A/N All Twilight character's belong to Stephenie Meyer
So here is the new story (the one I gave a sneak peak of in Pictures of You). Huge thanks to ShelbySue my totally awesome beta, who stuck with me from Pictures...we make a rocking team chica! So please read and let me know what you think!
The motor groaned on Phil's wheel chair lift as it traveled down the staircase. I rolled over and glanced at the alarm clock. 3:45 the green number glowed in the pitch darkness. I rolled back onto my left side and stared off into the darkness.
In the kitchen downstairs, the ice maker dropped three ice cubes into a glass. The cubes bounced off each other and hit the sides of the glass making an almost melodic tinkle. I knew what was going to happen next, it was the same thing that happened practically every night. I would wake up to some disgusting mess that needed cleaning.
The fridge opened, condiment bottles rattled against each other in the door. Thirty seconds later I heard the obvious thud that was the bottle of booze hitting the marble counter. This was Phil's nightly routine; ride the elevator downstairs, get plastered and pass out. I think it was the only way he could sleep. Not that I could blame him. His whole life changed in the blink of an eye. His wife was murdered, his career ended and he was bound to a wheel chair for the rest of his life.
I watched the headlights of a passing car wash over my bedroom wall, illuminating the faces of the photographs taped to it. I desperately wanted to slip out of bed and join him for a drink. Losing your mother to a random act of senseless violence would drive anyone to drink, even a seventeen year old.
I sighed missing my mother, my father, my life pre-accident. Outside, the pool lights flicked on, casting dancing waves of iridescent light across my pale blue walls. I took a deep breath and watched the shimmering lights dance across my walls. I pretended I was under the water, locked in a secret cave where the tragedy of my mother couldn't reach me.
I must have dozed off because when I opened my eyes again, the dancing waves were gone and the harsh Florida sun was blazing through the sheer white curtains on the French doors that lead to my balcony.
I yawned and glanced at the clock; 7:30. I slipped out of bed and peered down the hall. From my room I could see the top of the stairs, and I couldn't see the wheel chair lift at the top. I passed by Phil and Renee's room and jogged down the stairs, trying to stay positive; maybe today would be the one day I didn't have to clean up vomit or any other disgusting bodily excrement. At the foot of the stairs I called for Phil.
"Dad? Where are you?"
He wasn't my biological father, but he was more of a father than Charlie had ever been. Phil had adopted me when I was six, a year after he and my mother got married. I hadn't seen Charlie since that summer, and he didn't seem to mind at all.
I poked my head into the living room and looked around. No Phil. I groaned and headed toward the kitchen. I stepped into the light and airy kitchen; my stomach lurched. An empty bottle of Wild Turkey lay on its side, a shattered tumbler lay on the floor, its shattered pieces glittered like a diamond trail across the kitchen floor.
I followed the glass trail with my eyes to the French doors, wide open, their lacy curtains were blowing lazily in the sultry breeze. I rushed across the kitchen, cutting my foot on the shards of broken glass on the floor.
"Dad?" I called as I hurried to the door.
"Oh my God!" I screamed as I took in the scene before me. Floating face down, limbs splayed like a misshapen star fish, in the pool off the stone patio, was Phil. His state of the art wheel chair had sunk to the bottom of the pool.
I dove into the pool and fought vigorously to pull him out of the tepid water.
"C'mon," I moaned as I pulled him out of pool and began CPR.
"Wake up!" I cried, still pounding on his chest.
"Wake up!" I shrieked, my whole body shook violently.
I felt like someone had tied a string around my waist, and then proceeded to pull me out of the dream. The scene in front of me rapidly fell away as my eyes fluttered open and settled on the soft caramel eyes of the African American flight attendant.
"Are you okay, honey? You seem like you were having one heck of a nightmare." She smiled warmly at me, her eyes rapidly searching my face.
"I'm-I'm okay. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare anyone. I'm sorry." I raked my hand through my short brunette hair. "I took my meds before I got on the plane, I'm sorry."
She placed her hand on my arm. "It's okay. Not a lot of folks on this flight. You'll be okay. Can I get you anything?"
I shook my head no, and the flight attendant stood to leave. "Wait," I called, reaching for her arm.
She turned to look at me. "How much longer? I mean until we land?"
She glanced at her watch, then back to me, "Just a little bit longer, actually. We should be in Port Angeles in about 30 minutes."
I nodded and thanked her. She smiled at me and made her way toward the rear of the plane. I reached for my carryon bag and sat back in my seat. I reached inside and pulled out my cell phone and powered it up. After the dancing robot did his jig, the welcome screen appeared. The small yellow envelope appeared at the top of the screen and a box popped up. You have five unread messages. Read now? I opened the first message. It was from Rosalie; my best friend in Jacksonville.
Hey u! r u n hell yet?
I smiled and went to the next message.
Emmett says we will come rescue u. just let us no and we will be there ASAP.
