"Order's up Bella!" yelled Ben as he slid the plate across the divider between the kitchen and front counter . "There's no need to shout I am right in front of you." I laughed as I grabbed the plates and took the hamburgers and fries out to one of my tables. I noticed a man sliding into a booth near the back of the diner.
"I'll be right with you," I told him. It's not like I had to raise my voice because Forks Diner wasn't exactly huge. After making sure that Tyler and Mike had everything they needed, I reached into my apron to get out my order pad and pen. " Would you like to hear our specials?" I asked him without looking back up. I know it's rude to do that, but I was tired after working a double shift. Jessica Stanley had called in sick again, even though I had just seen her at school earlier and she seemed perfectly healthy.
"Sure, that would be great." The sexiest voice I had ever heard said to me. I looked up and into a pair of green eyes that were startling in their intensity. I just stared at him. He was tall. Even though he was sitting down, I guessed he had to be somewhere around 6'2". He had the strangest color hair, it was somewhere between red and brown, but trying to pinpoint an exact color would be like trying to explain works of art to a blind man. You could describe it, but unless you can experience it for yourself no amount of words will ever do it justice.
I'm not sure how long I stood there gawking, but it was long enough for the man to clear his throat. "Um... the specials are?" Shaking my head, I gave him a small smile before repeating the specials of the day and offering him a menu. After he had made his decision I went to give it to the cook and get his drink.
"Are you new in town?" He asked when I was setting his soda in front of him. "I think I would have remembered you." I couldn't help the blush that stole over my cheeks, it kind of sounded like he was flirting with me. I had moved to Forks only a couple of months earlier to live with my dad. I still wasn't used to the constant rain and cold.
"Um... yeah. I've only lived here for a couple of months," I told him. "It's a long story."
"Bella... the name suits you. I'm Edward Cullen." He said looking at my name tag. I wondered if he's related to Dr. Cullen. I wasn't exactly the most coordinated person on the planet, so I had made a couple of trips to the E.R. to see the good looking doctor. "This might seem a bit forward, but when your shift ends would you like to take a walk with me? I promise not to take up too much of your time, I wouldn't be able to even if I wanted. I'm leaving in a couple of hours, it would just be nice to have some company while I said goodbye to the town."
Just then his order was ready, so I used the extra time to weigh my options. He had said he was leaving, I just couldn't decide if that was good thing or not. Making up my mind, I gave him his food and told him I was off in a half an hour. I knew I had spent too long just talking to him and needed to go and check on my other customers. After telling him to enjoy his food, I made my rounds.
I knew Mike Newton and Tyler Crowley from school, they were nice enough guys. Neither one of them could seem to take a hint though, each had asked me out several times. When I walked up to their table I heard Mike say, "I didn't know you knew Cullen, Bella."
"Well I don't, not really. We were just talking."
"I heard he was being shipped over to Afghanistan. He's a few years older than us, and joined the Army right after he graduated. He's been here for a couple of weeks before he goes."
No wonder he seemed so melancholy when he talked about saying goodbye to the town. I couldn't imagine leaving and not knowing if you were ever going to come home alive. I decided I would make the rest of his day happy rather than sad if I could. I noticed the time and went to the back to grab my stuff. Heading out towards the front I met up with Edward as he was paying his tab. "Do you know where you want to walk to?" I asked him.
"I just figured I would stroll around and kinda see where it leads me."
"Sounds good to me," I told him with a shrug of my shoulders. We set off down Main Street not really talking much. I was racking my brain for things to talk about when Edward suddenly turned to me.
"How old are you?" he asked.
"I just turned seventeen. Started my senior year a couple of weeks ago. How old are you?"
"Twenty-one." We continued walking down the street in silence after that. It lasted for a few minutes I'm sure, but it seemed like years to me. I wanted his last few hours in town to be happy, and here I was nervous and tongue tied.
I usually have a tendency to blurt out things that I shouldn't when I was nervous and today seemed to be no different. "Are you scared? I know I would be."
