The storm around her cranks up the volume as one deafening crash from the thunder prevails once more. However, Rachel can't hear it. Another thing is controlling her mind, making the storm seem much quieter than reality.
Family over anything, her mothers voice ringed on inside her head repeatedly. She tried to erase the words, but they painfully grew louder with time. If you have no family, then you have nothing.
No matter how hard she tried to forget the saddening memory that clung with the name Sarah Black, she could not deny the truth. She couldn't lie to herself, any longer.
Rachel Black, beauty and brains rolled into one. A quiet yet strong girl that was raised by a woman who took no bull from anyone. Rachel Black, a meek girl raised to be tough, intelligent and most of all, self-respecting. A bountiful essence of feminism and outspokenness weaved and tangled inside the name Rachel Black. When people think of Rachel, they think of future.
They remind themselves of a child who lived motherless and still managed to keep her identity unbroken. They think of one of the few children on the rez who decide to further their education, and doing so on full-ride.
And she herself, held her name in high respects. She just graduated from college early, for heavens sakes. And she could not put off this visit any longer — she missed the vital part of her life. She missed the squeaky wheel-bound father that sneaked in on her and Becca when she was doing her homework. She missed the stupid, reckless boy she called a brother, that somehow had the capacity of lighting the room up with a smile.
She remembered the words her mother told her, long ago. The importance of self-respect and strength was highlighted in her upbringing, but the remarkable force of family, was the most prized lesson her mother liked to enforce.
Family...a group of people that stood for you no matter what, a bond between relatives that wish nothing for you than your success and happiness. A household of people that would never betray you, no matter the temptation.
Rachel saw it as a place of redemption and hope, a place of assurance and safety. Rachel saw her family as what she needed...and it just so happens to be all she needs.
Her father trusted her to go off into Washington State and be successful, and all he wished was two visits a year. Even then Rachel had failed him. Covering her absence with homework and studying for two long years was effective, but she knew Billy was depressed form the prolonged visitation from his daughters.
And so she came, she stood in front of the battered old door, knocked on it like she was a stranger, and saw her father's wrinkled face light up in true joy from the sight of her.
When she spoke, her fathers eyes darted towards her in nothing buy paternal love and pride in her success. When Rachel talked of the job she just got, Billy celebrated with cheers and smiles. His cheeks tugging on his face permanently, whenever he thought of his daughter Rachel.
And Rachel was pleased, she was content with her return home. Even though it would be cut short, due to her job offer, she was looking forward to spending time in her homeland for a few weeks.
She was only happy, until her brother came in the room. Jacob was a huge driving force in her decided of coming home. She longed to see his smile, and hear his joking voice. She wished to see his eyes light up in true comic relief. She wished to feel okay, her brother had a way of doing that.
But when she walked in, she only received a bone-crushing hug and few raised eyebrows from his face. He was shirtless and bland. He was...empty looking. His eyes held nothing, and Rachel weaved herself inside the dark abyss beneath...but she saw nothing.
Jacob welcomed her, but he wasn't the same. He wasn't happy little Jake that lived to annoy Rachel and Rebecca...he wasn't her little brother.
But she swallowed the insecurity,. If Jacob is sad, then how can she ever be happy? How can smiling, happy-go-lucky Jacob be depressed? Where did that leave her?
As the days progressed, she learned bits and pieces of what happened while she was gone. Bella Swan's name turned up a few times.
Rachel Black made it a personal mission to go and hunt this two-faced bitch (in her words) that decided to break her brother's heart, but she was stopped plenty of times by a nervous Billy who assured her Bella was long gone.
Rachel wished to take the pain off her brothers shoulders, but she didn't know how, what with dealing with her own pain. Her own agony of being reminded of her mother's death printed all over the off-white walls of her home every day she walked past them.
The walls were closing in, so she decided a walk on First Beach would set things right. She believed a nice inhale of the fresh air and placing her feet in the water would calm her nerves and allow her to cry without someone overhearing her.
