The Crossed Pathways to Home

Lucy's world is fading. Sad, alone, her grandmother dying, the rest of the world hating her, what's to look forward to?
But when a mysterious blonde haired boy turns up...

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20. Christopher's Story

~~Peggy didn't look at me the next morning.
"How was the funeral?" she asked, quietly agitated.
The nerve of some people.
"What do you care?"
"She was my mother"
"And you" I cut her off "stopped being her daughter a long time ago."
Then her snappy, uncaring self returned.
"Where are you going now anyway?" she spitefully asked.
"To my boyfriends'" I sighed.
"You might as well live there over these past two months" she snapped.
"And I sincerely wish that I did" I told her. "At least I haven't been in your face all Summer."
She scowled at me and walked off. I opened the front door, wondering what the point was of her comment.

The air in Finbarrs' house wasn't tense, but it wasn't as comfortable as it used to be.
I don't think Seamus and Lisa really knew what was going on, but they definitely knew that whatever had happened revolved around me.
Christopher was constantly looking at me worriedly.
"You getting some help?" he asked me, when he caught me on my own.
"No. I don't need help. Not the type you're on about, anyway."
"Lucy" he said despairingly.
"Seriously, Christopher! I've sorted it out in my head. I'm good" I reassured him.
And I did like to think that I had begun to sort things out in my head. It's been over a week since I cut myself, and I'd like to think that it was a slip-up. Everyone has slip-ups, it happens. The monsters can randomly raise their ugly heads, and poison your mind, make you do things.
My own voices were becoming quieter, my head becoming silent. They almost seemed to be scared of Finbarr, a true voice of reason, someone from the outside world, who was sane. Someone they listened to if they told them to get lost.
I feel myself becoming calmer after talking to Finbarr, feel myself stressing a little less over the whole wolf thing.
Of course, I was still worried, I still got niggling words of doubt from monsters, I was still angry at myself for hurting Finbarr the way I did, but this all gave me a motif. And I think Grandma is helping me. I was determined to never make Finbarr feel that way ever again.
"But hey" I said to Christopher. I had set my mind to do this for Finbarr.
"Is it true that Finbarrs' birthday is in a few days? I heard Lisa mention it."
"Yeah, why?"
"Cool! Tell me this though; does he like bowling?"
"Loves it. Why?"
"O.K, you, me, Lisa, Seamus and Finbarr are all going bowling on his birthday which is on next...?"
"Friday?" he answered, but his tone suggesting that he was instead asking a question.
"Friday it is! Tell Seamus and Lisa."
"Her boyfriend is here Friday" he abruptly inputted.
"Bring him, whatever!" I exclaimed. "Don't tell Finbarr though. We'll do something in the house first."
"I'm not sure if I'm comfortable going out in such a public place..." he mumbled.
"Aw, c'mon! There'll be loads of other werewolves there! You're his best friend and it's his eighteenth...And I owe him big time."
I looked at him pleadingly.
"Fine" he sighed.
"Yes!" I squealed. "Thank you Christopher!"
I knew it was only small, but I wanted Finbarr to have some fun on his eighteenth. And I did have something planned for afterwards and I was buzzing with all of the excitement.
"What are you two whispering about?" came Finbarrs' voice behind us.
"Um...we" Christopher stuttered.
"We were just saying that for your eighteenth, we'd have a party here, you, me, Christopher, Seamus, Lisa and her boyfriend, you know?"
And I knew that my eye couldn't of possibly twitched since this was what I had planned to do first, and I had mentioned it to Christopher.
"Aw babe...You really don't need to do anything."
"But I want to."
I looked over at Christopher, trying to telepathically tell him to leave.
"Oh, eh...I'll go now, then..." he said embarrassedly, and sprinted off.
I looked into Finbarrs' creepy but beautiful eyes.
"And we both know that I need to" I said softly.
"Lucy, you really don't have to" he said desperately.
"But I really, really want to" I wheedled.
He looked like he was just about to break.
"Please?" I sweetly asked. He broke out into the first genuine smile I've seen in over a week.
"Sure, why not?"
I grinned and jumped up to kiss him.
And as we kissed slowly, I realized that we hadn't kissed in almost a week. I had desperately missed his lips, his touch.
He pulled me by the waist closer into him, and my feelings inside totally erupted.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and he encased my waist in his arms. I felt his lips curl into a smile on my on curved lips as our tongues hugged, our teeth slightly clinking. We had waited far too long for this.

