Hey everyone. This is the last chapter of this story, because I just couldn't seem to stop after the last two chapters. Each would've worked as endings, but I guess I'm special that way. But I have a couple of ideas for a spin-off story that would take place in this world through the eyes of a different character, so keep an eye out in the next few months. I really don't want this to end right now. First ever story and all. Dang, I'm not used to this! I don't usually finish what I start. As a weird afterthought that I had, if Sue Clearwater and Charlie Swan end up getting married, then Haley will become (sometime in the future) Bella's step-sister-in-law. Keep reading guys, and if you write, keep writing. The judging part is optional. Don't make me cry.
I glanced in the mirror at my reflection, little changed since I had first met Seth, even though it had been over two, almost three, years ago. My hair was slightly longer, my cheekbones slightly more prominent in my face. The only big difference that I could see was that I'd let Sophie force some makeup on me. In my defense, high school graduations don't happen every day. I sighed and stroked Seth's necklace with my thumb.
I'd attended Seth's this time last year, at the extremely tiny school on the reservation. It was even smaller than the one in Forks. He'd opted not to go to college. It wasn't really an option for him, as he had to keep a fairly busy schedule doing patrols. It was a waste of his ample smarts. After all, I would never have managed to pass Spanish if it wasn't for him. But now it was my turn, and I was so nervous that I almost started jumping up and down.
It wasn't so much the graduating that was psyching me out. That was easy. You walk in, you get your diploma, you sit back down. What was to come afterward was the part that scared me. I was going to UW, and boarding there. Well, it was too far away to commute back and forth. And trust me, I would not do well getting up that early every morning.
Thing thing was that I would miss not seeing Seth almost every day. It was a depressing thought, but we had decided we would take turns driving to see each other. I thought about my car, a cheap little blue hunk of junk that I'd saved up for. It did not get good gas mileage. I'd deal with it. Plus, if Seth couldn't go to college, not for a while anyway, one of us needed a degree. I wasn't sure what in, but I was thinking about maybe editing. The reading gave me pretty good grammar sense.
Fifteen-year-old Sophie popped her head into our room. "We gotta go," she insisted. "Mom says we have five minutes to get in the car." She started walking out. "Oh, and Seth's here."
I jumped up and fast-walked past Sophie down the stairs. Seth was standing at the bottom of them holding a bouquet of flowers. They looked like lilies. He gave them to me. Smelled like lilies too.
"Thanks!" I exclaimed. "They're gorgeous."
"Supermarket," he admitted, grinning. Man did he light up the room when he did that. I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and hurried to put the flowers in water so that I wouldn't be late. I found a vase and set them on the kitchen table. I then went back to him and kissed him slightly longer, on the lips this time.
"I'll see you there," I said, and scrambled into the back of my parents' mini-van, tripping over my ugly robe a bit on my way. Seth got into Leah's small red car. Mom and Dad spent the car ride agreeing that time went by too fast, and before they knew it, I'd be gone. I tried pointing out that I was staying in the state, and wasn't going to be too far away. It didn't work. They just looked at me in the rearview mirror and shook their heads.
When we arrived, I filed into the line at the back of the gym with everyone else. This was why I hated having the last name Adams. In this school, I was first for everything. I was at the very head of the line. Mason came up to me.
"Hey! I can't believe we're this close to actually leaving. Is it just me, or do you think we should get more than a measly scrap of paper after getting through the hell that is high school?" Mason articulated. I giggled and rolled my eyes at him.
"They're on a budget, so the real prizes are being withheld," I said, joking along.
"Hey, since when do you wear makeup?" Mason asked. "You should so go for it more often. It really brings out your eyes."
"Thanks," I said, hugging him. Cassie and Allie came and joined our little party and I hugged them too. This was a regular love-fest.
Before I could do much more of the hugging, we were nudged back into line and told to be quiet. The commencement started and I was told to go and lead the way to the rows of fold-out chairs in the front of the gym. I passed Seth, who did his look thing and almost made me forget where I was supposed to go.
The valedictorian speech was about as cookie-cutter as they came. About the experiences here at Forks High shaping us and us calling on those skills later on. Jeez. And this was the smartest person in our class? There was no hope for me.
Before long came the presentation of the diplomas. "Adams, Haley" called out the principal. All this scene needed now was a hat on a chair and we could have a Hogwarts Sorting Ceremony.
My entire family, plus Seth, Leah, and Lorenzo got to their feet and clapped and cheered. It made a scene. My dad actually whistled. But at that moment I didn't care, and I didn't even pay attention as the principal muttered his congratulations. See, what did I say? Graduation was easy as pie.
I sat back down and waited patiently for the rest of the class to get their diplomas as well. Okay, I wasn't so patient. I was eighteen years old and had the patience of an eight-year-old at that particular time. I fidgeted slightly until the boy next to me shot me a look. No one else got quite as much noise as I had. It made me feel kind of loved, actually.
