Chapter Three: Give
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Bella placed on her shoes and grabbed her bag by the door as she headed out to school. Today she was walking, as Charlie was back to working the early morning shifts, and Bella had no intention on ruining the routine he had set up at work just so she could get a ride to school. Today she had insisted that she could walk, Afterall, Forks was so small that the walk was easy.
As she stepped onto the sidewalk of the street she noticed that Jeremy was just walking out of his home. She turned and began to walk to the school, all the while scrolling through her phone to read all the messages Luther had sent her.
Most of them were to keep her updated on the happenings of those who were after her, assuring her that they had not found her and that she was safe in Forks. She simply responded back to him with a: Got it.
She put her phone in her pocket as she heard the familiar voice calling her name. She turned and saw Jeremy driving once again incredibly slow beside her. “Morning.” She greeted pausing her walking and turned to face him completely. “Can I help you with something? Most likely driving lessons as you clearly don’t know how to keep up with the speed limit. “
Jeremy grinned, “I’ll let you nag at me if you get in the car. It’s cold out, and I have an incredible heater system, we’re also going in the same direction.”
Bella sighed, “If I get in, just know that my dad will murder you if we get into an accident.”
Jeremy smiled. “Noted, get in the car!” He leaned over and opened the door for her.
Bella stepped into the car and put on her seat belt immediately. “Are you sure you have your license? I think I’m going to need proof.”
Jeremy laughed, “I’ll show you my license, my registration, and my insurance if you want. I’m a good driver, I’ve only been in one accident, but I swear that tree came out of nowhere.”
Bella couldn’t help the small laugh that escaped her, “You’re an idiot.” She responded with a small smile.
“Maybe, but this idiot is now you’re friend and you’re sort of stuck with me from now on.” Jeremy responded with a smile. “So, when are we going to start our history project? I mentioned it to Ric yesterday and he gave me a lot of ideas for it. He’s a bit of a history nerd, I suppose that’s why he teaches it.”
“Ric is your guardian here, right?” Bella questioned in return.
Jeremy nodded, “He’s sort of family. He and my aunt were pretty serious, up until her death.”
“I’m willing to hear any ideas he or you have.” Bella responded simply. “Just to let you know, I am not doing all the work myself.”
Jeremy laughed, “I didn’t expect you to, but at least I know the offer is off the table.”
“Were did you learn to draw?” Bella questioned curiously. “I noticed you tend to have a real talent for it.”
Jeremy faked a gasp as he pulled into the school parking lot. “Did that hurt?”
Bella tiled her head at him curiously. “Did what hurt, nothing happened.”
Jeremy smirked, “You complimented me, that must’ve hurt a little.”
Bella sighed and reached for the door handle. “I repeat, you’re an idiot.”
Jeremy followed her movement and got out of the car. “My mom used to paint whenever she had free time, so I started to draw with her. Over the years, I really picked up on it and developed a love for it.”
Bella nodded, she went to respond but was instantly bombarded by the last two people she expected. Jessica Stanely and Lauren Mallroy. They both greeted her excitedly and asked her about her day. She turned to look at Jeremy who seemed to be in the same predicament with Mike and Tyler. When did Jessica and Lauren develop an interest in her, and since when did Tyler and Mike decide Jeremy was their new best friend?
Bella took in a deep best trying her best not to look angry when Jessica takes her by the hand towards her group of friends. It takes more strength then she would like to admit to try and look interested as they introduce themselves.
“Are you and Jeremy close?” Jessica questions, twirling a brown piece of her hair as she looks at Bella expecting a quick answer. “I mean you two basically spent the entire day to yourselves yesterday.”
“It was like you two knew each other before coming here.” Lauren added crossing her arms over her chest and staring at Bella. “Are you two like dating or something?”
Bella couldn’t help but wish it was the day before, when all she had to do was communicate with Jeremy and nobody else. Trying to put up with teenage gossip seemed harder than anything she ever had to do before. This including dealing with vampires that wanted her dead.
“No, we’re not dating. We only share the same schedule.” Bella responded.
Bella smiled gratefully as the bell rang, “Have to get to class, don’t want to be late.” She says hurriedly moving quickly to head inside the school and into the now busy halls. As she’s rounding the corner to her class she can hear Jeremy moving to walk beside hr.
“You left me there to die.” Jeremy said with an affronted look on his face. “I’m slightly angered by it.”
