Disclaimer: As usual, Stephenie Meyer owns all of the rights to the characters discussed.
I sat on my bed with my knees pulled to my chest and my head resting on top of them. I guess that you could say that I was being moody, but I was really trying not to be. I was staring out of my stormy bedroom window, watching the lightening chase the darkness from the sky. I was almost completely mesmerized by it. Almost.
My best friend, Quil, was ignoring me. Or maybe it wasn't that he was ignoring me. Maybe he was just realizing that his friends that were boys were more fun than hanging around with a (sometimes moody) teenager. Or maybe he was just sick and tired of me. I doubted that, but I wasn't quite sure how I could be so certain of it. His friend Jacob had been going through a "rough" time, as Quil had put it. I often heard rumblings tossed between Quil and his "pack" of friends that used the words: "Bella," "Vanessa," and "Imprint," though none of these words held much, if any, importance to me.
I wasn't that young; I wasn't that old. I was, as my mother and my Aunt Emily put it, a young woman - just sixteen years old. I'd never had a boyfriend, never had a kiss or anything like that. I was okay with all of that, too. I had the best friend in the whole world: Quil. For as long as I could remember, Quil had been a major staple in my life. And, I loved him for that. I couldn't imagine life without him in it, and I didn't want to.
Quil was kind and gentle with me. He was the kind of guy that would come over at an ungodly hour of the night when I was still up, scrambling to write a paper for school that was due in a few hours even though he knew full well that I had been procrastinating it for weeks. He never seemed to be far, and he almost always was willing to drop anything and come see me when I needed someone to talk to or needed help or just wanted to not be alone.
So, it kind of irked me a bit when I hadn't seen or heard from Quil for a couple of days. He promised that he'd hang out with me on Monday, but he called early in the morning and cancelled our plans. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and now most of Friday, had passed without word from Quil.
It wasn't as if I hadn't tried to contact Quil. It was quite the opposite. I did everything in my power, actually. I had called his house, called Uncle Sam, Embry, Jacob, Paul, Leah... all of the usual suspects to turn to when Quil went missing. I had even "borrowed" my father's truck to roam La Push, looking for him.
Although the dark clouds outside would try to tell you otherwise, it was only six in the evening as I sat still on her bed. Looking at the sky, however, it looked more towards 11 o'clock, or maybe even midnight.
With a sigh, I released herself from my statue like stance and opted for the fetal position. I was feeling pretty comfortable, and I was suddenly reminded that I was tired. Knowing me, I realized that I was in danger of falling asleep. However, I did nothing to stop it. I let my heavy eyelids drop slowly over my cocoa eyes, feeling content even though I could still feel the stab of annoyance towards Quil.
Just as I was about to drop off into a deep sleep, however, a loud bang at the front door startled me. I stared at the blank wall in my bedroom for a second before I heard a familiar voice call, "Claire! Let me in!"
That voice, for whatever reason, sounded like "home" to me. I know how odd that sounds, but I don't care. That's what it sounds like. The hugs that Quil gave felt like home, too. They made me feel safe and loved. When Quil and I were together, I knew that no harm could come to me, no matter what.
With a sigh, I heaved myself off of my mattress and padded to the front door. I flung the light screen door open and continued to walk, making my way to the small kitchen that was on the back of the small house that my parents owned. In the corner of my eye, I saw Quil catch the door with an odd expression on his face before he let himself in.
Once in the kitchen, I reached for a glass and filled it with ice water. I hoisted myself up onto the kitchen counter before I started to drink it, and Quil gave me a slightly annoyed look.
"You know that your mom doesn't like you sitting up there, Claire," he scolded me, though he was wearing a smile, so I knew that he wasn't really being serious.
"And what are you going to do to me, Quil? Call the cops?" So it wasn't the best retort that I could make, but oh well. I was still sleepy, and I was still annoyed with Quil.
Quil's eyes softened. He seemed to know that I was upset with him. He almost always knew. Almost always.
"Claire, I'm sorry that I haven't been around recently. I didn't mean to... I had some business to deal with."
He was pleading for my forgiveness, but he hadn't suffered enough yet. He was probably off having fun all week, while I was stuck at home by myself. I turned my head away from him and put the sweating glass of water to my lips. Anything to keep me from looking at him.
Quil was standing in front of me in an instant. He placed his hands lightly on my knees, ready to pull them away if I demanded. I brought my cocoa eyes to his dark chocolate ones, and I knew that I would have to forgive him.
"Please say that you're not mad at me, Claire. I can't stand you being mad at me. I promise that I'll make this up to you. I swear," he pleaded, grasping at whatever promises he could make me. Then, he did something that surprised me: his left hand lightly reached up and brushed my cheek before sweeping a stray hair of mine behind my ear. It felt as if an electric shock had gone through my body, but it wasn't like a static shock. It didn't hurt, but it caused my heart to skip a couple of beats. If I hadn't placed my glass back on the counter, I'm sure that it would have gone crashing to the floor.
Quil's eyes bored into mine, and I was very aware that his body temperature seemed to be a bit high. I always knew that he was warm - I wasn't that non-observant - but he felt so much warmer when we were like this.
"Claire?" Quil prompted, trying to bring my thoughts back into the current time.
Before I could stop myself, and while I knew that Quil was a lot older than me, I leaned forward and let my lips lightly touch his. It only lasted for a couple of seconds, but before I pulled away, I was aware that Quil was smiling. My eyes were closed, but I could tell he had that stupid grin on his face. That grin that I loved. Inside of me, all the annoyance that I had felt at Quil had melted away and I couldn't feel any emotion other than love.
"I forgive you," I mumbled softly, my cheeks being painted with a rouge color that was uncharacteristic of me.
"I figured as much," he whispered as his fingers trailed along my cheek bone, resting on my bottom lip. He removed his hand quickly and pulled me close to him, lifting me off of the counter to do so. He let my feet hit the ground lightly, but never let go of me. I felt his lips on my forehead, before he started laughing.
"What?" I demanded, hoping he wasn't laughing at the fact that I kissed him. I wouldn't be able to beat him up (he's a rather big, strong boy), but... I'd find someone who would. Uncle Sam would, I was sure.
"I've been waiting forever for that to happen, Claire. That's all. It was better than I could have dreamed," he assured me, kissing my lips lightly and quickly as if it were some secret that we needed to keep.
"Good," I said, unable to keep myself from giggling before I stole another kiss and took his hand in mine. His hand was significantly larger than mine, but it felt so right. Being with Quil felt right to me.
Although I couldn't tell what he had felt when we first kissed – or rather, when he first touched my cheek there – I was quite certain that it might mirror what I was feeling. And, I had a hunch that he had felt that way about me for a long time.
Although I'm no seer, I had a strong feeling that Quil was all I had ever needed or would need. I also had a sneaking suspicion that he had known this since the day that he met me, many, many years ago. Something told me that Quil was enough for the rest of my life.
And that was quite alright with me.