Innumerable thanks to irritablegrizzlylover, brandtishot, and kaypgirl. And of course my biffle/wifey/nwbs co-owner WeasleyWeakness.
Up early because I have no patience.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything...
"Just one more thing before you leave
Don't forget to remember me" -Carrie Underwood
It was a day full of laughter and tears, joy and sadness. It was the day I left my old life behind and started a brand new one. It was the day my dad walked me down the aisle and kissed me on the cheek. His own tears staining my cheeks as he said goodbye to his baby girl and then went to sit beside my mother, holding her as she smiled and sobbed at the same time. It was a happy day and it was my day.
"I love you so much." He mouthed as he held my hands tightly in his.
"Me too." I mouthed back, earning his perfect grin right back. It was my normal response and one that made him laugh hysterically every time. It was our thing.
The words the minister said as we stood in front of our family and friends and the rest of the town were drowned out. I only had eyes for the man before me. The man who had eyes only for me. The man who had stolen my heart the first time I met him.
I only zoned in enough to say "I do" and hear him say it too, before my heart raced, my palms started to sweat, and all I wanted to do was hold the man that was now my husband. So when he pulled me close and kissed me with all he had, I was fit to burst.
"I love you Alice." He nuzzled me as everyone in the church applauded and wolf whistled so much that I thought the roof might collapse with the noise.
"I love you too Jack."
And so began our happily ever after.
"Al...Al you have to get out of bed sometime." I could feel Bella shaking me, but I didn't move. I knew my eyes were open, but honestly, I could only see the one thing I wanted to: the picture of Jack and I on our wedding day as he held me in his arms.
"Alice, get out of bed now." That was Emmett. I should have known Bella would bring him. He was the brawn while she was the brain. They had resorted to forceful tactics.
I sighed heavily and sat up. I couldn't feel my arm as I pulled it out from underneath my pillow and shook it slightly, wincing at the pain that it caused but not caring enough to do anything about it.
My eyes were still trained on the picture. The picture I loved so much. The one I insisted sit right by my side of the bed despite his protests. He hated that picture, though I never knew why. It had been five months. Five long excruciating months that never seemed to want to end. I couldn't remember the last time I had actually gotten out of bed and I knew my hair was greasy and I probably smelled bad, but again, I couldn't make myself care. That's why my friends were here. An intervention. Only they weren't here to save me from booze or drugs. No, they were here to save me from myself. And the fact was, I didn't want to be saved. I wanted to wallow. I wanted to cry. I wanted to break something, or someone. I wanted to hurt them like they had hurt me. Most importantly, I wanted to go where he was. I didn't want to be whole without him. It didn't feel right.
"He wouldn't want this Alice." Emmett said and I turned my face to look at him. "He wouldn't want to see you like this. Do you know what he would say? Well, first he would punch me for letting you get like this, and then he would say 'Ali, now you listen here. You get out of that damned bed and start doing something.'"
He was right. That's exactly what he would say. He would drawl it out, accenting every word and he would scrunch up his nose and probably kiss the tip of mine. But I didn't want him to be right. "Fuck you." I spat and I saw him flinch from the venom that those two simple words held.
"Alice." Bella said. Her voice was pained and I looked down at my hands to keep from looking at my best friend, scared of what her face would hold. "Alice, I miss you. I need you."
I made the mistake of looking at her and I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I remembered the day it had happened perfectly, if not because of what it meant, but because of how it reminded me that things could change in an instant and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
"That one looks great on you." Angela said from where she sat on the couch, sipping on a latté. Leah agreed as she flipped through the pages of the bridal magazine in her hands.
"Great but not perfect." I shook my head and gestured to the lady to get the next one. Bella had long given up on going back into the dressing room. She was wearing a slip and we were the only ones left in the whole store anyway.
I helped her down from the pedestal and we unzipped her dress letting it fall to the ground and pool at her feet. The sales lady had returned with the next dress. It was the last one we had picked out and one that both Bella and I had loved from the moment we saw it, but it was a size smaller than Bella needed and the wedding was only three months away.
"Here you go." The woman said as she pulled the dress out of it's protective covering and we helped Bella into it.
"This is it." Bella breathed as I zipped the zipper the rest of the way and she smoothed out the front.