My eyes misted and a tear slid down my cheek and landed on my jeans. I wiped my hand across my face and shut off my phone, not even bothering to read the remaining three messages. Shoving the phone into my bag, I turned to stare out the window watching as Port Angeles appeared out of the fog.
The pilot came on and asked everyone to turn off their electronics, return trays to the upright position and buckle up. I buckled my seatbelt, wishing that I could get off the plane and disappear in the crowd, just find the first flight back to Florida. As much as I wanted to do that, I couldn't. I had no parents, no home, no nothing there anymore. And not only that, but it was in Renee and Phil's wills that if anything happened to them I would go to Washington to live with Charlie and his two point five perfect kids and chipper wife.
Only a year, I chanted to myself, you just have to stick it out for a year. And who knows maybe Forks won't be so bad.
The evil voice in the back of my head scoffed at the notion that Forks, the place where the sun never shone, wouldn't be that bad. I was a Florida girl through and through. Living in a place where it rained everyday was going to suck - and I knew it.
The planed landed with a bounce and did a sort of frog hop down the runway before finally coming to a halt outside the terminal.
The pilot turned the fasten seatbelt sign off and thanked us for flying Delta. I unbuckled my seatbelt and stood up on my tip toes, trying to reach my carryon bag. My fingers closed over empty air.
"What the hell?" I muttered, looked down and saw my bag sitting on the empty seat next to me.
I let the overhead compartment door shut and bent down, muttering to myself, and grabbed my bag. The flight attendant who saved me from the nightmare waved as I exited the plane. As I walked down the terminal, I glanced out the window. Gray and raining, go figure.
I saw Charlie and a tall boy standing near the wall at the end of the terminal. I hurried to join them, ready to start my miserable stay in hell.
"Isabella," Charlie said in lieu of a greeting as I approached him.
"It's Bella; just Bella," I said self consciously. If you'd been half the father you should have been you would have known that, I thought.
"Hi," the dark haired boy chirped.
"Hey kid," I said, mussing his hair.
"I'm Seth," he laughed.
"Hi," I said to him.
"Uh, Isa-Bella," Charlie corrected himself, "We should probably go get your luggage, before something happens to it."
Charlie stalked off toward the baggage claim. I rolled my eyes at him and Seth and I followed behind him.
"So you're from Florida?" he asked, his eyes shining with curiosity.
I nodded, "Yeah, I am."
"What's it like?"
"Sunny…and hot. Everything Forks isn't."
"Wow, that's why you're so tan."
I laughed. "Yeah. My backyard has a huge pool in it. I can- could, go swimming anytime I wanted," I told him.
"You must be sad," Seth mused.
I barely had to glance down at him, he was almost as tall as I was. "Why?" I asked him.
"Well, because you had a huge pool in a place where it's hot and sunny and now you have to live here in rain city. I'd be sad if I were you."
I gazed at the abstract pattern on the floor. My eyes filled with tears. "Yeah," I said, trying to keep the tears at bay, "I'm sad."
"Isabella are you okay?" Seth asked, grabbing my arm.
"Yeah kid, I'm fine. But please call me Bella." I discreetly wiped my eyes.
"How about Zee, can I call you that?"
"Zee?" I repeated. "Why that?"
"Well, you don't like Isabella and I don't like Bella. And I doubt you'd let me call you Izzie, so Zee."
I nodded. "Okay, you can call me Zee."
We finally caught up to Charlie at the baggage claim. He'd already successfully capture three of my five suitcases.
"How many more of these do you have?" he asked irritably.
"Two more," I said in a small voice.
Charlie looked at Seth, "See, I told your mother we were going to need the van. Damn women and all their clothes and makeup..." he trailed off, muttering under his breath about frou-frou girly products.
I didn't dare open my mouth and tell him that only two suitcases had clothes in them. The rest were books. The rest of my luggage came around, and Charlie grabbed it, heaving it onto the flimsy luggage cart.
"Is that it?" he asked crossly.
I nodded meekly and followed him out to the car. The drive back to Forks was quiet. Seth talked to me for a little while, then pulled out his game boy and got lost in video game land. Forty five minutes of agonizing silence later, Charlie pulled the minivan into the drive way of a pristine two story brick house. The navy blue front door had a Halloween themed wreath hanging from it. The flower beds were weed free and had some strange bushes growing in them.
I got out of the car and stared up at the house that was now my home. It was about a fourth of the size of my house in Jacksonville, but it was nice enough. Charlie opened the trunk and started pulling out luggage.
"Seth," he called, "Put that damn game boy away and get your ass over here and help Isa- I mean, Bella take her stuff to her room."
Seth looked at me and rolled his eyes before turning off the game boy and sliding it in the back pocket of his jeans. He and I both grabbed a suitcase.
"I wasn't expecting you so soon, so I haven't had time to fix up the spare room, so until I can get a tech out here to hook up the internet up there you'll be sleeping in the attic. It's finished and has electricity. I just never got around to moving my office up there and quite honestly I am too damn old to be climbing that many stairs."
