So this is a story where I can break out my knowledge on Catholicism. Now, this story is going to dive right on into religion, so don't say you weren't warned. I grew up as a Roman Catholic, was baptized, confirmed, and go to church every Sunday as a Catholic. So I know a lot about it, but please understand that a lot of what is in this story is based on my experiences with religion.
"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers." –Hebrews 13:4 4
"Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here, ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide. Amen." Our voices blended in unison, and as we finished I kissed my daughter Abigail's forehead. "All right, kids. All of you get off to bed." I sighed, kissing each of my children on the forehead before Edward ushered Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, Delilah, and Noah out of the room. I stood up and placed our thirteen month old baby, Evangeline, in her crib, which sat in the corner of Edward and I's bedroom.
I crawled into bed and slid under the covers, taking a deep breath as I was finally able to get a little relaxation. I ran a daycare from home, so I had been on my feet all day. Several minutes passed, and I stared up at the ceiling as the heard my children running around and shouting, resisting Edward's attempts to get them into bed. I waited several more minutes and when the yelling didn't stop, I grudgingly got out of bed.
Tightening the sash around my bathrobe and swung the door to Sarah and Rachel's room open. "Hey you two, get into bed and stop squirreling around. You have to be up early for church tomorrow morning." I ordered, and the girls, who were ten and seven, scrambled into the queen sized bed they shared. "Goodnight, I love you." I said, walking over to them and kissing each of them again.
"Love you!" Sarah and Rachel chorused, and I walked out of their room, winking at them as I closed the door behind me.
Next I trudged into Noah's small room, peeking into the door. Luckily, the usually rowdy two and a half year old was in his bed, snuggled up with his stuffed lion. That meant the source of noise was coming from Abigail and Delilah, who were six and four. And sure enough, when I opened the door to their room, Abigail and Delilah were running away from Edward, which had to be difficult in their small, cramped room. "What are you doing?" I asked sharply, and both girls froze and Edward was able to grab them. "Come on, we have church tomorrow." I reminded the two of them as they finally allowed their father to tuck them into bed.
As soon as we finally had all the kids in bed, Edward and I practically fell into our bed. "Goodnight. Love you." Edward mumbled, rolling over onto his side and drifting off to sleep almost immediately.
"Love you." I whispered back, although he probably was already asleep. I just laid in bed and let my thoughts drift.
Edward and I had been married for a little over eleven years. He was a doctor in the ER, and I ran a daycare from our home. We were devout Catholics, just like the rest of our families. That meant we didn't believe in birth control or abortion, which led to our six children. I loved each of them fiercely, because they were my little gifts from God. But I never expected it to be so hard to keep my faith. In the world all around us, things were changing. People cared less and less about things that were supposed to be important to us, like the marriage bed and church every Sunday and praying and the bible. Edward and I were trying to raise our children in our religion, but it was hard when the world was becoming so different, and I was becoming so different as well.
I bounced Evangeline on my lap slightly as we sat in church listening to the sermon. Edward sat at my side with Noah on his lap, and the rest of our children were sitting in the pew as well, their attention trained on the priest as he spoke. As I glanced around the rest of the congregation, I caught a glimpse of my friend Jacob Black. Smiling slightly, I nodded my head in greeting. He nodded back and winked, and his wife, Leah, cast me a dark look before focusing back on the sermon.
Leah had always had some kind of problem with me. Edward, Jacob, Leah, and I had grown up together, and Leah was always crazy over Jacob. Unlike her husband, Leah was not very religious. She went to church and took in the Eucharist, but she was an extremely jealous woman, even over something as simple as the friendship Jacob and I shared, because she didn't know the true nature of our relationship. And that jealously made her an envious Catholic. Jacob and I ignored her, though, and we had continued our…relationship.
Evangeline started to fuss loudly and kick her long legs, obviously getting restless. I sighed and touched Edward's shoulder gently before I stood up, hitched Evangeline up on my hip, and hurried towards the back of the church and into the cry room. I wasn't surprised to see my sister in law, Mary Alice, or just Alice, sitting there with her two month old son, Peter, in her lap.
"Hello, Bella." Alice said cheerfully, keeping her voice hushed as I sat down next to her. "Are you guys coming to Carlisle and Esme's for lunch?" She asked, and I nodded my head, handing Evangeline a toy to play with.
