1. Hollywood Died

"Come home when you can."

Sam's last words echoed through my mind as I raced to get father away from La Push, and Washington all together. I ran over the hard ground, stumbling a few times as my paws lost traction on the soft, damp leaves that had fallen. I half hoped that it would stop raining so I could run a bit easier, but it didn't matter. My fur hadn't soaked all the way through yet, and below my undercoat, I was still toasty warm.

Soon, I was far enough away that I couldn't make out the pack's thoughts anymore. It was strange to run alone, without someone else's memories clouding my head. For the second time that day, I was grateful it was Sam who led us. I never would have been able to take off like this if I was responsible for everyone, especially the younger ones.

Sam was a good leader for everyone. He knew what it was like for each of us and tried his hardest to do what he could to ease the burden. Most importantly, he understood what it felt like to want to run towards the one you loved most, but need to run in the opposite direction.

I knew I was unreasonably upset and depressed about the whole Bella thing, but I also knew that I wouldn't be able to get passed it in Washington. Not with Bella and that leech wandering around, turning the children in my tribe into wolves. She would undoubtedly try to maintain our friendship, against Edward's wishes, and I wouldn't have the strength to tell her no.

But I didn't have to deal with it anymore. I was miles away, far away from any of their influences. I was trying to leave them behind and move on with my life. There was no point keeping any feelings alive for her if she was never going to return them. It's not as if she were my imprint. People forget about their childhood friends every day. Time to join that statistic.

I knew I had to pull myself out of this black hole. If not, it would lead me down a road I couldn't afford to head down. I had to stop this and I was alone. I had to do it myself. I had no 'Jacob' to do it for me like Bella had. No emotional support or protection. There was no medication for me.

I slowed my running to a gentle pace and tried to relax. It had been a few hours at high speed. My heart was racing and my paws were beginning to hurt. I could hear the sound of running water to my left, but it was a small, faint sound. It was probably only a small stream, but it would be enough to keep me hydrated until I found my resting point for the night.

It had stopped raining as hard. The humidity made my fur hang down and puff up at the same time. I had to be getting pretty far south for that response. The leaves around me dripped gently with the last of the rain and fell to the swollen dirt below me. Time seemed to stand still. I sat for a moment, listening to the forest. I could hear every sound that echoed around me. My heart slowed and my spirits raised. The calming winds of the earth flowed between the trees, ruffling my fur.

After a few minutes of rest, I tried to remember Sam's advice. He and Emily had always told us that if we were ever upset, it was best to talk it out with a third party. Fresh eyes give clarity, he always said. I could almost see him standing in front of me with that stern expression, finger wagging.

Who was I kidding. There wasn't a single person I knew who wasn't personally invested. My dad would just be angry with Bella and tell me to leave her alone. The pack had the same mindset. The least judgmental person I knew was Emily and she had made it perfectly clear that she wished for me to find a beautiful girl to focus on instead of Bella. Emily'd also said—

I froze instantly. I remembered her offer from a year ago and immediately started off again, as fast as my tired paws would carry me. Maybe I wouldn't have to do this myself. Hopefully, she remembered the offer. She hadn't known it, but she had given me the most important lifeline.

I wouldn't have to find someone to help me get over this.

I would find my medicine.

And I would do it on my own. One step at a time.