I checked the clock. I still had an hour, but my mom was well known for jumping the gun.
Calm down. I'm writing right now. Don't do anything rash.
I sent that, and began again.
Everything is great. Of course it's raining. I was waiting for something to write about. School isn't bad, just a little repetitive. I met some nice kids who sit by me at lunch.
Your blouse is at the dry cleaners - you were supposed to pick it up Friday.
Charlie bought me a truck, can you believe it? I love it. It's old, but really sturdy, which is good, you know, for me.
I miss you, too. I'll write again soon, but I'm not going to check my e-mail every five minutes. Relax, breathe. I love you.
I had decided to read Wuthering Heights — the novel we were currently studying in English — yet again for the fun of it, and that's what I was doing when Charlie came home. I'd lost track of the time, and I hurried downstairs to take the potatoes out and put the steak in to broil.
"Bella?" my father called out when he heard me on the stairs.
Who else? I thought to myself.
"Hey, Dad, welcome home."
"Thanks." He hung up his gun belt and stepped out of his boots as I bustled about the kitchen. As far as I was aware, he'd never shot the gun on the job. But he kept it ready. When I came here as a child, he would always remove the bullets as soon as he walked in the door. I guess he considered me old enough now not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose.
"What's for dinner?" he asked warily. My mother was an imaginative cook, and her experiments weren't always edible. I was surprised, and sad, that he seemed to remember that far back.
"Steak and potatoes," I answered, and he looked relieved.
He seemed to feel awkward standing in the kitchen doing nothing; he lumbered into the living room to watch TV while I worked. We were both more comfortable that way. I made a salad while the steaks cooked, and set the table.
I called him in when dinner was ready, and he sniffed appreciatively as he walked into the room.
"Smells good, Bell."
We ate in silence for a few minutes. It wasn't uncomfortable. Neither of us was bothered by the quiet. In some ways, we were well suited for living together.
"So, how did you like school? Have you made any friends?" he asked as he was taking seconds.
"Well, I have a few classes with a girl named Jessica. I sit with her friends at lunch. And there's this boy, Mike, who's very friendly. Everybody seems pretty nice." With one outstanding exception.
"That must be Mike Newton. Nice kid — nice family. His dad owns the sporting goods store just outside of town. He makes a good living off all the backpackers who come through here."