The wedding flowed into the reception party smoothly, thanks to Alice's planning. The ceremony had lasted the perfect amount of time, with the sun set behind the trees. The lights in the trees glimmered as I was led glass back doors, making the white flowers glow. There were another ten thousand flowers out here, serving as a fragrant, airy tent over the dance floor set up on the grass under two of the ancient cedars. Things slowed down, relaxed as the mellow August evening surrounded the group.
Things had slowed down more, as the evening relaxed, the crowd was spread out along the twinkling lights.
"Congrats, guys." Seth said, ducking his head over the flower garland. Sue was along his side, eyeing the quests wary. Sue looked almost identical to Leah, though her hair was originally much longer, Seth mentioned she had cut it the same day Leah cut her own.
Billy was much less tense, he held a bright smile, himself strangely at ease. His eyes seem too sparkle and I wondered if Jacob had returned for the reception, I suppose only time would tell.
Seth leaned forward, arms extended, and Edward returned the hu with his free arm. Embry had gone off somewhere, his face conflicted.
Sue shuddered delicately.
"It's good to see things work out for you, man," Seth said. "I'm happy for you."
"Thank you, Seth. That means a lot to me." Edward pulled away from Seth and looked at Sue and Billy. "Thank you, as well. For letting Seth come. For supporting Bella today."
"You're welcome." Billy said, with some optimism in his tone.
"Where'd Embry go?" I asked Seth, Carlisle had left a few moments earlier.
"He said that Amina had arrived…" Seth said slowly and I tensed up. "They were talking to each other the whole time — he didn't tell her what happened." He added quickly.
"Hm." I frowned. "I'm not surprising Leah's not here." Trying to change the subject and control my beating heart.
"She was going to come, but she's been out of sorts since Jacob left." He explained.
"It's good to see you Helen." Sue said after I finished speaking to Seth, and wrapped her arms around me. "You look lovely."
"Thank you Sue." I said softly.
"Are you doing alright?" She asked and I blinked and broke eye contact.
Sue's face softened. "I've seen you since you were a little baby Helen, I know that expression." She placed a hand on my shoulder and tightened it. "Just know that we're always here to speak to you, you're always apart of our family."
I felt my ears water and nodded, looking down at the ground.
"I'll see you guys later." I told the newlyweds and Bella looked like she was pushed into a car. "I'll be back soon."
"Ok." Bella said and left them to their own devises. Saying quick hello's to those I recognized. Angela and Ben, then Angela's parents, then Mike and Jessica, who were both holding hands.
I ignored the Denali clan, who were behind my former classmates, knowing there'd be another time to speka to them, though their golden eyes watched me as I passed them.
The farther I moved from the celebrations, the closer I came to seeing Amina, who stood with two middle aged people. I felt dread hit me as I saw who they looked like — Xiaoxi, they're her parents.
Embry was speaking quickly to Amina who was red-faced and red-eyes from crying. The older couple looked too tired and confused. I remembered Xiaoxi mentioning her parents didn't know English.
"Helen! What's wrong with you?! Why haven't you answered my phone calls?!" Amina yelled and I focused my eyes onto the ground as she continued berating me for what felt like forever, I couldn't even glance at Xiaoxi's parents, who's eyes looked dull and sad.
I couldn't say anything to her so instead I did the only thing I could do, I wrapped my arms around my tall friend, who immediately stopped talking.
"H-Helen? Helen what's wrong?" She asked in a much softer tone, but I couldn't say anything to her, I wouldn't lie to her but I promised myself I would keep Xiaoxi's dying wish.
"Bye, Helen, don't tell Amina what happened okay?"
"Please cover her eyes and ears, please be happy."
A gold ring was placed in my hand, the one she wore everyday. "Please give that to my parents."
I couldn't stop myself from shaking, as silent tears flowed from my eyes. Amina kept asking questions, but I couldn't answer her, instead my knees collapsed onto the ground as she held me close. I could tell from her voice that she had already started crying. I could her Xiaoxi's parents crying, sobbing as I heard Carlisle's soft voice appear and guide us to a quieter corner, as far away we could go from the reception.
With shaking palms I took off the necklace and placed the ring into Xiaoxi's mother's hands. Her eyes red, body hunched over and crying into her husband's arms. Her mother was a louder crier than her Father, who kept his head down the entire time, though his shoulders shook.
Her parents didn't stay any longer, muttering something in Chinese as they left as they clasps my hands, their heads bowed. Carlisle said something to them and Jasper appeared with his car, ready to drive them back into the airport.
Amina had passed out onto the ground, Embry had caught her so she wouldn't hit her head onto the ground and get a concussion. I couldn't met his eyes as he walked away.
Carlisle held me close, holding my hands which were rubbing my eyes too violently. I heard a loud bark and opened my eyes. Jacob, the human, who was now almost seven feet tall in height and looking much older, and angrier was standing by Sam and Quil — the wolf — and Seth the human.
"What are you crying?" Jacob asked, his anger slipping off his face. Sam looked irritated even in wolf form while Seth and Quil looked annoying. "Did something happen?"
"Just something we had to get done." Carlisle said with an even tone and I placed my head on his chest, closing my eyes.
I heard Jacob grunt in pain, seemingly from someone hitting him, and I felt a warm palm on my head.
"Cheer up kid." Jacob said and I swatted his hand away.
"I…" I took a deep shuddered breath, trying to control my breathing. "Am older than you."
"Not physically, just mentally."
He had no idea.
He ruffled my hair and ran off,.
"Bye, Helen." Seth said softly. "Bye Dr. Cullen."
Carlisle said goodbye to him and I felt Quil nudge me with his head.
I thought Sam had left, but instead was met with a giant tongue licking em in the face.
"Ewwww!" I groaned and pushed his giant head away. "Sam!"
He grutned and ran off.
We were left alone in the dark forest, the only light left being the moon and the decorations Alice put up in the far distance.
Carlisle picked me up with a small huff.
"Later." I said knowing he was going to say something. "Not right now."
"I was going to say the same thing." He said with a soft tone.
We arrived at the house, dodging everyone by going into one of the bathrooms that weren't used.
I was able to make myself look more presentable, or rather Carlisle did, he was surprisingly good at makeup.
Then we said goodbye to Bella and Edward who will be enjoying their honeymoon soon enough.
"Let's go to Ohio." Carlisle said immediately and my eyes shot up to look at him in surprise.
"O-Ohio? What about school you said —"
He shook his head. "We'll leave for a little bit." He added.
"... We're only going to Ohio?" I asked him and he looked at me confused.
"Do you want to go somewhere else as well?" He asked.
"... Don't you?" I asked. "I just… need a breather… away from everything…"
He looked back at the house, we had remained in the drive-way.
"I think, we need time with just us." He said slowly, his tone even, too even.
"I'm not… I'm not… running away." I said, eyes burning and tired. "I know, that your problems follow you whenever you go, I know that. But I know that being here… being in that apartment… it isn't healthy for you or for me."
".. Then let's go, wherever the wind takes us." He pressed his forehead onto mine and I closed my eyes.
Isabella Swan became Isabella Cullen on August 13th.
It had been two months then Xiaoxi had died.
"... I don't feel better." I whispered. "I thought I would… but I don't feel any better."
"I know." Carlisle said with a deep, sighed breath. "I know."
I fell to sleep.