"Though you know I love you still, I think we both just lost the will." - Nina Gordon
Chapter 1 – "Dangling Feet"
"Like I never existed." Ugh. Who makes such a stupid, false promise?
Besides me, I mean. I've always been a bit of an idiot. "If I live to be a thousand, I'll never forget the way she looked at me." As if living to be a thousand years old was really much of an option for my kind. A thousand? More like the blink of an eye.
She saw through me. I know she did. A single lie couldn't negate the hundreds of times I showed her I loved her. She was a teenage girl, and I saw the hurt flash through her beautiful eyes for a fraction of a second. It was replaced almost instantly with a look I knew better from my Bella - pure, steeled resolve.
She slapped me once, hard, across my right cheek. I thought it hurt, but maybe that was psychosomatic. Her anger was so complete that she barely flinched at the cracking that belied her broken fingers. She just turned and, quite gracefully by her standards, walked away from me like I had left her.
I had broken it off, but she was the one that left me broken.
"Edward. Snap out of it, son." Carlisle's voice was uncharacteristically impatient, but that was inevitable after two years of seeing me moon over what Rosalie fondly referred to as "a mere mortal."
Alice hissed at me from across the woods. I hissed back, before she yelled "if you can remember her, so can I, and I can still despise you for removing her from our lives, you Jackass!"
She had me there. I ignored her. The past two years, my relationships with most of my family had deteriorated rapidly, especially with Alice. After her original vision and instant kinship with Bella, she held me personally responsible for the loss of her newest, youngest "sister."
I returned to the disgusting elk I was draining, wondering what would happen if we drank from a beast with rabies, vaguely making a note to ask Carlisle sometime. I heard a half-stifled gasp from the area Jasper and Alice were occupying.
Alice had successfully blocked me from her thoughts for the better part of a year now, so the vision that flashed past my eyes was almost violently disorienting. I saw Bella step up to a cliff and dive, her feet dangling for a second that felt like eternity, before she fell, slicing cleanly through the water off the beaches of La Push. She surfaced, throwing her long hair back and sending water arching through the air. Other than the moment of shock at her jump, I couldn't see what had upset Alice so clearly, until she focused on Bella's face, pale and tragic as always, but with burning ruby eyes.
Okay, now I know my face hurts, and it has nothing on the mental agony. No one will speak to me, and Jasper told me if I so much as look at Alice again right now he will finish the job of ripping my jaw from my face.
I'm not entirely sure what came over me. I saw those eyes in Bella's beautiful face and I just snapped. Before anyone, including myself, knew what was going on, I was pouncing on Alice, demanding that she take it all back.
Of course I know better than anyone that's not how her visions work, but I was far from rational at the moment. At my insistence the hunting trip was aborted and all seven of us are racing at top speed back to Washington.
"Edward." I nearly ran into a tree with the shock of hearing Alice's voice in my head, much less soft and not screeching at me. "I hold you responsible for this, Edward. You will fix this, or I will end you." It's not often that our Faerie frowns, much less threatens someone's life, so I take the threat seriously, nodding only slightly, knowing by instinct that she saw it.
I gave myself a mental slap, chuckling at the thought of asking Alice to make it real. I kept running toward the one thing that had always captivated me, owned me. I was hers, more than she ever knew.
It wasn't so hard, really. After the first month, at least. I was a complete mess the first month, but I could see in Charlie's eyes that it was time to shape up or ship out. So I shaped. Oh boy, did I shape. I shaped, I baked, and I shaped some more. How pathetic is it that I'm nearly 20 and still living with Charlie? It's a comfortable existence, though.
After Edward left I did a bit of soul searching, so to speak. Mostly I searched for his soul, and why on earth he'd leave, but the end result was that I found myself, in a way.
Edward was an accomplished liar, but I saw the smoldering agony in his eyes when he told me he didn't want me anymore. Was he really so blind to how well I knew him? I knew his face better than I knew my own; something I was thankful for at the time, but something that now feels sad and empty. And so, instead of arguing, instead of crying, I did the only thing left. I got mad.
Once I outgrew the massive tantrums I threw during my childhood, usually at Charlie's expense, it seemed almost foreign to get mad. I've always been pretty level headed, but having the love of my life lie to my face and expect me to fall for it? Well, it was too much. I snapped, and for the first time in my life, I saw red. After slapping him with everything I had, I went to make Charlie dinner and nurse my certainly broken hand. Note to self: Slapping solid granite is officially on the "NOT to-do list."
Jake and Mike have been heaven sent, really. Angela is still my best friend, though she and Ben are in Seattle, at school. Jessica has disappeared from my life, somewhere in California, and I can't say I miss her all that much. If Jake ever gets off his butt and finishes school we're going to go off to college together.
I've been running a small catering business for special occasions here in Forks and around Port Angeles. If I decide to stick around I'll probably open my own diner. For now I can cook, experiment and make some cash to help with the bills and save up. I can't complain. How many people can say they have a job they love?
One thing I can thank Edward for is making me realize that his problems—his reasons for leaving—never had anything to do with me. It's hard explaining to the guys why I don't feel the need to date, but I've finally figured out how happy and whole I can be by being myself.
Well, that and I've already met the man of my dreams. It just didn't work out.
"Jesus, Jake, I'm freakin' coming already!" I tripped on the way out of the bathroom and caught myself on the banister, cursing under my breath. Having a werewolf for a friend was the best, but sometimes he was so impatient you'd swear he forgot he wasn't aging. We were going to Port Angeles to see a movie. Today is Friday the 13th, so of course in honor of our first date, we're going to see a slew of horror films, ranging from the absurd to the awful. None of them will be good, but that was sort of the point.
I added a final curl to my hair, grabbing my Zim messenger bag and stomped down the stairs. Charlie was home—he had finally stopped working so much after nearly having a heart attack, and there was a game tonight as always. I kissed the top of his head and headed for Jake's newest project car—a 1957 Ford Fairlane that he actually got running. He's still got the Rabbit, but after getting a job he decided he could afford a new project, and he knows I love this car, so he usually takes it when he's driving.
I never thought I'd see Mike and Jake get along, but once they both realized they have no shot in hell with me romantically, they finally discovered they have a bit more in common than they thought. Mike doesn't know the entire story behind the werewolf thing, but he knows that Jake is "just not right sometimes." All in all, I can't complain.
Renee visits more often, once I finally got it into her head that humidity with Jacksonville heat is just not acceptable to me. She and Phil just celebrated their five year anniversary with a trip to Disney Land. Sometimes I wonder if she'll ever grow up, and then I realize I really hope she doesn't.
AN: Hey guys! This is my first fic, and I'm really in need of some feedback.
Love it? Hate it? Either way, please let me know.
The background of this story lies with the amazing band Devotchka – the title and chapter names are each songs, and the tone of the chapters corresponds with each song. I'll try to upload the songs and link them ASAP.