"For My Valentine"
A Twilight Love Story Contest
Title: The Thought of Love
Vampire or Human: Human
For more information please see contest details on manyafandom or isabel0329's profiles.
A/N: Love me some beta, Adrena! Thank you for your help:)
The last bell of the day rang to signal the end of class, and I watched from my seat as the rest of my classmates scurried around, picking up their things. I waited and watched, feeling an inexplicable discontent settling in my bones as another average day came to a close.
Nothing exciting ever happened here, just the same old crap day in and day out. I woke up Monday through Friday with the hope that something new or different would happen, but it never did. I wanted to get the hell out of Forks, but I knew that my family and friends wanted me to stay.
The discontent that I felt today was likely in direct correlation to the fact that Valentine's Day was tomorrow, and for once, I didn't have anyone to distract me from the loneliness that had been building up inside of me. Girls had always been easy to come by, but usually not enough to keep my interest in the long run.
The last of the students milled the hallway, and I sighed heavily. I knew my best friend, Bella, would be waiting at my locker for a ride home. I trudged out the door and then hurried down the hallway to my locker, expecting to see her.
Sure enough, she was standing there grasping her binder and tapping her foot impatiently. In my subconscious, I registered the fact that she looked pretty outstanding today, but my conscious mind blocked that thought almost effortlessly. She was my best friend, and she had been since ninth grade; that's all there was to it. We were now in our senior year of high school, and our relationship was closer than ever, likely because we both knew how different our lives were going to be once we graduated.
"Hey, Lord Byron. Brooding on the moors again?" she quipped when she saw me.
Bella had a way of knowing my moods, no matter how well I tried to hide them. Sometimes, like now, it was annoying how little I could hide from her.
"It is the winter of my discontent, dearest Bella," I said in a mocking voice while I executed a dramatic bow at her feet.
She rolled her eyes. "Edward, stop being such a whiny emo kid and get your ass to the car. I swear to God, one of these days you're going to have a reason to be happy and then what will you do with all that Kleenex?"
"I guess I could always give it all to you so you could stuff your bra," I joked with a wicked grin.
Bella was not amused. She reached over swiftly and smacked me on the back of the head. "You asshole. Just drive me home, I don't have to take this abuse!" she yelled, pretending to be angry.
"Fine, fine," I said as we reached my car. I unlocked her door first before walking around and climbing in the driver's seat.
"So, tell me, are you trying to live out all of The Cure's songs today?" she asked as she turned to me with a small frown.
I groaned. "Bells, I'm not one of your chick friends. I'm not going to sit here and talk about my feelings while we eat ice cream and watch Meg Ryan movies. Jesus!" I replied.
"Whatever. I'm just sick of your mopey bullshit. Pull your head out of your ass already and get happy!" she said with disgust.
After that, she switched on some music and sang loudly until we got to her house. "Thank God, I don't think my ears could take much more abuse," I said with a smile.
"Bye, Emo Boy. I'll see you tomorrow," she replied as she climbed out of the car. I winced when she slammed the door.
The next morning, I opened my locker and a dark green envelope fell at my feet. Remembering it was Valentine's Day, I looked around the hall and tried to figure out who would be giving me a card today. When I bent down to grab it, I saw my name written neatly on the front.
I tucked the envelope into my English binder and rushed to my first class so I wouldn't be late. Once I reached my desk, I took the green envelope out of my binder and opened it up. There was a piece of paper in a lighter shade of green inside, and I pulled it out and began to read.
The light collects in your eyes, turns and reflects, jumps into mine.
I'm a slave to the sign.
Don't you ever feel like you've been destined for something bigger than your skin?
There wasn't a name to tell me who'd written this. I looked around, wondering if I'd see anybody looking a little too interested in me reading, but nobody was even paying attention to me. I quickly tucked the letter back into the envelope and shoved it into my binder.
I wondered what it meant and why someone would write it to me, but one thing I couldn't mistake was the feeling that something very interesting had just happened.
The rest of the day passed unnoticed while I tried to think of who would have written the letter. As the end of the day drew near, I decided against telling Bella because I knew she probably wouldn't understand...Bella was like that. She never got why all the kids in our grade were so wrapped up in dating and drama. She thought it was all a big waste of time, and I had long since given up on trying to explain it to her. Romance was simply lost on someone like Bella.
