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I'd known you all my life. Though we weren't friends until high school started.

My best friend in the whole world, was Tanya Michaels. I'd known her my whole life too. We lived on the same street together. Our parents were friends. We enjoyed the same activities – shopping being our favorite.

She was my other half.

If I was going anywhere, Tanya was always with me. And vice versa.

We clicked. We fit. We were two peas in a pod. Our parents joked we must have been joined at the hip in meeting.

I remember all the happy memories we shared. And there were so many of those.

Laughter over ice cream cones. Watching ridiculous cartoons at each other's houses. Painting each other's nails and doing each other's hair. How happy she would be finding the perfect dress, even if I saw it first. I never wanted to take away from her happiness, so I always let her get her way.

"That dress is cute on you," she'd tell me with that sweet smile of hers. "But I totally think I'd look better in it."

The way she always got so excited when her parents gave in to her pout and we ended up being able to order pizza and watch rated 'R' movies all night even though we were still in elementary school.

Things were always just so great with Tanya around. Like there was no stopping her.

Unfortunately, there were some not so good times.

There were days when I would find Tanya crying after school. When I'd ask what was wrong, it was always the same. Lauren Mallory or Jessica Stanley had been picking on her. I knew they were just jealous because she was so beautiful and doted upon. But they always found a way to hurt her feelings.

And the way she seemed so very heartbroken when the boy she liked picked another.

"I just don't understand why he doesn't like me," she'd cried against my pillow the day her heart was broken. "I mean yeah, I'd get it if I were you. No offense or anything. You're not unfortunate, but you are definitely no me. He should like me. He should be falling all over himself for me."

Everyone knew Tanya had a crush on TJ. But apparently TJ had set his eyes on another. And the girl had always been nice to us, so I didn't understand why she'd turn so cruel if she knew Tanya liked the boy. But Tanya told me that's how Rosie was. She was selfish, always out to get her way, take from others. I agreed because I could see how much it hurt Tanya. She liked someone and Rosie had ruined it for her.

That instantly made her the bad guy in my book.

Still, we persevered. Made our way.

And then my whole world ended. Tanya's dad was offered a job in Silicon Valley, meaning the Michaels family was moving to California. And Tanya was leaving me behind.

"I'll write you every day. Will you write to me?" I'd asked, my voice watery. I was already planning on how much stamps would cost, how many phone calls I could make before I got in trouble – since I wasn't allowed to have a cell phone until I was sixteen, if my parents would let me get my own computer for email and instant messaging.

"What? Oh yeah. Whenever I can find the time," Tanya had replied. "You know, daddy says I'm getting to go to a really big school. Bet there's tons of hot boys to look at. And cheerleading! I can't wait to meet so many new people. It'll be great to have so many new friends, I'm sure I'll be popular within a week. Don't worry if a letter takes some time though, California isn't across town, you know."

"But at least we can email and IM each other. That's faster."

"Sure, of course."

And then she was just…gone.

I cried for days.

She was my best friend, my sister. How could they take her from me?

I realize this sounds overly dramatic. And it was. But when you're fourteen years old, and you've isolated your social circle to really only one person, losing them is dramatic.

We were supposed to be starting high school together. We were supposed to always be there for each other. She was my best friend in the whole world. And now I had no one.

I remember begging my parents to move to California too. I remember crying to them that I was going to be the only one who didn't have a friend. I tried begging to be homeschooled even when moving was shot down. Of course, while they were sad I'd lost my best friend, they knew this wasn't the end of the world. I would make new friends. That's how things worked.

So with trepidation, and the knowledge that my life would suck from then on, I walked into Forks High School and into my first class as a high school student.

It was Math.

That was already a strike on its own.

In the back of the room were Lauren and Kate Baker. Another one of Tanya's enemies.

I watched how they watched me. Their eyes made my skin crawl.

I'd always kept away from them with Tanya around. Even though there were times when her tears had made me angry enough to want to confront the bullies hurting her, she always kept me back. It wasn't worth it, she'd tell me. They were just jealous of her, she'd say.

"Aw, look at that," Kate sneered as I placed my belongings on a seat close to the front. "The little bird is all alone."

