Chatper Notes: Umm...hi. Remember me? Yes, I am alive. Yes, I suck. I don't really know what else to say. When I started this chapter I wrote ten pages in one sitting. I was in a semi-depressed state so it just sort of came to me...but then I got over it, and any time I sat down and tried to write, I couldn't, because I just can't write depressed when I'm not. Alas, I forced myself during my break to at least finish this chapter. I swear I didn't realize it'd been almost a year. I have no perception of time. Anyway, hopefully with this chapter being completed, FINALLY, you will all see that even though I may take eons to update, I am dedicated to and WILL finish this story. So there's no need to blow up my inbox with crying and/or rude messages about how I don't care about this story or how messed up it is not to finish it. I WILL. OKAY. Thank you in advance to the two readers I probably have left. haha. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. Thankfully. Some of them get on my nerves, ya digg?
So since it's been a while I'll do a quick recap: Bella got yelled at by Rosalie for being a bitch, they made up, Edward got emo and stormed out of what should have been a jovial (lol jk) dinner party, Edward told Bella in the middle of the night he loved her and couldn't stand to see her with another man, gave her a card, then walked out of her life indefinitely. Bada bing, bada boom, you're caught up. Onward!
My life was shit. I couldn't exactly expect sympathy, though. It was my fault.
It'd been six days since Edward had walked out of my life. I hadn't seen him at all. He hadn't shown up to his tutoring sessions, which made me worry. I wasn't sure what I'd expected. If he didn't want to me in his life, why would me tutoring him be the exception? I felt even worse because he'd been doing so well, and I didn't want something like this to affect his progress. All I could do was hold out hope that he'd show up, though.
I'd skipped school the day after it had happened. I hadn't slept at all that night, and I didn't want to even get out of bed. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to go to class and be productive. It was only when I'd gotten up to use the restroom that I saw an envelope on my bedroom floor. I'd wondered briefly where it had come from, but then I vaguely remembered feeling something in my hands after Edward had gotten up and left. I picked it up and turned it over, but when I saw my name written in his perfect handwriting my eyes welled up with tears. I slipped it in one of my desk drawers for safe keeping. Whatever was in that envelope would have to wait until I could handle it.
I wanted to be angry with him, but I couldn't. I was too depressed. I couldn't blame him, either. Hadn't I essentially done the same thing to him? I'd avoided him at all costs – I even went so far as to leave the state to run away from my problems. If I was being honest, I hadn't even dealt with it when I came back. I simply shut myself off from him emotionally because I didn't want to get hurt again, even though he'd tried to prove he would avoid it at all costs. And he'd accepted it. He always accepted things I did.
Fuck, I missed him.
My gaze traveled to the drawer the envelope from him resided in, and without realizing it, I'd stood up from my bed and made my way towards it. I opened the drawer and carefully pulled out the envelope, then sat down at my desk, staring at it. After a few moments, I opened it, and, with shaky hands, extracted a card. The front of it had a picture of a large moon and stars above a lake covered in lily pads; the background colors a variation of pinks. The print read:
I'm giving you this card for two reasons.. First of all, I want to tell you that I hope your day is filled with sunshine and smiles! And the other reason? I just wanted to pass along a little reminder that will always be true...
I smiled and opened the card to find Edward's handwriting covering almost every inch of the blank surface on both the left and right side. I lifted the card closer to my face, as he'd had to write somewhat small, and began reading.
I'm not going to pretend like this was my idea and take all the credit. Alice is and forever will be the mastermind behind most of what I do. Sometimes I miss the most obvious things, and she steers me in the right direction. Have no fear, though – the words I am about to write are all mine.
Ah, where do I start? When your snarky ass entered my life, I thought to myself, "You must have done something really, really bad in your past life to get dealt this crap." You pissed me the hell off like no other, and I wasn't quite sure why. Then I got to know you, and even though I still couldn't understand how you'd gotten to me the way you had, I figured it didn't matter. We were good, and we rarely got into any arguments. But then I started noticing that, while I wasn't a raging lunatic around you anymore, you were bringing out different things – things I hadn't dealt with in a long, long time: jealousy, extreme protectiveness, and...this insatiable desire to keep you happy all the time, at any cost.
That in itself is a huge obstacle. You don't like anybody insinuating that you can't take care of yourself, and you're a total bitch sometimes.
