I wandered into the kitchen and flipped on the switch. The yellow cabinets glared at me from the dark as the fluorescent lamp above the sink flickered to life. My stomach growled and I started pulling things out of the pantry. It was dinnertime and Charlie would be home soon. I pulled out a box of pasta and sauce. I went to get the hamburger out of the fridge where I left it to thaw overnight and emptied the bag into a pan, turning on the burner. I left that to start cooking and went to find something to use to tie my hair back. I was returning to the kitchen when the door opened and Charlie came in.
"Hey Dad," I said, with my back to him. I was putting the pasta on to boil as he greeted me, putting his jacket and gun into the hall closet. "I'm making spaghetti; it'll be done in a few minutes if you want to wash up first."
"Yeah, thanks Bells," he said over his shoulder as he went up the stairs to the bathroom. He hadn't really gotten used to the idea of me getting married to Edward, but he wasn't ignoring me like he did the first week after we told him. It was already early July and the wedding was scheduled for mid-August. I was starting to get more nervous each week and Alice's planning wasn't slowing down; she was like a whirlwind.
I drained the grease from the hamburger and added the sauce. Spaghetti was always an easy meal, and I didn't really feel like cooking a lot tonight – Edward, Emmett, and Jasper had gone hunting tonight and wouldn't be back for two days. I was a little sad about that, but I promised I wouldn't mope, for Charlie's sake.
I started dipping the food onto a plate for Charlie when the phone rang. It startled me a little but Charlie picked it up before I could set the food down. "This is her father," he said, a little worry line creased his forehead when spoke. I dipped my plate and set both plates on the table, and started to get two glasses for drinks when he spoke again, this time to me, "Bells, it's for you, they won't tell me what it's about."
The concern in his voice was obvious as I put the glasses down and stepped over to take the phone from his hand. "Hello," I said.
"Hello is this Isabella Swan?" the lady on the other end of the line asked in a professional sounding tone.
"This is she," I spoke.
"Well, Ms. Swan, I have some news for you, can you find a seat before I tell you?" the lady said again. I sat down with a small flop onto the closest chair. "Are you seated now?"
"Well, my name is Helen and I'm calling from the Shands Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. I have some bad news," Helen paused for a second but then continued before I could speak. "Your mother Renee Dwyer and her husband Phil were in a car accident." I could feel my eyes widen and I gulped in air while that processed, and she continued, "Ms. Dwyer has you listed as her next of kin and that's why I'm calling."
"My mom?" I choked out, still reeling from why the hospital was calling me.
"Yes, Ms. Dwyer is in the ICU," Helen said stiffly.
"And Phil?" I said, with more shock than I intended.
"Mr. Dwyer passed away on the way to the hospital, I'm sorry to have to inform you like this. Your mother has sustained severe damaged to the right side of her body and she may not be able to walk again. She'll be heavily sedated for the next few days and she needs someone's help during this time. I hate to put you in this situation, but your mother needs you here in Florida. I'll get you some information and you'll call me to let me know what you've decided, yes?"
I simply muttered, "Uh, yeah, let me get a piece of paper to write on." I looked over to Charlie and he had this look on his face that made my heart melt –worry, confusion, sadness. He was scared something had happened to Renee. I made myself look away. I stood and opened the drawer on the small table under the phone. I pulled out the notepad and a pen and switched the phone to the other ear and hand, "yeah, okay, what's the information," I said and then wrote down what Helen told me. I said thank you and hung the phone. I looked over to Charlie again and sat back down. The look he was giving me said he was curious but concerned. I finally found my voice enough to speak, "There was a car accident," I looked up at him, "Phil's dead. Renee's in the ICU," my voice cracked. I wouldn't be able to talk without sobbing now. I needed to go to Florida to be with Renee. Just then, the phone rang. I jumped up quickly and grabbed the receiver before Charlie.
"Hello," I muttered.
"Hey, now just repeat after me, and I'll get it all worked out okay?" It was Alice, "Hey Alice," she paused, and I said what she told me to. "I need some time to talk, can you come over tonight?" I repeated what she said, and then she answered me normally, "sure thing Bella, I'll be there in a few minutes. Bye girl, it'll be okay." She hung up and then I did too. I looked at Charlie.
"It was Alice, I hope you don't mind if she stops by?" Charlie just shook his head. I went to put the rest of the food away, to try to act as normal as possible. I had lost my appetite completely and I'm sure Charlie had to. Charlie started to talk behind me as I worked.
"I've got some money in the savings, it'll buy you a plane ticket down there," his voice cracked and I held in a sob. "I know you need to get down there," he whispered.
As I put the rest of the spaghetti in a container and into the fridge, the front door received a knock. Charlie just glanced at me and slowly walked into the living room. I went and opened the front door; the look on Alice's face spoke volumes. "Let's go up to my room, I need to tell you something," I said, to keep up the appearance that she didn't already know what was going on.
We went up the stairs quickly and as soon as I had shut the door behind me, she started grabbing clothes and putting them into a bag. "I've already talked to Carlisle and he assured me that it'd be fine. You're taking the redeye to Jacksonville tonight," she spoke in hushed tones and then said loud enough for Charlie, – he must be listening, "Oh Bella! I'll talk to Carlisle, I'm sure he'll want to help."
Then my mind was my own again for a brief second, "What about Edward?" I whispered, scared to be away from him.
"He'll understand," she paused and pulled a phone out of her pocket, flashed it at me, and tossed it into the bag. "You'll be able to talk to him every night, but now you need to go downstairs and call the hospital back, I'll talk to Charlie." I nodded blindly and headed back downstairs.
I heard Alice behind me as I picked up the phone; I dialed the number and waited. I was trying to hear how Alice would talk Charlie into this, but the hospital answered and I was pulled back into what I was doing. By the time I was off the phone Charlie was hugging Alice and telling her thank you. She came back to me with a sad smile on her face and Charlie was behind her. "Alice said Carlisle wouldn't mind if she got you on a plane tonight," there was relief on his face, but it was still struggling with worried sadness. "Tell your mom I'll be here if she needs me. Bye Bells, I call you in a day or two, okay?" I just nodded again and hugged him.
"Bye Dad. I'll be fine, and so will Mom," I said with as little doubt in my voice as possible. Alice nodded and told Charlie bye, then quickly pushed me towards the door, my bag in her hand.