A/N If you're reading this, I am reuploading a revised version of an old story I wrote a year ago called Secrets. I deleted that story because I was not happy with it. That story went through several changes, and now I'm in the process of rewriting it for this new story called Heartbreak Hotel. If you remember the old one, some of the writing is the same, but a lot has changed. If all goes well, I actually plan to make this into a trilogy.
In case you don't remember Secrets or this is your first time, this is a B/J AU story. Bella comes back to Forks for the first time in years. She starts off 22 years old. She gets into a tragic car accident and is taken to the hospital to be treated by Carlisle. She eventually meets all of the Cullens, and the story goes from there. Each chapter will alternate between Bella and Jasper's perspectives.
If you like this story, please review. That would mean a lot. Also, I am in need of a beta reader. If anyone is interested, please feel free to message me. I would very much appreciate the help.
Chapter 1- Bella
Today was a quiet, gloomy day while driving down the highway along the edge of the Olympic Peninsula. I drove past all of the overgrown, green trees on the side of the road, scenery that I've always found comforting growing up. However, today the sky was a dark gray, making the trees look bleak. Loud classic rock music blasted out of the speakers, giving me a headache, so I turned it off. The silence of the car was not soothing at all, and I was left alone with my anxious thoughts.
I drove for about three hours from Seattle, but it felt like days. It was already past three in the afternoon, and I had not eaten yet. I barely slept last night, and it felt like I could veer off the road at any minute.
I set out to visit my father for the first time in four years, after not having spoken to him in all that time. Charlie tried to contact me several times since I left Forks to convince me to come back home, but I ignored him. As of now, the last time I texted him was about two years ago. Being the police chief of Forks, he could have easily tracked me down if he wanted, but he understood my insistence that I needed space and never knew I was in trouble. Charlie had always been a good father to me, but by the time I graduated high school, our relationship was strained beyond repair, and I left town at the first opportunity.
At some point, I saw the dreaded Forks Welcome Sign. I was finally back "home," the place I avoided for so long. Driving into town, everything looked as empty as it was four years ago, so I didn't know why I would have expected anything to change. I only saw two people standing outside a gas station. There was only one four way stop and one traffic light on the main road, and the light was barely working. I couldn't even tell what color it was. Very typical of this town. No one was here, so I drove straight through it.
Hardly two seconds later, I was already halfway out of Forks. I turned into my old neighborhood, and awaited my impending doom. My stomach was in knots and I started breathing heavily. I'd been putting off this moment for a couple of weeks now to come visit Charlie again and ask for help, and my anxiety was unbearable. I've been sleeping in my car in a church parking lot in Seattle for the past year since I lost my job and my supposed best friend kicked me out of our apartment. I thought I could try to make it on my own without having to try to contact Charlie again about my situation. I haven't been able to find a job or an apartment yet, but I was getting there. Everything was working out fine until a week ago, and I couldn't bear it any longer.
I didn't know how I could possibly face Charlie after refusing to speak to him for years, and randomly showing up at his doorstep to tell him that I am flat out broke with nowhere to live. He would be shocked and disappointed in me and probably try to pressure me to move back in with him. Living with him again probably wouldn't work out, but I did know that I couldn't find a job or an apartment by myself anymore. I could only imagine that he would give me some kind of hour long lecture about making poor life choices. Or he might slam the door in my face. If I knew my father like I think I did, he would never do that, but there was still a part of me in the back of my mind that worries I'd completely pushed Charlie away to the point where he wants nothing to do with me anymore. I couldn't help but think about his possible rejection, and I didn't even notice when I drove past his house.
I turned around, but I didn't have it in myself to park my car and get out. So I did the next best thing and drove around the neighborhood at a slow speed, doing anything I could to prolong the inevitable. I had a migraine, and my stomach hurt, so I parked the car on the side of some random street to stop and think. I rolled down the windows and took several deep breaths, finding the strength to calm down.
Somehow, I was able to turn around and park in front of Charlie's house, the home where I spent several years of my life, but it all seemed so foreign to me now. In my head, I imagined that it would look completely different or be demolished, but it looked exactly the same the day that I left just like every other house in the neighborhood.
