Chapter 5: Ithaca
We had decided to move to Ithaca, of northern New York. We had never lived there, northern New York, yes, in Rochester where Carlisle rescued the town darling, a.k.a Rosalie, in hopes that she would become a mate to Edward, but that plan had failed miserably. We had never resided in Ithaca, a beautiful town surrounded by gorges and waterfalls. I had looked it up on Google and had discovered that the sun rarely shone there, it was always cloudy, but it hardly rained. The clouds were suspected to be from pollution but it wasn’t confirmed. Not that it mattered to us anyway.
Carlisle was getting a transfer from Forks to the local hospital, but it wouldn’t be valid for a few weeks. But we were still moving the day after I came home.
Rosalie and Alice helped me pack. They manage to clean out my almost-bare closet and analysed my few pairs of shoes before they went shopping to get me some more of each, despite my protests. And then Jazz came in, offering to help me pack up my other stuff. He was a good brother to me, and I didn’t really deserve it. When I tried to explain this, he refused to leave and instead helped me. This later turned out to be a good thing as we had to then go around at vampire speed, packing most of our personal belongings into boxes and suitcases, before carting them downstairs to the garage.
We packed all of my CDs and books into boxes, needing only one for each, as well as my stereo, electric guitar and several other electronic items. We decided to live my decorative swords behind as well as my drum-kit. Even though I did enjoy playing it, I rarely did anymore and it was Theo that was the star drummer. I called him on my cell and he happily arranged to pick it up.
But then there was one thing that I was going to leave behind and that I really didn’t want to. My motorcycle, which was a ’97 Harley Sprint, was that certain thing. I had first gotten after Rosalie saw it and had saved it from being reduced to scrap metal. It resembled the much older and rustier one that I had ridden as a kid on the farm.
To me, taking the bike would mean that I would be taken the last scrap of home away from where it belonged.
I kept thinking of all of this as the rest of my family drove their cars out of the garage. Jasper had his jade green Mercedes AMG, Emmett had his jeep, Rose had her BMW, Carlisle had his Mercedes and Edward had two cars, his Astron Martin Vanquish and his Volvo but he was leaving the Astron Martin behind and taking the Volvo. Esme didn’t have a car and nor did Alice.
I stood at the garage entrance, staring at my lonely old bike standing by itself by the wall while my family packed their cars. I let out a sad sigh as I looked at it.
Emmett came and rested a huge hand on my shoulder. “You don’t want to leave it behind, do you?”
I shook my head at him. “I don’t want to but…” I looked up at him. “I want something of mine to stay here. And it means I don’t have a ride, so be it.”
“That’s what you think,” a voice chuckled behind us all, just as a loud revving noise roared behind me as a car skidded to a stop behind us. Too loud to be any of my siblings’ cars, and even though it sounded a bit like Emmett’s jeep, but it just didn’t have the same vibe as it.
So I spun around to see the most kick-ass car that I have ever seen in my thirty-nine years. It was a metallic black Subaru Impreza WRX but it had been done up majorly. Someone, and I had a fair idea who, had painted neon green ragged green stripes along the side doors and hood, spray painted the rims to an electric blue colour, and had added a big black spoiler to the back. It looked like it belonged on a drag-racing track.
And sitting on the hood was Corey, with this huge cocky grin on his face. I ran up to him and he slid off and we hugged each other. “Dude, what are you doing her man?! I thought you went home!” I asked him after I pulled back.
“Alice called and told us you were leaving. And she said that you wouldn’t have a ride,” he explained. “So me and the boys…” He gestured to Theo and Matt who had both hopped out of the car, which I then noticed had a leather interior. “Decided to fix up for you, with some help from the girls of course.” Maddy, Tiff and Jessie beamed at me as they hopped out of the wide backseat.
Corey held out the keys to be. “Here, take them, it’s yours now. Six-stack CD player, fair amount of horse-power, automatic with the special nitro stuff they use in drag racers, whatever the hell it’s called… the full package.”
