They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, but what if the lemons are rotten? What then? A more optimistic person would find something useful to do with rotten lemons, but not me. I was fed up of being dealt awful cards.
“What the hell is this?” Noah growled, his eyes alight with spite. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What kind of sick, awful joke is this!?” He shouted, drawing attention to us. “You wench, what did you do!?” He glared at me with reddened eyes that I could not avoid.
“What’s going on?” People around us whispered as the alpha’s son cursed at me, his eyes alight with so much malice it seemed he wanted to bury me underneath it.
“Babe, what’s the matter?” The blonde bombshell attached to his side asked with a pout, trying to get his attention back on her.
“Get off me!” He shrugged her off and stalked forward, taking purposeful strides toward me.
My legs trembled as I tried to flee but my body had gone into lockdown. It did that a lot when it sensed danger. I’d become a frozen rabbit withdrawing into an artfully carved shell perfected over the years, a shell that I entered at the first sign of danger to save myself.
“You can’t be my mate.” He hissed the words into my face, spittle flying everywhere. “You’re not good enough to stand beside me.” His words were inaudible even to me. He spoke them as if he feared someone else would hear. He was ashamed of me and I didn’t blame him. I was ashamed of myself too.
I was a shameful person. It was shameful that at twenty, I didn’t have a wolf and it was even more shameful how I let these people toss me about without fighting back.
“I can’t accept you,” Noah growled into my face, his breath reeking of alcohol.
“Okay,” I answered with a shrug that hid the anguish wrenching my insides apart.
It was my worst nightmare playing out right before me. I’d dreamt of finding my mate for so long but without a wolf, I knew the chances of rejection were high. However, it didn’t mean I did not hope. Mates are two parts of a whole. Fated mates did not reject each other but my life had to be a contradiction.
“I know I am not good enough,” I muttered to Noah who was still breathing in my face. “I understand.” He reeled back in surprise at my calmness.
‘What? Did you expect me to fall at your feet and beg to be accepted? I have a bit of pride, you know? I may be an orphaned, wolfless omega but I still have my self-respect, no matter how small,’ I thought.
“You –“ Noah stuttered and in a minute, his pale face turned red. “You’re not –“ His alcoholic breath irritated my nostrils.
“Baby, what’s the matter?” Bella came forward and grabbed Noah’s arm, clinging to him.
He gave me an irritated look before he grabbed Bella by the waist, pulled her into his chest and smashed his lips against hers. The girl gasped in surprise but she pulled him closer, her hands tangling into his hair. The people behind whistled and hooted but Noah kept his eyes fixated on me as he kissed another girl.
No matter how much I pretended to be fine on the outside, my insides were turning and twisting. My heart felt as if someone was stabbing into it with a blunt knife, stabbing and wrenching. My heart slowed for a moment and breathing because impossible. Through blurry eyes, I watched Noah’s eyes light up before they closed as he got fully invested in kissing another girl while I, his mate, watched.
No blow ever hurt this much. No slap, no kick, and no harsh word ever caused me this much pain.
I swerved on my heels, my heart too heavy to continue watching the scene playing out before me but as I turned, a loud voice halted me.
“I found my mate!” Noah shouted in the hall and silence descended around me. In a daze, I turned to look back at him.
What trick did he have up his sleeve?
“Congratulations, Bella!” A girl shouted from beside them. “You’re going to be the Luna as you said!” Just like that, people cheered and congratulated Bella. They didn’t ask who Noah was mated to. After that steamy and public kiss, there was no need to ask.
Confusion shone in Bella’s eyes as she looked up at Noah but his eyes were on me, his lips pulled up at the side as he watched my reaction. Following his gaze, her eyes came to rest on me and the small smile on her lips fell. A dark look crossed her eyes and a biting cold pierced my chest.
“That’s right,” she said in a cold voice. “I am Noah’s Luna.” She raised her chin into the air and smiled a haughty smile.
“Noah, my boy!” The Alpha ran into the hall where the welcome party for his son was in full swing.
Earlier, the adults left the hall for the ‘youngins’ to party but at that moment, the Alpha and his Luna were running into the party to congratulate their son on finding his mate. The Luna shoved past me as she rushed to hug Bella and I laughed. It was a small chuckle that no one heard and it was all I could do in this situation.
I should be the one getting congratulated, not Bella. I was Noah’s mate, not Bella, but I couldn’t say that. Noah said with his mouth that I wasn’t deserving of standing by his side and he was right. He just returned from the academy where he spent the last five years being educated to take over this pack. A girl like me did not belong by his side. Bella was more fitting. She was the beta’s daughter, a pretty girl with a ‘banging body,’ a nice attitude and most importantly, a beta wolf. Me? I was nobody.
Tears streamed down my face as I exited the hall. I tried convincing myself that this was for the best. Even if Noah accepted me, his family would not accept me and the pack would never respect me. I wasn’t cut out to be a Luna, I knew that but the tears did not stop.
Why did it hurt so much? Why did my lemons taste so bad? How many more rejections would I have to deal with in my lifetime? My father rejected me, my mother rejected me, my pack rejected me and now my mate rejected me. From my conception, I wasn’t good enough. When would I be good enough? What did I have to do to be accepted?
As one of the helps for the party, I wasn’t allowed to leave as I did but my legs carried me to my room. The tears fell faster and harder as I stumbled upstairs and once I closed the door behind me, I screamed.
It was too much. The emotions choked me. My head throbbed, my heart throbbed and my throat throbbed as I screamed louder.
“Why me!?” I shouted at my ceiling. “What did I do? Why do I have to suffer this much?” I screamed, clawing at my chest. It hurt. The stabbing in my heart hurt too much. My limbs trembled as I hit my chest. “What did I ever do wrong?” I screamed. “I’m just –“ I’m just one person so why did I have to carry this much burden?
Where was the goddess? Why did she abandon me? Why did my creator always throw me into situations where I would suffer? How could a goddess be so cruel?
“I hate you,” I spoke the blasphemous words. “You’re –“ You’re too cruel. The words stuck in my tightened throat. “Aren’t you supposed to love me? Didn’t you create me? Why do you –“
Even the goddess rejected me.
I’d never known love and I’d never asked to be loved. I never even asked for a crumb of affection. All I wanted in life was to be treated as a person who had a heart to feel. I wanted people to see and understand that I was hurt and hurting, maybe then they would treat me like a person with emotions and not an object to be abused. I didn’t think it was too much to ask.
The goddess was supposed to give me a loving mate. My mate was the only person on the planet who I felt could love me with all my flaws and shortcomings. Why did she have to give me a man like Noah? Why was I always set up to be hurt and humiliated?
“I hate you!” I didn’t know who the words were for this time. The goddess who abandoned me or Noah, who not only rejected me seconds after finding out we were mates, but also proclaimed another woman as his Luna right in my presence. “I hate –“ The words stuck to my throat as I gasped, my eyes turning dark for a split second as a sharp knife drove my heart.