The Reason

Formally known as "Redeeming All That's Left"

PLEASE READ: I have really revamped this story (really) I changed somethings, to make it better, including the title!! I would appreciate it if you completely reread it and reviewed it again. If you haven't read it before, this is a really fabulous read:

Edward and Bella are two completely different people--but they share one thing. They hurt, and they have their own ways of dealing with that hurt. Can they help each other heal from their previous pain?

My idea, Stephenie Meyer's characters. Enjoy.

Edward Cullen POV

Meeting Her

"I don't know where we went wrong," they say. They always say. Who's to say anything went wrong, doesn't stuff just happen? I mean, they think the world revolves around everything they say or do, do or say. Especially when it comes to me. Every time they catch me smoking a joint, or getting drunk in my room—they automatically assume they did something. They, as in my family.

Esme, the model mother. Of course I would never tell her, but she never did anything wrong. All she did was love me. Though every time she'd come to the principal's office, I could hear here break down into tears—wishing she could go back and help me. No one could help me now.

Carlisle, my father. For a doctor, he was around a lot—despite how I do actually blame him for being an absent Dad. I find him in his study late at night, his hands in his face. Dr. Carlisle Cullen couldn't save me from, quote, "the path I have chosen." Nor could he help me.

Alice and Emmett, my rule-abiding siblings. They could do no wrong…well they didn't do anything wrong. Ever. Carlisle told them that if they couldn't follow my example, they could at least do the opposite. But Alice's selfless attempts to bring me back, whatever that meant, were all in vain. Not even my hyperactive, loving sister could help me.

The Edward Anthony Cullen that used to live in this vessel is gone. And now, the druggie, the alcoholic, the trouble-maker, the straight F student named Edward Cullen inhabits. No one can help me, no one can save me. I'm in too deep, I'm too dead inside to heal. I have already leaked into oblivion. Only a miracle can bring me back. And there is no such thing.

It was about nine o'clock, and I lay in bed. My burning cigarette sat in the ash tray on my bed stand—calling for me. I picked it up, placing it between two fingers. I whiffed it, my lungs filling with the addictive, fulfilling smoke. I sighed in relief, and set it back down.

I figured Esme would be pissed if I didn't go to school at all—I figured I'd make it sometime after lunch, check in and stay for one class, ditch, and hang out with the guys. I got up, took a nice hot shower, letting the dry smell of smoke and beer wash off with it.

I combed my hair, knowing it would naturally curl into the untidy mess it'd always been. Girls seemed to like it—so what the hell right?

I stuffed a pack of cigarettes in my pocket, and heard my phone ringing that annoying bell-ish ring tone. The one Alice assigned to her number. I smirked, and flipped the phone.

"What is angel-child doing calling me during school hours," I teased harshly. She sighed over the other line.

"I'm in the ladies room. I'm just making sure…."

"I'm still alive?" I interrupted.

"Um, well, that too. I wanted to know if you were awake."

"Well, I am. Can I hang up on you now?"

"No! Just wait. Are you coming today?" She sounded hopeful. I may be an ass at times, but I really did love my sister, not matter how much she annoyed me. I wasn't one to tear down her hopes.

"Yeah, I'm coming for lunch, then after 3rd period I'm leaving," I told her nonchalantly.

"Will you sit with us? Please, Edward, I'd really love to talk to you for more than five seconds. It's been so long."

"I'm talking to you now aren't I?" I spat, walking out the front door, wedging my cell between my ear and shoulder as I stuffed a pack of cigarettes in my pocket.


"I'll think about it," I said, flipping the phone shut. I climbed into the driver's seat—lighting a joint. I inhaled smoothly, letting the sweet sensation fill my body for a short moment. It had become more of an addiction rather than a pleasure. The little pleasure I did feel was short lived.

But with the drugs—heroin to be specific—it always lasted. It let me escape the world I was in…it let me forget everything I'd gone through.

As I pulled into the parking lot of my personal purgatory—Forks High—I took the last of my breaths of smoke. I dropped the bud, and I watched as it fell to the ground. Before it blew away with the wind, I squashed it with my foot. Though nothing could probably catch on fire because it was so wet—I always did it out of habit.

I walked into school, checking my watch to see that it was lunch time. Yay, mystery meat.

I grabbed a package of French fries, and started my way across the lunch room, girls eyes turning as I walked by. I smiled slightly, knowing that their eyes were always on me. I walked straight to Emmett and Alice's table, not really paying attention to who their guest today was. I sat down next to Alice's familiar spiky black hair, and she turned around to look at me. Stunned.

"So you grace us with your presence, little brother," Emmett laughed, kicking my feet under the table.

"Thank you," Alice whispered under her breath—once again full with hope. "By the way, you smell horrible." Emmett let out a hallow laugh.

