What if the Cullens had not been in Forks when Bella went to live with her father. What if she had the life she was supposed to have with Jacob on the reservation in La Push. What if after several extremely happy years of marriage the Cullens did return to the area and Bella had to interact with them every day. Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
14. Chapter 14 - Goodbyes
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1853 Review this Chapter
Telling the students I was leaving was much harder than I expected it to be. The seniors grumbled about being left in the lurch with college applications and AP exams coming up. I gave them my emergency cell phone number telling them that I didn’t leave it on but would check for messages every few days in case they needed something. That number got out to all of the students and over Christmas break I ended up with dozens of voice mails wishing me a happy holiday and a few freaking out seniors wanting me to review college application essays.
“I never knew you were the most popular teacher in the school,” Jacob smirked, enjoying my frustration. My guilt at leaving was probably going to lead to this year’s graduating class getting more attention than ever before and might translate into acceptances at better colleges.
Several of the students sent get well cards to Billy who was all too willing to play along with the ruse. He was happy for any situation that kept me from working with the vampires though he saw the benefits of having a spy in their midst. The only hard part there was my dad. Charlie and Billy had been best friends for years but Charlie had to be given the public story as he wasn’t allowed to know the true reasons I was leaving Forks high. After loosing Harry Clearwater nearly ten years ago Charlie wasn’t ready to be the only one left of his little crowd. We told him repeatedly that Billy was just having a little more trouble getting around and taking care of himself and that there was no medical emergency.
Knowing that I would be leaving Forks High soon made me very sentimental for the place. It was more than just where I worked; I went to the school myself and had become attached to many of the students over the years. I planned to host a little gathering on the last day of the semester in my classroom during lunch. My intention was to have students bring their own lunches, I would bring a cake and we could listen to some music and talk about literature or whatever else they wanted. I expected that several of the seniors and a few of the students from my other classes would attend.
I didn’t count on Alice.
“Bella,” Alice chided as she entered my classroom shortly before lunch was over, “you aren’t going to call a little cake in the classroom a party, are you?”
“Why not?” I asked. “Most teachers don’t do anything with the kids before they leave. I just don’t want my seniors to feel abandoned in the middle of the school year.”
“You’re the best teacher in the school. All of the students will want to come. Why don’t you let me put together your party?”
“I don’t know, Alice. Are you sure you want to? I’m really not expecting much.”
“Please Bella. I’d love to, we never get to throw parties at my house except for when Emmett and Rosalie get married and then only the family comes. It will be so much fun, you’ll see!”
I hesitated, nervous of what Alice’s idea of a party might look like. Noticing my reluctance Alice pulled the most devastated face I’d ever seen. “You said we were friends, Bella. Won’t you even let me throw a proper party for the first friend I’ve made in decades?”
The girl didn’t fight fair and I’m a sucker for guilt trips.
“Please Alice, don’t make this too big of a deal. It has to be at the school for reasons I’m sure you understand and I really don’t like being the center of attention.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. If you need an excuse tell your husband that the students wanted to do this. There are several who would be thrilled to plan this party but need someone else to get things rolling.” She gave my hand a little squeeze and ran to her seat as the rest of the class returned from lunch.
It was with more than a little trepidation that I approached the cafeteria after classes were over on the last day of the semester. Rumors had been circulating for the past two weeks concerning the send-off I was about to receive. You would think I was a beloved teacher retiring after 30 years of service rather than some hack under the age of thirty who was falling in love with one of my students. If the real reasons for my departure were to be made public I would be sent to counseling and might loose my teaching license. But here I was, about to enter what could be the best party Forks high had ever hosted.
I steeled myself for what awaited me as I approached the door. Several students were excused from their sixth period class in order to set up for the event including the entire newspaper class so I had plenty of time to just sit and worry about it. At least I was able to finish entering semester grades. Before I could even reach for the handle the door swung open and I was greeted by an exuberant Alice who hugged me as if we were good friends who hadn’t seen each other in years as opposed to student and teacher who had been in class together just two hours ago.
I was greeted to a loud but wordless cheer. What do you say to the person who is moving on after just five and a half years to care for a supposedly ailing relative in the next town? From the looks of it every honors English student was there along with the entire staff and even some recent grads. Alice was considerate enough to invite Charlie as a stand-in for the rest of my family. None of them would consider coming to a party hosted by vampires. Charlie stood at the edge of the room looking decidedly uncomfortable at such a large gathering but also incredibly proud. He had never imagined that I was so popular. There was no way I was going to burst his bubble and tell him that I was simply the favorite teacher of a family of vampires that felt guilty about entering my life.
