The Cottage

Little Bella Swan ran through her father's back yard. Her big chocolate eyes, stared at her father, getting ready to leave for work. She ran up to her father and tugged at the hem of his shirt. "Daddy?"

He looked down at his little girl, "Yeah Bells?"

"Where are you going?"

"We're just going to inspect some land. There's a big empty lot there, there's a lot of trees and grass and it's close by to a river. Someone said that they wanted to use the land for a home lot in a couple of years, and we need to check it out." Bella simply nodded.

"It sounds nice there Daddy." She smiled as her pigtails swung around her head. Charlie nodded.

"Mm Hm. It's not too dangerous there Bells, maybe if you wanted to, you could come with me and Officer Smith and you can play around." Her round face lit up, her eyes wide with agreement; she nodded as her chestnut hair once again swung around her face. She smiled.

She followed her father out of the house as he locked the door. Charlie pulled himself into the front seat of his police cruiser after he'd seated his daughter in the back. He looked at his daughter through the rear view mirror. "You ready to go Bella?" She nodded. He pulled the gears of his car and pushed the pedal as he pulled out of the driveway.

The drive out was farther than Bella had ever gone from her dad's home in Forks. The greens of the scenery blurred outside her window. She hated green. Everything was green in Forks. She missed the yellow sun of Phoenix, the bright blue of the sky. There were no yellows or blues. The sky was a dingy gray, and of course there was green. The closest Bella had seen to blue in the longest time was the lake where she Jacob Black would sit in front of while Billy and her dad would fish; even then though, the water was a murky gray.

At least it was dry enough to run around and play. For once, the rain had ceased.

She looked at her dad in the front seat. She saw his thinning hair, and his tired eyes. She thought about her dad being alone, shaking his head to a song from a long time ago. "Dad?"

"Mm Hm?" he seemed distracted.

"What do you think I'd be like when I'm a grown up?" She paused "You know, when I'm big and married and I have my own house and car."

"I don't know Bells." He seemed to ponder over it a while longer. "Maybe you'll find out about it today." He shrugged and continued to drive, humming along to an old song Bella had never heard of.

The long drive seemed to drag on. The greens dragged on even longer. Mercifully, Charlie stopped the cruiser and saved Bella from the boredom of the long drive. Perhaps in the future the drive here would not be so long, but the mind of a six year old is rather impatient.

"Bella," Charlie called from the front seat, "We're here."

Bella craned her neck to the cruiser's window. Of course, it was green. But also, it was the biggest lot of land she'd ever seen, it was so big it looked like a meadow, surrounded by huge bushels of trees and a river. She was glad her dad had given her a place to run around to her heart's desire, without fear of falling; the grass looked perfect to fall into.

She exited the car as she saw her father meet up with an older man in a police uniform; she assumed that this was Officer Smith. Charlie introduced her to the officer who, in turn, gave her a large gap-toothed grin. She asked her dad if she could run around the piece of land, he nodded and continued conversing with Officer Smith.

Charlie and Officer Smith had taken a full half hour looking over the land with a couple of architects who were planning to build the home. Apparently though, another architect and her husband, and also the couple planning on living in the home with their family, were a tad late. Bella didn't catch their name, but didn't bother as she continued frolicking.

An architect turned to Charlie, "You know Charlie, the property extends beyond the river too." Charlie's expression turned from tired to exasperation.

His eye turned to Officer Smith who said, "We should inspect there too Charlie." Charlie was tired and he knew that this would take yet another half hour to look over with the inspector, but he simply groaned, looked around and nodded. Officer Smith laughed.

Charlie called out to his daughter, "Bella, we have to go across the river and check out the land over there. Is that okay?" She nodded and ran over towards her father.

Now, this river had a bridge built across it, but once the tenants moved in, the architect and her husband, after the house was built the bridge was torn down. Bella, the police officers Swan and Smith, and several architects crossed the bridge to examine the land for the still late architect.

Bella tugged at the hem of her father's shirt again. "Daddy," He looked at her and nodded, "I'm gonna go and look around, 'kay?"

"Sure Bells." He nodded towards her briefly before looking over the large piece of land yet again as his daughter walked off into the forest.

She was more curious about here than she was with the large, vacant meadow of land. More curious about it than she usually would be, but the place it seemed right. It seemed like home. She walked, her little white running shoes treading along the dry earth below her. She walked so much her feet started to hurt and she vaguely wondered if she burnt holes in her shoes like in the cartoons. She walked so much around the area that she felt as if years had gone by. In fact, that's exactly what happened.

Around her, the trees aged; it was different. Her little white shoes wandered her around until laughter filled the air around her. She looked back into the bushels of trees. There was no Charlie, no architects by the river, it was a large white house. It was ahead of it's time yet completely traditional; Bella noticed the large window where the south wall should be, but was quickly distracted by the sound of laughter filling the air once again. Her shoes carried her towards the sound.

