The Welcoming

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Author's Note:
This is kind of a long chapter. This and the first chapter really come across more as build up/background for the story, but I promise from now it'll be better updates.





I can't sleep.

Every time I try to shut my eyes, sleep stubbornly won't come. I've tried everything. Sleeping with the lights on, lights off, drinking warm milk, counting sheep, listening to music. I'm just about ready to give night running a try just to tire myself out.

I should be tired. Between the early flight and the actual move here, my first day back in La Push has been emotionally exhausting. I'm somewhat envious of Tucker, the family pet dog, who is curled up at the foot of my bed sound asleep. I'm desperate for a good night's sleep.

Finding my way through the dark, I maneuver towards my bedroom door while being careful not to trip over any of the unpacking with my arms stretched out in front of me. Even with all my precautions, I walk straight into the wall I swore was the door. When I finally do find the door knob, my hands land down hard on the old knob, and I have to remind myself to give it a gentle twist. It is an old house.

"I told you they'd be good kids, Billy, and they are." My hand freezes mid-turn at the sound of uncle Beck's muffled voice on the other side of door. He's being careful to be quiet, so quiet I have to press my ear against the door to make out what he's saying. "Jesse and Cooper's first day back was a lot alike Charlie's daughter first day back. Long awkward silences and teenage angst. But there was no screaming matches or crying, so I'm going to take today as a win."

Taking a chance, I cautiously crack the door open to hear better. I catch uncle Beck standing in the kitchen, using the ancient landline that's so dated, it has a curled up cord instead of being wireless. If I concentrate hard enough, I can faintly hear the voice on the other end, but can't make out the words.

"I feel like an idiot, Billy," with a defeated sigh uncle Beck scratches the back of his head. "Of course they're nothing like the little kids I use to know. Their grandma out west warned me too, but I didn't think it would be so awkward. I'm gonna be honest, this is a lot harder than I thought it be."

A part of me wants to my anger at Uncle Beck to be validated, but holding myself back I can't deny he isn't wrong. Cooper and I aren't the easiest kids.

Uncle Beck goes silent as the person on the other end briefly speaks.

"Jesse use to be the happiest little girl I knew, my niece use to be this big ball of energy you couldn't stop to get smiling. Now that she's back, it's almost as if she's still mourning her parents, she's just sad all the time, just doesn't act her age at all. But Jesse's sulking is easy compared to her brother Cooper, whose just furious all the time. My nephew hasn't said a word since the plane landed. He just wants to be alone all the time, ready to punch somebody at any given moment. It was like meeting them for the first time ever earlier today at the airport."

"But Billy," uncle Beck switches the phone to his other ear. "Jesse and Cooper aren't a lost cause. Under all that grief are two great kids, and I'm gonna make them happy."

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Last night was the best night sleep I've ever had.

The more time I spend here, the more I'm warming up to it. I haven't been the same since I left La Push, but La Push is exactly the same as I left it. It doesn't feel like the abrupt uprooting change like it did at first, now it feels like a reunion. Just the simple activity of unpacking in grandpa's old house loosens the tight knot that always been pulling on my heart strings.

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