|The Other Light
Author: paramorebrighter PM
Emmett Swan gives up everything to support his family, but in his brave efforts, he can't do it all. Will underground boxing be his answer?Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Emmett & Rosalie - Chapters: 4 - Words: 21,331 - Reviews: 60 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 38 - Updated: 05-23-10 - Published: 04-15-10 - id: 5900162
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer-Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N- Special thanks to my beta, LisaCA707 for her betaing help! Much love XOXO! Here's your cup of coffee, babe! Love ya!
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than worlds is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
'Cause I'd already know.
More than Words- Extreme
I'd never been so happy to have a day off after the fight. I opened my eyes. Ah, I really had slept in. I rolled over and looked at the clock, seeing it was seven-thirty. I used to sleep in until ten on the weekends in high school.
And then I realized how much I hurt after the fight. My stitches itched and ached. I groaned and stood up, feeling my back crack and make snapping noises.
Bella was in the bathroom and had the door locked. I knocked on it. "Be out in a minute!" Bella called.
"Bells, I gotta take a piss!"
"Whatever! I'll be out soon!"
"The pee is going back up with you harassing me!"
"That doesn't happen with girls!"
I heard the toilet flush and then… she stopped to wash her hands just to mock me.
"Bells, come on!"
"I'll only be a minute!"
"You're killing me!"
The bathroom door opened and Bella's face went shocked. "Emmett!" she cried. "What happened?"
"Move, woman, unless you want a puddle of piss on the floor!"
I shoved past her and got to the toilet; I didn't care if I was peeing in front of my sister. I untied the waistband of my sweatpants and whipped out little Emmers. The flood gate opened.
"God, Emmett, did you get beat up again?"
"No, just let me piss in peace, alright?" I wasn't above purposefully farting while I peed to gross her out so she'd run out of the room. "Will you get out?"
"I'm going back to bed," Bella replied, yawning. "I expect a full explanation of what happened when I get up."
"Yeah, yeah," I told the closing door.
"And I need the truck this afternoon!"
In the kitchen, I ate a breakfast bar and then put the coffee on.
I called Nick. "How you feeling?" Nick asked.
"Like I got rolled over by a steampress. I keep forgetting how much stitches hurt."
"Look, why don't you come over and get adjusted?"
"Actually, that sounds good. But, not the whole morning, okay?" I asked, considering our truck.
"That's fine, that's fine, just whenever you get here."
I finished breakfast, brushed my teeth and shaved. I left a note on the fridge saying I'd be home before noon and grabbed the keys.
At the beach, I knocked on the door to the Hale's house. Dr. Nick answered.
"'Morning," he said. "Come on in." I glanced around, hoping to see Rose's ass in the air, stretching for a morning run. "Nobody's up," Nick said, seeing my glance around as I entered the house. "Let me adjust you," he said as I walked through the living room. "Downstairs. I can tell Rose you're here. She's sleeping in."
"Nah, that's okay, let her sleep."
"She needs to get up. She's being lazy," he said.
"Hey, it's her summer break."
"And if she spends her entire summer break sleeping in, she'll never get to her 8 o'clock classes in the fall."
"Where does she go?"
"Lewis and Clark in Portland. I thought it was a bad idea, but she likes the intensity. Jasper goes to George Fox."
"Yeah." He flung a few ropes over the table in the basement. They looked like S&M torture devices. "He's been around, he stays at a friend's house in Port A most of the time. He's the more studious of the two of them, though. Okay, get up on the table."
I glanced back and forth between him and the straps.
"It's back traction," he said. "I'm going to turn on some rollers so your spine is relaxed."
Well, I could try anything once.
He buckled the straps around my middle really, really tightly and fiddled with some stuff over my head and at my feet. "This actually is one of the most popular treatments," he said, turning on the rollers under my back. I felt the giant rollers run up and down my spine. "On a scale from one to ten, how did your neck feel this morning?"
I went over all the parts of the spine, trying not to be too generous with the pain. My spine was feeling tons better with those roller balls going up and down it. I didn't care if I looked like I was in bondage under a giant muscle-bound man. Hey, at least he wasn't wearing a black leather newsboy cap.
