As Isabella Swan stood on the doorstep of her fathers house she had to wonder what had been wrong with her. Why did she leave this place to begin with, why did she get married and think it was okay to leave behind the people who loved and cared for her despite all her idiotic flaws? She raised her hand to knock and hoped that Charlie wouldn't be too mad at her, he had every right to be but she hoped he could at least listen for a moment before tossing her back out on her ass, she needed to apologize to him and her mother, what kind of daughter did this to her parents?
"Bells?" Charlie was standing in front of her looking more tired and stressed than she had ever seen him look. God she really was a terrible person. In four years she only picked up the phone once a month to call him, to let him know she was okay. In four years this was the first time she stood in front of him. He took a cautious step toward her, she noticed his hands were shaking slightly and he was looking at her like she would bite him or something….shit.
"Hi dad." Whatever he was afraid of finding was forgotten the moment she spoke. Charlie pulled his daughter in a too tight embrace but she didn't protest, she held back her own tears, this was her doing and she couldn't have him feeling sorry for her when he was clearly dealing with his own problem which at the moment was obviously her.
"Come inside. Sue's gone to get groceries-" It took him a few minutes to calm down, she followed him inside and noticed how neat and tidy everything was. There were pictures on the wall from her wedding, none of them were of her and Edward. Then there were pictures of Sue's kids and she noticed there was a picture of the pack, everyone looked the same as when she left.
Charlie sat down and patted the space next to him on the couch, which also looked to be new.
"What happened Bells?" The worry on his face and his voice was so hard to see and hear.
"Things just didn't turn out the way I expected them to. Edward is still a good guy…" Charlie scoffed and shook his head. This only made Bella more curious, it was like he knew something. "-we just wanted different things." It was that simple, Edward wanted her to live and she wanted to be changed, eventually his persistence paid off, she stopped wanting to spend the rest of eternity with him. A pretend marriage only seemed to make things more difficult between them and she was tired of it, apparently so was he. Charlie let out a breath before turning to look at her.
"I know about the Cullen's." Her body felt completely stiff, she was numb and she wasn't really sure what to say, how could he possibly know about the Cullen's?
"What do you mean?" It took exactly ten seconds for his face to turn bright red and to jump off his seat. He paced the room and Bella didn't move an inch. The clock was ticking so loudly she was sure it was going to give her a migraine, the only other sounds she could hear were Charlile's feet burning a whole through the floor and his breathing.
"Bella I'm married to Sue. I know all about the legends, I know about the treaty, I KNOW WHAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME!" At this point the tears she had been trying to hold back started pouring from her eyes, he had known that she wanted Edward to change her and those short phone calls were probably torture for him every month, waiting to find out if she had become one of the undead yet.
"I'm sorry dad. I shouldn't have- I know it was selfish-" Charlie cut her off before she could finish.
"You know it was selfish yet you wanted to do it anyway…What in the hell is wrong with you? Were the people who loved you, your mother and I, not enough for you? " He stopped pacing to look at her. Bella looked down at the floor, she at least had the decency to feel ashamed, as she should be.
"Do you realize what I went through while you were off with your husband? Do you realize how fucking scared I was that I would never see you again? Or how hard it was to try to console your mother when she called here because she couldn't get a hold of you? You are our only daughter, did you think we would just stop caring about you?"
Charlie stood in place one hand was clenched tightly at his side the other was gripping his hair so tightly she was sure he'd pull it out. Bella was sobbing now, she couldn't even pretend to hold back if she wanted to. This was the first time her father had ever raised his voice with her, been mad at her. Of course he had every right to be, she was so stupid.
"I'm glad you're alive and still you. But if you ever try to pull that shit again I'm not going to hesitate to take you down to the station and throw you in a cell until you come to your senses, do you understand?" Bella nodded her head like the child she was, it had taken her a few moments to absorb everything he had said. Charlie knew about the shape shifters and vampires, he knew she wanted and god she was such an idiot.
"I'm sorry dad. I'm so, so sorry." He sat back down on the couch beside her and pulled her into a hug.
"I love you Bells and I do not want to lose you. Yea you're an adult but that doesn't give you the right to go and kill yourself, you cant just take yourself away from everyone… from me." Bella nodded her head and let her dad comfort her, it was ridiculous of her to think something this huge would not affect him, or her mother, or anyone.
There were a few moments of silence between them, she wanted to tell him she loved him and wouldn't do this ever again but she couldn't seem to get the words out, he was a different person and she still had a lot of things to work on when it came to herself. So many issues she would need to deal with, she would tell him when she could but it didn't mean she didn't love him because she did, of course she did.
"Can I use the phone to call mom?" He nodded and handed her the cordless phone, she dialled the number and was reduced to sobs once more. Of course she was selfish and childish when she thought she could leave her parents and think that they wouldn't be worried or upset. Rene had cried and told her how much she missed her, turns out she and Phil were divorcing now, Rene was planning to move to California. When she hung up she noticed that her father was still watching her, probably worried she'd disappear…again, she gave him a weak smile hoping to reassure him, she would do her best not to disappoint him or nearly kill him from stress again.
