As much as we wanted to mold ourselves to each other and remain that way for the rest of our days, we came to the realization that this was our second chance and we shouldn't waste it. Our love would always be there; we owed it to our families and to us to actually continue to live…
"I don't want to leave you," Bella whined when our walk to her first class of the day came to its completion.
"You're not leaving me; we'll just be apart for a few hours, and you'll be right back in my arms before you know it," I told her with a forced smile.
"Promise you'll be in my room waiting for me this afternoon?"
"I have classes until four today, and you're last class is over at four thirty, right?" I asked. She nodded so I continued. "Well then I'll be there when you get done."
But after spending an entire hour away from her, I decided I just couldn't wait to see her again, so I rushed out of my class five minutes early so I could be waiting for her when her class was over. The moment the crowd parted and she saw me standing there, her lips spread into the biggest grin I had ever seen on her face before. She ran to me and leapt in my arms, locked her legs around my waist, and kissed me fervently.
"I was hoping you'd be here," she mumbled against my lips.
"I couldn't wait to see you," I mumbled back.
Then something made her giggle.
"What?" I pressed, but refused to put her down despite the intrusive gawking from all the passerbys.
"Remember the last time you tried holding me like this?"
I smiled, immediately knowing what she was talking about. "I think I did okay for an eighty three year old. I held you for like thirty seconds."
"Yeah, and then you dropped me on my ass and we both worried I broke my tailbone," she laughed again. "I couldn't walk right for a month."
"Being young again definitely has its advantages."
"Definitely," she agreed before kissing me again.
"Wow Bella, talk about a one eighty," a girl said as she walked up to us.
"Hey Jessica," Bella greeted her friend as I reluctantly let her slide down my body so she could stand.
"What happened to that girl I knew last week who wasn't interested in dating?" the girl asked with a bitter undertone.
"Uh, I guess sometimes there's no fighting fate," Bella said with a shrug before taking my hand and pulling me away from the girl.
"You know, Dr. Phil says it's a red flag when the person you're dating won't introduce you to their friends."
"I would have introduced you but I just realized something," she replied sheepishly.
"That night at the pool hall, Jessica was crushing on a guy at the bar and was trying to work up the courage to go up to him….I'm pretty sure now that guy was you. I think she's pissed at me."
I laughed. "She should be pissed at Emily. She's the one who told me to kiss you."
"Emily? Oh Emily…Oh my god, I didn't even realize who she was."
"What do you mean, who is she?" I asked confused.
"Remember the seer?"
"Holy shit, you're right!" I said enthusiastically. "We should send her a thank you card or something."
"I didn't even know her before that night. She came with one of my other friends."
"I guess she just knew it was time for us," I mused.
"Yeah, and the fact that we've been going to the same school for years and never crossed paths before then; she probably knew she had to intervene."
"It's a big fucking school," I said defensively. "And who knows, maybe we did see each other before, but we needed to kiss before remembering, and how do you just kiss a stranger without someone asking the way she did?"
"Well whatever the reason we haven't met before now doesn't matter, all I care about is that we'll be together from here on out," Bella said while hugging my arm.
"We should get married," I blurted out without even thinking. It was completely casual and unromantic, but there it was, and I wasn't about to take it back.
"Really?" she asked surprised. "I mean, of course we'll get married, but do you think we should do it right away?"
"Why not? People date so they can figure out if they want to get married eventually, right? We already know we will, so why wait?"
"Uh, maybe because it would freak the hell out of our parents," she said seriously.
I grinned. "Wouldn't that be fun?"
"Not when they end up in the hospital with heart attacks."
"They won't. They're going to remember our past lives together, and then they'll be just as happy as we are."
"Your family might remember, but mine won't."
"Of course they will…well, maybe not your sister; I never met her….maybe your mom won't either since she was a bit crazy last time…but your dad definitely will."
"How? He wasn't reincarnated. We went back in time and changed everything so that other reality never even existed for him."
I thought about it for a minute. "You might be right, but maybe with the help of a little black magic he can remember," I said with wiggling brows.
She rolled her eyes. "I don't know how to do that."
"Of course you don't because you're a natural witch and you just do things without even trying. It'll all work out, you'll see. Besides, your parents have that anniversary party this weekend right? I can 'meet' them then. You'll make them remember, and everyone will be happy."
"What about your family? I don't want to wait much longer to see everyone."
"We do a lot of family dinners on Fridays, why don't you just come with me and see if they remember you?"
"Okay," she said with a mix of nervousness and excitement.