"What happened, Alice? Lose the only one who could stand you?" Lauren laughed. Her question confused me but I ignored her. She was trying to get a rise out me. Just like she'd done with Tanya before.

"I bet Tanya got tired of having to hang out with her all the time. Pathetic puppy she is. Can you believe T's parents had to practically beg her to hang out with this loser? Heard they even paid Tanya to do it," Kate chimed in again through laughter.

"I hadn't heard that. So awesome. No wonder she was always able to afford those nice threads without needing to ask for money all the time," Lauren finished.

I couldn't believe what these two were saying. The lies they were spreading, and trying to inflict onto me. As though Tanya needed incentive to hang out with me. That was preposterous, especially since we'd been friends since we were small.

My vision blurred as I grabbed my things and ran from the room, not wanting to hear anymore.

I went to the office immediately, hoping to change my schedule around. There was no way I could be in that class with those girls. It was only the first day, and already I knew I was lost without Tanya.

It took some effort, but I was able to change my English and Math classes around. Of course I still had to attend my classes as scheduled that first day, but things got easier. And after the first day, I was glad to see that was the only change I had to make. None of the terror crew were in any of my other classes.

The second day of classes, I got to English early. I wanted to be prepared, scope out the layout.

You were already there.

You were the only one there.

Sitting in the center row, in the second seat, you sat writing in some notebook, your head bobbing to the beat your foot was keeping.

I almost had a panic attack when I saw you. I knew who you were friends with, who you associated with. Two of them had tormented me the day before. But you had never said anything bad about Tanya, that I knew of, so I didn't know if I could trust you or not.

I didn't want to be snotty, but I had to be careful.

I didn't know what to do.

I didn't want to be rude. Like I said, I'd known you my whole life. We just weren't friends.

But in the end, I didn't have to do anything.

As I shuffled further in to the room, you looked up.

And then you smiled at me.

"Hi, Alice," you said easily enough. "Ooh, I really like your hair. That pixie cut is really cute on you."

I think I was struck dumb for a moment. I'd never really heard your voice before. You'd always been on the quiet side. And truthfully, I spent every moment with Tanya that I didn't care what anyone else did, said or thought. So to hear you speak, the way your voice was soft, slightly raspy, was startling.

"Uh, hi, Bella." I touched the hair you'd complimented, smoothing it out for no reason. "Thanks. My mom said it would help me feel confident starting a new school." I felt my face go red from too much information. You didn't care why it was the way it was. And God only knew I didn't need to fuel any torments.

"Smart woman. It looks really good," you complimented again. I watched you close up your notebook, drop it and your purple pen in your bag before grabbing your phone. You laughed at something on the screen and then pointed it toward me. There was a meme of a dog licking a donkey. And the caption had the dog stating it tasted like ass. I couldn't help it, I laughed too. "Rose always finds the funniest ones."

I froze at hearing that name. Rosalie Hale. I almost forgot you were friends with her. I'd known her my whole life too. But unlike with you, where we just weren't friends, Rosalie and I didn't get along. Well, that's not entirely true. Rosalie and Tanya didn't get along, and since Tanya was like a sister, Rosalie was my enemy too.

Looking back on the why, I feel stupid. It's not Rosalie's fault Tyler Crowley liked her and not Tanya. Besides, we were twelve years old, for crying out loud! None of us really knew what liking someone meant.

Even still, I was hesitant with you.

I had no idea if there was motive behind your smiles. I always trusted what Tanya had said to me. While she'd never mentioned you by name, your friends had been named. I knew I needed to be cautious.

And then more of our classmates started filtering in. You turned your phone off, dropped it back into your bag and acted like everything was fine.

I rushed to take a seat. It wasn't next to yours, but it was close.

Our teacher came in, greeted us, and thus was the first week of high school.

About a two weeks went by, me coming into class to see you already there, you smiling a greeting at me. Me working to keep an unconscious distance from you. But in the end, you were the one who broke it.

"Hey, Alice?"

I had just sat down at my desk. Was arranging all my supplies when you spoke. "Yes?"

"I don't want to sound rude, but with Tanya gone, who do you hang out with now?"

I don't know if I showed a reaction. Because I tried my hardest not too. But your question gutted me. I'd been doing okay….

Okay, not really.