I stared at the card with furrowed eyebrows, slightly pissed off. Well, it had started off nice. I wasn't exactly expecting an insult to be tossed in the mix.
I'm not going to pretend like I don't know that. (You know it, too, so wipe that offended look off your face. :P)
My expression smoothed out then, and I pursed my lips to keep from smiling. He knew me well.
You're sarcastic, and sometimes (read: most of the time) you're kind of irrational. It's not easy keeping a smile on your face. But you don't take anybody's shit. You're a strong person, and I respect that so much more than you could know. You're loyal, witty, you have awesome taste in music, and you're probably the best road trip buddy a person could ask for. (I just snorted really loud because I thought of your little bathroom excursion in Oregon. I would give you permission to smack me for laughing at your misfortune, but Emmett just threw something at my head and told me to shut up because he's trying to sleep. I think that's punishment enough.)
I just love being around you. Even if I'm having a shitty day, my mood brightens considerably when I'm around you. Yes, admittedly, you have brought out the absolute worst in me in the past. Mainly, though, you only bring out the better side of me. And - forgive me if I sound a little arrogant this assumption – I think that smile I love to see is on your face a lot more, and your mood is better as a whole, when you're around me. I think – I hope – you feel that I bring out the best in you, too.
I've had feelings for you for a while now. I was just too afraid to admit it. I didn't know what to do with these feelings, and that obviously fucked everything up. But I'm trying to make it up to you; show you everything I was too scared to say before. It may very well not make a damn bit of difference to you, and I guess I'll just have to accept it if that's the case. But I have to try. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my once empty life is now fulfilled; your face shot across my abysmal sky and brightened everything – no, I'm totally kidding. That's just stupid. But in all seriousness, you...you're just right, Bella. You feel right. I don't know how else to put it.
I'm running out of room to write. Thank God Alice got the big card, right? Ha. Anyway, by the time this card reaches you, I may have already grown the balls to tell you all this to your face. Knowing how I am when it comes to you, though, the probability of that happening isn't too great. I don't know when you'll get this, honestly. I'm hoping these words will have the desired effect. Even if they don't, though, I think I got my point across. The ball is in your court now, Bella. Just know, no matter what you say or do, you're still my girl, and...
Printed in the center of the right side was:
I still think that the moon and the stars revolve around you!
I love you
Underneath that, once again in his handwriting, was:
Way too much for my own good, really.
I set the card down in my lap, my vision blurred by unshed tears. I didn't know what to think about everything he'd said. I had absolutely no idea what to do about Edward, or if at this point it even mattered to him anymore. What I did know, though, was that I still had feelings for him. I'd been unintentionally stringing Jace along, and I felt lower than I'd ever felt in my life. I did genuinely like Jace, but it wasn't the same as it was with Edward. It didn't even compare, and I always knew that. Rosalie really had been right; I had acted no better than Edward had. I'd been worse, because I kept it going, even though I knew I was never going to feel for him what I'd felt for Edward. I wanted to feel that way about Jace, and I guess I thought if I kept it up, if I tried a little harder, it would happen. How stupid could I get?
I closed my eyes tightly and wiped my nose with the back of my hand. I wasn't sure of anything at that moment, except that Jace deserved better than all this. I reached for my phone and dialed his number, taking a deep breath as it rang.
"Hey," he said immediately upon answering.
"Hey," I replied softly. "Are you busy?"
"Nope. Just got out of my last class of the day. What's up?"
"I—we need to talk. Can you meet me in about fifteen minutes?"
"Okay," he said cautiously. "Cafe Rosso?"
"Yeah, that's fine," I agreed, not missing the irony of the location.
After saying goodbye and hanging up, I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. My eyes were blood-shot and glossed over; my nose was red at the tip. I looked like hell. With a resigned sigh, I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head and started toward the front door.
I was going to make this right.
Jace stared at me across the table, spinning his coffee cup between his hands. I'd just spilled my guts to him, told him everything I was thinking and feeling, and in between all of that kept apologizing profusely for being such a horrible person, bringing him into all of this, and wasting his time.
"Well," he sighed, "I can't say any of this surprises me. Honestly, I've been kind of expecting it ever since the dinner fiasco."
