The alarm sounded, and with a THUD, it was quiet. I opened an eye seeing it was 5:00am. It was early, but I had a lot to do today. Unfortunately sleep, and I were going through a rough patch in our lives. We’d been fighting quite frequently, and it sucked.The warmth of my comforter kept luring me to stay. The safety of my house, kept helping me conjure up excuses as to why I shouldn’t leave. With a heavy sigh, I pushed the covers off, and felt the coldness of the house quickly greet me; like we were an old familiar friend now. With a long over extended stretch, I sat up and looked around. A cold chill slithered down my spine, and I shuddered, “Dammit I hate that.” I spoke to the empty room. Part of me half expected to hear Scott, and the other half knew it was impossible. I finally stood up, and padded down the hall to the bathroom.
I took my time in the shower enjoying the hot water. It wasn’t like I had to save some for anyone. Once I was ready to get out, I did so. I’d done enough to torture myself for one morning. I think I hung around in the shower so long was because, I could smell his body wash. It just touched that deep, dark part of me that lingered for him so badly. “God sometimes I question your sick, sadistic ways. Right now, I don’t trust you for anything. They claim there’s a special place in heaven for children. Well children shouldn’t have to have a special place. Leave their innocent souls alone please.” My body was numb. I could feel but, it was as though pain had no affect me anymore. So I finally gave up the shower, as the water started to run cold. I rapped my hair up in a towel, and tucked in the end. I then wrapped a towel around me, and stepped out of the bathroom.
I returned to the bedroom, and went for the closet. The anxiety crept up, like a stranger in my house. I rummaged through the clothes that filled it completely. Nothing looked good. Nothing screamed wear me. At one point in my life, I used to be excited to get dressed everyday. Now, well now it was a chore. I went through this before. If I didn’t dress up, I wouldn’t be noticed. I could blend in. But that one time I did dress up, that’s when Scott noticed me. He smiled at me, and just started talking to me. I was sitting in a Starbucks, and reading The Bell Jar. “That is such a great book.” I looked up, and he sat across from me, “If you expect nothing from anybody,” I cut him off, “you’re never disappointed.” He smiled, “Beautiful woman who’s words sadly ended at such a tragic young age.” I nodded, “Depression expresses such beauty through words, but takes hostage of the brain who’s writing it.” He smiled, sitting back in his chair. “Are you an English major, or something of that sorts?” I shook my head, “Nope, and overnight radio disc jockey. I landed a job thanks to my internship. I just know the beauty of pain.” His eyes softened, trying to read mine. I could see his eyes, flicker over me opening doors trying to figure out my mystery. “Why would you know the beauty of pain.” My stomach clenched, and I went back to that night. I just remembered the multiple smells, and the radio playing the background. Scott waved his hand in front of my face, “Hello?” I shook my head, “I’m sorry. I was getting ready to leave. You can have the table.” He stopped me when I tried to stand up. “Relax ok. I’m not after your table. I’m after knowing more about you. What makes you, well you? You stole my heart that first night we met on the ice rink; and you stole my heart, with that amazing kiss.” He was trying to fetch my name out of me. “Anne.” I smiled. “Well Anne, I’m Scott. I’m a student English teacher at South Lake High School.” I eyed him and he laughed, “So “Anne?” How is someone like you single?” I looked at him, “Alright it’s Esme, and how did you know I was single.” He smirked and looked at my right hand. “Your Claddah ring gave it away. The heart is pointing out, so I just went on a hunch.” I blushed, and his head fell back as he laughed. “So do I get an answer?” I smiled, and spoke softly, “I’m damaged goods.” He looked at me, sadness in his eyes at hearing my words, “You look like your intact. But I know that doesn’t mean anything.” It took me a moment to realize he was sincere.
