AN: I found this on my computer and tried to make sense of it, but just wanted to get it out asap. So, bad grammar, bad spelling and lack of... description and mostly just dialogue. I haven't looked at this for two years, even I have forgotten the story. I read some reviews and felt you deserved something, and I'm sorry... two years. But sadly... I can't find the rest of the story I had on my computer and truthfully, I don't think I will finish this story. I'm actually trying to write a fiction story of my own and have been engrossed in those characters.
I know you waited for so long and wanted it to finish but it's been two years, and I don't think I'm the same person who started this story and I feel like that if I finish it, which i couldn't, it wouldn't be written by the same person and lose the 'thing' that you loved about IWYTWM. If I do find those files, I will post them with editing or finishing it. It will just be notes.
I wish I could finish it, but I don't think I could.
I didn't go to school that day. I sat in my room as Charlie told me what happened.
Charlie had taken James to the station and stripped him naked. There were several marks on him. At first, Dad thought they were from a fight or something, but he had seen theses marks before. On child victims. He had asked James who had done this to him, but James spat out crude words at Dad instead.
Dad felt bad for James and wanted to help him and get his father behind bars. I was still upset that Dad brought him, out of all places, here. In my home. Charlie apologised for that. He told me there was a reason James was here. Charlie had taken James to social services and only minutes later they reported him missing. One of the offices found him wandering in the woods. James refused to go back and the other officers refuse to take him in. No one wanted to be responsible for taking the son away from the most powerful lawyer.
"Yeah, and this is your house after all," I said. Dad sighed.
"Bella. I'm sorry, I was just angry. You know that's not what this is. Sure, this house is under my name and yes, I may own the house. But you, Bella, you make this house into a home."
"And you brought you're daughter's rapist here. To the one place I felt safe." The bitterness dripped from my lips
"I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking," he mumbled. Yeah, he wasn't thinking… about me.
"You know how it made me feel, that you cared more about him than me? That James was going to live under our roof." I asked him.
"What did you thing I was going to do, Bella? Have James walk into your room? Did you really expect that?"
I didn't answer and only crossed my arms and averted my eyes from his.
"I didn't sleep last night, and I wasn't going to even if you were here. How do you think I could even sleep with my teenage girl in the same house as her attacker?"
"What were you going to do?" I asked.
"I wanted to discuss with you. Like adults. Maybe have you sleep in my room. Maybe in the attic with the doors locked. And even after than, if it was too much for you, I would have called Sue. She could have come here and I could have taken James to a motel or something. You just didn't let me explain."
It was true, I didn't let him explain. Then again, it happened so suddenly.
"Oh. So… you don't care about him more than me?"
"I'm won't define that with an answer," he grumbled.
"Dignify," I corrected him, trying not to smile.
"Yeah. That word. Bella, you're my daughter. How could you think…"
"I can't live with him Dad. Even if he is having trouble at home, I can't have him in mine."
"I was never asking you." "He was only going to stay here for tonight. I called his sister. She's coming to pick him up."
"You should go to school. The less time you spend here, the better. Hopefully, James will be gone before you come back."
"Where is he going? Sue's?"
"No. With his sister. He's leaving this town. Charges have been made against his father, but he's out of the country."
"Yeah. For good."
"You should have asked me. Or gave me a heads up."
"What do you know… I'm not perfect. I make mistakes too."
"Perfection is over rated. I didn't want perfect. I wanted my Dad. Not Chief Swan."
"I'm sorry. I… didn't… I'm sorry."
"It's okay. I understand."
"No, I get it. He needs your help. He has no family,"
"I wasn't talking about you understanding it. I was talking about you lying that it's okay."
"He has no family. But you're my only family. You're all I got. If you turn your back, I got no one."
James's leaving, Edward. Forever.
I parked Nessie in the driveway, got my backpack and headed to the front door. I was stopped in my path when I saw James Anderson sitting and waiting on the steps, his head down. I shiver went pass my body, I started to feel cold and my throat was dry.
James must have heard my footsteps, because he looked up and sighed.
"Chief Swan isn't here," he mumbled. I looked around and it was true. Dad's cruiser wasn't here. But why was he telling me this?
"Oh," I said like an idiot. Even though it was daylight and I could scream or run to the neighbours, I still felt scared to be alone with him. I don't think I was scared of him, but scared of he represented. Right now, he didn't look like a vicious attacker, than again do they ever? He looked worn out and tired.
"I'm not allowed to be alone with you. You should wait for him. He said he'd be a sec," he muttered. I nodded, standing feets away from him. My eyes wondered and I saw next to him were a gym bag and a suitcase. He's stuff.
"You're leaving?" I asked, still playing with the strap on my backpack. James lifted his head up again and looked at me with a questionable gaze. I pointed to the bags, he turned and figured how I knew he was leaving. He nodded.
"Yeah. My sister's picking me up."
We stayed in front of the house in silence. I was too scared to walk past him and enter. Even if I did, if he followed me in, I was trap. I wasn't going to be one of the girls in those horror films. The silence was aching. I could hear the birds and the leaves rattling. My legs were getting tired, so I decided to sit on the hood of Nessie. When I finally sat down, my eyes gazed themselves to James Anderson.
