A/N: Sometimes writting is the best therapy :) - Without being extra chessy I wanna dedicate this one-shot to everyone who ever felt like a breakup was the end of the world. ;)
Please read and review! Even if I don't plan of contuing this one I would really appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN ANY TWILIGHT RELATED CHARACTERS.
Life never turns out how you expected. Ha, tell me about it. I couldn't help it if my thoughts were so bitter, not when every ounce of my soul felt like it was shattering into a thousand pieces. Every step I took, walking around the cold house evaluating, made me realize how empty it suddenly looked without the littlelest things.
How ironic, that a few missing objects made the bedroom look infinitesimally less like a home, like our home. The drawers of the dresser still slightly ajar, missing his clothes, as well as the little walk-in closet I didn't dare go into. His nightstand empty, aside from the lamp, no family photos of him and his sisters, no baseball tickets to use with his brothers, nothing to prove that it once held his things. The faint dust marks mocked me, telling me exactly where everything belonged, and reminding me how empty it looked.
I looked around the room, trying desperately to find something to ground me to this house. To make it feel like mine, to give me a reason to stay. I sat in the bed looking at the nightstand brushing the dust marks with my sleeve, trying to erase the mocking traces of what was once there. The newfound pain in my chest making it hard to breathe.
He was gone, from the house, from my life. I suddenly realized I was sitting on his side of the bed. I jumped up immediately, almost as if it burned me. Nausea overwhelmed me, I couldn't breathe and my stomach felt like it was fighting against my body. I ran into the bathroom just in time to dry heave into the toilet. It was a horrible feeling, like my body wanted to expel all the pain, however, since I hadn't eaten anything all day the only thing my body was able to expel was bile and dry sobs.
I washed my face with cold water, rinsing my mouth as well. I looked up from the sink to see the reflection of a woman I didn't recognize. Sure, it was me, but not the Bella I was accustomed to. My dark brown hair fell from my shoulders to my back, and wet matted pieces clung to my face, my eyes held no light in them, the dark circles adding to the effect. My lips and skin looked even paler than normal.
Like a vampire.
Undead, but still living. That was exactly how I felt. But how else is one supposed to feel, when true love leaves you? I closed my eyes, hiding from my sight. I couldn't look at myself at this moment. My looks weren't enough to keep him around, so I didn't want a reminder of them to add to the pain.
I dried my face with one of the towels. I sat on the toilet pressing the damp cloth into my face. Even the master bathroom looked so different without his razor blades, toothbrush and aftershave.
Everything so empty…
the dresser, the nightstand, the bathroom, our home…
my life… empty.
I was empty, and my body couldn't even register it. The pain in my body felt so real, so overwhelming, and yet I couldn't make myself show it. I wanted to cry, but I programmed myself not to show emotion, not when just a few hours ago I had seen him leave.
I walked in from the garage to our home and immediately felt a sense of forewarning. Like something bad was going to happen. I admit, that feeling was not new to me, I had felt it for a while now, but tonight the feeling was stronger. This was the moment.
I dropped my purse and keys on the kitchen counter- linked to the garage- and stepped into the living room. Half the movies and video games were missing from under the plasma TV, the bookcase was intact, but the stand next to it that held his guitar was empty. My stomach dropped, I knew what was happening as soon as I saw his guitar missing.
"Honey, where are you?" I asked to the darkness.
There was a long pause, in which I dared not move. Was the gone already? His car is outside. Before my mind went into override, thinking of all the meanings of what was about to happen I heard him call out to me.
"In here," he yelled from the bedroom.
I realized I had been holding my breath; I let myself take deep breaths while I walked the wooden hallway into the bedroom. The house was silent, my two inch heals- the tallest I could tolerate without making a fool of myself- echoed across the walls.
Amazingly enough my thoughts were blank as I approached the entrance to the bedroom I once longed to come into, sadly it had been months since I entered that room eager to find him.
