"…And, as we go on, we will live our lives in ways we never even thought were possible." Edward had no idea how right he really was when he spoke those words. I looked around at all the other students—well, graduates, now—who were all entranced by our valedictorian's speech on this surprisingly warm, early June afternoon. "I know you all will go on to live extraordinary, great lives that you should be very happy to have. Congratulations to all of you, the graduates, the class of 2007, Forks High School. We've finally made it." And, in that, Edward smiled his infamous, crooked smile at me, as the whole audience applauded. He threw his cap up in the air, a symbol that told everyone else that they should do the same.
I just stood there, smiling back at Edward, the one love of my live. He grinned, then stepped off the stage and swiftly moved closer to me, moving and moving, until he reached me. Of course, he definitely had to do this at "human pace." Edward took me into his cool body, making me shiver in my cap and gown as he pulled me into a gentle, yet passionate kiss, without even saying a word.
After an immeasurable moment, I pulled back, needing air to breathe. I looked up at him from under my eyelashes. He was just staring at me with questioning eyes about his speech. I was prepared to answer him.
"My Edward, the valedictorian. Of course." I suppressed a small laugh. "You were wonderful; I loved every minute of it."
"I love you," he told me, taking my chin in his cold-skinned fingers and lowering his lips to mine. Intertwining our hands after a short but sweet kiss, he sighed like he was actually nervous for the first time in his non-human life. "Uh, Bella…can I talk to you for a minute?"
Oh no, I thought. What's he going to say now?
"Umm…sure…" I said hesitantly. Please God, please let this conversation be a good thing, please, please, I pleaded inside.
"Listen, Bella, you know how despondent and miserable I was before we first met. I know you've heard all of that. And, I want you to know now that it isn't anything like that anymore; I'm wonderful. I'm in complete bliss every moment that I'm with you. It's great and magnificent and it's all because of you and because of the fact that you're in my life now. If it weren't for you, I'd still be sulking around the house endlessly. This may be an unlikely love, but it's love, nonetheless. And I love you for everything you are, Isabella Swan," he took a deep, unnecessary breath, pronouncing my full name so beautifully, then continued. He had my hands in his, so small and fragile compared to his, as we sat on folding chairs now, staring at each other. "So, I guess what I'm trying to say is…will you…marry…me…? Will you be Mrs. Edward Anthony Masen Cullen?" He went into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a black ring box.
I thought I was going to faint. I felt a wave of a million different emotions flow through my body as tears of happiness welt up in my eyes and started to slowly stream down my cheeks. "Oh my God," I replied slowly, my eyebrows knitting together. I felt the insides of my stomach crunch together as my stomach seriously started to hurt—but in the good way, of course. It was hard to find my voice. I stammered out after a minute, "Are-are you serious?" I was breathing so hard now that I didn't know how to calm down.
He looked nervous, letting out a breathy laugh. "Yeah, I'm serious. So, will you marry me?" he asked again, now opening the box and revealing a beautiful oval topaz stone with two wide gold rings intertwining and meeting at the middle with three small diamonds in the middle of the rings. I looked frantically from Edward to the gorgeous ring. All I could think about was how that ring must have cost a fortune.
"Oh, Edward, of course I will!" I shouted (hopefully not too loud to make people who were moving out of the auditorium turn to stare at us and possibly wonder about my sanity), jumping up from my chair and running into his arms.
Edward let out a small groan as we tumbled to the ground (with me lying on top of him), knocking him off of his chair. I just laughed as I started to joyfully kiss this wonderful man who was now my fiancé. My beautiful, wonderful fiancé, Edward.
Edward scratched his head just above his ear, and then said, "You know…I was hoping you would say yes…"
"Well, I'd sure hope so or else it's a bit unnecessary and extremely absurd to propose," I said, a bit perplexed. I laughed a little nervously.
"Well, no, I know that. It's just that—if you did say yes—I was…going to…change…you…" He looked up at me, twiddling his thumbs and starting to put the ring on my finger.
"What?" I was completely shocked. I mean, we had talked about this a million times before but he had never given me even the slightest clue that he would actually do it. "Really?"
"But-but you said that you-you'd never-" I let out a huge breath.
"Yes, well, I know what I've said and I guess I decided that if you would marry me then it may as well be for eternity, shall it not?"
"Yes!" I said, smiling hugely.
Edward smiled his crooked grin and took me in his arms again as I was sitting on my butt on the floor and started to kiss me gently all over. I did the same.
I heard someone go "Ahem," as they approached Edward and me.
"Oh, hey guys," I said as I saw my parents and just standing there, looking so tall from where we were, on the floor.
"So, how does it feel to finally be a high school graduate?" Renée asked as she bent down and grabbed my hand to try and help me up.
I slipped on the very back of my gown. I felt two cool, slender hands grab my waist and whisper in my ear, "Still clumsy little Bella, is that right?"
I whispered back, "I guess so…but not for long…" and gave him a mischievous grin.
Edward just scowled and turned me to face my mom again.
"Yeah, mom, it feels great. I just hope you guys won't miss me too much when I go off to college this fall."
"Oh, honey, I've lived away from you for this long so I think I can make it a few more years. Wouldn't you agree, Charlie?"
"Yeah, I guess my little girl really is growing up."
I raised my eyebrows at the affection, and then just smiled. "Mom, dad, I'll be fine over there, alright? No need to worry." And also no need to tell the two of them that Edward was coming with, too. We had gotten our college acceptance letters about a month ago (Edward had practically aced the SAT earlier that year, what a cheater) and had decided to go to the same place together (Washington State University).
"Fine, I guess we can trust you."
"Good. Just remember, it's a good school. Remember? We checked it out earlier this year and it was great. There is nothing to worry about."
"Alright, well, I guess we'll see you at home, then…"
"Okay, I'll be there in a little while."
I turned to face Edward. He started to smile at me. I did the same. "So…when shall we begin your…shall we say, 'transformation'?" he asked, starting to give me small kisses on my neck with his arms around my back in a gentle grip.
I began to get a colossal aching in my stomach. This was going to be a long three days…