Stephenie Meyer owns her characters, but this is my story—in more ways than one.



"Hello?" Esme lowered the dial on the kitchen's digital clock radio, disappointed she would miss the end of "Sailing," her favorite new song by Christopher Cross.

"Esme, hi, it's Renee Swan."

"Oh, hey, Renee! How're you doing?"

"I'm well, thanks. Fighting the tide that's against Carter down at campaign headquarters. How 'bout yourself?"

"Good. Y'know, busy. Carlisle is swamped with his new promotion. Soccer started two weeks ago for the boys and then school on Thursday . . . we're already running around like chickens with our heads cut off."

Renee nodded, snorting. "I completely understand. So listen, I'm calling because I have a feeling I'm holding something that belongs to you." She fiddled with the shiny bauble in her palm.


"Mhmm. Isabella came home today and was very excited to show me the beautiful gift that Edward gave her on the playground during recess."

"Uh oh," Esme responded with a chuckle. "I can't imagine what you're about to lay on me."

"Well, I have a lovely gold ring with a dark stone. Sort of brownish-red, not sure if it's a ruby. And it says eighteen-karat gold inside the band."

Esme closed her eyes, shaking her head. "Lord, this child. Give me a minute, let me go check." After she placed the phone down, the plastic cord instantly recoiled, spinning the lemon yellow handset on the Formica tabletop. She rushed into her bedroom, opened her jewelry box and took a quick inventory.

Yup. Gone.

Back in the kitchen, she picked up the phone again. "Uh huh. That would be my garnet ring. Carlisle gave it to me at his senior formal in college."

Renee snickered. "Oh, my word. Well, thankfully our adorable kiddos won't have to be brought up on larceny charges. But, your sweet boy . . . I can't stand it."

"He's a hoot. At least he gave her a good one and not the fake pearls from my costume jewelry box. " Esme blew her bangs away from her eyes and fell into the sofa. "So they're engaged, I take it? We should celebrate."

"Isabella said married, but you know kids these days. They move a lot faster than we did."

"True. At least a wedding for them won't kill our pockets. I'd imagine pizza from Riviera and lemonade at the Beach Three pavilion, followed by a dip in the lake would be the best reception they could imagine."

Both ladies cackled through the teasing, finding out they were already in-laws and only in their late twenties.

"Well, I'll have Charlie run it by your house when he leaves for work tonight. I hope Edward won't be too heartbroken that Isabella has to return it. She was moping when I took it away from her to call you."

"Aww. You tell Bella that Edward will have something even more special for her tomorrow. After all, we wouldn't want to stand in the way of true love at six years old."

A/N: Lucky for me, my fiery team from the Cabana is never far away from me . . . thank you, as always, to Born, Cejsmom, Lay, and Momo.

This story is autobiographical at times, biographical at others, and fictionalized plenty.

I'll post another chapter later today and then every Friday until completion. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks for reading!

xo, Jen