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...


21. Finbarrs birthday and a suprise for Christopher

~~I sat on my bed, straightening my hair.
It won't make a difference. You're still ugly.
"Not to Finbarr" I retorted to the voices out loud. I looked over at the wrapped skateboard and smiled. I knew I'd be stealing that one on a regular basis. I switched the straightener off, and placed it in my bathroom, so it wouldn't explode into flames. I carefully shimmied on a pair of bright blue skinny jeans, trying not to open the cuts on my thigh that had started to heal. I pulled on a white shirt that left my wrists exposed. As I put on some pink ballet pumps, I pondered whether to cover my scars or not. I slung on some eyeliner and extremely pale pink lipstick. I grabbed the skateboard and two pieces of fabric and bounced down the stairs. Peggy glared at me, but she had stopped asking where I was going at this point. It was the same answer every time.
I opened the door and squealed in delight and excitement as I jumped into Finbarrs' arms. He spun me around and we both laughed.
"Are you wearing lipstick?" he teased.
"Maybe. But happy birthday!"
"Why, thank you very much" he joked. "As birthday boy, I demand for my first birthday gift to be a kiss. And a chance to mess up your lipstick. It's messing with perfection" he winked. I rolled my eyes and pressed my lips to his. It was a little awkward. Finbarr had to hoist me up and one stage as I was slipping. His hands interlocked under my thighs, and for once, I was 'taller' than him. I held his face, but then accidentally nipped his tongue and I let out a high pitched laugh.
"Sorry! But here, there's your birthday present!" I pointed at the wrapped skateboard. "Your real present!" He set me down, but frowned, intrigued, at my pieces of flowy fabric.
"What're they for?" I discretely waved the colourful shreds of material about.
"I thought I'd use them as bracelets, y'know, to cover my scars." He tucked the wrapped mystery under his arm, and turned his arm, facing his wrist upwards. Encarved there, were three reddish-brown, scabbing lines. Thankfully, they should fade. He looked up at me through his eyelashes. He took my wrist, turned it and returned his own wrist to the same position.
"That was our wake-up call" he whispered. "Marks of pain and hardship, but we're still here, together. That counts for something, right?" I slightly nodded my head. "I wouldn't do that for anyone else." A smile tugged at the edges of his mouth. "There's no need to be ashamed of our cuts."
"Isn't there?" I tentatively asked. He raised my arm, and carefully placed his lips on a few of my scars, leaving a kiss.
"No. It was a learning curve. It reminds us not to do it again. And mine," he said, looking at his own wrist. "I'd like to think that they show you how much I love you, that I'd do anything for you."
"You better not do it again" I warned him. "Risking cutting some important vein is not the most favorable way of displaying affection."
"I know" he said, his voice barely a whisper. "And I won't if you don't. But, don't be ashamed. It's part of you, your story. A part of what makes you who you are today." I bit my lip.
"What if someone asks me about them?"
"You can start off by telling them that they are as rude as. But why not just tell them the truth?" I gulped.
"Just for one day?" His voice had a begging element towards it. His diamond pupils and ice blue irises studied my face, wondering if I would comply or not.
"You did it on our date." I sighed.
"I didn't really realize. Lisa kept me occupied."
"So she didn't ask about the scars then?" I shook my head. He had a point.
"Just one day" he repeated, but it sounded more like a statement rather than a question. He ran the material through his fingers.
"One day" I agreed. A sunny beam filled his face, and he gently tugged the fabric away from my grasp and put it in his back pocket. He placed his lips on mine, but instead of kissing me, his lips formed the sentence,
"Thank you Lucy."
The atmosphere then returned to its' excited original form and Finbarrs' eyes glimmered as he eyed his present.
"May I open it?" he asked.
"'Course!" I yelped. He tore a shred of paper off, and his eyes sparkled.
"It can't!" I grinned as he attacked the rest of the paper. "Lucy! Oh my God, thank you so much!"
"Christophers' idea" I shrugged. He wrapped me in a hug.
