Title: Picture Perfect Memories

Beta/Pre-reader: Dannibags and Piesmom

Song: I Need You Now by Lady Antebellum


Summary: Bella and Edward are both at a crossroads in life; either move forward or forget about what once was.

Picture Perfect Memories

~Three Months Prior~

Edward sat at his desk looking at the diamond solitaire that had been burning a hole in his pocket for the last several months. He wanted to ask Bella to marry him. They had been dating long enough to finally broach the subject, but there was something about Bella that always seemed so hesitant to move forward in their relationship.

They had been dating for four years, and just getting Bella to think about moving in with him was a battle. He placed the ring back into it's blue box and locked it in the top drawer of his desk. He wouldn't exactly ask her tonight, but he would see if she was ready now. He gathered his things and steadied his thoughts for the potential rough discussion ahead.

The trip to the apartment was nerve racking. Edward knew that it would be hard to sell her on the idea, but still wanted to see if time had softened her to the possibility.

Edward walked into the apartment, setting his briefcase on the floor, and hanging his jacket on the hook right beside the door. He walked over to Bella, who was standing behind the bar in her apartment, wiping down the counters after making them dinner.

"Miss me?" he asked, pulling her body into his as he kissed her on the neck.

"Yes," she sighed as his lips touched her sensitive skin.

"Good because I've missed you," he whispered into her ear before nibbling on her earlobe.

Falling back into his arms, she closed her eyes, losing herself in his touch and the magic of his hands as he rubbed them down her body.

"I have a question," he said, pulling from her neck and earlobe, stilling his roaming hands.

"Mmm," she responded, not ready for him to stop.

"What do you think about marriage?" he asked, teasing the hem of her shirt as her body stiffened from his question.

"Edward, I don't want to get married. I don't see the importance of me carrying your last name," she said, pulling away from his hold behind her.

"Babe, it's important to me. I want the world to know you're my wife. How hard is that to understand? Nothing will change about us," he said, leaning onto the bar where she was once standing.

"Why complicate things? Why not just leave everything the way it is? I love my freedom. We see each other every day or whenever our schedules allow."

"Complicate things? Are you kidding me?" he yelled in frustration, walking from behind the bar to get closer to her.

"Look, I don't want to have to divide everything you or I have in a divorce. It could get messy. At least, like this, if you wanted to leave, I would still have a place and we wouldn't have to worry about the money associated with getting a divorce," she said, shrugging her shoulders. She loved things the way they were. Why did he want to complicate them?

"You could handle me leaving?" he asked, furious at this point.

"Of course, couldn't you?" she asked. She knew she loved him and wanted him, but she foolishly thought she could make it without him.

"No, I can't, but I already know that. Apparently, you haven't gotten to that point in our relationship," he said, grabbing his things.

"Where are you going? You just got here and you don't have to leave until one?" she asked, watching him gather his brief case and coat from the hook at the door.

"Since you don't seem to have the same feelings for me that I have for you …" he paused for a moment, pulling his coat on, and placing his hand on the door knob, "… I think it's time we called it quits." Bella couldn't see his face and was unable to see how hard it really was for him to get those words out of his mouth.

He opened the door and was about to walk out the door and out of her life. If she couldn't love him the way he loved her, it was better to get out now. He couldn't sit by and feel like he wasn't anything to her.

"Don't call, Bella," he said, walking through the doors and down the hall.

"I won't," she screamed at him as he walked down the hall to the elevator. She slammed the door.


Tears stream down Bella's face as she reaches for the wine bottle that rests only a couple of feet from her, as she sits on the floor of her empty apartment. It had been three months since she and Edward had broken up over stupid reasons that neither one was willing to change for the other.

He wanted to get married, but she didn't want to. She had never seen the importance of being married. Every marriage around her had always ended in divorce or heartache.

Picture perfect memories

Taking a swig, she pulls out the box that holds every picture that was ever taken of Edward and her, laying them all over the floor.

"The good times," she thinks as she takes another drink from her bottle.

Scattered all around the floor

She shuffles the pictures around and has them scattered everywhere as she recalls the times in their lives when things were good. Now the pictures that once captured happy memories cause her heart to break apart.

Reaching for the phone 'cause I can't fight it anymore

Reaching for her cell phone, she thinks about calling him once again, but stops herself. She wonders if their lives are even worth fixing or is it forever broken?

And I wonder if I ever cross your mind

"How important was I?" she asks herself as she takes another drink from the half empty wine bottle.

"Does he wonder what I'm doing now?" she asks as tears pour down her face.

For me it happens all the time

There's not a moment that goes by that she doesn't wonder where he is or what he's doing now. Crying harder than before, she places her cell phone on the floor, using the tail end of her shirt to wipe her running nose. Crumbling further down on the floor, she pulls her legs into her chest and reaches for her forgotten cell phone.

It's a quarter after one

I'm all alone

And I need you now
Said I wouldn't call
But I've lost all control
and I need you now

Quickly dialing his number, she looks at the clock not wanting to disturb him, but needing to hear his voice. It's a quarter after one; he would be at home in bed. They use to meet for drinks before she would go to work, but she didn't think he would be there now.

The phone rings and quickly goes to voicemail.

"You have reached the voicemail box of Edward Cullen. Please leave a message," his recorded voice said.

"Edward, it's Bella ... um, I know I said I wouldn't call, but I can't do this anymore. I need you …" she cries into the phone, having a hard time catching her breath "… I've lost all control and I'm all alone. I can't be without you. Please, Edward … I need you."

