~ Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight and no copyright infringement is intended ~
Author's note: Hello everyone! A wee while ago I posed the threads of this story but decided to take it down to develop and rewrite it! This is my first twilight Fanfic so I am kinda nervous about posting this but I hope that you all like it and would love to hear all of your thoughts, comments and suggestions! :) Anyhoo, Happy Reading and please feel free to review and let me know if I should continue this :)
As I rose from my slumber I first became aware of the warmness of the air and it's spicy fragrance, reminding me that I had once again fallen asleep in the grass just outside the kitchens. I snuggled in closer to the blanket that someone had draped over me, rubbing my nose against its surface. I took in a deep breath, savouring every spice, every scent that whistled up my nose. The aroma drifting in from the kitchen became so strong that it coated my tongue, teasing my taste buds. Flickering my eyes open, I rolled onto my back and smiled up at the friendly sky above – watching as the birds flew amongst the lazy clouds that gently scattered the sky.
"Willa!" I turned my head to the side, my cheek brushing the grass. "Willa, dear!"
With a little puff I sat up in one fluid motion – my light blue dress fanning out around me like water. "Coming, Anushir!" I called back to her as I stretched my arms over my head, smiling in pleasure at the way my muscles felt through the movement. Dropping my arms to my side, letting my fingers skip over the tips of the grass I tilted my head back and relished the Indian morning sun. Where we were, there was no pollution – not in the skies anyways, and so when I looked up into the sky my eyes were greeted with the most magnificent blue – a shade of blue that only existed in the minds of book lovers.
Today was the last day that I would see this sky - that I would sleep underneath its stars and read under the light of its wondrous sun. Despite living in India, I wasn't Indian but neither was I American, Japanese, Thai or Bangladeshi – I was all of them. For my whole life, I had never spent more than three years in one country. I was a born traveler, a wild wonderess whose bones sang when nature surrounded me, when I immersed myself in rich culture and villages that most foreigners wouldn't dare step into.
Standing up on bare feet, I tipped my head back, held out my arms and spun slowly – memorizing the sight above me before it faded forever. The wind nipped at my fingers as I spun, smiled and sang an ancient song in Hindi. When my feet came to a standstill, I sighed at the pressure I felt around my legs and chuckled as small fingers tickled the backs of my knees.
"Oh, Vittesh." I hummed to myself with a smile and looked down to see a little Indian boy hugging my legs. "What are you doing out here." I asked gently as I bent down to pick up his small form in my arms. He was so light – so thin that every time I lifted him I was afraid that I would break him. He simply laughed and I rubbed my nose against his little one. "Let's go get you something to eat." I tapped my index finger against the tip of his nose, laughing as he scrunched it up and pinched my very own nose. "You cheeky little fella." I took his small hand in mine as I walked towards the kitchen with him in my arms for the last time.
As I looked down into his large brown eyes, filled with the innocence that inspired my own – I felt sadness peck at my heart and I shook my head as I willed the physical evidence of that sadness away. Today was the day I would go to Forks, my mother's birth home. I had never met my father but my mother had always talked of him fondly. A wild prince from various nations like herself. They had met in South Africa though neither one of them had any blood ties to the country. They fell in love whilst doing volunteer work – my mother teaching English and my father, this mysterious, wild wonderer, a volunteer in every essence of the word. But my father, after my birth, passed away to a mosquito born virus and my mother never loved another man. But she loved me, raised me as a daughter of mixed cultures. I attended local schools, which she worked in, helping the other students and villagers during my free time as they opened my eyes to new ways of living. But now, that I had become an orphan – my mother dying from a brain tumor before Christmas, I had no other choice but to return to her birthplace and the place where her older brother, Charlie lived – Forks.
Pressing my palm against the wooden surface of the door, it easily swung open to reveal the small kitchen whose aromas flooded my very being. I smiled at the sight of the familiar spices, bread and dishes that the cooks were preparing for the boarders. I walked over to the nearest table and picked up a piece of freshly made naan bread.
"Oh, hold on a sec." I soothed Vittesh as he reached for the bread in my hands. Maneuvering him on my hip, I managed to break of a greedy portion for him to eat which he gladly took in his little hands. "There you are," I pressed my lips to his forehead and began to sing him a little Hindu song that the cooks had taught me. My body swayed this way and that as I sang, making the little boy in my arms laugh.
