This is my Twi25 Entry for Spring 2012. I decided to try and challenge myself a little bit and Risbee strongarmed me into doing this with her. It will post daily and the chapters will be short, just over 1k, so don't ask me for longer chapters. That's the point of this little challenge. In fact, this is the longest chapter.
Huge thanks to cejsmom for reviewing this for me and giving such great insight and support. She was invaluable to me. Risbee is the apple to my orange. Let's get on with it, shall we?
I'm only gonna do this once. I don't own Twilight. I do love me some road trip stories though.
Location – Rochester, New York
Prompt: Parking Lot
"I can't do it right now, Dad," Bella breathed anxiously into the pay phone as she twirled a few strands of her long brown hair around her finger and then rested her forehead against the cool metal phone. It was difficult for Bella to find a pay phone these days, most people having their own cell phone which made the old phones obsolete, but Bella wasn't like most people. She was a twenty-year-old woman traveling across the country uncertain of where she would be from one second to the next.
It was exhilarating to her.
She felt free and unencumbered by everything. It was the complete opposite of her life back in Forks, Washington, the tiny and oppressive hometown where everyone knew everyone else and they all had a direction for their lives. They would all be bankers, firefighters, doctors, pharmacists and the like. Whatever they wanted to be.
Bella always rationalized that most people knew what they were doing because they had a goal – an end point they wanted to get to. They would graduate high school, go off to college for four years and then go out into the world with a real job and responsibilities before buying a house, having kids and finally settling into retirement in their mid-sixties. However, none of that really appealed to Bella. Her father always said she was a lot like her mother, but Bella didn't really know if that was true, since Renee had left them to fend for themselves when Bella was fifteen years old. Bella could never see herself leaving her family, but her traveling didn't count. She kept in touch with her father on a regular basis and they were still as thick as thieves.
So, instead of following the status quo, Bella had chosen to take a year off of school after she graduated high school, much to her father's chagrin. She was due to start at the University of Washington in the fall, but Bella was still uncertain about it all, even though she was registered to take several psychology classes.
Regardless of what other people may have thought, Bella Swan truly had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.
"Listen baby girl, you know I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't dire." Bella was pulled from her memories by the gruff voice of her father.
"I'm sure it's just another one of her schemes, Dad."
"I don't think so, Bella. Not this time," Charlie declared coolly.
Bella didn't want to believe him, but she couldn't help but sense the urgency in his voice. Though Charlie was the police chief in their small town and everyone always believed him to be severe and brusque, Bella knew differently. They were extremely close and trusted each other implicitly. It was more like they were friends, than father and daughter, which made Bella all the more worried about how her father spoke.
"A week. Two at the most." Bella let out a sigh at looked up at the roof of the small phone booth she was in. It was almost nine o'clock at night in Rochester, and the darkness was setting in, while it was only six o'clock back in Seattle. Her father was probably just home from his shift at work.
On this day, Bella was in Rochester, New York. She had big plans of seeing George Eastman House, which was the home of the International Museum of Photography and Film. That dream would have to be shelved apparently.
"I'll leave in the morning."
"You have no idea how much this means to her, Bella."
"I'm not doing this for her, Dad," she replied solemnly as they said a brief goodbye and Bella promised to call him within the next two days. She stepped out of the booth and onto the rough pavement of the hotel parking lot, feeling like the weight of the world was bearing down on her. She looked up at the hotel sign flashing 'vacancy', and the red neon began blurring together as her eyes filled with tears.
Bella had a newfound determination as she forced the tears away with the palm of her hand and let out a gut-wrenching scream of pure frustration. The few people milling about on the street looked at her with concern, but kept going on their way when they saw she wasn't injured, but rather just making a spectacle of herself.
The last thing Bella wanted to do was head back to Forks, but she also wasn't about to rush home. Bella decided that she would hitchhike back, just like she had done to get her to Rochester. She hoped that she would meet decent people to help her along the way like she had between Chicago and Rochester.
For now though, Bella would head back to her small motel room, eat some dinner and take a bath before settling in for the night.
Early the next morning, Bella had a hearty breakfast at the diner across from the motel and shared some easy conversation with the waitress who was serving her. Though the woman, who told Bella that she had a daughter Bella's age, disapproved of how Bella was going home, she didn't attempt to stop her, which relieved Bella greatly. She was tired of people disapproving of how she chose to live her life.
