Disclaimer: Everything and anything related to the Twilight saga belongs to Stephenie Meyer. This is a work of fiction based on her writings. No harm is meant by it.
This was a request made by cevuplay, who provided the quote.
Crooked Teeth and Crayola Crayons
"It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, it matters only that you love."
~ John Lennon
"DADDY!" Edward hears the distressed call of his ten-year-old daughter as the front door slams shut. He's sitting in his study, tinkering with his piano. He hasn't had time in weeks to just sit down and play, and it looks like he's not going to today either.
He hears his daughter's feet pounding up the stairs as she finds him. She barrels through the door and straight into his awaiting arms. He holds her tightly for a moment, feeling the front of his button down dampen and slowly he pulls her away, still keeping her on his lap.
"Nessie? Sweetheart? What's wrong?" he asks, brushing her hair from her face, so he can wipe away the tears streaking down her chubby cheeks. She sniffles, keeping h
er head turned down away from him.
"Honey, what's wrong?" he asks, again, gently lifting her chin so he can look into her eyes, the eyes that are so like her mother's. She may look just like him, but those eyes, those are all her mother. Through her sniffles and the manic wiping of her tears, she answers, stuttering.
"I was talking to Mommy about Jacob Black." She blushes, as she darts her eyes away from her father's, and Edward has to chuckle. His little girl, his baby, has a crush on her best friend, Jacob Black.
"Do you like Jacob?" he asks, and his daughter's cheeks turn that adorable shade of rosy pink that he loves so much. It's so much like that of Bella's.
"I don't know," she meekly answers, turning back to look up at her father. She looks so confused and so scared. Edward finds it so endearing, and so adorable.
"Be honest, Nessie. What have I told you about lying?" he teasingly scolds, tapping his finger on the tip of her nose, causing her to giggle. He relishes in the melodious sound; he loves it so much.
"Lying is bad," she whimpers, keeping her eyes low. Again, Edward grabs her chin and lifts.
"Do you like Jacob?" he asks again, smiling to gain her confidence. She sniffles, her lips trembling and nods. My baby girl has a crush, Edward thinks to himself. Immediately, images of him and Bella in elementary school start playing in his head.
"Does Jacob like you?" he asks, and Renesmee shrugs her shoulders.
"I don't know," she sullenly, answers. Edward pulls her in to a hug, rubbing her back. It's something he's done since she was a baby. She would get terrible nightmares and the only way she would go back to sleep was to rub her back. Her head lulls onto his shoulder, she starts to cry again, and it breaks Edward's heart.
"Sweetie," he says, pulling her away from him. "Is that why you're upset?"
"Maybe," she whines.
"Why are you so upset?"
"I told Mommy that I loved Jacob, and she told me I didn't. She doesn't know what I feel. I love him, Daddy. I do!" she shouts, her voice angry.
"What exactly did your mother tell you?" Edward asks, smiling. Leave it to Bella to try to thwart his little girl's first crush.
"She said I was too young to know what love is. She said that what I was feeling was not love but adoration. Whatever that means," she scoffs, and Edward laughs.
"Don't laugh!" Renesmee yells, making to get of Edward's lap, but he holds her tighter.
"I'm sorry, Sweetie. I think it's adorable that you love Jacob," he apologizes, kissing her cheeks sloppily, just the way that make her giggle. And she does.
"Really? she asks, hopefully. He nods.
"It's not wrong to love your best friend?" she asks, worriedly, fiddling with the hem of her dress, a cute, sapphire blue dress that his sister Alice had given to her on Christmas. The color is just as striking on her as it is on her mother.
"Of course it's okay. I love your mother, and she's my best friend."
"Really?" she asks, eyes wide with a new spark of hope.
"Of course, Honey. Did your mother ever tell you about when we met?" Renesmee shakes her head from side to side, getting excited at the prospect of a story.
"Well then, let me tell you. Your mother and I, have known each other for a long time. We first met when we were five, on the first day of kindergarten." Renesmee makes herself comfortable on her father's lap as his hand finds purchase at the bottoms of her bronze curls. Her hair is just as soft as Bella's.
"I met your mother on the first day of school. I didn't want to go. I clung to your grandfather's leg for dear life. I mean, I clawed, and dug my nubby nails into his left leg, and he totally ignored me. All he did was shake his leg, and I fell to the floor. He picked me up, dusted me off, and pushed my into the classroom. Everyone was already in there, playing with each other, everyone except your mother.
Edward stops to take a breath and looks to his daughter. She's completely and thoroughly engrossed in the story, staring at him to continue.
"Well when I walked in, I saw your mother sitting all alone. Grandpa Carlisle told me to go play with her, so she wouldn't be alone. Truth be told, I was already going to go talk to her. I thought she was pretty."