"Willa!" Anushir sighed at she captured sight of me in her flour dusted apron. Anushir was both the head cook and had become my mother's best friend here. She placed both of her hands on her hips after whipping her forehead with the back of her hand. "You're not even dressed!" She exclaimed in panic and glanced at the clock in alarm.
"Hush now, Anushir." I smiled lightly, "Everything will be alright. I'm already packed." I did a little spin with the boy in my arms, and rubbed his nose against mine.
"And what? You think you are going to the airport in a grass stained blue dress?" She raised her eyebrow as she waddled towards me, her long black braid swishing this way and that as she approached.
I shook my head, my light brown hair falling over my shoulders in gentle waves. "Off course not, Anushir." I replied lightly and gave her Vittesh. "I have some clothes still laid out." I continued with a smile before placing my hand on her cheek. "You have no need to worry." I soothed.
"Okay," She bobbled her head sideways, "But you go and get dressed now. No detours to the lake or village!" She called after me as I skipped through the kitchen – the skirts of my dress swaying as I moved and nibbled on my piece of naan. I skipped, bare foot, across the grass, through buildings and waved to everyone I passed with a smile – my hair swishing this way and that like a tale. I came to a stop outside our small house and pressed one hand on the wooden door and the other on my chest as I slowed my breathing. Taking my hand from my chest, I went to open the door but jumped back when the door opened before me to reveal my best and only friend.
"Fitz." I exclaimed with a hand on my beating heart. "Wha-what are you d-doing h-here?" I asked, taking a step towards him and placing both of my hands of his shoulders, and then moved one hand to cup his cheek.
"Well now, you didn't' think I'd let you leave without saying goodbye, now did you?" He asked, tapping my nose. I caressed his cheek with my thumb, having to go up onto my tiptoes to do so. Fitz was a lot taller than me, a lot smarter and a lot thinner. Whilst he encouraged neatness, intelligence I showed him how to be wild, to be adventurous.
"Of course not, Fitz." I whispered, going higher up on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek. Just as I stepped back, he placed his hand over mine – the one that rested on his cheek. Fitz was the son of a diplomat. He was always neat – his brown hair not a strand out of place. He wore stylish suit pants and shirts which he always tucked into his pants, shirts that never had a crease nor stain on them.
"You best hurry, little Willa, you've got less than five minutes before the car comes." My eyes widened slightly in surprise and I quickly dropped my hand to the side. "Yep." He nodded as I kept on staring at him with wide eyes – my cheeks going red in panic. Despite what I had told Anushir I hadn't packed, I hadn't – "don't worry," Fitz said gently, placing both of his hands in his pockets. "I've already packed for you." I soften my eyes in gratitude and kissed him once more on the cheek.
"How am I going to live without you?" I asked honestly, my voice gentle as I gazed into his bright blue eyes.
He shrugged timidly and looked down to his spotless shoes. "How," he swallowed, "how am I going to…"
"Hey," I said softly, pressing my finger underneath his chin and applied the softest of pressures to lift his head up so he could meet my eyes. "Everything will be alright."
He shook his head, "How am I supposed to survive without you?"
My lips parted in understanding, in guilt, in shame. I was Fitz's only friend, the only friend he had ever had in his entire life and now I was leaving him. I had defended him in front of bullies, sat with him in his classes and listened to his talks on physics and mathematics that although I didn't understand, knew made him happy that someone else was listening to what he had to say. It wasn't easy for him, being smart. But it wasn't just his smartness that set him apart, it was his ways – his childhood of always moving – of never looking back and never making friends to protect him from the pain of saying goodbye.
I took in a deep breath – the warm air whistling down my throat and coating my lungs. "By believing that we will meet again." I told him before taking his hand in mine and leading him into the now empty house. When we reached what used to be my bedroom, I sat down on the floor, feeling the wood with my fingers until I came across the one I searched for. I then lifted a single piece of wood up and withdrew a small wrapped parcel from within. "I, I w-want you to have this." I told him quietly even though we were the only ones in the house. "So when you ever feel lonely, when you ever feel lost you will know that you are never alone and that you…that you will always be loved." I held out the box towards him, which he simply stared at before shifting his gaze to my childish eyes.
"I ah, I don't have anything to give you." He replied with a little voice that made me shake my head and stand. "I don't have anything to give you to remember me by."