"We'll all be there." I confirmed. "You and Jasper and Peter are coming?" I asked softly, and Alice nodded wordlessly as she refocused. I tried to refocus as well, but my guilt was slowly eating away at me. How could I call myself a Catholic woman when I was committing one of the most treacherous of sins? I was, to put it in simple turns, an adulteress. I was dishonoring my husband, one of the most respectable and sweetest men I knew. My relationship with Jacob was wrong in the eyes of God, and it was also shameful and horrendous. But I couldn't stop.
I didn't even know why I was doing it. I had a husband, a husband who could take care of me. I didn't love Jacob, and I was giving him something that should only be shared between a married couple in love. It was sick and wrong and I hated myself every single day for what I was doing to Edward, to my family, to myself, and even to Jacob. I was wrong.
"Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen."
After our prayer, we dropped each other's hands and started passing around the food. Every Sunday after church the entire family had lunch at Edward's parents house. And this Sunday was no different. Edward's sister Alice and her husband Jasper and their son Peter were there, as well as Edward's brother Emmet and his wife Rosalie. Our children loved having lunch at their grandparents house, and it always wore them out for the day. Just as we started to eat, the doorbell rang out loudly.
Esme looked up in surprise, wiping her hands off with a napkin. "Who could that be?" She asked, almost to herself, and got up to answer the door. The rest of us continued to eat, until Esme reappeared with three more guests in tow. Jacob, Leah, and their son, Sam. As I met Jacob's eyes, I blanched and blushed red before quickly glancing back down at my plate. I could hardly look at him anymore, ever since we had started our affair. But I was still doing it with no signs of stopping.
"Hello." Jacob said cheerfully, and everyone else exchanged their hello's. Carlisle, Edward's father, stood up to get more chairs for Jacob and Leah while Esme walked Sam into the kitchen where the rest of the children were eating. Much to my dismay, Carlisle put the chairs next to me and Jacob sat down right next to me, a big smile on his face.
The entire meal was awkward for me as I sat between my husband and my lover. It only reminded me a how terrible a woman and Catholic I was. People thought that I was good, pure, and sweet, when I was really breaking one of the sacred Ten Commandments. Thou shall not commit adultery. As the meal came to a close, I jumped slightly when Jacob's hand skimmed over my knee. I glanced over at him with wide, terrified eyes, but he smiled easily and leaned a little closer to me.
"Meet me in the upstairs bathroom." He whispered and I froze. Here? He wanted to do this here? In the home of my father and mother in law? Jacob stood up and excused himself, shooting me a meaningful look as he left the room. I waited for a moment, and then did something horribly stupid. I stood up and excused myself as well, heading in the other direction in the house so that I could go up the back staircase and seem less conspicuous.
I knocked on the bathroom door and it swung open, and Jacob stood before me. In an instant, Jacob gripped me by the arm and pulled me into the bathroom, closing the door behind us. His lips were on mine suddenly, his tongue slipping into my moth with ease. I complied for a moment, and then remember how sickened I was with myself, and I pushed him away, breathing heavily and looking at Jacob with hooded eyes. "We can't." I said softly. "You…you're cheating on Leah."
Jacob squinted at me, confused. "And you're cheating on Edward." He said simply, and I flinched.
"Please, please don't say that." I whispered, stepping away from him. "I…I can't do this anymore!" I cried, crossing my arms across my chest. "It isn't right, and it isn't fair to our spouses. We made vows to them, Jacob, and we're breaking them!"
He stared at me for a long moment, and then dropped my arm and allowed me to exit the bathroom without a fight.
As I walked back into the dining room and sat back down, Edward's eyes followed me. And his eyes narrowed slightly as Jacob returned several seconds later. I kept my eyes trained on my nearly empty plate, knowing that I had done a terrible job at hiding my darkest of sins.
That night as Edward and I gathered with our children to read a passage from the bible, I could tell that Edward was suspicious. We all sat around the living room and as I reached for the bible, Edward took it from me. "I'll read tonight." He said, barely looking at me. I nodded, drawing both Noah and Evangeline onto my lap as Edward flipped through the bible, obviously looking for a specific passage. "Hebrews 13." Edward said, clearing his throat before he started to read. I stared down at my children as Edward read, and wasn't really listening until my husband read the last line. "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers." Edward said, and then snapped the book shut and everything else was totally silent, even the children.
The blood drained from my face as I met Edward's cold green eyes, boring straight into mine. He knew.
Well…what do you think? I understand that the first chapter was a bit slow, but it'll be picking up. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.
Xoxo- Melodyella aka Mellie