A/N: Thanks you for those of you who have chosen to read this little story. I am so happy to share!
I hope you enjoy this new story, this one is based on several ideas I had and as I was plotting it out several songs on my iTunes matched the situation so most of the chapters will be named for songs. Now I have very eclectic tastes in music so hopefully you will find something you like from my list. I have found so many new songs and artists through many other stories so I hope you enjoy what I have picked out. And please feel free to share any songs that you feel fit as well.
Thanks to Project Team Beta, this thing was a disaster without them. They make me look good! Ok...I don't know if I look good but the story has a lot less errors because of them, so many thanks!
I have so many extras on my profile to go along with the story, so head on over and check out the fun stuff. Go on, go look at it.
Playlist for this chapter:Life is Okay-Michael Johns w/ Brooke White, I Wish You The Best-Emerson Hart, Too Far Gone-Sam Bradley(just 'cause I could listen to this song on a loop for days on end!),A Falling Through-Ray LaMontange, In God's Hands-Nelly Furtado w/ Keith Urban, Boston(Live)-Augustana,Not Meant to Be- Theory of a Deadman, Seperate Ways-Journey('cause the effing rule and the song really applies)
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or anything associated with Twilight. Actually I do own several copies of the books, but you know what I mean. I don't own any of the songs in this story either. I do wish that I did own all of them because I love them all, so one day we might be able to work out a little trade. But until then, not mine at all. I would share with everyone if I did own any of this:)
Now on with the show….
Life Is Okay
Life is Okay
I remember skies of blue
There was always someone who never knew
Life is Okay
I think about those days gone by
Where there was nothing but you and I
Life is Okay
Michael Johns featuring Brooke White- Life is Okay
Chapter 1- I Wish the Best for You
How long can we wait here
To say goodbye
The words, once they're spoken
Are words that we can't take
Back to where we were before
Things got in the way
Life gets so confusing
When you know what you're losing
You, Me, why can't we see
That there's more to love than we'll ever know
Sometimes you're closer when you're letting go
I wish the best for you
I wish the best for you
Emerson Hart-I Wish the Best for You
I unlocked my door, entered the apartment, and tossed the keys on the table. I sighed. I knew I was avoiding the subject I needed to concentrate on. He would be home in four days and I needed to make my decision. I was glad I was finished with finals and could concentrate only on this-this was big, major and needed my undivided attention.
After getting a beer from the refrigerator, I headed to my computer to check my email and look over my bank account. When I opened iTunes, I knew I was stalling. I was desperately searching for something else to occupy my mind.
I quickly thought about the next two weeks. I had so much to do during that time. I needed to finalize things at school and then prepare to start work in the real world. I wasn't sure how time had flown by so quickly. I was done with college and thanks to my favorite professor, I now had a real job. The salary wasn't too bad and there was plenty of room for advancement. So, all in all, I was sitting pretty.
Then there was my love life. I had been "in love" for almost six years-the last two years of high school and then all through college. This included the big step of moving in together during my sophomore year of college. Charlie wasn't happy about the new situation, but he didn't put up too much of a fuss. After all, Charlie had known him for many years and really liked him. Maybe that was why I stayed so long. Everyone assumed we would end up together, so I allowed it to happen.
In high school, our entire group of friends started pairing up, and we were the only two left. It was easy and comfortable, so I stayed. Except now I knew I wanted more. The more I watched Alice and Jasper, or even Emmett and Rosalie, the more I knew that what we had was not love. It was friends with benefits, at least on my end. Don't get me wrong, he treated me as a gentleman should, but I didn't think that was what I wanted. I wanted a true, deep, blinding love-the kind where I couldn't breathe when he left the room, one that would let me know withhout a doubt that I was with my soul mate. I didn't have that now.
I sat in the dark apartment drinking beer and asking myself what could be the worst that could happen? I would be fine on my own. I had a good job, great friends…I would be fine. With that thought, I picked up my cell and called Alice.