“It’s road-worthy, right?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow up.
“Course it is Shayla. It cost us a bit and little bit of time but we worked hard to get it done for you ‘cause we love ya. Anyway, do you love it?”
If I could cry I would have had tears springing up in my eyes. It was just so… so… so thoughtful. “Oh guys, you’re the greatest!” I manage to squeak out before I threw my arms around Corey. We all went into a group hug as I made sure to hug each of my friends. “You’re the best friends a girl could ever want!”
They laughed good-heartedly just as Alice coughed and stepped forward, a digital camera in her hand. “Group photo anyone?”
We grinned in response before we stood in front of my brand-new car, grinning madly. I had Maddy and Tiff on either side of me, with their mates beside them, and Corey and Jessie on the end, doing identical ‘peace out’ signs with their fingers. We all laughed when Alice was done as my friends said their goodbyes to me.
Maddy was the last one to come up to be. The others had darted away, except for Matt who was waiting patiently near the trees. I opened the trunk of my new car, noting the large space and subwoofers, and placed my guitar, my suitcase of both brand new clothes, and then followed by the boxes of books, CDs and various electronics.
“Well,” I started as I shut the boot and turned to Maddy. “This is good-bye then.”
“It doesn’t get any easier, does it?” she admitted sadly as she shook her head slightly.
“Good-bye Mads. I will miss you –heaps.”
“Same here, babe,” she grinned. I nudged her in the ribs with my elbow and we giggled together before embracing in a wide hug. “Good-bye Shayla, don’t forget to write!” And then she darted off into the woods with Matt by her side.
I sighed sadly and walked to the driver’s side of the car. Esme came and sat in the passenger side. She would be coming with me as I had no idea where our new home was, and she had the job of navigating me.
“You will see them again,” Esme said, guessing my thoughts. “You will have an eternity together.”
I couldn’t help but chuckled at her words as I turned the key in the ignition, and switched the car on. It roared to life, which Rosalie glared at jealously, and nudged the accelerator with my toe before we raced out of the driveway.
I had driven before, but was used to a bike, being out in the open wind, racing along the highways with nothing but my thoughts to distract me. Driving was very different for me.
Following Esme’s directions, we followed Edward in his Volvo out along the highway. We had left at sunrise, to avoid the traffic and police, and we raced along at full speed.
“Er, breaker, breaker, Grizzly to Baby Bear, do you copy. Over.”
Emmett’s voice broke through the radio. I laughed out loud when I realised that they installed a short-wave radio into my drag-racing-like car. Rosalie had installed them into the other cars, as a precautionary and Emmett’s favourite hobby was hijacking them. He had come up with aliases for all of us. I was Baby Bear (despite my protests), Emmett himself was Grizzly, Rosalie was Goldilocks, Jasper was Texas, Carlisle and Esme were Papa Bear and Mama Bear respectively, Edward was Speedy and Alice was Pixie.
I looked around for a microphone and grinned when Esme opened the glove-box and pulled out what resembled Bluetooth ear pieces. She clipped on her ear and helped me clip mine on. The car didn’t move an inch from the centre of the lane.
“BB reads you loud and clear,” I answered him. Even though my mouth piece was up on my ear, Emmett and the others could pick my voice and what I was saying quite easily. “What’s up bro?”
“Nothing much,” he answered. “But I think Rosalie is a bit jealous of your new ride.” He gave a chuckle as Rosalie hissed from her BMW beside me. I revved my engine at her before I sped up past her, earning a glare.
We kept talking to each other as we raced up the high way at illegal speeds, occasionally separating from each other as we overtook each other and raced each other, and occasionally getting scolded by Carlisle and Esme as we ribbed each other over the radio. We had no need to stop apart to get fuel but since I had a full tank, Esme and I kept going.
Finally, we entered the State of New York. We avoided going into the capital city and stuck to the back roads.
And finally, Esme directed to a road and we passed a sign that read ‘Ithaca is Gorges!’ According to Esme, it was the city’s motto.
