Chapter 199: One Wish
The next morning, after managing to get a few hours of sleep following my stint in the forest, I woke up with one goal in mind: to contact that witch that Lori found and see if she could offer any help.
I knew that it could be a scam, but I had to try. So, after finding the forum thread that Lori showed me, I finally found the witch’s profile and decided to send her an email.
Although it took me a long time to
finally formulate my thoughts enough to get them out, I did eventually manage to write an at least semi- coherent email to the witch. I begged her to help me, and although I did keep the details vague just in case it was a scam, I told her that I needed someone to open a portal for me. When I was finished and finally hit send, I let out a sigh of relief and shut my laptop.
That afternoon, I went to work in the infirmary. Since no students came in, I was able to work more on Tiffany’s antidote. And I was pretty certain that I was coming extremely close to figuring out the formula.
Lori and Jessica, who tagged along to keep me company, sat on the other side of the lab table while I worked. I still hadn’t told them about how I sleepwalked out into the woods the night before, and I planned to keep it that way so as not to scare the hell out of them.
“How are you gonna test to see if this actually works?” Lori asked, her chin resting in her hand as she sleepily watched me while I worked..
“The only real way to find out is to just try it on a rogue,” I responded as I carefully dropped two drops of hydrochloric acid into the solution inside a glass flask.
Jessica furrowed her brow. “What if it doesn’t work?” she asked. “Won’t that be a waste of time and resources if we take the antidote all the way to one of the neighboring towns, only for it not to work?”
Now that I thought about it, Jessica was right. I hadn’t thought much about how we would test it, and with the Fullmoons planning on leaving, it could be risky to leave the campus unprotected.
Suddenly, Lori spoke up again before I could answer. “This might sound crazy, but… What if someone volunteered to be bitten, and we tested the antidote on them?” she asked, causing both Jessica and I to stare at her with wide, disbelieving eyes.
“Lori!” Jessica exclaimed. “That is crazy. And dangerous!”
“I guess you’re right…” Lori’s shoulders slumped defeatedly and she stared down at her coffee with a bit of a pout.
“You might actually be onto something,” I said. “We could do it in a safe, controlled environment; only when I’m ninety-nine percent certain that it would work.”
Jessica frowned. “And if it doesn’t work? What, we’ll just let a rogue hang out on campus?”
Suddenly, I turned to look at the supply closet. The doors had stayed firmly shut since everything happened, but of course the tunnels were still there; and there were still plenty of rooms down there that could easily house a rogue safely, away from other students. If the antidote didn’t work, then our volunteer could stay in there until we
did figure it out… And I was certain that we would figure it out.
Jessica, seeing where I was looking, groaned. “I guess you guys are right,” she said. “But it will have to be a willing volunteer.” T
“Of course,” I replied, turning back to my workstation. “Don’t worry. We’ll figure this out soon, and then we can begin distributing the antidote to anyone who needs it. I promise we’re almost there.”
That evening, after having spent the entire day in the infirmary, I finally closed up and began to walk home. Lori and Jessica had already left a few hours earlier, so I was alone; not that I minded. It felt good to be alone with my thoughts, and I knew I was right on the verge of a breakthrough with the antidote. I just needed to try a couple more things, and I was certain that I would have it all figured out. I was extremely close to getting that same glowing blue color from before, which was a good sign.
As I began to walk home and passed by the hockey arena, however, I heard the sound of laughter emanating from inside. The door was propped open, and as I passed, I couldn’t help but stop in my tracks and stare.
Inside, skating around in circles on the ice, were Eli and Sadie.
I immediately felt a tear come to my eye as I watched them. Eli was leading Sadie around by her hands, helping to keep her from falling on the ice, while he deftly skated backwards. And then, at the last moment, he pulled her close and spun in a circle with her, causing her to laugh.
Finally, they stopped spinning. They both seemed out of breath, their faces red from a combination of the cold and their shared passion, and for an instant I felt a pang of jealousy in my chest. But when they started to turn in my direction, I knew I needed to leave before that jealousy turned into something more.
Before either of them saw me, I quickly walked away with my hands in my pockets. It was too painful to watch any longer, and I wished I hadn’t watched at all; it reminded me too much of myself and Enzo. I wished so badly that it was Enzo and I who were skating together in there instead, and not Sadie and Eli.
When I got home and locked myself in my room, the tears finally began to flow once again. I stifled my sobs in my pillow, banging my fists on the mattress as I begged the universe to return Enzo to me…
But as I laid there, sobbing into my pillow, my hand suddenly brushed against something soft and familiar. I picked my head up and sniffled as I grabbed onto the fuzzy thing that was wedged into the crack between my mattress and my wall, and when I pulled it out, another wave of agony washed over me.
It was the wolf plushie that Enzo had won for me at the fair.
And that night, I fell asleep with it in my arms with one final wish on my mind.
I wished that Enzo would return to me.
I swore that I locked my door firmly when I went to sleep. I made sure of it.
And yet, somehow, I found myself standing in the middle of the woods again that night. The wolf plushie was still held tightly in my hands, the last anchor to my sanity.
As I collected my bearings, I realized
that I had thankfully fallen asleep in my clothes and even my shoes, as I had fallen asleep so abruptly that I hadn’t even undressed myself before bed. I was grateful to at least not have woken up feeling on the verge of hypothermia, but it was still unsettling nonetheless, and I clutched the wolf plushie firmly to my chest as I began yet another trek home.
The campus was quiet as I walked home. It was late – most likely well after midnight – and not a soul aside from myself was outside in this bitter cold.
At least, that was what I initially thought.
But when I saw Eli sitting by himself on the fountain in the middle of the quad, and when I saw him abruptly look up at