I cooked a humongous breakfast in Billy's kitchen, despite the fact that I really wasn't hungry, knowing full well that Embry and Quil wouldn't have any problems eating it all.
I was surprised when the two ravenous werewolves were actually polite enough to wait for Billy to take his share into the living room before attacking every item of food in sight. 'Huh. Who would have thought those boys had manners?' I looked at them pensively, watching them gorge themselves on the breakfast I'd made and mentally revised the previous thought. 'Or maybe Billy taught them that little courtesy the hard way.'
I sat down opposite Jake's best friends with my modest bowl of cereal, hoping that he'd be back from his patrol soon.
I had a horrible nightmare the previous night, the first one in quite a while. Well, it was actually just one of my 'usual' nightmares but after so many nights undisturbed by these dreams, it suddenly seemed so much more horrifying.
It had taken me a long moment to wake up and realise that it had been a dream. I had shakily gotten up, and quickly washed and dressed myself, anxious to leave my room. But downstairs had not been much better; Charlie had already gone to work early and the silence of the house was an unwelcome reminder of the emptiness that had haunted my dreams. I had tried to tell myself that everything was alright; that I had survived these nightmares before, that I was getting better, and that I was not alone. That my life was not empty, just because He was not a part of it anymore.
And I knew, rationally, that these things were all true. My life wasn't empty anymore, I was getting better. It was easier to breathe these days, easier to laugh with Jake and sometimes his friends, easier to spent time with Angela and Jessica without having to pretend.
But despite knowing all this, I just couldn't shake off the feelings of helplessness, abandonment and emptiness that engulfed me.
So I had escaped my empty house and made my way over to La Push, forgetting the time, forgetting to eat breakfast, just wanting to feel that my life wasn't empty instead of just rationally knowing it.
Soaking up the homey atmosphere in Billy's house and listening to the banter of two teenage boys had helped to fight the remnants of my nightmare, but I was still a bit shaky. And I knew that there was only one person who could make it alright.
My best friend, the one person I loved more than anyone else in the world.
Wait. What? I froze, holding my spoon inches from my face and staring blankly ahead, trying to make sense of the previous thought.
Jacob is my best friend, of course I love him. It's like he asked me that day in cinema; I like him better than those jokers from school. I like him better than all the guys I know and better than all the girls too.
So nothing has really changed I thought in relief and continued eating, oblivious to the odd looks from the boys opposite me at my strange pause.
'Except that the 'like' in that equation has suddenly changed into love.'
The thought snuck up on me and hit me like a brick wall.
'I love Jake.' I realized and started choking on my cereal.
I vaguely heard Embry asking me if I was alright but I was choking too much to be able to answer. That was ok, though, since I didn't really know the answer to his question anyways.
A hot, steel baseball bat suddenly hit me in the back, stealing the last of my breath and leaving me gasping for air around the cereal stuck in my throat.
Tears sprung into my eyes and I started coughing even more.
'When did that happen?' I vaguely wondered with the part of my mind not devoted to my immediate survival, thinking back to all the time I'd spend with Jake. 'When did 'like' become 'love'?'
I tried to pinpoint the moment, sifting through my memories of hanging out with Jake in his garage, of him hugging me tightly; holding me together whenever I felt like I was falling apart. Walking hand in hand on the beach, Jake smiling his bright, Jacob smile at me. Jake's arm around me when we're sitting at a bonfire, keeping me warm and safe.
'How did I miss this?' I asked myself.
It's so obvious now that I think about it. How Jake can sooth my fear, pain or sadness with just a hug. How the sunshine of his bright smile warms my very soul. How the way he looks at me sometimes, in an unguarded moment, makes my heart miss a beat.
'I'm in love with Jacob Black.' I thought, dumbfounded.