"Bella, I was just about to call you. Are you ok? I didn't like the look on your face when you left lunch. Are you still worrying about this decision?"
"Yes, I just don't want to hurt anyone. I know that he deserves someone who will love him with all of her heart and I can't say that I do. Also, what about our group? I don't want you guys to be stuck in the middle and having to choose sides. I mean you are all friends with him as well. I don't want this to be awkward. I just think it is time for me to move on and give him the chance to do the same. All those years of watching my mom move from guy to guy has showed me that I want something more than that. I love him, but I just don't think he is my soul mate. Lately, he seems more distant, so maybe it is what he wants also. Who the hell knows with him? He isn't one to share his feelings." Alice, I knew, would see my side and support me on this decision. She always did.
"Bella, you are my girl, and you always will be. It will be awkward for a while, but we are all adults so we can deal. I promise that all of us will be behind you, and it will be fine. Do what you need to do." I breathed a small sigh, knowing that I was going to be ok. No matter how this ended up, I had Alice.
"Well, see, the one problem I can't figure out is a big one, and see, well… that is where I need your help." I hesitated, hating to use Alice or her connections, but she had a way of making things happen like no one else I knew.
"Spit it out, Bella. What do you need?" She loved it when I was in these types of situations, she knew I needed her help.
"Well, this is his apartment and I can't very well break up with him and ask him to move out. So that leaves me out on the street. And that, my dear, is where you come in. I need you to help me find a new place, and cheap is the only requirement. So can you help?" I bit my fingernail, knowing this might be a problem for Alice.
"Bella, of course, you silly girl. I will make a few calls and see what I can come up with. I'll let you know. Are you going to meet us tomorrow for drinks?" If only I could bottle her never-ending optimism and energy, we'd both be multi-billionaires.
"Yeah, I will, but not for long. I need to start packing; I would like to have it done before he comes back into town, which you know will make things easier for us both. That means I will need the apartment soon also. Do you think that will be a problem?" I could hear Jasper in the background calling for Alice.
"Nah, I know enough people. Don't you worry your pretty little head. You do need to find a little money in your budget for shopping. I can't give up shopping with you, Bella, I just can't." I groaned. No one liked shopping as much as Alice. I was sure that my closets would be ok if my budget required me to cut back a little on the shopping trips.
"Alice, you know I don't really like to shop, right? So I am sorry if my singleness causes you to have to shop with someone else, but I am ok with that." She snorted and clicked her tongue at me as if she was scolding a small child. I laughed at her.
"Bella, you wound me. Got to go! Jasper is here." I could hear Jasper kissing her and she snickered.
"Bye, Alice, see you tomorrow." I was in no mood to hear the two of them make out, especially right now, given the state of my love life. I sat down on the ottoman and tried to tell myself life was okay. I said it about twenty times, but I was not sure even I bought it completely.
I was glad Alice was in Seattle with me, but on days like this, I was glad she went to art school and not the traditional route all the rest of us took. I wasn't sure I could take the pixie 24/7.
The office was the room that had the least amount of stuff. So I decided to start there. I knew I needed to get a head start on packing if I was going out tomorrow night. I was done with the office in about 40 minutes. I went into the bedroom and started packing up my books. I knew that would take some time, as a lit. major, I had a lot of books. I never went anywhere without my books so packing them made this decision seem real and final.
By ten, I was tired and out of boxes, so I headed to bed. I knew he would call soon for our nightly talk. I should just tell him. I could be packed and gone by the time he returned. But I couldn't do that to him. I loved him, while not enough to marry him, I did love him, and telling him over the phone was out of the question.
As I was stepping out of the shower, I heard my cell ring. I wrapped myself in a towel and headed for the bed to grab it.
"Hello." I knew who was calling, but I couldn't greet him in my usual manner.
"Well, hello beautiful. How was your day?" he asked softly in the phone. I could tell this was a tough day for him, he sounded tired.
