I was walking home slowly from school. Another shitty day. I hated school and I hated home.
Not that my home was really bad, I didn't have any abusive parents or anything like that, it's just, from all the four siblings we were, I wasn't the favourite.
I am quiet and introverted and my only hobby is animal photography. No one in my family can relate to that.
My father likes to play badminton and one of my sisters (Anna, his favourite) does too. The other one (Lisa) likes riding and my older brother (Timo) is into soccer.
My mother is into riding, too which makes her very close with Lisa.
When I arrived home nobody was there. I knew I shouldn't feel relieved but I do. I dropped off my schoolbag, wrote a note, grabbed my camera and left again to the forest. I won't be home before sunset. Lately at dusk I had spotted the hunting grounds of a barn owl, so I went to my usual hiding spot and waited if I see her again. I had named her Minerva because she looked like a wise old lady.
It was late when I made my way back home. Sadly today I hadn't seen the owl, but I saw a few deer, rabbits and a fox and managed to take a few pictures.
"Were were you all day?" Was my greeting when I opened the door.
"Out." I sighed.
"Well you can heat up dinner, we have already eaten." My mother told me before going back to the living room to watch some TV.
"Thanks." I said and went into the kitchen to eat and then into my room to develop the pictures on my laptop using lightroom. I took a lot of pictures but in the end I choose the best three and deleted the rest. I started working on the pictures.
It was close to midnight when I was done. "I will be tired tomorrow." I thought and with a sigh I got up, took a shower and went to sleep. The rest of my family showered in the morning, but I preferred to shower in the evening, just so I could sleep a little longer in the morning. I wasn't an early bird and I hated getting up. half of my schooldays I spent half asleep just trying to somehow cope and the other half I wished to just stop existing.
Before going to sleep I posted a picture of the rabbit on my instagram. I was just about to close the app when a message popped up. It was from Randi. He as a long time follower of me and we often chatted.
"That is an amazing picture." He wrote. "I didn't know they were that late still in fur change."
"Yeah, I think this is a late bloomer." I joked back.
"You always post so many pictures, but never of you. Don't you have any self portrait?" He asked.
He asked that often and for now I have always refused. I probably should have known better, but my tired head decided why not. So I opened my gallery and picked the one and only self portrait I have ever take of me. I have to admit I kinda liked him - like a lot.
The portrait I had taken was deep in the forest at the hidden waterfalls. I wasn't cloth-less but the only thing I was wearing was a too big man's shirt I had stolen from my brother and it was white and partially wet... . It still didn't revel anything of my body. The picture itself was very sensual and imitated a photographer who was specialized in magical female portraits.
I wasn't good with other humans or communication, I knew that, so the only model I had was me and that was the only picture I had ever taken before I fully switched to animals. I had never shared this picture with anyone. He as the first.
After I had sent the picture I didn't get a reply for a very long time. My heart was beating so fast and I was so nervous. When I finally couldn't contain it anymore I asked him "Not good?"
"No sorry. I am speechless. You are beautiful!" He wrote back and I blushed.
"When will you send me a picture of you?" I asked. "Soon." He promised then he told me again how beautiful he thought I was. That was nice to read. It was actually the first time ever someone called me something else than ugly, fat or disgusting.
"Thank you." I answered. "I need to go to sleep now, school tomorrow. Two more weeks tho!"
"What's in two more weeks?"
"I soon have birthday and then there will be my full moon ritual!" I told him happily. He send thumbs up back.
In our clan it was normal to go deep into the woods for a month on the first full moon after you turned 18 and stay there until the next full moon. This was the time your inner wolf awakened. I never heard of anyone who's inner wolf didn't awaken and I was very nervous but at the same time happy. One full month out in the woods that would be amazing. Especially because the next full moon would be the frost moon. So I might get snowed in which might delay my coming back.
In that one month out in the woods you would get to know and bond with your inner wolf and when you came back a month later you would meet your pack and if you were lucky your mate.
"If Randi would be my mate I would be forever grateful." I thought. Oh, I knew so little back then!