|A Constant in the Darkness
Author: camoozle PM
Bella, suffering from an eating disorder, returns to Forks to care for her estranged father. She seeks comfort in Edward, an aspiring chef, who is having difficulty dealing with his own demons. AH, AU, OOC, B/ERated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 36 - Words: 351,739 - Reviews: 3,170 - Favs: 2,644 - Follows: 1,325 - Updated: 04-16-10 - Published: 06-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5107950
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is my first venture into fan fiction as a writer. I hope you find it entertaining. I have to thank Project Team Beta for all their lovely assistance. They are gems! Also, the most poetic Joni Mitchell, whose italicized lyrics are scattered throughout. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of its lovely characters.
When I think of my father, a million different smells swirl through my consciousness: fresh tobacco, smoke wafting from the porch as he enjoyed his daily pipe; grease, oil and sweat, grimy fingers reaching for a cold beer as he comes in from the garage; after-shave and soap, as he pulls me into a fierce bear hug, laughing at my pathetic attempts to break free; fresh bread and marinara, bubbling on the stove, splattering that will stay on the range for days until I finally break down and wipe it up with a sponge.
The last time I smelled him I was ten years old. It was past midnight and my mother had jerked me from a comfortable dream, frantically grasping at my pajamas and brushing the dark, unruly, hair from my face.
"Bella, we're leaving, get your shoes," she had whispered fiercely into my cheek. I could smell the whiskey on her breath, the smoke lingering in her hair. Her eyes were crazed, daring me to argue. And, just like always, I accepted her challenge.
"Where are we going?" I mumbled lazily, still sleepy and incoherent. "Momma, I don't want to leave. I want to go to sleep. Where's Daddy?"
"Daddy's gone. He's gone. We have to leave. We have to get out of here. I can't… I can't stay here… This place is sucking the life out of me." She was choking on the words, spitting them out with venom and tenacity, as if she were coaxing herself into this decision.
I observed her inner conflict, still confused. She was muttering under her breath, engaged in some tormented dialogue, but I was still focused on my dad. Where did he go? What did she mean, "he's gone"? Gone to the station? Billy's? Gone, like dead gone? I was scared. I mean, I'd seen my mom upset before, usually after her "big girl" drink and her smoke on the porch. But there was a frantic urgency in her voice, a desperation that made me want to find my father even more.
"No Momma, go to bed, you're just tired. You'll feel better in the morning, everyone always feels better in the morning." I tried to console her, looking for my slippers. "Where's daddy? I want to see him."
She was grabbing my arm then, and this I remember quite vividly, pulling me close to her face, searching my fluid eyes, her gaze flitting furiously from one dark iris to the other, begging for something worth staying for. She slowly brought her palms to my face, cradling my cheeks and lightly passing her thumbs over my eyelids, forcing them to close.
"You have his eyes, you know." Her voice was hollow, disappointment tainting her compliment. She wouldn't look at me as she released my face. Apparently, she didn't find anything.
I ran to the downstairs closet, grabbing the first thing I could find: his old flannel shirt. He had worn it last night during his smoke; it still smelled of sweet tobacco, after shave, grease, bread and just everything decent about my childhood.
I knew then that this life was over. I didn't know why he left or where he went. I didn't know what we had done to cause him to just vacate. All I knew was we were running. He didn't have his favorite shirt and my mother was willing to drag her ten-year-old daughter out into the freeze of February in Forks, Washington, in the middle of the night, while intoxicated and probably a little high.
Looking back, I can't believe this was the shit going through my ten-year-old head. My mother is such a fucking bitch.
