Meet the Parents
I rang the doorbell. Was it possible to be completely terrified of your own parents? I knew my parents were good people and would accept Lily as part of the family no matter how sudden her appearance in our lives was, I knew they would have no trouble believing she was my daughter-all you had to do was look at the child-but that didn't stop me imagining worst case scenarios. It didn't stop me picturing the disappointed expressions on their faces when they looked at me.
My mom answered the door, smiling. "Hello, son. We weren't expecting you til this evening." I followed as her eyes travelled down to the little five year old girl holding my hand. I heard a sharp intake of breath and brought my eyes back up to meet hers.
"Mom, this is Lily."
"Oh, Edward," her eyes were filled with tears. She opened her mouth to speak and closed it again like a goldfish several times before finally stepping aside to let us into the house. She called my father's name in a strained voice as we walked down the hall towards the kitchen. Lily's little hand tensed in mine and I could tell that she could sense the tension in the room.
My dad was sitting at the kitchen table reading a newspaper. It was his day off from the hospital, where he had worked as a doctor for a long time now. He had probably already heard what had happened to Bella from other nurses and doctors. He may even have visited her while he was doing his rounds. Bella and Alice had been best friends for years, she had been like a second daughter to my parents.
I cleared my throat and my dad looked up from the article he was reading and glanced in my direction. "Hey, Edward," He said casually and turned his attention back to the paper. He froze. Turned back around slowly. He looked at Lily, then at me, then back to her. His eyes widened.
My mom stood behind us, watching as my father tried to piece together the scene in front of him. I could've cut the tension in the room with a knife.
Mom stood up a little straighter, put on her winning smile, and approached Lily with the kindest intentions.
"Hello, darling. What's your name?"
Lily leaned in closer to me, clearly unsure of these new people and why they were staring at her as if she had two heads. She looked up at me and I nodded, encouraging her.
"I'm Lily." She spoke quietly but she gave my mom a little smile which seemed to give mom the push she needed.
"Why don't I make some tea," she said, "and we might just have some juice and cookies in the cupboard". She turned to me and gave me a look that clearly said 'we need to talk about this' before turning to make the tea.
My dad had folded his paper away and only now seemed capable of speech. He introduced himself to Lily as 'Edward's daddy' and looked up to me to check that this was okay. But Lily didn't look satisfied. Her little face was screwed up in confusion.
"My mommy's daddy is my grandpa Charlie. So if you're my daddy's daddy, does that make you my grandpa too?"
Mom and dad both froze. Until this point, everything to do with Lily, everything they had suspected had been just that, suspicion. Now, my little girl had confirmed it: they were grandparents. They had been grandparents for the last five years and hadn't known a thing about it.
"Lily, this is grandpa Carlisle and grandma Esme", I said in answer to her question.
I took a seat at the table, and Lily sat in the chair beside me, smiling at her newfound grandparents, blissfully unaware of the looks my mom and dad were giving me. And the coward I am, I stared at the table.
My mom brought tea and juice and cookies over to the table. She had also conjured up a coloring book and some crayons which she gave to Lily. She took a seat beside my dad and spoke one word, "Explain."
"I didn't know," I whispered, "not until last week when Alice showed up on my doorstep with her."
"Alice knew?!" my father exclaimed.
I cleared my throat again. I had better start at the beginning. My throat had suddenly become very dry, so I took a sip of my tea before I began.
"Her mom is Bella Swan," I said, and looked up. Mom and dad looked shocked, and my mom's eyes started to fill with tears, but neither of them interrupted.
"You already know that when she went to college five years ago she stopped answering Alice's calls and never came home. Well, Alice still tried to call her once in a while, and two months ago, Bella answered. Alice thinks she didn't mean to, she just forgot to check the caller ID. Alice heard the car crash through the phone, and she and Charlie went to Alaska. Bella was in a coma."
I looked over to Lily, who was coloring contentedly, not paying attention to the conversation. Good, I thought, she doesn't need to hear any of this.
"Alice met some of Bella's friends, Lily's godparents, Rosalie and Emmett," I continued. "Bella had hidden a letter among Lily's things that said that if anything ever happened to her, she wanted me to raise Lily, um, if I wanted to. Charlie Swan had Bella transferred to the hospital here last week, and that's when Alice turned up with Rosalie and Emmett, and Lily."
Tears were spilling over and running down my mom's face, and my dad was trying his best to comfort her, but he looked like he was having a hard time coming to terms with this himself.
"Why didn't she ever tell us?" he choked. "We would've looked after her. We would've looked after them both."
I shrugged. It was something I still didn't understand myself. "I guess she was just scared. She'd just started a new life. She didn't want to ruin that for any of us. Maybe she just thought it was easier if she didn't get everyone involved."
Even as I said it, I felt a twinge of resentment. No matter how I tried to justify Bella's actions, she hadn't just robbed my family of Lily, she'd robbed Lily of my family.
Lily and I spent the day at my parents' house and as the day progressed the earlier awkwardness dissipated. They got to know Lily better, asked her lots of questions about where she lived, her mom, her friends, uncle Em and aunt Rose, starting school,what she liked to do, what she liked to eat...
We didn't leave until it was getting late and it was way past Lily's bedtime. My parents hugged and kissed her goodbye and I strapped her into my car. My mom hugged me tightly and whispered in my ear, "She's perfect" and my father nodded his agreement. I smiled. "I know," I said, and got into the car to take my daughter home.
AN: Yeah I know its been a ridiculously long time since I updated. The last year has just been really really busy but I'll try and update a lot more often now that I've finished school. Review and maybe those chapters will come a lot quicker ;)