"Look who's talking. I can't understand how Jasper can even stand to be around you—or kiss you rather," I murmured. She frowned, and spun back around in her seat, leaning in to Jasper's arms. He either whispered, "You smell fine," or "You smell like grime." I took my pick.

Across the room, I saw a girl stumble—apparently over her two feet. I chuckled lightly, and then her embarrassed gaze met mine.

She had the most amazing set of milk-chocolate eyes. Her lips were full, almost as crimson as her blushed face. She looked away from me very quickly, but I didn't look away from her. She was slim, but her figure was so flattering—her hips curving like water. Her caramel hair hung over her shoulders, wavy but neat.

"What are you smiling about?" Alice peeped. Smiling? Oh, no wonder she looked so embarrassed. I was gaping a smile at her. I quickly relaxed my face and stuffed a handful of French fries in my mouth. After a few seconds, the girl sat down by Rosalie, Emmett's girlfriend and Jasper's sister.

"Hey Bella!" Alice chimed as she sat down. She smiled slightly, her cheek a little swollen. This girl was new…she was so different. "You already met Rosalie. The big teddy bear sitting next to her is Emmett, her boyfriend and my brother. This is Jasper," she leaned on to Jasper again. Uck. "And…this is Edward," she muttered, then staring down at her plate. I was the disappointment—I never got introduced as "Edward, my brother," or "Edward, my son." Whatever.

"Nice to meet you Emmett, Jasper. Edward." It felt weird when I finally heard her voice, like something in my head just clicked. And the way her lips wrapped around my name made my heart stutter just the slightest.

"You're new," I murmured to Bella. She blushed a little and nodded.

"Oh yes, Captain Obvious!" Emmett bellowed. Rosalie jabbed in him the ribs. "Ouch."

"What brings you to the most depressing place on the planet?" I asked her. Alice shot a glare at me.

"I…moved in with my Dad. Chief Swan." Oh. Completely off limits, I shouldn't even be talking to her in fear of insulting her. I might be arrested for assaulting her.

"Cool." Everyone stared at me with wide eyes, except for Bella who was messing with her food. I glanced at her every few seconds, just so I could memorize her face. "Bye." I said quickly.

"Where are you going?" Alice demanded, catching me by the hem of my shirt.

"Ditching. I'll be back later," I promised her, she nodded and released me.

What was it about Bella? She wasn't the first girl I'd found so attractive, but why did she have such a deepening affect on me? Then I thought of all the details: mahogany hair, full lips, curvy hips, big brown eyes….

I stopped myself. She was Charlie's daughter…he hated me. I caused him a lot of trouble since…the incident. Vandalism, drugs, buying cigarettes illegally—the list went on and on. I hadn't been charged with anything—yet—but I knew I'd be in for it if he even knew I'd taken an interest in Bella.

I hid under the bleachers and lit a cigarette. I inhaled deeply, the humid air making the smoke even heavier on my lungs. I let out a soft cough.

"That's bad for you, you know," a bellish voice whispered from beside me. The cigarette dropped from my hand, then in a split second under my foot.

"I do it because it makes me look cool." The obvious thought among most when they see a teenager smoking. I looked into her sincere eyes, glimmering with smugness.

"I doubt that. You probably are just trying to kill yourself, right?"

"Caught me." I sighed, and then looked at her. "You don't look like the ditching type, what are you doing out here?"

"I skip now and then," she said casually. "Your family is so nice. Alice thinks the world of you." So Alice had told her about the sullen Cullen. Maybe I didn't give her enough credit.

"Ha!" I scoffed.

"Emmett is completely annoyed by you. Said you might end up being killed by a drug dealer." Oh, Emmett. Always one to joke about my death. But I'd have to hit him for talking like that about Bella. "But Alice, she's very worried. She was really depressed when you left earlier."

"Alice tries to fix things that are too broken to fix," I muttered. I pulled out a mint and popped it in my mouth. Drown out the tar smell.

After I said that, Bella grimaced. Did I really smell that bad?

"Bella, you should go. You might find yourself regretting spending time with me." Did I just threaten her? Stupid, stupid, Edward. I mentally smacked myself.

"Is that a threat or a promise?" she whispered, almost seductively. Seductively? I couldn't know the difference between Bella's tease or…flirt…could I? I thought I was losing my mind.

This little girl was making me lose my mind.

"Ah, I'd like to say neither. Just a helpful tip from your local menace. Oh, and don't tell your Dad I have smokes, 'kay?"

"Wasn't going to." She looked innocently at me, and then walked back inside the school. I couldn't help but watch her—she wasn't graceful at all. The opposite actually. I found myself laughing as she stumbled her way into the school.

