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Needing To Let Go

By Megan Rawlins

Tracks Of My Tears

Disclaimer: I Own Nothing (but we all already knew that)

This story is all in Bella's POV unless otherwise noted.

First off I want to thank you to everyone who is reading this story, and I hope that you enjoy this as much as I am writing this! Please read the bottom author's note if you're new to this story, it will explain why some things may not make sense or blend well with the rest of the story just yet. Please bear with me.

I try my best to catch every grammar issue I see, and also go back and reread chapters to see if they make sense or not. Let me know (nicely) if you see any issues at all ok!

Happy Reading!

Life was good.

Today was Thursday and it was the day that my brother Jasper was leaving for College in Chicago.

Mom, Dad and I just got back from the local airport. We had said goodbye to my brother, Jasper. Well, he was my half-brother. Now you're probably wondering how Jasper and I are related, well we all have the same Mom, but different dads. My brother Emmett, the oldest, and Jasper barely remember either one of their biological dads. Trevor, my biological father, loved Emmett and Jasper as his very own. When I got older I found out that he even went through the trouble of legally adopting them as his own sons.

Emmett was finishing up his next to last year of school. He was majoring in sports medicine. I thought that was only fitting because he was also a star player for the Texas Longhorns. Money was tight so mom and dad were all but relieved when Emmett got a full ride scholarship there. As for Jasper, well he decided to apply his self in school and managed to get enough scholarship and grant money to go to college practically free. He wanted to major in history and become a history teacher one day.

Now you're also probably wondering why they wanted to get as far away as they possibly could from where we grew up. Well, we lived in a small town in Kansas between Dodge City and Meade, and let's just say that the only fun that could be had was to either go down to the local Super Walmart or to one of many flea markets that our town had to offer. It wasn't much of a town to some people, but to me I liked to call it home, even if others didn't. I had been involved in 4-H and showed rabbits, pigs, and horses.

Today was just another day. I had school, and dreaded getting up and getting ready. It wasn't that I hated school or anything. It was having to get up about two hours earlier than most kids get up that sucked the most for me. I sighed and got up to get dressed and just about tripped over Thelma and Randy, my Australian Shepherd and Border Collie puppies I found on the side of the road a few days ago. It amazed me how cruel some people can be when it comes to animals. I guess you could say that I'm like one of those animal activists, but I just think of it as being a caretaker of animals. I can't stand seeing an animal that has either been injured, abandoned or abused. I guess I got that from my Mom; she's been that way for as long as I can remember.

I managed to get done with my morning chores earlier than I had expected so I decided that I would go out to the stables to visit and groom Rainbow before I had to go to school, she was my horse I had gotten as a surprise for my fifteenth birthday. I have to say that Rainbow was the best present I had ever gotten. Money may have been tight around the house, but after my mom and dad decided to start a boarding business. Almost immediately the boarding took off.

As the business grew they eventually made enough money that they could build a more 'modern', as mom liked to call it, stable and it was going to be able to withstand a tornado.

Grooming Rainbow always seemed very therapeutic to me. I could be having the worst day ever and all I would have to do would be to start brushing her and all my troubles would just slip away like the dirt from her mane would as I used the comb.

A Few Days Later

It was time for school. I wanted to stay home and help Mom and Dad take some of the produce we had gotten from our huge garden that spread over half of our property. It was a way to make extra money. Today was a special day in Meade and they were having a farmer's market sale today. My mom and dad wanted to take some of our produce to that market today. They didn't know that I knew the reason they decided to go today instead of waiting until the weekend to sell the vegetables in our own farmer's market; they were behind on some of the payments for things around the house. But my dad was firm and told me I had to go to school. Since money was tight around the house they wanted to make sure I had good grades and I could go to college on scholarship.

"Bella, we love you and we would be ok with you coming with us if it weren't a school da-"

"I know mom, I know, you and dad are like broken records with the same thing over and over. I know you want me to get good grades so that I can apply for scholarships and get into a good school. I just wish I could go with you is all."

