Chapter Twenty Four
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, Right?
Being at home wasn't horrible, I could live through it. But each night as I would go to bed, a small lump, would rise in my throat as I would burry myself under my comforter and sleep. I really missed having Edward next to me.
Thanksgiving Day approached slowly, but at the same time quickly. My mind was so torn between being home and being away from Edward. Part of me just wanted to eat turkey, board a plane, and head back to Arizona. Then another part of me was glad to be spending time with Renee and Charlie. We had taken up our old habits of playing some type of board game before bed and I was surprised that I used to find so much fun in it. It now just seemed like a tedious task that I needed to perform for Renee's sake. Charlie, I was sure, would have been happier watching some type of sport on TV.
It was seven o'clock when I woke up and made my way downstairs to start on dinner. After much debating, I had finally convinced Renee to let me fix the turkey. The last few times she had made it before I was old enough to cook, we ended up having to heat up soup or something else because it was simply inedible when she finished with it. Of course she was a little disappointed, but at the same time, I knew she would be happy when I pulled it out of the oven hours later. Charlie, of course, was more than happy. I could see the relief in his eyes when Renee finally gave in. It was almost comical.
I walked into the dark kitchen and flipped the lights on. The turkey rested in the sink from the night before when I laid it out to unthaw, ready for me to turn it into a delicious steaming bird. I took out the large roasting pan that my mom had bought probably before I was born and placed it on the counter and set the oven. I lined it with aluminum foil from the cabinet and then turned my attention to the turkey.
I carefully unwrapped the plastic and washed the turkey in the sink. I pulled out the bag of "goodies" as Renee would call it and quickly discarded them, I never used that stuff. In all honesty, it just looked too gross for me to deal with. Taking the turkey from the sink, I carefully sat it in the deep pan. It was a modest turkey, probably a fifteen pounder. With just the three of us eating, it was way more than enough, a ten or twelve pound would have easily sufficed.
Then came the part that I didn't really care for-buttering it. I took the large tub of butter from the fridge and placed it next to the turkey on the counter. Taking a large spoon from a drawer I scooped out a massive yellow hunk from its confines and dropped it on the turkey. I laid the spoon aside and went straight to work, massaging the yellow butter into the turkey's skin. It felt gross as I worked my way over the breast area and down towards the thighs. After the turkey was buttered and lightly salted, I covered the bird with a layer of foil, tucking it in at the sides and went to open the oven. With the oven open, I carefully picked up the turkey and sliding it in I closed the door. I glanced at the clock and saw that it was almost eight thirty. It would be twelve at least before the turkey was ready.
It was then I decided to make some sort of dessert for dinner. I knew Renee would insist that the sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top could count for one, but I wanted an actual dish that constituted for a dessert. I didn't understand why, but part of me wanted to make this Thanksgiving a little special, like it might be the last one I got to spend with my mom and dad alone.
With my mind set, I looked in my mom's various cook books for something easy to make. I glanced over the pages and laughed at some of the ridiculous names of cakes. "Better than Sex" cake almost made me choke as I continued to scan the pages. After much looking, I decided to use one of my old fall backs, the cook books weren't offering up anything that I was willing to fix.
"You sure work fast," my mom laughed as she came into the kitchen wearing her robe with her hair pulled back in a sloppy pony tail.
"I've been up for an hour getting things on," I told her as I laughed at her sleepy expression. Her eye lids were droopy and seemed to be bound for shutting.
"You're just too much Bella," she yawned as she walked over to the coffee pot and went through the processes of making coffee.
"Why did you get up?" I asked as I rummaged through the cabinets looking to see if we had what it took to make Oreo pie.
"Wanted to help. I know you are going to make the turkey and everything, but I can be here for moral support and pealing stuff, right?" she asked as she laughed, pouring water into the back of the coffee pot.
"You really don't have to help mom. I don't mind doing it," I replied as I found just what I was looking for, Oreos, vanilla pudding, and chocolate pudding.
"I know, but I want something to do too. Most moms get to make their kids Thanksgiving dinner when they come home from college and here you are fixing it for me and your dad, it just doesn't seem fair," she replied as she stood by the coffee pot, her favorite, chipped, turquoise mug in hand.
"Since when have we been normal?" I asked laughing as I put the ingredients on the counter next to her.
