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“The Right One” – A Short Story by DAREarts Grad Michelle Khela

Michelle is a DAREarts Grad and a 2015 recipient of the DAREarts Leadership Award. Despite the many challenges she has faced throughout her teen years, she has always remained positive and strong through her use of creative outlets. We are so proud of all of her accomplishments, and deeply honoured that she continues to share her works with us to help inspire others. 

At 18, Michelle is currently back in school and striving to be excellent in all that she does. With her permission, we are sharing a short paranormal romance piece she has written. Michelle, we can’t wait to read more of your creative endeavours!

The Right One
By Michelle Khela

So there I was waiting for the right one to come into my life. I was told that I would find her soon but I still haven’t. It all started last year during the summer. I was walking down the beach with my girlfriend at the time. We were happy. No worry in the world but there was a tension between us. It was getting worse; I knew the day was coming soon. She was going to break up with me. She asked to meet the next day at her place to talk. Here it was.

So the next day I woke up early in the morning to go for a run. I grabbed my iPod and headphones and started running. I didn’t stop until I had been running for two hours. I was exhausted and sore but my head had been cleared. I headed home and hit the shower. After I was done I ate breakfast and headed to her place. She was waiting for me; she opened the door before I could even knock on the door.

“I’m glad you could come,” she said.

“What did you want to talk about Alice?” I asked. I think we both knew where this was going.

“I’m breaking up with you,” Alice said with a sad look in her eyes.

“Why?” was all I could ask.

“Well we have been dating for two years and I don’t feel the same way about our relationship like I did at the beginning.”

“Oh. I knew this was coming Alice you have been acting distant lately.” I look at her. “I need to get out of here,” I mumble to myself. I leave without saying goodbye to her.

“Sorry” is the last thing I hear from her mouth.

I head straight for the trail that I was running on earlier. It’s happening; I can feel the change coming. My heart starts pacing faster. My muscles start shaking and my breath quickens. I can’t stop the change it’s too hard.

AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Everything is clearer now, more defined as my brother told me it would be. I have been holding it in for too long. I start running on all four legs. I hear everything, the birds in the trees, the rabbits hiding under the bushes and the insects buzzing around. I run until I reach the lake, stopping to drink some water. I look at my reflection and what I see amazes me. I can’t believe how beautiful the change makes us. My golden fur is shimmering in the sunlight and flying in the breeze. My eyes which are a dark brown when I’m human have changed into the bright glowing green eyes I see reflecting in the water.

I stand there looking at my reflection in the lake but then I remember what just happened. I howl in the pain it has caused me. Why would Alice do this? I end up staying in my wolf form until midnight, prowling the forest and daring the other animals to bother me. All is silent in the forest no animal dares to make a sound around me. At least that’s what I thought, but then I heard a growl behind me. I see another wolf except this one has black fur and purple eyes. It starts creeping closer to me so I let out a warning growl at it telling it not to come closer. It obviously doesn’t understand that I could easily beat it in a fight because it keeps on coming closer. I start circling it looking for an unguarded point to attack but then the wolf looks at me like it recognizes me. That’s one thing wolves can do if they know you as a human: they will recognize you in your wolf form. I realize that the wolf is a female. That makes it complicated to find out who it is. I know a lot of she-wolves. But I’ve never met one with purple eyes. I look at her with a confused look .she gives me a wolfy grin and then runs off leaving me in the forest with a confused expression on my face.

“Who was that?” I think to myself. I go back to the place where my clothes are. I change back into my human form and get dressed. I can’t shake her purple eyes from my head. I check my phone to see that its one thirty in the morning. “Shoot.” I need to get going back home. As I’m walking home I bump into Alice outside my building, and she has her things in a box from my house. I look at her and keep on walking in to my apartment.

“I left the keys on the counter,” she tells me before leaving. I don’t say anything as she leaves. I can’t, it’s too much.

“I need to get some sleep,” I say to myself. I get into the shower and I turn the water to the hottest temperature. I take a deep breath and as I do I remember the purple eyes again. I can’t get her out of my head. The thought of those purple eyes send shivers down my spine. I never felt like this with Alice, so I guess Alice wasn’t the right one for me in my life. The next few months go on day by day without me feeling anything. I’m numb on the inside. I haven’t seen Alice or the purple eyed wolf since that day. After work I walk into a coffee shop near my apartment and as soon I step in the door the familiar feeling hits. It’s a feeling I haven’t felt in months, I felt this when the wolf recognized me. I go up to the counter to order and I look at the cashier, it’s not her. Then who is it, I think to myself. I order a hot chocolate and go sit down. I’m almost done my second hot chocolate when I see her; she’s walking out of the shop right now. I take in all her physical features as she walks by. She has short black hair with a purple streak running through it, she’s wearing a black studded leather jacket and biker boots with denim jeans. Damn she’s gorgeous, I think to myself. The cashier waves bye to her and tells her to make sure she’s on time next Wednesday for work. So she works here interesting, I think to myself. Well I know where I’ll be next Wednesday.

I finally have something to look forward to now. I head home once I know she’s gone. As I’m walking home I hear a scream in the alleyway near my building. It’s her. Crap. I go running in to the alleyway where there’s a guy trying to steal her bag. She can’t use her wolf powers during the day; It’s a rule we all have to follow. The un-spoken rule. I get my Taser out of my bag and run up to the guy and shock him. He’s huge, like a giant.