"I know you do Belly Bean, but you know the rules we have for you kids is for you do better than either me or your father has; neither of us have been to college Bells, we just want better for you is all."

I sighed and nodded my head and gave her a tight hug before I headed upstairs to grab my backpack from my room and saw the bus turning the corner onto my long stretch of road. I hurried down the stair and jogged down the long driveway to the road to catch the bus. I was almost at the end, when I heard the rumbling sound of a diesel engine getting closer to my house. I broke into a sprint to make sure I didn't miss it. I couldn't afford to be late getting to school again today. I had already been late three times this month, and one more would guarantee my being in after-school detention.

Someone must've been looking out for me today, because the bus managed to get to school about five minutes ahead of schedule, and didn't have to worry about any detentions; at least for today. As for the rest of the week; I wasn't sure I wouldn't be late to school. Now I actually liked school, and when I was late it was usually because some of the morning chores took longer than expected. Mom, dad and I were still adjusting to having one less set of hands to help out around the farm. You know how when the school usually calls your parents you're in trouble? Well, I rarely got into any trouble; the phones were usually informing my parents that I was late more than the number allowed.

.

.

.

School went by fairly fast today. As I hurried to my assigned bus I noticed that it was starting to rain, which was weird because the weather channel had said that there was no chance of rain until the beginning of the weekend. I just shrugged it off and got on my bus and waited patiently by myself until everyone was on so we could go home.

I decided to call Mom and Dad to ask how the farmer's market was today in Meade. I loved my new phone. It had also been a birthday present. It wasn't as fancy as the other kids' phones were at school, but it got the job done. I was just too curious to wait until I was home to ask how everything went. I dialed Mom's cell first; it went straight to voicemail. That was understandable; Mom wasn't very technologically savvy when it came to cell phones, she barely knew how to text message. I still remember trying for a good three hours explaining how to press each key to get the letter she wanted. The only reason she got the darn phone was because Jasper and I had convince her that she needed one.

Dad, on the other hand, was a quick learner, so there wasn't much to explain about his phone to him. I decided to call him next.

Ring-ring….ring-ring…. "Hi you've reach Trevor Swan Sorry I can't come to the phone right now. Leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

Hmm, strange, his went to voicemail too. Maybe they were just both too busy to answer. I slipped my phone back in my pocket and looked out the rain-covered window. I had always hated rainy days. I wasn't sure why, but whenever it was rainy outside I just felt 'bleh' the entire day. I'm sure it wasn't just me that felt that way either though.

Sssscccccrrreeeeeecccccchhhhh!

I was jerked out of my thoughts by the sound of the brakes squealing as we came to a complete stop a few yards from my driveway. It sounded like the brakes could go at any second. But then I remembered that the busses around here were older than some of the others in different towns.

I was let off the bus and saw that it was sprinkling a bit, now this I could handle; if it started raining harder I would end up falling asleep instead of doing my homework.

Walking along the rows of rather tall corn I just let my mind start to wander; not letting it settle on one specific subject. It was maybe about a half mile of dirt road from where I was to get to the house. There were days when I despised being let off with a long walk down the dirt road to my house, like when it was wintertime or pouring down rain. Then there were days when I loved the long gorgeous walk during spring and summertime. If I had a friend, what few I had, that tried to follow me through the corn to my house they would end up getting lost; not me, I knew which way to go to get a direct route to the front porch. It was my own personal shortcut from the bus stop. I still remember the first time I took my shortcut, Jasper and Emmett about got lost trying to find me.

The lines of corn were starting to thin out and I started seeing a faint flashing of red and blue lights.

Police car, what was a police officer doing here?

I had just walked out of the corn field, when the police officer finished knocking on the door and turned around to go back to his police car when our eyes met at that exact moment. Was that sadness and regret I saw in his eyes? Why would he look at me that way? A million different worst-case scenarios rushed through my head. I had hoped that maybe this was another sick prank of Emmett's but then I realized that Emmett has been away at school for almost four years, and it wasn't time for him to come home to visit.

