There are several things I'd like to clarify before starting this story.

This is an AU story beginning 6 years after Bella and Edward's wedding. For the purpose of this story the rest of Breaking Dawn never happened.

Bella and Edward are no longer married in this story. We will see why as the story progresses along.

This is a Bella/Jacob story. If this bothers you, please don't read this story.

As already mentioned, I don't hate Edward. Hence this story will not be anti-Edward and he will not suddenly turn evil! Hope that makes the E/B fans also want to read this story.

Renesemee was never born hence Jacob never imprinted.

Also this is my 'First' ever foray into writing…as in really…the FIRST… have never ever before even attempted such a thing…so I hope you guys take that into consideration if this story majorly sucks.

I would love it if someone is willing to proofread this for me and give me suggestion/ideas as to how I should proceed ahead.

As you may have already inferred from this endlessly lengthy note, my fic is gonna be a long one too…if you guys like it and want me to continue that is…don't know if long is good or bad…huh.

Reviews would be greatly appreciated.

And lastly, none of the characters so far belong to me. They are the property of Stephanie Meyer. If they belonged to me, why would I have to resort to writing fanfic? I'm just playing with them.

And now…on to the story…


Chapter 1


It was a bright, sunny day in Miami, Florida. My name is Bella Swan and I had just come in from an early morning swim and workout session in my mom's home gym. My parents had obtained a divorce way back…when I was very young. My dad, Charlie Swan was the chief of police in a small town in Washington State called Forks. When I was a teenager, my mom had remarried. My stepdad, Phil, was ball player which had its advantages as witnessed by the huge home in Miami and the private gym and swimming pool.

"Man…this is the life! No wonder you love it so much here. If I were you I wouldn't want to leave this place either! And I haven't even been to the beach as yet!" I exclaimed while stretching my aching muscles. My mother, Renee, grinned from the kitchen where she was trying…somewhat unsuccessfully…to fix a hearty breakfast for us. "Well, I've been trying to get you out here for a visit for the last 3 years now. It's not my fault that you don't want to spend time with your poor old mom anymore! In fact you got so sick of your mom that you had to move to a whole different country to get your degree even though we have excellent colleges here in the US. The only time I've seen you in the last 4 years was last Christmas and that too because both me and Charlie refused to listen to your excuses and forced our presence on you!" Renee exclaimed.

"Mom, you know that's not true! I did not choose to go to London to get away from you…OR dad, so get that thought out of your head!", I groaned even while guiltily acknowledging to myself that she had a point. I hadn't been avoiding them…at least not consciously…subconsciously though…who knows…my subconscious was pretty screwed up…and I had plenty of evidence to prove it. "I thought we were done discussing this…The past few years have been so crazy…I don't know how I got through them myself!" Even while I said this I knew that I was still giving excuses…not that anything could excuse my behavior. But I didn't know what else to say…my life; at least what happened in it six years ago was too complicated for her to understand.

"Oh Sweetie, I know. Believe me…Part of the reason I was urging you to come here was so that you would get away from all the madness. I know that school was important to you, but I wasn't very happy that you were there all alone in London, especially not after what you went through! You completely isolated yourself from me as well as your dad baby. Both of us were pretty frantic not knowing what you were thinking or how you were coping!" she had tears in her eyes and that was making me feel even more horrible.

I went up to her and hugged her tightly. "Mom, I'm fine. Trust me…I admit that things were not easy…not in the least…but I managed. It's not that I purposely kept you and dad away…well I did in a way, but I didn't do it to hurt you guys. When I left Forks and after the mess I made of things with…you know… "Even though it had been 4 years since I had laid eyes on him, I realized that it still hurt to say his name…and it probably always would…after all you never forget your first love, right? "…I kinda realized that I had to learn to tackle my own problems. I couldn't keep on relying on others to bail me out of my messes. I had to learn how to deal with problems, the healthy way, and not go crazy every time things didn't go my way. I also had to figure out what I wanted out of life. I realized that I was too dependent on other people for my happiness which is not a healthy way to live life. Anyways I wasn't alone…not really. I had all of my friends at school and I also had you and Dad and Phil. I mean I might not have visited much or called often but I always knew you guys were only a phone call away. I knew that if I ever needed you guys, you were there for me. And that meant a lot. Believe me Mom; I wouldn't have gotten through this mess without your support and understanding."