He was wearing washed out jeans with a pair of designer sneakers. A grey shirt accompanied by a red plaid shirt. His hair was short, not like Edward's that was always dishevelled. His face was pale, stubbles of hair were appearing on his face. Dark circles were coving his eyes.
This James Anderson looked so unlike the one I have known all these years. The one at Seattle, the one at the pool party, the one who made my life hell. Right here, right now, it looked he was the one who's life resembled hell. Why such a contrast? Was it his father's doing?
I too was different from my normal self when Renee came over. I felt like when she was around I lived in a blackhole. In a void. Was he too living in emptiness?
"Yeah, I heard about your Dad," I said softly, however due to the long enduring silence it felt like I shouted those words. I cringed at my own volume. I notice that James shifted. He huddle. His body becoming smaller. Like he was trying to protect himself. It was a slight movement. But I saw it.
"I haven't told anyone, if that's what you're thinking," I blurted out.
He remained motionless and his face held no emotion. I bit the inside of my cheek when I blurted those words. Why was I helping? Why was I protecting him? So what if he had a hard time out home. That doesn't give him the right to force himself on me. It doesn't give him the right to make my days at school a living hell. I didn't understand how could someone who went through all that, hurt another person? And here I am protecting the boy who held the reins of my misery. I should tell people. I should tell everyone that the big bad wolf was just a little stray beaten dog.
"Even though I should. I mean, it's not like you didn't make my life hell," I said bitterly.
"So why didn't you!" he snapped at me. I flinched. All the confidence that I just had vanished. And the memories flooded back.
James encouraging me to drink from the glass. His eyes scaling down my body. My bare legs, my exposed arms and his eyes lingered too long on my chest.
"I want to go home."
"Shh..." he started lowering his head down to the nape of my neck and his hands were all over my body.
"James… What are you… doing?"
I was trying to push him. But he was too strong.
I shivered at the memory and my insides were rolling.
"If I'm such a monster, why didn't you?" James sneered, still sitting on the steps.
Why didn't I? I should have. But why?
"I was thankful to James."
Esme words entered my mind.
"He's such a sweet kid. Than again, I wouldn't be surprised if he had acted out."
"Poor child. His mother died giving birth to him and his father is always out of town. He had a sister, but she's moved out. Kid's all alone."
"Sometimes, I just think he's lonely. I mean, he lives in such a big place with no one. His father is out, his sister lives in another city and his mother is not with us. I think his only connection was Edward and I'm worried that if that was gone, what's left?"
"Because of Esme," I sighed, realising why I didn't extract my revenge. "She sees something in you. She actually… likes you."
She cared for him, like a son.
"She shouldn't," James mumbled, looking at his sneakers.
"She's got a fucking family. She doesn't need a wanna be Cullen," he spat.
Wanna be Cullen? What the hell was that? I gasped when I realised what he just spoke.
"You want to be like Edward?" I asked. "Why?"
James snapped his head up and glared at me.
"Fuck you. What do you want? An Oprah moment?"
I remembered that time when James and his friends making fun of me while I tried to play the piano.
"You know, I actually felt sorry for you," I mumbled to myself. I can't believe I actually felt sorry for him. Thinking maybe we had some weird connection. Parents that abused us, emotionally or physically.
"Did I ask you to be sorry?" He growled, glaring at me. All was forgotten. All the good or even the hint of any humane traits in him.
Forgotten was the time James tripped Tyler when he was about to hit Edward and took no credit. Forgotten was that time when James beat someone for Edward. Forgotten was the little boy Esme new. Forgotten was the son that lost his mother and only received hatred from his father.
"You just a bully!" I yelled as I hopped of Nessie's hood. James frowned and turned his head and did not meet my eyes. That did not stop me.
"It's hard for a person to be even sorry for you. Seriously, I think Esme is the only one that actually likes you. No body else seems too. Not Edward, not Tanya and not even your own Dad. But you know what? That doesn't give you the right to be a jackass," I hissed at him. My breathing came in pants. I made fists with my hands and held them at my side as I walked up the driveway, climbed up the stairs, passed James and walked towards the door to enter into my home.
He wasn't going to stop me from entering my home. I was not scared of him. He was a coward. Only a coward would prey on the weak. I was not scared of a coward. I placed my hand on the door knob and was about to turn it when I voice stopped me. James's voice. It wasn't rough or hard like it usually was. It was quite, weak and soft.
"My father hated me since the day I was born," he breathed. I turned around, finding him looking straight ahead. He continued to speak as I looked at the back of his head.
"He always hated me… because his beloved wife's died giving birth to me. Sometimes I swear he thinks I killed her. Maybe I did. She was my mother and I killed her, you know? I hate myself. My mother died while giving birth to me. My father most of his time out of the house, even out of the country, just so he can avoid me. While my sister is his angel, I'm the devil's spawn. Always trying to ruin his life. He blames me for everything that's wrong in his life. I'm used to it and at a point, I've accepted it," he laughed with no amusement.
I tried to say something, anything. But what do you say when someone tells you this? James turned he head to look at the neighbours yawn. Hiding, I think.
It was true, what I said before. I wasn't scared of him. Not because he was a coward, but because he was so… scared himself. No, scared isn't the right word. Nor is coward. He was... so broken… almost damages. I wasn't scared of this boy. He had his own monsters that haunted him. I walked towards him and sat next to him on the step. He was still facing the other way. The back of his head once again facing me.
