"It's good to be home." My uncle Beck tries to be optimistic as his old Jeep rolls over the Forks/La Push boarder, but the heavy rain that constantly pours over this part of Washington washes his cheery effort out.
"It looks just like how I remember it." With my dark head against the car window, I kick myself to meet him halfway. But what I came up with is lousy and lukewarm as my mood, I mean we literally just drove into town a minute ago. We're barely a mile in yet. All I can see through the foggy window so far are trees and trees and more trees.
Appreciating my poor effort anyway, uncle Beck reaches out and gives my elbow a comforting squeeze. Hiding the small grin threatening to turn into a frown behind my hand, I can't help my bad habit of tugging my beanie a little lower over my dark locks whenever I feel even the slightest of nerves.
I'm never exactly sure how to be act around uncle Beck. The last I've seen him was when I was last in La Push... which was when my childhood home went up for sale two weeks after my parents' funeral. I haven't seen the man since I was eight. Do I hug him? Shake his hand? Our relationship came to a crashing halt when my parents died, eight years passed between us when I was shipped off to my maternal grandparents' in California, now this tragedy hangs hangs above our heads like the grey rain clouds in Washington.
"Hey Cooper, did you hear? We're here." Glancing up at the rear view mirror, Uncle Beck tries to get my brother's attention from the crowded backseat full of suitcases who has been stubbornly wearing his headphones over his ears since we boarded our flight earlier today. He's so silent, you wouldn't even know he's here.
Neither of us are excited about the sudden move from California to Washington, but compared to my brother Cooper, I'm down right enthusiastic.
"Not the chattiest guy, huh?" Not taking Cooper's silent treatment personally, Uncle Beck just shrugs it off, while turning off from the only main road running through La Push, and onto one of the many dirt roads. Instead of answering, I fiddle with switching the radio stations. After a few moments I stop sailing through all the static, landing on an old rock station just as Cooper kicks his boots up on my seat, meaning he likes it.
As the rain begins lightening up, I tug my mustard yellow beanie a little lower over my ears as the Jeep pulls up to the familiar green farmhouse that looks just as untouched as it is in the back of my mind. My grandfather's (now my uncle's) house hasn't changed in the slightest since the day I learned to walk. Seeing the house exactly as how I remember it brings some kind of relief, my shoulders just a little less tense as I my body deflates into the worn passenger seat when I let go of the breath I didn't know I was holding.
Barely two stories, the little farmhouse is cozy as it is cramped, and surrounded in a thick fistful of trees since the old family farm sits in the middle of the woods. The green paint is faded, but the red chimney and front door are so bright the hue cuts through the thick humid fog skirting above the earth.