I was impressed. Carlisle really must have had some kind of reputation or clout or something. Only thirty minutes had passed since I had given my indifferent acceptance to his proposal, and we had just walked out the doors of the hospital's main lobby.
The sun was still high in the sky, and the mid-summer heat beat down on my face and shoulders. The scorching sensation was a welcome reprieve from the stale, air-conditioned air of the hospital. I felt myself smile in spite of myself. Freedom was so sweet.
I followed Carlisle to the employee parking lot, contemplating how easy it had been in the end. Carlisle had gone to get Dr. Hudson while I sat and waited, and as soon as the paperwork could be filled in and my belongings could be pulled, we had left. Walking through the glass doors I had thought about escaping through just minutes before had been an amazing feeling, particularly enhanced by Burly's scathing thoughts.
Now, I focused on every possible sensory experience I could find, from the smell of the city smog to the feel of hard concrete beneath my sneakers. Since leaving the psychiatric floor, Carlisle hadn't tried to force a conversation. Even once we arrived to where his black BMW was parked in the cool of a parking deck, he only wordlessly unlocked the doors. I threw my small duffel bag of belongings into the back seat and climbed into the passenger seat, suppressing my recently invoked memories of the last time I had been in a similar car. As Carlisle pulled out of the deck, the cool leather and tan interior was too familiar, as were the city streets. A few moments later, I couldn't stand it any longer so I spoke up to create some sort of distraction for myself. Besides, I was going to be living with this man. I needed to know some things.
"So, Carlisle," I began, his first name feeling only slightly strange on my tongue. I was already at ease with him. "Exactly how old are you?"
He laughed before responding. "I'm thirty-two."
Hmmm…I couldn't decide whether that was younger or older than I thought. On the one hand, Carlisle appeared very young. If I hadn't known he was obviously an accomplished doctor, I would have pegged him for his late twenties. On the flip side, he took in stray teenagers. Wasn't thirty-two a bit young to play the parental role to people more than half your age?
Speaking of… "How many kids do you have?"
"My wife and I have four children- two boys and two girls. Their names are Alice, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett. Alice and Jasper are sixteen, like you. They'll be juniors when school starts in a couple of weeks. Rosalie and Emmett are each seventeen and will be seniors." I hope you like them- they're each amazing, unique people.
I processed this a moment, including Carlisle's unspoken thoughts. I still wasn't sure how I felt about this living arrangement. I had only agreed because it seemed to be the best- and only- viable option.
"Why do you and your wife do this?" I knew I was giving him the third degree, but he just smiled as the car pulled up to the red light. With his hands still on the wheel, he turned to look at me.
"Several years ago, Esme and I discovered we couldn't have children. Rather than spend inordinate amounts of time and money on fertility treatments that most likely wouldn't work, we decided adoption and foster parenting would be a good fit for us."
"But why teenagers? Don't most people go for little babies from China or Africa?"
He laughed, turning back to the road and pressing the gas as the light changed to green again.
"I don't know about that, but I guess you could say that at first it was an unexpected but convenient fit. Esme and I both have our own pasts, and they are well suited to helping kids your age."
My brows knit together at his explanation in confusion. "What sort of 'pasts?'"
There was a long pause as he contemplated what to say. How much do I tell him? Finally, he spoke.
"I can only tell you my own story, as I respect that Esme's is hers to tell." He glanced in my direction to see that I understood. I nodded, making brief eye contact before he turned back to focus on the road.
"I was an only child. My father was a very religious man- a pastor. When I was young, he was strict but loving. But then my mother died when I was thirteen from breast cancer. I think it broke him. His zeal increased, but he also became overbearing and physically abusive. No matter what I did, it was never good enough, and no one ever suspected a thing of their beloved spiritual leader. But I worked hard, made good grades, and got into a college a couple of hours away with partial scholarships. I made it the rest of the way through on part-time jobs and loans. I never looked back after that. My dad died a few years ago of a heart attack."
"Oh," I said, shocked that the seemingly untroubled and successful man beside me could have endured so much. "I'm sorry."
He shrugged. "Like I said- I think it all happened for a reason. It lets me help others." We sat in silence for the next few minutes, until he flicked on his blinker and sped onto the entrance ramp for the highway.
"Ummm…where do you live anyway?" Why hadn't I thought to ask that before?
"Not far. Just on the fringes of the suburbs. Esme isn't a fan of the city sprawl, and the schools are a little better out there."