"And in the meantime, I think fucking with them would be hilarious." I pulled out my cell phone and group messaged my parents and siblings. "So it says, 'Just got engaged. We'll be home Friday to celebrate.'…. What do you think?"
"They're going to freak," Bella said anxiously.
"Nah, it's perfectly normal for a guy to go from rarely dating to engaged over a couple days," I joked.
"If this is the way you really want to do it, go ahead."
I smiled widely then pressed the send button on my cell. Less than thirty seconds later Emmett text back with – 'What the fuck?'
My mom text next with – 'You're joking, right?'
Then Alice surprised me the least with her unyielding support – 'Can I help plan the wedding?'
My dad was the chief of staff at a hospital in Seattle, so I figured he wouldn't get the message for a while, but when he did it was time for one of his famous lectures – 'Now Edward, I know this is probably a joke, but on the off chance it's not I just have to say that rushing into something may seem exciting right now, but in order to make a long lasting commitment you must take the time to really get to know that person to make sure you are truly compatible.'
I laughed. 'Are your fingers tired from texting all that?' – I asked him, surprised he didn't actually call me with his concerns.
'I'm in a board meeting,' – he replied. 'I will call you when I'm done.'
'No need. I have class anyway.' – I text back quickly. 'Not joking and not rushing into anything. See you Friday.'
The moment I put my cell phone back in my pocket it started going crazy with calls, assumedly from my family, all of which I ignored.
"Edward, you're going to drive them all crazy," Bella said disapprovingly.
"They'll be fine," I said unconcerned before walking Bella to her next class.
By the time my last class was over for the day, I had twenty two missed calls, and I couldn't help but laugh.
"I don't know what game you're playing, but your parents are freaking," Jasper said as he unexpectedly walked up to me as I was heading across campus to Bella's room.
"I'm sure they are," I laughed. "I bet you're happy about it though; take some of the heat off of you, and all. Emmett was out for blood when he found out you were dating Alice."
"Yeah, thanks for ratting us out, by the way. It was real nice having that fucking caveman practically break down the door the other night…and you weren't even there to buffer the situation. Where the hell have you been, anyway? You're never gone over night, let alone three."
"I've been with my fiancé," I said with a chuckle.
"You know, Alice actually believes you about that. During lunch today she went to pick up wedding magazines. She said she dreamed you were getting married soon so she's not surprised."
I laughed again. "Well Alice has always been a little psychic with her dreams."
"Seriously though, what's going on?" Jasper asked unamused.
"I'm telling everyone about it tomorrow at dinner. You'll be there, right?"
He huffed. "Yeah, Alice has been trying to get me to go to one of those Friday Family Dinner Nights for weeks now; I don't think I can get out of it again. I'm sure going as her boyfriend will be entirely different than when I went with you as your roommate," he said nervously.
"Something tells me everything will be fine," I said unconcerned.
"Yeah, fine for me since all the heat will be on you and your mystery fiancé," he snickered.
"Just wait," I said before waving at him. "See ya."
"You're not coming back to our room tonight either, are you?" he assumed.
"Nope," I said, offering no other response before hurrying to Bella's. She asked me to be waiting for her when she got there, but with Jasper's little interruption I barely made it before she arrived.
"You just got here?" she questioned after kissing me hello.
"Yeah, Jasper stopped me on the way. He's definitely still clueless. Tomorrow is going to be awesome."
"I hope you're right."
When Friday night did arrive, Bella and I were both buzzing with excitement - well, I was excited; she was excited about seeing them again too, but she was also nervous as hell that they wouldn't remember and we'd just look like two stupid irrational kids rushing into marriage. For me personally, however, having them remember would be amazing but it wasn't a necessity, because Bella and I remembered, and that's all I really cared about.
"So…how about you go in and talk to them a little," Bella suggested when we arrived at my family home. "Let them get all the lecturing out of the way before I go in there."
"It's going to be fine," I insisted.
"I know, but I'm nervous. I really miss everyone and I'd rather them not be entirely angry when I see them again."
I chuckled. "Okay. I'll be back in a minute," I told her, and then kissed her forehead and opened the front door. "Don't disappear on me now," I told her before going inside.
"Edward, you're here," my mother said, looking rather frazzled. "Carlisle, he's here!" she called to my father, who then came rushing out from the other room.
"What the hell is going on with you?" he asked without any other form of greeting.
"Can't wait to hear this," Emmett said as he, Rosalie, and their son Junior followed Carlisle out.
"Where's Alice and Jasper?" I asked them.
"They're in the back," my mother replied. "Em, go tell them to come in here."
