Well guys… this is it. The epilogue. No song quote this time. I really hope you like it.
A Million More Mistakes- Epilogue
1 YEAR LATER
I stared at the little stick in my hand. How often had these little things played a huge part in my life? Too often was probably the answer.
"Bella?" Alice called through the door.
"Just a minute!" I called back, silently begging the test to hurry up.
"Are you nervous?"
"What do you think?" I almost yelled. Was I nervous? What a stupid question!
"Hurry up, Bells!" she said impatiently. "We're nearly ready for you!"
But, this time, I couldn't reply. Because the results were there… and it was positive. I bit down hard on my lip to stop the tears from coming; Alice would probably murder me if I messed up the make up she had spent so long applying now.
"Bella?" she shouted again, opening the door now and rapping on the cubicle door. "Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yes, Ali," I sighed. I wrapped the test in a tissue and threw it in the sanitary bin before flushing the toilet. Then, I ripped off one more piece of tissue and tucked it in my bra. I came out and went to the sink to wash my hands.
"What on Earth were you doing in there?" Alice demanded, exasperated. "Not having cold feet are you?"
"No!" I exclaimed. "No, of course not." I looked up from the sink into the mirror, and then I gasped. I hadn't yet seen Alice's work of art and that it certainly was. Some of my dark hair had been curled and elaborately pinned in a gorgeous style under the thin white material that was pinned to my head. My make-up had been applied fantastically and I looked… beautiful. Stunning. Incredible.
"Wow, Alice," I murmured, awed.
"Told you I could make you look incredible," she said smugly. "But it helps when you have gorgeous raw material." She grinned at me.
I rolled my eyes. "Thanks Ali."
"It was my pleasure. Besides, we've been waiting for this day for a long time."
"Bella?" another voice yelled through the door.
Alice laughed. "She's coming Charlie."
I bit my lip. "Alice I'm scared," I admitted.
"Of what?" she scoffed. "Bella, this is Edward out there. We're talking smitten."
I laughed, but there was a slightly hysterical edge to the sound.
"Relax," Alice said. "This is the best day of your life."
I nodded and headed for the exit, holding my skirts up so that they didn't trail along the dirty floor. Charlie smiled at me when I came out of the bathroom, and I could see him tearing up.
"My little girl's getting married," he murmured softly.
"Dad!" I groaned.
"They're ready when you are Bells," he told me.
"I just have one more thing I have to do," I said, going to the back of the church and picking up a pen that lay conveniently on a desk. I pulled the tissue out of my bra and held it still while I wrote two words on it: It's positive. I smiled to myself and scrunched the tissue up into a tiny ball, hiding it in my clenched fist. Then, I went back to my Dad's side and rested my arm on top of his own that was held out.
"You look beautiful, Bells," he whispered. "I'm so proud of you."
I started to tear up. "Thanks."
"I'm back!" Rose came into view, carrying a stunning little girl on her hip. She wore a blue dress and had blue flowers in her golden hair, just like Rose and Alice.
"I don't believe this!" I joked. "I'm going to be upstaged by my own bridesmaids!"
"Not possible, Bells." Rose smiled.
"Be-la!" Chelsea beamed at me, holding out her chubby little arms. I laughed but didn't hug her, scared that my beloved dress would get mucky before the ceremony.
"Jasper's just coming with Lola and Daniel," Rose informed Alice, who smiled and went back the way Rose had just come to meet Jasper and the twins. The four of them were back in what seemed like seconds. Not one to take the easy way out, Alice had fought with both of her six month old children this morning, managing to stuff Lola into a tiny blue dress and Daniel into a blue suit to match Jasper and Emmett.
Edward and I had decided that I should have everyone as bridesmaids and pageboys except for Emmett, who would be Edward's best man and, even though some people had been doubtful about our choice to enlist Chelsea, Lola and Daniel as part of the ceremony, I couldn't imagine it any other way. This was supposed to be the best day of our lives and it would only be special if we were surrounded by the people we loved.
"Come on then, Bells," Charlie said. "Let's get this show on the road." He left me for a second to go and tap lightly on the door. Someone on the other side must have done something, because I heard the shuffly noise of everyone getting to their feet and Alice, Rose and Jasper took their places behind me.
I took a deep breath and then the doors opened. Charlie led me through the doors and I blushed, naturally, as everyone turned to watch me walk slowly down the aisle.
I looked away from the staring people and at the end of the aisle where I saw not just Edward, Carlisle and Emmett, but one more person as well.
Rather than taking the post as head bridesmaid as we had offered her, Natty had begged to be ring-bearer instead and we decided to let her. She had also chosen her own dress, not wanting to be the same as the bridesmaids, so we let her wear the cream frilly dress she had picked out herself as long as she wore blue flowers in her long and more bronze than ever hair.
Now her big green eyes sparkled at me from Edward's side and she smiled, showing off her perfect white teeth. I smiled back, a tear escaping. But I didn't really care. It was my wedding day; I was allowed to cry.
I moved my eyes from Natty up to Edward's astounded face. He was staring at me like… like we were the only two people on Earth. We had been through so much together in the last year, but our forever and always stayed strong through everything: through Natty's slow but sure recovery; through telling everyone about the miscarriage; through trying, and failing so many times, for another baby; through going to court and telling the jury of how Tanya had treated both her own and our child; and through everything else that had happened this year. He had always been there for me and vice versa. It was an unspoken promise we had made each other.
The walk down the aisle was torturously slow – surely it hadn't taken this long in the rehearsal? – but eventually we got to the front and Charlie very deliberately took my hand and placed it in Edward's. I smiled at Natty before looking into Edward's eyes and subtly dropping the message into it. He looked down and took a deep breath.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…" the priest started and Edward uncurled the message just as subtly as I had dropped it into his palm.
