[A/N: Hi! Thanks for reading! This is the first time I publish a story and this one holds a very special place in my heart. I gotta tell you, though, there's going to be LOTS OF DRAMA. No kidding. Lots of drama and angst and tears. The story just drew itself to me that way as I wrote it, so it'd be wrong of me to change it. If you're sensitive to that, I suggest you read it carefully. If it is your cup of tea, I hope you enjoy it. Please, send me reviews! Knowing what you guys think means a lot to me! Thank you! L]

DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, I just like playing with it.


PROLOGUE

[BPOV]

"For goodness' sake, Alice!" I almost screamed in frustration, "I have no problem wearing heels, but these are too much!" I leaned down to remove the most extravagant shoes I had ever seen in my life. They were pretty, but the heels were so high my feet made a near 90 degrees with the floor. Not to mention my calves were already strained from wearing them for five minutes.

"Come on! You look so hot in them, Bella! Why are you so resistant to a little sense of fashion?" she shot back, making a small pout at the end of her question. I rolled my eyes at her.

"I'm not resistant to fashion. I dress nicely and even you know that. Like I said, I have no problem wearing high heels, but these are just ridiculous. I won't spend two days feeling sore just because you think I should!"

Her eyes narrowed and she made a small pout. Alice hated it when I didn't do things her way. Me or anyone, for that matter.

"Funny you should mention that, you have no problem getting sore for other reasons, do you?" she giggled and I threw one of the shoes at her. Missed.

"Shut up."

Alice and I had been best friends for about a year. She owned the publishing house I worked at, and I came by it via Rosalie, my sister-in-law. I had just gotten a degree as an editor and was in desperate need of a job. That's when she told me that her brother's new girlfriend happened to run some kind of business in that area. Then, I got in contact with Alice and she hired me. What I did was basically coordinate all the publishing and review the most promising manuscripts. She trusted me a whole lot and I was thankful for that.

I was born and raised in Forks, WA, a very small town in which it rained most of the time. My brother was five years older than me and married to Rosalie Hale for six. They had a son named Riley and he was the creature I loved the most on this Earth. My parents, Charlie and Renee, still lived in Forks and had been married for more than thirty years. We got along just fine, and I must say we grew even closer when I left home to go to college. At 24, I could say my life was better than expected, and I was happy about that. I lived on my own in a small comfy apartment that gave me lots of privacy and room for myself, just like I'd always wanted, and worked just three blocks away.

Alice and Jasper's engagement party would be held on the next day, and that's why she wanted me to wear some horribly uncomfortable high heels. Being a fashion addict, Alice thought she knew best. Ok, sometimes she did know best, but not that day. I had already decided what to wear, and I'm pretty sure she would approve of it.

We were trying on shoes after the work day was finished and everybody else had already left. I wanted to see what she was going to wear the next day, but Alice was adamant she wanted to keep it a surprise. Even from me.

"So," she continued "Any hot dates for tonight?"

I sighed and stifled a yawn. Hot dates were the reason I was feeling so sleepy all the time. It's not like I had been getting much sleep at night lately.

"Nah. I went out with Paul last night already."

She looked at me from the top of her glasses with a skeptical look. Even though we'd been friends for just a year, Alice knew me very well.

"You don't sound too excited, was it bad?"

I chuckled. Bad was not exactly the word I'd use when it came to sex with Paul.

"No, it was pretty good. A long night, if you know what I mean. That's why I need my rest tonight."

She smirked knowingly.

"Yeah...right. So, is it serious? You and Paul?"

I shook my head no as I put my ballerina flats back on.

"No. I don't want to."

She rolled her green eyes and threw me a sarcastic glance.

"Why? Are you a player now? Scared of relationships? Loner? Was it a broken heart?" she asked mockingly.

"Shut up, Alice. It's not that I don't want to. I just don't think Paul's the guy for that. If I meet someone else and we hit it off, then we hit it off. But I don't think it's him, that's all." And it was true. Paul was a great guy, but I didn't see a future with him. If we went further than sex, anyone could see we were not two birds of a feather.

She nodded.

"Fair enough. In the meantime, you can enjoy great sex. You go, Bella!"

I chuckled. Alice could be so silly sometimes. That's why I loved her. Our friendship was easy, we didn't have to constantly justify ourselves for being sincere to each other, we just… were. Sometimes I felt like she was the sister I never had. We were even closer than Rosalie and I… and that's saying a lot. My sister-in-law had been there for me since I was in my angsty teenage years and through the time I was away from home.

"Okay, honey, I gotta get going. I'll see you tomorrow." I gave her a hug. Knowing Alice, she was freaking out and putting up a brave face, like she always did.

"You bet! Don't be late. And make sure to look your best. You never know if you'll meet the love of your life at my engagement party."

I scoffed and rolled my eyes. Yeah, it sounded just like me.

"Yeah, right. See you tomorrow."


I walked the short distance to my house and made sure to put on my most comfortable clothes once I got there. After pouring myself a glass of wine and eating mac & cheese, I just sat there all night enjoying being on my own. I had come a long way when it came to being comfortable around myself and knowing that I am enough and don't need anyone else to make me happy. Some of my previous relationships were just plain abusive, but even the good ones would never truly make me happy if I felt like I needed them in order to feel whole. I finally learned that and was willing to share my life with someone as long as it was constructive, and not just something I did to fill out a checklist. In the meantime, I could only wait to see what the future held for me.

[A/N: Just a small peak at Bella's life. I hope you like it!]