Change Can Be Refreshing
A/N: Ok, so to start off I want to thank you all who read this story, those who review, and those who do both. I want to also say that I appreciate those who review as Guests, but know that I can't reply back to you, also to the reviewer who signed their review as howdy I want to THANK YOU for your insight. I have no idea what exactly insurance would and wouldn't cover. I also would like to pick your brain, but have no way of replying since it was a guest review lol.
Ok, enough chit chat, here is the next chapter!
Previously on Needing To Let Go
I wasn't sure how or if it could be fixed, all I knew is that nothing would be the same. I had a suspicion that the house would need to be torn down and built from the ground up. We didn't have that kind of money, and I didn't think the insurance would cover this either. But I was getting ahead of myself, we didn't know anything yet.
But I knew for a fact, no one could prove differently, that the house would need to be rebuilt, and that I would need to let go of the old house I grew up in, because that one was gone.
I still couldn't believe that our house was gone, I mean nothing was left but a pile of torn apart pieces of the house, and everything was splayed everywhere for what looked to be miles. Rosalie and Bentley were ok, we all were, but Bentley was still fussing a bit as we started walking back towards the house to try and get a better look.
The closer I got the more I started to tear up; everything was destroyed. The barn and stable both looked to be untouched. There was that at least I suppose. I walked off to go check on the animals, leaving Edward and Rosalie behind. I heard Edward shout out after me asking where I was going, I didn't answer, and I'm pretty sure he got the hint that I wanted to be left alone because he didn't follow after me as he usually does.
I wondered if I should call Uncle Charlie and Aunt Renee about this, I mean we talked sometimes over the phone, and he was the only one I could think of that I wanted to talk to at the moment. It was something about Charlie, something about his personality that just managed to calm me down, and he was my last connection to mom and dad. Plus, he would know how to handle all of this mess and figure out of insurance would cover all of this mess and whether or not we would get enough money to be able to rebuild the house.
But I decided to forget about that and kept on walking towards the barn and stable. From what I could tell everything looked to be ok, a few shingles on the stable were missing; a piece of wood from what was left of the house was lodged into the side of the barn.
I decided to take a look in the barn first and was relieved to find out that all the animals seemed to be ok, a little shaken, but ok. I saw that the piece of wood hit the barn in an upward angle so no animals were hurt or anything.
Then I made my way over to the stables, and everything seemed to be ok, horses were somewhat calm, at least calmer than the chickens, pigs, sheep, and cow hiding out in the barn.
I paid extra attention to Rainbow who seemed most calm of the horses in the stable. I smiled when I saw her and gently pet her after she slowly inched her head out over her gate. I still remember when mom and dad 'argued' about when they made the decision to make the stable out of more sturdy materials, especially since we can have pretty bad storms during the storm season.
I bet mom is saying 'told you so' to dad right now about the whole building a 'storm resistant' stable for the horses. Mom was always thoughtful about those kinds of things, mainly because that was where we got most of our money; we would board horses and sometimes dad would charge a bit extra if they needed to be trained for certain contests or events.
"Well, looks like you aren't homeless Rainbow, would you mind if I shared your stall with you?" Rainbow snorted and bobbed her head as if she understood what I was saying and agreed with me. I couldn't help but smile and petted her nose again and went off to check on the other horses. I couldn't let them out into the pasture until all the debris is picked up and we are sure that the fences aren't down or broken.
"Bella, are you in there?" I jumped a bit when I heard the sudden voice of my older brother Jasper coming from outside the stable. I quickly jogged to the open door and was a bit taken aback by the sudden appearance of Jasper and Emmett both standing in the doorway. The looks on their faces were a mixture of worry and relief. I guess they wanted to make sure that I was ok.
"Uh, yeah…I'm right here, we managed to get into the storm shelter before the brunt of the storm hit us. Have you had a chance to look at the house?" I said and immediately wanted to add "What's left of it at least." but managed to keep my mouth shut.
"You mean what's left of the house? Bella, have you not gotten a good look at it? The house is practically demolished. I mean, I know the first floor looks mostly intact but the upstairs-"
"What upstairs Jazz? The whole upstairs is gone, and we don't even know if insurance is going to cover it or not. God, you would think after all that's happened to us, we would've caught a break on this whole mess with the storm." Emmett said as he groaned with frustration, which I completely agreed. First, mom and dad die in a car crash, then we get behind in our bills, and now we have to worry about whether or not the insurance we have will give us enough money to fix the house.