Bella smiled, “I had my own problems to worry about if you didn’t notice. I’d take Mike and Tyler over Jessica and Lauren any day.”
Jeremy looked at her questioningly. “Really? You’re telling me you’d take the two guys who are obviously only talking to me because they have a little crush on you. Over the two girls who all they do is go on about mindless garbage? You’d rather handle flirting than a few minutes of talk?”
Bella’s brows furrowed together in thought. “I take it back, you’re right. And you have no place to talk in this, the only reason Jessica and Lauren are suddenly my friends is because they think you’re cute.”
Jeremy smirked, “Are you saying I’m not?”
Bella grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “You’re just about average.”
Bella couldn’t help the smile that forms on her face as Jeremy pushed his desk beside her in History. “What are you doing? You didn’t have to push the desks together.”
“I did.” Jeremy responds with his signature smile. “We have a lot of work to do, and for once I know exactly what I want to do an a project.”
Bella couldn’t help but smile. “Alright, tell me what’s your wonderful plan for all of this?”
“I think we should do it on Joseph Stalin.” Jeremy began, his voice in a whisper as he didn’t want to let his idea be known to the others.
Bella couldn’t help the slight chuckle that escaped her at hearing his idea. “Really? We’re supposed to do a presentation on a leader, and you choose one of the most unethical leaders of all time?”
Jeremy nodded, “Yes, because everyone else is going to do some really lame person and they’re all going to sound the same. Besides, our teacher thinks it’s a genius idea.”
Bella nodded. “Okay, let’s get started then, but if I get any dirty looks because of this I’m blaming it on you.”
Jeremy smiled, “Well, let’s get started. I’ve already done the first step, I created the cover for our paper.”
Bella leaned over and looked at the cartoon Jeremy had drawn. It was more ridiculous than the one he had drawn the day before of Jessica and Lauren. This time Stallion was cartoonized and on a surfboard and the title read. “Surfing Into Unethical Leadership.”
Jeremy joined Bella as they both laughed at their new report cover. “You’re welcome, I know this picture alone is going to get us an A.”
Bella moved through the sea of students to start on her walk home. As soon as her feet hit the parking lot pavement she feels a hand on her wrist leading her in the opposite direction. “What are you doing?”
Jeremy sighed, “I’m driving you home. You live across the street, I think it’s safe to assume we’re going to be carpooling from now on.”
“You shouldn’t assume anything.” Bella said as Jeremy let go of her hand and walked beside her to the car. “I could very well turn and runaway now and you’ll never catch up.”
“You won’t, because secretly you want me to give you a ride home. We’re friends now and that is what friends do.”
Bella smiled, “Okay, we’re friends then.”
Jeremy stopped walking slightly stunned at Bella’s statement. “Good, now that we’re friends you want to come over so we can finish this project… And so that you can help me with my math homework, because I clearly do not belong in Calculus.”
Bella smiled, “I have to cook for my dad, so you’ll have to come to my home.”
“Okay, but just to let you know if you try to take advantage of me I’m skilled in martial arts.” Jeremy responded with a smile.
Bella rolled her eyes at him, she knew he couldn’t see her eyes, but she felt like he already knew what she was doing.
Bella got into Jeremy’s car and placed on her seatbelt. “You never showed me your license.”
Jeremy smiled, “You’re overreacting, I told you I’m a wonderful driver.”
“You keep saying that, but I can’t help but wonder if the state things you’re a wonderful driver or not.” Bella responded with a smile. “And if you want help in calculus you have to be serious, because I used to charge $13 an hour for tutoring lessons in Phoenix.”
Jeremy laughed, “What did you use to tutor?”
“Math on Mondays, science on Tuesdays and I gave cello lessons on Wednesday.” Bella responded with a smirk. “It was the same kid, his name was Tanner, annoying little monster.”
“I’m sad to see how much you miss him.” Jeremy responded with a smile. The drive to Bella’s home was short, especially when Jeremy drove just a little over the speed limit.
Jeremy parked in front of the Swan house and got out of the car. “How about we skip working on the history project, and get straight to calculus, because I think that will take the longest to do.”
“Sure.” Bella said taking out the key to the house and stepping in, she showed Jeremy to the small kitchen. “Sit on the barstool, get your homework out while I get some ingredients out for the dinner.”