"I have grown up with Edward," he said in a soft voice. "I had been there for his Christmases and birthdays. Watched how his parents give him gift and hugs. As I grew up seeing Edward's life, I realise how different we were. My birthday. Hah. My dad would drink his way through the day. I was given a gift for Christmas from Buck's assistant. Gift cards, cash, credit cards. Nothing more. Buck forgot to mention to his new assistant about my Christmas gifts, so that stopped. Buck always found a way to be out of the country during holidays. On my birthdays he'd mope around the house, drunk, and if I came into his view, he'd go on about how I killed his darling wife. Not really happy birthdays," he chuckled darkly.
The silence took over. Again, what do you say? My head was swimming through with emotions and memories. But the biggest question was… who was the real James Anderson?
The boy who made Esme smile. The boy who lost his mother. The boy who never received his father's love and only received hate and revulsion.
Or was he someone totally different? Was he the person that I had known for so long?
The guy who picked on me all my life. The guy who slept with his best friend's girl. The guy who tried to rape me.
And then the question of who was the real James changed and become something I had always wondered. A question that had always stuck with me.
"That night, why did you… do it?" I asked with stuttering words. James turned to look at me. His eyes weren't angry, nor did they hold any emotion.
Empty. A void, a blackhole. The only element that was there to show any sense of humane life was the outer wetness coating.
"I don't even remember that night clearly," he said. "I just remember leading you to the bedroom, you were on the bed. I thought you knew what was going to happen."
"You drugged me!" I exclaimed.
That wasn't the answer I was looking for. The closure I needed. I wanted something more. Something solid.
I hated you. I wanted to make you hurt.
I liked it. It makes me feel good.
I had it planned. It was you. Nothing you could have done would have changed the outcome of the night.
If you hadn't talked to me during Emmett's game, it wouldn't have happened. It was your own choice.
I wanted answers. Not, it just happened. There had to be a reason. Why me?
"I gave you something to loosen up. It worked." He shrugged. I, once again, felt dirty.
"But, why?" I asked. Did I ask for it? Did I somehow stand out and that's why he chose to do that to me.
"I'm sorry. I don't have the answer," he sighed.
If he didn't have the answer who did.
"Are you sorry for not having an answer or for that night?" I asked.
He didn't reply instantly. I was met with silence. After sometime, I didn't expect him to answer. But he did.
"Sorry… for everything. Just… sorry. It's all my fault," he voice cracked and broke as he spoke those words.
I didn't reply instantly. Again, how was I to reply?
It's okay. It's not your fault you tried to rape me. Let's hug and laugh about this sometime.
At least, with his words I know I was not at fault. It seemed like, to him, it wasn't planned. It wasn't something I had control of. Wasn't something I did to make him do that to me. It seemed like all this was his… fault. Like he said, it was his actions, his mistake. Not mine. His actions, his choice, his responsibility. His fault. It was all him.
Than again, there was something that wasn't his fault. That he had no choice in, that were not his own actions and therefore he held no responsibility. There was no fault. It was not his fault.
"Her death is not your fault," I said, suddenly finding the roof of the house across us very interesting. Staring at it. He too was finding the roof fascinating.
"But the way I treated you was." I heard his whisper.
Yes, his actions, the way he treated me throughout the years, yes, he was at fault there. But he didn't kill his Mum. He had no fault there.
We sat there, just thinking and trying to understand the events, not only the ones the happened between us, but also the ones throughout your lives.
We both snapped out of our thoughts and our intense stare on the red roof to find that Dad's cruiser was parked behind mine on the driveway. A lady came on of the passenger's seat. She had blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a business skirt and blazer over her silk white blouse.
"Lucy!" James leaped from his place on the step and headed towards her. His sister, I assumed. I also followed slowly behind him. By the time I reached them, they were caught in an embrace. His face buried in her neck as she caressed the dirty blond hair on his head. I heard a whisper that I was sure was not meant for my ears.
"I'm sorry. We're getting out of this town, okay? I'm here now. I'm sorry for leaving," James's sister whispered in his ear.
Feeling like an intruder of their moment I took a step back and waited awkwardly beside Dad. James broke the embrace as he muttered something about getting his stuff and walked back to the porch to get his gym back and suitcase. I watched him walking back. My gaze broke by a voice.
"Hello." I turned to see James's sister smiling at me. Her skin was clear and her eyes bright.
"Lucy, this is Bella. My daughter." Dad smiled as he put his arms around me. Lucy smiled again, this one wasn't bright. It was heavy and weighted by sadness.
"Thank you for helping him," she said in such a soft voice, it could have been mistaken as a whisper.
"No, I didn't-" My words never finished before she spoke.
"You don't know how much this means to me. After Mum's death, Dad seems to have put all his resentment to James. I should have seen it, but I just thought it was just that. Silent resentment. It was just that, he wasn't always so distant. He loved me and Mum so much, we were so happy when he found out he was going to have a son. I took care of him until I left for college. I feel so selfish. Maybe if I stayed he wouldn't have… I was too busy to come and see them. God!" Lucy covered her mouth with her hand as her bright eyes turned glassy. A diamond ring was shinning off her finger. Dad dropped his arm from me and went to comfort Lucy.
"It's not your fault," he said as he patted her back. She didn't look at him, instead her eyes bore into mine.
