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The Willow

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January 17, 2005

Forks, a town covered in constant rainfall and was smaller than most of the malls in Phoenix. There was no downside to moving here. I was getting away from my overbearing mother who wanted me to be just like Bella and it was an added plus that it was raining all the time. I glanced over at Bella who was in the seat next to me. She probably wouldn't agree with me. She loved all the sun and dryness of Phoenix and she loved our mother. This was going to a personal hell for her and a paradise for me. I grinned and looked out the window, enjoying the view of the clouds.

The car ride was filled with an awkward silence. Charlie really hadn't said anything besides a few quick 'hello's and now the silence was becoming highly noticeable. I just watched from the backseat as my dad tried to start a conversation with pathetic results.
“Your hair is longer,” Charlie commented and I rolled my eyes. Really? Was that the best he could come up?
“I cut it since last time I saw you.” Bella shot the conversation down with a well-aimed strike.
“Guess it grew out again,” Charlie answered and I almost chuckled at the awkwardness. Bella just nodded and the car filled with silence once again.
“How's your mom?” He asked after a few minutes and I grimaced. Renee and I didn't have the best of relationships. She wanted me to be the perfect daughter and I just wanted to be me. We even managed to get into a giant fight about me leaving Phoenix. Renee had no problems with Bella going to Forks, but I was a whole other ballgame. I was apparently going to get into too much trouble without Renee breathing down my neck. She was going to force me to stay until Bella stepped in and told her she would be more comfortable with me coming with her.
“Good,” Bella answered Charlie snapping out of my thoughts.
Thanks to Bella's one-word answers we rode in silence as we drove closer and closer to Forks. We drove past a sign that said the population of Forks was 3,246 and I was thoroughly surprised. I was expecting something in the hundreds.
About 15 minutes later we were at Charlie's house. I had forgotten what it had looked like, probably because I spent most of my time out of the house exploring. It was an old two-story house that wasn't exactly small, but it was pretty cozy.
The inside of the house was...warm. I saw Bella wince at a picture of herself on the wall. Luckily, I didn't find many with me in them. I didn't stay still for photos when I was younger; I never stopped moving back then.
“I put Grandpa's old desk in your room,” Charlie told Bella and then turned to me, “and I managed to find another one for yours.” Thank the lord that I didn't have to share a room with Bella. I love the girl, but I really like privacy. “And I cleared some shelves in the bathroom for you two.” Bella grimaced and I chuckled softly.
“That's right. One bathroom.” She complained.
“I'll just put these up in your rooms.” Charlie started to haul our bags up the stairs, but I stopped him and grabbed my own bag. I grinned at his questioning look.
“Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself, you are getting pretty old.” I joked and he smiled. We carried the bags upstairs while Bella followed.

Charlie left us alone to unpack and I retreated to my new room. The walls were painted dark red color and had hand-painted roses on the walls. There was a bed tucked into the far corner that had a light red comforter on it. There was a small oak desk in the corner next to the bed that had a computer sitting on top of it. The room was perfect and Charlie even remembered that I loved the color red. I grinned and flopped onto my bed. This was going to be the start of something good. I didn't have Renee watching my every move, I was surrounded by trees, and it was already raining. I got out of bed and started to unpack my clothes and put them in the closet near the door when there was a honk from outside. I looked out the window and saw a reddish-orange pickup truck that looked to be a few decades old. I decided to get a better look at it, so I started to make my way downstairs.

Charlie was saying hello to the new arrivals when Bella and I made it outside. There was a kid that looked to my age with long black hair. He and Charlie helped a man on the passenger side into a wheelchair. He looked to be in his late forties, maybe fifties, but his eyes held a twinkle of mischief that I could recognize from a mile away.
“Bella, Willow, you remember Billy-” I stopped listening to whatever Charlie was saying and gave the man a big hug.
“Hey Billy, how 'ya doing?” I asked with a smile and stepped back to get a good look at him. He hadn't really changed after all the years and I could still remember messing with his wheelchair when he wasn't looking.
“Glad, you're finally here. Charlie hasn't shut up about it since you two told him you were coming.”
“Keep exaggerating, I'll wheel you down the hill.” Charlie threatened and started to go back over to Bella.
“Right after I ram you in the ankles!” The two grown men then decided to rough house and I made it over to Bella.
“I'm Jacob. We made mud pies together when we were little kids.” I heard the guy who came with Billy tell Bella and I smirked. I recognized his name and stepped closer to the two, making myself known.
“Hey, aren't you that kid who broke his arm falling down a hill?” I asked playfully and he glared at me.
“Pushed. I was pushed down that hill, by you!” I shrugged.
“Pushed. Fell. What's the difference?”
“Are they always like this?” Bella asked while staring at Charlie and Billy. Did she really not remember all our summers down here? I know it has been a couple years, but I could remember our summers in Forks as if it was yesterday.
“It's getting worse with old age.” Jacob joked. Then the two GROWN men stopped fighting and Charlie went up and patted the hood of the old truck.
“So, what do you think of your homecoming gift?” Charlie asked Bella and she froze.
“No way. The truck is for me?”
“Just bought it off Billy, here.” Bella was still frozen in shock and I think the guys were getting worried she didn't like it.
“I rebuilt the engine and-” Jacob started explaining nervously, but Bella interrupted him.
“It's perfect!” Bella smiled and I turned to Charlie who was looking proud.
“So, got anything for me?” I asked him and he looked a little embarrassed.
“Well, I know that you like classic cars...” Now, he had me interested.
“And?”
“You would have to help build it and find parts....” Charlie drew out the suspense.
“Please, do go on.” I gestured for him to hurry up.
“Jacob may have 67' Chevy Impala that he was thinking about fixing it up. I think with a little persuasion he could be convinced to sell it to you.” I smiled so hard I was surprised my face didn't split in two.
“You're serious, right? This isn't some mean practical joke?” He nodded and I gave him a big hug. “Thank you!” I then skipped over to Jacob and started laying on the charm. By the time he and Billy were leaving he had already agreed to sell it to me for dirt cheap after he finished fixing it up. I would have to buy the parts and give him a hand in fixing it, but it was still a great deal.