"Why didn't you say anything?" I asked.
"Why didn't you?" he countered. I got the point.
"I'm sorry, Jace," I repeated. "I really do like you, it's just..."
"...not the same," he finished, a small smile on his face. "You can't help how you feel, Bella. It happens."
I stared at him in amazement, shaking my head slightly. "Why are you being so nice about this? You should be yelling and causing a scene, and telling me what a bitch I am, and how much better you are than me, anyway."
"First of all," he started in a stern voice, which made me smile despite myself, "I'm not better than you. Secondly, do I seem like the type of person to yell and cause a scene?" I shook my head, still smiling. "Right, so why would I do that now? Thirdly...is that what you want me to do?"
"Honestly...kind of." I chuckled.
"Then why would I give you the satisfaction of getting what you want?" he asked teasingly, winking at me.
"You really are better than me, Jace," I said seriously. "You can and will do so much better."
"Ay, Bella." He shook his head and sighed. "What am I gonna do with you?"
"I think I'm a lost cause," I muttered.
"That's debatable," he said. I smirked picked at my nails. "So what are you going to do, then?"
"About what?" I asked.
"Edward..." he trailed off.
"I don't know." I pursed my lips. "I don't think he wants a whole lot to do with me anymore. I'm not sure there's anything for me to do."
"Bella," he started, "listen. If he really feels for you like he says he does – which, from the sound of it, he does - that's not something that goes away overnight. He still feels that way about you."
I chewed on my bottom lip as I contemplated what he said. I didn't want to think that there was any chance he could be right for fear of being even more crushed than I already was, but I couldn't help the infinitesimal amount of hope I felt that maybe it wasn't really the end.
"Well, I guess it's a good thing I didn't fall in love with you," he said jokingly.
"You wouldn't have anyway," I replied distractedly. "You're sane."
He laughed. "What does that make him, then?"
"Just as fucked up as I am." I smirked.
"Bella," he sighed.
"Jace," I replied mockingly.
"Do you love him?"
"Of course I do," I said.
"Are you in love with him?"
"I..." I trailed off, furrowing my eyebrows. "I don't know."
"What's holding you back?"
"I'm scared," I replied honestly. "I don't want to get hurt again."
"That's the worst reason ever," he said, slightly exasperated.
"How so?" I asked defensively. Personally, I thought it was a perfectly legitimate reason.
"Bella...you're always going to get hurt at some point, just like you'll hurt other people. It may not be intentional, but it's unavoidable." I cringed slightly. He was exhibit A of that sentiment; how ironic for him to be telling me that. "You can't go through life being afraid to open up because you're scared of getting hurt. Sometimes getting hurt is the best thing for us. It's never in vain. But if you keep shutting yourself down to avoid the pain, you're going to miss out on some really amazing things."
I stared down at my hands and picked at my nails. I knew he was right, but it was easier said than done.
"I don't want you to miss out," he continued. "Do you?" I shook my head, chewing on the inside of my bottom lip to distract myself from the tears welling up in my eyes.
"Then...I think you should give it a go with him. If it doesn't work out, well, then it doesn't work out. You're no worse off than you are now. But at least you'll never have to wonder."
"That's the last thing I want," I murmured. "I just...don't know if I can do it. Not yet. I wouldn't even know what to say, or how to go about it, or—"
"You don't need to know," he interrupted. "This isn't really the sort of thing that should be planned out word for word. I know it sounds cliché, and it's easier said than done, but spontaneity is golden in these situations."
"I've never been good with spontaneity," I muttered.
"Well, then I suggest you suck it up and work on it instead of whining." I attempted to give him a dirty look, but I couldn't help chuckling upon seeing his teasing grin. We sat in comfortable silence for a few moments, looking on at each other with small smiles.
"Would it be too much to ask for us to still hang out?" I asked, my smile fading slightly at the notion that he could very well say no. I wouldn't blame him at all, either. I didn't deserve his understanding nature; I was fortunate enough to not have him throw his coffee in my face then storm off, calling me every name in the book. I didn't know what made me think I had the right to ask for friendship, too – other than being selfish, of course.
"I suppose not," he replied, heaving a dramatic sigh then winking at me. "I still like you, Bella – even if it can only be as a friend."
