The sun was nowhere in sight, and the dark sky seemed to suck all of the color out of the usually lively beach. Even the girl's golden hair seemed white and her smiling blue eyes grey. The water was a sick shade of green, and I heard her wince as the cold, white frothy tips of the waves washed over her feet.
The rain poured softly, but the ocean reacted violently to the storm. The water was closed to swimmers, and the beach had cleared out for the most part. The two young girls were the only ones who remained; dancing in the rain like Nicholas Sparks had orchestrated this particular scene of their lives.
It was one of those moments where you wished you had a camera to record the cliché. The blonde one laughed and traced a heart in the sand with her big toe. Within seconds, the water washed over the drawing, creating another perfect canvas. It looked somewhat frustrating.
The other girl with the dark hair, whom I found more attractive, kicked the wave, misting her friend with seawater. She squealed with laughter and ran back up to the beach before the fair girl could return the favor. Her laugh was oddly familiar.
Another blast of cold wind sent the raindrops sputtering my way, each one icily pricking my skin, but I didn't mind the cold. Or the heat. I watched as the beautiful girl snatched a towel from under their umbrella and wrapped it around her scantily-clad body.
"Ready to go back?" asked the shivering blonde. The attractive girl nodded and spread one arm, offering to share the towel with her company. She accepted without hesitation and they huddled together, trudging through the sand toward the boardwalk.
Lighting cracked the black sky and thunder followed approximately 1.7 seconds later. It echoed faintly off the row of quaint, colorful houses lining the beach. I could hear the soft patter of the girls' feet as they made their way to their vacation house a mile away from me.
The lighting and the girls were intriguing, but they were far away. Focusing my attention on things close to me was harder. The porch of our vacation home was not shaded from the elements, and I was drenched to the bone. I could hear voices inside, but there were too many to keep track of.
"Go take a shower, Jake. You smell like a wet dog." That one was followed by my father's throaty laugh.
"I wonder what Aiden is thinking about. I feel terrible-I know he was looking forward to the sun...." I winced slightly at my mother's guilt.
"Man, this blows. This isn't any drier than the beaches at La Push! Some vacation this is. Can someone please tell Aiden to come back inside?" The corners of my lips curved up in a smile at the sound of Seth's voice. I spun around and pushed the heavy, sliding-glass door open without any effort.
As soon as I entered the foyer, my mother jumped up and was by my side with a towel before I could blink.
"Thanks, Renesmee." My mother only appeared a few years older than I did now, and I was more comfortable calling her by her full name anyway.
"Are you cold?" Though Renesmee didn't exactly think of me as her son, she was fiercely maternal.
"No, I'm fine." I smiled weakly. "I'm going to go get in the shower." Jacob wasn't so much paternal as he was protective. He was protective of me...but he was downright possessive of Renesmee. The only word that could come close to describing it was...territorial.
I slipped silently through the house, careful not to run into Seth. He would have too many questions about what I was doing, and he wouldn't buy that I was "just thinking."
And yet I was.
I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror. I had been pondering my heritage, and more importantly, my lack of mortality. I looked human. My tan skin was dark, but not as dark as my father's, more golden than copper. No heat radiated from my body, but I wasn't cold, either. I was the same temperature as the room. I would be the same temperature of whatever room I was in; my body adjusted perfectly.
I looked at the mirror, and intense hazel eyes glared back at me. They were green around the iris, softly fading into gold, and then a dark brown. Carlisle had marveled over my eyes when I'd been born. He had told me they were Edward's green; his eyes before he had been snatched into the world of the immortal. The gold flecks in my eyes were dull since I hadn't given into temptation since we'd arrived. My light brown hair hadn't quite reached my shoulders, but it was a full inch longer than it had been the previous week.
I stepped into the shower, letting the lukewarm water drone out the noise collecting in the small house. I wondered how humans liked their showers. Cold or hot? To me, they were the fantasy.
They were elusive and mystical and beautiful, not I.
