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Unexpected Changes and Broken Promises

Edward leaves Bella at the beginning of New Moon. Bella then moves to the East Coast to escape her past. As she takes the final steps to heal completely, the past, both hers and others, comes back to find her.

A huge thanks to Project Team Beta. Without them I wouldn't be here. I owe them more than mere thanks. This is my first fanfic ever so goes easy! Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

1. Playing House

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2363   Review this Chapter

The veil was thinning. That thin wisp of curtain between the living and the dead was getting sheerer by the day. It wasn’t as if its coming was a surprise. It shouldn’t have been, not to anyone, not to me. I knew that there were mythical creatures in this world, but there are always skeptics, those that will go out of their way to disbelieve you. The hardest part is when a complete stranger will believe your crazy out of order world, but your family wants you committed. That is my world. This is my story. You have been warned.

“That’s the last of it,” I called into the house. I glanced at the floor, and the four boxes and two suitcases that were overwhelming the small dining room. How sad was that? My entire life had been reduced to this. The worst part was that two of those boxes were shoes. I needed a twelve-step program. Or maybe what I really needed was a walk-in closet. Alice must have really worn off on me. Even all these years later, my “old family” still had ways of seeping into my life. I thought of them often but hadn’t seen any of them since the beginning of my senior year of high school. They left abruptly and I hadn’t heard from them since. I hadn’t even had a proper goodbye.

It had been years, it was beyond time to move on. This was the final stop in a long and tiring journey. I needed a change and this was just the type of change I had been seeking. I had been searching for an apartment for months, but with my budget and lack of furniture, the only ones I could afford were in places I wouldn’t even drive through. At least the house was furnished. It was one less thing to worry about. I looked around and sighed again. It was furnished…for a ninety-three-year-old woman. There was the infamous plastic on the furniture, doilies on the coffee tables, and crucifixes in every door frame. And to top it off it had that smell; old people smell. It smelled like moth balls, Efferdent, and Ben-Gay. This was going to take a LOT of bleach.

“You sure?” I heard him call through the garage. I was pathetic. He had to be rethinking this idea. I was unsure if I was even ready for this. The house was cluttered but seemed cavernous; it was on a main drag but backed up to the state forest. Could I really live here alone? I wasn’t sure, but I was going to try. I had to, it was time to get my life back and start fresh. It was time to get away from all the painful memories and my strange, supernatural past.

“Yea, I’m sure,” I called back.

“’Kay.” I jumped. I had been lost in my own little world thinking about exactly what I had gotten into. For the first time in my life I was second guessing a decision, and to boot he had come up out of nowhere.

“Well, if that’s all…” my uncle trailed off, clearly confused as to why I was doing this.

“You know you could always get a roommate or an apartment closer to school.” I know he meant to say that as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I think he thought that I was crazy for even attempting this. Maybe I was.

“And have to pay for it? Or share?” No way! Freedom and free rent? Not something I would give up. Something I had been looking forward to since my mother had been given my grandmother’s house. I had barely known my grandmother, she had died when I was a kid and my mom wasn’t exactly close to her. So imagine my surprise when I found out that my grandmother had left my mother a house. That had nothing on the shock wave that went through me when my mother handed me the keys. This was not the news I would have ever expected not in a million years. I needed to remember to make spontaneous trips to see my mom more often.

Living alone would be easier. It wasn’t like I was anti-social; I had friends and a steady boyfriend now, but I wasn’t very good at sharing, and I was reveling in the fact that I would now have my own bathroom with no need to share with five other people. I had grown up as an only child, and the past few years had been sheer torture on me. I had always thought of myself as a selfless person, and maybe I had once been. Now I knew better.

No one may understand this, but this was something I had to do on my own. My life have been destroyed five years ago, during my senior year of high school, the year that most teenagers look forward to and all adults look back on with fond memories. I had none of those; my life was shattered a few days after my eighteenth birthday which happened to be a few weeks into my senior year. It seemed trivial to most, a high school romance ending should not be the end of the world. Yet for me it had been. Five years later, I was mere months away from graduating college and truly starting my life, and yet I could barely think of the boy who broke my heart. Never mind speak his name.

It had taken my father, Charlie; four months to come to the conclusion that I had to leave. He was convinced that I had needed a fresh start. He decided to send me to Florida; it took him another month to convince me to go. Unfortunately, it was that same week that my step-dad finally got the break he had been waiting for. Phil was now on the roster of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and although Charlie had said the Marlins were better, you could tell he was excited about the prospect of meeting more professional ball players.

“As long as you’re sure?” he asked again.

“Uncle John, I’m good, really. You should go home; Aunt Joyce is probably getting pretty impatient. You’re holding up dinner.” My aunt was meticulous. Dinner was at 6pm every night without fail, and my uncle HAD to be there. He only had about ten minutes to make a thirty-minute drive.

“Go! Really, I’ll be fine!” He looked conflicted, as if he wasn’t sure that was what I really wanted.

“Go!” I said again and as I was debating whether or not I was going to have to start pushing him out the door, he turned to go.

“Bella…” he began, and I saw the sadness in his eyes. It broke my heart. I almost changed my mind. Almost.

