Where did I last leave off? Oh yeah, I made a douchebag of myself by breaking into Jazz's apartment and getting into an epic fist fight with him that left me, surprisingly, with my ass kicked.

I guess being an assassin for the idiots with money left me practically powerless when it came to my best friend embedding his fist in my chin. Sure, I did a bit of damage...but nothing compared to the mess Jasper made of me. The motherfucker stamped on my fucking face while I was down, and sure, I've broken my nose before - but feeling like your skull is smashing into your brain isn't the same I guess. My lip was already split on the inside and out, and the blood spewing from my face left me almost blinded and drowning.

After that, obviously, I couldn't get up. Jasper just kept kicking me while I was down- literally. He broke a rib, and according to the doctors in A&E, the "muggers" as I'd dubbed him to save questioning (and my fucking deflated ego) left me severely internally bruised.

I'd had god knows how many stitches - Tanya kept telling people in the coffee house it was 88 altogether, but I knew that must've been flat out bullshit spouted by my favourite drug addict.

And even though it was bullshit, I definitely felt like I'd come out the arse of a bull.

I was bruised and battered and it hurt to smoke. It'd been a while, too, by now. Two weeks I think. Bella was out of hospital and so was Jasper. She hadn't come back to the coffee house and hadn't been seen around town, though. I knew because I'd been asking. A lot.

Tanya said Lauren said Mike said he thought he saw her buying soup in WalMart but turns out it was just Jessica.

Rocky said she hadn't been turning up to the support group but she was still down on the register, even though Jasper had been. He also said he thought he heard Jasper telling the counselor after the meeting that she'd been transferred to a private psychiatrist but when I asked some other chick from their group she said Jasper had left straight away after the meeting and hadn't spoken to anyone, even when the question was posed directly to him.

Slim had said he'd seen her picking up the paper and mail at their mailbox downstairs in the apartment building, and she'd put on weight. But Mrs Reynolds who lived next door had told me Bella had lost weight to the point of looking waif like and had a hair cut, but she looked healthier color wise and seemed to have a tint in her cheeks. She said she looked happy.

And hell, I guess that was all I could ask for. I'd made up my mind. I'd made up my mind the first day but it'd taken me til now to realize. Bella was too good for this place. It was my first thought.

I however, was not. I was destined to stay here with Tanya and die young, and probably alone. I would never feel Bella's lips on mine, I'd never hear her say she loved me. Or that she even liked me. And you know what, I didn't care. I'd resigned myself to the pain I felt cause yeah, I fucking loved her. More than I did before now, more than I'd ever loved or would love anyone. And that throbbing pain in my chest, the agony that had me curling up in a ball at nights would soon become normal, like the ache I'd feel in my ribs when cold weather came around according to the hospital.

I didn't give a shit about that bleeding inside, the pain I'd feel until the day I died, as long as she was happy and safe and Jasper loved her as much as I did. Which he might not..but as long as she loved him.

Bella and Jasper moved to the small town of Forks on the 24th of August 2011. They'd been together almost two years, and I'd loved her that same amount. They stayed in Chicago for six months after the fight and I saw Bella once in those six months.

I saw her when I said goodbye.

So essentially, I spent 6 months being hopelessly in love with her without seeing hide nor hair of my darling. Sometimes when I think back now, I realize that it might not have been love, just a pretty sickening obsession. Because I've never loved anyone but her, so what I felt- oh, who the fuck am I kidding? Not me, that's for sure: I loved her. And I do love her, even now that it's all over.

Every day was difficult. So fucking difficult. I stopped working. Everything I did before her, I couldn't do it any more because not seeing her, not knowing if she was falling apart or flourishing, it was driving me insane. Tanya kept saying the longer I went without seeing her, the less it would hurt, time heals all and that...but it didn't. It just got worse and worse. I became such a shell of a man I didn't recognize the waster in the mirror.

On the last day, she was dressed in dark wash jeans and an orange and cream checked shirt. She had a band tee on underneath but I wasn't really paying much attention. She was loading a bunch of boxes into the back of her car. I was walking back from the coffee house and I was kinda drunk, but I was always drunk anyway so it didn't make much of a difference. I couldn't tell if she'd had her hair cut since it was up in a messy pony tail, but she'd put on a bit of weight like I'd been told. It looked good on her, she had curves now and her cheeks weren't sunken in. I wanted to cry she was so beautiful, with a tiny sheen of sweat on her forehead from all the lifting.

"Where you going?" I called from across the street. I couldn't resist, it was like a dream and for once I wouldn't wake up damning myself for not knowing the answer, I'd find out. The real truth.

She looked up all flustered; she hadn't seen me. But when she did there was something behind her eyes, a little light, or maybe an entire fucking bonfire. She frowned at the same time, so I s'pose it could've meant any damn thing at all. I liked to think it meant she felt the same as me, even for that split second. How seeing her again was like all the cells in my body were stinging and burning and jumping up and down, and my heart was beating so fast I thought I was gonna get dizzy. How I could breathe easier just by knowing she was close enough to touch.

