I know the whole world is stressed right now, and under normal circumstances, I would probably be stressed as all hell having this many people in my house. But there's something oddly soothing about having all the people I love most in the world here with me during this time.
Well, not all the people I love, but Rose, Emmett and the kids are just next door. And I know Carlisle and Esme are close by and doing just fine.
But seriously, just being able to look up and see my family – my whole family – happy and healthy and safe…
It's just amazing.
I'm in the kitchen with Alice thinking about what we should make for dinner for ten people. Jasper is out back playing with the kids. My parents are napping upstairs, and then there's Edward. Edward is currently in the living room with duct tape marking off six foot sections to ensure that everyone abides by the rules of social distancing. I told him that was probably impossible, but he scoffed and said, "If the boys can do it, I think the adults can handle it. And if not, I have my tool to remind them."
I need to be reminded of Edward's tool.
"My husband is so hot," Alice says with a sigh, looking out the window to the back yard. I shake my head, trying to clear the dirty thoughts running through my mind so I can focus on my sister-in-law. "How did I end up with such a hot man, Bella?"
"You fucked your professor in college?" I deadpan. "And decided you liked the D enough to keep it around?"
"Bella!" she shrieks and laughs. "Seriously though, while we were away at the retreat, I wanted to keep him naked in the tent the whole time."
"I wouldn't mind some naked tent time with my own hot man, as long as we're sharing."
I mean, yeah. Jasper is hot. But he's not as hot as my husband.
No one is.
"I know," she says. "I was trying to give you guys some time alone before Renee and Charlie showed up." She scrunches up her nose as she looks at me apologetically.
"It's fine," I tell her honestly. "I'm actually really relieved to have them here. Edward and I will figure it out. We always do."
My phone alerts me to face time.
"It's Rose," I tell Alice as I hold up the phone and accept the call. "Hey Rose!"
I immediately notice the pink mask on her face. Leave it to Rosalie to not let anything as insignificant as a global pandemic get in the way of her beauty regimen.
I adore her.
"Don't 'hey' me," she says. "Emmett told me we didn't make the cut."
"The cut for what?" I ask.
"The cut for coming over to your house!" she exclaims. "What do you think?"
"What I think is that you have your own beautiful house right next to mine," I laugh. "And if you really wanted to see us, we could walk to the fence between our yards, and have a whole conversation."
"Not before I tape off a safety zone, Bella," Edward says as he walks outside with his duct tape.
"You're gonna run out of tape if you keep that up," I chide him. "Then whatever will you do with your time?"
He gives me a very pointed look that makes me feel all warm and tingly, and yeah…we're gonna need to find some alone time sooner rather than later.
I turn my attention back to my unnecessarily pissed off best friend. "You don't look like you're suffering at all," I tell Rose. "You look like you're having your own personal spa day."
"Bitch, you of all people should know that I never suffer." She laughs. "In fact, I decided to not suffer alone."
She turns the phone around, and I follow the blur of movement until my mother-in-law gradually comes into focus. She's also wearing a bathrobe and face mask and, no surprise, drinking a very large glass of wine.
"I must say that I was certainly disappointed when Emmett called Carlisle to let us know that everyone except us was invited to stay at your house," Esme says, "but that all changed when Rose invited us over here to stay with them. You find out your importance, or lack thereof, during troubling times like these. I must say, it's a sad state of affairs when your son's best friend and his beautiful wife treat you more like parents than your actual children. But here we are."
"I must say, you don't look terribly troubled right now."
She laughs. "Oh, I'm not. Rose and I are practicing…what did you call it?"
"Self care." I hear Rose's voice come through loudly.
"Yes, yes…this 'self-care' thing is delightful, dear. I need to do this more often."
"All you do is practice self-care, Mom!" Alice chimes in. "Your whole life is one long self-care session!"
"Oh that's rich," Esme retorts. "Coming from a woman who just spent two weeks in the dessert on some sort of…hippie retreat."
This is getting out of hand.
Rose sits down next to Esme, so I can now see most of both of them. "You know I'm just teasing, Alice," Esme says. "I find your relationship with Jasper both charming and refreshing. Almost as refreshing as this glass of wine."
I need a glass of wine.
"Thank you, Mother," Alice says, sarcasm dripping from her voice. "I'm glad to know my marriage of over a decade, that produced your granddaughter, can be likened to cheap glass of wine."
"Hey!" Rose says. "What the fuck, Pixie? Nothing in my house is cheap."
"Nothing except the shots my mother is taking at my husband," Alice huffs.
"Alice, honey," Esme says. "You know I'm only teasing. I love Jasper. And Dalai is the light of my life." She looks at Rose. "She's always been a touch insecure. Even as a child, she always thought that Edward was my favorite. I never understood it."
"Maybe it's because when you would take us shopping when we were kids, you would forget me – and never Edward – when you went home." Alice says, taking the phone from my hand.
"That only happened two times!" Esme retorted. "And both times you were fine. Leon called me to let me know, and we came right back to get you."
"Who the fuck is Leon?" Rose asks, laughing.
"The manager at Neiman Marcus," Alice says with fondness. "He gave me chocolate chip cookies."
"See?" Esme says. "I left you in good hands. You were totally safe."
This explains so much.
Love you guys!
STAY HOME AND BE SAFE
Reviews are love.
cosmo and marvar