Their Laughs, Their Love, Their Lives: Our Life (Oh My, My, My)
She said, I was seven and you were nine
I looked at you like the stars that shined
In the sky, the pretty lights
And our daddies used to joke about the two of us
Growing up and falling in love and our mamas smiled
And rolled their eyes and said oh my, my, my
Take me back to the house in the backyard tree
Said you'd beat me up, you were bigger than me
You never did, you never did
Take me back when our world was one block wide
I dared you to kiss me and ran when you tried
Just two kids, you and I...
Oh my, my, my, my
Well, I was sixteen when suddenly
I wasn't that little girl you used to see
But your eyes still shined like pretty lights
And our daddies used to joke about the two of us
They never believed we'd really fall in love
And our mamas smiled and rolled their eyes
And said oh my, my, my...
Take me back to the creek beds we turned up
Two A.M. riding in your truck and all I need is you next to me
Take me back to the time we had our very first fight
The slamming of doors instead of kissing goodnight
You stayed outside till the morning light
Oh my, my, my, my
A few years had gone and come around
We were sitting at our favorite spot in town
And you looked at me, got down on one knee
Take me back to the time when we walked down the aisle
Our whole town came and our mamas cried
You said I do and I did too
Take me home where we met so many years before
We'll rock our babies on that very front porch
After all this time, you and I
I'll be eighty-seven; you'll be eighty-nine
I'll still look at you like the stars that shine
In the sky, oh my, my, my...
Summer has always been my favorite season of the year. The grass is greener, the sky is clearer, and the birds, all of which had traveled south for the winter, come back to sing their cheerful songs. The rainfall doesn't ease during this time, but Forks seems to retain the sparkle that covers everything after a light rain longer in the warmer months.
For now, however, it is dry outside. The dreary April showers had led to still blossoming May flowers. June had finally brought the end of first grade today and the beginning of another summer.
"Bella!" I heard my name and spun around to see Edward Cullen jumping off a bus and running toward me. Third graders were in a different building than the rest of us and, consequently, Edward and I no longer saw each other during the school day.
As he is my best friend, I suppose I should feel lucky he doesn't find girls repulsive. Even in first grade, Edward didn't buy into the whole 'girls have cooties' thing. He doesn't mind the two year age difference either. With him around, I have never felt the need to find other friends my own age. Considering I do not get along with many of my classmates, this is probably something else for which I should feel grateful.
Edward and I live three houses apart, making it easy to spend time together whenever we want. Mom and Dad are close friends with Mr. and Mrs. Masen and they frequently come over so I can play with Edward and the four of them can have their 'adult chat time,' or whatever.
"Edward!" I shouted back. His smile widened as I ran to meet him halfway.
"Hey, Bells," he said, grabbing my hand and pulling me in the direction I just came from. "Come on. I want to tell you something."
I followed compliantly, grinning as I realized we were walking toward the old tree house. Dad and Mr. Masen had built it a few years ago when Edward asked them for one as a birthday present. Since then, Edward and I had spent every sunny day to date inside the tree house. It was our sanctuary in the only world we knew, which, admittedly, was pretty small considering we rarely left the short cul-de-sac on which our houses were located.
We got to the ladder and he stood below me as I climbed up first, claiming, as always, he would catch me if I fell. Luckily, his services in that area have not been required thus far.
Once I was inside, Edward joined me. The tree house was small; there was just enough room inside for the two of us to hang out comfortably. It was nice because no one else could come into our little haven. Dad added a roof after a few rainfalls wet the floor of the tree house and prevented us from going in until it dried. It allowed us to completely block out the rest of the world.
Scattered around were toys and a few books. We each had our own corner full of random items of little value that simply made us feel calm and relaxed as we sat in the tree house. A few cushions and pillows were lined against the wall, making the area seem more comfortable.
I glanced at Edward. He was looking out the door of the tree house, watching the small part of the street that was visible from where we sat. I followed his gaze to see a girl playing on the street with a few friends. I recognized her as Tanya, a third grader who lived at the furthest end of the street.
I giggled and elbowed Edward. "She's pretty Edward," I said teasingly. "Do you like her?"
I reached the edge of hysteria when Edward shot a death glare at me and growled. "Be quiet, Bella," he said gruffly.
"Go ask her out," I suggested, provoking him further.
He flushed, embarrassed. "Stop, Bella," he said. "Or I'll…I'll beat you up!"
I rolled my eyes. Though he was much bigger than me, and could certainly beat me up if he wanted to, I knew Edward never would. Still, I had embarrassed him enough. Teasing done, I switched focus. "So what did you want to tell me?" I asked.
He seemed grateful for the distraction. "Oh," he said. "I just wanted to talk. We haven't done anything for a long time."
I nodded to show my agreement. "What do you want to do?" I asked.
Edward shrugged. "Hide and Seek?" he suggested.
I rolled my eyes. "That game is for babies," I said. "Besides, we need more than two people."
"Fine," he said. "What about tag?"
"Edward," I groaned, exasperated. "There are only two of us. Pick something we can play together."
"Okay," he smirked, turning his body completely around to face me. "How about truth or dare?"
I grinned. We used to play this game for hours a few years ago. "I'm going first," I said with authority. "Truth or dare?"
Edward pondered this for a minute before deciding he was too lazy to get up. Instead, he lay back on an old pillow and said, "Truth."
I smiled evilly. "Do you like Tanya?" I asked slyly.
"Never mind." Edward's automatically spoke in an annoyed tone, but his voice quickly grew more resigned. "I want a dare."
