Author's Note: M'kay, this is my first attempt at a one-shot for Twilight… and the idea just came to me… surprise!
This story takes place during Eclipse when Edward and Bella are visiting her mom in Phoenix… it's what Charlie was thinking about… basically. It's an insight into how Charlie feels about Edward and Bella's relationship.. and other relationships…
Some of the stuff at the end it Stephenie Meyer's dialogue… but I put my own twist on the meanings… So… Yeah…
Disclaimer: They don't publish hobo's books… it's sad but true… even if we DO have cardboard boxes with internet access… those butt-heads…
Shoulda been my name
'Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there...
The way he looked at her scared the hell out of me… as if he was going to jump in front of her to save her from a bullet or something. It made me uneasy around him; like I was treading water. The air shifted and turned cold when he entered a room and my immediate reaction was to run. But Bella seemed at ease. That was unnatural.
Their whole relationship was something unnatural… and it wasn't just me being old-fashioned. This wasn't something kids did now-a-days. They were too serious for their age…. although, I did believe Bella when she said that she hadn't gone that far yet. I had to believe it, I was watching their every move practically, except for when they were at his parent's house… but surely, there had to be some adult supervision there. His parents seemed to have some control over him. There was no other time in which they could get into that kind of trouble. So there was no reason for me to doubt her, but that didn't mean that that boy wasn't going to try something fresh with her. Bella just didn't understand that he was still a teenage boy with hormones rushing through him. She trusted that boy too much, and that's what the problem was.
She was going to get her heart broken again.
I couldn't watch that happen, not again. When that boy left the first time, he left a shell of a person behind. He was too invested in her life. I was afraid that when he left again (and the odds pointed to that happening,) there wouldn't be enough of her heart left to go on… to love again. I didn't want her to go through that kind of pain, I never did. Those types of things shouldn't happen to someone like her, they happened to people like me, loveable, pushover Charlie Swan: the invisible man. Renee had done it to me, and I feared the same for Bella. That boy was not going to stay in Forks, not just for her. From what I had heard around town, he was IVY League material, smart and rich. Bella was smart, but we sure didn't have the money for her to go to a school like that. And I'd be damned if I let her become a charity case to those Cullens. They were not going to pay for her education. However, it seemed like she and that boy were considering the University of Alaska… that didn't make me feel much better. At least while they were close by, I could keep an eye on them. There was no telling what would happen once they went away to college together. Bella was too… trusting…
That was another thing that bothered me, how easily she forgave him when he came waltzing back into her life. There was no in-between for them; it was as if they were picking up right where they had left off. It was as if the past few months hadn't happened. Everything that Bella had gone through with Jacob got thrown out the window. I was sure there was something there, some un-kindled fire that got extinguished before it had a chance to burn. Jacob was good for her, much better than that Cullen boy. He was down-to-earth and safe; that was the most important factor. People warned me for months that that Cullen boy was no good, that there was something peculiar about him that you couldn't quite put your finger on. I had ignored their warnings and had told them to mind their own business. I'd told them that I knew how to keep a boy in line. Then I'd flash them my gun in its holster and I'd give them a knowing grin. I wish now that I had heeded their warnings. For it seemed now that their relationship had spiraled out of my control, it was like they didn't see me anymore.
An occasion recently that would prove my point was when that boy had convinced me to allow him to go with my daughter to visit Renee in Florida. How was he able to get me from saying, 'absolutely not,' to, 'I guess?' During our argument, it was like he was daring me to say something bad about him… but it was also like he knew what my excuses where going to be. Like he knew what I was thinking. That boy was too smart for his own good. I had folded like a piece of paper and now that boy was on a plane with my daughter, coming home after three days.
I peeked through the curtain in the living room when I heard a sound, hoping that she was finally home. She was due back any minute now. No cigar. I sighed and returned to scrubbing dried gunk off a plastic, dinner plate from last night. I had attempted to make myself lasagna last night and that had resulted in a burnt, block of cheese and pasta. I'd placed my failed attempt at cooking to the side and ordered pizza. Bella usually made the meals. I dreaded the day that she would finally leave me, just like her mother.
It had been a blessing when she had first arrived here. I was finally going to get to know the daughter who had been taken away from me so early. For the first year, everything was going fine we were really bonding… Then he left and she pulled away. She shielded herself from everyone; me, her friends, even Renee. Why was this boy allowed to have that kind of effect on her? Why was Bella allowing him to have it?