"You are awesome!" I nestled my head into his neck, my stomach slightly anxious at the fact that I'd have no means whatsoever of covering my wrists.

As we walked back to the village, Finbarr proudly holding his skateboard, he told me,
"Lisas' boyfriend came last night."
"Yeah?" I asked curiously. "What's he like?"
"Ah, he seems sound. But he brought someone with him."
"Who?" Why would he bring anyone?
"This friend of his. She's twenty, and she hasn't had a relationship in years. You'll never guess why!" he foolishly grinned.
"Keep going" I told him. "It's too early for my brain to work."
"She killed someone too" he announced, as if it was something amazing, something to be inspired by. "She's like the female version of Chris!"
"Finbarr, are you sure that's a good idea?" I worriedly asked, copping on to what he was up to. He frowned at me.
"What do you mean?"
"We went to that girls' grave yesterday. He told me exactly what happened. I don't know if he's ready."
"But it's been eight years, Lucy."
"But I think that..." I cringed. "I think he has some serious feelings for this girl." He was the only person...or creature I knew that loved a dead girl whom of which he never knew.
"Well, it's worth a try" he shrugged. I don't think he truly understood Christophers' pain. I don't think anyone did.
"How did he react to her? What's she like?" I then asked, curiosity prevailing over my better judgment.
"She's quiet. They haven't spoken yet. I'm hoping that we can nudge Chris in the right direction. Over to her and away from my side." I rolled my eyes. I had a sinking feeling that this could only go two ways.
Bad or horrific.

We got to the house, and it had Lisa written all over it. Balloons, tacky banners, an unused pile of party hats, the lot.
Lisa was attached to, who I presumed was, her boyfriends' hip, leaving Seamus looking a bit lonely. He looked longingly at her, sighed, but then started enthusiastically texting. Christopher looked up at us, relief spreading all over his face, bags under his eyes.
And there, in a corner, was a ghost of a girl. She looked as if she wanted the ground to swallow her up.
Is this how I came across in school? Scared, lonely, wanting to be anywhere but there? Probably.
She didn't look up as we came in. Her thinned, mousey brown hair curtained her small, sad face. She was very short and was wearing black boots, faded boyfriend jeans and a red checked top. Lisas' boyfriend, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. He exuded confidence, and must have been at least six foot four. It seemed to me that Finbarr was inbetween five foot eleven and six foot. It also looked like Finbarr was also a bit intimidated by him. He pulled me into him, holding me protectively, consciously standing up tall.
Lisas' boyfriend grinned over at me, his eyes crinkling...his dark green, diamond pupil, cat-like eyes. No mistaking that he was a werewolf.
"Hey guys!" yapped an overexcited Lisa. I nervously grinned, my previous avidness plagued by anxiety. New people made me worried, especially confidant ones like Olivia.
"Lucy" she continued, pulling her boyfriend over to us. "This is David! David, this is Lucy, the one I've been telling you about."
"Nice to meet you." His considerably calm semblance balanced out Lisas' giddiness. I smiled at his friendliness and nodded towards him. Behind him, I noticed the other girl looking at me with her deep grey eyes. But as soon as she saw me noticing her, she swiftly looked down again.
"She's shy" David whispered. "Bit like your friend Christopher."
"I don't want to make her uncomfortable with the half human thing" I winced, scraping some of my hair back.
And that's when I saw David staring in some form of shock-horror at my wrist, with its' mix of old, faded scars, and newer, fresher gashes.
I stared at him, speechless, my mouth hanging open. I slowly took my arm down again. His eyes followed my wrist. I shifted uneasily. My eyes flickered towards Finbarr, and he was staring hard at him, with cold eyes. Lisa had obviously noticed my scars before, but paid no heed to them and did not tell David. She hit his arm.
"David" she warningly hissed. He snapped back to attention and looked me in the eye again. I bit my lip and looked down. This is why I wanted to cover my wrists.
"I self-harmed" I said quietly, deciding to take Finbarrs' advice. I gulped. "My scars don't make you uncomfortable, do they?" I asked.
