Bella's Point of View
Sharing a room with Charley wasn't actually as bad as one might think. Sure, she was my boyfriend's mother, and my brother had just kicked her out, and sent her to live with her ex-husband, but hey, these things happen. Charlotte was quickly becoming my best friend. It was actually easier than having a friend my own age, because she could actually give me sound advice on whether any of my crazy schemes would work.
She also had this funky fashion sense. She ended up just putting her clothes in my closet, and we would wear whatever we wanted, seeing as our styles were similar.
Surprisingly, Charlie was actually okay with having a new housemate.
Charley ended up just sharing a bed with me. I mean, we're both females, I have a king sized bed, and it was the only one in the house besides Charlie's, and I sure as heck wasn't going to push his limits by ordering that they share a bed. And it would be awkward. What if, somehow, they fell in love and decided to get married? I'd be dating my stepbrother. Awkward turtle.
We were lying in bed one night, and neither of us could get to sleep.
"Bella?" came her voice, soft and kind.
"Why do you love my son?"
I sat up slightly, and I felt her arm slide around mine and pull me back down.
"I'm not going crazy mother on you; I just want to know, friend to friend."
I took a moment to think.
"Jasper Hale Whitlock is one of the most sincere, kind, honest, loving, sweet people I know. Anything he does, he does for a reason. I really want to stay in his life for a long time."
I could feel her wrap her arms around me, something that was no longer awkward, we hugged each other quite frequently now.
"Bella. My son came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I liked you. I told him, 'Of course I do. She is a beautiful, amazing young woman. Why?' And you know why he asked me? He asked me how I would feel if someday he decided to marry you. And you know what I said to him? 'I would love to have Bella as a daughter.'"
I hugged her closer and squeezed her tight.
I could feel myself start to cry, and her hand came up to my face and wiped the tears away. My mother had never comforted me; she had never dried my tears, or anything of the sort. I think of Charlotte now as a mother, and also as a friend. She means everything to me, and I don't know what I would do if my brother hadn't met and married her. She was a very good friend, but she also knew when to be a type of comforting presence.
She rubbed my back and laughed lightly. I thought that would make you happy, not make you cry."
I laughed with her. "Happy tears."
"Bella, I think that tomorrow we need to go shopping. What do you say?"
"Sure. I need to get some new school clothes anyway, remember, I'm starting in Seattle?"
"Have you ever thought about taking online classes?"
I could feel my eyes widen. "They have those for high school?"
"Sure! You could stay at home, avoid the tiresome commute to Seattle, and you wouldn't have to ride the ferry. What do you say?"
"I think that'd be great! Then, I can spend even more time with you before you leave. I really wish that Peter hadn't kicked you out, but he's a jerk like that."
Charley laughed, her white blonde bangs slipping out of her bobby pin.
"Bella, I'm glad that your brother kicked me out, because I got the chance to live with you for a while. It's been great. Really. This has been one of the best times of my life, and I am very glad that you are now my friend. Honestly, Bella, I think that you are my best friend."
I smiled, and hugged her one more time. She ran her hands through my hair, and smiled back.
"Good night, Bella."
The next morning, I awoke to see a ridiculously peppy Charley pouncing up and now on the bed.
"What are you doing?"
"Wakeupwakeupwakeup! We're going shopping!"
"What the crap? It's 9:30! The malls aren't even open yet!"
"Well, duh! But they will soon, and in the time it takes us to get there, they will be!"
"A few questions. One, how old are you? Two, how much coffee have you had?"
She giggled and collapsed on the bed beside me. "Well, missy. One, I'm 39. Secondly, none."
I raised my left eyebrow at her. "Okay… I had a red bull and I also had a vault. So get up!"
I groaned, and snuggled back into my comforter. I imagined Jasper and I on a beach, lying in the sand, holding hands. I could feel myself starting to fall back to sleep, when all of a sudden my blankets and sheets were snatched away.
"Come get 'em, slow poke!"
Charlotte took off across the room, the bedding flying after her. She jumped down the hatch, not even bothering to climb down the stairs. I jumped after her, and chased her down the stairs. When she was at the foot, and I was about two thirds of the way down, I jumped, landing on the plush down comforter. My weight knocked the things out of her arms, and she was forced to let go.
"Got 'em." I mumbled somewhat sleepily, somewhat exhausted.
"Fine. Go back to sleep."
She walked off into the kitchen, and I fell back asleep.
When I awoke, I was laying in the backseat of her SUV.
"Where am I?"
"On the way to Seattle."
"How did you get me into the car?"
She smiled, and looked at me in the rearview mirror.
"Well, your dad helped."
I laughed, and sat up correctly and buckled in, then wrapping the blankets back around myself. Her car wasn't very warm. She laughed, and turned on the seat warmers. I could feel a gradual heat spreading through my buttocks. Mmmmm… toasty. She chuckled, and focused her attention back on the road. I looked down on my outfit and frowned.
I was still in my pajamas, a gray thermal jumper, and a loose pair of Pink cotton sweats.
"Uhm… Charley? Have you seen what I'm wearing? Not exactly mall appropriate."
She grinned, and tossed me a duffel bag. I unzipped it and found a pair of red, plaid skinny jeans, a black tank top, and a white shirt with pictures of shutter shades on them.
I rolled the windows up in the car, and changed under my blanket. I looked out of the window, and saw that we were in the parking lot of the mall.
We hopped out of the car, and walked into the mall.
"So, Bella. Where to first?"
"I'm not sure. How about… Macy's? I saw a beautiful maxi skirt there the other day."
"Ooo. You can never have too many skirts."
We went to various stores, buying quite a bit of clothing, but keeping our spending in control. Neither of us had much extra money to spend.
Later that night, we both fell into bed, exhausted.
Jasper's Point of View
I'd been in that stupid, cramped van for hours. When I finally got out, I was greeted by a sign.
Saint Elks Rehabilitation Center
Of course it had a name like Saint Elks. Not a name like…say… You'll Never Make It Out With Your Sanity Intact, So Please Check It At The Door, Rehabilitation Center.
One, Charley. It's pronounced Shar-Lee, one of my friends doubts me. But seriously, have you ever met a girl named Char-Lot? No? Didn't think so.
Secondly, something you need to know. Siobhan. I'm pretty sure it's pronounced Shuh-VAHN. Not See-Oh-Bon. Remember that. You meet Siobhan next chapter.
I recently celebrated my one year anniversary. Yay me! July 29, I think.
Random thought here, that I have to share. I have a new title for Alien vs. Predator. Bug Alien vs. Rastafarian Alien. Good, huh?
Review! Jasper'll ask Charley if he can marry you!