AN: Thank you to Jasperbells and Pastiche Lethe for beta-ing :) Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyer.
When I turned sixteen and had to find a job, there was only one place that I wanted to do that. It was lucky for me that they were hiring.
Now that I'm seventeen, I have to say that I've learnt to appreciate the value of money. When Phil left my Mom a year ago, he pretty much took everything with him. We moved in with my gran on my Mom's side. It wasn't until then that I really knew she existed. Maybe she didn't get along with Mom or something.
I think she was glad to have us there, but she was drunk most of the time. She started drinking after my grandfather passed away, I think. Mom told me that it helped her to sleep at night. It just made me uncomfortable, so I always tried not to be around her when she was drunk. When she wasn't drinking, she was lovely. It was my gran that taught me how to cook properly. Her specialty was her cookies. They had a secret ingredient. I probably shouldn't tell you what it is.
When she died six months after we moved in, she left the house to my Mom in her will. Of course, I was upset that she was no longer with us, but I was glad that we still had a permanent place to live. I kind of wish that I had more time with her and it would have been nice to also know my grandfather. Never mind, that's in the past now.
"Yeah?" I reply.
"There are some more books on the trolley by reception that need to be returned to their shelves," says Mrs Davis.
I follow her to the desk in the reception area.
I work at the library here in Phoenix. Like I said, it was the only place that I wanted to work. What can I say? I love books, even if I'm not actually allowed to read them during working hours. But at least I'm one of the first to know when the new ones come in; I'm usually first in line to read them.
I put in my earphones that are connected to my iPod. Not sure what I want to listen to, I put it on shuffle. Pushing the trolley to the other side of the building, I begin putting the books back in their right place. Once I'm finished with this part of the library, I look at my watch and see that I have an hour left of work. I'll be glad to leave here today. I have to finish a biology report that's due tomorrow. I was stupid enough to ask the teacher if I could work on it alone. It's not like anyone would have wanted to partner up with me anyway.
Hopefully Mom would have taken the initiative to make dinner tonight, as much as I don't really enjoy her cooking. She's one of those people that just throw anything into one pot. It can make for some interesting combinations, I guess.
By the time I finish replacing the books left on the trolley, I see I have twenty minutes left of my shift. I return the now empty trolley back to the desk at reception.
"You might as well go early, Bella. Thanks for coming in today," says Mrs Davis when she sees me.
"See you tomorrow," I reply politely, grabbing my bag from behind the desk.
I make my way into the sweltering Arizona evening. It's not too far back to my place. It's probably just as well because I can't quite afford to buy a car yet. Plus, I don't like walking by myself. At least I have my iPod for company.
As I make my way on to my street, I notice in the near distance that the lights are off in my house. I wonder where Mom is.
She probably forgot to tell me she is at one of her classes or something. What is it this week, yoga?
I search for my house key in my bag as I approach the front door. Opening it with the key, I am greeted by an eerie silence. There really is no one home.
I walk over to the kitchen to check for messages on the answering machine. There aren't any though. Strange.
I take the phone from its cradle and dial my mom's cell number. The sound of my mother's voice tells me to leave a message.
"You've reached my cell. I can't take your call right now, ha, obviously! So, just leave me a message!"
"Hey, Mom. I'm home and you're not… uh, call me when you can, or uh, come home, I guess."
I hang up.
Hearing my stomach rumble, I go over to the refrigerator after putting the phone back, and get out the ingredients to make a sandwich. There isn't a whole lot for me to work with. Maybe Mom has gone out food shopping instead.
I take my attempted sandwich into the living room with me and turn on the TV. Nothing is on, as usual. I find a news station and leave it on. I don't usually watch the news because I find it too depressing.
After eating half of my sandwich, I'm interrupted by a knock at the door. I guess Mom forgot her keys again.
"Coming!" I shout, so she will hear me. Mom doesn't like the dark much.
Opening the door, I'm faced with a police officer holding up his identification badge. I wonder if the neighbours were caught smoking weed again.
"Uh, hi…" I greet, trailing off.
"Miss Swan?" he asks.
How does he know my name? If he notices my confusion, he doesn't show it.
"That's me. What can I do for you?"
"Can I come in?"
Well this can't be good.
I open the door wider and let him pass me into the house. After closing the door, I lead him into the living room. We both take a seat as I switch off the TV.
I don't like this silence.
"I'm afraid I have some bad news," he begins.
"Earlier this evening, there was a traffic collision outside the Walmart in town."
He pauses. Why would he be telling me about an accident? And suddenly, it clicks…
"No," I whisper.
The officer clears his throat.
"I'm very sorry to tell you this, but a Ms Renee Dwyer was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately, she died in the ambulance before the paramedics got her there."
No… I feel my breathing begin to pick up as I release the breath I didn't know I was holding in.
This doesn't make any sense! She's gone? That's not possible. I don't believe it… I won't believe it.
"Miss Swan? I'm so sorry for your loss."
My stomach empties itself of the half-eaten sandwich. Tears instantly cloud my vision and begin to stream down my face.
This is too much. She can't have left me…
"Miss Swan, are you okay?" asks the officer, as he moves to my side. I immediately stand to get away from him. What a stupid question!
But I realise now why he asked. I'm breathing, but I can't catch my breath. I must be having a panic attack.
Before I can regulate my breathing and wipe the tears from my face, my world turns black.