"Moving, what's it look like?" She said, slight edge to her voice. Panicked.

I crossed the road until I was literally within touching distance of her. My brain was screaming SHE'S HERE, OH FUCK SHE'S SO CLOSE

GRAB HER

KISS HER

OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU

TELL HER YOU LOVE HER

I LOVE YOU I CAN'T HELP IT

PLEASE JUST TELL ME YOU LOVE ME BACK but I was very calm, I think.

"Nice. You weren't gonna say goodbye?" Smile a little at her Edward, go on big boy. You can be her friend.

She looked a bit stumped by that, and she slapped the sides of her thighs once, twice, gently. "I didn't think it would be appropriate. But hey, I guess I have the chance to, now."

We stared at each other for a minute. "Where are you going to?"

"Forks. Washington. Cute lil place I guess- homey. Nice to raise a family, settle down." She let the weight of her words sink in while my stomach did two flips. Bella with my baby was a beautiful image. Jasper's baby? Not so much.

"Guess you're not going alone then."

"Nah. Jazz just popped down to the coffee house to say bye to everyone. Thought I'd stay here, finish up."

We kicked the dust for a second and then I thought, fuck it. She's going to some place I've never been, and I'll never go. I have nothing to lose. "You and me would have been good together."

She smiled and it broke my heart. "I know, Edward, we would've. Just didn't work out like that did it."

"Doesn't change the fact I love you," I spat out.

And then it was out. Like a sledgehammer against my skull, smashing against the concrete like the lid of a saucepan clattering against the kitchen floor. She knew, now. It was over, and just beginning, all at the same time. I wondered for a while afterwards if I'd had the balls to tell her before, would it have changed anything?

She stepped forward first. I maintained that until the day I died, up against the brick wall of the coffee house three months later with a gun to my temple. After she left, I just wasn't quick enough any more. People caught up to me. Hey, I'm not complaining, it's done now- I wasn't really doing much with my life anyway. Die young, stay pretty.

But I'm running off track. Weird, cause it was such an epic, defining moment- but whenever I think of it, I trail off into death and life and everything between before and after.

She stepped forward, and said my name. I was busy being embarrassed.

"Sorry, Bell," her name rolled off my tongue like a drop of syrup. "Bit inappropriate I guess."

Her hand came up to cup my face. "I could've loved you, Edward. But I never knew you, we could've been friends, lovers, whatever. I just didn't get to know you. I love Jasper. And I'm leaving. So...anything...it...it's never going to happen." I tried to look away but it was fucking difficult. Her little nails were digging gently into my skin, enough pressure just to leave a little indentation. "I would've liked it to, though."

"I can't so much as look at another girl the way I look at you," I blurted. "Seeing you with Jas, it actually kills me inside. Call me pathetic, but you're actually all I think about."

She frowned, let go of me. "I can't see why, Edward. There's no reason for it."

"I've never been this caught up with anyone. It's ruining me." Thinking back, did I have some kind of drink that made me spill out the truth? I had to tell her, though. She had to know.

"What about Tanya?" She accused.

"Yeah, I speak to her, I fuck her occasionally, I keep going back I know, but it's not the same since you. I'm not gonna be happy unless it's with you."

"There's nothing I can do." She was nice and blunt with me, at least.

"There's plenty you could do, you just don't want to." I smiled. "Can I blame you, though? I'm practically a stranger, running up to you in the street and telling you I love you." I laughed. "If I told you right now to stay here with me and I'd make you the happiest girl alive, you wouldn't. Doesn't change a damn thing that you know how I feel."

"No, you're wrong." She mumbled. "I always wanted to know, what we had, what we could've. Now I know, it's good." She smiled at me then and I thought, fuck it, my girl wants to know.

So I made her know.

I kissed her soft but firm, my hand laced through her hair like it was an anchor holding me to the ground. She was hesitant for a split second then her hands clung on to me too, like we could suspend each other here, and she'd never have to leave with Jasper to the stupid empty town where their blond curly kiddies could run across the street without getting shot down in the crossfire between me and some other bastard. I saw everything I could've had with her in that kiss. The wedding, and the kids, and the grandkids, and the big fuck off mansion with two huskies and a parakeet. Everything I could've had if I didn't have such a shit lifestyle, and I'd caught up to her first somehow, some way, before a good person caught her first.

I pulled away first, after a lifetime. It was over, now. I knew that. She blinked when she opened her eyes, and they smiled at me even though her mouth never moved. We had an unspoken agreement, an understanding. It was over, done, before we'd even started. She closed the trunk of the car, and walked back into the apartment.

She didn't look back. I think she wanted to suspend the moment and remember me as that, and I hope to God she did, I hope to God she didn't come to my funeral, I hope to God she didn't imagine me the way Tanya remembers me, with my brains splattered against bricks and my eyes wide and vacant.

"Bye, Edward." The door closed.

Gonna close my eyes

Girl, and watch you go

Running through this life darling

Like a field of snow


Fin