And now, 7 years later, kneeling on our linoleum floor in Phoenix, all I could smell was the vomit on my fingers, the slight bleach smell of the toilet, and the bitter after taste of marinara, as I gasped over the cool porcelain bowl. The humidity of the hot spray splattering against the shower curtain was beginning to fog up the mirrors and a damp sheen covered my face. The saliva pooled in my gaping mouth, causing me to heave again. Hot tears streamed from my eyes, blinding me momentarily as I reached for a towel to wipe my mouth. I flushed the toilet, using the brush to scrub the inside of the bowl. I swiftly brushed my teeth and lapped the stream from the tap. I stepped into the warm water, letting it wash over my body, flooding the tub with all my self-disgust.
As I toweled my hair, my mother rapped softly on the door. "Fifteen minutes, Bella," she said curtly. Like I didn't know.
I quickly detangled my long hair, wrapping it into a messy bun and pulled on my jeans and favorite cotton tank, avoiding the mirror. I knew I wouldn't be able to wear it once I got off the plane, but I just couldn't give in to extreme temperatures just yet. I had recently donated most of my Phoenix clothes to Goodwill, including eight pairs of flip flops. I laced my newly acquired sneakers and tossed the remainder of my toiletries into my suitcase. No looking back.
I met my mother and her new husband, Phil, at the car. It was surprisingly warm for March, even in Phoenix. I said my goodbyes to the glowing warmth of the sun as I loaded my suitcase into the trunk, my mother and Phil standing silently. You'd think Renee would want to give me some advice, you know, something motherly. Then again, my mother has never actually been motherly.
Renee was one of those mothers that wanted to be her kid's best friend. You know, the kind of parent that buys their kid alcohol because she wants them to drink at home, experience it in a "safe environment". I'd had my first beer with Renee when I was thirteen. I had just gotten my period for the first time, so she fucking handed me a beer. Luckily, I had learned about the female reproductive cycle in fifth grade from the school nurse. Apparently, the ability to bear children goes hand in hand with alcohol.
At 15, she educated me in the ways of cannabis. My mom had left her pipe out on the coffee table again and I finally had a friend coming over. Not wanting yet another not-that-far-from-the-truth rumor circulating my high school, I took the pipe and hastily stowed it in my pocket, out of sight. I knew what it was for. She'd been smoking weed for as long as I could remember. Anyway, she found it on my person and decided she would indulge my "natural curiosity". I really wasn't that curious, but for the first time, a glimpse of what I presumed was her mothering nature snuck into view. She scolded me lightly, telling me drugs are bad, she only smoked to fall asleep, excuse, rationalize, blah. I was touched. We smoked a bowl and I was further reminded that I am completely alone in this world.
Since then, she has deluded herself into thinking we have this wonderful relationship, that we are more than genetics, we're friends. She tells me everything--appalling amounts of information--constantly berating me for juicy gossip in return. Because that's what relationships are, right? Give and take? It's not that I don't want to share; I just honestly have nothing to give.
Sitting now, in the back of Phil's car on the way to the airport, I popped a peppermint into my mouth, the lingering marinara still slightly burning the back of my throat. I watched the wide, red sky of Phoenix fade behind the dark tint of the back seat window. I focused on the high, white clouds, while "Rows and flows of angel hair" chimed in the background, the high soprano voice, lulling and relaxing. This might be the one thing my mother shared with me that I appreciate. I'm pretty sure Joni Mitchell was my soul mate in a past life.
"Um, Bella?" Phil brought me out of my Joni-induced piano coma. He glanced in the rear-view mirror. "I just want to let you know that you are always welcome in our home. I know this is a difficult time for you, but once we move to Florida, you'll have your own room there." Oh, God, he's trying to reach out. Maybe we could decorate it with little pink bunnies and flowers, adorable curtains and a fluffy bed spread. Shit, I already wanted to puke again.
My mom teaches art at the community college in Phoenix. She met Phil when he took one of her watercolor classes. He's only five years younger than her, but he was still taking art classes at a community college. Ugh, I know, red flag, right? They got married six months later in Vegas. She'd just gotten a new teaching position in Florida and was planning on moving us all out there when Charlie had his heart attack.
"Sure, Phil, thanks." I threw him a bone. My mom just sighed, glancing out her window.