"Fine, how did your meeting go?" I couldn't stop my heart from feeling like I had not done enough to make this work for us. I shook off the thought that was not going to help me stay resolved about the decision I had already made.
"Oh, well, you know it was just ok. Nah, just kidding. I rocked and totally looked like a superstar."
"Well, aren't we just a little sure of ourselves?" I giggled, amazed at how fast we could fall into our routine with each other.
"Yeah, probably, but the meeting did go well. So what is it like to finally be out of school?" I could hear him getting ready to climb into bed.
"Well, sort of boring. I am so used to the schedule and being busy. I think it will help when I start working. Then I will be busy, so I won't have to think about not being busy."
"When do you start?" His was voice full of excitement. He was happy that I was happy. That killed me, knowing that he was a great man and I was going to break his heart.
"I start in two weeks, so I have plenty of time to get settled. I am kind of excited. I have waited for this job for so long, and now I am finally an adult and working. I feel like my life is finally starting." I almost mentioned my new apartment, but that would start the discussion that I wanted to have in person, so I hoped that I covered the mess up.
"I know, Bella. I am so proud of you. Uhmm, I have to go. I won't be able to call you tomorrow, so I will call you before I get on the plane. Sleep well, sweet Bella."
"Same to you. I will talk to you on Thursday. Call and let me know if your flight is delayed so I will know when to pick you up."
"Ok, love you."
"Love you, too"
I hung up, no longer tired. How could I continue this deception for three more days? I felt like I was being cruel. I laid there for several hours trying to find reasons to stay. No reasons popped into my head. So I got up and started to sort through more stuff to pack.
I must have fallen asleep on the couch because that was where I woke up. After I changed and grabbed some coffee, I stopped to get more boxes to continue packing what wouldn't fit.
As I was leaving the building, my cell rang. It was playing Alice's ringtone. I fished it out of my bag and answered it.
"Hello." Even at this hour, the pixie was full of energy. I swear she was either a vampire that never slept, or she had a trick up her sleeve that gave her vast amounts of constant energy.
"Bella, are you sitting down?" she asked, jumping on the other end of the phone.
"Why do I need to be sitting? What have you done? Now you are scaring me."
"What you asked me to do. I found the perfect building for you. It was once a girl's home, and it has four bedrooms upstairs, each with its own bathroom. There's a formal dining room, living room, study, and a huge kitchen downstairs. You are so going to love it. What do you think?" her voice rising in octaves the longer she spoke. The last sentence was spoken so that only dogs could hear her.
"Well, who would be my roommates, and how far from work is it? Most importantly, how much is this great place?" I wanted to be carried away with excitement, but I was scared that this was a trick and I was not going to be able to find a place for myself.
"The rent will be split between two couples and yourself, and work is about 20 minutes away. I think you will like your roommates. Do you want to meet them and see the place?"
"What are you doing right now?"
"I am just grabbing coffee and some more boxes."
"Ok, I will be there in 10 minutes. Wait out front for me, and, Bella, have a mocha latte for me. Ok?"
"Sure, Alice, my real estate guru. Anything for you." If Alice had truly pulled this off, I would hand deliver her a mocha latte everyday for the rest of her life.
True to her word, she was out front in 10 minutes. And true to mine, I had a latte for her. I hopped in and handed her the coffee.
"Alright let's get this show on the road. Let's see your magical place." I must have sounded skeptical because she scoffed at me and made this phlegm noise in the back of her throat.
"Bella, don't make fun. I worked real hard to find this for you, might I add." She pouted, and I felt guilty for not even saying thanks for her hard work.
"I was only calling it magical because you seemed to pull it out of thin air. I promise I really appreciate this. I am not making fun of you or the place. If I like it, when can I move in?" I said the last part with some enthusiasm.
"That's the great part. Today." She was bouncing in her seat.