We eventually parted, gasping for air, but we stayed close, breathing rapidly.
"I love you Luce" he said emotionally.
"I love you more" I told him, my chest still rapidly rising and falling, my warm, tingling sensations spread throughout my whole body.
"That's debateable" he smiled. He then bent his head to kiss my neck.
And as much of a fear I had of anyone going near my neck, he was the first person that I didn't violently flinch away from when they went near it.
I rested my head against his, and a shiver ran down my spine as he rested his forehead against mine and smiled.
"You're the best" I truthfully grinned.
"You are beautiful." After a quick pause he said "Don't let the voices tell you any different." My heart melted. He moved one of his arms away from my waist and carefully tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. He then held my face with his paw. I rubbed the back of his head with my thumb.
"I love you so much Finbarr, you know that, don't you?"
"Of course" he whispered. "And you know I love you to the moon and back, yeah?" I nodded, and felt tears in my eyes, and wasn't sure where they had sprung up from.
"You O.K?" he softly asked. I gently kissed his lips.
"Never better." I hugged him hard and let myself sink into him.

I spent the rest of the week organizing Finbarrs' birthday, but as it went onto Thursday, I began to panic. I still had to get a present, and I was at a loss.
"Hold on" I told Finbarr, patting his chest. "Have to ask Christopher something for tomorrow." He pressed his lips against my hand and beamed.
We were back on track with our 'lovey-dovey' type of relationship, and I was only too relieved and glad at that fact.
"Hey, Christopher?" I called as I ran over to him. He turned to me, bags under his eyes.
"You can call me Chris" he replied.
"Whatever you want. But I need your help! I have absolutely no idea what to get Finbarr for tomorrow.
"And you wait until now to ask for advice?" he bluntly asked.
"Sorry, I've been getting the bowling and stuff ready!"
He shook his head and pulled a small picture out of his pocket.
It was like he had been preparing for me to ask...
"Here," he said, handing it to me. "Go with Lisa or Seamus and they'll show you where to get it." I raised my eyebrows.
"A skateboard?" I asked, sniggering, but I had to admit, it did look cool.
"He's a kid at heart" he shrugged.
He looked at my disbelieving face.
"Trust me."
I saw his diamond pupils pulsate and I remembered all too well that he had both an unwanted and unintentioned thing for me.
Who would want a thing for you?
They were barely even a whisper.
"Thanks" I said awkwardly, the atmosphere beginning to change icy as I walked away.
"And Lucy? You can call me Chris" he nodded.
"No" I told him. "I can't."
He looked taken aback and confused, but then he realized what I meant.
"Oh...I'm sorry" he murmured and turned away.

"What's up with you and Chris?" Finbarr asked.
"What?"
"You both looked very...uncomfortable."
I bit my lip.
"Remember when he got drunk, and he said he liked me?"
He nodded.
""Well..." I sighed, not wanting to bad-mouth him or appear cocky. "I think...maybe he still does.." I paused. "As soon as he gets a girlfriend, the better."
Finbarr looked agitated, peeved off, but not angry.
"Well, once he doesn't make a move."
"Aw, Finbarr, he wouldn't! You're his best friend and I'm more or less human. He knows his boundaries."
"He better" Finbarr said, warning in his voice, not looking at me, but after Christopher.
"Just give him time" I sighed, watching him walk away with his hands in his pockets, his face clouded with thought.
"He is your best friend, after all."
Finbarrs' face softened into a smile.
"Yeah, 'course! Now" he chirped, turning his attention back to me, "what do you want to do?"
"Well I have to find someone to take me to get your birthday present!"
"Lucy!" he protested. "You don't need to get me anything. Having you is enough."
My legs felt like jelly.
"Smooth talker" I winked, trying to maintain my composure. "But, my birthday is in a few weeks, and I will only be content with a present, so...?"
"Go on, then" he laughed. "I'll go do whatever. See you in an hour or so."
"Bye bye" I grinned as he bent down to let me plant a kiss on his lips.

