BIG NEWS AND INFO BELOW...
Epilogue: One Lifetime Is Not Enough
March 3, 2082
I am lying on my bed next to my wife. In a few months it will be our anniversary. Seventy years is a long time to be married, but I know that we will not get there. I turn my head and face her. I watch her as she sleeps; she is still the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I push her now short white hair from her face. Thinking back on the last seventy years, so much has happened. After the babies came home we hired Mrs. Cope—well now she's Mrs. Banner. She helped Bella look after the babies, while Bella kept doing her college work online. It took her an extra year to complete, but she still did it two years, faster than most.
As a graduation gift I gave Bella her own business—a publishing house. She was upset about the amount I had spent, but after agreeing that she would work her way up through the company, she felt better about it. I anonymously hired someone who was in charge who would not know that Bella owned the company. Bella was happy with those arrangements, and it worked well. She was really good at her job, and moved up the ladder very fast. She started writing her own stories eventually.
She has written over twenty books; all became best sellers. Several of her novels were even made into movies. She never did book tours, and wrote under a penname. She preferred to keep her published life separate from our family life for the most part. But, our whole family went and watched them on the big screen at each premier.
I took over my father's company when our children were two years old. It was a hard year – that first year in charge, and Bella stood right next to me the whole time. She was correct about one thing; it was funny to see the people's faces when they found out who I was. It took a few months of hard work, but soon I was respected and listened to.
I still loved writing music, and Bella always encouraged me to keep at it. I managed to have a lot of my songs published. I wrote several songs over the years for many different artists, and many different genres of music. I had a lot of the songs I wrote go to number one on the charts, and even won a few awards over the years, too.
I was offered a recording contract by Sony, for which I wrote music. As much as I loved singing, I loved my family more, and chose to decline the limelight of the music world. Singing was a hobby for me, not a career. My wife and children are my life, and traveling around the world was not the way to raise our family.
Rose and Emmett started dating again, after they became godparents to Elizabeth Rose. They say wisdom comes with age, and for them it was true. They were so much better together the second time around; they had learned to put each other first. Rose became a really great mechanic; some would say one of the best ever. She wanted to open her own auto shop, but because of her father, no bank would help her. After talking it over with Bella, we bought a running shop. We kept the younger crew the old man had, who sold it to us in his retirement. We revamped and restored the business to brand new and hired Rose as our manager. We gave her full control of the business and all business decisions for a period of two full years. Every six months we went over all of the accounts and projected profit margins. We put Rose under a contract and after two years if the business was in the black, then we would become silent partners in the operation and she could buy us out a little at a time. Within five years she not only had paid us off, but she had opened two additional shops. She opened a specialty shop for foreign cars, and made such a huge name for herself that people traveled from far away to have her fix things for them. She has even had cars transported to her, to be fixed. She got into the high tech side of car and driver, too. She actually designed a new style for Mercedes. I bought one immediately and loved it. Yes, sadly, it took over my beloved Volvo, although I still owned it as well.
Emmett became a doctor and had his own practice. He is a pediatrician and he loves working with children. He graduated in the top two percentile of his med school class with full honors. He was offered internships throughout the country. He chose to stay in Washington, with his family and friends. Rose and he had a baby boy, Emmett Jr. the same day as Bella and I attended our ten-year class reunion. Poor Rose gave birth naturally, to a bouncing 15 lb, 5 oz baby boy. Much like his father, there was nothing small about him.
Carlisle also went to work at the practice along with Emmett. Carlisle was very proud when he found out what road Emmett chose for a career. It took a long time, but they managed to build a good relationship. It was not the typical father and son relationship, but they were closer, and had respect for each other they never had before.
The relationship between Carlisle and me was better, too. It took him a good few years in therapy to let go of his anger and guilt, but he managed to come out a better man. It was a long path for all of us, but he will always have my respect. I will always thank him for saving my children and wife. Esme and he remarried a year after baby Emmett was born. They spent the rest of their lives together.