It was fitted on the bodice but the bottom floated out around her body and she was right. This was it. The one we had been looking for, for weeks. The one we went to every bridal shop within a four hundred mile radius. The one she would be wearing as she married the man of her dreams.
We paid for the dress then and there and Bella sat it lovingly in the backseat of my car as we all drove back to my place for the night. It was Leah's last night in town and Angela had left Ben alone for the night, though how she managed that, I'd never know. We were all planning on having a great time. The drive back was fun. We danced along to the radio and Angela called us from her car telling us to pay attention so we wouldn't miss the turn off to my house. We laughed at her, telling her we could do it blindfolded and drove the rest of the way with the windows down, soaking up the last of the March sunshine. And in the three minutes it took to get from the highway to my driveway, everything changed.
I knew the car that sat in my driveway. I had seen it at Kara's house when they came about Aaron. I had been there when I had to take her children to my house for the night and let her grieve by herself. This couldn't be happening. My foot hit the brakes so fast I didn't know how Angela didn't hit me. Bella slammed back against the seat and started bitching, until her eyes saw it. I was frozen. I couldn't move. I wouldn't move. If I didn't go then they couldn't tell me. They couldn't make me hear their words or see the fake sympathy on their faces.
"Alice, slide over here and let me..."
"No." I shouted and I slammed the gear into park. I saw Bella's face change from one of sadness to one of fright. I didn't know if she was scared for me, or of me. I didn't care.
I stuck my fingers in my ears, humming loudly and ignoring how childish I felt. I wanted it to go away. I closed my eyes as tight as I could. That would make it go away. But when I opened them again, they were still there. The car was still there. Bella was still beside me. And Angela was out of her car, making her way to mine.
My stomach clenched and I opened my door quickly, throwing up everything I had in my stomach and hoping I wouldn't get my hair in it. I felt Bella' s hands on my back as she held my hair up and rubbed circles there gently. Angela sprinted away, up the driveway across the street. She was going to get Emmett. I knew she would, and I was right. He came soon and pulled me out of the car and into his arms, despite the way my hands slapped and clawed at his chest.
He didn't stop at the door and I couldn't figure out how he got in without the Brinks going off until I saw Bella standing in front, holding the door open for us. Of course, she knew where the key was. The men came. Like I knew they would.
'I'm sorry to have to inform you ma'am..." They said in their voices dripping with the empathy it was their duty to show. They had a box of his things and I refused to take them. Emmett did it for me. And that was when I realized that life would never be the same. No matter how much I wanted it to be.
I looked back to my best friend. Her hair was longer than it had been five months ago. She looked paler than normal and the deep bruises under her eyes showed her loss of sleep. Looking at her, I didn't understand where my friend had gone. The friend I was supposed to be matron of honor for. The friend who was going to name her first born after me. I realized that I had missed so much, and all because he had left me. Jack had left me.
"He's gone." I finally croaked and the reality of those two words was like a knife that had been thrust into my gut and wrenched round and round. The tears finally came and I felt them fall down my cheeks like they had never done before. Emmett's arms were the first to find me and Bella's soon joined them as we sat on my bed and cried. All three of us. Over the loss of a husband, the loss of a best friend, the loss of a 'brother'.
"Emmett met someone." Bella sighed into my neck as we lay on the floor of my living room. We had migrated out there after Bella had forced me into the shower and a clean pair of shorts and a tank top. My hair was piled up on top of my head and though I felt clean, I didn't feel better.
"No way? The infamous Emmett McCarty met someone?" I asked, trying to make my voice sound airy and light. The way it had before, and even though I knew it never would sound like that again, I still was pleased to see a shy smile appear on his lips.
Bella laughed and reached over me to poke her half brother in the ribs. "Yeah, she's great." Emmett said quietly as he lay on his stomach on my left side, playing absentmindedly with the ends of my hair.
"Tell me more." I sang in true Grease fashion.
"Well her name is Rosalie Hale. She's a preschool teacher where Renee works." I nodded my head. It was weird that Bella and Emmett always called their parents by their first names but I was used to it. "She's blonde...and beautiful."
"Can you believe he said beautiful and not 'damn fine' or 'sexy'?" Bella asked. And I shook my head slightly.
"So have you asked her out?"
"No... I'm waiting for the right moment."
"In other words he's trying to grow a pair."