I walked into Finbarrs' house and was met with Lisa talking on her mobile and Seamus talking to Christopher.
"You move about fast" I cringe-worthingly joked, trying to ignore the awkwardness between us.
He gave me a Christopher smile, where the edges of his mouth turned up a fraction, but his eyes didn't smile at all.
"Conas atà tù?" Seamus asked.
"I'm grand" I answered. "Just have to get Finbarrs' present, but Lisa looks a bit busy..." I trailed off, looking over at her.
She was rapidly talking, her words merging into eachother. She looked flustered but excited at the same time.
"Um...you guys want to give me a hand?"
"Tà bròn orm, Lucy. I'm sorry, I can't. I have to look after a little one for a couple of hours."
And that was all I needed.
I had a soft spot for Christopher, sure, but as a friend. Finbarr had saved me in more ways than one. He had my gratitude and my love forever.
Christopher hadn't.
In fairness, he did almost killed me by not watching Manix, and he freaked me out quite a bit before I self-harmed. But I don't blame him, it's not like it was intentional or anything. Accidents happen.
Christopher sighed.
"I'll take you if you need me."
"Please" I said reluctantly.
As Christopher reached the door, I whispered to Seamus
"Tell Finbarr I've gone with Christopher, yeah?"
He sympathetically smiled, knowing what I meant.
There's very little secrets in this house.
"For sure, I will."
I flexed my eyebrows as a sign of thanks.

