Continuation of "Alone" All Human Now that Bella and Edward are together, will their lives settle down or will there be more bumps along the way? There will be a lemon chapter here and there.
9. Chapter 9
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Charlotte and I have been home for about eight weeks now. I returned to going to classes four weeks ago, and it was tough! I was nursing, so that didn't help anything either. Thankfully, two of my professors were understanding and would let me leave class a few minutes early to do my pumping. Charlotte is so much different than Maddy and Masen. The twins had a full head of bronze hair; Charlotte was completely bald and would get up every three hours or so to feed, something I was sure the twins would have done, if they were home at this age. The twins were three pounds at birth; Charlotte was a whopping 9 pounds two ounces. Such a chunker. Masen used to love cuddling up on your chest while Maddy preferred to be held my Carlisle. Charlotte definitely wanted to be held by me, which I actually liked. She was most likely my last baby, so I wanted to soak up as much of her at this age as I could.
Rosalie was back to her old self again and requests for her have been coming in like crazy. She's been flying between LA and New York constantly, which made Emmett happy, but only because he had bragging rights.
Alice hired two girls from the local high school to help in her store, and was talking to the owners of the store next to hers. They were looking to sell and Alice was looking to expand and now it was just a matter of getting the paperwork all sorted out. Jasper was still making a name for himself in the world of politics.
Carlisle and Esme are a huge help to Edward and I. They really seemed to enjoy being grandparents. But I often wondered if they were reveling in what they lost all those years ago with Esme's miscarriage. Edward had told me about that a few days after mine. As sad as it was, I felt special and lucky to know that one secret they kept from the others.
Edward and I had looked at three houses since Charlotte's arrival and none of them were what we wanted. It was getting to the point where we tossing around the idea of building one ourselves, but none of the plots of land we looked at were big enough. Alice and Rose kept saying we were insane for wanting to leave; that Seattle wasn't that far away. But we need our own place. I love living with everyone, I do, but there are 5 of us now and the place can only hold so many of us. I'll admit, it'll be hell when we do leave, but it's time.
It was the week of finals and the house was filled with stress and anxiety. Emmett was struggling with two of his classes, so he's been doing late night tutoring and studying; Edward was acing his classes, so he's been taking Charlotte for me after I nurse. Alice wanted to throw a graduation party, since I was the first one to do it, but I declined saying I would rather just go to dinner with everyone.
It was the day after finals and Emmett, Edward and I slept in, drained from the trials of the week. Charlotte was sleeping in the space between Edward and I. I still couldn't tell who she looked like just yet.
Out in the hall, we heard the sounds of Maddy and Masen running towards our door. They've been excited all week, as today was the day they were graduating from their Pre-K program.
"MOM! DAD! GET UP," Masen shouted.
"Grandma's making cookies and she won't let us have one," Maddy said.
"Or the batter!"
"Mmmm. Cookie dough," I said.
"Is your uncle up yet?"
"No, he's still sleeping," Masen said.
"Mom, did you know that Uncle Emmett's underwear looks just like Masen's??"
"Really? He wear Spider-man undies," I joked.
"I'm so teasing him about that," Edward said.
"Do you guys have your clothes ready for your graduation day," I asked.
"Good. Go get changed, I'll be there in a minute."
A few hours later, we were all sitting in the gym of the local elementary school, watching the Pre-K and Kindergarten students file in wearing their caps and gowns. When Maddy and Masen's names were called, we all cheered; the loudest of all the other families there. After, we all went to the local Chuck E. Cheese where Emmett and Jasper made a fool of themselves with all the games.
"Mom! Look at all our tickets," Masen said running over to us with Maddy in tow.
"How in the world did you get all of those?"
"Uncle Emmett and Uncle Jasper!"
"Oh good Lord," Edward said under his breath.
"Where are your uncles," I asked.
Edward, Carlisle, Alice, Rose and I all followed Maddy and Masen over to the Skee-Ball area where we found the two of them in an epic battle.
"Dude, you're cheating," Jasper said.
"How can I be cheating? I'm just better than you," Emmett said.
"You two do know that this is a child's game, right," Rosalie asked.
"Which is why I'm winning," Emmett said.
"Hey, I meant to ask you, how's the Spider-man undies there," Edward asked.
"Huh," Emmett asked.
We all laughed at the mental image of Emmett wearing the same Spider-man undies as Masen. This few moments of laughter helped Jasper, who ended up winning.
"No fair! You can't distract a Skee-Ball player," Emmett said. "I demand a recount."
Sunday came quickly. I had spent a few hours on Saturday shopping with Alice and Rose looking form something nice to wear to graduation. I had settled for a pretty light blue sundress with a white sweater to wear over it. The commencement speech was given to a good friend of mine who kept going on and on about how we need to strive ahead in these times of trouble and how things can only get better. Blah Blah Blah. I wasn't really paying attention anyway. When it was my turn to walk across the stage to receive my diploma, I wasn't nervous. I was actually very proud of myself for having accomplished everything that I had up to that point. I was a wife to Edward; mother of 3 to Madeline, Masen and Charlotte; and a daughter in law to Carlisle and Esme. The only thing that could have made today better were three people: Renee, Phil and Charlie. Renee and Phil called this morning and said their congratulations. And Charlie...well I haven't really spoken to him since my wedding. Maybe the reason he's not here is because of my stubbornness. Maybe I should have given in and called him; forgave him like usual. I missed him. Maybe I'll call him afterwards.. NO! Stand your ground! I could hear Edward said to me.