Once I reached the doorway I froze, there on top of his side of the bed, was the biggest suitcase we owned already stuffed with most of his clothes. He was bent down, getting his sweatpants out of the drawers of the dresser. He stood up, his long legs straining, his broad chest flexing under the weight of all the clothes he took out. He looked at me for a moment, his warm eyes meeting mine.
His features were hard, determined, like they always were whenever there was a problem at work and he was dead-set on fixing. Like the time he had to fire someone who was less than qualified for their job, a hint of guilt in his eyes but the purpose never wavered. That's how it felt for me, like he was firing me for not being the girlfriend he longed for. I was not qualified to make him happy, after all these years, I could never make him happy.
He broke our gaze, not saying a word he packed what I assumed was the last of his clothing. He was struggling with the zipper of the suitcase, the act would have been funny, were it not for the fact that he was leaving me.
"You're leaving," I stated more than asked. My voice showed no emotion. I had promised myself days ago, that when this moment came that I would not cry. At least not in front of him.
"Yes," He answered still struggling with the zipper. I could hear him cursing under his breath.
"Why?" still no emotion.
He looked up at me annoyed, I don't know if it was because of me, the uncooperative suitcase, or both.
"You know why, Bella," his features softened, "I just can't live like this anymore," he added.
"Where is all your stuff?" I asked referring to the guitar, dvd's, videogames, and pictures that once resided in the hallway.
He looked embarrassed for a moment, "I took the day off so I could pack everything."
I nodded, "So, you've been packing all day," anger flashed in my eyes, "Were you even planning to tell me, or were you just going to leave?"
"Of course I was going to tell you," he sounded angry at my implication, "it's just easier this way."
"Right," I answered.
"Look, Bella, this is hard for me too," I shot him an incredulous look, "It is! You have been my best friend for 10 years, I didn't want to give you up-"
"Of course! How could you survive without your fucking best friend, who you happen to fuck every time you want!" I shouted, control be damned.
"That is not what I meant!" He cried, running a hand over his face in exasperation.
"Is that what it was to you, all this years? Were you just fucking your best friend?" my tenor mocked his words.
"That is not fair and you know it," he said through his teeth, I could tell he was angry at me, "I loved you," the emphasis on the past tense made my heart clench and my anger turn into despair.
"LOVED me?" I interrupted in a small voice.
He looked at me, his brown eyes pleading mine to understand him.
"I did, Bella, I loved you very, very much," he paused for a moment looking down at his shoes before mumbling "but, I don't anymore."
Even though I knew it was true, even when I knew that, just like for him, my love for him had faded over the years- yet never disappeared- it hurt. It hurt to hear him speak the words I knew he felt, but dreaded. In a sentence, he managed to destroy 10 years of friendship, 8 years of love, and 2 years of sorrow.
"Is there someone else?" I asked, I didn't know if I wanted to hear the answer.
He looked at me for a moment struggling to say something. I knew in that moment that there was someone else.
"What?" he questioned, taken aback.
"How long have you been cheating on me?" I asked, my voice was back to the monotone tenure I thought was best. Inside my heart was wailing with grief.
"I haven't… It's not like that… I," he sighed, "I have never cheated on you, Bella."
"Liar," I responded finally moving from my spot. I turned, ready to leave him before he left me.
However, before I could properly turn he caught my wrist and spun me around. His hand was hard, sweaty and hot against my skin. I was revolted by it, the thought of his hands touching another woman, even when he hadn't touched me in weeks, was infuriating. I yanked my arm away from him, glaring.
"Please, let me explain," he pleaded.
I said nothing, but I didn't move so he continued, "I met someone, but nothing has happened, it's just with her, things are different," he look troubled but continued, "Bella, it's like I've been waiting for her all my life, but I would never do that to you, to her."
"So, you're ending this to go to her," I finished for him. Disdain all over my voice when I said her.
