Yesterday was a good day. Dr. Ling says it’s important to recognize when I have good days and not just the bad days or the days when I’m just maintaining. So, yesterday was a good day.
I woke up for the first time and realized it wasn’t from a nightmare. It was just me…waking up. No cold sweats. No panic. No shouting. I just woke up…like a normal person.
Well, maybe not like a normal person. Most people don’t sleep in a communal bed, but that’s how we sleep now. Not all of the pack, but some of us. Harlow, Neoma, the Gemini, and me…we sleep together on mattresses we’ve put together on my floor.
I know that sounds weird to outsiders, especially to non-wolves, but wolves comfort through touch, through grooming—it’s part of our healing process. The others aren’t wolves, I know, but we are all damaged in our own way. Each of us is still healing from the shit that was done to us. There’s comfort in being surrounded on all sides by people who care about you.
Yesterday was the new moon. It’s the day when a shifter’s wolf is the quietest, the pull of the moon its weakest. Maybe that’s why I didn’t dream. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it. I woke up with Harlow curled up against my chest, her hand clutching the pendant around my neck like a lifeline. Neoma slept with her head on my thigh and Mallory tucked against her, all that blue hair scattered across my hip like splashes of paint.
I didn’t move, not wanting to wake the others. I just slipped on my headphones and dialed up my music, letting the words take me somewhere else for a while. When the others woke, we went downstairs and ate breakfast with the rest of the pack.
Breakfast is always an event in our house, but it almost always goes the same way. Isa and Wren cook breakfast together and grope each other while we all pretend not to notice. Tristin loads her plate with really healthy food and judges everybody’s food choices but then steals bites of Tate’s waffles or French toast when she thinks nobody is watching. Ember and Mace flirt awkwardly with each other while Aaron pretends to be exasperated. Rhys spends the morning griping about Kai letting R.J. have bacon, and then Kai makes fun of Rhys for worrying about the cholesterol and sodium intake of a one-year-old werewolf. Rhys then pouts until Kai soothes his ego. R.J. inevitably throws his sippy cup on the floor and waits for somebody to pick it up so he can do it all over again. This goes on all morning. Literally, all morning. He never gets tired of this game. Harlow, Neoma, and the Gemini have given up eating meat with me. I didn’t ask them to, they just did. So, Harlow always cuts up a bunch of fruit and makes oatmeal from scratch, and the others make sure to leave all the meat at the other end of the table.
We all pretend not to notice Quinn isn’t there.
Last night, Isa declared it a pack movie night. It took two hours to agree on a movie and, for once, it didn’t have to be kid friendly because R.J. was in bed by eight. Most of the pack thinks it’s ridiculous that we have to watch a kid’s movie, but Isa says she’s not going to be responsible for emotionally scarring a baby. I don’t see how watching Iron Man is going to scar the kid, but you don’t argue with the alpha…especially not our alpha.
Anyway, last night Ember got to pick the movie, so we watched Harry Potter…again. I blame Kai for her obsession. We all do. So, we watched the Harry Potter movies. Well, sort of. Like breakfast, movie night tends to follow a pattern. That sounds boring, but there’s a comfort in familiarity.
Movie night goes like this: We all pile in the family room, and Ember and Kai fight over the couch while Rhys and Mace see who can look more disapproving with just their eyebrows. Isa and Wren take the loveseat and hide under a huge blanket, and Romero jumps on top of the blanket and looks at Isa with his sad eye, knowing she won’t kick him off the couch on movie night. Chester, the demon cat, lurks in the window sill, staying close but never getting too close. Tate and Tristin trade insults and act like they hate each other even though it smells an awful lot like flirting to those of us who can smell these things.
Last night, Harlow threw a pile of blankets on the floor, and we pretended to watch the movie with my head in her lap while she fed me popcorn that tasted like lime and salt. It should have been gross, but it was actually really good. Malachi was there too, Neoma resting her head against his chest while he tried to read his book over her head, instead of watching the movie. Neoma didn’t seem to mind the weight of his arms on her shoulders. She just wants Mallory or Malachi with her all the time. She doesn’t care what they are doing. She looks at them like some people look at shiny things or celebrities. I don’t know what Neoma sees when she looks at them, but I hope someday somebody looks at me the way she looks at them.
We all fell asleep watching the movie. While that’s not uncommon, it’s rare that we all stay asleep downstairs…but that’s what happened. We all slept in the family room, piled together until R.J. woke up crying.
So, I started my day and ended my day in the same way, surrounded by the people who love me. So…yeah, it was a good day.