I was not quite done. "I dare you to go kiss Tanya," I laughed.
Edward sat up and angrily shoved himself up to his feet. "Bella, I'm not doing that," he said. "If you aren't going to play fair…" He allowed the sentence to trail off and made a move toward the door.
I sighed. "I'm sorry Edward," I said. "You can have a re-do."
He glared at me once more before resettling himself amongst the cushions.
"Okay, truth or dare?" I said once more.
"Dare," he said quickly without giving it a thought this time.
I pondered my options for a moment before standing up, trying to muffle my giggles as I did so. "Edward," I said slowly, dragging out the name.
His head lifted slightly to connect his gaze with mine. "Yes?" he inquired suspiciously.
I took in a deep breath. "I dare you to kiss me!" I shouted before turning to climb out the entrance of the tree house. Edward, who, typically, will not refuse a dare unless it is completely out of line, clambered to his feet to chase after me, just as I knew he would.
My plan was simple. I would dare him to do this, and then run until I got to my house. He would hate not being able to complete a dare.
It would have worked. Truly, it would have, were it not for my lack of judgment, which made me turn to see how close behind me he was.
He had no hope of catching up. I was almost to the screen door porch. I stuck my tongue out at him and laughed. That was when I fell.
You would think I would have learned by now that running and I are not exactly close friends. I was destined for a life as a klutz and any physical activity involving focus on not tripping would always be difficult for me to accomplish.
I became aware of the mixed smell of grass and freshly turned dirt that filled my nose as my body slammed into the ground. I winced in pain, already able to feel the bruise that was beginning to form on the inside of my right leg. There were no broken bones, however, and no stitches seemed to be necessary. That was always a good sign.
I did not move as I heard Edward begin laughing. He caught up to me and sat on the ground by my left arm.
"Bella," Edward said in an amused way. I made no verbal or physical sign to let him know I heard.
"Bella," he said again, this time with concern. "Please get up."
I smiled, making sure my face was hidden from his line of sight.
Edward sighed. "I promise I won't laugh if you get up," he pleaded.
I thought this over before deciding it was the best I would get from him. I used both hands to push myself off the ground and onto my knees.
Once he realized I was all right, Edward's mouth relaxed into a lazy smile. "Next time you run, keep your eyes on the ground, Bells," he said as he stood up.
I rolled my eyes and pushed myself to my feet, ignoring the hand he offered. I still had some pride left. "Thanks for the advice," I said sarcastically.
He grinned back, refusing to be affected by my bad mood. "No problem," he said cheerfully.
I turned away from his in a huff and began walking toward the house.
"Wait Bella," he said from behind me. I stopped and looked over my shoulder at him. I hadn't heard his footsteps a moment ago and he was closer than I thought. I tried to answer but my breath caught in surprise.
Edward took one step forward and leaned down. He roughly shoved his mouth against mine and pulled away as fast as possible. Cheekily, he grinned. "I win."
"I'm going to get you for that Edward Masen!" I shouted. In truth, I was shocked he had actually kissed me. I had not expected him to.
He did not look scared. "Try not to fall," he said teasingly before racing off across the yard. I followed as quickly as I could, making sure to keep my eyes on the ground the entire time.
It wasn't long until it got dark out and Mom and Mrs. Masen called us inside for dinner. We both ran to the deck door, though the fact that Edward towered over me by more than a foot definitely affected the outcome of the race.
When I finally reached the house, Edward playfully shoved me before grabbing my hand to pull me inside. Our fathers, sitting at the kitchen table looking out the window, laughed at this display. "Keep your son away from my daughter," Dad said jokingly to Mr. Masen. Both Edward and I could hear him through the screen behind the open window.
Edward smirked and I blushed, though it was not awkward because we had both heard it before. It had become a running joke between our parents that Edward and I would fall in love when we were older. I did not believe it though. I already loved Edward, but just as a friend. He was like an older brother. Not that I would know, however, considering I was an only child.
After we finished eating, Edward and I dragged two sleeping bags outside onto the deck so we could go to sleep outside. It was a rare night in Forks because there were no clouds to cover the stars and I planned to take full advantage of that.
Our parents said goodnight to us and told us to behave before going to bed themselves. We each climbed into our respective sleeping bags and leaned back to look at the sky. We were so close that, were it not for the material covering each of us, our arms would be touching.
The night sky was beautiful. I quickly began searching for familiar designs within the stars. Dad had gotten me a book of constellations for my last birthday and, ever since then, I have been obsessed with finding shapes in the sky.
I easily spotted the Big Dipper and turned my head to get Edward's attention so I could point it out to him. His head was already turned in my direction, his eyes shining brighter than the stars above us. I knew that look. He had some big idea that would most likely get the both of us in trouble.
"No, Edward," I said forcefully, not bothering to take the time to hear him out.
He shrugged and chuckled, before turning back to the open sky. "Okay," he said slowly, dragging out the last syllable. "I mean, s'mores sound really good to me right now. I just thought they would to you too. I guess not." He let out a long dramatic sigh.
I quickly shot up and made to climb out of my sleeping bag. "Let's do it," I said excitedly.
Edward grinned mischievously and mimicked my movements. Only, unlike me, he is not a complete klutz, so he managed to stand up without getting tangled in his camping equipment.
Like the gentleman he rarely was, Edward offered me a hand and pulled me to my feet. Together, we snuck into the kitchen, careful not to wake my parents. We gathered the necessary ingredients and heated the gooey concoctions in the microwave, giggling uncontrollably the entire time.
