A/N A special Thank You to Janna Banana (Author of When Darkness Turns to Light) for being my beta and helping me put it all together.
I do not own Twilight, I just like to play with the characters!
I just put my key in the door as I heard my phone start to ring. Running across my kitchen, I grabbed the phone before it went into voice mail. "Hello." I gasped breathlessly.
"Hey Bella." Alice's voice chirped on the other end of the line.
"Hi Alice. What's up?" I asked knowing that there was always something going on with her and I was more than likely to regret answering the phone.
"I was wondering if you wouldn't mind watching Maria for a couple of hours while Jasper and I go out to dinner."
"Sure, no problem. What time do you want me there?" I glanced up at the clock on the wall noticing that I was home late from work, yet again.
"How about six thirty?" I could hear in her voice from the way she was asking that she was hoping that wouldn't be too soon as that was only thirty minutes from now. Lucky for her I only lived a few blocks away so it wouldn't take me long to get to her house.
"Yeah, just let me get my stuff together and I'll be right over."
I hadn't eaten dinner yet and was starving. Since I didn't really have much time to cook before I needed to leave, I made a quick PB&J, grabbed my purse and headed out the door. It was fairly cool outside as September in Washington was never really that warm. I jumped in my car which was still toasty since I hadn't been home that long. It was getting foggy out and I could only see about a block ahead of me by now so I made sure to drive extra slowly. I pulled into Alice and Jasper's driveway and parked next to their car. Walking into the house without knocking, I announced my hello to let them know that I was there. Jasper came down the hall to greet me.
"Hi Bella. Thanks for doing this on such short notice. Alice is still getting ready, but we'll be out of your hair soon." He said
"Take your time, I'm going to check on Maria and see if I can corrupt her while she's still young." I said with a smirk on my face.
"Don't you dare, she already learns enough from everyone else. I don't need you adding to the mix." He said raising an eyebrow at me.
"Oh what could Bella do? She's more sheltered than the abominable snowman." Alice joked as she walked out of the bedroom and latched on to Jasper's elbow. They gazed at each other lovingly, immediately forgetting that I was there. It was almost annoying how perfect they were for each other.
"We'll be back around ten if that's alright? Maria has already eaten but she needs a bottle before she goes to bed." Alice said as Jasper helped her with her coat while he leaned down and began placing kisses along her neck.
"Alright Don Juan, knock it off. I don't need to see you getting frisky with my best friend." I said
"Sorry I just can't help myself." He said wrapping his arms around Alice's tiny waist.
"Well you better help it because I didn't get all dressed up for you to just grope me tonight. Now let's get going. Bye Bella thanks again! Call if you need anything!" Alice shouted as she walked out the door.
I waved and turned to go down the hallway to get Maria out of her room and bring her into the living room. She was bouncing in her crib and holding her arms out for me to pick her up. Grabbing a few toys for her to play with, we headed for the living room to play. After about an hour and a half of peek-a-boo and hand puppets, she began to get tired so I fed her a bottle, gave her a bath and put her to bed. She was so precious when she was asleep. It amazed me how beautiful she was at that moment. She looked so helpless lying there. Watching her sleep reminded me of how much I wanted children of my own.
I went back out into the living room to clean up the toys from my play session I had with Maria. After I got everything put away I plopped myself down on the couch to watch television. Listening to the deep breathing coming from the baby monitor and looking around at the home Alice and Jasper had made for themselves, I tuned out the television and found myself reminiscing about the day that Alice and I became friends, and the events that brought us to where we are today.
Alice has been my best friend since sophomore year in high school and we've been almost inseparable since that day. I remember that day like it was just last week:
"You stupid jerk!" I yelled at Jacob
"What's wrong Bella, did you drop your books again?" he said sarcastically
"You pushed me and you know it!" I spat back.
"Ah, come on Bells, I'm just having a little fun." He said with a smirk on his face. Jacob Black always had a crush on me but ever since I turned him down he'd been treating me like I was no longer worthy of his presence.
"JACOB BLACK!" I heard a little voice shout behind me. I turned to see Alice Cullen. She and I never really talked though I had seen her all the time in school and at lunch. Alice was one of the "popular" people that I barely talked to. It wasn't that I was an outcast, I was friends with almost everyone in school but I just hadn't gotten that close to any of them. "I saw you push her, you're just an ass Jacob. Grow up and leave her alone." Alice spat back at him as she helped me pick up the books and paper strung out all over the parking lot.
"Reeeeerr…..take a chill Alice." Jacob said rolling his eyes.
"Don't worry about it Alice, I'm used to it. He's just sore that I rejected him. Since most of the female population in this school thinks he's the "perfect" catch. Pfft Now if that ain't the biggest line of crap you ever heard." I said trying to hold back a giggle.
