Being on the run is exhausting. Spending a majority of your time in a car or rundown hotel, feeling constant anxiety over whether or not you'll be found. This anxiety becomes even more intense each time you have to stop for any extended period of time. It is exhausting.
It took Alice half a second to evaluate the situation and jump into action. By the time I realized what was happening, Alice had already loaded up Carlisle's lifeless body in the back seat of the car, and drove off at speeds I would never dare to attempt.
Standing in the shampoo and hair dye aisle of the grungiest grocery store I had ever seen I contemplated my next move. Should I go blonde, or red?
"Blonde." Alice chimed in behind me as if she had been reading my thoughts. "It's far more of contrast than your current color and therefore a better disguise. Red isn't drastic enough, you have to go big! Besides, I've already seen you as a blonde and it's fabulous. Not to mention perfect for where we're headed."
"Wait, we're actually going somewhere, as in not planning on being nomadic forever." This was news to me.
Her eyes widened and her lips spread as she beamed at me. "I just got off the phone with Jasper and he's got it all figured out. We're headed to Texas!"
Almost inaudible groaning came from the back of the sleek car as we sped through Forks; I spun around in my seat.
"Bella! Buckle up!" Alice scolded. "You're not invincible… yet."
I ignored her as I crawled into the back seat and cradled Carlisle's head. His eyes were open but unfocused and seemed almost cloudy. I reached out and pushed his blonde hair off his forehead, I could almost feel beads of sweat plastering the strands to his pale skin. It didn't matter how god-like he was, with each bump his body jolted into the air slightly and I quickly became agitated.
"Alice," I snarled, "do you think you could slow down or at least avoid the potholes?! You're launching him out of the seat every five seconds!"
She turned her head towards me, without even a hint of decelerating, and looked at me with a completely 'over it' expression.
"Okay, I get it, he's a vampire. He's not going to die…" I quickly responded before she even had a chance to say anything. "I'd still feel better if you took it a little easier."
She resumed her position facing the windshield and exhaled with a, "fine." I felt the car slow down and the bumps become less extreme.
"But it's your fault if they catch up to us. Also, put on your seat belt!"
I lifted Carlisle and slid underneath him into the seat cradling his head in my lap. Once I clasped my safety belt together, I turned my attention back to Carlisle and his expressionless stare. Fear gripped me as I had no idea what this meant. He's immortal, right? So why was he nearly comatose? I weaved my fingers into his hair and gently closed my hands around the tufts as anxiety built up inside me.
"Texas?" It came out as a word I had never heard of, like something Alice just made up.
"Texas." She echoed.
"But… why Texas?"
"Well," she began as she plucked a hair dye kit off the shelf and headed towards the checkout lanes, "it's not Alaska, for starters, which is exactly where they expect us to go. Jasper is there and already has a place for us to stay which does not include seedy motels. And it's a big state, much more difficult to track us down."
I followed her to the front of the store my mind still reeling from the news. The only things I knew about Texas was that it was big, hot, and they were very proud of themselves. I mean, how many other states have sayings like, "everything's bigger in Texas."
We made it to the checkout lanes and completed our purchase but I still wasn't so sure this was such a good idea. My concerns must have been etched all over my face because Alice stopped and turned towards me placing one hand on my shoulder in a comforting way. "It's going to be fine. I promise. Now let's go turn you into a blonde!"