I got two very good recommendations for music from you. I hadn't heard any of them before but as you mentioned it, they work well with what the characters are living through. So I thought I should share them:
Interpol's "The New" from Cassieschwartzman
I thought the lyrics went well with last chapter's fight.
Rachel Yamagata's "The reason why" from runnergirl30
I agree with you, this is definitely the soundtrack to Bella leaving for Paris. It's uncanny!
Three weeks had passed since I had so graciously kicked Edward out of my place. My reaction may have been exaggerated but it had been the straw the broke the camel's back.
And at the end it hadn't been at all about the event that unraveled my wrath.
It had to be done.
My period had come painful and bothersome, as I had predicted, and I waited for the appropriate midcycle moment to take care of the business that my immaturity demanded.
Today my body cramped and ached again, but not naturally anymore. I saw the discomfort and intrusion as a well-deserved penance for past mistakes.
At last the deed had been done and now I was left once more in the examination room shamefully clad in a paper gown to gather myself and redress. I got my legs off the stirrups and sat up on the table to look at the colorful photographs that cover the walls, with loving babes as diverse as the colors on the rainbow.
I got myself off the table and collected my garments form a chair, and as I looked back I was surprised to see the deep burgundy color of my blood on the paper cover, soon to be disposed for the next examination. I hadn't expected to bleed for this, it hadn't been excruciatingly painful, but blood had been spilled nonetheless.
Soon enough I was fetched by a nurse and told about the care I was to have with my brand new intrauterine device. Only one thing I expected from it: that it was stupidity-proof contraception. I would be sore for the rest of the day, she told me, but nothing that some ibuprofen and taking it slow wouldn't take care of. I had taken that Friday off from work and had a faithful friend who'd be picking me up.
So I went outside expecting to find Alice reading one of those magazines with a very plump celebrity, happy and stretch mark free on the cover.
"What are you doing here?" I said to the only man sitting there not accompanying a heavily pregnant woman.
"I'm your ride." Edward informed me without taking his eyes off the aforementioned pregnant celebrity-covered magazine.
"I thought Alice was coming. I asked her."
"She had something to do. But I think it's only fair I'm the one accompanying you. Are you in pain?" He asked setting the magazine aside and getting up to follow me outside the women's health practice.
"I'm crampy, but nothing too bad. I've felt worst before." I responded absentmindedly.
"I imagine. I'm sorry you have to go through it."
"It's not for you." I said immediately.
"I know… But I have been selfish in the past, and I know that my lack of concern is part of the reason why you are doing this. So I'm here, even if I'm not to enjoy the benefits." Edward mentioned as we approached his car.
"Well, thank you for the ride. I guess it does make sense that you at least get to share my moodiness."
We sat in the car in silence while he drove. My lack of communication due to my discomfort and the fact that I dreaded that if I were to speak, it would only end in yelling and feeling way worse than I already did. His silence, however, was arcane to me.
"I don't think this is the way to my place." I said when my thoughts allowed me to notice that we were going somewhere else.
"I'm taking you to mine." He informed me.
"Why are you doing this? This so not the time for it." I told him rapidly getting upset.
"Relax. You are not feeling great, you deserve to have someone take care of you for a change."
"That is why I took a personal day from work." I replied.
"And that is why I'm working from home today. I'm taking you to mine because my drawing desk and my stuff is there. But if it's inconvenient for you, I'll take you to your place, though I will be staying. You should take something for the pain and lay down."
"Your place is fine… But please no jokes about taking this thing for a spin." I warned him.
"I won't joke about it."
"I can't have the talk with you today either. I'm uncomfortable and in pain."
"This is just your friend taking care of you, not the asshole you have sex with sometimes." He said without looking at me.
I squinted my eyes and said: "That still sounds like wishful thinking to me."
"Fine! The asshole you used to have sex with. Better?" He proposed annoyed.
Once we arrived I was able to make Edward desist on the idea of carrying me into his apartment. That would have been ludicrous, to look like loving and horny newlyweds in our present condition. He walked behind me and flinched every time I seemed to grimace due to the dull pain in my womb.
"Okay, do you want to lay down on the couch or on the bed? You could watch TV or a movie."
"Couch is fine, but could you get me a pillow? And something for the pain?" I asked.
