"Do you have the camera?" I asked as I flittered around the living room, making sure I had everything that I needed. Charlie and Edward sat on the couch with exhausted looks on their faces.
"Yes, Bella I have the camera. And extra film and the tickets. Now all we need is for you to get your cute little behind into the car." Edward chuckled out before I silenced him with a glare.
"I am sorry if I just want to make sure that my one and only son's high school graduation is perfect. I am sorry if you two don't care enough." I raised my hands in front of me and huffed. Edward raised himself from the couch and I could see the vein in his forehead pulsing. But as he stepped closer to me his face calmed and when he reached me, he rubbed his hands up and down my arms. I was to jittery however for this to help settle me, so I pulled away and made another round around the house to check again to make sure we had everything.
I stopped dead in my tracks though when I saw the most handsome man ever walk down the stairs in that god awful green robe and flimsy hat in hand. He was the spitting image of his father; he had his chiseled jaw and unruly bronze hair that made him look like he had never heard of a brush but in a good way.
"Mom get in the car." Mason gave me his signature half grin and laugh that could melt the heart of any woman and he knew it.
"See Bella you heard the boy, it's time to get in the car."
"Don't patronize me Edward Cullen. I will get in the damn car when I feel like it."
"Well if we don't go now then I am going to be late and won't be able to walk across that wonderfully cheap stage." Mason came and wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
"Well what are you waiting for then? Everyone get in the car now!" I yelled and pushed my men out the door as they laughed.
We now all sat in our respectable folding chairs in the high school's gym as the principal began to call the name of the seniors who we pretty much bouncing in their seats waiting to get their diplomas. I was already in tears…I had began crying almost as soon as the car crossed into the high school parking lot. Everyone was cracking jokes at my expense, except Edward. He remained totally silent. I think the magnitude of the situation was beginning to hit him, his son was graduating high school, something he never thought he would be able to witness happen.
"Abigail Evan Cole, Sara Lillian Colour, Mason Charles Cullen…" As his name rang out in the gym, we all stood and cheered as loudly as we could. Me, Charlie, the Cullens sounded like we were cheering for our favorite rock band and Mason's face turned a bright shade of red. He was my son after all. Edward, however, stayed stationed in his seat staring ahead at the stage. I lowered back to my seat as the next name was called.
"Are you okay?" I whispered in Edward's ear.
He looked down at his hands that were clasped together in his lap.
"Yeah, I am fine."
"Edward, what's wrong?" I could see something eating away at him.
"You probably don't believe this but I am just so incredibly happy and proud. I just never thought I would be sitting here watching my son graduate high school." His voice trailed off and I reached out and grabbed his hand, linking his fingers with mine and laying it on my lap. Nothing else had to be said, it was all just understood in our touch.
We still weren't perfect but in the past 12 years we had grown a lot. The first few years with Edward living in Seattle were tough, trying to help him through A.A. and as he tried to find work again while getting to know Mason. But we had gotten through and now here we sat watching our son except his diploma. Our son. Some days I still don't believe it is all real. That he is really here and helped raised his son to be this great man that he had become.
Everyone began to file out of their seats after the ceremony and Edward and I stood off to the side as we waited for Mason to finish saying goodbye to some of his classmates.
"Bella! Can you believe it? Our children graduating high school!" I cringed as I heard the voice of a fellow PTA parent, Kate Beckett. She was a three time divorcee, with fake boobs, fake nails, fake tan, and a fake sense of sincerity.
"Kate, how are you? Ally looked beautiful up there today." I instinctively moved closer to Edward as she pushed closer to us in the crowds.
"Oh I am just getting sentimental now. Ally did look pretty didn't she? She takes after me…well who do we have here?" She ran her finger down Edward's chest and I felt him tense up a little.
"Kate this is Edward, Mason's father. Edward this is Kate, she is the mother of one of Mase's friends." I am sure the sneer in my voice was heard by all as I said her name.
"You never told me you were married Bella!" I could see her looking for a ring on my bare finger.