Renesmee giggles loudly and Edward chuckles along with her. He stops when he hears the familiar footsteps that belong to Bella as she approaches the study. She stops at the door, leaning against the frame. It seems that she's heard the laughter and wants to know what's going on. She raises an eyebrow toward Edward and smirks. She stays put in her spot and nods her head for Edward to continue.
"Well, when I went to sit with your mother she was playing with some clay. If I remember correctly, she was making a little lamb. When I sat down, I introduced myself. 'Hi, my name's Edward,' I said. She ignored me, much like she does now, sometimes. I introduced myself again, and this time she turned to me and introduced herself. She was so quiet, so shy. 'Hi, I'm Bella.' I almost didn't hear her, she spoke so low. I asked her what she was making and she told me a sheep. Apparently, it was her favorite animal-"
"Is that why when I was a baby, I had a stuffed lamb instead of a teddy bear?" Renesmee interrupts Edward, and he nods. "What about the lion?" she asks.
"Ah, the lion is what I made. I asked to borrow some clay and she passed me over some orange and yellow clay, and I decided to make a lion. It's my favorite animal. We didn't speak, but when we were both done, we showed each other our finished projects, but she pushed she pushed hers aside before I could see it. She told me that mine was better, so she didn't want to show me hers. She even tried to smash it, but I stopped her. When she showed it to me, I thought it was perfect. It looked more like a dog than a lamb, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I told her it was great. She blushed, and brushed her hair to cover her face, much like you do. You're so like your mother, you-"
"I am not!" Renesmee interrupts again. "I'm not like her. I'm like Auntie Alice."
"You're a little of both, Sweetie, but there's no denying that you're your mother's child. You even blush the same way she does."
Renesmee pouts, and turns her head away from Edward, crossing her arms. She looks adorable, that Edward can't help but to admire her. Just like your mother, he thinks.
"If you don't turn that frown, upside down, I'm not going to finish my story," he threatens, and in a flash, Renesmee has a brilliant smile plastered across her face.
"Please finish your story," she pleads. Edward nods and continues.
"Very well, then. Well, when she pushed her hair forward, she got some clay in it, and she didn't realize. So, I moved forward to take it out, and she whimpered and slid back in her chair, and fell. You know how clumsy your mother is," he jests and it causes Renesmee to laugh again.
"She trips on her own feet," she comments through her giggles.
"Exactly," Edward adds, smiling at Bella at the door, who was blushing in embarrassment. Edward sighs wishing he could run up to her to feel the heat of her cheeks against his hands, but right now he's entertaining his daughter. He stares at Bella until Nessie calls him to attention.
"So, what did you do? Did you help her help?"
"Of course I helped her. What kind of a man, well, boy, would I have been, if I didn't help her up? Plus, I wanted to be her friend, so I was trying to be super nice to her, but when I tried to help her up, she wouldn't let me help her. You know how stubborn she is. Just like you!"
"I'm not stubborn," Renesmee argues, glaring at her father.
"Yes you are!" Edward retorts.
"AM NOT!" She screams, poking him in his forearm; it doesn't hurt at all.
"You see? You just proved my point," he smiles, knowingly and Renesmee concedes.
"Fine. Get back to the story" she demands, huffing in defeat, causing Edward to shake his head and roll his eyes. Maybe you're more like your uncle Emmett, he thinks.
"Well, she finally let me help her up; she thanked me and sat back down-"
"But what about the clay in her hair?" Renesmee intrudes again. Bella quietly chuckles at the door.
"I'm getting there. Stop interrupting. No more interruptions, okay, or I won't tell the story!"
"Okay, I'm sorry," she apologizes, folding her hands onto her lap. Edward can longer fell his left thigh from how long she's been sitting on it. It's practically gone numb, but he wouldn't dare move her.
"Good! Well, when she sat down," he begins, stopping to make sure Renesmee won't interrupt again. She gives him a look that says, 'I won't, just keep going'.
"I put my hand in front of her again, this time warning her that I was going to pull a piece of clay out of her hair. She held her breath as I tugged on the clay. I tried to be as gentle as possible, but it was really stuck. I pulled a piece of her hair out with the clay, but she didn't cry or wince. I got the piece out and then I ran my fingers through her hair again. It was so soft, like your grandmother Esme's. I told her it was soft, and she blushed. I thought it was pretty. I told her that to, and she blushed even more. I knew I liked her right then and there. We became friends that day."
Edward stops to take a breath, turning to find Bella. She was still in the same spot, smiling, bashfully. She looked beautiful just like that, with her hair down in her raggedy old college sweatshirt and jeans.
"The next day, I ran out of your grandfather's car, and I sat down right next to Bella. She was sitting on the big green rug by all the books, reading. She was biting her bottom lip as she did, and I could see her crooked little front teeth poking out. She had obviously already had a tooth fall out. I sat down right next to her and said hello. She smiled up at me brightly and placed the book she was reading half on my lap and half on hers. I knew right then and there, that I loved her. I even told your grandfather that I was going to marry her."
