Monday, July 30, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 129 - Bella

~oOo~

Friday... August 20, 2010 at 2:33 P.M.

I waved to Mrs. Jackson when I climbed out of the car, smiling at the sweet little grandmother shuffling slowly across her lawn.

"Hello, Miss Mary," I told her, accepting her hug.

When she pulled back, her bony hands, still strong even at eighty-three, cupped my face. "Isabella!" she said warmly. "How are you, dear? You look wonderful. How's that man of yours?"

"I'm great." I couldn't help the smile that I was sure stretched from ear to ear. "Edward is doing well. He said to give you one of these the next time I saw you..." I leaned down and brushed her cheek with a kiss.

Miss Mary looked flustered for a moment, her eyes twinkling. "Well, that dear boy. Tell him I expect a better one than that when he comes home," she teased, winking at me. "Not too long now, is it?"

Shaking my head, I sighed. "Just over a month now. Six weeks. Still too long."

"Bah," she said firmly. "That's nothing, child. You can do it. You're a strong one, Isabella Swan. Now, I came over for a reason. Your young man sent you a package, and since you were out, the delivery boy left it with me. I signed for it and said I would get it to you when you arrived home. It's a bit heavy for me, or I'd have brought it over."

"Thank you very much, Miss Mary." I smiled and gestured to my car. "I've got groceries in the back seat. Let me unload them, and then I'll come over and get it, all right?"

"That will be fine, Isabella. You come over when you're ready." She smiled and patted my cheek before turning and making the trip back to her house, leaving me alone by my car.

~oooOOOooo~

Twenty minutes later, I was back on my couch with the rather hefty box from Edward on the floor between my feet. The first thing I pulled out was an envelope with my name in Edward's handwriting. Opening it, I saw a short note.

My sweet Bella,

Since I can't be there in person, I wanted to send you some things that will hopefully help you start out your new school year right. I emailed Alice and asked what kind of things would be most helpful, and she sent me a list of some of the supplies you normally buy for your classroom. I know you've already bought some, but she assured me that you would need more, so hopefully what I got will help later in the year if nothing else.

I also included a few other things I thought would be cute or helpful...and a few things I just couldn't resist.

Yours always,

Edward

My eyes welled with tears before I'd even looked at the contents of the box. Edward was the sweetest man I'd ever met.

Setting the letter down on the table beside the couch, I turned my attention back to the box in front of me. The first thing I noticed was the stack of notebook paper and boxes upon boxes of pencils, pens, colored pencils, and erasers. From what I could tell, there was enough there to stock my classroom for the rest of the school year, even if I had more than a couple of kids who came to school without them due to financial issues at home.

Also inside the box were two smaller boxes – one about the size of a shoe box and wrapped in the funny papers and a thinner but wider one underneath it. I pulled out both boxes, and on the funny papers one, written in Edward's script with a black marker, were the words, "Open last!" Raising an eyebrow, I set it aside and grabbed the other box.

I had to chuckle when I saw that it was a plaque with the word "teacher" in all capital red, yellow, and blue letters. From the picture on the front, six brightly colored wood cutouts resembling pencils hung down from the plaque to be used as school passes. I carefully opened the lid and pulled out passes for the hall, office, boys, girls, nurse, and library. Just as I'd guessed, each had a small hole on the end to hang on the six hooks on the plaque. This would be perfect to put up on the wall beside my desk.

I closed the box and set it aside, reaching into the big box to get the only other thing inside. When I pulled out the tote, I realized I'd seen one like it while in Tampa and had told Edward. It was large enough to fit my laptop plus all the papers and stuff I'd have to carry to and from school, a few zippered pockets for smaller things, and a place for a water bottle on the side. He had gotten it monogrammed with my initials on the front, too.

It was all too much, and I hadn't even opened the last box yet. I swiped at the tear that had leaked from my eye and then set the tote beside me, finally picking up the comics-covered box.

When I tore open the wrapping, I actually laughed out loud, my tears gone. Tied with a big red ribbon were – I took a quick count – ten pairs of boy short panties. From the words on the back of the top of one, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy them all.

Untying the ribbon, I started looking through them, starting with the four pink pairs on top, which read: Peace, Love, Third Grade; Warning, I am silently correcting your grammar; Hot For Teacher; and an adorable spiderweb with Some Teacher, just like "Some Pig" in Charlotte's Web.

There were also four white pairs with red trim: I teach for a living... What's your superpower?; "Naughty teacher" with an apple beside it; three students with a teacher covering her ears and saying "You're not the boss of me!"; and Don't make me use my teacher voice.

At the bottom of the stack were two red pairs: You can't scare me... I'm a teacher; and Danger: Teacher in a bad mood.

Giggling, I set them all down and pulled my cell phone from my pocket, dialing Edward's number.

He answered just after the second ring. "Hey, sweetheart. How's your last free Friday going?"

I smiled. "Quiet, but good. Better once I got home to find this huge box with Mrs. Jackson next door."

Edward chuckled. "Did you give her a kiss for me?"

"Yes," I huffed playfully. "The woman is old enough to be your grandmother, and she said she expects a better one when you get home."

The chuckle turned into a full-blown laugh at that. I could just picture his green eyes alight with amusement, his grin stretching across his face.

"I'll be sure to do that," he teased. "So you got the box? Why did sweet Miss Mary have it?"

I explained about having been gone to the grocery store when the UPS truck stopped by. "So once I got the groceries put away, I went back to her house to get it." I sighed, looking down at all the stuff he'd sent. "Edward, panties aside, this was just way too much..."

"Is it stuff you can use?"

"Of course! But the bag was expen—"

"Isabella, will you use it?" he interrupted to ask.

Sighing softly, I finally said in a small voice, "Every day."

"Then it was worth every penny." Then he chuckled darkly. "If you'd like, you can pay me back by modeling some of those new clothes you got in the box."

I laughed. "You've got a deal, Sarge."

"Good," he purred, the word sending shivers from my ear to my core. "Now, talk to me, love. Are you ready for school to start on Monday?"

I kicked my shoes off and lay back on the couch, settling in to chat. "I think I am, yeah. Let me tell you about the posters and stuff I put up today..."

~oOo~

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