A/N: New story. :) It's darker than Running, so readers of Running, you have been warned. Don't expect this to be as lighthearted. I'm really going to try to work hard on this; I want it to be a good story, for what I'm writing about. Eh, not much else to say…oh yeah, the chapter titles will be names of songs that served as inspiration or just related to the content in the chapter. This chapter's song is Field of Innocence by Evanescence.
Summary: Bella Swan was a happy, carefree girl growing up. One day, her situation changes; things are fine for a few years. Then one day, something inside of her snaps. She begins to rebel, to lie, to deceive, all done in secret. Inside she knows that what she is doing is harmful to her, but she can't will herself to stop. Can anybody help her?
Now: Bella Swan, sixteen years old
Midnight. The neon numbers on my alarm clock stood out in stark contrast against the dark. It was lonely in my room. Charlie was already fast asleep in his bed. But I wasn't going to sleep. Not tonight. I love to challenge my mind and body to the limits, experimenting with sleep deprivation and…some rather unmentionable items
Something of which I needed at the moment, actually. I needed what was in my second dresser drawer, hidden inside a pair of mittens and beneath four t-shirts. But it would just have to wait.
Once again, that same nagging thought ran through my head. One simple, little, short word that was an incessant thought at times like this.
Then: Bella Swan, six years and older
A six year old brunette girl runs toward her parents and jumps into their arms. The parents pick her up, both with big smiles on their faces. Their little girl was their world. She meant everything to them.
It was Bella Swan's sixth birthday party. Her mom had bought her a new Barbie doll, and her dad had bought her a stuffed dog. It looked like a husky; they were Bella's favorite. One time when she was younger, she had been walking with her mom and seen the dog. She turned excitedly to her mom and exclaimed, "Mom! A wolf!" Bella pointed her finger excitedly at the couple walking their dog. She loved the breed from then on.
Bella had no idea about the arguing that started between her parents a few months later. She was oblivious and naïve. Her mother came up to her one day when she was eight and told her that her dad wasn't going to be living with them anymore. In fact, he was moving to Washington while they moved to Arizona. Bella cried. She cried to her mom that she wanted to see her father. Her mother tried to reassure her that she would see him every summer.
This made Bella feel a little better. She was going to see him again, in a few months.
Later: Bella Swan, twelve years old
"Vicky!" I yelled, running towards my friend who had hair the color of fire. She was the same age as me, and I was twelve.
"Hi Bella! You want to go to the playground?" We lived in a neighborhood of apartments, and they had a playground in the middle of the entire area.
Once we were at the playground, we sat on the swings and swung idly, slowly.
"Do you ever think that maybe we're getting too old to be coming here?" I asked, just as a boy who looked to be about six ran by.
"Yeah. I think that plenty of times. But I don't really care."
"Me neither, I was just curious."
Victoria and I were best friends. Ever since my mom and I had moved here when I was eight, we were inseparable. She was the opposite of me: graceful, pretty, outgoing, and popular. She was friends with most of the people in sixth grade, while I was not. But when it was just us hanging out, the invisible line that we tried hard to erase at school, was erased. There weren't any of her snobby friends around to judge me or the other friends I hung out with.
We swung and talked some more, then I realized I had to go home when I looked at my watch.
"Vicky, I gotta go."
"Okay, Bella. See you tomorrow at school!" I waved as I walked off towards my apartment.
"Mom! I'm home!" I yelled when I walked in the door. I saw her sitting on the couch as I turned the corner into the living room. There was an opened envelope by her side, and she was holding a piece of paper in her hands. "Mom?"
"Hey, sweetie. Come and sit down." She motioned to the seat next to her unoccupied by the envelope. "I need to tell you something."
Mom was silent until I again asked, "Mom?"
"You're going to your dad's for a while. You know how I haven't been able to keep a job? Well, it's starting to show…especially in our bills. I'm so sorry, Bella, honey. I can't afford to keep you here, with me, right now. I'm so sorry." My mom began to cry as she dropped the paper she had been holding and turned to hug me. "Just know that it's not your fault. It's not your fault. I wish you could stay. You're not a burden. I love you." It became a mantra as she chanted it over and over.
I was beginning to finally grasp what this would mean for me.
"You mean…I—I won't be able to see my friends anymore? Vicky? Rachel? Sue?"
"I'm afraid you won't. But you can always call them—"
"N—n—no. No! I can't leave my friends! Do you know how long it took me to fit in? To actually gain these friends? I can't go through that again!" It was selfish, probably. I knew that. But this was a big concern for me.
