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"You could have been hurt," he sighed. "I got worried when I saw these pictures of you in a wool hat and sunglasses."

"Well, it is colder here than in Seattle, Edward." I smiled. "It might even snow."

"Ha ha, very funny that I care so much about your safety."

"Really, I'm fine. No one really said anything, they just took their pictures."

"I can't wait to see the full effect." Edward laughed.

I laughed, "I just can't wait to come home."


Feb. 2011.

It was time for me to go home.

As I looked around my dorm room covered in Bree's boxes and my two suitcases, I felt a sense of nostalgia come along.

My mind traveled back seven months, when I was scared and felt more alone than ever. I'd hadn't known how I was going to let go of the most devastating part of my life, and what to do afterward.

Now I felt a stronger bound in my hands, and a deeper meaning for my life. I wanted to keep living it, not just for myself, but for everyone else who loved me.

When Bree came back to the room, two a couple, maybe in their early 40's, met me.

"Bella, these are my stepparents. I've told them all about you and how much you've helped me," she smiled.

I smiled to them as they each shook my hand. "It's nice to meet you."

Bree's stepmother tearfully hugged my tightly. Surprised, I hugged her back. "Thank you for taking such good care of her for us."

"Yeah, Bree's very special." I whispered. I looked to Bree's stepfather over her shoulder and he smiled at us.

"I'll miss having you around, Bree." I said, hugging her.

"No, you'll never miss me." She slipped a small paper in my hand. "We can talk anytime."

I opened it, and it had her name, number, and email address on it.


Bill came to pick me up, and when he saw me, I could have sworn he'd seen a ghost.

"Are you just going to stand there, or give me a hug?" I laughed.

Bill blinked and gave me a side-hug. "Sorry, I just didn't recognize you. How are you?"

"I'm good, thanks." I said. I was just about to go inside the car when a thought appeared in my head. "Oh wait, Bill, I forgot something."

I ran back into the building and called out to Bryce.

Bryce came, and I ran into her arms. "I'm going home today."

"I know," she smiled into my shoulder. She pulled me back and held my face in her hands. "I'm so proud of you and all that you've done. Your parents would have been proud."

Tears welled in my eyes at that last sentence.


Bill asked me some things about my time in treatment. A few pap trucks found out about my homecoming. I ignored them and just focused on the road ahead of me.

When I finally got to my house, I smiled when I saw my family standing on the front porch with balloons, confetti, and a huge banner that said "Welcome Back, Bella!" Edward ran to the car door first, and as soon as my foot came out, he lifted my out and swung me around. I giggled, "Edward, put me down!"

He set me on my feet, but didn't let me go. I wrapped my arms around his waist and breathed him in. I felt his hand smooth out my short hair. "Your hair's shorter." He said.

I smiled and pulled back to see his face. "Yeah, that's why I cut it, genius."

He smiled lovingly and tucked my hair behind my ear. "It's beautiful, and so are you."

I smiled, he kissed me.

"Hey, we want a turn with her, if you don't mind!" Emmett shouted and we stopped. I blushed a bright red. Edward and I, holding hands, walked over to everyone else, while Bill took out my suitcases. I got hugs and kisses on my cheeks.

We moved to the inside of the house, where it was quieter.

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