"Edward, are you sure about this?"
I had pretty much lost count of how many times Esme had asked me that question over the past week. I had hoped that by now she would have come to terms with my leaving, but clearly that wasn't the case.
"Yes Esme, I am," I replied for the millionth time. Esme sighed and nodded, in what I hoped was acceptance, and kissed my forehead before leaving my room. I listened to her walk down the stairs before I went back to my packing. I could have finished packing in five seconds if I wanted, but I wasn't in a rush, so I took shirts out of my closet and put them in my duffle bag at a normal human speed.
As I packed I once again thought about what I was about to do. My family meant everything to me, but sometimes it just got to be too much. Living in a house full of couples while I remained in a permanent state of bachelorhood wasn't easy, and being able to hear their thoughts made it down right stressful at times. Hearing them think about how happy they were with their mates and how much in love they were made me feel lonely. I wanted that too, but I hadn't met anyone I wanted to spend the rest of eternity with. Eternity was a long time, and I wasn't going to settle down until I found the absolute right person.
I shook my head to clear my thoughts and headed back over to my closet to grab some jeans and sweat pants. Once they were in my bag along with a few other odds and ends, I zipped it shut and made my way downstairs. I knew getting away from the happy couples would be good for my sanity. I knew that this break was what I needed. But that didn't mean I was looking forward to saying goodbye to my family.
My siblings had been surprising understanding about my decision, and I was grateful. Emmet was silently hoping I would meet a girl on the road and finally get laid. Jasper, who was forced to feel what I felt, understood completely why I had to do this. Rosalie was indifferent. Of course, Rose was indifferent about most things that weren't directly about her, so this was no surprise.
Then there was Alice. Alice was happy. Alice was generally a happy person, but ever since I told them I was planning to leave she had been happy to the extreme. I would have been insulted, except she was blocking her thoughts from me, and she only did that when she was hiding something. I didn't bother to press her for details, since if she was happy then it wasn't anything bad.
Deep down I knew Esme understood why I was doing this; she just didn't want to let me go. I wasn't leaving forever, just a few weeks, but it was enough to sadden Esme. My siblings and I were Esme's children and losing us for any amount of time was hard for her. After what she went through with her own child when she was human, I understood. I had promised her I would keep my cell phone on at all times and I would e-mail her frequently.
Carlisle's reaction was the one that surprised me the most. When I told him my plan he said that he understood, but ever since then he has been distant and he has been blocking his thoughts. The only time Carlisle blocks his thoughts from me is when he and Esme are being intimate, so I was slightly nervous about what was going on with him.
Since I was done packing I figured now was as good a time as any to talk to him. Leaving my duffle on the bed, I exited my room and made my way downstairs to the second floor where Carlisle's office was located. I knew full well that Carlisle heard my approach, but that didn't stop me from knocking quietly on the door.
"Come in Edward," he said. I pushed open the door and found Carlisle at his desk, intently reading one of his many textbooks. I took a seat in the chair across from him as he shut the book and turned his focus to me.
"I'm ready to go," I began as the look of worry that has been on Carlisle's face all week made yet another appearance.
"You're all packed then?" Carlisle asked as he tried and failed to mask his worry with a smile.
"Yes, but I wanted to talk to you," I said as I attempted to peek into Carlisle's mind. I was frustrated, but not really surprised to discover he was blocking me by listing medical terms.
"What about?" he asked.
"You have been acting really strange since I told you I was leaving, and I want to know what is going on. You have been distant, and more than that you've been blocking your thoughts from me. Clearly you have a problem with my leaving, and I want to know what it is." Carlisle stared at me silently for a moment before he shook his head and sighed in defeat.
"You're right," he said, "I am worried."
"What are you worried about?" I asked.
"You," Carlisle replied, "I don't want this to be like the last time."
"What?" I asked completely confused.
"You have only left this family one other time," Carlisle said, "I trust you remember what happened."
"I…" I started to say something before realization donned on me and I fell silent. Carlisle was worried that I was going to rebel again. Carlisle and I had been together long enough that I pretty good understanding of how his mind worked, and because of that his actions over the past few days now made sense to me. He was distant because he didn't know how to approach me, and he blocked his thoughts because he didn't want me to be angry with him. I wasn't angry, thought. If anything I was disappointed he would think I would ever go back to that way of life.
