Hi readers! I am so sorry it has been so long since I have written. I just started a new semester at college and it has been crazy. But now that I am getting better hang of it I will try to be more consistent with my entries. Stay awesome, Twilighters! -Rachel
Jasper and I arrived in Lake Lure yesterday. It’s absolutely beautiful here. The lake is nestled in the mountains and it has a way of taking your breath away—even if you don’t breathe. We are staying at a place called Fox Run Town Houses while we are here on our quest. If we were human this place would be paradise. As it is there are deer that run amok on the golf course at night, so hunting isn’t too difficult. We just have to make sure we clean up after ourselves.
We met someone who might be able to help us today, but let me tell you how first. We went to the Mountains Branch Library and looked up some old town records. From what we were able to find there was a mental home here called St. Josephines Home for Mentally Ill. It shut down in 1912 right after the Titanic sank, as it burned down. It was a huge freaky coincidence for the town residents at the time. We then were able to locate the homes old records that were rescued from the fire. Turns out, there were not too many there at the time I was there. When we did find my file, Jazz and I hesitated.
“If you’re not ready you don’t have to look at what’s inside yet, love,” Jasper said, patting my back.
I squared my shoulders, swallowed my apprehension (or maybe fear), and opened the file.
My name really was Alice (good guessing on my part, I suppose). Alice Elinor Jones. My mother and father were heavily involved in the church. When my father died in 1890, I was only three years old. So my growing up consisted of me and my mother, I suppose. The file does not say anything about my home life, but there is so much more I could learn. It is reported in here that I was committed at the age of 24 for claiming I could see the future (go figure). My mother is quoted as saying,”She claims that she knows how my choices will affect me. She claims to know that one day there will be no slaves. I have no daughter. She is a monster.”
I had to walk away.
Jasper comes up behind me and wraps his arms around me.
“Alice, are you all right?”
“She hated me, Jazz. My own mother hated me. Did I have no family other than her that wouldn’t have sent me away? Did I have nobody to fight for me?!” I was becoming hysterical now; it’s lucky I can’t cry.
“Shhh, love. It’ll be alright. We’re just now cracking the surface of your life.”
We took a break from the file itself and started looking through the pictures. I looked like an even mixture of both of my parents. I have my fathers eyes, nose, and cheek bones. I have my mothers small stature, and her hair.
Makes me wonder how she could look at me and hate what she saw. What did I do that was so bad?
Suddenly Jasper and I hear the shuffling of feet behind us. We turn around and there stands a 40-something-year-old woman. She looks like she has just seen a ghost.
“Pardon me, but you look just like my grandmother. Which is impossible since she died 10 years ago,but still—it’s like seeing her again. When she was 23, she looked just like you. Here.” She pulls out this little wallet picture and Jazz and I look.
This woman does look like me. From the small stature, to the eyes, to the hair.
“What is your name?” Jasper asks her.
“My name is Hannah A. Jones. Granddaughter of Elizabeth M. Jones.”
I gasp and look at Jasper, that was my mothers name. Which means after she had me committed, she had more children whom she remained close with.
Then, it gets weirder. She looks at me and says, “I can tell what you guys are. And I know what you were reading over there. I also know that Alice Jones was one body never accounted for when the home burnt down. I have information you want. And you have information on Mother that I want. Please, stay and let me help you.”
It takes a lot to shock me, but I stood there mouth gaping.
Once I recovered I looked at her and said, “Where and when do you want to talk?”
“My house. Thursday. It’s just 3 blocks down from here.”
“We’ll be there.” Jazz wraps his arms around me. “But for now we must go.” And we start walking towards the exit.
Just as we are nearing the door I turn around and asked, “Hey, Hannah. What does your middle initial stand for?”
She just smiles. “It stands for Alice.”
Will write again soon!
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It is so not like me to be late with my entries, but a big bomb shell was dropped on me at the last minute from Jasper and it took me a few days to process it. More about that later, for now I will tell you about my fabulous New Year’s Eve party!
Of course I had been prepping for weeks, even if a lot of it was mentally. And as usual, because I am a party planning genius, it was amazing and perfect.
Esme spent all of the previous day, and day of, cooking and baking for the wolves. Charlie and Sue were spending New Year’s at Charlie’s house. Esme baked little 2014 shaped cookies that were frosted and decorated to perfection. And just because she knew the wolves would love the excuse to chow down on her food, she cooked several dozens of pounds of steak that had been marinading in a bourbon street steak mixture for 48 hours. She also made thirty pounds of mashed potatoes. Add to that her homemade beef gravy and the green bean casserole, and the wolves were very happy indeed.
Edward and Bella, as usual, were a little put off by the festivities but came because Nessie wanted them to. I had set up our very own ball to drop in the back yard that Nessie had decorated herself, and it was beautiful. Edward and Bella got smiles of pride on their faces as they saw what their daughter created, and honestly, I think it made them enjoy the party a little bit more.
Jasper was just so content with the excited emotions in the room that he just sat in the corner and took it all in. The music, the laughter, the food, the dancing, it was the perfect mood setting to make it a great night for Jazz, and in turn, I was happy as well.
When it came within 10 minutes of midnight, I rushed everyone outside. Nessie, Jacob (only because Ness wanted him to), and I got on the newly constructed platform to do one final check of the wires and systems that would bring Nessie’s beautiful New Year’s ball down to us. As an afterthought, I called Emmett up to the platform because he had the loudest voice to start the countdown. 10 seconds to go, and Ness pressed the button, and her beautiful ball descended slowly towards us. As it touched down and everyone boomed out ‘Zero,’ I flitted to Jasper’s side, and got my New Year’s kiss from him. That’s when he shocked me.
Looking down at me Jazz said, “I have a surprise for you.”
