THE DAY BEFORE YOU
Hi there I know you don’t know me, but I would like to tell you a story; it is a love story about a boy and a girl of pain heartache, hope, love, life and death. I have known everyone in this story at some point in time. I feel that their stories deserve to be told.
There once was a little girl named Bella, who had been left alone to grow up with her ill equipped, withdrawn and sad father, Charlie. Bella knew that he loved her, she could see it in the way he tucked her into bed at night, the way he held her hand as he walked her to and from school and the way he held her close as if she might disappear if he ever let her go. In truth Bella was the only good thing left in his life and she alone was what he lived for. As Bella grew Charlie would sadly watch as she left the house; he was always waiting for the day she left and never came home taking with her his one reason for waking up each morning.
Bella was a quiet lonely little girl who did not make friends easily. She had two friends Angela Weber and Jacob Black. Bella sometimes wished for a different life, not a better life, just a different one. She longed for a place where the sun shined bright and she could twirl with arms stretched to the sky. A place where it never rained and all she needed was a good book and the sun on her bare arms was enough to keep her warm.
Bella was the girl picked last for PE, home studying instead of attending the school football game or homecoming dance. She was uncoordinated and tripped over her own two feet. She didn’t play or understand sports. She was shy and tended to stay to herself and she was always the butt of the other kid’s jokes. Bella never took it to heart she knew they picked on her to make themselves feel better about their own faults and shortcomings. So this was Bella’s life.
She had one procession that she kept close to her heart it was a picture of her mother and father on their wedding day. She looked at it every night before going to bed. She would trace her mother’s smiling face with the tip of her finger and marvel at the way her dad looked at her mother. That look was one of pure joy, love and hope. She prayed every night before bed that one day she would find someone who would look at her just like that. She would then put the picture back under her pillow and drift off to sleep. She would float off to a land where the sun shined bright and she twirled with her mom and no rain ever fell.
Somewhere that could have been a million miles away but was really only an hour’s drive away; there lived a boy named Edward. He was a very beautiful boy, yes I said beautiful for there really wasn’t any other word to describe him. He had the face of an angel and the heart of the devil. He had bronze hair that constantly fell in his eyes. His eyes were a golden brown the color of warm butterscotch on most day s but then sometimes they would be pitch black like a storm on the rise. Then as quickly as the storm passed he could dazzle you with a flash of his crooked smile. When he had a good day he could blow you away with that smile and those indescribable sparkling eyes. Unfortunately his good days were few and far between. He sometimes felt as if he didn’t really fit in with his family. He often felt like the odd man out. He lived with Carlisle and Esme Cullen the parental figures of the family; they loved each other so much that you could see it and feel it in everything they did. Edward knew that if they woke up tomorrow and had only each other that they would be okay. Then there was his adopted sister Alice and her husband Jasper. They were amazing to watch as they knew each other so well that words weren’t necessary. They just had to look at each other to know what the other was thinking and it was as if no one else was in the room. It was truly amazing.
Lastly there was his other sister Rosalie and her husband Emmet. Rose was beautiful almost like a goddess. She was also self centered, selfish and rude. However she also had a love for her husband Emmet that ran so deep and true that you forgot her flaws. She had this undying love and loyalty for him.
Emmet was a huge beast of a guy who towered over everyone around him. At first glance everyone was terrified of him, until he smiled and his face transformed into a cuddly teddy bear. He was loud, rowdy and loved to have fun but above all he loved Rose faults and all.
Edward often felt out of place in his own home being surrounded by such happy people. He wondered if he would ever find someone he could call his own, someone who would love him above all else, someone who would complete him and make him whole. He longed to find a love of his to know what it felt like to be someone’s everything.
The chances of this boy and this girl finding one another, was one in a million but fate has a funny way of working things out. Somehow this boy connected with this girl and things just somehow seemed to work out.
Bella and Edward had met and fallen hopelessly in love. Things weren’t all roses and hearts but they weathered the storms that raged against them and came out better for it. Bella found her mother and finally seemed to have everything she ever wanted. Her best friends Angela and Jacob seemed to have been drawn together and seemed happy to be only with each other. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that but she really hadn’t had time to think about it yet. The only thing that seemed to be bothering Bella was telling her father about the arrival of her dead mother. She knew that they desperately loved one another but how would she ever get them together again? And how would she explain the fact that her boyfriend, his family and her mother were all vampires? And let’s not forget that her best friend was a shape shifter, Bella had a long road ahead of her and she had no idea how or where to begin her new journey.
It had been four months since she had been to Italy to save everyone she loved and herself from the Volturi. She had found more strength than she had thought possible and she with the help of her dead mother had defeated the powerful group of evil, blood thirsty and arrogant vampires. Well not really defeated they were still there and could get reinforcements and come back but that was something that they hoped would not happen for many years. Jasper was also making contingency plans just in case.
For the most part Bella was happy except that she hated lying to her dad. She knew he was trying to be more involved in her life but why now? Did he sense that there were things she didn’t tell him like her mom was here living with the Cullen’s and that her Edward and his family were not human? She wished she could tell him everything but would he understand? She wasn’t sure that he would be able to accept this underworld that seemed so unbelievable but was all too real.
So this is where our story begins. The story of such amazing love that no one would ever have imagined but were always meant to be. Bella and Edward, Renee and Charlie and Angela and Jake and maybe a few more thrown in; what will the fates have in store for each of them now?
I was sitting with Angela in last hour PE today was the day we got to listen to Ms Nichols, aka Coach T, talk about STD’s and how having premarital sex could only end badly. Angela and I rolled our eyes toward the ceiling wondering how she could stand in front of so many teenage boys and not feel completely stupid. I glanced at the clock on the wall and sighed in relief only ten more minutes and this torture would be over. Angela and I had made plans to go shopping after school for the homecoming dance. I really wasn’t that excited about the dance because I can’t dance but Edward seemed to be determined that we go. So here I was going shopping with Ang, Alice and Rose after school. The guys were going to go hunting and would probably not be home until Friday and today were only Tuesday. I hated it when Edward was away for that long but I knew it was a necessity. I was brought back to reality with the ringing of the final bell.
