So this is how it feels like when you see the love of your life with someone else.
I think back to the days when it was me holding his hand, though not in public. Never in public. Now, I couldn't fathom why I ever refused to let him show his affections around others. I have always preferred it when we were on our own, always thinking that somehow, being affectionate with no one but the two of us will be more special, intimate. Now, watching him touch and hold her hand makes me want to go hide and cry. Gut- wrenching tears, soul- punching sobs.
Why did I ever agree to attend this event?
Try as I might, I can't look away from the vision of them. I can see how she looks at him. Like, really look at him.
I used to look at him that way. I still look at him that way. And maybe, I will always look at him that way.
He still hasn't caught my gaze since the moment we arrived at the same time, though separately. Him with her, and me, well, all by myself. I'm now grasping at the straws, willing him to look at me. Even for just a glance. Anything, really. Even just a glimpse of his mesmerizing, vivid green eyes. Just a taste of how it used to feel like, when brown meets green, of how it felt when two lost souls meet in the middle of a crowded room. I just want him to acknowledge my presence, show me that I was not forgotten. Show me that I wasn't nothing to him. Just… anything.
I looked at his companion, and see that she is stunning in her own way. From where I stand, I can see that she has wide greyish blue eyes set on a perfectly bronzed face. Her hair is like a cascading waterfall in ebony. Her form is petite, yet it has sinewy muscles resembling that of a dancer. Her dusky skin glimmering under the lights.
I looked at where his hand was holding hers, affection and all, and I felt my heart sinking a little further.
Oh god, can this end already? I don't think I can handle more of this. More of him touching her. More of him giving her what was once mine. What I had and wasted.
I want to cry at the tenderness I see on his face when he looks at her. That was my tenderness.
I still can't believe how I could fuck up the only thing I've got that is good. The only thing that mattered- that still and will always matter.
I shift my gaze from them and scan the entirety of the room. Over by the furthest corner of the room, I spot Alice and Peter, who seemed to be arguing, given by their postures and expressions. A little further scanning and I see Jasper with his boyfriend, Garrett, sitting at a table near the end of the room. From my perspective, I can see that Jasper is looking over at Alice and Peter periodically, his expression conveying a gloomy glare directed at Peter.
If Jasper wasn't gay, he and Alice would have been perfect together.
I continue looking around the room, seeing the faces of people who I thought would have been my family by now. If only…
I have noticed how his family looked at me when they saw me. I wonder if they still hold a grudge over what happened between him and me… over what I have done.
I wonder if his mother, Esme, loves her. But really, it wouldn't be a surprise if she does, since all Esme wanted was for her son to be happy; and it absolutely looked like he is happy. And I honestly want that for him. Regardless of whether it is with me or not.
I avert my gaze from his mother and father; it hurt too much, knowing that I can never call them my family someday.
From the corner of my eye I can see someone looking at me, so naturally, I tilt my head to the side and meet the eyes of his cousins who are giving me a deadly glare. If looks could kill…
I try to give them a passive stare, not wanting them to think that they can easily throw me off. From the corner of the group, I can see Tanya smiling at me. Since I have entered the room, she is the very first to offer me a friendly smile. I smile back at her, even though the one I gave her was a small, tentative smile.
Her grin got wider, although she did not try to approach me and start a conversation. I actually appreciate that from her, because I didn't want to start drama. His family, with a probable exception of Tanya, still detests me. And I don't blame them at all. After what I have done, I hate myself too.
To break Tanya's gaze, I took a glance around the room before I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand. Looks like I'll be dining with the bride's officemates, then.
I walk over to the table with as much dignity as possible, given the number of guests looking my way. It might sound highly paranoid, but I feel like they were all looking at me, recognizing me, and eventually judging me once they knew who I was.
As I sat down, I took in the elegant decorations draped all over the room. The curtains were in some rich cream color, and white twinkling lights hung down from the ceiling. There were probably about twenty- five round tables scattered strategically all over the room. The table tops were floor- length, in beautiful pastel colors. The high back chairs in ivory were comfortable and mixed very well with the motif.
I sat down and situate myself on the chair, sighing deeply as I try to discreetly remove my high heeled- shoes. I try to act as nonchalant as possible, as if I wasn't nervous being here. And it's not like I am gatecrashing, I was invited to this.
I take another glance across the room and see them. They were sitting a few tables ahead from where I am, of course they are, and I think I'm out of their view from the front.
That's a good thing, I thought. I don't want to get caught staring at him, on top of everything else.
As the program progresses, I find myself drifting back to the ceremony earlier. And I can't help but tear up a little. I think of the sincerity in the bride's and groom's vows to each other. I think of the way they looked at each other; it was so achingly sweet, it kind of overwhelms me. And I wonder, just like I always do, if I would ever get my happy ever after. With him. Always with him. Even if I know now that I may never get it. Especially now. He's happy with her. I can see that.
What the fuck am I doing here? I can't help but ask myself for probably the thousandth time today.
I'm here for them.
I'm here for my distant, long-lost friends.
I'm here for the almost family that I've lost.
I'm here for the love I've lost. I'm here for him. Always for him.
The bride and groom's first dance has just ended when I got out of my mind. Everyone was applauding them, so I joined in. I kept clapping, as if I don't have some sort of inner turmoil. I clapped and cheered until everyone has stopped, and when they did, I took another look around the room.
Everyone has a smile on their face, everyone is happy for the bride and groom. I am too, honestly. I just feel a tinge of jealousy when I look at them. Because I imagine him and I, in that setting, with myself as the bride, and him as my groom.
But then my fantasy would vanish as soon as I have imagined it. He is with her. He's happy. I broke his heart and he moved on. From me. From our love. From the memories we built. He has moved on from me and I haven't. I know that I haven't, and probably never will.
I took a deep sigh and stood up, intending to go home already. I don't want to be here anymore and be reminded of everything I can't have with him. I turn to look for the bride and groom, to congratulate them and to wish them a happy life together. I know they would make it.
I saw the bride standing with her friends. She caught my eye, and then smiled at me. A real, genuine smile. One that I haven't seen in a while. I gave back one of my own and hope that it's as genuine as hers. I slowly raise my hand to wave her a hello and a goodbye, my face morphing into a bittersweet expression. I really wanted to stay, but my heart hurts too much already. I don't think I can take more of this.
The bride seemed to get what I was trying to convey because although she didn't leave the conversation she was having, she waved back at me, gave me a knowing smile and a timid nod.
I turned away, thinking that I should just forgo saying goodbye to the groom when I bumped into a solid form. I looked up, so startled that I didn't register the presence I'd bumped into. It was a presence that I will never forget. It is the presence that will always haunt me and chase me away in my dreams.
"Bella," my name on his lips, spoken like a gasp. A short prayer. An astounding expression. His voice bristled with underlying familiarity under the guise of surprise.
"Edward." I uttered his name, the first word I've spoken in hours.