So I survived the first part of our move to Texas. Our house sold the week before we moved, our household goods were packed and transported to a storage facility in Texas, where they will sit until our house is ready for us. We are currently living in a fifth wheel travel trailer for another 3 weeks or so, in the hot, hot, hot (did I mention hot?) Texas sun. Every day has been over 100 degrees, last weekend even got to 113. Apparently there is some relief in sight as the forecast for Saturday is 89! I just have to get through tomorrow's 108 degrees and then maybe I can breathe! So far I have seen 3 tarantulas, but luckily no scorpions or snakes. There are also prairie dogs everywhere; and while cute, can apparently carry the Bubonic Plague…so yay for that! I swear this state is full of things that can kill you—maybe eventually I will get used to all of it—or maybe not!
You know how Bella said in Twilight that everything is green? Well I feel the same way, only in reverse. I grew up with the green and am not used to seeing all the brown. Alright, enough complaining. I have a bit of an outtake/continued story for you!
Alice and Jasper
The rain was pouring down as I drove back to Tacoma from Seattle. Three different accidents had slowed traffic causing my commute to become even longer.
"The Los Angeles Ballet is looking for both a principal dancer and a new instructor for their school. I know your name has been mentioned Alice, why don't you move to LA? Carlisle and I would love to have you close, and I know Sarah would love to have her aunt nearby to dote on her," Esme's voice filled my car as I talked to her on my drive.
I smiled as I thought about my almost three-year-old niece. She had blonde curls and big green eyes. I had flown out to see Esme's latest performance and had spent the better part of three days shopping and spoiling the little girl rotten.
I shook my head as I cleared the memory from my mind and I sighed, "I can't Esme. I need to be here right now."
"I still don't understand why you moved to Tacoma. You've been there four years and the commute is ridiculous. I hate LA traffic, but at least I live close to my job. I just don't get why you won't move back to Seattle if you aren't going to leave the Pacific Northwest Ballet. You spend close to two hours a day driving, and for what, a lower mortgage payment? What you save in your mortgage is just going to gas and you waste so much time traveling." I could hear the frustration in her voice.
"Esme, we've been over this before. I have this feeling I have to be here. I'm not meant to live in Seattle; if I'm not in Tacoma, I'm going to miss out on something important in my life. Just trust me when I say this is what's right for me," I explained for what felt like the hundredth time. I didn't know what had brought me to Tacoma, but I knew I needed to stay until I figured out what my life had in store for me.
Esme sighed heavily and said, "Well at least go out to a bar or coffee shop or something and find a man to date. You haven't even looked at a man since you broke up with Jasper over eight years ago. You can't just close yourself off to the world. You're so full of life; you need to be full of love too." I heard a sniffle echo through my car's speakers.
I rolled my eyes and said, "Esme, I think those pregnancy hormones are getting to you again. I still love Jasper and I'm just not interested in moving on yet. If I ever decide to go on a date, I'll be sure to let you know right away. I gotta go Esme, traffic is getting heavy again; there must be another accident. I'll talk to you later."
I pushed a button on my steering wheel and disconnected the call. Within a minute I was slowly rolling to a stop as traffic once again came to a standstill.
As I sat there, waiting for traffic to move, I thought back to the worst day of my life, the day I broke my own heart along with Jasper's.
The final bell rang and everyone headed to their lockers. I had just finished getting everything I needed from my locker for the night when two arms wrapped around me. I sighed and relaxed as I was surrounded by the scent of the man I loved. I turned around and rested my cheek on Jasper's chest. He bent down and kissed the top of my head. I hugged him tightly and took a deep breath, inhaling his scent and committing it to memory. I exhaled with a shudder and tried not to cry. I took one more deep breath to center myself and leaned back to stare up into Jasper's eyes.
He smiled softly down at me and then slowly placed his lips on mine. I let myself get lost in his kisses for a few moments, relishing each one. I eventually pulled back a little and my eyes met his. I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried not to let my nerves take over as I asked, "The rain's stopped; will you take a walk with me?"
Jasper smiled and replied, "Of course I will. I would follow you anywhere." He reached behind me, shut my locker, and then picked up my backpack from the ground. He slung it over his shoulder on top of his own and wrapped his other arm around my shoulders and together we walked outside. There was a tree lined walking path behind the school that eventually ended near the parking lot. It was perfect for what I had planned.
We walked in silence for a while before I stopped and said, "I love you, Jasper."
He gave me a confused look and responded, "I know you do. I love you too, Alice."
I nodded and kept walking. A few minutes later, I stopped and asked, "Have you decided what you're going to do next year?"
