“Brambleclaw, are you going to organize patrols or what?” Dustpelt’s barbed tongue interrupted my thoughts. I nodded, and padded out of the warriors’ den. I walked blankly under the high ledge and surveyed the cats in front of me.
“Cloudtail, Dustpelt, Lionblaze, Dovepaw, and Brackenfur patrol the Windclan border. Millie, Graystripe, Brightheart, Cinderheart and Ivypaw go patrol the Shadowclan border. I’ll take Bumblestripe, Blossomfall, and Foxleap for a hunting patrol.” I gazed over the cats, Dustpelt’s patrol left and Millie’s patrol was leaving. I was about to leave to when the voice I had loved mewed quietly.“What about me?” I turned to see Squirrelflight sitting quietly in the clearing.
I didn’t want her ginger pelt in my patrol, her beautiful green eyes excited with the hunt. “Brambleclaw?” She whispered. I shook my head and cleared my thoughts.
“You can go with Millie’s patrol,” I mewed, regretting every word. I wanted her by my side, but I knew I would be let down, and I couldn’t stand the hurt anymore.
My patrol returned at sunhigh, with enough prey to feed all the warriors. I decided to wait for the patrols to return before eating, I wanted to hear the reports. I suspected Windclan of stealing prey, and Shadowclan had been quiet for too long. Soon they returned, with nothing unusual. I felt hunger gnawing at my paws and walked over to the fresh kill. I almost turned away when I locked eyes with Squirrelflight, but it was too late now.
“Hi Brambleclaw,” She mewed warmly, but still very quiet. I looked down at my paws and grabbed the first piece of prey I saw. I trotted quickly to the gorse tunnel and ran into the forest, dropping my mouse. I wasn’t hungry anymore. I ran to the lake, barely able to keep myself from crying. Finally I was at the lake, and I collapsed.
“Why have you done this? What have I done, that Starclan curses this agony on me?” I yowled to the sky. The lapping of the waves gave me no answer, it only shown the dappling of sunlight in the clear depths. Before long it was dusk, and I was about to turn back to camp.
“No, Firestar and Graystripe can handle it for tonight,” I murmured to myself. I lay down on the sandy beach, and slowly drifted off into darkness.
“Wake up Brambleclaw,” I opened my eyes, and a starry silver she-cat stood in front of me.
“Feathertail! If I see you I must be-“
She chuckled,” You’re not dead mousebrain! Come, look at the lake, I have much to show you,” I got up and followed the beautiful she-cat to the lake side. I stood, mouth wide open at the site on the lake. The waves dappled the moonlight, until they shown paw steps of two cats. Then they shown two cats, which I recognized as myself and Squirrelflight, padding together tails intertwined.
“Why did you show me this, am I supposed to forgive Squirrelflight?” I turned to the silver she-cat.
Instead she ignored my question,”This sign was given to Leafpool before you became deputy. It shows that your destinies are intertwined so much, no cat can pry you two apart. Starclan did not know that Leafpool was going to fall in love with Crowfeather.” Her eyes showed grief, and I wondered if she still had any feelings for Crowfeather,” I am not saying you must forgive her, but whatever happens, you two will always go through things together.” She turned to look at me with warmth in her eyes. We touched noses, and she faded away.
I woke at the lake, troubled about my dream. I decided to trot back to camp, it was nearly light out and I needed to organize patrols. I couldn’t bring myself to think about forgiving Squirrelflight. I walked back into the clearing, and stared up at the sheer cliffs. I remembered when Shadowclan cats had fallen down, down, down, and died. Squirrelflight had almost fallen too, but a bush atop the cliff had stopped her from falling the whole way. I shook my head again, couldn’t I stop thinking about her for just one second. Everything reminded me of her. I looked back down to the camp, Firestar was emerging from his den, Firestar was Squirrelflight’s father. I cursed myself for thinking of the ginger she-cat again.
I stared back up at the cliffs. So easy it would be to just end it all, all my misery, all my pain. Just one step off any side of the camp and everything would be over. I could be in Starclan today, with my mother, Bluestar, Whitestorm, and Feathertail.
“Brambleclaw, are you okay?” I cleared my thoughts and turned to Firestar.
“Yes, completely. Is there anything I can do for you?” I mewed, pushing my dark thoughts aside.
“No, but I’ll join a patrol today, just put me where I fit,” He mewed warmly. I nodded and waited for cats to awake from their sleeping. Finally the first of the cats appeared. I decided to stay and guard the camp today.
“Lionblaze, Leafpool, and Whitewing you can patrol the Windclan border,” Lionblaze, take your apprentice.” The three cats nodded and the golden warrior trotted off to the apprentices’ den. Some more cats walked out of the warriors’ den.
“Brambleclaw, I’m taking Ivypaw training today with Hazeltail and Toadstep,” Cinderheart mewed, passing me with the three other cats. I nodded and organized the other patrols. Finally I was able to relax and padded over to the warriors’ den to sleep. I hissed at myself when I realized that Squirrelflight was already in there, dozing. I picked a nest on the far side of the den and tried to nap. It never came to me, so I just lay there a thought about things, patrols, hunting, and the other clans.
“Brambleclaw, can I ask you something?” I looked up, Squirrelflight was standing over me.
“What?” I spat crossly, instantly regretting it when I saw her green eyes wallow with grief.
“Would you like to go hunting with me, just as fellow warriors?” She mewed. I couldn’t turn down a fellow warrior, I convinced myself that.
“Fine,” I mewed. She purred and I just got up, and without waiting, padded out of camp. She trotted up to me, our pelts brushed. I pulled away uncomfortably, but she didn’t seem to notice.
“Do you remember when I said you couldn’t trust Hawkfrost, but you said that you trusted him because you two were brothers,” She mewed. I narrowed my eyes, unsure of where this conversation was going.
“And when you realized that what he did was wrong, I forgave you. Do you remember that?” She mewed, searching my amber eyes. I nodded slowly.
“So why can’t you forgive me? All I did was help my sister!” Her fiery spirit that had been missing the past moons returned for a brief moment. She looked deep into my eyes. All I wanted to do was say I did forgive her, and be able to push my nose into her ginger fur and drink in her warm scent that made me tingle. But I couldn’t. I ran from her, back to the lake. She didn’t follow me, I could not hear her pawsteps running towards me. Finally I stopped, panting.
I couldn’t forgive her. I was hurt too many times in my life. When Tawnypelt left me I felt hollow inside, but I forgave her. Firestar couldn’t trust me because I looked so much like my father, but I forgave him. When I was a small kit, I wanted to be as good a warrior as my father, then he disobeyed Thunderclan, and brought Bloodclan to the forest. Hawkfrost had tried to kill my leader! All this pain suddenly welled up on me, like old wounds tearing open. Finally, Squirrelflight had poured salt into my cuts with her lie. The one I loved so much, the one that I trusted with my life, had lied to me! Told me the kits that were mine for so long, weren’t! They were Leafpool’s! I bristled with anger, until I began to shake with grief. I could have helped them, I could have helped her! All I wanted to do was love her forever, but now whenever I saw her ginger fur and slender figure I only felt a sharp thorn stab into my heart. I could not, would not, forgive her. She and I will always go through one more thing together though- the pain of seeing each other and knowing we can never be together.