"Honey, you know we are always there for you whenever you need us." mom said while holding me tight. "I'm just glad that you're home now and that you're better. I mean, look at you! You look terrific! You look all grown up and matured! I can't believe this is my baby girl who I'm looking at…you're looking healthier and there is actually this sense of peace about you now. I have to admit, it's a HUGE improvement from a few years ago. I wasn't sure about your decision to go to abroad all by yourself in the condition you were in but I have to admit that it was the best decision you have made so far. I think maybe you needed the distance to gain some perspective." She smiled and gave me a kiss on the forehead before returning to whisking the pancake batter.

"Well Mom, I'm not sure if that's such a compliment…about having matured…considering that I did some incredibly stupid things back then" I laughed self deprecatingly.

"Oh Honey, don't blame yourself…you thought you were in love. Everyone does stupid things for love. Look at me…I am the resident expert on the subject", she immediately replied. I couldn't bear the thought of her actually defending my actions. She didn't even know the half of it. I wonder what she would have to say if she actually knew the full extent of my stupidity! What would she have to say about the fact that her 18 year old daughter was willing to give up her whole life, literally, for love? What would she say if she knew that I was willing to give up my soul for love? What would she say if she knew what I was willing to become to be with the person who I loved? And I wonder if she will so willingly and readily excuse my actions if she knew that I was even willing to give up…to abandon…without any warning… all of my family and friends? Would she ever be able to understand? Somehow I don't think so…oh god…what had I been thinking back then? How could I have even lived with myself if I had gone through with it knowing the pain my parents would go through?

"I don't think there is any excuse in the world that justifies getting married at the age of 18 without even realizing that its not what I really want, mom! And then as if that wasn't enough, I then compounded that mistake by getting divorced at the ripe old age of 21!" Even though I had thought that I was completely over my past and all cried out…I still was dangerously close to tears as I said admitted all this to my mom. I don't really know why I'm crying now…I know that I've come to terms with all the things that went wrong…maybe it's the fact that I'm discussing this for the first time with someone who has as much of a stake in my future as I do. Or maybe it's the fact that I know that my mom was one of the people most hurt by my decisions 6 years ago. " I'm 24 Mom, and I'm a divorcee…God…what was I thinking! How could I have been so stupid and blind! And I didn't even think about what I was doing to everyone else. I was so selfish that I didn't even bother to think about how my decisions were going to affect others. You, Dad, Alice, Carlisle, Esme…I ended up hurting everyone…and most of all Edward…oh Mom, I broke his heart! And all because I was and still am a selfish, self centered, completely self indulgent…!" By this time I was sobbing so hard that I was struggling to talk coherently. I loathed myself for my weakness! I didn't even have the guts to admit the mistakes I had made without breaking down... 'Ya mom…real mature of me!'

"Watch it young lady!" Mom warned through her own tears, "You may be all grown up now, but I'll always be your mom you know. And when you are in my house you better abide by my rules. Which still include no swearing" she said with a timid smile in my direction. "Anyways now is not the time to talk about this. You just got here last night! And I've barely seen you this last year. So we have loads of catching up to do! Right now we should just relax and enjoy ourselves. We'll have plenty of time to discuss all the nasty stuff later on…after you've had time to wind down and have some fun. Now come on…go and have a quick shower if you want and lets have breakfast…I'm starving!"

I realized that she was right. Now was neither the time nor the place to discuss the tragedy of my life. I would much rather spend some quality time with my mom and have some much needed fun than rehash all the terrible mistakes I have made in my short life. I tried to give my mom a teary smile and decided that I had better use the excuse of a shower to escape this emotionally fraught situation…at least for a little while.

"You got it Mom. I'm rather hungry too. I'll be back before you know it. And uh mom…would you mind holding back on actually making the pancakes and the eggs till I come back? I would be much more comfortable eating a healthy, tasty, non-burnt breakfast that I make myself, if you don't mind?" I tried to tease her while heading towards the stairs that lead to my room. I looked back over my shoulder to see her mock-glaring at me which made me smile…a real smile this time.