Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No copyright infringement is intended.
Seeing as the ol' Valentine's Day is here – as much as I hate to say it - I thought it'd be nice to put a short festive one shot up!
I threw the traitor magazine I'd been reading across the room with a sigh as I saw the next advertisement on the page.
Valentine's Day. Great.
I'd been trying so hard to block it out this year, as much as possible. If it came up on TV, I turned the set off. If it came up in conversation, I walked off. It wasn't like I was being a spoil sport, any one would understand my strife.
It is Valentine's Day and I am single.
While last year was easily the worst Valentine's Day ever, this year could easily be as bad. Every one of my friends- Alice, Rosalie, Angela, Jessica, and even Lauren had boyfriends or admirers whom would send them twelve red roses and buckets of chocolate on this glorious day.
I mean, I'm not one for that stuff – romantic walks on a beach, a ring in the champagne, bouquets and bouquets of roses - but come on...it's depressing to be unwanted on Valentine's, right?
I pulled myself out of bed, groaning as my sore limbs stretched. I had a good mind to crawl back into bed and scoff chocolates – it wouldn't matter if I swelled up to the size of a freakin' elephant; nobody wanted me anyway.
But I wouldn't let myself do that. Two months ago, I decided I wasn't going to mope today. No Way, Jose.
I was going to dress up as prettily as I could muster, drive to Port Angeles, watch movies on my own and then go shopping, spend around five of my pay checks. College Schmollege, right?
I clomped into the bathroom and stripped off, eyeing the bags under my eyes with annoyance. I needed to sleep more. But I hadn't been sleeping well for around a year, now. My body should have gotten used to it. The water from the shower sputtered out unsurely at first when I stepped under the nozzle, and I relaxed more as the water came out in a steady flow.
I would be okay this year. Last year's atrocities wouldn't bother me- I was a new person.
A new Bella.
Okay, not a new Bella. But..I wasn't as naïve as I was before, so I guess that counts too.
I lathered the shampoo into my hair and hummed while I planned my outfit. I'd never been one for fashion sense like Alice – she would always dress me, but she was going out to dinner with Jasper today – but I thought I had an interesting combination, anyway.
Once I was done, I got out of the shower, dressed and hurried downstairs.
"Where you off, Bells?" Charlie called from the sofa. "I thought you were staying in today."
"No, I'm going to go shopping in Port Angeles, I decided I wouldn't stay in after all."
Charlie heaved himself up from the sofa, looking me up and down as he faced me in the hallway.
"You're looking pretty done up today. Are you meeting someone?"
"No, Dad!" I laughed, swatting him. "I'll be back later."
I ran through the door down to my truck, hoping I was imagining him muttering,
"I hope she's being safe..."
The drive to Port Angeles took a while, especially with my antique truck, and the radio crackled on, background noise as I drove. My mind ran away with me, imagining what Jake must be doing right now...with Lauren. My heart gave a painful jolt that I tried to ignore, and suddenly my body went on autopilot.
I regained my composure and found myself buying a DVD – Corpse Bride – facing a familiar face on the counter.
"Embry?" I gasped.
"Finally, Bella. I was wondering how long it'd take ya' to notice me standing here in front of you." His gravelly voice softened. "How are you doing?"
"Alright, good as can be expected, I guess." I shrugged.
"If it helps, you're looking hot to trot today." He gave me his smug smile.
"Thanks, Em. Honestly, I decided I'd just boycott the ol' V-day today."
"I see, fair enough." He nodded and named the price of the DVD.
I handed over the note and he continued.
"Burton, eh? Which is your favourite?"
"Nightmare, no doubt." I said instantly.
"No, No! Sleepy Hollow is gold, that or Scissorhands."
"I like Scissorhands...but I don't know...I'm hoping for a surprise with Bride, if I'm honest with you."
"It's good." He conceded, slipping the slim case into the bag. "Really, Bells.. how are you doing?"
"I hate Valentine's Day. I'm good." I said stiffly. He nodded understandingly and handed me my purchase.
"Hey, Bell." He called as I started to walk away.
"Catch." Of course, my hand-eye coordination had never been too good, so the package he threw at me hit me right in the forehead. "Sorry, Bells!"
I bent down and picked them up.
I ignored the painful pang in my chest and began walking away. "No worries, Em. See ya'."
As I walked away, slipping my packet of candy hearts into my pocket, I heard Embry say,
"I'll tell him you're doing well."
I walked quicker, stumbling.
All around me, there were reminders.
Couples hand in hand, big pink heart-shaped balloons, roses, teddy bears holding musical hearts.
What the hell was I thinking of, coming here on Valentine's Day? I was stupid! And so stupid that I couldn't think of a word stupid enough to describe me.
How could I even begin to imagine that I would be okay without him? Especially on this day, this day of all days.
I hung my head, blocking out the noise of couples, blocking out the love songs filtering out of the stores, walking forward at a slow pace, gradually gaining speed.
I watched my feet move on in front of me, walking to the exit of the large mall. It was idiotic for me to attempt leaving the house, let alone Forks! I could never be okay without him, it just wasn't worth trying.
Suddenly, I hit a wall.
Not as in a mental wall, either.
As in an oh-crap-I-just-hit-a-physical-wall kind of wall.
It was as I was rubbing my head and stepping back, that I realised there were a pair of arms around me – a pair of muscular arms, belonging to the body I'd just slammed into.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" I gasped, looking down at his feet.
"No problem," came the velvet voice from above me – drawing me in so that all I could do was look up in wonder, to see a literal angel, his smile crooked and kind, his green eyes sparkling.
Wow. Great job on that one, God.
"I-I-I..." I stammered, watching him laugh. "I'm sorry, I, er, I wasn't looking where I was going..."
"Oh, don't worry about it – I was a bit too busy watching you walking, I didn't notice how close you were until we collided," he laughed.
He was watching Me?
Maybe I really did walk into the wall, maybe this was a dream...
"Er, well, sorry." I said awkwardly, hoping to continue the conversation so that I could revel in the feel of his arms tight around me. I hadn't felt anything, anything even close to this in so long.
"Bella," I prompted.
"Honestly, Bella, it's no problem. You looked like you were in a rush, anyway. Late for a date?" He asked.
"No!" I spluttered, too quickly. "No, I'm single. I'm boycotting Valentine's Day." It occurred to me then that he might not be single, nor boycotting Valentine's day. "But don't let me keep you, you're probably meeting a girlfriend..."
"I'm not," he smiled. "I'm Edward, by the way."
"Nice to meet you, Edward." I breathed, eyes wide.
He was single?
Damn, this must be a dream.
"Bella...this might be really forward, but I'd kick myself later if I didn't try....Do you wanna go get coffee or something?"
I opened my mouth, feeling the weight of the candy hearts I'd been planning to crush in my pocket.
I don't want you any more, Bella. It was good, while it lasted.
But I love you...
Sure, sure, Bells. But you know...it was just a fling, right?
Without answering, I pulled myself out of his grasp. His hand caught mine.
"Bella..I don't do this a lot, you should know...it's just...I like you. I think you're beautiful and quirky, and I want to get to know you better. I hate to sound desperate, but please let me get to know you?"
"I'd like that," I whispered.
His smile was painfully wide. "Do you wanna go get coffee or something?" He repeated.