"Divorced actually." My voice was a whisper and I kind of turned my head away as I said it. But when I looked up I saw the glimmer of hope in her eyes as she moved closer to Edward.
"Well Edward, I am divorced too so if you ever need anyone to talk to about the trials of being a single parent then we should get together." Her chest was all but pushed up against his and I could feel the rage boiling under my skin.
"Thanks for the offer Ma'am but I don't think my girlfriend would be very happy with that."
"Well a girlfriend is no fiancé or wife." She whispered close to his ear but Edward being the gentleman he was politely stepped back away from her claws.
"You're right, she is neither yet but I hope she will be both very soon." Edward took another step back and wrapped his arm around my waist. I looked up and was met with his stunning green eyes. "Because you know what they say, the second time is the charm." I couldn't help but to smile at his words as he leaned down and met my lips with his. When we broke apart we noticed Kate was gone and we chuckled as Mason walked up to where we were standing.
"Come on guys! You are worse than a couple of teenagers!" Mason whined and we smiled. I stepped out of Edward's grasp and hugged my son around his waist.
"I can't help it if you have a hot mom." Edward laughed and Mason groaned once again. For as much as he grumbled we both knew that he approved of us being together again, he once said it made him feel more like a real family.
Edward and I had just started dating again about three years ago after much pursuit and persuasion on his part. But it was different this time. Nothing came before our little family like medical school once had. No more petty fights but rather we worked them out as adults for the most part. And most importantly we were taking things slow this time around. Even though we had been married and had a child we still decided to wait almost a year and half into our dating to make love. And I realized just how much I had missed that man.
"Well if you two are done groping each other for the whole town to see, maybe we can be heading home." Mason waved his arms towards the exit much like a flight attendant does prior to take off.
We hosted a small party for Mason back at the house, just family and a few of his really good friends. Of course this upset Alice who had been looking forward to an extravagant event. I was sitting on the couch by myself watching the night unfold when I felt someone sit next to me.
"So, what are you going to do with my room now that I am finally out of your hair? A home gym? A meditation lounge? A second library?" Mason laughed as he joked about the approaching empty space in the house. "Aww, mom don't cry. I was only joking, you don't need to change anything." He noticed the tears that were welling up in my eyes.
"Oh baby, I am just going to miss you so much when you go off to California and never come back."
"But it's not like you will be alone, you've got dad here and the rest of the family."
"I know. But I would trade them all in a heartbeat for you." I paused and looked down at my hands before reaching over to grab one of his. "Was I a good mother? I mean I know I messed up but over all do you think I did a good job?" I looked up and met his eyes knowing he couldn't lie when he looked me in the eyes.
"You were the best mom ever. I wouldn't change a thing. I love you mom." He reached over and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into a tight hug as I cried into his shoulder. After a few minutes he pulled away. "Alright, no more tears. This is supposed to be a happy night. Hey dad!" Edward looked up from his conversation with Alice and made his way over to where we were sitting. "Mom is feeling a little sentimental and is pretty much an emotional rollercoaster." I punched his shoulder at his snarky comment. "Think you could cheer her up a bit." He gave his dad a wink as Edward reached his hand out to me to help me up.
"I can try." Both men were wearing big silly grins on their faces which made me a little worried about what was happening. Edward led me out onto the back patio which was pitch black outside. "Mase could you turn on the back light?" Edward called back to Mason.
"Edward, what are we doing out here…" Just then what seemed like a million twinkling lights came on and buckets of flour fell slowly from the roof.
"Bella, I know I keep missing Christmas but maybe June 10th is just as romantic." As he said this I felt him slide a ring onto my finger and I had a flashback to the first time he proposed in the cold winter snow in Maryland. "Bella, will you marry me again?"
I looked over my shoulder at Mason and the rest of the family who stood in the doorway all nodding their heads and smiling. I turned back to Edward who looked as pale as a ghost as he waited for my response.
"Bella Cullen always did have such a good ring to it." Edward then pulled me into a kiss and I knew that this time was going to be better. We were more mature. We were more ready. And if at all possible, we were more in love.