"Well, at least we're all okay, I mean, none of us are hurt or dead. We could always call Uncle Charlie to see if he can come down to try and help us figure everything out. I mean, yeah he's the sheriff up there and all, but we can maybe see if he wants to or can help us out." Jasper always was the one who was always cool and collected, even when the rest of us were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
All three of us sighed and agreed to try and stay positive even after what's happened. It would be hard, but we needed to make sure that none of would break down and possibly spin out of control; namely me. I managed to stay somewhat sane after mom and dad died. I admit, I let 'Izzy' take over for those first few months after the accident, but recently something snapped me out of my funk. I thought about it and I couldn't help but realize that it was Edward and his family moving to town that somehow snapped me out of spell.
We walked back to what was left of the house to meet back up with Rosalie, Bentley, and Edward, and took inventory of what was broken, missing, or what would need to be done. Edward volunteered to take notes on his smartphone and would email them to me on my phone later.
"I still can't get past the fact that Bentley and I were just inside the house a few minutes before the brunt of the storm hit the house. I can only imagine what would have happened if Bentley and I stayed inside for shelter." Rosalie said as she a sob caught in her throat. Emmett sympathetically walked over and took her and Bentley in a big bear hug.
I couldn't help but smile at that heart-warming gesture my brother was showing. I was even happier that Rosalie came into our lives; somehow she managed to help my juvenile older brother grow up and actually act like his age and not someone who was still in high school. The more I thought about it, the more I think I was starting to secretly hope that Emmett and Rosalie would finally take the plunge and enter into a relationship. You might not know this about Emmett, but behind his playboy persona, he is the most caring and loving brother anyone could ask for.
"Ok, so we better give Charlie a call and see when he can come down here to help out with this entire mess and help with the insurance papers that were sure to follow." Jasper said as he raked his fingers through his hair. I've figured out that this is his way of trying to buy time to come up with some sort of answer for something he was unsure of.
Just then my cell phone started going off and I pulled it out of my pocket and saw on the caller ID read "Emily W." so I picked it up and immediately held the phone out at arm's length when Emily started to scream into the phone. It took a few seconds to finally get in a word that I was alright and calm her down. Once she knew I was alright and that I wasn't lying somewhere in a ditch dead.
"Bella, you won't believe it, but the school is still standing, after all that the school is still in one piece. You wouldn't think so by what other people are saying, but the school looks like it always does, still as ugly as ever." Emily ended with a laugh.
"Well, that's good to hear I guess. My house is all but totaled Em, I mean, the whole second story is gone and part of the main floor is damaged. Thankfully the animals are okay, and both the barn and the stable were still standing."
"Oh my god, are you kidding me? Please tell me you're kidding me Bella, that sucks so much, but at least you're okay. Are your brothers ok too? Oh, how are Rose and the baby?" Of all my friends, only Emily knew that Rosalie, the 'town slut' was staying at my house, since her apartment wasn't in the best part of town. I still couldn't believe that people thought that just because Rosalie was pregnant and single, that it automatically made her a whore for it. What they didn't know was that her ex-boyfriend, at the time, didn't want the responsibility of being a dad and Rosalie wasn't interested in having him around the baby if he didn't want to. Plus, Rosalie is a strong woman and aside from living with us, she was pretty self-sufficient as a mom on her own.
"Whoa, one question at a time Emily." I say as I try to hold back a chuckle. Emily was always the kind of person to ask everything all at once and end up confusing you to high heaven. "Um, no I'm not kidding, the house is practically demolished, and all of us are ok, even Edward is ok." I couldn't believe I added that last question. No one knew Edward was with me, and I didn't want Emily to get the wrong idea and end up telling the wrong person and things getting out of hand, but then I guess I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
"Oh thank god I'm glad all of you are all right. You do remember my dad runs the insurance company here in – WAIT did you say that Edward, Edward Cullen is out there with you?! Why is he out there? His sister is going nuts worrying about him!"
"Ok, seriously stop with the multiple questions in one sitting Emily. Edward offered to drive me back to the house after Rosalie called telling me she needed help getting into the storm shelter, and you know everything else..."
"Ok, fair enough, I'm just glad that all of you are ok, and that no one is hurt or worse. All I have to say is that you are one lucky person Bella."
I glanced over my shoulder and saw both my brothers taking in the scene in front of them, our childhood home demolished, while Rosalie was trying her best to calm Bentley down, and Edward was on the phone attempting to get a word in edgewise. I assumed that it was probably Alice chewing him out for leaving school and scaring her half to death. I couldn't help but think about how lucky I was that Edward offered to drive me back to my house, because if he didn't drive me to the house I would've probably lost two more people I've grown to care about like family.
