I rolled over in my bed, the bright light straining against my closed eyelids. I had almost forgotten what it was like to wake up on your own and not by an annoying ass alarm clock. I opened my eyes to stare at the bright red numbers on my clock. It was just past one in the afternoon. I felt like I could sleep longer.
It's been 3 days since I graduated high school. I've never felt freer in my life. I was done with getting up at 5am, done with tests, done with it all. Tonight, we were all going over to Emmett's house to have a bonfire. We were going to burn all of our school stuff. I couldn't be happier to get rid of all my notebooks filled with Calculus equations and old papers on Romeo and Juliet.
I got up out of my bed, threw some pants on and made my way into the kitchen. It was nice and quiet because my parents were off at work. Carlisle was down at the hospital and Esme was over at her interior design studio. I walked into the kitchen to find a plate of chocolate chip muffins on the granite counter top. I grabbed one off the plate and took a huge bite.
"Thanks mom," I whispered to myself enjoying the sweet taste of the muffin. I walked over to the list stuck to the fridge and wrote down 'Chocolate Chip Muffins' in my messy writing to the bottom.
The list was for a road trip I was planning with Bella and everyone. The trip was a tribute to the end of our high school careers. After weeks of negotiating with the parents, they finally agreed to let us go. But, it had to be somewhere in the country, which shot Alice's idea down real fast. The girls all wanted to just drive to LA but, after some convincing, we guys got them to agree to going to Orlando. They got all excited when Disney World was mentioned. We were leaving tomorrow morning. And by morning I mean 3am before the sun's up morning. We were all just staying at Emmett's house tonight. Despite the early morning wake up call, we were all excited.
I finished off my muffin and went to take a shower. Bella was coming to pick me up so we could pick up a few last minute things. The day after graduation, her mom, Renee, got to know me really well. Like, she was crossing the line to too much information zone. Bella had warned me about it when she picked me up that morning. I thought she was joking, and I was wrong.
"What do you want to study in college?" "Bella told me you used to play baseball, what happened?" "What do your parents do?" "Are they loaded?" "Do you wear boxers or briefs? You look like a boxer kind of guy but I could be wrong." "Have you always lived here?" "Why did you decide to date my daughter? Because if I were you, I'd have been scared shitless, excuse the expression, because Charlie is a cop." "Do you plan on getting married?" "How many kids?" "Do you know what it's like to have kids?" "Do you know how much of a responsibility it is?" "Are you being careful-"
"MOM!" Bella still feels bad about the interrogation.
As I was getting dressed, I heard the distinct sound of truck pulling up in front of the house. I quickly pulled my t-shirt on, grabbed my wallet and Raybans, and skipped down the stairs two at a time. I ripped the list off the fridge and I jogged outside into the muggy June air. Bella's rusted orange Chevy was idling in the driveway and making a terrible noise.
"Hey," She smiled at me as I walked over to the passenger side. Both the windows of her truck were rolled all the way down, or as far as they would go. The air-conditioner in her truck barely spewed out cold air these days. I grinned at her and yanked the door to the ancient Chevy open.
"You know the sound coming out of your truck isn't healthy right?" I teased, slamming the door closed with extra force. She just shrugged and drove down the drive toward the street. I think she might have rolled her eyes behind her red sunglasses. Her brown hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail with some pieces framing her face. She had on a gray tank top with a purple and blue plaid shirt and denim cutoff shorts with her much worn in pair of converse.
"My truck is only making that noise because I had to drive all the way out here to get you," She teased back, sticking her tongue out.
"You know, I could have come and gotten you. Since, my car isn't prehistoric."
"Don't hate the truck. It could crush your shiny Volvo."
"In its dreams! That is, if cars could dream. I'm just glad we don't have to drive this rust bucket to Orlando tomorrow."
"That would be a death sentence for my truck. And the fact that all six of us couldn't fit in this tiny cab anyway." Bella said, turning onto the street heading towards Port Angeles. The truck made an even worse noise when Bella tried to get it to hit the speed limit of 55. I hope we made it to Port Angeles alive.
"You excited for the bonfire tonight?" I asked Bella, tossing another box of Cheez-Its into the cart, crossing it off the list.
"Yes! I'm ready for it all to burn," I chuckled at her tone of voice because she sounded like an evil mastermind. "Since some of the textbooks are being discontinued, I got to keep some of mine. I want to watch all my pain and suffering burn."
"Those textbooks caused you pain and suffering?" I raised my eyebrow at her, amused. She was standing on the front edge of the cart facing me, as I pushed it through the aisles.
"They caused me emotional stress every night. Time for them to meet their doom and suffer!" I rolled my eyes at the sinister look in her eyes. I turned the cart down the drink aisle and she hoped off to help load up.
"How much do you think we need?" She asked, putting a case of water under the cart.
