I love him, mother
After Renée finds out about Bella's and Edward's wedding plans, she boards the next flight to Seattle. Can she really talk Bella out of it, or will she learn to accept her decision? ** The forgotten epilogue is now out =D
This is my first fanfic... I hope you like it. Reviews are greatly appreciated.
3. The visit
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2729 Review this Chapter
Renée finally showed some level of enthusiasm when I told her about the visit at the Cullens’. Even though she was still strongly opposed to the wedding, I could tell she was itching to meet my coming mother- and father-in-law. Maybe she hoped they would be just as shocked and unhappy about the whole thing as she was.
Edward and I picked her up from the motel the following day. Mom was actually smiling when we got there, though it faded as soon as Edward stepped out of the car to give her yet another handshake. I sighed. He was trying so hard.
“Good afternoon, Renée. I hope you enjoyed your first night here?”
Renée was still half-frowning when she answered, but her tone was polite.
“Hello, Edward. The night was all right, I suppose, if you forget the cockroaches and mouse traps we found in our closet. It’s just the way things are here at Forks, I guess.”
Renée addressed that last part to me.
“Forks isn’t half bad, Mom.”
“But you used to hate Forks! I remember the fits you threw whenever you had to spend your vacation here. It’s as if you’ve completely transformed, Bella.”
“Maybe I have.”
Mom didn’t answer that, but got in the car instead. Phil joined her in the back; I slid on my front seat next to Edward. I had a feeling this car trip wasn’t going to be any better than the last one.
Renée did some talking, mostly with me, and ignored Edward completely. Occasionally she turned to Phil with a question, which he answered with a simple nod or grunt. He was clearly not here voluntarily.
“So, will your whole family be there?”
That was the first time Renée had talked directly to Edward during the whole ride.
“All my sisters and brothers. And my parents, of course.”
“I hope I’m not disturbing them with my visit.”
“Not at all! They are all very excited.”
“You’ll love them, Mom. They’re very nice.”
By now we had nearly reached the house. The forest surrounding us was getting thinner and lighter. Phil was looking out of the car window skeptically. Maybe he thought that the Cullens were some kind of hermits living in a tiny, wooden house in the middle of the woods. I tried to imagine Carlisle with a beard and shaggy clothes. This time I couldn’t suppress my chuckle. All heads in the Volvo turned to me, and I blushed. I murmured an apology and looked out of the window, avoiding their curious looks.
I still felt like bursting into a laugh from my earlier thoughts, when suddenly the Cullens’ house, or rather their mansion, came into view. Renée’s mouth hung open and Phil went all white. For him, this was probably worse than the hermits.
“You… you… live in that?” my mother managed to utter. Of course she had known the Cullens were wealthy, but this was obviously more than she had ever expected.
“Architecture is Esme’s favorite hobby. She designed it all,” Edward answered, amused by her reaction. And Phil’s thoughts were probably very entertaining, too.
“I’m sorry, Mom. I should have warned you.”
Renée just shook her head.
Edward drove the car into the garage. Renée and Phil barely had time to recover from the astonishment the house had given them, when they fell into a new state of shock by the sight of the many expensive vehicles parked around us.
“Carlisle collects cars,” Edward said matter-of-factly, most likely responding to an unasked question he had picked out from their minds.
Mom was already wearing her friendliest smile when we got to the front door of the house. At least she was trying to behave herself, I noticed with relief. Hopefully she could keep it up.
Edward opened the door and let me and the guests enter before him. I was the first inside, and spotted the whole Cullen clan standing at the foot of the stairs. Carlisle and Esme came forward when they saw us walk in.
“Mom, this is Carlisle and Esme Cullen, Edward’s parents. Carlisle and Esme, this is my mom Renée and her husband, Phil.”
They shook hands. Esme was beaming more than I had ever seen her beam before, and Carlisle was radiating welcome.
“Nice to see you again, Renée. It’s been a while.”
“It’s nice to see you again, too, Dr. Cullen.”
“Please, do call me Carlisle.”
“Of course, Carlisle.”
Odd. Mom didn’t look the slightest bit nervous, but actually quite at ease standing there.
“And your wife, Esme. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“The pleasure is all on my side, Renée. I am so glad you came.”
Then I took my first glance at Phil. I could have sworn he’d be coweringin the corner by now, but instead he shook hands with Carlisle and Esme almost as comfortably as Renée had done. It wasn't normal.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Alice bouncing up and down impatiently, and hurried to introduce the rest of the family.
