Chapter One: We Jumped
"Welcome to Jacksonville." The flight attendant said over the intercom. I looked over at my mother as she tightly gripped my fathers hand. She hated flying, but we had to go to Florida to be with my grandmother and Dad said there was no way in hell we were driving. Mom sucked it up since her mother was slowly declining and reluctantly agreed to buy the plane tickets.
I loved my Grandma Jane, but the idea of spending the entire summer with her made me a little nauseous. I was seventeen and it was the summer before my senior year of high school. I just wanted to go to the pool with Alice and get ice creme with Angela. I sucked it up, knowing my grandmother was old and this would the last time to spend time with her while she was still aware, but it still stunk.
Once we landed, mom ran off the plane and the three of us headed to baggage claim. After twenty minutes, we were standing at the curb, waiting for the cab we'd called once we landed. It was a short drive to grandma's house from the airport and the look on her face when she saw us made the trip seem like nothing. Mom moved out to Seattle with my Dad once they were married due to his job so it was rare I actually got to see her.
"My precious, Bella." She cooed as she kissed my cheeks and wiped the lipstick off her face. We got the call from her doctor six months ago and he explained to us Grandma Jane was in the early stages of Alzheimers. She was only in Stage 2, meaning she was forgetting where she'd placed her car keys or the name of the neighbors dog, but it wasn't bad yet.
He said it wouldn't be long though until she wouldn't recognize us.
Which is why we were spending all summer with her.
"Hi, Grandma Jane." I smiled as I hugged her tightly. I was happy she still recognized me, but I nearly teared up at the thought of her staring at me blankly, not knowing who I was.
Dad brought our bags into the small condo she lived in and she showed us where we'd be staying. Since it was only a two bedroom place, I was stuck on the pullout couch all summer, but I didn't mind. I spent fifty percent of the week on Alice's futon in her bedroom.
"I'm gonna go explore." I sighed after I'd changed into my bathing suit and pulled my coverup on. The upside to being here for three months was she lived right on the beach. There was sand on her back porch thats how close she was. I walked down to the wet, dense sand and began walking. It really was beautiful and I understood why she refused over and over my parents invitation to come live with us.
I stopped and turned towards the ocean, smiling as the sun dipped lower into the sky, making the sky bright orange and red and purple. I had something to look forward to each night.
As I turned to continue walking, I rammed right into what felt like a brick wall. I fell back on my ass and whipped my sunglasses off to yell at the idiot. But, when I looked up and saw him standing over me, I couldn't think straight. He was hot. He had beautifully tanned skin and his shirt was off, showing off his sculpted body.
"I am so sorry, are you okay?" He asked as he held his hand out for me. I nodded like a starstruck teenager and took his hand. He lifted me easily and bent down to my height. I didn't realize how tall he was. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah, just a little wet." I laughed nervously. "From the ocean water...nothing else." I spat and covered my mouth with my hand, realizing what I'd just said. "Sorry, I don't usually sound like some stupid girl."
"No need to worry." He smiled and I thought my heart stopped. He had a beautiful smile. "I really am sorry. I should have been watching where I was going."
"You were running, I should have paid better attention." I argued. It wasn't a big deal, I just didn't want him to disappear.
"Are you here on vacation?"
"Yeah, how can you tell?" I asked.
"You're very pale." He pointed out and all of a sudden all of his appeal was gone. I hated how pale I was, but growing up in rainy Seattle had taken a toll on my skin. Plus, I burned before I tanned most of the time. "That isn't a bad thing." He was quick to say. "Most of the people who don't live here are pale."
"I'm from Seattle." I explained. "I don't see the sun very much."
"It's a good thing you're in Florida then." He smiled and my heart rate picked up. "I'm Jacob, by the way."
"Bella." I smiled. "So, by the tone of your skin, can I assume you live here?"
"Yeah, I've lived in Florida my whole life." He explained. "But, we just moved to Jacksonville from Tampa." He told me. "But, I'm also Native American so that could be why I'm so tan."
"Wow," I whispered. He was already more interesting than I was after only two minutes of talking to him.
"What are you and your family planning for the week?"
"We're here all summer." I told him. "My grandma is in the early stages of Alzheimers so we're here for one last time when she still knows who we are." I told him. I had no idea why I was telling this to a complete stranger when it took weeks for me to tell Alice back home. "So...yeah."
"Well, I'm glad you're going to be here all summer." He smiled. "Cause at least I'll know someone."
"When did you move here?"
"Two weeks ago." He shrugged. "I haven't met too many people yet."
