Bella's Point of View
When I had mentioned to Charlie my plans on moving in with him to Forks, I wasn't expecting to hear the news that he had recently moved out of the gloomy town. I've been visiting him in Forks since I was young, however, it's been a long time since I've visited last. I was probably ten or eleven when I put my foot down and refused the descent into utter darkness, clouds and gloomy weather. It was such an opposite place to anywhere Rene and I ever traveled or resided in. It made getting comfortable incredibly hard. So when Charlie told me that he had decided to move to La Push, I was ecstatic. Although the weather was similar to Forks, it seemed just a little better, the beaches and beautiful wildlife. I hoped that sunlight wouldn't be so much of a stranger in La Push.
Charlie wasn't completely fond of living in La Push, however a scandal had started in Forks police department, most of his department had gotten laid off. He wouldn't give me any crucial details on what had happened, but thanks to his close relationships with the La Push locals, he was welcomed to join the La Push police force as their new chief of police. He didn't have to suffer a pay cut or demotion, so he opted for taking the jump and moving to La Push.
His new house was very quaint. It was a modest size, but surprisingly gorgeous. It was made completely of pine logs, with long windows that sat from the floor to the ceiling. A stone fireplace dominated the south side of the house. It was a short walk to the beach, which was the very best part. The sounds of the ocean had always soothed me and when the rain started, maybe it would get drowned out by the crashing waves. It would have been even better if the house wasn't situated so closely to the other two cabins. It's not that I wasn't used to having neighbors, Rene and Phil's place was between two very lively neighbors. But in a setting like this, it almost felt like I was in a beachfront vacation house. The thought of rowdy neighbors disrupting the peace was a little concerning.
The other two houses looked more like the traditional log cabins, even though they were slightly bigger than Charlie's they looked to be in not very good shape. I could tell that they had been sitting there a lot longer than the cabin I was now calling home. There were very visible scratches against the sides of one of the cabins. Huge, deep. It was a bit unsettling. I'm not sure what kind of animal could have caused damage like that. The stutters around the windows were faded and chipping. The porches appeared broken and mangled to the point I wondered how safe it would even be to use. Charle's house appeared brand new compared to the cabins sitting on both sides of it.
It made the choice to move in with Charlie slightly easier. I knew Rene wasn't a huge fan of it. But this would be for the best. Rene and Phil had recently married and Rene really wanted to spend more time with him, but she would have to constantly stay at home with me. So I figured it was time to give them some personal time. It wasn't that big of a deal. I would finish out high school on the La Push reservation. Then the possibility of doing some traveling myself was an option.
It was a long trip to Washington, needless to say I was exhausted. As I stood in the main entrance, only two suitcases sat at my feet I took in my surroundings. It was spacious regardless of how small it appeared on the outside. Everything was pretty rustic, very much Charlie's style. Cozy, warm. Flannel print and a few pieces of wall decor with a fishing theme. A large fish of some kind sat above the grand fireplace, mounted on a simple piece of wood. It was surprisingly comfortable. I heard Charlie rummaging through the kitchen at the moment. I appreciated the fact that he was giving me some space. It was a lot to take in.
Timidly, I gathered up my things and made my way through the house. It was still pretty empty, Charlie hadn't had the chance to do much decorating, just a few things from his old place. So everything was pretty neat and tidy. He mentioned the bedrooms were on the upper level of the house. So I made my way up the wooden staircase, letting my hand glide up the banister. There wasn't even a hint of dust lingering. To my delight, the room that was now mine, included a personal bathroom. It was small, but it was everything I could possibly need. I was so incredibly thankful for this. Sharing a bathroom with Charlie was one of my biggest worries.
My room wasn't too bad. It wasn't big, or fancy, but comfortable. Much like the rest of this house. I took my time putting my belongings away. I only brought a few outfits and a couple of my favorite books. I wasn't sure if there were any clothing stores on the reservation, but I would eventually need to buy more. I didn't have many clothing choices to take with me, everything I owned was better suited for warm, sunny weather. It didn't get cold in Arizona very often. So, most likely I would need to ask Charlie about it. I should probably plan on a shopping trip over the weekend. As much as I hated the very idea of it.