I pulled myself out of the memory. Jesus Alice where are you when I need you to dress me like your Barbie doll. Finally after half an hour, I managed an outfit to look decent. The past month, except for the exception of the wake, my coffee shop appearance, and shopping with the boys; sweats, and Scott’s t-shirts had been my wardrobe for the past month. Presentable was my first goal. That meant clean clothes, no rips, tears, or loose threads. After twenty minutes I finally was dressed. I know it seems ridiculous, but I was reluctant to get dressed. Ten of those minutes were me having a meltdown over the outfit I’d chosen. I was second guessing how I looked in the outfit. Finally after a complete hour I’d successfully dressed myself, bathed, and made myself look like a human being. My eyes stung now from all the crying. I couldn’t get makeup on if I tried. I wore very little as it was, but this was nearly impossible to cover. I got up off the flower, and made my way downstairs.
I made myself a cup of coffee, and sat down at the kitchen table. I turned on my Kindle, and looked through the home screen. Oh so many collections, which to choose from. I had Adult (R) which included titles such as Letting Go by S.T Prussing, Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. Then there were the Classics collection which held the Bronte Sisters book, Gaston Leroux, Edgar Allan Poe, the list went on. There were tons of other collections. I finally settled on Gaston Leroux’s Le Phantom Del Opera, or in English, The Phantom of the Opera. Oh a love triangle, heartbreak, all taking place in an Parisian opera house. I started to read, “The Opera ghost really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a creature of the imagination of the artists, the superstition of the managers, or a product of the absurd and impressionable brains of the young ladies of the ballet,” The front door opened, “Esme, Esme Anne are you awake?” My mothers voice traveled through the house. “Well if she wasn’t, she sure is now.” My step-dads voice accompanied hers. I sat there debating whether I should answer, or let her find me on her own. I opted mentally for the second option. She came into the kitchen, “Oh sweetie.” She wrapped her arms around me, pinning me to my chair. I returned the hug awkwardly. “Elizabeth let her breath. I think she’s a little shocked.” I looked at George and nodded. Finally she let go.
George pulled out a chair for her to sit down, and she did. He took the seat that was to my write. “Are we expecting someone else?” I looked between my parents. “Not that I know of.” He smiled. “Oh ok. I thought maybe mom was doing some sort of A&E Intervention on me because I was quiet, and not myself.” George smirked, “No your mom received a phone call last night from your, um.” My mom cut in, “Leonard called me last night. George heard the whole thing. He told us you wouldn’t talk, and that you hung up on him.” I looked at her clenching my jaw. I spoke through gritted teeth, “So you just assume what the arrogant drunk tells you. He only speaks the word of truth. He must be some God.” My mom looked taken back, her eyes watery, “I tried to call your cell, but it went straight to voicemail.” I sighed, “Yeah it’s called phones die, and I was charging it.” My mother eyed me, like I was lying to her. “Oh for the love of God, the man is a drunk. You believe all the bullshit he feeds you? For crying out loud, he couldn’t remember his granddaughters age. That’s a winner.” She reached up stroking my cheek with one hand, and slide her fingers along my wrist with her other hand. “Well now wasn’t that subtle mom. I didn’t do anything ok. I’ve not done anything in five years. Shit I was seeing a therapist. I had a drink, and went to bed.”
George brought over two coffee mugs; one for mom, and one for himself. He sat back down beside me. My mom looked around my kitchen. To anyone else it would appear as though she was searching for something. “Elizabeth don’t do it.” My dad caught her eye. We all knew what she was doing. She mentally was remodeling my kitchen. It was her avoidance technique to crying. She felt bad, and I was being a royal bitch to this poor woman. It’s not her fault she fell in love so easily. This is why I didn’t believe in fairy tales. Dad whispered to me, “She was really worried last night. She sent me over to check on you, but,” I held my hand up, “I’m in no way of thinking about harming myself. Let me stress in NO WAY. I’ve come too far to go back to a dark place. A drink won’t make me an alcoholic. So why didn’t you check on me?” He smiled, “I did. I parked so I could watch the house. I saw you in the kitchen, and then the lights turned off, and I assumed you went upstairs, because your bedroom light turned on, then off. I waited an hour, then I left.” Someone who cared enough, and he wasn’t even my biological father. I’m so glad I had him, and so did mom.