"Fitz." I exhaled and placed the parcel in his hands. "You don't need to give me anything because I will always remember you, no matter how old I become, you," I placed the tip of my finger against his forehead, "will always be in my heart." I moved my finger and placed it on my heart. It was true; I would never forget Fitz because he was my best and only friend. From the day, I found him underneath the floorboards, trapped by those bullies... I made him a promise – a promise to always protect him and now, to always love him.
"How can I thank you?" He asked shyly, bowing his head.
I shook my head and then tilted my body to the side so I could see the clock behind him. "By letting me change?" I asked sheepishly and laughed when his cheeks went red with embarrassment. He then awkwardly left the room, tripping over his foot as he did so and banging into the door. I pressed a hand to stifle my laughter at his adorable nature before returning his little wave and then getting changed.
I quickly slipped on a navy-blue skirt, a short-sleeve white shirt with a peter pan collar and cupped sleeves and my fraying pair of black converse. After brushing my long light brown hair, I placed a navy-blue headband on, grabbed my bag and rushed out with door as I ran towards the car where Fitz and the driver waited. When I reached Fitz, I tossed my arms around and buried my head into his chest. I felt pressure against my back as his arms wrapped around me – his cheek pressed against my ear as we held each other. I snuggled up against him, took in his smell of mint and books as he breathed in mine. He was my best friend and now that I was leaving – I was scared for him, scared for us. I couldn't protect him, and I…I would be alone. I felt sadness grip my heart, squeeze it, stab it. I shut my eyes, wincing as I felt my nose burn and my eyes prickle. But I had to be strong, I had to be strong for him –and I couldn't him them see me cry. I had to believe that we would see each other again, I had to be the enteral optimist because if I wasn't, if I was weak and vulnerable then it would be worse for him…for us.
Reluctantly, I pulled back slightly to gaze into his reddening eyes. "Hello you." I whispered quietly.
His lips twitched as he cupped the side of my face. "Hello, you." I leaned into his touch – savoring it. "You'll be a good girl, now you hear?"
I shook my head as I smiled, "I promise," I told him. "Professor." He loosened a laugh and moved his hand to ruffle my hair. I scrunched up my nose but kept my smile stained to my lips. "You'll be a good boy?"
He chuckled, a lazy grin spreading on his lips. "Yes," he inclined his head, "my wild wonderess." My smile only grew at the nickname. I wasn't sure how long we then stood there, looking into each other's eyes and trying to memorize every detail of each other. When I saw a shapeless tear fall from Fitz's eyelashes, I quickly brushed it away with my thumb, and pressed the palm of my hand against his face in the gentlest of manners.
"Remember me and smile, for it's better to forget than to remember me and cry." I told him softly, "Dr. Seuss." I swallowed my tears as I spoke, and tried to put on a good face, to be strong for him. "I-I love you Fitz." I told him. I knew I had to go, the tears were being thicker in my throat and I couldn't let him see – I couldn't.
"I love you more, Willa." He said, his voice broken as he spoke. And then, after one final hug he helped me into the car where I sat at the back and hang out of the window. And as the car drove to the airport I watched– watched as Fitz became smaller and smaller – his arm waving, waving until he became nothing but the size of a fleck of dust, a fleck of dust that would always remain in my memory – in my heart. And just after we turned the corner and he disappeared, I buried my head against my knees and cried silently.
Despite being familiar with planes, I had never liked flying. The feeling of being trapped in a cage of metal suffocated my mind, my veins. My fingers coiled around the sides of the chair, turning a sickly white as I dug my nails into the armrest, trying to keep calm – to breathe evenly. My eyelids misted over as pain nibbled at my heart. I could see Fitz's face so clearly, as if it was painted against the backs of my eyelids. I missed him. I missed him, my mama and already the life that I once had. In Forks, I knew I would no longer be able to run wild, to swim in lakes and play my violin whilst the villagers sung and danced. I was afraid of that unfamiliarity, for interacting with kids my own age and who had never left the nation before. The only friends that I have ever had who are my own age are Fitz and my little cousin Bella's who I would now be living with. Bells had always been like a little sister to me, and I suppose now that she and Charlie were my only surviving family, she meant so much more to me.
