Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. There is something I should probably get out of the way before this chapter starts. This is probably an unusual situation to put the Twilight gang into. It starts out quite dark with little dialogue due to the situation, but all I ask is that you give it a chance. With that being said, I will shut up and let you form your own opinion.
There is something I should probably get out of the way before this chapter starts. This is probably an unusual situation to put the Twilight gang into. It starts out quite dark with little dialogue due to the situation, but all I ask is that you give it a chance. With that being said, I will shut up and let you form your own opinion.
1: The Streets
I know there's nowhere you can hide it
I know the feeling of alone
I know that you do not feel invited
But, come back, come back in from the cold
I know - Jude
Fate is a fickle friend, it turns it's back on you, mocks you and then throws you into the impossible. I could handle the mocking, it was the rest that crumbled me and put me in the worst possible situation.
Some may say I chose this, that I did this to myself. As far as the current situation went, I did; but it was better than the alternative.
My mother, Renee, left my father and I when I was three. I had been too young for it to affect me then, but as I grew older and learnt the reason behind it, it stung.
She'd never been the most stable person, Charlie constantly told me about the oddball things she used to do, I would laugh with him, but I could see the pain behind his eyes. He'd never gotten over her.
She's left us because she wanted her freedom, didn't want to be tied down. She was tired of playing second best to Charlie's job and she'd never wanted a child so early in life. So she left us in the night, leaving a note for Charlie saying she couldn't pretend any more.
I haven't heard from her since. Fourteen years, I was motherless. Still, even that didn't hurt as much as what I had to go through almost eighteen months ago. I was fifteen, and he left me alone. I had been through so many emotions, anger, pain, anxiousness, but now it was just sadness.
Charlie had been the commander of the Seattle SWAT team since I could remember, his men respected him and they were always considered friends once they served under him. They were my extended family. His best friend Brian was always my uncle Brian. His wife, Debbie, answered any, if not all, questions I had about being a woman.
Charlie kept up with the best of them, he was still so young, he and Renee had gotten pregnant when they were both eighteen. He was only thirty four when he died. It had been an accident, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One of his men had been in the line of fire, and Charlie made sure to get him out of harms way, but had been shot in the process. They did everything they could to save him, the bullet had entered just under his ribs and hit most of his major arteries before exiting on the other side through his lung.
That night, in that hospital waiting room, I lost my father, my best friend, and the only person who'd ever loved me. Renee never came, nobody knew where she was, but I doubted she would have come even if she'd known. We'd still lived in the same house all of these years and she'd never tried to find us.
I was fifteen, alone in the world, and was never given a chance.
The state was awarded custody of me after that. They refused Brian and Debbie's attempt at adoption, and the guys from Dad's SWAT team had all been there, close to tears as they loaded me into a car to take me away.
All of these tough men had been in my life since I could remember, they all loved me just as much as I loved them, but they were officers of the law, and couldn't break their oath even for me. Debbie had made me promise to come to them the day I turned eighteen, she knew a sixteen year old wouldn't be placed in a home and she feared the worst.
Unfortunately, for me, the worst was beyond comprehension. My first week in the home had been the worst of my life. The girls that lived there had been together since they were children, unwanted and unloved. They had banded together, and as an outsider, I hadn't been welcome. They beat me constantly, and I was too afraid to tell anyone.
When the opportunity arose, I left, walked out the door while no one was looking, hoping beyond hope that I would find my way. That first month on the streets had been the worst, I turned sixteen and spent my birthday hiding in a parking garage from the typical olympic Peninsula weather.
I had wandered aimlessly during those first months, attempting to get a job so I could get my own place and live a semi decent life until I turned eighteen. When I was eighteen I would receive Charlie's benefits from the Seattle Police Department. Until then, I had to make my own way.
Working had been fine, until they had tagged my social security number. The police had been sent to pick me up and take me back to the home, but I had managed to get out before they saw me. One of the other employees had been a teenage boy, he'd shown me the back door and promised not to tell them he'd seen me go.
So I ran, I was hopeless, and I couldn't even get a job.
That winter had been the worst, I huddled in sheltered corners, followed the droves of other homeless to find fresh food, but I was losing the battle. I didn't have what it takes to live that way. I began to get hungry, my clothes would hang from me as they grew too big. I was cold, always so cold.
I began getting weaker by the day, begging for money on street corners. Then, as I was walking in the snow towards the only solace I had known, up to this point, I collapsed. I don't remember much after that, but when I finally woke up, I was in a sheltered place, still cold but dry and comfortable.
A woman, Julia, had saved me from the streets, pulling me into this small community under a bridge. They had a small city under here, card board boxes and ragged tents dotted around the space. The water of the bay could be heard sloshing against the shore not far away, but it was dry and comfortable here.