"Well, that would suit my moving schedule." I was stunned that this really seemed to be working out for me. Maybe this was a sign that I was doing the right thing.
"Bella, I wanted to talk to you about that. Are you sure you want to tell him as soon as he gets back in town? And then he is going to go home and see that you have already moved out. Are you sure that is wise?" She voiced the concern that I knew she had been holding back for a few days now. I was glad to get this out in the open so I could convince her and myself that this was the best way-again.
"Yes, for my peace of mind that is exactly what I should do. I have made up my mind and I don't want to waste any time feeling guilty. I am doing this for me. How often have you told me to worry about me and not everyone else's feelings? Well, I am finally taking your advice."
"Ok, you are right. Do what you need to do and I will be there for you."
And then we turned into the driveway. It reminded me of the Cullen's driveway back in Forks. It was a long tree-lined drive, and it opened up to the most beautiful clearing. It had a large open lawn, plenty of space to entertain and enjoy. Off to the far side was a beautiful flower garden area. The previous renters must have been flower people; it was overflowing with all colors and sizes of flowers. And right in the middle was a large two-and-a-half story Victorian-style house. It had a large porch that wrapped around on the right side of the house and beautiful stained glass windows. On the left side of the house, there was a circular room, very reminiscent of a turret on a castle. I was sure that Esme would know the exact term for this room, but I had no idea what it was called. I assumed this was the study area that Alice was talking about. The house was painted a beautiful moss green and had a brown roof as well as brown accents. It blended with the wooded landscape perfectly. All of the rooms had several large picture windows, which made it so easy to enjoy the view.
All in all, it seemed perfect; I couldn't believe that I could live here. I was waiting for the problem to present itself. With my luck, anything this good had to come with a huge problem.
Alice was beaming as she pulled in front of the large garage added to the back of the house. She looked like the cat that ate the canary. I knew she was keeping something from me, but I knew not to ask; she would reveal her secret in due time.
She led me around to the front of the house and opened the door. She stepped aside and waited for me to enter. I was taken aback by the beautiful wooden staircase and accents. This truly was a dream come true. I was taking it just for the woodwork alone; I didn't care what my room looked like.
Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper stepped out of the room on the left and joined us in the foyer. I was surprised to see them all, and quickly offered my hello. I moved to hug Carlisle and Esme; I didn't know they were in town visiting. It had been at least two years since I had seen either of them.
Carlisle started talking first. "Bella, why don't you join us in the dining room and we can talk first. Is that ok?"
"Of course," I replied, confused as hell.
They all immediately started towards the back of the house, so I followed. I was not sure why they seemed to know where the dining room was. Maybe Alice came and did a preview before she called me about the place.
They all took a seat at the table and I followed, Carlisle took the seat at the head. I looked from person to person seated at the table, hoping someone would tell me what was going on. I focused on Emmett. He was unable to keep a secret, so I was hoping he would crack and tell me what was going on. He didn't. He did smile at me with a look of anticipation. Now I was confused.
Carlisle cleared his throat and I turned to look at him. He began speaking before I could question him.
"Bella, Alice found this place for you to stay. What do you think?" Carlisle was almost as important to me as my father was. I often went to him for advice and help. He and Esme both treated me like I was their child.
"I think I died and went to heaven. It is beautiful. I am waiting for all of the details. I am sure there will be a deal breaker, so I am waiting before I get excited about living here." I laid it out on the table, still unsure why I was in a Cullen family meeting with them about my new apartment.
Carlisle began in his soothing voice. "Well, I can tell you that there will not be a deal breaker. Alice came to me about four months ago and we talked about trying to find a place for everyone to live, now that you are all finished with college. We all agreed that a large house made more sense than several smaller ones. So we have been on the hunt for a house like this for a while. I purchased this house for all of them. Now that Alice informs me of your situation, I think that the best solution is for you to stay here with them as well. We agreed that the rent and all of the utilities would be split evenly. I am thinking that we can split it six ways and each person will pay their share. That makes it affordable for all of you to live in a nice place, as well as safe for the girls. That is most important for me." He turned to meet all of our eyes before he continued. "I do like that all three of you will be here with the boys and not in some small apartment with undesirable neighbors. So if this is ok with you, can we start moving in your stuff?" He was focusing on me again.
