A/N: So yeah, it took me a little minute, but I promise I'm trying to finish this story. I think I have a pretty good plot and story here. And I have a lot of people requesting getting rid of the Cullens in this story (i.e. Edward/Bella), but I needed them at that moment. Though I'm almost quite certain, that this might be their last appearance in the story for a while. They might be briefly mentioned, but they probably won't come back in the story till later...IF they come back. I'm not really sure. But thank you for the support and the reading and keep the reviews coming! Thank you!
Playlist for this chapter:
We The Kings - Secret Valentine
Daughtry - Crashed (Yeah, as you can see, I had a little bit of trouble trying to choose the music for this chapter. Can you tell? lol)
My heart stopped pumping in my chest when I realized it was him who walked up to my window. In a sense, for some strange reason that is beyond my power of explanation, I think I sort of…felt…him coming up before he did. And when I looked up, my eyes met his and my world stopped. I couldn't believe it. It seemed like it was getting piled on, one thing after another. I know I'm strong because I have to be for my son, but this…I didn't know if I could handle this. I nearly fainted right then.
But fainting would've given me away. Fainting would've been…just…disastrous. So I knew I had to be strong and play it cool. I had to get through this…some how.
"Hi." He said. His voice…it was so deep…I think I felt a tremor or something when I heard it. Was it a small earthquake? What the hell was going on?!?
"A-are you here to make a withdrawal, or a deposit?" Jeez, I sounded like I was staring a serial killer right in the face. What the hell was wrong with me? Suddenly I went from strong lioness to timid little church mouse.
"Uh…a-actually I'd like to start an account!" He nearly squeaked. Did I make him nervous or something? Maybe he knows! I felt myself go cold at that thought…I knew I must've paled. Because I didn't feel my blood pulsing, I barely felt my heart beating. I couldn't even breathe. This was a mistake. I knew this was a bad idea. Coming back was the worst idea I could've ever had…obviously there's still nothing here waiting for me but disaster.
""Oh…okay…what's your name?" I tried to sound indifferent, trying to mask the hurricane of emotions I was experiencing on the inside. Somehow it came out monotone and dead sounding, and the sound of my voice that way shocked even me. I mean, I knew his name already. His mother had just told me. But I was trying to pretend to be oblivious. Keeping up the façade of the Detroit girl who was new in this town. I could do this. I had to do this. I had to do it for Dean.
"Embry Call. And Sharon is a pretty name." He still sounded like I made him nervous or something. I swear to god, the way he was looking—more like boring—into my eyes made me feel like he could see straight to my soul…see straight through my secret. This emotion was past uncomfortable, past fear…this was pain and torture.
I walked him through the steps of opening his account with my voice still dead. I think it was a defense mechanism—I mentally shut down anything that would give away my secrets, and surely my voice would be the first thing to deceit me and give me away.
"Thanks for your help." He gave me that smile again, but it just felt like some whaler harpooned straight through my heart for a second time in a row.
"No problem." I knew the warm smile I just tried to return him was fake, but I think it was just another part of my defense mechanism. Feigning politeness is a sure way to look fine on the surface, even if you are in hell on the inside.
"So I was wondering…would you like to go out with me some time?" No. No, no, no, no, no. This is not happening. This was not supposed to be happening! THIS WAS THE EXACT THING, AND I MEAN EXACT THING, THAT I WAS TRYING TO AVOID! THIS IS THE WHOLE REASON I DIDN'T WANT TO COME HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! I felt like falling to the ground, and crying until death came.
Then, of all the things for him to do in that moment, he gave me that stupid smile again…this time was bigger than all the others. I glanced from his face to the picture I'd taped of Dean and I to the left of him where he couldn't see it, and then back to his face. I was at breaking point. I thought I was strong. I thought I'd be strong enough to handle this. To handle being here. I thought I had enough in me. I guess I was wrong. The tears were building up behind my eyes now, and that damn whaler harpooned the third and final blow to my heart.
I had to remember why I was there, I had to remember my reason…Dean. I could do this for him. I could do anything for him. As long as I kept thinking about him, I'd fine the strength to make it out of this.
"Um…I really don't think that's a good idea." I swallowed really hard because I had to hurry what I was saying before my tears fell. And that wouldn't have been a disaster anymore; it would have been a catastrophe. "I'm not interested in seeing anyone right now. Have a nice day though."
I nearly ran to the back just in time, as soon as I close the door behind me and leant against it the first tear fell from my right eye. I couldn't do this here. I couldn't break down at work. I would have to wait. I could wait till I was alone, I could wait till later. As long as I gave myself the time to cry, I'd make it through.
My thoughts for the rest of the day swarmed around leaving again. I mean, we'd only been here a few days, but I was certain I could get out of my lease and find another job someplace else. Maybe even Chicago. Or someplace like L.A. Phoenix might not be bad either.