"I have her number though."
"Yeah because she needs someone to fix her computer." Bella snorted.
It was easy to stay quiet when they got like this. I had always missed having siblings growing up, and it was times like these that made me miss it even more. And then, before I could stop myself, I said the words that were flowing between my mind and my tongue.
"We were trying to have a baby before he left."
Both of my friends froze mid banter and turned their deep brown eyes onto me. It was something I hadn't wanted to share when Jack was here. Something I thought should have been kept quiet until we were actually pregnant. So why I said it now I had no idea.
"Oh Al." Bella whispered and Emmett was uncharacteristically quiet.
I didn't say anymore as they both held me there on my living room floor. I didn't want to get back up and go back into that room. To our room. The room we had been trying to conceive in. The room that each attempt seemed to fail in. The place where we had gotten into a fight about it not long before he left. The sun had set again and Emmett got up to go order pizza while Bella helped me onto the couch and covered me with a blanket from the hall closet before going to pour some drinks. When they both came back they crawled under the big blanket with me. Emmett burrowed his toes under my bum and Bella put her feet on my lap. It was like high school, how we had always watched movies then. When things were simpler and life didn't feel so hard.
Sometime between the time the main character finally realized what was happening in the small England town he had been sent to work in as a cop and the end of the movie, I fell asleep. Emmett picked me up easily and carried me into bed. I grabbed onto the front of his shirt as he set me down and somehow, without words he understood just what I needed. He pushed me over as he climbed in beside me and pulled the covers up over our bodies. I felt the bed dip down on the other side of me and I snuggled in closer to Emmett to get out of the way of Bella's flailing body parts. She was dangerous when she was asleep.
"Jake dumped me." Bella whispered into my ear. "He and Leah are together now."
"I'm sorry." I whimpered as I fell deeper into unconsciousness.
"I think it was for the better." She sighed. "I loved him, but not like... well not like I should have. I just thought you should know."
"I love you." I whispered to the both of them and I heard them faintly reply as I fell into the arms of the one I missed. The one I needed so badly. I knew it was only for a few hours, but that was enough for me as I felt his arms wrap around my waist.
"I love this song." He whispered into my ear as the speakers played the upbeat tune. I laughed as I leaned my head back against his chest.
It was our "baby making music" as he had called it. Usually I was all for listening to tunes while we had sex but when he put in the CD he had bought that day and turned it up full volume, I had immediately objected. He had insisted it made his 'little swimmers' happy and after much bickering he had won. Of course he had won. He was Jack.
Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have that magic technique
When we sway I go weak
I can hear the sounds of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now
You know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now
"I always loved this song." He whispered into my ear and I smiled as his warm breath blew across my cheeks. "I wanted our first child to be conceived to it too."
"I'm sorry Jack."
"Why are you sorry? I'm the one that made you listen to it."
I laughed lightly but turned to face him, to look up into his green eyes and press myself into him. "I wanted to give you your baby so bad. And I couldn't."
"Aw, baby. Don't worry about that. It wasn't meant to be."
"But I do worry about it. Because we had that fight before you left and... and you were right. I didn't see it until now but you were right."
His hold loosened on me and I tried to make up for it as I pushed myself into him further. I couldn't let him go yet. I needed him longer.
"Listen to me Ali-cat." I looked up again to see him smiling at me. "Do you remember what I said when I left?"
"Yes." I replied automatically. It was the same thing he had said to me every time we parted for the last five years. How could I not remember it.
"Do you remember everything I said? Think hard now." I rolled my eyes but closed them tightly as I let the words from that day flit through my head. The argument, the tears, the goodbye. I remembered every bit of it like it had happened yesterday. As though reading my mind I felt Jacks lips press into mine as he whispered softly.
"Good. Hold on to that for me and don't forget."
His arms completely left me and I reached out frantically trying to find him. But I couldn't. He was gone, and I was alone. Just like it was in reality. Even in my dreams I couldn't escape that fact.
"I love you." I whispered one last time. And before I had time to collapse in on myself I heard it. The faintest of whispers, of a voice I would know anywhere. A voice I would walk through heaven and hell for.
the Song is called "Sway". There are versions by Michael Buble and Dean Martin. In this chapter however it was by the Pussycat Dolls version, hence Alice's reaction. You know the drill lovlies.