Two Makes Three
A/N: Have you ever been so lost in love that it felt like everything? When that feeling stopped what did it do to you? This story starts there. A girl so lost, so broken, she's terrified to go on because nothing in the future seems worth moving forward for. She's perfectly content with living a life of routines like a ghost lost in a crowd. All it takes is one chance meeting though to drastically change her path.
Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters are owned by Stephenie Meyer and only Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended with the posting of this story.
Broken Records Make Scorned Memories
I woke up to the sound of construction work outside my window and let out a long sigh. A quick glance at my alarm clock told me it was 11:36 in the morning and I had only achieved four hours of beauty sleep after my nine hour shift, for the forth night in a row at 'Charlie's Tavern'. Realizing it was pointless trying to go back to sleep, what with the jack hammering going on outside, I slowly began the task of rolling out of bed. Once out of bed I would grab my towel so that I could jump in the shower and start my day with its regular routine.
I grimaced at the thought of my 'regular routine' and how dramatically that routine had changed just seven weeks ago. My thoughts were thankfully interrupted by the buzzing of my cell phone. I groaned looking down at the screen, seeing it was my boss on the other end.
I knew what was coming next.
"Morning Charlie," I croaked out trying my best to sound sick. It was a sorry attempt but worth a try.
"Save it Bella, you won't fool me with your theatrical abilities. I need you to cover for Jessica tonight, and then I promise you can have the next two nights off."
"That's funny, I could have sworn we had this same exact conversation twenty-four hours ago. How odd this must be what they call déjà vu," I couldn't help but tease him. I wouldn't go down that easily.
I knew, and Charlie knew, that I was his most dependable employee and I would never leave him in the lurch. That and we both also knew I had absolutely nothing else going on in my life right now and could use the distraction.
"See you at eight?"
"Yes, of course," I groaned just before hitting the end button on my phone.
While still in hand, I decided to check my voicemails before rolling out of bed and going into the dreadful bathroom full of mirrors that would remind me of just how low I had fallen these past two months. I couldn't ignore the sad girl who always looked back at me. I'd heard the sheet fall last night from where I'd draped it over the reflecting glass.
I let out a sigh and held the number one button down to send me to my voicemail while I stared blankly through the window. The robotic voice told me I had three new messages.
"Hey Bells," I nearly dropped the phone at the sound of his voice.
"It's a little after… one... Guess you had to work tonight. I've got some bad news. Embry booked us three more shows on the way back up the coast so it's going to be another week before I'm home… I just wanted to let you know. I know you're probably a little ticked… well maybe not… I don't know… still trying to figure all this out. I guess give me a call tomorrow when you get up. We should probably talk."
I let out a sigh and hit the delete button to erase the message from the same person who had so easily erased me from their life just seven weeks ago. I only wished it were that easy to erase the entire memory that the sound of his voice had brought on.
Jacob and I had lived together for five years and been more than just roommates with benefits for four of those years. We were still currently sharing an apartment in New York City, with no discussions taking place yet as to when or how that would change once he returned home.
It felt wrong to call us broken up… but we certainly ended things the night he decided to walk out on me. He made it very clear what his priorities were and what was important to him when he left me in tears on the apartment steps in the freezing rain on that God awful night.
We were definitely broken.
It was ironic that his need for freedom after four years came just two days before he would leave for his second tour with his band 'Love Spelled Backwards is Love'. I wiped my eyes where the sudden tears had appeared and took in a deep breath. Damn him for bringing all these memories back just with the sound of his voice.
I was angry for letting myself still get upset over him. I was angry that in seven weeks time I had yet to pick myself up so that I could rejoin society and the going on's of the city that I used to love so much.
Truth be told… it just wasn't the same anymore.
Nothing felt the way it used to; it all felt so incomplete.
Nothing smelled right; it all smelled rotten and old.
Nothing looked right; it all seemed so plain and depressing.
I could barely handle sitting on a subway car anymore without feeling the desire to scream bloody murder about how disgusting my fellow mankind was.
Nothing tasted the same; although, that had allowed me to shed a good ten pounds in the last seven weeks. Maybe not everything was bad. I felt a wicked grin creep up my face and quickly regretted it. I didn't want to feel anything, but I had to admit, it was nice to feel something even if it was brought on by my own sarcasm.
When Jake left, the change in my routine transpired. Though somehow at the same time everything had stayed the same. I suppose that's why every day felt like a continuation of the night he had left and why I still found myself unable to let him go.
I scanned the framed photos that sat on the coffee table in front of me and let out another cry before throwing a pillow at the smiling faces that were staring back at me, mocking me, causing me to loose myself once again to the emotional roller coaster that was currently my life.
The sound of shattering glass didn't faze me.
The millions of shards lying on the ground only made me think of him more.
Jacob was right.
He was always right.
I was ticked.
But I was also, without a doubt, heartbroken and empty without him. You always heard stories and saw it in movies. People loosing someone they loved and claiming to feel broken… or no longer whole. I never could have imagined it was possible to actually feel that. Then again, Jake made me feel things I never thought I was possible of feeling on a daily basis. That was why I had fallen so terribly hard for him in the first place.