And this letter felt like romance.
The next day, another letter fell out of my locker. I looked around again, but nobody was even near my locker. I didn't wait until I got to class this time, instead opening it right there in the hallway.
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?
I frowned at the sadness seeping from the words on the page. They were so few, yet so potent in their emotion. I felt a stirring of recognition, but before I could think to place the words, the bell rang to signal the beginning of class. I tossed the rest of my things into my locker and took off down the hallway, shoving the envelope into my back pocket.
At lunch, I sat next to Bella but found I couldn't carry the conversation. I was too lost in wondering who my secret pen pal was. Bella's attempts to get my attention were starting to wear on my nerves.
"Earth to Edward! Come in Edward!" she said, exasperated, as she waved her hand in front of my face.
I snapped my focus to her and glared. "What?" I asked, disgruntled.
"You're spacing out and I wanna know what's up!" she exclaimed as she tossed a balled-up napkin at my face.
"None of your business," I replied angrily before standing up and walking away. I felt bad for being rude, but Bella was getting on my nerves. I didn't want to share this secret with her because I was afraid she would bash it, and some of the magic of it would be ruined.
The rest of the day, my eyes scanned the faces of every girl I passed, wondering if she was the one who wrote to me. I never found even a hint in any of their faces.
Bella wasn't waiting at my locker when I got there after school, and I felt horrible. I looked around for her, hoping I could apologize and convince her to forgive me.
If I was being honest, her usual demeanor kept most guys away because she was a bit of a bitch to them. I was the only guy who ever hung around her, and that's only because I knew that she was a big marshmallow beneath the hard shell.
I didn't find her, so I walked out to my car and drove home with a sick feeling in my stomach; I hated fighting with Bella, and it so rarely happened that I didn't know how long she would be mad at me. I hoped she would forgive me, and I promised her in my head that I would come clean about my secret.
When I got home, I called her cell phone and waited for her to pick up. She didn't pick up, so I left her a message and decided that was good enough for the moment. I went over to my computer and sat down to start working on my homework, hoping Bella would call me back.
After dinner, I still hadn't heard from Bella, so I decided to call her again. This time she answered, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like a pussy for being so worried about it, but Bella was a girl, so I had to do these things. "What do you want?" she asked, obviously still pissed off.
"I'm sorry for being a dick at lunch today," I replied half-heartedly.
"Well, you should be. What's going on?" she asked, some of her bitch-mode wearing off.
I sighed. "I've been getting letters from someone," I admitted.
"So?" she prodded.
"So I've just been trying to figure out who's giving them to me," I said.
"I see," was all she said in reply.
"That's it? That's all you have to say?" I asked, incredulous.
"What do you mean?" she asked, sounding offended.
"I thought you'd totally blast it," I admitted grudgingly.
"On the contrary, actually I totally told you that something was gonna happen and you weren't gonna be able to mope around anymore, and yet here you are, still fucking moping!" she yelled.
She was right. "You're right."
"Of course I am. I'm always right. You are a whiny baby and you need to be happy that someone apparently wants your whiny ass!" she exclaimed.
"This is true. It's amazing they even noticed me through all my tears," I joked.
"There's my Edward. I knew you'd come back," she said, her voice suddenly softening.
"I never went anywhere," I replied quietly.
"Yes, but you will, and that's the point," she responded in a sad tone.
I was surprised to hear the uncharacteristic sadness in her voice, but I wasn't ready to start another fight by trying to get to the reason behind it; Bella could be prickly when she was in a bad mood.
The next day, I picked Bella up for school as a peace offering. She smiled at me as she opened the passenger door, warming the entire interior. I smiled in return and held out my hand to take hers, squeezing it gently. She beamed at me, obviously over the fight from yesterday.
"Let's go see if your mystery girl left you another note!" she said, clapping her hands with mock enthusiasm.
I rolled my eyes as I pulled out of her driveway and headed toward the school. My argument with Bella had taken my mind off the mysterious letters, but now that things we okay between us, I felt my curiosity rise once more. Who did I even know well enough to inspire such feeling? My eyes slid over to Bella, considering her out of the corner of my eye.