I nodded vigorously. It was so much more than I could imagine for myself. First, I would be in a safe, affordable place. Second, I would be with my best friends. What more could I ask for? "It is more than ok with me. I don't know what to say, thank you. I really appreciate it; I was so afraid of rent costs and where I was going to have to live. Ok, Alice, now I am excited."
Everyone began to show their excitement with me.
"Bella, we are going to have a few minor repairs done, so there will be a little work being done on the house while you are moving in. I am sorry, and at first you will be here by yourself. Jasper and Alice's lease doesn't expire until the end of next month, and Rose and Emmett's expires in three weeks. So for three weeks, you will be alone. I am sure you can stay with either couple if you don't want to be alone for that long here at the house." Carlisle offered.
"No, I am fine. I will be ok until they all join me. I don't know how to thank you all. It is perfect and I promise to cook every night for all of you!" I was almost jumping in my spot, I was so excited. I couldn't believe that I had gotten so lucky; I had great friends and now a great house.
The three of us girls ran upstairs to claim our bedrooms. The second floor already had its renovations completed, so each bedroom had its own bathroom. The bedrooms were each the same size and had a beautiful modern bathroom. I chose the bedroom that faced the front of the house on the right of the stairs and Alice and Rosalie both chose the bedrooms that were facing the back of the house. That left the bedroom beside me free. I was happy that I wouldn't be woken up in the middle of the night by amorous roommates. All four of these people were like my brothers and sisters, so it went without saying that I didn't want any mental pictures, let alone sounds.
I met Carlisle again at the bottom of the stairs and he took me back to the kitchen. Esme followed us in and she began to explain that this was the last room to get any updates. She wanted my opinion on a few things since I would be the main one to use it. I couldn't believe the beautiful designs she showed me. I gave her my opinions on each and she agreed to talk to the contractor. We thought that we should combine two of her designs and keep the cabinets from the last design. The contractor would get started on Monday, so for the three weeks I would be here alone, he would be there working on the kitchen as well.
With all of the details finalized, I headed back with Alice and she dropped me off at my apartment. I carried all of my boxes upstairs and began packing in earnest. Emmett promised to come by and help me load all of the boxes in my truck tomorrow. I packed everything from the living room, dining room, and the few things I had in the kitchen by the time Alice called to say she would be picking me up in an hour and a half to go get some drinks. I was happy that all I had left to pack was the bedroom and bathroom stuff. I was glad most of the stuff in the apartment stayed, because it was his. I didn't think I could live in a new place seeing all of the things we shared together. I wasn't sure that would be moving on, more like torturing myself. I definitely was happy that I was only taking my stuff with me. I was already tired and would never survive packing the whole apartment.
I headed to the bathroom to shower and change before Alice showed up. If I wasn't finished when she arrived, she would come up and then I would have to let her dress me up and do all sorts of other things I didn't want to do. So I hurried and was finished with 20 minutes to spare.
I waited for Alice at the street. She flew down the street in her bright yellow Porsche like a super hero. She loved the attention that her car brought to her. The looks that the car drew embarrassed me. I liked my old truck better. My old truck was on its last leg, so I didn't drive it much. The new living arrangements would make a new car possible so much faster; I had another reason to thank Alice.
I hopped in and she took off down the street. We met up with Emmett, Rose and Jasper at Montoya. It was the new dinner/dancing place that we all loved. It felt strange to be here alone, not having anyone to cuddle or dance with. I felt like an outsider for the first time with the group. I pushed those thoughts aside and just enjoyed dinner.
