1. Packages


"Edward, honey, a package came for you today," Esme remarked when we came home from school.

"What did you get me this time, Alice?" I asked indifferently. Packages were a common occurrence in this house, thanks to Alice's shopping obsession. Of course, due to her psychic visions, which included stock market trends, we had more money than we could spend in hundreds of years. This was comforting considering we were immortal vampires.

"It wasn't me this time," Alice protested. Her eyes glazed over momentarily as she used her gift to see what was in the package. I used my mind reading gift to watch the vision with her. I saw myself open the box and take out a set of four books. Then I saw myself curled up on my couch, reading all night and all the next day.

"Oh, just books. Enjoy your weekend, brother," she smirked, dismissing me and my package. She grabbed Jasper's hand and ran up the stairs with him. Rosalie and Emmett had long since disappeared into their bedroom.

"Thanks, Mom," I mumbled, kissing Esme's cheek. She beamed at me. I knew I had just made her week. I usually kept to myself, eschewing physical touch, but I knew how much it meant to Esme to treat her like my mother. She had been acting like a mother to me for about eighty years now. I loved her and would do anything for her.

I grabbed the package and headed to my room. I sat on my black couch and tore open the box, eager for something new to stimulate my intellect. I took all four books out, resting them on the cushions beside me. I picked up the first book and dove right into the prologue.


I was finishing packing my bags when I heard the doorbell. I opened the front door just in time to see the brown van drive away. I looked down and saw a square package on the front stoop. I bent down to lift it up and saw it was addressed to me. It got here just in time. I'd be on a plane to Forks tomorrow. I sighed and pushed that thought to the back of my mind. I'd made my choice and, by golly, I'd live by it. Even if it killed me. The box was heavier than I expected, and I lugged it back to my room. I didn't see any return address on it, and I wondered if Renée and Phil had gotten me a going away present. I tore into the box and was delighted to find four books. I loved reading, and now I had something new to read on the plane. At least these would help the first weekend pass by quickly. I'd much rather read than feel anxious about starting a new school on Monday. Mom was so sweet to think of me like that. I left my room to hunt her down. I found her in the garage, searching through boxes, a pile of discarded items surrounding her. I sighed. Oh, well. This time she can clean up her own mess.

"Thanks for the new books, Mom," I stated enthusiastically. She looked up at me wearing a puzzled expression.

"What books, honey?" How odd. Renée couldn't lie any better than I could, so I knew it wasn't her.

"Never mind," I answered, brushing off her query. "The flight takes off rather early tomorrow, so I'm going to bed right after dinner."

"Good idea, honey," she responded absently, her mind already back on her search. I shrugged and went to the kitchen to start dinner. I whipped up some spaghetti and ate at the table by myself. I knew my Mom would get to hers whenever her hunger was strong enough to break into her thoughts. I was used to eating alone.

I went back to my room, putting the final items into my bags. I sat on my bed, looking around my room, thinking about all the people and things I was leaving behind. I refused to give in to despair. I prepared for bed and got under the covers. This was the last night in this house, in this room, in this bed. Tomorrow, I would go to cold, dreary, rainy Forks to live with my father, whom I had only seen for two weeks each year. I did my best to will myself to sleep. I tossed and turned, my mind refusing to settle down and allow me a few hours of peace. Finally, I gave up on sleep.

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