Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 45

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 45

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 46

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 46

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 47

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 47

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 48

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 48

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 49

Deprecated: Function eregi() is deprecated in /home/twilight/public_html/header.php on line 201
Losing Her by strangegreen






Your donations help keep this site running,
thank you very much for the support!
[Reviews - 3]
Table of Contents
- Text Size +
Story Notes:

Twilighted beta : vjgm

Author's Chapter Notes:

I do not own Twilight, Renee, or anything else worth having, so please don't sue. :)


Letting Bella go to Forks had been one of the hardest decisions I’d ever made, harder, even, than leaving Forks to begin with.  On some level, I’d been almost relieved when she chose to go; it made things that much easier for me and Phil, but mostly I’d just missed her, and been sad that that was the only solution we could find for our situation. 

 

            We’d scraped together as much as we could, but I knew she wasn’t as prepared as she should be for Forks’ weather.  The cold, sunless, gloom had been a large part of the reason I left there to begin with.  The other part was that I just couldn’t live with Charlie anymore.  I still loved him, in my own way, but I wasn’t in love with him anymore, and maybe I never had been.  He was a sweet, gentle man, but set in his ways and reluctant to change.  Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I knew I had been harsh when I left him, but I didn’t want to leave him thinking there was still hope for us.  And now, all these years later, my little girl was leaving me to go live with him in Forks.

 

            I knew, deep inside, that this wasn’t a matter of her choosing him over me, but it was hard to remember that as I helped her pack, watched her sort through a lifetime of memories, trying to decide what to take and what to leave behind.  I’d held up a pair of silk pyjamas I’d given her for Christmas, but she just laughed, shaking her head at me.

 

            “I’d freeze to death,” she said, stuffing her old sweats into the suitcase instead. “Besides, I’ll need something to sleep in when I come visit.”  I knew she was just trying to cheer me up.  Finances were tight, for all of us, and between work and school, she wouldn’t have time to visit that often, but it was so like her to think of me first.     Sometimes I worried that I hadn’t been a very good mother; more often than not, Bella was looking after me, rather than the other way around.  For someone her age, she was very mature, and responsible beyond her years.  I knew some of my behaviours over the years had probably driven her crazy, especially my penchant for taking up new hobbies on a regular basis, but she’d always let me go, tolerating whatever weird new contraption I brought home, and eating whatever new concoction I’d read about in a magazine.  And then there was Phil.  She’d been an absolute angel when I brought him home.  Never once had she made me feel guilty for choosing him over her when it came to spending time with her or going to one of Phil’s ball games, and she’d always been sweet to him.

 

            Most teenagers would have been rebellious or angry about having a new man in their mother’s life, but Bella had been accepting and accommodating, which is why, I supposed, this decision to move to Forks had been such a surprise to me.  She’d smiled so sweetly and sadly when she told me she was leaving, and she’d hugged me tightly when I started to cry.  Maybe it was better that she’d left; at least in Forks, she’d get to be a kid.  I knew how much responsibility she’d taken on herself, how much of the work she did around the house, looking after dinner and making sure things were running smoothly.  Yes, Forks was undoubtedly a better place for her, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t miss her terribly.

 

            The day finally came, and I took her to the airport.  She put on a brave face, as usual, but I could tell she was worried and nervous; she’d never spent that much time with her father, and this would be a huge change.  I watched as her plane took off, the tears streaming down my face, waving out the window, even though there was no way she could see me.  I’d reminded her again before she boarded her flight that she didn’t have to do this, there were other ways, but she was adamant.  I missed her already.

 

 

 

            After I got home from the airport, I had to force myself to keep busy.  Bella had promised to email me when she got to Charlie’s, but that wouldn’t be for a few more hours, yet.  It was hard not to wait by the computer.  I picked up a novel from the pile I’d stacked on the little table by the phone and tried to read it, but the plot kept slipping away as my mind drifted back to my baby who was gone away to the damp greenness of Washington.