Cole and Martin surprised everyone by marrying sisters, and then they both became fathers the same year to girls. Their wives were lovely girls and both accepted Bella as an important part of their lives.
Jessica came back from New York, and when I took over my company, I gave her a job as my secretary. I knew I had nothing to worry about with her. She would not flirt with me, and would always tell me if my lovely wife called me. I, unfortunately, had to fire a few different secretaries before Jessica, for those reasons. She was really good at keeping things professional at the office. Jessica and her son, Benjamin, came to dinner one night at our house. Bella introduced her to Keith, and they hit it off right away. They got married and he even adopted Benjamin as his own. Both Ella and Lilly were sad to hear how Mike had treated Jessica. The whole family welcomed Benjamin and his mother into the family with open arms.
Alice was another story. She never seemed to learn how to be happy. Both Rose and Bella tried to help her, but she refused their help. She really lost her way in college. She was drinking, sleeping around, and on a path of self-destruction. I had so much going on, that by the time I found out what was happening, it was almost too late. Bella was the one that came up with the idea to help Alice.
Rose agreed with it right away, along with me and Emmett. We went together and talked to Carlisle and Esme. It was hard, but we had to intervene for Alice's sake. We got her hospitalized for twenty-eight days. It's hard to have a loved one put into a mental facility, but sometimes you have to do what is best for them. When Alice was released she was on some new medication, and therapy. She refused to speak to us for putting her in the mental health center, but we knew it was for her own good.
At a class reunion, Alice met up with Jasper who had become a psychologist helping with teen addictions. It took a few years, but they got together. Sadly, by that time Alice was in her thirties and had problems conceiving. They never had any children. Alice slowly let Rose back into her life and even made an effort with Bella, but she was never close with them. It was too bad. Alice, Bella, and Rose could have been the best of friends; the three girls had so much in common.
Tanya became a movie star and America's sweetheart, which lasted for about ten years. After her fourth marriage dissolved, she fell off the face of the earth, or so it seemed. Last we heard at a class reunion, she was working for a horse trainer, cleaning stables.
Jacob, who we saw at the second class reunion we attended, had become very large. Not in a good way either. Bella cracked me up that night when we left and she said he reminded her of a character from a movie when we were kids. Bella said that Jacob had literally become the character Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movie. It was funny because he still thought of himself as sexy; it was so scary it was funny.
As for our children, Elizabeth married Benjamin. Mike, the sleaze, tried to re-enter Benjamin's life once he found out who Benjamin was marrying. I give the kid credit. He talked to Mike, but made it clear that Keith was his dad. After Benjamin told Mike he had no money, and would not ask Elizabeth, her family, or me for any, Mike quickly exited as fast as he entered. I felt bad for Benjamin, but glad that he put his wife, my daughter, first.
My sons also got married, and I soon became a Grandpa, then a great-grandpa. Bella was very much my own personal GGILTF, it always made her smile at me when I said that.
The years passed by really quickly, and no amount of time will ever be enough. Our marriage has never been what you would call perfect, but we always remained together. We would have screaming matches or arguments where I slept on the couch for a night. We always worked through everything, because we were only truly happy when we were together. I'm happy to say that most of our ups and downs were down in the bedroom. Five years ago was hard on us; Bella found out she had cancer. She fought with everything she had and won. Sadly, last Christmas, we were told that it was back, and there was nothing they could do for her this time.
Yesterday, we were told that she had only days left. She begged me to bring her home, so I did. We never told the rest of the family; she wanted to spend this time with just me. I lie here holding her close to me as I watch her take her last breath, slowly passing away. For the third time in my life, my wife has died.
I know this time she will not be brought back. I close my eyes waiting for death to take me, as I will not live a day without her beside me.
It feels like minutes from when I close my eyes that I feel someone kissing me softly. I open my eyes and look at the old woman next to me. It takes few minutes, but I start to see her more clearly, it's my wife, my Bella.