"Excuse me miss, but are you Isabella Swan?" That was odd; no one called me by my first name, unless I was in trouble. I just nodded my head yes. "I think you're going to want to come with me." I was starting to get worried. "W-Why?"

"They'll explain everything when we get back to the station, sweetheart. But now you have to come with me." This definitely wasn't good. Something deep inside of me begged my legs to take off for the fields of corn, but I fought against it and slowly walked over to the police car and slid in to the passenger seat and sat quietly the entire car ride.

Before I knew it we arrived at the station, but that may have been because my mind was preoccupied with going over every possible scenario in my head over twenty times. Why did they have to take me away? Where were my parents?

"We're here, little lady. Now, is there anyone you can call that can come and pick you up?"

That was odd. Of course there was someone that could come and pick me up; Mom and Dad. Unless something was wrong with them that I didn't know about.

"There's m-my Mom and Dad...um, my neighbor down the road Michael Newton, he and my dad are pretty good friends?" Why was he asking me if I knew anyone that could come and pick me up?

He looked like he wanted to tell me what was going on, but bound by his orders he remained quit and escorted me inside past the lobby and through a set of double doors and sat me down in a chair across from a metal desk. Looking around I saw a lot of similar desks lined down the rather large police station. "If you know something that I don't, you got to let me officer!" I didn't want to yell, but I hated being treated like a child.

"If you know anything about what's going on, could you please tell me?" I said on the verge of tears. I already had a sneaking suspicion of what was going on, but I wanted to hear it from Officer…Nelson's, according to his name badge, lips personally. I didn't want to wait around any longer. I needed to know once and for all what was going on.

Officer Nelson took a deep breath, gathering the nerve I suppose, and proceeded to tell me something that would change my life forever.

"Your Mom and Dad, they were driving Northbound on Route 54 when another car swerved too far over into their lane and hit your parent's truck head on. I'm sorry, but your parents passed away at the scene."

Everything he was telling me after that one sentence went in one ear and out the other. This couldn't be happening; I had just talked to them this morning. "Do you have anyone that you can stay with?"

Did I have anyone to stay with or was there someone who could stay with me?

What kind of question was that? He knew that my brothers were in college out of state, and my parents were dead. Did he expect me to say that my grandparents could come and stay with me? Both sets of grandparents lived out of state; my dad's parents in some small town up in Washington, and my mom's parents were in a small town in Wisconsin.

So no, I didn't have anyone who could stay with me. But I couldn't tell this officer that. I knew if I told them the truth they would stick me in some youth home until either my brothers came home to visit. One of the worst-case scenarios I've been mulling over in my head was becoming a possibility right in front of me; I would be thrust into the foster care system and shipped from foster home to foster home until I was eighteen. I had to think fast; I wouldn't let them put me in a foster home.

"My brothers are going to be home this weekend. I'll be fine officer. Can you please take me home now?"

I know that I sounded calm, but on the inside I was a complete mess.

"I'm sorry, but unless I know that an adult will be home with you I can't let you go home alone."

Crap.

"Um, can I call Mr. Newton; he's my dad's neighbor? Maybe he can keep an eye on me until Saturday?" I knew he could tell that I was asking, no, begging him to let me go home. He sighed and asked me if I knew Michael Newton's number and I nodded my head. I quickly pulled out my phone and scrolled through my contacts and showed Officer Nelson the number.

Michael Newton was an older man in his early sixties, and just like mom and dad he had his own farm. He was married for over forty-five years, but just recently his wife passed away from lung cancer. The only other people he has to help are his three sons, Jack, Randall, and Eric, who were all in their early to late forties. But other than when his sons would come to help our on the farm when it was high harvest season, he lived completely alone. I actually felt sorry for him. Since his wife Nora passed away he's been all by himself. There were sometimes I thought about letting him have Thelma and Randy to keep him company, but also I was still quite attached to them myself.