"I mean, after your father…" he pressed. "Well, you won't have to stay in Forks forever, you know."
"Sure, sure," I responded, trying to control the tone of my voice. What the hell? After my father what? Fucking dies? Just say it, asshole, don't hold back on my account. Fucking potheads.
"Bella, chill. We just want you to know that you always have a place with us." My mom had found her voice.
I wanted to be comforted by their words, honestly. I wanted to believe I had a place somewhere, even in shitty Florida, but I just couldn't see myself in their life now. When Forks Hospital called my mom last week to tell us that my father, Charlie, had suffered a massive heart attack and was undergoing a triple bypass surgery, I was indifferent.
I hadn't heard from the guy in 7 years and all of sudden, I'm supposed to care. I'm supposed to worry, fill my mind and heart with concern and sympathy and pity and any other emotion that has been void from this man for 7 years? I almost laughed. It was comical that this is how I would find out where he was, what he was doing. He never tried to reach us after we left, and apparently he didn't stray far from Forks. My mom always claimed that our leaving was the best thing for him, no strings, no attachments. He must have agreed.
Anyway, now my father, Charlie, needs help. He needs my help. Yeah, the prognosis doesn't look good. Apparently Charlie's severely overweight, courtesy of a steady diet of steak and potatoes from the local greasy diner. Even if he were to make it out of the surgery, the recovery was going to be long and tedious, the doctor had said. Get a fucking nurse, was the first thought that came to mind. Of course, because I'm Bella, I accepted the responsibility. That's what I do. I'm the one who remembers to put the clothes in the dryer so they won't get all mildewed, I make sure we have milk in the morning for cereal and I hold Renee's hair when she's had too much to drink, nursing her hangover in the morning. It's what I do, and now I must do it for him.
When I finally got on the plane, toting a small backpack which held my essential reading and listening materials, I checked my ticket. 17 B. Shit, a middle seat. Karma is a fickle bitch and she always seems to end up owning me.
I was seated between a man in a suit, probably traveling for business, and an elderly woman, who sat knitting the ugliest sweater I'd ever seen. She kept bumping my arm, her bony little point of an elbow mercilessly digging into my forearm. I'd have a bruise for sure. The man sat staring at a laptop, lost in some power point presentation about synergy or some bullshit. I placed the ear buds of my mp3 player snugly into both ears and found my soul mate. "It sure is hard to leave here, but it's really not my home."
Home… the closest thing to home I had was wadded up in the bottom of my tote: a dirty old shirt. I didn't wash it for months after we had left. After Renee figured out where we were going, I kept thinking my father would find us. She kept telling me he wouldn't, that he wouldn't even try, but I couldn't let myself believe that. I slept in that shirt, inhaling it deeply and trying to force the memories into my consciousness. Eventually, the shirt found its way to the hamper and his smells were gone forever. I try to find them, every so often. Searching smoke shops for his tobacco, learning to bake bread, ordering marinara, I even took auto shop in ninth grade. But Charlie was gone and it wasn't the same.
Ninth grade, that's when I started avoiding food. I just couldn't find my appetite. I had always been thin, 110 pounds at the most now. I guess I can thank Renee for my small 5'2" frame. I didn't want to lose weight; I just didn't want to eat. Every time I'd eat, I'd think of the bread and pasta Charlie used to cook for us and I'd smell it, remembering how I could smell the garlic from the driveway as I was coming home from school.
Eating was the one thing I could control, the one constant in my life. Have you ever noticed how it fuels your entire day? It controls your decisions, your moods, and your social life. What to eat for breakfast is the first decision you make in the morning. You are a slave to the gnawing and grumbling going on in your bowels. It influences our moods: some people are downright crabby when they're hungry. And of course, there's dinner and a movie, the cliché, perfect date: the perfect meal, with the perfect guy, and the perfect happily ever after. It's a cure-all; an easily accessible and socially accepted drug for a pick-me-up or for wallowing in self pity.