Nah, my brain said. There's no way that someone as anti-romantic as Bella would do something like this.
We got to school and I opened her door for her before she could. She scoffed at me and grimaced, so I just laughed and said, "Esme beat the gentleman into me; deal with it."
The hallway was teeming with students, and I had to push and shove my way to my locker. There weren't any green envelopes waiting for me, and I felt a rush of disappointment. I slammed my locker and tried to shake it off as I walked to class.
In class, my mind wandered. I tried to focus on the teacher, but my eyes kept drifting to the girls in the class, considering each one with a critical eye. Jessica Stanley used to be in crazy love with me, but she'd recently given up. Or had she?
Lauren Mallory was also a case of sour grapes ever since I'd turned down her invitation to the homecoming dance last year. Honestly, I think it would have been even worse for her if I'd actually gone with her to the dance, because I could hardly stand the vapid girl.
The rest of the class passed in a blur as I mentally cataloged each and every girl I had any sort of history with. The day continued on in this way until I reached my locker and the much-anticipated green envelope fell out. It was time for lunch, so I stuffed it into my pocket and hurried to the lunch room so I could read it. Perhaps Bella would be able to recognize the handwriting or something.
I saw her being accosted by one of her annoyingly persistent admirers, so I decided to go through the lunch line without her. By the time I got to the table, she was telling him to fuck off and I shot a huge "get lost" smile at him that was mostly teeth and little amusement.
I plopped the tray down in front of her and she perused the contents before reaching to grab a cup of yogurt. "I'll never understand chick food," I said, shuddering at the sight of Bella shoveling a huge blob of slime into her mouth.
"And I'll never understand why guys are so obsessed with all things meaty," she replied after she swallowed.
I pulled the envelope out of my pocket and Bella's eyes caught the movement. She scooted forward and leaned over me as I opened the letter.
it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when (being fool to fancy) i have deemed
with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds
the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always) and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;
moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:
one pierced moment whiter than the rest
-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.
I sat in silence, appreciating the words. "e.e. cummings," Bella murmured. I turned to her and smiled, wondering if she knew how soft her face looked right now.
"Yeah," I sighed. My curiosity grew and grew until it was a living, breathing thing. I could see it sitting at the table with us, looking like an impatient monster. "Dammit, who could she be?" I grumbled, pounding my fist on the table and causing the tray to jump slightly.
"Maybe you should reciprocate," Bella replied.
"Reciprocate how? I don't know who she is or how she gets these letters into my locker!" I hissed under my breath, ever aware of the eavesdroppers.
"Don't be an idiot. What if you do something that will be obvious enough to reach the whole school?" she asked, her eyes bright.
I considered this. "You mean like doing something in public? I'll look like a total tool," I replied.
Bella pulled back and a look of disappointment washed over her beautiful face. "You see Edward, this is why I think romance is dead. Nobody ever wants to risk anything!" she said sourly.
She was right, yet again. "Okay. Tell me, oh Love Guru, what do you think I should do?" I asked, making an exaggerated bow towards her with my arms outstretched in supplication.
"Hmm, what if you made an announcement over the speakers, or put up fliers around school? Ooh! Or you could just leave her a message on your locker. She'll know it's for her that way," she said, getting into the spirit now.
"Hey, that could work. What should I say?" I asked. I had no idea.
"I have no idea," she admitted. We looked at each other and laughed.
After lunch, we walked down the hall and she stopped in front of a garish poster that had popped up in the last day or so. "I think I know exactly what you should do to get her attention," she said slyly.
I read the poster and groaned. "No way!" I said.
"Come on, Edward. Don't be such a pussy. Man up and sing a sappy love song at the next open mic night at Bergo's. With your luscious locks and your dreamy face, girls will be dropping their panties in no time!" she said as she ruffled my already-messy hair.
I growled. "Has anyone ever told you how annoying you are?"
She beamed. "Every frickin' day. Now, come on, we have some planning to do!" she said as she grabbed my arm and pulled me to the only class we had together.
After school, Bella and I went to my house and she dropped my guitar into my lap. I began to strum it quietly, playing a song we both knew. She sat on the bed across from where I sat in my computer chair, and I could hear her humming along under her breath.
