Emile stared back into Julietta's eyes and stretched his own in surprise.
“So, you know everything about me, is that so?" he asked. Julietta did not know whether he was teasing or not.
“Well, you never said anything about seeing wild animals in real life?" Julietta responded with her hands on her hips in a challenging pose.
“Oh, but maybe we just never discussed wild animals," Emile responded with his eyebrows raised quizzically.
“Oh, stop being fooling around and just tell me," Julietta demanded with a light pat on her friend's arm. “It's amazing to have seen a jaguar in real life, so tell me. Where did you come across one?" she asked with a serious frown on her forehead.
“When I was younger, I went on a camp with a group from church," Emile began to explain while he rubbed his chin in contemplation.
“How old were you?" Julietta asked excitedly.
“About nine years old, but wait," Emile suggested. “Let me tell you everything while I take you home," he continued with a decisive look on his face.
“Oh, but you don't have to," Julietta protested. “I only came to tell you how disappointed I was about the wolf that didn't show up."
“My Mom would be very upset if she heard that I let you walk home by yourself after dark," Emile protested.
Julietta paused to consider how certain girls would really love some romantic attention from Emile with his good sense of humor, bright green eyes, and thick black hair. To her, he was only a dear friend, though.
There was athletics practice after school, so Julietta did not go to the lake at the usual time. She went there straight after school, but it was still later than usual. She was also more tired than usual.
“I wonder if the wolf will come out today?" she mused to herself, while she sat on the grass next to the lake. “There are no crowds to distract it, but neither were there yesterday. If I wasn't so tired I would venture into the forest and I will most likely find it there, lurking behind some trees," she told herself thoughtfully.
Julietta took a book and a pen out of her bag. She kept glancing in the direction where she had seen the white wolf two days ago.
“Best to try and do some homework," she mumbled to herself. “According to Mom, the best way to allow something to happen is to keep busy. That's the best way to wait."
So, Julietta started on her mathematics homework, sitting with her back against a rock.
Her eyelids were just beginning to drop when she realized where she was.
“It's almost dark and I am waiting for a wolf to…" Julietta began. She was left in mid-sentence because there, not far from her, stood a big, white wolf. It seemed to be staring at her. Julietta blinked twice before looking again.
“Now just you disappear and I swear that I will follow you," she said breathlessly. “Are you that same wolf or is it another one?" she asked below her breath.
Julietta stared up at the darkening sky and then back at the wolf.
“Turn around so that I can quickly follow you," Julietta said softly, staring intently at the wolf. It didn't seem to budge at all.
Julietta then stood up slowly, gathering her belongings.
“Well, at least you showed up to surprise me, but I am not gonna wait until it's completely dark before you turn around," she said in a cheeky tone of voice.
She then walked towards the footpath, keeping her gaze steadily on the wolf. She continued by walking backward until it was only a blur.
Her heart pounded loudly in her chest with excitement as she walked further away from the lake and the forest.
“Today is the right day for going to Emile's place because I am actually in a cheerful mood," she said to herself. “But I can't go there for the second day in a row. Let me rather go home," she added objectively.
Julietta could not stop herself from singing while she helped her mother finish up with dinner preparations.
“You are like someone who is in love," Mrs. McGreeves commented with a sideways glance at Julietta. “Is it all still the love for drama?" she asked suspiciously.
“Oh Mom, it is nothing unusual," Julietta responded. “The air is lovely out there that's all."
“And then you say that it's not a good idea for me to go out in the afternoons," Julietta's mother commented. “I am coming with you from tomorrow onwards," she stated firmly.
Julietta's cell phone rang then. It was Emile.
“How was athletics today?" Emile asked.
“I love athletics, so it was great," Julietta responded. She walked out of the kitchen to her bedroom, so that her mother would not hear what she was talking about.
“So, did you go to the lake again?" Emile asked.
“Yes, I did my homework there, in fact," Julietta replied.
“I think you should stop going there for a while," Emile commented.
“But why?" Julietta responded in surprise. “I always go there and I go alone," Julietta responded adamantly.
“But, maybe for just a while, you should stay away because you don't know who is perhaps watching your movements," Emile responded.
“What do you mean by that?" Julietta asked curiously. “Do you know about someone who is watching me?" she asked in alarm.
“It is only natural in cases where one repeats the same pattern every day," Emile responded. “You do exactly the same thing every day. Some people become curious."
“So, that's the same as saying that someone might be peeping through the window while you are focused on your painting," Julietta responded.
“That sounds intriguing," Emile commented in a teasing tone.
“But, to be serious now," Julietta responded. “Do you know about someone specific who might be following me? Did you hear something?"