So she left, and the decision to leave was the biggest choice she ever made. Because that one walk on the beach, changed her life forever.
And she still doesn't know if it was for the better.
He was there, only five minutes into her self-loathing session of where she looked to the earth in shame and weakness and silently walked along the shoreline.
She sensed foot-steps and fearfully looked upon her visitor, and gasped.
Beauty is all her brain could transfer to her heart, pure beauty locked inside a tall, manly shaped figure that seemed to be as perplexed with her appearance as much as she was his.
Short black hair that covered his scalp, strangely caught her eyes, first. She trailed down to see his pointed chin and sharp eyes. Below his striking features was sculpted body, that resembled ancient carvings and statues. It was almost as though he was mocking the world, with his perfect muscular frame and stunning height.
And he never spoke, he only stared. Rachel wanted to blush under his gaze, but decided on walking past him in hopes of never seeing him again. His presence would already haunt her forever, and the rejection following would only hurt her more.
But he couldn't let her leave. In sheer trepidation, he blurted out a silly request for her name, and she timidly told him. He said his name as well, and suddenly a sense of First Grade recess lingered in the air.
Rachel couldn't take a memory from the past any longer, so she left suddenly promising the man she'd see him again.
However, the reason for her current departure and crying escapade, is not because she betrayed her family. The reason behind her mothers voice rekindling inside her was not brought upon because she did something wrong.
Oh, Paul. Rachel thinks of him day and night and the trouble he brought was what she never expected in such a pretty faced man.
Werewolf. Imprinting. Legends. Cold ones. All new words fused into her vocabulary. All new things she accepted as easily as she accepted life.
After Paul's explanation, there was another informant sent to her house. This time sent in the form of Emily Young, a young lady like herself who chose to stay behind and tend to her husband for life.
Another lesson Rachel's mother taught her, was that Rachel never had to marry to be successful. Sarah herself, was a strong lady who worked her classic white-collar job and volunteered with tribal council more than once. It was Sarah who made suggestions that many people rejected due to it's unfamiliarity, but later accepted because of the overwhelming sense it made.
It was Billy, a man drawn to strong and controversial women that fell in love with Sarah, the second he laid his eyes on her. It was Billy who forced her to fall in love too, and ever since Sarah had been never been regretful.
Of course, Sarah denied Billy a number of times, but when she finally received a promotion in her job this one faithful day, she also decided to give the man a chance
This story was told to Rachel's childhood ears for the longest of years, and she too herself chose to marry only when she was established herself. Unfortunately, Rebecca didn't think so.
But besides that, Rachel was bitter about the word Imprinting ever since the scarred lady stepped foot inside her house. The way Paul explained it sounded so magical and comforting and romantic, but when a woman stepped in, she begged to differ.
The conversation between Emily Young and Rachel Black was not a successful one. In fact, Rachel grew to resent her companion for more reasons than one.
If Sam truly loved Emily, why would he make her choose between her best friend and himself? If it was true love, then why did it cause Sam to scar her simply because she rejected him, as she should? And most importantly, what caused Emily to betray her cousin, regardless of the scars?
The questions Rachel spat were intimidating, and Emily could not answer. It was then deduced by Rachel herself, that imprinting was wrong. It compromised one's self-respect and bond with family. Two things Rachel held the most to her heart. She knew her mother wouldn't be proud if she chose to love Paul, over leaving La Push forever.
Rachel and Emily grew to despise each other slightly. Emily argued that Sam and her were soul mates, who would have ended up together anyway. Rachel argued that Sam never had a choice, and would never consider Emily, since he was so in love with Leah.
And the fact that Emily did indeed, betray her own family was so upsetting to her that she kicked the young scarred woman out of her house and cried on her pillow, ignoring those who asked if she was okay.
