Disclaimer- Stephenie Meyer owns, not me.
"Why did I wear these shoes?" I muttered. The Forks High School gym was lit up, festively. "My feet are so swollen!"
"I don't know, why did you?" Edward asked. "Let's ask Alice, she talked you into them."
"I hope Alice and Angela have already gotten here."
"Alice said she couldn't care less about the people she went to high school with."
"I just want to show them how well I turned out," I said, holding my swollen stomach so I could get over the curb.
"The people who matter the most already know how well you turned out," Edward said, holding open the door for me. "The people in this gym probably don't know or care. Until your book comes out. "
Angela was sitting at the sign-in desk. "I didn't think you were coming!" she cried. Her hair was beach blonde, still. I wondered if anybody recognized her.
"Do we have to sign in?"
"Yes," she said. "Or we count you as lost member of the class."
"Okay, fine," I grumbled, signing over Edward and myself. Isabella Swan Masen and husband- Edward. Photographer and Stay at Home Mom. I put on my tag with my name on it while Edward filled his out.
"Hey, Bella, Mike Newton's in there," Angela said, grinning. "With his new girlfriend."
"I can't wait to see this loser," Edward said.
"This is the fattest I've ever been," I said. "I wonder if anybody will recognize me."
"You've got an excuse," Edward said, rubbing my stomach. Charlotte Elizabeth Renée Masen, our Charliebeth, was having a slumber party with her grandpa Charlie. Edward initially thought three names for a child was ridiculous until he heard the names I wanted to give our baby. Charlotte was a nice name. And then, naming her after her grandmothers was a sweet touch. She was beautiful- had Edward's copper hair and green eyes, and my pale skin, although her hair was a lighter, brighter color, like Edward's and Liz's had been as children. Whenever Charlie gazed into her face, he'd promptly inform us that she looked just like her grandmother and then would get choked up. Charlie swore up and down he'd teach her how to fish on her fourth birthday with Billy and then how to shoot a gun when she turned six. I shuddered at thought, but she needed to bond with him. Especially since Edward's job was leading us away from the Seattle/Forks area.
As we entered the gym, they were playing music from when we had been in high school. I saw familiar faces, all of which had aged and weathered.
Lauren Mallory, the ringleader girl who had tortured me my first year at Forks Elementary over my haircut, looked at me and Edward. She looked like she had spent too much time in a tanning bed and too much effort at staying skinny over the past ten years. She had grown out her awful short haircut from her senior year. "Hi, I'm Lauren Mallory Thornton, Homecoming Queen and Prom Queen," she said, coming up to me, extending a hand, looking extremely pleased with herself. She didn't recognize me. "Who are you?"
"Hi, Lauren, it's me, Bella."
She blinked, her face blank, and then, she realized who I was. "B-Bella Swan?" she stuttered.
"Yes, Charlie Swan's daughter," I said. "It's Masen, now, though. This is my husband, Edward-"
"Hi, how do you do?" he asked, taking her hand, shaking it. Her jaw dropped at Edward's mere perfection. My Edward did that.
"Bella, oh my God!" she cried. "I heard you got anorexia or something died after you brought us rape charges on somebody!"
"We don't like talking about that."
"So, what do you, Ed?" Lauren asked, sticking her boobs out. Man, they were fake.
"I'm a pediatric cardiologist surgeon," Edward said. Lauren's eyes lit up. Back off, whore. Edward likes my breasts better, I thought. They feed his child. "Bella and our little girl are my pride and joy, though. And the one on the way, too."
"So, what's your little girl's name?"
"Charlotte," Edward said, since Lauren obviously wasn't talking to me. "We call her Charliebeth as nickname, though. Bella came up with it."
"Oh, Bella, what are you up to?" Lauren asked, as if just remembering that I was standing right there.
"I'm a stay at home mom, although I do some photography."
"Yeah, she's getting her first book published," Edward said. "We put that on hold while we moved, recently. We just bought our first house in Portland."
I'm sure she wouldn't care that I was getting it published unless she was mentioned in it. "Oh, really? I live there with my husband," she said. "Maybe we can get together sometime!"
"Yeah, that would be great," I said, taking Edward's arm. "Hey, look, there's Alice!"
"Yeah, you haven't seen her in four hours," Edward muttered.
Alice waved at me, holding onto Jasper's arm. They were chatting it up with somebody. We were cut off by a beefy, tall blonde guy. It was, of all people, Mike Newton. "Bella, is that really you?"
"Yeah, it's me," I said, pressing a hand to my stomach. It was turning into a comfort gesture. What was I going to do when I gave birth to this one?
"Wow," Mike said. "I never expected to see you at this reunion."
"Yeah, you're not the only one," I said. "This is my husband, Edward Masen."
"Hi, Mike Newton," he said, extending a hand.
"Hi," Edward said.
"So, is it 'Bella Masen,' now?"
"What do you do?"
"Stay at home mom, writer, photographer."
"She's had a few photography shows in Seattle," Edward said. "Right after she got her Masters."
"You got your masters? In what?"
"You've done so much with your life, Bella. I'm happy for you," Mike said. He took me into a hug. Mike was genuinely happy for me. My crush on Mike felt like it was a thousand years ago and was somebody else entirely.
Edward and I went around the gym, meeting my old classmates.
I realized that it wasn't about showing everybody how well I turned out. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them. A few people had died, which made me sad, but the people who had survived, it made me happy to know that they were there. Some people were the same as they had always been. Others had changed.
I was just glad to be who I was and to be alive. I had survived. I had learned to fly.
A/N- I just needed to get this back out. Sorry I've been so bipolar lately- but I have been for a good reason. My whole life changes tomorrow, literally. I don't know if it'll be good or bad. If you want the rest of this series, you'll have to look for it on the TWCSLibrary dot com. I put this back up because I kept on getting requests for it. I'm fighting an internal battle when it comes to expectations of myself in fanfiction.