This story has been brewing around in my head for a while. It has drug and alcohol use, dark themes and angst, but there will be a happy ending, eventually.

Summary: As a teenager, Edward was a user. He befriended two girls, one who was in love with him, the other he was in love with. One day everything fell apart and he was sent away never talking to either of them again. Years later, one of them dies, and he feels it is finally time to ask the other for forgiveness for breaking her heart.

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Chapter 1: The Obituary

Edward POV

It's been fifteen years, three months, and twenty days since I've used drugs. What sounds like a lifetime, actually feels like yesterday. Back when I was using at the tender age of fourteen, never did I dream that things would happen the way they did.

My mother tried her best to get me to see that I was on the path to nowhere. She knew I was using. She didn't know how much, but she knew by my mood swings and the constant need to be left alone. Persistently she threatened me that if I didn't stop, she was sending me to rehab.

The first time she found a joint hidden in the bottom of my closet in a shoebox, she totally freaked out. "Marijuana is just a stepping stone to the next level. Next you'll being using pills, after that you move up to coke and only God knows what that will lead to."

She had no idea that I had already followed the steps and had used everything she had mentioned and more. That joint was just a small pebble in the walkway I was following and if she had dug deeper, there wasn't much telling what she would have found.

My father was nowhere around. My parents fought daily, screaming and hollering at each other while my sister and I had a front row seat. They finally divorced leaving my sister and me with my mother while he remarried and started another family. He was a great role model. When it gets tough, run.

My mother never remarried and while she wasn't exactly bitter about the divorce, she wasn't thrilled either. He had left her for a younger woman see and that really puts the sting in things. I thought it was pretty shitty myself, so I sided with my mom and spent as little time with him as I could.

My sister on the other hand, was a daddy's girl. Fucking traitor. Most of my life we fought like cats and dogs, and this would start a fight quicker than anything. She kept saying that she wasn't taking sides, but in all my youthful wisdom, I thought she was a complete bitch.

That wasn't all we fought about. She hated the way I dressed, telling me I looked like a slob and my appearance reflected on her. She hated my friends, even thought I didn't have very many. Not only were they from the wrong crowd, but they just didn't act right. Nothing I did at school or at home was up to her standards and she let me know regularly.

So I was in a broken home with a bitter mother and a bitch of a sister. No wonder I turned to drugs. Or that was the excuse I told myself. When I was using, what they said didn't matter. What happened didn't matter.

Then Bella came along. She was shy and timid, never looking into my eyes for more than a split second when she would even look my way. We sat across from each other in 8th grade English, while I spent most of my time sleeping or daydreaming, she was actually paying attention.

She was an enigma to me. All the other girls were worried about their clothes, whether they matched or were the right style, worried about their hair, whether it was big enough, the right color or cut, and whether or not the cool guys were looking their way.

But not Bella. She wasn't concerned about the latest fashion or the current style of haircut. The last thing she was worried about was if guys were checking her out or not, because she spent most of her time trying to blend in so that she wouldn't be noticed.

Everyday in class, she would take notes paying close attention. If the teacher was about to call on me to ask me a question, she would throw something at me to wake me up or poke me, then graciously she would give me the answer.

At first, I thought she was just being nice and it surprised me because she never talked to anyone. She seemed as much as hermit as me never wanting to draw attention to herself in anyway.

Then one day when she thought I wasn't paying attention, I caught her doodling. In the middle of all her swirls and hearts and stars was my name. Edward Cullen.

The thought petrified me that a girl would be thinking about me. I had no interest in girls at all. Between how my mother and sister acted, anyone of the female persuasion I considered my enemy and wanted no contact with them whatsoever.

She never said anything to me about it at all. There were only a few times that I caught her doing it, and she tried her best to hide it, so for her sake and mine, I never mentioned it.

Midway through the year, there was a transfer of a new student to our class. Her name was Charlotte Peters and she looked like a rock star with her waffle cut shave up one side of her head and the rest of her hair dyed pink. The clothes that she wore matched her hair in style and you could tell that she was a drug user. The signs were all there, and it intrigued me because there weren't many girls that I knew that used drugs.