Seth walked in carrying a bunch of bags, the shock on his face when he looked at her would have been funny if she knew he, like everyone else, was worried about her being alive. He looked at her and sniffed the air, she guessed he was double checking to make sure she wasn't a vampire, before picking her up and hugging her.
"You're still human!" Charlie let out a chuckle which made the situation even stranger, it made her wonder how he had dealt with all this information, he seemed pretty calm about it now but how long had he been working himself up over the idea of his daughter being turned into something that isn't supposed to exist…
"Yep, yes…I am. Could you put me down though Seth." He grinned as he tossed her, yes tossed her onto the couch and ran out to grab his mom. Sue came in did a once over, like Seth and Charlie had done before glaring at her. It was an awkward couple of minutes before she pulled her off the couch to hug her. .
"I'm glad you're back but I will not let you hurt your father like that again, do you understand me?" Was she threatening her? It seemed like a threat but when she turned a round to see Seth rolling his eyes and Charlie smiling she wasn't really sure. Bella nodded her head, there was no way she'd say no to that, Sue was a mother of two shape shifters, one of them being Leah, of course that meant she was a no-bullshit mom, one she did not want to mess with.
"So are you going to be staying here then?" Seth asked her while Sue headed for the kitchen with Charlie right behind her. Did she want to live with her father and his wife? Not really, she had enough money saved up to rent a place if she had to and she hadn't checked yet but she was sure there was probably a ridiculous amount of money in her account from Edward, it was probably enough to buy her a house(or five) she shrugged her shoulders.
"If its okay with them I'd like to stay until I can find a place of my own." Seth nodded his head.
"I'm sure they'd be happy to have you around, your dad really missed you." Seth must have sensed the immense guilt she felt at his words, of course she knew it and she needed to hear it but it didn't make it sting any less.
"So what have you been up to? How was school. Mom said you were going to some University in Toronto when Charlie talked to you last. Did you finish?" Bella chuckled, Seth had grown up some in the last few years but he still seemed to be full of the same innocence that she remembered of him.
"I did finish, I skipped out on the graduation part but its done and I can officially teach grades kindergarten to sixth".
"Wow, I never imagined you as a teacher. I mean sure I'd seen Jakes fantasies about it at one time but as an actual teacher-." Bella's face went as red as a tomato, maybe Seth wasn't as innocent as she remembered, he was what, nineteen, twenty now? Of course he grew up, everyone did. He did have a point though, when she was forced to go to school she didn't give much thought to what she really wanted to do. Being a teacher was the very last on the list of things she wanted to be, especially when she had planned on becoming a vampire. That's probably why Edward had been so adamant about the idea, he knew it would work in his favour, probably change her mind, which it eventually did.
"So are you going to apply for a job at the school here in Forks?" Bella shrugged her shoulders again. Just because she could walk in and apply for a job, it didn't mean she was ready for it quite yet, although she had been working on a curriculum for a kindergarten class before the moment-of-truth-talk she had with Edward. Before he handed her the envelop stuffed with divorce papers, she really did want to be a teacher.
"I don't know yet." Charlie and Sue had stepped back into the room at this point. Sue had the largest smile on her face and Bella wasn't sure if she wanted to know what had put it there, Charlie had mussed up hair so, no she really didn't want to know.
"You should apply one of the teachers mrs Ramsay is retiring this year." Charlie looked at her before continuing. "She taught the grade three class." Bella looked at her dad like he was crazy, grade three? Well that was sort of terrifying to her. Sure being married to a vampire for almost five years didn't scare her but a class of eight and nine year olds, was scary.
"Yea I'll think about it." They let the subject drop and the rest of the day had gone by smoothly enough. There weren't any surprise visitors and she managed to get comfortable in her old room for the night.
The sound of her phone buzzing woke her up, she looked at the time and it was 6 in the morning. Grumbling to herself she picked it up.
"Hello?" Her voice was thick and she wanted nothing more than to throw the phone across the room.
"Bella, I just wanted to let you know that I've sent your application to the elementary school there. I hope you don't mind. They will probably be calling you sometime today to set up an interview. I also packed you an outfit for that too." Alice's voice had completely woken her up now. She sat up and looked around her old room before growling into the phone.
"You couldn't have waited like two more hours to call me?" Alice giggled in her ear and she sighed.
"Sorry I'm just waking up but thank you for doing that. I wasn't sure if I wanted to apply, I was, I am still thinking about it…how did you know?"
"I always know…even when I don't." That was cryptic. Bella thanked her again before hanging up. Now that she was awake she didn't really want to go back to sleep. It was raining out but Bella pulled out her things and got ready to go for a run. Seth was downstairs on the couch watching TV when she came down.
"What are you doing up so early?" He asked as he sat up to look at her, she must have looked strange to him, maybe it was the runners or something.
"I'm going for a run. Wanna come?" Seth tilted his head, he was probably wondering if she was serious, which she was. He nodded his head before getting up.
