Disclaimer: Mrs. Meyer owns the Twilight Saga, all Twilight characters and related references. I don't own a damn thing.
Warning: This chapter is short, for which I apologize. As most of you know, my online time is limited as we prepare for our move and I can only ask for your understanding.
"You want to tell us what brings you here, Emmett?"
I can't bring myself to look at the guy. He's so comically serious, and I have a feeling that bursting out in a fit of laughter might not be all that appropriate in this setting. So, instead of looking up, and catching another glimpse of the 70s-porn-star-Reno-911 copstache, I decide to repeat the words all too recently force fed down my throat with a red hot pitchfork.
"Because I'm miserable and won't be happy until everyone around me is miserable? Because I'm a selfish prick who can't look past his own needs? Or it's probably because I refuse to accept what happened to my wife and daughter and therefore will never be able to move on. Take your pick."
"That sounds like something you've heard from someone else, Emmett."
Chief Swan is a smart one.
In all seriousness, he's right.
The morning after my sordid tryst with Jasper, I couldn't bring myself to speak to him. That didn't stop him from cheerfully chattering at every available moment about nothing, making every excuse to touch me and even kiss me in passing. I never brushed him off, but I felt so awkward. Even now, I can't come to grips with the fact that I may be bisexual. I'm not gay. Women turn me on, there's no doubt. There's also no doubt that Jasper turns me on at well, but I can't accept it.
What shocks me is how quick Jasper was to dissolve things with Edward. He didn't even wait 24 hours. It was like he decided that we were a couple or something. One more thing I can't accept.
What didn't shock me was Edward showing up at the house about 20 minutes after Jasper hung up with him. Of course, luckily for me, Jasper had gone out to do some grocery shopping, so I was left to face the man on my own.
He didn't greet me with a 'hello' or 'how are you doing' or even a 'fuck you'.
He damn near knocked me out with a punch to the face.
Cue the words I vomited back to Chief Swan. I'm sure half the block heard him screaming at me.
I couldn't blame him for doing it.
So, I said nothing.
It was all I could do to uncover my smashed face and look him in the eye as he continued to yell. Every word was true.
You're going to hurt him.
You could never commit to someone else.
It was too soon after Rosalie's death to consider a relationship with someone else.
I continued to say nothing.
"You couldn't stand to see him happy when you were miserable, could you? You couldn't stand the fact that someone else might be important in his life besides you! You didn't care that he wasn't the only person you would be hurting, did you? Did it ever occur to you that I had strong feelings for him? And to get a phone call…a fucking phone call telling me it was over because of you, how the fuck do you think that made me feel, huh?"
Oh, God, how I wanted him to stop. But it was all true. I deserved every bit of it. That didn't, though, mean that I wanted to hear it.
"You know, it's probably just as well that things ended like they did. There wasn't enough room in our relationship for me, since he carried you wherever he went. I knew deep down while he was fucking me that he wished it was you."
"I never wanted any of this," I said, trying to keep my sobs at bay.
"So you are going to hurt him."
"I don't want to. He doesn't deserve it. He deserves better than me."
When Jasper finally came back, bringing in armloads of groceries, I was still on the floor, nose bloodied and lip split. He was immediately at my side, dropping the bags by the door.
"Someone didn't take getting dumped all that well," I grumbled.
He spent the rest of the day nursing my "injuries", regardless of how I told him that they were nothing. He should have known I was used to much worse.
I didn't allow myself the luxury of reaching for him like I did that night I fell apart all over again.
Days turned into weeks.
Weeks turned into months.
I returned none of Jasper's affections, but that didn't stop him from desperately trying to turn me around.
I couldn't accept my feelings for him, couldn't accept the fact that I might be into men. And I still couldn't accept that my wife and daughter were never coming back.
The straw that broke the camel's back for him appeared one afternoon while Jasper was at work. I got shitfaced drunk, the dining room table covered in beer bottles and I lost count of how many I actually drank.
I couldn't stop crying. Crying for Rosalie, crying for Bella, crying for Jasper, knowing I was hurting him by not showing the level of interest he did. Memories of trashing the living room flood my mind from time to time as I remember breaking Rose's ceramic collectibles against the piano, smashing photos on the floor, throwing fake potted plants across the room.