From what I knew, she too was arriving today – from Phoenix and I suppose that made me happy, happy that I would have someone to share this new adventure with me and that I wouldn't be alone. I curled up against the wall of the plane, coiling into myself as I willed sleep to claim me, but my nerves we're too great and so for the remainder of the flight, I remained awake with my eyes closed – pondering the new adventures that lay ahead of me and the old ones that I would forever remember.
When I landed in Port Angeles, I was initially nervous…but the moment my eyes captured sight of rain, of proper rain – I felt all my nerves leak from me. With my hand pulling at the tattered strap of my blue suitcase, I made my way through the airport, stopping when I saw Charlie and Bella waiting outside with a cruiser.
They were huddled underneath an umbrella that sagged underneath the weight of the rain. They looked stiff, awkward as if they didn't feel comfortable being so close to one another. But when they caught sight of me coming towards them, a bright smile light up of Bella's face. I felt my cheeks redden in happiness and the tip of my nose burn as a smile tugged at the corners of my lips. I felt my feet move faster and faster, as Bell's ran out from underneath the umbrella, stumbling as she jogged towards me. The rain slide through my hair as I ran, ran towards the one person I had left in this world.
We crashed into each other at such a force that made me take several steps backwards. The warmth of her body burns my cold bare arms as I wrap them around her. We held onto each other tightly, letting each other know how much we missed one another, how much we meant to the other and the need we had for comfort, for friendship, for a sister.
"Hello, you." I said, pulling back slightly as I looked up into her eyes, water dripping from her eyelashes as we stood in the rain. "Long time no see." I teased slightly with a voice turned soft by the pounding of the rain.
"You could say that." She replied, whipping her wet hair away from her face. Bells had certainly grown since the last time I saw her, and suddenly I felt as if I was the younger one. "God, I missed you." She exhaled – her teeth chattering in the cold, which I simply soaked up and enjoyed. I had been so used to the heat, to the sun that I had forgotten what the chill felt like – what rain looked like. I breathed in its aroma and savored the way it coated my tongue. "Shall we go?" She asked and motioned with her head towards Charlie who stood waiting by the cruiser.
"As you wish." I told her with a childish smile before picking up my suitcase and following Bella. I could tell she didn't like the rain and whilst I took my time walking, I watched as she awkwardly ran over to where Charlie stood. She stumbled several times but I was happy she didn't fall.
When I reached the two of them, I accepted a one-armed hug from Charlie. "It's good to see you, Willa." He said and pulled back to give me a once over. "You're still just the same little Willa I remember."
"S-still find i-it slightly strange that I'm smaller than my little cousin?" I asked lightly, trying to ease the tension.
"It's definitely hard to see you as the older one with your height and eyes." I narrowed my eyebrows at his response. Unlike Bella's 5'4 I was but a mere 4'10. I wasn't sure how that worked but I didn't mind the shortness – if anything I enjoyed it.
"So…" I began and looked up at Charlie with a smile on my face. "Does it still always rain here?" I asked gleefully, foolish eyes looking up into his.
Charlie released a single note of laughter. "I would tell you to get used to it but it seems you're liking it too much." He chuckled and I tilted my head up to look into his brown eyes.
"I haven't seen rain in so long." I told him happily. "And when I do see it, it's like…like magic."
"All right kiddo," he sighed, amusement flickering in his eyes. "Let's get you two home."
The car trip home was a rather quiet one – the silence only broken by Charlie mentioning a new truck for Bella and my stories of India. It wasn't long until the cruiser pulled up to three bedrooms and one bathroom house.
Although it had been years since I had seen it, the house was just as I remembered except for the large faded red truck. Charlie got out of the front and opened the door for me. He then opened the trunk and both Bella and I collected our bags with Charlie carrying the leftovers.
As I approached the house a breeze blew against my face, pulling strands of loose hair to whip my face. A shiver scurried down my spine and I looked back at the empty streets. All the houselights seemed to be switched off and there were no cars, humans or animals wandering about like in India – a forever busy and exciting labyrinth. My fingers ran up and down my arm as I took in my surroundings. The loamy fragrance of Forks tickled my senses.
"You coming kiddo?" Charlie asked from the porch. With a smile and nod, I skipped up the stairs and slowed once I entered the interior of the house. As I made my way further in, my fingers grazed the white walls covered with childhood pictures as I followed Charlie up a narrow staircase. I was careful not to scrap my bags against the white walls as I followed Charlie silently down a short corridor, stopping at the last door. He rested his hand against the wooden door and applied pressure for it to swing open.
