15: Sporting Goods Store

The Twilight Twenty-Five

Prompt: #24/sporting goods store

Pen Name: Missus T
Pairing/Main Character(s): Edward/Bella
Rating: M

Fire and Rain Ch15

A/N: Hello! I’m so excited you guys – I think I can do this! I have nine days to finish the last six chapters. They might go up unbeta’d – but I’m gonna finish! STG! LOL

Anyway, here’s the next installment of five chapters. I think it leaves things set up really well for the last chunk. You’ll have to let me know. I’m going to warn everyone now that you might need Kleenex for CH 16. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Thanks so much for reading. This story ended up being a lot different than I imagined, so thanks to all of you for taking the journey with me – and E and B.

Thanks again to SydneyGen and Seastarr08. Love you girls.

000ooo000ooo Fire and Rain ooo000ooo000

Christmas turned out to be much harder than I imagined.

My dad had to work until noon, and Alice went to Jasper’s. We planned to meet up there later to watch movies.

I went to Carmen and Zar’s and spent most of the day sitting with Kate. She had come by herself since Tree had gone to Tacoma to visit his parents. She said that until he put a ring on her finger she planned to spend the holidays with her own family.

It was good to see her. Being Garrett’s sister she wasn’t really a part of his circle of friends, but since he was gone I got the impression that they made more of an effort to include her. She spent most of her time in Port Angeles and had her own friends, so it was hard to find time to get together.

We opened gifts before lunch and I was surprised at their generosity. Carmen and Zar knew how much I enjoyed cooking and got me a Julie and Julia DVD along with a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Kate got me a gift certificate to an upscale salon in Port Angeles; I still hadn’t found anyone to cut my hair in Forks, and she said this place was the best.

Kate loved her sudoku puzzles, and Carmen was thrilled with the vibrating foot pillow Edward had picked out for her. Zar was more than happy with a gift card to the local hardware store. Everyone was impressed with my choices in gifts and I readily admitted that I’d had help.

As we cleaned up the wrapping paper I couldn’t help but think about shopping with Edward. I’m not sure what I would have come up with for everyone without his help. Fruit baskets and cheese trays probably.

The weird thing was that before I’d run into Edward I’d only purchased two gifts. Some fishing gear my dad wanted from Newton’s sporting goods store and a box set of football movies for Edward. I hadn’t even found something for Alice, and she was my best friend. But when I’d seen the movies weeks before Christmas, I immediately thought they would be perfect for Edward. What did that say about me? About how I felt about him? I didn’t want to think about it.

I was mixed up about feeling anything for Edward other than friendship. It was probably just hormones. I mean, I hadn’t had sex in forever. That could do crazy things to a person, right?

I started to get angry after everyone spent the morning gushing about missing Garrett and wishing he was celebrating with us. I was mad at him for dying and leaving me with his family. I was mad at myself for not being a better wife while he was alive, and even more disgusted with myself for looking at his best friend’s ass.

I tried not to seem like a Scrooge, but it was hard to hide. My dad saw through it almost immediately, but he waited until after lunch to pull me aside. He led me to the back porch where he lit one of his cheap cigars and gave me the look. The one that parents perfect when their children are infants that says, ‘I know you’re keeping something from me, so you had better just tell me before I find an uncomfortable way to pry it out of you.’

“What?” I huffed, pulling my coat tighter around myself.

“I know I kind of sucked at being your dad while you were growing up, but I can’t just watch you suffer and not want to help.”

“I’m not suffering.”

“Could have fooled me.” He laughed and blew a couple of smoke rings.

“I’m just… confused.” I sighed and looked out towards the forest.

“About?” He raised an eyebrow. When I didn’t say anything he just put his boot up on the lowest railing and waited. “You do know I’m a trained interrogator, right? You can just tell me now or I’m going to have to break out my mad cop skills.”

I giggled. The thought of Charlie having mad skills at anything was ridiculous. Just hearing him say it was the funniest thing I’d heard all day.

“Seriously, Bells, what’s going on?”

I picked at a piece of paint peeling off the porch rail. “I just…I miss Garrett but I feel like if I don’t stop missing him I’ll never move on. Part of me is mad at myself for even thinking about it and another part of me says I can’t stay stuck in the past. I don’t know what to do.”

“Aw, kiddo, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this.” He put an arm around me, and I rested my head on his shoulder. “Bells, when your mom left me… for a long time I didn’t think I’d survive it. I mean—Jesus—she took you away from me too, and it about killed me…So I know something of what you’re feeling, and I can say from personal experience that the longer you hold onto the past, the harder it will be to let it go.”

“Dad-”

“I’m serious. Don’t be like me. Don’t let yourself get stuck for twenty years and then wonder where your life went. You’re young. You can still start a family. You might feel like it’s too soon to think about it, but the longer you wait… Well, it’s just more of your life that you miss out on.”

I didn’t know what to say. What to think. I had no idea that Charlie had been that upset by my mom’s leaving or that he’d held on for twenty years. We must have stood there for close to five minutes before I said anything.

“I’m sorry, dad. I’m sorry she hurt you, and I’m sorry I didn’t fight harder to know you.”

“Hey, that’s not what this was about-”

“I know. I heard you. I just… I have a lot to think about. But what you said makes sense.”

He nodded and put out his cigar. “Good. Now, I hate to bring this up, but… don’t you think it’s about time you read the letter Garrett left for you? I think he might have something to say about all of this.”

I was sure he did. That was exactly what terrified me about the damn letter.

000ooo000ooo Fire and Rain ooo000ooo000

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