After our date in the woods, Esme and I were on cloud nine. It was like we were in the honeymoon stage all over again. Everyone thought it was cute except Emmett, who would make all sorts of disgusted noises. I swear he’s more immature than Jacob and Seth sometimes!
Today we were all in the living room. Michelle couldn’t come over for some reason and Nessie was just hanging out with the family and the pack. She felt sad because Michelle would always come over when they had free time but today she told Nessie that something came up with some relatives and she had to go away for the day. Happens.
So the afternoon started off quite uneventful. I was sitting in my favorite chair and was reading the New York Times while Esme was reading her new crocheting book that Alice had gotten her in Japan. Jasper was teaching Seth how to play chess, while Emmett and Jacob watched a football game. Leah, Nessie, and Bella were lying in the middle of the room on the rug putting together some sort of 3D jigsaw puzzle. None of us could make heads or tails of what it was supposed to be yet. Meanwhile, Alice and Rose were sitting cross legged on the floor by the couch playing with her HP Intel iPad, taking turns drawing out new patterns for fabric. Edward was the only one not attached to another person; he was sitting on the couch doing a cross word puzzle. It was the picture of family contentment.
Esme made a little noise and I looked over to her. She jumped up and ran upstairs. She came back down with her crocheting needles and started to work on the pattern she had just been reading and studying. I smiled. I knew whatever she was doing was going to come out beautiful. She felt my gaze and looked over. Smiling, she lifted up her things so I could see. I nodded. She went back to her work. Just then Alice hopped up, Rose had the tablet thing in her hands and Alice ran to get the watering can. I smiled. Esme had asked Alice to water the plants that we have around the entire house the day before.
We only had a small amount of plants in Forks but once we came here Esme and Alice developed a green thumb and decided to fill practically every room in the house with at least one plant. We had ferns, hydrangeas, and lord knows what other kinds of plants. I don’t even know 98% of the plants’ names. I know a lot of things but plants are definitely not my thing. And I’m not the only one. The boys refuse to go near them. Jacob is convinced that one of those plants came from the old movie Little Shop of Horrors and that it would eat him if he got near it. I believe that was a Venus Flytrap.
I can’t disagree, the thing is huge and it sits in the hallway on the 2nd floor opposite the window so it could get some light. I swear it grows every day! Jacob literally runs past it in order to get from one wing of the house to the other. I have never seen him walk past that corner ever since Esme put the plant there. We all of course tease him about it and Seth has even tried to push him into the plant. When there’s shrieking coming from the second floor, chances are Jacob is somehow involuntarily near that plant.
Before Alice ran off to water the plants she a walked over to Jacob, poked him in the shoulder, shoved the watering can toward him and pointed upwards. Jacob’s reaction was classic. He jumped in his chair and started saying no to her in about 4 different languages. He kept moving away from the watering can as if the thing had the worst case of cooties. Everyone was chuckling slightly. Finally with a sigh, Alice ran off to do her watering job. We all got back to our occupations. None of us noticed when Alice came back into the room. But she got everyone’s attention when out of nowhere she gasped, dropped the watering can, grabbed her head with both hands, and started shaking it back and forth.
“NO! NO! NO! NO!”
“Alice, what is it? What’s happening?” Jasper was at her side in an instant and was trying to get her to look at him. By this time the rest of us were crowded around her looking concerned. Was she in pain?
“Alice, honey, please talk to us,” Esme said soothingly.
“Oh my God….no…..but how…….why?” Edward gasped as he finally saw what was going on in her head.
“Edward?” I looked at him sternly.
Edward looked at me, then at Bella and then met Alice’s agonized gaze.
“The Volturi. They’re coming……again,” he said.
“WHAT???? Why???” Bella yelled. Nessie looked frightened.
“We didn’t do anything!” Rose insisted.
“Edward, explain please,” I said calmly.
“The Volturi are coming. They are definitely coming to acquire and destroy. Aro is very happy . . . he’s finally found a way to get to us, to get us exposed and unprepared.”
“Well then we need to call our friends again and stand like we stood last time,” Rose reasoned. Everyone mumbled their agreement.
But Alice was shaking her head miserably. “They won’t get here in time,” she whispered. If she could cry, she would. I’ve never seen Alice this upset.
“What do you mean? When is the Volturi supposed to get here?” Esme asked.
The silence was deafening as we all took in that word. For a long time everyone stood frozen in shock not speaking.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait. How come Alice didn’t know about this ahead of time? Isn’t her gift to be able to see a decision once it’s made?” Jacob pressed.
He had a good point. We all looked at Alice then at Edward. It was Alice who spoke. Her voice was incredibly shaky.
“Because they have acquired two new members. One of them is the vampire Nessie saw in town here a few weeks ago. You were right, Carlisle, his gift is to mask his scent; he did it so he could spy on us and not get caught. The other one’s gift is a lot like Bella’s; he can hide the thoughts of those around him.”
“So he used his gift to hide Aro’s decision. Which was to come here and get us. And therefore, Alice couldn’t see what was to happen until the very last possible moment.” Bella as usual put two and two together.
“Holy hell! What are we going to do?” Emmett asked.
“Well, we can’t run because they’ll come and find us no matter what. And they’re just too close for us to escape anywhere,” Edward said.
“No. No. We aren’t going to run. We are going to face them,” I assured everyone.
“Carlisle. We can’t possibly win . . . especially now that they have two new members. We’re outnumbered.” Jasper spoke cautiously.
“Yes, I realize that. But if we run, then we’re cowards. I will do everything in my power to take out Aro before he takes me out. How many are coming?”
