I opened my eyes, slowly, carefully. He was there. His eyes were black, flat, but hopeful. I frowned to myself and moved my hand to his face. It was icy and hard, as it always had been. I almost felt as if our separation had never happened. No, I told myself. I couldn't let myself pretend that I had Edward back. He seemed to recognize the cause of my hesitation.
"Bella, I'm not leaving." He watched me, looking for some sign of distraught. I stared up at him, worrying that maybe I didn't want him back. Had I changed? I opened my mouth, and the words that poured out were more unexpected than if a stranger had spoken them.
"I…don't want you…to stay. For now." It was too hard to tell him to leave me forever, though I knew that, somehow, that was what I wanted. He tried unsuccessfully to hide his pained expression before jumping out of the window. I eyed the wooden pane long after he was gone. Finally, I collapsed against my bed and put my hands over my face. What had I done? Had I moved on? That was impossible! I loved Edward…But a small voice inside of me reminded me that I could have chosen him because there were no other options. Now that I had Jacob, though, it was harder to be with Edward. I wondered vaguely if, if I had liked Mike, or Eric, or both, I would have still chosen Edward. Of course I would, I told myself stubbornly. Why was it so hard to just accept Edward back into my life? I groaned and got out of bed, resolving to try and not think about it until tomorrow. Tomorrow, I would hunt down Edward and tell him…well, I hadn't yet decided what I would tell him.
The day was a blur. I was sitting down to breakfast with Charlie, who ignored me, and then, suddenly, I was brushing my teeth, getting ready to go to sleep. I slid under the covers and closed my eyes, trying to sleep without dreaming. I was unsuccessful. I dreamt about Edward, wandering around, as lonely and empty as I had been, while I stood there, laughing viciously. My eyes suddenly snapped open, and it was morning. I looked to see what had waked me up. The phone was ringing loudly. I deduced that Charlie had already left for work. I stood up, rubbed my eyes, and answered the phone.
"Bella?" came Jacob's husky voice. There was an undercurrent of unexplainable tension that I didn't understand.
"Hey, Jake," I said, my voice layered with sleep. Jacob was silent for a moment. Then:
"Victoria got past us. She…had an army." He sounded angry. I froze in horror.
"What-who?" I gasped, clutching my desk for support.
"She thought you would be at the Cullens'," Jacob spit. I dropped the phone, but not fast enough for me to hear Jacob say, "None of them made it."