"Why don't you ever sing unless you're in choir?" I asked.
"I've told you a million times that I don't have a solo kind of voice," she grumbled.
"Whatever, I've heard you sing and I know you've got a good voice; you just lack confidence in yourself," I replied.
"Anyway, tell me what song you're going to sing," she said, changing the subject.
"I was thinking about that. I don't want to do anything really horribly cheesy or anything. It's kind of hard, you know? Because I don't know who she is, so I don't know what would work," I replied.
"Why don't you write a song then? It can say what you want it to say without bastardizing someone else's music," she said cheerfully.
"Oh, thank you. I don't have time to write a song, though. Open mic night is in two days," I replied with exasperation.
"I have faith in you," she said. "C'mon, I'll even help you with the words."
"What if I put another e.e. cummings poem to music? Then she'll know it's about her," I uttered, afraid of what she would think of that idea.
Her face screwed up and then she smiled before pushing me out of the computer chair. "Here, we'll find some stuff online and you can pick one," she replied.
After she found a good website of his poetry, I settled into the chair and began combing through each poem until I found one I liked. After printing it out, I sat down with my guitar and got ready to compose music to go along with it.
Bella left to get home for dinner, and I waved her off distractedly. I only had two days to make a good impression on this girl, and I didn't want to make her regret the letters she'd sent to me.
The next day came with a new letter, and with it, a sense of anticipation that burst into excitement. I was filled with the promise of this person, and I couldn't wait to finally meet her. I scribbled a note and found some tape to adhere it to the outside of my locker. On the outside of the note, I'd written "Green Letter Girl" so she would know it was for her. I told her to meet me at the open mic night tomorrow evening and kept my fingers crossed that she would show.
The letter disappeared sometime between lunch and my fifth period, and I hoped that meant she would show up tomorrow night.
Bella decided I should finish the song on my own, saying she didn't want to get involved with my lovey-dovey bullshit. I laughed and dropped her off at home before rushing home to work on the music some more.
The following morning, another letter tumbled out of my locker and I gripped it eagerly. I ripped it open in the middle of the hallway, impatient to see what it said.
I will be there. You'll know me by the open heart I wear.
I sported a huge, goofy smile as I blew through my morning classes. The building anticipation for tonight was tangible, at least to me, and I couldn't wait to meet this girl.
Bella wasn't at lunch, so I decided to skip out and go to the music room to practice my song some more. I heard someone singing through the wall in the adjacent room, and I figured Bella must be in there having sectional practice with the choir. The voice sounded melancholy, filled with loneliness.
I sat next to Bella in Biology and asked her how sectionals went. She blanched visibly before her face collapsed into a look of studied boredom. "Oh, uh, it was fine. How did you know where I was?" she asked, sounding strange.
"Uhh... I was practicing in the band room and I heard people singing," I replied, looking at her critically. What was up with her today?
She spent the rest of class avoiding my eyes and fidgeting nervously. I wondered why she was so restless, but every time I asked her, she would deny it. I finally gave up and tried to focus on our lab assignment.
When the final bell rang, I found a text message from Bella on my phone saying she'd see me later at open mic night. I felt nerves begin to climb up my spine as I killed time waiting to get ready for the big night.
Finally, it was time to go and I grabbed my things. My guitar was nestled into a case covered in stickers I'd collected from various places, and each one was colorful enough to bolster me a little bit.
The club was packed and the nerves attacked me once more. I made my way to the guy taking names to play, and I added mine to the list. I turned around and scanned the room, looking for Bella. I didn't see her, so I grabbed a seat close to the stage and set my guitar on the other chair.
The DJ announced the first performer, and I watched from my seat. He wasn't very good; his voice warbled and his face was covered in sweat. His fingers were like slugs on the keyboard, sliding too slowly to make a beautiful tune.
The poor guy finished his song and the next performer came up. This girl was all sunshine and smiles, and her acoustic guitar was covered in peace sign stickers. Her shirt was tie-dyed and her hair hung down her back in the stick-straight seventies style.
It was finally my turn. Bella still hadn't shown up, but I hoped that the "Green Letter Girl" would be there by now. I stepped up onto the stage and took a seat on the stool before adjusting the microphone stand to reach my mouth. The lights dimmed and I began to play, my hands and mind becoming more confident as I lost myself in the tune.
