Bella heard a knock on the door as she stirred the meat for sloppy joes. They weren't her favorite, but they were easy to make and pretty cheap to boot. And God knows cheap is always better when you are in a situation like theirs. The boys loved them though, especially Emmett, so she didn't mind making them.
"Uh-hang on!" She called at the door, silently wondering who it was. There was no way Jasper and Emmett would knock. They never had, and no one was expecting company that she knew of. Jasper and Emmett would have told her and mom-well mom… Bella shook her head. She couldn't think about mom.
She quickly turned the heat off and brushed some sauce and stray noodles of macaroni off of her apron that she hadn't noticed before. It was old-that much any one could see-with the many frays around the edges and the once white color now a dingy looking tan. But it was Bella's favorite so she wore it often when she cooked. And it didn't matter how it looked because no one ever visited, until now.
Bella smoothed back her brown hair, knowing she didn't look fantastic, and took a deep breath before answering the door.
Bella gaped at the man in front of her. He wore his usual attire that she most always saw him in. Today it was navy blue slacks with a white dress shirt and multi-colored blue tie. Simple, but as always he looked…great in it.
"Umm—h-hello Dr. Cullen." She stammered, sure her eyes were wide. What does he want? Is something wrong?
"Please, just Carlisle," He insisted as he always did. She always forgot, though.
He smiled and Bella couldn't help but smile back.
"Uh-c-come in!" She blurted, getting over the initial shock and remembering some of her manners, and blushing of course.
It was then she suddenly became hyper aware of how horrible her house must look. It's not that she didn't try, but it was definitely not the top thing on her list of priorities.
On the outside it wasn't too bad anymore, but she couldn't help but think how pitiful it all looked. It was rather small. Emmett had borrowed a lawn mower from their neighbor and mowed just two weeks ago. And only last week they had fixed one of the broken windows. She glanced at the still-broken one to the wall on her left in dismay. It was duct taped to keep the rain and chilly winds out. Bella frowned when she saw broken glass from the window underneath the pane. Now she wished she had remembered to sweep.
The inside was the worse. There weren't very many rooms, Carlisle noticed, and the house was very open. The kitchen was to his left. It was small, but obviously usable since he could smell the food that she had apparently just been cooking. The room they were in, he presumed, was the family room. It had a couch and a broken recliner that, in all honestly, looked pretty bad. They were both old and worn. There was a wooden chair sitting next to the recliner. He noticed that there was no TV, only a pile of books on a small wooden table in the center of the room.
"Um is everything ok?" Bella asked hesitantly, leading him into the kitchen.
He took a seat when she offered.
"Everything's fine, Bella," She relaxed, visibly and started stirring the meat and macaroni and cheese again after turning the heat back on.
"I was just here because when you were in the hospital last time I offered to help the boys carry out some old furniture when Jasper asked. I would have given you warning, but Esme's spending some time with her sister this week and all of my kids are at a friend's house, so I didn't have to worry about being home in time for dinner. I figured now would be okay, but if it's not I can come back again."
"Oh! Well, they should be back any minute." Bella offered. She hadn't known about the arrangement.
He nodded and they sat in a comfortable silence.
He studied Bella. She had grown up so much since he had first met her when he and his family had first moved to Forks 2 years ago. She was now sixteen, the same age as his son Edward. Jasper and Emmett were the same age as Alice and Rosalie. Unfortunately, that's about where the similarities of the two families ended.
By the time he and his family moved to Forks, Jasper and Emmett and Bella's father had already left, sending Renee into a depression. Carlisle had counseled her for about 6 months and she had been improved dramatically, so she wanted to end the sessions. Carlisle knew it wasn't the best idea, but he couldn't make her stay, so she stopped against his advice. During the time he counseled Renee he had grown close to her kids. They were all so different but they were close and loved one another.
Bella had called him one night crying and said Renee hadn't left her room in a week. The three of them had stayed at Carlisle's house for a while, but they felt that they were intruding, so they moved back home after a month. After that, they hadn't talked all that much, only when someone was sick or Bella went to the hospital for a checkup. She had epilepsy, but it was never life-threatening and she had pretty much stopped having seizures until about a week ago when she had her first in a long time.
Anyway, since then he hadn't heard much about Renee and when he asked no one went into great detail, only saying that she stayed in her room a lot. He wondered if she ever left it.
After a while she asked, "Would you like to stay for supper?"
He smiled "No, I'll be fine. I wouldn't want to impose." He said politely.
"No! It'd be fine! I have plenty, and it's the least I could do after everything you've done for us, and since you're helping with the furniture and all." He smiled at the way she used her hands when she talked.
He nodded, "All right. I guess I will, then, thank you."
She was about to saying something back when the boys came bursting through the door.
"Hey, Bells I got mom's b-" Emmett stopped short when he saw Carlisle. His smile turned into a shy grin that he rarely got and he brought the six pack of Coors Lite down from the air and to his side.
