Hello, I'm so sorry this has taken me so long to write my personal problems have really gotten in the way!
So now my story is at an end, thank you all for reading and reviewing and being patient with me. For all of you who didn't like it, well, I can't please everyone and I've never claimed to be a good writer it was just a bit of fun!
Thank you and enjoy!
The war had finally ended in 1945. After very nearly six years of fighting there was a lot of celebrating to be done as the troops began to return home. Extravagant street parties were organised and each household had a different role to play and something different to bring to the festivities. Some bought food whilst others decorated and a few gathered a collection of jolly music. As the men arrived home cheers could be heard from miles around and the streets were at least an inch deep in the confetti that children had crafted. Of course the celebrations were slightly marred with undertones of sadness for the boys who would not be returning home. Thoughts were spared for those men who had left mothers without sons and devastated sweethearts in their wakes and prayers were whispered for those who would never return home to their wives and children. The celebrations and general dreadfully high moral of the inhabitants of Shrewsbury lasted for a few weeks. It appeared as if the entire town was smiling by day and dancing and celebrating by night. It was inevitable that at some point we would all have to return to reality. The men would have to find jobs and the women who had worked so hard during the war years would be expected to give up theirs. I find it frightfully hard to believe that the war ended a little over a year ago especially when it seems as if it was only yesterday that Edward and I were wed.
Edward's proposal had come as quite the shock, we had not even told our families of our feelings for each other yet without any hesitation I had agreed to marry him. I was fully aware that in making my decision we would be the choice topic of conversation both in and out of the hospital and would continue to be for quite some time. Things had carried on as normal whilst Edward still resided at Bicton. Alice appeared to find it a little more difficult than most to keep the secret and was rather glad when Edward finally did get discharged. With Edward no longer a patient our courtship became legal and I had been rather too eager to reveal our relationship before Alice did. However Edward insisted that we should wait a little longer so people would not speculate and doubt my integrity. Three weeks after Edward's discharge from the hospital I could wait no longer and I began arriving downstairs for work with a wonderfully pretty addition to my finger. People seemed frightfully concerned that we had rushed into things and I was quick to quash the silly rumours that I was carrying his child. I could understand their point of view, they knew nothing of mine and Edward's hidden relationship. Indeed in their eyes it was a dreadfully hasty and perhaps even a silly action but I cared not for their thoughts and opinions. The people I cared about knew the truth and could see we were happy and that was all that mattered.
Edward's family had appeared to be over the moon when Edward had introduced me to them as his wife to be. Edward's father and Jacob had patted Edward proudly on the back before verbalising their well wishes and congratulations. I remember as if it was only yesterday the way Carlisle had looked so wonderfully proudly at Edward. He gazed upon him with such obvious love and devotion, the way only a parent could look upon their child. Esme held Edward so dreadfully tightly that her embrace had threatened to squeeze the life from her son. The celebrations soon included my friends and to this day the joyous squeals of Angela, Alice and Rose still ring in my ears.
I had straightened my skirt as Edward held the door of the black cab open for me. I remember taking a deep breath as I prepared to walk towards the house, I had been so very unsure of how the next series of events would unfold. My father had looked Edward up and down with curious eyes as he had opened the front door and invited us in. Mother had been a little more friendly and had offered Edward a seat before she had pottered into the kitchen to make the tea.
"Mr and Mrs Swan, as odd as it may sound I believe that when I was wounded it was a blessing. It has been a great honour to have met your splendid daughter" Edward had turned to me and smiled before asking my father for my hand in marriage.
Father's face had begun to flush red almost immediately; he had choked a little before spitting his mouthful of tea upon the floor.
"Isabella" he had shouted without even sparing a glance at Edward "Kitchen now!"
I had given Edward's hand a gentle squeeze and had smiled sweetly at Mother before following my father to the kitchen.
"Yes Father" I replied timidly
"Would you mind telling me what on God's earth that you are playing at" he growled, his eyes had been trying to focus on anything but me as the colour of his face continued to deepen "Only a few weeks ago your mother informed me, with some sadness might I add, that you and Jasper had ended your relationship and..."
"Father do calm down, you are beginning to look like a rather large beetroot" I had interrupted with a little chuckle.
"Try as I might I fail to see anything amusing in this situation" he scorned
"Only a few weeks Isabella, a few weeks!" he exclaimed as he had leant against the Aga with his head held in his hand "and now you have promised yourself to someone else! You barely know the chap. People will talk dear girl, people will talk"
"But father, he is a most wonderful man, and I do believe that it is you who hardly know him" I had started the case for the defence "And let them talk for I care not for what they have to say and neither should you"
It had taken a good while for me to calm my father down, while my mother and Edward sat casually chatting in the other room. Eventually Father had agreed to return to the lounge. He had not been entirely happy with the proceedings but he had seemed to understand that my happiness was what was important. Edward and I went on to spend a little over two hours in their company. Edward had behaved like the perfect gentleman. My father on the other hand had not been so gracious, he had spent his time pretending to be absorbed in the daily paper and had only grunted when he was spoken to.
"He will come around Edward" I had reassured as we had left the house.