I only nodded in reply, unsure of whether or not he saw me, settling my gaze out the window as I watched the skyscrapers transform into factories and then neighborhoods. Before I knew it, we were pulling off onto an exit and turning into small subdivision.
The houses were each unique, and rather than sitting right next to each other, each home was spaced a little further apart. The lawns were all a perfect green, and it was apparent that this was neighborhood was dominated by the upper-middle class.
Finally, Carlisle hit a button on his keychain and the garage door on a large brick colonial style house opened up. He pulled up the slanted drive, parking the BMW. It didn't slip my notice that besides his car there was also a Jeep, a shiny red convertible and a motorcycle inside. Being a doctor apparently paid a lot more than I thought- my parents had been fairly well off, leaving me quite a bit of money in a trust fund, but I had never seen anything like this. .
Carlisle must have seen me gaping around, and apparently felt the need to explain.
"My mother came from old money, and when my father died, I inherited all of it. Esme is an interior designer by trade, but is rather talented at flipping houses. All of that with my salary as a surgeon and…well…"
He trailed off, looking pointedly around us.
"Anyway, come on inside. I called ahead, and they're all waiting on you."
At his statement, I balked a little. Carlisle had been cool and all so far, but he was just one person. And I had been caught up in my new found freedom. Suddenly, reality came crashing down on me.
I was about to walk into a room of five complete strangers, guided by one I was just beginning to get to know. I had no way of knowing how much they knew about me. Not to mention I was going to have to put up with hearing all of their voices.
"Don't worry Edward. They are all looking forward to meeting you. Except for Esme, all they know is that you needed somewhere to go. What I said about Esme applies to you too, just as it does to my children. Your story is yours to tell or keep to yourself."
Ok. Maybe I could deal with that. So long as I wasn't going to be forced to spill my guts in front of the entire assembly. I nodded my agreement and followed Carlisle up the garage stairs and into the house.
I dropped my bag just inside the hallway at Carlisle's suggestion, and he led me through a hallway into a living room, calling to his wife and kids.
"Esme? Are you all here?"
A petite woman popped her head around a doorframe on the other side of the room, smiling as she looked to see who had arrived. Her head disappeared for a moment, but she was soon slipping out into the room, crossing the distance quickly. She wiped her hands on the apron that was wrapped around her waist. Based on the evidence, she had been busy in what I assumed was the kitchen.
She quickly wrapped her arms around Carlisle's neck, pressing her lips to his for the sweetest of moments. She backed away after her greeting, her hazel eyes dancing as she looked at me. He gaze was warm and friendly, and despite myself I began easing under the radiation of her obviously motherly disposition.
"You must be Edward. I'm Esme, Carlisle's wife." She offered her hand, and her smile was broad and genuine, but I could also see the concern etched in her face. I knew she was entirely aware of my situation- Carlisle had said she was the only other one with all of the information. My appearance probably wasn't helping matters- I was still wearing my ratty sweats, and I hadn't slept much in the past couple of weeks. I could only imagine that I had dark circles under my eyes, and my skin was paler than it should have been at the end of the summer.
Poor boy- I hope we'll be able to help him.
At the sound of her thoughts, I forced myself into the present. "It's lovely to meet you Esme. Thank you for taking me into your home."
As the words left my mouth, I knew they were sincere. I'd never been so grateful for anything in my life, even if I was worried about what was going to happen. After all, it was hard to be anything but nice to Esme.
"It's nothing dear. I was just finishing dinner- you do like lasagna don't you?"
Before I could answer, a booming voice resounded through the room, coming from the door Carlisle and I had just came through.
"How could anyone not like anything you cook Esme?"
I turned, and took in the sight of a hulking figure walk in the room. For the briefest of moments images of Burly flashed through my mind until I looked at the boy's face.
And he was a boy, despite being larger than life. He may have had the muscles and build of a man, but he grinned like a child, dimples indenting each of his cheeks. His dark brown eyes sparkled with untold mischief, and he bounded to Esme's side with enthusiasm, bending down to kiss her cheek.
She laughed in response to his rhetorical question and, after straightening, he turned to look at me. "Esme's a spectacular cook," he explained. "I'm Emmett, by the way."
"Edward." I supplied, and he appeared to size me up for a moment, but his attention quickly strayed as a blond came down the stairs.
