Chapter 2

The kids are so giddy and excited on the way home, I barely have a chance to get a word in. I hear all about what they did at recess, the cool computer in Michael's class, the pet bunny in Jess' class, and the new friends they've made. I haven't heard about any schoolwork or lessons, but I'm happy to hear them both so exuberant about school. Although the kids have been wonderful about our move, I've been nervous about their reaction to starting school in a new city. I'm thrilled to listen to them talk about Forks Elementary so positively. Hopefully, it will always be this way. Well, I can dream about it at least.

"So, Michael, do you like your teacher?" I ask, placing a plate of grapes and cookies in front of the kids. I've already heard about his new friends, Eric and James, but have yet to hear him talk about his teacher.

"Umm... mwell... his name... is... Mr... See." Michael manages to splutter out between bites of his snack.

"Mr. See? That's an original name. Is he nice?" Unless asked specific questions, my son is rarely forthcoming with information.

"He's great, Mom! He also coaches the older kids' soccer team, and we might get to play sometimes during phys ed." Michael's face is beaming as he talks. He'd played soccer the year before and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, with our move over the summer, he couldn't play on a team and really missed it.

"Fantastic, Monkey Boy. You'll have to tell your Dad all about it when he calls. How about you, Jessica? How was your first day? Did you have fun with Mrs. Cheney?" I ask my daughter. She's about to burst at the seams waiting for her turn to share.

"Mummy! It was so much fun! I played with a bunny, and I have a new best friend named Seth, and I colored with paints, and I learned to spell my name, and we went to the library, and we had snack, and we played outside, and I love going to school, can I go again tomorrow?" she blurts out in one big breath.

"Of course you can. I'm thrilled you enjoyed your day so much. Do you have anything more to tell me about what happened?" I ask, knowing she'll entertain me by filling me in with exact details about what has happened to her over the past six hours. Unlike her brother and me, but more like her father, Jessica is a talker. As I prepare dinner for us, she continues to tell me about the other children, the class rules they'd discussed, the fire drill they'll be having later on, and so many other details, I lose count.

- HtbF –

Once dinner is over, and the kids are settled in for the night, I decide to spend a couple of hours at my computer. I'd had a major breakthrough on the plot of my novel before I left to pick up the kids and am itching to get back to it. My plan is to do most of my writing while the kids are in school, leaving the evenings open to family time, homework, and housework. Sometimes a character's call to me is so strong I simply can't ignore it. I was so involved with the story earlier I was almost late in picking the kids up.

Thankfully I'd put an alarm on my phone; otherwise, I would've been late in getting them. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to talk to Angela as she had to run to her babysitter's to pick up her children. Hopefully she and I can get together to talk about what she'd been up to since I saw her last.

I'm excited I'm going to have someone to share "girl time" with. If I were to be honest with myself, I've been a bit lonely. We've been so busy getting settled in I haven't had the opportunity to tell anyone I'm back. When I realized I'm not even certain who still lives in Forks, I'm happy to have Angela be able to fill me in on all the local news and gossip.

- HtoF -

"Mummy, can I watch Phineas and Ferb? Mummy, can I have pancakes for breakfast? Mummy, your phone has been buzzing for a long time. Mummy, I'm hungry. Mummy, Michael is still sleeping. MUMMY! WAKE UP!"

"Ouch… okay, I'm awake, I'm awake. What do you want, Baby?" I ask, as I stretch out my crampy arms and legs from falling asleep at my desk. I look at my daughter, who does not appear to be a happy camper this morning.

"Mummy, Michael's still asleep, and your phone has been making a funny sound, and I'm hungry. Can I please have pancakes for breakfast? Why did you sleep at your computer?"

"I was busy working last night, and I guess I fell asleep here... Okay. Jess, first things first, where's my phone? Let's check why it's making a funny noise."

"I put it in the bathroom. I couldn't hear my show. It started doing it a long time ago, and..."

"WHAT? Oh, my goodness, Jessica! The noise is probably my alarm. It's supposed to wake me up. Please go get your brother. I need check what time it is. Pray we aren't late for school on the second day," I groan to her, as she runs down the hallway to wake her brother, and I scramble to find my phone. Please, please, please, I think to myself as I turn it on, please let us not be late.

- HtoF -

"Michael! Jessica! Get dressed now, and don't forget to brush your hair and your teeth! We have five minutes before we need to leave to get to school on time!" I yell as I rush around the kitchen, throwing food in lunch bags. I put together toast and fruit for their breakfast and hope it'll be enough. What a difference from yesterday's leisurely pace, and so much for trying to be organized. Life was supposed to be less complicated by moving here. Apparently, some things don't change.

