Leaving the Past Behind

Of course like everyone else I don't own any characters you may recognize from Stephanie Meyers' Twilight Series.


BPOV

Sitting on my bed reflecting on how I have gotten to where I am today, a deep sigh escaped. Everything that happened since moving to Forks has affected me so profoundly I wondered where my future would lead. The future seemed so clear before moving here and then altered to a very different one after living here for several months. But here I am one year later and I haven't a clue.

What I am sure of to my very core is that I wouldn't change my past one bit…well maybe that's not entirely true. With one wish I would change my life so drastically...but that's not something I can dwell on now, that time has passed. It's time to say good-bye.

Standing up to look out my bedroom window I saw my red truck sitting in the street with a For Sale sign on it. I just recently convinced Charlie that it was time to sell it. He in turn argued that it might be best to keep so when I returned there would be transportation available. I couldn't tell him I wouldn't be returning, after leaving today I will never return. Forks, Washington no longer holds anything more for me, it's time to live the life "He" intended me to live.

I moved from the window, zipped up my backpack and looked around one last time. As my eyes scanned the room of my childhood, the same dreary walls and faded curtains, the rocking chair in the corner…visions of "him" sitting in it flashed across my mind. Well at least there were no more tears, regrets but no more tears. Throwing my pack on my shoulder I slowly closed my bedroom door overwhelmed with nostalgia.

Charlie and Jake were at the door ready to take me to the airport. I really didn't want a scene, but both of the men in my life insisted on seeing me off. The school I chose to attend would be feasible considering my meager earnings from Newton's and the little Charlie and Renee could afford. I applied for every scholarship available and was rewarded for my efforts with a full scholarship to Champlain College in Burlington Vermont. Considering everything, I'm optimistic about the whole college experience that awaits me, although it doesn't have the same meaning it could have.

The desire to get as far away from Washington as possible was the compelling reason for such a drastic move, but I still couldn't consider a location that would bring heat and sunshine. Bright sunshine no longer holds the appeal that it once did. "A clean break" those were the words that resounded in my thoughts. Leaving Forks was my only choice this was important in order for me to find peace. Breaking all ties to my past would help me to move forward.

"Are you ready, Bells?" Charlie asked, while trying hard not to show his anxiety. I smiled gently to reassure him this is really what happens when a daughter grows up.

"Sure, I've never been more ready. Let's go!" I took his hand and smiled quickly at Jake as we headed out the door. "Thanks for driving Jake, I'd hate to have Charlie's police cruiser as part of my departing memories."

"Bells, you know there was no way you could leave without me seeing you off. What kind of best friend do you think I am?" He pulled me into a tight hug lifting my feet off the ground. Pushing back I smiled hoping the tears wouldn't start. He gazed into my face and kissed me on the forehead.

"Okay, enough you two. If we don't get a move on Bella will miss her flight." Charlie already had the passenger door open of Jake's VW rabbit waiting for me to climb in. All the memories were threatening to crush me, I smile remembering how long and hard Jake worked on restoring his car. The ploy Billy used to get him to the Prom warning me against spending time with "him", it wasn't really necessary after all.

"No, Charlie. You ride in the front. I'm fine in the back." I threw my backpack across the backseat and jumped in, taking one more glance at the house that holds so many memories, too many memories…again the sting of tears threaten to escape and I closed my eyes to hold them back.

The flight to VT was full, but I had a window seat giving me the chance to lean against the window for a little more room. Plugging my ear buds into my iPod I prepared for the long flight, successfully drowning out the rest of the people boarding and the flight crew preparing for takeoff. There was just one other thing I needed for this trip, pulling my backpack out from under the seat and reaching into the pocket I grasped the photos placed in the bag before leaving home. Saying good-bye required this visual.

Gazing once again into the eyes of beauty, knowing I'd never tire looking at them, the need to say good-bye was strong. The slightly faded photo still hel the same pull on my heart it always had. This time as my eyes start to tear I let them flow. As the woman sitting next to me lightly touched me to get my attention; I jumped slightly. Pulling one of the buds out of my ear, I apologized. "Sorry, I didn't hear you."