She was absolutely stunning. There was no denying it. She was the kind of beautiful that every woman in the world strived to be, and envied with a burning passion. He golden locks shined in the light, cascading down her back, curling slightly at the ends. Her figure was slim and perfect, and she hardly accented it with anything but a pair of jeans and a simple but clingy red t-shirt. But the moment she hit the landing and came to join our quickly growing group, I knew that I was not attracted to her. Immediately, I noticed the odd mix of insecurity and disdain in her ice blue eyes.
She strode to Emmett's side, resting a perfectly manicured hand on his shoulder. The scrutiny of her gaze was burning, and slightly uncomfortable, if not hostile.
"Edward, I'm Rosalie." She introduced herself, apparently having heard my introduction to Emmett. So he's the new kid…
"He's here!" a sing-song voice rung out, saving me from thinking of something to say to Rosalie. I was having a hard time thinking with everyone's internal voices chattering inside my head- if I wasn't careful I was going to end up answering someone's thoughts, and I didn't want to have to explain that. Ever if I could help it, and definitely not right now.
The source of the musical lilt soon appeared, prancing down the stairs. She was pulling a blond-haired boy behind her. He seemed resigned to her pull, and I could see the amusement on his face.
"I told you he would come with Carlisle!" she exclaimed, gracefully sliding to a stop in front of me. I had no idea how she so easily halted all of her momentum, but I could only assume she channeled it into her bubbling energy. "Hi! My name is Alice, and this is Jasper." She emphasized the boy by lifting his hand, shaking it side to side a couple of times. I was stunned into silence, overwhelmed by Alice's friendliness. For such a tiny girl, the black-haired thing was a whirlwind.
Jasper offered me his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you," he drawled, a thick southern accent coating his words. I took his hand after a moment's pause- several scars interrupted its smooth surface. In fact, when I looked at him again, I saw that the scars ran all the way up his right side, from his arm up his neck.
He smirked, seeing the path my eyes had traveled. They always notice. He squeezed my hand firmly, then dropped it. I glanced anxiously around the group, their voices resounding in my ears. It was unnerving after being isolated for so long, with so few thoughts around to read. Suddenly I was getting a headache.
Mercifully, Carlisle broke the silence, clearing his throat.
"Well, now that everyone has met, why don't we let Edward get settled in before dinner? Emmett- do you mind showing him to his room? It is beside yours."
"Sure thing doc." He said, stepping in my direction. "You got any stuff?"
"Yeah- it's by the garage door." He gestured for me to lead the way, and the thoughts of everyone else faded away with distance while their voices resumed in hushed tones.
I grabbed my duffel bag and Emmett led me up a set of stairs I hadn't noticed when we came in. We walked in silence, turning to the right when we reached the second floor. We walked past a couple of closed doors before stopping in front of the one on the end on the left.
Emmett twisted the silver knob on the white door and opened it into a medium-sized room with tan walls. The carpet was plush and a darker shade than the walls. In the middle of the room was a full-size bed with a navy comforter and oak frame. Beside it stood a nightstand with a nondescript lamp atop it. There was a dresser and a closet, but besides that, there was little else in the room. I wandered in, setting my bag atop the bed and spinning in a slow circle.
Emmett shuffled by the door, his thoughts centered on what he should say. "Its smaller than the rest of our rooms and sort of empty, but I'm sure Esme will take care of that soon. Besides cooking, she loves to decorate." He laughed a little at the end, as if it were an understatement.
"Carlisle mentioned she was an interior designer." I answered, non-committal. My thoughts were elsewhere.
As much as I didn't want to say why I was here, I was dying to know about everyone else. Including how Rosalie and Emmett and Alice and Jasper each seemed to be together. I may have only seen them for an instant, but it was obvious in their little touches and looks. I mean, obviously, none of them were related, so it wasn't that weird except for the fact they all lived together. I just wanted to verify- I would hate to assume anything.
Unfortunately, I never got a chance to decided which question I wanted answered most, much less the chance to figure out how to ask it in a way that it was most likely to get answered.
Alice barreled in behind Emmet, slipping lithely around him. She was literally bouncing with excitement, and her dark eyes were lit up.
"Esme said that dinner would be ready in about ten minutes, so we should get ready and go downstairs. Are you going to change?" Pointedly, she glanced up and down at my clothing. I looked down at myself as well. I was actually pretty desperate to wear anything but my sweatpants and a t-shirt, though in any other circumstances I would have gladly taken their comfort. I was far past sick of them, having worn the exact same sort of clothes for the past few days. The hospital hadn't allowed anything else due to their ridiculous concerns about me being suicidal. The smell of antiseptic still clung strongly to the clothes, and the association with the small padded room made them unappealing.
