I was a freshmen, 14, when I started writing this. I'm about to be a sophomore, 19. I've not learned enough, but I have learned a lot since this whole ordeal began, and one of those things is not to beat a dead horse. This story is a dead horse. I wrote it deeper and deeper into the ground, and it's too far gone to write it back out.
However, LCH was my very first baby. I used to carry a notebook around school with me, writing in it whenever inspiration struck, which was often. The original ideas for this are so far off of what it became (Lilly's name was originally TJ and they lived in a flat in London. The first time Edward saw her was when she broke her ankle falling off the curb and Emmett saved her from getting hit by a car) and in some ways that was a good thing and in more it was not. I can't continue writing this as it is now but, being my first baby, I can't just leave it here in this poor state, either.
It will be a slow process, but this marks a new beginning for these characters and their story. You'll recognize elements from the original... a lot of them. This won't be brand spanking new and because I've lost a lot of inspiration it will still be flawed, but it will be more realistic and more sensible, I hope.
If you choose to stick with me on this journey I thank you and if not I understand.
Please forgive me for my flightiness.
Here we go again.
"Thank you for staying out so late," the woman in front of me smiled as I handed back her book. "I'm sure you'd much rather be headed home with your little girl, but your book meant a lot to me. In fact, it got me through my divorce; even though she's not real, getting to experience the struggle Elizabeth faced as she fought to overcome the devastation of her separation and seeing her come out on top? I know it will take some time but I have faith that I'll be able to do the same."
"Wow, I... I don't know what to say. This was never meant for anyone other than me to see, and hearing that my work has actually done some good? That's incredible. I know you'll be able to get through this," I encouraged.
"And the fact that you made sure you met everybody is just amazing, and very appreciated," she added.
"The fact that you waited in line for so long to meet me is appreciated, Ma'am. Thank you for coming out tonight." She nodded, hugging the book tightly to her chest as she left and finally, finally, the last girl in line stepped forward.
"Hi," she smiled shyly, setting two copies down. "D'you think you could sign them both? My grandmother's a fan, but she doesn't make it out of the house much these days, 'specially for this long and late."
"Of course," I agreed, pulling them both towards me. "What are your names?"
"My name's Taylor, and she's Margaret."
"Here you go, Taylor," I said, finishing with a flourish. "Thank you so much!"
"Oh, thank you! I've been waiting for this practically since it was published!" She smiled gratefully, bouncing in place a little before offering a wave and disappearing.
I sat back with a sigh, leaning against the back of my chair to stretch. What was supposed to be an hour and a half meet and greet of sorts had turned into a four hour ordeal, running long past the stores intended closing time of 9 o'clock. I was a nobody, a twenty-two year old with a fictionalized life story. Who would've thought that this many people would want to stand in a seemingly endless line to get my signature? This is crazy.
"Thank you for your time, Miss Swan," the store manager interrupted my thoughts. "Most can't get out of here quickly enough."
"Yes, well. Most wouldn't know politeness if it bit them on the ass," I quipped, stifling a yawn. "Thank you for having me, and for staying open." I stood up to shake his hand before gathering my purse from underneath my chair.
"Can I call you a cab?" he offered, grabbing the coloring book I'd forgotten on the table as I gathered up my daughter.
"Thank you, but that won't be necessary. We're just down the street." I took the booklet from him, slipping it into my bag as I balanced the dead weight with my other arm, coming to cradle her head in a way that kept her from drooling all over my neck.
I made my way to the front of the store, pausing briefly when I found myself in front of the magazine rack. More and more often his face adorned the covers, that stupid little half smirk shaving off another sliver of my heart each time we came face to face.
Edward Cullen was dominating the interests of the general public, and with the interests of the general public came a domination of cover ops, and an overabundance of my dumb feelings.
"Goin' home, Momma?" Lilly rasped, interrupting my impending mental rage as she rubbed her face into my shoulder.
"Yeah, Baby," I whispered, rubbing her back as I fought the prickling at the back of my eyes. "We're going home." I turned away from the shelves, shoving the door open with my hip.
On the other side of the street I turned, watching as the little poster announcing my visit was removed from the window. With it went my streak of popularity, which was fine by me. I had loved getting to chat with my readers but I was ready for everything to go back to normal; lazy days lounging on the couch, fiddling around on my guitar, helping Lilly with her homework, and teaching my pain in the ass kids. I was ready to be out of the public eye and back to where I was just another nobody from nowhere.
The lights flickered off, leaving a coffee shop on the corner and dim street lamp to illuminate my path, and I turned, making my way back to our hotel and by extension, or so I hoped, back to our lives.