Thank you to all of my readers and reviewers-you guys are awesome!
I would like to thank my beta: Sabi'sSookie, she deals with all of my crazy grammar mistakes and polishes this story until it shines! She is the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G
Disclaimer: I do not own twilight or any of its characters! They belong to the lovely and talented Stephenie Meyer. The original story line and any original characters do belong to me. I do own: All of the books, a team Edward shirt, and the soundtracks to all three movies, Twilight the movie, and used ticket stubs to Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.
Bella snuggled up to me once I was resituated in bed. For once, there were no words needed to feel the air around us. Her in my arms made everything perfect.
And for that moment, everything was right in the world.
But that moment ended with the morning light.
I woke to the most amazing sight of Bella snuggled in my arms. It was like for the first time in ten years, everything seemed fucking right.
But then I remembered what today would bring.
My brother's funeral.
Today I would bury my brother; I would never see him again. And suddenly the perfect morning changed and I felt like the whole world was closing in on me. My chest started to tighten and I found myself fighting for breath. I didn't even know I was shaking, until Bella squirmed a little at how tight I was holding her.
"You're shaking," she murmured in a sleepy voice. I felt like such a dick to wake her up this way. I wanted to keep us both in this perfect bubble of happiness, but that was im-fucking-possible. Real life was just a little to fucking real right now.
"I'm sorry," I said through clenched teeth.
She must have sensed something was really wrong, because she shifted in my arms until she could prop herself above me. Her mahogany hair cascaded around us like a veil, closing us off from everything else. I had to say it helped my anxiety level. Breathing her scent, having her right there.
"Baby," she murmured, "Talk to me."
I fought to get the words out. I didn't know how to phrase what was going on in my mind.
"Eli," I finally sputtered. I couldn't say the words. I couldn't say that I knew that today was it. Today he would really be gone from me.
She must have understood what I was fighting with, because her own beautiful brown eyes welled up with tears. I felt like even more shit for reminding her what today was.
"It's going to be alright," she said softly, snuggling into my neck. I could feel the wetness of her tears trail down my skin. I felt as they mixed with my own. I should have felt like a pussy for crying in front of her. But I couldn't find it in me to care. I knew it wouldn't be the last time today that I let it all out.
I don't know how long we lay there like that. But after awhile, I realized that I needed to get up. My mom and dad were going to need me today; lying in bed, feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to help anyone.
"We should get up," I said.
"I know," came her muffled reply.
She slowly pulled herself out of my arms, I was glad to see that her tears had subsided.
"This is going to be so fucking hard," I said as I was pulling on my discarded basketball shorts. It may have been the first time we had seen each other fully naked, it just felt natural.
I turned to find her seated on the foot of the bed. Her sweatshirt back on and her shorts in place.
"We'll get through it together," I said firmly. I wanted her to know that she could lean on me.
We made our way down to breakfast hand in hand, but once we hit the main floor I regretfully let go. I didn't want any Char drama this morning. It was going to hard enough without that added burden.
I knew Bella understood, because she squeezed my hand softly before letting go. I couldn't help but pull her against me and kiss the hell out of her. She was too understanding sometimes and I worried that she let herself hurt too much. She seemed surprised by my attack but didn't try to push me off; instead, she seemed to pull me closer.
We were really getting into it, almost to the point of me picking her up and running back up to my bed with her, when a throat cleared behind us.
We quickly pulled away from each other, to see Rosalie standing there. She looked like a perfect funeral model standing there in a freshly pressed black pantsuit and her blonde hair pulled up in a severe looking bun.
"Well isn't this nice," she purred.
I narrowed my eyes at her, I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out what her fucking problem was. I never in my life met the bitch until this past week.
"What the fuck is your problem?" I blurted out.
"I don't have a problem," she replied coolly.
"Yeah right, you have been nothing but a bitch to Bella sense you got here."
"What are you, her little guard dog?" she asked arching a perfectly plucked eyebrow.
I have never wanted to slap a bitch as bad as I did right now…Well, besides when I caughtt Char fucking my brother. I felt Bella tense behind me and it just added to my anger. Today was going to be fucking hard enough without this bullshit.
"You know what, you can stand there and act like the perfectly tailored bitch that you seem to be, but today I am burying my fucking brother. None of us need to be dealing with whatever seems to have crawled in your craw and died," I fumed taking a large step in her direction.
She visibly flinched backwards at my words. I had to wonder if this was the first time someone had put this bitch in her place. But I wasn't finished yet.
"And if I hear you utter one more poisonous word in Bella's direction, I may have to re-think my bitch slapping rule."
She literally gasped aloud at my words.
"You wouldn't?" she said in disbelief.
"Do you really want to try me?" I asked cocking my own brow this time.
"Well I…," she stuttered. "She…."