As we walked into the town, I could see Christopher becoming anxious, his eyes darting around the place. All the people, all the smells, all the food.
"Christopher? You O.K?"
"All of these people I could potentially kill. All of these people in such danger, and they don't even know it" a form of wonder in his voice, fear in his face.
"People are in danger of themselves. What's stopping anyone coming out on this street with a gun and killing everyone? Nothing. It's not just you."
He looked at the ground, his body language screaming for everyone to just leave him alone.
I sighed, but I didn't want to be deemed a hopeless case with my self-harm. So I wasn't going to treat him like a hopeless case, either.
We walked a little further in silence, until I heard something that I really didn't want to hear.
"On to a new one already! Whore."
I raggedly breathed.
Olivia.
Christopher looked up at me confusedly, and we slowly turned.
Every one of her Barbies' were there.
"What do you want, hypocrite?" I tiredly asked. She scowled, before starting to tease me again.
"Aw, did your old boyfriend dump you? See what an old cow you are in that annoying old red hoodie?" Christopher stared at me, shock prominent on his face, but he didn't say anything.
He didn't have the strength to.
"Oh , the boyfriend that you threw yourself at, basically offered to sleep with, and was then yelled at and shot down in front of everyone? That guy?" I angrily asked. Her face twisted in rage.
Screw it, I really didn't have time for this.
"No, we did not break up. This is my friend, and my boyfriends' best friend. We're going to get him a present for his eighteenth. Got a problem?"
"Getting brave now, are we?" she cockily asked, taking a couple of steps towards me.
Christopher winced.
"Lucy?" he urgently whispered.
"What?!" I hissed.
"I really can't cope." I looked behind me. His forehead looked clammy, his throbbing pupils locked on Olivia. He was breathing heavily, his canines dangerously sharp. His eyes began to dart around the whole flock of sheep, and I could see he was over-whelmed.
Oh great.
Olivias' posse was probably too many humans to force onto him in close contact at once. So I went up to her face, Finbarrs' image in my head urging me on.
"Piss off" I snapped. "C'mon Christopher." I grabbed him by the elbow, and with great effort, dragged him along, and he eventually tore his eyes away from the group of fleshy Olivia robots. I sat him on a bench.
"Dude, snap out of it!" I vented.
He clutched at his jacket.
"There were too many." He was physically shaking.
"Christopher, you're going to have to get over this. You're with me half the time, and you don't go off on one like that!"
"You're a Hnart. You don't seem to pose as much of a temptation. Plus, there's only one of you."
He continued to scrap and paw at his jacket. I frowned.
"You have anxiety" I stated.
"What?"
"You have anxiety" I repeated.
He looked like he was about to pass out. I could only hope that he wasn't having a panic attack.
"Calm down!" I told him. "You controlled yourself back there man! Stop being so hard on yourself!"
There were tears gathering in his eyes.
I didn't know what to do. I couldn't console him. I didn't know what to say, and I couldn't hug him.
He started to bite his thumbnail, and his shaking began to lessen.
"At times like this, I wish I had someone who would give me a hug" he murmured.
"You're the only one who can fix that" I said simply, feeling guilty.
"I know" he sighed. "And I'm sorry about earlier. I didn't mean for it to come off like that."
"It's O.K. But I think it's time to move on."
"How can I?" he mournfully asked, tears spilling down his face. I sat beside him.
"Why not talk about it?" I softly asked.
"I don't want to" he whimpered.
"Tough" I said sharply, dramatically changing my tone. "It'll help. I, of all people, would know."
He frowned at me, but then defeatedly sighed.
"I was nearing the end of, well...wolf puberty. That's when temptation is at its' worst. Ugh, I can't remember. I think someone had annoyed me and I just needed some space. I knew at the time that I wasn't supposed to, but I hadn't experienced the tantalization of humans yet. I didn't know how bad it is, how powerful it can be.
I snuck off, morphed to a wolf and ran."
His eyes shone, remembering those last few moments of freedom.
"I ran for ages, letting my tongue loll. It was windy, and it rained at one stage. I felt at peace, liberated."
Then his face crumpled into sadness.
"But I was hungry. Obviously, so much exercise makes you...ravenous" he said uneasily.
"I smelled meat. I followed the smell, like the animal that I was. I got closer and closer." The fear of himself and his memories were closing in on him, his eyes wild with terror, his breathing picking up slightly.
"I didn't see a girl. I saw food. I pounced on her" he cringed. "She screamed. Blood-curdling scream."
It was like he was telling a horror story, and he was a broken, haunted soul of a dead person.
"She begged. She cried. I bit her anyway, pummeled and mauled her. Her blood didn't scare me, make me realize what I was doing. It just made me want her even more. Oh God." He put his face in his hands, the tears seeping through his fingers.
"She tried to push me away.
So I stopped playing with her."
He rested his forehead on his knuckles.
"I bit her neck. Horrible, bone-crunching sound." He gulped. "You'll never know how eerie it is to hear someone die. That moan of death." He shook his head.
"Her eyes went glassy. That's when I realized what I had done. She lay there in her own blood, completely destroyed." He exhaled in guilt and stress.
"Lucy, she was so beautiful" he said, distressed but wistful. "She was fourteen too. She was blonde and had really strong cheekbones, and and a soft face with brown eyes. I'm not sure what exactly she was wearing. I wreaked her clothes. Oh my God." He raked his hands through his hair.
"I remember changing back, her blood all over my face and my hands...Her poor family were on the news for weeks. The Gardaì eventually concluded what was true. A wild animal had killed her."
His pupils dilated.
"Her name was Sandy. I can't do that to anyone else."
His version of the story hit me much harder than Finbarrs'. It was much worse than I had first thought.
"I'm sorry Christopher." I rubbed his shoulder and he flinched.
"So unused to touch" he murmured morosely.
"Ever think about going to her grave? Apologizing?"
He wiped his eyes, but didn't answer.
I looked at my phone. It was getting late. I sent a text to Finbarr.
Christopher had a bit of a panic attack. Be back in an hour or so.
"C'mon" I said to him. "Let's go get this skateboard, then to this grave.
He looked up at me, his eyes wide with dread.
"What?"
"Let's go." I started to walk away, and he jumped up and ran after me. I felt my phone vibrate. It was Finbarr.
 No probs, told Mason. Any issues, ring me.
We got Finbarrs' skateboard, and it was pretty damn awesome. The body underneath was painted like a guitar, and the top had graffiti-type style writing on top.