"I think, only one case of water. Probably, 3 things of pop." I pushed the heavy cart, down towards the extravagant pop selection. I picked up a case of Coke, Bella picked up a Diet Coke and we both ended up deciding on orange Fanta.
"And that is everything," I said, crossing off the words pop and water. "Time to check out."
We wheeled the now fully packed cart to one of the check-out lanes; they were all really long so it didn't matter. While we waited in line, Bella was flipping through one of the many gossip magazines. I didn't get why girls liked them so much. Who gave a shit if another Kardashian was pregnant? One of them is pregnant like every week. I had asked Bella once why she reads that garbage and she told me, "If I'm going to be a journalist, I need to know how to write all kinds of articles. If I end up writing for one of these trashy mags, which I hope I never have to, I need to know how to make my lies sound convincing." She was too good for those magazines. She belonged with writers for the New York Times.
"Ugh," I heard her say as she put the issue of Us Weekly back on the stand. "Such garbage." I chuckled to myself.
We finally made it up to the conveyor belt and began putting all of our food onto it. We had 10 bags of chips, 7 boxes of Cheez-Its, 4 different kinds of cookies, 2 things of Oreos, a few boxes of poptarts, some weird type of breakfast bar that Rose asked for, sandwich meat, 2 loaves of bread, the three things of pop and the case of water. Sadly, this isn't the weirdest combination of things I've bought before.
"Hello sir," the old lady said to me as I pushed the cart forward.
"Hi," I smiled warmly at her. Bella came around to help put the bags into the cart. Soon, our cart was full of white plastic grocery bags. When I bent down to put the case of water under the cart, I heard the cashier ring up something else. I stood up to see she had rung up a small bag of mini Resse cups. I looked over at Bella to see an innocent smile on her face.
"That'll be $140.50." The cashier said, I slid my credit card down the slot as Bella reached for the candy.
"Those weren't on the list." I commented, taking the receipt from the woman and smiling as I pushed the cart toward toward the exit.
"I added them at the last minute," She smiled opening the bag and popping one in her mouth.
"Are you going to share?" I asked, wheeling the cart across the parking lot to the truck. She tapped her chin, before reaching into the bag and offering me one. I opened my mouth, and she giggled before putting the Resse in my mouth. I smiled at her.
"You are the worst sandwich maker, ever. You are worse that Charlie!" Bella exclaimed, taking the knife from my hand. I didn't think making a sandwich was that complicated.
"What am I doing wrong!?" I asked looking down at the slice of bread I was spreading mustard onto.
"That is way too much. You want someone to die of mustard poisoning!?" She took the slice of bread and scraped a good amount of mustard into the trash. It looked like there was barely any on it now.
"No. But, I at least want them to taste it. Look at what you're doing!" I said, directing her attention to her own sandwich. "It looks like you're just spreading the scent of it onto the bread." Her eyes narrowed.
My mom, who was in the kitchen with us making more muffins, gave her little motherly scoff. It was the scoff she always gave when my dad said something stupid.
"Can I have my knife back, please?" I gave her my best pouty lip. "I promise not to abuse the mustard."
She slowly handed the knife back, eyes still narrowed. "Fine. But if you abuse putting the meat on, I'm sending you out of this kitchen." I took the knife from her hand, putting barely any mustard on it before spreading it on the other slice of bread. We finished up the sandwich making with light conversation after that. My mom helped us load the sandwiches and the other food into bags and coolers. Bella left a short time later to go get rid of her truck.
"You be safe on this trip, okay? If everyone is too tired to drive, you pull into a rest stop or hotel or something, okay?" Mom said as I was loading up my Volvo. Dad was loading the food into the truck, while I put my two suitcases and backpack for the bonfire in the backseat.
"We will mom. Don't worry too much." I said, shutting the door. She wrapped me up in a tight hug.
"It's only for a couple weeks. I'll be back before you have time to miss me." I reassured her, stepping out of the hug. She smiled before heading back towards the house.
"Everything is already paid for when you get to Orlando. Just tell them my name at the desk and they'll take care of the rest." Dad told me, patting my shoulder. He was not one for manly hugging.
"Thanks dad. I'll see you later." I said, putting my sunglasses on and heading for the drivers door.
I pulled up to Bella's house a few minutes later and then we drove off to Emmett's house for the bonfire.
"Who wants to go first?" Emmett asked. We were all sitting around this giant fire in his backyard. It was the only thing giving off any light.
"I will!" Jasper shot up from the ground, practically dumping Alice, who was on his lap, on the ground. He grabbed a few papers off the stack next to him. "This feels so good to say. Fuck you, Mrs. Birde!" He threw his stack of papers into the fire and we watched the flames rise up. We all yelled out cheers. Rose stood up next. She was sitting next to Emmett. She grabbed a few papers and a notebook.