I knew it must have been a last minute decision at this point so I looked at him and waited patiently for him to tell me what.
“I know I wasn’t really supportive before, but I know you feel a void in your heart. A void that can only be filled by finding out about your human life. So, not only am I no longer going to discourage you, I am going to help you. I did some research, your town was a small town called Lake Lure, in North Carolina. We can go there whenever you want and begin our search. Alice, I love you, and I want to make you as happy as I possibly can. So take your time, think about when you want to go, and we will leave.”
I couldn’t speak, so I put all of my words into a kiss. Once I recovered, I looked at him and said, “Thank you,” in what I hope was a fervent manner.
So my next project in life is to learn about my life as a human. Even I do not know where this will go due to my memory loss, but as long as I have Jasper by my side, I am sure it will be an adventure I will never forget.
I’m off for now, Diary; I am going to go give Jasper some much deserved love.
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So Christmas was perfect, not that I expected it to be any less. In all seriousness though, I talk a big game with my planning and general craziness, but I do all of it because I want my family to be happy. Even if they do find my methods extreme, they still love the end result.
So it started with Nessie waking up bright and early for hot chocolate and presents. She absolutely adored her iPad and spent the next hour and a half running around playing games on it and taking pictures of everybody (a lot more of Jacob, but hey, as long as she loves it). And of course Jacob appreciated the Santa’s elf outfit. Edward did grit his teeth over that one until I looked at him and thought, Hey, she is old enough, they love each other, just let me have fun. Remember I could have made it A LOT WORSE!
Jacob, I swear on my collection of Gucci handbags, about had a heart attack when I led him outside and he saw the brand new Harley from the magazine waiting for him in the garage. Nessie had to wave her hand in front of his face several times before he snapped out of it and was all over it. Inspecting and admiring it from every angle. Typical man. It wasn’t long before Nessie spied the extra helmet and was begging for a ride. I have a feeling the only reason Edward agreed to that was because of Bella’s motorcycle adventures as a human; he figured his daughter would be just as safe with Jacob, and he was pleased that I had thought to get an extra helmet. Either way, it was cold so they were only gone for about ten minutes before they returned. Jacob, a grin to rival the Cheshire Cat on his face and Nessie, rosy cheeked and happy as can be.
Jasper was absolutely thrilled with his book and sat on the couch reading it while wearing his new jacket. He did get irritated at some of the minor inaccuracies, but other than that he loved it, which of course made my heart (frozen as it is) swell with joy.
Edward and Bella loved their gifts from me as well. Bella even seemed to be happy with her mini skirt and tank top. Maybe it’s because they were tame for my usual standards for her. Her gasp of delight had everyone looking up as she opened her limited edition Othello. I seriously underestimated that girls love for books. Edward enjoyed his clothes as I didn’t go too extreme on him either. I mean, I would have liked to, but this day wasn’t about making me happy it was about them. And I was right, Bella did love the color blue I had picked out for his shirt. He did a little smirk and eye roll at the mind readers joke book but seemed genuinely pleased at the piano sheet music book as he went straight to the piano to play around with the music.
Emmet and Rosalie were also thrilled. Emmet was the first to comment that his sweater was perfect for his biceps to show off and let out a laugh that shook the windows at his muscle book. Rose was just happy with the simple amethyst earrings I had gotten her. (I had to get them at the last minute because they were so hard to find).
Esme and Carlisle were extremely happy as well. They both loved their cashmere sweaters and their personalized gifts as well. Esme, with her new knitting kit, had Renesmee, Jacob, and Seth in new sweaters within the hour and Carlisle did the vampire equivalent of crying at his personalized stethoscope which read Creator, Father, Husband. Whatever form you take, we love you.
Charlie and Sue then arrived and they and the wolves were ready to eat the feast that Esme and Bella had spent all night preparing. This consisted of 4 roast beefs, 4 hams, 30 pounds of mashed potatoes, beef and chicken gravy, dinner rolls, green bean casserole, and a chocolate fountain with an assortment of dippable goodies for dessert.
Charlie got Renesmee a bracelet that said Grandpa Charlie Loves You and got Edward and Bella a rented cabin in Anchorage, Alaska. Seems he had been saving for a while. Funny, I hadn’t even thought of watching what Charlie was planning for Christmas gifts, but hey it all worked out.
Once they left, I dragged my family out to the ice rink. They all gasped in shock as I twirled around singing Jingle Bell Rock writing out my message in the coolest dance moves I could think of. By the time the song had ended, I had skated the words Merry Christmas, I love you into the ice, and all of my family had smiles of pure exultation on their faces. I honestly do not think I could have planned this any more perfectly to make my family so very happy on Christmas.
Hey guys gotta go. It’s time for me to show Jasper my naughty soldier outfit (and to model it as long as it remains on). Will tell you about my New Years plans next entry.
I have decided that Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! Aside from the excuse to shop (which is a present to me into and of itself ), I just love to see the looks on everybody’s faces when they open my gifts! And if they REALLY love it I just love the little thrill of smugness I am able to direct towards Edward. I bet he regrets rolling his eyes so far up his head they disappear every time. I know people think I am extravagant, but I feel I am just right. I mean, I always throw the best parties and give the best gifts, now don’t I?
Remember that designer pad Edward gave me last year? Well instead of buying everyone’s clothes portion of their present this year, I designed them myself! I figured I could add my own personal flair to what clothing item I want to give everybody. Then, of course, there is the other part to everybody’s present, the part that is just a tad more difficult to figure out every year, but I managed to get it done, as usual!
So my Christmas list is as follows:
Forest green died denim jacket with purple stitching (it will compliment his gorgeous hair amazingly.)