Despite all of that, I didn't exactly appreciate Alice's implications.
"Ummm…well, I was thinking about it. But I don't really have much else that's clean." That was actually pretty true- the only pair of jeans with me would be alright, but all my shirts were dirty and wouldn't be much better than what I was wearing. Most of my clothes were still at my parent's apartment in the city, except for what I had packed up to take with me to the group home because I had never gotten around to going back to get the rest. Of those I had packed, they were still at the group home. I hadn't exactly had a chance to pack, as they had forcefully taken me to the hospital. Someone there had packed a bag for me that night, but hadn't sent the rest of my things. Thus, my small amount of possessions.
"Oh. Well I'm sure Jasper won't mind letting you borrow something- you two are about the same size. C'mon," she demanded brightly, dragging me by the arm. She was surprisingly strong, and she caught me off guard, so I followed. Emmett chuckled behind me and shot me an apologetic look, but made no move to help me.
Before I knew it, I was back at the top of the stairs, facing the door directly to the left of the landing. She had me inside the slightly ajar door before I could blink, finally freeing her death grip on my forearm to dart over to the small walk-in closet. I rubbed my arm, wondering if it was possible that her tiny hands could have bruised me.
"Just wait there." She demanded, shooting me a warning look. I shook my head, but followed her orders. I really did want to change.
When she disappeared into the closet muttering something about picking the right color, I took the chance to look around the room we were in.
Though I had shrugged off Emmett's comment about my room being small, I realized what he must have meant. If the rest of the rooms in this place were as big as Jasper's, then I understood the comparison. In the middle of the room was a full bed like mine, but with a dark green spread. There was a large desk off to the side, made of some dark wood. A laptop and a slew of papers were scattered across its surface, and the leather office chair was pulled out as if its occupant had suddenly jumped up without pushing it back. Picturing the earlier scene on the stairs, I imagined I knew the reason why.
On the other side of the room was a massive bookcase, and I wandered over to inspect the titles. There were some novels, ranging from classic to recent bestsellers, but most of them were histories. The rest of the shelves were taken up with row after row of CD's. There was a dresser by the closet on the far wall of the room, and Alice had reappeared while I had been inspecting the room and was pawing through one of the drawers at the moment.
"Aha!" she exclaimed, pulling out a pair of jeans.
"Here," she said, thrusting the jeans and a black dress shirt at me. I had no idea why it had taken her so long to select the two simple items, but I decided not to question.
"Thanks. You're going to fit in great here, you know," she stated knowingly.
I knit my brows together, raising an eyebrow at her. "How would you know that? You just met me."
She grinned, laughing. The sound reminded me of wind chimes. "I know these things Edward. Just like I knew you were going to agree to come and stay with Carlisle. Now go get dressed- dinner will be ready soon."
I had no idea what Alice meant. Somehow her words didn't sound like much of an explanation. But I did just as she said, going back to my room to finally dispose of my hospital-tainted clothes.
As soon as I hit the living room, my mouth began to water. I hadn't realized just how hungry I was until now, with the scent of tomatoes and garlic on the air. Hospital food was crap, and I hadn't been in much of a mood to eat anything the last couple of days anyway. I was ravenous.
Jasper turned the corner into the living room, seemingly coming down the other set of stairs. He offered a small smile, scanning my clothes. I tried to keep my eyes off of his scars.
"Alice got to you, huh?" he asked pleasantly.
"She said you wouldn't mind…" I trailed off, hoping he didn't.
"No worries man. But you should know Alice is a fanatic about clothes and all that girl stuff. She likes to dress any of us who will let her."
I nodded in understanding, just as we rounded the corner into the kitchen.
Esme was just kicking the oven door shut with her foot, setting a large pan on the granite island. She looked up as she sat it down, smiling as we came in the room.
Looks like he might be settling in ok.
"Go ahead boys. Everyone should be in the dining room. I'll be in just a moment."
Jasper kept walking, cutting through the kitchen to the dining room. There was a long cherry wood table there, surrounded by matching chairs with pearl cushions. The table sat eight, so there was plenty of room. I took a seat in between Jasper and Carlisle, who was seated at the head of the table. Rosalie was directly across from me, with Emmett beside her. I smiled tentatively at them. Emmett grinned back, but Rosalie only regarded me with a blank stare.
