I ran through the blurry green maze of a forest, ducking and leaping when necessary. Dozens of tiny creatures were about, their heartbeats quickening as we tore through the leaves. Daddy was right behind me, going at his "slow" speed. He held a few luggage bags for Mom, himself and I. They were no burden whatsoever, even as he ran swiftly with the "humanly heavy" weight. We reached the main house in under a minute, and I followed Mom into the large garage. I set down my duffel near the Volvo tire, and then pulled one headphone out of my ear and pressed pause on my ipod. Jake was standing by Mom's Ferrari, examining it with envious eyes. "I don't know why you never drive this thing, Bells." Jake said, while he reluctantly tore his eyes from the car. He turned to me and smiled hugely. "Hey, Nessie." He held his arms open a bit. An invitation.
"Hey, Jake." I nearly whispered. I walked, then sped up, and he enclosed me in his massive arms. "Long time no see." He chuckled. I laughed too.
"Oh, Jake, it was only last night." I corrected him.
"I guess you're right." He said.
"I know I am." I giggled.
"Okay you two, let's get going." Daddy called, as he slammed the car trunk closed. Jake released me, but still firmly held one of my hands. Mom got into the passenger seat and shut the door behind her. Jake opened the door behind hers, and held it open for me. I was just about to get in when the garage door swung open. "Wait!" Alice cried, and I turned. "What is it Alice?" I questioned her impatiently. She smiled, bouncing slightly from excitement. Which only meant one thing. She was about to give me something. I suppressed my sigh. Not that I didn't love gifts. Just leave it to Alice to pop in when Daddy was already mildly annoyed at my humanly pace. She was probably annoyed too because she still couldn't see much when it came to Mom, Daddy and I. I was the problem there. I was Alice's blind spot. Not to mention she couldn't see Jake either, who was practically my shadow. So this trip was like a massive hole for her. I sort of felt bad.
"I thought you might want this." She said, taking my hand and dropping a tiny white box into my palm. "What is this?" I asked, putting my finger under the cardboard rim. She smiled wider. "Open it."
I carefully slid the top off to find a beautiful bow barrette resting gently in the cotton. It was the shape of a classic Christmas bow, and it had small rainbow sparkles covering every inch of the small surface. I looked up, or sort down from the bow, and smiled at Alice. "It's so pretty. Thanks." I gingerly took the bow from the box and stuck the prongs under one of my thick curls.
"I saw it and thought it was your style. Preppy, yet almost punk at the same time." She said happily, patting my hair. "Now go! Before your father rips my head off!" She commanded suddenly, with a gentle push on my shoulders. I grabbed the open door and jumped into the seat behind Mom's. Jake had already slid into the seat behind Daddy's, who was driving. Mom was settled into the passenger's seat a few massive novels ready in her lap. Alice closed the door behind me, and through the tinted windows, she smiled. Mom rolled down her window. "We'll see you in a few days Alice!" Mom exclaimed out the window. "Yeah, yeah!" Alice responded with a dismissive wave of her hand. The car was already roaring down the driveway, and Mom closed her window. Before we hit the main road, Jake unbuckled and scooted over to the middle seat, so he was closer to me. I smiled, and leaned my head against his warm shoulder. Daddy knew the way to Denali by heart, so there was no need for a map. We took the highway north and began our way to Alaska.