But we didn’t go in to the city. We went around it and instead headed to our new home on the outskirts. We turned down a worn, dirt drive-way, almost as long as the one we had back in Forks, and stopped at the house.
It was very old and I could see that it dated back at least three hundred years, one of Esme’s favourites to work with, and had tree-stories. It had a porch wrapped around the ground floor, and a veranda on the top floor, near a set of double-glass doors that I assumed went into a pent-house of some sort. The house backed onto a magnificent lake and I was sure that if I could get onto the roof, I could do an exhilarating, forty or so foot, dive into the water.
We were pulling my luggage out of the boot when the others pulled up. Esme and I were discussing plans for a garage; there was an old barn nearby and that would be perfect for it.
“So, this is it?” Rosalie noted, looking up at the worn house, a distasteful expression on her face.
She was with me on the fact that she didn’t want to move. In fact, she was against the whole idea before I put my opinion in. Of course, she was happy that Bella was out our lives for good, in her belief of course, but she had grown to love that house in Forks as her home, and she never wanted to leave it. She hadn’t spoken to Edward since he first insisted that we move.
I rolled my eyes at her. “No Rosalie, we have just stopped here and unpacked all of our luggage to admire it,” I shot back to her sarcastically. “It’s a beauty isn’t it?”
She hissed softly at me and I growled back at her. “Now, now you two,” Carlisle chastised gently as Emmett held his hands on Rosalie’s shoulders, just holding her back. Rosalie’s temper could flare up at any moment like my own and seeing as she was still pissed off at Edward… the smallest things set her off.
“No fighting,” Carlisle declared as he picked up his and Esme’s suitcases while Esme unlocked the door. I stacked my boxes on top of one another and placed them on top of suitcase, before lifting them all up and following my parents inside.
The living room was pretty bare and dust covered. The lounges needed replacing, the fireplace had burnt bricks in it which the distinct burnt smell, and the plain white plaster walls were cracked.
“It’ll need a lot of work done on it,” Esme said to us all as my siblings followed me in. “But it’ll be worth it when it’s done. Now why don’t you all go and claim your rooms.”
I heard Jasper and Emmett dropped their luggage before sprinting up the surprisingly unworn to stairs to fight over rooms. I darted after them to find that Emmett had claimed the largest room after the master bedroom, which had a large bathroom for Rosalie, while Jasper had gotten the smaller room with a study.
Alice and Rosalie were laughing at their husbands as I walked past their rooms and came to one at the end of the hallway, which wrapped around a large room in the middle of the house that I couldn’t seem to find a door for, just near the back of the house.
I walked in, expecting to find a closet or something, but instead it was a beautiful room. It was completely square with large, plain windows that showed a view of the lake, and had a few small furnishings such a double-sized bed, a wooden dresser and a matching bedside table. A glass door led out to a small veranda with a patio table and chairs. The room went off a bit to the right of me to reveal a large plain wall with a single sliding door. Assuming this to be the closet, I slid it open.
It was a huge walk-in closet with many shelves for shoes, racks with hangers, and even more set of drawers. There were two more sliding doors set across from mine diagonally, so that they were in a triangle formation. Just between each of the doors was a pull-out sliding screen, to allow privacy I assumed. They went all the way to the centre where a large white pillar was situated, with small glass shelfs circling around it. I walked over to the door on the left first and banged on it hard with my fist before doing the same to the other. “Oi, get in here!” I called out to my sisters. “You have got to see this!”
Alice and Rosalie walked in, confusion etched on their faces, and with their husbands peaking warningly over their shoulders. But the moment they laid eyes on the walk-in, their faces lit up.
“Wow,” Rosalie gasped as she stared around the room. “It’s magnificent!”
“Most defiantly,” Alice agreed as she scanned the future excitedly, probably trying to envision all the clothes that she would buy to fill up the room.