“Aro, Marcus, and Caius. Jane, Alec, Felix, and Demetri plus three members of their personal guard. And the two new ones; I believe their names are Jason and Josh. I think they’re also twins,” Edward said in a flat voice.
“Well then we will face them. I will not let my family be wiped out because of Aro’s own personal agenda!” I exclaimed angrily.
“Why do these jackasses want to screw with us now anyways?” Leah spit out through clenched teeth. She and Emmett then bumped fists. When it came to the Volturi, the two of them didn’t mince any words.
“Aro is convinced that we have been getting too much exposure because of the school shooting. Because our town is so high profile and that even Carlisle has given interviews regarding his patients that put him on international television. Aro thinks we’ve been exposing ourselves too much,” Edward explained.
“Isn’t he reaching a bit there?” Rose asked. Everyone nodded in agreement.
“All he needs is a little bit of something to find fault with . . . especially when there’s something he wants,” Edward answered.
“This is such bullshit!” Emmett spat. I couldn’t disagree with him. No one could.
“Where and when will all of this go down?” I inquired.
“Tomorrow—at around 4pm in that field 7 miles north of our house,” Alice whispered. She sounded completely and emotionally spent.
“All right then. We’ll be ready. Jacob, you will have to escape with Nessie as soon as the fight starts. You have all the necessary papers,” I said.
“No! Wait a minute! You’ll be even more outnumbered without me! I can help!” Jacob protested.
Bella shook her head. “We can’t afford Nessie to get hurt. We have to try and save her even if we won’t survive.”
“Mommy no! I don’t want to leave you! Maybe I can help somehow. I’m not a child anymore! I can fight too!” Nessie whimpered. Bella put an arm around her and hugged her close.
“No Nessie, you are half human that means you’ll be the first to get hurt—or worse. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on fighting if I have to worry about you. None of us will.” The adults nodded.
With that we all broke into smaller groups and spoke in hushed tones. Nessie was still trying to persuade Bella and Edward to stay with them. When they firmly said no, she started to cry. As it was getting late, they said goodnight to us and along with the pack, walked back to their cottage to get some sleep. I doubted anyone would get any sleep tonight. So I guess my instinct was right after all when I was sensing something brewing on the horizon. I couldn’t believe that in less than 48 hours there was a huge possibility my family and I would cease to exist. Why was this happening? Why couldn’t Aro just leave us alone! He really must want our gifted members badly if he was going to all this trouble. For once I shared the packs sentiment; what a jackass! And I don’t even use bad words often. So that in itself says something.
Esme and I spent the night just lying there staring at each other. Trying to memorize every inch of each other’s faces and bodies. I started really praying and hoping that I was right all of these centuries; that we indeed had souls and that ours would go to heaven. That way my family and I could reunite in the afterlife and no one will ever hurt us again.
Before going to bed, I called Kate and Tanya. They were shocked and horrified. They said that they, along with Garrett, Carmen, and Elizear, would take off running as soon as possible so that they could try and get here in time. I thanked them and prayed that that would indeed happen. I know that Seth had called La Push and pretty much conveyed the same. We had a very small amount of hope but some hope nonetheless. And at this point, I’d take anything I could get.
The next day, we didn’t really talk much with each other. We knew what we had to do. At 3:45pm we took off from our house to the field where we knew all hell was about to break loose. The pack was in their wolf form and Nessie was sitting atop of Jacob as we ran. We were all mad as hell and ready to kick some serious butt. We didn’t care what we had to do, but we were not going to go down without a fight.
Finally, we reached the clearing. It was a gloomy day and the air smelled of fresh rain. We took our positions where Alice had instructed us. She pointed out from which direction they would appear from. I was still silently praying that our Denali cousins would get there in time before any serious damage was done our side.
Bella had her shield up and ready. Emmett flexed his muscles and scowled. The wolves mirrored his expression. Rose looked like a chip of ice while Jasper absolutely looked demonic. Edward stood in front of Nessie while Esme was standing behind me. I was concentrating on where they were coming from. Alice had been reassured that it wasn’t her fault and that she was tricked like the rest of us. So now she was determined to catch everything else the Volturi hid from us. We were ready. We were there to defend and win . . . somehow.
Now all we needed was a miracle as dark figures started to appear out of the gloom.
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****DISCLAIMER: This entry will have some graphic details of the shooting as seen and described by Nessie so if you are sensitive to that kind of stuff, please skip ahead to the end of the entry. Thank you. ~xoxo Olga
“So as you know, Jake, Leah, and Seth were sick so I went to school alone. Thankfully grandma Esme drove me since she was going into town anyways. Nothing was out of the ordinary as I walked into the building. I met up with some girls from my class that I knew and spoke with and we went to our first class. It was the Algebra class that Jake hates so much.” I smiled at Jake who rolled his eyes.
“The first class was uneventful. My second class was the French class. We sat down and got our books out. The teacher, Mrs. Lounds, must have just said good morning when we heard a pop pop noise. We didn’t think anything of it because kids make all sorts of noise in the hallway on their way to class. Less than a minute after the first noise we heard more popping sounds, but these were coming closer and had a more metallic sound to them. We froze. Mrs. Lounds told us all to be quiet and stay still. She crept slowly to the door and looked out. She then turned quickly around and said, ‘oh my god there’s a boy with a gun! He’s shooting people. Get down! Everybody get down!’