I led Christopher to the graveyard, knowing all too well where it was. Christopher jogged to keep up with me.
I couldn't resist taking a test run on the skateboard.
I flicked it up as we reached the entrance.
"Lets go have a look. Maybe we can see Grandma aswell" I friendly offered, trying to make him feel comfortable.
But I had no immediate intentions to see Grandma. Not yet.
"I don't want to look. I don't deserve to" he whimpered.
I decided that I had to go for a little tough love.
"Look Christopher, you killed her, bottom line. I think you owe her an apology, whether you like it or not." He cringed and clutched at his jacket again.
"C'mon then" I said, perkily exhausted. I wandered around, Christopher trailing behind me, until I saw a headstone that caught my eye. Sandy Young.
"That her?" I asked. He barely nodded his messed up head. I studied her grave as we walked towards it. There was a little statue of an angel, completely filthy, and some dead flowers. The stone read,
"Sandy Young.
Died at 14 years of age.
Beloved daughter, sister, friend and aunt.
God takes the ones he loves most first."
I saw Christophers' pained cat-like eyes scanning the words, knowing he had taken someone away from their mother, father, brother, sister, friend and some niece or nephew. He looked at the pebbles on the surface of the grave, only metres above the reason from his torture.
"She's right there" I whispered. "Say what you need to say. She's all yours. I'll go" I said gently, taking a couple of steps back.
"No! Please stay" he pleaded. So I stayed. He took a massive breath, nodded, and rubbed look straight at the headstone.
"Um...hi Sandy." He gulped. "My name is Christopher. Eh...you probably, well, obviously don't recognise me. See, this might sound weird...but I'm a werewolf. When I was fourteen, I was let out by myself and I was in the forest and..." He looked over his shoulder, to me. I nodded in encouragement. He took a raggedy breath, and faced his fear again.
"Well, I smelled you and I was...really, really hungry. Look, Sandy, I killed you." His dangerously shook. "I killed you in a horrific way and I severely regret it. I hated myself ever since. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for taking your life, wasting it. For taking you away from your family, your friends. I'm sorry for mauling you." He sat crossed legged and lay his hand on the tiny stones. "You were so beautiful. I'm sorry...for everything basically."
Christopher looked sad, but at peace, the wind tugging at his hair. It started to rain. I shivered, my hair beginning to plaster to my face.
Eventually, Christopher groggily got up, after he seemed to say something to himself. I think it was a prayer. I had already put Finbarrs' skateboard into its box, and the box into its' bag to protect it from the downpour.
"Goodbye, Sandy." He started to walk away, and a solitary white feather dropped behind him.
"Christopher!" I yelled into the rain, thundering mercilessly to the ground. He turned and saw the feather delicately floating in front of him. He held out his hand and let the feather gently land on it. He enclosed his fingers around it, but didn't quite touch it. I went over to him, and said to him as quietly, but loud enough so he could hear me,
"Maybe she forgives you."
"She's crazy if she does." He carefully placed the feather on the grave. "Thank you. I'm really sorry, Sandy Young." He stuffed his hands into his hoodie pockets and walked. I looked back at the grave again, and the feather was gone. I backed away, staring at the neglected resting place of Sandy Young. Then I turned, and ran after Christopher, the skateboard rattling in its' bag.

 

 

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