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Escape Meadow by KarinaCullen






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Table of Contents
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Story Notes:

Twilighted supervisory  beta:vjgm

Twilighted jrbeta: Beautiful Distraction

Author's Chapter Notes:

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters.


 

Chapter 1: Focus

Mike was going to Forks for the summer. He promised to help his Aunt Monica at her restaurant and would be coming back a week before school started. He was very organized and committed; which was kind of the reason why I started dating him. Not saying that I was using him or anything, I really did like Mike. That was just one of the reasons why he was my boyfriend. I needed stability, or just a sense of knowing that things weren’t going to be complete chaos.

Chaos. That was what my life was like before I started dating Mike. My room was a never-ending mess along with my thoughts. I wasn’t obligated to finish anything I started – let alone do anything. I was lazy and unfocused. I needed change. That’s when I met Mike in our sophomore year.

I moved to Darcy Lake with Charlie when he and my mom divorced. I didn’t know anyone, and didn’t really want to either. Mike was nice enough to show me around, and that was when I noticed how together he was. He knew what he wanted and he worked for it. I wasn’t like that . . . but I wanted to be.

So I guess that’s kind of how we started. We got to know each other and eventually went on our first date and blah blah blah. It was a typical high school relationship, except we didn’t do any of that lovey dovey stuff. We occasionally held hands and once and a while he gave me a quick kiss, but that was pretty much it. We never even said ‘I love you.’ Mike didn’t want to be distracted from his work by our relationship, and I respected that. If that meant I would still be kept in control, then so be it.

I was driving Mike to the airport; his parents were already in Forks. I was with him as he checked in and made it to the gate. Neither of us talked, and when we did it was mostly about how he was getting ready for our senior year and what goals he wanted to achieve. I just nodded, showing that I supported him. When it was time for his plane to board, he stood up.

He turned to me and sighed. I raised an eyebrow at him, not really knowing what was wrong.

“Bella, I think we should talk,” he breathed.

“Okay . . .”

“Bella, I think,” he stopped to look at his feet, “I think we should break-up.”

My eyes widened. “What? Why?”

“It’s just that I won’t be seeing you for the whole summer and it would be kind of hard, you know?” I nodded my head. “Plus, this upcoming year is going to be so important and I need to put all of my focus in my work if I want to get into Yale. You understand, right?”

“Uh, Yeah. Totally,” I said, not looking at him.

“I knew you would, that’s why I’m glad we could still be friends.”

With that, he went to board the plane, without one last glance at me. I stood there, staring at the floor. I was surprised that I wasn’t crying. I should have been crying. I’d been with the guy for nearly two years, which should start the waterworks. But I wasn’t. I was just standing in the gate, trying to figure out why he made that decision. I mean, how would a relationship affect his work? He was already the top student in our grade, still going, and had everything planned out. It wasn’t like we acted like a couple anyway. We acted more like colleagues, which is not really what I wanted in a boyfriend.

So why the hell did I date him?

I knew the answer: because he was so focused. Mike made me feel so secure of myself, and I liked that feeling. But now that he left, I wasn’t so sure. God, I felt like I did after the divorce – scattered and out of place. Damn that Mike Newton. Damn myself for being so ridiculous. Damn the divorce. Damn the heavens. Damn my life.

I quickly paced towards the airport parking lot and got inside my truck. I slammed it with force and heard a creak. I turned on the engine and drove home as fast as my truck could handle.

*

Dinner was quiet. Ever since Rosalie eloped with Emmett things were always silent. My sister was loud, and usually was the one to keep up conversation around the house. Whenever Emmett came over, he always brought this sort of comedy with him that made everyone laugh. Even Charlie laughed when he was around, and Charlie laughing was so rare. But the two left to go to California State University.

Rosalie first planned on going to Harvard to study law, and was accepted early. When she met Emmett, she realized her love for cars and eventually applied for CSU along with him. She got accepted and both of them left. Charlie was miffed, saying that if she left to go to that university to never come back. And that’s what she did, and she hadn’t shown up since.

Of course she called me every week. As sisters, we always had that special bond and wouldn’t leave the other behind. In all honesty, I would have left too if Charlie said that to me. But I knew he wouldn’t, because apparently I was the perfect child that Rosalie could never be. When Charlie told me this, I was stunned. Charlie never used to act and talk like that before the divorce. But then again, everything was different after it.

