Chapter 42

Hello there! Some futuretakes to answer some questions. This is not beta'd so pardon my mistakes.

3 months later

Charlie POV

I didn't even have a body. My little girl had been taken. These are the thoughts that occupy my mind these days. Renee wanted fucking closure. An empty casket. Just so we can move on, she said.

Heartless bitch. That's what I say. I stopped going into her room. Her room has been my personal torment. Go there, look around, in her familiar messiness, waiting to hear her come through the door and start her homework, but the layer of dust proved that was all I was left with. A failure of a father. Memories and a big why.

On the first month, I was all over the case. A girl, in a coma, shouldn't be of interest to anyone. Did someone do that to get to me? No ransom note, or call, for more than two weeks answered that question.

Then who? And most importantly, why? Bella had been a loner, just like me. No clue and I was getting nowhere. I went to the school, no trace. The only thing was one of the Cullen boys had gone for an exchange semester in Europe. I saw the paperwork, even called the school. I got everything confirmed.

I looked at all my cases, but Forks' crime is screaming a drunken fuck on a Saturday night on the main street. Not much happens in this podunk. And I haven't solved any serious crimes over the years. Noone begrudges me.

And then on the second month, my deputy sent me home. "You're losing it Charlie." For one moment, just a split moment, the thought, that he was trying to get rid of me because he's involved in the case, sobered me up. And yes, I had to admit, I was losing it.

But home, my empty house, was not a place I wanted to return to. I just sat there, looking out of the window and praying. Praying that this will all work out somehow. Praying that her heart is still beating and she's well and happy.

I get up to answer the phone:


"Daddy?" and the receiver falls on the floor. I'm quick to pick it back up. Is someone so cruel to prank me? The voice was off, but still...

"Daddy?", I can hear the voice and it seems patient with me. "Daddy, it's me, Bella."

"Bella, baby, is that really you?" I answered, praying to whomever that this was not a cruel joke.

"Yes, daddy, it's me. I'm sorry it took so long to get in touch, I was ill for quite some time, but now I'm better." she says on the phone.

"Where are you? I can come get you. I'm sorry sweetheart, I can make this all better. Make our life better. Are you all right? Who took you?"

"Daddy, I can't come see you just now. It's not safe, yet. I'm still... um... trying to get better. But I wanted to let you know, I'm sorry. I put you through so much, and you have been so good to me.

I- I -I love you, daddy. And I'm doing better. Soon, I'll come to see you. I want you to move on with your life. Be happy. No more grief for you, now you know, I'm all right.

I want you to go back to work, and try and find someone. Someone who can cook your meals, otherwise a thank you letter from the frozen dinner company is on its way."

A smile broke my features. The first real smile in so many months.

"Okay, baby girl. Tell me just this. Was it my fault?" I have blamed myself for so long, I was just bracing myself for the confirmation.

"No, daddy, oh, how could you even think that way? I was selfish and foolish, and I never realised how much I hurt you. I will make it up to you daddy. I promise. Please don't worry about me. I will call again soon, and we'll talk about when 'llI see you."

"Okay, sweetie. I love you very much, I have missed you, I thought I lost you forever," I confessed exhaling slowly.

"Who are you, and what have you done with my dad, Charlie Swan, King of the Ice?"

I chuckled, that was Bella all right. "You melted the ice when I heard your voice, sweetheart. So much time has gone by without me truly telling you what a blessing, you've been in my life. Life's too short. I realise that."

"Awwwww, daddy, all that mushiness will make your moustache stick together, you know?"

I laughed heartily. Not because it was particularly funny. But I had missed that. The connection with my child. My daughter. We talked a little more and then said our goodbyes and hung up.

I felt weightless, after so long. I felt the relief wash over me. My little girl was alive and well. She was out of the coma. She was going to see me soon.

I spent the afternoon, cleaning and tidying the house. And then I realised I should really listen to Bella. It had been long enough. And I knew just the person, the person who had been close to me all this time. Sitting on the sidelines, offering her help, her support and expecting nothing in return.

I picked up the phone and dialled the number.

"Hello, Sue? … Yes, it's me Charlie … No nothing is wrong Sue,everything as it's supposed to be … Listen, I was wondering what you were doing tomorrow night? … You're free? That's great. How would you like to go out to dinner with me? .. I know this great little place..."

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