AN: Much of this happened and a fraction is fiction.

This is my healing, I guess.

Thanks for reading.

Chapter 1

There were roses in his hand. The ruby red variety that were declarations of love given on anniversaries and Valentine's Day. I was never much for that kind of thing. Roses had always seemed like a gift that would be expected to be given after what happened between us. There was no creativity in it. A bouquet of freshly picked daisies or even a quirky cactus would be more my taste.

Yet, those flowers sent a rush of excitement through me. He could have given me a stick of chewing gum and even that would make me tingly. Because it was from him. He was thinking of me. I was important.

I spied him across the street near the dorms. That curly, dark hair was like a beacon to me. He wore his daily uniform of an oxford button-down with the sleeves rolled up and cargo shorts. The shoelaces of his sneakers haphazardly tied. The things you notice in the first moments of falling in love.

My worn backpack was slipping down my shoulder, as I picked up my pace. The orange fabric had lost it's brightness from being kicked around on dirty classroom floors where fellow students had tromped tiredly to their seats. I didn't want him to be standing outside my room with those flowers waiting. Wondering if I was thinking of him. How could I stop? He was in every thought. Those blue eyes staring as he hovered over me. His skin was soft on my fingertips.

Stumbling over the cobblestone sidewalk to the crosswalk, wisps of hair fell over my forehead making me look like a lunatic. I attempted to smooth down my ponytail.It was my feeble attempt to try to appear to be poised, positive, and brave. All things that I was not.

He had a confident stroll as he headed toward his destination. I kept my gaze on him as I crossed the street. The direction he was headed wasn't to my building.

The sorority dorm was his destination. When I realized what was happening, I stopped to stare. The hues of the flowers at the dorm seemed brighter and the light of the sun made the whole building glow. For others it was a little piece of heaven on campus. It was my hell.

"Bella, did you get the copy of Chamber's notes. The man is a sociopath," Rose complained as she came up next to me. When I didn't reply, she looked over at what I saw. He was with someone else. Someone beautiful. "Why that mother fucker!"

The girl was all bright smiles as she took the flowers from him. Stick straight and the color of corn silk, she was one step away from being a picture in a beauty magazine. He swung her around and her sundress flew around her. When their lips touched, I wanted to vomit.

It was a scene from a romantic movie and I was the unintended audience.

"We need to leave, Bells." Rose grabbed me around the shoulders and hugged me tight. "He's a dead man. I'm going to kill him."

Last night, he kissed me like he did that girl.

"You're the type of girl a guy marries," he said as he unbuttoned my shirt.

He tapped my nose. "It's cute as a button."

He licked my belly button making me giggle.

"It will only for a second and I promise magic after that." His touch was so gentle. I believed his lies.

Pain and no more kisses. Just grunts of satisfaction on his end. Tears and whimpers on mine.

"No more tears, pretty girl. You're okay. Everything's good." More promises, as he held me tight.

It was all lies.

I hated Emmett McCarty now. I would hate him for eternity.


We stood outside the common area. The college had set up the spread of BBQ offerings for the reunion weekend. The aroma of ribs floated through the air mingled with the smell of cheap beer. Obviously, they had rightfully assumed the alumni would get drunk on anything.

"Why are we doing this again?" I asked Alice.

She answered with an evil grin and smoothed down her tee-shirt covered in skulls. Alice Brandon had no issues with returning. Her idea of fun was giving her college tormentors a verbal lashing of epic proportions. The quiet violinist had become an angry punk rock guitarist. She no longer had trouble speaking her mind.

Rosalie ruffled Alice's purple hair that had been hacked off a pair of safety scissors. "Easy there, tiger. Did you call your therapist about this? I think she might have some issues about your approach."

"This isn't about Jasper Whitlock! I feel righteous indignation at the treatment of my girls!" Alice put her arms around the both of us. "Dr. Cope thinks this is a terrible idea. I, however, don't give a rat's ass."

The only reason we came with Alice was that we agreed with the therapist. This was a horrible idea and we were attempting to keep her out of trouble. Her independence from being forced into a life of silent study had made her fiery and impetuous. It was a blessing and a curse.

I noticed Rose glancing on her phone. She was using her work to distract her from the feelings she had about being here. Her own demons that needed to be conquered.

"Don't, Al. At least not for me. Emmett was nothing to me. He certainly wasn't my boyfriend. What happened was a huge error of judgement." I sighed and looked around me. The ivy covered buildings still had an air of history that always floored me. Through the generations, students traveled down these lawns to learn about the world. Some of them might have made my mistake.

Stupid girls and boys who mistakes hormones for true affection. One night of sex mistaken for the first step toward love.

Damn fools just like me.

That's when I saw Emmett. That hair was still as dark as a piece of onyx. Those dimples that beckoned his classmates. He was like the Pied Piper of Harrison College.

Things change in five years. The untied sneakers became loafers. The cargo shorts were replaced with a pair of dark jeans. That oxford shirt remained. Emmett's face still looked carefree. Why shouldn't it? That man never answered for anything, mostly his sins.

I was about to turn away, when he looked at me. His smile wavered for a moment. It was just a second, but there was a moment when I thought I saw more to his easy going facade. That grin was back in a flash and he turned it at me. Emmett raised his hand in greeting.

"Asshole," I mouthed at him.

God that felt great.

A frown was etched into his handsome lips. It felt like victory.

Rosalie bumped into my shoulder. "What the hell was that?"

"I just called him an asshole."

I couldn't help grinning. Emmett just stared at me.

"That's my girl!" Rose exclaimed. Her hug was exuberant.

There was a tap on my shoulder.


"There's my favorite girl." His eyes the color of the spring leaves. He still had hair that was bright like a new penny. It was shaggy and hanging in his eyes. I couldn't stop my fingers from running through it.

"You have a beard." I gently touched his scruff.

He gave me a wink. "Trying to look rugged, girl. You cut your hair."

Edward's fingers touched my shoulder where my hair now grazed.

"Easier to get the paint out," I explained. Small children had a way of getting messy fingers in it.

His arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me close, and he murmured into my neck."I missed you so much."

Edward made me feel safe like always. How could I have lost this? How could he forgive me so easily?

"Damn." I heard Alice say.

Emmett still stared with narrowed eyes. I closed my eyes and prayed.