"He's okay, right?" The words pleaded from her mouth.
"I-" Her sigh cut me off.
"You know I feel better knowing he has friends here. You know, that were here for him when I wasn't. That helped him through this," she sniffed as she wiped her tears just in time as James was walking towards us.
The person she was talking about wasn't me. I felt like a fraud. Taking the credit for something I had nothing to do with. I didn't feel guilty of not helping James, no. I could never help James. It wasn't that. It was making someone thing I did. That is what I felt sick about.
"I'll be off now. Thank you Chief Swan," James muttered the last bit looking down at his feet.
"Its okay, Anderson. You take care now. Don't get yourself in trouble now." Dad was about to pat James's back, than opted on shaking his hand.
"Yes, sir." James's nodded as he shook Dad's hand. I dreaded the moment they stopped. Because then it would be my tune to say goodbye. And I don't know what to say. What do you say to you're attempted abused rapist. See you on the flip side? I think not. The hand shake stopped and James turned towards me. He opened his mouth and… it was just open. I looked at his eyes which were looking behind me. Surprised.
"Cullen? What are you doing here?" Dad grumbled. I quickly turned to see Edward walking up my drive way, his hand in his pockets. His face stern and his lips in a straight line. Showing no emotion at all.
"I need to speak with you," Edward said, looking straight at James. Like no one was there beside them two.
"Edward, James's can't-"
"No. It's okay." James and Edward both ignored Dad's words as they walked back into the house. Leaving the rest of us outside.
We were left outside, just waiting. Dad, Lucy and me. I didn't know which was worst. The moment I had to think of a way to say goodbye to James, or waiting to hear screams and shouts of violence coming from my house. I was scared Edward would do something to James… or vice versa.
A while later they came out, not laughing but not yelling either. Just… calm.
"So, we're going to keep in contact?" Edward said softly.
"Yeah, when I deal with my shit," James mumbled.
"Language, Jamie!" gasped Lucy.
"Yeah, Jamie," Edward chuckled. And then suddenly the tension was gone and it seemed like two friends, saying goodye.
"Shut up," James chuckled and lightly shoved Edward. Lucy yelled some more about not pushing people. It wasn't a dominating yell, more of a nurturing yell. Like when you mum tells you to take your umbrella because it's going to rain, and when you come home all wet… she yells.
Then again, maybe I'm wrong. What would I know about nurturing mothers? Lucy then moved her attention to Edward. Being like a mother and telling him how she still remembered him running about her backyard. I watched Edward and Lucy interact and for the first time, saw Edward blush. Before I realised, James was next to me, looking at them.
"Bella, I just wanted to say that I am truly sorry. For everything. And maybe someday, if we meet again, it would be water under a bridge," he said softly. I spoke without my eyes leaving the scene before me.
"About your Dad-"
"No, Bella I don't-" His voice filled with pain.
"Listen. Trust me, I know what it's like to have a incompetent parent. The way my mother doesn't have control of who I am or what I become, your father doesn't control you. You know, that saying, don't judge a book by its cover. I guess, we both learnt something from that. But what I'm trying to say it, don't let him tell you what your book's cover should look like." Finally, I turned my head to see his. He looked on, the pain painted on his face. My words didn't get through to him, yet I tried one more time.
"Don't become the label that your father has put on you."
His expression, become light. The lines on his face rested as he turned his face looked at me.
"Thank you, Bella." He smiled, I nodded back and we watched as Lucy was getting ready to go, saying her byes to Dad and Edward. Now. Now was my turn to say bye to James. Again, what do I say to the boy who called me names, who tortured me, the boy he abused me, the boy who was abused, the boy who I still had not forgiven or forgotten his torments.
"He shouldn't have hurt you, James," I said. What happened to him, was not his fault. He shouldn't continue to live like this, thinking it was all his fault.
"No, he shouldn't have," he replied in the same tone. Affirmation.
"But you shouldn't have hurt me in return." What he did to me was his fault. No matter what happened to him, I shouldn't have been an object if his anger and resentment. An object of his torture, like he had been to his father. Two wrongs don't make a right.
"No, I shouldn't have." And those were the last words I spoke to James Anderson as he left Forks. The Anderson siblings drove out of my driveway and down the street as we waved goodbye. I was left standing there thinking of what and whom was I saying goodbye to.
My fake-boyfriend's best friend?
My almost rapist?
An abused child?
No. None of the above. I wasn't saying goodbye to a person, or a label. I was waving goodbye to a series of memories
Weeks had past since James's departure. Rumours spread through the school of what happened to James. None were true. My favourite one was that Edward had banished James. Like that could actually ever happen. I did not feel sad or happy by James's departure from Forks. Through we somewhat made up, I still wasn't 'over' on what happened that night. Maybe time will heal these wounds and I will be able to forgive and forget. I wasn't going to forgive him anytime soon, all I could really do is try to forget.
On a lazy Saturday afternoon Leah, Seth and I were called to kitchen by Dad and Sue. While Leah, Seth and I sat around the table the adults stood. You could cut the tension with a knife.
"So Dad, what's up? Why the whole family meeting?" I said, trying to break the silence. Dad jumped, realising we were still in the room. As if he was lost in his own thoughts.
"That's what we wanted to talk to you about. Family. It's important," he stuttered. Sue followed him in his nervous babble.