“Mom, I also want you to meet Edward’s siblings, Alice –“
Alice was hugging my mom before I could finish.
“It so nice to finally meet you, Renée!”
“-and Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett.”
Mom was still in Alice’s tight grasp when I finished my introduction. She looked a little startled, but eventually relaxed and hugged Alice back. I could still see some surprise in her eyes, though. A surprise that came from something other than Alice’s warm welcome. Was she noticing how cold and hard her skin was?
“Thank you, Alice. It’s great to meet all of you, too.”
I glanced at the Cullens. They were all smiling, even Rosalie, and stepped forward to shake hands with Renée and Phil. Only Jasper stayed behind, probably on Edward’s command. That’s when I noticed why the guests were suddenly so confident. Jasper must be controlling their emotions! I’d have to thank him later. It just made the visit that much easier for all of us.
Once the welcomes were over with, Edward sat us all at the couch, fetching a few chairs for the missing places. I was squished between Mom and Alice on the large sofa. Phil was on Renée other side, and was staring at the members of the Cullen family, shocked at their beauty. He especially gaped at Rosalie a lot, which she obviously noticed when she seated herself exactly opposite to him. To give him a better view, no doubt.
Carlisle began with some polite small-talk.
“How long will you be staying here at Forks, Renée? It’s still another six weeks until the wedding.”
“I haven’t booked my return flight yet, so I think I’ll stay for as long as I am needed.”
Translation: As long as it takes to convince Bella to leave the marrying for later. Ugh.
“You can help with the wedding plans, if you like. Bella isn’t being very cooperative, so I could use a hand,” Alice said cheerfully. It was true - I wasn’t being very enthusiastic about the planning. I simply didn’t care what color the flower arrangements were, or what shaped plates the guests would eat from.
“Yes, the wedding… Wow, that’s something, isn’t it?”
I cringed. Even though I had been preparing myself for this topic all day, I still didn’t feel even close to ready to talk about it. Renée was looking for someone to support her opinions of marriage, and was hoping she would get some from the Cullens. This was going to be a battle.
“It really is something. Edward and Bella will be very happy together.”
I cheered in my mind for Esme.
“Of course, of course. But isn’t it possible to be happy without being married first?”
Wow. Apparently, Mom’s tactic today was to be straightforward. Whether that was a good or a bad thing, I could not tell.
“I’m sure they would, but if this is what they want… why not? They’ll get married sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner.”
This came from Carlisle. His tone wasn’t impolite or offending in any way, but the words were just as genuine as those of my mother’s. This seemed to agitate Renée even further, and she threw out the Charlie-card.
“But wouldn’t later be more responsible? I’m sorry, but I’m sure you understand my reasons for being this hostile. I do not wish the same fate for my daughter as mine. Please don’t get me wrong- I’m not charging Edward of anything. But you never know what the future holds out for us.”
I threw a quick glance at Alice. She caught my eye and smirked.
“We certainly understand your views and worries, Renée.”
“Then please tell me why you are not at all anxious about this. Both our children are still very young, with their whole lives ahead of them. This could ruin their chances of ever fulfilling their dreams!”
I could feel the blood rush up to my cheeks then, and was sure I looked like a tomato.
It was worse than I had feared. It was bad enough that Mom was so aggressive when she spoke to me alone, but I wouldn’t have thought that she’d be just the same with the whole Cullen family around us. Fighting the urge to run away screaming, I closed my eyes and sank back in my chair. I didn’t want to see the expressions on the Cullens’ faces.
But then I felt a wave of calm wash over me, and though it didn’t quite erase all my humiliation and shame for my mother, I was able to open my eyes again. I gave Jasper a small, grateful smile, and he smiled back the same way.
“Please don’t be so pessimistic, Renée. Maybe this will do the exact opposite and help them accomplish any goals they might have in life.”
Alice didn’t look too excited anymore as she said that. She had clearly not been expecting my mother to behave like this any more than I had.
As soon as I felt my voice was strong enough to talk, I decided to step in. Mom should be directing this conversation at me, and not at the Cullens.
There were a lot of things I wanted to say. For one, I wanted to tell Renée that the only dream I had was to be turned into a vampire and live an eternity with Edward. Second, I wanted to tell her how humiliated she made me feel and how disappointed I was in her right now, like a mother talking to her poorly behaving child. Except that now, it was the other way around, like it always was with the two of us.