When her finger pointed in Bella's direction I about lost it. She was one dense bitch and I was to close to snapping. Before I had a chance to react, I felt Bella's small hand come out to rest on my bicep. I felt my body start to calm immediately.
"Edward," her soft voice said from behind me. "She's not worth it."
The look at Rosalie's face was priceless then. It was like Bella slapped her without physically doing it.
"You're right," I said after a moment. "But I still meant what I said. One word and we'll see how this goes."
Before she had a chance to react, I spun around and latched onto Bella, swiftly pulling her into the next room. Once the door closed behind us in the music room, I pulled Bella into my arms.
"Are you okay?" I asked softly.
"Please don't lie," I pleaded.
"I'm not lying, Edward. She doesn't know me or you, her words are just words," she said calmly.
"What the fuck is her problem?" I asked pulling away to look at her.
"I don't know, she's always been that way," she said looking at the shut door. "Well maybe not that vocal, but she's never been friendly towards me."
We stood there in silence for a moment, but only for a moment. Bella's stomach grumbled loudly with hunger, reminding me of what our original destination.
"Let's go feed you," I said pulling her towards to door. Her answering giggle was the balm my soul needed at that moment.
Breakfast went surprisingly well. It seemed everyone was lost in their own thoughts about what today would bring. It was like we all sensed the final door on this chapter of our lives closing. Before I knew it, I was alone in my bedroom staring at the suit I brought for this day.
It was a plain black jacket with a black button up underneath. No tie. I dressed up all the time for work, the most pompous tuxedoes to just play the piano in an orchestra. Today I wanted to be me, Edward. Not someone in a stiff suit, hiding.
I was done hiding. I knew there was some big decision that I was going to have to make in my life, I couldn't keep living the way that I was. The angry man that boarded the plane in New York to attend his brother's funeral no longer exists. He died along with his brother; someone new was left in his place. Someone who now needs to learn how to forgive and really start living his life.
I needed to live not only for me, but for Eli too. I owed him that. I owed me that.
So I slipped on my suit. Buttoned the buttons and smoothed the creases. Trying the whole time not think about my brother and what this suits means.
I'm not ready for this.
I about snorted at that thought, like I had a choice in the matter. Eli was being buried today, no matter if I was ready or not.
Once I was finished getting dressed, I found myself unable to leave my room. To leave was to take the next step towards to unknown. I felt myself being drawn to Eli's journal, his words offering me comfort and strength.
I took the notebook and sat on my bed. I gingerly opened the worn cover and flipping the pages until I reached the second entry. I felt a stab of guilt remembering my actions from days before when I ripped through his journal trying to figure out his feelings for Bella.
My eyes traced over the date of the entry, it wasn't very long after his first entry.
Hey Bro. Man life is so weird without you here, something happens everyday that makes me want to pick up the phone and call you just so I can tell you about it. School is tough, but in a good way. It takes my mind off of everything that has happened. If I dwell on my actions to long, I find myself slipping into a place that isn't healthy.
I guess I'm mostly writing today because Char called me. She told me that she wants to see me. I've been avoiding her since I returned. It's not because I don't want to see her, because I do. Almost more then I want anything else. Well, besides your forgiveness. That is always on the top of my want list. She begged me to meet her somewhere. I tried saying no, but I couldn't. I love her so much.
Does that make me a bad person?
I'm sure that you would probably say yes to that and I can't blame you for that. You have every right and reason to feel that way.
Have I said I'm sorry today? I am.
Have I said I missed you today? I do.
Have I said I loved you today? I wish I could tell you to your face.
I meet with her. I am a horrible person. I wanted to cry when I saw her face. It was like looking at an angel. She smiled so big when she saw me, it made me complete in ways that I could never explain. But her smile faltered for a moment when I walked closer and I had to wonder if she was thinking about you.
It made me jealous.
I don't want her to see you when she looks at me. Something in me will probably always wonder if it is that way. She loved you, you know. I know that you probably don't believe that, but she did, does. I can see it in her eyes whenever someone brings up your name. The flicker of pain that she can't suppress.
I deserve it.
I deserve to wonder forever if she loves you more, if she is only with me because she can pretend that's you. Listen to me ramble on here like I deserve it any other way.
I can only ask for your forgiveness everyday, I will strive to be a better man. A man that you can be proud of.
A man that I can be proud of.
I'll keep asking until the day I die.
His last words of that entry strike me to the core. It was ironic that would read those words today of all days. It was like Eli guided me to this entry.
I sat the journal on the bed next to me, taking a moment to digest what I had read. The parts about Char didn't affect me at all. The part of me that held onto that anger and rage was gone. I didn't care about her anymore and realizing that released me.
But there was one thing that I needed to do. For me and for him.
I looked to the ceiling of my room and took a deep breath.
"I forgive you, Eli."
Forgiveness is a good theme for this chapter…so please forgive me for my epic failure in updating! I promise to be better! Better yet, I pinky promise!