In the distance, there was a small cottage. It looked like something out of a fairytale. A small garden surrounded it, full of roses, lilies and pretty purple flowers she had never seen before. She moved towards the cottage where the sound of laughter emanated. As she moved closer, the sound of a piano being played danced through the waves of laughter. The song was a nice one Bella had never heard.

The cottage's window was close enough for her to reach. She moved towards it and curiously reached her hands over the sill. She pried her head over the edge and looked into the window.

There were three people sitting by the edge of a fireplace. A man, a woman and a child. The child was the prettiest baby Bella had ever seen, as was the man and woman. She had to assume that this man and woman were the baby girl's parents; they looked so much like her. Bella liked watching the glints of red and copper dance off their hair in the glow of the fireplace.

She quickly saw that no one was playing the piano; there was no piano in sight. Bella thought that the music was too nice for one person to be playing; maybe it was a CD.

Little Bella sat there watching the beautiful family in the window, watching their smiles dance in the light of the fire. They would smile and laugh, but no one would ever speak. Occasionally the beautiful man with the messy bronze hair would nod, or the little baby would touch the neck of her mother and her parents would laugh, or make a quick comment, but Bella would never catch what they said, they were talking too fast.

She finally heard them speak. Their voices were as lovely as their faces. The baby touched her hand to her mother's neck.

"You want to hear it again Renesmee?" The mother turned to her baby. The baby, named Renesmee, smiled, showing off her pearly white teeth, and nodded.

She turned to her husband. "Again Edward, please?"

"Yes daddy, pleeease?" The baby stretched out the word.

Edward, the father, smiled. "Sure. But it's only for the two loveliest girls, okay?" They nodded. Edward got up and moved away from the window as his wife stroked the copper curls of her daughter's head. The song in the background played again. Renesmee and her mother smiled as they sang along to the music.

Renesmee put her hand to her father's neck. He smiled as he looked at her. "It's called Renesmee's Lullaby." The baby smiled as she looked at her father. "You're welcome Nessie." He bent his head and kissed the baby on his wife's lap.

Bella watched the family listen to the music and she swayed along with them as the lullaby played in the background. It was a nice song; Bella felt her eyelids getting heavy. But she wanted to stay awake, she kept her tired eyes peering through the window curiously, as if she were drawn to the people inside. Like they were her family, like her home.

Bella saw little Renesmee's eyelids begin to droop. Her high voice escaped a small yawn as her small pink lips shaped into an 'o.' Edward carried her away and he was gone from sight. In a matter of seconds, the beautiful, bronze haired man was back in Bella's view. He took a seat next to the pretty brunette.

He grinned towards her. "The only parents who don't need sleep, and our child sleeps like an angel."

"Edward, she is an angel." She smiled and stroked his cheek.

"Our angel." He agreed.

He held his wife tightly and kissed her forehead. He kissed her again on the lips, just a small, sweet kiss. The woman smiled. "I miss those days when you would sing me to sleep with my lullaby." He held her closer and started rocking her back and forth humming a song that Bella vaguely recognized. It might have been the first one played.

Edward looked at his wife. "I love you—"

"Bella!" Edward was cut of short. Bella spun away from the window to see her father calling her. "Bella!" Charlie called out again. She waved her hand high enough for her dad to see.

She was broken form the spell of the daydream she was just in. From the fairytale movie she was watching.

She turned to look back one last time at the cottage before going to her father, but when she turned back, it was gone.

Was it all a dream?

"C'mon Bella, it's time to go." He slipped his daughter's small hand into his and he walked her back to the bridge. He, Bella, Officer Smith, and the Architects crossed the bridge quickly after the long day. The big house with the glass wall was gone too. Instead, there was still the big, meadow-like lot.

She looked back across the river where the small dream-like cottage once was, just as a shiny black Mercedes pulled into the lot. "Esme! Carlisle! You're here, finally!"

Charlie groaned. "Bella, the architect buying the land is here. I need to go talk with her and her husband." She nodded and dutifully followed her father.

The people she saw talking with a round, balding architect were easily just as beautiful as Edward and his wife. "Bella," Charlie called to her. "this is Carlisle and Esme Cullen." They both had pale skin, and eyes the color of honey. Esme looked like a storybook princess and Carlisle could've easily been her prince charming.

Esme held out a hand for Bella. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm sorry I couldn't have brought my children along; my daughter Alice would've liked you. She and her brothers Emmett and Edward had to leave." Upon hearing the name Edward, Bella smiled immediately. She remembered the beautiful bronze haired man and his family.

"Bella, we're leaving!" Charlie called as he brought his daughter to the cruiser. She buckled herself into the back seat and shut the door. Charlie turned the key and stomped on the ignition, eager to get home.

"Dad?" Bella asked.

Charlie nodded. "Do you remember when we came here and i asked you what it would be like when I'm a grown up? And you said maybe I'll find out here?" He nodded again.

"I think I figured out what I want it to be like when I'm a grown up." Charlie smiled and nodded, knowing not to be intrusive to his daughter.

Bella granted herself one last memory of the beautiful family by the fireside before smiling and staring out at the green blurs through the window.