Later, when the dancing started, Emmett and Jasper took pity and took turns dancing with me. I was having a great time and I was again hopeful for the future.
When I got home, I noticed someone had left a message on my phone. I opened it and dialed my voicemail.
"Hey, Bella, sorry. I know I told you I wouldn't be able to call tonight. I am in the alley outside the restaurant waiting for the others to finish dinner. I just wanted to talk to you. I feel like something is up with you. If you're stressed, this may not be the best time, but I have something I want to talk to you about. I will call you tomorrow afternoon before I board the plane. Sleep tight, sweet Bella."
I had to sit down, his message took the wind out of me. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to face him and tell him my news. I wasn't sure if he felt the same or if he would be taken by surprise. I never wanted to hurt him; I only wanted the best for him. And I knew I didn't love him with the passion he deserved, so I had to let him go. I had to find my soul mate. Feeling a tear slip down my cheek, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
I headed off to bed. I had plenty to think about before my trip to the airport and then the big discussion.
I slept very well considering everything I had on my mind. Usually, I was bothered by insomnia when I had this much flying around in my head. Maybe that was a sign that I was making the right decision.
I was packing my bag of stuff I would need when I heard Emmett's ringtone. 'Me so horny' cracked me up every time.
"Hey, Em, what's up?" I tried to talk around the bagel in my mouth, knowing Emmett would be able to interpret what I was saying.
"Bella, you ready? I got Jasper with me, so we should be able to finish real quick. That way we have time to drive you to the house and help you unpack there as well. Get your ass in gear 'cause we will be there in about 10 minutes. Do you have coffee?" He was able to understand and respond just like I knew he would.
"No, Emmett, no coffee. You better bring your own, sorry. I'm ready so hurry up." I answered.
Jasper and Emmett both had my stuff loaded within an hour, so we started off to the new house. The unloading went fairly quickly as well. I had them put all my stuff in my room so I could sort it out later. When they left, I sat on a box and stared at the room that would begin my new life. A profound thought occurred to me and I called Alice.
"Hey, I am here at the house. Can you pick me up?"
"Yeah, I assumed that is where you would be. Where are we going?" I was not sure why she questioned me; she was always up for shopping.
"I need to shop for a bed. I don't have my own and I can't very well take his. So I need one."
"Oh, didn't think of that. Yeah, I will pick you up in 25 minutes."
Alice and I entered the store and she immediately found a salesman that could help me. He showed me around and explained what to look for in a good bed. After laying on several, I finally made my choice. I paid and asked about the delivery. He had a man that could deliver it today, but it would cost extra. The delivery fee was a small price to pay to not have to sleep on the floor tonight. With that done, we left the store to wait for my new bed.
Alice stayed with me so I could shower while we waited for the bed to be delivered. By the time I stepped out of the shower and dressed to head to the airport, the men had delivered and set up my bed.
I was a nervous wreck and she knew I would want to come home and get right into bed when this was over, so she had the bed looking like something out of a catalog for me.
Alice dropped me off at the apartment so I could pick up his car. He much preferred his newer car to my old truck and would probably want to drive it back from the airport. His flight arrived right on time and I hugged him as he stepped off the escalator. He held my hand as he grabbed his bags and we headed to the parking lot. I could feel the cold sweat of my hand blending with his warm skin.
"Bella, is everything ok? You seem kind of different tonight." He always knew when my emotions were out of control and how to soothe them.
"No, I am fine. I just have a lot on my mind. I hope you don't mind, but we are going straight to the restaurant to eat. I have to talk to you and I want to get in before the dinner rush." I hoped my attempt at distraction was enough to pull him from his former train of thought.
"Yeah, that is great. I skipped lunch to get back here early enough for us to have time together tonight. So dinner is perfect. You look great, by the way." My knees went weak when he looked directly in my eyes as he said the last part.