Like most teenagers I had rebelled against my parents, but my rebellion was more extreme than most. It wasn't a time a really liked to think about.
"I couldn't forget if I tried," I replied, "You know how much I hated myself after that."
"I know. I am sorry for bringing it up and assuming the worst," Carlisle said remorsefully, "I just worry about you."
"I know you do and I appreciate it," I said with a smile, "I promise you have nothing to worry about."
"Alright," Carlisle said as he stood up and walked around his desk to where I was sitting.
"We are okay, right?" I asked as I stood up.
"We are fine son," Carlisle promised, "I hope you have a good trip."
"Thanks," I said as clapped his hand on my shoulder.
"Just remember to call every once in a while so Esme doesn't work herself into a panic" Carlisle said with a smirk.
"I heard that," Esme's voice floated up from downstairs.
"Sorry dear," Carlisle replied and we laughed. We parted then, me to head upstairs to grab my duffle and Carlisle to join everyone downstairs. Everyone is waiting for me in the living room, and Esme, of course is the first one to rush over. She pulled me toward her into a tight hug.
"You be careful," she said, "and I really do want you to check in every once in a while."
"I will, I promise," I said as I hugged her back. When Esme doesn't show signs of letting go, Carlisle comes over and pulls her away. Alice quickly takes her place, and because of her size she is forced to stand on her tip toes to give me a hug.
"Have fun," she said with a knowing smile.
"Thanks," I replied and she bounces away.
Rose looks up from the fingernail she is painting. "Bye," she said before going back to work.
"I'll miss you too Rose," I mutter.
Emmett comes over and holds out his fist for me to punch, and when I do a fierce grin spreads across his face.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do," he said.
"Is there anything you wouldn't do?" I asked with a smirk.
"Nope," he replied with a smirk of his own before joining Rose on the couch. Once Emmett is seated, Jasper wanders over and holds out his hand for me to shake.
"Have a good trip man," he said as I shake his hand.
"Thanks," I replied.
"Enjoy the silence," he said.
"Oh don't worry, I will," I answered with a smile before turning to Carlisle. We stare at each other for a minute and for that short span of time I fear he has started doubting me again, then he smiles. Relief courses through me as he walks over and clamps his hand my shoulder.
"Enjoy yourself son," he said and I nodded, "Take the time you need, but don't stay away too long."
"I won't," I replied before he pulls me in for a quick hug. I stepped away and turned to grab my bag from the floor beside me. Bag in hand I walked to the door and turned to get one last look at my family.
"We will miss you," Esme said from her place beside Carlisle. I knew if she could, she would be crying.
"I'll miss you too," I replied before I hurry out the door out to my car.
Initially I had debated about whether or not I should actually take my car or just run. In the end I decided that since I didn't know how long I would be gone it was probably best to have my car. It would take me longer to get where I was going, but that was okay, I was in no hurry. We had houses all over, so choosing where I wanted to stay wasn't easy. After much deliberation I had decided on our house in northern Minnesota. It was perfect because it was surrounded by woods and had plenty of wildlife. It was a little sunnier in Minnesota than it was in Washington, but our house was in a pretty secluded place so I wasn't worried.
I threw my duffle in the back seat of the car and slid into the front seat. Normally I would speed down the driveway, but today was different. Today I took my time and savored my last looks of the house. It was pretty magnificent with its majestic three stories, glimmering glass walls and beautiful wrap-around porch.
I would miss it, but I knew I wouldn't be gone forever. The house and people living in it would be waiting for me when I returned. With one last look I pulled out of the clearing and out on to the main road. I was finally on my and I felt happy.
Driving through Forks I realized there were things I wouldn't miss, like high school. It was June and Alice, Jasper and I had just finished our sophomore year at Forks high, Rose and Emmett just finished their junior year. High school became tedious after a while, so this break was more than welcome. I knew I should probably be back by the first week of September to help keep people from talking; I would deal with that when the time came.
I passed by more small shops and stores before getting on the freeway. I didn't have to worry about the police with my built in radar, so when I hit the freeway I gunned it.