"Um… probably a five," I guessed. We went over all the sections of my back and my headaches.
"So, you're not feeling too good," he said. "No surprise. Boxing is a hard sport on the body. What I'm doing right now is precautionary care. Most doctors treat you post injury and want to do surgery." I had discovered that Nick liked to talk until he was done and didn't listen to a thing I said. He lectured me, while he put me on neck traction for good precautionary care since I was an athlete.
He adjusted my back and then my hips, and then my feet.
"Okay, let's put you on some electric therapy," he said, getting me up. He put me into a chair and put some electric nodes on the back of my neck. He got out a wrap-around ice pack and wrapped it around my neck. "Tell me when." He turned up the electricity on it until I was twitching.
"Stop stop!" I cried.
"Okay, so this is good?"
"So, let's talk about your career as a boxer."
"Of course you want to talk about that."
"Yes, I do," he said. "I looked up some statistics last night. Those fights aren't insured, Emmett, that's where the profit is coming in-"
"I'm trying to take care of my family!"
"So am I," he said. "But you're forgetting yourself. You think that you'd be any good to them if you were paralyzed from the waist down from a good beating?"
I hadn't really thought of that. "I don't know," I admitted.
"Think about it," he said, leaving the room.
"I try not to." I sat still in the chair, the electricity zapping my neck.
"It's a lot to think about," he said from the other room.
When it finally ended, he came back in and took off the electronode stickers. "Feel any better?"
"Well… yeah," I admitted. He came around and took my head to crack my neck.
"Relax, relax…" He snapped my head. I could feel the pressure relieving itself in my neck. I groaned. He got the other side. "So, how do you feel?"
"Pretty good," I admitted. It was like pain was coming out of my neck at a strange rate, flowing out almost like liquid.
"Scale of one to ten."
"All zeroes," I said.
"Excellent," he said. "Do you want to have some breakfast? I think I hear Rosie upstairs making some."
We went upstairs and into the kitchen. It was huge and full of marble countertops and expensive, stainless steel kitchen appliances. I saw a figure standing over the stove.
"Hey Rose, can you add in a few more eggs?" Nick asked.
Rosalie turned around, and jumped. She was wearing glasses and no make-up with a sweatshirt and pajama pants. Her bunny slippers just topped it off. But she was still cute. Nothing could change that she had a tight ass under those giant sweatpants with sorority letters on her butt. "Uh, sure Dad," she said. I saw the flash of a retainer, too. How many girls could wake up and be cute before all their morning primping? It made me smile.
She quickly made our scrambled eggs and dumped them onto a plate, putting them on the table and running upstairs. They were still runny. Nick smirked. "She's so sensitive about her looks," he said. "She'll be back down in twenty minutes if you want to hang out." He put the eggs back into the skillet and finished scrambling them. "She can make more when comes down."
We split the eggs and he poured a cup for me.
"So, what do you think of going pro?" he asked.
"I'm not going to make any money and get beat up all the same," I said.
"I have a few friends," he said ominously.
"I was the physician and chiropractor to the Cinci Bengals. I know people."
I nodded, taking a bite of eggs. Rose made some good stuff.
"I can make some phone calls. All you have to do is train," he said. "I see something in you. A drive, a reason for going. An anger too. That's what real boxers have in them."
"How do you know this?" I asked.
"I'm into sports in general," he said. "I watch it all- even from a distance."
I heard a creak on the staircase and Rosalie emerged. She was out of her sweatshirt and wearing a tank top that showed a strip of her toned stomach over her pajama pants. Her hair was up in a ponytail and yes, she had on make-up and her contacts. And there were no bunny slippers. "Hey, Emmett," she said.
"Nice to see you again. What happened to those… pink bunny slippers?"
She paled slightly. I grinned.
"I thought they were kinda cute," I said.
"I'm going to make some more eggs," she said. "Are you two okay?"
"Sure," Nick said. "Sure."
She put some bagels in the toaster and cleaned the skillet.
"So, Dad's trying to talk you into going pro?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said.
"You can't tell him no."
"Yeah you can," Nick said.