A book on the Texas Calvary
Dark purple suede mini skirt with black cotton tank top (she looks amazing in purple)
A limited edition copy of Shakespeare’s Othello
Silk blue dress shirt and khaki pants (Bella loves him in blue)
Mind Reading Tricks joke book (on a more serious note I got him a book of piano sheet music from the 1930′s)
Green cotton sweater (stretchy enough he can roll up the sleeves)
Muscle Builders Guide To a Perfect Body (he will laugh so hard, I’ve seen it)
Santa’s elf velvet dress with matching hat.
iPad with all of the top apps already bought and downloaded on to it
Pair of red spandex/cotton shorts for easy changing when phasing
A new Harley motorcycle I saw him drooling over in a magazine (plus two helmets; he’s going to want to take Nessie for a ride right after he opens it)
A simple purple cashmere sweater
Knitting for beginners kit (I could see she had been longing for a new hobby and she is going to love this and produce 3 sweaters within the hour of getting it)
A blue cashmere sweater to match fabric wise to Esme
A customized stethoscope
And for me, I designed a naughty soldier outfit. Well, it’s really more for Jasper than me, but I can totally see that he is going to love it.
Well, I am off to finalize my Christmas party plans! I will tell you all about it next time!
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Amazing news, friends! The other day I received an email from a writer named Rachel who said she loved Alice’s Diary, and that since it was abandoned she would love to take over. Soooo . . . we have a new Alice, we have a new Alice! Please give Rachel a warm and friendly welcome (like Alice’s Diary on Facebook here to get updates and maybe even say hi!)
Rachel’s favorite book from the Twilight Saga is Eclipse, but her favorite movies are the Breaking Dawn movies. When she is not working at her part time job she likes to spend time with her two rats, Esca and Snickers, and her chinchilla, Ezra. Rachel is also getting her bachelors in science so she can apply to vet school! And lastly, her birthday is December 30th—so she’s a Capricorn!
To read the first Alice’s Diary entry by Rachel, click here. If you’re new to the diary you’ll want to start from the beginning.
I’m ecstatic to see that there are still so many devoted Twilighters out there! And so many of you still love and support these diaries. Thank you all so much for sticking with us for such a long time; the writers and myself truly, truly do appreciate you all so much!
We hope you’ll love reading Alice’s Diary! We’re all so excited to have an Alice again (she’s so fun!)
Welcome, Rachel! We’re so fortunate to have you join the Bella’s Diary sisterhood. Myself and the other writers are really excited to get to know ya!
*Note to readers: Hey everybody! My name is Rachel and I am the newAlice’s Diary writer! I am a huge fan of the series and am very excited to be writing for you. I hope you enjoy my writing!
Wow, it sure has been a while since I wrote in you. So much has happened since I wrote in here two years ago. And guess what? It’s almost Christmas again! Now, before I get into my party plans (which Edward is rolling his eyes at as usual, the scrooge), I have to give you the update on my fabulous life!
First of all, I can now see the wolves! After hours upon hours of torture (or research, as Edward and Carlisle refer to it) I finally was able to break my mental wall, much to my relief. And to Edward and Carlisle’s excitement, I was finally able to see Jasper and Jacob standing on the cliff watching me through the window. I was relieved to no end, while Carlisle and Edward uttered theories in the corner. To tune them out I just counted the seconds until Jazz returned to me.
I also got to plan another wedding for Rose. We had it be aquarium themed. Of course, we had to construct the tank and fetch the dolphins from the ocean ourselves, but it was beautiful. Rose had a cerulean blue Ralph Lauren dress with a train that was designed to look like a mermaid tail and was made from the softest, smoothest silk that complimented Rose’s skin perfectly. Emmett was SUPPOSED to be wearing a Gucci tux that I custom ordered in the same color, but at the last minute he changed into a freaking dolphin suit! Imagine my irritation that he did this when I had planned everything so perfectly! Regardless, the wedding was beautiful and the happy couple jetted off to Dublin, Ireland (first class, of course).
So now on to my Christmas plans. Of course, there will be a party. But I have split it into a human-friendly version and a vampire/werewolf/Renesmee-friendly version. The human-friendly version will include a huge dinner with all of the traditional fixings. Of course the wolves will help with this. Then following the four Baked Alaska’s (yes 4) there will be carolling in the living room, then Charlie and Sue will head home. I then plan to use the ice skating rink to put a message saying “Have a Merry Christmas” in the ice and then leading my family there to sing “Jingle Bell Rock” to them. Of course it will be perfect. Nothing planned by me will be any less. Oops Edward is coming. Gotta go! Will write soon!
As you can probably imagine, it’s been a frantic week of preparations, all the way up to tonight.
At the last minute (well, the last hour anyway) I got into a big argument with overly-careful Edward, who overheard my thoughts of where to set up the spotlights. Can you have a ballet show without spotlights? I think not. Edward, on the other hand, was inclined to disagree – citing the need to keep a low profile as his only reason.
I shot back that nobody would see the spotlights unless they were in the audience or a helicopter flying by, and gee, wouldn’t it be nice if I was psychic and could be 100% sure that wouldn’t happen?
Anyway, after he bowed to my superior argument, we ran into another little snafu. Now, I thought the lovely, sparkly snow was the perfect background for our theater – but Bella pointed out that Charlie, Billy, Sue, and the other (very few) humans would probably freeze to death during the show. Oops!
So we had to get creative: Space heaters, the type nicer restaurants place at their outdoor tables, had to be obtained in record time – but the snow! It would melt! The audience would be floating in a pool of ice-water that would slowly freeze around them! (No, I didn’t have a vision of this, but I described it so vividly and frantically that my brothers immediately jumped forward as volunteer snow-shovelers.)