I'd been hiding, trying to just pass the time without anyone noticing what a loser I was. Without anyone noticing how alone I was in this life now.

And so the library became my best friend. Lots of people were in there by themselves during lunch so I didn't look like a social outcast.

Maybe it was because you "didn't want to sound rude," or maybe it was simply because I did react to your question. But you didn't let me answer. "Why don't you sit with me and Rose at lunch today?" I must have looked panicked, because you didn't give me a chance to answer. Again. "It won't be bad, I promise."

I tried to hide again. I tried and failed so fantastically.

But I will forever be grateful for that failure.

Before I could escape to the library, you were there, outside my math class, waiting to walk with me to the cafeteria.

After getting our food, you led me to a table where I saw Rosalie already sitting.

My stomach lurched as I imagined all the nasty things she was going to say to me. Tanya had told many stories, and my hands were shaking my lunch tray with possibilities.

"Hey guys. Invited Alice to join us today," you smiled at everyone, which meant Rose, and Emmett McCarty.

"Hey Alice," Emmett said as he readied to eat his lunch. "Cool hair."

"Have a seat," Rosalie said, and without an ounce of malice in her voice. As she opened her bottle of Sprite, she looked over at me. "So Alice, how are you liking your classes? Hear you've got English with Bee first thing. Crazy, trying to learn English so early."

You threw a piece of lettuce from your sandwich at her and laughed. "Better that than Algebra II. Such a nerd, you are."

"Touché, Bee, touché."

Either none of you knew about how my first day had gone, or you were deflecting. "It's… they're going okay. English isn't so bad. I'm not very good at science so I think that one might be my hardest subject."

"I love science," Emmett piped in. He wiped his mouth and then smiled with dimples so deep, one would think they were fake. "Banner said we might be able to blow some stuff up this year."

"Gotta love the demolitions man," you laughed and Emmett smiled at you cheekily.

That was the first time we hung out.

But it wasn't the last.

From that day forward, every day – unless I was sick or had something that kept me away – I sat with you all. And it was great.

I realized what I'd been missing for so many years keeping to only Tanya.

I needed more than one friend to sustain.

I realized Rosalie didn't harbor any ill feelings toward me because of something that went on with Tanya two years earlier. In fact, she never really thought about Tanya much, because to her, Tyler's middle school crush on her was nothing important. So she never really thought there was a feud to begin with.

"I wish I would've known she had such a problem with it. I never really gave it another thought after turning Tyler down," Rosalie had said the day I finally found the courage to bring it up to her. I could see that she was with Emmett, that they really liked each other, and my filter slipped, letting the question escape.

In the end, she said she felt bad such a big deal had been made about something she felt was inconsequential.

And when I think about it, Rosalie didn't like Tyler. So Tanya's anger at her was unfounded. She just wanted to be mad at someone and that someone couldn't possibly be the boy.

I also realized, I really wasn't alone, and that I was so glad my parents never once took my request to leave Forks or homeschool me seriously.

Looking back, you became the best friend I always thought Tanya was but now realized she wasn't.

Besides the fact that we lost touch so quickly after her move, even though we promised to write and visit whenever we could, with you all, I never felt in competition with anyone. And I'm not saying I felt like I was always competing with Tanya. We weren't like that. It was everyone around us. I didn't have any other friends. And then her animosity toward Rosalie, who returned none? I now realized how misguided that friendship may have been.

But that's okay. It was an experience. And while I wish things could have been somewhat different, she was my friend. I'm glad for that.

Things with you… they were easy.

We laughed about ridiculous things. I still got to go shopping, but between you and Rosalie, I noticed my wardrobe went from preppy chic, to more carefree. And my taste in music changed too. Tanya always listened to country. She thought everything else was crap. Of course that's all her parents listened too. And it's all she would let me listen to. But from Emmett, I found rap. He really enjoyed Tech N9ne. Rosalie liked rap too, but she also liked hard rock. And you…you listened to everything but country. You loved classical, enjoyed being able to belt out an R&B song – and you could, your voice was amazing – but also listened to rap and rock.

I remember all the sleepovers we had.

My parents loved you. Rosalie's parents were hippies, but always entertaining. And then there was your house.