Julia fed me food, gave me clothes, and nursed me back to health. I owed her my life.
This is where I had been since, staying close to Julia, but living independently in this small community under the bridge. I have just turned seventeen, and knowing that I only have a year left here has given me hope. I continue on knowing that each day brings me closer to the liberation of this life.
I made a promise to myself the day Julia found me, as soon as that day came, as soon as I turned eighteen, I would help Julia and myself. move us somewhere warm, find myself a job, and take care of her just as she had taken care of me.
One more year.
I rolled over, uncomfortable, and the icy ground dug into my hip and I squirmed, scooting back onto the box I had recently acquired. I needed at least two more to make it comfortable, my others had been stolen.
"You up Bella Bird?" Julia's raspy voice was unique, it was as though she'd smoked for an eternity. It was familiar and warm though.
"Yeah, I think so. How are you this morning?" I asked, sitting up and hugging my knees to my chest. The weather had steadily been getting cold for days. It was positively bitter now.
"Alive, so I can't complain." She chuckled lightly, before releasing a rattling cough. "I could . . . "
"But you won't," I finished. I had known Julia for over a year now, I didn't know much about her, but I knew enough.
Julia smiled and stretched again. Her small twisted hands were swelling up, she had rheumatoid arthritis, and the cold only agitated it.
"Would you like me to take you to the free clinic?" I asked nodding at her hands again.
"No, I'm sure you have better things to do than hang out with an old woman all day at the clinic."
I smiled at shook my head. "Well, the president was expecting me, but I think I can put him off for a day."
I smiled and hopped on to my feet. It was too cold just to stay sat down. My muscles were starting to ache from the shivering. I held my hand out to the woman still sat on the floor. She placed her wrists in my hands and I tugged lightly, helping her to her feet.
"I'll walk with you,"
"You're a peculiar one Bella bird."
I smiled again and waited as she organized her things. People mostly left others things alone, it was the drug addicts that really stole anything of value, but we tried to keep them out of our small space.
Julia and I walked in a companionable silence up the small grass bank to the street above. The misty rain was almost freezing and the wind picked up considerably as it rolled off the bay. A woman walking down the sidewalk with a stroller saw us ahead of her and crossed the street quickly.
It used to bother me that people avoided us, but now it was just a fact, something that happen numerous times throughout the day.
Julia and I walked towards the free clinic, we took it slowly, I knew her joints were aching more than she made them out to be so I took my time, sticking by her side.
Being homeless made me more aware of the things around me and one of my favorite past times was watching people. They were always in such a hurry, running from one place to the next, ignoring the people they interacted with on a daily basis. Cell phones glued to their ears as they huddled in their warm jackets darting from one place to the next.
I couldn't believe I used to be that unaware of the world that surrounded me. You would get the occasional person smiling and nodding as they passed someone, the friends meeting up and laughing as they remembered something from the past.
People were interesting, people were oblivious.
Julia struggled with the stairs that led up to the small building the free clinic was held in. It was an older building in what most would consider an undesirable part of the city. I held her arm as she climbed one at a time, puffing heavily; the clouds dancing in the air as the heat of her breath met the cold air.
I held the door open for her and followed her inside, enjoying the warmth the building provided. I just hoped we were early enough that she could get in to see somebody. It was, as most things for us, first come first served.
I helped her into a seat and disappeared to find her a ticket. I noticed some of the staff coming in for the morning shift. Most of them were doctors from other hospitals that volunteered their time to help those of us more unfortunate.
One in particular caught my attention, he was beautiful, he looked like a film star as he breezed in through the door. Every head turned to look at him. He was young and I could tell by the way he spoke to people, he was charismatic too.
I pulled the number from the ticket dispenser and took off back to where I had left Julia. I fell in the seat beside her and handed her the ticket with a smile.
"Bella bird, you don't have to stay here with me, it could take all day."
"I don't mind, really."
"Go find yourself something to eat child. You're up early enough, if you get to the deli, you might have a chance."
I nodded and kissed her cheek, earning a smile from her before she swatted me away. I danced out of her reach before she caught me and stood up.
"I will see you later then. I might stop by later and see if you're still here."
Julia nodded without another word, and pointed to the door. I rolled my eyes and moved towards it, preparing myself for the blistering cold that would surely bite me as soon as I stepped out into it.
I headed towards the deli that gave out the sandwiches from the day before. They used to throw them all out but got tired of people scrounging in their dumpsters, so they started handing them out to anyone who lined up in an orderly fashion.
I slipped down the alley behind the small deli only to find three people waiting, there wasn't a specific time that they came out but it would usually be before the afternoon rush when they would make a batch of new sandwiches.