He placed his hand on the small of my back and followed me to his car. I usually loved the way he made me feel special and protected. Tonight it just made me feel simple. Like I couldn't find my own way to the car I had parked. I think it was my nerves playing with my mind.
As I suspected, he opened the passenger door for me and allowed me to sit, then he closed it and headed around to the driver's side. He effortlessly drove us to the restaurant, seemed like everything he did was effortless. We drove in silence. It was like he knew this was big and was allowing me to prepare for it. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence, but I felt guilty knowing what was coming.
When we arrived at the restaurant, he allowed the valet to park and entered with me. We were escorted to our table and it was perfect. I had asked for a private booth when I made reservations, and they had delivered for me.
Our waitress came over and introduced herself. I noticed that her eyes stayed a bit too long on him. I rolled my own. Did she really not see me here with him? Why did this always happen? We both ordered wine and she left.
He took my hand in his and said, "Honey, go ahead and tell me what you need to say. I can see that it is worrying you."
I stiffened. I knew it needed to be done, but I was now afraid to say the words out loud.
"Well, while you were gone, I spent a lot of time thinking. Everything is topsy-turvy right now and I am starting quite a few new experiences. I am a little scared, but excited at the same time. I also spent a lot of time thinking about you and me. We have been together for a long time, and I know we have had many great memories. It's just that I love you very much, but I don't think I am in love with you." I bit my lip and waited to see what his reaction would be. He took his wine glass, took a large drink and then nodded at me to continue. "You deserve someone who is totally in love with you. Madly, passionately in love with you. And that is not me. If we stayed together, it would not be fair to you, and I am sorry that it took me so long to figure this out. I never meant to hurt you. I am sorry in so many ways. I am sorry that I don't feel as strongly as I should about you. You are a perfect man and I don't deserve you. Please don't be angry with me." I finished and looked at the tablecloth; I couldn't face the emotions radiating from his eyes. His eyes always betrayed him; windows to his soul, indeed.
"Bella, I am shocked to hear this from you. But I would be lying if I said I haven't had the same thoughts as well. I noticed the spark was missing a few months back. I didn't want to say anything then; I wanted to wait until you were finished with school. I didn't want to put any extra stress on you at finals time. We just settled into this comfortable routine and never looked back. I feel like we have drifted apart somehow. I know that we were in love in high school, but I think we have grown up. Unfortunately, I think when we grew, it was apart. Besides, I think our family wanted this more than you or I did. I need you to know that I could never be angry with you. I actually wanted to tell you the same thing. We have so many good memories and I will always be a good friend to you, but I agree. We shouldn't be more than friends. Maybe we shouldn't have tried so hard back in high school to be a couple. But I don't regret the time we were together. Are you ok? What will you do? Do you want to stay in the apartment? I can find somewhere to stay. Why don't you just keep it?" That was true to his gentleman form, always looking out for me and my needs.
"No, I am fine. I talked to Alice when I made my decision and she helped me find a place. The four of them are buying a house and I can stay with them. The house has four bedrooms so there is plenty of room. I feel strange talking about this with you." I smiled sheepishly and ducked my head.
"Bella, it's ok. Sometimes this happens. We'll both be fine. I am glad you will be with the four of them. It makes me feel better knowing that you have Em and Jas to protect you and the girls to do stuff with. Besides, sharing rent will be helpful for you. You know, since you are just starting your job." He looked lost in his thoughts. He didn't say anything for a while, processing things. "I didn't know they were buying a house. The last time I spoke with Alice, she never said anything about it. I guess I am more out of the loop than I thought. I can help you move your stuff over if you would like. I will go and stay somewhere else tonight, that way it won't be uncomfortable for us."
"No, it's cool. I had Jasper and Emmett to help me move my stuff this morning. I needed to go on over to the house and I figured this would be easier if it was done by the time you got back. I wasn't sure what kind of reaction I was going to get from you, so I did it before I lost my courage." His face formed a frown at my revelation.