Once Emmett, Edward, Jasper, Carlisle and Jacob had the chairs removed, the snow shoveled, and the chairs replaced, I was able to take a good hard look at the seating and make a few executive decisions. Ignoring the festive groans and muttered complaints of the slave boys, I dictated created a masterpiece of snow sculpting, with sparkling hills surrounding the open space where the audience could now sit without freezing to death. Then, we sprinkled salt on the grass to cut down on the slip factor (despite Edward’s grouchy remarks about how that only works on cement, not grass). Then, I placed the space heaters strategically along the outsides of the seating area, where the humans would be sitting.
This done, I paused to double-check tonight’s future. As before, I saw very little, only disjointed bits and pieces – I really need to hurry up and get past my mental block with the wolves! – but at least I didn’t see any massive emergencies coming up.
With explicit instructions on how to lay down the pink carpet in the aisle at the right time, and where Emmett and Carlisle were to seat each of the guests when they arrived, I departed to Wardrobe.
Where I found my two sisters, my niece, and my mother giggling hysterically, obviously consumed by nerves.
“Ladies! LADIES!” I chided, clapping my hands to get their attention. The fact that I had hopped onto our makeshift vanity’s countertop seemed to help, too. The four of them instantly sobered, looking up at me with sickly smiles.
“There’s nothing to be nervous about!” I reminded them incredulously, shaking my head in wonder. “It’s not like any of us could forget anything, and anyway it’s just a bunch of werewolves and some family out there – what’s eating you?” I snapped my teeth at Ness with a fake-scary growl as I spoke, eliciting a tentative giggle.
Rosalie sniffed and rolled her eyes – she was obviously above stage fright, despite the symptoms I saw in her – but the other girls still looked nervous. I tsk’ed reprovingly, but there was no more time for pep talks. We had work to do!
Hair and makeup were crucial; there would be so many costume changes, the hair and face look had to go with each one. Since Jasper had flat-out refused to wear a little stage makeup (booooo!), it was just us girls backstage, in a steamy little shed filled with curling irons, blow dryers, hairspray and cosmetics.
After all that, though, when it came time to do Renesmee’s look – we just couldn’t put makeup on her. We just couldn’t! She could not be improved upon, and none of us even wanted to try. So I had to be content with putting massive, feathery fake eyelashes on myself, Rose, Esme and Bella, along with blush (which Ness didn’t need anyway) and, of course, lipstick.
And a bit of glitter, since the spotlights wouldn’t make our skin sparkle, and it would look pretty with the snow.
Oh, and manicures – the softest pink-white shimmer, to add to the angelic effect.
A few rhinestones here and there – a couple of spritzes of sparkly hairspray – and we were all set. I could hear the guests arriving – well, all of us could hear them. From what I could tell, Emmett was doing too much chatting and not enough ushering. I gestured silently to my co-dancers, and we all tiptoed onstage to peek out from around the curtains.
From the stage, the amphitheater we had created looked incredible (if I do say so myself). The snow was sparkling away obligingly, as if it wanted to contribute to the splendor; the fairy lights, recycled from several events now, formed lines overhead that illuminated the rows of seats and bounced more light off the snow; the boys had followed my instructions with the pink carpet in the aisle, and the plush velvet looked inviting, with only a few sets of slushy footprints marring it so far; and the few guests who were already seated (the humans, taking advantage of the space heaters), looked appropriately awed and excited.
Edward glanced over at us and winked, so we drew back from the curtain, giggling.
And then it was showtime! Edward ascended the few steps to the little platform we’d built for his piano behind the audience; a microphone amplified the music, and from where he sat, he had a good view of the stage. Next to him, Colin fiddled with a tripod, while a few other wolf-boys moved around the audience, looking for prime videography positions.
Emmett appeared at the spotlight controls and Jacob and Embry popped up onstage to fulfil their roles of stagehands. Everything was ready, and an expectant hush fell over the audience as Carlisle gracefully leapt onstage for the introductory speech.
“Welcome, dear friends,” he began warmly. Next to me, Esme gave a little contented sigh of pride.
“On behalf of my family, I want to thank you all for joining us on this beautiful Christmas Eve. Many of you know that Renesmee has developed quite a talent for ballet, and we are delighted to present her to you as the prima ballerina of this traditional ballet, untraditionally reworked, Cullen style.”
A ripple of laughter went through the audience; impulsively, I grabbed Nessie’s hand and squeezed it in excitement in the one tenth of a second before the show began.
Carlisle was correct – it was quite a nontraditional adaptation of the Nutcracker. We just didn’t have enough dancers to do it the normal way, so I cut down the cast as much as possible, and the rest depended on costume changes for everyone but Renesmee, who played Clara the whole way through of course.
Edward played beautifully, and everyone hit their spots with impeccable timing. Ness’s face glowed with joy, her cheeks a darker shade of rose than usual, obviously loving every moment of her performance; she was a born star! It was hard to keep my eyes off her, and easy to keep a smile on my face as we danced.
I did hear a bit of snarky laughter when Jasper bounded on stage in his tights, but one quick glance from Carlisle and the audience resumed its silent state. Personally, I thought Jazz looked incredibly handsome and dignified – his glorious face was set in a solemn expression (as I warned him in advance that I would not be amused if he rolled his eyes and shrugged at the audience), and he danced gracefully, but in a manly, masculine way. I may never have found him so attractive in all our 50+ years together!!
It was amazing and gratifying to me that the boys involved as stagehands and lighting director did not make a single mistake – I had tried to prepare myself for a less-than-perfect performance from them, but they did great! When the mice rushed onstage to eat the gingerbread “men” (us in costumes from those Shrek movies), there was no shuffling of feet or embarrassed laughter to ruin the moment. I’ll have to thank Jacob, Embry, Seth and Quil for that later.
