Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Stephenie Meyer owns it all. I am merely having fun with her characters. I also do not own Brothers and Sisters.
A/N…If you would like to see pictures of Bella and Edward's kids, you can go to my picture website to view pics for my stories there. Also, I forgot that I had pictures up for NMT that I did not tell you about in my author's note in the epilogue. If you would like to go over there you can see pictures of Toni, J.R. and Xander all grown up.
Twelve Years Later: Age 18
It felt surreal that I was finally finished with high school. Today was my graduation day. I had made my family proud because I was going to be valedictorian. Alright, they would have been proud of me anyway…especially my parents since neither of them graduated from high school.
They did both get their GED's but this was still a big deal to them.
Mom and Dad had overcome so much and I was really hoping that they were going to like my speech. I made sure that neither of them knew what I was going to say. The only people I had shared it with were my grandparents and my brother and sister.
I smiled as I thought of my siblings.
They were the world to me.
As ready as I was to start my life in the real world, on my own…it was breaking my heart that I was leaving Coop and Chrissy behind.
Elizabeth Christine Cullen was born May 16th, 2011. Mom and Dad settled on the name Elizabeth after Dad's mom who was no longer with us. Christine was from Aunt Tanya.
Her name was Tanya Christine.
We all decided to call her Chris in honor of the "C" tradition my parents seemed to have going with their children.
I took to calling her "Chrissy" as soon as they decided on a name.
Most of the time, she hated it…but she knew it was our thing.
When Chrissy came along, I was a little worried that she and Coop would be so close since their ages were closer together, that I would feel left out and jealous.
That was never the case. Those two fought like cats and dogs with me always having to play referee.
Now they were both eleven, until July when Coop would turn twelve. Who was going to referee their disagreements in the fall when I went off to Dartmouth?
Yes, I got into my father's dream college…with a full academic scholarship no less. He was thrilled that I was going to get to do what he was never able to do.
Mom and Dad had been hounding me for weeks, dying to know what I had picked for my major. I had yet to tell them because I wanted it to be a surprise.
They would find out today, with the rest of the town of Forks.
My speech was filled with hope and determination. I was going to tell the entire town how the idols…the heroes in my life that I looked to for inspiration were in fact my mom and dad.
I was also going to announce the fact that I was going to major in psychology at school. I wanted to be a counselor to help children like my mom and dad…hopefully before they headed down some of the same roads that they did.
Mom was raped and felt as if she had no one to turn to…so she turned to drugs instead. Dad felt as if he had killed his own mother…the guilt ate away at him everyday…he turned to drugs to heal his pain.
I wanted to be the one that kids like them could turn to if they felt that they had no one else. I was going to graduate from Dartmouth and come back home to Forks.
I never wanted to be far from my family.
I was finishing with my make-up when there was a knock on my bedroom door. This was still the same small three-bedroom house we moved into when Cooper was a baby.
Only now, Mom and Dad owned it.
They were able to buy the garage that they wanted and Dad slaved away working on cars, as he loved to do while Mom ran the place.
They went to work together every day and came home with one another every night.
My parents had a love that I hoped my siblings and I would one day find. They had been through so much together…yet they overcame it all…even when it did not seem like they would.
Everyone thought after they got back together that the worst was over for them…we could not have been more wrong.
Flashback Age 10
Cooper was four and Chrissy was three. Mom and Dad had been fighting a lot. I knew that Daddy had been acting different but was not sure what was happening.
Several months before, there was an accident at the garage. Mom and Dad had not opened up their own place yet, this was the garage that Daddy had always worked at.
There was a fire, which ended up burning the place completely to the ground. We were lucky that my father made it out alive. His leg was hurt pretty badly.
He had to undergo physical therapy and on his initial stay in the hospital, he had been given pain killers for his injuries.
Now, several months later, my parents were constantly fighting and my father was almost non-existent.
I was only ten but I knew the signs well.
My father was using again and addicted…to something.
This particular day, everything came to a head and it was a day I would never forget. It was the day my dad put my mom in the hospital and almost destroyed our family.
Aunt Tanya had just dropped me off at the house. I saw that both of my parent's cars were in the driveway. She had to get to dinner with Uncle Jake. Our shopping trip had run longer than it was supposed to so she was in a hurry.
I got out of the car quickly and headed into our home.
