Fifteen days. Three-hundred and sixty hours until the wedding.
My fingers caressed the envelope. Should I open it? Should I not? What could possibly be in it? We'd said no to Dartmouth. There was no way I could be anywhere close to humans so soon after my "renovations", and Edward knew that. We were going to Alaska – to Denali. We were going to stay away from humans until I could control myself – however long that took. So, why was there a letter – postmarked last week – addressed to me from Dartmouth at Edward's house? It didn't make any sense.
I was about to open it when Alice barged into the room.
"Don't Bella – don't open it," she pleaded. The expression on her face was heart-breaking.
"You know what's in this envelope, don't you?" I asked her, my voice was shaking, but I couldn't make it stop.
Alice nodded, her eyes swimming with tears that would never fall. "Please don't do it, Bella."
"What happens if I open this envelope, Alice?" I whispered.
"Your wedding disappears."
"That's ridiculous, Alice." I said. I pulled the letter out of the envelope quickly – before she could stop me – and read it.
And read it again. And again.
I looked at Alice, dumbfounded.
"Alice, what is this?" I asked her, but she said nothing.
"What does it mean?" I tried again, but still she said nothing.
"I don't understand. Why would Dartmouth send me a class schedule? I didn't enroll there. I didn't pay any tuition. Even if I had why would they send it here…" I trailed off because it hit me. I knew exactly why they would.
"He wouldn't dare," I hissed. Except that he already had.
Fourteen days. Three-hundred and thirty-six hours until the wedding.
"Bella, you're going to have to wipe that look off your face if you don't want him to know you've seen it," Alice chided.
I sighed and tried to smile. "I know, but what about you? How will you block him out?"
"Don't worry about me. Go take a shower, it will help you relax. They'll be home in a few minutes," she added before flitting out of Edward's room.
I tried to think of an explanation – any explanation – other than the obvious as I took my shower. I was not going to get out of the shower until I had figured out a reason. Edward was already home – I could hear his music from across the hall. What was I going to say to him? I stood there until the water ran cold, but I still had no clue as to what I should say to him. I reluctantly turned off the water. I could handle this in one of two ways. I could either go and face him and have a conversation that I already knew would turn out badly, or I could run and hide like the coward I was. Run or talk to Edward?
I took a deep breath and prepared myself for what I was about to do.
I got dressed and walked into Edward's room. He was staring at his CD collection, engrossed in choosing a CD. He didn't even look up when I walked in. I sat on the bed and brushed my hair, trying to time my breathing with my brush strokes, so I wouldn't hyperventilate. His silence scared me. It reminded me too much of last September – of the days before he left me. The hole in my chest began to ache again. Every minute that passed by without us speaking, it threatened to rip open again.
I had to get out of here. If I stayed here another minute, I would start sobbing. I was hanging on by a thread as it was. I longed to see Jacob, but I knew that I couldn't go to him – not now. So, I decided to do the only other thing I knew would take my mind off of this. The only thing that was worse than sitting in this stony silence.
Shopping. With Alice.
"BELLA! This is going to be so much fun! You won't regret it, I promise." She shrieked as she ran into the room. She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me downstairs.