“We all quickly got under our tables and tried not to make any noise. A few of the football players in my class quickly turned over a table that was on the side of the room and pushed it against the door so the shooter couldn’t get in. The rest of us just stayed where we were and I heard some students start praying. Then, without warning, a giant explosion rocked our classroom! People screamed. When I looked toward the noise, I realized there was a hole in the wall leading to the hallway! The shooter had some kind of a small bomb on him! He literally blew a hole in the wall because he couldn’t get through the door! Before I could react, this girl Michelle pulled my arm and half dragged me toward the closet in the back of the room. We climbed into the little closet area and closed the door. We could see what was happening but we were hidden from view and the closet didn’t even look like a closet so unless you knew it was there, you’d miss it. Mrs. Lounds was always happy with it because she said she bought it at IKEA and it was cool . . . Oh God, poor Mrs. Lounds.”
I had to stop talking because I had started to cry again. Grandpa Carlisle who was sitting not far from me, reached out and patted my knee.
“Nessie you don’t have to continue. Maybe you should wait until you feel a little calmer.” The others mumbled in agreement.
“No no . . . I’m OK . . . I just need to slow down when I talk—but I need to get this out of me . . . there’s so much to tell you.”
I took a deep breath and before I could say anything another glass of orange juice appeared before me. God I love my dad! I nodded a ‘thank you’ and sipped on the juice.
“Where was I? Oh yeah, Michelle and I hid in the closet. Then we watched with horror as the shooter stepped into the classroom through the hole he made! He had some kind of a rifle-looking thing with him. He was wearing brown pants, black boots, a black t shirt with what looked like a devil on it and a long trench coat. I recognized him instantly. The kid’s name was Frank Jordan. He was a sophomore at our school. I had maybe one class with him but didn’t really know him other than his name. He always seemed to keep to himself and had a few friends here and there. But he looked so different today. His face was cold and his eyes were blank. He looked like a zombie.
He briefly looked around the room and as Mrs. Lounds tried to get him to put his weapon down, he shot her multiple times in the chest. His gun spit out the bullets so fast . . . Michelle whispered to me later that she thought it was an AK-47. I don’t know what that is, but it was big and horrifying!
Mrs. Lounds fell and didn’t move. Michelle and I were crying and trying not to scream as Frank just looked around the room and started shooting, over and over and over! He wasn’t aiming anywhere just spraying the room with bullets. We were cowering, praying that we wouldn’t make enough noise to tip him off to our location. Oh God, I’ll never forget the screams of my classmates. They just kept moving out of the way but the more they moved the more they were shot. It was so loud!
We closed our eyes and our ears and were praying for it to be over. Finally, when it seemed that he had shot as many people as possible, there was a scurrying and screaming in the hallway that distracted him. He climbed back out into the hallway and started shooting at whomever was out there. I heard some more screams and the sound of people falling. At that point he moved away from our classroom and we heard his boots stomp down the hall and away from our class. We sat there…my heart was beating in my ears and I’m sure Michelle’s was, too. We didn’t want to move. What if he came back? But I couldn’t sit there in that closet while my classmates were bleeding just a few feet away. Maybe we could do something help them. Michelle hesitated, but then agreed and we both—very slowly, trying to make as little noise as possible—crawled out of the closet and toward our wounded classmates.
The first one I reached was one of the football players who had originally barricaded the door. He was lying on his side, moaning. He had bullet wounds in both shoulders and his leg. I tried to calm him down while I surveyed the damage. Mrs. Lounds wasn’t moving and one of the other students who wasn’t badly injured checked her and shook his head at me; that’s when I knew she was dead.
Another student who was lying near the window had horrific wounds. He had been shot multiple times in the abdomen and what looked like a part of his intestine was lying on the floor next to him. Michelle took one look at him and threw up. The other students had similar catastrophic injuries; a girl I knew from down the street had half of her head blown off and the brain matter was splattered against the far wall. I fought the urge to be sick but I knew I needed to focus. We had to get these people help and fast!
Suddenly, we heard a noise and we froze. What if the shooter was coming back? We had no chance to run back into the closet. We were exposed. So we just stood there, waiting. The next thing we saw was a head poke around into the room from the hole in the wall, then another, and another. We realized that they were members of the SWAT Team and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
We were safe.
Very quickly they motioned those of us who could walk to follow them.
‘What about the others?’ I asked.
One of the officers said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get everyone out.’
‘What about the shooter? Where is he? Was he alone? ’
‘As far as we can tell thus far, he was alone. And we’ve neutralized him.’
‘Neutralized? What does that mean?’ Michelle asked.
The officers looked at one another and the one answering the questions said,
‘He wouldn’t put his weapon down when we ordered and proceeded to fire at us. We returned fire and he was hit. He didn’t make it.’
“As Michelle and I tried to digest all that, we were escorted out of the building where it looked like a war zone. There were cops and ambulances and SWAT vehicles everywhere. There were other kids streaming from various exits in the school; some were unharmed while others had blood all over them; whether it was theirs or someone else’s I couldn’t tell. I just kept walking . . . following the officers.
“Finally, when we were far enough from the school, I turned around and looked at the building. The windows were all busted, blood was everywhere. This could not be my school. It was horrible, just horrible. Michelle had stepped away from me at that point and when she returned she was crying. She told me that they are thinking he killed 45 people. It’s not confirmed, but that’s what the officers think. I felt so nauseous I wanted to pass out.
“Just then I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw Mommy, Daddy, and Jake. I forgot about Michelle and ran to them. After we hugged, I turned to look for Michelle and was happy to see her in the arms of her mom and dad. We exchanged a look as well as a smile and were taken away by our respective families. I mean she saved my life! If she hadn’t dragged me into the closet . . . I don’t even want to think what would have happened.