I thought back to the other boy in Bella's life, Jacob. He had called so many times today, trying to get in contact with her… Why couldn't she just be with him? It would make everything so much simpler. The Cullen boy had come back just when it felt like something was happening between them. I liked this boy better, I could watch this boy, I could trust him. The Cullen boy was a mystery and he was a loose cannon. Really, I knew nothing about him. How did I know that I wasn't allowing my daughter to associate herself with someone dangerous? I shook those thoughts from my head. I was allowed to distrust the boy all I wanted, but I would succumb to the gossip that this little town created. There was no way that this boy could-
The sound of tires running through gravel tore me away from my thoughts. I rushed back to the window in the living room and peered through the lacy, yellow curtains.
They were home.
I looked into the darkness and frowned as I saw that he and Bella were sitting in her truck together, alone. The Cullen boy got out and opened her car door for her. He wasn't going to get any points with me for trying to be a gentleman. He had disproved that theory when he left her alone in those woods that night almost nine months ago… The Cullen boy grabbed her suitcase… I think I'm going to be sick.
I rushed to the door to eliminated any extra alone time they would have together. I pulled open the door and beamed at my daughter. "Welcome home, kid!" I shouted like I really meant it. "How was Jacksonville?"
She gave me a faint smile. "Moist. And buggy."
I smiled, "So Renee didn't sell you on the University of Florida?"
She shook her head, "She tried. But I think I'd rather drink water than inhale it." My eyes flickered unwillingly to the person who I wished would just disappear. It made my reunion with my daughter bitter sweet. But at least they were back home, where I could watch them. "Did you have a nice time?"
"Yes," he answered in a composed tone. "Renee was very hospitable."
"That's… um, good. Glad you had fun," I lied as I pulled Bella in for a hug.
"Impressive," she whispered in my ear, referring to my attempt to be civil to the boy.
I barked a laugh. "I really missed you, Bells." I smiled and I could feel my face crinkle from the action. "The food around here sucks when you're gone." I cringed thinking back to my attempt at cooking last night. I let go of her.
"I'll get on it," she said, referring to dinner.
"Would you call Jacob first?" I asked. "He's been bugging me every five minutes since six o'clock this morning. I promised I'd have you call him before you even unpacked." I looked at Edward in the corner of my eye and saw that he wasn't moving. In fact, he didn't even give the slightest indication that he had even heard me.
"Jacob wants to talk to me?" Bella asked.
I nodded. "Pretty bad, I'd say. He wouldn't tell me what it was about—just said it was important." I heard the phone ringing from inside the house. I relaxed. She couldn't ignore that. "That's him again, I'd bet my next paycheck."
She ran in to pick up the phone and he followed her automatically. I followed as well and lurked outside of kitchen, watching and listening to her conversation with Jake. It was short and that disappointed me. I was hoping that maybe Jacob would at least put up a fight for my daughter, but no, he was just going to let the Cullen boy win. I'd thought that Jake had more fight in him than that. Plus, Jake was much bigger than he was… it wouldn't take much to put him in his place… However, that Emmett kid was pretty intimidating. I guess I would be hesitant to mess with that guy's brother.
When Bella hung up the phone, she and the boy talked in hushed tones for a while as Bella prepared the food. I felt as if I were intruding upon a domestic scene, like I was intruding upon a married couple. I was invisible to them. Nothing I said or did was going to keep them apart… it was then that I realized this. I was as invisible as the piece of cellophane that Bella was unwrapping from a hunk of hamburger meat. I watched as she dropped it and The Cullen boy swooped down to pick it up with cat-like reflexes. I watched helplessly as he wrapped his arms around her and whispered things into her ear to calm her.
This wasn't natural.
This wasn't normal.
This wasn't right.
I walked into the kitchen and cleared my throat loudly, "Ahem." The eerie scene in front of me dissipated as Bella jumped out of the boy's arms and began to blush at being caught in such an intimate moment. I glared at the boy and he stared back at me as he leaned against the counter and crossed his arms over his chest. His glare was icy, but I could tell that it wasn't because I had interrupted the moment… perhaps it was because Jacob had called. Then, suddenly, his mind went blank and he looked over at Bella who had resumed cooking. I looked at Bella, too. "If you don't' want to make dinner, I can call for a pizza," I hinted.
"No, that's okay, I've already started," she said, not taking her eyes off the food she was preparing. She was trying to ignore me, trying to make me invisible again.
"Okay," I said propping myself against the doorframe, folding my arms. Bella sighed and continued to work and the boy shot me worried glances. I just smiled at him and watched.
I was going to make them see me.
Author's note: Okay, just a nice, little one-shot for the Twilight Archive's monthly challenge… Hope you enjoyed it.