 

            I rarely thought back to my time there; they weren’t very happy memories, but now I focused on them, trying to recall what it looked like, the smell of the trees, the feel of the rain.  I couldn’t picture Bella there.  She was so fragile and pale.  Here in Arizona she stood out, one of the few unbronzed goddesses running about the place, but in Forks, she’d be just another pasty face, blending into the crowd.  The harder I tried to imagine her there, standing among the trees or walking along First Beach, the stranger it seemed.  Bella wasn’t one of them, one of those small-town yokels who didn’t know there was anything beyond their little town, for whom a trip to Port Angeles was a major event, and who couldn’t even fathom the idea of a dry day.  Bella was made for warmer climes and sunnier places; I just couldn’t understand why she’d choose to go there.

 

            I wondered, again, if I’d been that bad of a mother.  Had I forced her away?  Had I done the wrong thing by choosing to marry Phil, by embracing his career?  Or would she have left eventually anyway?  I wracked my brain, trying to find answers, sort out all the possibilities, but I couldn’t come to a satisfactory conclusion.  At last, I gave up trying to read my book, tossing it back onto the pile without bothering to mark my place.                       Trailing my fingers along the wall, I went to the kitchen and made a pot of tea.  While I was waiting for the water to boil, I thought back to the kitchen in Forks.  I remembered the day Charlie had brought me there.  The whole place had been run-down and dingy.  Everything was a sickly shade of off-white or an equally horrible neutral.  Within a week I’d bought some paint and started fixing up the kitchen.  I’d chosen bright yellow, because it reminded me of the sun, which was so noticeably absent in that town.  It had brightened the kitchen, but that was about it.  I’d tried other things to spruce up the place, planting flowers in the yard, hanging curtains in the windows, but nothing could change the dismal weather that was always hanging over everything. 

 

            I’d already realized I didn’t want to live in Forks when I found out I was pregnant.  Charlie was ecstatic, of course, and I wasn’t unhappy with the idea of a child, but I couldn’t imagine raising a child there, where there was no sun.  It just didn’t seem healthy.  Then there were the arguments.  I tried to convince Charlie that we should move, but he didn’t want to.  He wouldn’t even consider the idea; this was his home, and he wanted to live there, and he didn’t understand why I couldn’t just adjust. 

 

Soon, we were finding faults with everything.  Charlie didn’t like it when I tried new recipes, and he felt free to let me know it.  I hated when he worked overtime and didn’t call to say he’d be late.  We argued over stupid things, like laundry and whose shoes belonged on which side of the closet.  Eventually, it just got to be too much to take.  I’d packed up Bella and a suitcase full of clothes, and I’d left.  It was just the beginning of a long string of things I’d abandoned over the years.

 

I still remembered the look on Charlie’s face when I told him I was leaving him.  He’d been crushed, devastated that I was taking our daughter, but he didn’t fight me.  He just accepted what I told him, and after that he did what he could for us.  Charlie made sure Bella had everything she needed, even helping to pay for dance lessons, and he made sure she spent some time with him each summer.  I didn’t mind that, and I’d never feared that she would one day choose to stay, especially after she started insisting that Charlie spend his vacations in Phoenix rather than have her come to Forks.  Which is why it had been such a shock.

 

            The shrill screeching of the kettle snapped me back to the present, and I quickly shut off the burner.  The hot water sloshed over the rim of the cup as I poured it, rapidly spreading to make a puddle on the counter.  Sighing heavily, I grabbed a cloth and started sopping it up, knocking over the small clock perched on the counter in the process.  As I set it back where it belonged, I noticed the time; the delicate hands which had seemed to move so slowly for hours had suddenly leapt forward as I’d wandered in my memories.  Bella’s plane should have landed by now, and Charlie should have picked her up and taken her home.