"Yes. Family is very important. And aren't we are family. I mean I understand that I may not be you biological mother and Charlie might to me your biological father, but don't you think we are still a family."
"Yeah, it's like the modern Brady Bunch. Except less corny," Lead said in a monotone voice. Sue and Charlie kept fidgeting.
"Sue. I think you higher than my own mother," I said truthfully. Sue's movements stopped and she looked up at me sadly.
"Bella, I never want to take her place-"
"There isn't a place to take. You just filled the gaps." I smiled.
"I like you too, Charlie!" Seth slipped in.
"Thanks Seth," Dad chuckled.
"Yeah, I mean Mum could have done worse," Leah muttered.
"Thanks, I think?" said Charlie.
"So, you were saying… family?" I encouraged them to continue talking. What was this all about? Sue's eyes snapped up to me as she fidgeted with her fingers.
"Yes, family is very important. I, I mean we, were just wondering how you feel about us. As a family. Do you think we're a family or is this just forced on you? Because we would never want that," she stuttered.
"What is going on? Is someone dying?" Leah asked annoyed.
"We love you. All of you, you know that right. Nothing is going to change that."
"We do want you to be involved in the process," Charlie added.
"Oh my God. You are going to die," squealed Seth.
"No!" Both Sue and Charlie shouted.
"Then what the heck is going on! Just spill it! Rip it off like a band-aid. Don't look back. Just rip it out. Don't even warn us-" I shouted annoyed with the speech that they had borrowed from some corny family.
"I'm pregnant." Sue cut me of.
I don't know what was written on my face, but if Seth and Leah's were an example, then I looked like one of the clowns at the carnival where you throw you ball in there mouths. I sat there on my couch with my jaw dropped. None of us could think of words as we sat in the silent room, Sue and Charlie waiting for a reaction. I was loss on words. Words could not cover this situation. Leah found a way around words.
"O. M. F. G." she said.
I guess spending all that time with Alice has rubbed off on Leah. The whole room was silent again and the tension was suffocating me. Not in a teenage drama queen way – 'it's no fair making me compete with a new baby. I want the attention'. It's more like 'eww… I just realised my father has a more productive sex life then me'. Thinking about Sue being pregnant with my future brother or sister made me actually image how my sibling may have been conceived. EW!
I shot up from my sit, staring at Sue and Charlie with my wide shocked eyes. Like a poor dear caught in headlights. I turned and began walking out the door.
"Bella. Where are you going?" I heard Dad call out.
Where was I going? And then I remembered where my destination was for such an occurrence.
"I'm going… to join the circus," I repeated my words from the conversation Leah and I had when thinking about the mere idea of our parents… doing it.
"Right behind you," Leah also echoed her words as she leaped from the couch and followed after. As we head out Seth finally spoke.
"So… what are intensions with my mother?"
We didn't hear Charlie's response as we shut the front door and headed towards Nessie.
"You know what this means?" Leah asked as she moved to the passenger's side.
"That my Dad gets more action then I do?" I said dryly as I opened my door. Leah sat in her seat and spoke.
"No. I don't believe that. If I believe that my Mum is still… doing… that. I'll go crazy. I'm just going to believe that they got an IVF." I nodded my head, agreeing.
The car was quite until I started the engine. Leah shivered in her seat before she continued commenting on the scaring that we had just experienced.
"Ever have one of those moments that no shower, no matter the duration nor the temperature, can ever erase?"
"I'm leaning toward trauma-induced amnesia myself," I said in a matter of fact as I backed out of the driveway.
We parked Nessie at the beach and walked towards the cliffs. It was then I realised that Leah and I haven't been hanging out as mush as we used to, even if that too was little. It was always Jake and I… and Leah. But right now it was just us two. I was happy at with that. Leah and I both took our shoes off and started to climb the cliff to get to the top. As I climbed the cliff, I remembered coming here with Edward. I smiled at that thought.
Leah and I sat on the edge of the cliff, watching the waves crash against the rocks.
"So… you're mother is knocked up with my father's kid. What does that make us? Sisters?" I giggled.
"We were always sisters," she said as she looked out at the horizon. Her words shocked me.
"Really? I always thought you kind of hated me or at least thought I was annoying." I thought back to the moments we did spend together. Always nagging me and getting angry at me. But all that time she never thought of me as annoying. I smiled.
"You are," she said. My smile drop and I frowned. "I've always been hard on you cos I can see apart of me in you."
I turned my head and looked at her. She told be once before that she saw the younger her in me and wanted to protect that aspect of me.
"I don't want you to end up like me. Bitter and resentful."
"I know," I said. Leah sighed, still didn't looked at me.
"I don't want to be like this anymore."
"Time heals all wounds." I shrugged and then cringed realising that I used such a cheesy line.
"Yeah. But, I'm tried of waiting."
"Waiting? For what?"
Laughed with out humour. "To be healed."
"I've been thinking. Both your parents failed at their first relationships and they're not… like me. There not bitter or angry. They did not wallow in their own grief and pull everyone else down."
"Your father didn't leave your mother for her cousin. It's different," I said.
"Sam didn't leave me with a family to look after either."
"What are you trying to say, Leah? What are you tired of waiting for?"
