A/N: So this was originally written for the Black Balloon Contest, which I missed because I hadn't finished it.
Huge thanks to the wonderful Stacy bumblebee for her awesome pre-reading skills.
Another huge thanks to my beautiful, amazing beta – Mrs Boyscout for her time and excellent beta skills on this really long o/s. This is for you darling.
DISCLAIMER: I own NOTHING.
~ The Day Is Brave ~
I looked at my reflection in the mirror as I applied lip gloss to my chapped lips. I knew I was late. Edward would have probably gone bonkers waiting for me by now. But I wanted to look perfect – or something close to it – in this outfit. Although I usually liked black dresses, I wasn't a fan of this one. I stared at myself for a couple of minutes and wondered what was missing.
I smiled. My lips curved into a warm, dazzling smile. A smile I only reserved for him. It still didn't make me look right. Something was off. After a few minutes of gazing at myself, I finally figured out what it was. I released my hair from the neat bun and allowed the tresses to fall gracefully over my shoulders. I ran my fingers through the strands. There, I thought, I was ready.
I picked up the red rose sitting on my bed and left.
My mother always said, "Look your very best before you leave your apartment because you never know whom you're going to meet." She told me I could meet my soul mate on the street, at work, in a restaurant, while commuting ... anywhere. The chances of meeting him increased as soon as I stepped out of my door. I had blatantly rolled my eyes, and she had retorted me with a look that said, 'You'll see.'
I didn't believe her. She lived in a fantasy world and sometimes life really didn't work that way. However, I did believe that each morning brought something new and strange. The world had many strange things to be discovered, and I seemed to uncover many of them on my way to work each morning.
I just never believed I would find one that would change my life so drastically that Monday.
Mondays usually sucked because I was usually recovering from my weekends spent consuming copious amounts of alcohol. On this particular one, I woke up to my obnoxious alarm clock, ringing like a siren and disturbing my heavenly sleep. I groaned as I stretched and tried to turn off the damn thing before it could add to my already existing headache. But the piece of shit continued to annoy me by not shutting up. Finally, I grabbed it from my bed stand and threw it to the floor. It landed with a thud and the irritating sound died down with one last squeak.
I laid there and pondered my work day and how wonderful it would be if I called in sick, or just didn't show. How awesome it would be to avoid all the idiots at work and get a few extra hours of sleep. After enjoying my daydream of spending the day in bed, I realized the truth - that I had to go to work today. I got up with a yawn and I followed last night's trail of clothing strewn on the floor all the way to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth and took a shower.
The day started out like every other day did. Nothing was different. When I walked out of my apartment building, I stepped into chaos. It was early in the morning, and as usual, everyone was rushing to their various pathetic duties. The sun was out and bright as ever, glaring into my face and blinding my fucking eyes. I winced, squinting my eyes for a bit and getting used to the sharp light. I was so angry that I left my sunglasses back in my apartment. I was even angrier that I was going to work instead of sleeping in my bed.
I tried my best to push my way through the mass of people rushing into the subway station, like they were all one jolly bunch ready to start the day.
I opened my handbag as I approached the ticket stand, looking for my metro pass. I hated looking for things in there. My bag was as disorganized as my apartment was, and it was harder to look for the pass when there were thousands of items shuffling around as I dug in the bag.
I knelt down and ransacked my bag for the pass. My purse seemed to grow bigger and bigger as I searched, while I became more irritated by the second. I decided to remove each item and shift whatever unnecessary junk that was in the bag to get a better view, when I felt the edge of someone's suitcase hit the back of my head. I grimaced as the pain shot through me, and my hand instinctively rubbed the sore spot. As if my day wasn't already going shitty, someone had to add to it.
"Are you fucking blind or what?" I hissed as I stood up to see the idiot that decided to mess with me today. "Are you a moron? You have two eyes and yet you're too dumb to see where the fuck you're going." I stood up with my bag, the fury rolling off my body in waves, as a man dressed in an expensive-looking suit turned to look at me with an apologetic expression.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't know," his green eyes pleaded. "I was in a rush and–"
"And so what? Oh wait, don't I look like I'm in a fucking rush too?" I snarled. "You don't see me hitting other people's skulls do you? Oh, because you're dressed in a suit, you have every right to hit people? The world must fucking stop because you're passing? We should all bow down to you now? What do you think? That your job is better than mine?"
"Seriously, I…I–I–didn't mean it like that," he stuttered as his forehead creased.
