"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Bellllaaaaaa, Happy Birthday to you…"
I rubbed the sleep out my eyes to see what looked like a WWE wrestler hoping from foot to foot in avoidance of them being smashed by a metal chair from his opponent. He held a hot pink teddy bear in front of his face swaying it side to side in the opposite direction that his feet moved.
"Seriously Em, I'm turning eighteen not eight…what's with the bear?" a low growl before escaped as I pulled the light blue covers over my face telling myself "go to your happy place, go to your happy place, ahhh Robert Pattinson." Much better!
"Wait I wasn't done yet," Emmett said in a pout before finishing his song, "…and many more on channel four, and Scooby Doo on channel two."
I slowly pulled the covers off my face, giving up on Rob, to watch Emmett dance around the room with the pink teddy only to end his little musical number with some very snazzy jazz hands and over exaggerated "TA-DA". I tried to hold back the laughter that was gently creeping out of my lips but Emmett making the teddy bear take a bow at the edge of my bed sending me into hysterics.
"How old are you again Em?" I was trying to be facetious but I guess to say that to someone who doesn't know what "facetious" means I shouldn't have been surprised by his answer.
"Could have fooled me, you don't act a day over 10."
"Yeah and I don't look a day over 20" he stated with a smug yet childlike grin.
As much as I joked with Em, and the rest of Cullens for that matter, about age it still kind of made me uneasy. DING-a light bulb went off in my head-that's probably why I joke with them about it, laughing about it makes it easier for me to accept. Being eighteen is hard enough, but having siblings that are a century older then you can cause some serious Jerry Springer moments, though I think people would be more understanding of the guest on the episode titled "My Brother wants to Marry a Cow" than "I was adopted by Vampires". But the truth of the matter is I was adopted by vampires, who love me like I was their own flesh and blood, or venom and marble in their case. Though I have lived with the Cullens for most of my life, a few memories of a much different life will never be forgotten.
When I was five, my mother slowly walked me towards the front entrance of the Children's Hospital gripping my hand so firmly I thought she would never let go. Slow is the key word of my life. I've always moved at three speeds: sloth, tortoise, and snail. When you're as clumsy as me, putting one foot in front of the other is a daunting task. I was slightly anxious to get to the hospital though, I knew it had to be something special because my mom let me wear the Keds she had just bought me the night before at Wal-Mart. She dressed me in the cutest outfit I owned, a khaki jumper with a white, collared long sleeved shirt under. The shirt sleeves were edged with ruffles that matched my white ruffle socks. As we approached the front steps I was violently trembling not because of the fear of seeing a doctor but the bitter cold of Boston in the late fall. I didn't own a jacket, as a matter of fact I didn't own much. What little I did have fit into the "My Little Pony" luggage that my Grammie sent me for my birthday. Tonight it was packed with a few shirts, two pairs of jeans, and Pinky my yellow stuffed duck that I won at the fair during the summer, it wasn't a pet goldfish but I still loved it.
The giant glass doors of the hospital opened with a suctioning sound and a large blast of warm air fell upon my face. I shuffled my feet inch my inch into the all white lobby. It smelled like my Grammies bathroom, a mixture of Comet and orange air freshener. When we finally reached an oversized tan leather chair my mom motioned for me to sit. I hoped up on the chair and looked down at the floor to see my legs dangling only reaching about half way to the ground. Seconds later my view of the floor became obstructed by my mothers knees. I lifted my head slightly to meet the gaze of my mom kneeling down in front of my chair.
She was beautiful. She would constantly say that I could have passed for her twin when she was my age. That always made me smile because she was exactly what I wanted to look like when I was older. My then mousy brown curls that tended to frizz in the Boston drizzle did eventually take on my mom's auburn hue and relaxed wave. My lips also took the shape of hers, full and rosy, which I have to admit has come in handy with what Alice and I like to call the "bottom lip pout" or the "Can we please have the credit card pout". It also helps when I bat my long eyelashes, another one of her features I could add to our list.
Only on that night she was different. Her deep brown eyes were struggling to stay open in the pool of tears that she was desperately trying to hid. The dark circles under her eyes and paler then usual skin told me she was working too hard. During the day, she waited tables at a small diner down the street from our apartment. I loved to go visit her with Gladys, our neighbor who would play with me during the day, and order blueberry pancakes with warm maple syrup even if it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon. She would always tell the cook to make them "on the fly" so that I would get my pancakes faster then everyone else. I was special. At night she would work at Grammie's nursing home. Sometimes I would go with her falling asleep in Grammie's bed and wake up curled next to mom in our bed.