"Bella, if I could, I would keep you here! You know I don't want to send you to Washington!"
"Well I don't want to go to Washington! I want to stay here!" We were both on our feet now at this point.
"You can't, Bella! You just can't! You have to live with your dad for a few months!" The selfish anger filled me. I turned and fled to my room. I slammed the door shut and slid with my back against it until I was sitting on the floor. I could hear Mom crying in the other room. It hurt me to know that I had made this worse than it already was.
Time passed. I waited for us both to calm down, and then I was going to apologize to my mom. I left my room to look for her. She wasn't in the living room or the kitchen. As I was leaving the kitchen, I saw that there was a plate of food on the little table where we ate. There was a piece of paper next to the plate; I walked over to read it.
I still love you. I'm still sorry.
It brought tears to my eyes to know that Mom could still be so nice and loving no matter how mean I was to her. Would she always be like this? Would I do something so hurtful one day that she wouldn't want to call me her daughter anymore? I don't know. I doubted it.
I walked into my mother's bedroom and found her asleep on her bed. I walked to her bedside and leaned down to kiss her cheek. I whispered that I was sorry in her ear. She stirred, and I straightened up, thinking she was going to wake up. She only rolled over, though. I would tell her again when she was awake.
We were going to be okay. Mom was helping me pack my books and other belongings into boxes the week after. I didn't like telling Victoria that I was going to move. We both cried. She was happy, though, once I told her that I could still call her often. She quickly wrote her number on a piece of paper that she pulled out of her backpack as we stood outside my door.
"When are you leaving?"
"Mom said at least by Friday evening." I was going to fly up alone. From Phoenix to Seattle, then from Seattle to Port Angeles, and finally a drive back down to Forks, the town where my dad lived.
"Oh. So this is our last weekend." There was no question in her voice. Both she and I knew that this was certain.
The rest of the weekend passed and Friday came too quickly. I found myself at the airport all too soon. Mom and Victoria were there. I had said goodbye to Sue and Rachel at school earlier.
"Goodbye, Bella. Call me as soon as you land." Vicky released me when my mom spoke to me.
"I love you, Bella. Forever and always."
"Forever and always, Mom. I love you, too. Goodbye." She embraced me and told me that she was going to try to visit every once in a while.
As I moved through the security line and glanced back at my mother and my best friend, I felt like I had been convicted of something. Convicted, found guilty, and now I was forced to pay. But I hadn't done anything wrong. It felt unfair, even though I understood the whole situation.
I took one final look at them as I stepped off the escalator. They waved, and I waved back. Mom mouthed the word 'Go' to me, and I checked my watch. There were ten minutes left until boarding time. I waved once again and hurried on through the terminal.
Being on a plane for the first time by yourself is pretty scary. I had already been on planes, but to be alone frightened me. As soon as the okay was given, I took out my Mp3 and tried to concentrate solely on the music. The fear soon ebbed, and I was left with boredom. I wondered what it was going to be like in Forks; I hadn't been there since I was ten, and even then I didn't get to know many people. As much as I loved my dad, I hated Forks. It was too cold…too wet. I had grown used to California and then Phoenix. The desert was my home, whereas the forest was not.
The plane landed, and then I had the task of finding my next gate. Shouldn't the airport have adults to escort minors to their gates when transferring planes? Hey, maybe that guy was my escort. I looked back to where I had seen the man in a blue vest. He was looking after me in confusion. Oops. But I found my gate number just fine. Luckily, it wasn't far from where I had gotten off.
When this flight took off, I grew tired; it was getting dark. I slept and the voice of the flight attendant woke me up.
I scanned the awaiting crowd for my dad. I finally spotted the moustache on the face of a man in a police uniform. That was my dad. I walked over to him and gave him a hug.
"Hey, Bells," he said, using the nickname he had given me a few years back. He hugged me back. "You look tired. Let's go home." I gladly agreed, but unfortunately we still had to wait for my luggage.
Finally, decades later, my dad and I walked in his—our house. It was still the same. The same worn down kitchen table, the same recliner in the living room, and the same creaky sixth step on the staircase—I loved it all. I ran up to my room, collapsed on the same blue comforter with the old quilt my grandmother had given me on top of it, and almost fell asleep, but I wanted to unpack before I went to sleep. I finished that task in record time. I was happy to finally sleep in peace, with no chores to interrupt.
Maybe this new home, and ultimately new life, would be a good thing.