"Thirty years

"Thirty years."


Bella stood in front of the stove, keeping her hands preoccupied with making an omelet. At the sound of Charlie's voice, she looked over her shoulder. Across the room, seated at the kitchen table, her father was staring at her somberly.

"It's been thirty years since you and Edward and Nessie and all the rest of the Cullens moved away." He said. His hands massaged his knees, trying to rub the arthritis out of his old joints.

Charlie hadn't aged well. He'd retired early, set on spending his golden years with her second wife, Sue Clearwater. When Sue died suddenly in a car accident, he'd been heartbroken; Bella couldn't imagine what it had been like for him, losing another wife. She wasn't sure he'd ever truly recovered from the loss, and when Billy had joined her in the afterlife a few years later, Charlie had taken to spending most of his time at home.

The Cullen coven had moved on a few months before Sue and Charlie had married; Bella's new appearance made her practically unrecognizable. She couldn't return to Forks using her real name, and if Edward were seen without her there would be whispers. The last thing the Cullens needed was susupicion, so Carlisle had made his excuses at the hospital and the whole clan had moved to Alaska.

When Charlie had begun to withdraw more, Bella made a habit of visiting him on weekends. Sometimes she brought Edward or Nessie, sometimes it was just her. The plane tickets were expensive, but she found she no longer worried about money.

She shook her thoughts away and smiled at Charlie before turning back to his omelet. She hadn't eaten human food in over three decades and she still cooked better than him. "It doesn't seem like that long." She said.

"Not to you."

His words made her stop for a second. She sent him a puzzled glance over her shoulder before scooping his eggs onto a plate and turning off the stove. Crossing the room, she sat the plate in front of him and took the seat across, so that they were facing each other.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

Charlie picked up his fork and poked at his food, moving the eggs around on his plate. "You haven't aged one day."

Again, his words startled her. She stared at him intently, raising an eyebrow. "You know I can't really talk about that, Dad."

He sighed. "I know." Her bit into his food and chewed as a thoughtful look crossed his features. He swallowed, and said, "I'm going to die soon."

"Dad, no!" Bella protested. She reached forward and grabbed his free hand, pressing it tightly in her own. He recoiled slightly at her touch, and it felt like a stab through her heart. "What's the matter?"

With an apologetic shrug, Charlie said, "You're…really cold, Bell."

His explanation soothed her, and she returned to his former statement. "Anyway, don't talk like you're going to die. That's horribly morbid. You're perfectly healthy and you have many years ahead of you."

"But I'll die eventually." He set down his fork, stared at his eggs. "Will you ever die, Bella?"

Her throat felt dry. "What?"

"You look the same now as you did thirty years ago. So does Edward. Even Nessie stopped growing awhile ago. I bet anything that Alice looks the same, and Carlisle…" he voice trailed off for a moment as Charlie collected his thoughts, "I want to know if I'll ever see you in Heaven."

Had Bella possessed the ability to cry, she would have at that moment. "It's possible for me to die." She said. She knew she shouldn't have answered; even if she did die, there was a chance that she didn't even have a soul anymore. The thought made her want to shudder.

Charlie stared at her, gray curls brushed away from his face. "A small possibility." He said. It wasn't a question; it was a statement he already knew was true.

"Very small." She admitted.

For a few minutes, there was silence. Charlie munched on his breakfast, staring intently into his plate. Bella drummed her fingertips against the table, cradling her head in her left hand, trying not to focus on what Charlie had said.

"I'm not afraid to die." Charlie said suddenly, breaking the silence. Bella's hands dropped in front of her on the table as she caught her father's gaze. She was bewildered; he'd never talked like that before.

He continued, "I lived a long life. I loved three very wonderful women, one of which is with me right now." He sent her a small smile, "I got to see a grandchild and grow to love her just as much as her mother. I was a Police Chief. I helped people. I did all I hoped for and wanted. There's nothing more I could ask for. I'm okay with dying."

Bella's brow knitted with concern. "Dad, you shouldn't talk like that."

He ignored her. "There's nothing wrong with what I'm saying." He said. Running a hand through his hair, he shifted his gaze to the table. "You'll probably never die, Bella."

She nodded slowly, cautiously.

His shoulders slumped. "That may be the saddest thing I've ever heard."

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. I'm not making any money from this.

A/N: I just don't believe that in all her long, long existence, Bella would never once regret her decision. This was just a random idea that would not leave me alone. I'm pretty new to the Twilight fandom, so any and all feedback would be especially appreciated.