 

            Scooping up my cup of hot water (in my distraction, I’d neglected to add a teabag), I trotted back to the computer and turned it on.  My inbox was empty.  She had promised to write as soon as she got there, so why hadn’t she yet?  Had something happened?  Putting my cup aside, I started a new email.  I tried to reassure myself; she was probably busy getting settled in, unpacking or maybe even decorating her room.  I’d give it a while before I panicked.

 

 

 

            As I lay in bed that night, next to Phil, my mind trailed back to Forks, to the life I’d left behind.  I didn’t have any regrets, but sometimes I still wondered what it would have been like to live there, in that sunless forest, always surrounded by the oppressive gloom and looming clouds.  And somewhere in all that miserable setting, my baby was trying to start a life.  It made me sad to think of all the things I would miss – I wouldn’t get to help her pick a dress for prom, watch her walk out the door on the arm of some dashing young man, I wouldn’t get to be there for her graduation, I wouldn’t get to watch her walk across the stage and receive her diploma, and I wouldn’t get to help her fill out college applications or be able to hug her when she got her acceptance letters.  The longer I thought about it, the more I felt I had made the wrong choice, given up too much.  A few tears leaked out from between my eyelids, streaking down my cheeks to my ears as I tried to stifle a sob.

 

            Phil rolled over and sleepily rubbed my shoulder.

 

            “You okay?” he murmured, his voice thick with sleep.

 

            “I’m fine, I just miss Bella.  She’ll be okay, right?” I asked, rubbing his arm where it now lay across my abdomen.

 

            “She’ll be just fine.  She’s a tough cookie, and she knows how to take care of herself.   Don’t worry,” he whispered, kissing my cheek.  I smiled a little, wiping the tears from my face with the corner of the blanket.

 

            “You’re right.  I know you’re right.  I just miss her, is all.”

 

            “I know.  But she’ll write to you soon, and you guys will stay in touch.  It’s not like she’s on the other side of the world.  It’s only a couple of hours by plane; we can save a little money so you can visit.  It’ll be okay.”

 

            “I know,” I replied, kissing his forehead.  “I know.”  I slid down further and turned my back into his chest, drawing his arm tighter around me.  I knew she would be okay; I was sad for myself, and for all the things I would miss, but I knew she was okay.  Phil’s breathing deepened again, and I knew he was asleep.  I lay awake a while longer, hoping there would be news from her in the morning.

 

 

 

            Morning broke, sunny and hot, but it brought only disappointment.  Bella hadn’t answered my email.  I knew she was busy, but didn’t she miss me at all?  I tried not to take it personally, but it was hard.  Instead of brooding, though, I got busy.  Phil and I were supposed to go to Florida, and I had a lot of packing left to do, notwithstanding the missing pink blouse I had asked Bella about.      

 

            I made a small pile of clothes, but I couldn’t resist any longer.  I sent off another email.  I stared at the monitor, willing an email to appear, but none did.  There was nothing for it but to get on with the day.  Surely she’d find time to let me know she was alright, and tell me about her first day of school.  The day passed with inexorable slowness.  Phil came home from practice, I made a dinner of chicken wrapped in seaweed with couscous and steamed broccoli.  He smiled fondly at me when I put it in front of him, and he ate it dutifully, but I was pretty sure seaweed wasn’t going to be on his list of requests in future.  That was what I loved about him, though.  Even though he probably hated it, he still ate it, thanked me for making it, and didn’t kick up a fuss that it wasn’t steak and potatoes.  Even now, I realized, a decade and a half after the fact, I was still comparing the men in my life to Charlie.

 

            Phil spent the evening trying to drag me out of my funk with chatter about how much I’d love Florida, and how beautiful the East Coast was, but I was too distracted to pay much attention.  It didn’t really matter, anyway.  Wherever Phil was, that’s where I wanted to be; I just wished Bella would be there too.  It was getting late, and I checked my email one last time before heading off to bed.  Nothing.  Now I was getting mad.  Would it have killed her to take ten minutes to jot down a few lines, let me know she’d gotten there safely? 

