Loch Ness Monster
I believe that every teenage girl feels like a freak at some point on the road to adulthood. I, however, am a real freak. Nessie's story.
11. Sometimes It's Difficult Being This Witty and Attractive
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2218 Review this Chapter
“Jacob,” she whispered, barely half conscious and placed her hand gently on my cheek. She showed me the chaos of her thoughts—images of the prom and me and Justin and…her hair clip?
I smiled and took her hand in mine, “Not tonight, Carlie. Let’s keep those to ourselves.”
She mumbled something unintelligible and nuzzled her face deeper into the crux of my neck. As soon as she’d gotten home, she ran upstairs and changed out of her dress and into a pair of gray sweatpants and a blue t-shirt. Then, she’d come to find me in my room and curled up in a ball in my lap. She hadn’t said a word—just laid her tired head on my shoulder and closed her eyes.
It had been quite a long time since she’d slept like that—not for a few months, since we’d gotten Charlie’s diagnosis. And before that…not since before she’d gone to public school—when she was still innocent enough to find nothing strange in it.
“She’s exhausted,” Bella smiled, sitting next to me on my bed, and brushed Carlie’s cheek.
“Quite a night,” I nodded gently, careful not to wake her.
“Yeah,” she agreed, turning her gaze to me. I met her eyes and found them kind, understanding. I tried to smile, but I was sure it looked sad. “Are you all right, Jake? Tonight didn’t go exactly how—“
“I’m fine,” I shrugged. “I didn’t have any expectations. Really, tonight was one of the better nights of my life.”
She narrowed her eyes, “Then why with the pouting?”
I took a deep breath, “I don’t know. I guess I’m just…insecure? I don’t know what she’s gonna do now. I think I might of scared her.”
Bella scoffed, “She’s not easily scared.”
I smiled, “No. Not by monsters or vampires or werewolves…but…she’s never really been faced with…well, this.”
She shook her head, “But you said she…well, she wasn’t against it.”
“Yeah, she wasn’t…” I sighed. “But I don’t think she’s so sure now. She doesn’t know what she wants.”
She laughed, “What teenager does?”
“Right,” I scoffed. “But, see, the thing is…when she doesn’t know what she wants…I get all…”
“Insecure?” she finished for me.
“Insecure,” I smiled.
She ran a hand through her hair and cast her gaze downwards, “I feel like I should apologize for that.”
“For my insecurity?” I wrinkled my brow, then smirked, “Yeah, okay. I can see that. Go ahead.”
She shot me a playful glare, and I winked back at her. Smiling, she shook her head, “I’m sorry for making you so insecure, Jacob. Please, if there’s anything I can do to soften the blow—“
I laughed, “You should never promise a man ‘anything’, Bella. It’s hard for us to resist an offer like that.”
She smirked, “Jacob Black, did you just refer to yourself as a man? I’m shocked.”
I stuck my chin out, “Hey, I’m older than you, remember?”
She thought for a moment, staring out in front of her, “Ah, yes. Something about dog years, right?”
“That’s it,” I smiled.
She let out a cough of a laugh, “A little ironic, now.”
“Huh,” I smirked, “Guess so.”
I knew she didn’t really remember, at least not as clearly as I did. She barely remembered the things she’d wanted too. She asked Edward to tell her about them all the time—the meadow, her lullaby, the plane ride from Italy, the wedding, the, er, honeymoon…
She didn’t work very hard to remember much else, especially that period when Edward was absent from her life. It wasn’t that I blamed her; if I could choose to forget the worst parts of my life, I probably would. It was just a little strange, almost like having Alzheimer’s patient as a best friend. She didn’t remember the little things—inside jokes, random moments—which made us as close as we were. She thought she did, as her proud smile proved. Though, of course, six years ago, she would have been able to argue with me about the outcome of our little game. I think she ended up being older than me by a year and two weeks, but she didn’t remember.
“You’re still upset?” she sighed, not really asking.
“It’s just…” I shrugged, “I don’t like waiting. I don’t like not knowing who she’ll chose.”
“She’d be an idiot to chose anyone else, Jacob,” Bella shook her head. “Come on, give me one reason why she would pick someone over you.”
“See?” she smiled. “You can’t even think of one.”
“Bells,” I sighed. “I wouldn’t be able to blame her for picking someone more…I don’t know…normal?”
“Oh,” she sighed, then shook her head, “No. She won’t do that.”
“Definitely. She’ll pick the freak,” she nodded. “She has to; she’s my kid.”
I chuckled gently and smirked, “My, how the tables have turned.”
She laughed too, “Yeah, now you’re the older, dangerous, sexy option. How’s it feel?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve always been dangerous and sexy,” I sneered, jokingly.
She chuckled, putting her hand on my free shoulder. I didn’t shy away from it. I was used to the cold by now.
“So now that you’re old?” Edward’s voice called out softly from the doorway.
I scoffed, “Hypocrite, much?”
He smiled and walked towards us on the bed. Bella smiled up at him, “Hey, you.”
“Hello,” he bent down to kiss her, and then smiled at me. “Evening, Jacob.”
“Hey,” I gave him one swift nod.
“How is our Nessie doing after such a night?” he smiled to Carlie, sleeping in my arms.
“Just tired,” I whispered, watching her breathe in and out. “And probably a little confused.”
He nodded; understanding—seeing all the images she’d tried to put in my head. “Are you going to stay with her tonight, Jake?”
I shrugged, “Just in case she wakes up and needs something.”
Bella smiled at me and reached over to take Edward’s hand, “Did you talk to Carlisle?”
His gaze turned into a painful grimace, “I did. He’s…I’m afraid he isn’t as hopeful as we’d like.”
