Chapter 24: Graduation
I was downstairs waiting for Bella to finish getting ready. Today was our graduation, and I couldn't wait to get my diploma. The fact that Bella was getting hers as well, made it that much more special. We had pulled through together.
I was extremely proud of her. She had juggled motherhood and school like a pro. She had gotten straight As and had graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Her achievements were more impressive than my own.
"Look who's ready to see his parents graduate!" Alice announced coming down the stairs with Anthony all dressed up in a lightweight white dress shirt and dark jeans. He looked like a little man.
"Da-Da!" He called as I took him from my sister.
"Hey, sweetheart." I said kissing his forehead. "You look all grownup."
"Bella let me dress him." Alice said proudly as I rolled my eyes. "You know he looks cute."
"He does." I agreed as she went upstairs to get herself ready.
I sat Anthony down in his playpen as I took a seat in the sofa nearest him. We were all working on trying to stop him from wanting to be carried all the time. It was our own fault her was accustomed to being held, but we were slowly teaching him to entertain himself.
"Da-Da!" He cried pouting slightly and looking up at me with this big green eyes.
"Play with your toys." I said. He had at least four different toys in the pen with him.
I observed him as he struggled to pull himself up looking extremely pleased with himself when he accomplished it. "Da-Da!" He repeated his fingers opening and closing as a signal for me to pick him up.
"What am I going to do with you?" I asked just as my dad came downstairs preparing the camera and video camera.
"He has you tied around his little finger." My dad commented as I nodded scooping him up.
"What can I say? He melts my heart." I admitted as I thought about the first time he stood up.
It was the week before finals and Bella and I were in our room sprawled out on the floor studying. We were taking advantage of the fact that Anthony was napping, and the house was to ourselves. We were not going to be interrupted.
I looked over at Bella who was chewing the top of her pen as she read some old English play she had to analyze for her final. She looked absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn't help but stare. I was tired of reading about the different functions of cells, and all I wanted to do was kiss her. I wanted more, but a kiss would do.
She must've noticed my stare, because she looked up. her long eyelashes looking sinful with her big brown eyes. The same eye shape our son had inherited.
"What are you looking at?" She asked.
"My beautiful, sexy wife." I said as she laughed.
"Shouldn't you be studying?" She asked as I shrugged.
"I'd rather study Human Anatomy." I replied crawling to her and pressing my lips against hers.
"You aced that class in more than one way." She teased as I chuckled.
"But a little review never hurt anyone." I retorted my lips trailing down to her earlobe and neck.
She pulled me back to her, our lips crashing once more. "I love you." I whispered my hands slipping past her shirt and pulling it off.
"Da-Da! Ma-Ma!" I heard Anthony say through the baby monitor.
"Someone is calling." Bella giggled as I groaned. My son had perfect timing. He reminded me of Alice in that way.
"Maybe he'll go back to sleep." I said as Bella laughed.
"I don't think so. It's just about time for his feeding." Bella reminded me as I sighed rolling off her.
"Later, Edward." Bella promised kissing me again. "Go take him downstairs while I put away our books.
"Fine." I replied getting up and walking across the hall to get Anthony.
I walked into the room finding Anthony standing against the railing of the bed. My eyes widened in shock as he called me: "Da-Da!"
"Bella." I called not believing my eyes. I didn't want to move, because I didn't want scare him and have him fall back onto the crib.
"What's wrong, Edward?" She asked joining me at the door her eyes widening as well. "My baby is standing!" She cried rushing to Anthony.
"Ma-Ma!" He said with a big smile calling us with his extended hands and fingers.
"Look at you!" She cooed picking him up and holding him close. "You're growing up too fast."
"Way too fast." I agreed going to them and kissing my son's head. Time was moving way too quickly.
My daydream was cut short as Alice, my mom, and Bella all came down. at the same time that everybody else walked in through the front door.
My eyes landed on Bella who was wearing a V-neck dark blue dress that ended just above her knee. She looked exquisite with her dark hair slightly curled and let loose around her face.
"We better get going!" Charlie said as I found him also carrying at least three different cameras.
"Dad we're graduating. I don't think you need that many cameras." Bella commented as everyone laughed.
"I just want to capture my daughter's and son-in-law's big moment." He replied as we all made it outside and started getting into the various cars. Charlie rode with Emmett and Rose in the Jeep, Alice and Jasper went with my parents in the Mercedes while Bella and I took Anthony in the Volvo.
"I'm so proud of you." I said to Bella as we got into the car after making sure Anthony was buckled up and our gowns were hanged up.
"We did it together, Edward." She pointed out as I kissed her cheek before speeding off to our college graduation.
When we arrived at the school Edward and I put on our cap and gowns before meeting everyone else near the open space they would be using for the ceremony. "Have fun!" Esme said taking Anthony from me.
"Ma-Ma!" Anthony cried reaching for my hat.
"No, Anthony! Mommy will be sitting near the front." I explained as he giggle trying to grab the tassel.
"With all the toys he has, he's still amused by the tassel." Jasper said with a laugh as we heard the graduates being called.
"You guys better go." Carlisle suggested with a warm smile as Edward took my hand and we waved to our family going to the check-in table to be given our number.
Edward and I were seated together near the front, because we shared the same last name. I took deep breaths trying to settle my nerves as Edward laughed.
"Why are you nervous, Bella?" He asked as I forced a smile.
"I feel like I'm going to fall when I walk across the stage." I admitted as Edward shook his head.
"You'll be fine, you're shoes aren't that high." He pointed out as I nodded as the ceremony began.
I didn't hear much of the ceremony. I was just so relieved to have made it. There had been times when I had thought, I wouldn't be able to do it. Times when I felt it was impossible to be a great mother and a great student. The degree was mine, but I knew I owed to the wonderful support system I had.
Edward and I stood up as our aisle was called and we slowly lined up next to the stage awaiting for them to say our names. "You'll be fine." Edward assured me kissing my cheek before his name was called.
"Edward Anthony Cullen, Bachelor's of Science in Biology." I clapped loudly watching on as our family cheered from their seats. Anthony in Alice's arms, my father and Carlisle taking a million pictures.
"Isabella Marie Cullen, Bachelor's of Arts in English." The announcer said as I took one final look at everybody my eyes meeting Edward's as he smiled at me from the other side of the stage.
I slowly climbed the stairs shaking hands with the University's President before making it across the stage without falling. "Congratulations, Love." Edward whispered in my ear as we posed together for a professional picture before making it back to our seats.
I was on a high for the rest of the ceremony. I was so proud of both of us, and I knew this was the beginning of a new life for us.
In a few weeks we were going to be moving to Baltimore in order to get settled before Edward began Medical School in the Fall. I knew we still had quite a number of challenges before us. I had been lucky to have such a wonderful family to support us, but soon it would just be the three of us. But I knew that together we would be able to make it through anything.
A/N: They made it through college. Wow, I'm so sad right now. I have been writing this story nonstop since April. I started Camp Wilderness on April 16. Can you believe that?
Well, like I've said before. I'm not ready to end it just yet. There will be one more story in the series but it will not be written until I finish one of the two other stories. I may begin writing a chapter here or there if the inspiration hits, but it will not be posted until I finish at least one of the other stories.
I will keep you informed of new developments via my other stories.
Thank you for coming along for the ride, and I hope you'll join me in my other two stories and when I return for the last story of this series.