I sighed and stood from the table and brought my empty plate to the sink to clean it. As I began drying my glass, Charlie cleared his throat. I put the glass back and turned to look at him.

“So have you decided what to do for the summer, Bella?” he asked.

“Not really. I’ll probably just relax and what not. Why?”

“I thought we talked about you getting a job.”

“A what now?” I inquired.

“A job,” he said again. “Don’t you remember? Two days ago I was telling you that you should get a job. You know, so you can learn to be more responsible and budget your time.”

“No, we didn’t. We were talking about cleaning the garage.”

“Oh, right,” He said, suddenly remembering. “But I still want you to get a job.”

I groaned. “Why?”

“Just do it,” he said before leaving the table.

He left his plate and glass. Did he just expect me to clean it up for him? I shook my head and picked it up. I washed the dishes and then cleared the table, putting the leftovers in the fridge. I left the kitchen, grabbing the newspaper from the living room before heading to my room. I closed the door instead of slamming it, not wanting to get Charlie mad. Once I was in the confines of my room, I grabbed a highlighter and lied down on the bed.

I scanned through the newspaper, looking for any possible job applications. Most of them were for hardware stores and camp counseling. Both of which I wouldn’t have minded, but didn’t consider due to my lack of coordination. I didn’t want to endanger the lives of customers with hammers, or trip and squish a little kid. I threw the newspaper across the room and ran a hand through my hair.

I didn’t know how to find a good job at such short notice. It was summer; I couldn’t find anything worthwhile because they were probably taken. I had to find one, not because I wanted to, but because Charlie wanted me to. He wanted me to be more responsible and to learn how to budget my time. I was already more responsible for my age – doing all of my chores without complaining and accepting what I had to do. I could budget my time without getting a job. I didn’t have many friends in Darcy Lake anyways. I didn’t usually go out, I just stayed at home and read.

My phone started to vibrate so I took it out of my pocket. I looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Rosalie. She never called the house, in case Charlie picked up. She didn’t want to talk to him, let alone hear his voice. She only called my cell phone, and she talked for the longest time. My bill was always so expensive because of that. I didn’t mind though, I missed her.

“Hello?” I said as I brought the phone to my ear.

“Hey, Bells!”

“Hey, Rose. What’s new?”

“Um, nothing much,” she answered. “I just came back from the mall. What are you doing tonight?”

“Nothing,” I said bluntly.

“You never do anything on Friday nights. Or Saturday nights, or Sunday nights. Seriously, Bella, live a little!”

“But I’m busy.”

“Doing what? Being Dad’s slave?”

“No,” I scoffed. “Usually I’m busy doing homework and stuff. But right now –”

“But it’s summer! How can you do homework during the summer?”

“– I’m trying to find a job,” I finished. I heard her laughing on the other end. I waited until she settled down, but her laughter only increased. “And what is so funny?”

“Sorry, Bella. But you’re looking for a job? You always told me that you never wanted a job. Never.”

It was true. I never wanted to get a job until I really needed one. But I didn’t want to work, especially not during summer vacation. I planned on getting hired during my college life, because then I would at least be more committed, compared to now.

“I know. But Dad insisted that I get one. It’s really stupid, actually.”

Dad is really stupid. Nothing new,” she replied monotonously. I didn’t reply to that, because I knew how she felt towards him. “Okay, Bells, I have to go. Emmett’s friend is throwing a party tonight.”

“Okay, Love you.”

“Love you, too,” she said before hanging up.

I closed my phone and dropped it, hearing a thud as it hit the bed. That’s how it always was, Rosalie was the wild sister, and I was the tame one. It was funny how things turned out.

I rolled off the bed and took out my pajamas, stripping of my clothes and pulling on pajama shorts and an “I Love NY” t-shirt. I took my iPod off the desk and slipped the earphones into my ears. Once the music started playing, I put it to a lower volume. I shut the lights and went back to bed, bringing the covers over top of me.

The window opposite my bed was open, so the moonlight shown through. The light was laid on my bed and I welcomed it. I snuggled my head into the fluffy pillows and listened to the lyrics before closing my eyes.

When we were growing up you always looked like you were having such fun.

You always were and you always will be the taller and the prettier one . . .

