Okay so I promised myself that I wasn't going to post anymore stories until Impasse was done BUT since I am writing it's final chapter, I figured...what the hell! Why not?
I can't take credit for this idea, it was SSherrill or Sgs115 on twitter who got the ball rolling. She threw the idea out there on twitterland and I decided to run with it! So thanks, love!
Big thanks to my beta Snarkerella for looking over this one and to Sandy for giving it the two thumbs up! :))
We'd love to know what you think!
If I had a penny for every time I got that look...
It's been a year today.
One whole fucking year and it still feels like it was yesterday. My leg hurts sometimes and the scar on my ankle is an everyday reminder of what I lost that day.
24th of May 2009-Sunday
"Did you check all your mirrors?"
"I didn't see you check them."
I sighed and fell back against the leather seats of his Aston Martin. He never, ever, let me inside the car until today. I was going to be sixteen in exactly twenty-seven days and my learners permit was itching in my pocket all school year long. It was the summer of my sophomore year and all I cared about was impressing the ladies with my cool car and new job. I managed to score a part-time gig at Newton's outfitters and even though the pay wasn't much, it was gas money in my pocket.
"I promise I checked and double checked."
"Alright, well...let's go." My dad bounced his leg out of nervous habit as the engine purred to life. "Easy, son. You have a heavy foot."
I rolled my eyes and lightly tapped on the gas pedal, watching in amusement as my father gripped the seat. I chuckled to myself at the sight of this forty something year old man struggle to maintain his cool. "What's so funny?" he asked, nervously glancing back at the empty street.
"You," I grinned, looking through the rear view mirror. "I don't know why you're so nervous, Dad. I've practiced thousands of times in Mom's car"
He snorted and gently smoothed the leather interior of the car. "Your mother drives a Volvo...this car is my baby, one of a kind."
"I wouldn't let mom hear you say that, she might take a key to it," I winked.
"Well," he cleared his throat, "let's just keep that last statement between you and I."
"Sure thing," I laughed and hit the gas pedal a little too hard, causing the car to jump the curb and knock over the trash cans. "Shit," I mumble to myself when I catch my father's facial expression out of the corner of my eye.
He cleared his throat again and waved to my mother. I didn't notice her standing there but I'm glad she was. "Pay attention, son." He muttered through his teeth as he smiled in her direction.
"It happens," he patted my shoulder and pointed down the empty street in front of us. "Let's get this show on the road."
We drove down Blackberry Avenue until we reached the four-way stop at Calawah Way. There was no traffic but my father made me check all sides twice before proceeding to take a right towards North Forks Avenue. I swear I must be traveling at least ten miles an hour because it feels like forever when we finally reach the empty 101 highway.
"Just keep it at sixty, son. No need to rush, it's a beautiful day." He pops open the glove compartment and takes out his aviator glasses before leaning back in his seat. "You're doing good, Edward."
"Thanks." The scattered drizzle made me nervous, especially on sunny days. I don't know why, but it always made me uncomfortable, and this part of the highway had always been a bit eerie to me. "Do you ever get a little creeped out when you pass through here?" I asked as the clouds began to roll in, the lightning in the distance played like a light show across the darkened sky.
"It's peaceful." He took off his glasses and opened the window to feel the drizzle. "Wow, the rain sure did come fast. The weather report said we were in for a clear day...I guess one can never tell."
"Want me to pull over? You can drive the rest of the way."
"No, you're doing good. Eyes on the road, son." He turned on the radio and sang along to some song on the oldies station.
"Wow, dad...stick to doctoring please," I massaged my ears and flinched playfully. "This music sucks."
He shook his head in shock and turned to face me. "CCR does not suck, my boy."
"CC whoever isn't cool like Disturbed, Korn or even Five Finger Death Punch."
"You like a band called Disturbed Korn? Colorful."
"Dad," I whined. "It's two bands, one is called Disturbed and the other is called Korn."
"Well I think we should set aside some time to listen to the music you like, maybe I could understand what the big deal is then."
"Only if you listen to the music I grew up with and keep an open mind. You'll learn that many of the bands I listened to as a boy influenced a lot of the bands you listen to."
"Okay, then." I turned up the radio and laughed when my dad slapped his knee to the beat of the song. "What's this song called?"
"Good Golly Miss Molly," he yelled over the radio. I held up my thumb and tapped my nodded my head to the beat.
"It's not bad."
