I pushed the door open quickly and stumbled into the bathroom. My face was already hot and flushed and I knew the tears would not be far behind. As I pushed open the door of the closest stall they began to fall one after another down my cheeks.
Great, I thought, just what I needed.
I was never one of those people who cried and looked beautiful doing it. No, not me, my nose ran, my eyes got puffy and red and even if it had only been for 5 minutes, I ended up looking like a train wreck. Well today at least that was appropriate, I actually felt like a train wreck. I had to admit the only thing about crying that looked well on me was my eye color. My eyes were a non-descript brown, I would describe them as muddy, but when I cried or became upset they seemed to deepen in color, like a beautiful deep dark chocolate. He used to swear that…No, wait, STOP, don't go there my mind screamed at me, you promised you wouldn't do this to yourself today.
OK, OK…breathe…once more…better.
Anyway my eyes have always betrayed me but when I cried I felt like you could see to the very heart of me through my eyes, all my emotions right there on the surface. Yet another great reason not to be crying right now….
I didn't need to share my heart with anyone today.
I sat down on the toilet lid and grabbed for a bunch of toilet paper.
God, why was this stuff always so rough, you'd think a place like this would have better.
Ha, Ha, very funny Bella.
Even in the direst of circumstances my sarcasm kicked in.
Here you sit complaining about TP.
I shook my head in disgust. I knew that I only had a few more minutes to myself togetheruntil they all came looking for me; it was inevitable that I would not be left alone today. I sat then for a few more moments savoring the quietness, wiping the few wayward tears that had escaped from my weary eyes and made their slow path down my face.
God, to just be able to stay here, to never move again, think again…what I wouldn't give for that luxury.
I could hear the whisper of the ceiling fan as it spun lazily around and around on its axis, the soft murmur of voices seeping in from under the door, and faintly oh so faintly if I held my breathe, I picked up on the soft notes of a piano drifting down from the vent above me.
Oh God, oh shit, that was all it took…
The tears started falling faster and I felt a sob rip from my throat. My shoulders began to shake and I felt as if my body was going to shatter into a million tiny pieces. Images flashed through my mind, fragmented and unfocused, each one piercing me to my core. I was finally going to loose it…
How had I gotten to this point, I was so happy, we…we were so happy.
The part of my mind that I relied on to be no-nonsense and in control clicked on:
Get it together Bella, you can do this, you are not going to fall apart into a sniveling mess.
I tried to calm my breathing; I shuddered once, then again, my breaths coming out in little sobs. Deep breath…again… one more time. My head was aching and I felt like my bones would not withstand the weight of my body.I shakily stood to my feet, waited until the stall stopped spinning and gingerly pushed open the door. Thanks god no one else had come in. I walked over to the endless bay of mirrors and surveyed the damage.
Not too bad, not too pretty either, but man look at those eyes.
Sheesh, even at my most distracted my inner monologue was being funny. I rummaged through my bag searching for my lip gloss and noticed my mascara and eyeliner were in there as well. Huh, I don't remember…Alice. I should have known, she must have stuck them in last minute before we left this morning. For once I was thankful for her meddling. I was never the slave to fashion as she was but I did want to appear collected and put together today even if it killed me.
That can be arranged, my mind taunted me
Great, I thought, now I have moved on to suicidal fantasies. Everyone watch out…keep the sharp objects away from Bella…
I tried to reapply the mascara and finally just gave up. I dabbed some gloss on my lips, smoothed down my long brunette tresses and gave myself the once over.
The dark blue of my dress made my normally pale skin look almost translucent this morning but it still was flattering.
For you dear…always for you, I thought, before quickly stopping myself.
I let out a sigh and turned away to go.
"HOLY CRAP ALICE, you scared me!"
There she sat, prim, proper, not a thread out of place.
Alice was quietly sitting in the alcove of the bathroom, her tiny little feet tucked up underneath her, an expression of confusion across her pretty little face.
"How long have you been sitting there" I asked reluctantly.
Great, I can't even fall apart without someone knowing.
I focused my attention back on Alice and noticed she was still staring at me but had changed her expression, it was now THE LOOK… the one she reserved, I swore, only for me. Her eyes were squinted ever so slightly but you could see the fire starting to build behind them, a slow burn that you did not want to be on the other end of.
"Isabella Marie ..."
"STOP, STOP, don't say it, Alice, please not today".
For a second I watched her falter as she realized what I meant. She understood but started again anyway, "Why do you insist on being so self-sufficient, so strong, you have to do everything your way. Today of all days Bella really, you are hurting my feelings."
She stopped, her face reflecting her emotion. I immediately felt guilty and rushed over to where she was sitting. "Oh, Alice. I'm sorry," I said as I sat down wearily next to her. "It's just….I feel that if I can do this, if I can just make it through the next hour, I'll be able to see if I can make it through the night, then tomorrow….I'll be able to see if I can be OK again."
Alice grabbed my hand and squeezed, "Me too, she whispered, me too".
I turned my body and we grabbed each other in a fierce hug, Alice's spiky hair gently tickling my nose. "I forget that I'm not alone Alice, I forget that I'm not the only one here that…the only one that..," my voice faltered off.
"Shh, shh, don't say anything else; I didn't come in here with the intention of making you feel worse." She released my shoulders gently and then sat back in her seat once again. "You look terrible"
I burst out with a laugh and my hand instantly flew up to cover my mouth, the shock evident in my eyes. "It's OK to laugh, Bells" Alice said.
I slowly took my hand down from my mouth and looked at Alice
"Why thanks, thanks a lot Alice, I didn't think I looked that bad." Alice reached across me and grabbed my purse, "Give it here, I can fix it, you were never very good with all this stuff." She pawed through my purse, mumbling under breath about my total lack of makeup know-how.
A few minutes later when Alice deemed me presentable we stood up and holding hands walked toward the bathroom door. "Everyone's waiting outside, are you going to be OK?" Alice questioned.
"I thought Esme and Carlisle were going to come in her with me at first but I convinced them that I could bring you out on my own."
Good 'ol Alice, tiny but determined and oh so full of herself.
It was then that I stopped in my tracks and let out a gasp as my mind caught up to what she said
Carlisle…Esme…everyone else right outside that door
Alice noticed and stopped from opening the door.
"Um, Alice, I'm not so sure I can do this" I stammered.
"What, go out there?"
"Yeah and face everyone, especially Esme and Carlisle."
Alice gave me a sympathetic look and squeezed my hand.
How can I stand there and look into their faces… look into his face. Carlisle so closely resembled the face that I saw in my head a hundred times a day. The same face I knew I would never see again, the face that I would never run my fingers across…
How did I ever think that I could do this , I stupidly scolded myself. The knowledge that I would never see him again ran through my mind over and over. I would never see him…
my beautiful, talented, compassionate Edward again…my husband…my Edward.