Your mom had left your dad when you were six. It was a big scandal at one time, but you didn't let it get to you. And Charlie, he was amazing. He accepted me as though we'd been friends forever.

Everything was so perfect.

And then sophomore year started.

It was October.

Forks had new residents.

A new family had moved to town from Chicago.

Elizabeth and Edward Masen, Sr. and their sons Edward Masen, Jr. and Jasper Whitlock, who had just been adopted by the Masen's after Jasper's mother passed away. No one spoke about his father.

Emmett met Jasper in gym. They were both taking weight lifting. And he found a soul mate in music.

I instantly found Jasper attractive, but was too scared to say anything.

But you… you met Edward in Biology. And everything changed for you.

Because they'd moved a little over a month into school starting, Banner asked you to partner up with Edward, being as you were always one of the smartest people in class. But Edward wasn't a dummy. And he really didn't need your help. But from how he tells it, he was smitten with you the moment he sat next to you in class. So he played dumb to keep Banner from moving him.

You didn't fall for his charms right away though. While many of the girls in our school were vying for his and Jasper's attention, being that they were "fresh meat" and all, you were taking your time. You wanted to get to know Edward as more than just a cute face to look at.

That in turn made me slow down the crush I'd developed on Jasper.

In the end I realized that's how you and Rose were though.

She'd known Emmett for years. And because they had built up a strong friendship, a strong bond, when the time came for feelings of more, they were ready. You wanted that with Edward.

You were all very mature for your ages.

It made me wonder how'd I'd have been if Tanya were still around. Because she left when boys were starting to interest us, I know she would have been one of the girls after Edward. Or even Jasper. Given what I remember about her, and how she always pushed to get her way, I don't think I'd have liked her method.

Even still, it was a few months of us all hanging out before you showed up to lunch one day, your hand held tight in Edward's, and goofy smiles on both your faces.

A few days later, Jasper asked me out.

I said yes.

Time seemed to fly by. The six of us spent all our time together.

Jasper, Emmett and Edward all played baseball, so us girls would go watch. Rosalie was into soccer, so we all made sure to be there to cheer her on. And you, you were in the school's choir, singing for all of heaven.

While I didn't have any "real" talents to speak of, as being a frugal shopper was not a talent, I was content to watch you all shine in your moments. Because with you, I had gained something I never had before. I was part of something. I was part of something beautiful.

And I thanked my lucky stars every day that I was able to make such wonderful friends.

I loved Tanya. She was like a sister to me. But we were so isolated from everything and everyone, that a part of me is almost happy she had to move. If she hadn't, it makes me sad to think I might never have been able to meet you all.

I'd never have even tried to look at Jasper let alone end up dating him.

But none of that mattered.

I needed to stop thinking about the 'what ifs' and focus on the now.

And at the time, the now was pretty great.

The only thing though is, like with all things in life, bad things are bound to happen eventually. We just never expected the source.

It was Junior Prom, everyone was dressed to the nines. You, Rose and I had gone shopping in Seattle earlier in the month and found our dresses while the guys rented from a store in Port Angeles.

We were all so happy that night.

But somehow, a blast from the past had returned.

The following morning, while we all gathered at the Diner for breakfast, Jasper tensed up as though he had a gun at his back. I remember looking at him as he sat stone still, looking past me out the window behind me.

Edward followed his gaze and cursing quietly, took your hand.

I didn't understand what was going on.

You see, while I'd been dating Jasper for nearly a year and a half at this point, we never talked about what brought him to the Masen's. I never even questioned why he still carried his original surname instead of changing it.

I was still so wrapped up in myself that I never really bothered to ask him any deeply personal questions. He knew all about Tanya, about how close we were and what losing her to her moving away did to me. He knew that I hated Rosalie for something she hadn't even done to Tanya but that I only felt the emotion because of Tanya. He knew so much about me because when it came right down to it, I was selfish.

And I liked the attention he gave.

But you knew. You knew because you and Edward talked. And not just about shallow things that everyone knows about.

He knew you wanted to sing professionally but were too afraid too. You knew he wanted to pitch for the Mariners but that his arm kept giving him trouble making him worry it would never happen.