He shrugged and said, "I know you're going to Julliard, so I've applied to Columbia, NYU, Cornell, and City University of New York."
"What do you plan on studying?" I asked as I slowly walked forward again. Jasper followed at my pace.
He shrugged again and said, "I don't know. I haven't decided yet. I'm not really interested in anything in particular, but I'll decide eventually."
After another minute spent in silent walking, I stopped and asked, "You're going to New York because I'm going to New York?"
He smiled and answered, "Of course. I said it before, I'll follow you anywhere. It doesn't just apply to walks after school. I'll follow you wherever you want to go and if you want to go to New York, I'll go and I'll figure out what I want to do later. All that matters is that I'm near you and you do what you want to do."
I bit my lip, a habit I inherited from my mother, and thought about his answer. I took a slow breath and asked, "But what do you want to do?"
He shrugged and said, "I want to do whatever I have to do to be near you."
I blinked back the tears that started to gather in my eyes as I focused on the ground. Once I was sure my eyes were clear, I looked up and asked, "What if I wasn't in the picture? What would you want to do then?"
Jasper's forehead crinkled as he thought about what I was asking him. He frowned and answered, "I guess I would join the military. I've always wanted to serve my country. Maybe try to get into West Point or even the Naval Academy. But I'm not going to do that because you are in the picture."
I looked up and realized we had walked close to the edge of the parking lot. I reached up and took my backpack from his shoulder. I placed my hand on his cheek and allowed a fear tears to fall from my eyes. I closed my eyes and took another deep breath. Then I opened my eyes and was met with a confused stare from Jasper. I couldn't resist standing on my tiptoes to place one last kiss on his lips before I said, "I'm not in the picture anymore, Jasper. You can't follow me anymore. I'm holding you back from finding yourself."
Jasper was frozen, his mouth was parted and his eyes were unblinking. I watched as his lips began to move, trying to form words. He whispered, "But you're my life; you're my future."
I tried to smile as I answered, "I'll be your future someday; but right now, you need to find you. You need to choose your own path. I love you, Jasper. Goodbye."
I turned and ran toward my car. I saw him still standing at the edge of the parking lot as I drove away. He looked broken. It took everything in me not to turn around and take it all back.
The rest of the school year was torture for both of us. I cried nearly every time I saw him. Jasper withdrew into himself and neither of us did anything with any of our other friends. The last time I saw him was at graduation. He waved from across the gym and mouthed, "I love you, Alice." I smiled back at him and mouthed back, "I love you too."
Esme was right; I hadn't seen anyone since breaking up with Jasper. I tried to move on, honestly I did; but I compared every man I met to Jasper. He was still the only man I ever saw. I missed him; but I knew that breaking up with him was what we both needed. I needed to do what was best for him and I never would have forgiven myself if he gave up his dreams for me. I thought about him all the time and wondered if he was happy. I know I had told him that I would be his future someday; but each day that passed made me feel less sure that what I had said was true.
I glanced at the shopping list sitting on my passenger seat before looking at the clock on my dashboard. I sighed as traffic continued to creep along past a minor two car accident. When I finally exited the highway toward my house I realized that there was no way I was in the mood to go to the grocery store and then go home and cook dinner.
I saw a sign ahead of me that simply said, DINER in neon letters with an arrow pointing at a quaint looking restaurant. I pulled my car into the parking lot and parked as close to the door as I could, which ended up being pretty far away considering that it was still pouring. I reached into the backseat and grabbed my raincoat. I shrugged it on, picked up my purse, and ran through the rain toward the warmth of the building.
I stepped inside and was greeted with a sign that read Seat Yourself. I hung up my raincoat on a hook next to the door and then I scanned the diner to find a table that was empty. Table after table was full of happy smiling families and couples. At a back corner table, a man sat all alone reading a menu. He was wearing a naval uniform and my breath caught as I took in his familiar features. I blinked hard a few times and rubbed my eyes. When I looked again, I realized that my eyes weren't playing tricks on me.
I crossed the diner and slid into the booth. His head jerked up from the menu and his jaw dropped. We stared at each other for a moment before I broke the silence and said, "You've kept me waiting a long time."
He continued to stare at me in shock before he smiled and replied, "I'm sorry, ma'am."
I held out my hand to him across the table. He didn't even hesitate to grasp my hand and then pulled us both until we were standing next to the table. He leaned down, picked me up, and brought our lips together in a kiss that had been over eight years in the making.
Once our lips broke apart, I clung to him as tightly as I could. He held me just as tightly and whispered, "Oh Alice, my sweet Mary Alice. I've missed you so much."
I sniffled and didn't even try to stop the tears that were flowing from my eyes. "I've missed you so much, Jasper," was all I was able to say in reply.