When Office Nelson finally was able to get ahold of Mr. Newton he informed him of what happened and asked if he felt up to coming by the house at least twice a day to make sure that I was ok.

It may have been me still coping with the news of my parents' death, but it annoyed me so much that the officer talked about me as if I weren't even in the room with him right now.

"I see, well thank you very much Mr. Newton, and yes I will be driving her ho – oh I see, well than I will let her know of the change in plans and tell her that you will be picking her up."

Again, it was like I wasn't even in the room. I just glared at Officer Nelson when he hung up his phone and started to tell me what was going on. Thankfully the guy got the message and stopped and told me that I could get something to eat and drink from the vending machine if I wanted to while I waited for Mr. Newton to get here. I hoped he still had his new truck his sons bought for him. It was a lot faster than his old beat up 'classic' as he called it. I think I remembered Emmett telling me that it wasn't a 'junk car' that it was some kind of 'classic' or 'piece of history'. More like a piece of garbage in my opinion.

Fifteen minutes had passed and then I saw Mr. Newton, Mike, as he looked to be called, walk through front door and told the receptionist, who's name I happened to have forgotten at that exact mom, that he was here to pick me up and take me home. I got up to throw away my trash and froze when I realized that he was here, he was here to take me home, the place that would remind me every day, for the foreseeable future, that my parents were now never coming home, they would forever be on their way home from the market in Meade.

"Is – Bella, Mr. Newton is here to take you home. Another officer will stop by tomorrow." I just nodded, trying my best to push back the tears, but some still managed to trail down my cheeks. I grabbed my coat and book bag and met up with Mr. Newton and he wrapped his arm around my shoulder and gave me a gentle squeeze. That hug nearly broke my resolve, but I managed to pull it together.

"I'm sorry to hear about your parents Bella; I know a thing or two about losing the person you care about. Now, don't think I'm trying to relate, because I know losing your parents is a bit different than losing your spouse. Just know that I do know what you're feeling right now." I nodded my head. I knew he meant well, but he was right about one thing, it was different losing your parent, let alone both of them at the same time.

When we finally got to our street I almost jumped out in my normal spot, but instead he drove up the driveway and parked the truck right outside the front porch. I had almost forgotten it was even raining until I opened the door and heard the drops rain tapping on to Mr. Newton's truck.

"If you like I can come in with you and stay until morning? I know what it's like being in a house all by yourself when you're used to all the noise of it being occupied with other people." I know he means well, but I just wanted to be alone, but I wasn't about to turn him down. I just nodded my head in agreement and told him I would appreciate having someone home with me.

He just smiled and made himself comfy on the couch. I grabbed a pillow and a set of blankets from the upstairs hall closet and came back down to give them to him.

He gratefully took them and made himself a makeshift bed. I told him what all channels we could get on the television if he was interested and headed upstairs. I didn't even bother taking a shower or changing my clothes; I just collapsed down on the bed and laid my head down on the pillow. I squirmed around trying to find a comfortable spot to no avail.

There's only one way to solve this problem.

I sighed and slowly walked down the hallway and into the bedroom at the end of the hall; my parents' room. It was just like they left it. Mom didn't even bother making the bed before leaving this morning. I crawled into the bed and curled up in the center of the bed. All at once the tears I had been holding in this whole day came rushing to the surface. I always tried my hardest not to cry, but I think this time could be an exception to my own personal rule.

The more I cried the more I felt myself relax, and the more I relaxed the more I felt myself start to drift off into blackness. I was too tired to care anymore and I let the blackness consume me.

A/N: So if you're new thank you for reading and I hope you continue to read this story! If you're not new to my stories know that I am currently in the process of rewriting the beginning chapters to have them be more relatable and make more sense.

Please add me to your alerts and favorites and don't forget to review this story! I love hearing your thoughts!

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