“There were so many media people with cameras and trucks. They were trying to get those cameras into my face as we tried to leave but Daddy made sure they backed off very quickly. Then we were reunited with grandma Esme in the parking lot and all walked into the woods so Jake could phase. I wanted to ride home on my Jakey-wolf. Seth, Leah, Aunt Rose and Uncle Emmett were waiting for us anxiously at the house. They were very glad I was OK. But after everyone hugged me, the full effect of what had happened hit me like a ton of bricks, and that’s when I really started shaking and crying. And the rest you all know.”
When I was finally done my story, everyone was just sitting there, shaking their heads. It doesn’t seem real, even now. People started to get up and talk amongst themselves. My mom stayed on the couch next to me, still rubbing my back soothingly. I love when she does that. It really helps. Jake got up and kissed me on the tip of my nose, then he whispered, “I’m so glad you’re OK Ness. When I heard what happened . . . my heart stopped. It was all I could do not to bolt out the door. My heart only got back to normal, I think, when I finally had you in my arms. I wanted to kill that guy! Well . . . if the SWAT Team hadn’t gotten to him first. I love you so damned much. I couldn’t live without you.”
I touched his face. “I love you too, Jakey. Yeah it’s definitely not a day I’ll ever want to repeat.” Then he kissed me on the lips. I was fully expecting my dad to start harping, but surprisingly he didn’t say anything until we pulled apart.
“OK now that all the making out is over, Nessie, you had a long day, it’s time for bed.”
I sighed and got off the couch, then turned to my mom.
“Mom, can you tuck me in?”
“Of course, sweetheart! Come on, let’s get you nice and comfy.”
She smiled and hugged me. I then was hugged and kissed by the rest of the family just as the phone rang again and everyone rolled their eyes. Aunt Rose went to field it again. I was so tired I didn’t even stop to hear who she was talking to or what was being said. I just let my mom pull me toward the cottage. As she and I were headed out the door, Dad was still talking to Grandpa. Aunt Rose had gotten off the phone, walked over to me with a smile and said, “Well that was Alice. She and Jasper will be home tomorrow so expect to spend the whole day playing dress up!” Everyone laughed while Leah, Seth, Jacob, and even I groaned!
“Awww come on! I need a break. No dress up tomorrow. Maybe the day after. I just want to have a quiet day tomorrow.”
“Good luck spilling that one to Alice!” Uncle Emmett quipped.
I decided to not even think about that and, with another round of goodnights, walked arm-and-arm with my mom to our cottage.
“How are you feeling, honey?”
“Very tired, mommy. Very ready to sleep.” I yawned for emphasis. She laughed.
Then we walked into our little home and I changed into my very comfortable cotton pj’s with little suns and moons on them and climbed into bed with a content sigh. Mom pulled the covers over me and sat next to me. We didn’t speak but just stayed together. I started to fall asleep soon after. She kissed me on the forehead and whispered, “More than my own life.”
“I love you very much mommy.” I smiled and hugged her and kissed her back.
She turned off the light and I closed my eyes and fell asleep. I dreamed of kisses and forests . . . and a strange man standing far away watching me . . . with bright red eyes.
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I’m not one to ever panic but this had my head spinning. A million thoughts were racing through my mind. What happened? How many people involved? Was Nessie alright? Was she hurt? I had to go to the school! Betsy had seen my face and she put her hand on my arm:
“Dr. Cullen, I know your niece is there but we are going to have a lot of students coming into the ER now and we need you here!”
I knew she was right, but I had to make a phone call. Who knew how many students were injured. I instantly dialed Esme.
“Esme, did you hear?”
“Oh Carlisle, yes I did! I’m horrified! Edward and the others are on their way to the school. I was shopping on the other side of town for some food for the sick kids at home and am on my way their too.”
She sounded like she was almost crying. I knew she was worried sick about Nessie. That would make two of us.
“They need me here at the hospital because of the influx of students from the school. I’m praying it’s not that bad. Otherwise, I’d be there in a heartbeat.”
“I understand. No, you need to stay and take care of the patients. They need the best and you’re it honey. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear anything.”
“Thank you, sweetheart. I love you! Please give my love to the others.”
With that we hung up. For the first time in a very long time, my hands were shaking. I had to get it together. There was already a broadcast that a bunch of ambulances with injured kids were on their way. We were about to be inundated. I took a deep breath to center myself, said a little prayer for Nessie and got my triage unit ready for the first arrival.
Then suddenly the ER doors flung open and a bunch of paramedics wheeled in the first student. One of the paramedics was sitting on top of the boy doing CPR. That is when I knew it was going to be a bad one. I rushed to them and moved them quickly into the first area.
Myself, Betsy, and a few other nurses converged on this boy. We were determined to save this child! Right on his heels came two more gurneys with more children with varies injuries. All were gun shot wounds but to different parts of the body. Thankfully a call had gone to all of the off duty doctors and nurses and the ER was filled with very capable people.
I was still trying to stabilize my first patient. The other doctors and nurses were running from one area to another. It was shear pandemonium. Parents were arriving and screaming for their children; one woman took a look at her daughter and fainted; the girl had 4 bullet holes in her body and had lost so much blood, the probability of saving her was slim. In all, 40 students were brought to the ER. To say the place looked grim was an understatement. Even the FBI had arrived in the hospital. We pushed them into the waiting area so they wouldn’t be underfoot. I understand they have to do their job, but so did we and ours took precedence!
Unfortunately, neither my first patient nor the girl whose mother fainted survived. Both died within an hour of each other. Their wounds were just too severe. Even I, with all of my centuries of expertise, couldn’t save them. They were after all, only human and their small bodies couldn’t endure the brutality that was done to them.