Ready or not 'cause here I come
Dance, dance, dance
Have some fun
Six, five, four, three, t—
I was dancing in a way that I would not want anyone to witness as I walked down the sidewalk when I felt a yank at my ear as my earbud was pulled out. Angrily, I spun in the direction of the person responsible, though I already had a pretty good idea who it was.
Sure enough, Edward was right behind me. He smirked as he held my headphone to his ear, trying to figure out what I had been listening to. Our eyes met and he quirked an eyebrow.
I rolled my eyes and swiftly tore the buds from the headphone jack on my music player before continuing in the direction I had been going.
Edward, of course, followed. He met my pace and handed the headphones back to me without I word.
The high school was much closer to our neighborhood than the elementary school had been. We were able to walk to and from school without too much trouble.
I was in my sophomore year of high school and Edward was flying thorough his senior year. As the student body president and probable valedictorian—not to mention the most likely candidate for Prom King in a month when voting starts—Edward's social life had extended far beyond me. He always made time for his best friend, though, and I knew more about him than I am sure he even knew about himself.
Here's the deal—about six months ago, I realized our platonic relationship was not all it appeared to be. I could probably blame it on hormones. I could brush it off as an adolescent crush. Or I could face the truth and admit that this feeling has always been there and I did not recognize or acknowledge it until now.
Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is that Edward is constantly on my mind and consistently in my dreams.
However, the feeling is not fleeting so I must flee from my unyielding feelings.
Whatever that means…
"So," Edward said, cutting into my thoughts. "Would you care to defend your choice in song?"
It had been my favorite song as a kid, and he knew it too. It was a simple answer. Of course, we could never do anything simply. Our stubbornness ensured that.
"Not particularly," I responded nonchalantly.
It was one of our favorite games to play, no matter how childish we both recognized it to be. One of us—usually me—would ignore the other's—almost always his—attempts to be as annoying as possible. I would try to explain the origin of this game, or at least the rationale, but it is just one of those things that only two people can share. It is something that only two people can understand.
"Come on," he insisted. "You can tell me."
I shook my head in faint amusement.
"Please?" he asked cutely, trying to act sillier than normal.
"It was my favorite song ten years ago, Edward," I said, trying to maintain the monotone I was currently speaking with. "A fact which you, by the way, are well aware of."
He chuckled then fell silent. A moment later, however, I felt him poke me in the side.
"Ow!" I exclaimed, more in surprise than in pain.
"Bell-la," Edward sang. He had a goofy grin on his face and I struggled to keep a smile off my own. I shook my head, feigning ignorance.
I was not paying much attention to what he was doing, focusing on the sidewalk instead, so when he nudged my side, I easily lost my balance.
Of course, with my luck, I just so happened to be walking on the half of the sidewalk closest to the road. I stumbled onto the street just as a car turned the corner we had just passed and came hurtling towards me.
I froze, unable to call upon a fight or flight reaction—though, if I had, I sincerely hope I would not have tried to fight the car. The most I could do was close my eyes and brace for impact, which I did when something grabbed me and pulled me onto the sidewalk. I hit the ground hard, gaining what I am sure to be fewer bruises than I would have if the car had hit me.
My ability to be sarcastic in the most inappropriate situations never fails to astound me.
"Are you insane?" Edward shouted. "Why didn't you move?" My head swiveled around to face him, realizing, once my mind began processing information again, that he had been the one to pull me off the street.
I opened my mouth to answer but, to my intense horror, I whimpered instead.
Immediately, Edward's face softened and he pulled me closer to him. "Shh, Bella," he said in a voice that was much gentler than the one he had just been addressing me with. I was confused before I realized I was crying.
In dismay, I immediately pulled myself together and stopped shaking.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
I nodded and we both stood up. "Thanks for saving me, Edward," I said.
He made a pained face. "Don't thank me," he said. "It's my fault you had to be saved."
"It's my fault for having awful balance."
"I'm the one who pushed you into the street!"
"I'm the one who was ignoring you, which is what made you push me!"
"Well, I was being annoying, which made you ignore me!"
"And I was…Wait. What are we fighting about again?"
He gave me an exasperated look. "About whose fault it was that you almost died a minute ago!"
I paused, considering this. "Okay," I said finally. "This is definitely one of our stupider fights."
He laughed and nodded in agreement. "Yeah, you're right." Then, quickly, he added, "But I still won."
I rolled my eyes and walked away from him, refusing to nurture his already inflated ego. Edward caught up and wordlessly squeezed between me and the road, forcing me to walk on the other half of the sidewalk.
My heart swelled at this show of protectiveness—brotherly or not—and I found myself unable to remain annoyed at him.
"It doesn't matter whose fault it is," I said. "What matters is that you saved me."
I looked at him until he turned his own head to make eye contact. "So…thank you."
Edward sighed and put a hand out to stop me. I twisted my body, keeping my feet pointed in the same direction, and looked at him inquisitively.
"Yes?" I asked mockingly.
"I'll always save you," he said in a serious tone. "Don't forget that. Always." He emphasized the last word as though there was a possibility I had not understood the first time.
That possibility, of course, was completely incomprehensible. Here I was, hopelessly in love with a boy who had just told me he will always save me. How would I possibly miss that?
I almost lost my balance as I turned my feet toward him and firmly planted them on the ground. I found myself at a complete and utter loss as to what to say. Instead, the two of us stood there in silence, standing in what would appear to be a comical way to anyone watching us. His arm was still raised from when he stopped me, and my face was most likely red enough to cause a bull to charge.