Turning her phone off, she throws it on the floor beside her. Crying harder because he didn't even answer and the two seconds she heard his voice wasn't enough to keep her heart together.

~Twilight Bar and Grill~

Another shot of whiskey

Can't stop looking at the door

Wishing you'd come sweeping
in the way you did before

Watching the door at 'Twilight Bar and Grill', Edward motions the bartender over.

"Another," he says, holding his whiskey up for the bartender to see.

He looks back at the door, hoping Bella would walk in like she had so many times before when they would meet for drinks. The memories from the last four years were taking their toll. He reaches into his pocket pulling out his phone laying it on the bar, looking over at the door one more time hoping that she will be there.

And I wonder if I
ever cross your mind
for me it happens all the time

Tossing back his shot, he motions the bartender to bring another, looking over at the door, getting his hopes up once again that she will magically appear.

"Do I ever cross her mind?" he asks, shaking his head, thinking she had never loved him as she had claimed.

The bartender sits another shot in front of him.

"Keep them coming," he says before the bartender walks away again.

He can't stop thinking about her or wondering what she's doing now, and if she is safe. He always worried about her being a single woman in the world. There were so many dangers out there for someone as independent as she was, but it wasn't any of his concern anymore.

He hated that he had gotten mad and walked out, but he needed more than she was willing to give three months ago. However, he would give anything to compromise with her and forgo marriage, but now he didn't know what to do with his breaking heart besides to drink away the memories of her.

It's a quarter after one
I'm a little drunk
And I need you now
Said I wouldn't call
But I've lost all control
And I need you now

After his sixth shot, Edward picked up his cell, looking it over to see if he had missed any calls while being out in a loud, busy bar, but once again, there wasn't anything from Bella.

Dialing her number so he could hear her message was good enough for him. As the phone rings, he holds his breath, hoping and praying she would just answer. Even though he shouldn't worry about her, he does. It's ingrained in him to keep her safe and from harm. It continues to ring until the voicemail picks up.

"You have reached the voicemail box of 476-0933, please leave a message," the recorded voice says. She had changed her message to the standard one the phone gave you when you first got it.

After the automated voice was through, he almost hung up until he looked at the clock and decided that maybe he should extend an olive branch; maybe she was just too stubborn to admit that she loved him too that day. He cleared his throat before he spoke.

"Bella, baby, it's a quarter after one…" a single tear slide down his cheek, quickly wiping it from his face, he broke down "… I'm a little drunk," he slurred a little.

"But, baby, I love you. I need you in my life any way you will have. If you don't feel the same, please act like I didn't call. Hell, I'm sorry I even called, if you don't feel the same. I can't take it anymore, baby … I need you, please say you need me too," he begged.

"Please, baby, I need you … I love you, Bella."

And I don't know how
I can do without
I just need you now

"When I walked out the door that day, I knew I couldn't live without you, baby. I hope you can't live without me. Call me when you get this … I need you so fucking much," he said before hanging up the phone. He stood from his stool and walked to the bathroom, checking the doors once again before going to see if she was there.

Whoa, whoa
Guess I'd rather hurt
than feel nothing at all

Edward stood in the restroom at 'Twilight' as Bella lay on the floor of her apartment, both thinking it was better to hurt than to feel nothing at all.

Bella pulled herself from the floor, pulling her coat from the hook beside the door. She grabbed her keys and wallet from the little dish beside the door, running back to the floor she had previously been laying on, she picked up her phone and walked out the door.

Edward washed his hands and looked in the mirror, seeing the shell of the man he had became in the last three months. Drying his hands with the towel on the side of the wall, he walked out of the restroom, stopping by the bar to settle his bill, and walked out the door determined to see Bella.

Half a block from 'Twilight', he stopped dead in his tracks as she came into sight across the road.

She stopped at the crossing light as she saw him watching her from across the road. She always knew when he was close; she could feel it in her bones. She couldn't hold back the emotions that took over her and when the light turned green, she ran to him.

It's a quarter after one
I'm all alone
And I need you now
And I said I wouldn't call
But I'm a little drunk
and I need you now

Stopping right in front of him, she didn't know if she should jump into his arms or if it was some wild coincidence that they had run into one another.

Edward didn't open his arms, worried that seeing her was a vision because of the amount of alcohol in his system. He wiped his eyes, trying to rid his mind of the fog that now seemed to take place along with the tears he wouldn't allow to spill over.

"Bella," he whispered, hoping like hell he wasn't seeing things.

"Edward," she whispered back as her voice cracked from the emotions gathering in her throat.

"I'm drunk, but God … I … I …"

"I need you," she sobbed, holding her arms around her body trying to hold herself together.

"I need you, too," he whispered, opening his arms for her to fall into as everything inside of her took over again.

"I'm so alone without you," she sobbed into his chest.

"I tried not to call to give you time to work it out, but God, baby, I need you, too," he croaked as the emotions of being with her took him over, causing his unshed tears to slip over.

And I don't know how
I can do without
I just need you now
I just need you now

"I don't know what ever made me think I could live without you, but I was wrong," she sobbed.

"Shh, baby, it's all over, never again," he whispered into her hair as he leaned down to inhale the scent of her. Feeling like he was finally home again.

"I'll do anything you want. I can't do this again," she said, pulling his body closer to hers.

Oh baby, I need you now

Edward buried his head in her hair and cried with her, holding her as close to his body as humanly possible.