“Thank God that is finally over.”
I nodded my head in agreement with Ang as we began to stretch and work the kinks out of our backs from sitting so long.
“I know right. Okay so I am heading home and I know Jake will be waiting outside for you but please do not be late Alice will kill you. Be at my house at 3 no later than 3:30.”
“Why the extra 30 minutes?”
“Because Ali will have to redress me and you know she loses all track of time.”
We both started laughing as Ang took off running to go meet Jake outside.
I grabbed my back pack and headed to my locker to exchange my health book and The Benefits of Abstinences pamphlets for my battered copy of Romeo and Juliet. I was about to slam the door shut when I felt someone grabbing me from behind and pulling me close. I leaned into the embrace knowing that it was Edward.
“Hey you, how was Spanish?”
“Boring, how was sex Ed with Coach T?”
“Oh I learned a lot about why not to have sex, as if I had to worry about that.”
“Bella we have been through this before you know why I can’t even think about that.”
“Yeah I know and it’s ok, I think about it enough for both of us. I just wish I didn’t have to sit there and listen to all the reasons that don’t apply to me. Okay so when are you guys leaving?”
“Any minute I just wanted to walk you out and say bye and for the record I do think about you in that way too. Love there has never been anyone else and there never will be so I do understand how you feel, trust me.”
“I’m sorry for sounding so selfish and I know it’s just hard for you so let’s just forget about it for now.”
I took his hand as we walked down the hall. I couldn’t keep myself from staring at him from the corner of my eye. I still couldn’t believe that he was mine forever sometimes I would think that it was all some crazy dream or a cruel joke and one day I would wake up alone or he would tell me that he never loved me at all. I know I sound completely insane but bad things always seem to happen to me.
“Hey are you okay Bella?”
I blinked my eyes in surprise we had made it to my truck and I suppose he had been talking to me. I smiled and nodded my head yes.
“I ‘m good sorry I was daydreaming.”
I could see the questions in his eyes and an amused smile playing on his lips. I was lost in his gaze and had to focus to put two words together coherently.
“Well sort of but not really, anyways it doesn’t even matter. So what were you saying before I zoned out on you?”
“I was telling you how much I was going to miss you and to have fun with the girls.”
“Yeah I will except I am not looking forward to Bella Barbie.”
I could hear his deep laughter floating in the air. He knew how overzealous Alice could be when it came to fashion, hair, makeup and accessories.
“I’m sorry but it will be fun and you know it. So promise me you will be careful until we get back no sneaking around or meetings with werewolves?”
“I promise but Angela and Jake will be coming over some so don’t get all worked up. Jake is more calm now with Angela around he would never do anything to hurt her.”
I could see Edward’s forehead wrinkled in thought and worry.
“Yeah I am sure that was what Emily thought about Sam too.”
I knew Edward was right about that but the time; place and circumstances had been entirely different. I was sure that nothing like that would happen with Jake and Angela.
“Edward please don’t worry about me. I will be fine and if it makes you feel better I will ask Alice to come over while Jake is there.”
“Fine but promise you will take care of my heart.”
“I will if you promise the same.”
I could see Emmett and Jasper walking across the parking lot with Rose and Alice. I leaned into Edward and kissed him solidly on the lips while tangling his hair in my fist. I wanted to make sure he thought about me and missed me as much as I was going to miss him. As far as thinking about him, well he had the center stage in the deep crevices of my mind. I loved him and I found myself wondering how I ever got along without him. I reluctantly released my hold on him as I felt Alice pulling me away. I smiled at Edward as he flashed the crooked smile that melted my heart and took my breath away.
“Bella come on we have things to do and places to be so let’s get moving. I will follow you home and then you and Angela can ride with us to the mall. Hurry up.”
“Okay I am leaving. “
I waved at Edward and the guys as he was helplessly being pulled to Emmett’s jeep. I saw him manage to break free and run back to the open door of my truck, he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss the cheek and whispered in my ear, “I love you Bella, please be safe and take care of you.”
I held him for a second before Em and Jazz came back to drag him to the jeep. I laughed at the sight of the three of them making complete fools of themselves as if no one else was even around.
I walked quietly to Charlie’s office and listened but I couldn’t hear anything coming from behind the closed door. I raised my hand and softly knocked while holding my breath. I had no idea what was going through my dad’s mind right now. I heard a grunt followed by a come in. I pushed the door open and stepped inside.
“Hey dad sorry it took so long, I had to chat with the guys.”
“I know I heard you when you came in.”
I could see the look of wonder in his eyes and I knew he was curious as to what was going on. He never asked me any questions he just sat on the edge of his desk and waited for me to tell him what he wanted to know. I hated how he did that, just sat there with his arms crossed over his chest staring at me with that what are you up to look. He had been able to make me melt into a puddle when I was a kid but I wasn’t a kid anymore and it wasn’t going to work today. I stood up straight with my shoulders back and crossed the room. I sat down beside him and smiled.
“Okay here’s the deal, you are going to the locker room and shower. “ I wrinkled my nose at the foul smell of fish that permeated the air. “Then you are going to put on those clothes and shoes.” I pointed at the garment bag and shoe box. “Then when you are ready you will text me and I will tell you where to go next, any questions?”
“Do I have any questions? Well how about where the hell am I going? Who put those clothes here and what is this all about?”
I had to laugh at the look of disgust that was on his face; he looked like the only kid in school who didn’t get an invitation to the birthday party. I could feel the laughter making its way up my throat and I finally let it out; he sure looked cute pouting.
“Come on dad I did say I needed a favor so just play along and I promise it will all make sense in the end and trust me you will thank me for this later, I hope.”
“Fine whatever Bells but I hope your right about this.”
