Hey guys! So I'm posting the Edward and Jane POVs I wrote for Fandom Gives Back. They take place around the time Edward and Bella ran into each other again in Seattle (so around Chapter 17-18). I hope you guys like them. Please let me know what you think.
As always, thanks to WriteOnTime for her beta work, and Ciaobella27 for prereading. They're awesome. And thank you so much to Team LittleCiaoOnTime for bidding, and Carolalala for putting the team together.
I don't own Twilight.
"I can't believe it. It's such a small world, right?" Rosalie says, pouring the last of the syrup over waffles. "Bella Swan. And she's just as cute as ever. Except for her hair. I can't believe she didn't kill the person who did that to her. But I told her it's just hair, it'll grow back."
I take a bite out of the French toast Rose ordered for me and nod. Yes, it's a small world. Yes, it's hard to believe. It was also the most awkward interaction I've had within someone since... since I met Bella back in high school. It was always awkward with her before we got to know each other. She wasn't the sweetest girl or the nicest girl, but that didn't matter because she was hot. She was always looking at me and making me feel uncomfortable. But then... yeah. Then she was my girlfriend. And then she wasn't.
"I saw you guys talking in the hallway."
"Yeah, what was that all about?" Royce asks with a wink. Who winks like that? I look away before everyone at this table knows how much I want to punch this douche.
"I bumped into her outside the bathroom. Rose, that bathroom is disgusting, by the way."
"Why are you telling me this?" Rose shrugs. "It's Royce's place. Royce, the hallway bathroom is disgusting."
Royce rolls his eyes at my cousin, who smiles at him like an idiot. I've never seen Rose like this. At first I thought she wasn't really into him, but I guess I was wrong. They seem to get along, and he makes Rose smile. Despite what my parents think about their relationship, the fact that he seems to make her happy is good enough for me—even if he's the douchiest guy I've ever met. Besides, nothing is ever good enough for my parents. Chelsea isn't intelligent enough. Her nose isn't real enough. I'm not driven enough. I don't care enough. Like I told Rose yesterday, when she was upset about her latest conversation with my mother: nothing will ever please them. Hitting "ignore" when they call is the only way to go.
"Edward? Are you almost done? We're running late."
No. I'm not almost done, but this French toast is disgusting. "I guess I don't have much of an appetite."
"Oh, geez." Rose sighs.
"You don't have much of an appetite? Tell me you're not back in your Bella funk."
"Bella funk?" Royce asks. I look up from my plate half-expecting him to look amused, but all I see on his face is confusion.
"It's nothing," she quickly says, turning to Royce. "Edward and Bella used to date. For like, five minutes," she adds. She reaches over and covers my hand with hers.
"It's true! I told you then, and I'm telling you now—"
"I'm fine. I'm really hung-over, and the food here sucks."
"So, this isn't about Bella?" she presses.
"We went out for five minutes, six years ago. Who cares about Bella?"
Rose grins and sits back. She asks me about Chelsea's keratin treatments, like I would know anything about them. She informs me that since it rains a lot in Seattle, Chelsea is concerned about her hair, which gets pretty big when it's humid out. I remember a recent trip the two of us took to her parents' beach house. She kept complaining about the humidity, and I kept insisting that I couldn't tell the difference. I wasn't lying. Yeah, her hair was bigger, but she was cute. I reach for my phone to text my girlfriend, because I miss her. I haven't texted her since I landed yesterday. I had meant to last night, but I kept thinking about my conversation with Bella, and trying to decide whether or not I should call her sometime this week. I'm not sure why I was thinking about her. She was just a kid I knew. And despite our drunken conversation in the hallway, there's nothing there to explore. I quickly check my outbox to make sure I didn't text Bella last night—I didn't. Good. I was so drunk. And she was... the same. Like old Bella. Old Bella was awesome.
"I'm done," I announce, pushing my plate away. "Let's go?"
"Yeah, we have to pay at the register," Rose points out.
Royce tells us he'll take care of it, since I'm their guest. I don't argue. That motherfucker can afford it. Rosalie and I walk out of the diner and I quickly light a cigarette before Royce gets back.
"Hey, we're still on for Forks next weekend, right?" she asks.
"I'm really excited. It's been years since I last saw Emmett."
"Yeah." I wonder why she wants to see Emmett. I don't even remember what he looks like, even though we hung out a couple of times during our brief sojourn in Forks. Was she into him? Probably. It's still odd that she wants to go back for a visit.