I wanted none of it anymore.
Making my way up the stairs, I located my bottle of Percocet and brought it back downstairs, and grabbing another beer from the fridge before sitting down at the crowded dining room table.
I had found the perfect end.
Jasper walked in just in time to see me pop the top off the pill bottle, the one I had been struggling with for five minutes trying to maneuver the fucking child proof lock.
I could hear the worry in his voice, and even though I didn't look up at him, I could tell he was surveying the damage I caused in the living room.
"What's going on, babe?"
"Don't. Call. Me. That." The words came out in a hiss as I squeezed the pill bottle tight in my fist.
I looked up in time to see him flinch at my words.
He whispered my name as I dumped the pills on the table.
"I wonder how many of these I would have to take for me to fall asleep and never wake up? Any idea, Jasper?"
I have never seen a man move as fast as he did.
He swept the scattering of pills onto the floor and yanked me out of my chair by my shirt.
"You son of a bitch!"
The words ran in a loop in my head as I reeled from the force of his open handed slap across my face. Most folks would think that a slap to the face was a girly move, but he was every bit the man as he doled out the blow.
"Do you think you're the only one suffering? Confused? Hurt? What gives you the fucking right to erase it all, huh?"
He finally released me to fall back into the chair.
"Forget the hissy fit mess in the living room, Emmett. Forget the fact that you're practically flat on your face drunk. How do you think it makes me feel to come home and see the man I love trying to kill himself?"
Those words delivered a bigger slap to the face than his hand ever could.
"That's right, Emmett McCarty. I love you. I've loved you so fucking much since the day we met. But right now? I hate you just as much as I love you."
He moved out the next day.
I expected him to drag me to the hospital and have them lock me up in a psych unit under suicide watch. He did nothing of the sort. Maybe he thought his words alone changed my mind, or maybe that was his way of demonstrating his newfound hate for me.
Regardless, I didn't take those pills.
I cleaned up my mess. Bagged up broken figurines and empty beer bottles, and flushed the pills down the toilet.
It was then that I googled grief counseling and found a group that met on Tuesdays in Port Angeles in a church basement.
Which brings me to my first meeting.
Hi. My name is Emmett, and I'm a grieving son of a bitch.
I'm surprised by how the words spilled out of my mouth with such ease, and I'm grateful for the loosening of the muscles in my chest that have been clenched tight since I lost my family.
"We're all so sorry for your loss, Emmett, and we're glad you're here today."
A young lady sitting to my right, Emily, I think her name is, pats my knee and offers me a sad smile, which I return.
Through a glaze of tears, I can see scars on her face, and it's not long before I find out how she got them.
An intruder broke into their house while she was in her daughter's nursery rocking her to sleep. The intruder stabbed her husband while he slept then came into the nursery and attacked her. The baby suffered no injuries, but Emily was barely able to defend herself and was left with big ragged scars across her face. She was lucky to survive.
"How old is your daughter now?" I ask.
"Claire is two."
"Do you think she remembers anything?"
"No. Thank God."
She pats my knee again and whispers to me as the next person gives their story.
"I can't imagine how hard it is to lose a child, but from a widow's standpoint, know that it will get better. The pain won't ever go away, and you will always miss your wife, but the pain will get better eventually."
I cover her hand with mine and smile at her words. I'm not sure yet if I believe them, but hearing them is a comfort.
I wish I came here sooner. Hearing other's stories about the loss of loved ones really puts things in perspective. Sadly enough, I'm not the only one in the group who has lost a child. One father lost his son to SIDS, and his wife committed suicide shortly after their child's passing. Another lost a child to cancer, yet another, in a car accident like I lost my Bella. While it's heartbreaking hearing their tales, it's comforting to know that I'm not as alone as I thought I was.
Leaving the group session, I got numbers from several people that requested I call whenever I needed to. I, of course, offered mine in return.
While the session left me with a sense of relief, getting so much off my chest, it all comes flooding back when I arrive at an empty home.
The next morning I make a decision, hoping it's the right one, and I call my old boss.
"Mike? Is there still a position for me?"
A/N Thanks for reading.