"Pre –Calc can kiss my ass!" She threw her offerings into the flames. We all laughed as the flames danced into the sky.
"My turn," Bella said, rising from my lap. She grabbed her huge Government textbook. "I'd say I'm sorry but, I'm not. Burn baby, burn!" She heaved the book into the ball of fire. The fire hissed and the flames licked at the book. She curled back up in my lap.
"Me next! Me next!" Alice leaped into the air and just threw her AP Chem book into the fire. "That is what I call chemistry!"
"I'd like to say a few words about my old English homework," Emmett said, standing up and bowing his head. "Thou art a heartless bitch." And he threw it into the red and orange flames. I scooted Bella off my lap and stood up.
"I don't know if I can burn this," I said holding up my Spanish 5 notebook. "Hueles a queso púrpura."
"What did you just say?" Emmett asked.
"I don't know. How I ever got into Spanish 5 will remain a mystery." Everyone chuckled as I tossed the notebook into the fire.
We all had a free for all after that, tossing our remaining school stuff into the fire. Jasper finally got rid of his blue backpack that he's had since 5th grade. It was held together with duct tape and willpower. The flames turned a pretty blue color when he tossed it in.
"Can you believe it? We're done," Someone said a while later. We had all settled around the fire and it had been quiet up to this point. "Everything about high school is gone. It burned away with this fire." I'm pretty sure it was Alice. I didn't look around to check.
"Funny how we never thought it'd happened. It all seemed so far away." Bella said. She was lying on the ground, with her head in my lap. "The only thing we got left to conquer is the rest of our lives."
"The thing that amazes me," Rose said. "Is that even through all that, we still remained friends. I mean, there were some moments where I thought we weren't going to make it out intact."
"But we did. I could probably laugh at most of it now." Alice whispered. The flames in front of us were slowly dying out. It was becoming dimmer, but it was still bright enough to see everyone.
"Oh really?" Jasper said, joining the conversation. "How about that time during freshman year where you went through that phase where you only listened to Justin Bieber."
"Ew," Alice said before she chuckled embarrassed.
"I remember that!" Rose piped up to my left. "You had his posters all over your walls and you thought you were going to marry him."
"UGH!" Alice said, covering her ears.
"BABY, BABY, BABY OOOHHHH!" Emmett chortled; I could hear the smirk in his voice. Alice curled up into a ball next to Jasper.
"Okay guys, stop picking on Alice," I said. "Besides, I remember that time before Emm and Rose were going out officially-"
"Ed," Emm stopped laughing and glared at me.
"And Emm had this crazy crush on our 8th grade English teacher." I rushed through it. Emmett's stare was ice cold.
"You're dead meat Cullen." He threatened. Jasper busted out into a fit of laughter. He was soon followed by everyone else.
"I can just see it now," Jasper said through his laughter. "Little 8th grade Emmett McCarty making goo-goo eyes at his teacher and zoning out at how pretty she was."
"Shut it, Hale!" Emm yelled, and then he got that smirk on his face. "I remember sophomore year when Jasper and I had the same gym class. Oh, this is a great story. We were playing basketball and Jasper had the ball. I remember this so well. He was dribbling down the court, when this kid in our class tripped and grabbed onto Jazz's shorts. Pantsed him right in the middle of the court! It was the highlight of my week, bro." Everyone was chuckling, including Jasper.
"I got that kid back. Not only did I pants him, but I grabbed his boxers too. Double score!" Jasper fist bumped Emmett. "Oh, I got another good one. Hey Emm?"
"Remember Tanya Denali?" Oh no.
"Yeah," Emm paused. "Oh, yeah." He looked over at me.
"All through high school, she was obsessed with Edward." Jasper laughed. "She refused to believe he was dating Bella." I could feel heat rising to cheeks.
"Yes! Remember when she asked Edward to homecoming and Bella was standing right there?" Emmett was laughing uncontrollably now. I remember that all too well. I felt bad for her because she was overly obsessed.
"Dude, that was the best!" Jasper and Emmett were having a ball. Alice and Rose didn't find it funny. Bella wasn't saying much either. If she wasn't tracing patterns into my hand, I would have thought she was sleeping.
"That girl needed serious help." Rose commented. "The only thing I remember about her was when she finally moved away at the beginning of last year."
"I wonder if she found someone else to obsess over." Alice mumbled.
"I hope that boy was in a healthy relationship like Edward because someone help him if we was single." Rose said.
"Anybody remember that time Rosalie tried to go punk?" Bella spoke up from the awkward silence. "She died her hair black and put pink and blue streaks in her hair."
"Ugh, Bella don't bring that up! I'm begging you." Rose said.
"Oh, but don't you remember when you wanted to get your nose pierced because all punk girls had a nose piercing?" Bella told her, smiling. She twisted herself to look at Rose.