"Your wishes are my command."
"Then you take this pain." I joked.
"I wish if I could Swan." He said in a serious manner, completely disregarding the joke I had made.
I watched TV for a long time, going for shows that would keep me interested and free of any thoughts regarding my confusing relationship to the owner of the couch and flat screen I was presently enjoying. From time to time, said owner would check on me and bring me food, drink or a painkiller. And then right away he would go back to his work. The pain, though dull, had me tired and sleepy so I eventually dozed off.
"Bells, Bella… It's about ten and you fell asleep. I want to know if you want me to take you home or if you want to spend the night. You could get our… I mean the bed. I'll sleep out here." He said with a hand on my shoulder shaking me gently, while he kneeled next to the couch.
"Do you mind if I stay here. I don't really feel like going out just now." I said stretching and sitting up on the couch.
"Not at all." Edward responded sitting on the opposite end of the couch facing me. It had been still light out when I fell asleep and now the apartment was dark with only the light from the flickering screen.
"You don't have to sleep outside. It's ridiculous, taking into account what we've been through already. You can control yourself right?" I asked with a smile.
"It's good to see you back Sarcastic Girl."
"It's been me all along." I noted.
"I'm sorry… For everything… I actually used all this time to think and I think you are right. I think we have a lot of stuff to work through. But I want to try again. We were making so much progress, and suddenly we're back to square one."
As he said this he was avoiding my gaze.
"I'm… I'm not feeling so great to have us fight right now." I let him know with a fearful voice.
"Don't worry. I don't want to fight either. I know it needs to happen, and I promise you my blood. You can bleed me dry if you want… When you are ready." Edward offered.
"Thank you. I was really enjoying getting my best friend back. I don't want to lose that again… If we yell everything we have bottled down, I'm afraid we'll lose that." I informed him of my theory.
"I agree. Could we give each other a chance to heal before trying anything else?" Edward asked me looking at me humbly.
"That sounds good to me."
"I'd like to spend time with you and have us back, you know? You and me against the world again."
"I'm not going to be your friend with benefits." I blurted out.
He laughed weakly.
"I didn't expect that Swan. I mean, it sounds good and all, but no, I don't expect that. I just want the chance to earn your trust again. I know it always came too easy to me. Just give me the opportunity to win you back."
"Just don't send me cards and flowers. We are a little past that." I said with a faint smile.
"Remind me to cancel the singing telegram then."
"Too bad. That actually sounded like fun."
"Well, I don't think you would have liked your neighbors listening to the lyrics."
I laughed more decidedly this time.
"I'm sorry I was so immature. There is something about you that makes me feel like I'm still the seventeen-year-old that followed you around like a puppy." He said looking away from me.
"You've never been my puppy." I said in return.
"Of the two of us, you have always been the strongest one Swan." He informed me looking back at me.
"I'm pretty sure I haven't been able to take you down since we were ten."
He laughed quietly and smiled. Looking up at me he said: "I may be twice your size, able to pick you up without an effort and… make you come at whim… But believe me… You are the strongest one here…"
He took a pause and continued:
"In seldom occasions, I've been able to take care of you, and I've treasured those times… That is why I act like a dick and do awful things like proclaim you're mine… I'm deeply sorry." He finally got it out.
"I know there are words we haven't been able to say… At least without being forced in your part… And I really don't know your reasons… But I want you to know that I'm afraid of saying those words because of the past… We used to say them to each other before getting together, and then when we did, it really seemed like we needed a stronger word to express the change of our feelings."
"I remember that feeling." I agreed.
"And then… They are also the words from before… And I'm afraid they may sound void or hypocritical…"
"They seem to be tainted somehow…" I volunteered. I had felt the same towards the words.
"And it sounds pathetic… But you know how I feel."
"Likewise." I said with a sad wide grin. "Thank you for saying it."
"I also know that I hurt you by giving it a go with someone else."
"You don't have to." This part I wasn't sure I wanted to hear.
