Imprints in the Snow
For what you did to me
And what I'll do to you
What everyone else gets
You get a lifetime
--- My Chemical Romance There's nothing Bella hates more than life, and Edward Cullen. She resents him for creating her, against his better judgement. After being unable to accept life as an immortal, she returns to Forks, Washington, hoping to find peace in the place that she spent the last of her years as a human. But just as Bella's adjusted, a very unexpected someone enters her life again and tears everything up. Chapter Six!
1. Chapter 1 - (Bella)
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2281 Review this Chapter
Now I know
That I can't make you stay
But where's your heart?
But where's your heart?
But where's your...
And I know
There's nothing I can say
To change to change that part
--- My Chemical Romance
He hadn't thought this part through yet. He'd given it a lot of thought already, but never thought that this would be the result of miscalculation. Edward's heart shattered as he watched Bella pack up the remains of the last six months of her life into a blue dufffel bag. "You're leaving." He said tonelessly.
Bella looked up at him, her gold eyes empty and void of emotion, even though what she was about to say would shatter the heart of the one she had given her life for. "Yeah, I'm leaving." She murmured. He opened his mouth to speak, but saw that she was not finished. "I'm tired of this life, Edward. I'm tired of being what you are. I feel like the life has been sucked out of me." She laughed humorlessly at the irony of her statement. "I need to go my own way for a while. Not forever, but until I find myself again." Bella stood up, feeling weighted not because of the full duffel in her hand - but because of the sudden pressure in her chest - like her heart was beating again; breaking again, really. It was like when Edward had left her for the good of her soul - except this time, it was Bella who was leaving, and not for his own good, but rather, for her own. She almost did not want to go, for his sake.
"I'm sorry for what I did to make you go," Edward whispered, his voice making her linger at the door for a second or two before she disappeared. He knew she would not return this time. She was gone for good. But even though he knew that she no longer loved him as she once did, it did not stop the tight pains in his chest that made him curl over on his knees - it was like his heart was beating again, too.
* * *
"Hey, Dad. It's me, Bella. I'm coming home for a week - you know, summer break up here in Alaska. Well, alright. I'll email you the flight details. Sorry for letting you know on such short notice... Well, see you next week. I love you." I spoke quickly, afraid to let the ice seep into my tone. I needed an escape, and this was the first thing that came to mind. I set down the phone on the end table, afraid I would crush this one between my fingers again. I was so afraid, though fear was something ridiculous to someone like me.
* * *
"Welcome to Port Angeles, Washington! May we suggest raincoats and umbrellas, because it is pouring outside?" A flight attendant with bad underbite announced the details of the weather, along with several announcments regarding the airport foodcourt specials. I paid her no attention as she jabbered on and on. I just wanted to get off the plane.
"Thank you for riding with USA International and have a nice day." Her voice cut off, and I gratefully got up from my seat and walked past her, eager to be home again.
I hadn't seen Charlie in nearly two years. I was anxious to get home, yet afraid of what he might think of me now - after having not spoken to him in the last two or so years. After the wedding, I had just left without so much as a goodbye. I just disappeared. Never before had I regretted that as much as I did now. It had all been for nothing.
Maybe it was best I didn't show up at Charlie's doorstep at all. I didn't even know if he had gotten my message - or if he wanted to see his estranged daughter at all. I devised a plan as I gathered my luggage - if Charlie did not want to see me, I would not force my presence upon him. I would just leave, and go somewhere else. I didn't let myself think as far past as to where I would go if he did not want to see me - heaven knew I had no other place to go.
I needed to get home more than ever now.
He was hunched over the lawnmower, his face out of view. I watched him from where I was, up in the tree above the window opening to my old room. He looked forwards, pushing the roaring lawnmower in his hands, moving it swiftly over the overgrown blades of grass. Then he stopped abruptly. My eyes followed his line of sight. Charlie was staring straight at my old truck. It was time for me to make my entrance.
Of course, it would frighten him if I just appeared out of nowhere, if I just jumped down from the tree branch now. I would wait until he went inside, and then come down and knock on the door, maybe even dig up the old spare key and let myself in. No, that was what I would've done if I was still Bella Swan, the daughter of Chief Swan and his flighty ex-wife. That was all in the past. What, and who was I now?
In the past two years, I hadn't had much human contact, afraid of what would happen if I lost control. It was hard to remember that they were so much more fragile than me... And that I had once been just like them.
He finally went inside, shutting and locking the door behind himself. I pulled out a compact mirror from the bag slung across my shoulders, making sure I looked every bit as human as he did. But it was no use trying to disguise my paler skin. My excuse for my long absence was that I was attending university in Alaska - it also doubled as an excuse for my pallid complexion. I put on brown contacts, careful that the dark gold did not show underneath.
"Hey, Dad - it's been a long time," I practised outloud. My face felt strange as I tried to fake a smile. I hadn't smiled in a long time. It was an even longer time since I'd felt happiness - true, geniune happiness. "I'm home, Dad," I tried again, after a glance in the mirror showed a less-than-enticing smile on my face.
