|Ashes, Records, and Window Panes
Author: Christie Hart PM
They're so close, but they've never been further apart. "I can't do this anymore," he shakes his head, "We already fought, Isabella. We're done." "No," she says firmly, "We're not done, until I say we're done."Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 15 - Words: 53,828 - Reviews: 612 - Favs: 458 - Follows: 483 - Updated: 08-09-12 - Published: 12-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7656695
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yah, so I know its been awhile ...an extremely long while -but guess what? I'm back with a whole new story. After suffering a nearly terminal writers block, I somehow managed to pull through. So here it is guys, my new story. I hope you like it.
P.S. as creepy as this sounds? I missed yall.
Ashes, Records, and Window Panes
Time, Taunting and Tears
-o-Friday 9:15pm -o-
Branches tickle my mouth as I pop in a piece of broccoli, and slide the manila slip back in his direction. It is returned immediately after, and so I slide the envelope back towards him, a total of about three feet. Ironically, we're so close, but we've never been further apart. This distance can't compare to the chasm that truly exists between us. There are leagues between Edward and me. He slides it back.
"Sign the damn form Isabella," he grunts.
"I'm not divorcing you." I say calmly.
His fork scrapes against the fine china; mine barely graces the surface. He shoves the equivalent of the whole cow in his mouth; my piece of steak is too small for my tongue to find. My chair is pushed closer to the table; his chair is pushed away. I slide the envelope forward once more.
"I can't stand you," he pushes it back.
"I can't stand you either," I reject the envelope.
We enter a duel, his green eyes aimed at my brown ones. There's anger in his, but there's only composure in mine. Nothing between us has ever settled easily. After three years of marriage Edward should know that I never surrender.
"I don't need you to sign," he says coolly.
"Yes you do," I deposit another minute piece of meat into my mouth, "Unless you want this to go to court."
"I will if I have to," he shrugs.
"We both know you'll lose."
Although my life purpose is to get a rise out of him, this time it is unintentional. Washington state divorce laws say that as long as one party does not consider the marriage to irretrievably broken the court will have to evaluate the divorce based on the reason for the filing. And if Edward's only stand is that he can't stand me, than I'd love to go to court with him just to see him fail.
His ears tint pink, while his knuckles turn white. With a fleeting thought I wonder if there is any direct connection between the two sites. It's a telltale sign when he's about to blow up, and I'm just waiting so I can pop him.
"I had an affair," he admits nonchalantly. He expects me to be shocked. He expects me to be upset, and I'm positive he expects me to cry.
I smile, "I know."
His fork and knife crash against his plate as he inflates, while the wooden chair is knocked over as he stands up, a poor victim of his rage. I stay where I am because I know that if I move I might fall victim as well. So I just cross my legs like I normally do, sipping on my wine, and sharpening my pin as I wait for his balloon to reach maximum capacity.
"What the hell is wrong with you," he yells. His face is so close to mine I can almost kiss him.
"You," I bring my glass between us. Sip.
"Neither of us is happy," Edward continues, "I'm giving us an out."
"I don't want an out," I tell him. Sip.
"Don't give me that shit Isabella," he growls, "You're just doing this to piss me off."
"I don't know what you're talking about," I feign innocence. Sip.
The goblet is ripped from my fingers, and thrown across the room in one quick movement. The sound of breaking glass is so familiar to me that I don't even flinch, just like how I don't flinch when Edward's hand grips my face, forcing me to look at him. What Edward doesn't know is that I see more of him than he sees of himself. His hot breaths fan across my face as he huffs and puffs. He looks like he wants to talk, but can't quite articulate.
"Go ahead," I goad, "Hit me."
His eyes remain on fire, but his grip lessons.
I whisper harshly, "Hit me Edward."
He releases my face with a slight shove, taking a step back as if he can break away from what he is feeling. I stand from my chair, and waltz past him, trying not to seem physically shaken by his outburst. I have the choice to leave if I want to, nothing is stopping me. Instead I choose to take advantage of his silence.
