Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyers owns Twilight, you know that. I just like the characters! ENJOY!
Mom hugged me tighter to her. She thought I was still sleeping, I wasn't but I let her think that. Her cast was hitting my leg, but she needed comfort and if hugging me was going to give her that comfort I would let her cling to me.
She was all I had left and I was the only proof she had that Charlie did exist. Last week when I got home from school, I made dinner because I knew Mom was teaching a yoga class and dad was pulling a double at the garage. A knock at the door was all it took for my life to change, our lives to change.
Renee's car broke down and dad I guess came to pick her up. Her car was on the side of the road just off a bend, a big rig came around it too fast as dad was hooking the car up to his truck… it was too much for a sixteen year old to hear. I remembered him telling me what happened, but I didn't want to think about how my father was killed. How my mother was now in the hospital with a broken leg.
I did the only thing I knew to do. I called Gram. She lived in Washington, which was super far, but I needed her, Mom needed her. She caught the redeye to Jacksonville International meeting me at the hospital.
When Mom woke up she was silent it was kind of scary. Since I could remember, she was the happiest most loving person I knew. She was the best, but now she was a shell.
A lot hadn't been planned in Mom's life, me being one of those life surprises. She wasn't expecting to be a widow at thirty-four either, but now that was the cold hard truth.
Mom met Charlie her freshman year at Florida State. He worked in Harry's Garage and one night after work he went to Clearwater's Tavern to meet up with the guys. That same night Renee and her roommate used fake id's to get into that same bar. Their night ended with a one night stand and Isabella Marie Swan nine months later.
Gram wanted Mom to move back to Forks, but she refused to leave my Dad. So Renee stayed in Florida with Charlie. It was all I ever knew, not once did I leave this state. We didn't have the luxury of vacations. Mom worked at a bistro and Dad stayed at Harry's. When I turned ten, Mom became a certified yoga instructor leaving her waitressing job behind.
We rented basically a shack on the beach, but it was home. I was loved… I always felt loved. I knew Daddy loved my Mom more than anything and we were his world. He made sure we knew this everyday. Now he wasn't here, but I would like to think he was still with us whether it be physically here or not.
"What am I going to do Charlie?" Mom whispered kissing my head.
She had been doing this ever since Gram made us pack up and leave Jacksonville. She would talk to Dad when she thought I was sleeping. I didn't know what she would do when my room would be done.
"I love you so much, baby girl," she murmured in my hair.
I felt tears slide down my cheek knowing they were my own. I missed dad so much. I missed watching ESPN with him while he would grumble at Sports Center. I would miss our fishing trips on Harry's boat. A man of few words, but he was the best dad a girl could have.
I started to shift a little so Mom would know I was waking up. She ran her fingers through my hair.
"Hmm, morning," I said trying to act sleepy.
"Good morning, baby," she hugged me a little tighter.
"What time is it?" I asked.
"It's a little after nine. I think Gram is letting us sleep in."
"Nine isn't sleeping in," I mumbled.
"For Gram it is," she giggled, but it was forced and didn't sound like her. "We need to go school shopping today."
"It's also October and with the clothes you have, you'll freeze, B," she reasoned.
I turned over to look at her. She looked worn out, a couple bruises here and there, but she was still beautiful. Her light brown hair rested on her shoulders, I grabbed a piece to play with. She gave me a weak smile cupping my cheek.
Another thing I knew it was hard for her to look at me. I was the spitting image of Charlie. Same wavy dark brown hair and dull brown eyes, my nose was splattered with freckles just like his was. Looking in a mirror, I could see I was plain, but there was nothing wrong with that.
"Wouldn't want a Bellacicle," I said dryly as I rolled my eyes.
"No I like you thawed," she said kissing my head before getting out of the bed.
I lay in bed hearing the water from the tub turn on in our joined bathroom. I let my thoughts drift to the small dreary town of Forks. When I was younger, I could remember Mom saying how boring it was. We used to sit on the beach, she would tell me she always wanted me to be able to walk out our back door and have the ocean as my back yard. I never knew why she would say that until Gram drove into town with us the first time.
Small little stores littered Main Street. I felt like Barney Fife would run out in front of the car any minute. When Gram drove past the high school, I thought she was joking when she said that was where I would be starting Monday. To be honest it was the size of my elementary school.
A light wrap on the door broke me from my thoughts. Gram's head popped in and when she saw I was awake, she came in the room sitting next to me.
"You two are waking up late, sweets," she smiled brushing my hair back.
"Gram, this is hardly late," I sighed sitting up.
She looked at me for a second before pulling me into a hug. This was just as hard on her as it was on us. Gramps died a couple years back, leaving her alone. When I was a kid, they would come and visit, but living with Gram would be completely different. Mom and Gram would bicker back and forth. Since we had been here they'd both been good, but it was only a matter of time until they didn't agree on something.
"You should meet the some of the kids on this street," she suggested, pulling away from me.
"I'm more of a keep to myself kind of person," I insisted like I had been doing all week.
"Just keep in mind they're a couple kids near that are in your grade. I know that Stanley girl is eager to meet you," she smiled.
"If she's anything like her mother, I recommend staying away, B," Mom said coming into the room digging for some clothes.
"Val isn't that bad," Gram insisted.
"She's older than me and still told everyone gossip from the high school. She didn't even go there," Mom said raising an eyebrow.
She grabbed what she needed and hobbled back to the bathroom.
"I know this is hard on the both of you and I hope with time you'll come to not mind being here so much."
"Gram, it's fine," I assured.
Nothing was fine though. I walked downstairs with Gram and got a bowl of cereal. She was busy throwing the laundry in the washer so I went out and sat on the swing on the back porch. It was still sort of warm out, well warm for the end of September's standards, so eating out here seemed okay.