He wasn't stupid and he knew that Carlisle wasn't either. There was no way that Jasper or he could have gotten the beer legally. They were both still seventeen. Four more years, he thought bitterly. He just had to be born in the country with the highest drinking age.
Jasper walked in behind him, curious as to why he'd stopped his ranting. They were both out of breath, obviously having raced back. Everything was a race for them.
"Is everything okay?" Jasper asked, shifting his surprised look at Carlisle to an intense gaze of worry at Bella. Another seizure so soon?
"Yes, Jasper, he just wanted to know about moving furniture." Bella supplied and then turned to get plates out of a cupboard.
"Oh is that all? Yeah sure, that'd be great today, thanks!" Emmett exclaimed. He took off his sweatshirt and laid the Coors on the couch.
"Good then," Carlisle said smiling.
If he's not going to bring up the beer, I won't! Jasper thought and tossed his own jacket on the back of the couch.
"Guys get the other chair and go ahead and fix your plates." Bella said.
They nodded, "Hey Carlisle what's going on with your Colts, huh?" Emmett joked. They had an ongoing discussion about sports teams every time they met. Bella sure didn't know what they were talking about.
Carlisle laughed, "What's going on with your Patriots?" He joked.
Bella smiled and grabbed the beer. Carlisle saw her trudge slowly down the only hallway at the back of the living room. He suspected it was Renee's room, but he didn't say anything about it.
"Mom?" Bella called softly. "I have your beer and I'm coming in."
It was an easy room to ignore, partly because it was out of the way and partly because…well-it was just easier to ignore Renee. And as much as Bella didn't want to see what had now become her mother's world, she did.
It was a sty as usual. Bella didn't even know Renee owned so much clothes. She didn't wear anything but pajamas. They were strung everywhere and there wasn't a free spot to step on. The room was dark and smelled musty. She never turned a light on-that would be too...happy, Bella supposed. There was a small bathroom attached to the room though, as little as the house was. It was depressing to know that it only made it easier for Renee to never leave the room. And Renee was lying in bed as usual looking a mess with a crumbled picture of their father, Charlie, lying next to her, as usual. It was so predictable that it was pathetic. She hated seeing her mother like this. Bella came in carefully and shut the door behind her.
"Here you go." She said and put the beer next to the bed like she always wanted it.
She hesitated before kneeling beside the bed and asking, "I made sloppy joes. I know how much you like them. And…well I wondered if maybe you would want to h-have dinner with us?"
She offered every night, and never once had she accepted the invitation. Still, Bella did it, and while her brothers warned her not to get her hopes up, she always found herself with a slight glimmer of hope that maybe today would be the day.
Renee didn't move or acknowledge Bella in any way. Bella just looked at her mother sadly and brushed her hair back, feeling helpless. She never acted like she saw any of them unless it was Monday and she wanted her beer and sometimes cigarettes for the week. Bella would bring in food-mostly at night- when she asked, which wasn't much, but she always put food in anyways, just in case she got hungry.
"Okay, well that's it. Bye. I love you."
Again, Renee didn't move, so Bella left, brushing the tears out of her eyes before returning to the kitchen.
"Oh come on they've only won the super bowl twice! And your quarterback is the most overrated player I've seen in a while!" Jasper said while chewing on some potato chips.
"Don't diss Manning! He's great!" Carlisle defended.
"Whatever, dude." Emmett said and they all started eating.
Bella fixed her plate silently and sat down beside Carlisle, her brothers seated across from her. Jasper gave her a meaningful look, but she just shrugged and sighed, brushing her brown locks back out of her face. She smiled, though, when she saw that someone had gotten her a drink already, probably Emmett.
Emmett…something she was supposed to remember about Emmett, oh yes…
"What is this I've heard, Emmett about you getting detention?" Bella asked before she forgot.
All eyes were on Emmett.
"Uh-well, you see…"
Jasper sighed. "Please, don't tell me this has anything to do with-"
"With the fact that our dad was a jackass and the fucking teachers are oblivious to that just because he was the police? Do you know what she tried to tell me? She had the nerve to say that since police officers have to act so nice and caring at work most of the time, when dealing with people that they are automatically like that at home. We were talking about the behavior at occupations affecting the behavior at home. It was just an example." He was frowning and getting loud. Those were not good signs.
"That doesn't explain why you got detention." Bella said, sighing.
"I tried to offer another solution, that since a person was a police officer and they have to act a certain, acceptable way on the job that maybe they wouldn't act the same way at home, you know as sort of a relief from the manner of work. She said she wasn't really sure with a job like that and that it didn't happen very often and if it did, someone would find out about it very soon."
"Em-" Jasper started, glancing at Carlisle. He paid no attention.
"Damnit! I hate that teacher so much! She knew! She was staring right at me when she said it!"
"Calm down, Emmett. There's nothing you can do about it now." Bella offered, "And watch you language, please. We have company." She was blushing, ashamed, but not embarrassed too much. After all it was Emmett and it was Carlisle.