I watched as he grabbed his things and headed to the locker room to shower and change. I wondered if he would even recognize the clothes. I kind of doubted it I was 99.9% sure that mom had saved them and that he probably didn’t have a clue what they were from. I walked out of the station and texted Alice, ‘Project Charlie under way, B”
“It’s about time, Project Renee in progress get your butt over here. A”
I slipped my phone in my pocket and climbed into my truck and headed home. I was getting a little nervous I still had to explain all of this to my dad. I had no idea how to tell him about mom. I suppose I could just wing it and hope for the best. I pulled into the drive and climbed out of the truck. I grabbed several bags and ran up the walkway to the porch. I was trying to balance everything when a pair of strong hands took the packages and bags from my hands. I could feel Edward’s arm around my waist as he steadied me.
“Thanks I thought I was going down face first.”
“I was watching for you to pull up. I missed you.”
“I missed you too but we have to hurry before Alice gets the bullwhip out. Rose and mom will be here any minute.”
“I know I just wanted a little bit of alone time with you. I swear this has been the longest day.”
“I couldn’t agree more but no worries it’s almost time for dad and mom to meet. I am so nervous what if dad goes postal or just acts like he doesn’t know who she is?”
“Relax Bella and breathe. Alice says that everything will work out fine and I “
“Never bet against Alice.”
We both burst out laughing as we ended the sentence in unison just as Alice came flying out the front door.
“What are you guys doing standing around as if we don’t still have a million things to get done?”
No matter how hard we tried we continued to laugh at Alice’s exasperated expression. I finally straightened up and gave her a mock salute as Edward and I marched up the walk and into the house. Alice really was like a drill sergeant most of the time but we loved her just the same.
I looked around the house and was amazed at how great everything looked. I took the bakery boxes from Edward and arranged the cookies on glass platters before setting them on the refreshment table. I then lit the candles and sprinkled fresh babies breathe around the punch bowl and trays. I had noticed the personal touch that Alice had added by placing framed pictures of mom and dad on each end of the table. I was getting a little choked up myself when I heard Rose arguing with my mom.
‘Renee don t you dare take that blindfold off until I tell you too.”
“Rose this is really silly why do I need a blindfold anyway? I am sure the house looks the same as it did sixteen years ago.”
“That is not the point the point is I said leave it on.”
I stifled a laugh and opened the front door to let them in.
“Hey mom please just cooperate okay?”
“Oh hi baby. Fine I will be led around like a blind person but it better be worth it.”
“Trust us it will totally be worth it.”
I took mom’s other arm and together the three of us made our way up the stairs. I opened my bedroom door and guided my mom to the bed. She sat down and began to move her leg up and down in an agitated motion.
“You can take your blindfold off now; you’re in Bella’s room.”
I watched as she carefully removed the blindfold and looked around my room. I thought that at that moment if she could cry the tears would be flowing freely down her face. She looked from one corner to the next until she had surveyed every inch of my room.
“Oh Bella that’s the rocking chair I bought at an antique shop the day I found out I was pregnant. I had dreamt of rocking you to sleep in it and holding you throughout the night. I can’t believe that you kept it. “
“Of course I kept it; I kept everything that was yours.”
“I can see that. The vanity table, all the photos, the room is even the same color I painted it. Oh and you still have the pretty carousel border I hung.”
“I asked dad about that when I was younger and he told me how you collected carousel horses as a kid. I told him I wanted to do that too. He gave me one every year for Christmas and last Christmas he gave me yours.”
I pointed to a curio cabinet in the corner that was full of carousel horses. My mom made her way to the corner and ran her finger along the glass as she gazed at the porcelain figures. I could see her tremble and a look of disbelief reflecting in the glass. I ached for her and wished I could make all the lost years vanish. I walked across the room and stopped by her side taking her hand in mine. I wanted to ease her worries and her fears.
“Mom I can feel all of your anxieties and fears. I know that you think there’s no way that dad can still love you but trust me he does. I mean if you could’ve seen him last night you would believe me, he was just so distraught as if he didn’t have the will to live without you anymore.”
“Oh Bella I love your father so much and I hope that he can accept me as I am now.”
“Mom no worries okay. I know that things will be okay so why don’t you slip on that dress and put that hair clip in your hair? We have spent the whole day getting the house ready for a night that you and dad will never forget.”
I could see her looking at the garment bag that was lying on my bed. She smiled as she began to unzip the bag. I knew she recognized the dress and I could almost see the memories dancing in her head. She took the dress out of the bag and held it to her chest as she looked in the mirror. She turned around and smiled the first real smile I had seen since her return to Forks. I knew that things were going to be just fine.
I went to the closet and grabbed my clothes for the dance. I knew that Alice would be coming for me any minute. I searched the bottom of the closet for my ballet flats and came up empty handed. I was getting really frustrated I knew they had been here earlier. I heard a miffed grunt coming from behind me. I looked up from my position on the floor and saw an irritated Alice tapping her foot on the floor.
“If you’re looking for those hideous flats I took them and hid them. I have no idea why you would want to wear those when you have those magnificent Jimmy Choo’s that go perfect with your dress.”
“Well maybe because I want to walk without falling down all night.”
“Oh come on Bella you will not fall on your face.”
“Well if you saw that in one of your visions how come I didn’t see it?”
“I don’t need a vision to know that Edward would never let that happen.”
I glared at Alice as she and my mother laughed at me. I knew I was stuck unless I dared wear the black converse tennis shoes. I sighed and got up off the floor.
“Fine Alice but if I sprain an ankle it’s your fault.”
“Okay whatever Bella we have to focus, we are running out of time. Renee I am going to borrow your daughter for a minute while you get dressed. Bella come with me and bring your dress.”
I followed Alice to the bathroom and knew it was my turn to get made over. I sat down and waited for Alice to have her fun. I listened to her carry on endlessly about Jazz and how happy she was for my mom and dad. I nodded my head and let her do her thing. I was surprised that it only took her a few minutes to do my hair and makeup or maybe I was too preoccupied to notice the time.
“Okay Bella put on your dress and shoes.” I did as Alice instructed and then looked in the mirror as usual Alice had outdone herself. We gathered up my things and went back to my room to check on my mom. She was standing in front of the mirror as if she didn’t recognize herself.
“Mom you look amazing.”
At the sound of my voice my mom turned to face me and gasped.