"You weren't afraid of my reaction, were you? Did you think I would take this badly and cause trouble? I hope you know me better than that. I would never do anything to hurt you. Please tell me you know that and that I haven't scared you." His eyes pleaded with me to let him know that I knew he was never that kind of a man.
"No, no, that isn't what I meant. I just thought that I would take you by surprise and you would need time to adjust to it. I know you are not the angry type. I just thought that the hurt would be easier if I didn't have to move out in front of you."
"Oh, well, you have a good point. Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the worst. Uhmm, can I ask you a question?" He hesitated, causing me to worry about what he wanted to know.
"Sure, of course you can." I answered.
"Is there someone else for you?" He looked away from me when he asked.
"No, there is no one else. I promise. Is there anyone else for you?" I suddenly needed to know if this was the reason he wanted this info from me.
"No, not for me either."
The waitress came and took our plates, offering us dessert.
Our ride was silent except for me relaying directions to him. In no time, we were at the house. I hesitated when he stopped in the driveway. I turned towards him and leaned in to kiss him. He held up his hand to stop me and opened his door. He came around to my side and opened the door for me. Holding my hand to help me out of the car, he pulled me against him and looked into my eyes.
"Bella, you are incredible. I feel like I owe you an apology for not loving you enough. I am really sorry that we didn't work out. I know I would be happy with you. But like you, I want you to have a life with your soul mate. Make sure he takes care of you and loves you with all of his heart, or I will come and find him. Just promise me that you will call me sometimes and not allow that awkwardness to creep into our friendship. I promise that we can be friends." With that, he leaned down and kissed me on my lips. He hugged me tightly and walked me up the stairs to the door. I turned to look at him and felt a small tear escape from my eye. He wiped it away with his thumb and kissed my cheek. Turning and walking down the stairs, he went to his car. I stood on the porch and watched him drive down the driveway. I felt like I should be sad, but I really wasn't – not in the sobbing uncontrollably way. I was sad that something with the potential to be so great was over. But not devastated. In fact, I felt the happiness that comes when you are at a crossroads and you start off in a new direction. The possibility of new things was making me giddy. I gave one last look over my shoulder and whispered, "I love you and I wish you the best."
I was still thinking about how he handled the breakup as I got ready for bed. It felt so strange yet really exciting to be on my own now. I had never been on my own. First I was with either of my parents and then I moved into his apartment. This was all mine. I knew I was going to be living with all of my friends, but it was still my first time alone. I silently went back to my new bed and grabbed my phone. I dialed Alice's number and climbed into bed. She answered on the first ring.
"Hey, are you ok?" she asked without hesitation.
"Surprisingly, yes, I am fine. It turns out that he was feeling the same way and had made plans to tell me also. He wanted to wait until I had finished finals, and then his trip came up. So he took it well and that makes me feel better. To know he wants more than just ok, he wants perfect as well. It makes me not feel so crazy for leaving him to find what might not exist, you know?" Sometimes things that start out sounding so good end up being so bad for you. It was good to know that this was turning out to be ok and not the worst decision of my life.
"Yes, I know. But you are definitely making the right decision for you. I am glad he is ok and not hurt," she offered. I knew that the group loved him and this would take a little adjusting to the different dynamic of the group, but we could get past this.
"He was sad. He said he didn't know everyone was buying a house. But he was glad for me being here. I don't know why everyone thinks that I can't take care of myself. If I wasn't so tired and mentally drained, I would be pissed off about that. But I am tired, so I will talk to you tomorrow, ok?"
"Sure, I am glad it went well," she murmured.
"Me too, Alice, me too. Night."
I turned over on my side and faced my new window. I laid looking at the trees swaying in the gentle breeze and hoped that Jake was as ok as he said. I closed my eyes and whispered, "Thank you, Jacob Black, for loving me and letting me go when it was time. I closed my eyes to go to sleep.
A/N: Did you guess who she was breaking up with?
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