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Sunset of Hearts

Summary:
As the sun sets, it is the ending of a life. Sure, lives end every day, and new ones begin. But on this twilight, the sun was setting on the most important life in my world. But, it was also dawning on a new life as well. The only catch was, those two lives were both the same. What if Bella had come to Forks, and Edward and his family were human? What if they were like every other family? But, what if they were unfortunately pulled into a dark situation, that was to transform them into the thing of their nightmares, and inconsequentially, something darker than they had ever dreamed of? And what if Bella was the one to keep Edward going through all of this? Basically, what if Edward and his family were human in Forks? (Were being the key word.)


Notes:
Okay, I know that, if you read my previously completed story, Daylight, I promised an entirely different story. But, I felt a different inspiration to write this one. So, here it is.


17. Chapter 16: The Double T Diner

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 1404   Review this Chapter

TEN YEARS LATER

ASTORIA, OREGON

BELLA

“Pick-up!” The shrill voice of Denise, the diner’s chef, startled me out of my reverie. I spun around, almost hitting a customer with my circular tray, and apologized before loading the plates onto my tray and checking the order. Table thirteen.

After placing the plates onto the table, I started to make my way to another table.

“Excuse me!” I turned around, and back at table thirteen, the balding man was calling to me. I sighed, and went to see what he needed now. “There’s no mustard.”

“Sorry sir, I’ll have that right out.”

I came back, set the mustard on the table, then went to another table.

“Excuse me, waitress!”

“Yes?”

“This mustard doesn’t taste right.”

“Excuse me, waitress!”

“This mustard doesn’t taste right either.”

“Waitress!”

“This mustard is warm.”

“Waitress?”

“This mustard is cold.”

“This mustard has hair in it!”

When the mustard was finally good enough for him, I went to the next table. “What took you so long?”

Three hours and several bad tips later, I hung up my apron and clocked out. Sluggishly, I drug my feet along the sidewalk to where my truck waited. The red truck from Forks had died shortly after I moved to Astoria, for which I replaced with a similar red Ford. It was almost the same, except the edges were a little more angular, and the headlights were narrower.

I slammed the door and stuck the keys in the ignition before driving off. Twenty minutes later I parked in space number 55, reserved specifically for the tenant of Apartment 22A. Also known as Bella Swan.

In the lobby, I stood behind another woman who was opening her mailbox. She grabbed her mail, locked the box, and went up the concrete stairs to Apartment 18A. I opened my mailbox, the one with the nameplate that read “I. SWAN” and took out a hefty stack of bills. There was only one catalogue.

I flicked on the light to my desolate apartment. It was sparsely furnished with a couch, a TV on a narrow entertainment center, a cheap Wal-Mart CD player, and one side table. I walked into the dining room/kitchen that was empty except for a small table – which I placed the mail on – and the normal kitchen necessities – stove, oven, sink, fridge, cabinets. There was a short hallway that only had room for three pictures – one of Renee, one of Charlie, and a smaller one that I chose not to look at out of habit – which occupied the one wall. The other wall was really just a door and two narrow strips of wall, the door leading to the tiny bathroom and shower. Past that was the bedroom, where my bed – a simple wooden frame with an old, lumpy mattress on top – a nightstand, one dresser, and a mirror were jammed into the little space.

I grabbed a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt from the dresser before going back into the hallway, not noticing the picture that I passed as if it weren’t there every day, and entering the bathroom. I turned on the shower, washing quickly before the small amount of hot water ran out as it usually did within ten minutes. I toweled my hair and got ready for bed before collapsing into the sheets and balling up under the covers.

I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock tolling out six o’clock. Groaning and rolling onto my face, I slammed my hand onto the snooze button and fell back asleep. Five minutes later it rang again, this time louder. I repeated the process several times before finally getting up and dressing. I chose just jeans and a t-shirt, since I was only going grocery shopping before I had to return and get ready for my shift at the Double T.

Grocery shopping was as it always was, choosing the generic brand items instead of the pricier brand name items. I got a bottle of orange juice, a carton of milk, a loaf of bread, a box of Cheerios, and other various necessities. I pulled the coupons I’d clipped from the paper this morning out of my purse and waited in the long line behind a super-mom with three kids and a full cart and an elderly couple who insisted on using three baskets instead of a cart, and waited until everything was bagged until telling the cashier they preferred paper.

The total came up to fifty dollars, even with the coupons, which I grudgingly pulled out of my skinny wallet that was now empty. I loaded the bags into the back of my truck and pulled out of the shopping center, turning onto the highway and heading home.

I dropped the bags in the kitchen and went to the phone, where a flashing red light told me I had messages. One was from Renee, asking that I call her when I got in. Another was from Sue – another waitress at the Double T – asking if I could cover for her until she got to work. She had the shift directly after mine, which meant I would need to stay longer. But of course I was too polite to object. The last message confused me.

The feminine drone of the machine told me that the caller was unknown, along with the number. There was a pause before the message started, and a semi-familiar male voice started nervously.

Isabella – no, wait that’s not right. Bella – no, too informal. Um…Ms. Swan – yes that sounds right – this is um…an old high school acquaintance. If you could meet me tonight at eight…eight thirty at the um…Double T Diner on Irving Avenue, I would…um…yeah. Um…goodbye.

An old high school acquaintance? At first I thought…but then I corrected myself. Of course he wasn’t coming back. For all I knew he never was coming back. Maybe Mike Newton or someone. But I’d always thought Mike’s voice was different…of course, it had been ten years. At any rate, it wouldn’t be hard to meet them – whoever it was – sine my shift ended at eight, and with Sue being late, I probably would get out around eight thirty.

~

“Oh, Izzy, you’re a life saver!” Sue exclaimed, meeting me in the back. As I hung up my apron, she took hers off the hook. As I clocked out, she clocked in.

“Thanks again, Izzy.” I went by Izzy or Isabella now, only allowing Charlie or Renee to call me by my old nickname of Bella.

“Really, it was no problem. I have to meet someone here in a few minutes anyways.”

“Oh really?” Her tone was prying, and I could tell this would make good behind-the-counter gossip.

“It’s just an old high school friend,” I said immediately, rolling my eyes.

She looked just a little disappointed.

I checked my hair in the little compact I kept I kept in my purse and straightened my white button up shirt over my short black skirt that was my uniform. Taking a deep breath, I pushed open the door to the employee’s lounge and scanned the tables for anyone who looked vaguely familiar.

I checked my watch again. It was eight thirty-two. Perusing the aisles, I glanced that the occupants of each table. It wasn’t until I was about to turn my back on an almost empty section when I spotted a familiar hand, fingers drumming the table top. The skin was pale, almost white, and the fingers were long and bony.

Slowly, almost hesitantly, I walked down the aisle, closer to where the hand drummed the table top. Abruptly he stood, and turned slowly to face me. My eyes wept over him, starting at his feet then to his hands, then finally to this neck. I took in his finely chiseled chin and his prominent cheek bones, then stopped at his forehead. His eyes were different now, a butterscotch yellow, yet his hair was still the same, disheveled bronze color.

My voice came, low and shallow, a whisper stuck in a shocked exhale. “Oh. My. God.”