"Edward, is everything okay?"
"I'm fine. I'm just tired," I tell her.
"You need to rest. You had a long day yesterday. I'm glad we didn't decide to drive up there today."
"Yeah, that wouldn't have been fun."
"Plus, Bella's going to be there next weekend," she adds.
"She hasn't decided yet. She said 'maybe'."
Rose nods. "Was it strange, running into her like that?"
"No. I don't know."
She looks at me, really looks at me, the way only Rosalie ever looks at me. Her eyes are a clear blue, and when we were younger, I used to be scared when she stared into my soul like this. I don't think she can see anything, find out any secrets, but it's intimidating nonetheless. I try to stare her down, but it doesn't work. And I'm tired. I want this week to be over. I want meetings and visits to schools to be over. I'm the first one to look away, but I still catch her victorious smile. She won. So smug. Ignoring her is better than starting an argument now, so I take out my phone and stare at it, waiting for Chelsea to text back.
It makes me smile—this ache I feel when I'm expecting to see her name on my screen and the words she writes to me. It feels good to miss her. It feels good to get excited like I did when I realized I had a second chance with her. And Chelsea texts back. It's only been seven minutes since my text, and I was already aching and ready to hear back. She's sweet, and she's gorgeous, and she's really cute. I put my phone back into my pocket, and get into Royce's car. But that ache? It's still there, and it's confusing. I still want. I still need. I start a long text conversation with her, flirting and joking around, trying to get her to say words that will calm this thing inside of me. Hours later, I realize no amount of words is going to be enough. Even her voice doesn't help. I'm staring at my phone again, and my finger is hovering over the call button, but it's not Chelsea's number I'm looking at.
But I don't call. Because, who cares about Bella?
Why would she be interested in him? He's tall, he's got a lot of money, his life is pretty sweet—I can't deny that. Still, he's not her type. Not that I'd know her type. I don't know her. But this guy? He can't be her type. And he talks about her like he's with her, like they're dating and were fucking last night. I wonder if they were fucking last night. I remember fucking her. She was all sweet with round eyes and hot sounds and nice tits, and she'd lie on top of me and curl up into a ball. She was so cute. I was obsessed with her. There was a voicemail from her I listened to for months. I kept saving it, over and over again, terrified that something would happen and I'd lose it. Hey Edward, it's me. I know it's late, but I wanted to talk to you. I miss you. I'm probably making that up. I don't remember her exact words, but I remember listening and listening. It was all I had. I'd get hard and I'd want her. I'd miss her and I'd ache. I'd get angry and I'd rub one out. Bella. She was so hot. I used to think she was that one person you meet in life who you'll never forget. The love of your existence. The girl you'll meet again and fight for and hold and give up your life for and never let go. Back then, I would have done anything for just a few more seconds with her. I fought with my parents; I threatened them, I swore I'd never forgive them, but in the end, I got on that plane like a pussy and tried to be a man. I didn't cry, but I could have cried.
"So Bella said you guys went out when you were kids?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Did you get along with Jane?" Felix asks.
I shrug. "She was weird. I don't think she liked me."
He laughs. It's loud and obnoxious. "That's because she likes Bella."
"Yeah, I had gathered that."
"So no threesome action? I always wonder what those two have been up to in the past."
This guy's a dick. "When did you guys break up?" I ask, instead of answering his threesome question. He doesn't need to know that I've wondered about it, too. I wondered about it a lot back then, but actually doing it? We were kids. Shit like that doesn't happen when you're seventeen and in love with your girlfriend. It probably doesn't happen at all. It obviously hasn't happened to him.
He ignores my question like I ignored his. I'm pretty sure Bella told me she was single the other night at Royce's party. She must have broken up with him. He's still into her. He talks about her too much. I used to do that, too. I'd feel the need to bring her up randomly in conversations, even if it was to say something negative. I can't believe how all of this is coming back to me. It's like one day, everything is laid to rest, and then one smile, one conversation brings it all back. Like that ache. No amount of phone sex with my girlfriend or porn on my computer or running or reading or sightseeing has helped decrease the ache. I want to talk to her. I have nothing to say, but I keep thinking about talking to her. And when we're not talking, in my mind we're fucking. And I try to remember that her hair is short and she's not as bony as she used to be, but when my eyes are closed, I'm lying on top of the happiest girl, with the laziest smile, the biggest eyes, the best skin and legs and long, crazy hair. And it's so good to be inside her again. It's so good to hear her. I think of all the things I'd try. I think of her body now. I think of her drinking beer after beer. I think of how I wanted to grab her hand and take her to the futon I was sleeping on in Royce's office. And I'm such an asshole, because I want to fuck a girl I knew more than I've ever wanted to fuck my own girlfriend. Because I love sex with Chelsea, and I want it all the time, but I've never wanted it like this. This is a new level of want. A new type of want. It's scary, and fuck me, it's so wrong, but I want to feel like this. I want someone to make me feel this way. And Bella does. It's like I used to feel when I was with her. Like I used to feel when I thought about her for months and maybe even years after I left Forks.