There was no intermission. We did the whole show all the way through, and Claire’s “ooh”s and “aahh”s were so, so satisfying, because we all worked so hard on the set and the costumes and everything, and it all looked PERFECT! I glanced at her at one point; her eyes were huge and round, despite the late hour, and she looked like she was in heaven. I’m glad there was at least one child in the audience to fully enjoy the magic of the show.
All good things must come to an end, though, and the ballet was no exception. After the final waltz, and the crowning of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the curtain fell for the last time, amidst applause, cheers, and a standing ovation. When the curtain rose again, the noise increased – and it wasn’t just those volume-control-challenged wolves either, Charlie was cheering just as loud as everyone else!
I noticed Edward slip away from his piano, and Emmett step away from the lights, but thought nothing of it while Jacob acted as VJ, announcing each member of the cast to come and take a bow. Bella’s face shone with joy as the crowd applauded her daughter; I almost worried her face was going to split in half from that huge smile – until I realized I was pretty much a mirror image!
Suddenly, Carlisle, Edward, Emmett, Jasper, and Charlie appeared and lined up at the foot of the stage, each holding a massive bouquet of parrot tulips, red-dipped white blooms tied in red ribbons except for the arrangement of palest pink roses which Charlie handed to Renesmee. The rest of us women received our tulips from our men, who each bowed deeply before us before handing them over. I can’t wait to find out whose idea that was – it was SO awesome! I’ll be their slave for life! (And that’s quite a long time for us!)
Finally, the camera flashes slowed down, and people began milling around, chatting to each other. A couple of wolf-boys (I won’t name names, but let’s just say it was Olin-cay and Rady-bay) were trying to convince everyone to go sledding on the carefully arranged snow mounds, but then Esme stepped back onto the stage and daintily ahemmed to get everyone’s attention.
“As a Christmas Eve treat, we have refreshments waiting back at the house,” she announced, earning more cheers from the boys, who immediately took off. (Which, incidentally, provided an answer to that age-old riddle: How do you move a huge crowd of boisterous werewolves? … Promise them food!)
Somehow, I managed to return to the house while simultaneously grinning madly, hugging Jasper tight, and cradling my bouquet of tulips in one arm. I guess it helped that he carried me the whole way there, whispering praise into my ear the whole time (very distracting)!
The after-party was a blur of happy faces and more camera flashes. I know Jasper loved it; the emotional climate must have been like heaven to him, what with Charlie, Bella, Edward, and the rest of us feeling so glad and proud for Renesmee, and everyone else just so happy to be there together.
Tomorrow, of course, is Christmas; I just don’t see how it could possibly top Christmas Eve this year! I’ll write to let you know if it does.
I knew Jacob was up to something. He’d been acting so weird all week, all quiet and shifty-looking, like there was something going on in his flea-ridden mind.
Since I still have yet to master the ability to see the wolves’ futures – I can catch a tiny bit, here and there, but it needs refining and practice – I had to use my imagination logical reasoning skills to figure out what he was planning. And I knew he was planning something; I could see the wheels turning inside his head. He had this super thoughtful look in his eyes whenever Renesmee was around him, which, of course, was most of the time.
Then, one day in the clearing when I was altering Renesmee’s costume again (she just keeps growing!), I happened to spot him deep in what appeared to be a serious conversation with my brother. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched them surreptitiously, Jacob making some earnest speech and Edward nodding slowly, seeming to agree.
They were just outside everyone’s hearing range – now that couldn’t be a coincidence. I dropped the costume (well, I folded it and set it down on my sewing table) and casually rushed over to them.
“What are we talking about over here?” I inquired cheerfully, inserting myself into their conversation.
Jacob turned on me and snapped rudely, “None of your business!” As I stared back at him, my eyebrows raised in shock, I saw Jacob’s copper skin flush brick red and heard Jazz sliding forward to kill him.
But then Jacob sighed, and the color began to seep back out of his face. “Aw, what’s the use anyway? Can’t keep any secrets in this house,” he muttered, shifting his weight from foot to foot. He had the decency to look ashamed when he said, “Sorry, Alice.”
“Forgiven!” I chirped, gently tugging Jasper’s sleeve to pull him away from Jacob. It didn’t seem like the right time for a fight to the death. “So, what is it?”
The kid sighed again, looking embarrassed and acting shy, as if it was some really big deal. In the few moments it took him to gather his thoughts and voice them, my mind assumed the worst. So he was planning to take Nessie away!
“No, Alice,” Edward laughed, not looking quite as amused as he sounded. “I would never allow such a thing.” His last words were both a promise and a threat, hidden behind a wry smile.
“Huh?” Jacob looked between us, confused, then shook his head. “Whatever. It’s not a big deal Alice, I’m just trying to figure out how to get my GED.”
“Hmm,” I replied absently, immediately losing interest. “Good for you.” How boring. Still, I was glad that the guy hadn’t been plotting to propose to Renesmee at the ballet recital or anything – then I’d really have to kill him, and I wouldn’t let anyone else help me do it either.
Edward laughed out loud again, but pressed his lips together tightly when Jacob squinted at him in suspicion. He didn’t seem to want to share what I had been thinking out loud. Good idea, I thought. Don’t want to give him any ideas.
Edward’s shoulders were still shaking silently when I walked away, pulling Jazz along with me. Glad he could see the humor in it. Because less than a full second later, I heard him snap, “Not yet” in his most frosty tone of voice, responding to a question that hadn’t been asked aloud.
Jasper felt me wondering what that was about, but his only response was to shrug at me, so I decided to let it go and get the information out of either Jacob or Edward later.
