#Chapter 180: Somewhere Only We Know
On the night after the dean’s announcement, I realized once more that I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Even just over the course of a couple of nights in Enzo’s warm arms, I already couldn’t sleep without him.
I couldn’t explain what came over me next. Maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe it was desperation. But as 1 climbed out of bed for the second night in a row and got dressed, I almost felt like I was in a daze.
I was being drawn somewhere. Where I was being drawn to was a mystery to me, but for some reason I didn’t even question it and simply climbed out of bed without a second thought.
Once I was dressed, I quietly snuck out of my dorm again and made my way down the hallway. My body felt light, like it was a balloon filled with air and some invisible string was pulling me somewhere. I didn’t know where that string was pulling me, and I didn’t care. Somehow, I felt as though Enzo was on the other end of it, pulling me toward him… But I knew that that was a silly idea.
I made my way down the hallway, then down the stairs and out the front door. The campus was as quiet as a graveyard as I made my way across the quad. The dean had held a candlelight vigil earlier that night for the lives lost during the attack, but that had long since ended and everyone went to sleep.
Before the attack, there would almost always be people wandering the campus at any time of night or day. Night owls, partiers, insomniacs… There was always someone. But now,
ever since the attack, everyone disappeared into their dorms as soon as the sun went down. The dean did, of course, implement a loose curfew, but didn’t even think that was necessary.
People were too afraid to even really go out during the day unless they absolutely had to. They were too scared.
But I wasn’t scared. Or maybe I was, but I just didn’t know it in my current state of mind, like some sort of zombie. Even as I stepped into the woods and made my way through the dark trees, I didn’t feel much of anything other than that invisible string pulling me into the shadows.
Finally, the string stopped pulling; 1
knew where I was. It was the spot where Enzo stepped
through the portal. It was almost as if there was some sort of energy here, some residue left over from the portal. Somehow, if I really searched for it, I was certain that I could smell his scent; not his wolf scent, because I had lost my ability to do that since my own wolf disappeared, but the smell of his leather jacket and campfire smoke.
I didn’t even think as I sat down next to the tree that was there and leaned my head back, because for the first time in two days, I felt myself slipping into a serene sleep within moments.
But that serenity didn’t last for long, because soon I began to dream.
Enzo was standing in front of me… Not a puppet, but the real thing. He was looking down at me.
“Enzo,” I called, reaching out for him, reaching up to cup his face.
But he only stared at me with a puzzled expression.
“Who are you?” he asked.
After that, I awoke sometime just before the sun came up. I was freezing, shivering even in my warm sweater and my coat. It was so cold, in fact, that my tears were frozen to my cheeks.
It was far too cold to stay outside, and I was clear headed enough now to know that I needed to get inside, so I returned home shortly after I woke up. Lori and Jessica were still asleep, thankfully, so I slipped back into my room unnoticed and without being lectured and began to peel off my semi- frozen clothes so I could take a hot shower and warm myself up. But, much to my surprise, my phone began to buzz in my pocket before I could do that.
Who was calling me at this hour?
When I pulled my phone out, my brow furrowed. It was Phil: my old boss from the diner. I was of course thrilled that he was alright, but I was also confused as to why he would be calling me so early in the morning.
“Hello?” I answered. My throat was raw from the cold air, so my voice sounded strained as I spoke.
“Nina!” he said, sounding relieved and chipper as always. “I hope it’s not too
“N-No,” I said. “Is everything alright?”
“I wanted to ask you something,” he replied. I could practically hear his smile through the phone, and that brought me comfort. “That’s why I’m calling you so early: I need to get this up and running as soon as possible.
With everything that happened lately…. Well, I’d like to do something to help out our community, so I decided to run a free food drive. But, of course, we’ll need lots of volunteers as we’ll need to cook quite a lot of food and hand it out. Is that something you think you might be able to help with? Maybe you could ask your friends to come along and lend a hand, too?”
I paused, biting my lip. It was genuinely a good idea, and it was something to keep me busy and keep me from overthinking about Enzo. Our students and our community needed free, hot food right now, too, and what better place to do it than the diner? “Absolutely,” I agreed, nodding. “I’d
love to help. I’ll bring the whole hockey
“Oh, that’s wonderful!” Phil exclaimed. “Can you be here by seven?”
I glanced at the clock; it was only four o’clock in the morning, so I still had a few hours to get some rest and tell everyone about the food drive. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll see you then.”
When I hung up, I couldn’t deny the fact that Phil’s phone call cheered me up a little bit. Even with Enzo gone and Tiffany no longer with us, I couldn’t help but feel a tiny shred of hope that everything would be okay. If the people around me were so willing and ready to help our community, then I was certain that we would all be able to spread that kindness to our neighboring towns, even if the Fullmoons never did help.
There was nothing stronger than the power of friendship, love, and community; I was sure of that after everything that had happened these past few days, and I was certain that both Enzo and Tiffany would be proud.
And, in a strange way, I felt invigorated from spending the night near the last place that I saw Enzo. Somehow, as though sleeping near the portal filled me with a strange sense of wisdom, I knew that he would return…
But at the same time, I knew now that he wouldn’t be the same when he did eventually return to me.
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