DISCLAIMERS: I don't own Twilight. I wish I did so I could be filthy rich and be enveloped with so much heartwarming reviews and support. Stephenie Meyer, you're so awesome!
~*~*~ Playing Mommy~*~*~
I knew I'd bump into him someday. But I kind of hoped it wasn't this soon. Edward was in his usual lawyer attire and I was in a Harvard sweatshirt and yoga pants.
It didn't help that my hair was in a messy ponytail and that I didn't even put a smidgen of make-up on my face. I didn't think anything would happen today, honestly.
Edward slowly put his phone in his pocket, not leaving his gaze from me. I looked away and shifted my weight from one leg to the other. "Bella," he said my name the way he always did. There was something electric that shot through me when I heard his voice again. "You're here."
"I'm just visiting," I said, sounding unintentionally curt. I looked away from his face.
"Oh," he said and I saw his hands furl into fists. After a second, he added, "for how long?"
His question surprised me. I looked at him and wondered what he had meant by that. "Um, for just the weekend. I return to school tomorrow."
He nodded, his eyes—oh so green and darkish—on me.
Bella, I noticed, was thinner and paler than before. It was obvious that she hadn't expected to bump into me today because she was avoiding eye contact. I had guessed as much.
When she told me that she was leaving tomorrow, something in my chest deflated. Did I not have any chance to fix this?
I loosened my fists and cleared my throat. I had to try for the sake of my daughter. "Sorry if this is so sudden of me, but, would you mind meeting up for coffee tomorrow before you leave?"
She looked at me then, her mouth slightly open in surprise. Her eyes widened for a millisecond then she composed herself afterwards. "I'm leaving in the afternoon," she said, "so is morning okay?"
I nodded. "Morning sounds good." She smiled faintly then said goodbye. I waved in response.
I walked into the apartment, and I was like a zombie as I did. In the living room, Renesmee was by the short coffee table, wiggling a pencil in the air. I smiled, "hey, Sweetheart."
She looked up and giggled. She stood up and ran toward me, her short arms outstretched. I hugged her tight and lifted her. I carried her to the dining room and saw my mother having a cup of tea. She smiled and gestured for me to take a seat beside her. I placed my daughter on the other side and sat down on my own chair.
We had dinner with Renesmee serving as our music.
Then suddenly, she became silent. I put down my fork and eyed her carefully. She looked sheepish.
"Daddy, Grandma," she said shyly. She met my gaze and pouted. "Mommy called."
Mom looked at me, waiting for my reaction. "Did she?"
She nodded. "She sounded really sad, Daddy," she said.
"I bet she did, Honey," I said and I could feel Mom looking at me disappointedly.
The next day, I stepped inside Starbucks with my heart beating a thousand beats per minute. It beat harder and faster when I saw Edward sitting casually beside the windows.
As if he knew I was already there, he looked up and met my gaze. I inwardly gasped then forced my legs to move toward him. He gestured at the seat across from him and I gladly sat down. He pushed a cup of coffee in my direction and said, "I hope you don't mind that I ordered for you."
I shook my head. "It's okay," I said, "thank you."
He smiled and I suddenly saw stars. He looked good in casual wear—he became more approachable. "Have you had your breakfast?" he asked.
"Yes," I said. "How about you..?"
"I did as well," he said. "May we go for a walk?"
When we got to the park, we walked toward the nearest bench and sat down. Edward threw his empty Starbucks cup into the trash can and I did as well.
"Renesmee said you called," he said suddenly.
"I felt guilty about everything," I said, not looking at him. I just looked straight ahead, at the people playing and relaxing on the grass. "At some point, I decided to just forget about all of you. But then I found myself dialing the number and…" I took a deep breath and it was a ragged one. "And I realized how attached I had gotten. It hurt too much."
"You can come back," he said and I turned to him. He continued, "I've thought about it—a lot—and I realized that you're important to us… to me."
"You're important to me as well," I admitted. I looked away. "But, somehow, I just can't seem to let go of everything that's happened."
"What does it have to take," he looked at me, "to make you forget about the mistakes that I've done to you?"
I looked at him sadly. "I don't really know," I said and I looked down at my watch. I stood up and cleared my throat. "I have to go."
I was about to turn away when he caught me by the arm and pulled me to him. I looked up and he kissed me on the lips. My eyes closed automatically at the familiar feel of his mouth on mine. He pulled back and whispered, "Don't."
"I need time," I said and walked away.
"You, Bella Swan, are an idiot!" Alice exclaimed through the phone. It was a week later after my meeting with Edward, and it was only now that I was able to tell my best friend about it.
I sighed and rolled to my back. I was in my dorm room, lying lazily on my bed. I had just finished an assignment and I needed a little R and R. "I am not," I denied.
"Yes," she said, "you are. And don't tell me otherwise just because you're in Harvard!"
"Was it wrong for me to push him away?" I asked, a little mad that she wasn't taking my side. "Al, I'm not ready for reconciliation or whatever. I thought you know that."
"I do," she said and I imagined her shaking her head. "But you could have at least tried."
I rolled to my stomach and traced the embroidery on my pillow with my index finger. "I tried and it hurt," I said. Someone knocked on my door and I rolled off the bed to find out who it was. Just before I could even turn the knob, Alice screeched from the other end of the line. "Al..!"
Alice laughed faintly. "I-I'm fine," she said. "There was a cockroach."
I arched a brow but didn't comment on it. I turned the knob and swung the door open. There was no one. I looked from one end of the hallway to the other. No one was in sight. I was about to close the door when I looked down and saw a small package—addressed to me.
I picked it up and stepped back inside the room, closing the door behind me. I put the box on my desk. "Bella," Alice said suddenly. "Are you still there?"
"Yeah," I said as I put the phone between my ear and shoulder. It was so that I could open the package. I ripped off the tape and set aside the flaps. Inside the box was a wooden chest with gold details. I took it out and flipped it open. Music came out of it and I realized what it was. "Al, this is going to sound weird but someone just gave me a music box."
"Who's it from?" she asked.
"I don't…" before I could even finish my sentence, the music stopped and a huge puff of smoke exploded from the box. I coughed and coughed, unable to hear Alice because I had dropped the phone in surprise.
And then I fainted.
Ha-ha. Bet you guys didn't see that one coming. :D
READ AND REVIEW (it wouldn't hurt to receive a long review), my lovelies, because THIS is the second to the last chapter. Never fear, though, because there will be Epilogue/s. :)