What's Love? Ch 2
I hear the door slam on his way out, but I continue to pack my books. I have no idea what to do now. Looking around the room, nothing is really mine other than the bookcase and computer stand holding my computer.
I really, for some reason, thought James would be different. He was open about who he was but started to change during the year he was with me. You would think my IQ was 75 instead of 190.
I look from the corner of my eye to my computer; the screen shows one picture. I pick my cell up and dial.
“Hello,” the sweet Texas accent answers.
10 Years Before
The four teens identified themselves as Emmett, Rose, Alice and Edward. Alice, Emmett and Edward were triplets, and Rose was Emmett’s longtime girlfriend.
I gave Emmett my notebook and some cards to help with remembering some of the HTML codes. They seemed friendly with a weird family dynamic, something I found endearing and so comfortable. They clearly saw that I was way above them intellectually speaking, yet treated me as if I was one of them.
They asked when I would be back, and I told them Friday. “I’ll make copies of these notes, and give them back then.” Emmett’s goofy grin appears on his face.
“Sounds like a plan.” I couldn't help but return his smile.
School was let out, but I didn't see my dad’s car, so I walked home. It wasn’t unusual to have to walk home. My dad liked for me to have more independence than my mom. I walked up to my two-story house, painted a light blue with a white picket fence surrounding the front, and miles and miles of trees behind it. The American dream home. In the driveway, I saw two cop cars but not my dad’s car. A feeling of dread began to fill my body. I barely felt myself walk closer and closer until I grabbed the handle with a hand that shook almost uncontrollably.
I took a deep breath and entered the house. There in the living room sat Deputy Billy Black and Deputy Mark Johnson. Across from them, with red puffy eyes and tears still streaming down her face, was my mom.
“No.” I felt myself begin to lose it.
“Oh, Bella!” My mom jumped up and clutch me close to her running her hand through my hair.
“I’m sorry, Bella, your dad died in a gas station robbery. He jumped in front of a woman to saved her life.” Billy embraced my mother and I as we cried.
“I need to see him, please Billy.” I looked up into his warm brown eyes that were bloodshot.
He sighed, closing his eyes and rubbing his face. “Okay, I’ll take you up there.”
“I better go with you too, Isabella, let me get my things.” Mom walked to the kitchen to get her purse.
The ride to the morgue was a somber one. My mom kept sniffling and dabbing her eyes with her handkerchief, but I just used my sweater sleeves. We finally pulled up to Forks Hospital, going around to the back where the morgue was located.
I heard our footsteps echo as we walked down the corridor to the cold metal double doors. I knew what was waiting on the other side for me, for us. Neither my mom nor I could touch the doors to walk in where I knew my daddy was waiting for me.
“I can’t see him like that,” Mom sobbed as she sat on the bench.
“It’s okay, Mom, I can do this alone.” My hand began to shake as I pushed the doors open. I saw Garrett, the medical examiner, next to my dad who was covered by a white sheet.
I could feel my feet moving, getting closer to where my dad was laying. I felt Billy’s presence behind me.
“Hi, Bella.” Garrett's voice is thick with sadness. I nodded my head, keeping my eyes glued to the sheet.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Billy asked, his hand resting on my shoulder.
“I have to, I have to see him and make this real.” I could feel the tears trickling down my cheek, but I didn't acknowledge them.
Garrett pulled back the sheet, revealing my dad’s face.
I gasped, “Oh, Daddy.” I found myself touching his face, smoothing back his hair. “I’ll take care of Mom. I remember the passwords and everything you set up for us, Daddy. I’ll finish school, I’ll do everything I told you I was going to do.” I kissed his cheek. “I love you, Daddy.”
I felt myself crumble and Billy had to carry me out.
The next few days flew by. I got into my dad’s safe where he had everything planned. Talked to everyone to make sure he got a cop’s burial. My mom was difficult; she didn’t want to take her meds, she didn’t want to participate with anything that dealt with my dad’s service.
When the day came, everyone from Forks was in attendance. So many handshakes, and condolences. I watched as the flag got folded up and handed to my mother, who wasn't holding it together well and began to sob uncontrollably. I grabbed her and held her tight, trying to keep my tears at bay as I said my final goodbye to my dad as he was lowered into the ground.
There was a memorial dinner in honor of my dad at the local VFW. My mom refused to go, so I walked over there to make an appearance, something my dad would have wanted me to do. It was so packed I barely got through the crowd, and it didn’t help that every two feet someone had to hug me and give me their condolences.
I was sure by the time I made it to the bar that everyone had approached me, but I was wrong.
“Bella,” a woman's rough voice got my attention. I looked to see where it came from. She was medium height with rusty colored hair and piercing green eyes. I knew those eyes from her kids at school.
“Yes?” I question.
“Your father died saving me.” Her eyes teared up, and I could tell she had been crying for days. They were puffy and bloodshot.
I really didn’t know what to say to her. I was grieving, and the irrational part of myself wanted to blame her. If she would have just moved or been in hiding, my dad wouldn’t have had to be a hero.
“I just wanted to give my condolences to you and your mom. And know that your dad saved a mother of three children. I am not going to squander the second chance your father gave me. I am so sorry. I hope someday we can be friends.” She went to touch me but I flinched away. I knew the next round of tears were because of that action. I just didn’t know how to feel about everything. My daddy was dead, my mom was slowly becoming catatonic, and now this woman hoped to someday have a relationship with me. She would be lucky if I didn’t erase her from my memory bank.
“I’m not trying to be rude, but right now I am just here for appearance’s sake. I don’t know if I will even remember you ten years from now, let alone want anything to do with you.” I walked away from her and made my way back through the crowd and back home.
When I got there, my mom was nowhere to be seen. Walking up the stairs, I heard her from her room, crying. I knew I should comfort her, but I needed to let myself cry and mourn the best man that I will ever know. The only person who truly loved me for who I am.