I remember my father being a large man; it used to benefit him in the line of duty. He was Chief Swan before his heart attack, chief of Forks Police Department. He was imposing, strong, and utterly terrifying. Nobody fucked with him. And now he's dying, consumed by his own traitorous lack of self control.
I can remember watching him eat, savoring each flavor, while chewing and moaning in satisfaction. He'd comment on how the basil was fresh, and that made all the difference. Or that the tomatoes were bitter and how he should have let them reduce a bit longer at a higher heat in order to release some of the acid. His meals were always amazing; I could never find anything wrong with them. I soaked up this information, though, connecting myself to him through cooking. It was something he had shared with me a long time ago.
No, food would not control me any longer. There was nothing remotely perfect in my life. I would never have that perfect meal or perfect date or perfect guy. My own father didn't want me, so why would any decent, never mind perfect, guy want me?
I started subconsciously, omitting a meal here and there. I'm not an idiot. I understand I need something of substance to exist, but I only allow myself the bare minimum, dining for survival, not satisfaction.
Hunger eventually goes away, dulling to an annoying ache in my belly. I could usually score some pills to help curb my appetite, but I like the feeling of being empty; it's even comfortable now. If I fill myself it's because of the intoxicating smells, not the hunger. Renee knows I can't resist the smell of marinara, that's why she made it today. She thinks it will help. If she cooks food that she knows I like, I will eat. She's right, I don't have enough willpower to stay away, but after I'm finished the guilt consumes me, causes pain to swell in my abdomen, so I ease the pain with the only release I know. I purge. I stick two fingers down my throat and activate the gag reflex. It only takes a couple of seconds; I have a weak stomach to begin with. And then it's out and I'm empty again and it's comfortable.
I had worked really hard to hide this from Renee, but shit kind of hit the fan at my friend Angela's party last month. I hadn't eaten in a couple days and was starting to feel a little loopy. I was still taking the meds, pills designed to help with depression or ADHD, which conveniently cause loss of appetite as well as some other useful side effects. The party was just so crowded, tons of bodies crammed into Angela's small living room and kitchen. I started getting sweaty, my hair was sticking to my forehead, my heart racing in my throat and my toes starting to curl. I couldn't control my limbs, and I was twitching and hyperventilating all over the place. It was so fucking embarrassing. I had collapsed on the bathroom floor. Angela called 911 and an ambulance took me to the hospital. I told them it was just a reaction to the meds, but Angela knew everything and she was pissed.
Angela was there the first time I made myself puke. It was sophomore year and we were at this guy Ben's house, just hanging out, smoking, drinking, you know, sophomoric shit. The combination of the weed, alcohol, and, of course, lack of food consumption had really fucked me up. I did not want to puke, and I was trying everything in my highly compromised power to avoid it.
Angela and I had walked outside. I was hoping the fresh air would help, but the movement had just made things worse. It was so pathetic. There I was crouched over Ben's mom's rock planter (because no sane person grows anything green in Phoenix), willing myself not to puke, and then Angela had said, "Why don't you just make yourself throw up already? You'll feel so much better." And these words rang like an epiphany, like the solution for all of my problems had been found. Then I did it. I made myself throw up in the fucking rock planter and I did feel so much better. After a while, I began to rely on this to ease my discomfort. I didn't hide it from Angela, because she had suggested it in the first place. But then she started to worry, so she researched eating disorders and nothing's more dangerous than an overachiever with internet access.
She had threatened to tell my mom before her party, told me that I was going to die, that I wouldn't be able to have kids, that the stomach acid rots your back molars. I knew it all, of course, because I, too, had internet access. But it didn't matter. It's like telling a smoker they're going to get cancer if they keep smoking. I was addicted. All the shit she was talking about was so far removed from my present compulsion; the relief was my only concern.
