Chapter 1: Encounter
Friday 5:30 am, I was woken up by Alice.
"Its spring cleaning time!" She greeted me at my door, holding an array of cleaning products.
11:00 am, spring cleaning was over. Alice ruined it.
"I can't believe you're making do this!" I yelled across the room as I tried to move the garage bags.
"I am sorry but I'm doing this for your own good Bella!" Alice yelled back, not easily amused by my attitude.
"I just don't understand why you can't just go alone, he's your brother, not mine!" I kept yelling at her from across the room.
"Bella, I know you don't want to see him, but he's been asking for you. I think he misses you," she said quietly now standing behind me. How the heck did she get here so fast?
"Please Bella. You are the only one who can help him. I've tried, but he refuses my help." She kneeled down at the foot of my bed and placed her hand on top of mine.
I don't understand …. What does he want?
"Pretty please, will you have a heart and do this favor for a soon to be mother?' She asked giving me her puppy eyes.
She and Jasper (her husband) were expecting their first baby. She just found out yesterday morning and was already planning her own baby shower. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I was the one in charge of it all. But maybe I can make a deal with her?
"Alice, you've only been pregnant for a week. You have to give me more than that guilt trip. Your little pouting is not going to work this time."
I was not going to give in.
"Fine, I promise that you will not go shopping with me for a week..." she continued as I shook my head, "ok fine two weeks… come on Bella, two weeks without me pestering you. You know you want it." I really did like that deal, better than not doing her baby shower. But, if I took it, I knew what it will do to me later when I see him. It's been to long, almost 9 years. I bet he's still an arrogant bastard. But I need closure too.
"I will do it, if you promise not to dress me up and set me up in all those stupid dates for a month."She reluctantly looked me in the eye, but I could tell I was winning.
"Come on Alice, either way you know what this will do to me."
"Fine, but you also have to listen to what he has to say. Don't walk away from him just listen," She pleaded.
"Alright," I'll let her win this time. I was a bit curious to see what he had to say.
Soon after, Alice grabbed my hand and before I knew it we were headed to Edward's house. At least she managed to let me change clothe. Not that I cared how I looked like to Edward.
Anyways, as we passed several neighborhoods, we reached his. It looked so peaceful and beautiful. I wondered why he chose this place. It didn't fit him at all. The tall trees and the manicured grass looked like a picturesque family setting. Think of Beaver to beaver in the 1950s.
"Bella, please you're going to ruin my interior." Alice spoke trying to remove my hand off her leather seats. I didn't know I was holding that tight.
"Sorry," I mumbled placing my hand in front of me. I was nerves. All this time, I've never asked Alice or her family about Edward nor did I want to know. However, I had always feared this day, the day I would have to confront him and I was not ready.
Alice mentioned to me before dragging me in the car that him and his wife have been living in France all this time and are now divorced. I didn't care where he was or who he married, to me he was dead. He became dead to me right after our high school graduation. I made Alice promise me never to speak to me about her brother again.
"This does not feel right. You have not told me anything Alice. All you've been saying is that Edward needs my help." I said. (I was having second thoughts about this little trip of hers. It felt weird driving up to see him, even though I still kept in touch with the rest of his family. His parents were always wonderful to me and his older brother Emmett became my big brother. We still hanged out every so often, leaving the name Edward behind for my benefit. I guess I'm still very translucent when it came to his name, that's why no one bothered to mention it.)
She was about to give me a response when my cell phone rang. I happily pick up the call, "Hi sweetie, I am with your aunt Alice."
"Mom, when are you going to pick me up?" He asked.
I looked at my watch, it was almost noon. He hated when I didn't pick him up on time. He was a very punctual child. He must get that from his father. But since I'm never on time, he would always call me ahead of time to remain me or make sure I didn't forget.
"In an hour and tell Angie thanks for me." I said.
"Okay mom, love you."
"Love you too." I hanged up the phone and placed back on my pocket.
"Bella, you are right, we need to talk before you see him." She said with a worried expression in her face.
"Alright, go ahead." I can take it.
"Well, it's about Anthony."
"What about my son?" I said defensively. He was the only person who brought joy to my life. He was all I had from my break up with Edward. Well, we weren't technically dating nor did we have an official break up, but I never regretted that night because he gave me a son.
A beautiful son
"I think you should tell Edward about Anthony." She finally said it. I couldn't believe my ears. I knew I shouldn't have told her. But, there was no point in hiding it. He looked just like him, which scared me at first. But it also brought me comfort every time I would look into his green eyes.
"Listen Bella, I think it is time. My family wants –"I cut her off.
"Alice, you all promised me that none of you will bring this up again. So now that he's back you want me to just hand Anthony over and say Edward how are you, I am good, I managed to live without you all this time because I had our son!" I said raising my voice.
"Bella, calm down,"
"I am not going to calm down. For all I know, Anthony's dad died over seas and that's it." I crossed my arms and looked out the window.
"Bella, you don't understand. Edward has cancer." She said looking straight ahead.
"What?" I mumbled. How can that be?
"Bella, he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He found out about it a couple of months ago after his divorce. That's way he's here."
I sat frozen. I was speechless; of all the horrible things I thought about Edward, I never wanted this. This must be my fault; I knew I shouldn't have cursed him so much specially during my delivery.
