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Quil Ateara

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Quil’s mother was a doctor, requiring her to work long, odd hours. As such, his father became a stay-at-home dad. Him and his son did everything together, they went on hikes, read, took care of the house, and did art projects together. Quil Sr. often went fishing with his friends Harry, Charlie, and Billy, who often brought their own kids along. Sometimes all the kids would join in fishing (not that they were any good - being that quiet that long was a lot to ask of so many kids.) Most of the time, they would play on the edge of the water while their fathers fished.

This is where and how Quil became best friends with Jacob Black. They sat on the bank throwing mud at each other, chased each other through the water, and got very good at convincing the others to join them in a game of hide and seek or tag. It was easy to have fun at the lake, especially when surrounded by those you love.

On particularly sunny days, when everyone else had to work or go to school, Quil Sr. would take his son to the lake alone. It was easy to spend a whole day out by the water with fishing poles; a picnic basket packed with sandwiches, salads, chips, and candy; and each other. He wanted Quil to do well in school, so while waiting for the fish to bite or scarfing down the food, he would quiz Quil on state capitals, multiplication tables, spelling, anything he could think of. Secretly, these were Quil Sr.’s favorite days. Quil Jr. wouldn’t tell anyone, but they were his favorite too.

And then came the storm that changed everything. Quil Sr. had always stressed the importance of helping, of being there for others, of supporting your community. And that’s exactly what he was doing, trying to get food and water to an elder that had lost power. Only he never came home. Quil had stayed behind with his mother, helping her lock down the house. He kept waiting for the door to open, to hear his father’s boots on the porch, to hear him call out a greeting, offer a kiss to Joy and a new story for Quil. Instead, the phone rang.

He was only 12, but he had to grow up fast after that. Their neighbors offered food, company, anything the family needed. They had all faced loss before, and knew no one should go through it alone. Old Quil came by all the time to help watch and raise his grandson, and Quil learned from him now. He did his best to support his mother in the best way a 12 year old son could do. He kept the house clean and learned to cook on nights she was too tired to. His friends took him in with no hesitation when she worked long shifts, and his grandfather was too tired. He kept himself busy with homework and hobbies when there was no work to be done. Through it all, his friend and their community were his backbone.

It was only a matter of time until he joined the pack. He watched his friends, one by one, change and he didn’t know why. His father had explained to him the stories; the legends he knew could only be myths. Old Quil had tried to explain it further, but Quil just couldn’t believe what he had always thought was only fantasy. It didn’t make sense; it wasn’t logical. Except that parts of it that did make sense, and he knew it was time for him to follow the path that had been laid out for him, joining the pack that would always be his. His pack, his community. His family.