I was really nervous. I’ve been putting this visit up for years, but I knew it’s time. I wanted to see them again and I was also very curious about the whole family. Standing outside a few yards away from the house I could hear the relaxed chatter, no tension in the air, so I was right about the timing. I better go knock on the door before anyone notices my eavesdropping and thinks I am an intruder. Let’s get this over with I said to myself and sprinted to the front door.
When I raised my hand to knock, somebody opened the door, caught me by surprise, which didn’t really happen often. I composed myself and when I wanted to introduce myself, the little pixie like woman caught me off guard again: ”Hi Josephine, I am Alice. Come on in.” Startled I stepped thru the door she held open for me and it took me a fraction of a second to pick out the right story and figure out, that this was Rose’s “sister”, the psychic and the tension in my body relaxed. And now the high pitched voice, stepping close after me, called out “Rosalie, someone’s here to see you.” I turned to her, smiled and nodded to express my gratitude. Even though I haven’t met many of our kind yet, I could sense there is something very unusual about her, but not in a bad way. Ever since Caius explained to me all the gifts some vampires had, I wished I was one of them, not just an ordinary bloodsucker. At that word I had to chuckle a little to myself, I just loved that expression and used it every time the opportunity presented itself. I stepped slowly further, passing a grant piano, following Alice, and stopped by the stairs. Rose came literally flying down the stairs, with Emmett shadowing her moves and then she abruptly stopped on the last one. Not foreseeing her move, Emmett almost tripped over her and started to laugh. Rosalie gave him a “gees Emmett” look and turned back to examine my face, well, my eyes actually. “I am clean for almost five years now” I announced proudly and she made that one last step to close the distance between us and squeezed me in a bear hug. “I am so happy to see you,” she breathed in my neck, pulled back and kissed my forehead. Holding my hands she turned to Alice: “Why haven’t you told me?”
“I thought Josephine meant it as a surprise visit and I didn’t want to spoil it for either of you.”
“I am next” Emmett announced before he swung me up in his arms and made a 360 turn.
“Lucky for you I don’t get dizzy that easily, well, not anymore” I smiled.
As he put me down on my feet I noticed five other people in the big white living room. Rose took my hand again and led me further “Everyone, this is Josephine,” she said with the voice of a proud mom. “Jo, this is my family. My father Carlisle” she pointed to the handsome and oldest looking blond man approaching us now. He took a quick glimpse at one of his sons, who was sitting on the couch having a newborn brunette in his arm. I couldn’t help but look at him too and when I saw an approving smile on his face I thought so you are Edward and picking my brain right now, aren’t you. I bet my inner voice sounded a little teasing and he said “You’re right.” Carlisle extended his hand now: “It’s very nice to meet you. This is my wife” he motioned for the woman standing behind him to come closer. “Esme” I smiled and she nodded politely as she squeezed my hand gently with both of hers. Alice went to stand close to a tall blond leaning against the window wall and smiled attentively at him and there seemed to be a silent conversation going on between the two of them, which no one seemed to hear. As he looked away from her, he started slowly walking toward me with an extended arm “I am Jasper”, he said. I couldn’t quite pinpoint it but, he seemed the most …at ease as if… “Oh, you’re the one who can make you feel all warm and cozy about spilling your guts” I finished my trace of thought out loud. The smile that appeared on his face when he touched my hand was serene and catching. I was still smiling when I looked over to the last member of the Culled family and I could tell the crimson of her eyes was wearing off, so she must be a vegetarian for less than a year. When she noticed my look, she too, smiled and raised her free hand as to reach mine across the room and said: “Bella”.
Suddenly Rosalie tugged on my hand, pulling me out of the room towards what I assumed was the kitchen and started asking as if she was working down a list of “what to ask a person you’ve turned into a vampire and haven’t seen for eight years”. Just when I wanted to start answering the first nine questions, Emmett came behind me “I bet everyone is waiting to hear a little more about Jo and they will be listening anyway, so why don’t you just come sit in the living room to talk”.
I went to sit down on a cozy chair, leaning back, thinking about putting my legs on the ottoman in front of me, but decided against it and Rose sat to my right side, one arm around my shoulders, the other one holding my hand that was now resting on her lap. Funny how she exactly knew when and how to comfort me.
“So, Alice told us you came from Italy” Carlisle started, encouraging me to start telling my story, while everyone took their place at the couch or the soft looking carpet in front of it. It felt like story time at a local book store with me being the old saleswoman knowing all the fairytales by heart. Rose looked at me then, squeezed gently my hand and said “why don’t I start”.