"Told ya!" He fist pumped and sang along, off key, and I couldn't help but laugh. The song changed and he jumped up in his seat. "Oh man! This is that song, Stuck in the Middle With You."
"Yeah, Stealer's Wheel, I know." He stopped dancing in his seat and raised his brow. "Mom listens to this all the time."
"Oh, she would," he shook his head and laughed. "Did I ever tell you how we met?"
"Mom said that you both were at a dance or something and you spilled punch all down her dress." He chuckled and pointed to a rest stop coming up on the side of the road.
"There's a lake down that hill. If we hurry, we can make it down there before it starts raining. There's a boat dock we can sit in until it lets up." We parked the car and followed the worn trail down the hill to the abandoned boat shack. There was a loud thunder clap over our heads and just as we found shelter it began to rain harder. "Just in time," he said, sitting on a wooden crate.
"I don't like it out here."
"This is where I asked your mom to marry me." He reached into his back pocket and pulled out is wallet. He motioned me over and I went to kneel by him as he flipped open his wallet to the plastic separators that hold his pictures. There was a baby picture of my older sister, Alice and then there was one of me but before I could see the rest he flipped it over and pulled out a worn picture of him and my mother. "It didn't look like this when we were seventeen, in fact, this land belonged to old Mr. Whitlock."
"I didn't know that."
"When I was just a boy, the Whitlock's would host summer parties here, and the lake would be filled with small dinghy boats wrapped in lights...it was almost magical looking."
"I can imagine." We both looked out onto the lake that was barely visible through the thick sheet of rain.
"I was only five when I first saw your mother."
"She told me you guys first met in high school."
"Formally," he chuckled. "I first saw her at one of these parties. Her father, your grandfather, was a well respected lawyer back in the day. He was a widower left alone to raise his six daughters, your mother was the youngest." He picked up a rock from the ground and chucked it out into the water. "She was on one of the dinghy boats dressed in a white frilly dress with matching gloves and hat." He laughed at the memory of his young wife. "She was floating along with her eldest sister and laughing away without a care in the world...back then, we didn't have a care in the world."
"Anyway, I was right here when I asked her to marry me. Some people call it a shot gun wedding while others say we were two foolish kids in love. I'm telling you that I wanted to marry her the moment I set eyes on her...Alice was just an added bonus," he chuckled.
"I'm sure she'd be glad to hear that."
"So, you're going to be a sophomore this year, huh?"
"Yeah," I kicked a rock into the water and leaned against the rickety post. "I don't know if I want to play football this year."
"I'm getting tired of it all, I just want to get through school without all that team spirit crap." I turned to look at him but his expression held no anger or resentment. "To be honest, I just want to study as hard as I can and get into Dartmouth, like you did."
"Edward, I am proud of you. Whatever you decide to do I am behind you one hundred percent."
"Really? I thought that you would want me to play football like Uncle Emmett and you."
"Son, this is your life to live. I'm just proud you are level headed enough to think for yourself and not doing something that you don't want just to make me happy." I felt his hand on my shoulder and I relaxed my rigid stance and leaned against him. "Do what makes you happy, and that will make me happy."
"Thanks, Dad. I'm glad you said that because..." I inhaled sharply and shrugged my shoulders with my hands still in my pockets.
"I met a girl, she's great."
"Yeah, she headlines at the Boom Boom Lounge in Port Angeles."
"Yeah," I straighten myself out and place my hands on his shoulder. "You're gonna be a grandpa."
"Wow," he chuckled. "Is she cute?"
"Cute?" I snort. "She's hot!"
"Well, that's all that matters then." He wraps his arm around my neck and pulls me into a headlock. "Smart ass," he laughed.
The rain continued to fall as we sat there catching up with one another. We hadn't seen much of each other since he took on more hours at the hospital, it had always been a hi and bye so it was good to sit and just be. It was getting dark when we decided to head back to the car. The rain was still coming down in sheets and by the time we made it back, we both looked like we took a swim in the lake. "Why don't you drive us back, Dad?"
"I think that would be wise," he started the car and turned on the heater. "It's cold out for being May." He made a U-turn and headed back on the quiet highway, the music played quietly in the background while we continued our conversation about my plans for the summer. "My phone is ringing," he pulled it from it's holder and tossed it over to me. "It's probably your mother."
"Edward, it's about time!" My mother, the worrier.
"Sorry, we got caught it the rain and dad forgot his phone in the car."