We continued to talk for a little bit. My mom looked at me, “You should let me do your hair, and makeup.” I waved her off standing up, and put my mug in the sink. “Esme you should do something for yourself to make you feel better.” I shook my head, “I feel fine. I don’t like the whole makeup thing. My hair looks fine in a ponytail. I’m dressed, and wearing clean clothing. I’m ok.” She started again, “Oh please trust me, I will do it for you. You look so pretty when,” There was a clatter of noises as pieces of ceramic from the now shattered mug; were all over the counter, sink and floor. My mom was startled, and my dad just looked on, “Oh Esme.” I clenched my fists, “STOP! Just STOP! I’m not broken, I’m a little upset. I don’t need to be all dolled up. It won’t make me feel better. So let me deal with my grief how I feel like it.” I stormed off stepping over pieces, and retreated to the living room.
George came in and sat down beside me, “She means well hun.” I sighed, “I’m just exhausted. I have everyone hovering over me. I have a drunk sperm donator calling me. I need to just be left to deal with this.” My dad wrapped an arm around my shoulder, and I laid my head against his shoulder, “It’s hard watching our daughter hurt, and we can’t do anything to help her.” My mom quietly walked out, and sat down on the coffee table in front of me. She held my hands in hers, “I love you, and I want to see you happy. I need you happy. Esme I’ve only seen you down once before, and we know what happened then.” I sighed, and looked at her, and the tears streamed down, hitting my lap. My dad with his free hand, wiped them away. “How about a french braid like when you were little. A natural look for makeup, just so you have a little color ok.” My dad stepped in being the comedian he is, “Well I was hoping you’d do some streetwalker blue, and that bubblegum pink lipstick to entice the men.” I along with my mother burst out into laughter. Picturing my dad with makeup brightened the mood. “Ok mom.” She smiled, and we walked upstairs to my bathroom.
She had me sit on the toilet sideways, and she stood behind me. I sighed, being emotionally drained. “Sometimes we can’t hold everything in, and then it boils over.” She worked quietly. I could hear our hearts beating, and the rustle of her clothing with every movement she made. Her breathing was steady, and she was working calmly. I’d just zoned out, and relaxed with her touch. I went back to when I was a child, getting ready for school everyday. “You’re all set.” She gently placed her hand on my shoulder. I startled a little, and smiled standing up, “Thank you.” She smiled, “You’re welcome sweetie.”
I sat in the rental as it warmed up. My dad climbed in beside me, and put on his seatbelt. “Yep you’re stuck with me.” I smiled, “Better then Leonard.” He looked at me, trying to not laugh at my honesty. I adjusted the mirror waiting, and flipped through the stations. “Oh thank God you believe in music.” I raised my eyebrow looking at him. “Your mother has been listening to Beard of you, or something of that name. It’s an audio book.” He shuttered, “I love your mother, but there’s some stuff. I know how kids come around and all but,” I laughed, “Bared to you. I know the book all too well. Alice is having an emotional affair with Gideon Cross for like the tenth time.” My dad laughed, “You don’t read them?” I shrugged, “I’ve spent more time reading a variety of books. Gracefully Insane, it’s about a well known Psychiatric Hospital in Boston. I did read Fifty Shades of Grey, and Letting Go. We don’t have to discuss anymore then that.” He smiled, “I prefer suspense novels. I read a little bit of everything.” I smiled. As I turned around, and backed out of the driveway, I was thrown for a minute, no car seat. Once I shifted the car into drive, I looked at the front door. No Scott, or Amy waving at me. My dad patted my shoulder, and I pressed the gas, and we were off.