"Bella…Bella….earth to Bella." Alice waved her hand in front of me.
"Yeah" I said quietly.
"I am kidding." Alice said laughing.
"What! Are you insane, how can you tell me this and then say 'I am kidding' what kind of sick person are you?" I practically scolded her like she was a child.
"Bella calm down. I just want to see your reaction. And apparently you still care for him."
"I hate you. You know you are going to hell right. Turn around I need to go home."
"No, you're still coming with me. And I am not going to hell because there's a good reason for all this" She insisted.
"And what is that?"
"Well, I can't tell you for sure, but I have a feeling this is good. So stop arguing with me and put back your seat belt, we're almost there"
"Oh no I am not going," no way.
"Yes you are."
"No I am not" I tried to take control of the steering wheel, but failed. I still can't believe how strong this little twig was.
"If you don't come with me so help me God I will tell him myself." She threatened me.
"You wouldn't dare."
"Yes I would. Now stop, you know this isn't good for the baby." She said rubbing her belly.
"Fine, I am sorry, but tell me one good reason why you want me to go a see him." I said calmly.
"Because he asked me to bring you and he wants to talk to you Bella."
"What is he going to tell me, that he has cancer too?" I said sarcastically.
"Maybe, I don't know. But he's here to stay and is very excited to see you again."
"Well I am not." I said dryly.
"Bella, tell me one thing. Do you honestly think that he knows how much he hurt you? You didn't even tell him about that night. You just pretend like nothing was wrong. What did you expect when he thinks nothing is wrong between you two?"
"I couldn't say anything to him. He had a life set for himself, and most importantly he never remembered what happened between us, it's like he hit his head before going to bed or something" I said looking about the window.
"Well, Bella, think about it, like you said he did not remember. He still thinks of you as part of the family. We had to keep giving him excuses why you could go with us to France, and why you couldn't make it to his wedding, why you couldn't be there for the birth of his daughter." she said.
"He has a daughter." I whispered. I wanted to cry. I can't believe that he had created a living person with that woman.
"Yes her name is Marie. She is 3 years old. After the divorce Edward managed to get full custody of her. Tanya didn't want to keep her." She said with sadness in her eyes.
"Why wouldn't she want to keep her own daughter?" I could never do that. The idea never crossed my mind when I found out I was pregnant with Anthony.
"Because she's a bitch, and you know it. Not only did she get a quarter of a million dollars in assets, but kept the house in France too just so Edward could have full custody of Marie. She even signed an agreement which states that she'll never have any contact with her as long as the money is there." She said bitterly.
"Wow, poor Marie." I felt sorry for her, how could her own mother not want her.
"Well, you never wanted us to inform you about Edward, so now you know what he has been through." She said.
"Did he really ask for me?" I said curiously, I wasn't sure if this was one of Alice's unexpected 'surprise!' plans.
"Yes. You don't know this, but he'd always want us to inform him about you. He cares for you." She said with a small grin on her face.
I am so confuse, this is too much for me to take.
"I don't understand…. What about the letter?"
"What letter?" Alice asked confused as she parked the car in front of Edward's house.
"The letter I send him after I gave birth to Anthony." I said.
"You wrote to him?"
"Yes, after talking to Esme. She insisted that I write to him, so I did. But I never heard from him, so I figured that he didn't want to be part of Anthony's life." I was so angry. I waited a whole year and nothing. Waiting for the day he would walk through my door and stay with us. But that never happened.
"Bella, I promise, no I swear, Edward never mentioned to us about a letter. He must have never gotten it." She said.
"Well, maybe not, but still…" I didn't know what to think any more, I think I am going to throw up. Breath Bella, you can do this.
"My brother would have come back if he knew he had a son." Alice said calmly.
"I believed that too, but he never showed up."
"Bella, believe me, he would've done the right thing." She said with tears in her eyes.
"Don't cry. I understand life for him was probably ruff. But I don't want anything part of it."
"Bella, please, if you don't come he'll keep pestering us about you. He has been here for over a month and wants to see you. He has not clue you hate him."
"I don't hate him. I just don't want him part of our lives." Not any more.
"Fine, then tell him so, so he can move on." She said as she got out of the car.
"Wait Alice! I can't do this. It's just too much to take in. I mean, I always thought he got the letter. I thought he was a bastard, but now that it seems like he really has no idea about anything. I can't. I need to think" I got out of the car and started to walk to the opposite direction.
I need to get out of here, where can I catch a cab. I know, I'll call Angie, maybe she can pick me up.
I was about to call her when I felt light tap on my shoulder.
"Alice I said no." I wanted to slap her, so I turn around, which was a bad idea since it was not Alice. By mistake I slapped Edward in across his chest.
"Wow, Bella" Edward stood there holding my hand.
I froze, I just keep staring into his deep green eyes. They were so hypnotic. I tried to look further in, to see the answers to my many questions, why couldn't he remember? Did he hit his head before going to bed? Was he so traumatize by our special night that he couldn't remember it?
"Bella" he said breaking my thoughts.
"Are you okay?" He spoke again. How I missed his voice. I wanted to say so much, but I couldn't talk. I stood there frozen in time as he kept getting closer to me. We were now inches away from each other. Then, as I tried to breath, it all went blank.