Bella Swan: single mom and art teacher with a haunted past. What will happen when the cocky Edward Cullen joins her class in hope of adding another reason to the list of why the girls swoon over him?
1. Chapter 1 Sixteen
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You walked out of my dreams and into my arms
Now you're my angel divine
You're sixteen, you're beautiful and you're mine.
- Ringo Starr
Sixteen. That must be the worst number ever existing. I remember very clearly how I was when I was that age: very pregnant.
And today the sole reason I live and breathe for turns sixteen. I woke up by her shrieking voice.
"Mom, I'm sixteen! Can you believe it?"
I really couldn't. Time passes so fast when you have to take care of the most stubborn and energetic child alive. Not that I complain, I love her more than everything and would go through it all over again for her. No matter how cruel my past might have been, she was worth every ounce of it.
"Mom?" the sweet voice says again.
"Get me coffee and I'll love you till you turn seventeen." I replied grumpily as a response.
"K!" She yelled way too happily for What?! 7am? On a Sunday morning?
I pulled the sheets over my head while I heard my baby girl descending the stairs loudly with every step she took. I groaned and waited for her return.
After five long minutes my lovely daughter returned with 2 cups of hot steaming coffee. My coffee was in a simple brown paper cup and hers in her favorite Snoopy cup. She loves that cup with all her heart and she had cried for what felt like an eternity when it first had broken. After a lot of glue, the cup was healed.
That was when she was seven. It had been broken once more by her boyfriend since then. He broke the cup, she broke his heart. The poor thing was crying all the way home. Either way, he wasn't good enough for her. No boy will ever be enough, but that's for her to decide.
I took the delicious beverage from her with a huge appreciating smile.
"Thank you and congratulations, angel."
"So mom, how are we celebrating my sweet sixteen?" she asked excitedly.
I've never really celebrated my birthday, because I don't exactly know the date. But that has never stopped my daughter for choosing one. Once on a September thirteen many years ago we had an amazing day. It was a day full of shopping and delicious Ben & Jerry's.
She decided we'd never forget that day, so it became my birthday.
"Your friends are coming over at seven, right?" she nodded. "What do you think of watching some Sex and the City until around ten a.m.? Then going to Port Angeles for some shopping and we can eat at that little restaurant you love? Your uncle is coming over at 4pm, so we have to bake our 'Emmies'."
She laughed at the mention of Emmett, who's like a brother to me. He's addicted to our baking skills -well if we are being honest, my baking skills. My angel is a complete mess in the kitchen.
"Sounds great, Mom! Is Lily staying? I'm dying to know all the details about her date with Seth. You know that guy from the mall we met last week. He's really cute and he has deep brown eyes. He goes surfing at the reservation every week, so you know he has great body under that shirt he was wearing. Which was by the way totally not his color, but you know, I let it slide because he has good potential to be Lily’s next boyfriend."
And that's why I needed my coffee every morning. She just never shuts up. Being sixteen made her even chattier.
Lily, the fourteen year-old of Emmett and Rose, is a geeky but beautiful girl. Her beauty is mostly Rose's but her dimples are my brother's.
"Mom, are you listening? It's my birthday and that means it's your duty to give me attention. It's actually your duty as a mother too. You seem kinda off today. Did your date last night fail? I told you Mike Newton is a total douche bag. I mean what was up with those weird smiles? Why do you only go out with douches? Maybe I should call you Douche-Magnet. From a scale of one to ten, how much of a douche was Newton?" She chattered.
I swore if she wouldn't hate sports with such passion, my girl would be an incredible swimmer. With such impressive lungs, she'd swim miles without feeling exhausted.
"Of course I'm listening, angel. I totally agree about Mike being a douche. You know what he said to me last night?"
She shook her head.
"'Your dress is hideous; you should take it off so I can make you forget about all the horrendous stuff that happened in your life.' Can you believe him! I told him to fuck himself and I took off.” To be honest, nobody could let me forget what happened. “He's an eight and a half, by the way.”
She high-fived me and said the sentence that always made my day: “Mom, you rock.”
I gave her a big hug and kissed her cheek.
“Let's make us some breakfast so we can start your day.”
After the fourth episode of SATC we were discussing the always tip filled episode.
Our passion for television shows started when she was twelve. One day I came home and heard her laughing so loud, I thought she was choking. “Mom,” she said to me “you've got to see this.” I placed my keys in the key/I-found-an-earring bowl. I sat down next to her and looked to what she was watching. There was a young guy with sunglasses surrounded by smoke talking about a car that ran on water, ‘What the fuck?’ had been my initial thought.