"Yeah alright, we shouldn't leave those two alone anyway," Emmett responded.
When Emmett, Alice, and Jasper came into the living room, I couldn't help the utter exuberance I was feeling from the idea of us all finally being together again.
"So, what's going on?" my dad pressed.
"I'm getting married," I said bluntly. "I know it's unexpected and quick…"
"Quick?" Emmett scoffed. "I was just with you earlier in the week and you were still pinning after Jasper."
"What?" Jasper asked incredulously. "Emmett, we were never a couple."
"Whatever," Emmett dismissed. "There is no way Edward is even dating someone, let alone getting married."
"But I am. She's waiting outside."
"Son, this is not like you," Carlisle said, lost in bafflement. "Never mind the fact that you can't possibly know this girl yet…"
"Who said it's a girl," Emmett mumbled, our dad ignored him.
"What about college? Med School? How do you expect to make it all work?" Carlisle asked concerned.
"I don't know the logistics, and I don't really care right now," I said honestly.
"And that's the problem," Esme said gently. "You're not thinking clearly."
"No mom, I'm finally thinking clearly for the first time in this life," I contradicted.
"In this life? You're not making sense," Rose said confused.
"Yes, he is," Alice said quietly. "Don't worry about them, Edward."
"Alice, do you know something we don't?" Carlisle asked her.
"I think I do," she said absently while lost in some distant thought. "I've dreamed about this….and I think we're all about to be really happy. Go get her," she said to me excitedly.
I smiled and then ran to the door to let Bella in. The moment she walked through the door, everyone gasped - just as they did in the church when we were first sent back in time. Then, just as Alice predicted, everyone was happy; more than happy actually, everyone jumped up and started cheering, and practically tackled Bella with their embraces and tears of joy.
"You did it!" Emmett cheered, loudest of all. "You did everything I asked for."
"Well, I had a promise to keep, didn't I," Bella said while hugging him.
"We're all together again because of you," Esme said emotionally. "Thank you so much, sweetheart."
"You're incredible," Rose added while introducing Bella to her son. "I would have never been a mommy if it wasn't for you."
"If it's not too much to ask for, I'd rather not die of lung cancer this time around," Jasper said to Bella with a smirk.
"They have better treatments now," Bella assured him. "I think you'll be fine."
All of us spent the rest of the night celebrating our reunification, and of course they gave us their overwhelming approval of our decision to marry so soon, because the truth was that it wasn't soon at all. We were different people, but we were also very much the same, and the new aspects to our personalities only made for interesting conversations as we picked up right where we had left off in our previous lives.
As effortless as our time with the Cullen's was, however, Bella's parents were a complete different story. Bella was right in her assumptions towards them; they didn't remember anything from before, and they definitely weren't happy about her sudden engagement.
"Absolutely not," Charlie huffed when Bella broke the news. "Bella, are you nuts? You just met the guy."
"I know it seems like that, but…"
"But what?" he cut her off. "You either just met him, or you didn't. You don't go and marry someone you just met, especially at twenty one."
"Dad, you don't understand. I do know him, completely, and we don't want to waste time with meaningless dating. I promise you, this isn't a bad thing. I know exactly what I'm doing."
"Of course you think you know what you're doing, because everyone at twenty one thinks they know everything, but you have no idea what kind of person you'll become next year, let alone for the rest of your life," Charlie tried reasoning.
"Look Bella, I think it's wonderful that you're finally starting to date, but you certainly shouldn't marry the first guy you go out with," Renee said as gently as possible.
"I think she needs a mental evaluation," Lauren, Bella's older half-sister, stated. "Obviously she's sick in the head. What did you drug her with?" she asked me suspiciously.
"We just know what we want," I assured them.
"Mom, you can't tell me that you don't know what it's like to be sure of something, even when everyone else thinks it's insane," Bella tried convincing Renee, and strangely seemed as though she abandoned trying to convince her father and sister. "You've always taught me to trust my instincts and follow my heart. How could you disapprove of this now?"
Renee was quiet for a moment, and then sighed. "You really love him?"
"Yes," Bella said doubtlessly.
"You don't know him well enough to love him!" Charlie spat. Bella and Renee ignored him.
"At least wait a few months before you get married," Renee suggested. "Live together for a while, and just…make double sure."
"What? You're suggesting she should move in with a stranger?" Charlie asked incredulously.
"Mom, she's just going to get her heart broken," Lauren added.
Renee shrugged. "Well, then she gets her heart broken. I wish I could shield both my girls from that, but it's just a part of life."