"No, Bella," he sighed, "you have to admit, we haven't been happy in so long."
"And you'll be happy with her?"
"No, Bella, it's not even her." He took a step back; maybe afraid I would slap him.
"Nothing has happened with her. I don't even know if it will. She just made me realize I want more."
I laughed cruelly at him. He opened his mouth to say something else, but I stopped him raising my hand. I strode past him, careful not to touch him, my heels echoed one more, I took three steps towards the bed, leaned down, rearranged the top layer of the suitcase and then closed it without any struggle.
"Don't let the door hit you on your way out," I said, steeping away from the suitcase and crossing my arms in my chest. "Goodbye, Jacob."
He looked at me for a second; tears were falling from his eyes. His broad shoulders sagged in defeat, nodding, he lowered the suitcase from the bed and set it on its wheels, he leaned down to take a box I hadn't noticed in front of the nightstand and turned to face me.
Before I could protest he took quick step towards me and kissed the top of my head. I closed my eyes in that brief second, inhaling his wonderful scent for the last time. Too soon, he stepped back and left the bedroom. I stood frozen, hearing his steps and the wheels of the suitcase rolling through the hallway to the door, the sounds ending with the bang of the door closing.
Now with him gone, I wanted to cry. To release some of the weird emotions that plagued my body. I felt claustrophobic in this house, with the reminders of his presence creeping in every corner. I practically ran away from the bathroom, past the living room, and into the kitchen, I took my keys and purse and sprinted to the garage. I wanted to get away from the house, away from the pain. When I stepped into the garage I noticed both our motorcycles were still there, and even my car reminded me of our time together. Panicking, I opened the garage and quickly stepped out. The cold October air felt like heaven, refreshing my face, soothing the pain.
I walked with no direction for a while; I didn't let my mind think of what had just happened. I just walked, counting my steps, looking at the gardens of the houses as I walked on the sidewalk. Before I knew it I was in a park, the swings of the playground moved with the wind. Its creaking was the only sound beside my footsteps. I took a seat on one of the benches and looked up at the starry sky.
There was a slight comfort in the beauty of the stars. But at the beautiful sight reminded me of the pain I couldn't avoid anymore. As I was sitting there looking at the brilliant crescent of the moon, and the sparkling dots in the purple sky, I let myself cry.
I cried for the love lost, I cried for not being enough, I cried for the impending loneliness, but mostly I cried because I knew what Jacob meant. His words echoed in my head like a broken record and I knew they would never cease to hurt.
I want more…
Even when it seems impossible.
Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise.
It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does.
Even for me.
Time passed in such strange stages I couldn't understand it. Three months had passed since that dreaded October night when I was sure the world would end. Amazingly so, it didn't. It was both astonishing and understandable that life would go on without Jacob. It had been hard, to come back every night to an empty house. I still spent almost every weekend away from the house, with my friends, with my dad. Thankfully work had me occupied most of the time, so now, three months later I could manage not to think of him for days.
But at first…
The first days had been the most horrible days of my life. I spent a whole week locked in the bedroom, lying on my side of the bed looking longingly at his. I didn't eat, I almost never slept. It wasn't till I my body was tired from crying that it finally yielded into nightmares, which almost always featured me watching Jacob leave over, and over again.
It wasn't till the third day that Angela burst into my house and nursed me back into a normal routine. It basically consisted of waking up, getting to work, coming home, trying to sleep, and starting all over again.
It was easy and practical, some days easier than the rest. Angela and Charlie- my dad- forced me to go on. I was grateful for that, but bitter for them not understanding my pain. At first it was only for them that I would continue with the charade, then it was my anger towards Jacob.
I was angry at him, not for leaving me, not for him not loving me anymore. I was angry because he walked away from the pain, angry because I could've ended it before him, but I was so scared of being alone that I didn't.