*

I always had to remind myself that it wasn’t my fault that my family fell apart. That it wasn’t my fault that Renee had cheated on Charlie for some baseball player. That Rosalie sauntered out of my dad’s life. But I knew that it was my entire fault, no matter how many times I had to repeat it in my mind. It always came back to slap me across the face and leave a red, painful mark sprayed on my cheek.

Life’s just funny that way, I guess.

When I woke up this morning, I sat up on my bed and ran my hand down my face. The sun shown in my eyes and making me squint as I rolled off the bed. I opened my door and heard the hardwood floors creak as I made my way to the bathroom. The fluorescent lights were too bright – and I wondered why Charlie changed the incandescent lights to those stupid ones. It was the most annoying thing to approach after waking up.

My shower didn’t last as long as I wanted to. Wrapping a towel over my body, I walked back to my room. Since the air was a little cooler coming from such a steamy room, I hurried to my bedroom and went straight to my closet to find some clothes.

Clothes were organized across the whole closet – shirts and jeans folded on the shelves, sweaters and dresses hung on the rack and shoes on the bottom shelf. I picked out a pair of short shorts, a white eyelet hem tunic and a blue cardigan. I left the cardigan unbuttoned so I could place a silver jeweled ball necklace. By this time, my hair was already half dry.

I went to my dresser and heated the straightener. Deciding I was too lazy to straighten my whole hair, I chose just to straighten my side bangs and put my hair up in a messy bun. I started straightening my hair once my mother left. Rosalie said when I left my hair in its natural state I looked like mom, just with brown hair. I didn’t want to look like her. I didn’t want to be reminded of someone like that.

I didn’t know why, but lately I had been conscious of my appearance. When Rosalie lived with us, I stopped trying to look as good as her when I realized no one could compare to her beauty. I guess when she left I went crazy with makeup and clothes and what not. I wanted the feel of being pretty; I got the gist of it. But I wanted the full feeling.

I wanted many things, most of them I never got.

Looking at the mirror one last time, I grabbed my cell phone off the dresser and slipped it into my pocket. I rubbed the back of my neck as I made my way downstairs, hearing nothing as I made it to the bottom. I peeked out the window and saw the cruiser wasn’t in the driveway. I sighed in relief. A morning of me, myself and I were the best kind of mornings.

I grabbed an apple and poured myself a glass of milk. I chugged the milk down and cleaned the glass. I left the house through the back door and tossed the apple in the air, seeing it shine as the sunlight bounced off it. Bringing the apple to my mouth, I took a bite and tasted the sweetness as it satiated my hunger. I took in my surroundings as I walked down the street of Darcy Lake. It wasn’t a big town, but big enough to live a little.

I followed the path through the trees, no longer on the sidewalk. Twigs were cracking as I stepped on them; birds were chirping the early morning. I heard the sound of running water and the trees started to descend. The light was becoming more definite the closer I got. I finally felt grass underneath my feet and found what I was looking for.

Escape Meadow was pretty much what the name was. It was my escape, in a meadow. This meadow wasn’t placed on a map like the actual Darcy Lake or the more recognized meadows. That was why I went there to think and relax. I found it by accident; getting lost on my way to Darcy Lake and trying to find a short cut. I thought finding it was fate – it was fate because I always needed some peace in mind in my life. Naming it Escape Meadow was kind of a given, something that came from the top of my head.

I sat down in front of the creek, bringing my knees to my chest. The creek was like a mini waterfall. Except for fungi and mushrooms, were assortments of different colored flowers. The trees surrounding the meadow were organized in a huge circle, and sometimes I wondered if it was man made. But no one ever came here, so I figured that it was like Rosalie, natural beauty.

My mind went elsewhere and I didn’t know how long I was staring at the creek for. I sighed and stood up. I took a momentary look at the rest of the meadow and then walked back through the path I came in. It was brighter outside, the sun shown through the branches of the trees more, giving me light to see where I was going. I walked slowly, crossing my arms across my chest as I made my way back to civilization.

When I was back on track on the sidewalk, I sauntered more into town. As I walked I noticed that there were more cars on the streets – new, expensive cars. The vacationers were finally here for the summer. I shook my head and looked straight. Not knowing where exactly I was going, I went inside some place. I didn’t know it was a smoothie place until I smelled fresh fruits.

Oh right, Magic Juice, the new smoothie place.