And then, last month, I went and ruined her party. Along with the ambulance came the police, kicking everyone out of Angela's house and humiliating her in front of practically everyone from school. Then she had to explain everything to her parents and she did so with brutal honesty and at my expense. Angela wasn't speaking to me, but she called my mom and told her everything.
Renee, like always, acted the friend. She wanted to talk to me about it, wanted to know if it was a body image thing and I tried to assure her it wasn't. My mom just kept telling me I was beautiful just the way I was, trying to boost my self-esteem in one conversation. Therapy was suggested, and I shuddered at the thought of trying to talk to some stranger about this. It would be exhausting and difficult and I just didn't want to do it.
Then there was the moving to Florida thing. I really did not want to live in Florida and I really did not want to live with Phil. I really just wanted to disappear.
Renee had begged me to stay, said I didn't have to go. She did say, in a rare moment of maternal rage, that if I wanted to die so badly, I should go and see what that would entail. This statement furthered my resolve. Honestly, I don't want to die. I just don't want to lose that control. I felt bad about how I had treated Angela; she was an okay friend and I wasn't. I was selfish and I had hurt her. A good person would do this, take care of her ailing father, and currently, I am not a good person. Hopefully, I can work my way back into Karma's good graces.
Jesus Christ, it is fucking hot in here. Why won't she turn on the fan or open a window? Where is that sauté pan? I quickly ducked below the counter, frantically searching for my desired pan. Ha, hiding under a cookie sheet. I threw it on the range and lit the burner. I poured a small amount of olive oil into the pan and reduced the heat, just causing the oil to slightly ripple.
Taking my large knife, I swiftly minced an onion and three cloves of garlic. Sweat was beading on my prominent brow and I creased my forehead to prevent it from running into my eyes. The oil had began to smoke slightly so I tossed the onions into the pan and they were quickly engulfed in the sizzling liquid, popping and splattering and filling the room with the heady aroma.
"Edward, you're making a mess," my younger sister Alice said. Tiny and bothersome, she was sitting on the counter, lazily shuffling a deck of cards.
"Can you open a damn window, or something? I'm fucking melting here," I spat back.
"But that will let the smell out," she retorted. She moved to open the kitchen window and a flourish of cool, damp air began to circulate, causing a chill to move across my forehead.
The onions were translucent now, so I added the minced garlic, reducing the heat to a slow simmer. Ahhhh, glorious. The smell permeated my senses, slightly stinging my eyes. I grabbed a towel from the counter to wipe my brow. I added the stewed tomatoes, crushing them with my fingers into a fine pulp. Salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and fresh basil, torn not minced… I was home.
The kitchen is my home. Wrapped in the ingredients, the blending and fusion of acid and base, smoldering flavors and fragrance, nourishing and fueling the body and mind, I found my purpose here. Have you ever noticed how a good meal can change anyone's mood? Good friends, good conversation and good food can pull anyone out of a funk.
Alice was now standing beside me, trying to look around my 6'2" stance and totally invading my personal space.
"Dude, back up. I need some elbow room," I nudged her out of the way and began to stir the mixture which was now starting to thicken. She stuck her tongue out at me and danced back to the counter, gracefully hopping to sit in her former spot. She laid a card on a silk scarf, analyzing and scribbling in a small notepad.
"See anything interesting?" I asked, rolling my eyes.
She glanced over at me, fluttering her dark lashes, her recently chopped jet black hair sticking up all over the place. She was experimenting with new looks again. Two years ago, back in Chicago, she'd been a carefree fourteen-year-old, bright and airy, her natural coppery bronze hair falling to her tiny waist. Last month her smooth chin length bob was flaming red. Then, yesterday she came home looking like she'd lost a bet, donning a super short pixie cut, practically shaved at the nape of the neck. She made some adjustments though, dying it black and adding some gel, and I really have to say, if anyone could get away with that hair cut, it would be Alice. For the last two years she's been constantly reinventing herself, changing her hair, her clothes, trying desperately to get away from what used to be, to get away from them.