"No!" he exclaimed. "Jeez, Lucy, I'm so sorry. I just...It caught my eye, I've never really seen...I mean..." He was digging himself into an even deeper hole.
"It's fine" I inputted. "They are a little unnerving."
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have looked." Finbarr still glowered angrily at him, a slight dent in his bottom lip signaling that his canines were growing sharp. He wrapped an arm around me and held my hand so that his wrist faced out, exposing his dreaded marks. Davids' eyes caught them, but he tore his focus away again. I squeezed his hand and smiled up at him, and the anger slowly melted.
Lisa exasperatedly shook his head.
"Why don't you try to talk to her?" Lisa asked me. "I think Christopher really confided in you in a way he hasn't really confided in anyone before. You might have this welcoming thing about you." I looked up again at Finbarr.
"Your choice." His voice wasn't even a whisper. He might as well of mouthed it.
"Alright" I heaved. "Someone give me a drink for her." David eagerly grabbed a drink and handed it to me, trying to earn brownie points.
"Thanks." This girl seemed like a far distance away, with Seamus and Christopher inbetween us.
"Hey Christopher" I smiled, my stomach flipping with apprehension. There was a tight knot of anxiety in the pit of my belly, a feeling I really hated.
"Hello" he murmured.
"You O.K?" He shrugged. I refrained from sighing.
"Go talk to Finbarr before he rips Davids' head off. I'll be over in a bit." He didn't budge. "Go on!" I persisted. "You can't avoid David forever, he seems like a nice guy." He flexed his eyebrows skeptically, keeping silent. I caught Finbarrs' gaze. "Call him over" I mouthed.
"Hey Chris! Come over here for a sec." Christopher glared at me in a way which said I hate you, but thank you too. He reluctantly scampered away. I turned my attention to Seamus.
"Hiya Seamus!" He looked like a rabbit caught in headlights. He locked his phone and guiltily put it behind his back.
"Who you texting?" I curiously asked.
"Just a friend" he said awkwardly, his face twisting with his conscience, knowing he was lying.
"A friend?" I teased.
"Yes, mo chara" he replied, struggling to keep the impatience out of his voice.
"You alright? You look a bit lonely."
"Ah, well...Lisa is like my best friend, like my sister. It's hard to talk to her with David around. They take up all of eachothers' attention" he said, looking wistfully after her.
"Dude, talk to her! It's mates before dates, let her know how you feel! She probably doesn't even realize that you're feeling left out."
"Ceart" he sighed. Then he seemed to think and he perked up. "Right! Ceart. Sure, might as well join the group. Chris is even there. Coming?"
"I'll go in a few. Meet you there."
"Slan!" he grinned. Something was definitely up with him, and it wasn't just about Lisa.
But now for the next problem.
I bit my tongue. That was mean. She isn't a problem. I wouldn't want to be thought of as a problem.
But you are.
Not today. Give Finbarr a break.
I took a deep breath and walked over to a nameless girl. No-one had bothered to tell me her name.
"Hello" I said quietly, cautiously. Her eyes flickered up, but looked down again. "I brought you a drink" I said, as courteously as I could manage, holding out the cup of lemon. She stared at it before taking it with reservations. Her eyes glided across my scars, but her face remained sad, so sad it was almost emotionless. Like she was miserable for so long, it was perceived as a straight face.
"I'm Lucy" I said while holding my arm at my side, rubbing it with my other hand, stopping just above my wrist. I was trying to get her to speak.
"I'm Chloe." Her voice was soft, gentle, and quiet, but it had potential. The potential to be loud and excited. There was a subtle element to her voice, a small giddy part that was itching to get out.
"Nice to meet you Chloe." I had to speak to her as if I was talking to a lost puppy. I was afraid that she'd run away on me. "What brings you here?"
"David and our pack leader made me come" she muttered. "I heard you were here, that you were half-human, so I didn't really want to come."
But I knew what she meant.
"According to Christopher over there," I didn't bother to point, as her eyes were glued to the ground again. "Because I'm a Hnart, I cause much less of a temptation than a human." Her eyes darted up, filled with fury.
