I know, I know it has been a very long time since I have updated. It really couldn't be helped though. After lots of family drama and three family deaths the drive to write was non-existent. I hope to be able to get back to writing more consistently but no promises as I have two other WIP stories, and I am helping the lovely Bella Katelyn with some stories. Helping her has helped bring back the drive to write so thank you very much my friend.
Esme's hometown area in Ohio was currently very populated and nothing like when she was alive. There were a few farms around that were reminiscent of her time there as a girl and as we drove by them, Esme explained what she remembered about her time growing up here. She took us to the cliffs that she jumped off of when her baby died. No one said anything. We all just stood there overlooking that cliff holding our mates, letting our minds wonder. It was a hard thing to contemplate, losing a child, and even though I have read Esme's mind many times over the years it was still something that was hard to grasp.
Bella pulled lightly on my hand and motioned for me to follow her. She wanted to give Esme her privacy. We stepped away and were soon followed by others, although we all gave each other privacy. Seeing what Esme was going through was something I wouldn't wish on anyone.
Despite our reason for being here the area was rather beautiful. Bella and I sat up against a tree just being. It was a few hours before Esme finally decided she was ready to leave. She seemed to get some closure just by being here. I was happy for her. We all were.
We stayed the night at a small bed and breakfast and left for Chicago early the next morning. Bella was very excited for this part of the trip. She was excited to see the house I grew up in. I on the other hand was still apprehensive about it. I haven't been there since before I was changed. I could never bring myself to part with it but I hadn't been ready to step back inside the home either. There were too many emotions there that I wasn't ready to deal with. Now, with Bella by my side I was finally ready to do so.
I had pulled Carlisle aside last night as Bella slept and told him my desire to go to the house with Bella alone at first. I wasn't an overly emotional person and I certainly never showed that side of myself to my family; but Carlisle knew me too well for there to be any pretense between us. There were still things he didn't know about me and I am certain there were things I didn't know about him. I wanted to share my past with Bella first. She would be the only one to know everything about me.
Carlisle told me he would have the family go with him to check on his house that he still had here. He maintained it as a safe house for us over the years. Only the staff responsible for the maintenance has been inside. The house is deep in the woods and well protected from the casual observer.
My parent's house, I guess my house now, was in the city in the now historical section. The houses that remained original were historically protected, as mine had come to be over the years. I like Carlisle had a caretaker for the home. I had called him and told him I would be coming by the house today and that I would call him when we left so that it could be maintained again. He told me if I needed anything while I was visiting to call him. I thanked him and began to prepare myself for stepping into the house that I shared with Edward and Elizabeth Mason, for the first time in almost 90 years.
The family had decided to stay at the houses Carlisle owned while here instead of in a hotel. The family understood my desire to share my human life with Bella alone first. I shouldn't have been surprised at their level of understanding but I was. Jasper really summed it up for everyone perfectly.
We all get it Edward. You out of everyone in the family are the most reserved. We all need to do this in our own way. We respect your wishes as we know you would ours.
I nodded to him in thanks and climbed into the car I rented for Bella and I, so we could drive out to the house by ourselves. Bella had insisted on driving there using the GPS to guide her. I was reluctant at first but I couldn't argue with her reasoning.
"Mo maite, I can see how stressful this is for you. I want you to relax. Let me drive while you just sit and think. If it's one thing I can provide for you without fail, it's a quite place to rest your mind. Please, let me do this for you?"
I was so touched by her words that I couldn't think of anything to say in response, so I just kissed her letting her feel my gratitude. I don't know what I would do with her, nor do I know what I did to deserve her, but I will be forever grateful.
The ride to my childhood home was short, or at least it seemed that way to me. I didn't know we were here until, Bella called my name and apparently not for the first time.
"There you are. Are you ready?" she smiled softly at me.
"As ready as I can be." I leaned over and kissed her before climbing out of the car.
The house was exactly as I remembered it. My father had always made sure the house looked its best and I had continued that when I took over the house. The windows were open slightly to let out the stale air and we could see the curtains moving slightly in the breeze. As we walked onto the porch Bella's smile increased. She loved the idea of being able to sit on the porch and read. I had seen her do it many times back in Forks when the weather permitted.
I walked up to the electronic lock, something I had to fight to install as it wasn't historically accurate. They thankfully let me, seeing as it wasn't occupied and it was deemed a safety measure. Only the caretaker knew the code aside from me. I would tell Bella after I showed her the house. Not even my family knew the code.
Stepping into the house was like stepping back in time. The memories were foggy at best but I could remember some things:
~playing the piano for my mother while she cooked dinner
~doing my school work at the dining room table
~telling my mother I wanted to join the army
As I lead Bella through the house, I let her explore each room on her own. She asked some questions and I answered what I could. When I showed Bella my parents room, I stayed in the door way. I was never allowed in my parents' room as a boy and it felt… disrespectful of me to go in there now. It was still something I did with Carlisle and Esme. Noticing my hesitation Bella asked me what was wrong. When I explained, she asked me if I wanted her to leave the room as well.
"No love. I want you to learn all about them. I just… It doesn't feel right to go in there." She nodded and finished exploring. There were family pictures placed around the room and she seemed mesmerized by them. She asked if there were more pictures. I recalled a box my mother used to keep snap shots in and I told her to check the closet. After a few minutes of searching all the while being delicate with my parents' belongings, she found the box.
"Can we take this with us Edward?"
"Of course love." She smiled hugging the box to her chest and walked out the door closing it softly behind her.
My room was next. Bella was very excited to explore 'Edward: the younger years'. I just shook my head slightly. The room was just as I had left it. My bed was up against the wall to right, ending just before the window. My desk was up against the left wall looking like it was just waiting for someone to come and utilize it. There was an old baseball mitt on the dresser that sat near the door and a bat in the corner near my bed. As Bella looked at the few pictures around the room, I looked around the room myself, seeing flashes of my human life. I suddenly remembered about the hidden space in the wall at the end of my bed. I gently pulled Bella to the panel that concealed the space and pushed against the wall. Dust from years of disuse came billowing out of the room. After all the dust settled I found the box of things I held sacred in my human years. I pulled it out of the closet and handed it to Bella. She excitedly ran over to my desk and sat down opening the box slowly. Just as I was about to sit down on the bed she called out to me.
"Edward, what is this?"
I walked over to her and peered over her shoulder to what she was looking at. I assumed it was compositions I had written when I was boy but I couldn't have been more wrong.
Written in her perfect script was my name. It was a letter from my mother.