The room was familiar to me, as my mother and I used to stay in here when he visited. It was rather small but its coloring brought about a light that seemed unfamiliar to the rest of Forks. Pressed against the wall was a single bed encased in a white duvet. It had been positioned it in a certain way so it rested against the window. In that way, when I woke up all I had to do was turn my head and see the town wake up with me.
Woven into the fabric of the duvet where small pastel colored flowers that captured a delicate beauty. Other than the bed, there was an antique white desk situated opposite the window that faced the front yard, which was already covered in boxes of books that had been shipped over. Upon its white surface also sat a small vase of pink tulips and a messy bundle of white phone cords. Across from my bed was a large white bookcase that had four shelves for my books and ornaments.
Slipping my black converse off, I buried my toes in the plush cream carpet and spun around on the balls of my feet to face Charlie. With a gentle smile, I looked at him as he leaned awkwardly against the doorframe, his arms crossed and body tense. "I love it!" I told him happily.
"I'm glad you like it," Charlie replied in a gruff manner and I knew from experience that he was embarrassed by my thanks. I smiled in response and we stood there for a while, trapped in an uncomfortable silence. My fingers played with the hem of my skirt as I waited out the silence until he eventually left, closing the door with a soft click.
With Charlie now gone, I made my way over to my suitcase and knelt down on the carpet to unpack my things. I first took out my shoes followed by my clothes and violin music books. My violin was still downstairs, so after I had emptied the contents of my suitcase and the boxes I made my way downstairs to retrieve it. As expected, my violin was leaning against the front door, its case cold and sweaty. Heaving it up the stairs, I walked past Bella's room, which faced the backyard. Her door was ajar and clothes scattered the floor of her room.
After placing my violin in my room, I wondered back to my cousin's room and gave a light tap on her door. Startling her, she whirled around and stumbled over a box on the floor. I ran to her and caught her arm to stop her from falling. I offered her a small smile as she collected herself.
Now that Charlie was gone I could see how she really felt and that was not happy. Her features were pulled down in a nervous grimace and her eyes looked sad and lost.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked softly.
She shrugged before answering, "I'm just nervous for tomorrow, I guess." With that emotionless response, she turned from me and sat down on her bed in an ungraceful manner. My arms wrapped around myself and I knelt down in front of my younger cousin, taking her shaking hands into mine. I gazed up into her eyes with hope and squeezed her hands.
"I just have a bad feeling about tomorrow." She mumbled, looking down at our hands. From the emails and phone calls that Bella and I exchanged, I knew she had never fit it. She was always on the outside and often struggled to relate to anyone who approached her. I gave Bella the best smile I could. For some reason, I had always felt that I had to protect her, even when I was half way across the world. She was the younger one, the baby of our small family, and always stumbling over things and getting hurt. I knew I had to be strong for her but as I looked up into her small chocolate brown eyes her sadness remind me of my own. The truth was, despite being excited for a new adventure I was frightened for tomorrow and still grieving over leaving India and my mama's death.
"Do you like it here?" She asked me as she looked towards the rain-streaked window. "Do you…want to go back to India?"
"I do miss India but…but I also think I'll like it here and in time you will too." I told her with a smile, "all you need to do is smile and soon that external happiness will become internal." I told her with hope glazing my words as I tried to convince myself of them too.
"Always the optimist." She said amused and I got to my feet to give her an encouraging hug.
"Always and forever." I whispered in her hair and rubbed her back in a soothing gesture. "Just, have faith and enjoy the surprises." I pulled back to examine her, happily seeing that she had cheered up. "I'll be in my room if you need me." I told her and gave her hand one final squeeze before making my way to the door.
"Willa?" I twirled around at the threshold to see her now standing.
"Yes?" I asked and tilted my head to the side like a small bird.
"Thank you." Her voice was gentle and sweet. "I've really…really missed you."
"Me too." I replied and turned to leave with a smile on my face yet fear caging my heart. "Hush now." I whispered to myself as I walked to my room. "Everything will be alright, everything will be alright." And once I entered the safety of my room, I closed the door and slide down it's smooth surface – my body landing with a heavy thump. I then brought my knees up to my chest and pressed my cheek against my kneecap as I rocked back and forth, back and forth. "Everything will be alright, everything will be alright."