My palms were beginning to sweat and my heart was racing, flying so fast that I found myself unable to count the number of times it beat. I could not look away from his eyes for anything. Light the world on fire, remove the force of gravity, paint the sky green and the grass blue—now's your chance. I would not notice.
His gaze dipped to my mouth and I sucked in one final gasp of air because breathing had suddenly become a laughable concept.
But nothing happened. Edward just closed his eyes, turned his feet, and began walking home once more. I took in a shaky breath before following him, uncertain of what had just happened.
"So…" I said awkwardly, unconfident about what this meant to him.
I did not need to worry. Instead of denying or making excuses, Edward did not say a word. Though this may have been enough cause to worry in itself.
Soon enough, we reached our own subdivision. We maneuvered through the culs-de-sac of our neighborhood before reaching our own. Edward had been quiet for the majority of the remainder of our walk. It was rather unusual, the silence.
Our houses came into view and I turned to enter mine. Edward shot out an arm and snatched the hand I was about to wave at him out of the air.
"Wha-?" It was all I could get out before he began walking briskly without letting go of me. I had to jog to meet his pace.
Edward took me across the grassy expanse of the yard towards the wooded part of the property. The old tree house soon came into view. I had not been back here since the middle of summer, and it looked older and more abandoned than it ever had before.
I thought he wanted to go into the tree house, so I stopped, waiting for him to let go of my hand and insist I climb up first like he always does. Instead he tugged on my arm and pulled me around to the other side of the tree. He spun me around so I was facing him, my back to the tree.
The tree house blocked us from the view of anyone in the surrounding houses or on the street. We could not see them either. The intensity Edward was radiating kept me close to him, ignorant of any others in the world.
Conflict raged in his eyes as we stared at each other. I pulled my eyebrows together, concerned and confused at the same time. Some childish reasoning entered my mind and told me whatever was going on would end if either of us looked away. I kept my eyes on his, holding my breath and, for whatever cause, not even daring to blink.
Suddenly, he took a step toward me. Reflexively, I jumped back, only to find myself cornered against the tree trunk.
It was Edward, so I was not scared. His presence had signaled safety for as long as I could remember.
It was all just physical, however. My lack of fear, that is. Mentally, I was frightened beyond repair. With him this close to me, I was unsure of what I might do. The slightest misstep in this fragile life could change everything.
My gaze dropped to his lips as I realized how close he was to me. My heart was flying and a tell-tale blush warmed my cheeks.
"Bella?" His voice shook. Surprised, I snapped my gaze back up to his eyes. If there was ever one quality Edward unfailingly possessed, it was confidence in everything he did and said. I had never heard him sound so nervous and unsure.
He brought his face closer to mine, hesitating when our lips were mere inches away. The question he could not verbalize was in his eyes, searching for the answer in mine.
I was so sure of my response but did not know how to express it. I answered in the best way I could and covered the distance between our faces.
The hesitation disappeared the second we connected and, despite my minimal experience, I easily found a rhythm that matched his. We moved together in a way that would make anyone believe we had done this all our lives. The kiss was five kinds of amazing, eight kinds of perfect, and too many kinds of right to count.
My body was on fire when Edward made a move to pull away, but I had waited far too long to allow that to happen. As he leaned back, I stepped forward and lifted a hand to hold his to my cheek.
He did not seem to mind, if the way he reacted was any indication. His free arm slid down the length of my arm and wrapped around my waist, pulling my body flush against his.
My mind was screaming at me to pull away in order to breathe, but my body and my heart fought back and kept me right where I was. But even the best things in life have to end eventually, so, when he made to pull away again, I let him do so.
Edward kept his arm around me and rested his forehead against mine. We were both panting lightly, trying to catch our breath.
"Bella," he said lightly between breaths. The way my name came out of that mouth this time was different from any time before. I was so attuned to this particular voice—this particular boy—that I caught even the most subtle change. My name hung in the air, full of more affection and care than it had ever held before.
I wanted him to hear the same in my voice, so I breathed his name back.
His eyes widened and he lifted his head. I kept his hand on my cheek, turning my head to place a soft kiss on his palm. He watched me do this before taking away his hand, dragging my own with it.
His eyes did not leave mine as he pulled my arm toward him. At a painstakingly slow rate, he lifted our intertwined hands to his mouth and kissed the back of mine.
I grinned at this display of affection and a bright smile of his own began to form on his face.
Neither of us made any move towards talking, but the silence was killing me. Eventually, I gathered my courage and opened my mouth.
"Wow," was all I could get out. I am gifted in articulation, I know.
He let out a big breath. "I second that," he said.
The smile on my face was making my jaw ache, but I could not stop. The teasing atmosphere the two of us usually upheld seemed to comfortably ease between us as I pointed a finger in his face. "That's the second time you've almost killed me today," I said accusingly, pretending to be mad.
Somehow he missed my teasing tone. Edward's smile dropped for a moment and he actually looked concerned. "Are you…did you…what we just did, was that bad?" He struggled to find a way to say what he needed to.
I looked at him in shock. "Of course not!" I said loudly. Here I was thinking I was the insecure one.
He looked surprised, though he appeared to shake off the mild anguish easily. His arrogance returned quickly and he raised his arms on either side of me, supporting his weight on the tree trunk and successfully pinning me between the tree and his warm body.
"Then you wouldn't mind if I did it again?" he asked in a low voice. He did not wait for an answer before leaning in and kissing me again.
And I did not mind at all.
Edward grinned impishly at me when he pulled away. "Remind me why I didn't do this a long time ago?" he asked.
Breathless, I retorted, "Uh, you did. When I was seven and you took my first kiss."
"I remember," Edward replied. "It was the best day of my life when we were in grade school."