Music always soothed and comforted me, in any form. I never felt stage fright on the stage, only just beforehand. I found that I was eager to lose myself in the song to avoid the fear that "Green Letter Girl" wouldn't like it, or would decide she didn't like me so much after all.
I began to sing softly, my eyes roving the crowd for a sign that my mystery girl was here, listening. My sight landed on Bella, front and center at my vacated table. She still wore her coat, as if she'd just gotten here. She smiled up at me encouragingly and I let the words fall from my mouth in time with the music.
It was a simple tune, and the words were simple, too.
love is a place
& through this place of
(with brightness of peace)
yes is a world
& in this world of
The song flowed from my fingers and my mouth, and the crowd faded as I sang out. The promise of this girl, this person who had given me something new and different, was so very potent. I was suddenly content to stay here, not so impatient to get out of town as fast as I could.
I ran out of music and lyrics, so I dropped my hand from the strings and smiled crookedly out at the crowd. People cheered and clapped, but I could see Bella clapping and cheering the hardest. I wondered if the moment of truth would come as soon as I stepped off the stage, and I felt the nerves return.
Reluctantly, I released the stage from my grasp and I walked over to Bella with a big smile on my face. "How did I do?" I asked.
"You were amazing," she said quietly with moist eyes.
My brow wrinkled in concern, and I reached my hand out to her. "Are you okay?" I asked.
"I'm fine," she said, sniffing. Just then, the DJ announced the next act. "Well, that's me!" she said brightly.
I was confused. "What?" I asked, incredulous.
"I'm playing a song, Edward," she explained slowly, as if I were stupid. I gaped at her as she unzipped her coat and snatched my guitar out of my hand. "Wish me luck," she said.
"Um, good luck..." I replied weakly, wondering when she had suddenly decided to sing all by herself in front of a crowd. I collapsed in the nearest chair and completely forgot about the "Green Letter Girl" as my best friend took the stage.
She pulled her coat off and tossed it to me, and I caught it with one hand. She sat on the stool and brushed her fingers over the strings before nodding at the DJ standing at the side of the stage. The lights dimmed once more and she began to play without saying anything.
When her voice came, it filled the room with beauty. I could not tear my eyes away from her as she sang a song I vaguely recognized.
I will take your childhood dreams
And turn them into to beautiful film
I will take your most important things
Cast them gold fill a mueseum
So your heart doesn't know where mine's been
I'll never let your heart go where mine's been
I will kiss away every tear
They'll disappear in my mouth
And i will believe in all your fears
You let them in, i'll let them out
And put them in their place, my love
So your heart doesn't know where mine's been
I'll never let your heart go where mine's been
I'll never let your heart go where mine's been
As the last notes faded and she dropped the guitar to the side of her body, I saw her shirt for the first time. There, in white and red ink against the black t-shirt, was an enormous heart that had flowers and vines growing out from the center.
Wearing an open heart.
My eyes snapped to Bella's face, but she would not meet my gaze. The crowd sat in stunned silence before erupting into crazy applause.
She handed me the guitar and took her coat off the table. I sat there, my brain still processing the information I'd just received. The words to the song drifted through my head along with the heart on her shirt, and I realized that it was her. Bella was my "Green Letter Girl".
She was walking away from me with her head down. I hopped up to chase after her, but I lost her in the crowd. By the time I reached the door, she was already gone and I felt somehow relieved, because I hadn't been ready to deal with this explosive development.
My best friend was my mystery girl. Bella, the anti-romantic, the anti-social, the anti-relationship girl was the one who'd given me those letters and sang me that song.
Could I adjust the way I thought about her, or would I just end up hurting her?
My mind wandered over the course of the last week, and I remembered how Bella had been acting. I'd always thought I was a happy person, but recently I had been withdrawn and she'd tried to pull me out of my moods frequently.
I realized she was afraid to lose me, and I felt horrible for letting her believe that I would ever be happy without her in my life.
Because even if I wasn't in love with Bella, she was still the best thing in my life. I'd never really considered the fact that she wouldn't be going with me if I went away for school, and I kicked myself for that now. Of course she'd been afraid of losing us in the face of my ignorance to the issue.