After graduation was over and pictures were taken, we all headed over to The Lodge for dinner. Alice and Edward wanted to go some place a bit fancier, but this was more my style. Once we were all seated, I had realized I forgot Charlotte's diaper bag in the car and went to retrieve it. On my way back to the door, I ran into Charlie, Rebecca and Daniel, standing outside.
"Bella," Charlie called. I stopped dead in my tracks. "Bella, can we talk?"
"Right now? I'm here with everyone for graduation."
"It won't take long."
"I just wanted to say that I got the birth announcement. Charlotte is a beautiful name and she's a beautiful baby."
I could see he was very uncomfortable.
"Your grandmother's middle name was Charlotte."
"I didn't know that."
Masen joined us then.
"Mom, Dad needs Charlotte's bag," he said.
"Here. Tell him I'll be in, in a few minutes."
I handed Masen the diaper bag and he ran back inside.
"So...how are things?"
"Fine. Edward and I will be moving as soon as we find a house. You?"
"Okay. Why are you moving?"
"We're moving to be closer to school."
"Here you go, Dad," Masen said to me as he handed me the diaper bag.
"Where's your mother?"
"Outside talking to Grandpa Charlie."
"What," Esme said.
"She's talking to Grandpa Charlie," he said again.
This couldn't be good. I stood and went outside, where I found the two of them in a now heated discussion.
"Dad, Edward is my husband! I'm sorry you can't accept that, but he is and I love him!"
"But how can you? He's still the same person!"
"Everything okay, Bella love?"
"We're fine. Is she hungry," Bella asked as she took Charlotte from my arms.
"No, just wet, I think. I can do it, though."
"That must be a first," Charlie said.
"Charlie," Rebecca hissed. "Enough!"
"Charlie," I began, "I know you're not fond of me and I know you think Bella deserves someone better. In fact, she probably does deserve someone better than me. But doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could take back the stupid mistakes that I made. I know part of the reason I did them was because I was far too young, but I would have hoped that you of all people would have understood."
"What are you talking about," Charlie asked.
"Don't you think getting married as young as you and Renee were was a mistake? If I remember correctly, Bella had said that a big reason your marriage failed was because of your age and the fact that you devoted the majority of your time to your work rather than your family. You didn't fight hard enough for them. But you found happiness with Rebecca, am I right?"
"Okay then. I thank God everyday that I am lucky enough to wake up next to the mother of my three beautiful children. Bella's all I'll ever need in this world. I know I didn't realize that before, but I do now. Bella is an amazing woman; she's beautiful in every way a woman can be. She's given me the three most precious things next to her: Maddy, Masen and now Charlotte. There's nothing that will ever come between us again because I'm not giving up my family without a fight."
We were both silent for a few moments.
"Well, Edward," Charlie said after a few moments, "I suppose you're right. About a few things anyway."
I figured that was as close to an apology I was going to get. We stood there for another few minutes. I could tell Bella was contemplating something.
"Dad, why don't you come in and join us for dinner," Bella said.
"We'd love too," Rebecca said.
A few weeks later, Edward and I were sitting in our room packing. We had finally found a house close to school that we liked: five bedrooms, four baths, a greenhouse, and a huge backyard. It was also in a school district we liked, too. It was sad packing everything up, but it was what I wanted.
My relationship with Charlie was a little better, although I think it's been strained forever. Try as we may, it will never be the same, but I'm glad we're at least talking again.
I was in the closet when I found shoe box of old pictures. They were of Edward and I while in high school, before I got pregnant. We were full of anticipation back then. Of course back then everything was easy, simple. We didn't need to work for our relationship. We were simply happy being together. I couldn't believe how much we've both changed. We went from being crazy teenagers without a care in the world to married with three kids. I'll admit all of this happened differently than the way I had planned it, but in the end, all that mattered was the fact that we were together. Edward would still hum my lullaby, just not to me all of the time; he still had that intoxicating smell about him; his eyes and kiss could still make me forget where I was.
I knew Edward meant every word he said to Charlie that night; how he wouldn't let anyone come between us and that he would fight for me. I'm sure he had said these things to me before, but I needed it hear it. Any fears I had about our relationship were calmed after that night.
After two days of packing, we were all standing in the driveway. I had Charlotte in my arms; Maddy was wrapped around Carlisle's leg and Masen was standing with Emmett.
"But I don't want to go," Masen said to Emmett. "I want to stay here and live with you."
"I know. So do I. But you are going to have so much fun with all the new kids on your block."
"What if they don't like me?"
"You kidding? They're gonna love you. And I'll be up next weekend, okay?"
Masen shook his head, and wrapped his little arms around Emmett's neck. Emmett stood and put Masen in the car. Edward walked over to get Maddy.
"Come on, sweet pea, time to go," Edward said.
"Are you coming to, Grandpa?"
"No, I have to stay here," he said.
"Will you come and visit me?"
"I'll come too," Alice said. "Besides, we have your room to decorate, right?"
"Right. Can I have butterflies in my room?"
"That sounds like fun," Alice said.
I could already see the plans being worked out in her head.
I watched as Edward and Bella pulled out of the drive and drove towards the new life they were building. Once they were out of sight, I looked over at my family. Esme, Alice, Rose and even Emmett were crying.
"So what now," Jasper asked.
"Beats me," Alice said.
"It's going to be so quiet," Rose said.
"Yes it will. But this is for the better," I said.
"Think we can beat them to the new house," Emmett asked looking at Jasper.
Emmett and Jasper jumped in their cars with Alice and Rose. I knew it would be up to me to keep this family together in the upcoming days. Bella had changed not only Edward's life for the better, but all of ours as well. And I will be forever grateful because of that.