I say lowly, "I'm not going to let some slip of paper give us the easy way out just because things got hard."
"We are too far gone," he mutters, his voice soaked with defeat, "I-I don't know if we even love each other anymore."
"Yes we do," I object, "It's just buried somewhere deep."
"I can't do this anymore," he shakes his head, "We already fought, Isabella. We're done."
"We're not done, until I say we're done," I say firmly, "Do one last thing for me, and that will be it."
His head still turns from side to side as if he's shaking me off, "Just sign the papers."
"Go to counseling with me," I ignore him, "If they deem us irretrievably broken –then I will sign the papers."
"No objections," he asks.
"None," I agree, "Plus, it would help to add to your case if there's a professional evaluation."
He hesitates, but he says it, and it's all I need.
-o- Saturday 12:30 pm -o-
"Mr. and Mrs. Masen," the large secretary calls. He has the friendliest smile attached to a dimple, and curly black hair atop his head. Emmett McCarthy.
"Thank you," I say to him because it seems Edward's lost his manners along with his personality. I whisper an apology as we pass the desk, only feeling slightly better when Emmett gives me a dramatic roll of the eyes.
"Well that was quaint," Edward mutters as we walk down the hall to the counselor's office.
"I wanted to show that at least one of us is a feeling human being," I fire back.
"Oh, I'm sure you were feeling something," he scoffs, "Try not to flirt with our counselor would you?"
"You have some nerve talking about unfaithfulness," I retort before picking up my pace. I leave him in my wake only so that I don't have to breathe the air in the same vicinity as him. I'm afraid I might catch whatever disease that comes with the animal that crawled up his ass.
I knock before entering; only doing so when I hear the voice of the male behind the door. Edward is so close behind me as we go in. I fight the temptation to shut the door in his face.
"Hello there." Dr. Whitlock, a middle aged man stands up to greet us. His hand is soft and warm, but firm. He emanates tranquility, and for a moment I consider warning him about my unpleasant spouse. He stretches a hand out to Edward, and I'm relieved when he returns the gesture.
What do you know, ladies and gentleman, Edward has some decency.
"I'm Dr. Whitlock –but I prefer Jasper; it's very nice to meet you two."
"Bella Masen," I reply, slightly uncomfortable with using Edward's last name, "Nice to meet you too."
"Edward," Edward nods.
I'm so happy I married such an eloquent man.
"So I see you two are filing for divorce," Jasper dives in.
"No, Edward is filing for divorce," I correct.
"Oh, so now it's only my divorce," Edward snorts.
"Well it's only you who's filing," I roll my eyes.
"Whoa," Jasper chuckles, "We'll have plenty time for that later. Right now I just want us introduced. How long have you two been married?"
"Two years. Don't you have a file on this or something," Edward sighs, "I don't have time for this crap."
The feeling of hurt gnaws at my stomach, causing me to scoot my chair away from him. I close my eyes and try to remind myself why I'm doing this. I wonder why I don't give in to what he wants and just scribble on that damn dotted line. Wouldn't that be so much easier?
You're not a quitter Bella…not with anything.
"A file isn't going to fix this marriage," Jasper replies coolly, "Neither is a few days."
"I know that," Edward says, the impatience clear in his voice, "But we only have 25 minutes left of this session. You might want to make the most of it."
"Twenty-five minutes," I gawk, "So you can only spare me half of an hour of your day? I have work too, and it's as equally important as yours."
"Contrary to your belief, honey, I can't bend my hours to my liking," he replies.
"Edward, for this to be the most effective you will need to donate at least three hours each week to this process," Jasper interjects.
"I can't take an hour out of my day. I don't even get lunch for that long," he throws his hands up.
"Fine, then we'll come here every day of the week," I cross my arms, challenging him, "Thirty minutes each session."
Edward's mouth pops open to protest before closing it again.
"I believe I can do that," Jasper nods, "Monday through Saturday, every day at this time. Edward, does that suit you?"
"Whatever," he says with a wave of his hand.
"That's just like you," I crow, pissed off by his dismissive behavior, "You're like a petulant teenager. Whatever, whatever, whatever! Grow up, Edward."