I grinned at him, noting that I'd smiled more in the time we'd just spent together than I had the entire past week, and appreciating him even more for putting our situation aside to help me out as a friend. "You're good people, kid," I said finally.
"First of all, I know," he started, and I snorted. "Secondly, I'm older than you are, so if this is ever going to work, you don't get to call me 'kid'."
I laughed. "Okay, okay. Deal."
"Glad we could come to this understanding," he said. He glanced at his phone, sighed, then looked at me with his head tilted to the side slightly. "I should probably get going. I'm supposed to meet Chris for a movie in about an hour."
I nodded and we both rose out of our chairs, standing awkwardly a few feet apart. I chewed on the inside of my lip. I knew he'd said we could still be friends, but I didn't know if it was appropriate to hug him right at this moment.
"Well, are you gonna hug me goodbye or not, kid?" he asked.
"Real cute," I replied sarcastically, rolling my eyes as I walked into his open arms. He hugged me tightly, swaying side to side, before letting me go and resting his hands on my shoulders momentarily.
"I'll talk to you later, yeah?" he asked.
"Yeah," I agreed softly, nodding my head.
"You'll be fine. Remember what I said." He nicked my chin gently with his knuckles then walked around me to leave with one last encouraging smile on his lips.
God, I hoped he was right.
I couldn't speak objectively, but I was fairly certain I'd had the worst week in the history of bad weeks. Usually when people said that they were just being dramatic, however, I felt that my statement was true with the utmost conviction.
I had slipped into a mild depression - one that not only made me lose sleep, but apparently was accompanied with a repellant. Nobody wanted to be around me. It was like my mood was contagious. I couldn't really be upset. If I had the option, I would have steered clear of me, too. It also could have been due to the fact that all I'd been doing was laying in bed, blasting Tegan and Sara's album, The Con, on repeat. Nobody else seemed to appreciate the emotional lyrics. Tegan Quin and I had an understanding, you see. A connection of sorts. All I had to do was think to myself, It's okay, Tegan, I really like to cry, too, and all was well...then I listened to Call It Off and wept silently.
I was officially a pussy.
With the lack of sleep came a foreign and unwelcome clumsiness. In the last four days I had walked into a door frame, smacked myself in the face with the freezer door, dropped the soap bottle on the top of my foot so many times I was almost certain I had a fracture somewhere, and tripped over countless wall corners. Last, but not least, I was heartbroken and alone. I knew that was by my own doing, mostly, but it didn't mean I couldn't mope about it.
Those were just the more common mishaps that had taken place over the last week. As I said, worst week in history.
I laid in bed with my eyes closed, listening to – you got it – Call It Off (sans the weeping, thank God) when I heard the door being flung open.
"What the fuck is this?"
I sighed through my nose. Alice was damn near the last person I wanted to see right now.
"Tegan and Sara," I muttered, my eyes still closed. "Don't hate on the music."
"I'm not hating on the music," she mocked. "What I'm hating on is you. Look at you; do you have any idea how you look right now? Pathetic," she continued without letting me answer – not that I would have anyway. She paused for a few moments, then said, "This song sounds depressing as hell. Seriously, my mood has dropped exponentially and I've barely heard ten seconds of it. How many times have you listened to it?"
"I lost count after twenty," I said, disinterested. Suddenly the music ended abruptly, and I opened my eyes to see Alice popping the CD back into its case and shoving it in her purse. I sat up, on the verge of protesting, but the sharp look she sent my way stopped me short.
"This ends now," she said sternly, and I briefly fought the urge to laugh as it reminded me of the way Chazz Michael Michaels said "This ends tonight" in Blades of Glory. Instead, I simply sat motionless, waiting for her to continue. She stood in the middle of my room, her arms crossed, staring at me expectantly.
"What?" I asked finally, slightly annoyed.
"Get up," she ordered, moving to my side, clutching my upper arm in a vice-like grip, and pulling.
"Okay, okay, okay," I relented, shaking her arm off and standing up. She looked me up and down with a critical eye, then sighed.
"I guess that'll have to do," she relented, referring to my choice of clothing. "Grab your keys, we're going out."
"Where are we going?"
"Places. Come on," she insisted, furrowing her eyebrows. With a sigh, I slipped on some shoes, grabbed my keys and my wallet, then followed her out of the dorm.