“Beauty isn’t it?” I grinned at them. I may not be a ‘girly-girl’ like them but sometimes; there were times where I couldn’t help but get all excited about the simplest things, like this closet or the new clothes that I would fill it up with.
In less then three seconds, they brought their several suitcases in and zipped around their section of the room, putting shoes on shelves, hanging dresses and shirts on hangers and placing these on the racks and folding what couldn’t be hung up and placing them in drawers.
I copied them, noting that I had a lot more of spare space left over then they did.
“Hm,” I mused to myself, tipping my head a little to the side as I stood with my arms folded while analysing my closet space. “I think I need to get some more clothes.” I picked up a old grey t-shirt, which was ragged and had torn sleeves and rips all through it. I hung it back up carefully – it was a favourite and I wasn’t willing to throw it out.
“We can do that later,” Rosalie said back to me as she came over.
Emmett followed her. “Let’s go outside and see what there is to hunt.”
“But I’m not thirsty, it’s only been two day since I’ve hunted,” I protested. I would need to feed again in three day – maybe. I could go for a week, a week-and-a-half without hunting, but it was hard. The burn in my throat… it controlled me. It limited when, where and what I could and who I could see. It was a terrible thing.
But that was the only bad thing about my existence, the thirst. I could run across open land and reach my destination that would take a human a week in days. I wasn’t fragile so I could do anything a mortal couldn’t do for fear of getting hurt. I was strong when it came to being physical but mentally… I wasn’t.
I remembered the time that we had lived in Ashland. Esme, Carlisle and Edward had lived there for a few years – in fact, it was where Esme was found by Carlisle and turned. I had been just passed my mark of being five vampire years old.
I had not been strong then. A pair of nomads, whom where old friend’s with Jasper, Peter and Charlotte, came to visit one evening. I had been wary of them, for I had never met non-vegetarians apart from the Volturi before, and their presence had scared me a little. I had not hunted in a few days, almost a week, and was trying to prove that I could last as long as my family did sometimes – a fortnight.
When I had finally cooked up the courage to come out of the woods after two days and meet them, it had been a horrible mistake. The faint scent of human blood had surrounded them after a recent feed, and I had immediately gone into a blood-driven frenzy.
Jasper had to work hard to calm me down while Edward and Carlisle tried to restrain me (Emmett and Rosalie were living separately from us at the time). I had slashed at my father with my claws, ripping his shirt and causing an ugly grating noise as my claws dug into his chest and tore his granite-skin. Despite the strong man he was, he still let out a shriek of agony as he still tried to restrain me. But once I had swiped at Edward as well, thankfully missing his face which was what I had been aiming for, they let me go.
Horrified at what I had done and tried to do, I did the only thing that made sense: I fled. I raced through the woods, going as far away as I could from my family.
Eventually, I had detected the soft sounds of vampire footfalls behind me and I instinctively turned, not ready to attack but to defend. My newborn year may have been up but one thing had remained that was now demising – my temper.
“What do you want?” I had snarled at him, angry at myself for letting myself to be found.
He pleaded with me, trying to get me to come back home. But when I refused out of fear for my family’s safety, he did something that I would have never expected him to do He stayed with me through the night. We talked, and we grew closer then we ever had been before. When morning came, I followed him home.
Though my father healed quickly and didn’t blame me for the incident, I would never forget that day, even with my flawless, perfect memory. It had been a turning point in my life, when I realised I must not try and tempt fate by tying to not hunt in order to be up to par with my siblings. I was new to this world and I needed to accept that.
“Yo, earth to Shayla!” Emmett’s voice broke through to my thoughts. I glanced up to see them watching me. I gave my head a little shake. “Do you want to come and see what’s around here, hunting-wise?”
“Um, sure. Let me just change,” I told them as the boys exited and us girls pulled the curtains across to give each other privacy.
A few minutes later, after we changed into older clothes that could withstand mud, dirt and blood stains, we ran outside to join Jasper and Emmett. They rolled their eyes at us girls’ tendency to change whenever we went out, before we took off into the forest.