"…to witness the joining of Isabella Marie Swan and Edward Anthony Cullen in holy matrimony."
Edward's face lit up and he beamed at me, his eyes shining. I smiled right back.
"…in as much as you have expressed a desire to be united in marriage I am going to ask you to take a vow." He turned to Edward. "Do you, Mr Edward Anthony Cullen, take your bride to be your lawfully wedded wife and do you promise, before these witnesses, to love her, to comfort her, to honour and keep her in sickness and in health and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her as long as you both shall live?"
"I do." Edward's smile didn't falter as his words rang around the church, loud and true.
"And could you now make your chosen vow before God and before man."
Edward nodded and looked directly at me, his eyes still sparkling with happiness from the news I had just given him in the most un-glamorous way possible. "Bella, I love you more than the world and everything in it. We have been through a lot together and I loved you through all of that and will continue to love you for the rest of forever. I will never stop loving you. I will care for you, honour and protect you. I lay down my life for you, my best friend and my only ever true love. Today, I give you me. Forever and always." He stared into my eyes throughout the whole speech and I could tell that he meant every single word.
I licked my lips, hoping that I would be able to say it with as much conviction as he did.
The priest turned to me. "And do you, Miss Isabella Marie Swan, take your groom to be your lawfully wedded husband and do you promise, before these witnesses, to love him, to comfort him, to honour and keep him in sickness and in health and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him as long as you both shall live?"
"I do," I said, surprised that my voice didn't shake.
"And could you now make your chosen vow before God and before man."
"Edward, I promise to love you for every single second of forever. My heart has always belonged to you and it always will. No matter what happens, we will always be together. Forever and always." It was short, but it was true and Edward and I both knew that how we felt could never be expressed with words alone.
The audience 'aah'ed and the priest cleared his throat before gesturing Natty forward. She stepped forward, looking adorable holding out the velvet cushions where two golden rings sat.
The priest took mine and held it up. "You will notice that this bring is made in a complete circle without beginning and without end. It is, I trust, symbolic of the endlessness of your love for each other. You will notice that this ring is also made of the purist of metals. It is, I trust, symbolic of the purity of your love for each other. With this ring I thee wed and with all my worldly Gods and with all my love, I thee endow. Amen." And, with that, he passed it to Edward, who slipped it onto my ring finger and then kissed the band of gold. I resisted the wild urge I had to giggle girlishly.
The priest then took the second ring and held it up. "You will notice that this bring is made in a complete circle without beginning and without end. It is, I trust, symbolic of the endlessness of your love for each other. You will notice that this ring is also made of the purist of metals. It is, I trust, symbolic of the purity of your love for each other. With this ring I thee wed and with all my worldly Gods and with all my love, I thee endow. Amen." This one was handed to me and I copied Edward's earlier movements.
"By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife!" the priest exclaimed before smiling kindly at Edward. "You may kiss the bride."
Edward smirked at me and the audience clapped as he pressed his lips to mine and kissed me fervently. This kiss held so much in it. It was putting the past in the past and putting hope in the future, but it also sealed the promise of forever and always. And, it proved that our relationship could withstand anything and everything. Whatever life threw at us, we were ready for and always would be. We were united now and we were strong.
We broke apart and Natty threw herself at us. We laughed and hugged her tight. And, as I looked up at the happy faces of my family and friends, I realised that I was the happiest person alive. I was surrounded by people that loved me, had a gorgeous husband, a beautiful daughter and another baby on the way. I had a feeling that the rest of my life would be just fine.
"I love you," Edward murmured as we started back up the aisle. I felt a little sad because, when we finished walking up the aisle then that would be one part of my life over. But the sadness was insignificant compared to the part of me that was ecstatically happy because here I was starting my new life with Natty… and the man I loved.
I nodded, agreeing with Edward. "Forever and always."
Oh the tears just keep coming even though this isn't remotely sad. So… a very fluffy and semi-perfect ending to the story.
I'm glad that you weren't too upset about Bella losing the baby. I felt that I had to do that because otherwise it wouldn't be at all realistic- there's no way someone would be able to go through that much stress and keep a baby.
You're probably wondering why I just did a time jump of a year and not just do a 'seven years later' thing when the whole gang are all sat in the garden or something with their six million children running round their feet and Natty all dolled up to go on her first date. Well, I didn't do that for the simple reason that I didn't want to. For one thing, it is WAY too cliché in my opinion and, also, Natty has been a small child for the whole story and I don't suddenly want to change that. I thought it would be better to leave it with their wedding and their baby news so that you guys KNOW that they're going to get their happily ever after, rather than actually explaining it in so much description in an incredibly cliché, and rather dull, way.
Okay, now I just want to say a huge, huge, huge thank you to everyone that reviewed/ favourited/ alerted or even just read and enjoyed this story. When I first started writing this, I never imagined that it would get the response it did and you guys have seriously made me so, so happy. Honestly I cannot explain it. But still, thanks for the endless support you have shown me in everything that I've done and (wow this sounds like a speech at a wedding XD) I hope that even though this story is over you will read 'The Hard Way To Learn A Lesson' and any other fics that I write. Seriously, I cannot thank you enough.
I'm not going to do a big list of people who I'd love to thank so much for their kind words because I'd probably be thanking each and every one of you.
Now. I have a favour I want to ask everyone reading this. Please review. The story is finished now. Wouldn't it be great if EVERY SINGLE PERSON reading this left a little review. It doesn't even have to be much. Please, please, PLEASE review :D
Over and out for the last time :'(