After one more deep breath, I was about to open the door, but then a yellow dog ran out of the house into the backyard. Did Charlie actually get a dog for himself? We never had any pets. I thought he was allergic. The dog ran in circles and sat down while digging into the ground. I stared at the cute little guy, and suddenly a little boy with brown hair came running out to play with him.
What the fuck? Why was there a small child living here? Could Charlie have possibly gotten married to a woman with a kid, and I wouldn't know? But then, what looked like the boy's father, an older man with gray hair came out of the house and started talking to the boy, and I immediately buckled up again and turned to leave. That man could either be a friend of Charlie's coming to visit with his kid, but more likely Charlie no longer lived here. I bolted out of the neighborhood and back onto the main road through town, hoping no one saw me.
I couldn't believe that Charlie actually no longer lived in this house where he has spent his whole life since childhood. He stayed here after his parents died and at least up until I left. This place was always his home, and I could never picture him finding a reason to pack up and move somewhere else. But now he was gone, and that place was no longer my home. Where the hell would Charlie go? Maybe, he just moved to a different house in town, but there is no way he would leave Forks. Would he? He was such an integral part of this community, and everyone here loved him.
I didn't know how to feel about all of this. Not knowing where he went, my only possible safety net was gone. I had nowhere else to go, so I basically drove out here for no reason. Now, I would have to sleep in my car for another night with all of those scary people who have started to lurk around the church recently. I dreaded going back to Seattle. At least my anxiety was partially relieved knowing that I didn't have to see my dad today.
My stomach rumbled, so I pulled up to a gas station with one of my last ten dollar bills to buy a cheap snack. As I walked in while putting my sunglasses on, there was only one person inside at the cash register looking bored. Before I looked for food, I realized that I should take this opportunity to cleanse myself in the bathroom.
Luckily, there was barely anyone here to watch me go inside, and this was a single private bathroom with a lock, so I could take as long as I wanted. I used to take long, hot showers as a teeneager and sit in the bathtub for almost an hour every day. These were good times, but I haven't had the luxury to take a proper shower in a long while. The showers at one of the local homeless shelters in Seattle were usually very cold, and I had to rush to take one in two minutes as there was always a long line of people behind me.
My hair was a tangly mess and I have not brushed it out in a couple weeks. I usually kept my hair tied back as neatly as possible. I took off my thick coat and looked at myself in the mirror while undoing my thick, curly brown hair from my hair band. I poured water in my hands and splashed it all over my round face and through my hair. The soap from the dispenser was disgusting, but it is the only thing available to wash my face. I quickly used soap and water to rub down my arms, torso, and legs, and I had to dry off with rough paper hand towels.
The cashier was still the only person here when I walked out, so I quietly went about my business to look for snacks. I was about to pick up a bag of chips and a cheap salad when I heard someone else walk into the store.
Looking up, I instantly recognized who it was. She was a very tall girl with long, straight, light-brown hair and big blue eyes with a bunch of freckles on her face.
Well shit. Angela Weber was here.
Of course someone I knew had to spot me on the one random day in the middle of the year that I decided to come back for an hour. If she saw me, I'm sure the news would spread, and soon this whole gossipy town would know that Bella Swan has come back after disappearing for four years. Angela probably hated me after I completely cut her out and all my other friends from high school and left for Seattle without telling anyone.
Keeping my head down and averting eye contact, I pretended that I didn't see her, and hopefully she wouldn't notice me. I did my best to hide in the back of the store, but unfortunately for me, I was spotted.
"Bella, is that really you?" Angela asked in her soft, chirpy voice once she saw me.
I looked at her, and she was half smiling at me as she approached me while clearly shocked at my presence. "Yep, it's me, the one and only," I awkwardly replied as I forced a smile on my face while slowly backing away from her.
Angela was once my best friend for a short time in high school, but even saying that was kind of a stretch. We were never really that close as I pretty much had a superficial relationship with everyone. She was one of the nicest people to me back then, and she and I could always sit together and enjoy a comfortable silence. She was always able to give me quiet space when I needed it, and she never tried to pry into my personal life when I didn't want to talk about it, unlike certain other people. It's too bad our friendship had to end.
"I'm so shocked to see you here. We all thought you were dead," she laughs. I felt like my stomach was going to fall out of my ass.