About an hour passed, most of it spent thinking of Bella. The way her voice sounded, the way she smiled slyly. The way she teased. Her looks hit me the hardest. I had once thought to myself she wasn't the first girl I'd found attractive.

Not that the fact that I'd found many attractive girls…enticing…was a lie—it was just the way I found Bella attractive. For the first time, I had been overcome by an undeniable attraction—that wasn't physical, per say. I didn't feel the need to be with her in the way I'd been with the others. She didn't deserve that. She was pretty, no doubt. But she seemed smart and witty too. She couldn't or shouldn't be tricked, seduced, or taken advantage of. No, she was too good for that.

I glanced at my watch, realizing that the hall break before next period had begun. It was the last class of the day, thankfully. Esme would be pleased that I finally showed up.

I walked into the classroom—automatically seeing the most wonderful face sitting at the usually empty seat. The seat next to mine. I smiled widely, and she pointed to the empty seat next to her with a stunned expression. I nodded with a devilish smile. She let out a deep sigh—both of us knew it was going to be a very long class period.

Oh how I wanted to annoy her to death—see her reactions to everything I did. I started by slamming my books down on the desk. She jumped up in her seat, her hand clenched to the side of the table.

"Hello, Isabella," I said with a British accent. She grimaced at her name. Ah, a way to annoy her. "I guess we're going to be partners for the rest of the year," I mumbled. She blushed a little.

"Oh, joy. Maybe I'll get lucky and you'll skip this class." Her face was a red as an apple, but emotionless. I flipped open my textbook, the wind brushing through Bella's mahogany hair. She clenched even tighter to the table.

"Nobody is that lucky." I started doodling in my notebook—drawing little hearts with 'Isabella' on the inside. This was going to be a wonderful year. I saw her body stiffen as I used my fanciest script with her name—and out of the corner of my eye, I saw hers widen. The chocolate irises swirled in incredulity. I chuckled lightly.

"Stop that," she whispered viciously. I slowly started to erase the little hearts from my paper—when I realized that it was my essay. I decided to leave one heart on my paper and go ahead and write 'Swan' in the heart.

"Okay class," Stacy Whitman called as she began to pick up essays down the aisles. "As you know, you had to write an essay on the book we read in class. I will be taking it. Except for you Miss Swan." Bella nodded, and then saw the big heart with her name in it flow across her desk in to Stacy's hands.

"Nice of you to join us, Mr. Cullen," she mumbled as she examined the paper—her eyes widening as she glanced over it.

"I have my reasons for attending Stacy," I said slyly, then winking at Bella. Bella was smoldering with anger, and as soon as Stacy was behind us a few rows—she jabbed my in the ribs wither her elbow. Really hard for a girl….

"Ow," I whined in a baby voice. Then Stacy started her lecture.

Bella was glaring at the table, the unknown tendons stretching through her translucent skin. She scribbled something on a piece of paper and pushed it to my desk.

'What is your PROBLEM?!?' She demanded. I smiled.

'Leave me alone!!!!!! :P' I wrote back.

"Is there something you'd like to share on that piece of paper, Miss Swan?" Oh no, she was going to get in trouble. She probably deserved it for ruining my fun—but I couldn't let the new girl to take the blame. I'm at least that much of a gentleman.

"Sorry, Stacy—I've been giving Bella hard time. As you can tell," I handed her the piece of paper. "Bella demanded that I should leave her alone." She nodded as she read the paper, and then glared at me. "I know the drill, don't worry." I waved her off, and she sighed and returned to her droning lecture.

After class, Bella turned to me innocently. The crease in her eyebrows conveyed the highest level of incredulity.

"I don't…understand." She looked down, her cheeks flowing red.

"I'm not as evil as I may seem. Besides, what is one more detention that I'm going to skip anyways going to do to me?" She looked up to me. I answered for her, "Nothing." I picked up my books, and walked out of the classroom—not regretting my courtesy to Bella, but regretting every uncontrollable thought I had of her afterwards.

"Dude, you seen the new girl? She is smokin'!" Ray yelled as he leaned against his worn down mustang. He saw me approaching, and waved his hand. "You seen her?"

"Yes," I said curly. He made a sizzling sound, 'ssssssss' and I felt my fist tighten at my side. He shouldn't be talking about her like that—total animal. But I had to deal with his not so subtle immaturity to get what I needed.

"You got it?" he asked quieter now, the other guys—Ernie, Jack, and Pat—silent and hesitant. I nodded as I pulled a wad of cash from my pocket. I slid the cash into his hand as he handed me my addictive little package. I sighed as I stuck it in my pocket.

"See ya', Ray." I climbed into my car and ditched. For the first time, I felt guilty for my most recent drug purchase. And the only factor of my life that had changed was the knowledge of Bella existing. This was defiantly going to be a problem.