It had been exactly eight days, nine hours and forty-two minutes since Renee walked out the door, since he had seen his daughter, heard her laugh, since she had reached out her arms to him. That was the worst of all this, not knowing if Isabella was safe, if she missed him, not having anyway to get in contact with her. Renee hadn't left a phone number, or mailing address, nothing. Charlie was completely cut off, and he couldn't bring himself to call Renee's mother, Joan, to see if she had a phone number he could use, she probably wouldn't give it to him, she was always opposed to Renee's marriage to him. Guess Joan is on top of the world now, Charlie thought ruefully.
Charlie sighed, and made his way through the mess of beer bottles and take out boxes to the fridge to see if he would have to order out again that night. He hated ordering out, the pitying looks he would get from the delivery person. He knew that he was a state, dirty shirts, sweat pants, saggy, swollen eyes. The gossip that he knew would follow, he hadn't answered any calls, or knocks on the door unless he knew it was his food.
All that was in the fridge was old pizza crusts and half a carton of expired milk. Charlie made his way over to the garbage can for the first time in eight days, he figured that it was time to at least be a little civilized and actually throw something in the garbage. Their house, no not their house, it was his house, there was only him now, so his house was starting to smell. He flipped open the top of the can and immediately let the food in his hand clatter to the floor. Looking up at him was his and Renee's wedding picture, he threw it out right after she left, he threw out pretty much every picture of her that he could find, but she found him again, there she was smiling up at him, back when love conquered all.
He let the lid close, took a calming breath, picked up the garbage, and opened up the lid again. Trying to keep the tears at bay, he took another deep breath, attempted to keep himself from shaking, he threw the garbage in on top of the pictures. Then he tied up the bag to take outside and put in the garbage bin.
He stood in front of the door, garbage in hand, about to venture outside for the first time in eight days. He opened the door and was instantly hit by the cold Forks weather, he inhaled the fresh air deeply, he wasn't used to this, he had cut himself off and withdrawn into the stale warmth of his house. The walk to the end of the driveway was strange, he had moulded himself to the couch, only getting up to get food or use the bathroom.
On the way back inside he saw the swing that he had put up for Isabella only a week ago, she never even got to use it because of the terrible weather. The red swing that hung on bright yellow ropes sent new pangs of sadness all through his body, like physical pain. Charlie rushed inside before he the neighbours could see him break down.
Once inside, with the swing out of sight, he started to calm down and went to look for Renee's old address book, he doubted she remembered it, or she may have left it behind to cut herself off completely from the people of Forks. He opened the door to the bedroom, his bedroom. He hadn't been in their since the night he walked in on Renee packing up her life with him. There were still some of her clothes on the floor. The old grey shirt that was four sizes too big for her that she liked to sleep in, the left shoe of her favourite black heels, odd pieces of jewellery here or there. With a deep breath, he made his way over to her nightstand, careful not to look at any of her things. He was on a mission, he wanted to talk to his baby girl, and if that meant facing the wrath of Joan, he would do it. He closed his eyes and let his trembling hand opened the top drawer. He opened eyes, not knowing what to expect, but he sure as hell wasn't expecting what he found. Nothing. There were no books, or pens or papers or tissues or even the occasional plate and fork he would find there. And there was defiantly no address book.
Charlie made his way back down stairs, not knowing what to do know. It was three thirty in the afternoon, and this was the most alive he had been in awhile. He was ready to talk to someone, maybe go to the supermarket. While he was deciding how to start a conversation with Billy Black, his phone started to ring and for the first time in eight days he decided to pick it up.
"Hello", this was the first time he talked in days, other then ordering food. His voice sounded scratchy and dry… and empty.
"Charlie?" the familiar voice asked.
"What the hell do you want?" he asked, anger rising in his voice, he wasn't afraid to be angry now, he had the right, she deserved to be yelled at.
"I may have left you, b-but I can't keep you daughter away from you that would be wrong." Renee said, with a trace of defiance in her voice.
Charlie was silent, he's mouth was agape in shock. He heard a rustling of the phone and Renee's distant voice talk to someone.
"Daddy?" Charlie heard a timid little voice say.
"Yes, sweetheart it's daddy." He said quietly, eyes watering
"I misses you'se" She told him and he knew that it was the truth.
"I miss you'se a lot too Bella Bear"
"When'd you combin' wif me and mommy" she asked innocently.
Charlie took a deep breath so Isabella wouldn't hear him cry. "Daddy has to stay here to clean the house."
"Den you'se come wif me and mommy?"
"No sweets, I have to stay here in Forks."
"Den I go see you'se?"
"No, you have to stay with mommy, I have to go now honey." He couldn't take this anymore it was heart breaking. "I love you."
"I lub you'se too, daddy."
The next thing he, he was sitting in Isabella's room, in the old rocking chair looking through her baby book with a content smile on his face. He knew that he wouldn't lose her; he knew that she wouldn't forget about him, he knew that she would visit; he knew that he would always have those phone calls.