Slowly, the images began to creep behind my eyes. I fought to push these visions aside, to control the bile rising in my throat. I remember being amazed at how there wasn't very much blood. Everything seemed normal when Alice and I came home from school that day and everything seemed normal now, cooking my Uncle Carlisle's favorite dish, Eggplant Parmigiana with marinara sauce, in his excessively large mansion of a house that we now live in, my sister sitting casually on the countertop.
But I would never be normal. I would be just like him. I was a fucking ticking time bomb, just waiting for the hormone and internal chemical levels to produce a vile and poisonous cocktail, setting forth a chain of events that would alter the inner workings of my mind forever. I'd researched it as soon as Carlisle had told us. I knew what was coming. When my somebody snaps, are they aware they are snapping? I wonder if I'll still want to cook. Will they even let me use the stove? I gazed intently at the flames licking the side of the pan, my fingers twitching involuntarily towards the heat. Her words rang like a bell in a deep conclave of soul and mind, "You're just like your father. You have his eyes, you know."
"Stop it." Alice brought me back, reading my mind, knowing where it had wandered.
I gave her a crooked smile, because I know she hates to see me in that dark place. It kills me that she is going to have to deal with this on her own, that I can't protect her from the inevitable. So I'll give her this smile now, knowing that she's going to hate my fucking guts when it happens, knowing that I will never be able to give her anything again.
She glanced down at her cards again, squinting her expressive eyes and pursing her pixie lips.
"Something's changing, Edward," she murmured, her eyes scanning the cards. "The Wheel of Fortune, symbolizes destiny, witnessing miracles, turning point, movement, awareness..."
She paused, "Eight of Wands, it's going to happen fast." She let them fall, not adjusting or touching them after they had slipped from her fingers.
"The Hanged Man, letting go, accepting what is,"
I swallowed hard, removing the sauce from the heat and extinguishing the flame.
"The Tower, realizing the truth, exposing what was hidden, flanked by Death, a sweeping impact…"
I slowly and deliberately turned to face her. I wanted to scream at her to shut up. I knew it all. I didn't really believe in it, her cards, "fortunes," like some cheesy psychic on the boardwalk. It was a load of bullshit, I know. But the words spewing from her mouth reminded me of that ticking bomb. I raked my fingers through my messy hair, slightly tugging in frustration.
"The Chariot, control, mastering of emotions, Ten of Swords, putting others first, curbing impulses..."
The cards flew from her fingers now. Entranced, she rocked slightly in her seated position, tossing cards and spouting verbiage at a disarming rate.
"The Moon, fear, releasing inner demons, Nine of Swords, anguish, guilt, Five of Cups, saying goodbye…"
I was going to snap. Yep, I knew it was coming. I felt on the brink, a gaping hole swelling in my chest, fire burning in my veins. I growled a warning.
Suddenly, Alice gasped. She stopped moving, fingering the card she had just placed. "The Lovers, Edward, forming a union, making love…" She eyed me suspiciously, like I was the one who fucking pulled that card.
She pulled another card, randomly from her deck.
"Page of Cups, intimacy…"
"Four of Pentacles, declaring ownership…"
"Emperor, establishing a family line…"
She flipped another card.
"The Star, Edward. Hope." She gazed at me, her green eyes boring into mine, mirroring my own stunned reflection. Hope, a nasty four letter word.
We sat in silence, sharing an unspoken conversation.
"You'd better cut that out Alice, someone might have you committed," I whispered to break the silence.
The front door opened then and a bustle of activity snapped the tension radiating from the kitchen. Alice proceeded to frantically scribble her predictions into her notebook.
"Man, I can smell that garlic from the driveway." My cousin Emmett bounded into the kitchen, tossing his gym bag on the counter. The kitchen seemed to shrink as he occupied it, taking up more space than was necessary. He inspected the food I was preparing. "Eggplant? Seriously? Didn't you make any meat? I need my protein, you know."