It was probably mine too, now that I thought about it. At the time, however, I had tried to repress the very thought of it.
I laughed. "And the best day of your life now is…?" I asked, trailing off. I might have been fishing for a compliment, or maybe just reassurance, but I really wanted to know.
Edward did not disappoint. "Today. No contest," he said confidently.
"Good answer," I murmured back before kissing him sweetly once more.
For the next three weeks, Edward and I were the talk of the school. Girls were disappointed and Edward told me the male portion of the sophomore class that was single was not too happy about our relationship update either.
It was better than I had imagined it to be. Not only were we still the other's closest friend and confidant, but we were also so much more to each other.
In a way, it seemed as though we were always meant to be together. We both loved each other and, though we were not in the mindset to tell each other so, it seemed to be an unspoken truth.
Every night I would get a call from him wishing me sweet dreams. It was the little things he did that made me truly happy.
One Saturday night, almost six and a half weeks after we had first kiss, I was up late reading a worn book from my bookcase. My phone began buzzing on the nightstand by my pillow. I grabbed the cellular device and quickly answered it. "Hello?" I asked curiously once I realized that, in my haste, I had forgotten to check the caller ID.
"Bella, it's me," came a soft velvet voice. I should have known he would be the only one to call me so late at night.
"Is something wrong, Edward?" I asked. Why else would he call me when the rest of the town was asleep?
"No, no," he said hurriedly. "I just saw your light on, and I was still awake, so…" He allowed the thought to trail off, leaving me to complete it myself.
"And how did you see my light?" I asked with a teasing edge to my curiosity. We both knew from our childhood dream of signaling messages to each other via window that our bedrooms were not visible from each other.
Edward chuckled in an embarrassed manner. "I'm, uh, right…right outside your house.
I laughed loudly then quickly muffled it with my mouth. I had to remember my parents were still asleep.
"I'll be right out," I said quietly before snapping my phone shut. I slipped it into my pocket before leaving my room, not bothering to change. I slept in a stretchy and comfortable long-sleeved tee and my shorts would not be an issue in the warm spring night.
It occurred to me as I made my way down the stairs that, while I have snuck out into the backyard with Edward before, I had never gone anywhere else at night. Now that Edward had a car, he might want to drive somewhere. I left a quick note for my parents in the kitchen in case they woke up, and then slipped out the front door into the quiet night.
Edward was sitting on our porch swing, waiting. His eyes danced when he saw me and he stood up to grab my hand.
We began walking down the street, stopping every few houses for a kiss. These moments were too perfect for words.
We made our way around the cul-de-sac until we found ourselves directly across the street from Edward's house.
Edward hesitated before speaking. "Bella, I want to show you something if you're willing to go," he said cautiously. He gestured to his car.
I nodded eagerly and we ran to his car, laughing in what we hoped to be quiet tones as we climbed into the car and drove off.
I knew that someday I may regret sneaking off in the middle of the night, but here and now, with Edward, I decided to enjoy the time we had together as kids with freedom and limited worries. He would soon be going to college and I would be left here to finish high school. We still hadn't discussed what was going to happen with us after he left. I am not sure I want to.
I did not recognize the street we were driving on but, then again, I still did not have my license, so there was no reason for me to know.
I did recognize the park he pulled into moments later. It was the same one our parents had taken us to when we were kids.
Edward got out of the car, so I did the same. I followed him as he made his way across the grassy path. I tripped in the dark and, right away, Edward was there to stop my fall. He held onto me as we walked deeper into the park.
We reached the jogging track that wrapped around the lake when Edward veered left, walking away from the beaten path and heading for the wooded area beside it.
I gave him an apprehensive look but he smiled reassuringly and pulled back a branch, motioning for me to enter the woods.
"Edward," I said nervously. "The woods? At night? Really?"
His arm was around me again and he began to lead me through the underbrush. Once past the initial line of trees, there was not much blocking our path. "Just trust me, Bella," he said comfortingly. And, because I truly did trust him, I allowed him to pull me along as he weaved through the trees.
We soon emerged into what appeared to be a small circular meadow. I opened my mouth in astonishment. With only the moon and the stars to see by, the place was dimly lit, but it was magical.
Edward smirked at my reaction. "This way, Bells," he said, using the pet name he used when we were kids.
I followed and found myself at an old worn bench. It did not look like anyone had sat on it or cleaned it off in years. Looking around, I realized this was probably the case.
The meadow was so perfect and untouched. It lacked the usual clutter of litter that covered the playground and jogging trail. I wondered how Edward had found this little place, but I did not ask.
Instead, I watched him sit down on the bench, and then sat next to him when it did not collapse under his weight.
I could hear a little creek nearby. When I asked Edward about it, he excitedly jumped up and ran off to the side without an explanation. I hurried after him and found myself on a creek bed.
Edward had already taken his shoes off and dipped his feet in the water. I shrugged and followed his lead.
We laughed a little and talked a lot, simply enjoying each other's company by the creek.
Then we laughed a lot and stopped talking all together when he kissed me. We did not go further than a few deep kisses, but they meant more to me than anything I could think of. At least, they did until a half-hour later when we both lay back, side by side.
Edward blindly found my hand and we intertwined our fingers. "I love you, Bella," he said airily.
I inhaled sharply and sat up. He noticed I was no longer beside him on the ground and sat up as well.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
I searched his eyes for a moment then relaxed and allowed myself a moment to close my eyes and revel in bliss. "Nothing," I replied. "I love you too."
And then we were kissing again, careful not to fall onto the cool water and sharp rocks of the creek.
