posted by EnchantdEquinox
Chapter 6: Growing up with a rite of passage.
Edward slowly walked into Renesmee’s bedroom, while she was still asleep. He knelt down in front of her bed.
“Hey Ness, I‘m going now sweetie” his hand stroking her forehead. Her eyes threatened to open.
“When will you be back” her eyes opening as her voice went from groggy to normal.
“I‘ll be back in a week or two” he smiled when she grabbed his hand and said.
“Be safe, dad”
“I love you Renesmee” he kissed her forehead and walked out of her bedroom. Edward, Emmett, Jasper and Carlisle were going on a camping trip, leaving Renesmee there with the girls of the house.
“Alice are you absolutely sure? You know how subjective your visions can be, especially concerning Nessie. She is just so young!”
“Yes, Bella, I’m sure. This is not something you choose, it just happens. Like the weather and I’m always right about the weather.”
Great, now we’re going to discuss the weather? What is going on?”
Alice turned to look at Renesmee.
“Nessie, how old are you now?”
Okay, from the weather to my age, why does everyone worry so much about my age? It’s freaking hilarious. No one in my entire family has a realistic age! Three-hundred year-old Carlisle tries so hard to look older, but he barely passes for thirty. Dad is almost one hundred years older than Mum, but they’ll both be teenagers forever…
“Umm… it’s not a difficult question Nessie.” Alice was still waiting for an answer.
“Actual Age or Earth Years?”
Alice just smirked, raised her eyebrows and waited. Renesmee knew no one counted Earth Years except her mum.
“My AA is sixteen but I’m due for an update next week.”
“Did you hear that, Bella? sixteen.”
The Actual Age Updates were Carlisle’s idea. Renesmee had grown from a tiny seed to a fully formed infant in less than two months. She was born with a full set of teeth and she could talk when she was only a week old. At three months, she could run. She had read the entire Harry Potter series twice before her first birthday.
Everyone, except Bella, agreed that it made more sense to calculate Renesmee’s “Actual Age” by evaluating her physical, intellectual and emotional growth. She wasn’t too crazy about the updates; it involved those darn needles and lots of boring educational and psychological tests.
The only good thing about the constant updates was every time she passed a major benchmark Alice would throw a party.
“How much biology have you studied, Nessie?” Alice’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Not much, why? Dad says I need to master chemistry and physics first. Besides, I like art and literature much more than the sciences. So I don’t really care.”
“This is crazy! But it also sounds just like Edward! We need to put someone else in charge of your education.” Alice paused and asked,
“Has anyone talked to you about puberty or menstrual cycles?”
“Well, I think puberty is when humans are old enough to have babies. But I haven’t heard anything about men’s true cycles.”
“Oh dear,” Alice sighed.
“I can’t believe this!” Alice narrowed her eyes and shot a disapproving glance at Bella. She turned back to Renesmee and then kindly asked, “Do you know how babies are made?”
“Alice! One thing at a time.” Bella groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose, a habit she had acquired from Edward.
“Seriously? Come on, Aunt Alice, everyone knows that,” Renesmee scoffed.
“Well the father’s rockets fly to the mother’s moon and then the moon turns into an infant over time then, its ready to come into the world”
“Where did you hear that story?” Alice asked, obviously laughing.
“Auntie Rose.” Alice, Bella and Esme all looked at Rosalie with matching expressions of incredulity.
“Sorry, but that was basically the story I got the first time I asked. Only instead of ‘it’s ready to come into the world‘, the midwife came and helped get the baby out through the belly button. I knew Nessie wouldn’t believe that. To be fair, Nessie’s AA at the time was only fourteen.”
“Will somebody please tell me what is going on?” Renesmee begged.
Alice darted upstairs and was back in less than a second. She inserted a DVD into the audio-visual system, grabbed the remote and pulled Renesmee down onto the couch beside her.
“I thought we might need this soon, so I picked it up on my last trip into town as well as a few supplies. Why don’t we all watch this together and then we can answer any questions Renesmee might have.”
The content of the “Puberty for Dummies” DVD was presented in an overly simplified manner, so when Alice asked if she had any questions, Renesmee Nodded her head.
“Yeah I do. How do the ‘rockets‘ manage to get to the ‘moon‘?”
Renesmee was more than embarrassed. She was disturbed and confused.
“But you said I was a surprise. How could that be a surprise?” She couldn’t hold back a reflex shudder.