Seth kept pace with Bella and she wondered if it bothered him any to have to run so slow but he didn't seem to mind, he talked about school and girls and the pack, he talked about a lot of things before they made it back to the house.
"You know you're pretty fast for a human. When did you start running?" Bella laughed and had to think about it, after her and Edward moved to Toronto was when she started, she needed to be able to breathe without him always in her space so she went for runs.
"I guess about four years ago. It sort of makes me feel…alive." Seth looked at her funny before nodding his head. It was a weird thing for her to say and she realized it a moment later. It was strange for her to think about being alive, living and breathing. Why did she use those words? If she thought back to a couple of years ago, she'd probably remember the fear she felt when she thought about being changed, each year that went by made her more afraid to die…
Sue was still asleep when they came back, Bella decided take a shower and then to make her step mom breakfast, she was sure that Charlie hadn't learned to cook yet and Sue probably rarely got the chance to relax in the morning. Seth helped her, or kept her company, they were both laughing in the kitchen when Sue finally got up, she looked at the mountain of food and then at the two of them.
"You didn't have to make breakfast Bella, Seth has a big mouth to feed, it can be almost exhausting some mornings." Bella laughed at her teasing and he glared.
"Ha. Ha. Mother. Bella wasn't making breakfast for me, we were making breakfast for you." Seth was smiling his big huge smile at his mom, Sue laughed and thanked them both for cooking for her, she insisted that she at least get the dishes and Seth did not put up much of a fight. Bella helped her by drying and thought it was a good time to ask questions.
"How's Leah doing?" Sue smiled before handing her a plate to dry.
"She's good…engaged now." Bella smiled back, that was wonderful news. Leah had never liked Bella and she understood why, she was a contributing factor to all the things that went wrong in her life, of course she didn't like her. Plus Bella thought about herself and she knew that she was a selfish human being, she was surprised anyone had ever liked her at all, she wouldn't have liked someone like her.
"Wow, that's great. Does she still live around here?" Sue handed her a bowl before draining the sink.
"Yes, she lives in our old house on the Rez, she'll probably be coming this way when she has time this week." Bella nodded her head, she wanted to know who Leah was marrying but it probably wasn't her business. Sue sighed before looking at Bella.
"She's marrying Embry." Bella's eyes were probably bugging out of her head and she did her best to hide her surprise.
"Wow! That's great, I'm sure they'll both make each other very happy." Sue smiled, thinking about the happiness of her daughter Bella guessed. Leah deserved a happy ending more than anyone, well maybe as much as anyone else who wasn't her.
They were both quiet again and Bella wondered about Jacob, she had no right to think about him but she hoped he was happy. After all she put him through, he also deserved a happy ending. Bella was beginning to wonder if her step mom was a mind reader because she spoke before Bella could even work up the nerve to ask. It was probably obvious that she wanted to know by the way she'd been practically strangling the dishtowel.
"Jake imprinted." Her mouth fell open and she wasn't sure how she felt about that, of course she was happy for him imprinting would ensure he found his other half it would make sure that he found someone who deserved his love. It took some time to compose herself.
"That's great." Sue put a hand on her arm, a gesture to comfort her. Why was she breaking down anyway? Did she think Jacob would wait around forever for her? No, she didn't want him to either because she knew that she could never love him the way he had once loved her. Of course he deserved to be happy, she had already lost his friendship when she stopped calling him, all those years ago.
After they were finished cleaning Bella went to sit down, she needed time to think. Living back in Forks was going to take some getting used to again. A 22 year old divorcee, she was glad that she had learned a few things from being a selfish brat, she couldn't be mad at Edward for not wanting to kill her, that even sounded stupid when she thought about it. He wanted her to live because he couldn't and she pestered him until he was sick of her, pulled himself away and then made sure she was equally as sick of him as he was her. They became twisted so quickly that she couldn't remember the last time she had actually genuinely smiled at him, or the last time he made her breath hitch or her skin tingle.
After their one attempt of intimacy on their honeymoon Bella didn't even want to be touched by him or anyone again. It was obvious that he felt the same about her, she was angry with him treating her like she was so breakable but that's exactly what she was. The moment he entered her, she bled and cried and he ran, leaving her alone to clean up. It was a stupid idea and she apologized to him for pushing him into it and he apologized to her, it was all down hill from there.
Shuddering at the memory of his icy cold skin on her own Bella tried to think of something else, anything other than being a 22 year old woman who had been married to a statue for the past four years. What the hell was she thinking?
Bella did get a call from the school at ten that morning, she shouldn't have been surprised when they offered a job for September, Alice had probably forged some incredible reference letter or something, she accepted the offer and sent Alice a text to thank her. This was a time for change and she could only hope that everything would go smoothly from this point on…
A/N: I am going to be making this PAUL/BELLA and things are going to take a while to get there, so if don't like a little bit of drama before you get a happy-ish ending, its probably best to stop here.
Also Bella's relationship with the Cullens will fade out.
Thank you for reading