It was my decision to leave Phoenix behind and move to Forks. I was almost sure of it.

Charlie, my dad, didn't say much on the drive home from the airport, but I could tell he thought my mother had convinced me to go. Renee had a knack at making her ideas feel like yours until you were stubbornly convinced you couldn't be happy with yourself unless the plan was carried out. Not to say she was controlling. She was pretty loose as far as parents go. Scatterbrained. Always jumping from one idea to another. But she was always there for me.

"So, school starts tomorrow. Do you need anything?" Charlie asked.

"No, I should have school supplies in the boxes mom shipped." I grimaced, feeling my chest tighten at the thought of my first day at school.

Charlie grew silent again, but his face shifted to perturbed.

"She did send them to you, right?" I asked.

"I'm sure the mail is just a little slow right now. There was an unexpected snowstorm last week." Charlie tried his best to cover for her.

"Right," I stared down at the cactus I had brought with me trying to shed the awkwardness of the car ride.

I thought back to Phoenix. To the Saturdays I had spend with my neighbors Amelia and Isaac hiking around Phoenix. I never thought of myself as an athlete, but I loved exploring Phoenix Sonoran Preserve or Estrella Mountain. In the real world I was clumsy, but in nature I felt whole. Balanced. I could navigate trails easily. Identify some bushes or birds. It felt like I was supposed to be there.

"Bella, I know Forks isn't what you had in mind for your last two years of high school—"

"No, Dad, it's fine. I'm happy to be living with you. Plus, I'm excited to explore the forest here." I tried my best to put on a brave face. I didn't want him feeling guilty.

"With a nature group I hope," he muttered.

"Dad, it's not my first time hiking."

"This isn't Phoenix. People who lived here for years go into the woods and get easily turned around Bella." He looked at me with his serious face. "Promise me you won't go alone."

Part of me wished I was standing so I could cross my fingers behind my back as I heaved out, "I promise."

We pulled into the driveway and Charlie turned the police cruiser off. The house looked exactly like I remembered it. Even my room was the same. Guilt crept in as I realized, I had left him here for so long in this museum of memories.

"Hope you like the sheets, the girl at the store helped me pick them out."

I looked down to see the old plaid blanket had been replaced by purple sheets smelling of too much detergent.

"Purple's great." I stammered, wondering if I would ever feel at home.

"Well, I'll leave you to it." He nodded, leaving the room as if he had just remembered a task.

I sat down on the bed and let out a long exhale. Outside the wind began to pick up and the rain fell in scattered sheets. I shivered and went to the dresser. I had brought a few items of clothing in my duffle back but nothing prepared for such cold temps. I miscalculated March.

Charlie must have cleaned out my drawers for me to put my own stuff in. The only things in them were a Christmas sweater knitted by the police department's secretary, Miss Bearnice and a shirt from the bowling ally where the department hosted their family fun day.

"Great," I muttered, trying to choose between which was less embarrassing.

I began to put my things away and try to make myself at home. Making plans to update my room from 6 to 16 year-old Bella. Thinking about where I would put things once my boxes arrived. Deciding what to take off the wall—definitely my horrific childhood artwork.

The pounding rain and howling wind attempted to keep me up all night. I tossed and turned, trying to fall asleep, unable to find the perfect position. When I finally did, I dreamed of Phoenix.

I was standing on the mountain listening to the wind, the sun on my face. I felt a warm slow pulse from the sun, the sturdiness of the rocks beneath my feet. Suddenly the sun went out. Darkness fell although it was day. The stars came out shining brighter than normal as a chill began to take hold.

I awoke with a start to see it was already ten thirty. The rain had stopped, but no sun shone through the swift moving clouds. I began to feel nervous, thinking back to the dream.

My anxiety was distracted when I heard voices outside the window. I slowly peeled back the covers and looked outside to see Charlie talking to two men—one older and one younger than me.

I put on my clothes from yesterday and made my way downstairs. The voices grew louder as I made my way to the front door.

"Bella! You're awake!" The elder stranger called out.

He looked familiar but I couldn't place his name. I was sure I knew him, but all my Forks memories were lodged in the part of my brain I hadn't accessed in over a decade.

"Bells, you remember Billy and his son Jacob," Charlie graciously reminded me.

"Hey," I said, trying to nod hello and move my hair forward to hide the intense burn of my cheeks.

"We used to play together, when we were kids," Jacob quipped, also turning red.

"Bella was telling me she's looking for someone to go hiking with." Charlie offered.

"Dad!" I shoved my hands into my pocket and scowled.

"Jacob is a good guide out there. He's been exploring the trails since he could walk." Billy smiled up at him.

"I mean, we all have, it's practically tradition." Jacob shrugged, looking as uncomfortable as I felt.

An awkward silence fell as Charlie and Billy shared a smile.

"So, is this your truck?" I asked Jacob, attempting to shift the conversation. "It's pretty cool."

Jacob laughed and asked to Charlie, "Do you want to tell her?"

"Billy and Jacob fixed this up for you Bella. So, you have something to get around with." Charlie waited anxiously to see if I approved.

"No, way!" I felt my enthusiasm take over as I looked at the red Chevy with new eyes.

"Told you so," Billy gave Charlie a knowing look and added a wink, "I'm hip with the kids."

I went to check out the cab as Charlie and Billy began to embarrassingly heckle each other.

"You know how to work a stick, right?" Jacob asked, climbing in.

"Pump the clutch, first, second, third, reverse is here and if I'm putting it in park," I knew I was showing off but I couldn't help it.

"How'd you know all that?" He asked in wonder.

"Mom's car was old—not a classic like this, just old enough to be embarrassing." I felt my shyness take back over.

The awkward silence reappeared and hovered like the dark clouds slowly moving above us.

"So, do you want a ride tomorrow?" I asked, trying to make up for my know-it-all display.

"That'd be great," Jacob smiled bright before letting it fade, "But I go to school on the reservation."

"Oh, of course," I nodded, feeling stupid.

"But hey, let me know if you want to go hiking soon. You definitely shouldn't go alone."

"I've gone hiking in Arizona where there are scorpions, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes. Also, bears won't be out for another few weeks. I don't see what the big deal is." I could feel my stubborn side coming back.

"Just, trust me. Even experienced hikers get lost here."

I looked into the woods behind the house. It wasn't spring just yet. The thick underbrush hadn't grown in. The trees were still bare. There were some buds waiting for the temperature to rise so they could bust open, waiting for the perfect conditions. If I wanted to learn the landscape out there, it was better now than when everything was lush and grown.

That night I made breakfast for dinner and begged Charlie to let me buy some food tomorrow. Convincing him I actually had talents in the kitchen was tricky. He remembered Renee's less than palatable creations and kept saying, "I don't know what's wrong with the diner."

"Look, I know mom wasn't the greatest at food, that's why I made my own," I rolled my eyes clearing the plates from the table.

He sighed, wiping his mouth and pulling out his wallet.

"Alright, but make sure you get more bacon." He sat down a stack of bills and added, "The savory kind not maple glazed."

"Alright," I nodded, taking the cash from the table.

In my excitement, I almost knocked over what looked like it once was a Pothos plant on my way up the stairs. It was clear Charlie had over watered it and it was now suffering, leaves falling off, wilting and drooping. He had obviously set it by the steps to throw it out.

"Aw, poor little guy," I said to myself, feeling the petals, making a mental note to get him a new one once I got a job.

As I lay in bed, cursing my mother for not sending my boxes yet, I began to think back to the woods. The darkness that filled the gaps between the trees. It was clear everyone thought there was something in them, but what?