Letting Down the Walls

Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or its characters. The great Stephenie Meyer does. I just love to borrow them for my own personal pleasure.

BPOV

It was Tennyson that said "it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". What a moron. Just look at me. Ugh. I have psoriasis on the majority of my body. For those who aren't familiar with the disease, psoriasis is an auto-immune condition that causes thick, scaly, reddened patches of skin. It's itchy, painful and downright embarrassing. I'm lucky right now it is controlled somewhat by my meds but that is no guarantee that it will stay in remission. I have been dealing with this crap since I was fourteen. So yeah, I've had no boyfriends, no pool parties, no prom and no cool, cute clothes in as many years. It really sucks to wear long sleeves and long pants year round but I hate the stares and the rude comments about the way I look so I do it, making the move to UDub welcome. At least it's cold and rainy so I'll blend with my attire. Not so much in Phoenix where it reaches triple digits in the summer. I WILL NOT miss the heat in my long-sleeves and long pants. I also want my Mom and Phil, her new husband, to have the newlywed home life. They've been married since the spring and haven't had much time alone with a twenty-one year old recluse living with them.

"Bella, sweetie? Are you ready to go? We don't want you to miss your flight and you know how crazy the interstate around Sky Harbor gets during rush hour," Renee frantically yelled down the hallway. "It's almost noon and your flight leaves at 2 pm."

"Yes, Mom, all I have to do is take my Enbrel injection and I'm all set to go to the airport. Give me just a few more minutes. Phil has everything loaded in the car. Okay?" Bella replied as she headed down the hall to the kitchen.

Renee left me alone after she told me she was heading out to the car to wait. I sat down at the kitchen table and lifted the bottom of my long sleeved tee shirt up over my abdomen and grabbed the alcohol prep pad I had set out along with a prefilled syringe of meds I take once a week. I swabbed an area on my stomach pinched the skin in between my fingers. I proceeded take a deep breath in and to give myself my injection. Afterward, I cleaned off the injection site. Luckily no bleeding this time. After I cleaned up the area and disposed of the syringe in the sharps container I took one last sweep through the house, grabbed my messenger bag with my iPod and iPad inside and headed out into the Arizona heat.

"Are you ready, baby girl?" Renee asked as I got into the back seat of the car.

"Ready as I'm going to be, Mom. Let's go," I said as I put my ear buds in to listen to some classic rock on the way to the airport.

"Ok, Bella. It's noon now and we should be at the airport by 12:30, plenty of time to get checked in and through security checks," Phil said as he backed out of the drive and drove out into the main street headed for Sky Harbor International Airport.

I was flying into Seattle and my dad, Charlie, was going to meet me there. He's the Chief of Police in a rainy, small town a few hours away from Seattle called Forks. Yes, like the cutlery. The population in Forks is smaller than the population of my high school in Phoenix. Not much action, but Charlie was born and raised there. He and Mom met when she moved there her senior year from Arizona. It was love at first sight, or so they thought. They dated all that year and he proposed to her at their senior prom. Obviously she said yes and they were married six weeks later at the young ages of eighteen.

I came along about a year later and things were good for a few years but Renee felt tied down and secluded in Forks. Charlie wouldn't leave Forks and since Mom wanted out, the marriage crumbled. I don't remember much about it all since I was only four when Renee scooped me up one day and moved us to Phoenix to start over.

I was a happy and bubbly child so I have been told. My relationship with Charlie was strained due to the distance we lived apart and he was not a man of many words over the telephone. I visited my dad for two weeks every summer until I became a teenager and the psoriasis started. That is when my world crashed and I closed myself off from my family and friends, and immersed myself in reading and my school work. I graduated top of my class in high school but I refused to be valedictorian because there was no way I could get in front of all those people and make a speech. I was way too self-conscious. I was still awarded a two year scholarship to the University of Arizona, which made my parents so very proud and they encouraged me to join a sorority or clubs so I would make friends but that wasn't happening. No way. So, I did like high school and focused on my studies, deciding to major in literature as I wanted to be a writer someday. Lucky for me, UDub has one of the best curriculums in the nation. I will be rooming in Pattinson Hall with two other girls. This makes me a nervous wreck but I don't have the extra money to live off campus.

"We're here, Bell," Phil announced as he pulled into day parking and turned off the car.

We all got out and I threw my messenger bag over my shoulder, grabbed my rolling suitcase and my carry on and headed to the ticket booth. When we arrived, I checked my luggage, got my ticket and waited.

"I cannot believe my baby is going away. I am going to miss you so much," Renee cried as she sat across from me wringing her hands, Phil by her side rubbing her back to try and console her.

"Mom, I'm twenty-one years old. A lot of people go away to college at eighteen, so I'm going to be fine. Please, don't worry!" I exclaimed.

Mom had a flair for the dramatics and I knew I needed to nip this quickly.

"We've been through this many times, Mom. I need to do this. You two need the time alone and I need to spread my wings. I'll call and email as often as I can. Ok?"

"I know, Bella, but you are going to meet a new doctor and I won't be there for you," Renee said.

"Dr. Gerandy has sent a referral to one of the dermatologists in Seattle. I should be getting a call the first of the week with an appointment to go in and meet the doctor. I just took my injection before we left home so I'm good for a week or so anyhow. And I have a full script of anxiety meds so please stop stressing! You know stress causes me to flare up," I tried to reason.

"I know, baby. I know. You're an adult and wise beyond your years at that. I just worry. That's what mothers do. You'll know someday," Mom said as she reached over and grabbed my hand.

"Yeah, sure, Mom. Guys are falling all over themselves to date me," I grumbled as I rolled my eyes at her.

'Flight 274 to Seattle is now boarding at Gate 15' was announced over the loudspeaker.

"That's me. I need to go. I will call you when I get settled."

After what seemed to be a ten minute hug with me dragging Renee along beside me, I made it to the security check. Renee kissed my cheek.

"Be safe, baby!" she exclaimed as Phil said goodbye to me one last time and he started walking away with Renee in tow.

I waved, trying to stop her rant before she drew more attention to us.

"I love you, sweetie!" Renee yelled out one last time as I cleared the security check.

I waved once more and turned to head to the plane to start my new life in Seattle. I just hope I can handle it.

This is my first FF story and this idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while. I have severe psoriasis so this story is personal to me. My hubby of 23 years is my rock and has encouraged me to write this story as kind of therapy for myself. I don't know how long this story is going to be yet. I like to talk so I anticipate this to be fairly long. Please review. Good or bad. I plan to update weekly but it may be more often since this story needs to get out of my brain! Thank you SO MUCH for the encouragement from drotuno, darcysmom, twimom817, kare831 and Tkegl. If I am HALF as good as they are at this adventure I will feel like I have really done well. You can also find me on Twitter as lakermom37.