A/N: All characters belong to SM.


May, 2012

~82~

The rest of my graduation day goes off without a hitch. The euphoria of receiving the Cullen Scholarship has me floating on air, the proverbial ray of sunlight shining down on me. The grin on Dad's face has yet to dissipate and I can feel my cheeks tiring from my own perpetual smile.

It's absolutely wonderful.

Not even the thought of meeting with Esme and Carlisle to receive the fat cheque can put a damper on my spirits. I am not a resentful or grudging person, yet my smile can't help but expand ever so slightly at the thought of receiving money from the people who have made my life oh so difficult the past few years.

Especially when I'm the last person that they would want to receive the scholarship.

After leaving the auditorium, Dad and I make our way to The Lodge, Dad's favourite restaurant. We find a booth in the back, both of us trying to avoid any other families with graduating kids who might also be celebrating.

Dad orders a steak, rare, with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

I order a pasta dish that looks good, secretly more excited for the piece of garlic bread that will accompany it.

We talk about mundane things, and then about next year. We discuss how often I plan on visiting home, or how often Dad will be able to come visit me.

I will be in California after all so I don't expect it to be all that often. Christmas and Easter. That's it.

We converse of how living the dorm life will be, and how I don't need to worry about food since I already buy the groceries and cook most of the time at home anyways. Dad mentions over and over how well I will do, how he has every confidence that I will be successful.

I think he is right.

But apart from my excitement to get started, to begin law, what I am really looking forward to is finally leaving Forks, to never having to see any of the people here for any length of time ever again. Now, if I could only convince Dad of the same thing, then I'd be set.

Once we return back to the apartment, I immediately rush into my room to take off my yellow dress; the tag has been irritating the back of my neck all day. Once I have put on a pair of cut-off jean shorts and a loose, navy t-shirt with "Forks Police" inscribed on the front, I head back downstairs where Dad already has a game on, blaring through the speakers of the television.

I fall down beside him and lean my head against his shoulder. He wriggles him arm so that it rests along the back of the couch, and I slowly melt in deeper.

I must fall asleep to the hypnotic voices of the commentators because I instantly jump awake to the sound of the doorbell.

Dad chuckles at my reaction before slowly extricating himself from the sofa.

"I'll get it Sweetie. Hang tight"

My head falls back, and I'm glad I can submit once again to the gentle pulls of slumber.

But it quickly snaps up again at Dad's icy, sharp voice.

"Isabella? It's for you."