Instead of beating Peter Driscal, Cole Matthews hunted down and attacked a girl named Kate, who called the cops at his party. Which has rendered her mute, depressed and scared. As Cole goes through Circle Justice, he learns from his parole officer Garvey that Kate hasn't uttered a single word since his attack. This short story takes place after Coles encounter with the Spirit Bear, and on his second attempt at living on the island.
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS, THEY BELONG TO BEN MIKAELSEN. THIS IS JUST A PIECE OF FANFICTION.
Cole stares off into the horizon and sees Edwin, the elder Tlingit coming his way on the metal skiff, full of his supplies for the week. Cole runs down the rocky shore, waving at him. Edwin gives a short wave with his hand, then motions for him to come help him with the skiff. Edwin doesn't say a word, and looks graver than usual. They dont say anything as they bring up the supplies.
Finally Cole cant stand the silence and asks "Edwin, is something wrong? You are quieter that usual."
Edwin brushes some invisible dust off of his plaid shirt. "Kate is not doing well, Cole. Garvey just called and told me she attempted suicide. Again." he says gravely.
Cole stares at him in disbelief. "Why?"
Edwin gives him a look, "I think you know why, if it werent for you she would be talking, and happy. Her parents are desperate, they dont know what to do."
Cole suddenly has an idea, "What if she came here?"
Edwin shakes his head, "You know that is impossible." and then gets up to leave.
"No, wait!" Cole shouts back at him, Edwin stops in his tracks "what? What could you possibly do for her?" he says harshly.
"She needs to come here, she needs to soak in the stream, carry the ancestor rock, do the dances. She needs to know that I am sorry, she needs to be able to trust me again." Cole says in a rush.
Edwin raises his eyebrows at him, but says nothing and continues to walk down to the skiff.
"Just think about it, okay?" Cole calls after him. Edwin just waves back and begins driving the skiff away.
Cole walks back up the his cabin, a little put out that Edwin didn't like his idea. As he strokes the fire, he remembers Kate back when they were dating. She was so wonderful, why did he have to hurt her?
He remembered his rage when he found out that she was the one that called the cops on his party, she was the one that got him arrested for have illegal drugs in the house. She was the whole reason he got himself in this mess!
He felt his anger flare up again as he remembered cornering her after school and screaming at her for being so stupid. She just stared at him, didn't even fight back. She got what she deserved.
No, she didn't. He didn't mean to hurt her at all. He actually missed her laugh, just a bit. Cole felt cold shame run over him as he recalled Edwins words. She tried to kill herself, again. Again? When was the first time? Has she really not spoken since that night?
Days pass, and Cole goes back into his normal routine. Edwin stops by every fews weeks to hand off supplies, but every time Cole questions him about Kate, he just gives him a muted glare.
One morning, Cole wakes up to the sound of Edwin's skiff, followed by a much larger engine. He gets up to go look outside and sees the skiff, and a larger fishing boat coming his way.
He quickly dresses and walks outside. He walks down the rocky beach and waves to the boat and to Edwin. He sees Garvey on the boat, along with a man and a woman, and then he sees Kate.
His heart stops for a moment. How can anyone even be that thin? She looks like a gust of wind could just blow her away. Not at all like the healthy, athletic Kate he remembered.
The tiny groups heads for the shore, but Kate lingers behind a little. The woman, Cole assumes is Kate's mom hangs back and pulls on Kate's arm, trying to get her to come. Kate hesitates, but then reluctantly follows her mother onto the skiff then onto the shore.
Garvey greets Cole with a smile and a hug. "Hey champ! Its good to be back here!" he says happily. Cole smiles back at his parole officer.
"Whats all this? You guys are here!" Cole exclaims, overwhelmed by all the people on his island.
Edwin gives Cole a rare smilie "I took your advice, for the past few weeks the Circle has been meeting, and we decided to give this a try. Don't screw it up." He says, suddenly serious.
Cole notices that Kate and her parents are hanging back, huddled in a circle. He approaches them. "Hello, I'm so glad you were able to come." he says politely. He parents give him nods and forced smilies, but Kate doesn't even look at him. She is staring off back at the ocean.
"Well, I will show you guys to camp." Cole says cheerfully, then motions for the group to follow him up to the cabin.
The follow his slowly, not used to the rocky shoreline. When they get to camp, Cole opens his cabin and invites them in.
"So" Garvey begins, "Cole, why don't you tell us everything you've been doing here, and then we can discuss your situation with Kate" he finishes.
Cole nods, and then begins to show the group his cabin, and soaking pool, the shoreline, everything that has become important to his life on this tiny little island. They all listen intently, except for Kate, who hangs back behind the group, staring at the ground with her head hung low.
Cole reaches out to her, "Im so glad you came" he says softly. She retreats back from him like he had just tried to hit her and stares at him mutely. Then turns away, Cole sees tears in her eyes.
"Wow, this is incredible" Cole hears Kate's Mom say, Cole just smiles. "Yeah, it can get lonely out here, but I really do like it."
Kate's father frowns, "Youve really changed, did you know that? Or is this all an act?" he questions Cole.
Cole stares speechlessly at him. He had totally forgotten that these people don't trust him, at all.
As it gets dark, Cole leads them all back into their cabin and begins to cook dinner. "Tonight, we fiest!" he exclaims happily, and then begins to cook spaghetti and meat balls.
Everyone eats hungrily off their plates, except for Kate who just fumbles with her food. "Honey, why don't you eat something?" her mother tells her. Kate just shakes her head and turns away from everyone.
Cole feels a pang of guilt. Kate hadn't been like this before, she had been bubbly and full of life. The he notices the bandages on both her wrists and feels even worse. Kate notices him staring at them and quickly hides her wrists under her sleeves, blushing sightly.
"Alright, we are off the bed!" Garvey says happily. "We're going to sleep on the boat to tonight champ, and tomorrow we will make arrangements for Kate and myself to stay here for a few weeks." He tells them. Cole nods in agreement, then everybody files out for the night.