We pulled up to the diner, and headed inside. Mom, Dad, and I were brought to a booth along the windows. We’d been coming here since I was little. I took one bench, and mom, and dad sat together smiling at one another. I parked my ass right in the middle of my bench, because nobody was sitting beside me. See our regular waitress likes to sit and gossip. I just wanted food, and to be on my way. Unfortunately what I thought would be great plan, to keep her moving didn’t deter her. She pulled over a chair from an adjacent table, and sat at the end of our table. The chair was facing the table, and she rested her arms on the back of it. “What’s cooking today?” She chewed her gum, like a cow chewing it’s curd. I rolled my eyes. She playfully punched my arm. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t like being touched. I looked at my dad, and offered an apologetic smile. Wendy must have been early forties, and desperately hanging onto her youth. She wore this dark blue eyeshadow, and bright pink lipstick. Her hair was teased like Kelly Kapowski’s from Saved by the Bell. She had the side swept bangs and everything. She wore big hooped earrings, and noisy bracelets that clanked together every time she moved her arms. It was like a bad flashback of horrible nineties fashion. Scott used to crack up over her personality. She used to get Amy to smile every sunday we came.
“So whatcha up to today?” she blew a bubble, then popped it. The snap rubbed my already raw nerve. My mom smiled, “After breakfast, Esme is going to pick up her new car from the dealership.” I ignored the conversation, not really caring. Wendy was nudging my arm, her jewelry clanking, “That’s exciting ain’t it.” I raised an eyebrow, “You mean isn’t that?” She looked at me, “Ain’t, isn’t, all the same.” I shook my head, “Not if you speak correctly, and don’t use slang. I don’t use slang, because I think it makes people look uneducated.” My mom pursed her lips at me, “Esme don’t be rude again.” I looked at her, “I’m not a child, and I don’t expect to be corrected like one. All I did was simply explain what I prefer.” Wendy waved her hand, “Eh the girls just proud of herself, it’s ok. I’m not offended.” My mother smiled at Wendy, “Esme tends to get wise mouthed when she’s in a mood.” I looked at my mom, and shook my head. Wendy shrugged, “I’m happy for you anyways. You deserve something nice.” I rolled my eyes, “Dad please just order me my usual.” I got up, and went for the bathroom.
I walked past this attractive guy with blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. He smiled at me, and I nodded ducking into the bathroom. I locked myself in a stall, and took a few deep breaths. “Don’t kill her.” Was my mantra I kept repeating to myself. I quickly texted Alice, “God help me. I’m stuck at the diner. Wendy is here!!!” I got back as a reply, “Sleeping, long night with B.O.B. Love ya.” I shuddered, and replied, “TMI!!!!!” I was sent back a winking smily face. I walked out of the stall
I decided after checking my twitter, I should make my appearance at the table again. Quietly I slipped out of the bathroom. I peeked around the corner. Behind me a soft, warm, deep British accent broke the silence, "Excuse me." Was all he said. I backed up into him. He caught me so I wouldn't fall on my ass. It took me a second to right myself. He smelled wonderful. Bulgari oh I loved that cologne. I used to smell it in the magazines while Alice was getting herself pampered. He let go, and I gazed up into sparklingly, warm blue eyes. He smiled, I stood like a dumbstruck deer. "Excuse me. I'd like to squeeze by. I have a coffee waiting before I return to work." I smiled up at him like a teenage girl, "Uh... Yeah, sorry. I walked back towards the booth only staring at the floor. I walked past our table, "Esme were back here." My dad called out. I spun around on my heel, and saw my dad smiling. I also noticed the blue eyed, gorgeous guy with the accent was smirking subtly after seeing my mistake. I quickly ducked in the booth.
My dad pushed my coffee over to me, "You're blushing, and walked past the table." I peeked up over George's shoulder at the blue eyed, British guy. He smiled, and gave a small nod. I quickly looked down. Jeez I felt like I was 16 again. George nonchalantly looked around, before turning back. "Ah someone is blushing because of a certain guy. I just say not a bad looking guy." My mom looked around, "Oh Carlisle? He's a doctor in the emergency room at Seattle. He has quite a reputation. He works sometimes a your hospital. Really nice, and young." I bit down on my biting lip, slowly releasing it. "I bumped into him by accident." My mom smiled, "Well he mustn't have been upset by it. I don't think he has a mean bone in that body." Just as I was glancing at him again, he was reading. It looked like it was an older book. At that moment I decided he was either taken, or gay. I sighed softly, and straightened up as Wendy set our food down.