"Give me your phone." I ordered and without hesitation, he dug into his shorts pocket and got his phone. He unlocked it and handed it to me. I put my number in it, hoping he'd catch on and handed it back to him. "I should get back."
"Not until you give me your phone." He laughed and I shrugged. "What?"
"It's back at the house." I smiled as I turned around. "The balls in your court now!"
From the day I met Jake, I was committed. It was rediculous. I barely knew him and I was going back to Seattle at the end of August. But, he consumed me and I was falling in love with me.
He was perfect. So different than Mike. He didn't treat me like a porcelain doll, like I'd break if he touched me. He took my out on his motorcycle and the only rule he had was I was wearing clothes to cover my skin and wear my helmet. He didn't constantly ask if I was okay and if I wanted to go back. He let me enjoy the ride and let me watch the sunsetting.
"Bella, when is Jake coming?" Dad called from the desk. Grandma was still doing okay, but I could tell she was quickly fading. She was always forgetting Jake's name and asked multiple times what we were having for dinner. But, I was counting my blessings. She knew who I was and I thanked God everyday.
"He said he'd be here at three." I told him. My family also took an immediate liking to Jake. Dad and him bonded over their mutual hatred for the Baltimore Ravens and their love for football in general. Mom liked him because he had amazing manners for a seventeen year old and she told me he treated me like a queen.
I was believing her more and more.
"Burger or hot dog?" Dad asked as he and Mom came inside from their happy hour on the deck. Despite it only being one in the afternoon.
"Burger." I told him. "With everything but..."
"Onions." He laughed. "I know you, Bells." He smiled as he headed into the kitchen. Mom had taken Grandma for their usual walk on the beach, leaving me to do whatever. I decided to pull my bathing suit on and go out to the beach to swim around for a little bit. I rubbed the sunscreen into my skin before jumping into the waves.
After a few minutes, I felt the familiar hands on my hips and leaned into him.
"Hi, beautiful." He whispered before kissing my neck. I wrapped my arm around his neck and turned my head to see him. Even after a month, he still took my breath away.
"Hi." I giggled as he pressed his lips to mine. His hands crept lower until he was pressing against my heat. "Jake, no."
"No?" He laughed. "That's the first time I've ever heard you say that to me."
"Mom and Grandma could walk by at any moment." I argued. "Plus, ocean sex was not one of the better times we've had." I reminded him. We tried that when we had the bright idea to go skinny dipping a week ago. It burned and I didn't let either of us finish since it was so uncomfortable.
"Fine," He sighed, pretending to me angry with me. "But, you owe me."
"I know." I smirked as I grabbed his neck and pulled him into me. He grabbed my ass and picked me up. I wrapped my legs around him as he pressed his forehead to mine.
"I love you," I whispered before he stilled completely. We'd never said that to each other. "I'm sorry," I said. "You don't have to say it. I just...I wanted you to know."
"I love you too." He nodded nodded and it was like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. He sighed and kissed me again before he let me down.
Once we saw Mom and Grandma walking back, we trudged out of the ocean to greet them. Mom hugged Jake warmly and Grandma just nodded. She just couldn't remember him. She always warmed up to him like they were the best of friends, but each time seeing him was new. It was sad. Jake left to go home and clean up while I jumped in the bathtub.
Jake was back before I was finished getting ready and I smiled as I walked onto the patio as him and my dad talked about the Rays baseball game earlier that afternoon. Apparently, they just weren't playing like themselves recently...whatever that meant. Jake turned and smiled at me and held his hand out for me to grab. I smiled as he pulled me into his lap and silently breathed in relief when Dad didn't even flinch.
I couldn't be within five feet of Mike when Dad was around.
"Jake, sweetie, would you like a salad with dinner?" Mom asked as she stepped onto the back porch.
"Please, Mrs. Swan." He nodded.
"You call me Mrs. Swan again and you get no dessert." She threatened as she went back inside. After a few more minutes, Dad began grilling the burgers and hot dogs and Jake pulled me down to the beach. He threaded his fingers threw mine as we began walking along the wet sand. I rested my head on his shoulder as we stopped and too everything in.
Florida was no overrated.
After a while, we headed back to join my family on the small deck for dinner. Grandma was still acting unsure of Jake, but she knew him somehow. It pained me that she couldn't remember the guy I was falling in love with. But, that was life and things could always be worse.
Dad hogged Jake all of dinner and most of dessert until Mom told us it was okay to leave and go do our own thing. I went inside and changed into more comfortable clothing before meeting Jake at his beat up old car. He opened the door for me before getting into the drivers side and began driving to our destination. He stopped in a small parking lot across from an old pier.