I knew Jasper wasn't born a Masen. I knew Jasper had been taken in by Edward's family after his mother died. But he never told me about his dad and I never asked.

Looking back, I wish I would have asked everything.

Still, I remember you standing with Edward, Jasper rising with you both as you walked out of the diner.

Rose and Emmett looked to me for answers, but I had none.

With our attention pushed to the parking lot, a man who looked eerily similar to Jasper standing before a beat-up old pickup truck, I watched you take Jasper's hand in yours while Edward kept his arm about you. I will admit I felt a moment of jealousy at the action.

What did you need to hold his hand for? I was his girlfriend. I should have been the one touching him and only me.

But I was inside and this was bigger than my issue.

After what felt like hours, you all returned but Jasper wanted to leave. He'd lost his appetite, lost his desire to hang out anymore that day.

"Wanna head out with me?" he'd asked, shrugging on his jacket.

I could see he was sad or conflicted. I could see something was wrong. I could see maybe he needed me to be there for him.

I don't know why I did it, but I shook my head no. Perhaps it was because my house was in the opposite direction of his. Or perhaps I was still dumbfounded by your hands touching and the fact that I knew so little.

Still, I remained in my seat as you, Edward and Jasper left the diner and headed away.

That night, feeling that jealousy return, I went to see Jasper.

"I was wondering how long it was gonna take you," he said. Apparently I was later than he expected me to be in coming over for this. Edward was away with you somewhere, had been for hours just in case I stopped by. It was just Jasper and me in his house. If not for how I'd acted at the diner, the implications of the empty house would have been different.

Instead, Jasper told me his tale that night.

He told me the tale I should've, as the good supportive girlfriend I was supposed to be, had already known.

I found out Jasper's mom, Charlotte Whitlock had died of lung cancer. She'd had a brief fling with a guy named, Peter. When she went to tell Peter she was pregnant, she found out he was in jail for robbing a bank. Peter's last name, Andrews, was left off the birth certificate as a result. And Jasper kept his mom's name to honor her after being taken in by the Masen's.

I learned Charlotte had written to Peter a few times. Informed him of his child but never heard anything back. She assumed he wanted nothing to do with Jasper. Peter was released a week before prom. And with all the letters from Charlotte, he decided he wanted to find Jasper and that's how he ended up at the diner.

Edward's glare was a result of believing Jasper had been abandoned by Peter. Since no one knew any different.

Jasper told me he was hesitant to trust his father. And he had spent the afternoon talking with his new parents about what he should do.

They all decided to see what moves Peter made. While it had bothered everyone that he'd never acknowledged Jasper before, they didn't know what he was up to now. And besides, being in prison meant he couldn't really see his son. It was always a possibility Charlotte had just kept Jasper from his father.

As the time passed though, Peter came around more and more. So much more that it made the Masen's worry about whether he was dangerous or not.

He'd been locked up a long time. No one knew what his motives were.

The funny thing is, as if that wasn't bad enough, rumors started circulating around school.

About you.

About Edward.

About Jasper.

People had seen you with Jasper. Alone.

People had seen you hug him. And not just a friendly hug, but one that lingered, they said.

And then I'd heard someone had even seen you kiss him. It might have only been on the cheek, but the kiss was there.

I confronted you about it after school one day.

I remember the look of disbelief on your face.

"What are you talking about?"

"People have seen you, Bella. People have seen you and Jasper together!"

"When have people seen me?" you asked. "And who are these people?"

Looking back, I should have paid closer attention to your second question. After all, I'd managed to avoid them for almost three years at that point. But I was angry at what I'd heard. Angry enough to take it up with you. I wouldn't be bullied. Or hurt. You would not hurt me. "During Edward's piano lessons. You remember, the lessons he's taking for you so you can duet together?"

I watched you shake your head. In all the time I'd known you, smiles and laughter were a staple with you. But not this time. "Alice, I'm with Edward during those lessons. I don't know who people have seen, but it's not me."

"No? So a girl with long brown hair who dresses similar to you just happens to be hanging around Jasper all of a sudden? He doesn't even speak with anyone else in this school but those he hangs out with!"

I admit it, I was hysterical by this point. There really wasn't anything you could say to me to make me think no betrayal had occurred.