I could hear my parents screaming at one another from the front porch as I opened the door.
"CC go to your room!" Daddy yelled at me as soon as I entered the house.
"Don't you dare take your anger out on her Edward! This has to stop!" My mom screamed at him.
I hurried past them and went into my room where I found Chrissy and Cooper playing quietly as if nothing was going on in the living room.
I guess that they had gotten good at drowning out the sounds over the last few months.
I wished that I could do that.
"What the fuck did you do with my stash, Bella? I know you did something to it! It's not where I left it! Now hand it over!" Dad screamed.
"It's gone, Edward! Enough is enough! You said you were handling this! You're not! It's either the drugs and the booze or me and the kids!"
"Like that's really a fucking choice, Bella? I am fucking twenty-seven years old! Not even thirty yet and because of you and the fact that you can't keep your goddamn legs closed, I am already saddled with three fucking kids to support! Those pills and that booze are the only fucking things I have to get up for in the morning! All of my hopes and dreams are gone because of you! Of course I fucking choose the drugs and the booze!"
I could hear my mom sobbing louder.
I felt as if my father had walked in here and slapped me himself.
How could he say that about us?
Did he really hate us all that much?
I loved my dad more than anyone…even my mom. I loved my mom a lot…but I still loved Daddy more.
When I heard him say those words…that was the day my dad fell down from the pedestal that I had placed him on my entire life.
"Get out, Edward! I'm calling Jasper!"
"I don't give a flying fuck who you call Bella! Give me my shit and I will gladly get out of this hellhole!"
"I told you, it's all gone! I poured your booze down the drain and I flushed all of your precious pills! You thought you were hiding things so well but I went through the house and the garage with a fine-tooth comb today and I found everything you selfish son of a bitch!"
I could hear a scuffle then and more crying as well as yelling.
Then I heard my dad screaming.
"Oh God! No Bella no! I'm so fucking sorry! What have I done? CC come here please! Help me!"
I instructed Chris and Coop to stay where they were. Whatever I was going to see when I left the room, I did not want them to see as well.
I ran from the bedroom and saw that my dad was cradling mom in his arms. He was yelling at her begging her to wake up and he had tears streaming down his face.
It was then that I noticed the blood coming from her head.
What had happened?
"CC, call 911 please baby! We have to help her! She's still breathing but we need to get her to a hospital. I don't know what's wrong."
I nodded and ran to get the phone.
I dialed 911 and did what the woman on the phone told me to do.
After I called them, I called Uncle Jasper. He and Aunt Alice lived the closest to us so I knew that they would get here sooner.
They actually got to the house before the ambulance did.
Uncle Jasper was furious and pulled Daddy away from Mom. He would not let him near her. He told him he had done enough damage.
Aunt Alice comforted Coop, Chris and me.
Dad just sat on the couch with his head in his hands, sobbing.
"What have I fucking done? She's never going to forgive me for this. I've fucked everything up."
Even though Daddy hated us and did not want us anymore, I could not let him hurt. I walked over to him and cradled his face in my hands.
"It's okay Daddy. Mama will be fine. I love you."
He sobbed harder and pulled me to him.
It was the hardest he had ever hugged me.
Once the ambulance showed up and we all arrived at the hospital we were told that, my mom was going to be okay.
She had hit her head hard enough to cut it, get a concussion and knock herself out but there was not any serious damage done.
What led to her head injury came out once she was awake.
Apparently, mom and dad's fight turned physical. She had bruises on her arms from him grabbing her too tightly.
He reached his breaking point when she told him about getting rid of his drugs. They struggled and he pushed her. Mom being mom tripped and hit her head on the bar in the kitchen.
Mom would not speak to Dad at the hospital. He was arrested from there. She did not press charges as long as he was going to seek help. She wanted him to go to the rehab facility that she went to in California.
Grandpa agreed and arranged for Dad to be sent there.
Dad was gone for a whole year. It was very difficult. Besides managing the gym with Uncle Emmett, Mom had to take on a night job at the local diner. She was always tired and tried to make time for us as much as she could but we ended up spending a lot of time with other family members that year.
Mommy and I both wrote Dad the entire time he was gone. Once he had been there for a month and was not so angry with us for sending him away…he started writing back to us.
When he returned home, I was happy to have my daddy back but the things he said that day were still nagging at the back of my mind.