Bella inhaled quickly, afraid of that answer. Charlie had not been doing well in the last few months, and it was getting harder and harder to keep that truth from Carlie.
“Yes,” Edward looked to me. “Perhaps it’s time we came clean with her?”
“Not after tonight,” Bella shook her head, then more quietly, “Not until we’re sure.”
“Bells,” I sighed, hating how much it hurt her to watch Charlie suffer. “He hasn’t seen his granddaughter in months. You know that’s not fair—not for either of them.”
She was quiet for a long moment, then looked at me directly, pain evident in her golden eyes, “If you’d seen him…”
“It’s all right,” Edward whispered to her, kneeling by the bed.
“Edward, she deserves to say good—“ I began to say.
“Jacob,” he held a hand up. “Perhaps it would bring Charlie’s spirits up to see Renesmee?” he turned gently to Bella.
“Maybe,” she sighed. “Does it have to be right away?”
“Why put it off?” I shrugged.
“Are you trying to be funny?” she turned to me, anger brewing under her tone. “She just had a very trying night, and now she has this decision to make and—“
“Bella,” Edward stood again, and placed a hand on her cheek, “Renesmee is all right. She’s a very smart girl. I have every confidence she can digest all that has happened tonight without too much trauma.” He smirked, “And you know how happy it would make Charlie to see her.”
They looked at each other for a long time, debating silently with mere stares. It was enviable. Quietly, Bella cast her gaze downward, “Fine. She’ll go tomorrow…if she wants to.”
Edward smiled and kissed her, “Agreed.”
“Agreed,” I nodded, and then shrugged, “It’ll be okay, Bells.”
“Yeah,” she sighed, not at all believing me. She looked just like my Bella when she was sad. “Can we…?” she whispered to Edward, who brushed a finger along her cheek and nodded.
“Sleep well, Jacob,” he said, pulling Bella up to him and letting her head fall on his chest. I gave a weak smile and watched them leave. Their room was two over from mine, on the other side of Carlie’s, so it wasn’t difficult to hear them, still.
Bella started crying almost immediately after Edward closed the door behind them. It was such a painful sound, and even more painful that there were no tears streaming down her face. It was an odd, paralyzing disability—not to be able to produce tears. Like some strange torture—she had the emotion but could not show it. Frustrating, that was it. That was the word.
I held Carlie closer to me, listening to her parents. They didn’t speak to each other, at least not that I could hear. Bella just cried, and Edward held her close to him. He was murmuring something that I couldn’t quite understand. It was soft and gentle and, above all, calm. That still shocked me about Edward; he was almost always calm. I’d never really seen him loose his temper. Sure, I’d seen him totally crazy and willing to pimp his wife out to me, but he wasn’t angry. I’d never seen him angry. It was incredible.
“I’m not ready, Edward,” Bella whispered. “I can’t let go.”
“Shh,” he crooned. “I know, love. I know.”
He called her that—love. He did it a lot. It was the strangest thing, but I could never put my finger on why. No one else in the family did that—called each other love. They loved each other; I knew that, but no one used it instead of their intended’s name. It didn’t fall easily off the tongue. I didn’t think I would be able to say it without a little laugh—it just sounded so…proper. I felt like it would sound like I was mocking someone if I tried it.
“Edward,” she lowered her voice, “What if I forget?” She cried again. “What if I can’t remember…?”
“You’ll remember,” Edward assured her. “I’ll remind you if you need it. I won’t let you forget.”
“Man,” I whispered to no one, holding Carlie closer. Bella was worried about forgetting her own father. I mean, she would never forget him completely, but she would forget the human memories. She would forget cooking dinner for him and his face as he gave her away.
“I’m so scared,” she sighed heavily before another sob.
“My Bella,” he murmured softly. “I know it’s hard, and I know that it hurts you, and I wish more than anything that I could make that pain go away, but I can’t help you beat this. We just have to push through it, all right?”
I’d lived for a while in the company of functional romantic relationships, and they all had their own little quirks—their secrets to keeping their relationships stable.
Blondie and Emmett had their privacy. No outside observer would pair their public personas, but when they were alone, their connection was clear as day.
Carlisle and Esme had their understanding. Without speaking or even glancing at each other, they knew what each other was thinking.
Alice and Jasper had their magic—their unbreakable bond. There was such energy between them; it was so real, so tangible.
And Bella and Edward…well, they had it all.
So that left me and my sleeping imprintee. What did we have?
I sighed against her, and she groaned and wrapped her arms around my waist. I guess we had a friendship; that was more than any of the others had before their romances. And that was good—you were supposed to be friends first. I’d heard that before. Though, I couldn’t remember why and hoped that it was more than a contingency plan for when the relationship ended.
“Things have to change, Bella,” Edward sighed, so gently. “And I know it’s easy to forget about change when so much seems to stay the same, but…we have to remember that change is happening all the time.”
“Okay,” she whispered.
“And you know I’m always here,” he said.
“I know,” she nodded. “And in a hundred years, when all of this is over…you’ll still be here?”
“Forever, Bella,” he promised.
I had always been a little jealous of Edward. It was no secret. Most guys were jealous of Edward for one reason or another. But as the years past, I began to envy him for entirely different reasons than I had previously. Where before I had envied him for his money or his looks or his significant other—now I was learning what his real talent was—he could emote.
Okay, yeah, I emote. I know that. But, he has this way of being so completely honest about what he’s feeling. He can tell Bella he loves her and talk about the next hundred years and be totally confident that all he is saying is totally true.
When I try to tell someone I love them, I make a joke. Or when I don’t make a joke, they run away. I’d never been entirely comfortable with real emotion like he was. It was admirable.
“I’ll be here, too, Carlie,” I whispered, trying the words out while she slept, and she seemed to smile a little. I kissed her temple, “Forever.”
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