I then had the grim task of telling both sets of parents that their children didn’t make it. There is nothing like a mother’s blood curdling scream and wail when she realizes her beautiful child is gone forever. All I could do was hold the family up as they all but collapsed to the floor.
“WHY???? OH MY GOD!!!! WHY??? CINDY WHY???? MY BEAUTIFUL CHILD!! NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! GOD PLEASE NO!!!”
I shuddered. I couldn’t even imagine what that felt like. I still had no idea what happened to Nessie. But I had to think that she was okay. But none of us knew what it would be like if she was shot. How would her body react to it? She was after all half human. So much was going on in my mind I needed to relax. I still had more patients to take care of. I couldn’t leave until everyone was stable.
Then my phone rang. It was Edward. I held my breath.
“Carlisle! Nessie’s all right! She didn’t get hurt! She’s shaking and crying but she’s alright. Bella, Esme, and Jacob are holding her now. She won’t leave Bella’s side for an instant.”
“Oh thank God! I was going crazy over here. I’ll be home as soon as we stabilize everyone.”
“How bad is it at the hospital?”
“Well we have 40 patients; 2 of which didn’t make it and about 10 still in very critical condition.”
Edward exhaled a sharp breath. “Damn.”
“Edward, what happened exactly? How many didn’t make it?”
“We don’t have the whole story yet. Nessie hasn’t been able to talk and the police are still investigating. They won’t tell us the casualty amount. All we know thus far is that there was one shooter.”
“Alright Edward, if anything changes please let me know. I have to get back to my patients. Please give Nessie a hug and kiss for me.”
“Absolutely will. See you soon.”
We hung up. I was able to breathe and think straight for the first time all day. Betsy had seen me on the phone, she approached and looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“She’s all right. She’s safe. She’s home now; very shaken up and crying. I’ll finish up here and then I must be with my family.”
“Oh thank heavens! A piece of good news finally. Yes of course, I don’t think you’ll have to be here much longer.”
“Thank you, Betsy.” I smiled at her; probably the most relieved smile.
I then spent another hour at the hospital walking from area to area and room to room for those who have been admitted. We had 5 still in surgery. Finally, I felt everything and everyone were stable enough for me to go home. I walked into the locker room, quickly changed into my regular clothes, said goodnight to the staff and praised them for their amazing work. Then I was in my car heading home. All I wanted to do was put my arms around my granddaughter and the rest of my family. It took me about 20 minutes to drive to our house. I parked my car in its spot in the garage and walked into the house.
The whole family was congregated in the living room. Bella and Nessie were sitting on the couch. On the other side was Jacob. Edward was sitting next to Bella. Esme was standing nearby, as were Rosalie and Emmett. Leah and Seth were sitting cross legged on the floor in front of Nessie with each of their hands on her for support. They all looked up when I entered. For the first time since coming home, Nessie disentangled herself from the rest of the family and ran into my open arms. She continued to sob.
“Shhhhhh, it’s alright Reneesme. You’re safe. Nothing will ever happen to you. I love you sweetheart. Shhhhhh…..there there.”
“I love you too, Grandpa. I was so scared, so scared,” Nessie mumbled through sobs.
I walked the two of us to the couch where the others made room so she and I could sit down. Rosalie handed Nessie a box of tissues. The phone rang.
“It’s been ringing off the hook all day. Everyone has been calling,” Rosalie said as she went to get it.
“Hello Cullen Residence? Oh hey Charlie. Yes, yes, she’s alright. She’s just shaken up. No, we don’t know exactly what happened. It has been all over the news but we haven’t really had a chance to watch anything since we don’t want to make her even more upset. Yes that much we know. Carlisle just returned from the hospital, it’s been a very long day there. He said that 40 patients were brought in, 2 of which didn’t make it.”
Nessie flinched beside me. Rosalie made an apologetic face at Nessie as she continued to speak with Charlie.
“Yes Charlie, I will. Bella will call you a bit later okay? Thank you so much for calling. Goodbye.” She hung up.
“Nessie, Charlie sends his love. He said that if you need absolutely anything to call him and he’ll be on the next plane here.”
Nessie sniffled and made a halfhearted attempt to smile. She then gulped and looked at Edward, who got off the couch and strode into the kitchen. He returned two seconds later with a glass of orange juice. The rest of us smiled. It really was good to have a mind reader in the house. Nessie drank the entire glass in one fell swoop. Then she sighed and slumped into the couch. She looked at all of us and didn’t say anything for a long moment. Then she looked at Bella, Edward, and then finally me.
“Is it okay if……I……I talk about what happened?”
We all looked at each other and it was Leah who piped up.
“Ness, are you sure you are up to it? I mean we aren’t pushing you or anything. You don’t have to.” We all nodded in agreement.
“No, I think I will feel better if I tell you what happened. I don’t want to have nightmares forever. Though something tells me I still may. But I just kinda want to get it out of my system.”
“Whatever makes you feel better sweetheart,” said Esme.
We all got comfortable as did Nessie who crossed her legs on the couch and sat against the pillows.
Then Nessie briefly closed her eyes, opened them and focused on the not so distant past and began to speak.
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Well now that all of you know the story of my past, let me tell you about me and my family’s present. We currently live in Hanover, New Hampshire so that Bella and Edward could go to Dartmouth. We moved here about 9 months ago from Forks. It was time for us to move so we wouldn’t arouse suspicions about the fact that we weren’t aging. Jacob moved with us, of course, as did Leah and Seth. The rest of the pack stayed on the reservation. They had all imprinted on women there and wanted to grow old with them. The only way that would happen was that if we, the vampires, moved. It was time anyways. Amazingly, the wolves didn’t actually want us to leave. We had gone from mortal enemies to one giant supernatural family.