"Where are we going?" I asked again, once we were settled in the car.
"Half Moon Bay," she answered, pulling her legs onto the seat in a cross-legged position.
"I don't know how to get there."
"It's called Mapquest. Jesus, Edward, will you stop asking questions and just trust me?" she snapped, typing furiously on her phone. "You're driving me insane and I've only been around you for ten minutes."
I rolled my eyes and put the car in reverse. If this was supposed to be some sort of 'Cheer Edward Up' excursion, she was not doing a very good job so far.
She directed me to the highway we needed, rolled down the windows, then leaned back in her seat. We drove mostly in silence, the air rushing through the windows becoming more fresh the further away from the city we got. The smell of eucalyptus filled my nose and had an instant calming effect. I took a seemingly involuntary deep breath, holding the scent for as long as possible, before exhaling.
"I love the way it smells here," Alice said wistfully.
"Mmhm," I agreed.
"Too bad there's absolutely nothing here."
"Then why did you insist on me driving here?"
"Are you relaxed?" she questioned.
"Yes," I answered.
"Is your mind clear?"
"For the time being."
"Then there's your answer," she said in an obvious tone. I chuckled softly, shaking my head. Alice and her ways.
We didn't do much once we got to Half Moon Bay. We pulled into a small plaza and visited a coffee shop Alice claimed had muffins to die for (she wasn't kidding), then meandered through a few gift shops, pointing out some of the more ridiculous items and dressing Alice in hats, scarves, and jackets. She demanded I take pictures as she struck pose after pose, ignoring the odd stares from other visitors and somehow managing to keep a straight face while I was damn near in hysterics over how ridiculous she looked.
We left right before we thought we'd get banned from the store for life if we pulled any more antics and headed to dinner at a Thai restaurant Alice had been chomping at the bit to visit.
After looking over the menu and deciding what to eat, our waitress took our order with a huge smile and sauntered off, leaving us in comfortable silence.
Well, it was comfortable, until Alice folded her arms on the table and gave me that "It's time to talk" look.
"What?" I asked, glancing at her dubiously, though I knew what she was going to say.
"You know what. You've had half the day to get your mind off it, thanks to me." I rolled my eyes. "Don't roll your eyes at me," she scolded, "it's true. I know you're a man and men don't talk about their feelings and all that stupid crap—"
"So eloquent," I muttered, interrupting her. She gave me a sharp look.
"I know that's how your mindset is," she continued, "but it's unhealthy. You're going to have a hell of a time moving on if you keep it all inside. Who better than me to talk to? I'm your best friend, and I'm an emotional girl, so I won't judge you. Unless you break down crying. Then I'll judge you, and quite possibly ask to be moved to another table."
I laughed and shook my head, but said nothing. I ran my finger down my glass, making a line through the perspiration, then sighed.
"I know you're right," I started, "but I don't really know how to go about this. I just don't...I don't. I don't talk about feelings."
"No better time to start," she replied, resting her chin on her palm. "You're in a restaurant full of strangers. If they happen to overhear you and make fun of you to their friends, you'll never know. You'll never see them again."
"You have amazing logic," I said, smirking slightly.
We sat in silence as I messed with my rolled up silverware, my knee bouncing nervously under the table.
"Whenever you're ready," she stated. I nodded, but still said nothing. I inhaled deeply, tapping my fingers on the table top.
"I've got plenty of time."
"Stop pressuring me," I said through clenched teeth, exasperated.
"Okay, okay," she relented, "sorry."
I sighed and placed my hands flat on the table. "I'm depressed."
Alice didn't have to say a word for me to know what she was thinking. The look on her face clearly said, "I fucking found you on your bed listening to depressing songs, which you freely admitted to doing for God knows how long. No shit you're depressed." I ignored her unspoken words and focused on what I was trying to get out.
"I know I did it to myself," I continued slowly, "but it still sucks. I didn't want to do it, you know? I just felt like I had no other choice."
"I know," she said. "You were trying to protect yourself. It's understandable."
"I couldn't watch her with him. It was too hard. And she didn't exactly try and stop me when I told her as much, so..." I trailed off, pursing my lips.
"That doesn't mean she didn't care," she replied softly. I didn't know what to say to that. I chewed on my bottom lip and tapped my fingers against the table.
