Bookends By: Bella's Executioner.
Rating: M- this means if you're under 16 you are agreeing to break your own ToS by reading this and I'm not your mother so be responsible for yourself.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer is the sole owner of the world of Twilight. She is Bella's creator. I am Bella's Executioner.
A/N: Bookends is the very first fanfiction I started writing. It's been on this site, moved and come back. It has errors, fuck ups and lots of proofs that I'm human but it also has all of my heart and soul in it. I welcome you into this world of pain and love and hope that you enjoy. I also welcome your thoughts as you read—pm me or review and I'll be happy to discuss the story with you.
Chapter 1: Time it was
Time it was and what a time it was, it was.
A time of innocence a time of confidences.
Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.
- Paul Simon
BPOV (2004, Victoria, British Columbia, Swan residence)
It was dark. It was always dark.
I was lying in my bed wishing that I had paid better attention to my father's instructions on how to find the bathroom in the labyrinth of hallways in his ostentatious house. I hated this place. I hated having to spend three weeks here every summer.
My mother reminded me each year, on the way to the neutral exchange point, the McDonald's parking lot that was Switzerland for divorce families, that my father was just that—my father. A fact so damn resolute that it made my heart heavy to accept it because I wished the words could make him everything he should be.
At least he made an effort to come down and pick us up. Or at least he used to. He used to come down to Port Angeles and pick us up, sit with us on the ferry ride over to Canada. Then one day he decided that was just a waste of his valuable time.
Lesson number one when you had Charlie Swan for a dad, don't count on him to take care of you.
I didn't mind it. I was pretty good at taking care of myself.
That was just me, Bella Swan, my mother's little eleven year old going on thirty. I'd be lying to say I lived a blissfully ignorant childhood. And that freaked me out. My friends couldn't have cared less about the adult world beyond high school. They cared very little for attention from their parents, unless it was to receive some prize they wanted more than self respect.
I was just not like all the other kids. And I wanted to stay that way. I didn't want these emotional upheavals that I faced now to eventually one day turn me into one of them.
I didn't want to be the girl getting shit-faced at parties and bursting out in tears at prom because she had daddy issues. I was only eleven. I shouldn't even be thinking and worrying about crap like that now. But I never got to be a kid. Nights like tonight were proof that I had lots of time on my hands to think. Or hope. I might not even be a teenager yet, but that didn't mean that in a few short years I wouldn't become that girl of violent outbursts and substances abuse issues if my dad didn't…
What, Bella? Give you attention?
I glared at the ceiling and ignored that voice inside my brain that challenged me. I liked to believe I had a good head on my shoulders and a strong mind inside that head, but my father had this way of weaseling in to that head. He was like hemlock to my nervous system, a banana peel to my sure footing—a dagger to my heart.
I scowled in to the pitch-black room. My room. I hated calling it that. It wasn't my room. My room was fire engine red and covered in posters from my favorite movies. My room had all of my stuff. My room didn't smell like my grandmother bathed in her perfume while other old women sampled old lady smelling lotions in it.
My room didn't make me feel scared when the lights went out.
I sighed and turned on the bedside lamp for the ninth time that night. I was giving the habit a name, lamp-isodes. They were those moments when I finally gave in. It was like tuning in to the latest sitcom of my tragic wussiness. I debated with myself that it was less creepy this time than the last. Lamp-isode number eight was a twenty-minute fear fest of 'was the closet door open that far before', and 'did I just see something move out of the corner of my eye'. I shoved the covers off of my legs. I was loath to do it because my father kept the house a toasty 55 degrees all year long, but I wanted to hug my knees to my chest. I was such a baby.
My brother always handled Dad's house with witty remarks and a sarcastic humor. Granted, he was two years older than me, and a guy, but I remembered him at my age and he wasn't so chicken that he had to sit with a light on all night.
I never liked sleeping at night anyway. Everything is quiet at night... peaceful. That's when I wanted to be awake.
But then I never liked the same things normal people liked anyway.
I liked clouds. Most people got depressed and crabby when it rained. I loved it. The sun was harsh—the light forced you to close your eyes. Every photographer knows that cloudy days make for the best colors in pictures—take a picture on a sunny day and all you get are overexposed shots with squinty-eyed people. My eyes squinted at the faint glow from the lamp.
I shuffled out of bed to my couch. I hated that my room was big enough for a couch. And a TV and a ginormous professional looking desk complete with a state of the art computer. I wasn't an ungrateful kid. I appreciated what I had in life. I was thankful for the roof over my head and the food in my stomach. But that stomach knotted at the thought of all this stuff. None of it was mine.
Sure, I picked out the red satin sheets on the four-poster bed. I selected the exact size of the couch with the built-in Lazy Boy. And I spent fifteen hours meticulously stenciling the henna inspired faux finish on the cream colored walls. But none of it belonged to me. My life at my dad's house was an eternal lay-away plan at the back of a Wal-mart.
