A/N: I'm very excited about this one! The story titles and all of Bella's chapter titles, except this first one, come from the song Don't Start Now by Dua Lipa.
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As always, I own nothing.
– 85 Years After New Moon –
– Bella's POV –
A Glutton for punishment. Definition: Someone who habitually takes on burdensome or unpleasant tasks or unreasonable amounts of work.
Yep, that describes me to a t.
Because seriously. What the fuck was I thinking?
Why would I do this to myself?
After eighty-five years, why now?
Well, that was easy.
I mean, I must be to put myself through this torture again, right?
You can't avoid it forever.
I looked back at my rearview mirror and glared at my reflection. "Watch me."
You made this choice, Isabella. Not me. I was all for going to Spain again. Enjoying the sunshine on my skin and the ocean breeze in my hair. You're the one who decided on . . . this.
I could hear the disdain in her voice. "It was necessary."
Oh please! Necessary is something required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential. This is none of those things. This is . . . this is . . . it's insanity, that's what it is! This is torture. It's foolish and irrational.
I huffed and leaned back in the driver's seat of my truck. It was a Chevy. Ancient. Rusted. A faded reddish orange. The kind of truck that could do some serious damage in a car accident.
Glutton for punishment. She sang in the back of my mind.
"Shut it," I growled.
Okay. Fine. Maybe I am insane.
I purposefully went looking for a truck exactly like my Beast. These days they're nearly impossible to find. All anyone drives are electric cars! Fuck, there are barely any gas stations anymore, they're all charging stations now!
I scoured auction houses, the internet, car dealerships, fuckin' craigslist! Until I found what I was looking for.
A one hundred and thirty-seven-year-old, 1953 reddish-orange Chevy truck.
Do you see? Insanity.
I paid a small fortune for it, too. Fuck, for what I paid for this truck, I could've bought half a dozen small islands!
But . . . I missed my dad. That was the long and the short of it.
When I escaped Forks back in 2005, I couldn't say goodbye to him.
Leaving was bad enough, but knowing he'd died shortly after my funeral was almost unbearable. It was my fault. He had a heart attack. Brought on by the stress of losing his only daughter.
Not to mention all those cheeseburgers at the diner. Did the man ever eat a salad? He was a ticking timebomb! I'm surprised he didn't blow years before we arrived in Forks!
I sighed. "I'm trying to be sentimental here."
Oh puh-lease! Don't think I'm falling for that load of sappy bullshit. The upcoming anniversary of Charlie's death isn't why we're in this situation and we both know it.
"Why else would I be doing this?"
I seriously don't know! The phrase, 'have you lost all your marbles', does come to mind!
A low growl reverberated through my chest. "You aren't helping!"
And we both know you're lying to yourself!
"I have no idea what you're talking about." I hissed. "Now, shut up. I can't think with you yapping at me."
It wouldn't be a problem if you didn't insist on remaining alone!
"I'm hardly alone." I sighed. "Just last month I went on a date with a lovely young woman. Dinner and a show. It was rather enjoyable."
And which one was she, pray tell? The date, the dinner, or the show?
A wide smirk greeted me in the mirror when I looked back at my reflection. It had been a very . . . pleasurable evening. Well, at least for me. My date, the poor dear, found herself at the bottom of the ocean by the end of the night.
If it makes anyone feel better, she died with a smile on her face, a dildo in her tight little cunt, and my teeth in her neck.
But, alas, that was then, and this is now.
Now, I'm here.
And still, wondering why.
Of all the places I could've gone . . .
It was true, I was missing my dad. And I guess, that's where the truck came in. I was flipping through my old photo albums and I saw a picture. Everything unraveled from there, I suppose.
I just . . . I wanted something to remind me . . .
You're doing it again.
A growl reverberated through my chest. "Would you shut up!"
Nope. We could've been on the beach sipping a Mai Tai and enjoying a tasty cabana boy and instead, we're . . . here. What is it with you and reliving the past? I thought we were over this.
I arched one eyebrow at my reflection. "Are we ever going to be over our father's tragic, untimely death?"
God, I hope so.
"He was our father! And he died believing we were dead. That he'd lost his only daughter because of a damn animal attack! He died, his heart failed, because of me! How am I supposed to get over that?"
It's been eighty-five years, Sunshine. Unless you plan on throwing yourself in the fire and taking that long walk up to the heavens to see the big guy, I suggest you find a way to move past it.
"Heaven?" I cocked an eyebrow. "After all the shit I've done in the last eighty-five years, you still think we're going to the big pearly gates when it's over?"
Fuck that. I'm the one who has no interest in ending it! We wouldn't be in this hell if it were up to me!
I knew she was right.
This was my doing, and mine alone.
Glad you agree. Now, how about you try admitting why we're really here and stop fobbing it off on dear ol' dad? We both know you haven't thought about Charlie Swan in at least three, maybe four decades!
She wasn't wrong about that, either. Didn't mean I was going to admit it, though. "I have no idea what you're talking about. I think of him all the time."
Now it was her turn to roll her eyes. Uh-huh. Really? Between fucking and draining anyone who tempts your libido and bloodlust, traveling the world, making boatloads of cash, and living in the lap of luxury, you get in some good thinking about Charlie time, do you?
Another growl tore through my chest as I heard the distinctive sound of a bell ringing in the distance.
With a sigh, I looked back at my reflection, this time checking my hair. Before I left the house, I threw it up in a messy bun. Nothing fancy. Nothing memorable. I didn't bother with much makeup, either. Just a quick swipe of mascara, a little lip gloss, and I was done. I put on my oversize black-rimmed glasses. Made sure there was nothing in my teeth. And I was good to go.
"You better behave yourself in there."
My reflection smirked back at me. I will if you will, Sunshine.
Rolling my eyes, I opened the driver's side door and grabbed my bookbag. As I slipped out of the truck, it began to rain. I didn't see it as a bad omen, just unavoidable.
"I guess there's no denying it now," I said to myself, turning to face the small red brick building that is Forks High School. "I am officially back in hell."
A/N: There we have it, chapter one! Short and sweet.