“Bella you are stunning. Honey you are absolutely beautiful.”
I knew my face was burning under the weight of her stare. I hated the self conscience feeling in the pit of my stomach. I tried to smile as I changed the subject.
“So I am going to go downstairs and wait for dad he’ll be here any minute. Alice will tell you when to come down.”
“Okay Bella thank you for trying to fix this. I love you baby girl.”
“I love you too.”
I left out of the room and walked carefully downstairs. I was still amazed at how we had transformed the house; it was as if we had went back in time. I hoped the illusion we had created would bring back the warm fuzzy feelings that had made them fall for each other for the first time.
“Hi love, you look wonderful.”
I looked at Edward as he met me at the base of the stairs. He looked so sexy in his white button up shirt, a silk blue tie that matched my dress perfectly and crisp pin striped pant. I smiled at him as he took my hand and helped me safely down the last step. We made our way to the front porch to sit and wait for my dad. I sat on the glider beside Edward and rested my head on his shoulder. I breathed in the scent that was uniquely his and for the first time in days I was truly relaxed. We just sat there in a comfortable silence gently swaying back and forth as the cool night breeze grazed our skin. I loved the way the wind ruffled his hair leaving it slightly disheveled in a devil may care way. I was staring at his face, hair, eyes and that crooked smile. I knew I wanted to reach up and rub his face with my hand but unfortunately dad picked that moment to make his presence known.
“Hey kids, I have no idea what this is all about but let’s get it over with so I can get out of these clothes. By the way why am I wearing clothes from 1980 something?”
Edward and I stood up and met dad in the center of the porch. I had to admit dad looked kind of cute and way younger somehow. I could see why mom had fallen for him.
“Dad we need to talk to you.”
I could see the terrified look on his face. He had no idea what was coming next. I took his hand and led him to the glider. He sat down beside me while Edward lounged on the porch railing. I squeezed his hand and smiled at him. He watched Edward with a disgruntled eye.
“Bella if you’re pregnant I will kill him.”
I patted his arm and laughed softly to ease his fears.
“Dad I need to talk to you but relax I am not pregnant, it’s about mom. I know you have never stopped loving her and that you’ve been haunted by her for years. I am going to ask you a question and please take this seriously.” I watched his face as he took in my words. He slowly nodded his head in agreement. “Dad what if I told you that mom is still here with us and that everything you thought was make believe and fantasy was really true?”
“Bella stop with the questions and just spit it out. What are you trying to tell me?”
“Dad mom is here, she is right upstairs in my room.”
I could see the color draining out of his face as he looked at me bewildered and confused. I didn’t think this was going well at all. I could hear his thoughts and knew he couldn’t wrap his head around what I was saying. I looked at Edward for help.
“Charlie you have to have an open mind. Renee is here but she isn’t exactly the same as she was the last time you saw her.”
“What are you kids rambling about? She died when you were born Bella and this isn’t funny.”
“Dad your right there isn’t anything funny about this. Mom almost died that day but she didn’t. I don’t know if you remember the physician who was visiting that day and making rounds, well he was Carlisle Cullen. He was Edward’s father and he knew mom was dying but not yet dead. He saved her.”
“Why did he take her away from us? If he saved her where has she been all these years and who is buried in her cemetery plot?”
“She really didn’t have a choice. Dad the Cullen’s are not exactly human and the only way to save mom was to transform her into one of them.”
“Bella what exactly are they?”
I was surprised to see that dad was calmer now and didn’t seem to be upset by the tone of the conversation. I took a deep breath and looked at Edward who smiled at me encouragingly. I breathed out and smiled back. I turned sideways to look at dad square in the eye, “They’re immortal.”
“What exactly is that supposed to mean?”
“It means they’re vampires.”
I had been more than curious about all the cloak and dagger stuff that Bella had me on but this was ridiculous. Did she not have any idea how hard her mother’s death had truly been on me and that if it hadn’t been for her I would have given up on living a long time ago? I knew that Bella would never do or say anything to intentionally hurt me so she must truly believe this cockamamie story. Then there was Edward was he as crazy as Bella and why did he keep looking at me knowingly as if he could read my very thoughts this was all rather odd.
“Bella you can’t actually believe this craziness. Why would you say something like this? Do you not care at all about my feelings?”
I could see a brief flash of pain in Bella’s eyes as she tried to keep her unshed tears at bay. She looked as if she had no idea what to say or do but she seemed to be waiting for my acceptance and understanding but what exactly would I be agreeing too? I noticed that she and Edward seemed to be communicating without words. He nodded his head and then turned to face me. I was amazed that he seemed to be able to read Bella so easily. There was one thing about my daughter that I knew and that was that she was a mass of complexities and contradictions.
“Charlie I love your daughter and against my better judgment I agreed to help her with this crazy plan. However I am afraid that you are not ready to fully understand what she is trying to do here. I have to admit that you are right on some things. First let me say that Bella would never knowingly hurt you in any way and yes I have the ability to read minds, all minds except Bella’s. Now I am going to try to explain this to you in a way that maybe you can understand. I and my family are vampires although we do not feed on human blood we sustain ourselves on animal blood I suppose we are unique in our ability to mingle and live with humans without killing them. Carlisle my creator is a loving and compassionate man who studied and became a talented physician who saves the lives of the human’s he could so easily kill. I was seventeen and dying of the Spanish influence that was ravaging Chicago in 1918 when he found me near death; my parents had already passed away. He knew my only hope was to be transformed so I was the first in our family. He may not have been my biological father but in all the ways that matter he was everything a father should be. Esme, Rose, Emmett, Alice and Jasper have their own stories that aren’t mine to tell. I want you to know that he never harmed anyone he would never take someone’s soul unless that was their only hope of survival; for whatever reason he saw something in each of us worth saving maybe it was youth, goodness or the circumstances of our approaching demise but for whatever reason he saved us and made us a family. What Bella told you about Renee is true. He was in Forks on a job interview and was touring the hospital when you brought Renee into the ER and for whatever reason he felt pulled to her and Bella. He felt he had to see how things turned out for you, when he heard the code blue he hurried to her room. He rushed in to try to save her but it was too late so he helped with Bella’s delivery. She was so tiny but he knew she would be fine. They had already pushed the gurney with what they thought was Renee’s lifeless body out into the hall. Carlisle, with his supersonic hearing could detect a faint heartbeat. He could see that no one had noticed him and all attention was on saving baby Bella. Charlie you were so distraught you had no clue what was happening, he knew he didn’t have much time so he pushed the gurney to the morgue that as luck had it was unattended. He switched Renee’s chart with a body scheduled for pick up and cremation. You never asked to see the body and no one ever caught the missing body or the switch. I know you probably have a million questions but please Charlie you have to understand that the first two years of a new born vampire’s existence is the hardest and she had no choice but to stay away for fear of harming you and Bella. She longed to see you both but it was just too dangerous the temptation of human blood was too much at that time.”
