The diamond effect in our skin came to life as the sun began to rise streaming in on Edward and I. We had been standing in the same position since the middle of the night, since Alice had left with the news about Seward. Whilst we were standing in complete silence the entire time, my head was in high-speed action. I was role-playing what we would need to tell Renesmee, how I was going to tell Charlie. I felt sad for Jacob as I knew he would feel torn between leaving his family, with even shorter notice, and being with Renesmee, who had really given him a new lease of life – he was Jacob again, before the werewolf. The simple mechanic boy.
I wondered what was going on inside of Edwards’s head. What were his real worries? Was he only worried about Renesmee? Her lack of knowledge about “vampire politics?” Surely she would be fine with the situation explained to her. My chaotic thoughts began to channel in on this – Edward had done this before! I remembered the large picture frame in the stairwell with the extensive range of high-school graduation caps. I started feeling anxious about this, was he worried about the three of us – Renesmee, Jacob and myself? I started to realise that for the rest of the Cullens, Renesmee wasn’t the only one to worry about – this was a huge risk.
Edward’s breath took me by surprise as we had literally became statutes in our long, drawn-out moment of contemplation. I looked up at him, and he met my gaze. His face was blank, expressionless. “I understand how scary this is, how much of a risk you are all taking,” I said; new waves of anxious nerves flooded through me as the idea of actually beginning my first part of Cullen life began to come to a head of realisation again.
Edward lent down slightly, forcing me to look into his eyes, “there is no risk too big if it means not even being able to be near you – or Renesmee; I could never live without you, so stop feeling like your to blame.” He was serious, and his face looked slightly pained, probably at the fact that I did feel bad - yet again I was putting the Cullens at risk.
“Bella, it’s a risk, but we all wouldn’t have it any other way. It will be fine! I thought we would have more time, that’s all, but we can prepare Renesmee for this.” His face was less statue-like, alive with more passion, warmer than before. It reassured me to an extent.
“We will take Carlise’s car as we will be going up with Nessie – Jacob too – and we’ll be taking our time. It’ll take us four days this way, whereas for the others it will only be 24 hours, some extra time to prepare,” he said. This made sense, we would be in the right mindset by already leaving Forks, but have extra time to prepare on the way – for Nessie in particular. I still wasn’t completely reassured though, despite feeling a lot better about this – then it hit me;
“What am I going to tell Charlie!?” I asked, hearing the panic in my voice in a weird time-delay, as my brain was slower than usual to process.
“What’s wrong!? What do you need to tell Grandad?” I jumped slightly as her concerned voice interrupted my developing moment of panic, Edward looked startled too.
“Ah, there’s something we need to talk about Nessie,” Edward said.
“What is it?” she asked. I guessed our plan of breaking it to her slowing during a hunt wasn’t going to happen.
“We have to leave Forks Nessie,” Edward explained. “People at Carlise’s work are starting to notice that he is not aging, and if people start to get suspicious of us then we are all in real danger from the Volturi.”
She stood perfectly still for a moment, processing the reality of what she’d just heard, “but this is our home,” she said – the sadness in her voice ripped tears in my heart.
“This will always be our home,” I said, trying to sound as comforting as I could. “We will be coming back to visit often, to see Grandad.”
“And we will be living here again permanently in a few decades, which you will see go very fast,” Edward added.
“What about Jacob!” Renesmee asked, in an abrupt tone. “He’s my best friend!”
“Jacob will be coming with us, he has chosen an immortal life so he is in the same situation,” Edward’s calm voice only seemed to reassure her slightly.
“Why now?” she asked.
“Nessie, you are nearly fully developed, and we have been living this way for over one hundred years. Being a part of society is important; you probably won’t see this now, but you will after a couple of months.” Renesmee still had her guard up, but I could guessed that she was understanding that he was right as she wasn’t arguing, just holding up a defence shield – which was natural.
“Nessie,” I said, “go and get some air, we have lots to talk about later on but I’m sure you need to process what we’ve just told you – its scary for us all.” She was like Edward in this way, intelligent and independent, so sometimes needed to process things by herself, through her own thoughts. “We will talk some more once we’ve spoken to Grandad,” I was dreading telling Charlie, but knew that I needed to talk to him today as well – I was about to hurt him.
Renesmee nodded, looking halfway up at Edward and I. “I’m going to see Jake too.”
“Ah - Ok,” I said, smiling as well as I could. As she went towards the front door I stopped her, “Nessie, come here.” I wrapped my arms around her in a flash, “I love you so much.”
“I love you to,” she murmured; “bye.”
“See you later on Nessie.” I hated that she felt sad, hated that her life was being turned upside down like this. At least Jacob and I had been through similar surprises in life. Like with Victoria; and the Volturi. I turned around only to be met by Edwards embrace. He held me tight, and I knew that he felt the same way I did – our daughter was, unhappy.
“I should call Jacob,” Edwards said.
“What!?” This wasn’t what I’d expected him to say. “What does Jacob have to do with anything right now?”
“He doesn’t know about our change in schedule,” he replied. “I don’t want him to find out through Nessie.”
“Oh,” I murmured. I felt bad – everything was moving so fast. Poor Jacob, at least I’d considered this the slightest bit.
I didn’t need to wait until the phone call between Edward and Jacob had finished to know the outcome. I could hear every word, vividly and as if they were in the same room. He wasn’t happy – at all; but he seemed to realise that there wasn’t much he could do about it.
