And I have to speculate
That God himself did make us
Into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay
They will see us waving from such great heights
Come down now, they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now but we'll stay
-Such Great Heights, Iron and Wine
I was so sure that I knew the ending to my story.
I thought I'd been thrown my curveball, fate's big fuck you. I had a year to decide what I wanted, what I didn't, how I needed to change, how I should stay the same. I had a year to come to terms with what I both loved and hated about myself, about my life. I guess not many people get the chance to see with such clarity, but then, not many people have to face their own mortality when they're only twenty-six.
It was lonely – it was scary as hell, but I know that despite everything, all the pain, all the worry, that I'm lucky. I'd still be lucky even if my story had ended the way I'd planned, even if I'd died. Because I didn't hide, didn't close myself off and stuff my fingers in my ears and pretend that nothing bad was happening. Sometimes I think about how easy that would have been, how typical. I'm glad I didn't
I'm glad I walked past Edward and smiled at him.
I'm glad I took a chance on Alice and didn't cave when Renee tried to guilt me into going back to her.
I'm glad I held Edward's hand, kissed him, needed him so much that I forgot that I was shy, that I was only good at blushing and running away. I'm glad I was selfish.
Mostly I'm glad I married him. Twice.
I remember lying in bed my first night at the cottage – a night of so many firsts that it makes me dizzy – and saw it all stretch out in front of me. Nine months of lazy days and long nights surrounded by the quietness and beauty of the lake, surrounded by everything I needed to heal all the broken places inside me. And Edward.
I thought I had everything figured out… I never counted on the surprise ending. Miracles were only for the books I read, the ones that ended And they all lived happily ever after, for fairytales. Maybe someone's life was like that but not mine, never mine.
Until now I guess.
Except this isn't an ending, Edward and I aren't going to ride off into the sunset – we're going to live because this is only the beginning. Our beginning. And I don't expect perfection, I don't expect every thread to be neatly tied off because miracles might be possible – might come in the form of nervous doctors and a misdiagnosis – but I'm not naïve. This is real life and in real life, people don't always change.
Not matter how much you want them to.
My mother will never change. To her I'll always be the daughter who married Dr. Carlisle Cullen's son. Whatever success Edward and I might have on our own I know it won't matter to her, not really. For whatever reason, superficial perfection is all Renee knows or wants She has her plastic house and her perfect family… and she has me; it doesn't sting the way it used to. We both have exactly the relationship we need.
It helps that I have Charlie – for so long we took each other for granted, we talked but we didn't really, not about anything important. One of the best things that came out of this mess is that I have my father back, or maybe it's that I have him for the first time in my life. Either way I'll take it.
Looking back it all seems so surreal, the chest pain that is all but gone these days, looking up at the stars with Edward in the bed of my truck, the cottage.
If I hadn't had that attack on that particular day and called that particular doctor…
If Alice had seen something in me…
If Edward hadn't said yes when everything inside him should have been screaming no…
But it did happen. And now I'm left with a little house in the sun and a room for my writing. A cottage by a lake that will always be my first home, the first place that was mine, that will always be mine. And when our days get too busy we can always go back there.
But for now I just want to be open, to embrace this, to not miss a single second.
I'm not done seeing new places or experiencing new things. Already when Edward talks about touring in a few months I can feel the itch in my limbs, and I know that when the time comes my laptop and I will be going with him.
That's how it's supposed to be.
That's how we're supposed to be.
That's how the story ends.
A/N: Firstly I want to thank every single person who's stuck with this story from the beginning – bless you for your patience; I'd have bailed a long time ago. I promise if I ever do this crazy fan-fic thing again I won't be writing each chapter from scratch in between updating. That was just stupid XD
And huge, huge thanks to everyone who read/ reviewed/ recommended LttS. Thanks for making me laugh and sharing your stories; you guys made this much more fun (and much bigger) than I was ever expecting.
And don't forget… we still have Edward's story to explore. Put me on alert if you're interested.
Whew, what a ride! I'm going to take a nap now ;-)