"And that time she drew a fake tattoo of a, what was it Rose?" Alice jumped in.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Rose tried to play it off.
"Remember Alice, it was a skull with flames! And she tried to convince everyone it was real." Bella giggled. "Seriously, what were you thinking Rose?"
"I honestly can't tell you. I was probably rebelling against my parents. Gah! I made my parents burn those pictures of me. But, knowing them they only told me that. They probably kept them so they show me later on in life."
"Speaking of phases, Bella? I remember you going through a certain phase." Alice had a sly grin on her face.
"What was it, Alice?" I piped up, grinning down at Bella.
"When Bella was in 5th grade . . ."
"Don't say it Alice. Please, don't say it!" Bella begged, hiding her face in her hands.
"She had this crazy dream of becoming a popstar like Hannah Montana." There was dead silence, before laughter erupted all around.
"How come I've never heard about this?" I asked her, trying to mute my laughter.
"Because it's embarrassing," she said through her hands. "I used to come home, go up to my room and put on a blonde wig and pretend that I was a famous singer. It still makes me cringe. It was a secret and never supposed to be brought up." Bella uncovered her face to glare at Alice.
"Oh, there are no secrets among friends. Besides, nobody brought anything up about you yet." Alice said.
"Hey, Bella. Did you have a cool popstar name?" Emmett asked through chuckles. Rose punched him in the arm.
"Bella Alabama." Bella mumbled. New fits of laughter burst out. She hid her face behind her hands again. I stroked her hair, whilst containing my laughter.
"Alright. That's enough sharing for one night." Alice said. "I'm sorry, Bella." Bella lifted her hand and flipped Alice off. It got quiet after that. The fire had died out and it was pitch black. The noise that could be heard was the sound of the crickets.
"What time is it, does anyone know?" I asked.
"It's a little past eleven thirty," Emmett said. "We should probably go to sleep since we have to get up in a few hours."
"Why do we have to leave so early?" Rose complained. There was the sound of rustling clothes on the grass as we all stood up.
"Because it's a two day drive and with stops along the way it could take up to three. So, we have to leave early," Emm said. Suddenly there was a flash of light from his cellphone. "Alright everyone follow me and I shall guide you safely to the backdoor." We all stumbled along after him in the dark. Bella was half walking, half being pulled along by me. She was about to collapse.
We made it safely to the backdoor. Emm lead us into his living room and flipped a switch. Our eyes were suddenly flooded with light.
"My eyes! It burns!" Jasper said, rubbing his eyes trying to get them to adjust.
"Shut up you moron. My parents are sleeping!" Emmett whisper yelled. "This is the best I can do for sleeping conditions. I can get some pillows and blankets from the hall closet for the people that want to sleep on the floor." He marched off to the closet down the hall, while everyone else found a place to crash.
In the end, Alice curled up in the recliner, Jasper crashed on the couch opposite the recliner. Rosalie crashed on the loveseat with Emmett on the floor beneath her. Bella and I crashed on the floor in between everyone. Once Emmett turned off the light, I could feel Bella curl up on my chest and felt her breathing even out. I was out soon after that.
It seemed like I'd barely fallen asleep before Emm's cellphone went off.
"Shut that fucking thing up." Rosalie's voice was muffled.
"Good morning to you too, buttercup!" Emm said, turning the alarm off. There was a beat of silence before the room lite up with light.
"It's not morning if the sun ain't up yet." Rose said.
I blinked a few times before opening my eyes. Bella was sitting up next to me, rubbing her eyes.
"This is everyone's only chance to change into clean clothes and use the bathroom before we leave." Emm said. At that, the room suddenly came alive. Everyone was standing up and going to their bags to grab their change of clothes. While the bathroom was full, I pulled out the bag of muffins my mom baked yesterday and handed them out.
Once everyone was dressed, fed and empty we loaded everything into Emmett's parent's 7-seatter SUV.
"It is 4 in the morning, I am going back to sleep. Any of you try and wake me up, I'll kill you." Rosalie said, when she climbed into the car. She crawled all the way into the back.
Bella joined her back there and fell back asleep on Rose's shoulder. Jasper and Alice sat in the row in front of them, Alice looking like she might join Bella and Rose in dreamland any second. This was going to be a quiet car ride for a few hours. I rode shot gun because I was the next to drive after Emmett. We had a system where we were all going to switch off driving every 5 hours.
"Is everyone ready?" Emmett said to the back of the car.
"YEAH! ROAD TRIP!" Jasper yelled in a high pitched voice.
"Shut the hell up, Jazz or I'll break your nose." Rose said from the very back.
"That's the spirit." Emm chuckled before starting the car and pulling out of the driveway. Orlando, here we come.
Hueles a queso púrpura = You smell of purple cheese