Okay so here it is... the next part to the story If a Tree Falls. This is very different in that I had no idea what If a Tree Falls would become, but with this I really wanted to start it well and keep it consistent. The characters are the same people, don't worry about that - Bella is still as feisty if not a little damaged!! Let me know what you think of this first chapter - am I making a mistake with the style? Can't wait to hear from ALL of you! Do review, it only takes a minute and it helps so much! If you have it play The Blowers Daughter for this chapter... it is what I imagine Edward is feeling... Lyrics from it start the chapter.
I really hope this works!
The Forest for the Trees
And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her sky
The sound of the tarmac under my feet and the cries of gulls in the distance were the best part of my morning run. I loved the seafront here in San Diego. The bike path running along the silver strand and across the harbor to Imperial beach was perfect for just getting into it. A clean run, no stops or awkward corners. In the early morning before the world woke, and just as the sun hit the horizon I would head out into the cool morning air.
By the time I rounded Coronado Island the sky would be bright and the city would be waking up. I loved the mill and buzz around me as I sprinted along with people starting their day and the feeling of freedom as I ran between them. The newspaper vendor would tip his forehead as I ran by every morning, the road sweepers would yell a "Morning!". It was my routine and theirs. I belonged.
It was over a year since I had fled Forks and headed for the West Coast. My best friend, from boarding school, Jasper had just started in the University of San Diego and his parents were footing the bill for a waterfront apartment Downtown. Two bedrooms, great living with a fucking huge terrace. I landed on my feet with my choice of friends, the rent he asked of me consisted of a few beers now and then and a promise to play wingman on his girl hunts. Not that he found many girls he liked, Jazz was picky as hell. He liked them small and pale - something rare in San Diego.
"I just don't get this tanning bullshit Edward - they all look the same" He would say, after extracating himself from yet another enthusiastic girl at a college bar, "Fucking huge tits, orange faces and blonde blonde blonde, there's more variety in a fucking rubber doll catalogue" He'd fling his arms above his head in despair.
"Where is my pixie goddess?" He would shout from the terrace, each time he came home empty handed. His ideal woman would be a cross between Tinkerbell and Winona Ryder, a poster of the later which he had recently put up in the bathroom. That made me feel fucking ill if I thought about it too much. Before that I had almost considered introducing him to my sister Alice who was pale and dark, if she wasn't such a little bitch. Not that Jazz wouldn't like that, he liked them 'feisty'. "I like 'em slappy" He would say. Sometimes I wished I could see inside Jaspers head. I reckoned it would be a chocolate factory of naked pale women and some fucking insane logic. Still it might give me more insight into how his brain worked.
My run took me along a cycle path by the beach and just where they meet I would head across onto the wet sand. It was a hard run but one I needed to do every morning, to push myself. This was a recent thing in my life, pushing myself. Before I had moved to San Diego I had been way too fond of the easy life. Pushing myself was not something I had known how to do. Not in school, nor in my life. It had made me completely fucking miserable, bullied by all three of my siblings and my parents. I had rebelled in the loudest way I could back then, almost to prove I was not affected by it. With the things that had mattered though, I had just been fucking walked over. I had been such a fucking pussy, a complete asshole.
And I had lost one of the best things I'd ever had, because of that. In San Diego I was putting in the hours to ensure that would never happen again.
I'd had a girlfriend the last few months in Forks, and really that was what spiraled everything and ended with me moving to live with Jasper. That one relationship had pretty much destroyed the old me, but like the proverbial phoenix I had risen stronger than before. Losing my girlfriend through my own foolishness was the one big regret of my life. Through my inability to stand up to the pack of bullies that were my family, I had lost the only person who actually ever seemed to give a shit if I was happy. Not only that but I'd lost her to another guy, Jacob Black. His family and mine had never got on particulary well, and so it was a massive kick in the face when my girlfriend chose him over me. Not that I blamed her, he was the better man. At least he was.
There was only one thing to do now. I needed to head back home and take back what was rightfully mine. The one thing I knew that without my life meant nothing at all.
Hitting the Coronado Cays Boulevard my legs relaxed, after the soft sand the pavement was a relief. I loved this last stretch of my run. Green grass on either side and palm trees which still gave me that holiday feeling even though I was here over a year.