"Ready to see the best fireworks ever?" He asked as he pulled me close to him.
"How would you know?" I asked. "You just moved here?"
"A guy from Dads work told him this was the place he took his wife on their first date on the Fourth...they've been married for twenty years."
"So, in other words, you're trying to get lucky?" I laughed as we reached the end of the pier and leaned up against the railing.
"Well, if it's that obvious." He laughed as he kissed my cheek. The sun dipped into the water and the first firework blew up in the sky. He stood behind me with his arms wrapped around me as I watched the best display I'd ever seen. With it being so cloudy in Seattle, it was a little difficult to see some of the fireworks on the Fourth.
"I can see why they've been married for so long."
"Told you they were good." He smiled as he grabbed my hand and started to pull me, but I wouldn't go with him. He turned back towards me and cocked an eye brow at me.
"I love you." I whispered. This time when I saw it, I didn't feel like I was gonna throw up. It felt right to say, even if it only had been a month. Sometimes, with the right person, time didn't matter. And...Jake was the right person.
"I love you too." He whispered as he leaned into me. I wrapped my arms tightly around his neck as he placed his hands on my hips, pushing me back into the railing. "Lets get out of here." He whispered breathlessly as he pulled back. I kissed him one last time before nodding and pushing him away from me.
It was nearing the end of August and we only had a week left until we left for Washington. Jake and I were doing great, except these last few days. He'd been distant and he was ignoring me and I couldn't figure out why. I just hoped we'd be able to figure it out before I had to leave.
I didn't want to leave us like this.
But, then I had no idea what would happen when I went home. I mean we loved each other, but Florida and Washington were in total opposite directions from each other. I'd never get to see him and I had a hunch he wouldn't come to Washington or anywhere close to go to school. Florida was his home and he'd been dreaming of Florida State since middle school.
I'd never get any answers if he kept ignoring me. I was getting fed up with him so after my walk with Grandma, I jumped into her old car and drove down to his house. His car and motorcycle were there so I knew he was home. There was no running away from me. I got out of the car and walked up to the front door and knocked loudly.
"Bella," He said emotionless when he finally opened the door. "What are you doing here?"
"You're ignoring me." I shrugged. "I wanna spend my last week here with you, Jake, and I can't do that if you won't return my calls."
"Bella, this summer was fun and I'm never going to forget our time together...but you know it's just a summer flight, right?" He asked and I felt my stomach drop. I didn't know what was going to happen when I left but...summer fling. "It isn't like I'm your boyfriend now."
"But...you said you love me." I argued. "On the Fourth."
"You said it first." He told me. "And, you were a lot of fun. I didn't want to ruin that yet."
"Jake, please." I begged. "We...we can work it out."
"Work what out, Bella?" He laughed. "You aren't my girlfriend. We aren't going to have a long distance relationship. This was a summer fling and that's all it ever will be."
"Were you juts trying to get me into bed?" I whispered as I felt my heart literally breaking. He meant the world to me, even if it had been a few months. "Did I mean anything to you?"
"You were a good time, Bells. And your family's great." He nodded. "But...now I'm going to say this one last time...we aren't a couple. I'm not your boyfriend and this is over." He said and I could feel the tears stinging in my eyes.
"Go to hell you fucking bastard!" I shouted before turning around and running back to the car. I somehow managed to get myself home without killing myself and just stayed in my car for a few minutes to calm down. Mom and Dad didn't need me doing this to them, it was hard enough with Grandma Jane. I grabbed some tissues from the glove compartment and wiped my eyes before getting out of the car and heading inside.
"Hey, baby." Dad greeted with a kiss on the cheek. "Is Jake coming for dinner?" He asked and with the sound of his name, the tears began to fill in my eyes again. "Oh, no please...please don't cry. Renee!" He called as I fell into his arms.
"What did you do?" She asked as she pulled me out of his arms and into hers. I loved my father, but he wasn't very good at comforting people when they needed it.
"Nothing!" He told her.
"Jake...there is no Jake anymore." I sobbed. "He dumped me...well he told me we...we were just...just a fling." I cried and I could see my dad's face turning red. "He didn't really love me. I was just another fling for him."
"I'm gonna kill him." Dad screamed. "Fucking little prick!"
"Daddy, please." I whispered. "It isn't worth it."
"He broke your heart Bella." He argued. "He should be punished."
"But, now I know that I can't just be giving my heart out to people." I shrugged as I ran into their bedroom.