"Bella, where are we?"
She smiles at me, and nods to her side. I look and see a train coming closer. "Come on this is for us, we're going to heaven." I smile at her, and help her on the train. As the train moves closer toward heaven, I watch Bella's face.
Slowly, she is changing back into the young woman I fell in love with all those years ago. The closer we get, the younger she looks. I look down at my hands and see that they are looking younger, too.
When the train stops Bella looks the way she did when she was twenty-one. I look at the window of the train, seeing my reflection. I look a few years older, but still young, about twenty-five.
"Oh my god, you look so beautiful. I love you," I say, as I kiss her. I pick her up and carry her, as we exit the train. We walk over and start looking around heaven.
"What would you like to do now?" I whisper in Bella's ear.
She looks up at me with a smile. "Everything, anything, as long as you are with me. What about you, what would you like to do?"
I smile at her, and pull her closer to me. "I would like to marry you."
I feel Bella smile against my chest. "We are already married, remember?"
I tilt her chin up to look into her eyes. "Yes, my love, we are, on earth. I want to marry here in heaven."
She bites her lip and nods. I pick her up and turn her around, and pull her in and kiss her.
It took us a week to get all the information on how we can get married here. In heaven, apparently, it's a bit different than it is on earth. There are some rather stringent rules you must abide by. One of the guardian angels took us through the conditions of a marriage in heaven.
Getting married here is a binding of hand, mind, and soul. It means that we would remain joined together for eternity. We could communicate without speaking. We would always know where the other was, because a piece of us would always be with the other. We will have to remain together here in heaven, or anywhere we travel. Unlike most spirits, after spending some time here they have the choice to be reborn. Bella and I have to give up the right to be reborn, if we choose to become one in heaven.
When the angel explained this part for us, we both smiled. Neither of us have any intention of ever being apart; we never have. We would always choose to be together forever. Once we chose to be bound, we were told we could meet up with all of our friends and family who were still here, but not until after we are bound.
We are standing here; in front of us is the binding guardian angel. She takes both our hands and joins them together, tying a golden rope around our wrists. Once tied, it disappears, but yet I can still feel it.
"These two people have come to ask to be bound together, forever. What I have bound cannot be broken," she says. We listen to a lot of other things. There are a lot of things said that neither of us understand, but after time we will understand the language that they speak. As this warmth spreads through our bodies, it's like I feel instantly closer to Bella than I have ever felt before.
"Do you feel that?" I hear in my head, and I smile and silently reply with a simple yes inside my own head. I can talk to her, and she can hear me without words.
The words from the guardian angel bring me back into the present. "Blessed be," she says. Both Bella and I smile at her, and thank her. "You're one now; there is nothing that can separate you from the other. I will leave you now. Before I do, I would like to say I have done this a few times now, but never have I joined two people that were so connected to each other as you two are." She smiles at us before leaving the room.
Bella smiles before pouting at me. "What," I ask her inside my head.
She smiles at me. "She never said that you could kiss the bride," Bella thinks back. I pull her into my arms, wrapping them around her as I hear the music playing. Bella rests her head on my chest. I pull her up to my face and look her in the eyes. "May I kiss the bride?"
She doesn't answer; she simply starts to kiss me, as we dance around the room.
"I love you," I hear Bella say in my mind, as I'm still kissing her lips. I smile realizing that we can talk to each other no matter what we are doing. I stop dancing, bending to put my head to hers. I let all the thoughts about her travel through my mind. I remember our times at camp, asking her to be my girlfriend, marrying her, making, and having our babies. All my memories flood my head as I show her how she has made me feel. I'm floored when Bella does the same for me, sharing with me her most sacred memories.
