Chapter 25 - A Fresh Start

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It took a while for Lily to recognize she was driving towards the lake. She guessed it made sense that her subconscious would take her there. She knew she needed to get her life back on track. She was a more than capable person. She figured she might as well continue in the same direction. There were no real jobs in Forks. She doubted Bella had lost hers and she could think of nothing worse than having to work with Mike. She doubted if she could get a job at the lake during the offseason. They were also more likely to ask questions. While only being a few days shy of 17 and in possession of a really good fake ID, it seemed more of a risk than she was willing to take.

She really did need more money. Even though she knew the Cullens could afford it, she needed that degree of separation. She needed to be independent and stand on her own to find herself. She figured her best bet would be to continue down to Port Angeles. It was a substantial distance that almost guaranteed that no one would recognize her. If it was a decent-paying job, it should more than cover food and gas. Her car had great gas mileage thanks to Rosalie's modifications. No, she wasn't thinking about her or any of the Cullens. No, she didn't just touch her lips in memory. She's thinking about financial independence. She had yet to figure out how to change the utilities under her name so the Cullens would continue paying for the house. She'll just make a point to never turn on any lights, keep the heater and air conditioner off, and limit her showers.

Port Angeles was kind of a run-down town. She could see how it could be considered charming in the downtown area, but it just seemed old and grey. Most places in Washington seemed greyed due to the weather. Lily found a free parking spot close to the pier and figured she could walk around. It was still fairly early in the afternoon and figured it would be easier to find some sort of work on foot. She threw on a jacket and a scarf. She touched up her make-up hoping it would make her look slightly older. She double checked herself in the car mirror and left.

Most of the money in Port Angeles came from either tourism or the docks. Seeing that it was well into the offseason, the streets were mostly empty. Lily wasn't feeling bold enough to go inside and ask if they were hiring. Instead, she walked the streets hoping to see a Help Wanted sign. She knew she needed flexible hours since she was still technically in school. There were a few restaurants, but they were all looking for hostesses. Lily knew she wouldn't make enough money to make the drive worthwhile. There was a dress store hiring, but she couldn't bring herself to go in after remembering the Bella incident. That didn't feel like a place she could start over in. She felt hopeful about a hardware store. She knew quite a bit after spending so much time with Rosalie, but the owner regrettably told her that they weren't actually hiring. They had only put the sign up to get their nephew to work harder. She left her number there regardless.

By the time the sun was setting, Lily had all but lost hope. She figured she could try to get a job further south, but the commute would be awful. She honestly did not know if she was ready to work at some gas station along the way which would more than likely involve overnight shifts by herself. She was confident in her abilities, but she wasn't stupid. She still knew she was a teenage girl. Yeah, she was taller than Alice, but she was still around 5ft6. Another reason why she knew she wouldn't be able to play volleyball in college.

She finally made it back to her car and started heading home. She barely made it out of town before she realized that she had no food back at her house, seeing that most of it was now expired, and it was too late to bother any of her friends. She pulled off the road at a local food store. She figured they must have some almonds or something. After her disappointing day, almost anything else seemed overwhelming.

She walked out a few minutes later, 4 dollars poorer with a huge can of peanuts in her hand. Who knew that almonds were so expensive. She also grabbed a banana seeing as it was about 40 cents. She figured it's been a while since she's had fresh fruit and it would make a good lunch tomorrow. She moved her car back towards the road but had to suddenly stop as a car quickly pulled into the parking lot next door. She eyed the white building and scoffed at the name 'The Dam Bar.' It looked like the standard small-town bar. There was already a crowd starting to form. She was just about to write it off when a red sign caught her eye. It read 'Help Wanted.'

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