This story has nothing to do with my others, just like my other one-shots don't. The song that is played throughout the entire story is "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift. The story follows the song in terms of storyline, but altered somewhat to fit the scenario of Imprinting. I thought that this song was perfect for this type of thing.
The Best Day
I ran through the snow, my floppy bunny hood bouncing on my head. I could hear Quil running up behind me, laughing as he tried to catch me. I smiled as I ran, too fast for the big man behind me to catch.
I jumped behind a tree and buried myself in the snow; my coat was very snug and tight, so I would not get cold. I made sure that I was completely hidden by the snow, except for a small hole that I could see through. Quil walked into the small clearing that I was in, searching around for me. "Oh, Clai-aire! Where a-re you?" he sang, his voice deep and gurgly. I laughed quietly, not able to stop the small chuckle that squeaked out.
His head jerked in my direction as I clapped my hands over my mouth, making the snow pile tremble. Oh no! He can see me! I thought to myself, trying to keep from screaming and running. I thought that maybe, he could not see me yet, that he had missed the tiny movement of the snow fluttering as I moved.
Quil stared at the snow that covered me for a very long time, nearly ten seconds. I had learned to count a few weeks ago, and could get all the way up to twenty without help! I refocused on Quil, hardly even breathing. "Oh, darn. I guess that I'll just have to keep looking." He said loudly, turning to walk away from me. He turned out of my eye-sight, and I let out a soft giggle at how silly he was. He hadn't seen me!
I shifted around a small bit, making a space around me within the snow pile. The snow was very deep, close to five feet, which made it very big for me to move in. The snow got hard at about my shin, so I could not go too deep, which made Quil happy; when I get into anything that is deeper than my knees, he worries really easily.
I started giggling again at a memory of Quil's silly face as I jumped into some water that came up to my chin; he started yelling and asking if I was okay. I threw water at him, and tried pulling him in with me, but he just pulled me out of the water, hanging by my wrists.
"What are you laughing at, Snow White?" a deep voice said next to me. I turned my head quickly, scared of the person who had snuck up on me, in my little fortress. Quil's giant head was sticking out from deeper snow, barely within my little bubble. I screamed, as huge arms exploded from around me, wrapping me up in a fiery, wet hug.
Quil landed on harder ground, shaking off all of the snow. I laughed and screamed as he threw me over his shoulder, carrying me like a little toy. "Quil, let me down!" I shouted, still laughing, as I beat on his back with my tiny fists. "Not a chance, little girl." He said in a funny voice, like a man I had heard a while ago who had said he was from a place called Germy, or something.
"Quil, why are you only wearing a black shirt? Aren't you cold?" I asked, noticing that his arms did not have anything covering them, the same with his legs below his knees. He was even barefoot! "Not really, Claire-bear. It is kind of strange, so I will tell you why later, okay? Just know that nothing can make me cold." He said this as he pulled me around to look at him, holding me with his arms outstretched. A silly grin spread across his face as he told me this, making me laugh.
"Now, you have to be getting tired. We have been out here almost all day!" Quil pulled me close, keeping me in a nice, tight hug. I wrapped my legs as far around his waist as I could, resting my head on his shoulder.
Quil began singing a song that he often did, that always made me smile.
"I don't know why all the trees change in the fall,"
My ears were clouding up, my brain drifting off.
"I know that you're not scared of anything at all,
Don't know why Snow White's house is near or far away,"
I wanted to wait for the song to finish, but the last thing I heard before I fell asleep on his shoulder was,
"But I had the best day, with you, today."
"Claire, where is your boyfriend? I mean, you're so pretty, with all that long, flat hair, and that dirty brown skin! How do you not have guys swarming all over you?" Minnie said, a fake smile in her voice, hiding the cruel maliciousness behind the words.
It was Valentine's Day, and everyone had hooked up with a boy. I did not like any of the boys at school, all of them were too immature. Being thirteen was a hard time, because so many people were getting boyfriends, and I did not want one. I knew that having a boyfriend was over-rated, because there was nothing that we could really do. I mean, it's not like he could drive me anywhere, we still could barely get into a PG-13 movie without an adult, and we did not have jobs, so we could not even really buy each other things. It seemed like a completely pointless venture to me.
Regardless of my views on relationships, her words still hurt; especially because they were true. My hair was straight and flat, having no body whatsoever. My skin was not brown, or white, but a sort of mix, like I was a white kid that had rolled around in the dirt and dust for a long time. My eyes were a plain brown, nothing remarkable about them. I was a gangly freak at five foot nine inches, standing nearly five inches above most of the boys in school.
The thing that hurt the most, was that she was my best friend. I had had lunch with her every day for the past three years, ever since we had started middle school. It was all because of her stupid boyfriend, Chris. He did not like me much, and Jenny had told me that he lied about things that I did, like flirting with him. It looked like he had finally turned all of my friends against me, for all of them were smirking at me, taking turns insulting different parts of my body, teasing me about not having a boyfriend.
