The Choice

by David Rotunda


This is the third month ive watched her but today was the last day of summer. On the edge of her yard leading down a little hill by the water I stood. Her scent making its way through the air as if to tantilize me. I knew she would be the one. i am beginning to feel as if I am just like the stalkers ive seen on tv. Ive played out a million times the possible scenarios if she were to see me. Of course I could run back to my house by the time the police arrived, but that's not the point is it? I only lived twenty miles away I could even get an alibi. My parents know what I am and my parents love me unconditionally, but they give me my space. Which is nice since its very difficult at first, the change. But the way It "did" turn out was entirely different.

I saw her window, "Mia's special window" my friends teased. They all got their mates from an underground cult group dedicated to our kind in New York. I found it tactless. Sometimes I think they had no shame. Im more of a hopeless romantic as Mia would discover. She loved that sorta thing just like I did. But she didn't know me yet. I stared at an unstable ledge by the base of her window, I guess I got a little carried away, I leapt the distance regardless and landed gently. "Just like a little bird", I thought to myself.I had no idea she was sitting up in her bed. Her face staring right at me.

If my heart didn't pump unaturally hard normally im sure she would have been able to hear it through the long silence. When I had finally realized she may not recognize me I jumped back to the edge of her woods, just as fast as I had come. I turned one last time to her window hoping for something, I would even be releived if she didn't. I don't know why I was surprised when she opened the window and leaned out. i almost wanted to jump up and grab her and show her what I was, but I restrained. I had to be certain and wait for the right moment. Her face gentle and mild. She didn't make a single gesture, just stared.

This lasted about three seconds before I darted off as fast I could, I had to make sure she was unaware of what she saw. Humans usually see us as a blur when were at top speed anyways, but I didn't want to risk it. Little did she know we would have school together tomorrow. Another day I would go unnoticed by her. Or so I thought"

Part One: Just tell her Already!

I received a very sharp nudge against my ribs from Aria, the leader of his own pack up in northern Connecticut. " So?" the nagging in his voice made me anxious. I knew he was just probing me for answers about"the girl, as we called her to keep anyone nearby from overhearing. I was beginning to think the only reason he came up was to get new stories to tell his friends back home. His packmate Jared started laughing"as if to finish my internal sentence " so we could make fun of you for being the last one of us to get laid." Somehow im sure he thought that was funny.

It was hard having these kinds of conversations with them. Most of the time we just read each others minds but than if someone were to crack a joke, everyone would wonder why were laughing when noone said anything. I had to tell Aria about what happened. About Accalia seeing me the other night". Before I realized it. DAMNNIT! Aria slammed his giant hand down on the table knocking over our soda cans. His brown eyes turning firy yellow. " have you learned nothing?" he paused. Leaned his ear towards the cafeteria door and turned towards us. " someones just spotted us Jared, well meet you around back where the security cameras are blind. Two minutes Eric, you got me? Finish up"

It was only about time before they got caught. They were too huge for juniors. Mr. Flenderson, our geeky math teacher, stormed into the cafeteria as If he planned to do something. Twigs had greater strength than he did. The whole faÃade was very humorous. His skinny shadow nowhere near my height materialized to my left. I really didn't have time for this now.I had to finish and go outside before Aria lost his temper, i would live longer if I took advantage of his good nature. I stood up and stuffed my apple into my pocket. I turned to Mr. F and cracked a half smile. " Just some friends of the family, came to remind me of a little get together soon."

The nerdy teacher pushed his glasses up his nose and placed his little twiggy fingers, awkwardly on his belt. " you know uunless they check in, in the front they arent allowed in the building"right?" My God! Could he be more timid? " Yes mr. F, it wasn't intentional. It wont happen again." I don't know when but somehow his glasses re-slid down the bridge of his nose. He fixed them and allowed me to carry on. I really didn't need to rush in the cafeteria but I did anyway. I could run the length of the building in a few seconds once noone was looking. I was just more worried about bumping into Mia.

I couldn't be certain if she had spotted me yesterday, I had hoped not but I couldn't risk an encounter, especially with Aria waiting for me. I slid through the hallways unnoticed, vigilant and stealthily. But it wasn't until I darted passed Mrs. Gretchin's Math class that Mia walked through the door and gently bumped into me, knocking everything in her hands onto the barely-polished floor.

"Im sorry about this M, Im kinda in a hurry." I bent over and grabbed her disheveled papers and folders and stuffed them in her open arms. Her face looking deep and expressionless. I could sense the sarcasm before it flew out of her mouth.

"I was beginning to wonder why you never have time to stop and say hi at all. I guess all these late night visits take up most of your time these days." Not a breathe, not a rise in blood pressure. I couldn't deny this could I? Would it be that easy? Just say no. Just say no.

"Yes?" Damnit! Im a dead man! If Aria doesn't kill me, my parents would. Or her parents would. My logic is severely lacking right now. Amidst my train of thought one thing remained constant. Her delicate features observing mine.