When the giving out was over, the principal just grabbed the microphone and informed us we'd graduated. I screamed like the best of them, and threw my hat high in the air. I struggled out of the gym and onto the field behind it. Everyone was waiting for me there, and group-hugged me. If I'd been claustrophobic, I'd have been a goner.
"So what do you want to do?" asked my mother. I thought about it.
"Do you mind if I meet you back home for dinner?" I asked. Mom gave a knowing smile.
"Okay, be back by six," she said. I had a feeling she was going to use that time to cook a huge dinner anyway. She probably wanted it to be a surprise.
"We could go to Leah and Enzo's place," Seth suggested. Most of us had taken to calling Lorenzo that. It seemed that three syllables was just too many. Leah and he had moved in together, into Lorenzo's tiny house, over a year ago. It had become somewhat of a hang out spot.
"Sounds fun," I agreed.
The four of us got into Leah's car, Seth and I in the back seat. He brushed a strand of hair behind my ear and kissed me. "Congratulations. You were great out there."
I grinned, knowing that getting a diploma has nothing to do with skill of any kind. So, naturally, I kissed him back, and naturally, we got a bit carried away.
"Do you mind?" Leah said sarcastically to us.
"Like you can talk," Seth shot back. It was true. Leah and Enzo had absolutely zip fear of PDA. We came up to the quaint little cottage with about six rooms and one story. They didn't want or need anything bigger. Once we walked in the door, I stripped off the hideous polyester robe, revealing the short-sleeved deep green dress underneath that no one had even seen.
"I'm going to go change out of the monkey suit," Seth said, referring to the long pants and button-down shirt he wore. It wasn't particularly fancy, but I supposed he had grown used to wearing sweats and nothing else.
I sat down on the couch and contemplated my future. I'd have one summer here, and then I'd be a few hours drive away. I was going to call him so much; I already knew that. And nothing was going to keep me from him.
Seth came back out of a bedroom, where it seemed he stored a few pairs of pants in case a situation like this ever came up. Or in case someone phased while still wearing clothing. I'd heard some stories about that happening when one of them got really angry.
"Hey," I greeted him, making room on the sofa. He sat down and put his arm around me. I'd mostly gotten over the half-naked thing a while ago, but I still got distracted during times like these. He was that hot. Seriously. Don't think I didn't appreciate it.
"What's wrong?" Seth asked.
"I'm just going to miss you next year. What with college, and the pack and stuff."
"I know, but we'll be fine. I can still come and visit. And you can come here."
"It's not the same," I said mournfully.
"Nothing's ever really the same. Thing's change. But what doesn't change, and won't ever change is the way I feel about you." Seth stood up. "I love you more than you can imagine. I've loved you literally since the moment I saw you. I'll love you for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?" He got down on one knee and pulled a box out of his pocket. He opened it and a diamond ring glittered in the light. The diamond was small, he wasn't able to afford the gaudy jewels of the rich and famous, but it was beautiful, and he was even more beautiful, looking me earnestly in the eye.
"YES!" I practically screamed. Leah and Lorenzo poked their heads out of the kitchen and looked at me curiously. They saw the scene unfolding before them and pulled them back in.
I threw my arms around him and kissed him. He responded enthusiastically until he remembered that tradition dictated that I actually wear the ring. He slid it onto my left hand and smiled.
"I hope you don't mind a long engagement. Like over four years long," he said, sitting back on the couch.
"I don't care," I proclaimed. "I'll wait as long as I need to. But, umm, my parents..." They weren't exactly big on the really young marriages. Then again, I'd be at least twenty-two when we actually did get married. Still on the young side, but they'd deal with it.
"You're fine, I already asked. It took a little convincing but..."
"What did he say?" I demanded.
"Something about 'thoughtless teenagers' and then the responsibility, and then how he didn't think I'd be right for 'the next stage of your life.'" He laughed. I put my head in my hands. This was worse than even I'd expected.
"How did you bounce back from that?" I asked.
"I have a very honest face," he joked. "Well, it took a little while, and your mom had to calm him down, but he eventually believed me. He kind of liked that I was 'willing to wait.'" I laughed too, then. This would explain the sad You're leaving us forever! looks on their faces. I think they knew, though, that I could take care of myself. And that Seth was also capable of doing so.
My laughter was interrupted by Leah's sudden stealth-attack hug. She and Lorenzo announced their congratulations and joked about how they'd tell everyone who sat on that couch that her little brother had gotten engaged there.
I was distracted again. I leaned into Seth and looked forward to our future days together this summer, and our life together in just a few short years. Okay, I was kidding myself with the patience thing. I had none, but I could get through even a four year long wait, as long as I had him. He brought out the best in me, and made me see the best in others. I was his imprint, and he was just mine.