I was more than a little shell shocked at all this information. I was trying desperately to process all the random chaotic thoughts in my head. If they really were vampires then the secret I had been keeping all these years wasn’t so farfetched after all and if the Cullen’s were vampires and Renee was one of them what did that mean for Billy and Jake or for us? Hell I wasn’t even sure that this was possible but her a vampire and me a human? Whoa wait a minute if Bella loved Edward then she was in love with a vampire? Oh what the???
“Wait a minute so you’re all vampires so how do Jake and Ang fit into this? Let me guess Jake is the wolf man and Ang is a witch? Oh while we’re at it let’s bring in the wizards and gargoyles. Do you guys honestly expect me to buy any of this nonsense?”
I could see Bella rolling her eyes as if I had said something stupid and maybe I had. I just looked at her and waited for her to say whatever was on her mind. She slowly began to push the glider back and forth in a soothing motion while holding my trembling hand. I watched her as she sorted out what she wanted to say.
Once again Edward was giving me that look like he knew what was running through my mind. I was going to have to be very careful around him if he really could read my mind. He smiled at me and began to talk to me.
“Charlie you’ve kept that secret for twenty plus years don’t you think there’s a reason you did? A reason why you never mentioned it or brought it up? Deep down you’ve always known it’s true.”
Bella started talking as I sat with my mouth hanging open not sure what to do or say. How was any of this possible?
“I suppose anything is possible but if Ang is a witch then she’s been holding out on us. As far as Jake well let’s just say that you’re closer to the truth than you may think but that too is a story that isn’t ours to tell. Dad I know you think this is completely crazy and beyond all rational thinking but please try to have an open mind. Do you remember what you told me last night?”
I wasn’t sure which part she was referring to. I racked my brain to remember what I had said but it was a jumbled mess in my head. I had been a wreck and not thinking clearly at all.
“I guess you mean that I never stopped loving your mother?”
“That and how you would give anything to just see her, touch her and spend one more day with her. Dad did you really mean that?”
I knew I was confused but my feelings for Renee had never changed and I had meant every word. I knew she was leading up to something big here. I raised my eyes to meet hers and nodded my head yes.
“Well she is inside and she is as nervous as you. She has longed for this day for sixteen years and she has always loved you. I hope you can put your doubts and fears aside and just go in and talk to her.”
I was still in denial how was this even possible? I could feel Bella squeezing my hand and waiting for my response. I gathered my senses and offered her a weak smile.
“Okay Bella where is she?”
“Dad she is upstairs in my room with Alice and Rose. We have recreated the night you guys first met. I hope you guys can embrace the good memories and let your hearts guide you. I know you both still love each other. “
Bella stood up off the glider and tugged my hand to follow. I now knew why I had on these clothes and why she had me stop at the florist. I walked to the door and following Bella stepped inside to meet my past.
I was pacing the floor and occasionally glancing out the window. I had seen when Charlie had arrived I wanted to run down the stairs and meet him at the door as I had so many times before. Alice and Rose had reined me in and convinced me to be patient. I have to admit that patience is not one of my strong points. I had strained to hear what was being said but I was so afraid of the truth that maybe I didn’t want to know what Charlie’s reaction would be. I loved him so much and being here back in our house with him so close was pure torture of the worst kind. I longed no ached to be where he was. I had to wait to see if he would talk to me and I was so torn. On the one hand I wanted to run to him and profess my undying love for him and then on the other hand I was terrified of what he would do or say when he saw me. I knew that I had changed and that although I still resembled the woman he once knew, physically I had looked so different that sometimes even I wasn’t sure who the girl looking back at me in the mirror was. I had forgotten how hard this could be, it was as if I was a little girl with her first crush constantly wondering did he or didn’t he like me? Oh my how had I gotten to this point? What would he think of me now? Would he still love me as much as I loved him, as much as I had always loved him? I had been okay before him but I had never realized how empty my life had been before I met him until he was gone and everything I loved was gone with him. I wasn’t even sure if that made sense but it was how I felt. I could feel the nerves balling up in the pit of my stomach. I knew that if I didn’t find out something soon I was going to end up in that white room with the padded walls. I looked out the window once more to make sure he hadn’t left but his car still sat in the drive and I could hear the squeak of the glider as someone began to move it slowly back and forth. The sound brought back so many emotions and memories. Oh how many nights had Charlie and I lazily sat in that vey swing and listened to the soft falling rain. It was in that very swing I had told him I was pregnant and our lives had changed forever. I sighed as I recalled so many other memories. I brought my hands to face and brushed at my eyes that should have been brimming with tears at the rush of emotions that seemed to be smothering me. I wrapped my arms around myself and continued to pace the floor from the window to the bed. I gnawed on my lip and waited.
“Hey stop chewing on your lip; you look just like Bella when you do that.”
“Actually Rose Bella looks just like her when she does it.”
I knew I was a hopeless basket case but what else could I do but fret, worry and wait.
“You know what? Waiting is highly over rated. I mean what could be taking them so long to tell the man that he is surrounded by a bunch of vampires and that one of them happens to be his dead wife?”
“Renee please sit down before you wear a hole in the rug. I told you everything was going to be fine and when am I ever wrong?”