She had been at a private school having been in trouble so many times that the school kicked her out. Apparently she had made a habit of being kicked out of school, because this was the 3rd school in the past year that had expelled her. Her parents had finally given up on trying to send her to private school to keep her out of trouble and sent her to public school. Little did they know that private schools were just as big of a place to find trouble as any.

The teacher gave Charlotte the seat in front of me and every morning when she sat down, I was greeted with the scent of cigarettes and some type of floral body spray that she used in vain to cover up the smoke smell.

For some reason, she took an instant liking to the girl who had sat by me and they became friends. Opposites attract and all that shit, so I shrugged at the thought of them being friends, because it was none of my business. Later I would find out that they had known each other since they were little girls in dance class.

After her first week there, that very weekend, I was at a party at Jeff's house, and to my surprise she walked in the door. But what really surprised me was who she brought tagging along with her.

Jeff was a senior in high school and was real careful who he let come to his house. He lived in the small guest house behind his parent's house that had once been occupied by his grandmother before she passed away. Even though he could give a rat's ass what his parents thought, he didn't want word getting around that he was the biggest drug dealer on school grounds.

Charlotte walked through the door like she owned the place walking through the crowd not caring what anyone said. When she spotted Jeff, she yelled out some nickname to him that I had never heard before and ran and jumped on him wrapping her arms and legs around him.

She gave him a huge smacking kiss before easing her way off of him. He held her back at arms length for a moment and gathered her again in a bone crushing hug. They too had known each other previously and hadn't seen each other in a long time since Charlotte had been sent away to private school.

So from then on, she was just as welcome as the rest of us were, and her little friend too. Her little friend though, wasn't too happy about being there I could tell. Bella wasn't a user, and from what I could tell she had no thought of becoming one. But she would come and hang out with Charlotte and spend most of her time reading. Every once and a while she would look at me, and when I would catch her, she would bury her head back in her book.

The more I saw Charlotte, the more I liked her. She was witty and flirtatious and the funniest damn thing when she was buzzed. It didn't matter what the drug was at the moment, she would use and abuse and make the most of it.

She was the first girl I was attracted to and the first girl that had actually given me a hard on. Sure I had seen pictures and things on television that gave me a rise, but she was the first real life person that turned me on.

Even though I lusted after her, I was still way to introverted to even think about approaching a girl about sex. Besides that, the thought of rejection of any kind made me scared to act out on any feelings that I had.

Because we were all in the same class together, and we partied together, the three of us became friends. People thought it was weird that I was hanging out with two girls. Rumors went around that I was gay and that was why I hung out with girls, but I didn't give a fuck. These girls were the only people I really felt comfortable with when I wasn't fucked up, so I felt relaxed when I was around them. They were the only people that did.

We were always together. We would go from house to house. One house on Friday night, another house on Saturday night, then on to mine for Sunday because my mom and sister went to church and out to lunch and were gone for most of the day. No matter where we were, we didn't care because we were together.

Sometimes we would go over to Jeff's and hang out when he wasn't going to have his high school buddies over. Charlotte and I would drink like fish and smoke weed and do crank. We didn't do it except when we came over here, so at the time, we didn't believe we were drug addicts.

Bella never once participated in our little drug fest. Her being the daughter of a police officer, she was scared to indulge. It didn't bother anybody that she didn't do drugs or the fact that she her father was a cop. We all trusted her and knew she would never tell anyone what we were doing.

When we were all high, we would ask her to read to us. There were times when we would do acid and listen to her read and it would just blew our minds because it was like really being there and acting out the story.

She didn't like the fact that we did drugs and drank. She wouldn't fuss or call us out on it, but you could see the disapproval in her eyes. Sometimes she would tell Charlotte that she had too much to drink, try to get her to slow down some or go home and Charlotte would go ballistic.

Charlotte was an emotional drunk and drug addict. There were times that she was so funny that you would laugh to the point of peeing your pants. Then there were times that she would be so bitter and angry, trying to pick a fight and be combative.