Some of the students wanted to give speeches about my influence on them so I spent much of the evening turning red. After 5 ½ years of marriage and the pack knowing all of my secrets because I kept nothing from Jacob I didn’t blush nearly so much as I used to. But I hadn’t been the center of attention like this before in my life; not even at my wedding.
Emmett Cullen took the mic and told the school that before he came to Forks he never knew that it was possible for someone to be so clumsy and still make it through the day and that I was a great example to all those students going through awkward growth spurts. Everyone roared with laughter. The evening ended with a tribute to my bravery for saving myself from certain death by jumping from my car. I kept my face lowered when they said it but I saw Edward grinning at me with the corner of my eye. I think I turned six shades of red.
After 3 very long hours of shaking hands and accepting their best wishes and eating from the elegantly catered buffet dinner I was ready to go home. Being the center of attention exhausted me.
“Did you like your party?” Alice asked me when I was leaving.
“You’re just lucky I won’t ever see you again or I would kill you with my bare hands,” I grumbled. But I gave her a final parting hug.
The only good thing about the party was that I got to meet my replacement. He was a serious young man named David Sweeny who exactly looked the part of an English teacher right down to his goatee and tweed jacked worn over a dark turtleneck. He seemed very intimidated by the reception but I promised to meet him after school a few times as he was getting started in case he had any questions.
When I arrived home I unloaded the boxes of stuff from my classroom including the box containing my precious statue and stored it all under the bed. When I started working again I would bring most of it to my classroom. The statue, however, would remain under my bed forever. I couldn’t risk Jacob knowing that I had it and I couldn’t bear to give it up. For the first time since we got the bed set as a wedding gift I was glad that it came with a dust ruffle.
While I gave the boys their bath I told them all about my party. They laughed when they heard about David, my replacement, and his little beard. Charlie stuck up for me when he heard about the speech Emmett gave.
“Mommy no fall,” he declared vehemently.
Getting them into bed was a chore because Jacob read them a “lug nuts” story and they were all riled up.
“Why do you smell like the jewelry doctor?” Billy asked as I was finally tucking them in.
I was taken aback. It hadn’t occurred to me that I, and all of my school things, would probably smell like vampire.
“The doctor and his family were at my party,” I said.
After the boys were finally sleeping I took all of my school things out from under the bed and put them back in the car. Then I stripped the sheets off of the bed and put them in a bag out the back door until I could get to the Laundromat.
“I’m getting the vampire stink out the house,” I said when Jacob looked at me like I had just grown an extra head.
“You should go wash the vampire stink off of yourself and then we can go to bed early,” he replied with a grin.
I was smiling as I entered the shower, looking forward to going to bed early with Jacob. Maybe if I wasn’t teaching and had no papers to grade Jacob and I could go to bed early more often. I could get used to that. As the hot water washed over me, erasing all of the stress from the day, I was surprised to find tears streaming down my face. I hadn’t realized until that moment how much I was giving up by leaving Forks high. Somehow, over the past semester Jacob stopped being my whole life. I had fallen in love with Edward Cullen and not seen how deep I was in until I cut him from my life. I had no choice, I was never going to leave my Jacob or our boys, but I was going to suffer more than I thought from leaving Edward. I had become like a planet orbiting twin suns, only the suns were in different solar systems. I could only have one of them. I took a strong cold medicine, the kind that knocks you out, before going to bed. The only thing I wanted to go to bed early for now was sleep.
- Chapter 2 - The Cottage
- Chapter 3 - Dr. Cullen
- Chapter 4 - Council Meeting
- Chapter 5 - Message
- Chapter 6 - First Day of School
- Chapter 7 - Birthday Present
- Chapter 8 - Please Help Me Name This Chapter
- Chapter 9 - Accident
- Chapter 10 - Forbidden
- Chapter 11 - Cold
- Chapter 12 - Walk in the Woods
- Chapter 13 - Consequences
- Chapter 14 - Goodbyes
- Chapter 15 - Stolen Moments
- Chapter 16 - Party
- Chapter 17 - Lost
- Chapter 18 - Stranger
- Chapter 19 - Saved
- Chapter 20 - Decision
- Chapter 21 - Return
- Epilogue - Bella Turns 30
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- 06 Feb 09
- 12 Jun 09
- In Progress