I leaned against the cool brick of the wall behind the first three people, hoping I wouldn't be stood here too long. It wasn't as though I had something to do, but I hated being in one space for too long. Cops liked to harass the homeless when they stayed in one place for too long. I had been lucky so far, no one I had recognized, or more importantly, recognized me had come close; but I still had to be careful. I knew my name would come up as a runaway if they ran it and I would end up in my own personal hell again.
The people in front of me talked quietly amongst themselves as a small crowd started lining up behind me. They were whispering about another poor soul that had lost his life being stuck out in the cold. He'd fallen asleep on the park bench and never woken up.
The amount of people that died out here still amazed me, even though I myself had almost become a statistic, it was almost daily someone met their end. I hated thinking about the people stuck in a vicious circle. They were always grouped in with the junkies and dealers, when in reality only a small percentage actually fell into this life because of it.
I would never have known any of this if I hadn't have been in this situation. It opened my eyes so I could see what real life was like. What really made people tick. The human condition was an interesting one, we all turn a blind eye to something that makes us uncomfortable, we avoid situations that may make us consider what could have been.
Creature comforts are more materialistic than anything else, I've watched the face of a man who is truly hungry when he's given food. It's a gift to him, one more day of life. Watching a woman buy her husband a sandwich for lunch and he shrugs it off, often complaining it's not right or there's something wrong with it; it's nothing but an empty gesture.
Everyday I see things, and I notice more. I can tell a couple in love from an adulterous affair. I can see silly little things like people with crushes. Watch people long enough and they become open books.
The door opening startled me out of my musings, one of the workers stepped nervously out of the door and held a basket in front of her offering the first in line one of the sandwiches. I stepped forward following the pair in front of me.
Without looking I pulled out the first thing my hand touched, I could have been picky, but it wasn't who I was anymore. I was simply hungry, and anything I could put in my empty stomach would fuel me for another day.
The girl smiled at me as I stepped away. It was a simple gesticulation but I appreciated it.
I went back to the parking garage I had inhabited when I first started living on the streets, it was one of my many haunts. It was something that reminded me of who I was now.
I climbed over the concrete wall and stuck close to the cars as I made my way to the lower levels. It was slightly warmer down there and drier. I stayed away from the camera's as I made my way, knowing the security guard would happily escort me out of there if he saw me.
I crouched in one of the dry corners and pulled the sandwich from my pocket, knowing that I could savor it here, not rush it. It was ham and cheese which suited me just fine. Some of the fancier sandwiches left my stomach cramping at the unfamiliarity of it. I never complained, but it was uncomfortable.
I bit into the sandwich and closed my eyes. I was happy, I knew Julia would be given something to eat at the clinic, so I didn't have to worry about finding her something to eat. I could enjoy the sandwich without panicking, without worrying about where the next meal was coming from. I just enjoyed each bite as it slid down my throat and hit the empty confines of my barren stomach.
I stayed in the corner most of the day. I was completely full and satisfied, I was warm and dry. There was no wind to disturb me. I was able to just sit by myself and not worry about being chased away or questioned, threatened, or followed.
I had no idea what time I finally made my way out, but it was dark outside. I hated walking around the city alone at night. It was always a red flag to cops. Still, running wasn't an option, I would fall flat on my face and end up having to go to the clinic for stitches again. Being homeless hadn't cured my klutziness, in fact the constant fatigue did quite the opposite.
I stuck close to the buildings as I headed towards the bridge, hoping tonight wouldn't be the night I was stopped by the cops.
A/N: Like I said, a different situation. I am anxious to know your thoughts and opinions, so yes I am asking for reviews. I have been nervous about this story for a while, so I am interested to see how the reception to it will be taken.
It's my first AH story outside of socks for sex, figured why the hell not.
I know it's not Infinite Paths part 2, or even Breaking Dawn from Alice's perspective, but for some unknown reason I have a mental block from those at the moment. I will get to them, but I think I need to get other ideas out of my head before I can continue.
I want to thank a couple of people first.
goldentemptress, thank you for the opportunity to collab on Socks with you. It's been so fun and I love where the characters have been taken. Who thought a conversation about laundry and socks could turn into that lol.
To the Three Wellie Production girls
Miztrezboo, My Twin, Eddie lol, you freaking rock! If you haven't checked out her story Voice Inside My head, well I implore to give it a shot. Well, honestly any of her stories really, there are a few up and coming that I know are going to be amazing. As well as the collabs, The Doghouse and The Dinner Guest.
Bemylullaby, Twitriplet, Lammykins, you also rock! and her story, unintended is amazing, but I have insider information on an upcoming story, and all I can say is keep a weathered eye on the horizon. Her collab with Miztrezboo, Down By the Swimming Hole . . . amazing.This is a Le Big eLLe project, in association with the 3Wellie Production House in direct contact with the Foundation for the Authors Starving for A Review Foundation. The Foundation.
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