I quietly ate, and had just finished my last bite of French toast. I was sipping my coffee; when the Gods must have decided to test the durability of my heart. "Elizabeth how nice to see a familiar face, how are you?" I stopped holding my mug mid air, George looked at me, and smiled. The hot guy with blue eyes was standing at our table. He knew my mother on a first name basis. "Esme get your shit together." I mentally reprimanded myself. He smiled, "Ah the girl who was peeking around the corner." My mother eyed me. "She was hiding from Wendy." George informed my mom, with a smirk. Carlisle chuckled, the accent once again, "Wendy is kind. A bit boisterous, but a good hearted woman." My mom nodded. "Well Esme it was a pleasure meeting you." He smiled, and nodded at me. "See you soon." My mom smiled, and Carlisle turned and left. My eyes lingered after him. "He's single. Plus he's not gay." My mom chuckled. My cheeks flushed, "I need to get going." I waved and ducked out to return the rental.
Finally I was driving in my new truck. Everything was all set. I now had to get ready and head to the station. My anxiety was in the passengers seat. We appeared to be one another's company during the quiet ride ahead of us. The radio played classical quietly in the background, since neither of us were talking. I tried to ignore my passenger, while it desperately sought out my attention. I still wasn't quite used to the ease of driving this new vehicle. Finally I pulled up to my coffee shop, and headed in to the shop.
I waited quietly behind a beautiful blond haired woman. She was talking softly into her phone, "Emmett I'm grabbing a coffee, then I'm on my way." She paused , "Ik see you soon. Love you. Bye:" she hung up, and stepped up placing her order. Someone touched my arm, "Excuse me." A deep males voice said. I moved forward, not thinking. "Aren't we civil still Esme?" I tensed, as my blood ran cold. He was too close, I could feel his breath on my ear. "Leave me alone please." I spoke softly. The blonde in front glanced over her shoulder at me. "Oh but it's been forever. I just happened to be in town." I swallowed, and stepped out of line, but he grabbed my arm. "Esme let's get coffee somewhere else. They're taking forever here." The blonde smiled at me, linking her arm with mine and we walked out, pulling me away from him.
Once the door closed she spoke softly, and quickly. "Trust me ok. Just walk with me. I've sent a text to my husband. He's going to meet us at the corner. We'll pretend we're buddies ok." She gave me a warm smile. I just nodded. Sure enough in about three minutes time, a talk dark curly haired man stood waiting. He was wearing khaki colored pants, brown casual dress shoes, and a royal blue shirt, and a black leather jacket. He smiled wide, his teeth were white, and perfect.
"Hi babe." He hugged the woman, and then looked at me, "Hi Emmett McCarty." He extended his hand to me. I shook it. He was big, but gentle. He could have easily been a quarter back for the NFL. The blonde smiled, "I'm Rosalie McCarty. Originally Rosalie Hale. You're safe with us. I promise you that. Are you ok?" I nodded nervously. "I take it, that guy is a harassing creep. You looked like you saw a ghost." I nodded, still rather timid. Her husband ushered us into a small pizza shop. Rosalie smiled, “Are you Esme from the radio station. You look like her.” I nodded, “In the flesh.” was a whisper. She gently rubbed my bicep, “It’s ok. Are you comfortable walking back to your car?” I sighed, “I have to be. Thank you again.” Rosalie looked at her husband, then at me, “We’ll walk back with you.” So they did. Her smile was amazing. She could light up a room. Once we were back at my car, she handed a white business card. Rosalie McCarty L.I.C.S.W. Her office phone, and cell phone were listed, along with the address of her office. “If you need anything, just give me a call ok?” she smiled. I nodded, “Thanks. Again I’m sorry about that.” She looked at me, and whispered, “Never apologize for your fear. I hope to hear from you.” I climbed in the truck, and headed to work. She looked at her husband, “Emmett something really scared her. I don’t know what it was. She had the fear of someone who’s been,” Rosalie stopped short, and swallowed hard; unable to finish her sentence. Emmett hugged her, and rubbed her back.