Chapter 29 - With Voluntary Blinders

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Lily had her life on track. Things were clearer to her now. There was little question about what each day would bring.

During the week, she would go to school every day. It was too hard to put up with the Cullens' constant judgment. She could understand why they thought school was important, but she wasn't learning anything new. The vast majority of the seniors had already checked out for the year. At least that meant very few people bothered her. She would switch between lunch tables depending on her mood. If she thought her friends would be talking about college, she would sit with Edward, Alice, and Bella. If she thought they would be discussing Bella's upcoming transformation, she would sit with her friends. She did not understand the obsession with the future. Why couldn't everyone just relax?

Her only relief was her shifts at the bar. It felt like the one safe spot she had left, even if Scott was trying to limit her shifts so she only worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Nothing changed at the bar. Scott had stopped bringing up college after the first few times he tried. Laura would try to occasionally mention that being a bartender in Port Angeles was a dead-end job and Lily didn't disagree. She knew she couldn't work here forever, but it was steady work for now. The tips weren't half bad either. More people were starting to venture up here as the temperature rose.

Her family did not try to show up at the bar anymore. Emmett had tried for the longest until Lily had to tell him off in the parking lot. It was hard to find a balance with the Cullens. On one hand, they completely respected her working decisions. They had tried to originally get her to quit, but they eventually gave up. Lily had a sinking suspension that one of them, probably Emmett, played a role in getting her hours cut back. Now, they simply let the girl be. She knew most of them didn't agree with it, but they kept it to themselves. The weekends gave her back the independence she had grown so accustomed to. On the other hand, they kept trying to meddle in her stuff. They constantly wanted to know what she was up to. Alice kept trying to convince her to go into Seattle to shop. Carlisle and Esme kept trying to get her to open up. Jasper would offer drives, Emmett would offer to play some sort of game, even Bella offered to let Lily go over to her house to study. Which was nice, she guessed, even if it did kind of come out of left field. Rosalie was just there, like always there. Of course, she wasn't at her job or school, but Lily was hard-pressed to think of a moment she had at home when the other girl wasn't there. It was nice. It was weird, but it was definitely nice. Lily hadn't commented on it and luckily Rosalie hadn't either. Lily didn't want to think of the implications of it.

The kiss still hung between them. It's not like it was the elephant in the room or anything. They had vaguely addressed it, but nothing concrete. It was just a constant simmer in the back of their minds. Both of the girls could feel it. It made their attempts to ignore it even more ridiculous.

It was hard being at the Fork's house. It seemed to always just be occupied with people. It seems like there wasn't one empty room anymore. Sometimes Lily would just walk into the garage knowing Rosalie would inevitably follow. At least that way, Rosalie would have something to do and Lily would only have to deal with one other person. She thought she had hated the silence, but this was too much. It was too much to get used to. There was no benefit in letting herself become accustomed to it. It would only make it more painful when it was taken away again.

Lily had a game plan though. She would just avoid being alone with any Cullen, with the exception of Rosalie. Lily thought Rose was more tolerable because she respected her privacy. It was really because Rosalie was trying to work things out by herself. She wanted to make sure she approached things with caution. She did not want to spook the other blonde girl or make her feel as if she needed to flee. It just seemed like Lily was starting to relax around them again. Rosalie treasured these moments. These moments where she simply let her be herself. It wasn't as if she was her old self. She had changed which was a good thing overall, but Rose wanted to be there for the girl when she needed someone to lean on. She was doing everything in her power to make sure she was that person, no one else. It drove her crazy when she left for the weekend, but she didn't follow. She wouldn't impede on her freedom.

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