He gave a little half smile, I couldn't help but notice that it was slightly crooked. "I should have known that you heard where I was going. Sometimes I hate small towns for that very reason, but other times it's comforting to know that there are so many people who care about you. Yeah, I guess I am scared. I knew this was a possibility when I enlisted, but you always think it's going to be someone else."
I nodded in understanding. We walked silently again, but this time it didn't seem so sad. In fact, there was a certain comfort in the silence. We didn't need to fill the space with mindless chatter. I noticed Edward look at his watch every so often, finally after about an hour he sighed. "I need to get to the bus station, will you walk with me?"
While we were waiting for his bus to board I made a decision. "Edward, if I gave you my address, would you... I mean if you want to... you could write to me. I'll write back as soon as you have the address of the base where you'll be stationed. You don't have to, but maybe it would help to have another friend."
"I would love that."
I quickly wrote it down and handed it to him. He looked at it for a minute and carefully put it in his pocket. "I'll write to you as soon as I can." He said as he picked up his bags that he had left there earlier. He shuffled things around and then bent and brushed his lips over my cheek. When his lips grazed my skin I felt a tingle zip from my head to my toes. I looked up into his face, startled . I wondered if he felt it too.
He quickly turned around and got onto the waiting bus without saying another word. I stood there and watched until his bus was out of sight. I really hoped I saw him again. I turned back towards the diner to get my truck and head home.
School seemed to drag by that week. I kept thinking about Edward and if he would really write to me or not. I figured that I wouldn't hear from him for at least a few months. I knew he was going to be busy. I only had basic knowledge of what he would be doing, and all of that came from movies. I had no idea how accurate my imagination was.
On Friday I had a rare night off work so I figured I would go home and just chill on the couch. Maybe call my friends Alice and Rosalie to come hang out. I picked the mail up off of the floor when I opened the door and set it on the entry table, I would let my dad sort through it later.
Two scoops of ice cream and a chick flick later, the three of us were sitting on the couch talking, mostly about their boyfriends when my Dad came in from work. After hanging up his gun belt, he started looking at the mail. "Hey Bells, there's a letter here for you."
My heart skipped a beat, but I forced myself to calm down. Edward only left a few days ago, there was no way he had written to me already. It was probably just from my mom. She has been following her husband Phil around the country. Since he was a minor league baseball player he traveled a lot. I got up and took it from him with slightly shaking hands. "Thanks, I'll read it later." I hadn't told anyone about my time with Edward. It wasn't like it was a secret, but I just wasn't sure if he would actually write and I didn't want people looking at me like I was crazy.
That night after everyone had left and I was upstairs in bed I pulled the letter out and looked at the return address. It was mailed from California, and I was suddenly sure that it was from Edward. I figured I had put it off long enough and opened the letter and started to read.
I just left you sitting at the bus station. I know this seems a little silly, but I feel like I know you. I don't mean the little things like favorite color and food. I mean it is just so easy to talk to you and be myself with you. I didn't feel like I had to talk at all. Do you know what I mean? I'm not crazy am I?
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the company today. My parents wanted to come, but I told them not to. I figured it would just prolong the goodbyes. I'm not sure I could stand to see my mom cry again. I was trying to stay upbeat for them. I know they're scared for me, but I know they are proud too. I miss them already. We have always been close and I have never been away from them for so long. Two years is a long time.
I want to get to know the little things about you. So would you mind answering some questions for me? Nothing too hard, I promise. Just basic information for right now. You can ask me anything you want and I will answer.
1. What is your favorite color?
2. Favorite food?
3. Why did you move to Forks? Do you like it?
4. Where did you live before?
We are almost to our first pit stop, so I am going to wrap this up. I have enclosed the address of where I will be stationed. I hope you were serious about really wanting to write back and forth. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I read the letter five times, all the while trying to figure out what I was going to reply. The questions were the easy part, and I wanted to get to know him just as much. It felt nice knowing that we were both feeling the same thing as we walked around town.
I looked over at the clock and noticed it was close to midnight, but I wasn't tired, I was too keyed up to sleep. I got out my stationary that my mother had gotten me for my birthday and debated what I should write. It took me almost two hours until I was satisfied, but once it was done I felt lighter somehow.