Eventually he set me back on my feet and then reached across the table to pull some napkins from the metal dispenser on the table. He carefully wiped the tears from my face and then kissed both of my cheeks. Still holding hands, we sat down across from one another. We stared at each other, taking in the differences that eight years will have on a face. Jasper's features had grown stronger, harder. The youthful softness was gone and in its place was the face of a man. I could see a light five o'clock shadow beginning to appear on his jawline. His blond curls were cut short. He had a new scar over his left eye and a small one on his right cheekbone. I reached out and traced both scars. He simply smiled and said, "Bootcamp."
A waitress took that moment to interrupt us and ask what we wanted to order. I glanced at the menu on the table and chose the first thing I saw, which happened to be a turkey club sandwich. Jasper ordered the same and as soon as the waitress left, we continued to study each other.
He traced my left hand ring finger and asked, "Are you married or involved with someone?"
I shook my head and answered, "There's been no one for me since you."
He smiled and said, "There's been no one for me either. Marry me, Alice."
I laughed incredulously and shook my head slowly, "You don't even know me anymore. You might not like me now."
Jasper shook his head and said, "You're Mary Alice Masen. You're the love of my life and I have missed you every day since you walked away from me and I don't want to spend another moment without you. You told me that you would be my future someday. Someday is today. I love you. Please, will you marry me?"
I took a shuddering breath and said, "I love you, Jasper Whitlock. I never stopped loving you. Yes, I will marry you."
Jasper got up from his side of the table and joined me on mine. He softly cupped my cheek with one hand as his other slid around my waist and pulled me closer to him. My eyes slipped closed and I leaned into his hand. He leaned his forehead against mine and lightly pressed his lips to mine. My arms wrapped around his middle and my hands clung tightly to his back. I couldn't believe that he was actually there with me. I was so thankful I stopped at that diner when I did.
I didn't know how long we sat in that booth kissing each other and whispering declarations of love to each other, or how many people we bothered by our public display, and I didn't care. We were once again interrupted by the waitress. She cleared her throat to get our attention. Jasper turned around and looked at her and our food and then asked her to box it up to go.
He looked at me sheepishly and said, "I don't mean to be presumptuous, but can we go to your place? I'd ask you to come to mine, but right now my place is a couch at a friend's apartment that he shares with two other guys. I just got to town a few days ago and have been in-processing at Naval Base Kitsap and haven't had a chance to find a place yet."
Without even pausing to think, I replied, "Move in with me. I already own a house; it isn't much, just two bedrooms, but with you there, it will be a home."
Jasper followed me back to my house and on the drive I called Esme again. "Hey Esme, I took your advice. I stopped at a diner tonight, found a man, he's moving in with me, and we're getting married," was the first thing I said when she answered her phone.
"Haha, very funny Alice. Is this your way of actually telling me that you're going to think about the job in LA?" Esme asked.
"No Esme. I'm not kidding and I'm not moving to LA," I told her as I turned onto my street.
"What the hell, Alice? You can't marry a guy you don't know. Are you out of your mind?" she screeched.
I laughed as I pulled into my garage, Jasper's car followed right behind mine and parked on the driveway. I switched the call to speakerphone on my cell phone as I turned off my car and I got out. "It's a good thing I know him then, isn't it?" I asked.
Jasper gave me a questioning look as he walked up the driveway.
"What's going on, Alice? I don't get it, who are you marrying?" she asked sounding panicked.
I held out the phone to Jasper and motioned that he should answer. "Hello, Esme," he said in his deep sexy voice.
There was silence on the other end of the phone. After a few seconds Esme whispered, "Jasper? Is that really you? Are you really marrying my little sister?"
He laughed and replied, "Yes it's really me and I'm marrying her as soon as possible. She's all I've ever wanted."
Esme sniffled and said, "Stupid hormones. You're all she's ever wanted too. You damn well better wait until Carlisle and I can be there. Rose and Emmett will have to fly back from Miami, and Paul from New York. Everyone else is still in Seattle. How soon are you thinking, Alice?"
I curled into Jasper's side as we stood on the driveway talking to my sister. I looked up at him and he raised an eyebrow, "Two weeks?" I asked him. Jasper nodded. "Two weeks, Esme. I'll figure out if it all works tomorrow and I'll call you when I know more. Right now, I need to get reacquainted with my fiancé. Night Esme!" I ended the call before Esme could keep me from Jasper any longer.
The next two weeks flew by. Everyone in my family was thrilled to welcome Jasper back and they all helped us arrange the perfect, short notice wedding.
We may have had to wait for each other; but in the end, I was Jasper's future and he was mine.
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