Thankfully, Royce is back, and I don't have to talk to Felix anymore. Why did I agree to hang out with him in the first place? I blame Rose. I told her I was perfectly fine staying in tonight, after a long day of sightseeing and walking around Seattle. She insisted I go out and be social. Royce is like family. Sure he is. She reminded me that she loves spending time with Chelsea because Chelsea is like family, too. But in my mind, Royce and Chelsea are very different. Even though we're not engaged or married, I live with Chelsea, and she is my family. My phone vibrates. She's calling me. I leave the table and walk outside.
"Hiii," she says. "I missed you."
"I missed you, too. What's up?"
"Nothing, I just walked into the apartment and I was about to call out your name, but I remembered that you're in Seattle, and it made me so sad."
"Don't be sad, I'll be back soon," I remind her.
"I'm sad. I hate sleeping alone."
I sigh. I feel like shit that she has to sleep alone. I also know that she has to get over it.
"Chel, it's no big deal. If you're freaking out, maybe spend the week at your parents'."
"No... I don't know, maybe I will. I mean, I was there all weekend and I just hate being alone. I can't sleep. Dr. Silverman said..." She stops.
"What'd Dr. Silverman say?"
"He said it's good that you went to Seattle by yourself. I need to figure out how to be on my own. I told him it's not even about you... That came out wrong. I mean, I just get so anxious when the apartment is empty..."
"Turn on the television. Or play some music," I suggest.
"No, I miss you."
"I miss you, too. Like, a lot," I tell her.
"You don't think I'm needy and sad?" she asks me.
"No. Listen, shit like this happens. It goes away. Remember when I was convinced Rose was going to die? I was fucked in the head. I thought she was lying about all those visits to the doctor. Did that make sense? No. Did I get over it? Yeah, but it took some time. And I didn't even have someone like Dr. Silverman to help me."
"Yeah, I remember. You were just stressed about other things."
"Exactly. You never have a problem hanging out on your own when I'm out with Demetri. You're just being silly and adorable, and you miss me."
"Yeah, I'm silly and adorable, and I want you back," she whispers.
How could I not love her? She's sweet, kind, funny. She needs me. I need her. She takes care of me, and lets me take care of her. She's beautiful, and when she's sexy, she's so sexy. Objectively, she's hotter than Bella. Objectively, she's probably the girl any guy would choose over Bella. And despite how messed up my life is, she loves me so much that she can't be away from me for a week. It's sick, but it feels awesome. Chelsea makes me feel awesome. And right now, I miss her so much it almost hurts. I miss her, but I can't stop thinking about this other girl, even though it's been ages since I was a kid in Forks, falling in love with her. She didn't want us, she didn't want me, and I was too much of a coward to try and get her to talk to me after I left. I moved on. It was over years ago. I'm not thinking about this anymore.
I walk back into the bar and sit across from Felix with a big grin on my face. I'll be out of here in less than a week. Seattle isn't going to work out for me. Chelsea loves New York, and I love New York. Maybe I'll leave this Friday instead of next Wednesday. Rose will be disappointed about Forks, but who cares about Forks? And who cares about Bella?
I can't help it. I can't help but worry when she gets like this. Nervous, biting the ends of her hair, biting her nails when she can't get the ends of her hair in her mouth because her hair is too short, biting her bottom lip, and then her upper lip. Her eyes are everywhere. Up, down, left right, they're focused, and then they're not. You know she's off in her own place. You talk to her, but she never responds. Her mouth opens just enough and stays that way, so that you know she's not there. She's thinking about him. It can last for seconds, or it can last much longer than that. It used to be hours of this, every day, when he first arrived in Forks and after he left. Of course, it got better as time passed, but she's been back in that state these past couple of days. No one can talk to her, nothing can touch her. When you say her name loud enough, she'll jump and she'll smile. She'll insist that she was there. She'll say she was paying attention.
