Here it is, my long author's note! :) Thank you again for reading and for leaving me such kind reviews. You guys really encouraged me to keep writing!
As for some questions that might come up, here's how I pictured it (warning: this is kind of long - I'm sorry!):
- Edward and Bella started talking again after their trip here in 2013 (the year of her incident in college), but officially got back together during the 2014 trip. They didn't talk to their friends much during the next year, since they were all out of college. Also, they were both a little wary of broadcasting their reunion, since they had broken up before. They were together in the 2015 chapter, but only Alice knew it. Alice and Jasper got married sometime that year (spring 2016), and during the next trip (that annoyingly short, cliffhanger chapter in 2016), Edward asked Bella to marry him (yes, that was the question he asked her). The trip in 2017 was their wedding night (if you go back and read it, I was trying not to make it obvious, which was really, really hard - and Edward is "scared" because he just got married, and that's a big, scary event for anyone! :). So yes, 2017 was the honeymoon night, and the honeymoon suite did "fulfill its destiny."
- Over time, Edward and Bella's personalities, vocabulary, and behaviors change. Edward doesn't curse as much, and the sex scenes aren't as graphic. This was intentional - I was trying to show the transition from adolescence to adulthood (at 26, I feel like I have some insight...or not...haha). And while I wasn't trying to make Bella or Edward seem unhappy in the later chapters (not at all!), I wanted to convey the realities of any relationship, including the ups and downs. Their wedding night was supposed to be a little scary for the both of them, because marriage changes everything. And they were both also worried that it would change the ritual somehow, because marriage comes with its own obligations and priorities. So that's where the angst came from in that chapter.
- In the 2018 chapter, I wanted to make it light-hearted, but I also really wanted to convey the pain that Bella was going through. I've never been married, but I can only imagine what it must feel like to want a baby so badly, and feel like your body is failing you. So of course Edward is there for her, not just that weekend, but all the time as her husband. But no matter how much he loves her, and would do anything for her, sometimes you just have to go through things on your own. Plus, Bella was reluctant to talk to him about it, because it made her feel inadequate - like she was failing them both.
- In the 2019 chapter, Bella goes to the island alone, so that Edward can stay behind to decorate the nursery for her. I purposefully left out details of how each of them actually gets to the island, so that it's possible that Bella drives there on her own, thinking that Edward will meet up with her later. For that reason, I'm assuming they live in Vancouver at this point, or somewhere pretty close to the island, so that Bella can realistically drive home that night and see him.
- Another note on that last chapter...Bella was upset when she got the phone call, because she knew immediately that he wasn't coming, and her world shifted. If you do something consistently for ten years, and then it ends, well...you're probably going to get kind of emotional about it (plus she's preggers...all those hormones ;). And especially in a place like this, where they shared so many things, Bella was bound to be a little shaken when she realized that for some reason, Edward was breaking the ritual. And as for the last line, about him loving her still, well...I think Bella is just thinking of her whole life, and all that they had been through, and the fact that Edward loved her no matter what.
- If the dialogue was misleading at times, it was meant to be that way! I really wanted people to think that Edward and Bella weren't married to each other (so if you thought that, then I did something right!). At least for me, I thought it would make for a better ending that way - to think about each of the chapters and consider what their status was at the time, but this was a bit of a game for them, so it was intentionally misleading...
- Also, I very rarely wrote the full weekend, so you can assume that they fell into old habits and talked about their lives or whatever at some point later in the weekend. I would have liked to have written those parts, but I didn't want to drag out the story too much, and I didn't want to give anything away.
- As for other relationships, or whatever, yeah...I mean, Bella was definitely with Jacob for a while, but I'm not a fan of his, so I didn't dwell on that. And Edward did whatever it is college guys do, but I didn't really focus on that, either. This is an Edward/Bella love story, and that's all I have to say about that.
- A couple details from Twilight that I included, but maybe weren't noticed, include the date of the trip (this is an estimate of their wedding day, based on events in the books), Rob's favorite music (go see his playlist on iTunes), the island itself was supposed to be reminiscent of Isle Esme (but I never called it that, because it seemed wrong for some reason), the image of him standing in the water, etc. etc. I'm sure there are more, but they are scattered in there randomly.
- I pictured my own version of their island in my mind (a similar place existed for me, on many levels), and I think that's why I tried to stress a lot of emotional highs and lows when Bella and Edward met in the same place, year after year. And I had to use some third-person dialogue to keep the suspense going (I did say they couldn't discuss the outside world - so I had them try and stick to that rule as closely as possible). As for the other 363 days of the year, well, I'm tempted to explore that a little bit, but...we shall see! If I do an outtake, it will probably be the rest of the proposal night, or Alice and Jasper's wedding.
- And lastly, I enjoyed writing this story so much and reading all your reviews that I considered scratching my original ending and doing a totally different one, where they really were married to other people. I can't imagine how much longer the story would have been that way, though, haha. Hmm...I'll think about that for a while, maybe take it in another direction. But this is the original ending, the one I pictured from the very start.
- If you have any story ideas or criticism or feedback, please review or pm me! Thank you all for your reviews and encouragement! :)