I turned away from them all, keeping the tears tightly contained within my head. I would not cry in front of them, or show any sign that they were hurting me. I stepped onto bus that would take me the five minutes to my house, keeping my emotions under a tight leash.
I stepped down in front of my house, still refusing to let anything go; I would not let anyone see my tears over the stupid girls' comments about my body, and love life. I opened the front door and my mom called out a hello. I did not say anything, not trusting my voice to keep steady. I walked up to my room, just giving her a nod. "Claire? Is something wrong, honey?" she asked. I would have to speak now, because she would not be appeased by a simple head bob. "No, Mom. I'm fine. I am just kind of tired, so I am going to rest up a bit."
I closed my door behind me, not wanting her to follow me. I knew that she wouldn't, but I did not want to take any risks. I would not be able to handle a full on conversation with her without breaking down and freaking out, and she really could not do anything to help me, in this scenario.
I was only alone in my room for another five minutes, before I heard a knock on the door. "Claire? Can I come in?" Quil's voice asked from the other side. Oh crap. I can't say no to Quil! I don't want him to see me like this though, it's embarrassing! "Yeah, come in." That was it for my resolve. I would be unable to say much else without my voice shaking.
"Hey there, Claire-bear. Happy Valentine's day." He said, pulling out a small red box from behind his back. It was the kind that contained the really good chocolates, the ones that cost around ten dollars for fifteen pieces that I can almost swallow whole. They were so good though, I could die eating them.
This sent me over the edge. As he sat down next to me on the bed, I collapsed into his lap, my eyes spilling over. "Claire, it's okay. You'll be okay." He said, pulling me up into a sitting position on his lap. My face was pressed against his chest, in its usual spot. He just sat there, cradling me, while I bawled my eyes out and stained his black t-shirt.
I cried for nearly half an hour, being rocked back and forth by Quil who just sat there and let me sob. I told him everything that had happened, and why it had made me so upset. I did not look at his face once, just sobbing my words into his chest.
My tears had quieted a small bit, but had not stopped. "Hey, Claire? Let's get out of here." He picked me up as he said this, not giving me an option. I turned my head slightly so that I could see where we were going, and as we passed the kitchen, my mom mouthed the words "I love you" to me.
Quil set me down in the central seat in his truck, sliding in next to me. He buckled me in, then himself. I rested my head against his arm, still crying lightly. Quil pulled out of the driveway and wrapped his right arm around me, holding me tightly against his side.
We all the way up to Port Angeles, stopping in front of a small café. "Check out that guy, over there." Quil said, drawing my attention up to a man across the street. He was wearing a bright red trench coat, the kind that you expect to see on Matadors-gone-bad. He was wearing funky heart-shaped sunglasses, his clothing beneath the coat a strange blend of pink and white. He was the most ridiculous looking person I had ever seen.
I let out a choked laugh, unable to be sad while staring at such a stupid sight. Port Angeles was the perfect place to come and people watch, if you wanted to find people who looked goofy. Quil pulled out the box of heart-chocolates and popped the tin open. He pointed at a lady that was dressed in a multi-colored dress of green, blue, brown and white. It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, and her hair was up in a beehive, so it did not help at all.
Quil and I sat like that for over two hours, pointing out people who were dressed up for Valentine's Day in ridiculous outfits, or just dressed badly. I finished off the whole tin of chocolates, laughing more freely than I had in a few days.
I looked at Quil's face after laughing about a particularly disturbing outfit of red puffy hearts, and not much else. His face was cracked in a huge smile, his eyes roaming the streets for someone who could top the previous costume. He looked at me when he noticed that I was not laughing anymore, just smiling as I stared at his face. "What? Do I have something on my face?" he asked, running his fingers across his nose, mouth and cheeks. I smiled wider, and then replied with, "Well, there is this really big bump right above your mouth, between your eyes…" Quil glared playfully, then started laughing lightly.
I leaned against him, closing my eyes. "Thanks, Quil. You really are the best person I know."
"Any time, Claire. I love you."
"I know. Me too."
"Wow. Aren't you a little young to be so vain?" he asked, chuckling quietly again. I shoved him playfully as he started the car again, pulling back out into the street. As we drove, the song that seemed to define my life came on the radio. Even though it was well over ten years old, it was still played every now and again.
I know I'm laughing,
On the car ride home with you.
Don't know how long it's going to take to feel okay,
But I know that I had, the best day, with you, today.
"Claire, did you ever find that pillow case?" my mom shouted from the other room.
"No. I think that we may have lost it like, years ago, Mom!" I replied, laughing slightly. I pulled out another box, trying to decide what I would take to my new house with Quil. I was officially moving out today, and I was more nervous than I had ever been in my whole life.