Eventually, we watched every episode of the show and wept when it was over.
Then later on there was Friends, Gilmore Girls and SATC. Laughed and cried. Thank God for DVD boxed sets and reruns because we have them all.
“Mom, how come you don't date twenty-something guys?” she asked me.
“Didn't you watch the episode?” The moment Carrie woke up from amazing sex, she realized twenty-something guys are just as bad as sixteen year old boys in broad daylight. Even Samantha realized that no matter how mind-blowing the sex might be, you're always going to feel old in the end.
“Yes I did, that's the point. No drama, just harmless sex. Mom, no offense, but you really need to get laid.” she pointed out while gesturing to my body in her I-know-it-all voice.
“Honey, I'm not going to talk to you about 'getting laid'. You know I always date older guys, douches or not, that's just the way it is.” It was actually a really long time ago.
All my dates fail; it never got any further than a goodnight kiss. The douches didn't deserve a goodnight kiss or they were such assholes sometimes that the date never came to night, because the date didn't even finish, like Newton.
The truth is every guy is going to hurt you eventually; you just have to decide who's worth the pain in the end.
After six stores and four Starbucks coffees, we decided it was time to go home and bake the cookies for Uncle Em.
I've never really liked shopping mostly because I didn't have the money or the strength to look at myself in the mirror that many times in one day. But my daughter loved it -no, worshipped is a better word and whatever makes her smile, makes me smile. The first time we entered a Tiffany store, ‘To look, not to buy’ I had told her, she looked at each of the pieces of jewelry like they were angels sent from above. Then she said what I was already guessing she had to be thinking. “Mom, I'm heaven.”
It's been our monthly thing, to go to Tiffany's and look at the shiny, delicate diamonds. She touched the fragile jewels with motherly care. The girls that worked there thought we were planning a robbery. After a while I became good friends with Safrina, the assistant manager. She helped me to find me a better job. Since then I have worked as a teacher at the Art Institute of New York City.
A teacher at the Art Institute is my sixteenth job. My very first job was when I was sixteen. It wasn't every New Year, a new career. Some lasted 2 years, others barely 2 weeks -like working at Pizza Hut, never again- that is all I will say on that one. The first jobs were the worst but they were necessary.
This is my second year as a teacher. I love it. I love the essence of paint when I walk through the halls. I get lost in the talent of the young, but brilliant students. I desire the touch of the pencil when you're drawing. When you can capture the moment so precise, you've stopped time for a moment. The painting is immortal. It's an element from the universe of ideas, the real world according to Plato.
I never thought I could make my living by my talent of drawing. Well, I never realized that I had a talent until people started complementing me when they saw my paintings or drawings. I still prefer drawing with a pencil; I think you can characterize it better.
The sound of rattling keys startled me. “Penny for your thoughts.” a musical voice called. “Just thinking about art… like always. We should get started, so the cookies are ready for when Em arrives.” she nodded and I placed the keys in the bowl. Oh, what's that? I was sure I had lost that earring.
“Mom, have you seen the paper? I heard someone talking about an ad for the opening of that new store.”
“Yeah, I think it's on the sofa. I'll get it, you start with the dough and please don't let it fall on the ground again.” I said as she went into kitchen and looked for the instructions for Emmett’s cookies.
We've made that cookie more than a hundred times, and still she doesn't know the ingredients?
I made my way to the living room and searched for the newspaper. Ah, there you are! It was lying upside down on the purple pillow. We never really read the paper, we just throw it somewhere in the house. But when there's a visitor, it's comes in handy. I turned the paper and looked at the front page.
ALICE & RENEE DWYER: 16 YEARS SINCE THEIR TRAGIC DEATH.
“Mom, did you find the paper?” she yelled from the kitchen.
“No, I think the paper boy forgot our house today, Alice.”
I tried to reply as calmly as possible. She didn't want the horrible reminder again. How is it that no matter how far you run away from something, it always seems to find you and bite you in the ass? I took deep breath and started counting down as I closed my eyes 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. When it wasn't working, I sat down on the couch and started again 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
I couldn't lose it where Alice was just a few steps away. When I was calmed down, I took the paper and read it again.
ALICE & RENEE DWYER: 16 YEARS SINCE THEIR TRAGIC DEATH.
Sixteen years. Sixteen years since I was heavily pregnant. Sixteen years since I ran away from them. Sixteen years since I heard their last screams for mercy. Sixteen years since I took the most difficult, but also wisest decision of my life. Sixteen fucking years since Phil…