"No, I really can't tell you no, Daddy," she said.
He kissed her on the temple.
"So, there's a real athletic agent down in San Fran," he told me. "David Wozowski. Old friend."
"Oh really?" I asked.
"Yeah. I'm gonna call him and have him come up to visit," he said.
"Bad idea," I said, thinking of the last fight night. It got pretty violent.
"No, just to watch you work out. Where do you work out?"
"The Rez gym," I said. "It's pretty crappy."
"That's where all the greats start off- in the crappiest gyms imaginable. He won't care. This is his job."
I shrugged. "Well, if he's just dying to come up."
"I bet he would be. Just give him a chance."
"All right, all right, let him come up to visit," I shrugged.
"I'm going for a walk on the beach after breakfast," Rose said. "Anybody want to come with me?"
"I've got someone coming in at nine-thirty," Nick said. "Rose, will you go wake up Jasper?"
"Yeah, sure," she said, dumping her scrambled eggs with cheese onto a plate. She ran up the stairs- and I couldn't help but notice her ass through those pants.
"Don't get any ideas with my only daughter," Nick said.
"I know she's beautiful. And not just because she's my daughter. Just…. Don't. That's all I'm going to say," he said.
Rose came down the stairs with a tall blonde guy. She was now in those teeny running shorts. Damn. And he just told me not to look at his daughter.
"Morning, Dad," he yawned. He needed a haircut and was wearing running shorts and a tank top. "What's for breakfast?"
"Make it yourself," Rosalie said, getting her bagel and putting jelly on it. "Jasper, this is Emmett."
"Aw, I remember you," he said. "While we were staying at the hotel—"
"Yeah, I'm janitor there."
"Oh, you are? I saw you at the fight… Man.."
He got out a cereal bowl. Apparently, he didn't see me as a maintenance/janitor. That was refreshing.
"Yeah that's him," Rose said. "He fought last night."
"He did?" Jasper cried. "And you didn't bring me along?"
"You were getting smashed and playing pool in Port A," Nick said. "With Colin and Declan."
"What nerds," Rose muttered.
"Hey, don't knock 'em 'til you date 'em," Jasper said.
"So, you've dated them?" she asked smugly.
"No!" he cried. "But you know Declan has a thing for you."
"So what? I'm going to go out for a walk. Anybody want to go?"
"Sure," I said.
"Maybe later," Jasper muttered.
I picked up my dish and coffee cup. I realized they had a dishwasher, but Rose took the plate away from me, putting them away. I gulped down the last of my coffee and handed her the cup, which she put away.
"Let me get my windbreaker," she said, getting out her light jacket. I got mine too.
We went out the patio to the deck. There was a short walk to the beach. It was one of those unnaturally sunny days on the Olympic Peninsula and the seagulls were out.
"So, Dad's going to introduce you to David Wozowski?"
"Yeah," I said.
"Dave's a giant, loud asshole."
"But he's good at what he does. Have you ever seen Jerry McGuire?"
"That's him. He'll get you where you want to go," she said. "But, the thing is, you need to get your license to fight."
"You know about the license?"
"Yes. Dad doesn't know this, but I run an underground booking office in the basement of the Alpha Chi house. I know my sports."
"So you understand the money I'm coming into by fighting?"
"Yes." She turned back to me and crossed her arms. "It's not worth your life to box underground."
"Then maybe I should get life insurance."
"Don't be a smartass. Just go with Dave. He won't steer you wrong."
"Can I count on you for that?"
She smirked. "Sure."
When I got home, Bella was up, giving Dad a haircut.
"Hey Em, you're just in time," Dad said. "This chair is just killing me."
"Let me finish! You don't want your sideburns uneven, do you Dad?" Bella asked, checking the evenness.
"Eh, nobody but you is going to see it," he said.
"How close do you want it, Em?" Bella asked.
"Really close, I'm tired of the afro growing in," I told her.
"All right. I'll put you on two like Dad."
"All right. Dad, you're done. Is this okay?"
"Sure, it's great," he said, glancing at his hair in the toaster over. "All right," he said. She helped him up, and he groaned.