Renesmee was the only one who understood. Of course, we were mutants, hybrids that no one had thought possible. But the underlying truth, eternally tied my mother and me. Because only she would understand what it was like to be born into this world, not introduced to it as mere humans. It seemed cowardly evasive not to have to have undergone the painful process of transformation, whether it be from human to vampire or from human to wolf. My brothers and sisters-metaphorically, of course-had gotten to experience each creature separately, whereas Renesmee and I had to be them at the same time. And yet in some ways, no, many ways, Renesmee and I were different. She didn't have to be two monsters at once. She wasn't slave to whatever instinct got the best of her. She wasn't subject to internal conflict, one-third a human watching helplessly as two monsters battle for control over her.
Of course, I wasn't raised to think myself a monster. Though the creatures that make up my being ought to be feared, they are not what make me a monster. I do not blame my mother and father, nor do I blame Bella and Edward. It isn't their fault that the war that rages inside of me makes me incapable of internal peace, much less the capability to bring peace or happiness to others, hence monstrosity. I can appear mortal in demeanor, only because I cling on to humanity when the rest of me is unstable, imbalanced.
I turned off the showerhead and allowed my mood to lift with Seth's incessant chatter coming from the ground floor. I pulled on a pair of shorts, not really sure who they belonged to, and slipped down the stairs unnoticed. Seth was on the couch, mindlessly staring at screen of the handheld game he was playing. In his focused state, I would scare him even if I was visible. But I could still have fun with it.
"Oomph!" Seth reacted as soon my fist contacted his abdomen. He rolled over for a moment, breathless. I rocked back on the balls of my feet, adrenaline coursing through my veins as I raised my fists in a typical fighting stance. Seth recovered, quickly, and was on his feet in no time, dark eyes scanning the room for his attacker.
"Marco?" he asked tentatively.
"Polo!" I responded. I dodged his punch and let my foot catch him from behind. Seth caught himself on the arm of the couch and smiled.
"Unfair!" he shouted. I shrugged, but then realized that he couldn't see me. "Jake!" he called, "backup!" Two against one. I could handle that, especially with my advantage. Jacob was in the foyer within seconds, grinning like an idiot.
I positioned myself in the center of the room. "Polo!"
"Seven O'clock, on top of the ottoman!" Jake ordered Seth. I let Seth take a swing, then grabbed his arm and took another shot at his gut. I was too busy laughing to notice Jacob coming up behind me.
"Gotcha!" Jake trapped me in a headlock from behind, and I let go of Seth's arm. My laugh had given me away.
"Three...two...." Seth counted down to declare Jacob the winner. I couldn't let that happen. I twisted out of Jake's grip and ducked under his legs, chopping his ankles with the side of my wrist. Jacob lost his balance, but only momentarily.
"Seal all exits!" he commanded Seth. "Marco!"
"What is going on?" Renesmee poked her head around Seth's bicep.
"I'm blocking the door!" he shouted.
"I see that," she muttered, looking past him at her husband, spinning in circles looking for me like a dog chasing his tail. She placed her hand gently on Seth's cheek. He relaxed his body, his eyes fixed on something in the distance.
Renesmee removed her hand and Seth recovered, shaking his head before declaring, excitedly, "Dinner's ready!"
Jake stopped in his tracks and I materialized next to him. Seth had already left for the kitchen, and Renesmee was leaning in the doorway, smiling. She was beautiful. Her red hair flowed like a waterfall down her back, stopping halfway down her petite frame. Sometimes I was worried that Jake would crush her if he held her too tightly, but then I remembered that she possessed strength to match his, certainly mine.
She smiled warmly, and her eyes were a bottomless brown that matched my own. Jacob's expression softened the moment he saw her. He walked toward the doorway, planting a kiss on her cheek and continuing toward the kitchen. Renesmee smiled at him and then looked at me.
"You know I don't like to see my two favorite boys fighting." she tsked, even though she knew we were just messing around.
"Sorry." I rubbed the back of my head.
"I'd put money on you, though." I looked up and smiled. It was humorous. She actually believed it.
"Nah, I don't know. I think Seth would have pummeled both of us if you hadn't been here to stop him," I joked.
Renesmee giggled. It was then when I remembered what the pretty dark-haired girl's laugh reminded me of. Why didn't I hear it before? It sounded exactly like my mother's.
"I suppose you're right." She smiled again as she turned and left the room to follow the boys into the kitchen.
And I was alone.