When Edward does not return to Bella she decides to skip town but before she can make it out she learns of the fatal accident that causes her mother's death and her father's brain damage. Now she must be strong and take care of Charlie. Will Edward return?
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Every now and then I'll wonder where he is. I hope that he stops and think of me even though I can't possibly ever think of him without my stomach falling out on me and my heart sinking into its place. It's a pretty sad existence but I have to be strong now. I have to be much stronger now then I was before. Charlie needs me in a way that no one has ever needed me.
Sure, I used to just cook and clean and what ever needed to be done around the house. Ever since the accident Charlie has been more of a child to me then my father.
I suppose it's my fault though. If it wasn't for me Charlie would have never been driving that fast and my mother, Renee, would have never been rushing in to town. Their cars would have never swerved in together. My mother wouldn't be dead, my father wouldn't be a shell of his former existence and I would, probably, be getting ready to apply for college and moving on with my life, leaving Forks behind. If anything else, I would be sitting here feeling sorry for myself thinking about him.
I have no time to feel sorry for myself anymore. The night this all happened and my life changed forever was tragic. I had packed a bag and was ready to run away to a different place, I was going to try my hardest to find a place that would allow me to forget about him and start all over again. It had been so long and I had hoped he'd come back and I would once again be in his arms but that day never came and the more I pondered it I realized that it never would.
Well, Charlie had come to check on me and found my empty bed and drawers and he called Renee and the Bella-search began. I was just about to board a bus to god knows where when my eyes caught a glimpse of a news report the station's television. What I saw, I will never forget. A police cruiser wrapped around a black sleek car, my mother's black sleek car.
All the wishing and praying didn't help because when I finally arrived at the hospital the doctors told me that Renee had passed and my father had so much brain damage that they recommended that I put him in a home, because an 18 year old couldn't possibly take care of him.
It's true too, however, an 18 year old also can't afford the best care possible for someone with brain damage. I try my best, though; I have him on a schedule. Wake early, breakfast, pills, walk, lunch, pills, TV, dinner… The only help I have is the nurse who comes over every other day to help with baths and to make sure his health isn't deteriorating. She stays for a good 6 hours while I get in a short shift at Newton's about three times a week, the money isn't great but it's something.
I smile over at Charlie as we pull up to the grocery store; I have to take him everywhere, "Alright, Charlie. I'm going to lock the doors and you're going to stay here and be still until I come back. Alright?"
Charlie just looks at me with his same vacant expression then turns his attention back to the rain droplets rolling down the windshield. I nod then take a deep sigh, hopping out of my truck, locking the doors and I head inside the supermarket. I take one more look back to see him watching me. I wonder that he is thinking. No use in that, doctors say he doesn't think much anymore… Although there is only one person who would really know and he's gone now.
I move through the double doors that have automatically opened for me and I place my quarter into the slot, retrieving my shopping cart. Of course, I get the one with the load squeaky wheel. I stroll along the isles, the bright florescent lights are harsh on my eyes because almost every light bulb in the house has gone and up until now I've forgotten to buy new ones.
I place several bulbs into the cart and head down the isles getting all the house holds first, dish soap, vacuum bags, toilet paper etc… After that is taken care of I move on to dairy just because it's my favorite section. It's always so chilly in Forks and with the added freezers not many people spend a lot of time in the isle. Therefore I don't have to look at people's pity-glares.
'Look at that poor, poor girl. Dropping out of high school to take care of that poor, brain-dead man,' They must think, again, only one person would really know. I sigh and grab a few other things, meat, vegetables, bread and my comfort food: chewy chips ahoy.
I head over to check-out ignoring everyone's pity-glare and I start to unload my cart onto the conveyor belt.
"Hi, Bella," my eyes snap up looking to see who had enough guts to greet me. It was almost as if, these days, people were afraid I'd get upset.
"Hi, Billy," I gave him a warm smile which seemed to surprise him a lot, "is Jake around?"
"Somewhere," he chuckled.
"So, how have things been?" I asked him. I haven't seen the Blacks since a little bit after the accident. They used to come by all the time with food and gifts like extra blankets and socks but I guess it became too awkward to be around Charlie in his state.
"Not too bad, Bella. And Charlie, how is he doing?"
"No change," I say softly and look up when I hear the total of my groceries. 68.93… that hurt a little, there goes another week's pay. I have a little bit left for gas. If it wasn't for Charlie's insurance I don't know how we would afford to pay for the nurse and pills.
"Take care, Bella," Billy gave me a sympathetic smile and I nodd, loading the paper bags into the cart and tried to ignore the squeaking of the front wheel that made my exit so obvious. I head over to the truck placing the cart near the back and pull back the tarp so the groceries won't get wet when I put them down there. My eyes drift up to the seat… the seat where Charlie is supposed to be… where is he? The door is opened a crack… oh my god!
"Charlie!" I abandon my cart and started to walk around in circles around the truck, hoping to spot him.
Where is he? I can't believe it, I was only gone for 15 minutes and now he's gone. How far can a grown man get in 15 minutes?
"CHARLIE!!" I find myself screaming, I don't car who is looking. I run across the street looking down both sides hoping to see a trace of his yellow rain coat. Nothing. I feel dizzy. I can't believe I lost him.
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