"I heard this story when I was younger when I was with Sam and the others around the bon fire. I never really understood it. Never needed to. There was a huge flood in a village. One man said to everyone as they evacuated, "I'll stay! God will save me!"
The flood got higher and a boat came, and the man in it said "Get in!" "No" replied the man. "God will save me!"
The flood got very high now and the man had to stand on the roof of his house. A helicopter soon came and the man offered him help. 'No, God will save me!' he said.
Eventually the man drowned. He got by the gates of heaven and he said to God, 'Why didn't you save me?'
God replied, 'For goodness sake! I sent a boat and a helicopter. What more do you want!'" Leah chuckled to herself.
"What are you trying to say Leah?"
"Do you think I'm like him?" she whispered. Like the man in the story?
"Waiting for Sam to come take me back?"
"I don't get it."
"I'm waiting for love to save me from the waves of pain. I keep telling my safe that he will come. He'll come back. I'm too busy waiting for him, I don't see the boat or the helicopter."
I gasped at the revelation and the baring of Leah's soul. I never knew she was still hurting, this much.
"Maybe I'm missing all my opportunities by waiting on the roof. Maybe I should just jump in the boat." She didn't look at me, only straight ahead.
"You know what I think that story is trying to say."
"While we wait for something to rescue us we miss opportunities to help ourselves. We wait to be rescued, but life isn't like that. If we want things to be different, we have to do something ourselves," I said.
"I don't want to wait for something that isn't going to happen. I should move on. I should stop swimming in my own self-pity and grasp new opportunities. But I can't."
"What's stopping you?"
"You know… self-esteem." Lead waved her hand.
"Leah, you're the most confident person I know. You don't fall under peer pressure and you don't back down from you beliefs."
"Beliefs. Ha. That's the thing. I'm scared. Terrified. If I stop believing in 'God to save me', what's left? I have nothing."
"How about the life boat?" I asked.
"There are no life boats."
"How about Paul?" I smiled.
"Paul?" Leah turned and asked me quizzically.
"He had feelings for you, Leah."
"No. He doesn't. Why would he? I'm just damaged goods in his eyes."
"No. He doesn't feel anything real for me. It just fun and games. I get that, he likes to piss me off. Don't try to make me find something that isn't there," she said bitterly.
"God's giving you a life boat, Leah. Don't refuse it."
Love is giving you Paul, Leah. Don't reject him. That was what I was really trying to say.
"Bella?" She finally spoke.
"God's giving you a helicopter, Bella. Realise that it can save you. Don't wait around for a miracle or a magic trick. Take what is real. Jump on."
I have no idea what she was talking about. What helicopter? Leah gave me a sly smile and looked back at the sunset.
"Nothing," she sang.
We came back from the beach in the evening and Sue took Seth and Leah home. Dad stood awkwardly in front of my bedroom door as I laid in my bed.
"Well, at least the teen isn't pregnant," I shrugged causing him to chuckle. "Maybe someone needs to have the talk. Dad, when a woman and man love each other very much."
"Eww… stop it," Dad groaned as he plugged his fingers in his ears. We laughed. Dad sighed as he stepped closer and sat on my bed.
"So… Sue told me to talk about you feelings and emotions. You know, pregnancy of you father's second child to another woman. Hard core emotional stuff."
"Dad, I would have been a more emotional reck if it was my father's second child to same woman. Sue's cool. Way out of your league."
"I want to ask you something," he said seriously.
"No. You can't turn my room into the baby's nursery."
"Bella… I wan to ask your permission to marry Sue."
"And if I said no," I said with no humour in my voice. Dad took a deep breath and nodded.
"It's your choice," he said. I shook my head.
"It shouldn't be Dad. It doesn't matter what I think about the person your in love with. As long as you love and she makes you happy."
He smiled, "She does."
"So… do I have you blessings?" He asked sheepishly again.
"Do you need them?" I quirked my brow.
I groaned at my father missing what I had just said. "Dad, I just said-"
"I love her. I do. But I love you too. It hurts me to even think that I could cause you pain. I want nothing more than to protect you. I could never hurt you. And since the Anderson thing I feel like I'm not even thinking about your feelings-"
"Dad. I forgave you. It's okay." I cut him off, he was being silly.
"No it isn't. You wouldn't do that to me. You wouldn't hurt me, would you?"
"Not intentionally. And you didn't hurt me, not intentionally." We shared a smiling, coming to a new understanding and becoming closer than we were before. My smile transfer into a sly grin. "You could make it up to me"
"Yeah?" He asked suspiciously.
"Be nice to Edward," I said, waiting for him to argue with me again on this matter. Was it so hard for my father to be nice to my fake boyfriend.
"Of course." Dad nodded.
"Really?" I gasped in shock. Dad looked into my eyes.
"He was there when I wasn't and you seem very fond of him."
I was glad that the JB Project was working so well, that even dad believed it.
"But I'm still going to act like a crazy shot gun father. I like making him squirm. It's so fun." He smiled.
"Dad," I groaned.
"Oh and if he touches you-"
"Oh like that way you touched Leah's Mum and are now having a shot gun wedding. Yes Dad, please tell me about protection. Seems like you know so much about being responsible," I said sweetly.
"You're never going to let me forget this, are you?" He squirmed.
"No. I like making you squirm. It's so fun," I giggled. Dad looked at me, like I was the only thing in the world.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you too, Daddy."