Emmett stopped. He calmed, slowly, while Bella kept glancing at Carlisle to her left. What must he think of us?
"Sorry, Bella." He muttered. "And sorry, Carlisle."
Jasper cleared his throat.
Emmett glared, not offering an apology to Emmett. Carlisle and Jasper chuckled, breaking the tension in the room somewhat.
"So, what furniture are we hauling off?" Carlisle asked, wanting to take the subject off of the detention and their father and all. Every other time he had asked about their dad. It was "he wasn't the best dad." He had known that there was more than they were saying, but he didn't want to immediately jump to the conclusion of abuse.
Bella sighed and stopped halfway to putting up the dishes. She turned around and she and Jasper shared a knowing look. And we just got her calmed down.
"Emmett-" Jasper began, trying to stop it before it started.
"You want to know what we're hauling off? We're hauling off shreds of what used to be out furniture when dad was still around. You see-"
"Emmett, stop," Bella begged.
"Dad didn't have the best aim with a knife when he was drunk, thank God-or we'd all be dead."
Carlisle opened his mouth to say that he didn't really need to hear the explanations, but Emmett kept rolling along.
"So he'd miss us occasionally and just happen to drag it through the furniture while he was there, you know just because and all. And let me tell you wooden chairs don't take kindly to being smashed against walls all that much!"
Jasper put his hand on Emmett's shoulder "Stop." Was all he said from behind him.
"But of course they do fare better against, you know, helpless 13-year-old girls and all, much better than the walls! At least they don't break then-no, then they just leave cuts and huge, painful chair shaped bruises to deal with!"
"Em, that's enough. She can hear you." Bella said, glancing worriedly from Carlisle to Emmett to the hallway that led to her mother's room.
"Well, good!" He said louder, "I want her to hear! Maybe then she can finally snap out of that goddamn dream world she's been living in all of her life and actually raise some kids for once! Yeah, Carlisle, she plays just as much of a role in the broken furniture as that pathetic, drunk ass excuse for a dad." He started mimicking his mother. "Because he didn't really mean it! He was just drunk! And our father was really a nice man, just confused sometimes and we should give him a chance."
Bella was crying now, standing with her hand wrapped around her torso and the other placed over her mouth to stifle the sobs. Carlisle just sat, not knowing what to do but look pitifully at Emmett. He looked so torn.
All the time he'd known Emmett he realized that he was a very outgoing exuberant guy that just liked to play around, but he had noticed that when Emmett wasn't like that he was polar opposite. He had seen Emmett blow up before, but Carlisle had a feeling that this would be worse than the times before.
"And so we gave him chance after chance after goddamn chance!"
"Stop!" Bella said, crying harder.
"No! I'm sick of you all defending them! It's fucking insane after all they did to us!" He said to Jasper and Bella.
Then he turned back to Carlisle. "And every time he'd stumble home and beat the shit out of all of us, break more fucking furniture and then wake up the next day acting like Bella didn't have a broken rib or that Jazz didn't have a huge motherfucking cut down his back or that I didn't have a black eye!"
"For the love of God, Emmett, stop!" Jasper yelled, going over to where Bella was standing in the kitchen and holding her. Emmett was always so angry at their parents. You couldn't see it through his easy going smile if you didn't know him like Bella and Jasper did, but they could see it-the brooding, the pain, the hurt that they had left in his life-in all of their lives.
"And now all she does is drink!" He yelled and pointed an accusing finger at the dreaded hallway, "Only she doesn't torture us like dad did-no, she just acts like we don't exist, like no one exists! And why does that hurt more than the all fucking terrible things he said to us while he beat the living daylights out of us? Why does that hurt more than hearing Jasper gasping for breath after he almost choked him to death and more than hearing my little sister scream in pain when he threw glass bottles at her?! WHY? I HATE THEM BOTH SO MUCH! SHE'S A WASTE OF AIR AND ALL HE EVER DID WAS BREAK THINGS-FURNITURE, BONES, MOTHERFUCKING HEARTS!"
Bella and Jasper recognized the tone and pitch of his strained, broken voice. It would only be a while now and-
Emmett dropped to his knees and sobbed-sobbed for himself, for Jasper, for Bella, for his mom, for Carlisle who must be scared out of his fucking mind from such a screwed up family, even though he desperately wanted Carlisle to be there for him. He. just. sobbed.
"G-god I'm so sorry!" Emmet yelled painfully as the tears continued to stream. "I'm so sorry that I couldn't protect you!" He was crying- hard, deep sobs from the chest wracked his body.
Jasper was sure Carlisle would run out any second, but instead he walked to where Emmett was on the floor and got on his knees beside him.
"I'm here for you, son." Was all he said, placing an arm around Emmett's back. Emmett sobbed at his words and fell into Carlisle's embrace, crying like he had never cried in his life.
Jasper and Bella came over and kneeled down beside him, and they all cried.
Hehe so yeah that was really angsty, but I kinda liked it! Tell me what you think! Thanks for reading!