The Healing Process
Jasmine Butler, a 17 year old with a very painful secret is left on her own after her parents die tragically in a car crash. Jasmine does well by herself until she has to move in with the Cullens following a drastic decline in her vision. How will the Cullens react to the tempting human living upstairs? Will she bring them closer or will their secret be her death sentence?
14. Chapter 14: Gifts
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Chapter 14: Gifts
It was February 18, my birthday. I didn't tell the Cullens because I didn't want a fuss. I didn't even think about it around Edward for fear that he might tell Alice. Once you had Alice going for any event or holiday, there was no stopping her. Aside from that, I really wasn't in the mood to celebrate. My vision was weakening and Carlisle limited my driving privileges. It was getting so hard for me to work on my drawings so I put them on hold. My teachers all looked at me sympathetically, giving me their lecture notes typewritten after class. It was miserable. I tried to keep happy thoughts and a smile on my face for my family, but I'm sure they knew. That was the purpose of this little trip with Rosalie to the video store. She promised that she, Bella, Alice, Esme and I were going to have a girl's night in and watch a bunch of movies while the guys spent the night away on a hunting trip.
"Rose, you still haven't told me why we're dressed up," I said, walking into Blockbuster feeling very overdressed in my peach colored short puffed sleeved dress. It was sheer chiffon fabric draped over a solid with a V neckline and empire style bow at the bodice. Very elaborate for a trip to the video store.
"We're not that dressed up."
"Says the woman wearing a very snug, form fitting red mini that has all the guys drooling," I said, drifting over to the horror section. There were a couple good movies out that I wanted to see. "How about this one?"
"The Uninvited. Yeah, I heard that was supposed to be pretty good. I have the new Friday the 13th and Pet Cemetery."
"Oh my god, put that down!" I said, slapping the DVD out of her hand.
"Rose, don't tell anyone, but that movie scares the shit out of me," I whispered.
"Are you serious? What is scary about Pet Cemetery?" she said with a laugh.
"What isn't scary about Pet Cemetery? There's Gage, and Pascal, the army dude who came back and Zelda! Don't get me started on Zelda," I said with a shudder.
Rosalie laughed again, picking up the DVD. "Okay, no Pet Cemetery. We can just get My Bloody Valentine 3D."
We rented the movies and went back home. I wanted to get a pizza or some burgers, but Rosalie said the food was already taken care of.
"Why don't you go ahead and take the movies in?" Rosalie said, parking the car inside of the garage.
"All right, hey, why are the lights out?"
"I don't know. I guess they're trying to set the mood for horror movie watching or something."
Ok. I took the movies inside of the house. Hmm, smelled like Esme cooked my favorite tonight. I put the DVDs on the chair and reached for the nearest light switch.
"SURPRISE!" they yelled, making me jump back a little. Strips of confetti fell from the ceiling like a thin misting rain and Edward and Emmett blew on noisemakers. All of the Cullen's were there and so was Trevor. Behind them hung a large banner that read,
"HAPPY 18th Birthday Jasmine!"
I had to laugh at how totally unsuspecting I was. I actually thought they didn't know, but I guess living under the same roof as a psychic and mind reader, who now winked at me, there really were no secrets to be kept. Well, at least Alice kept it down to just family and Trevor. The guys were dressed in suits, looking as dashing as ever. Bella wore a royal blue dress, Alice wore every girl's fantasy of the perfect black cocktail dress, and Esme wore a lovely flowing pink gown. The entire living room was decorated with powder pink, light blue, and lavender balloons. Everything was perfect.
"I know you didn't want a party, but I kind of ignored that!" Alice said, hugging me.
"Thank you, Ally. Everything is perfect."
"Gift time!" she trilled excitedly.
"Me first!" Emmett said, holding a large square box. He was so excited.
I took the box and opened it. Inside was a soda-drinking hat with #1 written across the front. "Oh man, I've always wanted one of these!" I said, putting the hat on. I blew on the nozzle and a bunch of bubbles came out. Edward and Rosalie cringed as the bubbles popped against their foreheads.
"Tell me that's not the most awesome gift you've ever had!"
"It is! Thank you, Emmett!" I said, hugging him.
"My turn," Bella said. Her box was smaller. The family moved closer as I went to sit on the couch to open the gifts. Bella's gift to me was a purple iPod Nano. "I went ahead and uploaded some Paramore, Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Maxwell & Evanescence songs."
"It's perfect, thank you," I said, hugging her.
Next up was Jasper. His gift was DVDs of Spongebob Squarepants Episodes from 1999-2005. I was glad he stopped there. Once 2006 rolled around, the episodes began to get boring, and Spongebob's voice change was very annoying.
"This is great, Jasper. Thank you so much."
"You're welcome, sis."