"And you left your phone here at home."
"Sorry, Mom." I rolled my eyes and shook my head at my father motioned to him that my mother was crazy. He laughed softly and reached out for the phone.
"Esme, love, I'm sorry that I made you worry." I looked out of the side mirror and saw headlights swerving in between the lanes. My father must have noticed it too, because he pulled over to the side to let him pass. I couldn't hear what my mother was saying on the other line but judging from the blush on my father's cheeks, I didn't want to know. Once the truck passed us, he got back on the road and continued driving down the highway. "Well," my father continued, "we should be home in about fifteen minutes. I love-"
"Dad!" My father dropped the phone and slammed on the brakes stopping sideways, the truck that was swerving had hit a large oak tree just off the side of the road.
"Edward, I want you to stay in the car." My father spoke quickly and picked up his phone from the floor. "Call 911 and tell them to hurry." Before he was able to get out the car, the headlights of another car appeared behind us. Their tires squealed and the next thing I knew, we were flipped over on the other side of the road. "Edward!" I barely heard my father's voice, I was fading in and out of consciousness. "Edward open your eyes, look at me." I slowly looked up and saw my father upside down on his head, pinned between the wheel and his seat.
"Dad," I muttered. "I can't feel my arm."
"You're going to be fine, son." He said as he strained against the wheel. "Look at me, Edward."
When I managed to look up again, I noticed a car coming too fast through the rear view mirror. "No!" I screamed. I saw my father's eyes close and he gripped my hand before our car was flipped again.
I woke two days later in a brightly lit room. I winced as my eyes focused on the sling that held my leg up in front of me. My arm was bandaged and my head was throbbing. I tried to look around but the brace on my neck kept me from turning my head. I saw my mother at the foot of the bed, she had her head by my feet and she was snoring softly. My sister Alice was sitting on the chair by the window wiping the tears from her eyes and my uncle was asleep on the bed next to me. "Where's Dad," I croaked.
Alice shot up from her chair and shoved my mother. "He's awake!"
My mother looked at me with tears in her eyes, she held a tissue to her nose and sobbed as she hugged my feet. "Oh, thank God! My baby."
"Where's Dad," I asked again. My Aunt Rosalie walked in wearing all black, she never wore black and I found myself gasping for breath. "WHERE THE FUCK IS MY DAD!" I screamed, ignoring the throbbing in my head.
"Easy, Edward," Emmett said as he placed his hand on my shoulder. I shrugged him off and attempted to sit up.
"Sweetie," my mother choked. "Your father, he didn't-" she continued to cry against my feet and Alice went to rub her back in comfort.
"He didn't make it," Emmett whispered hoarsely. Rosalie placed the coffee she was carrying on the chair and went to hug my uncle. Everyone was crying but me, I couldn't cry...
"What do you mean?" I snapped. "Dad!" I yelled, trying to look out into the busy hallway. Some nurses slowed and gave me a sympathetic smile, I rolled my eyes and continued to call out for my father.
Dr. Wilson, my father's friend, came in holding a file in his hand. "Well, thank God your awake." He smiled while he flipped my chart open.
"Where's my dad, Steve?"
"Eddie-" Alice whispered.
"Don't." I glared at my sister and looked back at Dr. Wilson. "Steve, please...tell me where my dad is."
"Edward," he sighed. "Your father died at the scene." My mother's hands wrapped gently around me and I could feel her tears against my cheek. I couldn't breathe...I needed space, I didn't believe them.
"That's not something we should discuss right now," he hesitated as he glanced over to my mother.
What they didn't tell me was that the second car hit my father's side and decapitated him. They thought I was too young to hear the truth but I'll be damned if they tried to hide it from me. According to the police report, they found me thrown from the car with shards of glass in my arm and leg. I was the only survivor from the four cars involved in the accident.
Present day- 24th of May, 2010- Monday.
"George Custer was on the losing end of a famous clash between Native Americans and the U.S. Army at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. At Little Bighorn, his troops faced combined bands of Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians led by the chief Sitting Bull. The battle ended with Custer's troops on a knoll encircled by the Indians, a moment which became known as Custer's Last Stand; Custer and his entire force of over 200 men were killed." Jasper smiled and messed with the collar of his ratty Johnny Cash shirt, shooting a few winks at the girls in the corner of the classroom. They rolled their eyes and he shrugged it off by blowing them a kiss. "Love the ladies," he muttered.
