"I love you, Bella." He smiled crookedly. "I promise, I'll come back for you."
We hid in the trees lining my father's house. The moonlight making his green eyes sparkle.
"I don't understand why you have to go." I cried, desperate for him to stay.
"I told you, I was only here to take care of my sick Aunt. I need to go back home; I have a job waiting for me. You'll be eighteen in a few more weeks and hell or high water won't be able to keep me away."
"Can't you just wait for me here?"
"If I disappear for a while, your Dad will ease up on you. He won't be expecting you to leave with me. I promise, I'll take care of you. Once you're eighteen, he won't be able to threaten us any longer. You know you're my girl, right?"
"I know." I whimpered through my tears.
"Good." He smiled, kissing me. "I brought you something, so you won't forget me."
"I'd never forget you."
He pulled something out of his pocket and reached behind me, a thin chain draping around my neck. Looking down, I fingered the antiqued locket.
"Not as beautiful as you are." Brushing his hand across my cheek.
"I'm going to miss you."
"I'll miss you too, but it won't be for long. We have forever waiting for us."
He gave me one last lingering kiss and ran off, disappearing into the dark woods. I hadn't known him very long, but it only took the few months we had been together for me to know I loved him. My father was wrong; he didn't know him like I did. He was furious when he found out about us, the age difference the biggest factor. I was seventeen and he was twenty-five. I didn't see anything wrong with the eight-year age gap. He treated me with respect, showed me what it was to love. My father tried finding out what he could about him, but was unsuccessful. As chief of police, he thought it his duty to know everything about anyone who passed through his town. Beside the age difference, there was also the bruises my father saw that made him forbid me from dating him. He didn't mean to hurt me; I shouldn't have pushed him as much as I had about staying here with me instead of leaving. I still had the finger shaped bruises on my arms, but I smiled over the memory of him trailing kisses over them and apologizing profusely. He still hadn't forgiven himself. Now that his Aunt was on the mend, he had to go back. He told me he owned a successful business and needed to make sure everything was still running smoothly. He talked to me endlessly about his penthouse, explaining every detail so well I could close my eyes and picture it for myself. I giggled, feeling giddy about going to live with him in just two more weeks.
I sneaked around the side of the house, climbing up the trellis to slip in through my open window so Charlie wouldn't know I had left. I was still grounded, according to him. My father didn't trust me not to see him so decided his best bet was to put me under house arrest.
"Bella?" Charlie called out with a knock on the door.
My eyes grew huge, thinking he had found me out. I kicked off my sneakers and ran my hands through my hair to make it looked mussed before opening my bedroom door.
"Dad?" I asked, feigning a yawn.
"I just got a call, there's been a murder."
"Do you know who?" I gasped.
Our town was small, everyone knew everyone else and things like this just didn't happen.
"We'll talk when I get back. I'm trusting you to follow my rules and stay inside the house while I'm gone." He narrowed his eyes at me. "I mean it Bella; I need to know you're safe while I'm working this case."
He must have seen the conviction in my eyes because he sighed and nodded, bidding me a goodbye as he rushed out of the house. His sirens on, the red and blue lights filling my room. Little did he know I was staying here only because he had already left. Soon, I would be leaving and never look back.
I didn't tell him before he left, but I hoped he would be happy about my secret.
He swept me away, had me doing things I never would have done before. He had the typical bad boy appearance. Messy hair and a devilish smile. He whispered words that made me blush, touching me in places while in public that weren't appropriate. He rode a motorcycle and dressed in torn jeans and tight t-shirts that showed off his tattoos. Looking at him, you couldn't tell he wore expensive suits to work. I didn't believe him myself till he showed me pictures to prove otherwise. I couldn't deny that his temper scared me. He turned it on and off so quickly you never knew when to expect it. He could be laughing and happy one minute, and the next his eyes were cold and a sneer covered his face. The only time he physically hurt me was when I begged him not to leave me. I was hysterical as he grabbed onto me and dragged me out of the hotel room he booked for us to use without Charlie's knowledge. He pushed me out the door and locked it. I screamed as I listened to him destroying the room from the other side of the door. My dramatics had the owner calling Charlie. Once my father saw me and the bruises, the holes from fists decorating the walls, it was over. What little acceptance Charlie tried to give us was gone.
I allowed him to take the lead in our relationship, believing that because he was older and more mature that he must know better than I did about what a man and woman did while in a serious relationship. I planned on telling him my news the night we fought about him leaving. I decided to wait till we were settled in our new life, my father no longer hanging over us. We would finally be free to love each other out in the open. I laid in bed, smiling as my eyes closed, thinking of how happy he would be when I finally told him.
"Where is he?"
I was woken up by my father looming over me, shaking me by my shoulders.
"Where the hell is he?"
I was sleep disoriented, my father's behavior unforeseen.
"Don't play dumb with me!"
"You told me I couldn't see him again." I whimpered.
I didn't understand what was going on, why my father was attacking me like this.
"I'm not stupid, Isabella! He murdered that woman! If you are protecting him, keeping information from me, I will charge you with obstruction!"
I couldn't speak, my teeth rattling together as he continued to shake me.
"Please!" He begged, finally letting go of me.
