"Isabella Swan." Mr. Greene's monotone voice called over the speaker. I walked up the steps of the temporary stage and received my diploma. I heard Charlie yell "Good job, Bella!". The blood didn't rush to my cheeks. I looked in his direction and gave a half-smile. I marched down the stairs and back to my seat.
"Jessica Stanley." Jessica marched up to the stage happily. I ignored the rest of the ceremony. I thought about how things would be different if Edward was here. A sharp pang pulled at my chest. It's been six months. Six horrid, long, depressing months. I can't believe I survived this long. I had a plan to move to Seattle and start a new life. Suddenly, hats were flying and fell to the ground. I let my hat drop. Everybody cheered and celebrated.
"Congrats, baby!" Charlie yelled from behind me. I turned around.
"Thanks." I half-smiled. He put his arm around my shoulder.
"Where do you want to eat?" He squeezed me.
"Um. It doesn't matter."
"Okay, I'll surprise you!" He pulled me to the cruiser. I unzipped the ugly yellow graduation gown and revealed my T-shirt and jeans. I didn't dress up. I opened the door and climbed in. I stared out of the window, thinking about him.
"We're here!" Charlie pulled me out of my reverie.
"Huh? Oh. Okay." I got out of the car and followed him.
We got seated and ordered. I picked at the burger Charlie ordered for me and stuffed pieces of it into the napkin when he wasn't looking. We drove home. That's what happened pretty much. Nothing special. I was tired of living like this! I ran up to my room and threw my clothes into my duffle bag. I packed my bag of toiletries and a couple of waters and bags of chips. Charlie was asleep on the sofa. I wrote a note.
Don't look for me. I promise to be safe. I can't live like this anymore. I'm sorry. Please don't waste your time looking for me. I'm sorry for causing you grief and pain. Please forgive me.
Love you forever,
I put the note on the table with tears streaming down my face. I ran outside and climbed into my truck and sped away.
It was after 2:00 AM. I pulled over to an old motel on the bad part of town. I took my belongings and jogged into the crummy, old, rotting building.
"Hello. How may I help you?" asked an elderly old man.
"Hi. Can I please have the cheapest room available?"
"Sure. The cheapest is 40 bucks."
"Oh. Is there anything less?" I asked, remembering a trick to make to cost lower.
"I could give you $20.00 one night only."
"No maid service?"
"Okay, I'll just go somewhere….else.." I said turning around.
"Wait! Miss! 25 bucks. No maid service."
"Deal." He smiled.
"Okay. Here is your room key. Enjoy. Don't mind the scratching sound coming from the walls. It's only Rufus, the rat." I shivered.
"Thanks." I rushed up to the room down the hall. I unlocked the door. It creaked open. I stepped inside to see a twin bed with white, more like yellow, sheets, a window, a conditioner, and a small bathroom. I flicked on a lamp. I fell asleep within seconds. Naturally, I dreamed of him. I missed him so much. I love him so much. I woke up with tears staining the already stained sheet. I glanced at the clock. 7 AM. Ugh. I slept for 5 hours. I took a quick shower and went to the lobby. A little room was set aside. It held a little table with a basket of fruit, doughnuts, toast, and two pitchers of orange juice. A sign said "Free breakfast. 6-8 AM."
Taking the opportunity of free food, I ran over to the table and took 3 doughnuts, and apple, banana, an orange, 3 pieces of toast and a cup of orange juice back to my room. The man from last night looked at me and shook his head.
"I'm hungry." I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. I ate a piece of toast and drank my juice. I put everything else in an ice bag for later. I went back to the lobby to see if he had any free apartment magazines. I found one and took it back to my room.
There was a cheap apartment for 50 bucks a month. I looked at it more closely.Twin Bed
Small kitchen areaCommunity Pool Access
Eh. It sounded okay. I pulled on a T shirt and jeans and packed up all of my belongings. I went into the bath room and took all of the soaps and shampoos. What? It's free! I turned in my key and paid.
1 hour later
"Here is your apartment. Enjoy." An elderly woman gave me a key.
"Uh, thanks." I thanked her. I unpacked of what I had with me into the small chest. I looked around and examined the room more carefully. A mattress was stuffed on a rusty, iron bed, the walls had a lot of cracks in it, the sink was dripping, the ceiling was pealing, the rug was ripped and torn, the kitchen was grimy and dirty. "It'll do." I thought.
2 months later……………
I just came home from my job at Flo's Diner when Mrs. Peterson, who owns the building, knocked on my door.
"Hi, Mrs. Peterson. Can I help you?" She looked at me with pity.
"I'm sorry to say this, Bella, but…your father had died in a fire at your home."
"I'm sorry, Bella. The police want to speak to you down in Forks." She patted my shoulder. I could feel my eyes pricking. I ran out of tears a long time ago. I couldn't cry anymore.
"Okay, I'll be back tomorrow."
"Thank you. Oh, and Mrs. Peterson, I'm going to try to pay the rent tomorrow. I'm sorry for being late again." The same look returned to her eyes.
"It's okay, Bella. I know you try your best. You're the youngest one here, it's okay. I'm so sorry about your loss."
"Thank you." I shut the door and packed an outfit and some cash, well, of what little I had extra.
The drive to Forks didn't take long, only about 3 hours. I pulled up to my old house. It was charred. I got out and ran inside.
"It looks like the fire started in the kitchen." A police officer said.
"Yeah, Charlie always said he couldn't cook." Said another. I walked into the room.
"Oh, hi Bella."
"The house is stable, you can look around if you want."
"Okay. Thanks." I immediately went to my room. The ground was a little charred. I walked over to the window. A floorboard creaked and moved. I kneeled down and took the board away. The picture of Edward, the CD he gave to me, and the camera from Charlie were in a box. I stuffed the box in my duffle and ran downstairs.
"I have to get going." I said to them.
"Wait, Bella!" Too late. I drove down the street in a flash. Soon, I was back home. I took the box out of the bag and popped the CD into my CD player. Then I started crying. My lullaby started playing. I sobbed for Edward, I sobbed for Charlie, and I sobbed for my life.