*The next morning*
There’s just no way to hide the scent of blood from a house full of vampires. Renesmee woke up with bad cramps surrounded by all the woman of the family. Esme, Alice and Rosalie were beaming at her, and Bella was trying hard to smile, not quite pulling it off.
Alice leaped gracefully onto her bed and held out two boxes.
“Which do you prefer Ness? Pads or….”
Before she could finish the question, Esme, Rosalie and Bella exclaimed in agreement,
“Pads!” they all started to laugh, even Bella. Renesmee might have gotten mad at them for laughing at her but it was such a relief to see her mum smile again, that she just joined in and laughed until she cried. Then she cried. For real. She didn’t know why she was crying but she was. Bella hugged her and said.
“It‘s okay sweetheart”
After she showered and got dressed, she was afraid to go out into the common area where everyone hangs out when they aren’t in their rooms. Alice knocked on her door and then waltzed in without waiting for an invitation. Renesmee looked at her with reproach, but Alice just smiled and said,
“You were going to invite me in another thirteen seconds. Come on! Let’s go! We’re going to have a party!”
Renesmee usually loved parties, but she didn’t want to leave her room just yet.
“Not today Alice, I think I’ll just hang out in my room, OK?”
“No it is not OK! I refuse to let you start acting like your mother! Now come on!”
Alice continued to drag her into the commons. She had cards and presents from everyone, even the guys. Everyone knew she had to open Alice’s gift first, even Alice, but she still bounced around on her toes chanting,
“Mine first! Mine first!”
Renesmee lifted the lid, and pulled back several layers of pastel tissue paper. She didn’t recognize the lacy little scraps of fabric at first. Pink, purple, red, black and white seemed to float on air inside the box. Renesmee’s face turned bright red as Alice plucked one of the items out of the box and held it up to her chest as if checking to see if it fit.
“Alice! That is not appropriate for….”
“Oh come on Bella! She isn’t a little girl anymore! And you have to agree that these little bras and panties are quite modest, yet still feminine…”
“Thank you Alice” Renesmee gushed just to make her stop talking about underwear!
“Aunt Alice, when did you know that this was going to happen? I mean, it would have been nice to have a little more warning.”
“Nessie, when was the last time you looked in a mirror? I didn’t have to see the future to know this event was about to happen.” Alice looked at Bella with a smug little smirk on her face and reprove,
“anyone who was paying attention could have told you what was happening.”
“Nessie, open mine and Uncle Emmett’s next.” Rosalie handed her a small black velvet box. Renesmee sighed with happiness as she lifted a single emerald suspended from a delicate silver chain.
“It’s beautiful, Aunt Rose. Thank you so much!”
“It was Emmett’s idea. It belonged to his grandmother, and he really wanted you to have it.”
“But, Aunt Rose, shouldn’t you have it?”
“No Nessie, we both want you to have it. Your eyes really are the perfect colour for emeralds.”
Jasper’s gift took her breath away. It was an authentic civil war fife. His card stated simply,
“This belonged to a friend of mine; I look forward to hearing you play it.”
“Aunt Alice? Are you sure?” These gifts are so extravagant.
“Of course sweetheart!”
Bella handed her a black A4 sized case. Renesmee smiled at her mother. She opened the lid slowly, to see an oval shaped locket. She picked it out of the case and looked amazed. She looked back at her mum and leaped at her to give her a hug.
“Thank you so much mum, this is perfect” Bella hugged her back.
“I’m glad you like it Ness” Renesmee sat back in her seat.
“I love it” Alice helped Renesmee put it on.
“This is from both of us.” Esme handed her a heavy green box. Inside, wrapped carefully in archival paper, was an ancient Bible. The well-preserved leather cover appeared incredibly fragile. She sat it down on the table with reverence knowing exactly what it was, knowing that her name and date of birth was inscribed in that ancient tome under her parents names. The entire Cullen family tree was in that book.
“Esme, this is too much. You can’t give me Carlisle’s family Bible!”
“Yes we can, Renesmee and we insist you take it. Your studies of historical preservation qualify you to care for it properly. Besides, who better to give it to than the only member of our family that can pass it on to her children?”
That’s when she realized this was more than just a rite of passage celebration. Each gift was a family heirloom; a priceless treasure that should have been handed down from father to son, and mother to daughter. There would be no sons or daughters for Rose and Emmett, Alice and Jasper, or Esme and Carlisle. All of their human hopes and dreams had died years ago, when they became immortal. Renesmee’s coming of age was a new beginning for all of them. Her children would be their children. For the first time in her life, Renesmee was thankful that she was indeed half-human.