I fell onto the bed in a heap, my body bouncing slightly. Was he trying to accuse him of the murder?
"He didn't do this; he couldn't hurt anyone!"
"He couldn't hurt anyone?" My father sneered. "Did you already forget about the bruises he left on you? We have proof that he murdered someone tonight! You have to tell me where he is."
"No." I murmured with a shake of my head.
Charlie was wrong. He wasn't capable of doing something so horrible.
"That's it, get dressed." He barked, stalking to my dresser and throwing clothes at me.
"I won't go anywhere with you!"
"You live under my roof and you will do whatever I tell you to do! If you won't talk to me, I'm bringing you to the station."
He left my bedroom, expecting me to get dressed. I pulled on the clothes quickly and draped my purse around my body, running to the door and locking it. I was climbing back out my window when his fists began pounding on my bedroom door. I ran from the house, listening to him scream my name. I had two hundred dollars, more than enough for a bus ticket. I didn't know his address, but knew he lived in Seattle. It shouldn't be that hard to find him.
Until it was.
The tall building I stood in front of was intimidating. It was made up of dark gray bricks and had floor to ceiling windows climbing up to the very top. I had been staring at if for the last twenty minutes as the cold wind snapped at my thin coat. It wasn't made to withstand this kind of weather, but it was the only one I was able to afford. Lathan was what was important. As long as he had what he needed, nothing else mattered. That was the reason I was now standing here, shivering in the bitter cold, trying to find the courage to step inside and find him. It's been nine months since I had last seen his face, a year and a half since he told me he had to leave but promised to come back for me. I had been alone ever since I ran away from my father, till Lathan came along anyway. Lathan deserved better than I could give him, he deserved everything that he could give him. He may not want anything to do with me, to pretend he didn't know who I was, but I wouldn't allow Lathan to suffer any longer because of me. It was time his father stepped up. I sniffled, snot running from my nose from the brisk air, my mind replaying the scene that left me broken...
I couldn't find anything better for work than serving ice cream in a little shack on the side of a busy road. After my father kicked me out, I bought a bus ticket for Seattle. I tried to find him, but he was nowhere to be found. No one knew his name and he wasn't listed in any of the phone books I had been able to find. I needed to earn whatever money was available. It didn't matter how glamorous of a job, or undignified in this case, I needed the work. Dipping a tall cone into a cup of rainbow colored sprinkles, my body froze. The familiar twinkle of laughter filled the air around me, consuming all my senses. I would know that musical tone anywhere. I had been waiting to hear that sound for the last six months. Every night I tried to sleep in the woman's shelter, the sounds of children crying and women snoring, I would reminiscence about his laugh, his touch, the smile that melted my heart. I gave the waiting child the ice cream and called out I was going on break as I raced from the cramped building, searching for him. He was there, I couldn't see him yet but my body tingled knowingly. I could hear my heart beat, my ears ringing with the deafening sound.
My feet skidded to a halt. There he was. Sitting casually at a table with a beautiful woman, laughing as he fed her a scoop of his ice cream. Who was she? Did he already forget about me? What about all the promises he made? My heart broke as I watched her blow him a kiss, his head thrown back in delight. I stood there wearing jeans I had to button with a rubber band because they had become too small long ago, a dirty flannel shirt with sleeves that were tattered, the soles of my sneakers wearing down so much I could feel every rock under my feet. My stomach grumbled, only getting two meals a day. There he sat, eating ice cream while dressed in designer jeans, leather shoes that looked like they cost enough to feed me for months, a pair of sunglasses sitting casually on the top of his head. I must have made a noise because his beautiful face turned my way, his green eyes sparkling as he watched me with slight amusement, the smirk I knew so well playing in his lips.
"Edward?" I whispered, tears already streaming from my eyes.
"Do I know you?" He asked, showing no sign of recognition.
Had he truly forgotten me? All the words he whispered to me, his promises. Our shared moments and secrets. All this time I had been searching for a man who could forget me so easily?
"It's me." I urged desperately. "Bella."
"I'm sorry, have we met before?" He gave me a confused expression, shaking his head in bemusement at his date.
"Where have you been, why haven't you come back for me?" I cried out, sobs racking my body.
"Miss, I have no idea who you are. If this is your idea of a joke, it's really not amusing."
"You promised to come back for me!"
"Edward, let's just go." His date pleaded, looking between us nervously.
He gave her a reassuring smile and squeezed her hand, assisting her to her feet.
"Wait!' I cried out, running to him and clinging to his arm.
He shook me off, glancing over my body with a look of disgusted.
"Get your hands off me!"
He pushed his date into a car, stalking to the ice cream stand and making a formal complaint about my behavior to the owner before he got into the car himself, tires squealing out of the parking lot. I stood there, my body shaking, and watched the car disappear into the horizon.
I was fired on the spot and left once more without work. Given a check of forty-two dollars and sixty-three cents, I was told to leave the property before they called the police for trespassing. Twelve hours later I had my baby without anyone beside the doctor and nurses at my side. I was left alone, with a baby, in a very big world.
I wasn't going to post this story till all, or most of it, was written; I am impatient! As of now there is no update schedule.