Today is an important day. Today is my seventy-fifth birthday. Seventy-five years is a long time, and I've used my time wisely. With my time on this earth I've done everything a person feels they should. I've studied almost religiously; earning six bachelor degrees, five masters' degrees, and two doctoral degrees. When I wasn't studying, I was traveling. My family is quite wealthy, and with unlimited amounts of money I have been able to visit every continent. I've laid my head on the executioner's block in the Tower of London, straddled the space where the Berlin wall stood, stared at Paris from the top of the Eiffel tower, been to a bullfight in Madrid, ate in a trattoria in Rome, prayed to the goddess Athena at the Parthenon, went on a safari in Africa, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed Mount Everest, snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef, and watched Kilauea erupt in Hawaii. Most would say I've lived a very full life, and that I should begin to take it easy, wait for my time here to end. Taking it easy sounds great to me, there is only one problem, tomorrow I start high school again.
Chapter 1- Like we never left
A day, that was all we were getting. We had one day to get everything packed. The citizens of Prince Rupert, British Colombia were starting to get very suspicious of my family. Dad had heard some of their thoughts; they couldn't understand why it seemed like we weren't aging. We had been living here for more than a decade, which was a long time for us to stay in one place. Usually we moved every five to seven years to avoid this sort of suspicion. We had just finished a family meeting to discuss where we were moving to now. After a very lengthy discussion we had decided on the one place I loved the most, the town of my birth, Forks, Washington. Most people would call me crazy for that comment. Forks is one of the rainiest and cloudiest places in the United States. Rain and clouds don't bother me though. These two usually unwanted weather conditions allow my family to be normal, well as normal as a family of vegetarian vampires can be. They are very different from others of their kind; choosing the blood of an animal over that of a human and keeping a permanent residence for many years instead of being nomadic. Normal for my family is attending high school like the teenagers we appear to be.
Like always the patriarch of my family, Grandpa Carlisle, weighed the pros and cons of each place suggested by others at the table. When I finally voiced my choice the table became very quiet. For some unknown reason I had been the only one to suggest Forks, but once I did it was everyone's top choice. Every place we lived had a beautiful house that my grandmother made sure felt like home. However, when we really talked about home, I knew we all meant Forks. With the place decided on, that left me a precious few hours, to pack up everything in the room that I shared with my husband. I knew at some point I would have to get some sleep tonight.
I worked for two hours packing boxes with all my music and Jake's movie collection. After the room was packed I headed for our closet, folding most of our clothing into six steamer trunks and packed the remaining clothing into two extremely large rolling suitcases. The suitcases would come with us on the drive, while the trunks would be left for the movers. After a total of four hours, I was exhausted. There were still some odds and ends left laying around the room, but decided I would take care of them in the morning. I crawled into bed, snuggling close to my warm husband. The heat emanating from his body relaxed me immediately, and with relaxation came sleep.
The next morning I was awoken by my husband's sweet kisses on my face.
"Good Morning, Beautiful."
"Morning," I said as I turned my head to kiss him.
"Mmmm, that is exactly how I like to start my days." Jake and I had been married for sixty-four years but our love was as strong as the day of our wedding. Maybe it had something to do with the werewolf imprinting, maybe it didn't, and personally I didn't care one way or the other. The only thing I care about is the fact that Jake would be with me for eternity.
"Me too. I can think of an even better way, but we have to finish packing and get the suitcases and boxes with essentials down to the cars. I don't want to upset Grandma today by being the reason the family has to leave late. She's really excited to get back to Forks."
"Okay." He sounded like a little kid whose ice cream cone had just been taken away. "Speaking of the move, are you ready to go back?"
"Absolutely. I miss that place so much. I wonder how it has changed. How long has it been since we were last there, 25 years?"
"Sounds about right, Bella and Edward's 50th Wedding Anniversary party was the last time we visited. Come on sweetheart, just a quickie." Jake let his hands begin to roam, knowing if he touched me in just the right places I would give in on my previous statement and make everyone leave late. And he was about to get his way when there was a knock on the door.
"Hey Lovebirds." came the booming voice that could only belong to my Uncle Emmett, "Esme will kill you both herself if you make us late, time to get out of bed. You two are never quick." He started laughing at that. Seriously living with a house full of vampires did have its downfalls, one of them being super vampire hearing.
"UNCLE EMMETT!!!" All I could hear was his loud laugh continuing down the stairs.
"Guess that means we're busted. Tonight?"
"Definitely!" I said as I kissed his cheek, and then got out of bed to get dressed. I was dressed and had the rest of our room packed up in less than an hour. I handed the boxes to Jake to carry while I pulled the suitcases along. Everyone else was already outside.