"How did you know that that was what I meant?" I felt like telling her she couldn't have made it any more brutally obvious. But I let her continue.
"David hasn't been gossiping, has he?" she asked, her voice meekly irate.
"No" I shook my head. I took the chance then to point to Christopher while she was looking up. "Christopher killed someone when he was fourteen. He's never really gotten over it. And he definitely didn't want me and Finbarr dating incase I was killed." Her eyes slowly wandered over to Christopher, seeming to study him, contemplating his face. Her expression was filled with interest....and understanding.
I looked over to him with her. He was excruciatingly uncomfortable, and stayed at Finbarrs' side.
"Talk to him yet?" I asked her. She looked into my eyes for a split second. Her eyes were the first grey werewolf eyes I had seen. They were angelic, one of the most appealing pair of werewolf eye I had seen. Of course, Finbarrs' ice-blue worlds were at the top of my list. But something about her eyes caught my attention, and seemed alluring, inviting.
She shifted her eyes away from me again.
"No. I'm kind of introverted."
"So's Christopher. I am a bit too. Would you like to come to the sitting room with me?"
"Yeah, sure" she breathed, reconciled.
As she walked away, I beckoned Finbarr to follow us, knowing that Christopher would follow.
I sat beside Chloe, and she was minute. Her five foot four stature made my five foot seven height seem enormous. Her head hovered near my shoulders, and I felt like a giant.
Finbarr and Christopher walked in. Finbarrs' confusion lifted from his face as soon as he saw Chloe. Christopher huddled like a mouse behind him, his head receding into his shoulders, his expression both dazed and aware, both worried and agitated.
"Hey Finbarr, Christopher. This is Chloe" I grinned, as if the two of them hadn't killed anyone, that this was a normal human introduction. I felt a shiver run down my spine. I suddenly became aware that I was sitting in a room with two werewolves who had killed before.
Push it out of your head, I told myself Christopher is your friend, Chloe is quiet and they both regret what they did. Everyone has the potential. Calm.
"Hi Chloe, I don't think we've met yet." Finbarr held out his hand and Chloe slowly took it. Taking her shyness into consideration, he shook her hand gently and within moderation. Then, instead of sitting on either of the other two free sofas', he sat on the floor beside me. He smiled up at me before resting his head on my lap. My insides did a backflip, his sweetness never failing to make me feel soft and warmhearted. All it takes is a cute smile from Finbarr to remind me how crazy I was about him.
I toyed with his silky blonde styled hair, and loosely held his hand with my free one.
"I'm Christopher" a resentful, hesitant and frightened voice came up. He sat on the couch furthest away from us.
Typical. There was an awkward silence.
"Are you O.K there, Christopher?" I asked.
"I'm fine, thank you" he replied coldly.
"Dude, she's only asking" Finbarr retorted, warning prominent in his tone. I squeezed his hand to say thank you, but to let him know that it was alright.
"Look, Lucy," Chloes' voice appeared. "I know the reason I was dragged here was to meet Christopher, but I don't think it's gonna work."
"I know!" Christopher indignantly burst. "I told Lisa that this wasn't a good idea!"
"I told David the same thing!"
"Seriously, two wolves who killed someone. Putting us together is a bad idea. I mean...I still feel so bad" Christopher said, his face twisted in guilt.
"I know" Chloe feebly said, rubbing her temple. "It was a total accident. I was a hormonal wreak let loose, never a ravenous murderer."
"Me too" he regretfully moaned.
"I just don't know how to move on. I took that person away from all their family and friends. His poor boyfriend was in a horrendous state."
"I visited the grave of the girl I killed yesterday. First time in eight years. It's not like the guilt lifted, but I could talk to her, apologize. It gave me some form of...peace" he told her dreamily. She scrunched up her face in thought.
"I might do that one day." She paused. "I hate when people try to understand. Like, too hard. It doesn't help." Christopher vigorously nodded in empathy.
"Nice to talk to someone who understands."
I smiled to myself contentedly. The two most buttoned-up, solitary, traumatized people I'd ever met were in deep conversation.
My work here was done.

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