A few hours passed and I could no longer hide my yawns from him. We put back on our shoes, toes cold from the water, and he led me back through the woods and to the car.
We had been driving for just a few minutes when I noticed what time the bright green light on the dashboard was shining.
"It's two in the morning, Edward!" I practically shouted. "What if my parents wake up? What if your parents wake up?"
I was in hysterics and I knew it. Later I would blame the lack of sleep, but, for now, I was in complete panic.
"Relax, Bella," Edward said calmly. "I'm eighteen. My parents can't do anything to me."
"Well, I'm sixteen," I retorted. "And both of our parents can do a lot to me."
He sighed and sped up, which only succeeded in increasing my hysteria.
Soon enough, however, we were home, and there were no lights on in either of our houses. At least there were none that could be seen from outside.
Edward parked his car in his driveway and walked me to my house. He kissed me goodnight with a smile and I went inside. The lights were off and I could hear Charlie snoring upstairs. Relieved, I ripped up the note I had left and crumpled it in my hand before tossing it in the kitchen wastebasket and climbing up the stairs to my room to go to bed.
Everything was perfect. We went back to that meadow and sat by the creek whenever we needed to be alone. Our life was crazy what with my preparation for junior year and his excitement for graduation. Suddenly it was not our lives but our life, as though it belonged to both of us and we were attached by a bond that could not be severed.
It did not mean, however, that we did not encounter any bumps in the road. Like with anything, there are good times and there are bad times.
Our first fight was worse than anything I had ever experienced. At the time, I had believed it would tear the two of us apart forever. I should have known, even then, that nothing was that powerful.
It had started during our daily walk home from school. Edward seemed annoyed and, somehow, my inquiry as to why he was not pleased led to us screaming.
"I never see you anymore!" Edward accused angrily. "You're always with those that guy, Jacob." Edward spat out the name like it was a disease.
"So that's what this is about?" I asked hotly. "Because you know that's ridiculous. The only reason we spend so much time together is because you are always at student council meetings or out partying. I can have other friends Edward! Jacob is just a friend!" I emphasized the last four words, trying to make my point.
Edward shook his head. "It didn't look like he was just a friend today with his hands all over you!"
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and instead grabbed his shoulders, forcing him to focus on me and only me. "I fell Edward. He caught me before I hit the ground. That's it."
Edward shook my hands off of him and averted his eyes, refusing to listen. "Well he shouldn't have touched you," he muttered crossly.
My eyes widened and I crossed my arms, giving up the effort to make things right between us. "So I suppose he should have just let me fall?" I demanded, not actually searching for an answer. "Nobody else can stop me from getting hurt except you, is that it? Would you rather he had let me fall and get hurt, huh Edward?"
Furious, I stormed away, taking in shaky uncertain breaths. We had never fought before. Never. Maybe our intimate relationship was not a good thing. How could it be if it was ruining our friendship this soon after it started?
"Bella, I didn't mean it like that," Edward said, most of his anger gone now.
I shook my head and ran toward my house, blind in the dark night. "Go away, Edward," I shouted, tears threatening to spill down my cheeks. I would not allow him to know he had to power to make me cry. Not now.
"Bella," Edward said in a broken voice that was so much different than the one he had been using to shout at me just a moment before. "Don't cry."
I had forgotten just how well we knew each other. Of course he would be able to hear the tears in my voice before they could physically be seen. I can do the same with him.
"Just…just go," I said shakily before climbing the steps to get to the front porch. It did not escape my attention that this had been the place where we had kissed just the night before. The thought brought another round of sobs on and I quickly stormed into the house and slammed the door behind me so he would not hear.
Charlie was sitting at the table when I passed the kitchen. His concerned look and protective gaze were too much for me. "I'm going to bed," I said before he could get out a word. He nodded, seeming a touch relieved not to have to delve into the problems of a teenage girl.
I quickly bounded up the stairs and into my room, locking the door behind me. I made sure the blinds were closed before throwing myself onto the bed.
I cried until my head hurt and I was just simply exhausted. Just a few minutes after my eyes ran dry, I fell asleep to what sounded like rain on my window pane.
I woke up the next morning with puffy eyes and a headache. I washed my face and changed out of yesterday's clothes which I had fallen asleep in.
It had occurred to me sometime during the long night that I would have to fix this. Both Edward and I were incredibly stubborn, but he would win the contest if we were ever to have one. That meant it was up to me to go to him and work everything out.
It seems silly to believe this was all up to me, but I know in my heart that life without Edward would not be my life. I had spent so much time with him and we share so many memories that the last sixteen years would be incomplete if I tried to block him from my thoughts.
I pulled on my boots, remembering the rain from last night then ran out the door.
It was bright and sunny outside. The sun was midway between the horizon and the center of the sky. The morning air was slightly chilly and I crossed my arms over my chest in an attempt to warm up.
Almost the minute I began walking on the grass my boot gave way and I tripped, landing with my hands on the soft earth. The grass was not wet, which confused me. I took off my boots and left them in my yard, glad I would not have to focus on not tripping over them again.
I began my walk to Edward's house once more when I saw something in my own yard. It looked like a dark mound, though, with the grass so tall, I could not tell what exactly it was.
I made my way toward this mysterious object when it moved. My heart rate picked up and I cautiously made my way towards it.
It wasn't until I was within two meters that I realized it was a human. More specifically, it was Edward.
I took in my surroundings and realized he was asleep right beneath my window.
I knelt down beside him and gently rubbed his back. "Edward, sweetie," I said gently. "Wake up."