"It won't be part of Bella's life," I contradicted her. "I know you have no reason to believe me, but I will never hurt her, and I'll do everything in my power to take care of her and make sure she has a long and happy life."
"We'll take care of each other," Bella corrected me.
Renee suddenly had tears in her eyes. "Well, I think it's wonderful. Congratulations baby!" she squealed while hugging Bella, then pulling me into their hug with them.
"You're all fit for straitjackets," Lauren grumbled. "You're going to find a way to stop this, right?" she asked Charlie.
"I'm certainly not giving my blessing."
"I have a feeling that you will," Bella said, suddenly sounding confident, which made me smile widely; she had some kind of plan, and with Bella, her plans never failed. "Dad, can we talk to you...outside?" she asked him.
"Why?" Charlie questioned warily.
"Because there's going to be a drive by and I'm hoping you'll get hit," she said mockingly. "I just want to talk to you."
"So talk here."
"You know, it's probably a good idea to go out back. The party guests should be arriving soon," Renee said encouragingly.
"Don't do it, Charlie," Lauren warned him. "Bella's going to use her voodoo on you."
"Voodoo?" Bella laughed once. "Please. It's not my fault I've always been able to convince you to agree with me."
"Voodoo huh? More like witchcraft," I mumbled, so Bella bit her lip to hide her grin, and elbowed me hard in the gut. "Ouch. What was that for?"
"See, they're already fighting," Lauren pointed out.
"I'm well aware of Bella's abuse tactics," I assured her.
"Dad, please," Bella insisted before grabbing her father's arm and physically pulling him out back.
"So what's the plan?" I whispered when we were outside.
"What's the plan for what?" Charlie asked bitterly.
"There's no plan, I just want you to understand," Bella told him. "I love Edward, and we're going to be together with or without your support….but it would sure be better if you supported us."
"Bella, I can't and I won't. You just met; his is irrational and…"
"Dad, we didn't just meet," Bella admitted while taking his hand. "You remember Edward," she said slowly, which sounded more like a demand than a question. "He was here before…he tried to help."
Charlie's eyes went blank for an incredibly long moment, and then he blinked and looked at Bella with a terrified expression on his face, before looking at me, and then back at Bella. He seemed to be in a bewildered daze as he reached up to cradle her face, and then he pulled her in for a tight hug as he began sobbing. "I lost you," he said through his hysterics.
"You did, but everything is okay now," Bella said while crying with him.
He cradled her face in his hands one more time, and just stared at her before turning back to me and immediately pulling me into an embrace. "You did it, son… You saved my baby. You brought her back to me…"
I hugged him back, but I had to correct him. "She saved herself. She saved all of us."
He pulled back, but kept us both in his arms. "I think you must have saved each other."
Bella smiled. "That sounds just about right."
Bella later told me that she didn't want her mother to remember her former life because it definitely wouldn't be a good memory or help anything, but Charlie needed to know the strength of our past so he could trust in the strength of our future. She went on to tell him everything about what happened after the last time they saw each other in that past reality, and he was understanding and incredibly grateful, and welcomed me into their family with open arms. Lauren and Renee didn't understand his sudden change of heart, but they both accepted it – well, Renee accepted it, Lauren was convinced Bella used her voodoo on him, which I suppose she technically did.
When the guests arrived for their big anniversary party, Charlie introduced me as his son in-law, which was an amazing feeling, and when the party was over, he asked me to invite my family to Forks for the rest of the weekend so they could all catch up. Renee was worried about where everyone would sleep, but Charlie assured her that they would all be happy camping out on the living room floor, which they all definitely were.
When my family arrived, it was just like it was the last time we were all in that house together, except there was no more fear of losing Bella, in fact, there was no fear or negativity at all. Renee and Lauren were a bit confused, but they must have decided to roll with it after a while, and they never questioned the camaraderie between Charlie and the Cullens. We were all one big family; there wasn't even a choice to make, that's just what we were.
Bella and I were married two months later in a far too lavish ceremony put together by Alice, but in a way it was really just a huge celebration of all of our new lives together, and everything we went through to get there. Regardless of what the future held for us in this life, we knew we had an incredible support system behind us, and a love that could get us through absolutely anything.
**A/N: Thank you so much for reading and sticking through the more confusing aspects of this somewhat confusing story. LOL. I had a lot of fun writing it, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading it :)
My stories play out in my mind like movies, so for this one, the song on the ending credits is "Come To Me" by the Goo Goo Dolls – I love the lyrics, and I think the tempo goes perfectly with the feeling of this story. Check it out if you've never heard it before!