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Your Clan Helped Me Find Myself Again

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Rosalie Bennet-Spirit came home from work with a sigh. Today had been a very long day. Between her boss shouting at her for accidentally ordering the wrong type of engine for one of the Harleys they were repairing, and not one, but two of her clients making misogynist remarks, Rosalie was angry and emotionally worn down. After she had parked her motorcycle in the driveway of their house and taken off her full-face helmet (yes, Rosalie wore a helmet despite riding a Harley herself. Having a brother who was a nurse and a dad who was a doctor meant that she had heard of the injuries that could result from not wearing a helmet and, as a result, learned to wear hers), Rosalie went inside.
As soon as she stepped in the door, her senses were blasted with what sounded like an overly loud karaoke party coming from the living room.
Sure enough, the living room was dark aside from the glowing lights of whatever flashing light Emmett had probably gotten at the dollar store. Emmett himself was standing on one of the couches, in the middle of an epic air guitar solo while Alice scream-sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody. Rosalie sighed again, closing the door, and walked into the kitchen where Edward was cooking dinner with Esme.
“Okay, that smells delicious. What are you two preparing for tonight?” Rosalie asked them.
“Jamaican food, courtesy of Edward here.” Esme responded, nodding to Edward, who said:
“Sup, Rosalie.”
“Today was annoying for me. Misogynist clients, you know?” Rosalie replied. “What’s that banana thing you’re frying?”
“Plantain.” Edward said, chopping up some lamb and adding it to a saucepan.
“Oh, that’s what it looks like.” Rosalie said, nodding. “Where are Bella and Jazz?”
“Bella’s in her room, probably reading some Charlotte Bronte or Jane Eyre. Was that written by one of the Bronte sisters? I don’t remember. Anyway, Jazz is in the bathroom, taking a shower, or was last I checked with them. Dad will be home soonish, I think.” Edward told the saucepan.
“Great!” Rosalie walked over to the sink that wasn’t being occupied by Esme washing greens and scrubbed her hands clean of all the motor oil on them before going upstairs to change into clean clothes.
Once she got back downstairs, Carlisle had arrived, still wearing his lab coat and scrubs, and Jazz was downstairs, dressed, with semi-wet purple hair.
“Oh, that’s a new color, Jazz. I like it. Did you do it last night or this morning?” Bella asked, coming down the stairs behind Rosalie.
“Yeah, I thought it would be fun.” Jazz said, running their hands self-consciously through it.
“It is a fun color!” Alice said enthusiastically, bouncing in from the living room.
Soon, everyone was seated at the table.
“Time to do highlights, lowlights, and gratitude?” Emmett asked. Highlights, Lowlights, and Gratitude was a way that Carlisle had devised for everyone in the family to check in quickly while also sharing a bit about their days with each other.
“Sure!” Carlisle said. “Do you want to go first, Emmett?”
“Of course. I’ll pass left. Um, today’s highlight was that I managed to convince an anti-vax parent to get their twelve-year-old a tetanus booster, a lowlight was that I had to remind multiple people to keep their masks on in the doctor’s office, and my gratitude is that the sun is beautiful, and more people are using solar energy.” Emmett said. Then there was a pause, as everyone looked at Bella, to his left, who was reading Jane Eyre and seemed to have been absorbed into the book.
“Bella.” Alice said. “It’s your turn.”
“Oh. Thanks. My highlight today is that I finished shelving that huge area in the back of the reference section with my colleagues, my lowlight is that I forgot to bring my lunch to work, and my gratitude is for patient people.” Bella said. Bella had started working at the Indianapolis city library two summers previous, and had loved it from day one, even if she did occasionally forget her lunch.
“My highlight is that we had very few new COVID patients.” Carlisle said. “My lowlight is that one of my COVID patients thought that COVID was a hoax, and my gratitude is for the people who are getting vaccinated, masking up, and staying home.”
“My highlight is that one of my coworkers told off a misogynist jerk at the shop today, my lowlight was that there were misogynist jerks, and also that I ordered the wrong engine for a Harley, and my gratitude is also for the patient people of this world.” Rosalie said.
“My highlight of today was dying my hair.” Jazz started. “It was a new experience, and really fun. My lowlight was that I had a panic attack after burning my hand accidentally, trying to make lunch. My gratitude is having an awesome family.”
“Aww, Jazz, that’s so sweet!” Emmett said. Jazz just shrugged their shoulders and laughed.
“My highlight is that I prepped all of my materials before I had to go to work today so I wasn’t running behind or rushed, my lowlight is that some of my students forgot their masks, and my gratitude is that the school’s making masks mandatory as of next week.” Said Alice.
