Look How You Turned Out 79
I saw Charlie in action as sheriff quite a few times growing up. He had this way of talking people out of their bad behavior. In twelve years he fired his gun three times in the line of duty. He'd never shot anyone.
I felt good when Charlie was around. I felt safe. It was the same with Edward. I'd seen him in action a time or two as well. I remember I was around fifteen sitting next to Edward at the Fourth of July fireworks show at the park and Juney was on his lap, his head buried because he didn't like the loud popping of the display. Angela was nowhere around. It's like Edward was always alone with Juney.
So we were off from the crowd because Juney was having a hard time. I'd come with friends but I'd seen the two of them sitting there and I went over. And once I did, I'd rather be with them anyway.
There were two guys sitting on the hill a little below us and one pulled out a joint. Edward sat Juney beside me. "Bella, can you watch Juney a minute?" he said, his eyes fixed on those guys.
"Sure," I said, but he was already moving downhill a few feet to where those two sat. He got in front of them and said matter-of-fact, "You're not going to light that."
The guys, the one as big as Edward, a joint hanging from his lip, match flickering in his hand, the other cupped over against the wind, looked at Edward for a moment and Edward looked back just like that. The other one said, "Put it out."
Edward grabbed it then, disintegrated it as he rubbed his hands. "The rest," he said then, and big boy dug in his pocket and slapped the baggie into Edward's hand. Edward emptied it and the wind carried it off. He tossed the empty on that guy's lap.
Then he came back to where I was sitting and he put his arm around Juney and that one climbed back into his father's lap. Edward looked at me and I smiled a little and then he went on watching the fireworks like nothing had happened. And I thought…damn.
Another time he was driving me and Juney to get some chicken. This was right after his divorce. I guess I was around seventeen. Some fool came speeding by and Edward sped up and followed him a ways and he called it in and kept close and we saw some rodeo driving like you can see around Forks sometimes. Sure enough we rounded a bend in the road right outside of town on the forty and that pick-up was nose first into a tree, and it was pointed up, front wheels had to be off the ground. That truck was trying to fly.
Some deer had been in the road and the road bent right and this hot-shot went left. Edward told Juney and me to stay in the car. "All right Bella?" he said, looking deep at me like I always wanted him to.
I just nodded. He didn't say my name much and it had been as powerful as the sight of that truck like that. If he could count on anyone in this world I wanted him to know, it was me.
He went ahead on foot and looked in that truck. We could tell he was talking to someone. He was on his phone the whole time. Juney and I craned our necks to watch him. The driver was downhill a ways, thrown from the car. He landed in a creek face down, I learned later. He didn't live.
Edward set up a safety perimeter, got out the hazard signs he had behind the seat of his truck.
"Dad is that lady hurt bad? Where's the man?" Juney asked.
"Bella," Edward said, his eyes flashing to me, "tell Juney it's all going to be all right."
"It is," I said automatically.
"The ambulance comes they'll fix that lady right up. Don't you worry," he told Juney taking the time to touch his nose. "Right Bella?"
"Right," I said putting my arm around Juney.
It wasn't yet dark. Edward went back to the truck and stayed with the passenger.
"What if it blows up?" Juney kept worrying.
"Stop being a baby," I said. "He's not a fool." But I was just as worried. If that truck blew I knew I'd be out of this vehicle so fast I'd run straight into that fire calling for Edward.
I kept my hand on the handle that opened my door the whole time. When help came and the passenger was cut out of the truck and loaded in the ambulance Edward handed it all over and jogged to the truck.
Juney was firing questions soon as Edward opened the door. He pulled Juney to him and kissed the top of his head, looking at me over Juney's little buzz cut. "You alright?" he said.
"Of course," I said easing my hand off the door.
We followed the ambulance to the hospital and we waited again while Edward ran in there and satisfied himself she was in good hands.
When he came back Juney was full of more questions and Edward said she was going to be all right.
I could tell he was relieved. He never said anything, but I was looking at him and he looked at me a couple of times. "You remember what we were supposed to get?" he asked a grin that lit his face. He was so handsome I could barely breathe.
"Twelve pieces, two potatoes, extra biscuits," I said.
"Good girl," he said, and he gave me a quick smile.
I just watched his hands on the wheel after that. I knew then I was in love with him.
And it never went away.