Look How You Turned Out 1

"Oh yeah," Charlie is saying, "Bella can do anything she puts her mind to."

"Where's she get that?" his old friend Edward says all ho-ho-ho before he takes a big swig of his beer.

My Dad…he's one long-running commercial…about me. It's like he sells me. It's like he gets commission every time someone agrees with his bias.

God I love him so much…Dad. Mom was such a bitch to leave him. He's handsome, and kind, and steady as the Rock of Prudential. I mean Gibraltar.

And there's the son he never had…at age twelve because he's only twelve years older than him…Edward Cullen. Also handsome. Kind. Steady. And also shredded by his bitch of an ex-wife.

Where's justice I ask you? I catch a tear just in time. It's not raining out.

They don't see me…spying on them, but I am anyway, looking down on them actually, from my bedroom window. Dad doesn't know I'm home. He's sitting on the patio with Edward waiting for me to get here. This is the first break I've had since graduating and leaving for Chicago to take my big shot job at Black Enterprises as office manager to none other than Jacob Black himself. And now I'm fired. Let go. Axed. Ka-putted. Oh I can do anything I put my mind to alright. Right now I'm thinking how easy it would be to drop out of this window onto Edward's luscious, lumpy lap. But I must maintain my asexual image in front of Charlie, and I don't want to kill Edward. Or myself. Least I don't think I want to kill myself.

I've known Edward since around junior high when he moved to town and got a job at the station where Charlie is chief of police. Edward was this young married guy with a baby on the way and I was just starting to feel tingly down south. Well, he was right on time, the gas in the tank of my fantasies. What motivation! If I had a nickel for every time I made imagination-Edward tell me to spread my legs and wiggle my barely-there teacups while I rubbed up myself, I could lay those nickels end to end all the way to the moon…three times.

I was in my first year of college when I heard he was going through a divorce. He had a little boy, like five at the time. I tried to express my sincerest sympathy to him one night in our kitchen during my father's annual, have the guys and their wives over Christmas party. But Edward had custody of his son, and at Dad's insistence brought him along. I don't even think Edward had a beer, and as I remember he'd patted my head instead of my behind and thanked me for my kind words like I was Laura Ingalls and he was Mr. Edwards. I was thinking more along the lines of a less disgusting Lolita and HH.

Okay, here I was looking down at the two of them. Dear old Dad. And his good friend and deputy, his Barney Fife. That didn't quite cover it. Granted I could only see Edward's lean sprawled legs, and his lap and flat plain of his stomach and his broad shoulders and long arms and hands with limber fingers and the top of his head and the sexy shaggy hair and some of his profile. Beyond that I couldn't see a thing. Did I include the chin? Jaw I should say. How could I forget to mention that…bulwark of lickable scruff?

I ease my head back in my room and rehook the screen. Edward is talking to Dad. The man pulverizes me. He's got this voice…it goes right between my legs, like there's a little stereo speaker right there…resonating…a boom box if you will. Hot, nasty sex with him would be like eucalyptus oil on the chaffed, no- bloody scraped skin on my soul. Soul-skin. It would feel so good, this mindless snaky sex I've been thinking on for the past ten years. I say snaky because we are writhing and twisting together like snakes on a physician's pole…or a stripper's pole. Whoa now. I want to play naked Twister with him. I want to be so entwined we can't even be separated by a chiropractor…or a fireman with the jaws of life.

Oh shut-up. I don't want to hear about boundaries and…what's healthy and prudent. I don't care. I've played by the rules, and I got my ovaries served to me on a plate with fire-breathing catsup. I'm pissed off.

All my nice Ikea stuff. All sold off for the first fifty bucks someone could slap into my drunk hand. Someone who lived down the hall got a bargain. I can't for the life of me remember her name…but the God of wrath and vengeance knows.

Okay, curtain call. I kick off my shoes and my feet scream a size seven thank you. I change my blouse for a flannel shirt, roll the sleeves. I stick my hair up in a knot and put on my fuzzy warm socks and go downstairs. Asexual…remember?

I push outside and pretend I don't feel Edward's eyes on me. I look at Dad, and gush over him, and he can't hide how happy he is to hug me and welcome me home for some turkey. He assumes I'm going back…to Chicago. And being a lying boomerang of a loser I stand and give Edward a quick wave like hi-ya.

And there's interest in his face, I'll give him that. Like a-look how you turned out-expression. Or not. I'm not getting my hopes up cause I already know I'm reading too much into it, trying to guess if his brows have ever been that high before. Let's face it, he still wants to pinch the wrong set of cheeks.