She smiled and nodded to the photo in my hand, "I assume your heading off to school and he's not joining you. I assume your heading off to school and he's not joining you. Leaving your love behind will only help build a stronger relationship. Don't worry dear; if it's meant to be, all will work out. Otherwise, enjoy what you have and know that it all leads to a fuller life in the end."

At first I was shocked and just stared at her, then found my voice to explain, "No, this relationship was over a long time ago. I'm just now realizing that it's time to say goodbye for the last time." Looking down at the photo in my hand I put it back. Leaning back in my seat she replied encouragingly, "Who knows maybe it won't be the last time, maybe some distance will only increase his desire."

If only... then again his desire is what drove him away in the first place. Glancing at her again I find the courage to voice what I've been trying to convince myself, "that would be nice, but I'm sure this is a whole new beginning." Closing my eyes again, I sighed putting my ear buds back in and resumed listening to the wonderful piano chords that bring back beautiful memories.


EPOV

I've done nothing for the past year…except to disgrace to my family. Wallowing in self-pity had become my favorite past time. When I left Bella I insisted she move on with her life, urging her to move towards a future that she deserved. When I committed that dreadful act, my future no longer existed. There was nothing anyone could offer to encourage me to help my own time here. Pathetic, that's what I had become. It's time to snap out of it and do something with myself.

Esme and Carlisle had tried unsuccessfully to get me to think about going back to school…again. It's about time that I consider this option. Moving on and starting over held little interest. Rosalie and Emmett are off again, no doubt on another honeymoon. I hadn't bothered to pay much attention to the details of their trip. Jasper and Alice have headed to the New York City so Alice could shop and Jasper could visit museums.

Walking out of my room to find Carlisle. I stopped outside his office door and overheard him and Esme discussing me…again. "What are we going to do if he doesn't want to join us", Esme asked. Listening to Carlisle's thoughts as well as his words brought more shame. 'He probably won't, but it has to be his choice'. "Esme, he may only be seventeen by human standards, but he's well over a hundred in vampire years. We cannot insist he join us. He'll only become even more disagreeable if we force his hand on this."

I knocked on the door and entered, nodding my head to acknowledge that I knew what they are discussing. "I've decided to join my family wherever we are headed. I apologize for causing so much of a rift in the family this past year, its time to move on. My intent for Bella was to keep her safe and let her enjoy life, so I should follow my own advice."

Esme walked over and kissed me on the cheek. "Edward, Bella meant so much to our whole family. It's been hard on everyone, if you have made the decision to live your life without her, then you need to do just that. I'm sure your brothers and sisters will be just as pleased to hear about your decision." She patted me on the shoulder as she left the room.

'You know you've made her very happy, thank you. We'll be leaving in the morning, go pack up your things and be prepared to leave first thing. Jasper and Alice will meet us at our new home. Alice has probably already bought you some things for your new room, considering she saw the decision as soon as you made it" he said chuckling.

I started to leave his office when I realized I hadn't asked where we were moving. "Carlisle, where to this time?"

'South Hero, VT, the populace is very small, yet proximity to some state parks is very good as well as the town of Burlington, which is where I'll be practicing. You should consider going to one of the colleges in town as well. Esme found a wonderful house with plenty of room and privacy. I'm actually looking forward to a change, especially now with your change in attitude.' Carlisle nodded letting me know I was excused as he had a great deal to pack himself.

Quickly making it back to my room I glanced around, this was never my home. Very little effort was put forth to make this room anything but a sanctuary. Ever since leaving Forks, everything remained packed away and the need to unpack never arose. When we arrived at our new home, I would make a better attempt at joining my family in daily activities. Esme would send my piano with the larger pieces of furniture, the only thing I needed to concern myself with were the CDs, sound system and my clothes.

I stood gazing out the window once again letting my mind wander. What has happened to Bella, is she happy, does she remember me? Stop. I have to stop this, it's time to move on and let these memories go. Otherwise my family and I will spend eternity trying to overcome a decision that I made so long ago.