“Uncle John! C’mon! Seriously? I’ll be fine. I’m a mile from Aunt Joyce’s sister; she all but told me she’d be doing random searches…” I chuckled at that thought. Sue was a handful, but so much like my mom that I didn’t mind.

“And I’m only a half an hour from ho… your house…” I had almost said home. Although home to me was a foreign concept. I hadn’t felt like I had a home since the beginning of my senior year of high school. It had been four years since I had suffered a devastating break up and ran away from my childhood home. It was time to move on. It was time to finally find a home.

“I’m sure Casie and Colin are already fighting over who gets my room.”

He smiled at me and laughed. “Actually, your Aunt called me on the way here. Stef already claimed it. She had her stuff in and the door locked before the twins could even start!” I laughed, too, only I was smarter than that. Stefanie may have always been the quiet one of the group, but once she put her mind on something there was just no stopping her. I knew that if Stef wanted the room she would get it. I knew better than to underestimate Stefanie. She always got what she wanted but in a very quiet and unassuming way. No one ever got mad when Stef took something from him or her. So she had my attic room.

Well, if I wanted to go back I could always share with Casie. I cringed at that idea. Casie and I were like oil and water. Casie reminded me too much of my past for me to ever get to know her. Not that she would have given me the chance to. She still hated me for disrupting her perfect family dynamic. She hadn’t even known who I was until I showed up at her doorstep five years ago. I had been such a zombie that first year, so Casie had lost a lot of her popularity status because of her “freak show” of a cousin.

It’s funny how in a matter of months I had managed to have the entire senior class of Narragansett High convinced of my insanity. I probably could have convinced them that I was sane, that I was normal even. Maybe actually try to fit in, instead of embracing the silence. What I did do however was to ensure that no one bothered me. I cultivated an aura of insanity and played the part well. Hell, I didn’t even talk at that school unless I was asked a direct question and even then I didn’t always answer. I had spent the month of March in detention just because I didn’t feel like talking at all. That was unacceptable in this preppy, beach town. The good townsfolk of Narragansett also turned their noses up at my wardrobe which consisted solely of black clothes and silver jewelry. I was in mourning for a life that I had lost while desperately trying to figure out how to make myself a new one.

And of course if the seniors thought that Isabella Swan was crazy it wasn’t long before the underclassman did to. I was only at that school for a total of four months but I had managed to give myself a horrible reputation and destroy my cousins all in one fell swoop.

High School girls tended to think that crazy was contagious. She resented me for disrupting her idealized image of high school. Everything bad that happened to her family, no matter how trivial, she blamed on me. She was fiercely protective of them. Not that I entirely blamed her, but I had wished she had at least tried to let me in. At least I had dealt with that before. I shivered at the memory. Every member of my new family had aspects of my old one. Eerily so, even down to their physical attributes. Casie had Rosalie’s supermodel body and flowing blond hair, she could have been her twin if not for Casie’s ice blue eyes. Every now and again those memories would push through, raw and painful. I locked the memory away into the recess of my mind and brought myself back to the present.

“All right, I’m going! Do you want to come home to eat? I don’t think that kitchen’s been used in years. I don’t think you should use the stove until you have a chance to clean it,” he said that with a tone that I was sure meant he was questioning my decision to do this. If I were being honest with myself I would have admitted that I was as well.

“I wasn’t planning on it.” I was afraid to even enter the kitchen. It looked like a set to a Golden Girls episode. I was planning on Burger King. “I’m fine. Really! Go! Now! Before Auntie gets any angrier. Colin won’t be happy if he has to wait any longer to eat.”

“Colin hasn’t stopped eating since he turned fifteen! I don’t think he’s gone a minute in the past three years without something in his mouth.” It was true, but my cousin had gone from a five-foot-nothing toothpick to a body builder in just three short years.

“Uncle John, go!”

“Okay, behave Bella. Don’t go and get yourself in any trouble.” My uncle had taken the ‘look after my girl’ from my dad way too seriously. My police chief of a father had nothing on my uncle when it came to protecting his kids. I loved it though, he and his family were the reason I had healed from my high school love and was able, as my first love had asked of me, to move on. ‘Behave, Bella’ was really Uncle John code for don’t get knocked up or arrested and if you do, I don’t want to know about it. I smiled to myself as I walked back into the house. He treated me as if I was his own and I loved it.

“Bye,” I called over my shoulder as I walked back in the house through the garage, hitting the button to let the door close down. I heard his truck start up, then back over the lawn as he turned to make the trek home. I walked through the breezeway and paused in the doorway to the dining room and sighed, inhaling through my nose. I then went to locate the bleach. I decided to start with the bathroom. Not for any other reason than it was the smallest room in the house. At least I would feel like I had accomplished something. As I started up the stairs to the converted closet, I swore I heard a noise coming from the living room. I looked back and the door to the breezeway was open. I had forgotten to shut it. It was January and it was COLD. I ran to shut it, and then bound up the stairs. I felt as if someone were watching me. Stupid, creepy old house, giving me stupid creepy déjà vu. I pushed the thought out of my head, cranked up the heat, and got down to work.