" I know your probably sweating bullets right now. Wondering whether or not im looking to press charges, so let me put some things into perspective"" The pause seemed prearranged. As if she had been practicing this speech for quite some time. I just wanted an answer.

" I think I can explain that"" Mia raised a finger to my lips. " Your hearts in the right place. Your actions come off as stalker-ish, but I can see the romance behind it. At least I hope so. Otherwise I will be going on a date with a total psycho."

I was at a loss for words. How the hell could today get any better? Not only would Aria be satisfied now, but so will I. Wait what? " You wanna go on a date with me?" the words could barely register. I guess even a werewolf could lose his train of thought at times.

" Today is Thursday. Im sure tonight you can stop by lets say"midnight? Its not that cold yet and I have an idea for a perfect date." I felt the warm sensation you get when women say they blush, I wouldn't know what that is like, but I hear good things. Maybe I was just praying too hard for the miracle she may not even be. But I was excited nonetheless.

I butched up and answered the girl as handsomely as I could. " Sounds good M see you than." I realized than that our eyes never diverted since her finger was placed on my lips. Cool. I turned to walk away anxious as hell that I may not get to Aria in time. He was well within his power to end my newborn puke of an existence, but im sure he just delved into my mind for some exciting window shopping.

I didn't even hear him sneek up on me. " Your damn right I did. Lucky the lady in question is very interested in you otherwise we would be having a very different discussion right now." Aria was a little too close for comfort. His breathe very wild. I sniffed in. "Bird?"A hint of confusion with a dash of comradery "Squirrel, noobie. Learn your scents, their your life now. His massive hand slapping into my back as he walked down the hall, Jared following after him and the sound of Mr. F's voice trailing off through the corridors.

Part Two: The Date

The rest of the day went by abnormally slow. Too boring to tell you about. The thought alone makes me gag. You all know or remember high school, I really don't need to reitterate the boredom"ness. Moving on. I don't know if it was the excitement or what but like I said"slow. So when the day finally came to an end and I pretend to go to my bus, I like to take a little detour through the neighboring woods and race the thing home. With me being the victor of course. I guess the bus stopping to drop off should be taken into account, but I like this way better. I always win.

So imagine the girl of your dreams is wating for you tonight. Her beautiful dark brown hair carrying the fresh aroma of wild flowers from her shampoo. Her gorgeous green eyes shining like a perfectly cut diamond in the moons brilliant light. The perfect, yet subtle combination of her perfume mixed with her delicate pheromones. Ok. Stop drooling. Check. Now what? The answer? Stop imagining. We havent even gotten there yet, but if this is anything close to what I just described I may have to skip a few chapters to catch my breathe.

The hours ticked down. I paced back and forth in my room watching the clock expecting the time to miraculously shoot forward. My anxiety didn't go unnoticed by my parents as I walked down the stairs into the dining room and took my seat at the table. My father sighed as I scrapped at my plate and finished three helpings in under fifteen mins and headed back to my room.

I guess I couldn't get away as fast as I intended, my mother pulled me aside and placed a hand on the counter and the other on her hip. You know the way mothers do. The clichà cleaning rag in one hand. " Your father and I were wondering"do you have something important tonight?" I knew she wasn't trying to pry but I kind of felt like I was being pressured into something here.

So I answered honsetly " I do. You remember the story I told you about?" her face understanding and open. " About the Relic?" I scraped some left-overs into the garbage disposal and placed my plate into the sink. "Yeah." She turned the water on in the sink letting the water fill. I continued with my explaination.

" Well I think"I hope, I found her." " I see. I know this maybe a long-shot dear but I just want you to know that if things dont go according to plan well always love you no matter what. Wolf or not." She always knew what to say to get a laugh out of me. " Thanks mom. I know its not guaranteed. The possibility of a living relic is the equivalent to finding one specific needle in the entire world, beit the bottom of the ocean or in the deepest jungle. I also know the legends state that when the cursed one feels an over whelming drawing to someone they have one month to bring the relic to the surface from its dormant state."

My mother dropped the rag on the counter and turned off the tap. " Doesn't it also say that if the Relic accepts the proposal they will forever inhabit the body of the person. Its soul literally kicked from its body?" I was impressed. She had did her proverbial homework.

"Regardless of the logic I have no other choice if I want to get rid of this curse." I handed her a plate and glanced at the watch above the doorway. I still had quite a few hours. Why do these things always take forever? " honey?" "Hmm?"

She placed her hand upon my face. " you drifted. Look. Im not gonna tell you what you should do. I think you can handle making your own decisions. But I will say this. Whoever she is I hope you can live with the outcome whatever it may be." She kissed my forehead and walked out of the kitchen and joined my father in the living room. The dishes sitting in the sink. Untouched.

I cleaned them and placed them in the trays to dry. And automatically dragged myself up the stairs. The feeling of regret surging its way through me. I hadnt even done anything yet. Why does God give mothers the ability to make us feel this way? Guilt. Shame. Selfish. And she was right.

