“I promise you, Alice. When I grow up, I’m going to be strong. Then I’ll be your hero of all time! I’ll never let anyone hurt you!”
It was Stefan’s promise when he was a kid. Stefan was a real special friend and for me he was my buddy and my best friend. Not only that, Stefan was my whole world.
We always spent time together as we went to the same elementary school. Stefan sat beside me in class and he’s the smartest. But he’s kind of a cry-baby if someone made jokes or fun to him and I was his shoulder to cry on. We shared the same hobby, the same favourite colour and same stuffs. For example, we used to collect the Power Rangers stuffs. We even got the Power Rangers suits for birthday presents. And yes, we were born on the same day. Isn’t that impressive?
We lived next to each other so if I wanted to play with Stefan, I just shouted from my bedroom window. His room was opposite to mine. We usually played at the backyard because our houses were in one compound. Mom and Aunt Amethyst always had their evening tea while watching us play.
And that’s why Dad and Uncle Azure decided to match Stefan with me. The simple ceremony was held and Stefan and I made a vow (Dad distributed a paper so we just read what’s written on the paper). It was the happiest moment in my life. Stefan, too, was really excited and he told me that he’ll marry me when he turns 20. He loved the number actually.
One summer night, Dad and Uncle Azure brought us to a small campsite – owned by the Silver family. We’re having nice little summer camp there. We built a campfire and Uncle Azure played guitar while we all sang some songs. Of course the Country Road song was on the lists. Mom and Aunt Amethyst cooked mushroom stew – which is my favourite until today.
Because it’s too early to go to bed, Stefan asked me to go look around the campsite. Before that, we got the permission from our parents who were busy gossiping and discussing about golf – Dad and Uncle Azure of course. Jeff and Zayne on the other hand were making their own project which I didn’t know anything because it’s boys’ stuff.
Both of us are can see clearly in the dark so it’s easy for us to walk around. Suddenly, the bushes shook. Stefan and I stayed stiff and Stefan picked up a stick. Something was inside the bushes and I could see a pair of red eyes staring at us. Then it growled.
Stefan told me to run but I didn’t want to leave him there, alone. The thing that was hiding in the bushes suddenly approached us. It was a bear; a big black ugly bear. Stefan tried to hit it with the stick but to no avail. That bear was getting angry. We ran and screamed for help. The bear was chasing us.
I ran as fast as I could but I tripped on a root and fell. Stefan tried to help me but the bear was getting nearer. Suddenly, Stefan’s eyes changed to silver. Brown fur was growing all over his body. This was the first time I’ve seen him changing. In one blink, Stefan was now a werewolf. Not really a werewolf but a werecub because of his small appearance.
He lunged to the bear and scratched its face and body. He bit the bear’s neck but the bear was too big for him. Suddenly another wolf, this time it was bigger, jumped to the bear and bit its neck. The bear howled in pain and retreated. The big wolf chased after it. I stood up even my feet were wobbling and trembling in fear.
I was very grateful that Stefan saved me. I ran to him but he growled angrily at me. I was stunned as I could see his silver eyes were glowing. He barked at me and I told him that I’m his friend. I tried to touch him so that he’ll calm down but he bit my right arm. I screamed in pain. Uncle Azure appeared and hit Stefan’s head with one blow. Stefan fainted and slowly changed back to his normal being. My arm was bleeding so Dad took me to the hospital. I couldn’t heal on my own that time.
After the incident, both Stefan’s and my family moved. My family moved to the mansion while Stefan moved to the other states because the Silvers received a mission, a dangerous one. I haven’t seen Stefan after that. I just wanted to know why he did that to me. Dad told me that it was an accident because Stefan couldn’t control his new power yet.
Five years passed and Dad received phone call from Uncle Azure. He was so excited because the Silvers moved back in town. Mom was happy too. Coincidently, Grandma Zelda was holding a party so the Silvers were invited too. I was so glad to hear the news because I could meet Stefan once more. Maybe he’s grown up to be strong, just like he said before.
I was wearing a beautiful red glittering gown that night while Jeff wore a black tuxedo just like Dad. I was so excited to meet Stefan that I couldn’t help smiling all the time. Grandma Zelda announced the arrival of the Silvers. I quickly shuffled to the front to meet them. Stefan was getting taller and he looked so handsome in his tuxedo.
Dad called me to meet the Silvers and Uncle Azure praised at my lovely gown. Aunt Amethyst hugged me and she said she loved my haircut. I said hello to Stefan but he didn’t say anything. He just stared at me and glanced away. I was dumbstruck of his behaviour. He never acted this way before. I asked him why but he just walked away and left me.
I could feel my heart crumbled and scattered like pieces of jigsaw puzzle. And yes, it’s hurt. I’ve been ignored by my own best friend whom I worshipped most. He’s changed. I could see that. I held my tears from flowing down. It wasn’t the time to cry. I glared at him with full of hatred. I won’t forgive him, ever.
He started to talk to when we’re in high school. Actually he just said hi or nodded or told me that his mother sent regards. We never had a long friendly talk liked we used to be. He acted like nothing ever happened between us and that made me hated him more.
I told my Dad once that I wanted to cancel my engagement with Stefan but Dad refused to do that. It will break the family rules.
“Just because of the Silvers are very close with us it doesn’t mean I have to marry their son?” I said to Dad one day when he came to my room to talk.
“You got to understand, Alice. I promised Azure that if I have a baby girl, then she’ll be married to his son. I thought you’re happy about this. Both of you have already made a vow,” said Dad, consolingly.
“That was a long time ago. I was a little kid and that was not a true vow. You made us read what had written in that paper, remember?” I sighed. “Besides, werewolf and vampire are supposed to be rivals. They can’t be together.”
“Alice, you’ve been reading a lot of fiction about vampires and werewolves. Look, this is the twenty-first century. Anybody can get married to whoever they wanted to. I married your mother who is a witch. A lovely witch, by the way,” Dad smiled and when I stared at him, he cleared his throat. “And your Uncle Archie married with a shape-shifter. And we are happy living together.”
I folded my arms to my chest, still not satisfied with Dad’s answers. Then I told Dad that Stefan doesn’t even like me. But Dad said Stefan was shy because he has grown up and it’s normal for a guy who feels embarrass when they wanted to talk to the girl whom they loved. Then he told me the day that he met Mom and I had to listen from the beginning of his love story until the end.
When Dad left the room, I pondered for a while. I have to forget about Stefan. I took out my old albums which are full of old pictures of me and Stefan when we were small and locked them in a chest in the basement. I didn’t want to look at them anymore.