Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 41)
Allen asked a few quiet questions about the Macbeth paper, which I answered as naturally as I could while my mood was spiraling lower and lower. He invited me to go with them tonight, too, and I agreed now, looking for any distraction.
What if, somehow, Edythe knew what I’d done this weekend? What if digging deeper into her secrets had triggered her disappearance? What if I’d done this to myself?
I realized I’d been holding on to a little bit of hope when I walked into Biology, saw her empty seat, and felt a new wave of disappointment.
The rest of the day dragged. I couldn’t follow the discussion in Biology, and I didn’t even try to keep up with Coach Clapp’s lecture on the rules of badminton. I was glad to finally leave campus, so I could stop pretending I was fine until it was time to go to Port Angeles. But right after I walked through my front door, the phone rang. It was Jeremy, canceling our plans. I tried to sound glad that McKayla had asked him to dinner, but I think I sounded irritated. The movie got rescheduled to Tuesday.
Which left me with no distractions. I put some fish in a marinade and then finished up my new homework, but that only took a half hour. I checked my e-mail and realized I’d been ignoring my mom. She wasn’t happy about it.
Sorry. I’ve been out. I went to the beach with some friends. And I had to write a paper.
My excuses were pretty pathetic, so I gave up on that.
It’s sunny outside today—I know, I’m shocked, too—so I’m going to go outside and soak up as much vitamin D as I can. Love you, Beau.
I had a small collection of my favorite books that I’d brought to Forks, and now I grabbed Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, plus an old quilt from the linen cupboard at the top of the stairs.
Outside, I threw the quilt into the middle of the sunniest spot in Charlie’s small square yard, then threw myself on top of it. I flipped through the paperback, waiting for a word or phrase to catch my interest—usually a giant squid or narwhal would be adequate—but today I went through the book twice without finding anything intriguing enough to start me reading. I snapped the book shut. Fine, whatever. I’d get a sunburn instead. I rolled onto my back and closed my eyes.
I tried to reason with myself. There was no need to freak out. Edythe had said she was going camping. Maybe the others had been planning to join her all along. Maybe they’d all decided to stay an extra day because the weather was so nice. Missing a few days wasn’t going to affect any of her perfect grades. I could relax. I would see her again tomorrow for sure.
Even if she, or one of the others, could know what I was thinking, it was hardly a reason for skipping town. I didn’t believe any of it myself, and it wasn’t like I was going to say anything to someone else. It was stupid. I knew the whole idea was completely ridiculous. Obviously, there was no reason for anyone—vampire or not—to overreact.
It was just as ridiculous to imagine that someone could read my mind. I needed to stop being so paranoid. Edythe would be back tomorrow. No one had ever found neuroticism attractive, and I doubted she would be the first.
Mellow. Relaxed. Normal. I could handle that. Just breathe in and out.
The next thing I was aware of was the sound of Charlie’s car turning onto the bricks of the driveway. I sat up, surprised that the light was gone and I was deep in the shadow of the trees now. I must have fallen asleep. I looked around, still half out of it, with the sudden feeling that I wasn’t alone.
“Charlie?” I asked. But I could hear his door slamming in front of the house.
I jumped up, feeling edgy and also stupid for feeling that way, and grabbed the quilt and my book. I hurried inside to get some oil heating on the stove; thanks to my nap, dinner would be late. Charlie was hanging up his gun belt and stepping out of his boots when I came in.
“Sorry, dinner’s not ready yet—I fell asleep outside.” I yawned hugely.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said. “I wanted to catch the score on the game anyway.”
I watched TV with Charlie after dinner, for something to do. There wasn’t anything on I wanted to watch, but he knew I didn’t care about baseball, so he turned it to some mindless sitcom that neither of us enjoyed. He seemed happy, though, to be doing something together. And it felt good, despite my idiotic depression, to make him happy.
“FYI, Dad,” I said during a commercial, “I’m going to a movie with some of the guys from school tomorrow night, so you’ll be on your own.”
“Anyone I know?” he asked.
Who didn’t he know here? “Jeremy Stanley, Allen Weber, and Logan whatever-his-last-name-is.”
“Mallory,” he told me.
“If you say so.”
“Fine, but it’s a school night, so don’t go crazy.”
“We’re leaving right after school, so we won’t be too late. You want me to put something out for your dinner?”
“Beau, I fed myself for seventeen years before you got here,” he reminded me.
“I don’t know how you survived,” I muttered.
Everything felt less gloomy in the morning—it was sunny again—but I tried not to get my hopes up. I dressed for the warmer weather in a thin sweater—something I’d worn in the dead of winter in Phoenix.
I had planned my arrival at school so that I barely had time to make it to class. My mood quickly deteriorated while I circled the full lot looking for a space… and also searching for the silver Volvo that was clearly not there.
It was the same as yesterday—I just couldn’t keep little sprouts of hope from budding in my mind, only to have them squashed painfully as I searched the lunchroom in vain and sat at my empty Biology table. What if she never came back? What if I never saw her again?