There were already glasses at each seat, and I saw that pitchers of water and pink lemonade sat in the middle of the table, along with a large tossed salad and garlic bread. Esme finally came through the door, setting the lasagna on the table and sitting beside Emmet, rather than at the other end of the table. She immediately began passing the lasagna around, and the salad and bread followed. I poured a glass of water and while I waited. An easy conversation about their days began, and I sat quietly after I had gotten a plate. I tried to block out their mental voices, only succeeding slightly. Still, it was more of a hum with only fragments coming through, and that was helpful.
Eventually, Esme broke through my reverie.
"I hope the room was ok Edward. Its just the guest room and I didn't have much time to do anything with it…" She trailed off, looking worried. I snapped out of my own head again, just in time to answer her question without pausing.
"No. Really, it's great. Especially after that white box I was staying in."
The words left my mouth before I could think, and suddenly I realized I had just alluded to the one topic everyone had been dancing around since my arrival. I wasn't just here as a visitor. I was here for a reason- one that I didn't really want to reveal. And I had just given a huge hint.
Everyone else paused for a moment. Jasper shifted beside me, as if he could feel my unease. Alice and Esme each played with the food on their plates, forks scratching against the ceramic. Emmett and Carlisle pretended like nothing out of the ordinary had been said. Rosalie narrowed her eyes and stared me down, pursing her lips in thought.
"And exactly where were you before this?" she asked, her voice carefree and curious.
"Rosalie!" Carlisle exclaimed sharply, giving her a pointed look. Emmett's hand went to her forearm, but she just glanced at it before returning her gaze to me.
"I'm just curious Carlisle. Its no big deal- we all know everything about each other. Why should he get an exception?"
"He's not. You all chose to talk to each other. You know the rules- its his story to tell, and he will if he wants to. Not because you put him on the spot in front of everyone when he's barely even settled in."
She huffed, but her face looked chagrinned.
"Fine. I was just curious. Sorry." Her tone wasn't insincere, but I could tell she still desperately wanted to know. I also knew she was angry Carlisle had called her out.
In my opinion, it served her right. What goes around comes around, right?
The rest of the meal was spent eating in an awkward silence, scraping noises filling the air.
After dinner, Carlisle pulled me aside as the table was cleared.
"You can leave that," he said, gesturing to my plate. "They can get it- I wanted to talk to you about a few things."
I nodded slightly, setting my plate down and following him up the stairs. This time we went to the third floor, and he led me down to the end of the hall. We walked into a large room, and I recognized it was a study.
Bookshelves lined the walls, and they were all nearly filled. A large desk was set off to the right, and a couch with a couple of armchairs were directly across from the door. Carlisle went to take a seat in one of the chairs and I followed, choosing the couch. I was filled with déjà vu of our first discussion earlier this afternoon. Already it was hard to believe it had just been hours before- it could have been several days for all the changes that had suddenly occurred.
"I'm sorry about Rosalie Edward. She has a rough exterior and can be rather difficult."
I shrugged. I didn't particularly like Rosalie- she seemed shallow and self-absorbed. However, given the situation, I figured she might have a reason to be. Not that I thought that excused her behavior- I was not going to be her punching bag.
Instead of saying any of that, I gave Carlisle a watered-down version of my feelings. "I understand. I would want to know too."
And I did want to know about each of them, desperately. I was still so confused about why Carlisle and Esme were helping me- maybe if I knew about the others, I would understand. At the moment, I was grasping for anything that would help me. I was stranded in a sea of uncertainty, and I needed anything I could hold onto.
"Right. Well, don't feel pressured. Anyway, I talked to Alice before dinner. She says you need clothes. I know you don't have much with you, and I wanted to let you know you can anything you need. We have significant resources, and they are yours now."
I blinked at his offer, considering what he was saying. "But I'm just your foster kid."
He cleared his throat, looking at me. "Technically, that is true. But when I offered you a home, I meant a home. Esme and I aren't here to replace your parents. However, we do want to help you in every possible way, using the resources we have. That includes financial."
His voice was resolute, and I knew there was no way around his conviction.
"Well, its unnecessary. I have a trust fund. I just need to go by my parent's apartment- it hasn't been sold yet by the lawyer's office handling everything and I still have belongings there I need to get. I have some things at the group home too."