I stood there, suitcase in hand, staring at him in utter disbelief. In my head, the hardcore version of me was yelling, "Oh hell no, he did not just say that." Jeez, I knew I was unwanted but that just took it to a whole other level.
Seth and I grabbed suitcases and I followed him into the house. "Don't worry, the attic is awesome. You're gonna love it."
I smiled and rolled my eyes. Yeah, the attic is awesome, the sarcastic voice in my head mocked, you're gonna love it!
Like Cinderella, banished to the attic I carried my luggage piece by piece up the two flights of stairs. After we'd brought the largest and heaviest suit case up, Seth flung himself across what I assumed was my bed. It looked like it had seen better days, but I couldn't be picky. No longer the princess of the castle, my fate had been reduced to that of a lame Disney princess in fifteen seconds flat. It would have been hilarious if it wasn't so damn ironic. All that's missing are the singing birds and mice, I thought sarcastically.
"So what's the deal here?" I asked, sitting on the end of the bed.
"What do you mean?" he asked. Seth sat up and scooted back, making room for me.
"The kids, what are they like? Who's cool and who're the first class assholes?" Seth made a face at me.
"Don't make that face, I say curse words…get over it. And don't tell your mom and Charlie, if you do I won't be your friend anymore."
"Okay, well first steer clear of my sister, Leah and her boyfriend, Jacob."
Seth got up and went to the window. I followed and gazed out the dusty window at the idyllic street below. He pointed to a brick house next door.
"Leah doesn't like girls messing with Jacob, well everybody calls him Jake. But he's cool. His sister, Becca is my girlfriend."
I snorted, "Your girlfriend, please. You're like, what ten?"
Seth looked horrified. "I'm twelve," he said indignantly.
I rolled my eyes. "Ten, twelve, same difference."
"Anyways," Seth said loudly. "Jake's younger sister Becca is my girlfriend. I go over there sometimes to hang out with him and his friends. We play video games."
"Figures," I muttered.
"I heard that," Seth said.
"You were supposed to," I smiled and looked at the brick house next door, curious about the boy who let a twelve year old hang out and play video games.
"Becca and Jake have another sister, Rachael. She and Leah are best friends, and she's just as mean as Lizard lickin' Leah, so watch out for them."
"Lizard lickin' Leah?" I snickered.
"Yeah, it's what I call her sometimes. She hates it, but I think it's funny."
"I love it. Can I call her that too?"
Seth nodded enthusiastically, seemingly pleased to have another member of the "I hate Leah" fan club.
"So who else lives here?"
"I just know the rest of Jake's friends, Embry, Jared, Sam, Paul and Quil." He pointed to different houses on the street as he spoke the names. "I don't really like Paul or Jared, or Sam, but Quil and Embry are cool. They never complain when I'm there playing video games."
I nodded, still staring down at the street, when there was a knock at the door.
"Come in?" I said uncertainly. I wasn't used to this knocking business.
The door opened silently and an average looking woman with long dark hair and dark eyes stuck her head in. "Hi," she said warmly, "I'm Sue. I just wanted to see how you were getting along. Seth why are you in here bothering Bella?"
Seth looked properly chastised. "Oh no, Mrs. Swan, he's not bothering me. Seth was actually keeping my company."
She looked at Seth. "Oh, okay then. Is there anything I can get for you? Do you need anything?"
I shook my head no. "I think I have everything I need. But thank you."
"Okay, well let me know if there's anything that you need. Dinner will be in an hour, okay?"
Sue left and I got up and started opening my suitcases. "Guess I better get unpacked. Looks like I'm gonna be here for a while.
Seth smiled, "Want some help?"
I glanced at the suitcases then back to Seth's eager expression. "Sure, if you don't have anything better to do you can give me a hand."
He wasn't much help, but it was nice having company. Seth talked about school and his friends and teachers while I hung clothes on hangers and handed them to him. He'd take them and hang them in the small closet, prattling on and on about a video game he wanted to play or his character on some game called World of Warcraft.
I listened with genuine interest. Half of what he was talking about I had never heard of it and I asked a lot of questions. By the time we hung up all my clothes, Seth was gazing at me like an adoring puppy.
"You're so much nicer that Leah. Whenever I try to talk to her she screams at me and tells me to leave her alone."
"Maybe because you've been around her your whole life," I shrugged. "I was the only kid in my house in Florida. But I still think you're alright."
"That must have been nice," Seth said dreamily. His eyes glazing over as he imagined life as an only child.
I shook my head no. "It got lonely sometimes. Once I got older my mom would travel with my dad, like when he had out of town games, so I'd get stuck at home by myself. My friend Rosalie would stay with me sometimes, but it's not the same."
"You must miss them then huh?"
I nodded my head and tried to fight the tears that were threatening to spill. "I do," I said softly. "I miss them so much."
A/N So whatchaya think? Leave me a review!