I jumped down from the tree, since now it was getting dark. My flight had landed hours ago, and if Charlie had checked out the flight times online, I should be arriving home by now. I could use the heavy traffic as an excuse.
Three quick raps at the door had Charlie running to answer in a matter of minutes. "I'm coming!" He bellowed, and then the door swung open. "BELLA!" He shouted, the sound ringing in my ears. It was relief to me, because I could hear the recognition and fondness in his tone. He didn't hate me. "Bella!" He said my name again, his brown eyes crinkling with his wide smile. Charlie stepped forwards, and flung his arms around my shoulders and hugged me closely.
He was so warm - and the smell of his blood! I remained frozen as a statue, his pulse tempting my self-control. Just one little taste - I shuddered and held my breath. "Hey, Dad. I'm home."
* * *
Of course, Charlie and I had plenty to catch up on. The Forks Police force had grown since the last time I was here, and they had more than ten members now. They patrolled the area from Forks halfway to Seattle. Charlie was proud of the fine officers he commanded. "Mark is second in command now. You know, his wife Martha is pregnant with their third child. He says it's a girl this time. You should've seen the joy in his eyes when she called him at work to tell him that she's pregnant with a girl. He spent the entire day going over names, from Anastasia to Zelda..." He shook his head with a smile on his face.
"That's great, Dad." I muttered, twiddling my thumbs. I didn't know what else to say.
"So how are things in Alaska, Bella? You never said anything while you were away in school." He took a sip from his Broncos mug, peering at me over the edge of the opaque white glass.
"It's very cold in Alaska," I said, afraid he would see through my shifty eyes. I hadn't been to Alaska at all. In fact, I could not remember the last place I had stayed at, my only focus in the last two years was to not to succumb to the lust of human blood. It consumed me entirely - much, much more difficult than I could ever have imagined. Charlie looked at me now, his eyes asking for more than just a weather report. "When I walk from my classes-" My mind was clogged with excuses. "-it reminds me of living here, in Forks - during winter. It's very, very cold. Um... my dorm is far from most of my classes..." Some excuse! All I could mention was the temperature!
"I see." Charlie seemed to buy my excuse. "Did you know that Ben and Angela have gotten engaged?" I did my best to compose my face; to make myself seem excited.
"Wow! I didn't know that," I said.
"Yeah, they just got engaged a couple weeks ago. They called home to tell their parents. They're coming home in a couple of days. You planned your visit at the right time, Bella. Angela has been asking how you've been. She misses you." Charlie grinned at me. "It'll be like old times again. You two were so close."
Not close enough. I didn't even know that she's getting married. "Yeah. I miss her too."
"How are things with you and Edward? He didn't come along with you, did he?" I could tell that this was a very awkward question to ask. I knew he still held a grudge against Edward, believing that it was because of him that I left without first saying goodbye, like I'd promised him I would. I regretted breaking my promise to my father - though I did not want to put the blame on anyone - I resented Edward for being one of the reasons behind it.
"Things are... a bit strained," I thought back to how I had just left so abruptly. I thought back to the expressions on the faces of his family. They looked so devastated to see me leave, and I was, for a while. But there was understanding, like they knew the emotions behind my reason to leave... I didn't let myself think as far back as to Edward's devastatingly beautiful face - shattered in sorrow. All because of me.
"What do you mean?" Charlie seemed geniunely concerned for the relationship between me and my husband.
"I don't think marriage is for me, Dad. I don't feel the same way about him as I used to." I looked up at him, reading the look behind his eyes. Was he sorry for my failed relationship? Was he happy? I couldn't tell.
"Bella, when your mom left me and took you with her..." Charlie began. I could see where he was heading with this. I didn't want to identify the waning bond between Edward and I as just another ordinary human romance that had lost its intensity. For one thing, the bond was anything but human.
"Dad, no, no, it's not like that." I held up my hands to stop him before he could say anything else. "I just think maybe I got married too soon, you know?" Maybe a lie was a better way to go. "I'm only eigh- twenty years old."
"Your mother married me when she was nineteen years old," Charlie reminded me.
"And look how that ended!" I could see the hurt in his eyes and instantly regretted my rash words.
"Yes, Bella. Look how that ended." He murmured to himself.
"I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean it like that."
"It's alright, Bella. No harm done." He smiled his crinkly-eyed smile to prove. "Are you hungry? I could whip something up for us." Charlie looked over at the frying pan, the look in his eyes like he was afraid of touching it.
"No, I'm not hungry, Dad. I ate on the plane." Not true. I could feel my eyes darkening now. I needed to hunt soon. I would go as soon as he fell asleep tonight. The last time I hunted was nearly a week ago.
"Alright, Bella. It's getting late, now. I think I'm going to bed." He got up and stretched. "You should get some sleep. Those bags under your eyes look permanently etched on your skin." I didn't move as he left the room and clumped up the stairs.
The phone in the kitchen rang. I got off my chair to answer it.
"Hello? Swan residence." I said formally.
"Bella Swan Cullen, please." A frighteningly familiar male voice answered on the other line.