I'm awake long before I open my eyes. I relish in the feeling of the bed beneath me, the rumbling of an only slightly hungry stomach, the feeling of being clean from last nights shower. It's the closest I've been to bliss in weeks.
Still, sooner or later my mother will poke her head through the door and I have a few things I want to sort out before then.
So running away didn't quite go to plan, or maybe that's the reason, I didn't have a plan. I ran away without any idea of where to go and how to get money. This time I need to think ahead.
That's who I need. I need a better disguise, money, papers.
I make a quick list and get to work gathering the things I need. I empty the old piggy bank, the one I painted when I was six, on to the bed. 11 dollars, 23 cents and an IOU from my mother that looks like it's been there a while. Not much, but I wasn't expecting a lot.
Looking towards the door and listening hard for tell tale foot steps, I slowly pull the large chest of drawers away from the wall. A small box the size of a book falls to the floor and I pick it up, shoving the furniture back into place.
My emergency fund.
$267, that's more like it, but I would need some more if I was to go through with my plans. I make my way to the door and hear my mum singing to herself downstairs. I dash over to Renee and phill room, opening the drawer in his bedside table and take out the small wad of cash Phil keeps in there.
There's 75 but I don't want to be suspicious so I only take 20. He won't question it, he'll presume Renee took some if she didn't have enough in her purse. It's happened before.
I hear hear the top stair squeak and quickly slam the draw closed, stuffing the note into my pants.
"Bella, what are you doing in here, I thought you were getting ready?"
I turn around to face the door, "I was just checking I wasn't leaving any clothes behind."
She rolls her eyes and laughs, thinking of the time she accidentally wore one of my then 13 year olds powerpuff tshirts to work. "It was one time!"
I raise my eyebrow.
"Ok more than once.. but still, if I find anything I'll have it mailed to you, ok?"
"Thanks mum", I hug her tight.
"Are you okay baby? She asks worried.
I pull back and look at her "yeah, but.. I'm gonna miss you."
"I'll miss you too baby" she replies and pulls me in for another quick hug. "Now come on, let's get you some breakfast before we set off, cereal okay?"
"Yeah sure" I take another quick glance around the room before following her downstairs.
After saying goodbye to Renee and escaping the airport, I walk as many blocks as possible in an hour and then then find a motel. It's $30 for the night and the bed sheets have suspicious looking stains on them, but I'm hoping that by the time it comes to sleeping, I'll be far away from here.
First things first is my disguise. I dump my stuff in the bathroom, probably the only space that isn't infested with some type of insect and then head out.
I duck into the local pharmacy and buy some blonde hair dye and some of the cheapest makeup I can find. At the moment nobody knows I'm missing so I don't have to worry but I run back to the motel anyway. I want to be clear of Arizona before the news breaks.
After half an hour my hair hasn't turned 'beige blonde as promised'. In fact it's hard to see any difference at all. I sigh and throw the box in to the bin across the room. I scrub my hands over my face and wonder what to do next. I could always go to a proper hair salon but then I risk more people seeing me.
I weigh it over in my mind and glance at my watch. I have another two hours before my flight is due to land. I have no choice, the longer I look like myself the bigger chance someone will remember seeing me. I apply some goopy orange foundation and head downstairs to the desk. I ask the girl there where she gets her hair done and she points me to a salon about a ten minute walk away. The salon is busy and they're booked up for the afternoon but a little cash goes a long way and soon my hair is dark blonde in no time. I have her chop a few inches off my hair and when I see girl getting a perm in the back I ask for one of those aswell. By the time I'm done I'm $140 lighter but I look nothing like Bella swan.
Next is a quick trip to the library. Back when I was determined to make it work with the Cullen's, Jasper had pulled me aside and showed me how to access some of their rarely used bank accounts, 'just incase'. At the time I couldn't fathom why he thought I would need or want them but now I realise he was a few steps ahead of me. The great strategic mind that had pulled Jasper through the southern vampire wars had already realised that going back to vampire family just wasn't going to work. No matter how many scenarios we played out it was always going to end up the same. He was humouring me, not wanting to pull my feeble human fingers away from the one thing I grasped so tightly. Edward.
So he told me about the accounts and had me repeat the passwords over and over again until I could remember them even in my sleep.
This will be the first time I've used them and I'm honestly a bit nervous. My palms are sweating and I'm glad that there is no cctv in the library yet, so if the money is discovered missing it's unlikely that they will discover my identity.
I transfer 90 thousand from three accounts into a new account under an alias. The amounts are small enough to be insignificant but large enough for what I need.
I check out of the hotel and catch a bus to Denver. I set up a P.O box there for the new account card to be delivered.
I have about $70 left and I book into a cheap motel, counting down the hours until I can get out of there. I keep a chair wedged against the door at night and sleep during the day. By now the news of my disappearance has reached the mid west and I try to avoid watching the tv. I read my book as much as can before I throw it across the room in boredom. The only thing that manages to distract me from the boredom is worrying, but that makes me feel infinitely worse.
I pawn my necklace so that I don't have to sleep rough for the next couple of nights. It's enough for me to get by and eventually my card arrives. I withdraw some money from the nearest ATM and check into a hotel .
The guy at reception asks me for some ID but I give him some cock and bull story about being silly and forgetting it on the bus from Nebraska.
He believes me. I think the blonde hair helps.
When I get to the room I sink into the bed, relieved to be somewhere clean and safe finally. I take a long luxurious shower and snuggle into the fluffy bathrobe, planning my route to Seattle.
It's time to pay Jay Jenks a visit.