I sighed heavily, looking aimlessly round my bare, childhood room. There were so many things that I was leaving behind from my earlier years whilst living in Forks. 'But I was certainlytaking a lot with me,' I thought amazed, looking at the taped boxes in the hallway. I never really thought I was one to own a lot of junk!
I heard Charlie cursing under his breath, obviously failing with the stapler. I squeezed my way past my belongings and made my way down the stairs just in time to see Charlie making his final adjustments to the plaster he was placing on his finger.
"Well…" he sighed whilst meeting my amused gaze. "You can tell I haven't moved in a while."
I laughed whilst hugging his shoulders.
"Well I've just finished taping so I'm just going to head out for a while."
"Let me guess… the Cullen's'?" he said in a sarcastic tone. I smiled at him in agreement. "Well Bells, be back by 2, then we need to get going!"
Ever since I broke the news to them about my round-the-world move, they had started planning a lot of family bonding sessions before I left. Edward was definitely not taking it well, you could see the pain sinking deeper and deeper into his eyes each time he looked at me. As usual, he was blaming himself about that last time, my… 18th birthday…
I pulled up onto the driveway to see Alice bounding down the stairs to meet me.
"Bella, Bella, Bella!" she sang as I hopped out my old trusty wagon.
"Alice, Alice, Alice!" I tried my best to imitate her level of happiness, but it wasn't working today.
She wrapped tiny arms around my waist pulling me in for a bone-crushing hug.
"How you feeling?" she said releasing me.
I sighed, attempting to keep my thoughts controlled.
"I'm doing ok I suppose," not daring to meet her sympathetic stare. "You?"
"How do you think I'm feeling, Bella? I'm loosing my best friend today!"
I giggled nervously. "Aww Alice, you're not loosing me, I mean, this won't be the last time you'll see me…will it?"
It finally sunk in. I'm not coming back to Forks, well, not any time soon. Everyone I knew and loved were situated here. And I couldn't see Charlie bending his rules – and wallet – just for me to come back and visit Forks!
I decided to change the subject, quickly.
"Where's Edward?" I said scanning the empty house.
"They all went hunting early this morning, I stayed behind so I could spend time with you and to give you these…" She said whilst pulling back her wardrobe doors.
"Umm… Alice? You do know I'm only aloud 20kg for a flight. This would need it's own plane!"
"What?" she asked incredulously. "Well, what would you wear?"
I laughed at her shocked expression.
"Alice, I do have my own clothes! Maybe not Abercrombie or Gucci but I like it that way!"
"…definitely not Gucci…" I heard her mutter to herself.
The day was going to fast for my liking. Edward still wasn't back yet and the clock just tolled 12:45.
I threw myself on their elegant leather couch and sulked to myself for a few minutes, taking in the beautiful surroundings of my 'second home' until Alice re-appeared with a large black book in her 'fragile' looking arms.
"Ok," she sang whilst skipping to my side. "I was clearing out my winter wardrobe last night when I found a whole bunch of pictures from last year. I instantly thought of our situation and figured it would be a nice 'Bon Voyage' present for you, a reminder of all of us."
I felt tears emerge as I flipped over the front cover, laying me eyes on 7 beautiful faces, staring back at me with their breath-taking smiles.
"Alice…" I whispered.
She wound her arm around my shoulders and bringing the album into the middle to share.
"You like it?" she asked whilst wiping the tears from my red-raw eyes.
I was speechless as I glanced at the next one. Edward and I at the park with Jasper and Alice. His arms were around me and his eyes were gazing intently into mine.
"Yes, it's beautiful! But I have one concern…"
She wouldn't let me finish.
"What?" she breathed in horror. "Is it the binding? Because we can sort that Bella, I promise!"
I giggled at me sister as her hands ran frantically over the photo album.
"No, No!" I said in between laughs. "It's just, how am I meant to stop crying?"
"Oh Bells!" she sighed.
Just then the door slammed open to welcome Emmett's arrival.
"HELLO!" he roared as he scooped me up in a bone-crushing bear hug.
"Um...Hi?" I managed to squeak.
"Emmett, put her down! I don't think Charlie would be thrilled if we sent her back dented." Esme chided.
"But mom…" he whined but otherwise put me down.
"So dear," Esme said. "How long do we have until you leave?"
I saw a slight glimmer of hope in her eyes that maybe it would be slightly longer it really was.
"Actually, not long at all. Charlie said I've to be back by 2."
I didn't have to meet her stare to know that this wasn't the news she was looking for. Out of the corner of my eye, Edward appeared, leaning against the doorframe with a heartbreaking expression on his glorious face.
"Um…ok, how about we all go out the back and clear up. Emmett, I want that paddling pool removed now!"
One by one the all filed out into the backyard leaving Edward and I alone in the deafening silence. I turned to face him, but each time he would fix his gaze on another item close by.
"I'm sorry I was gone so long," he said after and endless amount of time. "But if I knew you'd be leaving so early, I wouldn't have gone in the first place."
"No. Please don't blame yourself. You had to go, your eyes had never been that dark before."
"But still, 15 minuets is not enough time to say goodbye to you." I looked deeper into his eyes, and if he could cry, he'd be through several boxes of Kleenex by now.
"Come…come to the airport with me!"
"Bella…" his voice was unsure.
"I mean you said yourself that 15 minuets is not enough time to give a real goodbye. But if you came with me, we would have now, we'd have the car journey there and time and the airport! Just…please!" I begged.
I stood there aimlessly, his stone cold arm came around me, locking me into a deep embrace.
"Of course I'll come."
"Right, Gate 6," Charlie sighed whilst his eyes were searching. "Is over there."
He looked down at tear-stained face, "You ready, Bells?" he smiled enthusiastically whilst wrapping his arms around my shoulders. All I could do was nod.
The goodbyes I called behind to my family were hard. Excruciatingly hard!
Now as I took my seat on the large aircraft, all I could think was Goodbye! Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Rosalie… Edward!