I can hear everything from where I stand; the insults, the snide comments, the accusations, the backlash, the loathe in their voices, everyone hates me. In their minds, I’m a bad omen, the one they should avoid at all cost.
I blink back the tears that were already forming in my eyes. I should be used to this by now. It’s been twelve years of constant torture, twelve years since I’ve been reduced from the gamma’s daughter to the smelly pack maid that I am now, twelve years since the worse night of my life, but the memory is still freshly inscribed in my head, it still feels surreal to me.
“She’s so pathetic,” I hear a familiar female voice say.
“I wonder how she’s still able to live with herself,” another one added.
“That’s why she would never have a wolf. She doesn’t deserve one,” another voice.
I could either stand here and listen to all their gossips or just walk past and pretend like I didn’t hear them. I chose the latter, that’s what I do every time. I have to pretend like their words don’t get to me but it cuts through my skin each time.
As I walk past, the girls turn to stare at me, their eyes following my every step but I pretend not to see them and just go about my business. I picked up my books from my locker and turn to leave, all the while I could feel their eyes on my back.
“Looser, ” Bella says loud enough for me to hear. Bella is my biggest nightmare, she’s the beta’s daughter in my pack and also one of the hottest girls in my school. She’s tall, with blonde hair and the fairest skin. Her nails are always neatly done and she walks like she owns the whole school.
Again, I ignore her and just storm out, walking as fast as I can to avoid hearing any other thing they have to say. I have to be back at the pack to finish up with the work I started this morning. I’m going to be screwed if Miss Anna finds out I haven’t pressed all of the clothes she asked me to. Miss Anna is in charge of the daily cleaning of the pack, she’s also a pain in the ass.
“Hey Tee, ” I know that’s Layla, the only friend I have in the whole world but I ignore her and continue walking fast. I’m in a pretty bad mood. “Tiana!” she says loudly this time and I halt in my tracks. She catches up with me almost immediately.
“Are you alright?” she looks at me with concern in her eyes. I wonder why Layla is even friends with me. She’s the only one that sees me, she’s the only one that still treats me like a person, she’s one of the few that doesn’t blame me for what happened twelve years ago.
“I’m fine, Layla, ” I say dryly.
“No you’re not. You are letting them get to you again, ” She walks beside me. It’s almost an hour on foot from the school to my pack but I’m used to walking the distance and in fact, I enjoy it. It’s during this time that I get to be alone with my thoughts, except the days Layla chooses to walk with me, which is almost every day anyway.
“It’s hard not to, ” I murmured.
Layla sighs loudly “It wasn’t your fault, ” she reminds me for the thousandth time. I don’t need any reminder though, I’ve taken the blame already, and I’m learning to live with the guilt, but it’s too much. It’s all too much for me and I miss him.
Oh, sweet Jayce, he would have defended me if he were here. We were just kids, but we had been inseparable. He was two years older than me but you would think he was at least ten years older. At that young age, he would get into little fights because of me, even with his twin brother Jordan. Jayce would have been the alpha if what happened didn’t happen, if only we had not wandered that far, if only…
“Tee!” Layla shakes me again, bringing me back to the present “You’re drifting off again. This isn’t good for you, ” she says.
I blinked severally, then looked away “We should never have gone that far, and I could have saved him..”
“You were barely six years old. What could you have done? Stop blaming yourself, ” Layla gives me her usual speech but I’ve been blamed for the past twelve years that I now consider myself a killer.
Myself, Jayce, and Jordan had gone too far into the woods that day. It wouldn’t be the first time we would be playing in the woods but on this particular day, It had rained heavily and the grounds were slippery. My dad usually leaves me with the luna when he goes on his duties. I never knew my mom, she left a few months after birthing me and it had just been me and my dad.
Jordan was very reluctant to go, which is unlike him, he’s always the first to suggest we go out to play. We knew our parents would frown against it so we made it our secret playground. We were running about, chasing little birds and just having our little fun when thunder struck and the rains threatened to fall.
Jordan all but ran and left us there. I wanted so badly to play in the rain, I was having so much fun, so I didn’t listen when Jordan says we should go, and Jayce decides to stay with me but we were going too far in the woods, and out of nowhere, we were attacked. It wasn’t the first time we would be venturing into the woods alone, but I started to feel some kind of way.
“Jayce we need to go back,” I told him severally but he wouldn’t listen.
“Common Tee, Don’t spoil the fun,” he laughed. That sound still echoes in my head sometimes. That was when I saw the rogues, two of them, standing just behind him. I screamed, but the heaven’s opened up in that instant.
I watched in horror as the rogues devoured him, too dazed to move. I just kept crying, and screaming. I couldn’t do anything to save him, and I still remember his last words.
“Run Tiana, Run,”
But I didn’t run. They finished up with him but didn’t come for me. They went about, howling and running around the woods as if they were looking for something or someone maybe? But they didn’t harm me.
“Tiana!” Layla snapped her fingers in my face and I cleaned the lone tear that had dropped from my eyelids. It was that event that turned me into the outcast that I am now. My dad left too, and Jordan despises me. My life has been a mess ever since. I’m treated like dirt.
“I’m sorry, ” I quickly apologize. Layla is always trying to cheer me up but I make it hard for her “It’s just one of those days, ” I shrug and try to change the topic “How is Logan? I haven’t seen him around of late,”
Logan is Layla’s boyfriend. They have been having lots of disagreements lately and personally, I don’t like him much. He’s the beta’s son from a neighboring pack and he’s a proud arrogant bastard. He also tried to hit on me once, but Layla is not aware of this. I can’t tell her because she’s so smitten by him.
“He has refused to speak to me for three days straight, ” she frowns.
I raise an eyebrow at her “What? Why?”
She shrugged “You know how he is. He’s so damn proud. He wouldn’t apologize for something he said and I don’t want to be the first to reach out to him. I miss him so much though, ” she sighs and I resist the urge to shake my head.
“You know I don’t like that boy one bit. You deserve better, ” I drawled.
“I’m just so used to him, and you never tell me what it is about him that irks you so much, ” she raised a brow.
“He just doesn’t deserve you, and hopefully when you find your mate, you would realize how much of an asshole he is, ” I try to keep the scorn out of my voice.
“Aha! Talk of mates. You are turning eighteen tomorrow. I’m sure things would change when you find your mate at least, ” she says with a giggle.
I scowl at her. “I hate birthdays, ” I say distastefully. And I’m not looking forward to finding a mate either, the thought scares me.
“I know, but tomorrow is special because you’re turning eighteen and finally going to find your mate, ” she sticks her tongue out and I scowl at her again. It only makes her laugh even more “Come on, it’s not such a bad thing. That’s one more person to love you, and make you see just how precious and valuable you are,”
I don’t think any man would ever love me or want me, but I didn’t voice my fears to Layla, instead, I force a fake smile.