It took many therapy sessions and a lot of one on one time with my dad for him to convince me that he loved me with every fiber of his being.
He loved all of us.
The awful things he said was just the drugs talking.
It did not excuse them or make them go away but he was sorry that he said them and he accepted responsibility for it.
Seven years later, my father and I were finally back to the way we were.
We were both going to feel the burn when I went away to college…but it had to happen. It was just the way of life. It was time for me to spread my wings.
The knocking started on my door again. Oh right…I was so lost in my thoughts that I forgot to answer.
"Come in," I called to the person on the other side.
"You ready baby girl," my dad asked from the doorway.
"Yep, all ready. Let's do this!"
He stopped me before I could leave and wrapped his arms around me. "I am so proud of you CC. All of my dreams did come true…you are everything I ever could have hoped for. I love you guys so much. You know that right?"
I smiled. "Of course, Daddy. Now let's go get me graduated already! I am ready to be a free woman!"
Dad chuckled and we made our way down to the rest of our family…hand in hand.
"Are you gonna be okay without me around Daddy?"
He sighed, "Yeah…I suppose so. I've got your mom to keep me in line. Your brother and sister will definitely keep things interesting too. You know I'll miss ya though, kiddo."
"I know. I'm gonna miss you too Daddy," I told him honestly.
When we reached the living room, Cooper was irritated and Chrissy was pouting.
"It's about time you guys came down. I'm not getting any younger! The faster we can get through this graduation thing the faster I get to eat! I am starving!" Cooper complained.
"Coop, you just ate four slices of leftover pizza and a half a bag of chips! How can you possibly still be hungry?" Mom scolded him.
"I am a growing boy, Mom!"
We all laughed at him except for Chrissy.
"Well, I refuse to go! I don't want you to graduate! If you graduate it means that you are really leaving to go off to college and you are going to leave me here all alone with stupid over there!" She said pointing her thumb at our goofy brother.
"Hey! That's not nice!" Coop told her.
"Well it's true! You're such an idiot most of the time Cooper, I swear!" Chris told him.
Dad opened the drawer in the table by the door and pulled out his referee whistle. He blew it loudly, getting everyone's attention.
"Enough you two! This is CC's day! We are not going to ruin it for her!"
I wrapped my arm around Chris and reminded her, "Hey sis, at least now you will get a room all to yourself. Isn't that cool?"
She seemed like she was warming up to the idea. "Hmmm…yeah I guess that will be nice."
"Okay…the train is leaving the station. All aboard!" Dad yelled.
I rolled my eyes. He still did that every time we were all leaving the house to go somewhere together.
Coop and Chris ran outside fighting along the way over who was going to sit where.
That left just Mom, Dad and I in the house together.
"Well…this is it love bug," Mom said as she hugged me.
"I know Mom."
"I'm so proud of you sweetie. We could not have asked for a better daughter. You are going to do great things…things we never could have imagined. I just know it," she said.
"I just want to thank you both," I told them.
"For what?" Dad asked.
"For giving me your strength. You are two of the strongest people I have ever met. Neither of you ever gave up and you always fought your way back to your family. And the way you two love each other…you give me hope that I can find something like that one day."
They looked into each other's eyes and my dad placed a gentle kiss on my mom's lips. They whispered their "I love you's" and then turned their attention back to me.
"You gave us that strength Camilla. If we would not have had you in our lives…I don't know how we would have turned out. It's all you beautiful girl. We owe you the world."
Tears were streaming down all of our faces. "Aw, Mom…now you're just ruining my makeup on purpose," I chuckled.
"I think we should go my girls, before Coop and Chris kill one another," Dad said.
"That's a very good point. I think you're right," Mom said as we heard a wail from outside.
Chris was probably pulling Cooper's hair. She was famous for that. He liked to keep it shaggy and unmanageable just like Dad's hair.
I followed my parents out to the SUV where we all piled inside and headed towards my future.
Thanks to them…I had a great one in store for me.
A/N…*sigh*…That is it my friends.
There will not be a sequel to this before anyone asks.
If you leave a review for this epilogue, I will send you a teaser of my new story. I am not going to start posting it until I am at least halfway to mostly finished.
If you do not have me on author alert already, do so now so that you will be notified when I post the new one.
Thank you to all of you who supported me with this fic and stuck it out to see these troubled kids finally get their happily ever after.