I pulled up in front of Charlie's house, and took a deep breath before going in. One promise I'd made myself was to never let Dean see me crying…I couldn't do that to him. I rang the door bell thinking about moving to Phoenix and Edward answered the door smiling, but when he looked at my face his face fell. "Come in…"
I walked in and put on my best brave face before Dean ran to me to give me a hug, wrapping his lanky arms around my waist. I held him close, taking a deep breath before leaning down to kiss the top of his head. "Mom! I had the best day! Edward and Bella were the greatest!" He was excited, and not bruised scratched or scathed…so things weren't looking too bad.
I scaled the room with my eyes, and nothing was broken, ruined, or stained. I'd say that was pretty damn good.
"I hope he wasn't too much trouble." I smiled at Bella and she ruffled his hair. "No, he was perfect. Kind of like the little brother I've always wanted."
"We colored, and watched t.v., and Bella let me play on her computer, then Bella kept tripping and falling, then Edward wrestled with me, then we played hide n' seek. But Edward found me every time." He pouted when he mentioned the last part, and we all laughed. Dean always was a sore loser.
Just hearing Dean talk like that…being excited about anything…made the thought of packing him up and moving him again break my heart. He'd finally made some friends, though they were a bit older, and he'd found a reason to be happy about being in Forks.
"He won when we wrestled though; I think he's going to be very athletic. I hear they have a great soccer team over at the elementary school…here…in Forks." Edward added, giving me a reassuring smile.
This made me sure he'd be fine once he started school. I couldn't move him again. I could just make him leave because I wanted to run away from my problems. Not anymore. I'm a big girl now, and I'm strong enough to face them. I'm strong enough. I can do this.
"Well it sounds like everything went well…do you think you're up to the job Bella?" I was hoping with every thing in me she'd say yes.
"I'd love it." Bella beamed, and I could tell she really liked kids. Well, at least Dean didn't scare this one off.
"Okay so I work Mondays through Thursdays, and I get off at the same time on all those days. I'll pay you on Thursdays." She smiled at me. "Sounds good to me."
I gave her a hug, and I think I shocked her a bit, but she'd done way more for me than she could've realized. "Thank you Bella. For everything." She lightly tapped my back. "No problem, Sharon."
I gave Edward a hug, and he stiffened, but he smelled really good. And he was really hard, he must work out something. He softly embraced me, and whispered in my ear. "It'll be okay."
Did he know something was wrong with me? How did he know? Is everyone able to see through me today?
I sighed, and realized that Edward must really be perceptive. That had to be it.
"Say goodbye Dean." We made our way towards the door, and he gave both of them a hug. "Tell Charlie I said hi when he makes it home." I got in the car and yelled back to Edward and Bella, who were standing in the door holding hands. "Will do." Bella shouted back. I paused for the slightest second to look at them. They really were a good couple together. It was obvious they loved each other, though they were so young, and the way Edward looked at her…it was like she was the only thing on the planet. She was really lucky to have someone like that care for her so deeply. I should know firsthand…love doesn't care what age you are.
I started the car. "Come on Dean, tonight we're having tacos."
The next day, I went into work a little happier. When I was finally by myself last night, after I'd put Dean to bed and locked the house up, I didn't feel the need to cry. I didn't find it necessary. I didn't have to. I should've realized then…that there was nothing to be crying about.
So today, as I strolled into work, I realized the storm was over. That the worst part had come to past. The rest of this should be easy sailing.
Or so I thought.
"Hello again." There stood Embry, with that big smile again, but this time I wasn't foolish enough to let my eyes flicker to the side. Today had been a pretty good day, up until this. Lunch was great, I went back to that same little café for coffee and I could see that becoming a regular thing. But now, Mr. Embry Call had to come in and ruin it.
I wanted to ask what the hell was doing here, again, but I knew that would be the impolite thing to do. That would also reveal I had a disposition with his presence, which would be letting out too much information. Things like that can be incriminating and come back to bite me in the butt later.
"Hello. May I help you?" I asked in a cheery voice, catching him completely off guard with my formalness. He expected me to remember him, which I did of course, and give him a more personal greeting. But I couldn't let that happen.
"Um…I'd like to make a deposit into my account."
"Have you filled out the form?" He slid me the form under the glass, still with a confused look on his face, and I was enjoying this. Not that I enjoyed his confusion…much…but I enjoyed not feeling like balling up into the fetal position much more.
I looked over everything on the form, and then looked back up to him. "Okay, everything looks good, I just need the amount you're depositing and some form of government identification."
He slid me a twenty dollar bill and his driver's license, and I glanced briefly at the picture. His hair was a lot longer on the picture, and his height on the card was about 6'2. Obviously it needed to be updated, because he had to be about 6'5 now.