"Dad, can't you just at least try this chiropractor?" I asked. "He's helping me a lot."
"What chiropractor?" Bella asked.
"This great one down in La Push I just met. He's made a huge difference for me."
"Emmett, just leave it alone," Dad said. "I'm going to go sit in my recliner."
Yeah, that's right, I thought. Sit in your recliner, don't actually deal with anything.
Bella swept up the bits of Dad's hair into a pile. "Come on," she said, indicating the chair. "Sit down."
I sat down, trying to forget what Dad said and she wrapped a sheet around my neck.
"I just want Dad to feel better and to stop sitting in his recliner, watching TV all the time," I said as loudly as I could. I cursed the fact that I had gotten the Dish paid off and turned back on.
Bella tapped the clippers and started carefully running the clippers up my head. I felt little itchy bits of hair falling down my neck.
"So do I, but yelling at him doesn't make it any better," she hissed.
"Who's yelling?" I said. "Dad's just wallowing in his own injury."
"So what? What can we do about it? He's got to make the choice himself."
The familiar clicking sounds going over my head cleared off the excess hair. I needed shorter hair to fight— less maintenance.
I didn't want to go after Dad's health, but I wondered what a Medical Power of Attorney would entitle me to. Could I get him to go, then? His depression was so bad…
Bella brushed off my shoulders. "I'm going to need the car."
"What for?" I asked.
"I know you don't like it that I'm working for Newton's. I just… I don't like it, either. Mike's just…"
"He's just a turd."
"A turd?" I chuckled.
"Yes!" she cried. "I'm going to see if I can get another job for the summer."
"Okay," I said. "That's good. So, good luck and break a leg and whatever."
"Thanks," she said, tapping the top of my head. "I've got to start making plans for summer orientation at UW. It's going to be a hundred dollars to stay in the summer dorm for two nights and go through the program."
"Hey," I said. "I'll find a way to pay for it."
"No, I want to pay for it myself," she said. "And borrow a car to get out there. Not ours— you and Dad can't be without one."
"Thanks," I said.
"Do I look all right?"
She was in jeans and a fitted button-up top that revealed a fitted t-shirt underneath. I hadn't noticed before.
"You look great," I said, getting the sheet off as she swept up my hair.
"That's the right answer," she said. "Otherwise, I'd take your hair and make a voo-doo doll out it. Of course, that's your chiropractor's job, isn't it?"
"Ha ha, Bells," I said. I was about to go upstairs.
"What happened to you?"
"I told Chris he was an asshole that had to treat his employees like shit to get his rocks off."
"No you didn't!"
"Yeah, I did."
"And he did that to you?"
"You should see what Chris looks like today."
She smirked and I took that moment to escape.
I got a text from Rosalie.
You wanna come over and watch a movie? ~R
I was certain Nick had an amazing home theatre system, the likes of which would make me cry.
What are you watching? I sent back.
I sell the Dead.
I blinked. Huh?
It's an indie horror movie. She added in a new text.
I hate Indie movies. I replied.
It's really great. ~R
I groaned. A chick was claiming an Indie movie was great. My phone rang. "I've got this or Dead Snow."
"It's a movie about a bunch of kids in Norway who go camping and Zombie Nazis attack them. It's a Norwegian horror movie."
"Are the mouths going to be out of sync with the dialogue?"
"You can watch it with subtitles or redubbing, up to you."
"I love Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee movies, so I could take it. You say it's horror?"
"Yes. Come on over, I'll make popcorn."
"Alright… wait, Bella's got the car this afternoon."
"I'll come pick you up. We'll have fun."
She hung up and then I realized Dad was still in the recliner, watching Where Eagles Dare on the VCR in his pajamas and bathrobe. Rose knew, but she didn't know how bad it was.
I rooted through his closet, found a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, taking them downstairs to him.
"Dad," I ordered. I tossed the clothes at him. "You need to change into these."
"Why?" he asked, looking at the clothes.
"I got a cute girl coming over in a few minutes," I said.
"So she might want to meet you."