"Nice of you two to join us. Is everyone ready to go?" asked my Grandma Esme. We all nodded and headed to our respective vehicles. Grandpa Carlisle had thought it best for us to leave as little for the movers as possible, which meant taking half the vehicles. We were also all going to leave at different times so that we didn't look like an expensive convoy when we arrived in Forks. Most of the boxes were piled in the back of Uncle Emmett's new white Jeep Gladiator. It was the perfect vehicle for him, a cross between a wrangler and a pick-up; it has plenty of room for his massive frame and is completely ready for any off-road experience. Him and Aunt Rose pulled out first so the boxes would be there waiting when everyone else arrived. All of the suitcases were in Dad's silver Volvo VCC. Since they had the suitcases, Mom and Dad were leaving second and pulled out precisely forty-five minutes after the Gladiator's taillights had disappeared. Aunt Alice and Uncle Jasper left next; they were taking her yellow Porsche Carma. They were also, the only ones taking a different route. Aunt Alice knew that her precious Porsche would be confined to the garage for months on end, and wanted a chance to really drive it before that happened. Grandpa Carlisle and Grandma Esme were the next to leave in grandpa's black Mercedes F700. They were going to take their time driving, checking in on an investment property that was on the way. Jake and I were the last to leave; we were taking my teal Lexus LF-A Roadster, my early birthday present to myself. Like Aunt Alice, I knew I wouldn't be allowed to drive my car around Forks on a regular basis; it is tab bit too ostentatious. Even driving 5 cars we were still leaving 6 for the movers: Dad's Aston Martin Vanquish, Mom's burgundy Saturn Curve, Aunt Rose's cherry red BMW CS1, Jasper's gray Alfa Romeo Coelus, Esme's baby blue Jaguar R-coupe, and Jake's midnight blue Dodge MAXXcab. The movers had the vehicles, the bulk of each family member's closet, and some smaller boxes that held non-essential items. I took one last look at the house we had spent the past decade in, then hit the gas pedal and took our mile long drive-way at ninety mph. I slowed down a bit as I made my way through the town of Prince Rupert. When I hit the highway, I pushed the car to 120mph and relaxed against the back of my seat. I was so excited to be leaving British Colombia, and Canada in general.. I missed the States.
For someone who abided by the speed limit, the drive would take almost a full day, just under 23 hours. Even with the route that Jake and I took, we reached Forks in just under 12 hours, and it took us just 5 more minutes to reach the top of the long serpentine drive way that led to our house, which I noticed was pretty overgrown with vegetation. Since we had been the last to leave the house in Prince Rupert, and we were the only family members that had to make stops for more than just gas, we were the last to arrive. I noticed that all of the boxes were already in the house, probably unpacked too, stupid vampire speed. I parked next to the other vehicles in front of the porch. I opened my door and stretched my legs as I got out of the car. Jake and I clasped hands and started for the front door.
I looked at the outside of the house. All of Grandma's landscaping had completely covered the front of the porch. The outside of the white house showed the twenty-five years of neglect, it was dirty and the paint was pealing. Other than those obvious changes, not one thing looked different. We walked through the front door and I realized the same thing was true inside. The view of the living room was identical, and everything already looked spotless. I'm sure Grandma had started cleaning while everyone else was unpacking. We stood in the foyer just taking in the house again.
"It doesn't look like a thing has changed. It's like we never left Jake."
"It does seem that way, doesn't it?" As I started into the living room I realized there was still a pile of boxes and two suitcases sitting in the foyer. I took notice that they were Jake's and mine. Grandma and Dad walked out of the kitchen then and over to where we were standing.
"You two have a choice to make, dear." Grandma had such a sweet calming way of speaking to everyone. "This is the first time, Nessie that you will be living in this house as a married woman. The reason we didn't put your belongings in a room was because we wanted to know which room you wanted. You can either move into your father's old room here in the main house or you can go back to your old room in your parent's cottage. It's up to the both of you."
"Not that I'm trying to sway the two of you, but if you live here in the main house, you will never be able to escape Emmett." Dad cautioned, but of course, I knew he was trying to sway us.
"One question first. Dad, if and I do mean IF, we choose the cottage, are you going to accept the fact that I am married and the things I do with my husband are perfectly natural and normal, and that if we weren't doing those things you should be worried?" I noticed him preparing to give his response, but I knew he was going to be the mean dad that existed at times, so I silenced him with a glare.
"Fine." He needn't say more.
"Ok, Jake does the cottage sound good to you?"
"If that's what you want it is fine with me, sweetheart!"
"Then the cottage it is." I heard my mom's enthusiastic applause and squeals from upstairs, she must be in Aunt Alice's room; those two were almost as inseparable as mom and dad. "Let's get these boxes out there so we can unpack. Oh, and Grandma, I think we're going to need to redecorate the room, the design from when I was a teenager isn't really appropriate for a married woman and her husband." Grandma Esme pulled me in for a hug. She squeezed me so hard I'm surprised I didn't break in two.