“Could he not leave later?” I asked; “couldn’t we leave later too?”
“Its best for us to be entering this town together – as a family,” Edward said, his soft, velvet voice didn’t make me feel the way it should, the way it usually does, as his answer shut down my glimpse of hope – hope for just a little more time. Was it really too much to ask for? Just a few more weeks? A few extra days even?
I knew he was right, the reason why Carlise had been given the job so fast is because the town had been in need of a doctor for quite some time, like most of the smaller towns were – it would only be natural for them to ask him to start immediately; and we would blend in better this way if we were seen in the most positive light possible. We would stand out in the community regardless, so this would help us blend better.
Edwards smooth hand glided softly down my cheekbone, “lets go and see Charlie,” he murmured. He grabbed my hand and led me out of the house. We ran to the main Cullen residence, my body followed Edward’s lead robotically, and my mind was numb as I subconsciously dwelled upon the dreaded thought of telling Charlie our news.
Edward drove at his usual speed – fast yet controlled, though I was use to it now – in his updated new black Volvo, his favourite brand for an everyday vehicle. “He’s expecting us,” Edward said as we pulled up outside the old house.
“What!?” I blurted out. My heart was in my mouth, what did he know?
“Billy Black has told him,” Edward replied calmly.
I hadn’t thought about this. Charlie knew that Billy was involved in “supernatural stuff” with Jacob; and whilst he didn’t want to know the full story, to an extent he confided in Billy, and Billy confided in Charlie. They had always been best friends, but now Billy didn’t have to hold a secret from Charlie to an extent. I wasn’t sure if this made the situation better or worse.
“Lets go,” Edward said. Before I had the chance to reply, his hand was reached out for mine as he held my door open for me – something he hadn’t done in a while, since I had became a vampire.
I was nervous as Edward led me to the front door of Charlies house. I had no idea how he would react; did he know that Jacob was coming too? Edward knocked on the door, and it wasn’t long after that Charlie answered – “he’s been expecting us,” I thought to myself.
“Hey you too, come on in,” I couldn’t pick up anything unusual in the tone of his voice.
Edward and Charlie exchanged a silent greeting as we went past him through to the small living room. It reminded me of when Edward and I told Charlie that we were engaged. “Hey dad,” I mumbled as I walked past slightly behind Edward.
We sat down on the main couch, and Charlie went to his usual armchair.
“So what new with you,” Charlie asked, directing the question at me. He really didn’t seem out of the ordinary, which was odd, as Edward had said he already knew what we had came to tell him. Edward chuckled to himself briefly, but Charlie wouldn’t have noticed – what was going on inside Charlies head?
“I, ah – we,” I struggling to find the words as Edwards reaction, and the way Charlie was acting had thrown me even more. I wanted to just say it straight off; “we are moving to Alaska,” I managed to force out.
Charlie’s face didn’t change much, “I know,” he said. “Billy told me.”
I was speechless, Edward had told me this before we had left the car, but I was still lost for words.
So am I,” he said. I had to repeat these words to myself a few times to really gauge what he was saying.
“Your moving?” I asked, astounded, as Charlie really was a creature of habit. “Where?” I continued.
“Oh, just a little place about two hours north of Seward,” he grinned.
“Seward?!” I blurted. “As in Alaska!?”
“Ah, yeah; that’d be the one,” he said. “I’ve been offered a job there a few times over the years, just never took it as I didn’t wanna be too far away from you and your Mom.”
“Dad – that’s, ah,” I was overwhelmed, with relief, and joy that we would be closer.
“Charlie, its great!” Edward interjected, squeezing my hand. I glanced sideways to get a glimpse of his reaction; he was looking at me with a contempt smirk on his face – he had known all along.
“Dad, this is so great!” I finally managed to say. “I was dreading having to tell you this.”
“Well,” he said, in his usual serious tone; “it won’t be quite as soon as you guys, about two months.” He never was one to dwell on emotional situations – happy or sad.
We stayed and talked to him for about an hour longer. This was the first time that I felt the slightest part happy about this close-coming change in our lives. I really wasn’t ready to leave Charlie behind, he was a part of my life as a vampire – whether he knew the details or not.
Edward and I were quiet to begin with as we drove back to the main residence. I was dwelling on my happiness about Charlie’s news. He was only two hours away! – and that was if we obeyed the speed limits, it would be more like a 40 minute drive for us. We would be able to see him just the way we did now. Then I realised; the reason why we were leaving Forks was to avoid suspicion about our immortality. Charlie knew I was different; he knew we all were in some kind of supernatural way. But what would happen if he guessed we were vampires? What if the fact that we weren’t aging got him, and he became too curious? Would the volturi come?
“Edward,” I asked, “what if Charlie begins to ask questions about us? Won’t he wonder why we are going back to high-school?”
“Bella, he won’t,” he replied. “Charlie really doesn’t want to know anything more, just that you and Renesmee are alive and safe. He subconsciously knows that if he asks questions he will risk this, so those thoughts, of any kind, are deeply buried in his mind.”
We were silent again for the rest of the journey home. Edward drove to the speed limits most of the time, as it was daylight and residential. I was lost in my own contempt of the situation, thankful that Charlie buried his questions about who I now was.
© Copyright to Jonathan Cameron 2010