Charlie stayed behind. He misses us but we told him we were always a plane ride away. Plus he had his hands full; for starters he ran and won the election for Mayor of Forks! Which made Bella incredibly proud; it made all of us proud and happy! Also, he and Sue Clearwater have been dating seriously and we all have inkling that they will get married soon. Bella couldn’t be happier that her father has found his true love and uses every opportunity to tease him about it. Sue also helps Charlie manage the whole “need to know” thing. Thankfully, with us gone and the wolves no longer phasing, there’s not much he needs to know.
As for my family here in Hanover, we live just outside of town in the middle of a forest. No surprise there. We’ve lived here before so there was already a house waiting for us. Esme, Emmett, and Alice had come here before we moved to build a few cottages near the house for Edward, Bella, and Nessie as well as one for the wolves. We also had one built that will stand empty for now. We have a feeling—or rather Alice had a vision—that while we are here in NH, Jacob was going to propose to Nessie and so once they were married, they could live in their own little home. Edward didn’t like that all too much. He hates the idea of his little girl growing up so quickly, if at all.
Bella, Edward, Emmett, and Rosalie go to Dartmouth. Alice and Jasper have opted out of going to college for now and are just doing a lot of traveling or lounging around the house. Emmett doesn’t like school but wants to try to get a degree from a prestigious university to make Rosalie happy. Amazingly, Rosalie actually decided to go to school so that she could bond more with Bella and help her adjust to going to school as an immortal. It made all of us extremely proud of her. We think spending time with Nessie finally made her make peace with her life as she got to play a surrogate mother to Nessie. She’s a lot happier nowadays then any of us have ever seen her. It makes my heart sing.
Speaking of, Nessie, Leah, Seth, and Jacob are attending Hanover High School as freshmen. Edward and Bella weren’t sure they wanted Nessie in a public school but she pretty much begged them to. She was right, though. She couldn’t be cooped up forever and out of all of us other than the wolves, she’s the most human. She has to learn to associate with human beings. Besides, the other three are with her, in the same classes. They call themselves the FANTASTIC FOUR; they have a special handshake and everything. I think they even sometimes speak in code. It’s all very interesting; even Leah smiles occasionally. Now that she is away from Sam and all of that drama, she’s started coming into her own. She’s even very, very slowly started to warm up to our family.
Jacob is very protective of Nessie and sometimes it causes them to bicker—especially when other boys hit on her in school; Jacob is known to get jealous. Thankfully, Nessie only cares about him and doesn’t pay the human boys much mind. Not sure how that works with all the hormones flowing. I’d rather not know, after all I am her grandfather. Esme stays home and reads up on the newest in cookbooks so she could make delicious meals for the kids when they come home from school. A bunch of starving wolves and one half-human will devour a 6 course meal in under 2 hours, so Esme has her work cut out for her. She also knits and crochets; she’s made the most amazing scarves and sweaters for all of us. And she’s always looking for new ways to create things. She’s extremely gifted. Just more things that makes me fall in love with her more and more every day!
Today is Thursday and I’m at work. I work at the hospital. The house is fuller today than most days because Seth, Leah, and Jacob are home with the flu. The poor kids are miserable. I’ve given them medication that should keep them knocked out for a while. You’d think wolves wouldn’t be able to get sick but this particular bug is persistent. Still, I know their bodies will get rid of it faster than regular humans; they’ll be back to normal by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. Nessie went to school alone today. At first she wanted to stay home and play nurse but everyone shooed her out of the house so she wouldn’t pick it up. Unlike the wolves, if Nessie gets a cold she has to deal with it like most humans; for about a week or so. And there was no way Jacob was going to have her catch something from him!
So I had given the kids their medication and Esme is taking care of them. Everyone else is at school except Alice and Jasper who are currently in Japan on yet another trip abroad. Alice promised to bring Nessie back a beautiful kimono. Knowing Alice, she’ll buy 400 times that much for everyone. I hope Jasper keeps her in check somewhat.
My head nurse is Betsy. She’s a sweet woman in her 50′s with a great sense of humor and a golden touch with the patients. When I walked into the hospital, and after I changed into scrubs as my shift that day was in the ER, Betsy came up to me with a smile and a stack of files of the patients ready to be seen.
“Good morning Dr. Cullen; it’s a shame you don’t drink coffee because you may need it after seeing some of these people. Then again, who knows?” She laughed and shook her head.
“It’s ok Betsy. We’ll just take it one patient at a time.”
She followed me into the first area where there was a man who was barely awake. His wife had said he had drunk too much alcohol and was feeling quite ill. I didn’t blame him…..I would feel ill, too, if I drank as much as his chart said he did!
“Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Goodwin, are you with me?” I shined the light into his eyes. He groaned and without any warning whatsoever…..threw up all over me and himself. Mrs. Goodwin was the first to speak.
“Oh Rick! What did you do??? I’m so sorry, Doctor!”
I shook my head and laughed.
“It’s all right. It’s just another day at the office. Mr. Goodwin. I’m guessing you’re feeling better now. Listen, we are going to give you something to keep you hydrated. You will feel better. But you’re going to have one hell of a hangover. Mr. Goodwin, you’re lucky to be alive, you know that? You have 4 times the legal amount of alcohol in your system! That’s a huge amount.”