I shook my head to free myself from the memories that still haunted me and remembered the reason why he had left me here like this… in this state of nothingness.
If he thought he was going to come back home from the tour after getting all his kicks from his groupies and just suddenly pick up where we left off like everything was okay, he had another thing coming. It was bad enough that I'd factually been the one supporting us and his dreams for the past two years and he repaid me by saying he needed some time to, "figure things out and to just try and make the band happen".
It didn't help the fight when I suggested that we might as well start seeing other people too, simply to see his reaction.
He didn't shoot the idea down.
He just stood there and stared at me quietly while shifting his weight to the side and stuffing his hands into his jean pockets. That stance still haunted me in my dreams every night since the day he left.
He didn't fight for me.
He didn't fight for us.
I pulled myself away from my thoughts for a brief moment to retrieve the broom and dust pan from the pantry in order to clean my mess up so that I could get back in sequence with my daily rituals. As I stood over the trash can with the broken glass dangling from the pan, I found my mind wandering once again to a better time. A time when things were good. A time when we were happy.
"Bella, wait till you hear this one!"
"That's what you always say," I teased him while lying on the couch with my computer over my lap.
"And you always love it!" he joked, looking down at me with that sly and sexy smile that always got the better of me.
He was right though, I always did love the music he wrote.
I felt myself grinning while watched him play a slow melodic song on his black and tan acoustic guitar, closing his dark brown eyes with his dark black hair falling over his face from the nodding of his head to the beat of his music. He could still take my breath away, even after years of knowing him; he did it on a daily basis. I suddenly felt my body ache to be in his arms and smirked as I decided that he would get to pick the position tonight after this private show was over.
"So what do you think?"
"Hmm... I think you were right," I replied smugly then quickly went back to typing on my computer with a wicked grin.
"You loved it, I knew it! I'm a musical genius," he teased then took my computer from my lap, tossed it to the side, and picked me up to spin me around the room as he hummed the new song through his very kissable lips.
"So, what inspired this one?" I asked as he gently sat us down on the couch with me still wrapped in his arms.
"The same thing that always does."
I didn't take my eyes off his as he cradled my face with his hands and bent his head down to bring his lips to mine, kissing me softly but somehow making it the most passionate kiss a girl could dream of. I was putty in his arms, his lips making me feel like I was turning into jell-o.
"You are always and will always be my muse Bella, you know that," he told me quietly once he pulled away, softly grazing the side of my face with his thumbs, never breaking eye contact with me.
That was one of the many things that made Jake special. The way he looked at you with his eyes, like he was reading your soul. As if he wanted to understand and really feel everything you were saying to him in that very moment. He made you feel like nothing else around mattered.
Back when things were good.
"Well its a good thing you don't write the lyrics," I teased slyly, which brought on a small pillow fight and in turn caused an old vase to fall from the china cabinet shattering glass everywhere.
We laughed as we helped each other clean up the mess, him working the broom and me stabilizing the dust pan on the floor then dumping the remains of our childish, carefree behavior into the trash can.
I shook my head vigorously, wishing it would remove the memory forever. Wishing I had more bad memories than good so I could pull one of those in order to counter this one that helped make my life a living hell these days.
But that was just it… bad memories were far and few between when it came to Jacob. At least up until those last few months before he left…
"I can't think about this, please God can I just have one fucking day?" I yelled to myself then quickly noted that when asking God for a favor I should probably refrain from using vulgar language.
After my shower, I ran a brush through my long chocolate-brown hair and pulled it back behind my ears, letting out a breath. I couldn't stand to look at myself.
I looked awful.
I almost didn't recognize the girl who was looking back at me.
My pale complexion didn't flatter the dark circles that had recently appeared under my dulled brown eyes. It looked like I hadn't slept more than ten hours total in the past week. I suddenly realized I probably hadn't and began to feel extremely overwhelmed. The idea that Jacob would be home in a few days was a little more than I could handle this morning.
Trying to push it all away from my mind, I grabbed my keys and jacket as I made my way down the block towards the coffee shop where I spent most of my free time. I was a creature of habit; living in New York City all my life had made me that way.
Just because I had stopped engaging in actual social interactions didn't mean I'd started avoiding all social situations, it just meant I lived my regular routine as an empty shell.
"Hey Bella, how's it going?" Mike asked, setting down my usual espresso in front of me.
"It's going. Jacob won't be back for another week, and I'm stuck working again tonight," I told him before I took a sip from my warm mug.
I let out a loud sigh, shooting some hair up out of my face from where it had fallen thanks to the atrocious posture I had developed over the last few weeks. Mike was my friend, but he was also one of Jake's friends too. That made venting very difficult, even if I'd wanted to. Though truth was I didn't really want to. I was much better off pretending everything was okay; that the floor hadn't been yanked out from underneath me.
"Tough break, kiddo. Alice was in about twenty minutes ago looking for you. She looked like she was up to something," Mike told me before going to wait on a couple who had taken a seat at the table next to me.
As if on cue, my phone suddenly vibrated in my pocket.
"Why haven't you called me back? I left you two messages brat!"