"Tell me how you meant it!" I snapped, throwing my hands up in exasperation. "You hit my fucking head you idiot. You're not blind, so please explain it to me," I crossed my arms against my chest. "Are you the only one who's going to work? You think you're the only one who's got a job? You think other people don't have lives too? For all you know, you might have damaged my head. What the hell am I supposed to do if I go to the doctor and–"
I got cut off by his boisterous laughter. My eruption had attracted a couple of people who were watching the scene between the both of us unfold. A few people, who passed us, paused to find out what was happening. I grew more furious as he continued laughing, as if I had said the most hilarious thing. I couldn't figure out what was so funny to him.
"What the fuck are you laughing at, you fool?" I asked, feeling completely pissed off.
"It's just..," he chuckled. "You just...," he continued laughing as I glanced around, wondering if people thought I was having a conversation with a mad man. "Oh fuck," he tried to catch his breath as he ran his hands through his hair. "You are such an angry person. I certainly think you have issues, serious issues. Jeez talk about overreacting." He tried to calm down.
I glared at him. "I'm not sure what you think is funny here. I'm the one whose head was hit and yet you're the one acting mental."
I couldn't comprehend why I was still standing and talking to him. He was wasting my time. With that thought in my mind, I turned back and began walking toward the ticket booth.
"Wait, please wait," I heard him call as I searched my bag for some money to pay for a subway token.
What the hell did he want now?
"Please let me make it up to you," he said, gulping deep breaths of air.
"Are you insane?" I swiftly turned my head to face him. "You've already wasted six minutes of my precious time, and you're still wasting it!"
"I'm sorry. Calm down. Let me take you to lunch."
I stared at him in disbelief while he panted, as if he had just run a marathon. "Come on just lunch."
I wondered why I was still standing there listening to his offer. I wondered why I allowed him to make me get late to work. I wondered why I didn't beat the crap out of him for already making the first day of the week hell for me. But most of all, I wondered why I agreed to meet him for lunch.
Maybe it was because I was rushing and I wanted to get rid of him? Maybe it was because I thought I'd never see him again? Maybe it was because when he smiled at me crookedly and ran his hands through his odd-colored disheveled hair, he brought my attention to the fact that he was a handsome man, and I hadn't hung around with one of those in ages?
Whatever it was caused my whole life to take a different turn the moment I uttered my agreement.
It turned out that I actually showed up for lunch. We met at an Italian restaurant, a couple of blocks away from my place. I figured, a girl's got to eat, and if he was paying, it was the least he could do for bruising my head.
"So," Edward cleared his throat after taking a sip of water. We had been sitting in an awkward silence for about ten minutes now, while waiting for our food to be served. Those golden ten minutes that I could have spent doing something more important than checking the time, felt like two years in his presence.
"Are you going to sit there and remain mute for the rest of the afternoon?" he asked.
"Well, I didn't come here for your pleasure Mr….?"
"It's just Bella. And I didn't come here to chat with you. I came here because you wouldn't take no for an answer, and also because you were looking for a way to rid yourself of the guilt you felt when you hit my fucking head." I flipped the napkin on my lap with a smack.
"First of all, it was a accident and I apologized," he rolled his eyes. "Secondly, people come to restaurants to eat and talk, not glare. It's rude."
"Well, excuse me for being rude," I retorted back angrily. "Look, I don't know what your goal is here. I'm eating and then leaving. So whatever you've planned, you can quit it."
"What do you mean by what I've planned? Do you think I plan to seduce you? Or you think this is a date?" He leaned forward with an inquisitive brow and a corner of his lip turned up.
"I'm not sure. I hope it's not, because that's just a horrible way of asking a girl to go out with you. Not to talk of cheap!" I huffed, crossing my arms against my chest and leaning back against the chair in the booth.
"Bella, this is a friendly lunch," he said, his face colored with amusement. "People do this all the time."
"I am not your friend," I snapped, glaring at him as the waiter brought our order, dropping the dishes on the table.
"Yes, this is why I brought you here, to get to know you so we can be friends," his lips twitched.
"I don't want to be your friend. I have enough already."
"A person can never have too many friends."
"Well, I don't want your friendship," I said firmly, before scooping a spoonful of vegetable stew into my mouth. The spice burned my tongue, and I gulped a glass of water to quench it.
"I wonder, does your attitude drive people away? You seem to be so aggressive all the time. I thought it was because you weren't in a good mood the other day."
"I don't know," I shrugged nonchalantly, "maybe I'm just irritated by your presence."
"No seriously Bella," he said, his gaze leveling on mine with a spark of interest. "Why do you feel that you have to emit your negative energy to other people or your surroundings?"