It was just like with Tanya all over again, believing that Rosalie had wronged her somehow.

I didn't believe you. I should have, but I didn't.

"It's not me, Alice. I would never do something like that to you," you huffed, clearly frustrated with me. Of course, I took that frustration to think you were trying to cover for being caught. "You know what? If you don't believe me, ask Edward where I am during his practices. Maybe if you hear it from him, you'll believe me."

One day before lunch, I caught up with Edward.

I had called his name, and when he stopped to wait for me, I walked up and tried to kiss him. I figured it was only fair. You had kissed Jasper, I got to kiss Edward.

"What the hell are you doing?" he jerked away and shouted, causing eyes to focus on us. He'd pushed me back, kept me from achieving my goal.

"Eye for an eye," I stated before explaining everything I'd learned.

"What are you talking about? Jazz and Bella are not going behind our backs," he told me with a stony face. It was clear you had talked to him about this, or at least mentioned the rumors I had been hearing. "And who is telling you these lies?"

"But people have seen them together!" I countered. "And think about how touchy-feely they are together. She always hugs him. They hold hands. That's not normal."

He just shook his head at me. "Alice. Jasper and Bella are not cheating on us with each other." He looked toward the cafeteria, where you and Jasper were already waiting for us, and in my head, being too close to each other. "Jazz thinks of Bella as sister. And she feels like he's her brother. Maybe if you weren't so caught up in your own head all the time you'd realize this."

I was taken aback by this. Not only by his statement, because I knew he didn't know what he was talking about, but by the way he was speaking to me.

"Seriously. I know what's gone on with you, okay. I know you pretty much only had one friend growing up and she left. I also know she lied to you about a lot which isolated you from everything."

"What are you talking about?"

He sighed heavily. "Alice, Bella told me about Tanya. That she made up so many lies about others treating her bad so you'd never branch out and make other friends. She didn't want you to be more popular than her. She didn't want more people to like you when they couldn't stand her." He looked at me straight on. "I get that you've been sheltered for so long, but come on! When has Bella ever done anything to hurt you? When has Jasper ever given you a reason not to trust him?"

Tears pricked my eyes. That couldn't be true. Tanya and I were a team. She and I were each other's only friend. "No, you don't know what you're talking about. Tanya wasn't trying to hold me back."

"I don't know what I'm talking about?" He looked at me with wide eyes. "Tell me then, how many times have you and Tanya talked or hung out since she left? You're acting as selfish as she was."

He walked away after that. He walked away to you.

I sat in the library for lunch that day. Actually for the rest of the week.

By the next Monday, Rosalie confronted me. She told me you had been so upset to think I could ever believe you would betray me like that. Emmett told me Jasper was beside himself, that there was already so much going on with him and his dad that dealing with my insecurities was crippling for him. He also said Edward was furious with me for hurting the two people he cared most about.

Funny enough, Edward never mentioned my attempt to kiss him. He figured Bella and Jasper had been hurt enough by my actions that he didn't need to add more fuel to the fire.

And then word came down that Peter had been arrested again. He'd been caught with a young woman, trying to sneak onto school property to see Jasper.

There was so much chaos. No one knew his motive.

Worse yet? I was once again in the dark.

Because of the rumors about you and my boyfriend, no one wanted to tell me anything.

It was a week before school ended when everything came to a head.

After still trying to battle against the rumors floating around school, I finally got my proof.

Rumor had become, in my mind, undeniable truth.

I was driving home from school and saw you with Jasper at the Tasty Freeze. You were holding his hand. And he looked so lost.

I knew Edward had piano practice, and while you claimed you were always there with him, this time I knew you were lying. I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick picture before gunning it home.

I was a mess. I was crying, could barely make out my front door as I bolted into the house. My parents were both still at work so I was alone.

And hurt.

The betrayal I felt ran bone deep.

All that talk from you. The lies you said straight to my face. The lies you had Edward tell me…all of it was shattered with the proof resting in my phone.

And then I got angry.

I'd never had a drink in my life, but that night, I felt like drinking.

Which only fueled my anger.

I drank anything I could find, vodka, rum, even some whiskey hidden behind a box of cereal.

And then I blacked out.