"You should talk to her," she continued. I shook my head, staring at nothing in particular.
"I can't. Not now."
We sat in silence for a bit, Alice knowing better than to push it much farther. "Well," she said, "I think you'll regret it if you wait, but it's your choice."
Once again, I knew she was right, but we both knew that it didn't matter. I wouldn't, couldn't, do anything until I was ready, and at that moment I was still recovering from the initial burn. I wasn't prepared for it to potentially happen again.
Conversation was random and lighthearted from that point on. We finished up at the restaurant and headed back home. I dropped her off at her dorm, thanking her for the day I hadn't known I'd needed to get my mind off things, then headed back to my dorm.
As I walked down the hallway from the elevator, I couldn't concentrate on any one particular thing. My thoughts were so all over the place, I wasn't even registering my actions. It wasn't until the door slammed behind me that I became consciously aware of my surroundings...and what sounded like a heavy sigh, followed by, "Shh!"
I looked around, confused. "I'm losing my mind," I said to myself.
"Shhh!" I heard loudly, and at that point I knew I wasn't imagining it.
"What the fuck?" I muttered, peering into the kitchen, where I found a frazzled looking Jasper sitting at the kitchen table next to some random dark-haired dude that I'd never seen before, who was glaring at me.
"Hey..." Jasper trailed off, an apologetic yet cautious look on his face. I ignored his greeting, instead scrutinizing the stranger in my living room who I was certain had just told me to shut up.
"Did you just shush me?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes," he replied with a scowl. I furrowed my eyebrows, staring at him slack-jawed.
"I'm sorry," I started, "who the fuck are you?"
"Oh, dear God," Jasper muttered, pressing his fingers into his eyes.
"Sir Alan Henson," he sneered, "and we're trying to work on a project, if you don't mind."
I stared blankly at him, then looked to Jasper. "Is he for real?"
"Oh yeah," he all but whispered, closing his eyes and rubbing his temples. He was clearly exhausted with the guy. I chuckled, which then turned into soft laughter that turned into straight up guffaws at the nerve of this guy.
"Okay, Alan," I snorted through laughter, "go on with your bad self." I walked down the hallway to my room, wiping my eyes, only to find Emmett sitting on his bed, staring at the wall.
"What are you doing?" I asked, still laughing.
"Waiting for Jasper's new friend to get the hell out. That guy is an epic douche," he replied.
"Did you face his wrath, too?" I asked, climbing onto my bed.
"I got a soda from the fridge and he screamed at me like a wild banshee," he said, and I snorted. "He has issues."
"You would too if your mom named you Alan," I said.
"No truer words have been spoken," he agreed, laughing. "Not that our names are much better."
"Anything is better than that," I pointed out.
We made sure to steer clear of the living room until Jasper came into the room, throwing himself face down on the floor. We spent the rest of the night laughing at his expense as he recounted the horrendous four hours he'd spent with Sir Alan- seriously, what idiot refers to himself as Sir anything? Who the fuck did he think he was, Elton John? - then fell asleep after tiring ourselves out from laughing so hard. That was the first night since I left Bella on the bench that I'd had a full night's sleep.
It was the first week of May and the semester was officially winding down. Lectures were becoming more intense, and the workload was piling up, as expected. However, my inability to focus on much of anything long enough to absorb it was causing my anxiety to go through the roof. All I could think about was Edward – where he was, what he was doing, who he was with. I hadn't seen nor heard from him – not that I'd really expected to, but one could hope, right? - in weeks. I knew he was okay by word of mouth - at least his friends hadn't written me off – and, surprisingly, he hadn't deleted me off any social networking sites. But it wasn't the same.
I missed him terribly. All I could do was listen to sad fucking music that reminded me of him and try not to cry. I hated that I was being such a girl about it. I hated that he mattered so much to me. I hated that with every passing second, all I wanted was to find him and tell him I was sorry, that I never wanted to hurt him, that I forgave him for hurting me, but not knowing how he would react was keeping me from doing so.