"No. I just left Forks for a couple years, is all."
"I never thought I'd see you again. How've you been?" Well, at least she didn't seem mad at me. She looked like she wanted to start a long catch-up conversation with me, and I wished I could vanish into thin air.
"I moved to Seattle a while back with a friend. Can't complain. What about you?"
"Oh, you know. Same old, same old. Just finishing up school and looking at getting my own place with Ben next year." It seemed like she was having the success story I'll never have. I could only dream of achieving a career, getting my own apartment, and having a boyfriend who was an actual decent person.
"Nice. You're still seeing Ben?" I asked.
"Oh yeah. We're going on five years now." She smiled while talking about him. Five years is so long. I never knew they were that serious. "So, what brings you back here all of a sudden?"
I stared awkwardly at the floor for a few moments, not ready to admit the truth to her or anyone for that matter.
"Um, I just came to see Char . . . my dad. It's been a while." I literally could not come up with a single good lie for why I was here, but my response didn't really give away too much. I couldn't tell her the real reason I came here because that was honestly humiliating.
"Wait, you haven't heard?" she asked me a little with a worried expression on her face.
"Heard what? Is he okay?" I froze for a moment. He couldn't be dead, could he? That's impossible. I tried to tell myself that I was just overreacting, but I couldn't help my stomach from tying into knots again. He just moved away clearly. I saw his house earlier today, and he wasn't there, so he had to have just moved away.
"Oh no, he's fine. He moved like a year ago. He lives in California now with his girlfriend. He didn't tell you?"
Phew, he was alive. Well, now I had the confirmation that he actually left Forks, but I still couldn't believe that he would do it. He always loved being here so much, and he rarely ever traveled anywhere outside except for work. He always used to tell me that if I ever needed to come back home, I would always know where to find him. I guess I took him for granted. I'd been so wrapped up in myself and completely ignored Charlie for four years just assuming that he would always be there for me when I was in trouble. But still, he wouldn't just leave Forks without trying to contact me and letting me know where he is. That's so not like him. I'd been so horrible to Charlie, and he probably finally gave up on me, so I couldn't be surprised that he didn't tell me.
Tears almost welled up in my eyes, but I willed myself not to cry. I couldn't break down in front of Angela and lose face. I had to appear strong.
"No, he didn't. We, um, sort of fell out of touch," I admitted.
"I'm sorry to hear that." She looked down at me with pity in her eyes.
"It's fine." At this point, I was done talking to her. This reunion was getting too personal. I wanted to just dig a hole and bury myself in it forever. Or bury her in it.
"Hey, if you're not leaving soon, I would love to invite you to dinner with Ben and I, so we could catch up. Only if you want to of course."
I was definitely not expecting her offer. Of course, I was starving, but my desire to get away from here as quickly as possible outweighed any chance I would want to get dinner with her. I couldn't afford dinner at any restaurant, and I'd rather die than ask her to pay for my meal.
"Thanks, I really appreciate it, but I have to get going soon. I have to start heading back before it gets dark," I said as nicely as possible. I hope she didn't feel rejected.
Right now, There was no time to dawdle with Angela and play catch up. Why did she even care about me anymore?
"Oh okay, no worries." She was about to leave, and I was about to lose the chance to have an actual nice meal for the first time in so long. "Well, I'd love to talk to you again. You have my number, right? You could always call or text me if you wanted to."
How kind of her. I had no intention to ever reach out to her. It was a shame because she was one of the very few genuine people I've ever had as a friend, but I didn't want anyone to find out about my living situation. I needed to let her go.
"Yeah, of course. It was nice seeing you."
We waved each other goodbye, and she turned away. I felt relieved again being alone, yet there was a lingering sadness knowing I'd never see her again.
I drove down the highway again heading east toward Seattle. The whole time, I dreaded going back and having to sleep in my car again for another night in the same old church parking lot. The church left their parking lot open twenty-four hours a day, and many people like me spent their nights sleeping there. It was always scary sleeping in my car alone as there is always the possibility that someone could break in and hurt me. Bad things have happened to me before.
