search, so I knew that's what they'd think.

Eventually, they did. I was there, outside the house the night the cops arrived to tell your father what had happened. I think that's what caused him to start drinking." She pauses for a moment.

Tears begin to well up in her eyes. It must be the guilt she feels for having to lie all these years. Leaving me and Noah without a mother. Breaking dad's heart so badly that he started drinking and became the shell of a man that he is today.

"It's okay, carry on." I hand her a tissue. Mom sniffs and takes the tissue. She quickly wipes away her tears before continuing.

"So now that I was officially out of the picture, I could begin to look for a cure. I searched for years, Mia. I visited medical doctors, different packs, witch doctors. I visited anyone and everyone! I even tried to find out if warlocks and witches existed! Maybe they could've helped me. I guessed if werewolves existed, surely everything else must exist too?" She says.

I take a moment to understand her logic and nod. It makes sense. Until a few weeks ago, werewolves were fairytale creatures to me.

"So, did you find any?" I ask.

"Witches and Warlocks? No, they actually are fairytale characters" she replies back nonchalantly.

"Anyway" she continues. "After around 6 or 7 years of searching all over the world, I found someone who said he could cure me. He said he could make me human again. But he was a hard man to find, let alone talk to. In order to speak to him, I was told to fast for 60 days and 60 nights. I wasn't even allowed a sip of water. I had to learn how to control myself in wolf form so that I wouldn't break my fast.

Once I had done that, I would be guided to his home in a dream. When I had woken up, I would have to follow the same path I took in my dream to find him. And I did, Mia. I did find him.

His name was Soronsbo. He wasn't man nor mythical. He was something else. I still don't understand what he was.

I had finally met him after 2 months of fasting. I explained my situation to him. He said this was a situation he was used to and that there was a cure, but it was one that many people refused to accept" she paused.

"What was it?" I ask anxiously.

Mom looks at me with sadness in her eyes. "He told me that in order to become a human again, I would have to balance out the scales. As a wolf, I had caused pain to others due to my...hunger.

I hadn't even told him, but Soronsbo knew about my involvement with the man in the car crash. He knew that it was my fault. He said that if I wanted to balance out the scales, I would have to do the same to someone I love. Hurt someone the way I hurt that man's family" her voice trailed off as she looked at me. Tears began to stream down her face again.

"I begged and pleaded with him. I couldn't kill my own child. I couldn't. Eventually, Soronsbo agreed. As a mother, the pain wouldn't be equal. So, he told me there was another way I could balance it out....Mia, I'm so sorry but I have to do it" she weeps.

"Do what, mom? Do what?" I ask, panic begins to take over my voice as I watch her get up.

I try to stand up, but she quickly grabs me and forces me back down in my seat. Her wolf strength comes out as I can't get up no matter how hard I try. She pulls rope out of her pocket and begins to tie me to the chair. Before I'm able to scream, she puts duct tape over my mouth.

Tears roll down my face as fear begins to take me over. As she looks me in the eyes, her tears mirror mine.

"I just want a normal life. I want to be with you and Noah and not worry about shifting" she begins.

"I'm so sorry...I have to find Blake. I have to deal with him. It's the only way I can be human again" she says before running out.

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