Charlie had proposed to Sue the next day, after asking Seth and Leah. You know how proposals are supposed to be sweet and cute. This was. And that's why Leah and I hated it. Seth obviously loved Charlie's idea.
We all got up at five in the morning and each held up a signs outside of Sue's bedroom window. Dad, being the young hunk he is, brought a boom box, which was a thousand years old. Dad started throwing pebbles outside on Sue's window. Sue opened the curtains as she tied her robe on.
"Charlie? What are you doing-"
Sue was cut off as Charlie placed his finger against his lip and tilted his head to us kids as he used the other finger to press the play button. The music started and Leah and I rolled your eyes.
Dad stayed up all night writing and rewriting a proposal. He would end up ripping it. He wasn't a man of words. I knew that. He knew that. I told him that. And that's why he decided to propose without saying one word. Leah was first to reveal what was behind her first sign.
How you can speak
Right to my heart
Without saying a word,
You can light up the dark
Seth was second to reveal his.
Then it was my turn as I turned the sign over.
We all dropped you signs when Sue finished reading and revealed the second line.
Try as I may
I could never explain
What I hear when
You don't say a thing
We dropped your cards and went to the next sentence.
All day long
I can hear people
Talking out loud
But when you hold me near
You drown out the crowd
Try as they may
They can never define
What's been said
Heart and mine
The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There's a truth
In your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You'll catch me
Wherever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all
Sue didn't say yes. No. She didn't have to. She smiled through her hand which covered her mouth as tears came down her face and nodded like a crazy person. Charlie cheered and ran upstairs to his future wife. Seth jumped and Leah pretended to be indifferent, but I saw the small smile on her face. I sighed as I realised what happened in front of me. Seth came behind me and hugged me, pulling Leah in as well.
It was then I realised… I had a family.
No words were spoken, yet everything was said.
The wedding preparations were on full blast. It was after all a shot gun wedding. We planned on a small friends and family event at the church and then a small reception at Quil's pub.
The wedding was going to take place on the 1st of October. I was the best man, Leah was the maid of honour and Seth was the ring barrier. Everything happened so quickly, the wedding was planned within a week and to be held this weekend.
"I swear to God there's something in this town's water," Lead muttered as she looked at Rosalie who was too busy munching down her fries… along with Emmett's.
I had just told them about Charlie getting married as we ate lunch in the cafeteria.
"Yay! A wedding! I love weddings," Alice squeal. My face went pale as I realise that Alice thought she was going. I didn't know what to say. It's not like we didn't want her there. It was a small wedding. Thankfully, Jasper stepped in.
"Alice, we already have plans… remember." He smiled. Alice twirled her hair around her finger, bitting her lip.
"Vicky's party," Jasper answer. Alice eye brightened.
"Oh yeah." Suddenly her face fell. "Sorry, Bella," she said. I smiled and said it was okay.
"I can't believe the wedding is on the same day as Vicky's party. What a bummer," she huffed. Just then, Edward walked towards your table, coming from soccer practise.
"Wedding? What wedding?" Edward asked. He looked over at Emmett and Rose and his eyes widen.
"Fuck! You two getting married?"
Emmett and Rose popped up on there chairs and looked familiar to dears in headlights.
"What? No. We're not getting married. That's absurd," Emmett squealed in shock, as if the statement was spoken by a mad man.
Rosalie turned her gaze from Edward to Emmett, her eyes softening.
"You think marry me is absurd?" She asked softly, the hurt present in her voice.
Emmett turned to Rose, hearing the same hurt I had.
"Sweetie, I didn't mean… you don't want to… do you?" He stuttered, his gaze intense on her. The rest of the members of the table fell into an awkward silence as they shifted in there seat.
Rosalie broke her gaze from Emmett as she cleared her throat and paid great attention to her fries.
"No. Of course not. I'm… we're too young," she muttered as she stuffed her face with fries.
"Chief Swan is getting married to Leah's Mum," Alice said quickly to Edward, trying to change the subject as soon as possible.
Edward turned to me, raising his brow as if to say 'really'. I rolled my eyes as to say 'yes, you idiot'.
Leah explained the whole ordeal with the wedding. As she explained I remembered what Sue had told me. We were planning the wedding, Leah was the maid of honour and I was the best wo-man. Dad was writing the invites when Sue spoke up. She asked me if Edward was coming. Dad grumbled and was about to speak when Sue told him…
"He's her boyfriend, Charlie. You can't not invite him like you did on her birthday. Didn't you see how upset she was the whole day. It is obvious that he means a lot to her and by the way he looks at her like she means a lot to him. Why else would he be willing to put up with you."
Because of the JB project, I had thought to myself.
Dad had sighed and accepted it, knowing what Edward had down with the whole James's situation. Dad had written Edward as my plus one.
"Umm… Edward?" I could feel my whole mouth going dry. Edward turned his head as he chewed on his food.
"Yeah?" He spoke after he swallowed.
"I thought maybe… if you want to… as friends," I stuttered.
"Friends? Please, everyone here knows about the janitor's closet." Rosalie rolled her eyes. I could feel my blush coming as everyone else tried to hide there smiles.
"Yeah, Cutie Pie," Edward chuckled as he nudged me under the table, reminding me to go on with the plan. I smiled… it wasn't real.