"Get over yourself Bella; you're not that great a catch. I only asked you out because I felt sorry for you. " He said
"You're so full of yourself Jacob, just go find one of your floozies and leave Bella alone." Alice said standing up and began poking Jacob in the chest.
"Whatever, Alice." He said as he turned and walked away.
"Thanks Alice, you didn't have to do that." I told her
"No problem. I can't stand him and I thoroughly enjoyed telling him off. I don't get many chances to do it." She said winking at me.
I laughed at the memory of it all.
Alice and Jasper met in high school when he transferred from Colorado during our junior year. Jasper was a senior who had moved quite a bit since his father was in the military. He noticed Alice right away and she noticed him right back but didn't want to give in that easily. She wanted to play hard to get. It was really sweet how he got her to talk to him. It was Valentines Day, and since neither of us had boyfriends, we planned a girl's night at home with junk food and chick flicks. Of course, we were going to do some male bashing as well. As we walked out to my car I noticed that Jasper was standing by the trunk waiting for her. He took a step as we got closer.
"Hello Miss Cullen, Miss Swan." He said, slightly bowing to us. We looked at each other and giggled.
"Mr. Hale." Alice blushed
"May I give you a ride home, Miss Cullen? That is if it's alright with you Bella." He asked slightly turning to me but never taking his eyes off of Alice.
"By all means Mr. Hale, but I think you should be asking Alice not me."
"Yes, I'd love to!" Alice chimed in before he could open his mouth and ask her directly. He shyly smiled at her and took her hand, leading her across the parking lot towards a long black limo parked in the far back corner. She looked back at me over her shoulder and waved, mouthing the word 'sorry' as she got further away. I knew then that she was a goner. Since that day Jasper has been a permanent fixture in Alice's life. They were so much in love I couldn't stand being around them most of the time. Even now after 6yrs they're still too mushy for me. However, it was only mushy to me because I wasn't experiencing the same feelings myself.
After high school graduation, the three of us had gone to college in Seattle. Jasper majored in computer engineering and Alice majored in foreign languages. After college they got married right away. Jasper already secured a position with an international contracting company before graduation. Alice was looking to become an interpreter for a local software company when Jasper brought her out to dinner to meet his new boss. Jasper's company had a lot of foreign clients which required someone who could speak several languages. Once Jasper's boss discovered Alice's background and qualifications, he offered her a position on the spot. She started working the next week and the two of them could not be happier with the fact that they work so closely together.
Nine months later, Alice had little Maria. I guess she was a product of their little celebration that night after dinner for Alice getting a new job and a pay raise. They are so happy that I couldn't help but feel jealous. I always felt so guilty for feeling that way as I was so happy for the two of them and would never begrudge them a moment of their lives together but it just amplified the fact that my life was empty. I had my career and that was it. I longed for the love that they shared.
I became a physical therapist. I opened my own practice downtown and have since built up a significant clientele. I love my work and knowing that I'm helping others feel better makes it all the more rewarding, however it doesn't fill the empty void of going home to an empty house at the end of the day. There was no one waiting for me to have dinner with, no one to sit and cuddle and watch TV with, and no one curious as to how my day went.
My practice keeps me busy enough that I don't have much time to worry about dating. Alice and Jasper have set me up a few times with guys that they thought were a good match for me. A couple of them were nice but not really my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, I would like to be able to have the type of love that Alice and Jasper have but I've come to the realization that I'm not going to have it any time soon. Especially with all the prospects that everyone else seemed to think would be my "perfect match".
After high school Jacob Black and I ran into each other on the street. We started hanging out more and more and ended up dating for about a year. He apologized for all the mean things he did, and told me he only did them because he really did like me. I thought it was cute, a little immature, but cute nonetheless, and decided to give him a chance.
We had a great time for a while but then he started paying less and less attention to me. When I finally asked him what was going on he told me that he thought he may have met the woman of his dreams. He didn't want to tell me because he was truly happy being with me and wanted to make our relationship work but he couldn't stop thinking about this other woman. I told him that if he really believed that she was the one that he should be with her and not me. I was always the martyr and the hopeless romantic. When he told me it was love at first sight, who was I to hold him back? I knew he never really wanted to hurt me by telling me this. So, I let him go and we're still great friends to this day. He and his wife have been together ever since. They don't have any kids yet but that is only because they wanted to wait.
I must have fallen asleep on the couch as I was suddenly woken up by Alice lightly shaking my arm.
"Hey, you want to stay over tonight?" Alice asked knowing that I was still not fully awake.
"No, I'm going to go home. I have to get up early to meet a new client at eight. Thanks for the offer though." I rubbed my eyes in attempt to wake up a little more. All that did was cause me to let out a big yawn. After saying goodnight to Alice and Jasper I headed out the door and got into my now freezing car. The drive woke me up and once I finally arrived home and was ready for bed, I found that I couldn't fall asleep. So, I grabbed a book and snuggled under the covers only getting about five pages read before I let the drowsiness take over me.