Over the next few weeks Mother and I had found ourselves rather preoccupied with the preparation for Angela's up and coming nuptials. Poor Edward had been left to spend a good deal of time with my father. At first they had sat together in relative silence, my father reluctantly speaking when spoken too. Occasionally my mother had passed through the room and had bent down to his ear to speak in hushed tones. To the outsider it would have perhaps appeared as if my mother was whispering sweet nothings to the man she loved, but I knew she was threatening to run my father through the old mangle she owned if he did not become more sociable. However as time went on I could see my father beginning to warm to my fiancé.
Angela's wedding had been beautiful with both her and Ben shedding a few tears as they had exchanged their vows at the local church. The church had been wonderfully decorated with bunches of purple and orange wild flowers adorning the ends of the wooden pews. Angela had looked like an angel as she carried a similar bunch of wild flowers and walked slowly along the plush red carpet of the aisle towards Ben. As I followed in her wake I had caught Edward's eye and he had smiled and mouthed the words "you look beautiful" causing me to blush and look away. The vicar had told the congregation of how he felt as if it was only yesterday he had christened baby Angela and how it had seemed no time at all since he had disciplined both myself and Angela for running riot around the alter at Sunday school. Angela's mother had wept tears of happiness as she read a poem before her beloved daughter became Mrs Cheney. Once outside the church the entire congregation had cheered and covered the happy couple in confetti. More cheers followed when Emmett had gotten down on one knee at the reception and proposed to Rose. Without even drawing breath Rose had accepted. Before I had been able to congratulate Rose and Emmett and pair of warm hands had grasped my waist and a familiar voice had whispered in my ear "It will be our turn next my love".
A little over two months later I became Isabella Cullen. To my delight, in the weeks leading up to our special day Edward and my father had grown closer and had even spent several days embracing the art of fishing together. I had known that marrying Edward would never be something I would regret but I was unable to help the growing feeling of nerves I had felt. I had never liked to be the centre of attention and my wedding day would prove to be no different. Our wedding had been simple yet beautiful, nowhere near as grandiose as Rose's had been a few months later, but then that was Rose, she had always been extravagant. I had worn a simple white dress hemmed with antique lace and carried a bouquet of red roses provided by Esme. Edward stood waiting for me at the end of the aisle looking every bit the frightfully beautiful officer in his old uniform. Alice, Angela and Rose had been kind enough to provide me with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, and all three of them had floated behind me as I had made my way down the aisle to Edward.
That night had been the first night I had stayed with Edward in the beautiful cottage he had bought months earlier. Of course I had been a regular visitor to Edward's abode and I had frequently extended my expertise to help him to make the house his home. Until our wedding night Edward had been unconfident to navigate the stairs alone and preferred to sleep in a temporary bedroom situated downstairs in the back room.
I had gasped as I took in the appearance of my new bedroom. Beautiful white and ivory voile hung from the top frame of four-poster bed Edward had bought for us, more voile had been expertly wrapped around the posts. Long stemmed roses stood tall in glass vases next to the bed and a bottle of champagne sat chilling in an ice bucket. The bed was made up with luxurious red and white cotton sheets and the goose-down quilt neatly folded back.
"Alice?" I turned to my husband and smiled
"Alice" he chuckled as he poured the champagne into two glasses.
Before we sipped at the sparkling liquid we toasted to a long life together.
Edward and I had been married just over three months when my parents had changed their plans to move away from Shrewsbury, after all they could not leave when I had imparted the most wonderful of secrets upon them. I had basked in the pleasure of knowing they were not leaving the sanctuary I had grown up in and they had rejoiced in the news that they were expecting their first grandchild.
Edward had been more than a little overjoyed the morning I had sat him down and told him that I was pregnant, I had expected a positive reaction but in truth nothing would have prepared me for just how happy he was. Still struggling with his mobility and unable to work, he had seemed at a loss at what to do with himself since we had been married but the news of Baby Cullen appeared to give him a new lease of life. Almost immediately he set about drawing up plans for toys and things he would make for the baby. I watched for what seemed like days as he sat studying and drawing at the old oak bureau. He held a pencil in his hand and had tucked another behind his ear as he had sketched ideas onto paper and made lists of things he was going need. I could not help but smile each time he had reached a difficult part in his drawings and the tip of his tongue would protrude from the corner of his mouth and his brow would furrow, he was frightfully adorable and utterly mine.
Eventually we had decided the time was right to tell people we were expecting a child and Edward wasted no time at all telephoning his mother and father. I watched as he smiled and proudly told them the news before we set about the short journey to tell my family and our friends.
Today not only am I expecting a visit from the mid-wife I am also expecting a visit from Alice. My announcement seemed to inspire her to take up the art of knitting and she had decided that today was the day she wished to show me her range of creations. Little has changed where Alice and Jasper are concerned. They are still together and unmarried but they live together now. Living together in sin some choose to say, but then Alice never was one to care what others thought and Jasper, well Jasper is just too happy to notice the gossip.
So now I sit here with my hands on my dreadfully swollen stomach knowing that in just a few short weeks a beautiful new little face will grace my world. Rubbing soothing circles over my belly I watch Edward proudly adding the finishing touches to the cot he built and I smile sweetly as he once again tells me of his plans to decorate the nursery. When I think of the journey I have taken to be here I cannot deny it was a difficult one filled with heartbreak and woe, but then I cannot deny it was laced with laughter, friendship and love. If I was asked I would do it all again in a heartbeat.