The sky grew darker after I left town and it started to rain. I drove slower down the highway than I normally would and turned on my headlights. Other cars around me were still speeding, making me nervous, but I tried to focus on the road ahead of me.
It had been quite a long time since anyone was nice enough to offer to take me out to dinner. I felt bad for being petty toward Angela when I tried to get away, assuming talking to her would be too awkward. She had only been nothing but nice to me, and she wasn't mad at all about how our friendship ended. If Charlie were still here, maybe he would have offered me the same kind of solace and tried to help me as well. But now, I pushed him away, and I fucked myself over when I needed his help the most. He'd be so disappointed in me if he found out where I lived and how dangerous it is. I teared up thinking about how I had no way to contact him, and I might never see him again.
Eventually, there was a torrential downpour, and I could barely see through the front windshield, so I had slowed down even more. I heard a loud boom of thunder in the distance, jolting me in my seat, and I started to get that queasy feeling back in my stomach. I always tried to avoid driving during bad weather, but I had no choice but to get back to the city. Three more hours.
At some point, I couldn't see the road at all, so I pulled over. I felt like I was about to throw up, and I wished that I took Angela's offer to eat with her. Maybe she would have let me spend the night at her house, and I could have slept in a cozy bed and taken a warm shower. Honestly, I never should have come back to Forks in the first place. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle seeing Charlie again, and I just wasted all this gas money that I should have been saving. But Seattle was so dangerous for someone like me, and going back brings back memories of all the trauma I've experienced in the past year. I had no other choice but to go back though.
I pulled my phone out to look for the weather, but there was no service. I had no idea when this storm was going to end, and I felt claustrophobic in the car.
The rain seemed to be settling down somewhat as I started driving again, but about twenty minutes later, it picked up even harder than it was before. It was windy, and all of the trees were shaking on the side of the road. The thunder got louder and I could see lightning off in the distance. I didn't see any cars around me which only heightened my fear. The road was covered with an inch of rain.
One moment I couldn't see through my windshield at all, and the next, a random man came out of nowhere standing in the middle of the street, and I was headed straight toward him. I had no time to think, so I swerved right and braked, and my car completely lost control. My attempts to steer the car back on path failed, and suddenly, the car headed straight toward a tree at high speed. It felt like there was a force pushing my car forward, and I couldn't see at all what was happening. My heart felt like it was going to pop up through my mouth, and I let out a loud scream. I immediately slammed down on the brake as hard as possible, but that did not help, and then I crashed straight into the tree.
For a moment, I completely blacked out. My heart and breathing stopped. In just one second, my whole seat was pushed forward and my head slammed into the steering wheel and back against the headrest. My legs kicked up under the steering wheel, and I felt a blinding pain in my knee and my shins. A bunch of tree branches crashed through the front window and sent glass flying over the car that struck me across my face. The fucking steering wheel did not have an air bag.
Every inch of my body burned. My nose was bleeding and there were cuts all over my face and neck. My neck felt like it was about to snap off, and my legs were on fire. My left knee felt like it popped open. I cried out in pain.
I was screaming and hyperventilating, but there was no one around to help me. I looked up, and there was glass all over the front of the car and branches were poking through where the windshield used to be. Rain was pouring down into the car and stung the cuts on my face. I tried to unbuckle my seat, but my arm was shaking and soaring with pain.
I wished I was anywhere but here. I didn't see anyone coming down the highway in front of me, and I couldn't turn my head to see if there were any cars coming down in the opposite direction. I had no idea if that man was still standing in the street. My phone had no fucking service. I couldn't possibly call the police or Angela or anyone else. I was going to die here all alone in the rain.
There were so many choices I could have made that would have stopped me from ending up here. I pushed my father away who had only tried to help me my whole life, and I'll never see him again. I pushed everyone away that's ever cared for me. I lost my best friend in the worst way possible, and she was gone forever. Now, I sat here alone in excruciating pain.
If only my mother was here right now. I pictured her face one last time with her bright blue eyes as she smiled at me, and she reached out to hold me. If I could be happy for a single moment, I would see my mother one last time. My thoughts drifted to her as I pictured her face with her soft blue eyes and beautiful curly hair as she smiled back at me. I closed my eyes and let my consciousness drift away.
Thank you for reading.