"Very good, Mr. Whitlock." Mr. Black applauded Jasper and motioned for him to take his seat. I sat in the back of class, drawing doodles inside my history book, with my black hoodie covering my face, shielding me from the class. I really need to sleep and it's been hard lately, especially last night.
I miss my dad.
Things haven't been the same since he's passed. My mother has managed well, she occupies her time with the students she teaches and taking pottery classes. Alice graduated two weeks after dad died and went to college at Washington State, I don't blame her...hell, I'm jumping ship as soon as I walk across that stage next year. At this point, I really don't give two shits about where I go...I just want to be gone.
"What do you think, Mr. Cullen?" The teacher raised his voice and a piece of chalk hit my notebook. I was surprised that I didn't hear his squeaky wheelchair making it's way but then again, I wasn't focused on anything but the car I was doodling. I looked over at Jasper and he shook his head, motioning to the front of the room.
"I'm sorry," I cleared my throat and yanked the hoodie off. "Can you repeat the question?"
Mr. Black looked down to his lap and wheeled himself towards my desk. "Class, I understand that you only have a week left until school is out, but please understand that I still have the power to fail you." I slouched back into my seat and let out a loud sigh. Mr. Black stopped talking and raised his eyebrows while Jasper buried his head in his hands. "Am I boring you, Mr. Cullen?"
I opened my eyes again and sat up straight in my chair, I knew what I was doing...I just didn't give a shit anymore. "Say what?" I yawned, earning scattered snorts and giggles throughout the classroom.
"I asked if I was boring you," he snapped.
"Nah, I just didn't sleep much."
"Stop, Edward." Jasper whispered, trying to kick my chair.
"You disappoint me, Mr. Cullen."
"Join the club," I muttered.
"You were a straight A student," Mr. Black rolled towards me and shook his head, a look I know all too well. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't fail you right now."
I shrugged, watching the clock nervously. Uncle Emmett was supposed to be back in town today and I really wanted to see him- I needed to see him, especially today.
"You have so much potential, Edward," He continued, staring at me square in the eyes. "What would your father think? How do you think he'd feel seeing his son waste away all that potential."
That was it.
I bit my chapped lips until I could taste the blood. Before everything turned red, I saw was Jasper shake his head nervously and the next thing I knew I was on top of Mr. Black punching him until Jasper caught my hands and pulled me away. I almost laughed at the sight of this poor man shielding his face from me. "There's your reason to fail me," I spat. "Don't you ever talk about my father!" I screamed as Jasper pushed me out into the hallway.
I pushed him off me and started walking down the empty hall of that stupid high school. I could hear the sirens of the dumb ass rent-a-cops the school district hired, and Jasper's voice yelling at me to stop. Mr. Banner came out from his office and tried to stop me but I was quicker, I ran out the back door into the woods until I reached the main highway. My cell phone was dead and I decided to huff it all the way back to my house. I hoped that no one was home. I walked for five minutes when sirens blared right behind me. My Aunt Rosalie got out of the car and shook her head, there was that fucking look again...if I had a penny for every time someone shot me that look, I'd be rich.
"Get over here, Edward." She snapped, pulling me towards her and slamming me down against the hood of her car.
"Hey Rosie, police brutality."
"Not funny, kid."
"I was just going to the station to turn myself in."
"Cute, but the station is back that way." She pointed behind her and opened the backseat of her cruiser. "Can you imagine how embarrassing it is for me to be hauling my nephew in?"
"Then let me go."
"Fat chance, stupid ass," she snorted. "Assaulting a teacher is not something that earns you a slap on the wrist...you're in big trouble, kid."
"What's new," I shrugged.
"Yeah, act all big shit now, but what's Emmett going to say when he comes into town? You ruined all his weekend plans." She shook her head again.
"There's another penny," I muttered under my breath.
"What did you say?" Rose asked, looking back at me in confusion.
I slouched in my seat and closed my eyes as the sound of the rain hit the roof of her cruiser. It sounded just like that old boat house roof. The only thing I ever really wanted to remember about that day was our time in the boat house. It was funny because I really didn't want to be there, and the things I frowned about that day were suddenly memories I was holding on like hell to...
I opened my eyes and found Rose still looking at me. She was on her cell phone, and I was sure Emmett was on the other end. "What did you say?" she asked again, closing her phone.
"Nothing, Rosie. Just take me to jail."