The next morning, long after the sun had rose, battling through my first ever hang over, I received a phone call from Rose. She'd been trying for hours to reach me.

I'll never forget it.

"Alice? Did you hear?" she asked, her voice cracking, tears and anguish present in her voice.

"Hear what?" I asked, trying to keep my head from exploding. All I wanted was so extra strength Tylenol, my bed, and to be left alone.

"Oh God! Edward and Bella were hit and killed by a car last night. And Jasper's in the hospital."

"What?" I bolted upright, the room spinning. "What are you talking about?"

Through her broken sobs, her tortured cries, she went on to tell me the story.

It turns out, you really were with Edward at his piano practice. You guys had even recorded your first duet that night. A song you'd written and were hoping to get to a record company. Edward had practiced twice as hard to help make your dream come true.

Halfway through the session, Jasper had called, asking Edward to pick him up from the Tasty Freeze.

The accident happened there.

While you and Edward stood in the parking lot, talking with Jasper, comforting him, a car speeding down the road slammed into you from behind. There was no time to react. No time to escape the path of the vehicle.

The force of the impact sent both you and Edward forty feet from where you'd been standing. You were both killed instantly, the report states.

Jasper watched the whole thing. Until he was clipped by the bumper of the speeding car, which is what landed him in the hospital with a shattered leg.

And the girl I saw with Jasper; the one with long brown hair that looked just like you? That was Maria, his half-sister he didn't know he had until Peter tried to get into the school with her. He never told me about her because at first he wasn't sure if he believed it, it was hard to trust Peter when he didn't know what the intention was, and then when I started believing the rumors that he was cheating on me, he didn't trust me enough to know.

She saw the whole thing too. In fact, she was the one who called nine-one-one.

I asked Rose, once she had finished her story, if they thought it was Jasper's father who had done this. We all knew he'd been released from jail. Perhaps he had finally snapped.

She told me he was already at the scene. He had just pulled into the parking lot to pick up Maria when it happened.

I look back at that phone call, on that news and my insides twist and turn.

It's funny, not in a 'ha ha' way, but in a sad way, to think how isolated I was even after gaining friends.

To think how much I was just like Tanya.

After all, I'd pulled away, but never really blamed Jasper after the rumors started. I never really confronted him. Just you.

Just like Tanya had hated Rosalie because of Tyler, but never said a bad word about Tyler.

You were a better friend to me than Tanya ever was. You gave me the chance to make other friends. You helped me find the courage to fall for a guy like Jasper.

And how did I repay you?

Not only did I listen to lies about you. Lies that were a result of people who didn't like me and wanted to see me hurt.

But I also hurt Jasper.

And I killed you.

You and Edward.

Because I had been drinking at the time, my sentence is higher. I received twenty-six years for my role in your deaths, plus an additional five for injuring Jasper.

I guess Maria got a real good look at the driver. She told police I had a determined look on my face as I rammed into your bodies. She said it looked like I was aiming for you, but that Edward got in my way.

I don't remember any of this.

My car, however, tells Maria's story.

I wish there was a way I could fix this. Wish I could bring you back, change our destinies.

Maybe if you'd never spoken to me that first time, you'd still be alive? My court appointed therapist tells me that's victim blaming. I know he's right. You're not responsible for my actions. You're not responsible for my selfishness.

I'm sorry I couldn't attend your funerals. Given the nature of what happened, your father and Edward's parents forbid my presence.

Then again, I was already in custody at that point.

It's been three years since that day.

I haven't seen my parents since I was arrested. Rosalie and Emmett refuse to speak to me.

And Jasper…while he's recovered, the damage done to his leg was too great. They had to amputate. He has a prosthetic now. I saw him at my sentencing trying to walk with it.

He spoke to the court.

He told everyone how when we met, I was a beautiful but shy girl. Someone who had spent too long detached from the world around her. And then when friends found me, I had such potential to be more. But instead of that, I listened to lies. I listened to lies, kept to myself without finding out truths, and in the end, killed my best friend.

I'll be forty-eight years old when I'm released.

I know I should feel fortunate that I didn't get a longer sentence. I should feel fortunate that I am still alive to see forty-eight.

But I don't. Because I know you and Edward never will.

Even still…I hope one day I can be forgiven.