Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 85)
“No worries, Beau. I’ll make myself a sandwich.”
“Sorry,” I mumbled again.
Charlie banged around the kitchen getting what he needed. I worked on eating my giant plate of food as fast as was humanly possible while not choking to death. I was thinking about what Edythe had just said—Do you want your father to know that I’m here? Which was not the same as Do you want your father to know that I was here? in the past tense. So did that mean she hadn’t actually left? I hoped so.
Sandwich in hand, Charlie sat in the chair across from me. It was hard to imagine Edythe sitting in the same place just minutes ago. Charlie fit. The memory of her was like a dream that couldn’t possibly have been real.
“How was your day? Did you get everything done that you wanted to?”
“Um, not really. It was… too nice out to stay indoors. Were the fish biting?”
“Yep. They like the good weather, too.”
I scraped the last of the lasagna into one huge mouthful and started chewing.
“Got plans for tonight?” he asked suddenly.
I shook my head, maybe a little too emphatically.
“You look kinda keyed up,” he noted.
Of course he would have to pay attention tonight.
I swallowed. “Really?”
“It’s Saturday,” he mused.
I didn’t respond.
“I guess you’re missing that dance tonight.…”
“As intended,” I said.
He nodded. “Sure, dancing, I get it. But maybe next week—you could take that Newton girl out for dinner or something. Get out of the house. Socialize.”
“I told you, she’s dating my friend.”
He frowned. “Well, there’re lots of other fish in the sea.”
“Not at the rate you’re going.”
He laughed. “I do my best.… So you’re not going out tonight?” he asked again.
“Nowhere to go,” I told him. “Besides, I’m tired. I’m just going to go to bed early again.”
I got up and took my plate to the sink.
“Uh-huh,” he said, chewing thoughtfully. “None of the girls in town are your type, eh?”
I shrugged as I scrubbed the plate.
I could feel him staring at me, and I tried really hard to keep the blood out of my neck. I wasn’t sure I was succeeding.
“Don’t be too hard on a small town,” he said. “I know we don’t have the variety of a big city—”
“There’s plenty of variety, Dad. Don’t worry about me.”
“Okay, okay. None of my business anyway.” He sounded kind of dejected.
I sighed. “Well, I’m done. I’ll see you in the morning.”
I tried to make my footsteps drag as I walked up the stairs, like I was super tired. I wondered if he bought my bad acting. I hadn’t actually lied to him or anything. I definitely wasn’t planning on going out tonight.
I shut my bedroom door loud enough for him to hear downstairs, then sprinted as quietly as I could to the window. I shoved it open and leaned out into the dark. I couldn’t see anything, just the shadow of the treetops.
“Edythe?” I whispered, feeling completely idiotic.
The quiet, laughing response came from behind me. “Yes?”
I spun around so fast I knocked a book off my desk. It fell with a thud to the floor.
She was lying across my bed, hands behind her head, ankles crossed, a huge dimpled smile on her face. She looked the color of frost in the darkness.
“Oh!” I breathed, reaching out to grab the desk for support.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Just give me a second to restart my heart.”
She sat up—moving slowly like she did when she was either trying to act human or trying not to startle me—and dangled her legs over the edge of the bed. She patted the space next to her.
I walked unsteadily to the bed and sat down beside her. She put her hand on mine.
“How’s your heart?”
“You tell me—I’m sure you hear it better than I do.”
She laughed quietly.
We sat there for a moment in silence, both listening to my heartbeat slow. I thought about Edythe in my room… and my father’s suspicious questions… and my lasagna breath.
“Can I have a minute to be human?”
I stood, and then looked at her, sitting there all perfect on the edge of my bed, and I thought that maybe I was just hallucinating everything.
“You’ll be here when I get back, right?”
“I won’t move a muscle,” she promised.
And then she became totally motionless, a statue again, perched on the edge of my bed.
I grabbed my pajamas out of their drawer and hurried to the bathroom, banging the door so Charlie would know it was occupied.
I brushed my teeth twice. Then I washed my face and traded clothes. I always just wore a pair of holey sweatpants and an old t-shirt to bed—it was from a barbecue place that my mom liked, and it had a pig smiling between two buns. I wished I had something less… me. But I really hadn’t been expecting guests, and then it was probably dumb to worry anyway. If she hung out here at night, she already knew what I wore to sleep.
I brushed my teeth one more time.
When I opened the door, I had another small heart attack. Charlie was at the top of the stairs; I almost walked into him.
“Huh!” I coughed out.
“Oh, sorry, Beau. Didn’t mean to scare you.”