Why, why, why does this always happen to me? I thought I'd been so proactive, scheduling all these alarms on my phone. I tend to not pay attention to the time and get caught up in what I'm doing, so my iPhone is supposed to help keep me on track. After working so late last night, I must've gone into such a deep sleep, nothing could wake me up, not even an impatient five-year-old.

"Come on kids; you can eat in the car," I call out as the two of them come running out of the house. I'm afraid to look at what Jess is wearing but don't have the time to worry about it. I hope they're both presentable as I'm certainly not. I'm still in my clothes from yesterday, and I haven't even brushed my hair or my teeth yet. Fortunately, I'm coming home afterwards and can fix myself up when I get back.

As I pull into the drop-off zone at school, I wish the kids a good day and watch them as they go to their respective teacher meeting spots. Once I know they're safely on school property, I drive off with plans to stop for a hot chocolate at the drive-thru, then home to my characters and a shower.

After placing my drink order, I turn to get my purse which had fallen into the back seat. Instead, I pick up Michael's lunch bag. Terrific. I didn't need this today. He will freak out if he misses his morning snack, so I know I'm going back to school. I'd spent so much time focusing on the impression my kids were making, and now I'm about to walk in the school looking like I'm doing the walk of shame. At least my clothes are relatively clean, only a few splotches from last night's spaghetti on my top.

Fortunately, when I pull up to the school, the outside area is clear of people. I quickly check my face and teeth in the rear view mirror, and tie my tangled mess of hair into a ponytail. I dash in the front door and head straight for the office.

Greeting the school secretary, I'm not at all surprised to see a familiar face behind the counter. She'd been on vacation when I'd registered the kids so I hadn't seen her when I was last here.

"Good morning, Mrs. Cope," I say, a big smile on my face. I've known her for as long as I can remember, and it's great to see her again.

"Bella Swan, as I live and breathe. How are you, dear? Are you all settled into the house? How are your parents doing?"

"They're great, thank you. On a North American adventure. I believe they are somewhere between Montana and North Dakota at the moment. The last time I spoke with them was a few days ago, and they were having a wonderful time."

"Well, please send them my best. Now, what can I help you with? Did the children have a good first day?"

"They loved it. Both of them have already made some friends and were excited to come back today. I hope they continue to feel that way. Actually, they were so eager to start their day, Michael left his lunch in the car. Can I leave it here for him to come pick up?"

"Wonderful news. I was worried about how you'd feel about Michael's teacher. I'm happy to hear you're so pleased. Oh, why don't you bring it down to his classroom. I'm sure he'll be happy to see you and..." "Hello, Forks Elementary..." Mrs. Cope stops speaking to me, waving with her arm and motioning me to continue to Michael's class with the lunch bag. I wait a few minutes for her to stop talking, but she's always been a chatty lady, and it appears she hasn't changed.

I've no choice but to bring Michael his lunch, so I leave the office hoping I'm not going to run into anyone. The gods are with me once again, for as far down the corridor as I can see, there isn't a child or teacher in sight.

As I walk down the hallway, looking at all of the welcome back signs and pictures from years past, I wonder what she meant by me being worried about his teacher. Is it because he has a male teacher? I actually love that. It will be great for Michael to have a positive male role model, as there aren't too many others in his life at the moment. Michael seems thrilled by Mr. See. I know male teachers aren't as common in elementary schools as they are in high schools, so he's lucky to have him. The few times I had a male teacher, I always enjoyed the experience. I'm sure it will be fine.

Approaching the door with the big "Welcome to Second Grade" sign on it, I know I'm at the right place. Knocking tentatively, I open the door, hoping to simply sneak in the lunch, wave to Michael, and leave. The lights are off, and the entire class is sitting on the floor at the back of the room. The teacher is going over the lesson on some projector screen on the back wall. After I clear my throat to get the teacher's attention, everyone turns to look at me.

"Hello, Mr. See. I'm Michael's mother. Just dropping off the lunch he forgot. Sorry to disturb your lesson." As the teacher walks towards me, I realize I'm an idiot. I never could have known, though. Michael's teacher isn't Mr. See, it's Mr. C as in…

"Bella? Is that you?" Edward Cullen asks me as I turn and run out the door.

- HtbF –

Did you guess it was him? Lol! It had to be, right?