I pounded my fist on my computer desk, then cringed, remembering that normal people were asleep at 2:30 in the morning. I didn't want wake Angela with my frustrations, though I had numerous times over the last few weeks. I ran my hands harshly through my hair, staring at my textbook blankly for a few moments before shoving it out of the way and opening my laptop. I decided to be a coward and, instead of talking to him face-to-face, send him a message on Facebook. Almost as soon as I hovered over the "Send Message" link, a chat from Alice popped up on my page. I furrowed my eyebrows. Not only was it the middle of the night, but Alice was hardly ever on Facebook, much less IMing me.
not much. couldn't sleep. how are you doing?
I sat there for a moment. I could lie and say the usual "Good" bullshit, or I could be honest and tell her the truth. Despite the fact that she was, first and foremost, Edward's best friend, I always felt like I could talk to Alice, and I really needed to talk to someone about all of this. Someone who hadn't heard the same shit over and over, and Alice seemed like a good candidate.
honestly? not too good
talk to me. what's on your mind
do you really need to ask? lol
I miss him. so much. I hate this, Alice. I hate it so much, I just want to talk to him, make him smile, make him laugh, even if it's at my expense, I don't fucking care. I'm so tired of missing him and wanting him and not having the balls to tell him. when you im'd me I was just about to message him telling him that...well, not all of it, but something along those lines...I don't know. maybe I should just let it go. maybe I'm not good for him.
I sat there for five minutes, waiting for her to respond. If it hadn't been for her still showing up as online, I would have thought she'd left. I was starting to think she'd fallen asleep at her computer when she finally replied.
don't message him, Bella.
My breath caught in my throat. I felt like I had been sucker punched. I didn't know what I had expected, but obviously it hadn't been that.
yeah, you're right. I should just leave him alone. I don't know what I was thinking
go. go to him. RIGHT NOW.
My breath caught in my chest again, but for different reasons. My heart started racing as soon as I read it, but I wasn't understanding why she would tell me that.
sdoighsdgoi GO GO GO NOW you better be getting your shoes on
i don't understand
you don't need to damnit! just trust me OKAY? go. get your shoes and coat and whatever else on and GO. TO. HIM. tell him all of that. TRUST ME
If it had have been anybody else telling me that, I would have said they were insane and there was no way I was going to run out of my apartment and over to the dorms at 3 in the morning to talk to him. But it was Alice, and she knew him better than anybody, so I trusted her judgment. I jumped up and frantically started rushing around my room, pulling on shoes, a jacket, grabbing my keys and employee ID so I could get into the dorms without any problems. I ran out of my room, only realizing as I was running through the lobby of my complex that I hadn't said anything to Alice before leaving. I didn't stop running until I got to the dorms. It hurt to breathe, and my breathing only seemed to be getting more and more labored the more I fumbled with my ID. I finally swiped it and opened the doors, then ran to the elevators.
"Come on," I said through gritted teeth, pressing the button repeatedly. I didn't know why I was in such a hurry. It was the middle of the night, it wasn't like I had a time limit. Nonetheless, I knew that if I hadn't have had to climb thirteen flights of stairs to climb to get to him, I wouldn't be waiting for the elevator. What felt like ten years later the doors opened, and I stepped inside, instantly pressing the button for the thirteenth floor. I fidgeted anxiousy inside the shaft, silently thankful that the elevators were so fast. I shot out of the elevator once the doors slid open and ran down the hallway, not hesitating to raise my fist and bang on the door. Call me rude, but I didn't give a flying fuck if it woke anybody else up. I just needed to talk to him.
I was starting to grow nervous when two minutes later I was still banging on the door. Then I heard a loud, "I'm coming! Jesus fucking Christ," from inside and stopped. It wasn't until the door flew open to reveal a disheveled Edward that I realized I had no idea what to say. I stared at him with my mouth ajar and my eyes wide, suddenly terrified. What was I doing?
He scratched his head and looked at me with squinted eyes, blinking hard a few times before realization dawned on his face.
I was having a dream where I was on a high speed chase in a muscle car down a long highway in the desert. I couldn't see who I was chasing, but I had a distinct feeling it was Mini-Me. Then, out of nowhere, Fabio landed on my windshield and started banging on it. I jerked awake, terrified, only to realize that the banging was very much real and coming from the front door. I looked around my dark room for a few seconds, confused and sleep-ridden, before climbing out of bed and stumbling my way down the hall.