These times were the hardest on Bella because she didn't like confrontation. She hated to see Charlotte so hostile and destructive, lashing out at everybody and everything.

If Bella tried to help her, she would turn on Bella for a split second, and then as if a fog lifted from her she would see that it was Bella and grab her in a bone crushing hug and cry apologizing to her over and over again.

From what I could tell, Bella wasn't use to this lifestyle at all, and it was wearing down on her. But she never gave up on Charlotte or me for that matter. It was like she was afraid to be away from us when she knew that we were going to be using because she wanted to look out for us.

The door opened up to my office breaking me out of my daily remembrance of my misspent youth. What happened then bothered me more and more as time passed. When I was young and dumb, I didn't care about anybody else's feelings but my own, and spent most of my time worrying about getting high.

Now that I was older, I regretted so many things. The way I treated my mother and sister, pushing them out of my life, saying cruel things to them, acting as if they didn't exist. But I especially felt bad about the way I treated Bella. I disregarded her feelings. Used her to take care of me when I was puking my guts out when I was drunk, took advantage of the fact that she paid attention in school making her help me with my school work when she needed to be doing her own.

But the absolute worse thing I did was using her friendship by getting closer to Charlotte when Bella had feelings for me herself. That day when everything went to hell, she told me that she loved me and cared for me. The heartbreak in her eyes when I confessed that I loved Charlotte and wanted to be with her still to this day haunts me day and night.

"Edward", Jasper called my name bringing me back to the future. "I have something you should see and I didn't think you should be alone when you saw it. Here."

Jasper handed me a newspaper folded to whatever he wanted me to see. Scanning down the paper I could see the list of obituaries. Sometimes, people we have treated ended up here. No matter how much you try to help someone, it won't work if they won't help themselves.

Finally I saw what he was trying to show me. Her name was in bold letters over the information of how she died and visitation times. Tears began to sting my eyes as I read her age, that she had died suddenly, her surviving relatives and burial information. In lieu of flowers, contributions could be made to the local women's shelter.

Closing my eyes, I could see the three of us in perfect clarity again, all of us smiling living in the moment. How could things have gone so wrong?

Jasper walked around my desk, easing down on the side before placing a comforting hand on my shoulder. Looking up at him, he was blurry from the tears that were swimming in my eyes.

"I knew you would be upset. When we lose someone that played such an important role in our life, good or bad, it hurts."

It wasn't just the fact that she had died, or how I knew deep down exactly how she had died, it was the person she left behind. The one person that loved her unconditionally, no matter her faults or the person she had become.

"Poor Bella. She loved her so much. Charlotte was a friend to her when she didn't have any. And Bella was friend to Charlotte even when Charlotte didn't want one."

"Are you going to call her?" Jasper asked me in a sympathetic tone. He knew the whole story from beginning to the end. He knew that I regretted in more ways than one how things happened. He knew that I carried a huge weight on my shoulder even after years of therapy and rehab.

There were many people I hurt that day, and I had asked for forgiveness from all of them but one. Feeling like I had hurt her more than anyone else I did, I could never bring myself to ask for something I didn't deserve.

"I don't know if I can. Now that this has happened, it would be like pouring salt on an opened wound."

"You're probably right. But don't you think you should at least offer your condolences." Jasper always made me see things for how they really are. In order to get better, you have to admit there is a problem. You have to confront it and meet it head on.

Staring down at the two short paragraphs that summed up the end of Charlotte's life, I knew Jasper was right. It was time to face what had happened all those years ago, whether either one of us wanted to or not. We both needed some closure, and just maybe if she heard everything once and for all, we both could move on.

A/N: I am not in any type of medical profession. Nor am I a therapist, psychiatrist or counselor. Please remember this is fiction people. Well not all of it is some of it is based on real life. Charlotte is based on someone I knew and loved, so is Edward. I guess you could say Bella is based on me. Most of what I will write will be from Edward's POV. Please let me know what you think by hitting that review button down at the bottom.