I then turned to Mrs. Goodwin and told her:
“Because of the amount of alcohol he has in his bloodstream, I will have to keep him for a few hours to make sure his organs don’t react to it. We want to play it safe so we will monitor him. If need be, he will have to stay overnight. Is that alright with you?”
“Whatever is necessary, Doctor. Thank you so much.”
I nodded and smiled at her. Then I looked over at Betsy who was pointing me toward the locker room and plugging her nose dramatically.
“Yeah, yeah I know—I’ll change.”
After I changed, I continued on my rounds. I over saw a kid who had fallen out of a tree and broke his arm, which reminded me of the first time I saw Esme as a little girl. I fixed him up and sent him home. Next patient was an old woman that needed her diabetes medication adjusted as she was having a bad reaction to them, followed by another woman who was having a severe asthma attack. Betsy had moved away at some point. The next patient was a young woman about 18 years old who was arguing with her mom about the possibility of her being pregnant. That was taken care of without incident.
As I was walking out of that last section, I saw Betsy looking for me and rushing toward me. Her face was as white as a sheet and her eyes were wide with fright.
“Dr. Cullen! Dr. Cullen! There has been a shooting at Hanover High School!”
Everything stopped at that point. Once my mind focused again, the first thing that I thought was:
‘Oh no!…….. Nessie is there!!’
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As I was writing the entries, Esme walked into my study. She didn’t say a word. She looked at the diary, then at me. She smiled. I then noticed that she was carrying something in her hands. I looked at it and realized it was her diary. It was my turn to smile, though I’m sure I was already doing just that.
I can’t help but smile whenever she’s near. Esme’s diary and mine are quite different-looking, and yet each convey our personalities perfectly. Hers is a beautiful hunter green suede with golden lettering and a design like that of a forest. Mine, though also suede, additionally has leather and is brown and burgundy. It was so sweet for Edward and Bella to get both of us these beautiful journals to chronicle our daily lives in. Esme was very excited when she received hers on our anniversary. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to do with mine. Until now.
As I looked at her beautiful eyes, she sat near me and opened her diary to a blank page. She was going to write her next entry. Usually she sits outside on the swing that is attached to one of the big trees we have in the backyard. Today though, she wanted to sit with me. I’m definitely not complaining. The best part of our relationship is that we don’t have to say anything to each other and we still know what the other is thinking and feeling. So as I watched her pen start to fly over the page, I got back to the entry I was writing.
Where was I? Oh yes, I had just asked Esme to go out with me. Oh boy. Talk about a heart pounding moment. I shook my head and let my thoughts drift back to that day.
November 5, 1921
“Esme, will you do me the honor of going out with me?”
I waited tensely as what I had just asked was digested by Esme. Her beautiful eyes went wide and, if she could have blushed, I’m sure she would have been as red as a tomato. I was still holding her chin and was looking at her with so much longing that she knew she had to answer me. Finally she stammered out a “Y-Yes-s,” and smiled. I hugged her, and she giggled. It was the cutest giggle ever.
I felt like I was a teenager. Talk about walking on cloud nine. My heart soared into the heavens. I could do this. I could make Esme happy.
“Do you have a place in mind?” she asked.
I thought for a moment. Since she had only recently been transformed, I knew she wasn’t ready to interact with humans just yet so after thinking for another fraction of a second.
“How about a picnic in the woods?” I said.
“Wait, but vampires don’t eat human food.”
I laughed. “Who said anything about human food?”
I could tell she was extremely puzzled. But I had already figured it all out in my head. I asked her if tomorrow would work for her and she nodded eagerly.
“Wonderful. I’ll get everything ready and come and get you.”
I was beyond ecstatic. I was going make this a picnic she was never going to forget!
November 6, 1921
I’d been running around like a mad man making sure everything was perfect. I knew Esme was up in her room getting ready. I was wondering what she was going to wear. As vampires we don’t get cold, so even when it seems like cold weather for humans, we can wear summer clothes. Of course we don’t when we are in the presence of humans so they don’t start wondering about us.
But I digress, so I finished getting the location all set and flew to get Esme. I knocked on her door and waited. I was surprised to find myself breathing heavily. I didn’t really need to breathe let alone like I was running out of air.
Then the door opened…..and Esme stepped into the hallway.
She absolutely took my breath away. She wore her hair under a mesh barrette. She had on a yellow dress with white polka dots and a slim white belt at the waste. The dress fell just below the knees and she wore white shoes with little bows on top. Very minimal makeup but enough to make her eyes pop. I don’t know anything about makeup but I know that I would remember what she wore and how she looked for the rest of eternity.
“Esme, you look radiant!” I exclaimed.
She looked down quickly and smoothed out her dress a bit.
“Thank you Carlisle. I’m glad you like it.” She smiled.
“Shall we go?”
“Yes, I’m ready.”
I took her by the arm and tucked her hand into my arm and we walked down the stairs and out of the back door. Then we ran, with her following my lead. It didn’t take long for us to reach the location I had preselected. Her breath caught as she looked around.
Before us was a little patch of earth, with trees all around and a little brook nearby. I had placed candles in strategic locations to add to the glow of the place. I let her walk around and look at the picnic blanket and the book that was lying on top of it. Before she sat down, I retrieved the little gift I got her. I walked over to her with it behind my back. I then handed her the bouquet of red roses. She gasped.
“Oh Carlisle! They’re beautiful! You didn’t have to!”
“I know that. I wanted to. And their beauty doesn’t compare to yours, my dear.”