I realized why I was asking him to get dressed. I didn't want Rosalie knowing how bad off Dad really was. It was just… Dad embarrassed me like this. Never leaving the house, watching his black and white movies he taped off Turner Classic Movies… And Dad knew what I was thinking.
Dad just glowered at me. "Fine, I'll change," he said, getting up.
I ran upstairs to make sure my hair hadn't been ruined by Bella and to put some gel in it. I checked that I didn't smell, either, putting on a little more deodorant.
When a sporty little red convertible pulled up, I saw Rosalie's head, wrapped up in a silk scarf. She hopped out, her denim-clad ass cheeks just begging to be pinched, poking out.
I met her downstairs at the front door when she rang the doorbell.
"Hi," I said.
"Hi," she said, removing her sunglasses. "Can I come in?"
I led her inside, and Dad was sitting on his recliner, dressed in regular clothes.
"Hi there," Dad said.
"Hi," Rosalie said. She had a beautiful smile, which she flashed for Dad. "I'm Rosalie Hale, Dr. Nick's daughter. You're… Emmett's Dad?"
"Yeah, Charlie Swan, nice to meet ya." He groaned, standing up, grabbing his lower back, hunched over. He held out his other hand to shake hers. "How'd you meet Emmett?"
"I met him at the Kalaloch Lodge while our house was being finished up."
"We're just going to watch a movie or two," Rose said. "Maybe I'll talk him into Dr. Zhivago sometime."
"Doctor what?" Dad asked.
"Old ballet movie."
"Ah. Chick flicks. Maybe Bella would be interested, not us Swan men."
"Well… I think he's going to like what I ordered off Netflix."
"An Indie Horror movie," I added.
"Well, you two kids better get going," Dad said. "Have a good time and um… be careful."
Dad always told us to have fun and be careful when we went out. "Dad, I'm not going out."
I walked with Rose to her car outside. "This is a nice car," I said. "It's older isn't it?"
"Yes, it a Fiat Spyder," she said. "I restored it in high school."
She was hot, she was smart, liked sports and she just admitted to knowing about cars. I was ready to worship this woman.
"Wanna drive?" She dangled keys.
"Sure!" I cried, taking the keys. I settled into the worn-in leather seats and put the key into the ignition. Twisting it, it purred to life. I moaned softly.
"Like my car?" she asked, beside me.
"Love it. You restored this, though?"
"I'm a grease monkey," she admitted.
I backed the car out carefully. It was a tiny car compared to the truck. It turned a lot tighter. Rose's car was amazing. I felt like a middle-aged asshole driving it, though. I was definitely a truck guy. I could hardly hear anything Rose said over the roar of the wind over my head.
We ended up at her house and she showed me how to put the top up. "I've had it rained on before and that absolutely pissed me off."
She made popcorn first, putting an insane amount of salt on it and then escorted me to the theatre room over the garage. I watched that perfect ass bouncing up the stairs. I swear she did it on purpose. I could feel my pants getting tighter.
There were insane amounts of leather on the couches and pillows. I curled up with Rosalie so I could get to the popcorn.
"Okay, overdub or subtitles?"
"Subtitles— no, overdub."
She pressed a few buttons on a couple of remotes and a projector warmed up.
"So this is a foreign movie?" I asked.
"Yes, you can brag to your friends you watched a foreign film and it wasn't so bad." She grabbed a blanket and covered her exposed legs against the A/C. They had A/C. A lot of houses in Forks didn't, including ours.
I actually found myself entertained at a bunch of foreigners getting their asses kicked by Nazi Zombies. A lot of the guts and gore happened off-screen out right out of the shot, which I found kinda lame. "Europeans have really low tolerance levels for violence. Sex and nudity, they don't mind showing, but violence, they don't do at all," she explained.
"I think I like Europe."
"You might. They're the antithesis of America. America likes violence but can't stand nudity and sex."
We watch through to the end. "That was actually pretty good," I admitted. "For a Foreign, Indie Film. It wasn't gay cowboys eating pudding."
She rolled her eyes. "I think gay guys kinda hot. I have a few gay friends back at college."
"Ugh," I said, shivering.
"What's wrong with being gay?" she asked. "Nothing!"