His shoulders eased, and the tension in his face dissipated into an easy smile.
"Alright- I have to be at the hospital tomorrow, but how about Sunday afternoon? We'll drive into the city and get everything."
"Okay- but if you need anything."
And like that, the easiness of our conversation was erased again, and Carlisle began shifting in his seat, glancing into the corner where an antique globe sat. There was obviously more to this conversation. The money discussion was apparently supposed to be the easy part. How do I say this?
"Carlisle- whatever it is, you can just say it."
He leaned forward, elbows on his slightly spread knees. He looked down before looking back to me.
"This is entirely up to you, and I want you to know that, before I begin. But I want you to let me say everything first, okay?"
I furrowed my brow, concerned by his serious expression. I had seen this look on other adults around me in recent days. It was the "I know what's best for you" look. Usually the people giving it to me didn't know shit. But maybe Carlisle was the exception. If anyone was, it was going to be him. He had already surprised me half a dozen times, and I had only known him for about five hours.
With that thought, I nodded my acquiescence.
"Ok. You know I want to help you- you also know I don't think you're crazy. I do, however, think you are grieving and may be having trouble doing so.
"I think being in Chicago- I'm not sure its helping matters. I think you might be better off somewhere smaller, where everyone isn't going to know what happened to you and life isn't quite so stressful. How would you feel about moving?"
My mouth gaped open. That was not what I had expected. I had expected recommendations of therapists and treatments and other things he thought I needed. He could have said I needed shock treatments and I would have been less surprised.
He saw my expression, and most likely the conflict in my eyes. "Of course, it is up to you. If you don't want to go, we can stay here."
"Why would you do that for me?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Well, for starters, we just met three hours ago. Also, I am your foster kid. I know you're saying you want to give me a home, but we don't know that this is permanent. And leaving your family's home for me would be kind of permanent. I can't let you do that."
"Oh, it wouldn't be our first move." Or even just the fourth or fifth. I looked at the doctor skeptically.
"Really Edward. We've moved plenty of times- for work…" He trailed off, but his thoughts didn't For other reasons… "Well, lets just say we're due for a move."
He was really giving me an option? Of course, I knew I had options. I could always return to the group home- except they would send me back to the hospital. But Carlisle could get me into a better program, and I still thought he would follow through on his earlier promise. I knew he had meant it when he said he felt he owed something to my mother.
The point was, he was giving me an option that allowed me to stay in his home. And despite Rosalie and the short time I had been here, I really wanted to stay here. It was better than anything I had imagined my life could be like, considering that no other foster family would want a sixteen year old and I would have been stuck in the home until I was eighteen. Two years there sounded like living hell.
But Carlisle was asking me if I wanted to move. He was asking me how I felt about it.
And that was a question I wasn't sure if I could answer. How did I feel about it?
I loved Chicago, but it wasn't my childhood home or anything. My parents had moved here three years before, and before that they hadn't spent very long anywhere. I've never really had a hometown.
Still, I wasn't sure how I felt about leaving. I did have a connection to this city- it was the last place my parents had lived. If I left, it would be like leaving them behind.
On the other hand, staying here wasn't exactly beneficial either and I knew it. I knew that I couldn't grieve forever. I would have to cope. I would have to let go. And I wasn't so sure I'd ever be able to do that here. It wasn't so much the kids at school or the newspaper coverage of the accident that were holding me back. I could transfer to the school the rest of the Cullens went to and no one there would know what happened. News stories fade.
The problem was that everywhere I looked, something reminded me of that night. I couldn't live my life with flashbacks haunting me.
"Where would we go?"
Carlisle scanned my face carefully, measuring his words. I heard him contemplating what my reaction would be.
"Well, we could go wherever you would like. However, I did have a specific place in mind."
I raised my eyebrows, waiting for Carlisle to continue.
"It's a place called Forks. It's in Washington. My grandparents lived there and my family visited a few times a year. It is a very small town, a couple of hours from Seattle and Portland, but I think you could like it there." It would be a nice break from the city and reminders of the accident…
I sighed, running a hand roughly through my hair. I didn't know what I thought about small town life. Yet, I knew Carlisle had a point about it being a good place for me. It would be the exact opposite of everything here. Meaning, no more reminders and ghosts of my parents. And fewer voices too.
"We can leave if I hate it?"
"Alright, I'll go."