"Yeah, I guess you're right Emily, I'm a pretty lucky person."
A week or so later
"Okay, I've had a chance to look over your parents' insurance policy, and it does look like you are covered for all the damages your property received during the storm that came through town a few days ago. Your parents were smart enough to have a farmer's policy for the barn and stable, but I see where you made some improvements to the stable and barn. I don't see where in the policy that your parents sent in paperwork asking to have the improvements added to your farmer's policy." I started to squirm a bit in my seat. What could this mean? Could this mean that we wouldn't get money to help rebuild our house?
"Please use smaller words for those of us that had to drop out of college after our parents died and we had to take over the farm!" Emmett spat at the man behind the desk.
"Ok Emmett calm down let me take care of this. Why don't you, Jasper, and Bella go wait outside." My uncle said as he took a seat in an empty chair.
I was so relieved that Charlie and Renee were both able to come to visit as long as it would take to help up rebuild the house and get things back into working order around the farm. It was even better because Renee made her famous biscuits and gravy every morning. I say "famous" because biscuits and gravy was about the only thing she could cook that didn't have a burnt outer crust to it. Jasper, Emmett, and I all had our different theories as to why Aunt Renee was only able cook biscuits and gravy without burning it. My personal theory is that she does it on purpose, because we all know that Charlie loves eating out at the diner up there in Forks, at least that's what Aunt Renee told us when she 'attempted' to cook dinner.
"I can't believe that we have to go over this whole thing AGAIN, I mean yeesh, I think me and Jazzy signed both our names so many times that I'm gonna have hand cramps for a month!" Emmett complained as he scuffed his feet against the carpet outside of the insurance agent's office door.
"Stop scuffing your feet Emmett, at the rate you're going back and forth the next object or person you touch you're gonna shock them with all the static electricity you're building up. Just sit your butt down and wait patiently like me and Bella here." Jasper was always the voice of reason, and even though Emmett had matured some after mom and dad died, he still had his moments where you wanted to smack him upside the head.
"Jeez Jasper, don't be such a wet blanket all the time. I can be angry all I want right now, seeing as how we don't have much of a house right now!" Emmett bellowed as he plopped back down in his seat.
"You two are worse than an old married couple, Emmett, just sit still it won't kill you, and Jasper, enough of trying to boss everyone around." I sighed and got up and walked outside before I could get cranky myself and say something that I would later regret. I guess today has been a long day for all of us.
I decided to go outside to get some fresh air. I wasn't sure why I had gotten all cranky with them. They had every right to be arguing and grumpy, our house is nearly gone. Not to mention that even before the storm we were barely able to pay all the necessary utility bills. But maybe this is just what we need to help turn our luck around, a fresh start.
I started walking down the sidewalk and took everything in as I passed. A lot of the old buildings managed to have minimal damage from the storm, while some of the newer buildings, like the new gazebo that was built next to the courthouse was practically flattened.
"Bella, Bella, is that you? Oh my god you're alive! I'm so glad that you're ok!" I looked around trying to find the source of the screaming and saw that it was Maude, the grouchy old manager down at Delilah's, who was screeching my name. I braced for impact when I saw her come charging down the sidewalk towards me. Delilah's wasn't entirely spared from the brunt of the storm. It would have to have some repairs, and I could only hope upon hope that Maude would cave and make the much needed upgrades on some of the appliances in the kitchen, and even opt to go for an updated look in the front of the diner as well.
"Oh Bella, you had me so worried! I heard from Betty, who heard from a lady down at the hair salon on Adam's Street, that your house was completely demolished, and that there's nothing left. Oh Bella, why didn't you call and tell me about this? I don't usually do this but I'm giving you as much time as you need to get things all situated, and when they do you can come back." Maude said as she squeezed me tight against her to try and soothe my apparent bad mood.
"Maude, really, I'm fine no need to worry, and thank you for giving me the time off. I hope we get this whole mess settled soon too. It was, uh, nice talking to you." I said as I quickly headed in the other direction before Maude could grab ahold of me and give me another spine-crushing hug.
As I kept walking I saw the group of people I had been hoping to see this whole time I've been stuck at home. The school board thought, what with all the storm damage around town, that we would use some of our unused snow days and take some time off from school. Any other kid in town would probably be celebrating in the streets, but not me. I was stuck with dealing with insurance companies and having to go through turning off about everything you would need in a house. We would also have to go about digging a new well, seeing as how our current one is contaminated with dirt and debris from the storm.