Paul who was confident before hand from the positive reaction Rachel gave him earlier, was now shattered when he learned she never wanted to see him again.
Days passed, and to Paul it felt like decades. Rachel reminded herself of the deep feminist ideals implanted in her brain since the day she was born: You don't need a man to be successful, Loving someone who never chose you is hating yourself, Choosing to stand by and carry his children is stereotypical
And one thing Rachel promised she would never become: Emily Young. Her character foiled hers greatly. Though both quiet, they were very different. Emily was willing to be domesticated and fit the housewife standard. Emily had no problem with being immobilized and being watched carefully for the rest of her life. Emily had no problem with giving birth to children and cooking for the rest of her life.
And most importantly, Emily had no problem with betraying her family.
Rachel on the other hand went to college and received a job, because she does what she believes so well. Rachel would never wait on any man. Rachel would never wish for children as the main focus of her existence. Rachel would never want a man to think he was her sole protection— Rachel believed she could watch her own back. Rachel would never choose a man over her own family, no matter how hard it was.
Rachel glorified her views and chose to openly bash imprinting as a stupid resort for making wolf babies. Paul saw secondhand how his imprint was so outspoken and felt a mixture of tenderness and pain from her rejection.
Her stubborn views drove him insane. Billy found her indigence comical, and claimed she reminded him of her mother, so much that he couldn't believe it.
And if you ask Rachel today, you would know that it wasn't the 'high levels of adoration' that drew her back to Paul, it wasn't that she thought about him everyday. If you asked her, you would know her will to remain strong was never crumbled because of something as silly, weak and Emily-like as the explanation: 'it hurt to be separated from him.'
Rachel Black fell back on everything she believed in, because of one appearance to her fathers house that left her drenched in guilt.
Paul had stepped in, looking bruised and broken. His tall frame was hunched over, and slacking with the heavy burden of loss. He looked conflicted and his eyebrows twisted up in surprise from Rachel's face. He didn't expect her to come, but her presence sent him flying over the edge.
Rachel had only walked inside her kitchen that used to be tended by her mother, to grab a glass of milk, but hadn't wished to see him in such a terrible state.
And by her simply appearance, Paul closed his eyes and inhaled the air she brought in. He trembled slightly and relaxed a little. She calmed him, it was like she was his drug...he couldn't survive without her. The severe withdrawal was written all over his face.
His eyes were just as empty as Jacob's was. You could see inside his soul, the pain he felt everyday. Rachel couldn't bear to see she caused someone so much agony.
They had eye-contact for a couple of seconds. It was an awkward silence that was ended when Rachel ran towards him and attacked him in a tight hug. She didn't know him. She didn't understand why, but she gave in.
Later, Rachel realized why Paul was innocent. Even though she absolutely detested Imprinting with a strong passion, she could never live with causing grief to someone else, intentionally.
She could never live with her self knowing that someone was dying because of her simply refusal. She couldn't deny that she loved Paul and that she was happy, but he knew this would never be possible with the wonders of such a bond...
She hated that Paul had no choice, but she realized that if he did have a choice, he wouldn't have chosen to be in pain over a girl like her. Though he claims he never wished to not imprint on her, she knew that the real Paul Meraz— the one before imprinting would choose to never imprint, and that assurance calmed her a bit.
She decided that forgetting about the free will in the matter would make her life easier. And having such a supportive boyfriend, did not limit her from her dreams. She pursued what she wished to do, this time, with a hot piece of man candy smiling by her side. And she did so, keeping her mother principle close to her heart.
The old anger against Paul expired, even though she was slightly cynical of her situation, she could never deny she was grateful with what was given to her.
She knew her mother was content with her choice, and the invisible approval of her relationship was a huge driving force in her choice to love Paul. She forgave him, and everyone else as well.
She still hated Emily Young, though.
AN: Bahahah! Anti-Emily Forever! :) (I need to make a community for this...) PLEASE REVIEWWWWWWW