It was moments like theses.
See there were some times were the JB plan didn't even feel like work. It flowed and I felt like I didn't have to try to be Edward's girlfriend.
Times like when we're walking down the halls, or when we're in biology… or when he's teaching me the piano.
And then… times like these were I feel like I have to put up a show. I feel… well… like a clown. Like have to paint my face white and put a huge red smile on my face.
I could just here the calliope playing in as Clown Bella took a pie in her face that was thrown by Ring Master Edward as Jake and Tanya, along with the rest of Forks, watched in amusement.
"So… Baby, you want to be my plus one to Charlie's wedding?" I had to stop myself from to cringing as I called him 'Baby'. When I was walking down the halls, or in biology or even on the piano with him, I never cringed at calling him that, even though he wasn't my baby. To me, the non-clown Bella, the Bella with the messy pony tail and glasses, he was Edbot.
"Hey!" Alice pouted, bringing me out of my thoughts. "How come Edward can go and not me? Why can't I be the plus one? I love weddings!"
"Allie, Vicky's party," Jasper said as he patted her hand.
"What about Vicky's party?" Edward, turned his head away from me, ignoring my question, and looked at Jasper with quirked brows.
"Chief Swan's wedding is on the same Saturday as Vicktoberfest," Alice grumbled.
"Umm… Edward, you wanna be my date?" I asked, trying not to squeal or blush as I said the last part out. Edward turned to look at me. And that look. His words, couldn't have crushed me the way those eyes did.
You know that look.
I've seen before in my life. Renee used to give it to me when she was on the phone and I wanted to show her a picture I painted. I've seen it before. Jessica Stanley gave it to me in third grade when I asked if I could sit with her. I've seen it before.
It was the look that made me small. That told me 'are you kidding, you think I would give you the time of day'.
"Bella, its Vicky's party. We can't not go." He talked to me as if I was a moron. Like it was crazy of me to even ask him.
I could fell the cream pie sliding down Clown Bella's face. No. I am not Clown Bella. I'm not New Bella or Old Bella. I am Bella Swan, Chief Swan's daughter. I'm a daughter.
"It's my Dad's wedding. I'm the best man," I said sternly.
"Women!" Alice chirped in and then hid back into her chair when I gave her a stern look.
I would feel bad, and I would apologise to her. But not now.
"So you're not going to Vicky's party?" Edward asked in a stern voice.
"Hmm… let me think… ah… NO!" I snapped.
Suddenly tables next to us stop chattering.
"Bella, I thought we were on the same page," Edward said through clenched teeth. I knew what he was talking about. The JB Project.
"Yeah, cos skipping on my Dad's wedding is so what I planned on."
"What? It's not like it's his first wedding," he spat. I heard gasps. I didn't know who they belong to and I didn't care.
After that, I wanted to come up with something as insulting and hurtful. Instead, my comeback was childish.
"Oh… go wear a dress!" I shouted pathetically, stood up and stormed out.
I don't know where I was storming off to, it seemed like a good plan. They do it in the movies. But then, usually the scene cuts. In reality, the bell rings and you need to go to class. I was at my locker taking out my text book when Edward appeared. The storming did help and I was less... aggressive.
"We need to go to Vicky's party. They will be there. The plan, Bella," He said.
I pretended like it didn't matter that he wasn't apologising for what he said, or for rejecting to be my date. He was Edbot and I was... the Freak.
"I can't go. It's my Dad's wedding, Edward." I don't know what I wanted him to say. But I knew the next words weren't it.
"Look, just because you're not coming doesn't mean I can't work on the plan myself. Maybe that's what the plan needs. One on one time."
"You're not coming to the wedding with me?" I asked and hated how it sounded to my own ears.
"What? As your date?" Edward asked like I was speaking another language.
"It would fit the plan." Yes. The plan. JB Project.
"Yeah, but what's the point. No on that cares is going to be there." He shrugged.
"It's my Dad's wedding. He will be there."
"Like your Dad cares if I am at his wedding or not. Most likely, he doesn't want me there," he scoffed.
Just when I asked Dad to be nice to him, he turned into Mr. President.
"Then he would have a reason to not like you. If you don't come with me to the wedding. It's important to me Edward."
"And this is important to me. It's Vicky's party. I have never missed it," said Mr. President. And it felt like nothing had changed, and it would never change.
"God forbid you miss on Vicky's party," I replaced simple aggressiveness with passive and spat the words at him, passive aggressively. He knew that and sighed, as if he was talking to a child. He checked his watch and I looked around, noticing that everyone was headed to their class and the halls were almost empty.
"I don't have time for this. I'm going to Vicky's party. You can do whatever you want," he said and walked away.
"Trouble in paradise?" I heard Vicky snicker as she walked past. I didn't even look at her as I was too captveted looking at Edward's disappearing figure. Walking by himself and without me, even though we both had biology next. How was it that we both had the same destination, yet different paths? And why did it hurt me that he wasn't by my side as I walked to biology by myself?
AN: I'm sorry for leaving on such as sad note. If you want to finish the series yourself, please do because I would love to see it finish, even if it wasn't me (yes I'm talking to you imtherealeffindeal or anyone who wanted to)
Ending note: Remember, just because i left on a sad ending doesn't mean these two are meant for eachother. Bella/Edward are the OTP.