Disclaimer: I own nothing from Twilight. Stephenie Meyer is God.
Author's Note: So, originally, this was one chapter, but it was unnaturally long, so I split it up. Plus I had two different songs in mind, and I could choose. Don't worry, the next part will be up soon, really soon. Plus, it is the 13th and I just want to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLA! Even if she isn't aging anymore. Haha.
THE TRUTH I
Oh now I do recall, we were just getting to the part where the shock sets in and
finds a new way to make you get sick
I hope you didn't expect to get all of the attention
Let's not get selfish
-- Panic! At the Disco
"What are you…?" Edward trailed off, the pain visible on his face. Bella cringed at the sight; she didn't ever want to see that anguish again.
"Lydia," Esme's voice trilled as she and Carlisle joined the others. Emmett, Jasper, and Rosalie weren't far behind. Carlisle looked at the floor instead of Lydia and hung his head a little as his wife spoke to the Cullen's visitor. "Why are you here. Is something wrong?"
Bella saw that the same vexed expression was on all of her families faces. Each one touched with a different underlying emotion. Jasper's worry, Alice's confusion, Rosalie's anger, Emmett's anxiousness, Esme's concern, Edward's pain, and Carlisle…well, he was looking guiltier than ever.
"I invited her here," Bella said stepping forward.
"What?" Rosalie snapped at her. Bella could feel that the confusion was mutual amongst the others.
"That's where I was before. When I left. I went to Boston, to see her," Bella said quietly as she gestured to Lydia. She made the mistake of looking at Edward's face and saw him staring at her shocked, confused, and hurt.
"Why?" The shock in Alice's voice was clearly evident, but Bella thought that she might have heard a hint of horror there too.
"I—I…I needed to see her…to…I don't know. Make amends? Set things straight?" Bella sputtered out. She was more nervous around her family than she thought she would ever be.
"Well, then," Carlisle spoke up. "We should set things straight. Lydia, come on inside to the living room." Carlisle turned and walked on into the house with Lydia at his heels, though not once did she look at him. Once they were gone, everyone else followed slowly, Bella being the last as she stared after her father in shock.
Esme made Lydia some tea while the others, Edward and Bella included, avoided her like the plague. "Thank you," Lydia said as Esme sat down across from her. When she sat, she had to move a scrapbook that she had been working on earlier. "Oh, wow," Lydia said, eyeing the book. "Do you mind if I look?"
"Of course not." Esme handed her the book gently. "It's nowhere near finished. I just started today, but there's a lot of good pictures in already."
Lydia flipped a couple of pages and stopped on an old photograph from the 60s. In it Edward and Bella were sitting next to each other in a large field of overgrown grass. Bella was laughing as Edward kissed her cheek.
"Oh." Lydia blankly stared at the picture, before glancing at Bella. Bella knew what she was thinking from the look in her eyes. Lydia knew her and Edward's history and how far back it ran. However, knowing and seeing are two very different things.
But it was just now that real evidence was presented, and it was also a testimony of how happy they were together.
"So why are you here, exactly?" Carlisle asked more levelheaded than he should be. Maybe he thinks she won't actually tell, Bella thought to herself. She should though. We deserve to burn for what we've done.
Bella threw a cautious glance at Edward. He was staring at the floor, but Bella could tell that he was intently listening to the conversation. His face was a blank slate, but Bella could see the intense pain underneath the façade. Jealousy briefly flashed through Bella, but was quickly gone when she remembered that in a minute things were only going to be worse and Edward was going to be in more pain. And she was the one who had brought it here.
"What could you possible have to say?" Rosalie spat.
"A lot." Lydia's voice was cold and hard.
"Then say it," Bella said. She was getting more restless by the minute and was ready for it to just be done and over with.
Lydia didn't reply right away. She looked at the floor, her forehead creased. She was thinking. Hesitating. She knew as well as Bella what it would mean if they knew.
"I didn't come here to hurt," she quietly said after a while. "I needed to see… I needed to know…." She looked up to where Bella stood, but instead looking at Bella, her eyes shifted to where Edward stood beside her.
"And now I do."
Lydia stood and everyone in the room slightly shifted.
"I should go. I'm sorry I wasted your time. Ever." Lydia hurried to the door. Everyone followed. She stopped and turned to them before leaving. "I won't come to see you again. I know that everything that happened was a mistake and I'm willing to move on. For good." She looked directly at Bella as she said this.
Admittedly, Bella was a little confused by Lydia's behavior, but she nodded in understanding at what she said.
Lydia closed the door softly and the room was dead quiet.
"Well, that was…" Emmett said, dumbfounded.
"Interesting," Jasper finished.
Yes, very, Bella thought. She thought for sure Lydia would confess. But she didn't. That means…that her and Carlisle can go on living with this secret.
"Should we go after her?" Alice asked.
"No," Carlisle said, "She made her peace. Let her go."
"I still feel bad for the poor girl," Esme said quietly. "After everything that's happened. She could have at least stayed the night."
They will know.
"Yeah, I don't think so," Rosalie said harshly.
"Rose," Alice chided.
"No." The voice that spoke surprised everyone. It even pulled Bella from her intense concentration.
"She needed to leave," Edward said nodding slightly.
"Well…ok." Alice shrugged and started back into the living room. Everyone else followed, all a little relieved that everything had gone as smoothly as it had and happy for things to back to normal.
"Are you alright?" Edward put his hand on Bella's shoulder and looked into her eyes.
Looking back at him, into the face of the one person she loved more than anything, she knew what had to be done.
"No," she breathed and started quickly into the next room with the rest of her family, Edward right on her heels.
Edward tried to grab her. "Bella—"
"There's something you need to know," she faced Edward, the look in her eyes made him stop, before turning to the rest of them. "All of you."
"What is it?" Esme asked, concern in her voice. She knew something was wrong; everyone did. They looked at her, waiting.
They were listening.
And now she would talk. Finally.