I knew that I could abolish all of these pesky feelings if I just do what makes me happy and what I think is right. I may love these amazing gifts but I will forever miss out on a normal life. The only one I should get. Not the possible hundreds of thousands of years I could live. I don't think my kind even make it that long without somehow getting killed in some battle over territory or something.

I will go according to plan and have some faith in the legends and what has been before me. They obviously knew something we don't. again I avert my eyes over to the nearest clock. Damn its in the other room. Why is there always a lack of clocks when you look for them? Guess I should get a watch. Eleven? Why couldn't they use something other than roman numerals? I feel practically retarded. Im a digital kid.

Never too early I always say. Since now. I took a couple of squirts of my favorite cologne, lucky number seven, and dashed out my window. I could be there in a matter of minutes. Maybe I should slow down a bit. The air was a bit chilly. October had never been this cold before. Change is a comin! I passed an old stone wall I used to play around when I was a kid. It felt like memory lane for me. Too bad too.

The edge of her yard never felt so accepting. The excitement of doing something wrong was gone but the feeling it was replaced by felt"right. I watched in shock as she walked over to me practically in slow motion. Her beauty had surpassed all expectation. I actually felt over dressed. I didn't have a clue what she had planned for our date, but she dressed in adorable overall pink shirt combination.

She didn't slow, she continued walking, took my hand and led me deep into the woods. I didn't know where she was taking me but I didn't care at this point, I was just content being with her. What was happening? I know what I came here to do, what that would mean for her? Why did I feel so funny? The woods became darker and darker. And throughout the darkness one glimmering beam of light protruded through the canopy.

And at the very center she stood and released my hand. Her voice hit me so hard. "Eric" Her hair slowly rose and suspended like she was floating in water. A pinkish red glow enveloped her face. Was this it? The Relic? I didn't think I would have been able to do this so soon. Whatever it was I did. I wasn't even sure this would work.

" Eric, my love, you don't know me the way I know you. For you have been watching me for three months but I have been with you always. I was diagnosed with cancer six months ago and as a result the Entity you know as the Relic was released when my body grew too weak . It took pity on me and let me see the future I would have with you and to that effect I have already lived out my entire life with you within my soul, but the choice you have to make will not be easy. You must choose to either accept the relics gift and your curse will be lifted but I will not remain, or you can spend an eternity with me as I have already spent an eternity with you. "

I was very confused. So this is why ive been feeling this compelling affection towards her? She's the relic, but is this how its supposed to go? I thought I had more time? Her voice surrounded me from every angle. " Time is an illusion my love." Her hand moved towards mine and I accepted it, on a whim. My feelings may not have blossomed as radiant as hers yet, but I feel safe.

" So Mia. If I accept the relics gift I lose you. And if I decline I keep you? Is there more too it than that?" I needed something. I was blind.

" I am only permitted to tell you what I have already said. You must choose to either accept the relics gift and your curse will be lifted but I will not remain, or you can spend an eternity with me as I have already spent an eternity with you."

I swallowed a lump the size of my fist. " Come on M, give me a little more. What does the eternity mean if I decline? Will I lose you if I decline?"

Her face changed. Slightly, but I noticed it. " I guess I have to answer according to my heart is that it?" Or what I knew was right.

Again her face changed. As if there was some unknown pain behind her eyes.

"Than I have your answer""

Part Three: Decision

I guess it wasn't all bad. I get the love of my life and somehow I made the right decision. Heres the catch. Had I chosen to accept her gift I would have lost Mia in a few short weeks. She would have died and eventually so would I. However, in the event that I chose to decline,I would also receive my mortality. And for making the unselfish choice, the choice I made on blind faith,I would in spirit keep the love I had not yet known. Mia bargained with the Relic to contain both our souls in the stone wall when we both passed. But until then I would have to keep a loving eye on her. Her lifeless body re-animating and kissing me gently she slipped me three words for the wait. " I love you."

Part Four: Death

"That was fifty years ago Friday. And ever since then I have always remembered those words and kept my promise to keep an eye out for her. I tell you this son because you need to know the truth. You need to understand why I must go to where she waits." I didn't know if he believed me or not ,but I sure as hell didn't care. It would take only one touch to be in her arms again. I coughed a few times. The dryness seem to cut my throat. "I should have stayed a werewolf haha." His face widened with a smirk, and than shriveled with disbelief at the realization that his father was going to pass any minute.

My son made an impossible choice fifty years opposite I, he chose to release me from the hospital despite the doctors orders,threats and warnings. And whether or not he actually believed me he took me to the resting spot of the woman I watched and placed my hand inside. The light faded from around me. The sounds gone too. Even the echo of my heartbeat ceased and when the cold set in, I was rushed by Mia, her arms wrapped around me she uttered those three words I waited fifty years to hear once again. " I love you."

"I love you too" I replied. She would be my constant voice of sanity as we spent the rest of our eternal lives together.

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