My eyes narrowed at him. "I don't know how my business should concern you Mr. Cullen–"
"Please call me Edward."
I shot him a hardened look. "We are not friends. So it shouldn't matter whether I seem like an angry person at all. And really, I don't give a shit about what you think of me."
A teasing smile graced the corners of his lips. "You're rather feisty, I would have considered that sexy if only I thought you were attractive."
I returned his smile with a derisive look. "I couldn't care less, you egotistical jerk."
He smirked. The bastard was enjoying aggravating me and it was pissing me off. He seemed too calm and cocky to me, with his expensive suits and his stupid Rolex watch. Running his fingers through his messy hair and acting all cool and suave. He was probably one of those guys who thought they could entice girls with just one word from his lips. Well, fuck him! I wasn't going to melt under his stare just because his eyes were green and vibrant, they were hypnotizing me.
"Is there anything else you would like me to get for you?" The cute waiter appeared at our table with a fake smile, as if we had forced him to do his job.
I needed to get out of here. "Is it possible to get the cheque?" I wiped my mouth and stood up, holding my bag and getting ready to take my exit.
"Dude, please come back in twenty minutes," Edward spoke to the waiter and turned his attention back to me. "I'm sorry, let's start again. I'm not really good at making friends," he said with a serious expression plastered on his face as I arched a sarcastic brow. "Usually, most people are drawn to my charm and they initiate conversation, but with you it's different."
"Oh gee, I wonder why," I responded in a contemptuous tone. "Maybe it's because you actually have absolutely no charm."
"Sit," he patted his tie with a smile I wanted to slap off his face. "I want to show you something,"
"I'm not interested."
"Just please sit down," he said weakly. "You see that couple sitting over there?" He pointed to a table situated across from the booth we were sitting in. A beautiful blonde was sitting with a guy who looked like he was in his late twenties. His size was monstrous for the little booth. He looked like a wreck as he continuously rubbed the back of his neck. This blonde woman, whom he could probably squash with one fist, was making him sweat.
Edward slid closer to my side of the booth. "Now watch closely," he whispered. The two of us stared at the couple surreptitiously, even though I wasn't sure why. "The guy sitting down there is nervous as hell. You see, he really likes that lady and he thinks she might be the one."
I rolled my eyes. "I thought it was only girls who thought about the one." I said, putting emphasis and air quotes around the last two words, "There is no the one. They don't exist."
"Everyone thinks about the one, it's in our nature. And yes, they do exist," he said as we turned back to the couple. "So, he's nervous, like really nervous. He has no clue what to say. He wants to tell her that she looks beautiful, that she's the best thing he's ever laid his eyes upon. That she's the one who he's been waiting for, for all these years–"
"You sound like a Valentine's Day card," I giggled, and then stopped myself immediately once I noticed that I was encouraging him.
"Anyway, watch closely as he tries to tell her how he feels." Edward and I both inadvertently leaned forward as if it was possible for us to hear them from our table. "He's so nervous; he's probably shitting a brick in his pants right now. Now look, he's going to say something completely stupid."
As soon as Edward mentioned that, I watched the guy tell her something. Immediately, her face scrunched up in anger. "What did he say?" I asked, completely puzzled. Before Edward could reply, she picked up her glass of water and splashed it on his face. He stared at her, wet and completely dumbfounded. I turned my face and unconsciously leaned into Edward's chest, laughing as Edward chuckled beside me.
We paused as the angry lady walked past us and made her way out of the restaurant, before we burst into another fit of laughter. My gaze returned to the huge guy, he sat completely stunned as he pulled out the napkin and wiped his face. I was shocked at how his huge figure could be so nervous and uncomfortable.
"Sometimes, guys don't know how to express what they feel." Edward moved back to his side of the booth, and took another sip of water.
"How did you know he was going to do that anyway? Like how did you know that was going to happen?" I turned to face him, wondering if he could now predict the future.
"I study people. Besides, when you took forever to get here, I watched him pace back and forth in front of the restaurant." His fingers glided through his hair. "You are a pretty girl Bella, but you would be more attractive if you let your hair down," he winked. "So what do you say? Want to be friends?"
"I've only spent twenty minutes with you and I already can't wait to leave. What makes you think I'd even give you a second chance?"
"Well, I'm sure you could use another friend, and I know you'll enjoy my company," he smiled cockily. "Just don't fall in love with me."