"You do have a point," she laughed.
"I'm glad you have all this stuff stocked up, I'm going to make an Oreo pie," I said as I took out a bowl and the mixer.
"Actually, Charlie bought all that stuff the day before you came home, he said something about he hoped you would decide to make one," she explained laughing.
"Honestly, that doesn't surprise me. He can take down one of these on his own," I said as I went through the motions of fixing the pie.
"I guess he was already gone when you got up?" she guessed as she poured herself some of the dark brown steaming liquid.
"Yeah. I didn't know he had to work today," I said. I had assumed he was still in bed.
"Well the chief of police doesn't really get the day off. He will be back for dinner though. He said to call him when it's almost finished," she explained.
"I guess I should have known," I laughed.
"In all honesty, I think he volunteers to work so he can watch the game with no interruptions," she joked and I had to laugh. If there was one place in Forks that he was sure to get to watch the football game with no one bugging him, it was the police station. Having a police station in Forks was sort of a joke. There was like 0-2% crime rate annually.
"I bet," I giggled as I mixed crushed Oreos and melted butter together to make the crust.
"You forgot the pie pan," Renee said as she took it from the cabinet, placing it next to me.
"Thanks, I just got in a rush and forgot," I explained.
"We all make mistakes," she laughed.
"Remember that time you thought it would be a good idea to make garlic bread and brownies at the same time?" I asked, thinking of all the memorable mistakes she had made in the kitchen.
"Yeah. I really think Charlie threw up that time," she laughed as I remembered the garlic infused chocolate brownies.
"And the time you caught the dish rag on fire," I said, as I began to laugh. I was only five and the blue rag started to smoke when I mentioned it to her. She literally grabbed it and threw it out the door into the downpour of rain. If one thing was certain, the rain had came in handy for my mom's flaming cooking disasters.
"Which time?" she laughed.
"And I remember when you fixed those donuts, I swear I chipped my tooth," I giggled.
"Yeah, yeah. It's not like you've been so perfect in the kitchen, do you remember when you covered Dad's deputy with steaming hot peas?" she asked. I laughed remembering how bright Randy's face had gotten when the steaming bowl of snap peas poured out into his crotch. To say the least, my dad didn't think twice when Randy asked for the next few days off to recuperate.
"All those embarrassing moments," I laughed.
"We sure do have a lot of them," Renee sighed as she helped me pour the mixed pudding and Oreo mixture into the crust.
"Yeah, but you know what?" I asked.
"You wouldn't trade any of them?" she guessed.
"Not even one of them," I replied.
"Me either," she smiled. As I topped the pie off with Cool Whip and Oreos. I covered the top of the pie with foil and sat it in the fridge to chill. I smiled to myself at how nice it was to reminisce with my mom.
"I'm going to run up and take a quick shower so I don't smell like death when it's done. The turkey will be fine, just make sure it doesn't instantaneously combust or something," I laughed as I headed upstairs.
"God you sound like my mother," Renee complained as I heard her sit down at the kitchen table. I knew I had to rush though. Leaving her alone with the turkey for any long span of time was never a good thing. One year she decided to add some sort of ginger glaze to it that she had seen Emeril do on Food Network and we ended up with a turkey with a charred, rock solid crust on top. We ate chicken noodle soup that year.
I grabbed my clothes and toiletries and ran into the bathroom. I was in and out of the shower in probably ten minutes with my teeth brushed and ready to go. I didn't bother styling my hair. I brushed it and pulled it back into a pony tail to let it dry on its own. I had gotten ready in less than fifteen minutes, hopefully she hadn't gotten bored.
After putting my things away, I ran downstairs to find her poking around in the fridge. My heart sank as I realized she was up to something.
"Whatcha doing mom?" I asked as I took a seat at the table.
"I was just getting the celery and onion out to chop," she replied as she turned around with the veggies in hand.
"No problem," she replied smiling as she turned to the cutting bored and commenced in working. I was really glad she had decided to chop everything up actually. I had a peculiar knack of always managing to cut myself.
I started to get out the ingredients for the stuffing when the phone rang.
"I'll get it," I said. My mom was teary eyed cutting the onion and had veggie juice all over her hands. She nodded her thanks as I picked up the phone.