The problem is that no one has ever told Bella to her face that this is unhealthy. Who would dare do such a thing? When someone has lived in a dream for this long, you can't tell her "Hey, wake up, you have a real life you need to live now." My biggest fear is that Bella doesn't have a real life to turn to. She could have a real life, a very fulfilling and happy one, but I'm not sure she's ready to let go of her dream life.
For the most part, it's harmless. She's in love with this idea, with this person who hasn't been in her life for over half a decade. And while that's not normal, she goes out, meets other people, and she functions like we all function. For the most part, Bella is normal. But when this happens, I worry.
Unfortunately, you never address concerns you have about someone's behavior when that person is doing fine. Why bring up the pain Bella felt and had to live through? Why remind her that he's gone? That it's over? Why ruin a nice morning, a fun afternoon? You don't do that, because when she's okay, she's the best. But then this happens, and you know that all it will take is a single word, and she'll turn against you. You can't criticize her, you can't tell her to snap out of it. "Snap out of what?" She doesn't know, and if she does know, she doesn't mind.
But I mind. I mind first and foremost because I live with her, and living with someone who walks around half-dead isn't easy. Secondly, she's my best friend. I love her more than I love anyone else in this world. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. She's everything to me. I want to help her. Sometimes, I feel like I've been placed on this earth just to help Bella. But it's also easy to become sick of being the parent in the relationship.
That's unfair. I'm not her parent. She doesn't ask me to be that for her, but someone needs to be. Her father is off in his own little world, and only encourages her behavior. Her mother just watches, and allows Bella to break her heart day after day, year after year. She's all they have. What are they going to do? Push her away? Of course not. I'm always there when they call, asking me to talk to her, steer her in the right direction, or make sure she is okay. The sad thing is, they have absolutely no faith in their own daughter. Bella doesn't know this, and even if she knew, she wouldn't care, because she doesn't care about anything. I've never met anyone who cares as little about what's going on around her as Bella. And the best part is, she has actually convinced herself that she does care.
"I love people, Jane. I want to help people. That's what I want to do."
What does that mean? I've never heard anything so stupid in my life. She wants to help people. She stares at the television screen for hours and makes her eyes big and sad.
"I want to help people. It's not fair."
I tell her to change the channel. There's nothing she can do. She has no money to send to people living in impoverished nations she randomly takes interest in. She refuses to go help at shelters, because she's too insecure to do things on her own. "Come with me, I don't want to go alone." No, Bella, I have no interest in doing things with you that you read about in the newspaper, or heard about at school. You'll get bored within the first five minutes, and ask me to find an excuse to leave. It's so ridiculous. My best friend is the most selfish person I know, and I love every piece of her, but when she starts to act selfless, I lose my shit. Because she's not selfless. Selfless people who want to help others just do it, they don't sit around and talk about it.
And now I am really losing my shit. Bella won't stop retelling Rosalie Cullen's stories about her volunteer work in sub-Saharan Africa. All the while, she's biting her nails and trying to find split ends in her hair. This is impossible, given its length. She gets frustrated and stares at her phone every other second.
"So, yeah, Rosalie said they always need people to help. Maybe I should go help out where I'm most needed," she says. She's breathless. She's wide-eyed and adorable. I want to hug her and smack her over the head.
"Needed? Why would they need you?"
"I don't know, Jane. Don't be a bitch. They need people. It's just a thought. I don't know what to do after graduation. I mean, I still really want to go to New York..."
"Yesterday, you were about to buy airline tickets to New York, and you decided to leave the day after your last final," I remind her. "Now you're talking about Africa. Maybe you should speak to your parents this weekend before you make life-altering decisions."
"Stop talking to me like I'm a child. Just because you doodle on fancy paper and some idiots think that's art, doesn't make you an expert on life."
"Here we go again," she says. "What's crawled up your ass, Janey? You've been staring at me like you want to kill me. You never listen when I have something to say, unless I'm saying exactly what you want to hear."
"You're talking about going to Africa, Bella! Where did this come from? You change your mind about your life every five minutes."
"Change my... what? Forget it. I'm never starting a conversation with you again."
"You're such a child."
