Picking up the Pieces on AO3
Picking up the Pieces on TWCS
“Grace Rachel and John Jacob, get your butts in gear!” I yelled. “The SUV is leaving in ten minutes with or without you!”
“You don’t have to go, Bella. Jacob …” Billy trailed off, wringing his hands nervously.
“He’s gone. I need a fresh start, Billy. I love you very much, but being here in Phoenix is too much. Every day I see something that reminds me of Jake, of our lives together. This house was supposed to be our dream and now? It’s crumbling and in disrepair because I can’t do it. I know it’s not fair for me to take the kids away from you, but I need to go. It’s been a year since he was diagnosed and I need to start new,” I rambled, running my fingers through my hair. “I’ve got a new house and new job up in Forks, close to my folks. It’ll be good.”
“I just wish it wasn’t so far away,” Billy frowned. “Forks is so different from Phoenix, Bells.”
“That’s the point, Billy. I promise to bring the kids down on breaks and you said you’d come and visit. I’ll hold you to it, old man,” I quipped, holding my finger out, wagging it at him.
He captured my finger and pulled me into an embrace. “I got it, Bella,” he said, hugging me tight. “I’ll miss you, kiddo.”
“I’ll miss you, too,” I whispered against his neck. I inhaled deeply, relishing the scent of my father-in-law, which in turn was the scent of my late husband. Musky and spicy with a hint of tobacco. It brought me solace and sadness. “I’m planning on stopping in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Medford, Portland, and Seattle before making it to Forks. Our road trip is turning into a quasi-vacation. We’re visiting the famous sites in those towns. It’ll be fun. I hope.”
“Call me anytime and be happy, Bells,” Billy murmured, taking my face in his hands.
But, you have to stay alive and happy for me. Promise me, Bells!
Santa Monica Pier