"Hello," I said as I picked up our ancient white corded phone that was mounted on the wall.
"Hello beautiful," Edward's velvety voice trailed into my ear from the receiver of the phone. He had called me every day since we had been apart and I loved each of his phone calls.
"How's it going?" I asked as I leaned against the wall, playing with the phone cord.
"Great, just waiting for Esme to call me down for dinner. What about you?" he asked.
"Making dinner actually," I laughed.
"I didn't realize you knew how to cook," he said, sounding surprised.
"Yep, it's one of my few mysteries," I laughed.
"Oh, so there's more about you that I don't know?" he pondered out loud as he chuckled.
"Well, my love, I just wanted to call and say happy thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful dinner. I'm sure it will be great," he replied.
"Thanks you too," I replied.
"I love you Bella, be safe," he commanded playfully.
"Love you too, bye Edward," I laughed.
"Bye Bella," I heard him say as I hung up the phone.
"I just think it's so sweet how often he calls you," my mom sighed as she pushed back the pile of celery and onions she had finished cutting up.
"You know Dad used to do the same thing," I pointed out as I took out a big cooker and started putting the ingredients in for the stuffing.
"Actually, no. You're Dad was into writing me poetry," she replied.
"No, you're kidding," I laughed. There was no way Charlie wrote her poetry. He didn't have a poetic bone in his body.
"Seriously, he was really charming," she laughed.
"I think I'm having a mental breakdown. I can't believe he wrote you poems," I replied seriously.
"There's a lot about your dad that you don't know. He has always been shy, but once upon a time ago, he was quite the romantic," she sighed, seeming to recall memories as her eyes got a distant look about them.
"So, what changed?" I asked.
"When you were born he got really serious. He wanted you to have everything," she replied smiling.
"Humph," was all I could muster. I had new respect for my dad after hearing what my mom had to say. But it was still hard for me to imagine that he really wrote her poetry.
As I sat across from Emmett all I could think about was Bella. Though my only encounter with her family had solely been over the phone, I could tell that hers operated under a completely different dynamic than mine. Her mother, though I was sure was a good person, often required a lot of assistance from Bella. I was still surprised though that Bella was making Thanksgiving dinner. But then again, Bella was mature way beyond her years, something I particularly liked about her. It was like we were both two old soles stuck in young bodies and were destined to find one another. No one else I had ever befriended or had an acquaintance with understood me the way she did. But, similarly, I believed that was the case for her.
My attention was brought back from my thoughts of Bella as I noticed Emmett motioning towards me.
"Gosh Edward, what does a man have to do around here to get you to pass the rolls?" he joked as he held out his hand. I rolled my eyes and gave him the basket of steaming rolls for the third time. He was easily on his third course and I could see my mom watching him out of the corner of her eye. She had a small grin plastered on her face as she watched Emmett practically inhale his food. She always thought it was funny that he could put away so much, and even had as a kid. She once remarked that he must have two hollow legs, she couldn't figure out where he was putting all the food that he consumed.
I noticed that Alice was picking around her plate, practically finished with the meal and really just waiting for Jasper. He was enjoying the meal, but at the same time, he wasn't woofing it down like Emmett, but rather taking his time and savoring it. I could tell that he really appreciated that my mom and dad had invited him and Rose. He practically wore his emotions on his sleeve if you could read him right. Rosalie, on the other hand, was a mix between disgust and happiness as she watched Emmett. She had finished her plate and pushed it aside, waiting for him to quit eating. I could tell she was amused at how he seemed to not get enough of anything, but upset that he was making such a pig of himself.
I then turned to catch my dad glancing at me. He gave me a nod and I knew he understood what I was really feeling. I was happy to be with my family, but a large part of me just wasn't there. I had left it with Bella. He smiled slightly, just enough to show me that he acknowledged me, and then turned to my mom. She was finishing off the last portion of her food and I suddenly felt all alone. Everyone there had someone significant with them. Sure I had family and friends, but the one person I wanted to be there most was hundreds of miles away.
I looked down at my plate and noticed it was mostly gone and I was full so I pushed it aside. My mother instantly noticed that I hadn't eaten the all contents of my plate as she gave me a worried stare.
"Is something wrong Edward?" she asked, all eyes on the table turning towards me.