I had been with Jacob since high school; we met when I moved back to Forks to be with Charlie. We became best friends, then a couple. It was an easy transition, it seemed natural, like it was the way things were meant to be in our lives. I never questioned it, or resented the simple ness of our relationship. Apparently, Jacob did.
At first we were happy, how could we not? When the only things to worry about were grades and curfews. When we went to college things got trickier, it was hard to face the real world, but we made it through. After college we both got jobs, moved in together and started living like adults. Sure, we didn't have the same spark as the first days of our relationship, but I always thought that was normal. After all, what couple can stay happy and in love for more than five years?
On the endless nights I laid on our bed looking back on our relationship, I found myself able to pin point every moment our love deteriorated, but never exactly when it ended. Maybe it was after I realized I liked spending more time studying for college than hanging around in La Push with his friends, maybe it was the time he rather watch TV on the living room than help me unpack the boxes of our kitchen, maybe it was when he stopped hugging me when we slept, or maybe when I stopped kissing him when I got home.
It was frustrating not to know how long I had been living a lie. However, after nights spent reminiscing on the good, bad, and horrible moments of my life, I changed tactics. One morning I woke up and the pain was still there, but lessened. I decided to stop feeling sorry for the way my life turned out, and realized that at 26 years old I could still change things.
I made little projects around the house, trying to make it more my own, and not ours. There was no more us, only me, and I was determined to make it as me as possible. I sold the motorcycles, the car, and the bedroom, buying myself a modest new car. Angela thought it was a little drastic on my part. But I wanted a new start, a clean slate. Charlie was just thankful I wasn't crazy enough to sell the house.
"Real state is a pain in the ass." He murmured when he was helping me move in the new bedroom furniture.
I painted every room in the once white house, rearranged the furniture, and got rid of most of the stuff he left behind. By February, the house looked nothing like our house, it looked exactly like mine. It was amazingly easy to walk around it now, I no longer felt dread every time I came back from work. I could now step away from my routine just enough for me not to feel lost, I spent more time with friends and less time wallowing in contempt.
I still cried and felt lonely sometimes, but the whole in my chest was no longer bleeding, it was raw and still there, but it never felt as overwhelming as it did that first night. Nevertheless, I could feel traces of my old self start to reappear in me, my skin was not as sickly pale as it had been those last months with Jake, color was returning to my cheeks once more, and my appetite was back with such a vengeance that I had to restrain myself or else my clothes wouldn't fit me anymore.
Time passes… and helps.
In time I learned to laugh again, to find pleasure in the simple things in life I had ignored for such a long time. I was reading romance novels again- something I had stopped doing when I was no longer happy with Jake- incredibly so, they did not make the whole in my chest any bigger, nor did they give me hope, but I still enjoyed them.
By May I felt better than I had in years. Every one noticed, embarrassingly commenting on my radiant appearance until my blush threatened to make my face explode.
I was no longer angry at Jacob for leaving, or at myself for holding on to something that was no to be. I was at peace with my life and I would even dare to say I was happy. I had recently gotten a promotion, I slept soundly at night, and I had amazing friends and family that I could always depend on.
I checked my appearance one last time before heading out. My black cocktail dress was still in place, my hair was a little shorter- another one of my changes- just above my shoulders with big waves framing my face, a little more makeup than usual with smoky black eyes and pink lip gloss, finally, three inch heels I had practiced on around the house all afternoon to lower my chances of accidentally tripping. I smiled at the mirror; happy with my appearance I headed to Angela and Ben's rehearsal dinner.
Once I was in the saloon arm in arm with Charlie, I quickly left my father to go congratulate Angela on her impending nuptials. She was as giddy as a schoolgirl, her eyes dancing with excitement.
"Oh, Bella, I'm so happy, thank you for coming." She answered while I hugged her.
"Ange, I wouldn't miss this for the world." I said looking at her, "Why, don't you look beautiful this evening," I winked at her.