"I will when you stop acting like such a temperamental bitch all the time, Isabella," He retorts.
"That's enough," Jasper intervenes, "All this arguing is counterproductive. You will be able to express your anger towards each other, but in a much more healthy way. Now if you'll let me, for the remaining time of your session I'd like to outline my plan for the next eight weeks."
"By all means," Edward says, "Go ahead."
"Thank you," the doctor nods before leaning back, and releasing a deep breath. "I like to take this process in three stages; past, present, and future. For our beginning week we will discuss past issues, and use strategies to help us overcome these discretions. The next five weeks will be focused on your current lives, the way you interact with each other. This will also include exercises that help to rebuild your trust and faith in one another. The last two weeks concern your future. It is in this time that I will determine whether you two are compatible, and should continue therapy, or advise you to seek an end to this marriage."
"You really believe that we'll see a change in eight weeks," I voice, slightly disbelieving.
"Of course your marriage won't be fixed," Jasper chuckled, "I need months for that. But you will definitely see change; whether for better, or for worse is yet to be determined."
After this Dr. Whitlock dismisses us. The walk back to the cars is as silent as the drive home. Edward and I don't encounter each other for the remainder of the evening; whether this is because of work, or preferences I wouldn't know. Though like every night, we sit down at the table together, and eat our dinner. I don't know why Edward and I uphold this convention seeing as we often can't stand to be in the same room with each other. I'd like to think that it is our way of holding onto whatever is left of us.
"We have to do Dr. Whitlock's exercise," I finally speak up.
"Frankly I'm not convinced of his credentials," Edward huffs.
"Why," I scoff, "because he's right?"
We are met with more silence as we both examine our lasagna closely. I glide my knife through it, cutting it methodically while Edward stabs his and watches it bleed. I wonder if he imagines me as the food he's botching, or if the lasagna has done him wrong. Maybe it's the fact that I cooked it?
"I hate that you changed the color of our room without asking me," Edward says.
"It's not like you sleep in there anyways," I mutter.
"I'm trying to do the damn exercise," he lets out a deep breath, "We're not allowed to fight. Do you think you could do that Isabella? Do you think you could act like a civil human being? Isn't the stick up your ass getting pretty painful?"
Over twenty different comebacks enter my mind in that instant, fighting to make their way out. I no longer have to think before insulting Edward, it just comes naturally. But since answering him would prove his point, I remain silent to spite him. I take a sip of my wine, and let the sweet liquid replace the bitterness in my body.
"I hate that you got drunk on my birthday last year," I tell him.
"You kicked me out on your birthday," the tension in his voice is noted.
"Because you got drunk," I repeat.
"Yah well then I hate that you kick me out every time I make a mistake," Edward states. His voice is louder than it was before, and I can't stop mine from matching the volume.
"If I kicked you out every time you made a mistake you wouldn't even live here," I shout.
"Like I'm the only screw up in here," he yells, his hands clenching while they rest on the dining table, "You messed things up too in the past two years, and you don't see me locking you out of the house. You're a screw up too Isabella, you're a mistake too."
I push my plate away from me, no longer able to eat. The chair follows soon after, as I throw my napkin down on the table. I was wrong in thinking he made a mistake the first time. I was wrong just like I seem to be wrong about everything else. So does this mean that I'm wrong about fighting for Edward? With each word he says it get harder to believe that there could be a light at the end of this tunnel.
"You know what I hate, Edward," I say as I try to keep the tears at bay, "I hate that you can't remember we've been married for three years, not two."
And I walk away, not because I'm giving up, but because I'm slowly beginning to crack, and the tears are winning their battle for freedom. I walk away because I can't stand the fact that he will not comfort me. I walk away because I know if I stay all Edward will do is stand there, and listen to me cry.
Like it? Love it? Hate it? Wondering what the hell you just read? Well, tell me about it!
But most of all, thanks for reading
..oh yah *sigh*
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, they're Stephenie Meyer's...and all that good stuff.