He did not respond for a moment. Then he mouth opened. "Bella," he whispered, but he remained curled up and unmoving.
It took me a moment to realize he was still asleep. I smiled briefly at the thought of him dreaming of me, especially when he was the star of my own dreams practically every night.
"Edward, wake up," I said a little louder. This time he stirred, turning his body reflexively toward the sound of my voice.
"Bella?" he said again, this time consciously. He looked confused.
"Edward," I laughed softly. "What are you doing out here?"
He looked around, orienting himself before responding. "I was out here waiting for you to come out, and I think I fell asleep."
"You think?" I asked with another laugh before another thought occurred to me. "Why would I have come outside?"
"I…I was throwing rocks at your window," he said in a cute voice that made him seem smaller and more vulnerable than ever. "Didn't you hear them?"
I thought back to the night before. It all dawned on me in a matter of seconds. The sounds I had thought were rain were actually pebbles Edward had been throwing, a fact that should have crossed my mind when I left the house this morning and there was no evidence of rain from the previous night.
I gave him a small smile before standing and helping him to his feet. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked at me apologetically. "I have to go home and make sure my parents know I'm okay," he told me.
I nodded in agreement, motioning for him to be on his way. He caught my chin with his right hand and turned my face gently so I was looking him in the eye. "And Bella, I am so sorry."
I actually had to think a minute to remember what he was talking about. That is how much the fight truly meant to me. "Already forgiven, Edward," I said because it was true.
A fleeting look of relief crossed him face and he planted a sweet kiss on my forehead before heading home.
He glanced over his shoulder to give me one last smile before letting himself into his house. I watched him go, thinking that this might just work out right.
I reached into my bag, pulling out the car keys I had not used since I was last home over spring break. The apartment by campus Edward and I had shared was now empty and all the boxes were already at my parent's house. At least, that is what he told me before leaving for his last day of work this morning.
We had planned to fly home together, but Renée and Charlie had bought my tickets, unaware of our plans. My plane had landed seven hours ago, and I spent the last four hours catching up on the sleep I had missed while studying for my finals.
Edward's plane was scheduled to land in about an hour and a half, and I, of course, had offered to pick him up from the airport.
For the last two years, Edward had worked at firm near campus while I finished my last years of undergrad. Now that each of us had a degree, we planned to figure out what the next step in our lives was regarding our future. The only thing that was certain was that we would be together. Neither of us has ever even thought about debating that.
I pulled into the airport parking lot an hour later. The radio faded as I pulled the keys out of the ignition and entered the big square building.
I knew exactly which exit he would come from when he got off the plane. He had sent me the information this morning and I had double-checked it on the computer at home.
I still had half an hour before his scheduled arrival, so I pulled out the journal I had begun freshman year of college and began writing. I became so immersed in this activity that I did not notice the bustle of those around me until a very familiar pair of legs was right in front of me.
"Hello, love," came a musical voice from above me. My heart still skipped a beat at the very sound. The fact that he could still elicit such a reaction from me is one of the things I loved most about him.
I quickly stowed away the notebook and jumped up to hug him. He chuckled at my reaction and pulled me tightly to him.
When we let go of each other, Edward picked up his carry-on bag and my own backpack and, together, we walked out to the car. As I mentioned earlier, Edward had planned ahead, having all of our stuff sent home so we would not have to worry about luggage. It was much less of a hassle, I can tell you that.
We had the usual light-hearted argument about who would drive, though, seeing as it was my truck, I gained an easy win. It did not stop me from throwing my hands up in victory, however.
He threw our bags in the backseat and opened the driver's side door for me. I thanked him and he made his way around the car to the passenger seat.
Once buckled, I made to put the keys in the ignition, but Edward's hand stopped me.
He brought his face to mine and kissed me. "I missed you," he said quietly.
I looked at him with a strange face. "It's been less than a day."
He just stared back as though I was missing the obvious. "I missed you," he repeated insistently.
I smiled and bit my lip shyly. "I missed you too," I said. He smiled in response and kissed me once more before freeing my hand so I could put the keys in the ignition.
We were soon out of the vicinity of the airport and on the back roads. The street was surrounded by trees and the fresh air blowing through our open windows easily relaxed me.
We drove in comfortable silence, each of us content simply being in the other's company. It did not escape my notice that he was nervous about something. His leg bounced up and down and nothing could hold his attention very long. I planned to ask him about it when we got home.
Occasionally, Edward would rub my leg or put his hand behind my neck and massage it. They were subconscious movements, and, despite the number of years we had been together, a warm thrill of joy shot throughout my body when I reflected on how comfortable he was when he was around me.
We continued like this for a while longer before Edward's hand disappeared from the back of my neck. He used that hand to point to our right. "Turn here," he said.
I did so, recognizing where we were. It was the same park we had gone to in high school, when we first began discovering each other.
The parking lot was relatively empty, which was to be expected in the middle of the week. Though my own finals were over, the local schools would not end session for another two weeks.
We both got out of the car and began walking toward the creek. Edward grabbed my hand and we lazily allowed our arms to swing back and forth between us.
The breeze washed over us, teasing the soft green blades of grass at our feet. Each step took us closer to the memories we still hold close to our hearts.
Right before the jogging path began, we strayed from the marked path toward the one familiar to us.
As always, Edward held the tree branches aside and gestured for me to walk under them. I smiled and did so, then waited until he followed. He wrapped one arm around my waist and kept me vertical as we made our way through the forest.
Soon enough, we were back in the small meadow. Edward led me over to the old bench by the creek. It looked the same as it did years ago when we were last here. We sat down, side by side, listening to the sounds of the undisturbed nature.