"I do… And please let me say this whole thing… If you interrupt me I won't ever get it out right…
…Throughout the years I've thought about you as mine… And I really believe that you are… But it's wrong for me to claim you as my property. It implies that I want to have around for whenever I'm ready… It is wrong… And it is not what I mean… You are my woman not because you are my property, but because you are the only possible one for me… I needed to believe that I could go against it… Believe that it was not true and I could make it work with someone else, because it hadn't work with you… If I believed that there were only you for me, and you were gone, then there was nothing else… I know it's not excuse but that was my reasoning."
"You didn't have a commitment to me. I didn't expect fidelity when we broke up."
"Funny thing is that we never actually said the words. We just left each other."
"Maybe that's why we never got closure."
"I'm not forcing your hand here. We have much healing to do, I am well aware that. You are neither my property nor my girlfriend. But you are my best friend, and that is all I need tonight to get by. So please give me that." He pleaded.
"You've had it all along… This is so weird… Sharing so much history with you." I said.
"Well, let's look at the positive side, there are many couples desperately trying to find the friendship we already have."
"That is true. So where do we go from here?" I asked.
"Well, to start we have that thing tomorrow at Jasper and Alice's."
"You know that is not what I asked about… I had forgotten about the dinner party, though. Can we… Can we not tell them everything?"
"That would be a good idea. I don't think we need their input as well." He agreed with me and we remained silent for a few minutes.
"So… have you heard from Karen?" I asked.
"She has called and left messages that I haven't responded to. That is done for me." He responded.
"But you have to deal with it… You know… a wise guy told me one day that I had to process my shit to move on." I said smiling.
"I think he should follow his own advice then."
"I think he should."
"So do you want to go to bed? In a totally platonic way?" Edward asked me.
"I slept most of the day… And I dread being horizontal with you to be honest." I confessed.
"See… I actually fear the vertical as well…" He informed me with a smile.
"Ah… great… now I remember that time… Is there anything just friendly we could do?"
"Now you're talking." I said excited.
We arrived at Alice and Jasper's dinner for the old gang, now known as the wedding party. More than a casual and friendly reminiscing soirée, it was a tactical meeting commanded by Alice for her upcoming nuptials. We were sitting around the table eating while Alice made furious notes on her wedding binder.
"So Edward how is Karen doing?" Rosalie asked him.
"Ah… That didn't work out. She was definitely not the one for me." He responded giving me a sideway glance.
"So you two?" Alice asked, her finger pointing at the two of us sitting side by side.
We responded awkwardly at the same time:
"Nah… Not at all…"
"Just friends here."
"Are you two sleeping together again? Because I don't believe that for a minute." Alice said knowing something was amiss.
"Oh boy… Are we really going down this path again?" Emmett asked annoyed.
"In all honesty, we only want to mend our friendship." I said calming them down.
"Great then. So then you two are bringing dates." Alice said making notes. "And Bella… You are bringing a real date, not Patrick, he is already invited and will be bringing his own plus one, instead of acting as your security blanket."
"I'm really regretting letting you have that unholy pact with Satan now." I said in return.
"I'm there with you… They call each other all the time." Jasper complained.
"Didn't you go out with someone recently?" Asked Rosalie
"Yeah… What was his name? Niles?" Alice asked.
I felt Edward's hand digging his fingers on my thigh. He was desperately trying to keep his cool. I knew I'd have a bruise by the end of the night.
"Ah… Neil… But no, I don't think he ever wants to see me again."
"Your natural charm little sis?" Asked Emmett. I widened my eyes at him.
"We'll find you someone else if you don't" Alice proposed. Edward fingers were really digging through the thin layer of my pants now.
"Are you okay Edward? You seem a little tense." Rose asked him.
"Well… You are setting up my ex-girlfriend. I'm not going to be jumping up and down."
"Okay… I'll do my best at finding someone." I said before we ended up discussing our relationship further more.
"I don't want your best, I want a real heterosexual man escorting you." Alice ordered me.
"Are you going to ask for Edward to do the same?" I asked her.
"He'd be fabulous with a real heterosexual man escorting him." Jasper offered.
"You are wicked." I said grinning.
"Wait, I just remembered something. Are you seeing someone Bella? Because you just got an IUD and unless…" Alice said remembering the personal –emphasis onpersonal– favor I had asked her for that she kindly had left to Edward.
"Jeez… Please share with everyone on the table the status of my sexual life, why don't you? And by the way… You were supposed to pick me up, and instead, you sent… My ex! You're some friend you know?"