Once I had finished putting everything away, I took a seat on the bed, taking note of it's stiffness. On one of the walls of my room, it was completely glass. I could see the beach easily from the window. Waves crashed against the shores, I could almost hear it. The sky was gray and cloudy. But thankfully the rain hadn't started yet. I hoped for the sun to peek through those thick clouds, just once. Off in the distance, there was a large cliff, jagged and relatively rough in appearance. La Push was beautiful. And peaceful. The beach seemed private, no one was out walking along the shore. Birds swooped down across the water from time to time. It was so quiet. Maybe spending my time here wouldn't be as bad as I had thought.
"Hey Bells, we have some guests here that I wanted you to meet." Charlie called from downstairs. The suddenness of his voice had startled me. I flinched, turning away from the window.
"I'm coming," I called back awkwardly.
It was still a bit weird talking with Charlie. We were so much alike. We both could be socially awkward at times. Leaving my room and heading back down the stairs, I was mindful to be careful. I knew full well that if I didn't go slow I would be slipping, and falling down the whole way. I've never been the most graceful. It was something I've gone to great lengths to hide.
Making it to the bottom, I only tripped once, but was able to keep myself on my feet. Charlie was waiting for me at the front door, which was opened just enough for me to see two people waiting on the porch. With a big breath I gathered some courage and went to stand next to Charlie. Instantly my eyes landed on a boy, with hair that reached down to his shoulders, and skin that I could only describe as the perfect tan. Beside him was an older man in a wheelchair, this man I recognized to be Billy Black.
I only knew this because I had remembered the fishing trips Charlie had taken me on with Billy. I didn't particularly love this experience, but it did end up benefiting me. I would end up getting so bored on these trips, that I would bring a book along with me. Just for something to do, other than stare at the stagnant water for hours on end. Thus my love for reading began. It was the only thing I did to occupy my time after that.
"Hey Bella, do you remember me?" Billy grinned, taking my hand to give it a shake. Like the young boy next to him, his hair was long as well, down to the tops of his shoulders. The same as I had always remembered.
"Of course Billy, how are you?" I offered him a controlled smile.
"Oh, I'm still chugging along," He chuckled, letting my hand go to look up to the boy that stood next to him. "And I bet you remember my boy here Jacob."
Honestly I hadn't remembered his name, but he did have something about him that was just familiar to me. He looked almost my age. Probably a few years younger. He had quite the baby face. But the warm smile he had, felt so warm and inviting.
I turned to the boy, hoping that it wasn't obvious that I was bluffing now. "Yeah, hey Jake, it's really good to see you,"
His eyes were so dark, I couldn't put into words the depth of those brown eyes. "Bella," He gave me a nod, along with a wide goofy smile. "Don't worry about a thing, I'll ride to school with you on Monday, and show you the ropes."
His words brought a wave of relief to wash over me. That was another thing I was worried about. I knew the kids that lived locally on this reservation all had very similar looks and have lived with the traditions of La Push their whole lives. It was a very different place, than anywhere else in the world. They had customs that they followed and I don't have the faintest idea of any of them. I worried that I was going to stay out and have a hard time blending into the background. The thoughts of making friends seemed even more unlikely. I just didn't know what to expect. But with Jacob at my side, maybe it wouldn't be so bad.
"I hope everyone is hungry, I ordered a pizza, if you don't mind staying for a bit Billy." Charlie said, leading them into the house. "Our Fridge is kind of empty after making the move out here." He explained with a sheepish look.
"Sure Charlie, we got nothing better to do." Billy agreed, wheeling himself inside, and over to the couch, where the game was on.
Jacob paused by me, offering me a boyish grin. "So, how long do you think you will be staying?"
"I'll definitely be here until after I graduate," I said as I took a few steps into the kitchen. He followed after me, appearing nonchalant. I opened the fridge, taking note of the lack of anything inside of it. Luckily there was at least a bottle of water. I would need to go shopping for groceries as well. Charlie wasn't much of a cook and that didn't bother me. I was used to taking care of the cooking. Rene was hopeless in the kitchen as well.
That brought my thoughts to my mother, and Phil. I wonder if they are doing alright, if my absence really made that much of a difference. I suppose they would be eating on the road. Since Phil's work had him traveling often. I was sure that Rene would be far happier and that was the only thing that mattered to me.
"That's right, you are a little older than me huh," He responded, leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen. He continued to appear aloof. Like my reply wouldn't matter to him, one way or the other.