"All right, all right," I said. "So, maybe Indie flicks aren't so bad. What's the other one again?"
"Well, since we watched your pick, why don't we watch mine?" She queued up Netflix. "This is one I liked." She clicked the play button and it loaded. "It's a Bollywood film."
I looked at the title; Jodhaa Akbar. Huh? Well, I would give it a chance; she did pretty well with Dead Snow, so I'd give Bollywood a try.
I wasn't quite sure what was going on the first half-hour, but a white, long-furred cat with a smooshed face wandered into the room.
"Hey, who's this?" I asked.
"Oh, this is Grace Kelly," she said, scooping up the giant fluffball. The cat glared at me with the hate of a thousand suns. "This is my baby."
"What a fat cat," I muttered. Grace Kelly made demon-noise at me.
"She's not fat! She just has a lot fur," Rosalie said defensively. "She's beautiful. And you're not a fat baby, you're gorgeous!" she crooned to the not fat cat.
"She's fluffy," I said. I tried to reach out to pet her but she made a demon sound again.
"It takes some time for Gracie to warm up," Rose said, stroking the cat's head. Grace Kelly climbed off Rosalie's lap and the coffee table, sniffing the popcorn. "You want some, baby?" she cooed.
"I was gonna eat that!" I cried.
"No you weren't! Let my baby eat." The cat licked a few kernels and then coughed and made a face at me. Damn cat.
"She got cat germs on it," I said.
"I can't believe you hate my pussy," she whispered in my ear.
Did I just hear her right? She grinned, close to my ear, I could feel her breathing.
"It's not that I hate pussies. I just don't think they all like me." I wasn't sure if she was talking about her pussy or that cat.
"This one does. Just give her time." She buried her face to my shoulder and giggled. She was so close. She smelled faintly like perfume and baby powder. It was kinda nice. I wanted to try kissing her to prove I liked her pussy, but she was hiding her face. The moment passed.
"So, where's your Mom? I haven't met her, yet."
"She um… she's dead to us. She had a bunch of affairs and when Dad divorced her, he got away with not giving her thing. Or, at least we think so. He doesn't talk about it with us."
I closed my eyes. It hit a little too close to home. "I'm sorry."
"What about your Mom?"
"Same, I guess. I'm not sure if she had an affair or not while married to my Dad, but she calls, once in a while. She went south of the border, I guess. Living in Phoenix, and then to Jacksonville. She called us at Christmas and Bella's graduation, but that's it. I think she doesn't have time for us."
She rolled over and looked me in the eye.
"I think it's okay to not like your Mom."
"I'd have to agree."
At that moment, there was a bang downstairs, and footsteps. "Rose? Jasper!" Nick called.
Rose jumped up with Grace Kelly in her arms. "I'm up here, Dad," she yelled, going downstairs.
Well, there was no other way out of the house.
"Hi, Nick," I said from the staircase.
His expression twisted. "Hi," he said.
"We were watching that movie I rented from Netflix that I couldn't get you or Jasper to watch."
"How was it?" Nick asked.
"Pretty good. Just not violent enough for me," I said.
"I told him about the lack of violence and abundance of nudity in most European movies," Rose said.
"Were there naked chicks in this one?"
"No," we said together. I reached over to pet Grace Kelly, who was making sounds of hell itself in Rose's arms.
"I'll have to see it," Nick said.
Grace Kelly made another strange, growly noise and started struggling to leap out of Rose's arms. She landed on the tiles with a grunt and glared at me hatefully.
"Right back atcha," I told the cat. She walked away, swishing her fuzzy tail.
"Rose, I hate that cat," Nick said. "When are you going to give it to the pound?"
"Never!" she cried.
"Look, I think I need to get going," I offered.
"I'll take you," Rose said, grabbing her keys and purse.
"See you soon," Nick said, saluting me.
In Rose's car, she did the driving this time. "So, does Bella like to shop?" Rose asked.
"Yeah," I said. "I think so. She needs new clothes. Like stuff that's not from the consignment shop. She deserves it."
"If you let her shop with me, we could spend everything you earned," Rose snorted. "Don't let her loose with your bank account."
