"Bella, you don't have to do this" Edward mumbled. I glanced over my stack of course outlines, my eyes tightening, forehead creasing as I tried my hardest to give him my most menacing look.
"Ooo, Scary." Edward joked.
I ignored him, focusing back on the pamphlet in my hand. I shuffled through school calenders. Chukchi, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Anchorage, Mantanuska, and Juneau. I grabbed the booklet from Juneau, which was located in the south east, mentally checking off the ones I found interesting. Anthropology, womens gender studies and economics.
"I'm just saying..." I slammed the book down on the table carefully not to break it, but with enough force to get his attention. I tore my eyes from the table towards his direction to find him sitting casually at the other end of the table. He hadn't moved an inch, one leg propped up on the other.
"You've been 'just saying' for the past month." I grumbled through clenched teeth. He put his hand up, pointing a finger towards the ceiling.
"We're only going there for a year."
"I..." He waved his finger, instructing me that he wasn't finished yet.
"Bella, Nessie is the only one who attracts everyone's attention. She's growing at a slower pace but we can't put in a school system here. Not with people we know."
I knew the facts. I knew why we had to leave and how long we were leaving for. The next couple of years involved a lot of moving around to avoid suspicions of Renesmees changes. I chewed on my bottom lip, a human trait that carried over.
"Bella, as much as you let me into your mind, I can't actually see what you don't want me to." He sighed out of frustration. I stared blankly, watching as he crossed his arms across his chest.
I knew he was right. Ever since I discovered that I could let him in, a part of me had also been keeping him out. Especially when it came to us leaving town. We had talked about me spending a year in school before my change and now that it's been over a year and a half since my change, he keeps telling me I don't have to go. I didn't want him to know why I felt the need to go to school. In his eyes we were equal, but I couldn't help but feel left behind.
"Mom! Look what I made!" I broke my train of thought only to see a blur as Renesmee threw herself into my arms.
"Oh." I said, clearly not surprised by the amount of strength my child held, but that I didn't see it coming. My thoughts seem to take up so much room now. "What did you make, sweetie." I asked, brushing her curls out of her round face.
In once hand she held a tiny wooden birdhouse made from popsicle sticks and the other hand outstretched towards my face. I took her small hand in mine, pressing it against my cheek. At once everything flashed through my thoughts. She started with the moment she left the house. She never wanted to leave anything out. I watched as Jake strapped her into her unnecessary car seat. The scenery flashed by as they made their way to Charlie's. She got out of the car, running up the stairs as Charlie wrapped his arms around her, in what he now calls his signature bear hug. I was happy to see how close that have gotten, and a little hurt that it was never like that between us. We all get second chances though and I knew Charlie was putting everything he had into building a strong relationship with his only granddaughter. I stopped noticing how close Jake always seemed to be, how big a part he played in all Renesmees stories. At first it bothered me how he was always hovering and now I was slowly understanding and accepting their complicated relationship which always seemed to change whenever Renesmee seemed fit. In the beginning he was like a brother because that's how she saw him. Now he was her friend. It seems to be an unspoken change, initiated by Nes. Jake will be there however she wants him. I watched as they walked into the kitchen, taking in the giant bag of popsicle sticks and carpenters glue. Renesmee sped through their arts and crafts time, laughing and enjoying herself as she creatively broke sticks in half to outline the windows.
I chuckled to myself when Renesmee made it a point to express just how she felt about lunch. Charlie was never a good cook but it warmed me that he was trying. She was still trying to get used to human food. She had her preferences though. Olives and Eggs. I figured she got her obsession with eggs from me, but the olives I'll never understand. The three of them watched some cartoons on the t.v, Renesmee snuggled in between. Everything faded to black very briefly and then I saw Alice. I watched as she sped through the rest of the day. Painting the birdhouse with Alice right beside her. I assume she was telling her which colors go well with other colors. I smiled when Renesmee shrugged her shoulders, painting the house an assortment of colors. She quickly sped through some more events, which finally brought her here to my lap.
"Well, it's absolutely beautiful." I gushed, holding the perfect birdhouse in my free hand. "It's better than anything I could ever make." I continued as I held up the house for Edward to see but he wasn't even looking. I followed his glare to Alice, who perched herself behind Jake against the door. I didn't appreciate their silent conversation but I knew it would come out eventually. Alice fixed her smiling eyes on mine.
"I think it's a great idea." She said.
"No one cares what you think, Alice." Edward mumbled.
"That's my cue!" Jake laughed as he crossed the room, placing a kiss on the top of Renesmee's head. "See you later kiddo" He said before he turned to leave. I watched the door close behind him and then back glanced back to my husband.
"Nes, why don't you go play for a bit, kay?" I said, smoothing her curls down as she slid off my lap.
I turned back to the table, glancing down at the crumpled pieces of paper in front of me. I peeked up, noticing both Edward and Alice were watching me.
"I have to go meet Jasper, he's taking me out for supper." Alice said quietly as she backed out the front door. His idea of taking Alice out for supper, was catching an elk for her.
I stared intently back at my paper, trying to avoid any more conflicting conversation.
"Bella." Edward whispered from across the table. "Please, tell me what this has to do with. Why are you suddenly interested in college?"
I folded my hands in my lap, playing with my wedding band. I was probably the most fidgeting vampire. I noticed that a lot of my human tendencies had stuck with me. In the matter of a second he was standing beside me, taking my hands into his as he pulled me off my chair. His warm brown eyes searching mine.
"It's not fair." I blurted out. "Why does she get to go to school? She probably already knows more than I do." I immediately felt like I was a 5 year old throwing a tantrum.
"What?" He laughed as he brought his hand to my cheek, making his way to my forehead, as if to smooth the creases. I sighed and took a deep breath, trying to figure out how to word what I was feeling.
"Edward, you have almost a century of knowledge. I have 19 years. I barely know two languages and you know more than I could count on my two hands. You've accepted me as your equal, but I'm not even close. I'm decades behind. Renesmee is technically not even two yet and she knows more than I do." I closed my eyes, realizing I still sounded like Renesmee was the older one. "I'm not saying I want to make a career for myself. I just want something more." I opened one eye to find his warm smile.
"Of course." Was all he said as he wrapped his arms around me.