I left the club and drove over to her house, ready to talk to her now. I knew I had to reassure her that things would be okay, that I would never desert her or our friendship. She would have to realize how much I loved her, and then after that, we could deal with the letters.
I pulled up in front of her house and walked to the front door. When Charlie answered, I told him I needed to see Bella and he nodded once. Her bedroom was at the top of the stairs and I knocked on her door softly, hoping she wasn't crying or anything.
No such luck.
Bella opened the door with a red, blotchy face and wet eyes. I felt a pound of lead land on my stomach. "Hey Bells," I greeted her softly.
"H..h..hey Edward," she whispered sadly.
"Can I come in?" I asked gently.
She nodded and turned to walk back to her bed. My eyes landed on the green stationary sitting on her desk, confirming what I'd already figured out. She saw me looking at it and I crossed to her, sitting beside her on the bed. "Are you okay?" I asked carefully.
She glared at me, her sadness suddenly transforming into anger. "No, Edward, I'm not okay! You're going to leave me and it's like you don't even care!" she yelled as she wiped her nose with a tissue.
"I'm not going to leave you, Bella," I said softly as I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her to me. Her head collapsed on my chest and I hugged her closer.
"I couldn't let you go without telling you..." she whispered, sniffling.
"Without telling me what?" I asked.
She raised her wet brown eyes to mine and then...she was kissing me. Her mouth moved over mine with urgency and desperation, and I found myself drowning in it.
I felt a million things running through my mind as Bella continued to kiss me, holding my face in place now. The energy snapped in the air around us, and I found myself kissing her back just as desperately as she was kissing me.
Bella moaned when my hands gripped her shoulders tightly, so I loosened my grasp slightly. My tongue dove into her mouth and she sucked it greedily as she climbed even closer to me. The heat between us was so strong that I felt myself begin to sweat. Her body moved against mine and I felt things that I'd never felt toward Bella before...desire, attraction, raw lust...and finally, love.
I pulled back and looked at her breathing hard, her mouth swollen and pink. I was breathing hard, myself, and I had to pull myself back together so I could speak.
"Wow," was all I could say.
"Yeah," she replied breathlessly.
"So..." I began, not knowing what to say next.
"Before you say anything, Edward, I just want to say that I'm in love with you," she said firmly, looking me straight in the eye.
Her words stunned me, but filled me with joy at the same time. Was it even possible that an hour before this, I wasn't even sure how I felt about her? I couldn't imagine that now...now that I knew how it felt to kiss Bella's beautiful lips.
"Would you please say something?" she said grumpily, frowning.
I sighed. "I think...I'm in love with you, too. I didn't realize it until just now, but it's true," I replied as I looked at her wonderful face.
That wonderful face collapsed a little, and I felt the panic rise in my chest. She pushed against me and went to climb off my lap. "I don't want you to think, Edward, I want you to know!" she said angrily.
I smiled at her and yanked her back onto my lap, claiming her mouth with my own this time. I wound my hands into her hair and poured all the feelings of love coursing through me into the kiss. She began to kiss me back, and I knew then that we would be okay. I pulled back and brushed her hair out of her eyes.
"I know I love you, Bella. How could I not? You pursued me so diligently," I teased.
She sniffled and dabbed at her eyes with the tissue. "Well, thank God I did, because somebody had to. This relationship would never go anywhere if I hadn't..." she was cut off from her tirade with my lips smothering her words.
We kissed for a long time. A very long time. Bella's face was red from my five o'clock shadow and my lips were numb by the time we pulled apart. Charlie knocked on her bedroom door and cleared his throat menacingly.
"I guess I should go," I said reluctantly.
"Yeah..." she said. I kissed the tip of her nose and she dropped back onto her bed with a dreamy smile on her face.
"Until tomorrow," I said softly.
"Until tomorrow," she agreed.
I closed the door behind me and drove home on a cloud.
A/N: So there you go, my second and last entry for the Valentine's Day contest. It's not my favorite, but hey, I thought I'd get it out of my system anywayJ I really wanted to show that Bella could be the initiator of romance just as easily as Edward could, so there!
Thoughts? I know, it's kinda…bleh. Sorry. I promise I'll do better next timeJ