Charlie left early so that he and Billy could watch whatever was on before the pre-game, and Bella agreed to drive up to the reservation with Melody a little later on. The car ride was silent until Bella just couldn't take it anymore."
"What's with you?" Bella asked, exasperated.
"Huh?" Melody only shot her a look of pure confusion. Things were pretty clear from where she was standing.
Bella gripped the wheel of her truck angrily, knuckles turning white. She had too many questions and they all sounded vicious. She eventually settled on the tamest one, "Why are you teaching my dad to cook?"
"Oh," Melody said," Well, I just think it's so weird, in the books, how you have to do everything for Charlie and you say he even burns noodles. Cooking isn't even that hard, you just follow instructions. So, I thought if someone taught him how to cook, he would be okay when you get married to Edward and move out."
That actually made a lot of sense, sort of like that 'teach a man to fish' proverb.
"Also," Melody continued, "I really like your dad. He's cool and you and Edward are all in love, or whatever, but you kind of hang your dad out to dry. I thought it'd be nice for him to have someone else there, instead of just waiting for you all the time."
"What are you saying?" Bella's tone had dropped.
"I don't know… I wish you'd had a sister, I guess. That way Charlie can be happy. He really just likes having someone around to talk to and watch TV with, and you are never there because you're off with Edward all the time. And when you are there, you cook him food and go to bed so you can sit with Edward more." Melody sighed, "The poor guy."
After a moment of thinking about this and feeling guilty, Bella finally responded. "You want to be that person?"
"While I'm here, I don't see why I can't be that person. He doesn't seem to mind me." Melody said, simply.
That didn't make Bella feel better and that strange feeling from last night hit her again, but at that point they had arrived, so they couldn't talk about it anymore. Melody was out of the car in an instant and was hugging another young, slightly taller, dark haired girl – it must have been Jade.
"It's Bella!" Jade exclaimed, once they were done with their hug.
"Well, we are in Twilight," said Melody, "Of course it's Bella."
"Bella, I'm glad you're here!" Jacob smiled, walking down the front steps of his house, "These girls are crazy fun, we're going to have a blast today. I've always wanted a sibling and now it's like I have two!" Jacob said, grabbing both Jade and Melody fondly.
"I thought I was like your sister," Bella protested, "And haven't they only been here a few days?"
"Yeah? So?" Jade asked, "We're just that awesome."
"Bella just thinks we're crazy, that's all." Melody said, a little too happily for Bella's taste.
"Yeah, we ARE crazy," Jade smiled, "Crazy awesome! Now come one, it's not raining too hard today and Jacob said he's going to teach us to track stuff. We're going to learn to be super cool ninjas in no time at this rate. Then, we just have to learn kung fu and to stalk our prey silently in the shadows, and we're in business."
Jacob grinned at Bella, who looked less than enthused, but she went along as they romped through the woods by Jacob's house. After a while, Jacob offered to make a trail and see if they could follow it and Bella volunteered to help him. He picked carefully along in the forest, occasionally making a mark on a tree or breaking a twig, while Bella tromped normally after him.
"Jacob," Bella said after she has stewed in her thoughts for a while, "I think she's stealing my dad."
"What? That's silly, what's wrong with you? They're great, you just don't know it yet." Jacob dismissed her with a shake of his head, but she continued.
"Charlie likes her so much better than he likes me. He's so happy, it's like she's replacing me to him," Bella whined.
"Bella," Jacob said, no longer focusing on creating a trail, "You're Charlie's kid, his only kid, of course he likes you better."
"Well, last night at dinner he didn't ask me anything about how I've been, even though he hasn't seen me in days."
"And there's your problem," Jacob said, "Where have you been for those days?"
"At… at Edward's house."
"Yeah, I thought so," Jacob said, "Maybe if you spent more time with Charlie and less time with your albino boyfriend, then you wouldn't have anything to worry about."
"Oh god," Bella said, stopping dead in the middle of the woods, "They're stealing you, too."
"No they're not," Jacob shook his head, back tracking to stand in front of Bella.
"Yes, yes they are. You like Jade better than me, don't you? You think I'm just being stupid and in fake teenage love and I'll get over it with a good stern talking to, don't you?" Her lip started to quiver, again, and her eyes were wide.
"Bells," Jacob sighed, "Look." He paused again. "When was the last time you hung out with me?"
She stopped and thought, "I guess it was when we went to the beach and you told me about all those tribal myths about the Cold Ones."
"Yeah." Jacob said shortly. "That was forever ago and you didn't even go there to hang out with me, did you?"
Bella had to admit, she basically just used hanging out with him as a pretense to get information from him about Edward.
"It's the same problem," Jacob said. "Now that you have Edward, you don't really care about anyone else in your life. Then when two little girls come along and make the people you've practically forgotten about happy, you feel like you're getting replaced and get super offended, even though you aren't around enough to even see what is going on." He sighed again, dejectedly. His speech wouldn't make a bit of difference.
Suddenly, a small broken twig hit Jacob's should and shortly after, a rain of small pieces of sticks and bark fell onto them and caused them to cover their heads.
"Ha ha! We found you!" Jade exclaimed, bursting out from behind Bella.
"Those were our ninja starts. Now you guys are dead," Melody added.
Jacob seemed to care less about Bella's worries now than he did before hand, "Good job!" He laughed.
"I like how you stopped making a trail at one point, Jacob." Jade said, "It would have made it more difficult, but we followed Bella's trail right to you guys. Now, what do we win?"
"Nothing, unless you can catch me!" Jacob said, running away from the three girls. Melody and Jade ran off after him, laughing.
Bella followed slowly behind, picking bits of twig out of her damn hair. She knew what she now had to do.