Chapter 2 Let's play pretend.

This is it Bella you can do this. You are strong enough to do this. I chanted to myself as I sat tensely in my seat, getting even more on edge the closer and closer Esme drove to my childhood home. The home I hadn't been inside of since I was 7 years old. That had been 9 years ago…ugh I cannot be doing this. Why am I even doing this? Maybe I can get Esme to just take me back to Port Angeles. Yes, yes that is a wonder full plan.

I turn in my seat to speak but Esme beat me to it.

"We're here Bella."

Dang it, I scowled miserably but hastily smothered it with a blank smile

"Thank you Esme for giving me a ride home."

"Oh it's no problem. If you ever need help, please don't hesitate to call," she smiled softly as she pressed a business card into my hand.

Keeping my face cheerfully void and composed, I exited the car and gave the woman a small wave a she backed out of the driveway. When her car was no longer visible I walked toward the front door.

Come on Bella it can't be that bad, you haven't seen the house for years surely it can't be that horrible.

Scrambling together all of the courage I could I jerked my head up to look at the house. I was right it wasn't horrible it was so much worse it was absolutely terrifying.

The house was exactly as it had been all those years ago, when I was just a little girl.

"Mommy! Play with me!" a little girl shouts as she twirls around the yard; dress flaring out.

Coming to a stop she falls to the ground beside a woman, her mother, on a big blue picnic blanket.

"Oh my silly Bella," the woman chuckles, pulling the small girl onto her lap.

"What exactly do you want to play," she asks capturing Bella's attention.

"Mmm," Bella makes a face going over the choices in her head. Meanwhile a man comes and sneaks up to the small girl.

"Ahh," he yells scooping up the girl.

"Daddy," she shrieks happily as he twirls her around and around.

"Yes my lil Bells," he asks holding her.

"Play with me," she wriggles out of his grasp, running in the yard.

"I'm gonna getchya," he shouts chasing her.

Shaking away the thoughts of the past, I pull the house key from my small backpack. Taking a deep breath I close my eyes and unlock the door. Hearing the once familiar click of the door unlocking, I step into my once upon a time haven and home that is now nothing but old memories of loss and pain.

I can't ignore it anymore can I? Releasing my held breath I opened my eyes and stepped further into the foyer. It's just as I remember it. The old creaky wooden stairs right in front of the door. Turning to my left I walk under the archway into the joint living room and kitchen.

Running my fingers against the smooth granite countertops, it's like I can almost see her again. She would be in the kitchen: cooking. Breakfast…lunch…dinner it didn't matter the meal, but she would always have music playing as she bustled to and fro; somehow always moving to the beat of whatever song.

"You're silly mommy," 7 year old Bella claps as she watches her mother dance about the kitchen.

"Yes, Bella-baby, but I am you're silly mommy," she laughs touching her finger lightly to her daughter's nose.

Grabbing her daughter's hand she pulls her into the kitchen and the both dance crazily to the tune; both singing along.

Sighing wistfully, I turn away from the kitchen fearing the tears threatening to pool in my eyes. Ignoring the living room altogether and climb the stairs, each step seeming to be weighed down heavily with a torrent of emotions. I reach the landing and go to my left opening the first door I come to my room. The walls are still painted a soft lilac and the ceiling a mural of the sky. The room was bare and empty but one it used to be so much more I thought sadly as I sunk back into memories of the past.

"Momma," 5 year old my bounces on the bed; my blue nightgown flaring out.

"Bella,' she scold softly, "you're supposed to be asleep."

"But momma you promised you would read me a story," I fall to the bed gracelessly.

"Well in that case," she scooped me up and took me to the large shelves on the other side of my room, "now what should we read tonight Bella-baby?"

"Oh I know," I said excitedly reaching my hand out, "The Nutcracker."

Grabbing the book off the shelf she set it down on my nightstand and proceeded to tuck me in.

"All set?" she asked sitting on edge of the bed. Snuggling into the blankets I nodded.

"Ok," she picked up the book and flipped to the appropriate page.

"Once upon a time there was a young girl and her name was Clara," my eyes flickered close as I slipped into dreamland letting the comforting sound of her voice wash over me.

Blinking back tears I left the room gently shutting the door behind me. Crossing the landing I past the bathroom door and went to my parent door. I placed my hand on the knob and knew that if I didn't go in I never would.

Summoning the rest of my resolve I let me eyes flutter shut and opened the door. I stepped in and noiselessly shut the door. I had memorized this room as a child so I had no need to open my eyes as I walked into the center of the room. Wrapping my arms around me I slowly opened my eyes as the memories washed over me.

I was four and there was thunderstorm raging violently. As a very young child thunder had frightened me with its loud noise. I remember curling up in between my parents; their very presence soothing my fears and putting me at ease.

Walking to the connected master bathroom a scent tickled my nose; before hitting me so hard I began to sob.

"Here Bella-baby spritz a lil of that on your wrist, rub 'em and then dab it on your neck," she said as she demonstrated how to apply perfume.

"Okay," I reached my hand out and took the bottle. I had always loved the scent of my mother's perfume it had an airy fresh scent with a tropical hint. I was pulling off the lid to but I couldn't open. I didn't want to ask for help.

Finally yanking at the top the perfume went flying and spraying perfume all over the curtains and wall.

"Bella stay right there," she ordered as she gathered up the largest pieces of glass and threw them away. Grabbing a small dust bin and handle broom she swept away the glass and threw it away as well.

As she turned to look at me I spoke looking down at my feet, "sorry for breaking your perfume momma."

"Bella-baby" she tilted my head up, "it's okay just ask for help next time, okay?"

I nodded, "now your bathroom smells like you. I like it."

"I like it too," she chuckled.

I fell to the floor sobbing I just couldn't take it anymore! I absolutely hated this house, but I can't let it go. There are so many memories, so many good ones that I can't bear to part with or deal with. Wiping the tears I resolved to make this house mine, if I was going to be living here for the next two years then I would do so on m terms, I just hope I actually I have it in me to change my childhood home.

A/N: so its been awhile