Angela blushed, and I smirked at her appearance, happy that for once it was not I who looked like a tomato. We were soon interrupted when Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory came by to congratulate Angela as well. Before we knew it, Jess and Lauren were gossiping with Angela and I listening intently.
"Of course, Mike hasn't said anything concrete yet," Jessica prattled on, "but, I just know he's this close to proposing," she almost closed her thumb and forefinger to emphasize her wish.
We all nodded in agreement, trying to appease her hopes of finally settling down with Mike Newton. I looked around trying to find Charlie just to check on him, when I saw him.
He was behind three beautiful couples that looked like they belonged in a high fashion magazine. He had untidy bronze hair, piercing emerald green eyes, and strong manly features. He was tall and a little bit on the lanky side, but he still looked like a model. I couldn't stop looking at him.
"Who is he?" I found myself asking, interrupting Jessica's idle talk.
They all looked at his direction and I heard Lauren snicker. "The Cullens." she responded.
"Cullens?" I asked.
Angela stepped in. "Those are the Cullens, they moved into town last October," Angela gave me an apologetic look.
October, well that would explain why I hadn't noticed them.
"Oh," I simply answered still looking at the bronze haired man who was talking with the little pixie-like woman.
"The older gentleman is Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his wife Esme, the blonde is Rosalie and the bulky man Emmett Cullen, he's their oldest son, he just got married last year too. The little pixie is Alice Whitlock with her husband Jasper, she's their only daughter; and the man she's talking to is Edward Cullen, their youngest son." Angela explained eyeing me curiously.
"Edward is a Doctor," Lauren continued, "and single too," she added with a snicker.
"Oh," that seemed the only thing my mind could process at the moment.
Lauren and Jessica's giggles interrupted my ogling. I glanced at them and blushed when I saw their faces.
Great, they know.
"You know, Bella, I could introduce you if you want," Jessica almost shrieked with the possibility of setting me up with this Edward fellow.
My eyes grew big with the proposition, I looked at Angela for help, but I noticed her features were similar to Jessica's. Lauren's smile was more deviant, like she was waiting for the funniest thing to happen.
Before I could process what was happening, both Angela and Jessica grasped my arms and led me to the greek god. Their hold on me was fierce to say the least, I couldn't tare free from their claws, the only attempt I dared made me trip and their hands were the only thing that prevented my encounter with the floor. I decided to stop struggling and face the inevitable rejection that was sure to come.
Please, let me down gently.
When we finally reached the Cullens, they all congratulated Angela and she in turn thanked them and introduced Jessica and Lauren- who I just noticed had been behind us al the time- as her Bridesmaids, and me as her Maid of Honor. Until that moment I allowed myself to look at all of them except Edward, I shook each hand, and Edward was left last.
Finally, I looked up at Edward and instantly his eyes mesmerized me, butterflies fluttered in my stomach- something that never happened with Jake. He looked surprised as well; I imagined it was because my face was probably as red as a tomato.
"Nice to meet you, Bella." He said moving his hand to greet mine. His voice was like silk and I was sure the butterflies in my stomach were trying to break free.
"Same here, Edward." I somehow managed in a normal voice. Our hands met halfway and the moment his cold hand grazed mine I felt a pleasant shock run thought my body. We smiled at each other, every one else in the room forgotten, only one thought ran through my mind.
This is more.
So that is my little one-shot. Becca suggested I continue it as whole story, but I'm happy with it the way it is. I don't wanna say NEVER, but for the time being if you're not happy with the ending feel free to imagine it for yourself :)
If you liked it, then I suggest you head over and read my multi-chapter story "Forever is where we met," lots of good angst in that one with a hint of smut. Chapter 5 coming this week! Swear on my car!
And if you're in the mood for something a little more funny and sexy then head over to "A Tale of Two Edwards" an amazing co-write I have going on with Becca (aka. XShear)
I would still appreciate reviews and comments on this little drabble!! :D!!