I looked skeptically at Alice as she sat on the edge of Bella’s bed and patted the space beside her. I plopped down unladylike and sighed. What was happening outside and why was it taking so long?
“Alice you know you were wrong that time when Tanya and Kate surprised us with a visit.”
“Rose that is so not the point here and that was entirely different they manipulated the situation they knew how my visions work. Have you ever tried to keep a vision straight when the two people involved have two different agendas going on? I had no idea if I was coming or going.”
“Okay whatever the point here is that it is only normal for Renee to be nervous.”
I sat on the bed with my hands clamped together as if the very action would get me through this misery. I couldn’t sit still so I once again began to pace the floor. I began to toss around several different scenarios each one with a worse outcome than the one before. I was so lost in thought that I almost didn’t hear Alice’s soft whisper.
“Renee it’s time.”
I heard Alice’s voice as if from a great distance as I looked doubtfully toward the door. I walked across the room and hesitated with my hand on the door knob. I sighed and looked back at Alice and Rose, “Thank you both for all of your support and for helping Bella with all of this. Okay so wish me luck.”
Alice and Rose crossed the room to stand by my side. They pulled me into a group hug and whispered words of encouragement. I smiled at them and slowly turned the knob and stepped into the hall. It was as if I was taken back in time. I ran my hand along the old, yellowed wall paper that I had hung so long ago before we had moved in. The hallway was still filled with framed photos that I had hung and the floor runner was still the same one I had purchased so long ago. I was taken aback by how everything was exactly the same as if time had indeed stood still. I was curious as to what else had been left the same. I wanted so badly to peek into the master bedroom but wasn’t sure if I was ready for the force of emotions and memories that would bring. I walked to the top of the stairs and counted to ten before starting my descent. I could see the banner hanging in the hall between the family room and the kitchen it read welcome to homecoming 1982. I could see the clear lights intertwined along the stair railing and the trees with the same lights twinkling in the hall. There were balloons in the school colors and flowers scattered throughout the house. I could see photos of me and Charlie placed on every surface in every room and soft candles on a table that looked exactly like the refreshment table at our homecoming. As I was in a state of shock as the music floated around me and the sight and scents took me back to a different place and time. I could remember every detail as if it were unfolding in front of my very eyes. I made my way to the table and picked up a cup of punch, yes I wasn’t about to drink it but it was what I had been doing when I first saw Charlie so it seemed appropriate. I was still taking it all in when I heard the front door open. I took in a deep breath to calm my jittery stomach and turned to see Charlie standing under the twinkling lights staring at me as if he wasn’t sure whether to walk forward or run and hide. I smiled and raised my cup in much the same way I had the first time and he smiled at me. That smile was all it took and suddenly I was racing across the room to meet him halfway. He enveloped me in a fierce hug and began to twirl me around in circles as if I weighed nothing at all. I could feel the tension ebbing away and a soft laugh climbing up my throat. Oh I knew this wasn’t going to be easy but it was definitely worth fighting for. I was back in the only place I had ever wanted to be with the only man I had ever loved.
“Okay you can put me down now.”
I could see Charlie turning a deep red as he gently placed me on my feet beside him. He didn’t release his hold on me but kept me close to his side. I snuggled under his arm and walked with him to the small table set up on the other side of the room. It had beautiful flowers and more candles offering soft light in the otherwise darkness.
“So it’s really you? You look so mature and unlike the scrawny guy with the cowlick in his hair.”
“And you look like a super model and not the young impressionable girl I married. I guess we’ve both changed.”
I looked at the light that seemed to be coming from Charlie’s eyes and the smile that had not left his lips. I longed to reach out and take his hand but I was still unsure of where we were headed. I didn’t want to scare him away before we even got a chance to get to know each other again.
“I suppose we have but one thing that hasn’t changed is how much I love you. Charlie if you don’t believe anything else I tell you tonight belief this I never stopped loving you and thought of you every single day over the last sixteen years.”
I looked at Charlie through my down turned eyelashes and saw him watching me so intently that if I had to breathe to survive I would probably be dead. He absolutely took my breath away it was a good thing I didn’t really need to breathe.
“Renee I never in a million years dreamed that I would see you again it is really more than I could have ever imagined. I still find myself wondering if this is a dream.”
“No this is no dream I am right here with you.”
“I know I always felt this pull whenever you where near and I still feel it. It’s like this electric hum deep inside that is just guiding me to you. I knew it was you that I saw in town a few months ago and then again yesterday but why did you walk away?”
“Honestly I have no idea. I’d never even thought about the possibility of us ever meeting again. I wasn’t sure if you would be able to accept what I am now. Charlie I am so sorry about this but I wanted to see you so badly. I wish there were a way for us to be together but unless you are planning on immortality than I don’t see how we can ever be together again. I don’t want to lose you again so I don’t know where we go from here.”
I could see Charlie turning my words over in his mind. I watched as he seemed to come to some sort of conclusion. I waited for him to tell me what he was thinking about. I had no concept of time I was perfectly content to sit there across from him memorizing his face and committing it to every memory I had. After several moments he finally spoke.
“Renee I love you and it seems that you love me too. I think it is safe to say that we both feel the same way in the respect that we don’t want to go on without one another.”
I felt my chest tighten and I couldn’t form a coherent sentence so I simply nodded my head in agreement. Charlie smiled at me and reached across the table and took my hand in his and he didn’t seem to notice the coolness of my skin.
“I don’t think we have to figure everything out tonight. I think we just need to start with the fact that we love each other and take it one day at a time. I think we need to take it slow and just get to know each other again.”
I sighed in relief, “That sounds perfect Chief Swan.”
Our laughter mingled together as we began to relax and reminisce. I knew I was falling for him again. I was deliriously happy as we talked, danced and we began to fall even more in love the second time around
Thanks so much for reading and I'm glad you liked it.
More coming tonight.