Every smile that I gave, every new gadget that I talked him into buying me, was just some phony stand-in of what I would never get. I would give everything in this room back if I could have five minutes of honest acceptance and love from my dad.
Goddamn daddy issues girl!
It was stupid. My best friend—Alice Cullen—was a foster kid who had been in homes that were not much better than insane asylums. She had been tortured by people who kept her around just for a check every month. She had been beaten, electrocuted and she met each day with a perky smile that was so sweet it was disgusting. And yet here I sat, wallowing in my stupid pettiness. How much more ridiculous could I get?
I rolled my eyes and turned on my 42 inch plasma flat screen. I scrolled through the various infomercials because I was simply too damn lazy to turn on my DVD player. I settled on the one about the natural beauty products. I was engrossed by the stories of women who were far more pretty than I in their before pictures. It was no comfort to hear them whine on and on about how their lives were so horrible before find this magic makeup.
There was nothing in that black bag for me, Scarecrow.
I flicked over to Cartoon Network and let the dull ache in my chest grow numb with the sweet Novocain of AdultSwim. Finally I found a new Frisky Dingo. It would only be eleven minutes out of the next six hours that I was forced to stay in this room—though the pee situation was going to require attention soon—but I would take it.
I chuckled at Killface's antics. And actually got a little choked up when he tried to talk to his son in a display of honest interest. "Wimp," I scolded. I must be starting my period. My emotions were usually shoved much further down, even when I was alone.
I stared out the window. My eyes had adjusted to the dark and I could see it was starting to drizzle on the small lake that made up most of the backyard. I couldn't wait to see the light start to diffuse behind the clouds and give way to the morning. Then I could finally get some sleep.
My mom hated that I slept so much of the day away when I wasn't going to school. I claimed it was because I was catching up on much needed rest. She, being the great and wonderful wizard of Oz, knew better. She actually confronted me about misplacing my anger for the daytime because I hated to interact with other people during the waking hours.
I wanted to deny it. I wasn't some depressed daddy issues chick...yet. But it was true. If you slept past ten you usually had the day to yourself. God. I was going to have to force my dad to pay for so much therapy when I got older.
The episode came to a close—Killface losing the presidential election to the entrepreneur rap mogul Jaquil—and I sighed again. I rested back on the couch and ignored the next five episodes of Robot Chicken. Somewhere between SheRah suffering from P.M.S. and Gumby being chopped into pieces in a wood chipper, I succumbed to sleep. It was dreamless. It was deep. And God willing it would be long enough to keep me from having to talk to my father when it ended.
EPOV (same time, Seattle, Masen residence)
She straightened up from the kitchen table and nearly broke her neck. Drunks shouldn't wear kitten heels. Common fucking sense. I just leaned back against the sink and watched. I was through concerning myself with helping her. If she were really interested in help she would have paid the fuck attention to the past six months of rehab counseling.
I swallowed back the bile as she giggled in her inebriation and frenched the asshole at the door. I really hoped she got picked up tonight. Maybe I could anonymously tip off the cops to finding her. She hadn't even left – fuck, it wasn't even six o'clock yet- and she was already a walking parole violation.
My fingers inched toward the phone.
She slurred something in the general direction of the kitchen before she let the creep drag her drunken ass out of the house. I hadn't caught what she said, nor did it fucking bother me that I didn't know. I pulled the bag of chips I bought at school out of my backpack and headed up to my room.
I threw on my G'n'R CD and ignored the yipping dogs critique next door. I needed a little sympathy for the devil right now. The CD player emitted a high pitch whine at the end of each track and if I leaned too far in my chair the power cord would shake lose.
Only five more years and I'm out.
I pulled out my sketchpad- I was drowning in reds today. The music calmed my nerves while my emotions swirled on the paper in streams of scarlet edges. In the middle of the piece I drew an eye- green, almost sage seemed appropriate. I wouldn't mind seeing someone with eyes that were gentle like that right now.
I felt Jazz's presence in my room without hearing him enter. Fucking sixth sense- never gave me a rest. "You busy?" he begged.
Ah to fucking be an only child.
He flopped down on the pile of clean clothes I kept under my window. I ignored him- pretty damn well despite his constant sighing. Life was a bitch. Period. His wasn't any more of a hell than mine. In fact he was younger so he didn't have the memories and scars from our late great father's, Ed Sr., love of a leather belt and bottle of whisky. I did.
One of the scars in question itched. The big one on my side. I actually liked that one. It was deep enough that I got to go the hospital for like a week. And brutal enough that CPS had dragged his ass out of the home for a solid month. But like all good things it closed up and healed over. Then my shitty life just kept flowing.
"What…" I groaned, still not looking at my annoying younger brother. I didn't have to look to know what I would see.
