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First Year

Carlisle made the difficult decision to change 13 year-old Sunny into a vampire before her cancer could kill her. This is Sunny's first year as a Cullen and a vampire.


5. Chapter 5: Closure

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Clara’s POV

The closer we all got to the top of the stairs the more anxious I became. What was I going to say? Would my mom be mad at me? Would she think that I didn’t want to be with her, that I didn’t love her anymore? Edward gave my shoulder a gentle squeeze as I felt him read my thoughts. The slight pressure in my head began to ease when we finally were standing in front of my closed bedroom door.

I wanted to reach back and grab someone’s hand but I thought better of it. Right now would be a bad time for sudden, vivid, emotional flashbacks. I felt the minor pressure in my head again as Edward drew me back against his side. He was the one who finally reached out and opened the door.

I heard the others gasp before I even had taken a step. Edward’s grip suddenly became very rigid. My mom was sitting at the end of my bed, a patient, expectant smile on her face. She looked solid, not transparent, or indistinct, like I would expect a ghost to look. She looked whole. She looked like herself.

I tore my eyes away from her slowly to face the others. They all were wearing identical expressions of shock, staring right at the spot where my mom sat. “You can see her, too,” I breathed, bewildered.

I heard the springs on the bed groan and turned back around. My mom was getting to her feet and coming closer to us. I heard a low growl erupt from both Alice and Edward at the same time, causing my mom to halt immediately. Her face was filled with concern. “I promise, I don’t mean any harm. I just needed to see my child.” Her voice was pleading. She took one cautious step closer.

No one moved, not even me. Edward’s grip was still firm on my shoulder but he made no protests when my mom stopped a foot from me and knelt. With a soft smile on her face, she held her hand out to me.

At first, I was too stunned to budge. I didn’t even realize that my arm had moved until I felt my mom’s hand in mine. She was solid, warm, real. How? I collapsed into her arms. “Mom?” I questioned. I was barely aware of Edward’s half uttered protest behind me but I heard Bella pleading with him to let me be.

My mom smiled at me sadly. “I don’t have much time, Clara.”

I couldn’t let her go, not again. Esme was right; there was no way I could let my mom leave me for a second time. I clung to my mom for a long moment, reveling in the sensation of her arms around me again. Nothing about her had changed at all. She even smelled the way I remembered.

I, on the other hand, was completely different. I pulled back suddenly, my eyes wide with alarm. “I’m so sorry, Mom. I couldn’t leave. I didn’t want to die. I love Dr. Cullen and his family, they love me, and I just couldn’t leave. I wasn’t ready. And I didn’t know what they were…well, not at first… but I knew Dr. Cullen could save me and he did. They all take such good care of me, I promise, they do!” There was so much more I wanted to say but she put her hand over my mouth and laughed.

“Sunny, I know that. It’s all right. I always knew he would take care of you. I knew it from the moment we met him.” Her emerald eyes flicked away from me for a moment to rest on Edward, Alice, and Bella before she looked back at me again. “You’re right where I want you, darling. You’re exactly where you belong.”

I was in her arms again and, although my eyes were no longer capable of shedding tears, I was sobbing. “I was only allowed to come back to tell you that, Clara. You’ve been having such a hard time with all this.” She pulled away to stare into my eyes again. “You have to let me go, Clara, it’s the only way you’ll heal. You have another family now that loves you as much as you love them. Let them in and be happy, baby. Please.”

Now I was confused. “What do you mean? I do let them in…”

“No, Clara. You still don’t believe that you’re here with them to stay. That’s what I mean. These are your siblings.” Her eyes moved to Edward, Bella, and Alice again. “This is your home and this is your room.” She let one arm sweep the room around her. “Carlisle and Esme, they are your new parents. Let them in. Let yourself believe that they want you. You need them.”

I was shocked to realize that she was right. In fact, last night was the only time I could recall ever thinking of Edward and Carlisle as my brother and my father. I had never really referred to this as my bedroom. Yesterday was the first time I had ever thought of this house as home. I was blocking the process. I had no idea. “I’ll try,” I whispered.

My mom held me for one more long moment then kissed my cheek and abruptly pulled away. “I have to go now, Clara.” She stood again and made her way to the broken window on the other side of the room.

“Where will you be? Where are you going?” My voice was pleading, my arms stretched out towards her. I couldn’t do this. She couldn’t leave me again.

“You’ll dream about me, Sunny. When you need me again, you’ll see me. I promise, I’m not going far.” With that, she was gone.

I had no idea I was falling until Edward caught me. Without a word, he scooped me into his arms and carried me downstairs. When he placed me down on the couch beside Esme, I curled up into her, clinging to her silently as I stared blankly at the wall on the other side of the room.

We must have sat that way for a long time because when I finally looked away again, it was dark outside and Bella was gone. I frowned at Edward in confusion. “She had to go home,” he whispered. I looked at the clock on the mantle. It was midnight. I gasped and pulled away from Esme. I had been sitting there in grief-stricken silence for eight hours.

I didn’t realize that Carlisle was beside me on the couch until he put his arm around me. “It’s alright, Sunny. You’re fine.”

I hugged him tight with a long sigh. He was right and I knew it. Finally, I allowed myself to feel it. I was with my family. I was where I belonged, just like my mom said. For the first time since coming into their lives, I felt like this is where I was supposed to be.

Edward came to stand behind where I sat on the couch, bending down to kiss the top of my head and run one hand down the length of my long, auburn hair. He was grinning. “So you’re really ours now. It’s official, is it?”

I beamed up at him and laughed. “Looks like it. And now that you’re officially my big brother, I have a favor to ask.” I smirked as I reached up for him.

He smiled cautiously, lifting me into his arms. “And what would that be?”

I glanced down at Esme and Carlisle and my smile faltered slightly. “Help me fix my bedroom window,” I whispered.

Carlisle laughed. Esme, on the other hand, looked like she was about to blow a gasket. “Clara Elizabeth Cullen, what are you talking about? What about your bedroom window?”

Edward was already halfway up the stairs with me, laughing to himself. “I told you to fix it before Esme saw, didn’t I?”

I sighed. “Do you think I’ll gain any points for fixing it now?”

Edward was quiet for a moment then laughed to himself again. “Sunny, I think you’d better be a very good girl from now on.”

“And don’t you dare even think about jumping out of any more windows!” Esme added from downstairs.

Edward was still laughing when my bedroom door closed behind us.