I lay my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes, thoroughly content. He wrapped his arm around me and gently rubbed my arm. The creek flowed slowly, the water creating a soothing sound as it passed over the rocks.
"Bella." Edward said my name softly, pausing afterward, as if there was something he wanted to say.
I lifted my head to look into his eyes, signaling for him to continue with a nod of my head.
Edward dragged his hand across my back and down my other arm to grab my hand. His empty hand grabbed mine and he slid to the front of the bench so he could turn to face me.
"Bella, I love you," he said, staring into my eyes.
I smiled softly and whispered, "I love you too, Edward."
He leaned in to kiss me softly on the mouth. Then he pushed off the bench, still with each of my hands in his own, and sank down to the ground. On one knee.
Edward slipped his right hand out of my left, sliding his fingers across my palm as he did so. My breath caught as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a black ring box.
The ring sparkled in the sun and the cut diamond reflected light in every color of the rainbow.
"Mom gave it to me," he explained. "Six years ago, when I left for college, she told me to give it to you when we were ready. Even then, we both knew that you were the only one for me."
My eyes began to water, and I helplessly reprimanded myself for becoming emotional at a time like this. My verbal skills appeared to be gone, and all I could do was smile at him.
With so much love in his eyes and my heart, Edward opened the box and held it out to me. "Bella, will you marry me?"
I nodded vigorously, no longer caring about the tears on my cheeks. "Yes, Edward," I said. "Yes."
His smile grew wide as he removed the ring from the box and slid it onto my left ring finger with care. He kissed the ring on my finger before rising from the ground to plant a gentle kiss on my lips.
I sighed and ran my fingers across his cheek. I knew life could never get any better than this.
My long white train flowed behind me, gently lifting off the ground as the summer breeze caught it. The flowers in my hand provided a soothing smell and I inhaled deeply in an attempt to calm my nerves.
I was not nervous about getting married. Those fears were not relevant to my situation at all. It was making it down the aisle and to the altar to actually execute the marriage plan that scared me.
Charlie promised not to let me fall and I believed him because it was the only thing I could do.
Alice, my college roommate, was my maid of honor and my only bridesmaid. We were taking the concept of a small-town wedding to the extreme here. Forks was the kind of place where everyone knew everyone, and, let me tell you, everyone was here. Familiar faces surrounded me. They were mainly people who I had not seen in years, but had watched me grow and mature. For that reason, we all felt close enough to share this special day.
Not only my special day, but Edward's as well. The day we will remember for the rest of the life we spend together. I was determined to make it perfect.
The music started and I took one last whiff of the flowers as Alice whispered a quick "good luck" and kissed my cheek before making her way gracefully down the aisle.
Wordlessly, I draped my arm over Charlie's. He gave me a reassuring pat as we began walking down the aisle.
The walk was shorter than I had expected to be and I found myself next to Edward in just mere seconds. I turned to hand my bouquet to Alice and smiled at my mother and my mother-in-law (almost), who both had tears in their eyes, before focusing my attention on the man I love.
He silently offered me his hand and I took it with a smile. Our hands were familiar with each other and molded together easily. He rubbed my palm gently with the pad of his thumb in an effort to soothe me.
I did not hear one word the priest said. The entire time, my focus was on the man in front of me who was about to become my husband.
The only sound that permeated my ears during the ceremony was the first two words Edward had said to me all day. And those words managed to penetrate my soul and send my heart soaring. "I do."
A few moments passed, which I spent in pure elation, when I noticed Edward looking expectantly at me. Quickly realizing it was my turn, I said, "I do," expressing all my love and adoration in those two words the best I could.
Another minute went by and then Edward was gingerly cupping my face with his hand and I was leaning toward him and we were kissing, sealing the connection that had been established years ago when we first met.
"Come on, sweetheart," I said, motioning to the child trailing behind me. He was a spitting image of his father and I loved him even more for that reason. Edward was in front of me carrying our adorable little girl. She has him wrapped around her tiny finger more than he would ever care to admit.
Before we were even close to the front door, Renée and Charlie came out, closely followed by, for all intents and purposes, my second parents.
"Grandpa!" my little one shouted as he ran ahead up the steps and into my father's arms. Charlie happily scooped him up and carried him inside.
I walked up to Edward and whispered in his ear, "How is she holding up?"
Edward turned so I could see her eyes were closed and her head was resting peacefully on his shoulder. I quickly kissed the top of her head and the two of us made our way up the front porch steps.
The four grandparents had all gone inside, leaving us to enter my childhood home when we wanted.
Edward sat down on the porch swing and I sat next to him. Our life seemed so perfect now. We had no real issues and we were truly happy just being with each other.
His eyes and his smile still sparkled like the stars and his mind and love kept me on my toes. I could not imagine ever getting tired of what we had, and, after all these years, I did not believe it could ever happen.
The two of us were destined to be together forever, and we both knew it. In our sixties, our seventies, our eighties, and as long after that as we have on this planet, I know we will be right here at home, looking at each other the same way we are now.
Renée came outside to take our baby girl, leaving the two of us together on the swinging bench, alone for the first time in awhile.
He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer. I closed my eyes, content and clouded with a sense of safety.
"I love you, Edward," I breathed. "So much."
Edward pulled me upright and leaned towards me. "As I love you, my dear," he said before giving me a kiss that conveyed everything we had and felt for each other better than words ever could.
Oh my, my, my, my
If anyone has a song suggestion for another one-shot like this, I would love to hear it! Please, please, please review!