"I'm coming!" I yelled as the banging continued, "Jesus fucking Christ." I fumbled with the locks and yanked the door open, blinded by the lights in the hallway. I squinted and groaned in pain, blinking hard to try and focus on what I could tell was a person in the doorway. When my eyes focused, I had to blink again to make sure I wasn't imagining who was standing there.
"Bella?" I asked incredulously. That was the last person I expected to see at my door in the middle of the night. "What time is it?"
"I, uh...it-it's three."
"Why are you at my door at three in the morning?" I was beyond confused.
"I...I don't know," she replied. I stared blankly at her.
"You don't know."
"I was talking to Alice because I couldn't sleep, and neither could she, and I just – I needed to talk to someone, okay? She asked me how I was and I didn't feel like lying anymore, so I started talking about you and how I miss you and I was going to message you on Facebook, but she told me not to and to just come over here right away and..."
I was stunned. I had no idea what to say. I was still disoriented from being woken up so abruptly, and here she was – Bella, this girl that I cared about, that I wanted more than I'd ever wanted anyone else, the girl that turned me down – telling me everything I'd wanted to hear from her. It was too much.
"I don't know, okay? I don't know...I don't know anything except that I want you, and I'm not even sure what—"
I didn't hesitate to pull her inside by her jacket, spin her around so her back was against the wall, and press my mouth to hers. She responded eagerly, relaxing as my hands cupped her face, deepening the kiss. I pulled away slowly, pressing my forehead against hers.
"Bella," I started with a grin on my face, "you're confusing, and infuriating, and irrational, and you never listen when I tell you not to walk alone because you could get raped, but that's everything that makes you so perfect...so fucking perfect for me."
She grinned back at me and wrapped her arms around my neck, pulling me down to her and pressing her lips against mine once again. Suddenly, everything clicked in my brain – 3 AM, she ran here alone, in the dark – and I pulled away quickly.
"What were you thinking?" I demanded, furrowing my eyebrows. "You could have been kidnapped or mugged or—"
"They wouldn't have gotten much," she interrupted.
"That's not the point," I snapped. "I've told you not to do that. You never listen to a word I say."
"Sorry, Dad," she laughed, and despite myself, I laughed too.
"What the fuck is going on?" Emmett boomed suddenly, turning on the hall light. Bella and I turned to look at him, an angry expression on his face. "No, you know what? I don't even care. I just want you to shut the fuck up, I'm trying to sleep."
Bella buried her face into my shoulder, her body shaking with laughter. "Sorry, Emmett," I said through chuckles. I pulled away from Bella and grabbed her hand, leading her to my room as Emmett eyed us with a much less hostile expression. Before he could come back in the room, I shut the door on him and locked it.
"Hey!" he shouted, jiggling the door handle. "Open the fucking door! I want to go back to sleep!"
"Then go to sleep," I replied, kissing Bella as she pulled me toward my bed.
"My bed is kind of in the room, asswipe. Where the fuck am I supposed to sleep?"
"In the living room, like a good pet," I shouted as we climbed on the bed, chuckling as he cursed me all the way down the hall.
"I missed you," she said softly, tracing my features with her fingertips.
"I missed you, too," I replied, scooting in closer to her and kissing her forehead.
"Jerk," she said, smacking my shoulder lightly. "Don't ever do that to me again. I hated it."
"Don't date other people and deny the way you feel about me and it won't be a problem," I retorted with a smirk.
"Mmm...fair enough," she agreed, then kissed my lips.
We laid side by side, kissing and touching each other innocently, for hours before curling up and falling asleep – her on her side with her back against my chest, and me with my hand in my favorite spot, as it should be.
We woke up around noon in the same position we fell asleep in. I kissed her cheek, not wanting to expose her to my undoubtedly horrendous morning breath. She turned to face me and we laid in comfortable silence, wrapped up in each other, for a good ten minutes before speaking.
"Are you ready to face Emmett's wrath?" I joked, rubbing her back underneath her shirt. She laughed, burying her face in my shirt.
"In a minute," she muttered. "I want to stay like this for a little while longer."
I smiled and kissed the top of her head, pulling her in closer to me. I wasn't in any hurry to go back to the real world, and anyway, who was I to argue?
End Notes: I can't promise an update any time soon, but what I CAN promise is that, once again, this story WILL get finished. There is only one more chapter plus an epi (that has already been written) so just hang in there, okay? Okay!