Alice, being the wonderful stylista that we know and love, bought me Gucci boots with the matching jacket and purse. As exquisite as these clothes were, I was beginning to get a little giddy thinking about my "after" wardrobe. Rosalie was next. Her gift to me was five new dresses. Each tighter and more revealing than the last. These would definitely be part of my "after" wardrobe, but the fact that she accepted me and loved me was the only gift from her I really needed.
"I um...I had a difficult time deciding what to get you, but I think you'll like her," Edward said.
Edward handed me a small crate. I opened the crate and I gasped. It was a cat. But not just any cat. She was a small kitten with cappuccino brown fur and a white underbelly. She had blue-gray eyes, a pink nose and white paws.
"Oh my god, she's adorable."
"Yeah, she's a Blue Tabby."
"Well, we have to give you a name, don't we, little one? Hmm, how about Cappy?"
"Cappy?" they all said.
"Yeah, because she's colored like a little cup of cappuccino. Do you like that? Can we call you Cappy Cullen?" I said, leaning back in the couch, holding her up. She mewed twice. "She's perfect. Thank you, Edward."
"You're welcome," he said, taking his place by Bella's side.
"Well, I guess that means I'm next," Carlisle said.
I handed Cappy to Edward. She purred against his chest and we all "awwed." Yeah, for a minute I really thought he was going to blush. Carlisle sat beside me on the couch. He had a sort of melancholy look about him. We all knew he was feeling guilty there was nothing he could do to save my vision. No matter how much we tried to convince him otherwise he believed that he had somehow failed me as a doctor, as a father. I opened the box and inside was a 2010 HP Limited Edition Lilac Laptop. I loved it, of course. He kissed my cheek and let Esme sit in his place beside me.
"Well Jasmine. I know it is not that easy living here and missing your family. So I made some phone calls and well, this is what I came up with for you."
I opened the box and started to cry. Esme made me a scrapbook. On the front was a picture of my parents and me. It was taken when I was two. The family gathered around as I flipped through the album, naming and describing my cousins, aunts and uncles. There were even candid photos of me and Emmett doing crazy things like eating contests and handstands and jumping jacks. Someone even took a picture of me asleep with a large drool spot on one of my pillows.
"Esme...I...this is the most...thank you!" I said, unable to find the words. She kissed my forehead and Trevor came and sat beside me next.
"Okay, so I debated for weeks on whether or not I should give you this or if you would even want it," as he spoke I couldn't help but to notice the girls had to practically drag the guys away to give us some privacy.
"Trevor, I would love anything you give me."
He took a deep breath and held up a gold chain with a gold heart hanging from it. The words "T&J 4Ever," were engraved on the back.
"Oh, Trevor." I turned away from him, holding up my hair as he placed it around my neck. I turned back to him, touching the heart with my fingertips.
"Happy Birthday, half pint." He wore a small smile, as if there was something he was holding back.
"What's the matter?"
"I don't want to bother you with this on your birthday."
"Well, it is my birthday and I want you to bother me with it. What's wrong?"
I took his hands in mine. Did he know what we already knew? "What about Gabby, Trevor? Is she all right?"
"No, not at all."
"Well, at first it was just little things. Like staying up late at night on the phone. When I confronted her about it, she said that it was just a girlfriend from school. I let it go. Then she started texting someone at all hours of the night. I let that go. Then she came home with a passion mark on her neck. Granted, I almost drove my fist through the wall, but I let that go too, for whatever reason. But then..." he trailed off, gritting his teeth.
"But then, what?"
"Then I found a damn condom wrapper in her room. She couldn't come up with an excuse for that!" he whispered. "Somebody's been messing with my little sister, Jasmine. When I find out who he is..."
"What's going to happen when you find out who he is?"
"Let's just say he better have life insurance."
"Trevor, don't talk like that."
"Has she said anything to you?"
"What?" I stuttered trying to think of something to say. Should I tell him what I know?
"Gabby. Has she said anything about a boyfriend or someone she likes?"
"No, you know what? This is not the time for this. This is your big night. We don't have to talk about this now. I'm just glad that I could share this with you. You really look beautiful tonight."
"Thank you," I kissed him once and then it was as if Jasper threw some lust our way because neither of us could stop. His hands held my waist as I pulled him closer. Little moans came out before I could stifle them and Trevor's breaths came quick and jagged.
"Ahem!" Emmett said, clearing his throat loudly.
We pulled apart as Emmett, Edward and Jasper gave Trevor death glares.
"Stop it, guys," I whispered, knowing they could hear me.
"Come on, time for the cake," Edward said, taking my hand. He led me to the room where his piano sat and stood me in front of it. He sat at the piano and began to play the Happy Birthday Song as Carlisle carried out the white sheet cake covered with eighteen candles. The family sung happy birthday to me as I blew out the candles. It was a double chocolate chip cake with French Vanilla icing. As for my birthday dinner, Esme made a large pan of my favorite dish-triple cheese lasagna with extra beef. It was the best birthday I ever had.
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