1-8 Newport, Oregon

Jasper and I hiked down from the Cascades to the Oregon coast at dusk. A lot of wildlife lives in the Cascades—mountain lions and deer and bears.

It’s still hard for Jasper. Animals don’t give you the strength that humans do, and he misses being strong. But he does it for me. And he does it because it makes him feel like he’s a better person than he was before.

We sat on the beach, our bodies making indentations in the sand. I curled into his side, and he took off his shirt. Jasper has a lot of body hair compared to men these days. He has the second least of the men in our family, though—Emmett is the hairiest, followed by Carlisle, though Carlisle is blond and you don’t really see it on him.

Edward didn’t quite finish puberty, and he looks it. Jasper says he looks effeminate. Well, the word Jasper uses is “Aunt Nancy.”

He wrapped his arm over my shoulder as we sat and listened to the waves as they whooshed in and out. It was low tide, and little tide pools shimmered in what was left of the sunlight.

I mentioned that I was thinking about Edward.

“That boy is melancholy on two legs,” Jasper answered. “Not much you can do about it.” He pulled me closer to him and kissed the top of my head. “I like it that you worry.”

Melancholy on two legs. Not a terrible description. Edward spent a lot of time brooding. Sitting at his piano playing songs in minor keys. Pretending he didn’t hear any of us when we walked up to him, even if it was Carlisle or Esme.

I leaned against Jasper some more. “Do you think we’re bad for him?”

He laughed. “I think that boy is still too young to realize that if he’s going to live forever, he better get used to change.” He kissed my head again. “You’re change. A whole lotta change, in a teeny tiny package.”

I giggled. “Change on two legs?”

“Change on two legs.”

Jasper smiled. I couldn’t see it—we were both still looking out at the ocean—but I could feel it.

We stayed until the nighttime tide came in.


Comments are closed.