Instead, I decided to try calming her down.
“Mom, please. Listen to me. Yes, I’m marrying Edward. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my whole life.”
My voice almost broke there, and I stopped to take a deep breath. Giving up my whole life was exactly what I was doing by choosing to become a vampire. Though I couldn’t see Edward from where I was sitting, I knew exactly what he must have been feeling- guilt, anxiety. To prevent myself from looking at him, or my mother getting too suspicious by my long pause, I continued.
“I’m still going to college, Mom. Then I’m going to do exactly what I’d do without Edward, whatever it may be. I’m going to have a career and money and everything that comes with it. The only difference with Edward will be that I’ll be happy. And he'll be happy, too.”
Only the last part wasn’t a lie. I’d be in no state to go to college next year at all, and if I ever did, it wouldn’t be the same. And I could never start a career, at least not for a very, very long time. And that, too, would be because of a completely different motivation than ‘leading a normal life’. But I was going to be happy. Of that I was sure.
My short speech seemed to leave Renée astounded for the moment, giving me time to look at the faces of my future family. Even under Jasper’s influence, Emmett was looking as uncomfortable as Phil was. Alice obviously wasn’t at all pleased with the turn this conversation had taken. Rosalie, to my great astonishment, looked almost sad. It took me a second to realize why. She was probably thinking about the lies I had just been forced to tell, and what I was giving up with my insane wish to become one of them. Not wanting to think about it now, I quickly turned my head to Carlisle and Esme, who were both looking at me. They smiled a reassuring smile when I met their gaze, and I tried my best to smile back. At least they didn’t seem offended by my mother’s harsh words.
I turned to look to my left, where Edward was sitting. He, too, was staring at me, and reached out to take my hand. His cold touch calmed me down even more than Jasper’s abilities did, and I could feel my head clearing up.
Reluctant to look away from Edward’s beautiful eyes, I turned back to look at Renée and Phil. She had recovered, and opened her mouth as soon as she had my attention again:
“You make it sound so simple, Bella. But in married life, you get pretty careless, thinking that nothing bad can happen to you anymore. And then you forget to take the pill one day… It can come to that very quickly. There go your dreams and hopes for the future! Suddenly you’re a teenage mom with nothing to do but to hope that your husband stays with you through the rough times.”
I was crying now. The tears streamed down my most likely very red face, and I was shaking. Jasper sent over an extra strong wave of calm, but it wasn’t quite enough to stop the crying.
What I wanted most was to stand up and run from the room, away from Renée, away from the Cullens, away from myself. I yearned for my own, quiet room, to curl up and to bury myself in my misery. How could Renée do this to me? She was being even worse than I had ever feared. Maybe I should cancel the wedding, to make her happy. I pictured her pleased face in my mind when she’d find out I was being sensible after all. But Edward’s face popped in my mind next, and I knew I could never do that to him. He wanted this so badly…
No. I had to put a stop to this. Even if I had to lie to accomplish that.
“Mom? I have to tell you something. I wasn’t going to tell anyone but Edward about this, but now I guess I have no choice.”
My voice was still weak, and it was a struggle to make it loud enough for everyone to hear.
Shock and anger flashed on Renée’s face.
“I KNEW it!! You’re knocked up!! What did I say? I knew it, I knew it…”
“NO! I said listen. I’m not knocked up, but what I have to say is closely related to that subject. You see, I was at the gynecologist’s a few months ago for my yearly check up. And he found something… strange. So he ran some tests and came to the result that… well, there’s something wrong with my ovaries. I’m infertile.”
I had no idea what I was saying, and hoped badly that my mother wouldn’t ask what exactly was supposed to be wrong with my ovaries. I knew I couldn’t have answered convincingly enough.
Renée didn’t know what to say to that. She just stared at me in shock, just like everyone else in the room. My face was feeling very hot, and I was sure that I looked like I might explode any minute. But at least now my mother couldn’t bring up the pregnancy argument anymore.
“So… yeah. If you’ll excuse me…”
I stood up and started making my way upstairs. My legs wobbled dangerously, and I had to concentrate hard on every step I took. But all I wanted at that point was to get out.
Because I knew everyone was still looking at me, and I wanted to break down in peace.