Chapter 13 - A Growing Concern

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Lily had never dreaded school more. She was tired, having not slept well the night before. She quickly got ready before grabbing her things and heading out to her car. She managed to leave without having to stop and talk to any other member of her family. The uncertainty was oppressive. She didn't want to deal with her family or this new girl or the variety of what-ifs.

Instead of heading directly to school, she decided to spend her extra time and drive-thru the local coffee shop. It was a small building with just enough room to house the employees. Customers could not go in. There was a singular drive-thru window that serviced the transaction. Lily bought herself a medium standard cup of coffee and parked her car in an empty store parking lot. She savored the warmth as it passed through her lips. Spring was just around the corner, but the warmer weather had yet to arrive. She allowed herself to sort through her thoughts and feelings in her isolation.

She always knew humans always posed a threat to her family. Their secrecy only kept as long as those around them never bothered to pay attention to their oddities. They constantly walked a thin line between exposure and seclusion. Bella Swan pushed the coven closer to exposure than they have been in a long time.

On one hand, hearing her family discussing the risks seriously made Lily relieved. She was worried they would simply push humans off as unintelligent. She knew Bella was more perceptive than most. She was much more inclined to observe than to act.

On the other hand, she recognized that she was hurt by some of their comments. While she knew her family could easily leave behind without a second thought, Lily had decided that Forks would be the last time she lived with the Cullens. Even though she had come to see some of them as family, there was only one way her life would end. She had burdened them enough these past years. Rosalie and Edward often spoke on their lack of a future. Their frozen physique prevented them from developing past their current state. Even other members who embraced their vampiric state deeply believed in the preservation of human life and this life had Lily in a state of limbo. She would never be a true member of the coven. She had to leave before the divide became obvious. College, a milestone in everyone's life, was a perfect opportunity to leave.

Lily hoped they would let her go. Years already seemed to be moving faster for the girl as she grew. Years and years will pass, and the Cullens will forget about her. Even as she tried to accept it, her heart burned with the realization. What were six years to a group of vampires? Her life would be a drop in a bucket for them.

She took a deep breath and wiped the one tear out of the corner of her eye. She sat her cup down and drove into the school's parking lot. She managed to reach her class only seven minutes late. Micheal gave her a worried look that she waved off. As soon as the teacher turned his attention back towards the board, she passed him a muffin from the coffee shop and a light smile. He laughed silently as took it. All was forgiven.

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If Lily thought she dreaded school in the morning, the feeling only grew as her day progressed. By the time math rolled around, her stomach felt like it was full of lead. She knew Bella was going to have questions. Questions that Lily would not be able to answer.

Lily thought about wandering the halls as her siblings did on the occasion. However, she lacked the heightened senses that allowed them to avoid getting caught. She also couldn't sneak away to the woods for a quick meal to justify her absence to her parents either. She had no other choice but to face the music for what her brother did. She wasn't mad he saved Bella's life, rather she was annoyed that he allowed her to see him.

Lily settled in her seat in the back of the room. Her right leg bouncing rapidly to expel some of her nervous energy. Her eyes were hyper-aware of the seconds ticking away. Maybe Bella won't show up? Even if it was wishful thinking, the thought comforted her. As soon as she let the thought cross her mind, she caught sight of the Swan girl. Lily immediately avoided her glaze. Her leg picking up speed. She felt sick. Where was Jasper when you needed him?

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