“Since when did you get so bossy?” Jeremy questioned lightheartedly.
“I’ve always been bossy, but you haven’t known me long enough to know everything about me.” Bella responded with a smile.
Bella began to cut the vegetables while she talked Jeremy through the problems. She had already done her homework in study hall, while Jeremy doodled on his notebook.
“Nope.” Jeremy said looking back at the homework. “This can’t be the answer.”
Bella leaned over the counter and peeked at Jeremy’s work. “That’s the right answer. You’re doing really good, Jeremy.”
Jeremy smiled, “Thanks, Bella.” He leaned forward again to get back to his work. He watched as Bella continued to move around the kitchen, as if she knew exactly what she was doing. “How’d you learn how to cook?”
Bella shrugged, “The only books in the house growing up were cook books, so I read and I practiced. All the bake sales for school and clubs, I made the baked goods and when I realized people liked them I started to try more. Eventually it sort of just became a hobby, like the cello, it was something I was good and something I actually enjoyed to do.”
“Then how did you start playing the cello?” Jeremy questioned setting his pencil down to listen to Bella’s answer.
Bella tensed for a moment before going back to preparing the chicken. “She didn’t have much time to babysit me, so as soon as I was able to, she put me into classes. I think I’ve been playing cello since I’ve been in preschool.”
“Do you actually like it?” Jeremy questioned seriously. “I mean, it seems like it’s something hard to do.”
“I hated it at first.” Bella responded quietly, she didn’t know it would be so easy to say that aloud. “I only started to enjoy it about two years ago.”
“Then why did you keep going, if you hated it, why try?” Jeremy asked leaning forward on the counter.
Bella felt her eyes fill with tears. “I-I…”
“Sorry.” Jeremy said with a frown. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“You didn’t.” Bella said with a shrug. “It’s just hard to admit.” She returned to preparing the chicken breasts to help distract herself as she answered the question. “I kept going because I thought it made her happy. I wanted her to love me, so I did whatever she told me to do. I hated playing the cello, but she loved it because I was some sort of child prodigy. A nice little porcelain doll she could display to all her friends.”
“When I was a kid, I had this bully, his name was Josh and he used to spend every day teasing me during elementary. And on the last day of second grade, he told everyone in our class he was leaving. I got really happy, and angry and I remember I went crying to my mom because I didn’t know why I was so sad about it.” Jeremy said he smiled at Bella, making his eyes warm and bright as he looked at her.
“And my mom told me that even if we don’t like something or someone that when they’re gone we miss them. We miss them not because we love them ,or because we want them in our lives again. We mourn their loss because we know deep down that now that they’re gone we’re different. We mourn the piece of innocence we lose to those that have hurt us, we mourn for the part of us that they take with them when they leave.” Jeremy said giving Bella a faint smile as he finished.
Bella turned to Jeremy and gave him a real smile. One of the truest smiles Jeremy had seen on her as of yet. “Thanks, Jer. You don’t know how helpful that actually is to me.”
Jeremy’s face widened into a grin. “You called me ‘Jer’. We’re already reaching best friend level!”
Bella laughed and shook her head. “You’re an idiot.”
Jeremy laughed, “That makes two nicknames now! I got to say, this is going much better than I thought it would.”
Jeremy looks at the two covered plastic tins that Bella placed in the passenger seat of his car. “What is that?”
“That’s dinner.” Bella said. “Chicken breast, white rice and a side of steamed vegetables. There’s one for you and for Alaric. Have a goodnight, Jer.”
Jeremy grinned, “Night!” He yells back to Bella with a smile as she heads back inside her home.
Jeremy drives the short distance back to his home and easily slips his back over his shoulder and carries both plates of food inside. “RIC! I’m back.”
Alaric appeared coming out of the kitchen. “Hey, I was thinking of trying to make some soup. You want some?”
Jeremy shook his head holding out the plates to him. “I’ve got dinner set for us.”
Alaric took the plates and looked at each of them curiously. “Where’d you get these?”
“I was hanging out at Bella’s, she made them. One for you and one for me, it smells really good.” Jeremy said dropping his backpack to the floor.
Alaric smirked, “You were with Bella huh? How’d that go?”
“She called me, Jer.” Jeremy said with a smile. “And she said we were friends, so you know overall awesome day. I really like her, Ric. Even if I never date her, I think she’d be an amazing friend to have.”