As Bella made her way down Buffalo Road towards the interstate, she heard a few honks, as was usual when a young pretty girl was hitchhiking, but she was surprised at how quickly a car had pulled over to the side of the road in front of her. Usually she had to walk a few, or ten, miles along the freeway before a retired couple or single woman took pity on her and offered her a ride.
However this time, it was a silver Volvo that pulled over. Bella was immediately suspicious, but she approached the passenger side window anyways.
Edward was tired and he was only on the first day of his trip home. It wasn't particularly a journey he was looking forward too, not because of the length of time he would be driving, but because of the destination.
Edward had graduated from New York University with a degree in music education. His goal had been to teach at a public school in New York, because he loved everything about the city, but jobs were few and far between for teachers in New York. In fact, the entire state of New York seemed to virtually no positions available for music teachers. So, with a little pressure from his father, Edward took the first job he got offered, which was teaching music in Port Angeles, Washington. It was an hour from his hometown of Forks, but much too far from New York City for his liking. Unfortunately, he had bills to pay and college loans to pay for. Edward couldn't afford to be picky at that point.
He groaned aloud in his small car, exasperated with the turn of events, as he pulled out of the parking lot of the 7-11, which would provide him his breakfast for the morning. Their extra large coffee and muffins would be enough to hold him over till his next stop, somewhere near Erie, Pennsylvania, if he planned it right.
Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men always go awry, Edward thought as he watched a young girl walk down Buffalo Road, heading towards the interstate with a sign on her oversized blue backpack that read 'Seattle or Bust'. Edward stifled a small grin at her handmade placard and pulled over on the shoulder, the dirt and gravel sounding violent under his tires.
When he pulled to a stop and looked back, he was surprised at how striking the girl was. With long dark hair pulled up into a loose ponytail and a slim build, she was much too pretty to be hitchhiking across the country. Didn't she know the kind of people who picked up unsuspecting girls? Edward shook the thought from his head and rationalized that he watched far too much Criminal Minds. When he looked up again, he couldn't help but notice that she was dressed in a rather tight fitting t-shirt and jeans. She certainly wasn't dressed to walk along the side of the highway in the scorching and humid early August heat either.
It was with nervous anxiety, and a semi hard cock, that Edward lowered the passenger side window down and let her come to him.
"So, you are heading to Seattle?" Edward asked curiously as Bella leaned into the car and quirked her eyebrows at him. She was genuinely shocked that he knew where she was heading. Of course, she really had to go to Forks, but no one ever knew where that was. "You have a sign on your back. I'm not psychic or anything."
"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that," Bella replied, feeling ridiculous at her oversight. "Are you traveling alone?" She questioned as she looked around the back of his car and noticed a few boxes, but nothing major.
"Yeah, I'm moving back to Seattle for work. I could take you all the way there if you are interested. We could split gas and hotel costs, if we stay anywhere," Edward rambled nervously as he tried to focus on Bella's face, and not the hint of cleavage that called to him from the collar of her tight V-neck t-shirt. "Then again, we could switch out driving duties, if you can drive, and we can get back to Washington faster."
The last thing Bella wanted was to get to Washington quicker because then it meant spending more time with her and Bella wanted to avoid that at all costs. Hell, she already felt strong armed by her father into going home, so there was no way she would stay longer than absolutely necessary. "I don't drive. If I did do you think I would be hitchhiking?"
"Well, no…. I guess not. How old are you, anyways? I'm not about to get busted by Chris Hanson or something, right?"
"Who?" Bella questioned, uncertain.
"Never mind," Edward laughed quietly to himself. "So, how old are you?"
"I'm twenty." Edward breathed a sigh of relief as Bella did the same. He seemed like a nice enough guy, with a reliable car, so she was willing to make an exception to her rule if he offered her a ride. Usually Bella would only drive with women or retired couples. They were the most trustworthy and least likely to steal your shit as you slept, or so she believed.
"That's a relief. Do you still want a ride? I promise I'm not a serial killer or a pervert."
"Isn't that exactly what a serial killer or a pervert would say to get an unsuspecting woman into their car?" Bella asked with a laugh before finally slipping her heavy backpack off her shoulders.
"I guess so, but in my case it's true."
"I think I will take my chances then," Bella stated as she opened the back passenger side door and slid her heavy bag in, glad to be rid of it for a while. A moment later she settled in the front passenger seat and looked over at the driver, getting a much better look at his messy hair and bright green eyes which Bella found rather handsome. "I'm Bella, by the way."
Edward extended his hand out and Bella shook it eagerly. "Edward."
"Well Edward, this should be an interesting couple of days, don't you think?"