"I turned seventeen last September." I nodded, watching his reaction closely. There was a subtle change to his expression. He pulled his brows together for a second, before disappointment flashed across his face.
"Well I guess we are only two years apart then," He shrugged his shoulders. "That isn't a big deal." The way he spoke, it sounded like he was trying to comfort himself. I didn't know why it mattered to him. I didn't mind that he was younger, I would still be his friend regardless. He seemed like the type of person I could easily talk to. I hoped that we would become good friends while I spent my time here in La Push.
I took a few sips from the water bottle, listening to Charlie and Billy hoot and holler from the living room. Their attention was plastered on the game. I had no interest in baseball. So, Jacob and I lingered in the kitchen.
"So, tell me about school, what can I expect on my first day?" I asked nervously, taking a seat at the kitchen table. He sat down across from me, getting comfortable.
"Well you can expect a lot of staring and whispering and probably a lot of unwanted male attention," He admitted with a slight frown. "But I have a pretty solid group of friends. You're welcome to hang with us. We even have a spot for you at lunch, if you want."
It didn't sound very fun spending all my time with a group of fifteen year olds. I'm not sure if that would bring more unwarranted attention, or not. However, it was comforting to know that I would have the option of not sitting alone on my first day of school. So, for now, I think I would take his offer.
"Thanks Jake, I'd really appreciate that," I smiled shyly.
His bright smile seemed a little too eager. Maybe it was the boyish excitement he was displaying that made me feel so comfortable around him. It was having a goofy little brother that was watching my back. I've always been an only child, so the idea of having Jake around would be fun.
"If you want, I can take you on a little tour of La Push, there are a lot of things to do here." His expression was so hopeful, it almost made me laugh.
"Okay, sure." I said, unable to hold back my smile. "Are there any clothing stores around? I did plan on heading out shopping for some new clothes. I really don't have anything suitable for the weather here."
He paused, a thoughtful look coming to his face. "There is a place, I'm not sure if the clothes they sell there would really be your style. You would have better luck traveling to Port Angeles. The reservation stores have more… native… traditional clothing. Stuff you might see the old folks wearing back in the day."
Port Angeles. Yeah, now that I think of it, Charlie had mentioned that Port Angeles was a good place to go shopping. He wasn't aware that shopping is probably one of my least favorite activities. But I still thanked him for the information. Maybe I could convince Jacob to come along with me this weekend. I'm sure it wouldn't take much to convince him.
After a few minutes of chit-chat, the doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of the pizza Charlie ordered. Charlie was quick to answer the door, I heard him cheerfully greeting the delivery guy, before making his way into the kitchen with two large pizza boxes. The smell was delicious. It was making my mouth water.
"Dig in, kids," Charlie smiled timidly, before getting out the paper plates. He neatly made up a plate for Billy and walked it back into the living room. Jacob and I didn't hesitate to pile up our plates as well. But instead of staying in the kitchen, I decided to go outside and get some fresh air. The front porch had a nice patio table and chairs.
Again, Jacob followed me to continue our conversation. It felt like we had been talking for hours. I didn't mind it. Our talks were innocent and meaningless. He seemed to really be enjoying himself. His smile was contagious. The sky started to get dark at some point, but it didn't really seem to matter to Jake, he continued on unbothered.
"So, do you happen to know the families in the cabins here?" I asked, gesturing to the neighbors located on each side of Charlie's place.
Jacob snorted. "I wish I didn't. You have the worst luck." He said with a sour look. "You got Sam Uley as a neighbor on the left. And the place on the right is Paul Lahote. They are both the biggest assholes of the school."
I tried to keep any reactions off my face. But I wanted to groan. "I'm guessing they are trouble?"
Jacob nodded warily. "They are ill-tempered bastards, take my advice on this, stay away from them," He muttered staring into the darkness for a moment.
Well, I guess this situation, living with Charlie couldn't be perfect. Hopefully those jerks won't give me any issues. As long as I keep my head down and avoid them, I'm sure it is going to be alright. And of course, I think I can depend on Jacob as well. I was cautiously optimistic.
Thanks for reading. This is an update to an older story that I had written years ago. I felt that it needed a bit of a refresh. So, I'll be editing all the chapters! I hope you are enjoying this so far. What are your thoughts? Leave a review and let me know.