Back at my sewing zone, I focused again on Nessie’s costume. The girl is growing steadily, and not the same way a normal child does – you know, where they have baby fat, get a little taller and less chubby, but are still rounded, then go through puberty and get taller and fuller … well, we’re not there yet, thank the lord! But Renesmee has been slender and shaped like … if not an adult, a pre-teen … ever since she became a toddler. So when she grows, I have to adjust her clothes for a taller frame, which is slightly more difficult than just taking them in – because I have to try to figure how much taller she’ll be by Christmas, and I keep getting it wrong.
Plus, her shoes. She doesn’t have massive feet or anything of course, but they do grow along with the rest of her, and you know how uncomfortable it is to walk around in shoes a half size too small? Well, imagine ballet dancing in those shoes. Yeah. Rough.
Jasper very patiently held each item for me while I worked on it, stretching and turning them obligingly as needed. The problem was that nothing about any of the costumes could be called “plain” – fancy trim, special hems, everything was made for the benefit of super-sharp eyesight, so it was a pain to tailor.
As I worked feverishly, I was aware of the voices in the background. Rosalie, forced to help, was directing the movements of Carlisle, Emmett and Edward, who were each responding in very different ways to her “leadership.” Esme and Bella, bless them, were practicing their roles very diligently with Renesmee (maybe because I harassed them into it every day). It made me twitch a little, since I knew I should be practicing too, but my gosh there’s just so much to get done!
For one thing, I’m still missing presents for a few people – some are in transit, according to the vendors, but some are just not even planned yet! Can you believe that? I have so much to look for in the future and so much work to do every day, I haven’t been able to stay ahead of everything the way I usually do. I mean, the most important people I pretty much have covered, but for example: Charlie. We have a kind of special bond, and I haven’t found him anything yet! (Other than clothes – that doesn’t even count, it’s just a given.) Then I should have something for Sue too, and then it expands into Seth and Leah, then Embry, Jacob … and so on and so on.
I have got to brainstorm about this. I don’t care what Bella people say, gifts are important. It’s a physical representation of how well someone knows you, and that they were thinking about you, and thought you deserved … whatever it may be.
Billy! Oh, my god, then I have to include Paul and Rachel …
OK, I have work to do. This is a major crisis! Hopefully I’ll be back soon with a revised Christmas list!
So Rosalie was here, eh? I have to admit, when I had the vision of her taking my diary away to her room, there was a brief moment of “uh-oh, what have I written about her in there …” Of course, being Rosalie, part of what she was doing in the vision was flipping through my diary looking for her own name, and then pausing to read what was written about her. But since I haven’t really said anything unpleasant about her – in fact, I think I’ve said some nice things, and some things she’d find very amusing – I didn’t bother to stop her.
I’m not annoyed that she removed a few pages, either. There are a finite number of pages in this book anyway, and once it’s full I’ve got a small pile of pretty new ones just waiting for their turn in the spotlight! Still, I think I’ll write a little “Please don’t borrow me” note on the inside cover, just in case. After all, some of this stuff is pretty private.
I am a bit curious as to what she wrote. But, knowing her, the main themes were boredom and irritation; easy enough to guess.
Anyway, we are rapidly approaching Christmas! The Nutcracker is really coming along. I swear when I did my most recent fitting of Nessie’s costume, Bella, Rose, Esme and I all wanted to cry. She looked like a fairy-tale princess, with her shining waves of copper hair, pale glowing skin, rose-flushed cheeks and lips, and big brown eyes … Oh, how Walt Disney would have loved to have her as his muse (filthy, misogynist racist that he was)!
Today, Jacob had Nessie at the reservation – apparently we’ve been “hogging” her lately, what-ever! – and the men-folk were all out together, doing their Christmas shopping (so late, but thanks to Edward, they should still be able to do a good job).
That left me, Bella, Rose, and Esme at home together. At first Bella was thinking about going to see Charlie, but then Esme was so delighted that all of “us girls” could have girly bonding time, Bella couldn’t resist her happiness at the idea of spending the day together.
So we gathered in the living room, bringing presents to wrap, a stack of catalogs to go through (me), and some glossy-covered girl magazines (Rosalie). I, of course, had quite a few items to wrap, and even though I have my vampire speed, I still take a little while to determine the perfect combination of designer paper, ribbon, and accessories for each gift.
Rosalie sauntered into the room and draped herself across the sofa in her favorite position, her long legs crossed carelessly at the knee to show off her shapely thighs that were, as usual, exposed by her skirt, one arm bent on the back of the couch to support her head in her hand as she flicked through the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine. I tried not to think about the latest sex tips she was reading – it’s taken all my patience and sensitivity not to sound-proof the walls to her and Emmett’s room as it is. As she gazed at the magazine, she twirled her liquid gold hair around the fingers of her other hand, showing off the shimmering champagne highlights no mortal could ever possess and her flawless manicure at the same time.
Yep, she’s a self-absorbed beauty, our Rosalie. It’s much more noticeable when Nessie isn’t around to distract her.
Bella, in contrast, was warmly dressed in jeans (designer), a long-sleeved tee (slightly less designer), and a thick cable-knit sweater (designer, and not your momma’s cable-knit). Like me, she was cross-legged on the floor, frowning in concentration as she worked on her gifts. I’d already seen what she was giving everyone, so I didn’t pay attention to what she was doing.
As soon as Esme had the 20 racks of seasoned ribs in the oven (yes, that’s 4 full racks of ribs per teenage werewolf, and experience has taught her to overestimate how much food they’ll eat), she raced into the living room with the box containing her card-making supplies, and a huge smile on her face. She loves spending time with us, I really should try to make more time for her.
We each settled into our tasks, chatting companionably for the most part, with a few less-friendly remarks from Rosalie who seems to be in a worse mood than usual at the moment. Need proof? How about this little question she casually threw out at Bella:
“Aren’t you upset that Renesmee is growing up so fast?” she asked in her standard blunt way, causing Esme and I to freeze in place, appalled. As if that wasn’t insensitive enough – of course it bothers Bella that her daughter’s childhood is speeding by so rapidly – Rosalie continued, “You know she’ll be moving out of your house and into that disgusting boy’s shack in a few years.”
