I’d never given much thought as to how I had died. Dying in the place of someone I didn’t even know would have been a crazy thought to me prior to actually doing it myself. It was a natural reaction really, one without thought, a split second decision. I was a completely different person, with a different family and life than the one I have now. Although in many ways this life seemed to mimic the previous one, like this life would end as the last - sacrificing myself to save the life of another.
I knew that if I had never gone to that baseball game that I would not end up back here in this ballet studio, but being the self sacrificial idiot I am, I decided to do it anyway. The screeching of metal filled the room as the hunter was torn apart, my sister’s rescuers attempting to save her from the life she desperately wanted. The only thing I could focus on, however, was the glimpse of red hair in the rafters of the old studio.
I controlled my breathing and reached down slowly as the red head stared at her mate’s demise. Picking up a piece of broken glass from the floor and dragging it across my hand, the head slowly turns towards me and I see the dark red eyes turn black.
The dreams started a little over a year ago on my fifteenth birthday, at first they were just small glimpses, scenes of daily life as a child before they began to turn into detailed dreams and nightmares of my past life. The last of my dreams centered not on my death, but on a book series I was apparently a fan of as a pre-teen in my last life, the Twilight saga. A series that I grew to hate with age before loving it again right before my death. I longed to call the man I called my grandfather in this life, but discussing vampires, shifters, protected legends, and the possibility of me having an entire life’s worth of memories at only 16 years old was not the smartest thing to do over the phone. So, I’m doing the only reasonable thing I could do. Flying to Forks, Washington with my sister Isabella Swan. My last memories decided to make themselves clear in my dreams during my last week of Christmas break spent back in Phoenix as Bella and I prepared for the move.
“Bella,” our mother Renée said for the thousandth time, “you don’t have to do this.”
Bella of course failed at lying, saying she wanted to go to Forks. Renée seemed to believe her before looking at me. “Be sure to watch after her, Erin.” She knew I was excited to be going home, unlike my sister I was in Forks for every Christmas and summer break growing up, even the summers that my sister and Charlie would stay in California. The constant rain helped my anxiety, and the cool air was much easier on my lungs compared to the sweltering heat of Arizona. The only thing I dreaded during the multiple flights to get to Forks was the drive back home. I’d be cramped up in the back of the cruiser while Bella and Charlie struggled to make small talk.
When we landed in Port Angeles, I let Bella and Charlie have their awkward hug before launching myself at my dad. He stumbled backwards from my enthusiasm before laughing along with me.
“I’ve missed you too, kiddo.” We made quick work of getting our luggage in the trunk and back seat of the cruiser before I squeezed in. Even with us pooling all our resources together, we weren't able to build up a decent sized wardrobe for either of us before flying out. I loved my mother in this life, but it was obvious that what Bella termed “scatterbrained” could easily be described as neglectful. Renée made it clear that she loved us, but even without the knowledge of my previous life, I still held a little resentment towards her for forcing me to move to Arizona with her and Bella. Our dad might not have had much on the surface, but the support system we had in Forks would have made up for any time he would have to be away for work.
Before long Dad told us a bit about our new truck, Billy Black’s old one. A faded red tank that could probably handle anything thrown at it as long as it didn’t go over 55 miles per hour. I spent most of my Christmas break huddled up in a pile of quilts with Billy’s son Jacob and his best friends Embry Call and my cousin Quil Ateara, “Baby Quil” as I’d nicknamed him when we were kids. On the old beat up couch in Jake and Billy’s garage, we watched Jake fix up the truck in between play fights between the boys, multiple food breaks, and bets. Growing up, we used the truck to go on many fishing and camping trips over the years, and over the break I was pretty upset that Billy had sold it. Of course the old hens would keep the fact my dad bought the truck for me and my sister a secret.
“Thanks so much dad!” I eventually called through the back seat during an awkward pause. He shot me a relieved smile before I turned to look back out the window at the greenery as we made our way to Forks. I loved both my dad and sister, but putting them together and expecting a conversation always resulted in a tense and uncomfortable situation. Thankfully, we made it back home and I was able to take my suitcases up the stairs to my room. It of course hadn’t changed since my last visit. The light green walls were covered with pictures of my life growing up in Forks, and my countless weekend stays in La Push. I quickly start stuffing my clothes in the small dresser in the corner of my room, silently thanking myself for cleaning out my old clothes over the Christmas break. I put the first empty suitcase in the bottom of my closet before pulling the second one on my bed.
I take my time filling my childhood bookcase with my meager collection of books, a mix of classics, history, and fantasy. An interesting combination, but after realizing I was a historian in my previous life, the history and classics interests I’d developed as a child made more sense. Finally at the bottom of the suitcase, I grab the cheap composition books that hold my diligent notes of my most recent dreams, all written in Quileute for extra security. Thankfully on my last trips up to Forks, I’d managed to avoid the illusive Cullen coven. More importantly I was able to avoid Alice and Edward’s gifts - something that would be necessary for my plan to change this timeline. I can hear Bella and Dad’s awkward murmurs from the room across the hall as I quietly slip the journals in the backpack hanging off one of my bedposts.
“Getting settled in alright?” I hear as I zip up the pocket and I turn around to see my dad leaning against the door frame, hands in his pockets.
“Just finished up!” I smile at him, shutting the suitcase and putting it in the closet with my other one. Turning back around I see him nod before pushing off the frame and walking towards me. I meet him halfway there with another hug. This one was a lot less enthusiastic than the last. Dad might have seemed to not deal with emotions well with Bella, but it always seemed like he could pick up on mine, especially when I didn’t want him to. I bury my face in his police jacket before pulling away.
“Your sister wants to start school tomorrow,” he starts rubbing the back of his head, a nervous tick that I’d managed to pick up myself over the years. “But you can take the day off if you’d like, maybe I could drop you off at Billy’s in the morning before I head into work.” His idea reminded me that as much as I loved the truck, I knew Bella would eventually be the one to hog it and I’d need something for myself to get around in soon. I nod my head quickly, putting those thoughts off for later. There were more urgent things to focus on at the moment.
“You know I’m never going to turn down a chance at missing school.” I bump my shoulder with his as we make our way out of my room and down the stairs. He let out a brief chuckle before tossing the Chinese take-out menu to me. The menu had taken up a permanent residence on one of the counters in our small kitchen, along with all the other restaurants that deliver to the house. I roll my eyes before throwing the menu back on the counter. “You want anything from the Chinese place, Bells?” I yell up the stairs.
“No thanks.” Her voice drifts down the steps before I hear the shower turn on. It would be a long week of moping Bella. I sigh before picking up the phone and ordering our regular food, we’d made it a tradition to order Chinese each time I came back home to Forks. If dad was anything, he was consistent. After hanging up the phone I make my way into our small family room and flop on the couch next to Dad’s recliner. I fell asleep before I could even tell what game he was watching.