“Of course, Nessie’s going to college. Do आप just expect her to spend the rest of her life here in Forks?” Aunt Rose answered haughtily.
“Which college?” Jacob asked in a controlled voice.
“Dartmouth, of course!” Aunt Rose answered immediately.
“It’s still up to Nessie.” Dad कहा looking directly at Jacob.
Aunt Rose made a face. “Nessie’s going to college. She knew better than to let a good opportunity pass. Not everyone gets to be accepted in an ivy league.” Then she turned to Jacob once again, “So if I were you, dog, I’ll give up on the illusion that Nessie’s going to raise your पिल्लें any time soon!”
Mom and I gasped at the same time.
“That’s uncalled for Rosalie.” Grandpa reprimanded gently.
“I’m just making sure that issue’s understood द्वारा this mongrel.” She flipped her hair and headed out the door.
“Hey, babe! Wait for me.” Uncle Emmett followed his wife after throwing an apologetic look my way.
Aunt Alice sighed. “I guess we better go.” She closed her eyes and became absolutely still. “I’m not sure but I think there’s no imminent danger.” She कहा after a few minutes.
“I think आप better stay with us Edward, for the time being.” Grandma कहा approaching my Dad.
Dad only nodded, never taking his eyes away from Jake.
• * *
We raced through the forest. It was like we were in a formation. Grandpa, Daddy and Uncle Jasper in front of me. I was flanked द्वारा Jacob now in his भेड़िया form and Mom, Grandma and Aunt Alice behind me.
It was eerily silent in the forest. I fought the shivers that run through the entire length of my spine.
All of us gave out a huge sigh of relief as we reached the Cullen Mansion safely.
“Aren’t आप coming in, Jake?” I asked softly. His silence made me uncomfortable.
“I better go. It’s late.” He कहा not looking at me. Then he left me without even चुंबन me goodnight.
• * *
It has been three weeks now. Another दिन और and I’ll definitely end up crazy. My entire family was all in overreaction mode. Dad, Grandpa and my Uncles played chess, cards, dominoes, whatever they get their hands on, right outside my bedroom door every single night. They remind me of sentinels guarding a prisoner.
During the day, if I was not cajoled in the रसोई, रसोईघर द्वारा Grandma, I was either watching फिल्में with Aunt Rose या being Aunt Alice’s guinea pig या discussing पुस्तकें with Mom.
आप get the point? I was never left alone!
Jacob never visited me during the three dreadful weeks of my prison sentence. I knew that it would be a lot bearable if he was around. But he didn’t दिखाना up. I never saw him run patrol with the भेड़िया at night. He didn’t even call me या called back after receiving my messages.
“What’s the matter with him?” I asked aloud. If he won’t दिखाना up then I’ll go to La Push. I was preparing to jump out the window when I heard an amused voice behind me.
“Nessie, don’t आप think it’s against better judgment to sneak out at a time like this?”
Oh crap! Aunt Alice!
“I know आप miss him, sweetheart, but we’re still not sure it’s सुरक्षित for आप to be alone.” She sat on the बिस्तर beside me.
“Aunt Alice, it’s been three weeks and nothing’s happened!” I complained.
“I know but we still need to be very careful. My vision’s useless. I still don’t know who sent those damn roses.” She gritted her teeth as she कहा the last sentence. I knew how much it bugs her to be this “blind.”
“Aunt Alice, please! I beg you.”
“You know your father wouldn’t approve.”
Then a sneaky little idea popped into my head. I sighed in relief. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
“If I’m not allowed to wander alone then the only solution is to have आप escort me. Oh Aunt Alice, please! I can’t भालू another मिनट inside this house. आप can just drop me off at Jake’s house. आप could go to the mall and pick me up after an hour. Just one घंटा Aunt Alice, that’s all I’m asking for.”
She groaned. “Why does it have to me? Do आप want your father to kill me?”
I stared into her topaz eyes forlornly, my mouth pulled into a pout that she couldn’t resist.
• * *
“Thank you! Thank you! I’ll owe आप for a lifetime, Aunt Alice.” I kissed Aunt Alice on the cheek before climbing out of her Porsche.
“Wait!” She took a deep breath. “Nessie, I think Edward needs to know you’re here.”
‘Oh come on, Aunt Alice! He’ll just follow me here.”
“No, he won’t. I’ll explain to him. Besides, he knew you’ll be सुरक्षित here.”
“Leave it to me. Remember Nessie, One hour. I’ll pick आप up.” She कहा and started the engine. I waved goodbye and ran all the way to Jake’s house, eager to see him.
Aunt Alice drove me only until the boundary line. She could have driven me all the way to Jake’s and it wouldn’t raise havoc like before. She shrugged as I pointed this out to her. “Old habits die hard.” She explained casually.
