Chapter 1

Strong on the Surface, Not All the way Through

When Edward left, I was left with this gaping hole in my chest. Nothing seemed to be able to heal it. And then I met Jacob. He gave me temporary relief from the pain I felt, but he could never completely heal me.

I settled, knowing no one would ever compare to Edward, and Jacob seemed to be the next best thing. But every time I was with him, I was constantly thinking about Edward and how much better he was then Jacob.

His hair was too long, and not soft enough.

His eyes weren't green.

My heart didn't clench at the thought of being with him.

He didn't know Shakespeare off by heart.

I just wasn't strong enough to force myself to move on from Edward. I may have been strong on the surface, I made sure to put on a brave face whenever I was with Jacob, because he knew me, and he knew the hurt Edward had put me through. So if he knew that the pain had never gone away, or even dulled the teensiest bit, he would act different around me. I needed that sense of normalcy in my life. Despite the fact that it wouldn't ever make me happy. It kept me sane. So I tried to act like my old self and not cringe every time I thought of Edward. But whenever I was alone, I let myself break down.

I had gotten good at hiding it though. I think Jacob must just think that my face was permanently this red. It was always red because of the crying, my hair was always a mess because I wanted to pull it out every time I thought of Edward and I had gotten skinnier because I couldn't bear to do anything, let alone eat.

I had made my life the best it could be without him. But it wasn't enough. And it wouldn't ever be. Because I would never be over him. I never could be over him. Just the thought of him made my heart clench and I felt the need to take all the money I had saved up and just go search the world for him. Because I knew that I would. I would waste away my life looking for him.

But I was too much of a coward. Because if I did find him, there would be no way he would ever take me back. He said so himself. He didn't want me. And that fact alone was the thing keeping me from leaving Jacob forever.

Over the months I had started working more just to keep my mind off of him for even the smallest amounts of time. So I had a decent amount of money saved up. Just in case I ever did try to find him, I could continue the search for a while. I would spend it all before I stopped looking. I would only stop when it was completely necessary.

I hadn't ever told Jacob about me saving money. He would think I was insane and try to help me. He's just that kind of person. He's always been nice to me, a lot nicer then I deserve. Another reason I hadn't left was because I didn't want to hurt him.

As much as I could never see Jacob the way I still see Edward, I loved him. In a special way. Like if I hadn't ever met Edward, I could be happy with Jacob. But I did meet Edward. And I fell in the hardest, most amazing ways possible. The way that if the person leaves, your life is ruined.

I should've expected him to leave though. He was near perfect, and I'm plain, simple Bella. I would never compare.

As much of a coward that I was though, I had given myself a date. One day that I promised myself I would just leave everything and go look for him if he hadn't come back by then. I had given myself almost two years. And if he wasn't back by then, I would go look for him. I promised myself. I would go look for him.

But I still had time. And until that day came, I would continue my life as it is. Happy and full of meaning on the surface, and miserable and worthless on the inside.