As the same song continues to play, we continue to tell each other all our thoughts in our own wordless way. Soon, we both notice that we are no longer alone. Surrounding us are all of our close friends and family who have joined us now that Bella and I have been bound. It's so good to see Grandpa Charlie and Grandma Mary dancing together. Then I see my parents, and grandparents, Esme and Carlisle, Lilly and Phillip, Ella and Waylon, Emmett and Rose, and so many, many, more. I felt every emotion Bella felt as she saw her father dancing with a woman who we learn he was in love with at the time of his death.
Today was the day that my Bella has deserved all her life, to be truly happy and at peace. I could feel it, not only her undying love and devotion for me, but the peacefulness of being truly happy.
I am glad that she agreed to be bonded to me because one lifetime with her could never be enough for me.
We are dancing again to the music that's playing.
"Bella where are you?" I ask in my mind as I walk around the school. Yes, I said school. It's so strange to be here in school again.
Bella and I are visiting earth. We can stay here for a day or two every so often. Bella likes to interfere with people's lives. She calls it just helping them. I just smile and stay beside her. I see her and walk over to her; I follow her path of sight and see her watching Alice.
Well, it's Alice's soul, her spirit, now she is called Mary. Alice hates the name Mary, and is going to change her name as soon as she turns eighteen. Right now, all her friends call her Tink. She looks so different from the Alice that I knew, but still the same. She has darker skin and her eye color is grey, but she is still small standing at just less than five feet. Her hair goes to her shoulders, but she wears it in a ponytail on the side of her head. Her hair is blond, I have to laugh at that, knowing Alice would hate that color.
I watch as she walks past 'Jasper' who is now called Jackson. As they walk past each other, both Bella and I see a spark between them. We see that they both felt it. Bella jumps up and down clapping her hands. "Come on, time to interfere and get those two together."
I shake my head at her. "Bella he's an ass, he never sees her, she's not in the in crowd." Strange that's something that never changes in school, ever.
"Yeah, but with a little push and whispers here and there he will see her." Bella runs over to the table he's sitting at. I watch her whisper in his friend's ear. Of course, no one can really see or hear us, or any of these whispers and the person thinks it was all their idea.
"Really, Bella, making her a bet? She's going to love that when she finds out, and we both know she will!"
Bella rolls her eyes at me. "The bet is just to get him to start talking to her, love will take over from there, mark my words, those two will get married."
I laugh as I say, "Want to make a bet out of it?"
She nods her head.
A few years later
Bella is doing her I-told-you-so dance. Alice and Jasper or I should say Jackson and Mary have just had their first baby. Yes, they married last year. I watch Bella dance around our room. I am trying to look pissed, but failing miserably. Bella just looks so cute when she's this happy. I grab her as she passes me in dancing around. "Come to bed with me."
She shakes her head, moving away, but looks back at me over her shoulder. "You're going to have catch me." At that she runs.
Let's just say that playing tag and catching her is one of my favorite games. It's not long before I take her to our bed.
A/N: Well this is finally cleaned up. It's still far from perfect, but neither of us are embarrassed by it. Thank you all from the bottoms of our hearts for all the love you've given us not only with this story but with seemingly every story we've written over the years. WeeKittyAndTAT have more stories to share with you all, and the next one starts posting tomorrow. We have plans for many more stories as well. We want to thank the people at TWCS, we have managed to make the weeks top stories several times with our stories over the years. We want to thank the top ten monthly poll, where we have had stories in the vote monthly almost all year long. Thanks to those who nominate, and vote. Thanks to the great group of ladies mentioned in the last chapter, because they do keep us readable. BUT MOST OF ALL ... THANK YOU! Without you - our readers - we would be nothing. You all give us the want and desire to write more. There will be no less than 2 more stories from us this year. So watch out for us, we're still here.
Next story: Family Business.
Summary: Edward's grandfather's business has been closed because of his investment partner died and his daughter, who he calls the viper, wants more than just money to reopen. The viper makes life hard for the Cullens when Edward refuses her 'offer.' When an angry Edward meets another poor little rich girl that needs some tutoring, will she be the one to teach him a thing or two?