Our apartment was small, one bedroom/bathroom. We shared everything including our dinner which she never missed. We always had three options: Mac and Cheese, Grilled cheese sandwich, or scrambled eggs with cheese. I remember being surprised when my friend Mary who lived down the hall told me she had a hamburger for dinner one night. When I asked her if it had cheese on it, she said "no". I was stunned I thought it was mandatory for everyone to have something with cheese for dinner. Little did I know that cheese was the one thing the government did give us. After dinner mom would leave for work and I would fall asleep on the couch while Gladys watched her Soaps on Telemundo T.V.
As she placed my luggage next to the chair in heavenly white lobby I watched her eyes dart to the dark corners of the room and finally let go of the breath it seemed she had been holding for minutes. She took off her large coat that engulfed her body and placed it lightly on my shoulders swallowing me in a sea of grey wool. That was when the tears finally escaped and slid quickly down her face. I ran my index finger gently up her cheek to brush away the tears and gave her my best big girl smile even showing the gap where I has just lost a tooth.
She leaned forward and pinned a yellow note to the breast of my jumper and patted it down smoothly, fixed the collar on my shirt, and licked her thumb before rubbing it on my chin trying to remove the red tint left from my Kool-Aid. Then she cupped both sides of my face firmly. The slight quiver in her touch told me that she was cold, but my heart told me otherwise.
"Ok Poppy, do you remember talking about how you wanted a brother or sister to play with?"
The thought of someone sitting on the other end of the see saw or pushing me to new heights on the swings made a smile creep onto my face. My daydream ended when mom told me about the game she wanted to play.
"It's called the Password Game, you sit here quietly and when someone comes and says the password you give them this," she softly tapped the note.
"What's the password, mommy."
"Hi," escaped in a low breath.
She scooted the small luggage closer to me placing it in the space between my feet and the ground, "This is your magic bag and it will take you places I can only dream about so take good care of it. I love you, Pop."
I watched her get up, turn around, and head back towards the large glass doors that lead to the world. A world of blueberry pancakes, fast speaking Spanish television, and my mommy. Once outside she took another deep breath exhaling a warm breath into the cool night air. I ran to the window wall pressing my face firmly against the arctic glass watching her quickly disappear into a street full of cars buzzing like fireflies.
I did what she asked of me and returned to the large squeaky chair. All that was left to do was wait patiently for my new brother or sister.
A few hours passed before I was being lightly awoken. I opened my eyes one at a time to see a man in a white jacket resting his hand slightly on my shoulder. His eyes were almost the same golden color as Mary's cabbage patch doll and his hair was an even lighter shade. He was my walking Ken doll (the one that dated Snow Bunny Barbie because his skin was much to pale to be with Malibu Barbie), and who wouldn't want a Ken doll as a brother. The smell of Cinnamon Buns wafted its way into the lobby causing my stomach to grumble. My Ken doll lifted his head, inhaled deeply, and seemed to be overcome by the same intoxication smell.
Again a violent tremble overtook my body, but this time not because of ridged Boston air but from the doctor. He quickly removed his cold hand from my shoulder and placed it in his jacket pockets. That's when he said the one word that started the rest of my life.
I unpinned the note and handed it to the doctor. He slowly opened it as I watched his eyes follow each word intently.
To Whomever this May Concern:
This is Isabella Marie. She is the most amazing and caring child you will every meet and I was fortunate enough to get to spend the last five years with her. Because of my selfish love for her she has not had the best life this world can offer her. It is now time that I giver her up to family that is more deserving of her love and devotion. In her suitcase is all of her information and hopefully it will help her find a good home. Please take care of my little girl. Love Her Mother
Then, the doctor closed the note just as slowly as he opened it and tucked it into this pocket. He bent down as so to see me eye to eye and placed his hand out in front of me.
"Hello Isabella, My name is Carlisle and I work here at the hospital."
I nodded my head out of acknowledgement and lowered my eyes slightly. I decided not to shake his hand because I knew it would feel like the BooBoo Bear that mom kept in the freezer for when I fell down. He then continued.
"It seems as though your mommy wants you to have a big loving family."
"Do you have any little girls like me?" I asked shyly
"I have two big girls like you and three big boys."
The smile on my face began to swell, "Do you smell that?"
He looked taken back by my question, "Ahh…um…yeah…Yeah, I do smell it. Do you?" He vaguely raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, its Cinnamon Buns. I think they just made some."
He sniffed the air again. "You know my wife Esme makes the words best Cinnamon Buns. Would you like to go get one? I know Esme and the kids would love to meet you."
Again I nodded, slid off the chair, and followed the man carrying the purple luggage with frolicking ponies to what would lead to thirteen years of being woken up by my crazy singing older brother in my family of vampires.