Eventually I came to the tennis courts where Jazz stood leaning against his car, racket spinning on his palm and lazily chewing gum. He looked like something from a sports catalogue, all decked out in tennis gear from head to toe. Even down to a white sweatband that pushed his curly hair up so he looked like a fucking pineapple.
"You look like a dork" I said, grabbing my racket from the back seat and heading in through the gate. I wasn't as out of breath as I would normally be and so I looked across the boulevard, already calculating a longer way around for tomorrow.
"Morning Eddie baby!" Jasper sang in a falsetto voice, "ready to get your ass kicked?" He waggled his eyebrows.
I laughed out loud, it was always the same routine. Jasper, with all the gear and the best tennis racket money could buy, was a hopeless player. I'd slaughter him, as I always did and then we'd go for coffee. Jasper didn't need to run, this daily tennis match with me kept him fit. That and the amount of dancing the guy did at weekends. I didn't want to be just fit though, I wanted to be at the top of my game at all times. I didn't know how it would go down when I got back to Forks. Back to get Bella. I had always figured I might have to fight Jacob Black, and if it came to it, if thats what it took then I would.
The tennis match went as it always did, we got a rally going and then I took the game up a notch and won. Jasper would blame his new shoes, his racket, the net - whatever. We'd hop into his car and head back downtown to our favorite coffee place, Cream on park Boulevard, for our breakfast.
Jasper would at some stage go to college, he'd have some nerd to pay for assignments and whatnot. I would head home to work on some project or to the studios to record.
I'd had quite a lucky break not long after arriving in San Diego. Playing piano for some local ballet schools was bringing in money, and I was able to live quite comfortably on that but it wasn't doing my soul much good. Not to get sappy about it, but I had made such a huge break from everything and then to be listening to instructions from thousand year old ballet teachers, it just was a bit draining.
Then serendipitously a friend of Jaspers, from college, was looking for someone to play piano for some project he had going. Jasper said I'd do it, and over about a month me and this guy worked on a musical score for a short movie he had to do for his college assignment. The movie was great, a 3 minute love story and he was told to send it in to the Film out festival. He did and he fucking won. I rode on his coat tails all the way through the awards and since that the jobs just rolled in. They don't pay much, short films never have much to play with but I'm doing something I love. That, now, is all that matters.
My father attempted a few times to put what I did down but I knocked that clear out of the water before he even finished the sentence. He wanted me to do medicine since Emmett's first IQ test put him out of the running. I had never fancied it, but running away to San Diego changed everything. Before I would stumble through the conversation, pretty much agreeing that the best thing for me was to follow in his footsteps.
Now it was as simple as to say No.
I often lay in bed, a lump in my fucking throat, thinking of how easy it would have been to just say that in the first place, all along. I would look around my room and imagine Bella Swan in it. That sexy little smile of hers, the sparkle in her chocolate brown eyes. I cursed myself daily for letting that girl slip through my fingers. Sometimes the regret just took me over and it actually hurt. Especially in the night, when I would lie awake for hours listening to Jasper snoring through the walls.
I'd remember Bella and the way she would wrap her body around mine, at any opportunity. The girl had really fucking loved me and I had just fucking let that go. For the sake of some easy life I had thought was possible. As if anyone would have peace living with Rose Cullen.
As for that bitch, we rarely talked. She had never really apologized and anytime I saw her, which was rare, she would still start some nag going. My mother said it was Roses way of telling me she loved me.
My mother was an idiot if she really believed that.
Sitting outside Cream with Jasper, as he wolfed down two cheese croissants with all the mastery of a hippo, I enjoyed the sounds of the city. The sun was hitting the back of my neck and I thought to myself, "I'll miss this".
I turned to Jasper, who was blowing bubbles into his frappacino with his straw.
"Hey Jazz, buddy" I said knocking on the table to get his attention.
He looked up expectantly, "Yes my love?" The guy cheered me up just by being alive.
"How do you fancy heading to my home town for a bit? When college breaks up."
He beamed, "What are the girls like there?" He asked, pulling his sunglasses from his brow and onto his nose, jiggling them with his fingers.
"Pale" I said calmly leaning back into my chair and stretching my hands behind my head, "Very, very pale"