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Continues "Train" storyline.
Feeling the acute need to earn my keep, I offered to cook for Edward.
He seemed surprised. "I didn't know you could cook."
"There are a lot of things you don't know about me," I said.
Thing was, he was right. I didn't know how to cook. I planned to Google recipes and play it off.
He shrugged, shoving his books into his backpack. "We'll go shopping when I get off later… at Wal-Mart or something open late."
"Okay," I agreed, excited to be going somewhere with Edward.
He walked to the front door, pausing to look back at me. "You'll be all right on your own again?"
"I've been okay."
He fished his keys from his pocket and worked one of them off the ring.
"This is an extra house key. Use it to lock up if you want to go anywhere."
"Where would I go?" I asked, taking the key.
"There's a bookstore not too far from here. Go out the door, turn right, and keep walking until you get to an intersection. It's about three blocks away."
"Oh." I didn't have the heart to tell him I had no money. I was really going to need a job; this was getting pathetic.
He'd turned now and was looking at me, almost studying me. After a moment he laughed, shaking his head. "There's money in my room, Bella. In my dresser. Top drawer. Bye."
Stared at the door for a long time after he left, wondering how it was that he still seemed to know me so well. Felt like a fraud somehow, and not just because of the cooking. It was like he could see right through me, like he was a mind reader.
The bookstore sounded good, and after eating something I slipped into my hoodie and left.
Autumn had always been my favorite time of year, cool and crisp, the leaves looking like they were burning, and the sky cloudless and pure. Everything was still so vivid, so pretty it made me want to cry. Times like these I felt weightless, happy even, and I wouldn't trade them for anything, not even a better past.
Trite as it sounded, the things that made me sad were the things that had brought me here. I couldn't change my before but I could make my now a good thing.
The bookstore was right where Edward had said it would be. Headed straight for the cookbooks and spent the next half hour browsing until I'd found several with easy ideas for beginners like me. Definitely, this was better than Googling.
At the house, I deposited the books on my bed and went back to Edward's room to put the leftover money back into his dresser. Maybe he wouldn't care whether or not I returned his change, but I needed to feel trustworthy, down to the smallest things.
A picture caught my eye as I began to shut the drawer, a picture of us from a few years before. I remembered the night it was taken. We'd just gotten together.
I'd had more meat on my bones back then. I'd been pretty. What I saw in the mirror these days barely resembled that girl.
Wondered what Edward saw when he looked at me.
I'd made a list from some of the recipes I'd picked out. Edward pushed the cart while I filled it, all the while chatting about his classes. It was the most we'd spoken since I'd come to Chicago.
It took me a moment before I realized he'd stopped the cart.
"What's up?" I asked, glancing back.
"Do you still like these?" he asked, holding up a box of Nilla wafers.
"Yeah, I do," I laughed.
Laughed. I hadn't laughed in… forever.
Edward tossed the box into the cart, looking rather satisfied with himself.
"I can't believe you remember that," I said, waiting for him to catch up before we started walking again.
"I remember everything about you," he said quietly, and his voice felt very close to my ear.
"I saw the picture," I said, almost whispering. "In your dresser."
"I knew you would."
We walked up to the check out and began unloading the groceries on to the belt.
It was too late to cook much of anything by the time we got home, so we settled for pizza. It felt very natural, even domestic, coexisting the way we did, but I knew there was only so long we could stay like that.
Edward was in a great mood though, joking around as we waited for the pizza.
"Do you want to watch a movie?"
I checked the clock above the stove. "It's so late already, what about class tomorrow?"
"I have tomorrow free. No class, no work."
"You get to sleep in," I said, smiling at him. "What are you going to do tomorrow?"
"I'd like to show you around the city. We haven't done that yet."
The timer went off, signifying the pizza was done.
"I'd love that," I agreed.
Spending an entire day with Edward was exactly what I needed to show him that I could be good for him, if he would just let me.