"You're like an old person. 'Oooh, I'm Jane. I can't take anything or anyone seriously but myself. No one else knows what they want.' I know what I want," she states.
"Oh yeah? Let me guess. You want Edward."
She doesn't respond. She gets up and stomps off to her room, slamming the door behind her.
"The neighbors!" I shout.
"Suck my dick!"
What am I supposed to say to that?
Yesterday's fight has been forgotten. Bella's smile is big, and her plans are bigger.
"Felix was telling me last night that his friend owns a club in New York City. I can work there as a hostess or something until I find a real job. Dad said he'll help me out until I find a real job, plus I'll have the money I make hostessing, and I can live somewhere cheap."
She bites into her sandwich, wipes off some mayo from the corner of her mouth, and smiles.
"Yeah, somewhere outside of Manhattan," I suggest. Jasper stayed in Brooklyn when he was in New York a few years ago. I don't feel like mentioning him right now, and she knows where Jasper stayed.
Bella nods. "Yep. You need to come with me. It'll be an adventure."
Her eyes are back on her phone.
"Why do you keep staring at your phone?"
"You know why."
It's moments of complete honesty, like this one, that break my heart. I used to hate these moments when we were younger. I didn't want Bella to be honest with me. All I wanted was for her to turn around and confess that she'd liked me for months. Instead, she'd reveal every bit of herself, holding nothing back, and every word would crush me.
"I know," she continues. "It's lame."
"No, it's lame. You told me not to get my hopes up, and yet I continue to hope, and hope, and I can't stop. Jane, I've been dreaming of him again—"
"No, listen. I know you think they're just dreams and that they mean nothing, but—"
"I never said that. I just asked you to be careful, Bella. You need to guard your heart sometimes. Keep it safe."
"That's not what hearts are for," she says, looking at me like I'm a child she needs to explain simple facts to.
"Hearts are for crushing? Breaking?"
"You need to live, Jane."
"Says the girl who lives in the past, and in her dreams."
"But I've also flown. I've felt. I've soared. I've danced."
Bella frowns. "Shut up. I know I'm a pain in the ass, but if I don't take these little leaps of faith, and if I let go of my dreams, what do I have?"
"You have your life," I tell her. "You have everything. But you need to stop being careless with your feelings. So, you saw him again at a party. I know it's easy to believe that this means something, but it really doesn't, and you know this."
"It means everything. My hair, and... and, Jane. He's back. I don't know why you can't see that. When he came to Forks, you were the one who was telling me to open my eyes, realize it's him. It's Hat Guy. Why can't you... Forget it. I don't want to have this argument again."
She removes the turkey and cheese from the second half of her sandwich, and eats it without the bread. I immediately do the same with mine—something we always did back then. I can't believe that she still doesn't get it, even after I told her how I used to feel. I wasn't excited about Hat Guy appearing in Bella's English class senior year. I was terrified. I was jealous. I was panicking. When I pointed out that he looked like Hat Guy, it was only because I wanted to know what she was thinking. And I knew Bella. If I said anything she didn't want to hear, she'd stomp off and stop talking to me. I may be okay with that now, but my heart couldn't handle it then. I needed my days filled with her. It was almost as pathetic as the state Bella is in now.
Knowing exactly what it's like to want something as much as Bella wants Edward makes it more difficult to be the voice of reason. I should tell her right now that meeting Edward again at a party doesn't mean he's going to call her, or that they are going to end up together. But she knows this. She's learned the hard way that dreams don't come true overnight. And it kills me, it really kills me when she gets excited about running into him again, because she knows better. She lived through heartbreak once, and she's willing to go through it again. This is something I don't understand. I want to take away her phone and extract every memory she has of Rosalie's party. Edward Cullen is bad news. Bad news with a bright smile and great hair—even I will admit that. I'm not interested in what his intentions are. His mere presence in her life through the exchange of phone numbers at a party is bad enough. He has a girlfriend! He has a life in New York that doesn't include Bella. He obviously hasn't called her since the party. Any further interaction is a bad idea. Someone needs to tell her this, and that someone is me. I really have no one but myself to blame this time. Had I known the Cullens were going to be in Forks this weekend, I wouldn't have convinced Bella to visit her parents for her birthday. Nothing good can come out of Edward Cullen visiting Forks on Bella's birthday. It's another mess I'm going to have to clean up, and I just hope that this one won't leave Bella destroyed.
Thanks so much for reading. You guys are the best.