I stood in the doorway, about to leave when I felt a tap on the shoulder. I turned and literally looked down to see a petite girl with short black hair and striking blue eyes. She was wearing a blue and white shirt that had a Magic Juice logo.

“Hi, can you take over for me for a bit?” she asked in her pixie like voice.

“Umm,” I answered.

“Please! I need to make a call, it’s an emergency!”

“Okay, what do you need me to do?”

“Just stand behind the register. We don’t have customers at the moment so you should be okay. Thanks so much.” She smiled before she took out her cell phone and stepped outside through the back, dialing faster than I’d ever seen before.

I shrugged and went behind the cashier. It was still before noon, so I guessed it was too early for a smoothie. I leaned my elbows on the table and rested my chin on my hands. The girl was still talking on the phone; I could hear she was serious through her tone. I gnawed on my lip in patience for her to get back. By this time I was completely zoned out, and not even watching what was going on. I was thinking of what needed to be done when I got home. Things such as laundry and mowing the lawn and also –

“Gotcha!” A voice whispered in my ear. I whipped around, gripping the edge of the counter. My heartbeat was pounding faster and I was suddenly aware of what was surrounding me. “Oh, sorry. I thought you were my sister,” the voice said again. I noticed it was smooth, like velvet.

I looked at where the voice came from and was stunned. In front of me was a boy who was tall and lean. His bronze hair was a tousled mess, which contrasted nicely with his skin. What caught my attention were his eyes – his smoldering, rich green eyes.

“Uh, it’s okay,” I replied.

He looked at me and tilted his head. “And who are you?”

“Bella Swan,” I said. He raised his eyebrow, waiting for more. “The girl you were trying to scare asked me to take over for a bit while she made an important call.”

“Oh, I see. She was probably asking Carlisle if the rest of her clothes came today.”

“Huh?”

“We just moved here two weeks ago, after Carlisle, my dad, married Esme. All of our stuff came in last week, but since Alice has so many clothes, the rest of her things should be coming some time this week.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Yeah. This is Alice’s first job; she doesn’t really know when to work and when to live. Esme hired us a few days ago.”

I guessed that Esme was the one who owned Magic Juice.

A light bell rang and I looked at the door. A woman with caramel hair and a heart shaped face came in with a smile. She had in her hands a box of mangoes and bananas, along with other fruits. She set them on the table and wiped her forehead.

“Well, that was heavier than I thought it would be,” she joked. She looked at me and then back at the boy. “Oh, who is this?”

“Bella,” We both said.

“I see. It’s very nice to meet you, Bella.” She smiled and I nodded my head. “Where’s Alice?”

“Asking Carlisle if her stuff has come yet,” the boy answered.

“Why am I not surprised? Well, she needs to get in here soon because we have to get ready for the fair coming up in two days. I still have to get more things and then organize the booth. Plus, Tyler quit so now I’m short on one employee. I’m completely stressed.”

The light bulb in my head lit up brightly.

“I could apply for a job here, if you want,” I said.

Esme looked at me and smiled. “Are you sure? It gets hectic here and we sometimes aren’t the most organized staff.”

“I can deal with it. If you need help, I’d be glad to.”

“That’s wonderful!” She turned around and walked into the storage closet. She came back with a blue and white shirt and handed it to me. I took it and held it to my side. “You can start tomorrow. That’s when I’ll need all of my employees.”

I nodded my head. When she hugged me, I was surprised. I wrapped my arms around her and let go when she stepped back. She patted me on the shoulder and took the box full of fruits off the counter, bringing them to the kitchen. I turned, starting to make my way out the door. I heard someone clear their throat and I spun around.

“By the way, my name is Edward,” the boy with bronze hair said.

“Nice to meet you,” I said.

“Likewise.” He nodded his head once before going into the kitchen.

I walked back to the door and pushed it open. I stepped outside and felt the summer breeze and paced back home with the shirt in my hand. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and flipped it open, dialing the number and brining the phone to my ear.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Dad?” I said.

“Bella?” he asked.

“Yeah, it’s me.” I passed the path to the meadow and looked at it. I bit my lip and just walked straight.

He sighed. “What is it?”

“I got a job,” I responded.

“Really. Where at?”

“Magic Juice.”

 

Chapter End Notes:

Hope you like it even though it's only the first chapter. I promise that the second chapter is more exciting. Trust me, it's a little more humorous. Hint? Alice & Edward battle it out.

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