Looking around it kind of looked like a normal neighborhood the only thing making it different were the fields in a couple people's yards. We had some farmers.
"Welcome to the sticks," I mumbled around a spoonful of cereal.
I heard a screen door slam coming from the house next door. A very tall boy came stumbling out. His hair was kind of red and all over the place, he also had freckles like me. He let out sigh before sitting on his back porch steps.
He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket. The blue flannel shirt he was wearing looked good on him.
I took another mouthful of cereal when I looked back in his direction the guy was staring at me. He cocked his head at me looking curious.
"Hi," I said waving at him.
Real smooth Bella.
His curiosity faded and turned to a look bordering on annoyance and hatred. He stubbed his cigarette out on the stairs before storming back into the house.
"Nice to meet you too," I said to no one.
This is why I kept to myself people always looked at me as if I were a freak show.
"Hey B, ready to head out to Port Angeles?" Mom asked sitting next to me.
She was wearing a pair of dad's sweat pants and a t-shirt, just like me. We were grieving… this is how we grieved. Once we were in the car, I looked out the window see the boy from earlier peeking around the curtain.
"Gram, who's the boy that lives next door?"
"Esme's house?" she asked more to herself.
"He had red hair," I offered.
"Esme Platt still lives here?" Mom asked throwing my questioning off track.
"She does, she's a nurse at county."
"She has a son Bella's age? She was a lot younger than me," Mom's eyes widened.
"No, no, no. Edward is Liz's boy."
"I'm confused Mom," Renee sighed. "Lizzie disappeared right before I left for school. She was too into the rock," she snorted to make her point.
"And you said Val Stanley was a gossip," Gram said raising an eyebrow.
"I'm not gossiping you were practically offering up information," she grumbled resting her head against the headrest as Gram drove.
"Must you act like such a child Renee Lynn?"
I watched Mom pout and with that, she fell into her sadness again. She missed Dad and the more we were with Gram the more she realized he was really gone. It upset me too, but I needed to stay strong for her.
Once we arrived at Port Angeles, our day went by relatively quiet and fast. Mom let me pick out whatever fall appropriate clothes I liked. I stuck with a lot of baggy clothing. Men's cardigans and band t-shirts with jeans that were two sizes too big for my slender frame. I would be making Cobain's Washington grunge scene live on.
"Bella, what about a few dresses with some tights?" Gram suggested clearly not liking what I had chosen.
"Mom, she's fine. Bella is perfectly capable of picking out her own clothes," Renee said squeezing my shoulders.
"I like what I got," I shrugged not seeing the big deal.
We managed to get in an early dinner before heading back to Forks. Everything was so green and wet here in Washington making me aware that I might have allergies. Since getting into the car, I'd sneezed and wiped at my eyes more than I could count.
"We should take her to the doctor after school tomorrow," Gram mused.
I shook my head getting out of the back seat. I saw a woman sitting on the neighbor's front porch. Her caramel colored hair was pulled into a messy ponytail on top of her head. She had SpongeBob scrubs on that made me giggle; well it was more that she was smoking while wearing them.
"Everything okay Esme?" Gram asked.
"Oh… Hi Marie," she said looking up. "Yeah, just a long day."
"We all have those," she smiled.
"Renee?" Esme asked stubbing out her cigarette.
"Hey Esme," Mom said hobbling forward in her walking cast.
"It's been too long," she said hugging Mom. "And who's this?"
"This is my Isabella," Renee grinned proudly, it was the most genuine smile she had given all day.
"Hi," I said shyly feeling all attention on me.
"Hi, you are a cutie," she beamed.
I could feel my face flame. She was staring at me and then it was like she had an 'ah ha' moment.
"Were you eating breakfast out here this morning?" she asked with a slight smirk.
"Good to know," she nodded.
What was that about?
Mom sat on Esme's steps as they both went off into conversation. Gram ushered me in saying we should let Mom catch up. Of course, I obeyed and took all of my bags to our room. It was getting late so I decided to change into my pajamas.
I whipped my t-shirt over my head and sighed at my twelve-year-old boy chest in the mirror. After seeing Sixteen Candles fifty trillion times with Renee, I developed a Molly Ringwald complex. She thought her boobs would just appear when she turned sixteen and I too held on to that same hope. Now that I'm into two weeks of being sixteen, I do not see the change.
A sudden creepy feeling hit me as if I was being watched. I turned slightly and saw that my feeling was right. That Edward kid was standing in his window biting his lip fucking watching me. I lunged to grab my shirt to cover me before flipping him off and closed my curtains.
"Perv," I mumbled.
Great now neighbor boy can tell everyone at school I don't have any goods, not like it mattered. I groaned pulling my shirt over my head. I read for a bit before I actually went to bed. I could hear Mom and Gram downstairs talking so I knew she came in. I must have fallen asleep because next thing I knew was Gram waking me up for school.
I stumbled down to the kitchen poured me some cereal and went out to the swing. I noticed a piece of paper lying on my swing. I picked it up reading 'Sorry'. My head shot up looking right at Esme's house. No one seemed to be around. Well I guessed this was his way of an apology.
After breakfast, I just sort of went through the motions up until Gram dropped me off at school. I got out of the car taking in my surroundings. The kids looked like the ones from my old school except they were wearing more clothes. I sighed tugging on my sweater sleeves.
I guess I wasn't really paying attention because apparently a fight was going on. My nose was met by someone's fist and that someone's fist was Edward's.
A/N: And now you have Louder than Words… Here's the deal I am wrapping up Unconventional so usually when I end a story I move on to my next idea. My dilemma was that I had two ideas and they kind of wrote themselves out. So this is where I need your help. I'm going to post a chapter from each new story and will go by your responses. The one that has the best reader response will be the next updated story. As always my amazing beta is Dolphin62598!