"Oh no," I said. "I'm starting up a separate account under my name only. It was suspicious enough last time."
"So, you don't really talk about your underground boxing with your family?"
"I think you should, just so they can be prepared."
"For anything happening. It's just so dangerous…"
She took my hand. "It's not so bad. Besides, I'd do anything for Dad and Bella- even when they piss me off."
"I guess it's the same here," she said. "When Dad said he was selling his practice and leaving the Bengals, I begged him to move to Portland."
"And he did?"
"So, did you grow up on the west coast?"
"No, not quite. Jasper and I were born in Spokane, while Dad finished his medical residency, and then when he was done, we went to Cincy. I don't really remember Spokane, but
Jasper does a little bit. We'd come back here for summers and Christmas to visit my grandparents. They live in Hoquiam. Because it was a big scandal about Mom cheating, Jasper and I both decided to move back to the West Coast to get away from it all. We ended up picking the same city. Jazz and I have a difficult time being too far away from each other."
"Is it a twin thing?"
"I usually scoff at twin connection stuff, but I think so. We're a little dependent on each other."
"That's cool. It's about being brother and sister," I offered, thinking of Bella. "I only considered U of Washington in Seattle since it was close enough to drive home if Bella needed me."
"That's sweet," she said. "You care a lot about her?"
"Oh man. 'Care' is an understatement."
"What would you have majored in?"
"Advertising? Business? I don't know. I was on the fast track to the NFL. Didn't happen."
"You look like you trained to play football," she said. "You didn't take them up?"
"No. I wish I had. Sometimes life gets in the way of what you want to do. Hard lesson."
"Emmett, I'm sorry," she said, taking my hand. "Didn't you see the movie Invincible? Sometimes you get a second chance. It just comes a little later. But, he did everything the hard way."
I thought about Vince Papali. I remembered him vaguely as a kid, playing for the Eagles, being the 'old man' of the team. Before Brett Favre just couldn't retire. I had no idea his wife left him until the movie came out. He went on. There was something inside him that wanted something better. He didn't take shortcuts.
"Emmett, what's the matter? Did I say something wrong?"
"No, you didn't," I said.
She pulled into the driveway of my house. Our conversation left my head racing. Was I really doing the right thing?
"So, I'll see you tomorrow. Take it easy, alright?" Rosalie said, running her fingernail into the grooves of the leather on the steering wheel.
"Yeah, I'll see you around…" Uh, I had to say something else to her. What about- uh, "I liked the movies!" I blurted out.
"Um… Thanks? Give me a call sometime?"
Oh damnit. She was expecting me to say I'd call her but really not? "I will," I said, avoiding word-vomiting this time. "See ya."
Well. That was awkward.
There were dishes in the sink in the kitchen. Dad was in happy pill land in his recliner. Bella was still out job hunting.
I opened the fridge and got out the eggs and shredded cheese and the mushrooms and peppers, making an omelet for dinner.
All I could think about was the movie Invincible and the realization he didn't take short cuts. Was the underground boxing ring a short cut? I was doing the work, but for the money— not to defeat my own physical limits. I knew it was dirty money by any stretch of the imagination.
As I sat down to eat, Bella came in. "Hi," she called.
"Ssh!" I shushed her. "Dad's asleep," I whispered.
"Oh, he'll sleep through anything once he's hopped up on those Scooby Snacks," she said, waving it off. Scooby Snacks. Pain pills were NOT snacks to be taken lightly. I couldn't believe Bells was saying that.
"Bells," I said disapprovingly.
"Oh come on, it's not like his back is going to heal itself at this point. By the way, I got a job."
"Oh you did? Where?"
She paused. "A restaurant. I'm going to be a waitress."
"Good, you can practice putting my plate away and cleaning up the kitchen."
"Bite me! That's the dishwasher's job!"
A/N- If you haven't seen any of the movies mentioned here, they are completely worth it- Invincible, I Sell the Dead, Dead Snow and Jodhaa Akbar. Another personal favorite Indie movie of mine is The Fall, which I didn't mention here, but it's wonderful.