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A/N: Sorry if anyone received a chapter alert from me earlier. I uploaded the wrong document and updated with an AN and not the chaper. Long story.
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Song rec: Hanging By A Moment by Lifehouse
CHAPTER 10: DECISIONS AND ILLUSIONS
Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
Forgetting all I'm lacking
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now...
-Hanging By A Moment by Lifehouse
Ever had one of those moments where because of the emotional impact of words, your world as you know it comes to a complete standstill? The earth stops spinning and your breathing stops. You want to suck in air but you can't. You feel helpless and afraid. You are forced to remain suspended in that moment and know, in a sixth sense way, that the outcomes of it will haunt you forever.
Yeah, me neither. Until now.
I was living my very own nightmare.
It was a drawn out, stilted pause as we were all shocked into a bewildered silence.
But, I wouldn't let myself believe.
Edward's words... I couldn't comprehend his words. It all seemed like garbled nonsense to me. It was probably some subconscious technique my mind decided to play. Ignorance truly is bliss.
Seconds ticked on, minutes could have passed; hours, days, years. I couldn't place an accurate estimation of time. Time failed to exist for me now. Though, it did feel like I was stuck in some twisted dream, where everything moved in slow motion and everything felt like eternities had passed.
It was all silent... until Alice broke it.
By broke, I mean she literally broke. Her sanity threshold was had hit its limit. She broke and so did my eardrums.
Screeching and blubbering, she still managed to protest, "What? They can't just do this to us! Eleazar's like a second father to us but we can always just visit him. We can't just be uprooted. School just started. It's senior year. What about Jazzy?" Her rant was interrupted by an onset of hysterical hiccups.
After roughly ten seconds, she calmed very marginally and persevered, "What about Bella? Who will dress her? She'll be a walking disaster without me." I was about to roll my eyes before her innocuous little comment set something off in me.
Everything sunk in and I froze, only hearing their voices as white noise.
They were leaving. Edward was leaving.
It was all I could think of.
No matter how awful of a friend it made me, I couldn't think of Alice. She was nothing compared to Edward. He was my life, my heart, my soul. He always had been. Even if we'd both never outright acknowledged it. What a waste of time all those years were...
And Edward and I were so new as a couple. Married couples sometimes couldn't do the long distance relationship, so how would we survive the distance? I could handle not seeing Alice for a year.
Don't panic, Bella. Don't panic. Don't be selfish.
I came back to the real world and the very real conversation that was taking place. But, now I was merely an observer and not a participant, as I watched the scene unfold.
"We can't move there. We just can't." Alice seemed to be repeating the words in some sort of trance.
Seeing his sister breaking down, absolutely hysterical, Edward intervened before Alice could jump out the window or something as irrational.
"Al, this is a misunderstanding. Seriously! Just shut up for a sec' and let me talk. They're not going to force us to go to New York City. I promise. You're not going anywhere!"
It didn't escape my notice that he only referred to Alice, in relation to the not going anywhere but, and not himself in particular.
Wary and broken, knowing that at any second my thumping heart might just thump right out of my chest, I listened on.
There was no point, I just had that feeling in my gut. Nothing good could come of this.
Edward continued, "Eleazar's better, Al. He went through treatment and is on the road to recovery. The Denali family has had a stressful last few months, and you know mom. She and Carlisle both want to go up there to support them. They figure they'll stay there a year anyway. It's a good career opportunity. Dad is going to oversee Eleazar's recovery and do a work-placement switch for a year. Mom will hopefully get to pick up new clients while up there. The Upper East and West side are high profile," Edward teased towards the end.
No one was laughing. Not even him. None of us could even muster a smile.
"So? That doesn't change anything. Oh my god, my life is in shambles..." Alice's melodramatic tendencies were really starting to get on my nerves.
I snapped at her, "Shut it, Al! Let him talk."
Her eyes darted to me, confused, before she seemingly accepted my reprimand and bowed her head, an indication for her brother to continue explaining. She probably wrote my behaviour off as stress over the situation. It was so much more than that, though.
Edward barely managed to shoot me an appreciative, sad smile; it was one that I couldn't return, before turning back to Alice.
"Obviously mom and dad both want us there. But, they know how attached you are to Jas and our friends. They know you're in a relationship and so they especially don't want to force your hand. They know how much I love everyone here too. They don't want to force my hand either. Not going with them is essentially no different to our situation now, as we're at boarding school and don't see them anyway. But, you know how mom is. When there is a real barrier stopping her from seeing her children, it's awful. Besides, going to New York for high school is an opportunity that they want to give to us, regardless. They know I'm obviously more liable to agree. They don't want to rush me and they're letting me make my own decision, but I need to let them know by tonight. They're leaving in two days. It was kind of a last minute thing as they just found out."
I zoned out after Edward said that.
I spent my time trying to contemplate life without my reason for existence.
Later, when I felt someone nudging my shoulder, I looked up into the face of Edward. I briefly noticed that the room had emptied out.
He looked torn and he couldn't stop running his hands through his hair and tugging at the roots. It was a nervous habit of his.
I cleared my throat before asking the dreaded question. It was dubbed a dreaded question due to the possibility of the answer breaking my heart.
"What are you deciding, Edward?"
"I don't know. I think have to go think about it. I'm leaning towards one side but it's a big decision. I shouldn't rush into anything, y'know?"
