I was ninety-nine point nine percent sure I was dreaming.
The reasons I was so certain were that, first, I was standing in a bright shaft of sunlight-the kind of blinding clear sun that never shone on my drizzly new hometown in Forks, Washington-and second, I was looking at my Grandma Marie. Gran had been dead for six years now, so that was solid evidence toward the dream theory.
Gran hadn’t changed much; her face looked just the same as I remembered it. The skin was soft and withered, bent into a thousand tiny creases that clung gently to the bone underneath. Like a dried apricot, but with a puff of thick white hair standing out in a cloud around it.
Our mouths-hers a wizened pucker-spread into the same surprised half-smile at just the same time. Apparently, she hadn’t been expecting to see me, either.
I was about to ask her a question; I had so many-What was she doing here in my dream? What had she been up to in the past six years? Was Pop okay, and had they found each other, wherever they were?-but she opened her mouth when I did, so I stopped to let her go first. She paused, too, and then we both smiled at the little awkwardness.
« Bella? »
It wasn’t Gran who called my name, and we both turned to see the addition to our small reunion. I didn’t have to look to know who it was; this was a voice I would know anywhere-know, and respond to, whether I was awake or asleep … or even dead, I’d bet. The voice I’d walk through fire for-or, less dramatically, slosh every day through the cold and endless rain for.