"Look who decided to show her face around town, what's it been like, two weeks since we saw your beautiful face Bells?" Raven teased as she hopped off of the picnic table in front of the Yummy Yogurt stand we had. It has all of the favors you can think of. It even sells ice cream. I couldn't wait to get me a cup of two scoops of Superman ice cream.
"Yeah, been helping my brothers pick up around the house; you may have heard about it, seeing as how it is practically demolished. You know, we could use some help ya know. Think you four would want to come and help us? The Sooner we finish, the sooner we can get a contractor to come out and start to get to work at putting the house back together." I know I was laying the guilt on them pretty thick, but we could really use their help, I was getting tired of sleeping in the recliner while jasper and Emmett fought over whose turn it was to sleep on the inflatable bed. No one fought over the pull out couch, seeing as how Rosalie and Bentley would need it more than any of us.
"Might as well, seeing as how there's nothing else to do here until we go back to school next week." Kaleb said as he stood up and searched his pockets for his car keys.
"They're right there on the table babe." Emily teased as she pointed to the set of keys sitting on the picnic table.
"Yeah, well at least I have my cell phone this time." Kaleb said as we all started to laugh at his forgetfulness. We all would tease him that if his head wasn't attached he would lose that too.
"Yeah, we are all relieved you didn't lose the one thing that's always attached to your hip babe." Emily teased as she playfully pushed him away as he tried to kiss her on the cheek. Kaleb knows that Emily's 'weak point' is when he gives her a kiss on the cheek.
"I am "hurt" that you would think so low of me baby. Hurt." Kaleb said in a fake hurt tone as he tried his best to hide his widening smile.
"Ok, so is it a deal? You gonna help us clear everything out? Yes, that includes getting dirty Emily, I'm sorry." I said with a wink and a smirk. Emily was the most feminine between me, her and Raven. She hated getting dirty, even if it was dust from a dirt path she would freak out.
I couldn't help but grin even bigger when all them agreed to help and Kaleb offered to drive us back to the house to get a head start on the cleanup. I texted Jasper to let him and everyone else know not to worry if they couldn't find me.
As we all got in the car, I stopped for a second when I saw a familiar face heading ever closer to me. It was Edward, and looked to be his sister, Alice, with him. I called over my shoulder to not leave yet and wait for me. I couldn't help but smile as I saw him walking towards me. I even felt my cheeks start to redden a bit. I also realized that every time he and I were near one another I would blush like a fool and become a mute.
"Where are all of you headed in such a hurry? Would you mind if we tagged along?" Edward said with a smirk, that I swear was on purpose just to see me blush again.
"Uh, um, sure, you are more than welcome to come and help us clear out some of the trash and broken pieces of wood at my house, I mean if you don't mind a bit of hard labor…city boy." I was a bit shocked at my successful attempt at flirting. I even got Edward to blush a bit. I couldn't help but giggle at that part. It wasn't an easy thing apparently, because Alice started to laugh and pointed out that he looked good with that shade of pink. Alice's comment made him blush even more and had to take a deep breath to try and make himself relax.
"I don't mind a bit of good 'ol fashioned farm work, I bet it won't be that hard." Edward said as he stretched his arms trying to show how 'manly' he was. Oh he's going to be in for a big surprise. He had no idea, and thankfully since Aunt Renee and Uncle Charlie were in town we slept in a bit more than we usually do. I would see for myself how 'manly' Edward could be when it came to cleaning up the different stalls, both horse and cow. I glanced over at Alice, who couldn't help but roll her eyes and let out a long sigh. She didn't strike me as a farm kind of girl, but I could tell that she wasn't out to prove anything. She genuinely wanted to help out as much as she could.
"We'll just wait and see about that, won't we Edward." I said as I walked back to the car and climbed in. I rolled down the back passenger side window and yelled out, "You still know the way to my house city boy, or do you need to follow us?" I said with the most playful grin I had. I was starting to surprise myself. I usually never flirted like this, but Edward brought the 'Izzy' out in me, and I was starting to like it.
A/N: So here's an extra-long chapter, for my readers and reviewers! I hope you all enjoy this and look for some Edward and Bella time out on the farm. What are your thoughts on this chapter? Also, who else was creeped out by how 'Nice' Maude was to Bella? Who wants cranky grouchy Maude back? Let me know in your reviews ;) :)