I watched my dad as he walked into the house and looked around in stunned silence. I waited for him to see mom standing across the room watching his every move. I was so nervous for both of them and I hoped and prayed that this was not going to blow up in my face. I was sucking on my bottom lip and twisting my hands so sure that this was not going to end well. I looked at Edward and saw him closing the distance that separated us. He gently took my hand in his and pulled me back outside onto the porch. Once we were outside and out of hearing range I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding.
“Well what do you think will happen now?”
I looked at Edward hoping he would have the answers I wanted to hear. He looked at me and shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know Bella but we have to give them time to work this out on their own. I think we’ve given them a push in the right direction now it is up to them.”
I sighed and felt my hopes deflating. There was no doubt in my mind that they loved each other but could they be together again? I was suddenly thinking maybe this was too much for dad to deal with and now that he knew she was here he would be in worse shape than he had been in before. I was afraid that maybe I had made this even worse than it was before.
“I feel like I have set them up to fail and I don’t think I can live with the knowledge that I made them both miserable. I had all these things to say to dad and I went completely blank and now it may be too late. Edward what have I done?”
I could feel him pulling me into his arms and holding me close. He was gently rubbing my back in a soothing motion that was having a calming effect on me. I relaxed into him and just let him hold me. I knew that I had done all that I could to make this work now they were on their own. I finally moved away from Edward and took his hand we had to meet everybody at the restaurant. I wondered if Alice and Rose were still in my room. I followed him to his car and finally we were on our way. I couldn’t take my eyes off the house until it faded out of view. I reluctantly dragged my gaze back to Edward and wondered what was going on at home. I hoped they had gotten over the initial shock of seeing each other again. I was sure that this would work it just had to be okay. I rested my head on the back of the seat and tried to focus on anything but what was happening at home right now.
“So what do you think will happen tonight at the dance? Do you really think Ben is crazy enough to approach Jake?”
“I guess we’ll find out soon enough but I really don’t think that Ben is much of a fighter. I really think he is more of a pacifist and he will try to talk things out.”
I nodded my head in agreement and prayed that Jake would not lose his temper. I knew that if he did he could and probably would phase in a split second. I was worried for Ben he didn’t deserve any of this but now he was about to be stuck right in the middle of this mess. I wished there was a way to keep him and Jake apart but how?
“I know you’re right about Ben but no matter what he says or how he says Jake will see red. Edward I am really afraid that Ben might get hurt and Jake would feel horrible later.”
I could see Edward looking at the passing scenery while deep in thought. I waited anxiously for Edward to think of some way to keep Jake from doing something stupid and regretting it later. I really like Ben and didn’t want to see him get hurt.
“Bella I don’t think there is anything we can do it is bound to happen. I think it will be better if we are there when it does so we just have to let things take their course and make sure Ben doesn’t get hurt. I am depending on you to keep Angela out of harm’s way. Alice, Jazz, Em, Rose and I will keep Jake under control. I promise you we will not let anything happen to Ben.”
I tried to force a smile but I know he could see right through my veiled attempt at calm. I nodded my head and took his hand in mine. I knew he would keep his promise.
“Edward I trust you always. I know that you will keep Ben safe but the question is can we keep Jake from phasing in front of him?”
I felt Edward squeeze my hand and smile, “I will do everything in my power to keep him from phasing but if he does I will make sure that Em and Jazz get him out of there before Jake goes all out wolf. Bella please relax everything will be fine. Jake knows what is at stake here and he wants to keep his secret as much as we want him to.”
“Of course you’re right but you know me I worry way too much. I always seem to think everything that goes wrong is my fault but it usually is.”
I heard Edward growling under his breath at my words. I grinned at him embarrassed, “Sorry did I say that out loud?”
“Why yes, yes you did Ms. Swan and I didn’t like it. For the record everything that goes wrong in everyone’s life is not your fault so stop it.”
I could see the look in his eyes and the stern tone he had spoken in and knew I had to agree, “Yes sir, Mr. Cullen my mistake.”
I could see Edward’s lips curving into a smile as he heard me grumble under my breath, “You think you might be a tad bit biased?” I knew my face was bright red as our laughter filled the car. I was no longer as upset or as nervous as I had been just being with Edward seemed to calm me. I breathed him in and felt all my doubts and worries melting away. I closed my eyes as we fell into a comfortable silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. I was overwhelmed with such intense feelings of love and I simply enjoyed being here with Edward.
I was impatiently waiting for Bella to arrive so I could talk to her. I was so in endowed with worry that I physically felt ill. I loved Jake but I cared about what happened to Ben and I knew that Jake could hurt him or even kill him if things got out of hand. I paced in front of the restaurant and watched for Edward’s shiny silver Volvo. I needed Bella to tell me everything was going to be okay even if it wasn’t true.
“Angela enough with the pacing already, come sit with me.”
I looked at Jake sitting comfortably on a bench as if he hadn’t a care in the world. He amazed me how he could be so calm as if he gave no thought to Ben. I knew that he was itching for a fight with him but Ben was no fighter and the odds really were unfair, Jake would kill him without phasing. I walked to the bench and sat down beside Jake. I could feel him pulling me closer until my head was resting on his chest. I could hear the steady rhythm of his beating heart. I raised my head to meet his eyes and smiled at him. He was the nicest guy I had ever met but he was also the cockiest so I knew he wasn’t going to let Ben get the last word.
“Jake will you promise me one thing?”
I could feel his eyes boring into mine and he squinted his eyes in a questioning stare. I took in a deep breath and felt my words rushing out, “Jake please whatever happens tonight do not lose your temper.”
I knew I was asking a lot but I had to be sure that Jake didn’t do anything stupid or expose his and the tribe’s secret. I watched as he took several minutes to respond to my request. He seemed poised for a confrontation as he slowly spoke.
“Angela is this about Ben or is it about me?”
I was confused by his question and his clenched jaw. I wasn’t sure how my request had gotten lost in translation but obviously we were both confused.
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Are you asking out of concern for me or for Ben?”
I was still lost and had no idea what he was fishing for. I was concerned for both of them but somehow I didn’t think that was the answer he was looking for.