"Really?" Renesmee asks, cowering, causing Edward to smile.
"Yes, really. There was something so special about her. I knew she would be my wife, or at least I knew we'd always be best friends, even though we'd only known each other for a day. And what did I tell you about interrupting me?"
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Renesmee apologizes quickly, pleading with her eyes for her father to continue. He can't deny those eyes. He reminds himself to tell Alice to stop teaching her daughter things to get her way. That little eye trick was one-hundred percent Alice.
"There's not much more after that. We became best friends, and in high school, I finally worked up the nerve to tell your mother how I felt. I was so surprised, and so happy when I found out she felt the same. I nearly jumped for joy, but I kept my cool in front of her-"
"Lies!" Bella finally speaks up from the door. "You pulled me in close and nearly squeezed me to death. Then you proceeded to shout out to everyone that I was your girlfriend," Bella teased, taking a seat on Edward's other knee. Edward relished in the moment. Both his girls on his lap, it was beautiful. They were beautiful.
"Okay, so maybe, I didn't keep my cool," he reasons, causing Nessie to laugh.
"But wait, what did Grandpa tell you when you said you loved Mommy?" Renesmee asks. Bella nods in concurrence.
"Yeah, what did Carlisle say?"
"Well, first I told Emmett, and he told me I was too young. Then I told my mom, and she said the same thing. She also told me that I shouldn't fall for the police chief's daughter. Something about, in the future, that it would bite me in the butt. God, she wasn't lying. I don't even know how many times your Dad would open the door with his rifle in hand, trying to scare me off."
"I'm glad he didn't," Bella lovingly says, kissing his cheek. Renesmee groans in disgust.
"One day, you'll do more than just kiss Jacob on the cheek," Edward tells her, much to Bella's dismay. She smacks him on the shoulder playfully.
"She's too young to know that!" She scolds.
"Yeah, well. Let me get back to what I was saying. When I went to tell my dad, he told me the wisest thing. He told me it matters not who we love or when we love. The only thing that matters is that we love."
"That's what's written on that back of that picture in the hallway," Renesmee comments, and Edward smiles wistfully.
"What picture?" Bella asks.
"The picture of us on your tenth birthday. You know the one I had with me at college.? The one where we both have cakes on our faces?" Bella nods, remembering, and Edward continues.
"My father gave me that picture before we graduated from high school. When he gave it to me, he told me, that that was the moment he knew we would be together forever. On the back, he wrote, what he told me when I was five, 'It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, It matters only that you love'. I cherish that picture, that moment."
"That's so romantic," Renesmee comments, giggling. Bella on the other hand stares at Edward with the most tender expression Edward's ever seen.
"Nessie, go do your homework," Edward tells her offhandedly, not taking his eyes of Bella.
"But I want to hear the rest of the story!" She whines, impatiently.
"Later," Bella says, still starting at Edward.
"Are you guys going to do it?" Renesmee asks, bluntly, breaking her parent's out of their trance. Bella gets off of Edward's knee and pulls Renesmee off with her.
"Where do you hear that?" she asks.
"Jacob," she answers, nervously, fiddling with the bottom of her dress..
Edward laughs hysterically, and it only serves to anger Bella even more.
"This is not funny, Edward. She is too young to know about that!" Bella reasons, loudly, scaring Renesmee.
"Think about it, Bella. We were her age when we got curious about things. Can you really blame her or Jacob?" He goads, with much success.
"Nessie, go do your homework!" Bella says again, pointing toward the door.
"I'm sorry, Mommy," Renesmee sniffles, as tears start to cascade down.
"Sweetie, it's okay. Just don't say things like that, okay?" Bella says, trying to calm her daughter down, but she still stands there crying.
"Okay," she stutters out.
"Why are you still crying?" Edward asks, bending down to level with her, stretching his legs. He takes his daughter into his arms. He was such a sucker for her, and it was worse when she cried.
"Are you going to make me stop playing with Jacob?" She cried out, tears slipping down rapidly.
"Of course not," Bella says, kneeling down next to her daughter. "I would never do that, Sweetie. I know how much he means to you."
"I love him," Renesmee confidently says, rubbing her tears away.
"I know," Bella sighs, much to her daughters glee. Renesmee squeals, hugs Bella and then Edward, and skips out of the room happily.
"Leave it to you to turn a happy father daughter moment into a disaster," Edward jests, pulling him and Bella up off the floor.
"Shut up!" Edward chuckles brining Bella close to him, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"I love you," he whispers into her hair, taking in her smell. She sighs contently into his chest. He lives for these moments. Until the day he dies, this is all he needs, his daughter in his arms, and his wife by his side. He rocks back and forth to a tune in his head, and Bella sways right along with him. From the doorway, Renesmee watchs them thinking to herself.
This is love.