“Hey, Billy. Where’s Jake?” I asked as soon as I saw him in the Black’s tiny living room, watching a baseball game.
“Er…Hi Nessie! आप startled me.” He chuckled. “I think he’s at the cliffs moping. “That’s where he hang out these past few weeks. Are आप two fighting?”
“Just a misunderstanding. See you!” I was out the door in a flash, leaving Billy laughing.
• * *
I saw him sitting on our प्रिय spot. He was deep in his thoughts, tossing pebbles in the air. I hurried to him and covered his eyes with my hands.
“Guess who?” I murmured in his ears.
He took my hands away and turned to face me.
“What are आप doing here?” He demanded. I didn’t expect this kind of welcome. I expect him to किस me, take me in his arms and envelope me with his warmth. Surely, he missed me as much I missed him. Didn’t he?
I expect him to be quite glum. I didn’t expect to see him….angry. Did I do something wrong? He stood up, brushing the pebbles off his jeans. “You’re not supposed to leave your house alone, Renesmee.”
“Says who?!” I demanded. “For your information, Aunt Alice drove me to the stupid boundary line.” I कहा sulking and feeling like a petulant child.
Why isn’t he चुंबन me yet? Isn’t he happy to see me?
I went to him and wrapped my arms around his waist. “I missed you.” I कहा softly against his broad chest. He pushed me gently away.
“What’s wrong, Jake?”
He didn’t answer my question. Instead, he stared unseeing at the horizon.
“If this is all about the crap about me leaving for college…”
“It’s not right to throw away your future just like that!” He कहा through gritted teeth, his hands shaking.
“I’m not throwing anything away. Don’t be silly, Jacob. I’m not leaving. Period. End of Discussion.”
“You haven’t seen the world, Nessie. आप haven’t explored other opportunities. आप were tied down here because of me.”
“Who कहा I like to explore? I don’t want…I don’t need anything else.”
I don’t need anyone else but him. He knows that, right?
He sighed. “I think this whole imprinting stuff is stupid. It’s not good for you.”
I shook my head. My eyes started brimming with tears. “How can आप say that?” I whispered.
I could now taste panic on my tongue. I have to make him see...I can’t be without him.
“If आप really want me to go to college then come with me.”
He shook his head. “You know, I can’t do that. I’ve got obligations to my pack.”
Tears were streaming down my cheeks at this point.
“If they really force me to go to Dartmouth, then we could make it work. Haven’t आप heard of long distance relationships? I would visit आप here as much as I could and आप could come visit me whenever it’s possible. Of course, I’ll be here during breaks and holidays.” I could hear the almost hysterical plea in my voice.
This can’t be happening…
“You know that won’t work.” He कहा indifferently.
I angrily brushed the tears away. “Then, I refuse to leave.”
He sighed. “Nobody’s ever tried it before but maybe there’s a way out of this stupid imprinting stuff.”
I froze. My दिल refused to beat. My palms are now sweating ice. My lips trembled. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. This couldn’t be real. But the tearing pain felt too real.
“Nessie, maybe we need to keep our options open.”
“What options? Do you…do आप want out? Is that it? Are you…are आप breaking…breaking up with me?” As soon as I stammered out the words, pain whipped my दिल with so much force.
“Why can’t आप just answer the stupid question, Jacob? Do आप want me to leave, so आप could be free?”
He didn’t answer. His silence confirmed my fears. I was not good enough for him. I was not strong enough for him. I slowly backed away.
He took a step towards me, his arms outstretched. Before I could fall apart in front of him, before he saw how weak I truly am, I whirled around and ran as fast as I could, away from him, away from my happiness, away from the pain.
He called out my name.
I didn’t look back.
• * *
My father’s grim face was instantly replaced द्वारा concern as soon as he heard my agonized thoughts. My mom took in a sharp breath as she saw the tears that ran ceaselessly down my face. I rushed to my bedroom and locked the door.
“Nessie! Open this doornow!” My father’s pounding shook the whole door frame. I shook my head and curled myself into a ball on the floor. I wrapped my arms around me. My whole body convulsed with pain. My insides writhed in agony. I sobbed.
“Nessie, darling…” Mom called out from the other side of the door.
“Don’t tear down the door, Edward. I’ll get the key.” Aunt Alice said.
“FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE, LEAVE ME ALONE!” I screamed.
Finally, I heard footsteps backing away from the door…backing away from my hideous sobs.
• * *
How long have I been curled up like this? I stood up stiffly from the floor. I gazed outside the window at the dark sky.
It was a starless night. Like what my life would be from now on…
Just when I thought there were no और tears left to cry, tears fell noiselessly on my chest. I leaned against the दीवार and slowly slid down onto the floor. I crumbled into pieces once again. This starless night would be the first of the many nights I would have to endure.
From a distance, I heard a भेड़िया howl.
I broke down into a flood of tears, sobs racking my whole body.