“That was close.” She looks at me. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” I say to her. “We should get out of here before he gets up,”

She agrees and I invite her to come upstairs into my apartment. She’s so shaken, she agrees to come upstairs. I go and make her a cup of coffee, and I get her another jacket to put on she has been shivering since I used the Taser on the guy.

“You alright?”I ask her.

She shakes her head yes. “Just a little freaked out but I’ll be fine”

“So you live close by or farther and what’s your name?” I ask her.

“I… I… I….” She takes a deep breath. “I live just up the street near the forest and my name is Alex.”

I look at her and can’t help but smile. She looks at me like I’m crazy. That just makes me smile even more.

“Let me walk you home,” I tell her.

“Sure,” she replies.

We head out and as we pass the alleyway I look to make sure the guy’s gone. He is. Good riddance. It’s a bit dark outside so when we get to the forest I look at her and take her hat and start running into the forest. She starts chasing full speed. I got a head start so when I reach the lake I stop. I’m looking around for her. I hear a rustle in the bushes behind and as soon as I turn around a big black wolf jumps on top of me. The purple eyes staring into my soul. I roll over so that I’m on top of her so I can jump back. I strip down in front of her and change.    She watches in awe as I change. As soon as I’m done changing she looks at me and jumps at me while making a playful growl. We end up chasing each other through the forest for three whole hours. We finally reach the clearing by the lake and we both change back. We stand there looking at each other.

“That was fun,” I say while I’m catching my breath.

“Yeah it was how bout we go for a swim?”

I nod my head. We go over to the lake and before I can go in she pushes me into the water.

“That’s for taking my hat,” she says while sticking her tongue out at me.

I dive down and stay under the water waiting for her. When she started wading into the lake I swam up and grabbed her by the leg and pulled her into the water.

“It’s too cold!” she yells.

“That’s why I pulled you in.”

We start splashing each other. We end up just floating around in the lake for an hour, talking about ourselves. She swims closer to me and kisses me on the cheek and thanks me for saving her.

“I couldn’t just watch and let that guy rob you,” I say.

“You’re blushing” she says.

I am. She leans in and kisses me on my lips. It’s the most magical feeling I’ve ever felt. When she pulls back we just stare into each other’s eyes.

“You haven’t told me your name yet, what is it?”

I look at her. “Alex, my name’s Jess” I answer her.

We lean in and kiss again and that’s when I realise that Alex is the one I’ve been searching for.

I have found the right one.

THE END.


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DAREarts’ Young Writers: Grad Kelsey Bhatia’s "Tech Too Far"

Tech Too Far

By Kelsey Bhatia

“Have you seen our new e-reader?” an employee at a bookstore asked me one day.

“No, I haven’t,” I responded, my enthusiasm forced on his behalf. I’d been asked about these devices before, all my friends and family bringing them up in conversation due to my avid reading addiction.

I was quite pessimistic.

Nevertheless, I picked up one of the e-readers, staring at the type across the non-glare screen, and thought about my friends that went on and on about how far technology had come; how amazing these new e-readers truly were; how I absolutely should own one because I read so much.

But there was something wrong with the feeling of this little machine. It didn’t feel right in my hands. The e-reader was programmed to Pride and Prejudice, which brought a small smile to my lips, but then I recalled my two copies of the same book at home.

Looking around me for curious on-lookers I lifted the e-reader to my nose and took a whiff. The smell of plastic came through, as well as that strangely acrid smell of nothing. I didn’t get any dust, I couldn’t smell the paper pages just waiting to be poured over…It didn’t feel like a book.

I turned the e-reader over in my hands and stared at the flat back. There were no reviews there, no summaries I could deny or praise, and when my thumb instinctively went to flip through the pages the plastic refused to move. I couldn’t leave a print on the page I was about to turn. There would never be a sweaty thumb mark embedded there forever, and I would never be reminded of that scene that had my heart thumping.

I stared down at the screen once more and pressed a button. The screen went blank for a moment, blinked black once, then showed the next page of the story. There was no flash of excitement in my chest as I glimpsed the words I’d soon be reading. The thrill of turning the page and knowing that the book went on was lost on this little device, as was the sound of paper on paper that could make any book-lover look up to investigate.

“They’re very popular,” said the employee, but all I could do was shrug and put the e-reader down. I left and made my way upstairs, drifting along the aisles and taking deep breaths. There was the smell I loved; the true smell of literature.

The story is only part of the book. Your heart gets invested in the characters, the plot, the location, but you can also make a bond with the physical being itself. What did the pages smell like the first time you opened it? What did they smell like after you’d read it? Where were you when you read that scene that made your breath hitch? Did you spill your coffee on the cover while riding the subway?

There’s a kind of feeling in a book that you can’t get from a slim little device in your hand, and even though it may be more convenient and perhaps more popular, it’s just not the same. The crack of the spine, the shine of the cover, the yellowing pages of a book you’ve read a thousand times…I can look at my bookshelf and smile, remembering each book that rests there, and it’s not just the story.

The physical pages hold my memories, feelings and emotions. And you can’t get that from a screen.