She looked down again and then at the flowers. She took a deep breath, inhaling their aroma. She briefly closed her eyes. I was doing a little dance in my head while I watched her enjoy the simple gift. I wanted to give her so much more but didn’t want to frighten her with the extravagance. I figured there was plenty of time for that. I put my arm around her and turned her around so that we could walk over to the blanket and sit down. After she was comfortable on the blanket, she looked over to the book I placed there and asked:
“This is a little photo album I’ve had for many centuries. I wanted to show you a little bit about me and how I’ve come here. I’m a lot older then you. I was born and transformed in the 1600s.”
Her eyes grew wide. I smiled.
“Yes, Edward teases me sometimes about what an old man I am. But when you’re a vampire, age doesn’t really matter. I know that if I took away the whole vampire thing, you are actually older than me by a few years I believe.”
I saw her do the calculations in her head. When she caught me staring, she looked down. She did that a lot. I wonder what she’s so embarrassed about. She’s absolutely perfect. I opened the book to the first page that was a drawing of me as a baby. She ran her fingers over the picture.
“Carlisle, you were such a beautiful baby. It even looks like you still. I mean not that you look like a baby….” She stammered off into silence.
I laughed and shook my head. “No no, I know what you meant. Esme please feel at ease with me. You can say anything you want. It’s ok, you won’t make me angry, I promise. And you’re right. I do still look the same though a lot older.”
She exhaled a breath in a “Phew” type of move. “I’m sorry Carlisle. I’ll try.”
“Stop apologizing! It’s okay. Be at ease.” I smiled, my most relaxed smile.
“Yes, I know. I will. I’m s–….” Then she giggled.
And then I did something, I immediately was regretful and fearful of. I figured the only way I would get her to stop apologizing was if I kissed her. And I did. Nothing long but just a sweet small kiss. The feel of her lips was like connecting to heaven. They were as soft as a feather pillow or the clouds in the sky. I didn’t want to stop but knew I had to. When I pulled away, I was instantly afraid I’d gone too far too fast. What if I scared her? What if she wasn’t ready for it? What have I done? I stared at her with what must have been real fear in my eyes.
“Esme, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. It’s too much too soon, I know.”
I swallowed hard. A big gulp.
Then she did something I was totally not expecting. She put one finger to my lips to shoosh me. Then she took a deep breath and said:
“No, please don’t apologize. That was…very nice. You have been an absolute gentleman this whole entire time. I’m ready to move on. And I think…..no I know…..I’m ready to move on with you.”
I wasn’t at all sure I had heard correctly. Especially not that last part. Esme was ready to move on? With me??? As I struggled to wrap my mind around all that, all I could do was stammer out:
“Are you sure???”
Now it was her turn to nod and shake her head at me with a little giggle. I will never get over how adorable that giggle is.
“Yes I’m sure. I’ve been trying to figure out how to thank you for all you’ve done for me. I . . . I’m very nervous when it comes to talking about my feelings. But I have a feeling that you and I feel the same for one another. And that kiss was very nice.”
She looked down again. Meanwhile, my thoughts were going a million miles a second. She took the opportunity of my silence to move a little bit closer to me. I looked into her beautiful eyes. I thought I was going to drown in that gaze of hers and had to shake myself mentally to focus on what I wanted to ask and do.
“May I kiss you again?”
“Yes. You don’t have to ask permission.”
And we kissed. This one was deeper and more passionate. I still consider that being our first real kiss.
I was so lost in thought about that date and that kiss, I didn’t realize Esme had finished her diary entry and had moved closer to me so she could read what I was writing. I only felt when her hand touched my face and I looked over to her. She had that little glint in her eye. Then she kissed me on the tip of my nose and giggled. That did it. I grabbed her and kissed her hard. Lord knows us not needing air, came in really handy in these kinds of moments.
Our blissful moment was interrupted by a knock on the study’s door. I broke the kiss at the same time as Esme, we both smiled at each other and I said:
The door opened and my beautiful, wonderful granddaughter came in. She was only 6 years old but looked like a 14 or 15 year old. Nessie looked at us both and sheepishly retorted:
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything?”
“No not at all honey,” Esme said to her with a broad and loving smile.
“Nothing that can’t be finished later,” I mumbled mischievously under my breath.
“Oh okay! Good! Grampa Carlisle? I was wondering if you could tell me a story?”
“What kind of a story would you like for me to tell you, Nessie?”
“Well, Jake and his dad have told me the stories about the Quileute legends and where their family comes from. I was wondering if you could tell me the story of how you became a vampire and what your life was like.”
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that she asked. But I was surprised to see Jacob behind her. He smiled and also entered the study. Both of them sat cross legged on the floor in front of me. I took a deep breath, stood up, and walked over to a little shelf in the other corner of the room. I opened the little door and took out a book. I smiled to myself as I remembered sharing this book with my love on our first date. Now I was about to share it and its stories with our newest generation; one of them being our so-called enemy but in reality just a part of the family.
I walked over to the two kids sitting on the floor, handed Nessie the book, sat down, took a deep breath…..and started thinking back.
To the very beginning.
So, what do you think? Would love to know your thoughts! Please LIKE Carlisle’s Diary on Facebook by clicking HERE
Folks! We have a new member in our family and her name is Olga Pinsky! Olga is a published author, having written ‘Out Of The Abyss.’ She will be taking on a diary from Carlisle’s POV!
This is very exciting because he’s the one who started it all, who created this amazing Cullen family. (Well, Stephenie Meyer did . . . but ya’know what I mean).
Please head over to the Carlisle’s Diary Facebook page HERE and give Olga and Carlisle a warm welcome and a ‘like’ if you can! This way you’ll be the first to know when a new entry is posted. Plus, Olga (and Carlisle) are very friendly!
♥ The first entry is now up and ready to read here!
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