"I'm sorry about it sweetie… But I had a ton of things to do… But who's the lucky guy anyways?"
"How is this conversation better than the date one? Are you oblivious Alice?" Edward asked her.
"Alice, I don't want to hear about my little sister's sexual life either." Emmett agreed.
"Alice… There's no one okay?" I tried to defuse the conversation. "It's just precaution."
Ignoring us all Alice said: "So you are planning to then."
"When I decide to… let's say… take advantage of my new device, believe me I won't be telling any of you morons!" I yelled and pried Edward's fingers off my sore leg.
"Okay fine, on to the next item in the docket.. Alice continued.
"Dude, are you sure about marrying her?" I asked Jasper making him laugh and prompting Alice to shoot me a death glare.
"We need to talk about tasks all of you will have to perform at the wedding. Rose and Bella you are co-maids of honor, so you'll have to choose who does what."
"Why don't we leave everything that is nice and graceful to Rose?" I proposed.
"Bella can do the speech." Rose added.
"Bella could do all the speeches." Emmett said.
"And the vows." Jasper chimed in.
"Do you really want to quote classic rock lyrics as your vows? Because that is what I'll end up doing. How's Sympathy for the devil?" I asked them.
"They strike me more of Carpenters' kind of people." Edward commented
"You're right." I agreed with him.
"Whatever. Just take care of your speech." Alice said frustrated.
"Will do. But I'm not doing the best man speech." I warned her.
"I will take care of that one." Edward informed us.
"Okay, so next item is for the ladies. We still have to find you guys a dress."
"What happened to the one I suggested?" Edward asked.
"Didn't work at all, you impress us with the confidence of the speech but you missed." Rose told Edward.
"No worries. To be honest it was the first thing I saw, I was just trying to make a great entrance."
"You are wicked." Rose told him.
"Anyways, so for the sake of fashion: none of us is allowed to get pregnant." Alice ordered the two of us, but all five sets of eyes were on me.
"Hey! How come you mean everyone but everyone looks at me?"
"If the shoe fits…" Jasper said.
"We already discussed how I have taken precautions… I swear… One makes one little mistake… And anyways… Edward got me pregnant, why aren't you all looking at him. This is so sexist." I ranted annoyed.
"Okay… Edward… You cannot impregnate anyone." Alice ordered him.
"Fine… I don't plan to impregnate anyone before your wedding Alice. It's not like it's a possibility." Edward said and his implications were not lost on me.
"Dry spell?" Jasper asked.
"Arid." He replied.
"Are we done with wedding stuff?" I asked tired.
"For tonight and until next meeting." Alice finally said.
"Great… So what about you guys, are we having another wedding coming?" I said shifting the attention to Rose and Emmett.
"Ah… well…" Rose was looking very self-conscious.
"I know… I should make my move before Rose comes to her senses." Emmett said.
"Don't worry bro, if four years at an all-girl Ivy League school weren't able to make her switch teams, you are pretty much golden." I said.
"And I'm sure those girls were sure easier on the eyes that you." Edward added.
"Make fun Edward. But you, unlike me, are sure not getting any tonight." Emmett said delivering the last shot.
In the car driving back to my place I vigorously rubbed the tender flesh of my inner thigh.
"You certainly gave me a bruise back there Cullen." I said.
"I'm sorry. I had to hold on to something. Aren't you proud of me though?"
"You were a good boy, but my thigh is sore. Next time hold yourself."
"I can kiss it better." He offered giving me a malicious look.
"Wouldn't you like that?" I answered rising on eyebrow.
"No, Swan, you would definitely like that." He said without peeling his eyes from the road.
"Tempting offer but I'll pass."
"Your loss… And mine." He finalized.
Soon after we had arrived to my building and once again the uncomfortable business of saying our goodbyes came. We sat there in silence for a bit, until he turned to face me and fixated on something on my face.
"Hey… Come here you have something on your face." He said all serious.
I approached him to have him get rid of it.
Instead… He kissed me.
"There I got it." He said grinning.
I smiled and got out.
"Are you sure you don't want me to walk you in?" He yelled through the window.
"I'll be safer if you don't." I replied.