I attempted a smile, but it probably came out as more of a grimace, before telling him to take all the time he needed. He dashed out of the room before I could add to my offer.
I was alone. Jasper had Alice. But Edward was more than likely leaving.
I knew what Edward and I had was real, and what had happened an hour earlier in his bedroom was reality. We both felt it and we always would.
There was no use in denying that simple truth.
Except it wasn't simple anymore.
Our original group had always planned to go to New York City together for college next year. It was our long-time field dream. Except, it was only a field dream for me. I would attend Cornell, Jasper at NYU, Alice at Parson's and Edward at Juilliard. Our plans were set. We wouldn't be split up.
We also later found out that both Rose and Em wanted NYU for first choice.
But now... this was such a good opportunity for Edward. Juilliard had been scouting him since he was nine and watching his recitals since he hit his teens. He was a piano-playing prodigy. They wanted to snatch him up all for themselves. He had a guaranteed place at the school, obviously. If he went to New York, he could start college early, during the summer.
Or at the very least, he could do music workshops while he was there. He could be up there with his parents and acclimatize to the new city. High schools in New York had great opportunities for bright minds like Edward that tiny, insignificant Forks couldn't offer.
I was panicking. If I didn't get into Cornell with a scholarship, then what would happen? It was okay for Edward. He was guaranteed a spot. Everyone else's college choices weren't dependent upon scholarships. It wasn't that Charlie was poor but the school's with the best writing programs often cost a fortune. Even the ones that didn't... Charlie was a police officer. You don't get paid a fortune for that and Renee and Charlie, loving as they are, never thought to set up a college savings account. I did some part-time work at one of the local diner's in Seattle for a while but that money was small and went towards my own everyday spending. I'd chosen not to worry about college at the time. Putting it off and saying I'd deal with it when the time came. Instead, I worked hard at school. I studied my arse off for my grades so when the time came, colleges wouldn't have to give me a second glance. I'd be in with the first look.
Even if I didn't get in to Cornell with a scholarship, I could always go to another school, but I would still need a scholarship. I had always put off the thought that our original group may not make it to the "Big Apple" together. I was always good at avoidance and I'd just let myself forget about it, 'til it was absolutely necessary. But now my time was up and I had to risk it. It was the only way.
God, life was so unfair.
No breaking down. No emotion. I sealed my heart off from my mind for the time being and set forth to do what I needed to do, after giving myself a little pep talk.
Don't think of what'll happen after right now. Do what you have to do and then you can... but, later.
I had to do the right thing, by the man I loved.
With love as guidance and only a shattered heart remaining, and only that alone, I knew what I had to do.
My two choices sat there taunting me and I knew either way it would determine my future. How could I choose?
Think Cullen. What did Alice and Esme say?
Oh yeah. Follow your heart.
As cheesy as it sounded, it was true, and instantly I knew my decision.
I was such a dumb arse. There never was a decision to make. I just had to stop worrying about others and think about what I really wanted.
There was a fork in the road. Quite ironic considering the town was called Forks... but anyway, there was a fork, which meant two choices and two outcomes which would be consequence of the choices.
I started walking back to Bella's room. She would be there. Either way, ever since finding out from Tanya and Esme, I always knew my decision would be painful. One party would be hurt and I knew which lot that was now, thanks to Alice and Esme's wise advice.
I was absolute. I would not be one of those people who looked back on life and regretted it. It was like that guy we had been studying in Philosophy. His name was John M. Richardson Jr. He once said "When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." I didn't want to be that third kind of person. That one that wondered what happened. Or what could've happened. I would not be plagued with "what if's" when I was grey. That wouldn't be me.
No regrets. I had to do what I wanted. For me. I had to start now or I never would.
My decision was what I wanted and it wasn't to please other people. For the first time in my life, I was going to do something for me. I couldn't let other people's desires dictate my life's course. Or else I'd end up alone, with no love or passion to speak of.
Alice was right. I was too selfless. Maybe I had some sort of good Samaritan type of complex.
Rounding the corner of the hall I was in, I realized she would be devastated. I felt bad but I was following my heart and then in and of itself entailed breaking a few, I guess.
Following your heart. That's what it came down to in the end.
Two choices, two different futures.
The two roads? They were doors to two different places. Passages to two different lives.
Door one, in an alternate universe, with another person, would have been the ideal choice.
But, it wasn't an alternate universe nor with someone else. It was me and it was my life. I couldn't be that person.
But, door two?
Door two held what I knew, from the bottom of my heart and soul, was my future and where I wanted to be.
And with that I just knew. I knew my heart and therefore when I closed my eyes to imagine, I could see my future, and so I stormed forth. What I saw there in my future, behind my eyelids, was lying and waiting behind one of the doors. I just had to tell the necessary people and I'd be where I always wanted to be. I was sure in my decision, but I was also wary. I had no doubts or anything of the sort, but I had this unsettled feeling, almost like I could feel it was the calm before the storm.
I was walking towards and coming closer to creating, what was sure to be a storm of epic proportions, with every step, by delivering the news of where my future lay.
I just had to tell Bella now.
Currently, my choice was decided. There was a heart to break and I knew who I'd be inflicting that upon.
"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."
-William Allen White
A/N: If you didn't read the top: THIS STORY IS GOING ON A HIATUS!
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