Way to go, Rose. Way to freaking go. Lovely girly bonding time, until you threw a bomb right in the middle of it.
But Bella, bless her, didn’t blow up (ha – see what I did there?). Instead, although she looked taken aback, she just bit her lip and considered her words carefully. I sat there frozen, hoping Bella knew I had not seen that coming, and that I would definitely have slapped my hand over the girl’s mouth had I known she would be saying it.
“I think about it all day … every day,” Bella admitted, so softly I wasn’t quite sure she wasn’t talking only to herself. Despite my indignation at Rose for asking, I was suddenly dying of curiosity myself. My hands remained suspended in midair as I waited, not breathing, to hear Bella’s response. Esme had stopped moving, as well.
“I never knew I wanted a child,” Bella continued, still speaking to the floor more than to any of us. “I never knew how fiercely I could love someone until I felt her move that first time. And then all I could think of was protecting her, surviving long enough to give birth …” Her voice trailed off as she stared into the distance, reliving the horrific birth, I imagined. I much preferred not to think of it myself.
Her chin rose and she met Rosalie’s insolent stare. “But now that she’s here, it doesn’t matter what I had expected – I don’t care if she turns into an adult overnight, or even marries Jacob tomorrow. As long as she’s here … as long as she can stay with me – us – for eternity … If I was destroyed, I wouldn’t mind, as long as I knew she would still exist,” Bella tried to explain.
Esme was gazing tenderly at Bella, obviously in agreement with what she was saying. She nodded encouragingly for her to go on, as Rosalie appeared to expect more of an answer than that.
I listened in fascination as the inner workings of a mother’s mind were revealed, my subconscious mind replacing Renesmee with a tiny black-haired girl in fantasies of motherly love.
“Of course I hate that she can’t have a normal childhood – of course I wish she had time to grow up, enjoy being a child,” Bella said wistfully. “But if you think about, she has all the time in the world … and, although she’ll be all grown way too soon, at least we’ll know we’ve given her the best possible childhood.” At this, all of us nodded proudly, in agreement on at least one thing. No one in the history of the universe would ever have a better life than Renesmee’s, as long as we were around.
And she’s right – we have all of eternity. Sure, I’ll miss things like bouncy slides and silly games when she’s grown … but then, she’s bound to become such an incredible woman, there’s no way I won’t still love having her in my life.
After that little chat, the rest of the afternoon seemed pretty dull! I did manage to force convince Bella to let me give her a manicure, even though she still doesn’t get the point of it (of course it’s not necessary! So what?), and Esme very capably steered the conversation back to more neutral territory, so that we all relaxed again and just enjoyed being together for a change.
The brief respite from noisy boys was over fast, though; once the smell of the ribs cooking permeated the forest, Embry and Seth were incoming and I was outgoing (or at least, going out of the living room and back to my bedroom). I had much more work to do anyway. My gosh, there’s only a couple of weeks left before Christmas! So much to do!
Even at vampire speed, I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment (an expression that’s a lot less meaningful for vampires, but you know what I mean). I want everything about the ballet recital to be perfect for Renesmee, and since I already have such high standards anyway … well, let’s just say this past couple of weeks have been the closest I’ve ever come to neglecting Jasper, and leave it at that.
First things first: ETW2. Well, it wasn’t easy to find time to annoy the crap out of Edward (another one of those human expressions that don’t quite make sense for vampires), but somehow I managed.
We began on Monday, which also happened to be the day some of the theatrical props arrived, so believe me I was already going to be pretty busy! I ordered them pre-made, just to avoid sculpting things like mouse and nutcracker heads myself, but I also ordered supplies to repaint everything to my own tastes. So that’s what I wanted to work on, and Edward was priority #2.
Luckily, Jasper had me covered while I worked on my new toys. He very efficiently and subtly stalked Edward all morning and afternoon, and, like a good Milford man, he was neither seen nor heard (Arrested Development reference I fully expect you to understand!) – but his efforts were very successful.
First, Jasper caught Jacob’s emotional wavelength and focused on making him irrationally angry, not just at Edward, just super pissed off and annoyed by everything and everyone (I made sure to keep Ness at my side and away from Jacob during that hour). This was almost as much fun for Rosalie as it was for me and Jasper, because Jacob naturally took out a lot of his extra anger on her; she got to use quite a few of the insults she’s been holding onto lately. At various points, she called him a mangy poodle, a flea-ridden mutt, and the epic result of Oscar the Grouch’s short-term affair with Lassie (that was my favorite one)!
But how, you ask, did this affect Edward? Well, he hates listening to the two of them bicker, for one thing. But more importantly, when Jacob was mad, he also snapped at Edward.
“You know, for a 110-year-old vampire, you sure do act like a 1,000-year-old priss,” Jacob groused at one point (I think it was when Edward politely requested that Jacob control his language).
Edward briefly gritted his teeth, but controlled his own temper enough to merely reply, “And for someone who intends to someday ask for my daughter’s hand, you do act like a particularly verbose construction worker at times.” (Cue the audience going, Ohhhhhh!)
Jacob, not liking this thinly veiled threat, snapped back, “And what? You think you’re gonna control Ness’s life too, the way you did with Bella?” (OHHHHHH!)
Edward lost his temper then. “Never forget that you are a guest in our home only because of my daughter’s affection for you,” he hissed, his jaw clenched. “If you ever do anything, anything, to change that, I’ll -”
The short silence after Edward interrupted himself was tense, with the audience (Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett, while I was watching from outside with Ness, for the record) looking on in cautious curiosity. Edward turned his head a fraction of an inch, located Jasper standing behind the door, and sighed.