“About time, too.” Carlisle said. Alice nodded.
“My highlights are that it turns out I don’t have to take a bonus AP and that the mean kids at school left me alone for once, which was nice. My lowlight is that they left me notes instead. The usual, uncreative, unhelpful, misspelled comments. I’m honestly astonished that some of these jerks even graduated third grade. Honestly, most of these people can’t even spell ‘You’re a faggot.’ right. They’ve gotten down how to spell ‘a’ which is good, but they often spell ‘you’re’ as Y-O-U-R, and ‘faggot’ as F-A-G-I-T, or occasionally F-A-G-E-T. You’d think that they could be consistent. But no. Sometimes they add an extra T at the end, sometimes they have two Gs, sometimes they only have one. It’s rather sad, actually. My gratitude is for whatever teachers are paid to waste their time trying to teach mean kids how to spell.” Edward finished with a laugh.
“My highlight for today is that I learned more about the Miami culture while on my lunch break.” Esme said. “My lowlight for today is that one of my co-workers was saying that Columbus was a great person, so I, as the only indigenous person in the room, had to educate him otherwise, and my gratitude is for my mom who tried her best, without whom I wouldn’t be here. Let’s eat!”
And so everyone dug in, discussing, asking questions about, and expanding what they and everyone else had said during highlights and lowlights.
Once dinner was over, Edward and Alice did the dished together while singing some song Rosalie barely recognized from Easter Parade. Rosalie said goodnight to everyone and went up to her room and crashed on her bed, tired as heck from her day.
Meanwhile, in Columbus, Ohio…
Victoria Sutherland was traveling with her coven to Philadelphia, leaving a (small) wake of dead humans behind them, but such were the side effects of being a vampire.
Currently, Victoria was hunting down a couple of humans she’d been stalking for a couple of days. They were adults, which was good, since murdered children usually garnered more media attention than missing adults.
Victoria tackled them, one at a time, snapping their necks and tossing one to Laurent before feasting on the larger one herself. Once she had drained the body of all the blood in it, she took out a knife and cut the neck of the victim open, so that it wouldn’t seem too supernatural.
After James had rejoined them from his own hunt, Laurent found them a hotel to crash in. Vampires technically didn’t need to sleep, but James liked to, and he was the leader of the coven so what he said went.
The hotel room had two beds and a chair. Laurent and James each took one, which Victoria understood as a cue for her to spend the night in the chair, until James said,
“No, Victoria, you’re with me tonight,” offering her one edge of the bed. Victoria reluctantly lay down as far from James as she could and fell asleep.
Meanwhile, at Rosalie’s house, everyone was getting ready for a day of work of school, depending on the family member. Rosalie was half awake, looking at the blurry alarm on her phone, rubbing her eyes so that she could see clearer. 8:30. Crap. Rosalie ran downstairs, took a quick shower, put her hair up, grabbed a piece of toast and the lunch with her name on it that was sitting on the counter (she made a mental note to thank Jazz later.) and dashed off to work.
Once she got there, she realized that she was on time. Thank goodness. The first thing she did, after putting away her food, of course, was to go to the computer, cancel her order of the wrong engine and order the right one instead. Once she typed in the passcode, however, and logged into Amazon, she noticed that the order had already been cancelled and a new order (the correct one) in its place.
“You’re welcome!” A voice sang out behind her.
“Leah, you’re a life saver.” Rosalie said, turning around to face her coworker.
“Yeah, no kidding, Rosalie. Some of us actually like to arrive a little early. By the way, the boss says that you and Jake have to manage the Yamaha with the broken tailpipe before lunch. You think you can do that?” Leah said.
“Sure. And thanks again.” Rosalie called over her shoulder as she went into the actual repair area of the shop.
“Of course. Don’t make that mistake again!” Leah called back.
Inside the repair shed, Rosalie found that Jake was sitting on one of the jack stands, looking at his phone and probably playing Candy Crush. Jake was the newest employee at the shop, and today Rosalie had to tutor him in the arts of actually paying attention, clearly.
“Jacob.” Rosalie said sharply, causing him to jump and look up from his phone.
“Oh, hi, Rosalie.” Jake paused to take a deep breath. “You ready to work on the motorcycle?”
“Yup.” Rosalie said. Jacob nodded, finally getting off his phone and the jack stand as well.
Victoria got up before James or Laurent (both of them slept in for the sheer luxury of it,) and walked over to the hotel window. The sun wasn’t even close to up yet, nor had the early morning color show began, but the sky was lighter now than it had been earlier.