Emmett just turned 18, a year older than me, and on the Varsity Wrestling team. The dude is seriously ripped. He is constantly on some diet, trying to make weight. Protein powders, weight gainers, supplement shakes; it's all blasphemy in my eyes. Nothing but pure, natural ingredients find their way into my dishes.
"I think there's some Spam in the cabinet somewhere, you could fry that up," I responded with a grin. Even Emmett wouldn't eat Spam.
"So, Rosalie said that we're getting some new girl at school tomorrow." Rosalie is Emmett's girlfriend and has a huge fucking mouth and an even larger ego. They've been together forever, though, so I've learned to ignore her. I admit it, she's hot, stacked and curvy, not unlike this eggplant I was currently cutting into thin slices. But I swear, the moment she opened her mouth, I found myself wishing I could punch her in the face.
I really wouldn't ever hit her, or any girl for the matter. I just wish someone could remove the smug sense of superiority that oozed from her very being. Her dad ran the bank in town and the Hales considered themselves part of the elite society of Forks, with the exception of Rose's twin brother, Jasper. I mean, come on, it's Forks, and she saunters around like a fucking Rockefeller or something. Jasper's cool as hell, though. Sometimes we hang out, at parties and shit, get a jam session going. Jasper kills on the guitar.
I glanced up at Emmett. He was staring at me knowingly, nodding his head with this stupid grin. "Yeah, she's from Phoenix. She's probably hot, all tan and toned. I bet she plays volleyball, one of them sporty types. I mean, she has to right? She's from Phoenix."
"Dude, you're an ass." I sighed. Poor girl. I remember when Alice and I moved here, two years ago. You would have thought we were celebrities or something, the way the Forks student body descended upon us like a pack of rabid wolves. It was ridiculous, hearing the whispers, rumors, bullshit stories that glamorized and diminished the truth. Alice bleached her hair blond that week and bought her first pack of Tarot cards. Being the new kid blows, especially in a town like Forks where everyone knows everyone's shit and it's front cover news if the Newton kid gets a hard on.
"Get this, she's Chief Swan's daughter. She's moving here to take care of him, a real Florence fucking Nightingale," Emmett continued. "Ultimate fantasy, dude, a naughty, tan, nurse." He was full on grinning now. "Want me to hook you up?"
I didn't respond. I've found that it's best if you just ignore him, like a bee or a telemarketer. You just crawl up in fetal position until he loses interest and retreats.
Alice was sitting in deep contemplation now, staring out the open window, breathing in the cool, misty night air. I knew what she was thinking. The cards were still lying on the counter in front of her, haphazardly thrown in disarray.
I was pretty familiar with Chief Swan and he'd never mentioned a daughter or any family for that matter. He spent a lot of his time fishing down on the Quileute Reservation with his buddies and he occasionally joined my uncle for barbeque on game day. In fact, he was with my uncle when he had his heart attack. It's lucky as hell that Carlisle was with him, probably saved his life.
My father's brother, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, is a surgeon at Forks Hospital. He grew up with my father in Chicago, but moved out west when things got weird. He met Esme in Seattle, married her and baby Emmett makes three. I think he feels guilty for leaving my dad in Chicago, or something, like this mess could have been avoided. That's Carlisle, trying to analyze this clusterfuck that is life. He fixes shit, and this was something he couldn't fix. That's why he brought me and Alice to live with him, to score a few points with good old Karma. They're great, Carlisle and Esme, really. They try hard to restore that normalcy. They pretend we're just regular teenagers, give us birthday parties and even grounded me once when they found out I ditched school to smoke pot with Jasper Hale.
I know they genuinely love us and that's what is so fucked up about this situation, because it's going to kill them when that bomb goes off. Carlisle tries to remain hopeful and optimistic, telling me I can't possibly know the future, but I do know. You can't fix something that was never whole to begin with. Genetically, I'm fucked.
Tarot info courtesy of learntarot[dot]com
Joni songs referenced:
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