 

            I showered hastily, tossing the towels on the growing pile in the corner, and went to bed.  She had until the end of tomorrow, and then I’d call, I decided.  There really was no excuse for her behaviour.  I clicked off the light and curled up on my side of the bed.  Half an hour later, I felt the mattress creak as Phil got into bed next to me.  He leaned over to kiss me on the cheek.

 

            “She’ll write soon, Renee, don’t worry.  Try to sleep, huh?” he said, stroking my hair.  I nodded, and curled tighter into myself.  First thing in the morning, I’d email her one more time. With that thought, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep, dreaming dreams filled with looming trees and forbidding dark clouds.

 

 

 

           I was incredibly relieved when I got Bella’s email the next afternoon.  It sounded like she was adjusting well, so far.  That made me both happy and sad – happy because it was good that she was adjusting, but sad because that meant she wouldn’t change her mind any time soon.

 

            I was surprised that Charlie had bought her a truck, but as I thought more about it, I realized I shouldn’t be all that surprised.  He always had been thoughtful, if somewhat oblivious.  I relaxed a little after reading her email, and I got back to packing up.  I’d already asked the neighbours to get the mail every couple of days, and there weren’t really any other chores that needed doing while we were away. 

 

            The rest of the week passed quickly, as did the next.  We had been in Florida for a few days, and Phil was doing great with the team.  I spent most of my time watching him, or exploring the beaches.  My tan was looking fantastic, but the air was getting to me a little.  It was so humid it felt like trying to breathe through a sponge most days.  I supposed you got used to it, eventually, just like anything else.  I could live here, I decided. 

 

I had just gone back to the motel and picked up a novel from the small stack I’d brought with me to kill the hours between practices and time at the beach when the phone rang.  A deep sense of foreboding ran through me.  Instinctively, I knew it was bad news, and that it had to do with Bella.

 

“Hello?” I said, grabbing the receiver off the cradle.  The stack of paperbacks tumbled to the floor, but I didn’t pay any attention to them.  My voice sounded harsh in my ears.

 

“Renee?  It’s Charlie.”

 

“What happened?”

 

“There’s been an accident.”  My heart dropped, and I had to grab the arm of the chair to keep from toppling over.

 

 

 

            The room was spinning.  I was trying as hard as I could to focus on what Charlie was telling me, but it was hard.  She’d only been gone two weeks, and already she was hurt. 

 

            “Slow down, Charlie.  Start over, okay?” I said in a whisper.

 

            “There’s been a little accident.  Bella drove to school, and she was in the parking lot when another boy’s van skidded into the back of the truck.  She’s okay, though,” he added hastily as I burst into tears.  How could he be so calm about this, I wondered, trying to get my breathing under control.

 

            “Let me talk to her!” I demanded.  My knuckles were turning white as I gripped the receiver.  I needed to hear her voice.  I had to know she was okay.

 

            “She’s not here.  I’m in the waiting room at the hospital.  She’s still in with the doc.  Renee, she’s fine, I just didn’t want you to be surprised by her next email, that’s all,” he said, using his best police-chief-talking-to-a-crazy-person-voice.  I kicked the bed in frustration.  I was too far away from her.  She needed me, and I couldn’t be there. 

 

            “I’m getting on the next flight out there, and she’s coming home with me,” I said, making my mind up instantly.

 

            “Renee, would you please calm down?  She’s absolutely fine, okay?  You don’t need to come get her.  And anyway, what would you be bringing her back to?  I’ll have her call you when she gets home, alright?”  His words stung me.  He was right, of course.  If she came back to live with us, we’d be right back where we started, and she’d still want to leave.  But I’d let her make that decision herself.

 

            “Fine.  Tell her to call me as soon as she gets home,”  I snapped.  My free hand was clenched into a fist.  I slammed the receiver down and burst into tears.  I was losing her.

You must login (register) to review.




Share/Save/Bookmark


© 2008, 2009 Twilighted Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the intellectual property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.