Disclaimer: I don't own anything. All characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. Except Max, he's mine.


Chapter 1


I left the ER at about 2 am and made my way to my car in the hospitals basement. Once again I had worked three hours overtime in my attempt at delaying having to go home. And don't get me wrong I loved my job but the thought of having to once again return to my empty one bedroom Seattle apartment really wasn't a comforting thought. All it did was remind me that I was alone and that she had left me. And taken my son with her.

I had thought I had it all. By twenty five I was married to the love of my life, had a beautiful son, a well paying job, a nice home and did I mention I was married to the love of my life?


Beautiful Bella.

I never thought she would actually like me, little less love me. I mean she could've had anyone she wanted. Long brown hair, tall, skinny, deep brown eyes, flawless skin, in a word - gorgeous. She was the girl in high school that got asked to the prom by at least seven different guys, she was the girl the every other girl wanted to be. I however in high school was the guy that was lucky to be going to prom, I was the guy nobody wanted to be, and I was the guy nobody noticed.

I got to college first as I was a few years older than her. On her first day of college I was in charge of her tour group and the two of us hit it off immediately and it was long before we were the, "it couple" of the campus.

We ended up graduating together as her journalism major was shorter than my medical major and we didn't wait long after that to get married.

After we graduated the first thing I did was ask her to marry me and amazingly she said yes.

We were married the winter of 2002 and two months later she announced she was pregnant with our son.

Maybe we were too young to have so much but it didn't matter because we were together and happy. And to us our life was perfect.

Nine months later on the 20th of January 2004 she gave birth to Max Archer Cullen. 7 pounds 5 ounces. He had her eyes. And the small amount of hair on his head told us he would take after me in that department. He was perfect. She was perfect. My life was perfect and better than I ever imagined it could've been. And it remained perfect for two years.

We witnessed our son saying his first word. We saw him through his first birthday. Helped him with his first steps. I had thought we were so happy.

But then about four years after we were married the fighting started. It was just before Max's fourth birthday. And it was over stupid things. We never actually fought about anything real.

I'd left the seat up on the toilet

She had forgot to buy me something I wanted at the grocery store.

I'd gotten a movie she didn't like from the video store.

Soon we were finding any excuse to have a go at one another.

At the time I had thought it was just a faze, and that we would get over it. I knew that I still loved her even though I didn't say it as much anymore. And I had assumed she still loved me. Until one day while Max was at his grandparents she screamed at me, "I want a divorce".

That stopped me dead at whatever I was about to yell at her.


I had begged her to reconsider. I promised I could change. I told her that my life would be nothing without her. I pleaded that she not do this but she said it was too late. And before I knew what was happening we were in court in a fight to the death over everything we had ever owned or shared together.

Our house.

Our money.

Our furniture.

Our fridge.

But worst of all Max.

We were fighting over who would get my son. Our son. The one thing in this world that was an exact copy of the two of us. The one thing that still connected us.

We both fought hard for him, both of us believing that he was not better off with the other.

But she won.

The court believed that due to my abnormal working hours I was unfit to care for my son.

And that's how I got here, to my empty, lonely apartment, working even longer hours so that I could pretend that I was ok. But I wasn't, I knew I wasn't ok. How could I be ok? For the last year all I have done is work and work and wait for those three precious days a month that I got to see my son. And if I was honest with myself I waited to see her too. Even if the only thing she said to me was a short and polite greeting, it was worth it to once again hear her voice, to look into her eyes.

It broke my heart that I had let the best thing that ever happened to me slip away. I kick myself everyday thinking that I should have fought harder for her, I should have tried harder to be a good husband, I should have let her watch the movie she wanted, or worn the shirt she had picked out for me. Every night as I lie in bed trying to sleep I think about the things that would have made our marriage better. I try and pin point exactly where we went wrong and think about what could have been done. But I never can. So every night I go around in circles in my head.

But it's always the same question that enters my head before I fall asleep.

Does she think about this too?