Disclaimer: I do not own any recognizable characters from the Twilight Saga Series. Stephanie Meyers is the proud owner of them all.
A/N: This Story takes place two years post BD wedding when Bella returns to her hometown of Forks.
I glanced at the road ahead to see the all too familiar welcoming sign that read: "You are now entering Forks."
I sighed heavily, taking a drink from my now cold coffee, and turning the radio up as loud as I could stand it. This was how I chose to drown out my thoughts, and overwhelming anxieties about returning home.
It had been two long years since I had graced my fathers front door. Two years since I had driven these roads. Two years since I had run out on my own wedding and landed on my mothers door step in Jacksonville, Florida. It was never something I had planned to do. Never something I thought I would ever do.
To this day, I still felt an immense amount of guilt for my selfish actions. Guilt that troubled me to the point of needing actual therapy to somewhat recover from.
Edward had never seen it coming. No one had.
There I was, standing in front of him with all our friends and family watching and waiting for me to say "I Do". Everyone waiting for me to be Mrs. Cullen, but I couldn't. I wasn't ready to be married at eighteen. I wanted to do more and see more, have a chance to discover who I was before sealing my fate so drastically to him.
Call me selfish. I did.
Call me crazy... Yeah, I've been called that, too. But in the end, it was my life and my choosing.
As hard as it was for me to break things off with Edward, I did it, and as difficult as it was for me to see the disappointed looks on the Cullen's faces, I went through with it.
I had to leave right away. Get away from it all. For I feared if I didn't that I would slip back into my zombie state. A desperate darkness I swore I would never go back to again. The absence of Edward was hard for me to deal with at first, but I knew I had to face it. I wouldn't do that to Charlie again, I just couldn't...It wasn't fair.
I made a choice to leave everything behind and start new in Florida with my mother and Phil.
Leaving Charlie was the hardest part for me. But I made him a promise that we would speak each day until I returned to him and I was good to keep my word. Despite the many miles of distance between us, our relationship remained in tact and felt stronger than ever to me.
A horn suddenly honked loudly from behind me and I hit the gas. I was no longer driving the old truck that Jacob had rebuilt for me with his own two hands and I missed it more than words could say. In my hurry to get to Jacksonville, I had left it behind and taken a taxi to the airport. When I landed in Florida, I used all the money I had left to rent a car and drive to my mothers. It had been hard to adjust to life at first without transportation but once I got settled in with mom and Phil again, they bought me a new truck. A shiny just off the lot black Chevy Colorado.
To say I was shocked to come home one afternoon, after a long day of classes that I attended at JU, to see it sitting there with a big red bow on it, was a vast understatement.
At first, I tried to convince her to please take it back. While I was exceedingly grateful, I also knew just how damn much a new truck like that could cost a person. But they would hear nothing of the sort and insisted I keep it as a gift. So I graciously did and thanked her a million times over for it.
I rounded the bend, seeing the old familiar street where Charlie lived now coming into plain view. I slowed down a bit, creeping along the road before signaling my turn. The familiar short stretch of road had not changed at all in my two year absence. Odd as it may sound, this came as a comfort to me, while I slowly pulled into my old driveway.
I stared at Charlie's house now in front of me again. The familiar but slightly faded shudders, and the green steps that led up to the front door were still in place. The shrubs around the front, still there and vibrant. Nothing had really changed. Nothing seeming out of it's original place.
I glanced down at my watch, noticing it was just about time for Charlie to get home from his shift. He had known I was coming back home for a while. The exact amount of time though, I wasn't so sure of myself.
I got out of my truck and grabbed my luggage, quickly running up the steps when I felt the drizzle begin to start. I had missed a lot of things about this town, however the constant cold and rain was certainly not one of them.
My arms were full, kneeling in front of the door to remove the spare house key from under the welcome mat. Charlie always kept it there. That hadn't changed either.
I unlocked the door and dropped my heavy luggage to the floor, my arms growing tired from the weight of them all. I slowly heard the door squeak, as I shut it behind me and looked around at my old home.
I saw that things were in the same place as they were before and was taken back by how clean it was. Charlie had never been one to clean religiously. Though it certainly appeared he was that way now.
I moved my bags away from the door and threw my shoes off before venturing into the kitchen for a bottle of water from the fridge. I stopped short when I saw the dozens of photos that covered the fridge door. All of them new and full of a life I barely recognized anymore... Ones of Renee and I that we had sent him last year... Ones of Sue Clearwater and Charlie. They were all nice photos. But the one that made my breath hitch was the recent picture of my father and Jacob together.
I slowly reached up and took the photo in my trembling hand, seeing how he had changed in the last few years.
He looked bigger, if that was even possible, but not a day older. His face still as young and as handsome as it ever was. The dark blue dress shirt he wore accentuating his muscular physique. In his hand was what looked like a diploma. One that he held up with a proud smile on his face. My father with his hand on his shoulder and a matching grin.
A small smile formed on my lips as I thought of him graduating. I was proud of him. I always would be.
I felt the familiar longing return for my former best friend as I stared down at this photo.
I hadn't seen or spoken to Jacob once in the two years I had been gone. It was something that ate at my conscience continually... I had left him behind.
He did call me soon after I took off for Jacksonville. I was impatiently waiting to board my plane when I heard his call come through on my cell. I didn't have it in me then to answer it, and I knew it was a cowardly way to handle it.
I regretted a lot about that, too.
Jacob had even called Renee about a dozen times or more in the weeks following my arrival there with them. I never had the heart to take his call on my cell or hers. So I let it be and time eventually crept by.
Weeks turned into months and months into years. Now here I was and seeing this picture made me miss him in ways I could not explain.
The front door flew open, startling me. I quickly put the photo back and rushed out, expecting to be greeted by Charlie. Only he wasn't the one there waiting for me.