“Yeah, what?” Jacob blurted out, unable to contain himself. “What’re you gonna do?”
“You’re not angry with me, Jacob,” my too-smart brother replied, calm again. As Jacob scowled and opened his mouth to tell him otherwise, Edward continued, “Jasper is trying to make us feel angry.”
“What? Why?” Jacob spluttered, craning his neck to look for Jazz, who obligingly stepped into the room and waved, a tiny smirk gracing his perfect face.
“You’d have to ask Alice that,” Edward answered tranquilly, damn his black soul.
After that, it was a bit harder to mess with him; he automatically suspected that it was Jasper making Emmett feel way too … affectionate … towards Rosalie while they were all in the same room, and ditto when Bella came in and was instantly too embarrassed to even look at Edward, let alone be hugged by him. It was still funny. But not as much as it could have been.
I decided to give Edward a break that evening, since I had rehearsals and fittings anyway. But on Tuesday I took over.
As soon as I got within his hearing range, which I verified by thinking friendly insults at him and waiting for his reaction (a very undignified snort), I got to work. To make it seem authentic, I waited for a genuine vision to come – anything would do – staying within Edward’s range the whole time.
Finally, an insignificant vision of Emmett facing down a bear caught my mind. As soon as it was over I immediately imagined disaster striking – for this, I just went with Emmett returning to the house with the bear’s head and placing it on Bella and Edward’s doorstep. You know, just to warm up, didn’t want to start with anything too crazy to make Edward suspect what I was up to. He’s very suspicious, that boy. No idea why.
Once Edward saw my invented vision, he scowled at Emmett in disgust. Of course, my other brother had no clue why, but that only made it even better!
“I’ll thank you to stay away from my cottage, Emmett,” Edward requested in icy tones, leaving poor Em totally bemused (I did explain it to him as soon as I got a chance – and of course, Emmett found the idea too good to pass up. So I’ll have to intercept him next Saturday …)
The next vision came as I was reorganizing my shoe closet – the new shipment of Louboutins had finally arrived, and I was systematically removing older shoes I didn’t find special enough to hold onto, while keeping my collection grouped by brand and color. Right in the middle of unpacking the new Petite Fee booties – black-ribbon-wrapped pink lace with black polka dots, SO gorgeous they made me want to cry and giggle at the same time – I got another vision.
This time, it was a nice little family scene at home, with Chief Swan. Easy – I just tagged on my own creation, Charlie whispering to Bella, “Has Edward been wearing a lot more aftershave lately, or is it just me?”
When he noticed me nonchalantly joining him in the living room while replaying the (fake) memory of the (fake) vision in my mind, Edward’s jaw dropped. For a moment, he didn’t move or say anything; then, verrrrrrrrrry sllllllllllowly, he angled his head downward, and inhaled silently.
That was really, really difficult for me. I mean, it’s one thing to keep secrets in your mind, it’s an entirely different thing to suppress hysterical laughter in your mind. I had to actually run off to the clearing, ostensibly to check the construction of the theater, so he wouldn’t hear me whooping with laughter. Luckily, Jazz was there, so I grabbed him and whispered the whole story into his ear, leaving him helpless with laughter too.
The next day, I decided to up the ante a little. Edward was with Bella at the piano, being sappy and ridiculous, which made a perfect setting for my next game. Sitting against the dining room wall, I concentrated as hard as I could on seeing the future – which, even if Edward was paying attention (which he was not), he still wouldn’t have found suspicious, since I always check the future around Christmas and especially now with the ballet recital coming up. Whew, that was a mouthful. Anyway, like I said, I focused super hard on seeing the future.
About five minutes in, I had a vision of Seth being in our kitchen (as usual). Perfect – the fact that I actually saw a wolf, albeit in his human form, would catch Edward’s attention anyway, so I added onto the split-second glimpse of this future moment. I imagined Esme being in the kitchen with him and saying, “Of course you can live here with us, Seth. In fact, why don’t you take Edward’s old room? I’ve been meaning to clear out all his books and music anyway.”
“What?!” Edward gasped, Bella’s lullaby ending with an abrupt clash as he jumped to his feet, knocking the bench over. I couldn’t help myself. I collapsed in giggles on the floor.
“Ugh,” Edward groaned, catching on as quickly as he always does. I might have had more fun with this stuff if he was a bit slower, but oh well.
“What is it?” Bella gasped, unable to interpret the strange combination of events. Even in her distress and confusion, her voice still sounded like a chorus of church bells. It was getting harder to remember her as a human, even with vampire memory.
“Alice,” was the only response, as Edward came around the corner, found me, and picked me up with one hand. Shaking me lightly, he mock-growled, “For such a tiny little thing, you can be such a massive pain sometimes!”
“I’m … sorry …” I gasped in between laughs. “It’s … just …”
“So much fun, I know,” Edward finished for me, rolling his eyes at me with great affection. “Still, could I possibly convince you to stop now? I mean, you agreed to the training, so technically there’s nothing to punish me for. Really, it’s just self-indulgence at this point,” he added hopefully, with a pathetic attempt at puppy-dog eyes to melt my cold, dead heart.
Hearing my thoughts, Edward sighed and grinned, setting me back down on the ground. “Fine. You’re impervious to my charms. But really, can we call a truce now? Please?”
Bella and Edward both watched me closely as I pretended to consider his request. In truth, I didn’t have the free time to torment him anymore. So sad, but, well, there’s always next month!
“Okay,” I agreed sweetly, putting out my hand for him to shake. As he took it, I continued, “I’ve got more Christmas shopping to do anyway.”
Bella and Edward groaned in unison, and I grinned widely. It’s just too easy with these guys!