"Not at all, I'm just full," I replied, which wasn't a complete lie.
"Are you sure, was your food ok?" she asked. I couldn't believe she would question her cooking, it was magnificent. But, to be honest, even if it was horrible, I would have swallowed it down and bragged about it. I loved my mother and I wouldn't do anything in the world to bring harm to her.
"Yeah, it was fantastic. I just don't seem to have much of an appetite right now," I answered, as I sat back in my chair.
"He just misses Bella," Alice piped. I shot her an evil glare and then realized my mother was still watching me.
"Starving yourself won't make the week pass by any faster," my dad chuckled.
"I know, I just really am not hungry right now," I replied, becoming a bit annoyed. It wasn't as if I didn't know if I were hungry or not.
"Alright, well you can leave the table if you want," my mom excused with a sad sigh. I felt guilty letting her down, but I just didn't feel very festive and really just wanted to be by myself.
"Thanks, I think I'll go upstairs for a while. Dinner really was great mom, I'll probably come back down later for seconds," I told her as I stood, leaving the table.
"I'll just take care of what you left Eddie and I wouldn't bank too much on there being any leftovers," Emmett called out to me.
"Don't worry son, I'll not let him eat it all," my mom laughed. I heard Rosalie muttering something to Emmett as I walked quickly from the dining room and back upstairs, I could only imagine it was something to do with his piggish eating habits.
Once in the sanctuary of my room, I flopped down on my bed and closed my eyes. Who knew being away from Bella could be so hard? I knew leaving Arizona that I couldn't wait to go back, but I really didn't imagine it being this difficult. I really wanted to hop on a plane and head out to Forks.
As I lay there, my mind seemed persistent in thinking of Bella. I imagined her cooking and how cute she would be in the kitchen. With her clumsiness I could only imagine the disaster that could happen. I also started to think about how much I really couldn't stand being away from her. It was as if my entire being was torn. I was so internally conflicted between being happy for my parents sake and being naturally sad because the lack of Bella in my life. I realized that I really never wanted her to be out of my life again. I had told her that I wanted to be with her for as long as she would have me, that I had no plans of leaving her, and I had meant it at the time, but being away from her made me realize the weight of those words. I really did never want to be away from her again. I wanted to be with her for forever.
Then I thought of the last conversation we'd had and how she had woken me up the morning before I left. I remembered her body pressed so close to mine and instantly groaned at the memory. I had been for a while withholding myself and trying not to pressure her into anything. But after our little talk, I suddenly found myself imagining how I wanted my first time to be. I wanted to be with her, that I was for certain. Knowing that she wanted it as well, that only added fuel to the fire. What I was afraid of though was that she might wake up and regret it. I would be taking something away from her that she could never get back. And there was always the possibility that she could get pregnant. I knew it was a long shot if we took the right precautions, but there was always the exception to the rule. I knew I wanted to be a dad some day, but I wanted to get through college and establish myself before that part of my life kicked in.
As much as my mind was battling against it though, I knew I wanted to be intimate with her soon. She and I were meant to be together, that I was certain. I would never pressure her into anything, but I had a distinct feeling that our relationship would be taken to the next level soon. All our teasing and flirting was about to make me combust and I knew she was feeling the same way. I just needed to make our first time special, and I would; even if I did have to wait a little while and if it meant many cold showers.
(A/N: I realize it's been a long time since my last post, sorry. Sadly enough, I've had this chapter completed for a while. I thought I had already posted it but realized finally that I hadn't. It's sad, I know. How could I really not realize that I hadn't posted this?-Not even I know. I suppose I got caught up with "In Time" and school. But anyways, there is some good news! I have the next chapter almost complete. It just needs edited and then I'll post. This chapter is probably a filler and I'm not in love with it, but I hope you all enjoy it nonetheless. I do ask that you please look over any mistakes that maybe in this chapter, it has not been beta read and most likely has a few if not many. I self edited but I'm sure that I have missed something. As always, thanks to everyone who has reviewed, I really appreciate it. I'm currently without a beta, so…if anyone's interested let me know! I'd really appreciate the help. Just comment or PM me if you're up to it. Also, please review and let me know what you thought of this chapter and the progression. It has slowed a little, but I will be picking up the pace!! Let me know what you think!)