End of Chapter 25
I watched as her expression changed, she was thinking of options...or so I thought. Her face went from wonder to completely sad, her arms wrapping around her chest like she had the first day I saw her a few weeks ago. Then it was like someone flipped a switch and suddenly she was looking at me with a mischievous smile on her face.
"What are you thinking so hard about?" I asked, part of me afraid to find out the cause of the smile.
"Well..." She said slowly. "I found this place in the forest once...I came across it when I was, um, hiking. A little meadow, the most beautiful place. I don't know if I could track it down again on my own. It would definitely take a few tries.."
"We could use a compass and a grid pattern." I interrupted, my mind racing. "Do you know where you started from?"
"Yes, just below the trail head where the one-ten ends. I think I was going mostly south, I think."
"Cool. We'll find it." I said, my heart beating a little faster as soon as she smiled at me.
That Saturday as I drove my father and I up to forks we talked about the hike, about Bella and how much happier she seemed and about the contest that my father and Charlie had made as to who would catch the most/biggest fish. I guess they had made the deal that whoever won had to clean the fish and buy the next case of beer.
We pulled into Charlie and Bella's driveway, my heart pounding as soon as the door opened and I saw her smiling face. She was dressed for hiking, jeans, a long sleeved shirt worn under a short sleeved so that she could stay warm/cool off if needed. I saw a new pair of hiking boots sitting on the rug next to the door, which made me wince because I knew that hiking more then a mile in those would cause her to have horrible blisters.
"Jake." Bella's voice called as she ran over to me, a map held up in her hands.
"Hey Bells," I said as I smiled at her and took the map from her fingers. "Tell me everything you can remember about this hiking spot."
She told me the little pieces she could remember about when she had found this 'clearing' that she wanted to go back to. I drew lines on the map as she talked, doing my best to try and narrow down the area. Once I had everything down I quickly went to work, doing everything I had been taught by my father until I had the map narrowed down to about a five mile area.
Once I had it all figured out I realized that I had been ignoring everyone and everything that had been going on around me. I looked around and found Charlie stringing new line onto his fishing pole while Bella and my dad were talking about the hike we were going to go on.
"Maybe we'll see the super bear." I joked as I drew an thick red line around the five mile area where we would be searching. I noticed that Bella had gone completely still for a few seconds when I mentioned the bear, maybe she was too scared to go out today.
"Maybe you should take a jar of honey, just in case." My father said as he laughed at me.
"Hey Bella." I said as she turned more in her chair and looked at me. "I hope your new boots are fast. One little jar isn't going to keep a hungry bear occupied for long."
"Jacob," She said as she rolled her eyes dramatically. "I only have to be faster then you."
"Good luck with that." I said as everyone laughed.
"You two have fun!" My dad said as he rolled himself out of the kitchen, into the living room where Charlie had just finished getting everything together.
Bella and I left before Charlie and my dad had finished loading up everything, Bella waving once to her dad as we pulled away. We drove in silence, Bella's fingers occasionally going to her mouth as she chewed on her nails..something she did most when she was nervous or deep in thought. Once she pulled off the highway and down a narrow road, her entire composure changed, it went from nerves and jitters to excitement and eagerness.
When the truck stopped she climbed out and turned to stare at the thick forest that surrounded her truck. "W...I went this way." She said as she raised up one hand and pointed into the woods.
"Hmmm," I said, wondering if she was confused, I looked from where she was pointing to the area behind us where the actual trail was and back. "I would have figured you for a trail kind of girl."
"Not me." She said as she grinned. "I'm a rebel."
I laughed hysterically as I turned back to the truck and grabbed the map off the seat, I took out my compass and quickly got to work refiguring out the path..not including the public trail. In about five minutes I had three girds planned out, hopefully paths that would lead us to the clearing Bella was so hopeful of finding.