“Jake love you and I will always look out for you. I don’t want you to do anything stupid that could jeopardize the tribe or you. I want you to remember that this secret is not just yours to keep. As for Ben he is a really nice guy who doesn’t deserve to be pulled into any of this just because of pure stupidity so please Jake do not lose your temper.”
I could see his facial features relaxing into a smile. I suppose I had given him the right answer. He kissed the top of my head as I heard a cough and a chuckle. I looked up to see Bella and Edward standing in front of us. Bella was laughing and Edward looked a little out of place.
“Hey guys I thought you were never going to get here.”
“Sorry we’re late, did we interrupt something? You guys looked deep in conversation when we walked up, is everything okay?”
Bella was looking at us waiting for an answer and I was looking expectantly at Jake.
“Ang, I promise, happy now?”
I felt as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I smiled and looked at Bella as I got off the bench and linked my arm with hers, “Everything is perfect now that you guys are here, let’s go before they give our reservation to someone else.”
I knew Bella had a dozen questions for me but I just smiled at her and followed Jake inside the restaurant. I knew we would have to talk later but not right now it was a little too crowded for a private chat. I watched as Edward gave the hostess a tip and requested a table in the back. I laughed he reminded me of the old gangster movies were the mob would tip the help. We followed the girl to the back of the dining area. She led us to an oval booth that was in a secluded corner away from the other patrons. We sat down and placed our drink orders. I felt bad for Edward being stuck here with us.
“Edward thanks so much for coming with us tonight I know it’s probably the last thing you wanted to do.”
I noticed him shaking his head no and smiling at me from across the table, “Not at all Angela. Bella wanted to come and my only desire is to see that she is safe and happy.”
“But Edward you don’t even eat and I could have eaten at home. What would happen if I dared you to eat something?”
I tried to keep my giggles at bay as I watched Bella and Edward arguing.
“Bella have you ever eaten dirt?”
I saw her glaring at Jake from her side of the table, “Once on a dare, it wasn’t so bad.”
Jake burst out laughing, “Are you kidding me? You turned a putrid green and almost threw up. I swear Edward it was the funniest thing but she handled it like a trooper, she kept it down.”
“Shut up Jake.”
“You know it wasn’t nearly as bad as the time you ate the elephant ear.”
“Jake now is not the time for a trip down memory lane.”
“Yeah, yeah, sorry but it was funny. Okay Edward as you were saying.”
“Well Bella when I eat food it is much the same as you eating dirt. I can do it when I have to for appearance sake but it is not enjoyable.”
“So if I dared you to eat something you could do it?”
“Of course would you like to see?”
I watched as Bella shook her head no and looked down at her napkin. I knew she was embarrassed and did not want Edward to ask about the elephant ear. I was almost 100% sure he would not forget and that he would ask about it later. I waited for the waitress to return before asking Bella to go to the ladies room with me.
“Okay so what can I get for you?”
We all looked at Edward as the waitress tapped her pen on her pad. He smiled and motioned toward Bella and said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The waitress jotted something on her pad and turned on her heels and headed to the kitchen. I excused myself and Bella followed. I quickly checked under the stalls for feet before saying anything.
“So Bella what do you think will happen tonight? Do you think that Jake will keep his cool and not lose his temper?”
“Angela I think we have to trust Jake and if he loses it then Edward will not let anything happen. I think everything will be fine. We just have to stop worrying about it.”
“Yeah but that is easier said than done.”
“I take it that is what you guys were arguing about when we walked up?”
“Well sort of he thinks I am more worried about Ben than I am him. He doesn’t understand that I’m worried about his feelings but I am worried that he may kill Ben and then what would that mean for Jake? He just doesn’t get that whatever happens tonight will affect him and my only concern is for him. I love him so much and sometimes I just don’t think he gets it.”
Bella reached over and hugged me offering me the support I needed. I was lucky to have Bella she was the best friend a girl could have and she had no idea how special she really was. I had heard Edward tell her more than once that she didn’t see herself clearly at all and I had to agree with Edward on this one.
“Angela I really think it will be okay. I have watched how Jake has changed over the last few months. He has grown up and he doesn’t lose his temper as much as he used to. I know he would never do anything to hurt you and your opinion matter to him so he would never do anything to compromise how you feel about him. Angela you bring out the best in him so have a little faith.”
I knew Bella was right and how could I say I loved Jake and not trust him? Didn’t the two go hand in hand? I knew that it was impossible to have one with the other so I loved him and I would trust him. I smiled at Bella in the mirror and smoothed the hem of my dress.
“Okay I’m ready let’s go see what trouble the guys have gotten into.”
I followed Bella out of the ladies room and back to our table. As we rounded the corner we saw Lauren and Jessica standing at our table flirting unmercifully with Edward and Jake who seemed bored by the whole encounter. We walked to our seats and politely moved them out of our way. I slid in next to Jake who looked at me as if to say what took so long. I could see Edward put his arm around Bella and pull her as close as possible without her sitting in his lap.
“Edward you were right we should have went somewhere else, it seems they let any old riff raff in here.”
She leaned into him and smiled daringly at Jessica. The two turned around with red faces and scurried away. Bella and I laughed at the look on their faces. We talked for a few minutes until our food arrived. I watched as Edward put on a good show of eating. He smiled and laughed and ate as if the food was the most wonderful thing he had ever eaten. I was amazed at his acting skills. We had almost finished our meal when I noticed that he hadn’t eaten as much as it had appeared but had been hiding it in a napkin under the table. I laughed as I realized how good an actor he really was. After paying the bill we made our way to the parking lot and left for the dance. I pulled out behind Edward already knowing there was no way I could keep up with him. I was pleasantly surprised that he drove at a normal speed and I was able to keep up. I knew that Bella had probably reminded him that I was behind them. The drive to the school didn’t take as long as I had expected. I pulled in and parked beside Bella and Edward. I knew this was going to be an intense night and I wondered how long it would be before Ben found us.
First thanks for reading. I can't tell you what is going to happen but I will post the next chapter up today. Charlie and Renee well we'll see how that goes in the next post.
I am sorry more coming soon will post next chapter later today.
Thanks for reading and how are you??