I abruptly remembered there had been other voicemails on my phone besides his, and immediately felt guilty.
"Sorry, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning," I told her without much emotion in my voice.
"Guess you got the call from Jake, huh?"
Alice was engaged to Jasper, the lead singer of the band, so I'd already guessed she'd gotten the news too.
"Yep, I did."
"Well that's why I'm calling! I have a surprise for you, my love," she sounded like a giddy schoolgirl... it was making me nervous.
There was no telling what would come out next when it came to her. The thing about Alice was her impulsivity. She was the most eccentric person I knew and if I was being honest, that was what I loved about her. That was why she was my best friend. She had been my crutch during the last seven weeks since the whole Jacob break up…err… break happened, and I'd never been more grateful for having her in my life.
"What ever you're thinking, you're crazy," I told her already slightly smiling from the excitement that poured over the other end of the phone.
"That's why you love me!" she replied confidently then asked me where I was.
I quickly asked her where else would I be on a Sunday morning. She knew me better than I knew myself, often freaking me out by her unusual way of predicting my future, although she would always explain I was the world's most obvious person to her because she was my best friend meaning she just always knew things.
"You're at the Café, of course. You must be running behind then because I was just there," she replied just as I took a loud, over-exaggerated sip from my blue coffee cup to prove to her I was where she thought I was.
"Okay, I'll be there in ten minutes!"
I sipped my coffee and went back to watching people buzz by the window. I was wondering to myself what Alice could possibly be up to when Mike abruptly came back to my table and took a seat in front of me.
"So how's it going, babe? You look like shit."
"Thanks," I mumbled back and opened up the newspaper that had been laying on the table beside me, hoping he'd take the hint and drop the subject.
Instead he took the paper from me, folded it back up, placed it under his arm and let out a long high pitched whistle.
I was now officially annoyed.
I was always fine as long as everyone let me continue through my daily sequence of events without discussing the obvious.
"You know what… it's been weeks. It's going to be another week. What's your plan of action? It won't be so easy to hide from once he's home."
I knew he was right but I didn't know what to say to him. I wished I knew what the plan was.
I wished life were that easy… that simple.
All I could do was shrug and stare into my half-empty mug in order to avoid my friend's eyes; something I found myself doing often these days.
I knew that at all costs when feeling weak, I had to avoid eye contact.
"Bella, you know Jacob is my buddy, but you are too. It's been rough seeing you like this and I've got to say we're all kind of worried about what's going to happen when he's back," he told me while pulling my chin up with his index finger forcing me look at him.
I instantly hated him for knowing my defenses.
"You have nothing to worry about, I'm alright," I said bluntly while turning my head to see Alice waltzing through the Café door.
Saved by my best friend once again. I would have to remember to thank her for that later.
"Mike, stop trying to be so dramatic with my Bella," She said with a grin.
I smiled as she gave me a wink before sitting down at our table.
He let out a lighthearted laugh, then squeezed my hand and disappeared behind the counter again.
"I swear he's got a thing for you," she whispered then giggled.
"He's one of Jacob's friends, Alice."
"So," she replied grinning again, "right this very moment he's thinking about fucking you over that very bar stool."
I flicked an unopened coffee creamer in her direction and quickly changed the subject.
"So what's the surprise?" I could feel myself forcing a smile and hoped it was more believable on the outside than it felt on the inside.
"Well, I've got an audition!"
"That's the surprise?" I was slightly disappointed.
Alice was a struggling actress with two wealthy parents. So by struggling I meant she lived for acting roles and had yet to get her big break. As far as finances, Alice would never struggle.
"No silly, there's more. You need a vacation and being in that empty apartment for another week is not what the doctor ordered!"
"Dr. Alice!" she snickered. "Now listen… I'm leaving for L.A. in the morning and I don't want to go alone so I will pick you up at eight. Be packed for a week on the beach and shopping on Rodeo Drive."
"What? You're crazy. I can't take a week off from work, Charlie would kill me!"
"Been there done that, you're off after tonight till next Monday night," she told me with a smug look on her face.
"Alice, I can't afford to miss that much work. Not all of us have wealthy parents who pay our rents and bills," I informed her, a little annoyed by her lack of concern for us average working class people.
"Already took care of that too. I can't believe you never negotiated a paid vacation with Charlie. You are crazy."
"How in the world…" I started to ask when she quickly interrupted me.
"My dad just became partners with him and the bar, so that helped," she told me with a wink.
"Sweetheart, when are you going to learn that when you roll with me you get to reap the benefits?" she added in a slightly serious tone.
"Never," I mumbled from under my breath and took the last sip of my now lukewarm coffee.
I wasn't used to needing benefits. Up until seven weeks ago, I'd never needed someone to spoil me with benefits. All the benefits I had needed were in Jacob.
"Then it's settled! We leave at eight a.m. I've got to get to class but I will come by tonight to make sure you're packed," she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek then bolted out the stained glass door before I had a chance to object any further.
"What was that all about?" Mike asked as I got up from my table.
"Looks like I'm going to L.A. tomorrow morning." I replied, surprised by the tingle of excitement that came over me at hearing that news leave my lips.
Thanks for reading!