Jazz was the complete opposite of me. I looked just like Edward Sr. I had bronze, almost rusty-red hair. My brown eyes were just as round as his. My nose was long and thin and perfectly straight just as his had been before that bar brawl in '98. And when it came to our, gag me, mother- Tanya, was there ever a more trailer park sounding name than Tanya- I even had a little of her in me too. She was in my delicate wrists and tall frame. That crooked smile that got her so much work at the club could be found on my face when I was moved to smiling without thinking.
But Jazz looked nothing like any of us. Okay, I admit he had that smile too. But the dirty blond hair and tan complexion was hard to ignore next to our dark heads and pale faces. Lets just say we all knew that though good 'ole Ed was still around when Jazz was born but he wasn't exactly around when he was conceived.
That brown haired bitch would take the identity of his real father to her grave- preferably soon. Though I was sure she was tweaked off her ass so hard back then that she probably was surprised to find out she was having sex. I was always just grateful for the miracle that Jazz didn't turn out fucked up because of her severe drug use while she was pregnant.
So the difference in our appearance was just the obvious divide between us. But the other differences were what really pissed me off. Jazz was always hopeful- Ed hadn't got the chance to beat that out of him before he died- while I was the embodiment of bitter. He was open, I was closed. He was young, I was a middle-aged thirteen year old.
"You ever think about them?" Jazz whispered. My hand unconsciously picked up the green pencil for the red and my sketch magically changed from rage to peace. Yeah, I thought about them... all of the time. Never changed anything.
"Doesn't matter." I said flatly. My hand curved the green ribbon in to the shape of tiny hands. Pain in the ass little brother. I launched the sketchpad across the room- hitting Jazz in the arm.
"Hey!" he yelped. Served him right. He wanted to bring up painful shit- then the little fucker could hurt right along with me.
"Got what you deserve, shit head," I retorted. He shrugged and held my picture out to inspect it. His eyes were so sad. I knew what he was thinking. He missed the girls. He missed the sanctuary of Forks. He just wanted to fucking talk about it with a normal person and all he had was me.
"Fuckit," I said, glaring at him. "What are you thinking about?" It was a loaded question. I was sensitive to appearances and thoughts. I could read people pretty well- it helped keep you alive in the shit-ass world we lived in. But Jazz, like usual, was the polar opposite. Jazz was affected by moods and emotional energy. I was tense when I couldn't understand what someone was thinking. Jazz was tense just because there was tension in the room.
So, what Jazz thought about was finding a calm place to be. But more importantly, Jazz thought about what would happen when I finally got out of this shit hole and left him behind. Call it our constant white fucking elephant just sitting on my fucking chest whenever my brother was like this.
He lifted his face and it was all youthful and goofy. "What do you think they're doing right now?" he asked. Ah, this was a game I remembered well. It got us through the abusive boyfriend phase. We would imagine ourselves out of this life and into one that seemed better. It was really fucking easy to do.
"It's June," I said, folding my right leg under my left as I kicked the side of my bed. "Bella's at her dad's house for another two weeks. And," I paused to glare at my little brother through my lashes. "Alice..." He stiffened at the sound of her name. "Well, she's getting ready for the fall fashion tour."
Jazz nodded his head. That little smile that proved we were brothers dancing around his lips. "I was just referring to the Cullens."
I closed my eyes as the blush worked its way up my neck and painted my cheeks. "I didn't realize you were so interested in the schedule of one Bella..." He paused to return the glare that I had sent him over Alice. "Swan, wasn't it?"
"Get the fuck out," I spat at him.
"Touchy." He threw his hands up in defense. He laughed once and then his face got all sad again and his eyes were soft. "Look, I'm cool talking about Alice if you ever want to talk about Bella." The punk was two years younger than me. He had no right to be so goddamn cool about anything.
And at any rate, there was nothing to talk about when it came to that rich man's daughter who was always too nice to everyone. I only knew what she was doing because she wrote me letters like I was some twelve-year-old BFF. She was annoying and pathetic and private... not someone I wanted to talk about.
"Bella sent me her weekly update." I held up the folded letter that I had tucked in my pocket. I rolled my eyes in a look that I hoped was too casual for words. "Before you ask, your precious fucking little pixie bitch was not mentioned." I smirked at the way Jazz's face fell. "Like I said, she's at her dad's." My mouth constricted around the last word. I hated calling the man that. He was just some guardian that gave her room and board every summer.
I hated getting the letters from her when she was with him too. There was an edgy sarcasm to them that was not like the playful wit that she usually employed. She was sad when she was around him. It made me want to punch the motherfucker in the face. She was the one person who should always have a smile on her face. I came out of my reverie with Jazz staring at me with raised eyebrows. That smirk was smack dab in the middle of his face. I growled.
I might not be able to punch the guy I wanted to, but some motherfucker's nose was getting bloody tonight.