As I dug through the boxes, I found an old set of home videos. I pulled one out that was labeled 'Claire/Quil 2009'. It was from when I was three. I popped it into the VCR, the oldest piece of equipment in the house. I didn't think that anyone else still owned one of these things. My voice was the first thing to be heard on the tape, distracting me from my disdain of the lack of technology.
"Quil, why do the leaves change coluhs aftow summah?" I asked in the movie, looking up at the camera. I laughed at the small accent that I had as a child, unable to say my 'r's at all. Up until I was five years old, those sounded like an odd blend of 'w's or 'ah's.
Quil started in with his extremely simple explanation of the trees immediately. "Well, Claire-bear, the leaves need food right? That food comes from the trees. The food that comes from the trees makes them green.
"After summer time, the trees stop making that food, so the leaves are not green anymore. Do you get it?" he asked, noticing the thinking look that I had on my face.
"I tink so. But Quil, don't the leaves get hungwy den? How do they live wifout food?" my clear voice asked, still confused about the leaves. "Well, Claire. You're quite smart, aren't you? The leaves don't have tummies, so they can't get hungry. It's as easy as that!" he said, laughing and ruffling my hair. I had always loved it when he did that; only he was permitted to touch my hair, ever.
Quil came up behind me then, sneaking with his silent werewolf feet. He slipped his hand under my hair, rubbing the back of my neck as he sat down next to me. "I see that you found the old home videos. You were the cutest little kid I had ever seen. You were smart, too."
"You were kind of biased." I replied, smirking at him. The video continued playing, and one line that I said brought my attention away from my husband-to-be-in-two-days.
"My daddy is the smartest! Quil, you ah pwetty. Will I evah look as good as you do?" my tiny three-year-old voice rang out from the TV. I laughed, nodding my head. "I still agree with that statement. Well, different words. You aren't exactly 'pretty' anymore. More like, devilishly handsome." I said, snuggling up into his side.
"I don't know if you know this, but I was always so happy when I would spend the day in your presence. My best days were always the ones with you." I said, looking up into his eyes.
"I must say, I agree completely. Even after I told you that I was a wolf-boy, when you didn't speak to me for two days, I still just enjoyed being in the same house as you. Now, it would have been much better with some conversation, but beggars can't be choosers now, can they." He said, smiling back at me.
"Are you done packing, Claire?" my mom asked, breaking through out moment.
"Yeah, I finished. I had Quil put all of it out in the truck, and I was just skimming through these in case I found any that I was dying to have." I told her, breaking away from Quil's gaze. She sighed, stepping forward to hug me tightly. My dad came around the corner, as my mother broke away, taking his turn to hug me.
"We're going to miss you, Claire. So, so much." He said, his eyes shining with almost-tears.
"Mom, I'm just going to be in a different part of the neighborhood. I'll be able to walk here in five minutes. It's not like I'm dying." I said, embarrassed by all of the attention that I was getting.
"We're counting on that, Claire. We may have to force babysitting duty on you ever once in a while." Lyle, my six year old brother came running around the same corner that my father had come from at that instant. "Claire! I'm gonna miss you! Do you have to get married to Porky?" he wailed, jumping into my arms. I laughed as he used Quil's nickname; I had called Quil a big porcupine once, in reference to his name, and Lyle had overheard me. He could not say porcupine, so he just called Quil Porky now, whenever he did not like something that was going on.
"Yes I do, Lyle. I love Quil very much! Do not worry, I'll still see you every few days, at the very least. Quil has a bunch of video games that he took from Amber and Seth, so you can even come over and play if you want to." He laughed as I used his nickname for Embry; He was only four when he met Embry, and when he first heard his name he said, "Embry sounds like Amber. I'm going to call you Amber." Embry had then play-chased him around the yard, Lyle screaming his head off.
I received another round of hugs as I set Lyle down on the ground, Quil taking the last of my bags out to the car. "Bye, mom. Bye, dad. I'm going to miss living with you guys."
"Take care, honey." They said as I stepped through the door. I made my way to the truck, sliding in next to Quil. I took my place in his side as he started the car, pulling out of the driveway. "How about some moving music for the whole two minutes that it will take to get there?" he asked, clicking the button that started the CD player. My favorite song came on, the one that had been around since I was born. I listened to every word, knowing them all by heart after over sixteen years of listening to this song.
And now I know why
All the trees change in the fall.
I know you were on my side,
Even when I was wrong.
I love you for giving me your eyes,
standing back and watching me shine.
I loved this last line of the song, so I started singing along with these lines, Quil's head turning and joining me in singing.
"I didn't know if you knew,
so I'll take this chance to say,
That I had the best day, with you, today."
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!