Sadly, he'd had enough time to recover from his confused state and talk again.
"So how's your day going?" I could hear him smiling.
"Fine." I decided to keep my answers short, sweet, and to the point, and not look back at him from the computer until it was absolutely time to. Looking at him was distracting, and I often lost my train of thought when I did. Besides, mentioning the fact that my feet were killing me due to the shoe choice I made this morning probably would've led to more conversation…likely about my feet.
I knew he'd be a bid let down with my short answer, but it didn't matter to me. I just needed him to leave.
"So I was thinking…since today is Tuesday, I was wondering if you wanted to catch that new horror movie that came out Friday."
"You want to go see the new horror movie…because it's Tuesday?" I said in a sarcastic voice, I was trying to make him feel dumb so he'd leave.
"Well I suggested today because I know the theaters won't be packed…like they would on a Friday, when the new movies come out." He leaned casually against the glass, and had a smug smile on his face because he'd got me instead.
"Besides, you seem like the type a girl who could appreciate a good horror movie." He winked, to top it all off. He was right, I did love horror movies, even though they scared me to death. And for one, brief second, I gave him a smile. A real, sincere, genuine smile. And not just any smile. I gave him my, "you think you've outsmarted me" smirk I always give to Dean when he thinks he's getting away with something too. But as soon as I realized I'd given it, I straightened my face again.
"Sorry, not interested. But thanks for offering. Have a nice day!" I slid him back his license and his receipt then gave him another cheesy smile before walking to the back, leaving him once again awestruck.
But I could feel him smiling at my back as I walked away, so I knew this was far from over.
The very next day, he returned, at the same time, but this time with three long-stem red roses in his hand. I sighed when I saw him walk in, I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but really, did it have to be this difficult?
Luckily I was helping an old lady at the time, so he walked off to the side table and pretended to be filing out a form. I knew was waiting for me to finish, even though Jessica's window was open and she was reading a magazine bored, so I took my time helping her. Asking her all types of unnecessary questions to stall for time. She really was sweet.
But, I finished her, and she stepped off to the side to put all of her things back in her pocketbook. And he saw this as his golden opportunity. He walked up, with that same big smile, and slid the three roses under the glass. I looked at him skeptically, and he just shrugged smiling.
"What?" He asked innocently. As if he didn't already know. And when my face didn't change, he rolled his eyes in defeat, before running his hand through his messy black hair. "Alright, so it's our three day anniversary…of the day we met." I sighed even harder, before trying to push the roses back.
"I can't accept these."
He wouldn't take them back. "Why not? I got them for you. I can't just take them back."
I gave him a serious look and used the stern voice I used when I put Dean in line. "You can and will. Now can I help you?" Apparently my efforts had no effect on him at all because he just ignored them.
"Actually, yes, you can. I'm here to make a deposit."
Again? I asked myself under my breath, but I had a feeling he heard me. He slid some money past the roses and I counted it.
I looked up at him skeptically. "You came all this way to deposit $3.17?"
"Yes." He looked completely serious, but I knew he had to be joking on the inside. Again, he rolled his eyes in defeat and ran a hand through his hair, he must do that when he's nervous or something.
"Alright, so it was $30.00, but the roses were $26.83."
I softened a bit, showing emotion for the third time in front of him, I was cracking. Not to the point of another break down, but I was letting him in…in a way. And that was not good.
"You didn't have to do that…" I said softly, feeling a little bad.
"I did it because I wanted to, Sharon." He said serious and it sounded like what he was saying to me had some really deep undertones, but I couldn't think about them now. I had to remember the matters at hand.
"You didn't even fill out the form. All that time you stood standing over there…" I laughed, and he slid the form under the glass.
But instead of one form, it was seven forms together. Each one he wrote in big letters, 'WILL YOU GO OUT WITH ME' and on the seventh form he wrote what looked like a hundred 'please?' in hearts all over the page, in different fonts and languages. Yep, I said languages too.
Wow, if that isn't effort, I don't know what is.
Damn it, I was breaking!
And I also realized that he would be here everyday if I didn't say yes to him sometime.
But…I mean, what could happen on one little date? Not even a date, a meeting…I wouldn't let anything slip because I'm too smart for that. So where's the harm in it?
I looked back up at him, and he had a sad puppy dog look on his face, with the pouting lip effect and everything. He really did look like a sad puppy. I rolled my eyes, and sighed one final time. For some reason, I knew I was going to regret this.
"I take my lunch hour at a small café a little ways from here."
I started to walk to the back.
"Great! But wait, you didn't tell me what the name of the café was! Or when you take your lunch break!"
"See you tomorrow!" I shrugged my shoulders, and went in the back room.
Secretly hoping he would figure all of that out on his own.