Alaric smiled he took a bite of the food and sighed in relief. “Home cooking tastes so much better than takeout.”
Jeremy smiled, “Bella’s been cooking since she was a kid, I would say it’s a pretty handy skill to have.”
Ric smiled slyly as Jeremy ate. The boy had no clue how lovesick he looked, and it had only been two days. “You should bring her over one day, let me meet her. I promise I won’t embarrass you in front of her.”
Jeremy shrugged, “We’ll see how it goes.”
Alaric took another spoonful of food and eyed Jeremy. “So tell me about her!”
Jeremy smiled, “She’s a genius, Ric, she does calculus in minutes and she’s really good at writing and she likes to read. Not to mention that she can play the cello, she’s got an audition to Juilliard. I think you’d like her, Ric, she’s just really amazing.”
Friday morning Jeremy headed to Bella’s home knocking on the door as he done for that last two days to make sure that Bella didn’t start walking to the school instead of getting a ride from him.
Jeremy was startled when he saw Bella open the door with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. “You know, I’m open to any style of choice, but a blanket is a little much fon’t you think?”
Bella sighed, and wrapped the blanket tighter around herself. “Thanks for coming by, but I’m not going to school today. I’m taking a sick day.”
Jeremy eyed her curiously. “Are you actually sick, or are you just tired and don’t want to go to school.”
Bella shrugged, “I have a bit of a headache if that counts for anything.”
Jeremy rolled his eyes, “Yeah, okay. I’ll see you afterschool? I’ll drop off your homework for you.”
Bella smiled. “Thanks, Jer.”
“Get better.” Jeremy said with a smirk. “Actually, don’t get better, because this means I’m going to have to deal with Jessica and Lauren on my own.”
Bella smirked, “Good luck.” Bella said watching him head back to his car. She closed the door to the house once he was gone and took off her glasses setting them on the table by the door. She headed towards the living room and laid down on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. She didn’t really think about anything, she just wanted a few moments to escape her mind and think about nothing.
After what felt like forever to her Bella stood and decided that a better way to spend her day would be to clean the home.
Bella started with the upstairs, doing her bed and Charlie’s before moving onto the bathroom. She headed downstairs and cleaned the living room and the kitchen. Once she was done she went ahead and started preparing the food for dinner, she went as far as making dessert too. Once she had done everything it was barely 11am and she was going to lose her mind if she didn’t find something to do.
She headed upstairs and changed out of her pajamas and into a sweatshirt and some jeans, she grabbed her Cello case and headed downstairs, she might as well enjoy the peace and quiet, and get a bit of fresh air while she’s at it.
Bella took out her phone and choose out a playlist that was recommended to her. She pressed play before she started to play, playing the music as it played. She didn’t notice as the songs started to repeat as she had gone through the entire playlist more than once now.
Jeremy pulled into the Swan house, and before he set a foot outside of his car he could already hear the music coming from the house. He knocked on the door, but he was sure Bella was oblivious to his knocking. He shrugged and walked around the house, the closer he got to the back porch the louder the music felt to him.
As he turned the corner he saw Bella, and he felt his jaw fall to the floor. She was oblivious to him, he would bet anything that under her glasses her eyes were closed. He leaned against the frame of the porch and watched her. There was a Taylor Swift song playing in the background, but he could barely hear it as Bella’s Cello masked it, it’s rhythm keeping up to the beat of the song.
He couldn’t help but clap once it ended. “That was good, B.”
Bella looked up at him in surprise. “Is school out already?” She looked at her phone and sighed. “I’ve been out here for hours, shit.” She stood and tucked her cello inside her case. “Come in, I made food.”
“You don’t need to bribe me to be your best friend.” Jeremy said walking behind her. “So, what did you do today?”
“I cleaned, cooked and then I played my cello.” Bella responded with a shrug. “How was school?”
“Awful, Jessica and Lauren of course were horrible.” Jeremy said with a smirk. “Angela says she hopes you feel better and took notes for you in Calculus. And Mike wanted to know if you would be feeling well enough to go to the movies with him next week.”
Bella rolled her eyes, “Our lab partner come back yet?”
“Nope.” Jeremy said sitting down on the counter stool. “I think we really scared him off.”
Bella smirked, “We?” She said with a raised eyebrow.
“Okay.” Jeremy said with a sigh. “You scared him off.”