I couldn't stand him. Each word that came out of his mouth infuriated me. I wasn't sure why he even wanted my company, especially when he thought I was immature and unattractive. Probably because I wanted to prove to him that I wouldn't enjoy his company; I agreed to a second meeting with him. Maybe I shouldn't have. In hindsight, maybe I should have denied him right then and there.
"You're late," Edward said icily, as I picked up a newspaper from the newspaper stand and paid the little boy behind the kiosk.
"I'm just," I paused and looked at my watch, "a few minutes late," I replied, realizing that I was fifteen minutes late. "Nothing to be so angry about."
"You're always late," he said, taking slow sips of his coffee. "It's a bad habit. If you say you're going to be somewhere at a certain time, you should be there."
"Okay dad," I mocked. "What are you so angry about anyway? Are my negative qualities rubbing off on you already?" I teased with a smile as his face softened.
It had been three weeks since our last encounter, and we had spent the time becoming friends just as he wanted. We still had our battles and he annoyed the hell out of me sometimes; but when I realized that he wasn't giving up, I decided to go along with it. I wasn't sure why he was so persistent on acquiring my friendship, but sometimes I truly did enjoy his company even though I'd never actually admit it. It had been a long time since I had tolerated a guy's company. Most of them were completely stupid with porous brains.
"I'm sorry," he apologized. "It's just that time waits for no one, you know. Everything has its time and when you're late, things go awry and you can't go back," he said, looking at something in the distance.
I frowned, wondering what he was talking about, but not pressing further.
"Anyway, never mind."
"So, what are we doing today?" I asked, sounding cheerful and hoping the forlorn expression on his face would disappear.
Edward had come up with ways to spend our quality time together as he named it. Last week, we had spent time having dinner at one of the restaurants that served the best steaks. And the week before that, we had actually gone fishing – his idea. I never really enjoyed sitting in a boat, waiting for a fish to be caught with my hook. But in Edward's presence, it was a whole different feeling. He made nature feel almost fascinating. However, Edward wasn't able to catch a single fish during that trip and I caught three.
"We are going to the park."
"The park?" I asked. I had left work early on a Friday morning just so I could go to a park?
"Yep, the park," he shoved his left hand into his pocket as we started walking to the direction of the park. "Besides late, how are you?"
"Do you really want to know?" I arched a brow.
"Of course, I want to know. Why would you think I don't?"
"Well, because when most people ask that type of question, they aren't really asking to know. They're just doing it because it's the norm," I said, as the traffic light glowed red and we crossed to the other side of the street. "They think it's polite to ask and so they do it. They could also do it to the fill the silence, or just because after saying 'hi', 'how are you?' comes next."
"You are one strange human being, Bella Swan," he laughed.
"It's true. How many people do you know ask how you are and really want to know the answer? That's why people give generic answers like: I'm fine or I'm good. Nobody really wants to know other people's problems."
"I've never thought about it that way before. Perhaps the person just doesn't want to share. Or maybe they're really fine and you're putting too much meaning into it."
"Maybe," I shrugged.
He asked again, "So, how are you?"
I smiled at him. "I'm fine."
We arrived at the park in five minutes. It was mid March and the birds were chirping as they soared and circled in the sky. The sun was out and bright and, surprisingly, less annoying than usual. Children were on swings, playing and giggling, while their parents sat on benches, reading newspapers or watching them. Dogs barked and their owners laughed as they either talked on their phones, or with other dog owners. It was a good morning, and it had been a long time since I had taken a day off work to just enjoy myself.
We found a spot under a tree, to provide us shade from the sun and we both sat down. Edward sipped his coffee while I read the newspaper, glancing at the headlines.
"You know…I never thought about having kids until a month ago," Edward said, cutting through the silence as I looked at him.
"Why would you be thinking about having kids?"
"Why not? They are adorable."
"Okay…" I trailed off, looking at him strangely and not comprehending what brought the thought on. "Do you have a wife?" I asked. Because if he did, I wondered what she thought about him spending time with me for the past couple of weeks.
"No, but I would like to have a child someday," he said. His eyes were locked on a little boy who was running around a swing.
I watched a young girl tugging on the skirt of her mother, trying to get her attention while she spoke on the phone. She reminded me of myself when I was younger.
After an interval of silence passed, I said. "I envy them sometimes."
"Because they're kids, they don't know anything yet. They don't know what life is about, how hard it can be. Everything is being handed to them. And they are completely ignorant of the fact that the best part of their life is when they're children. When they grow up, they'll see that life doesn't really have anything to offer. They'll go to school; they'll graduate. They'll go to work, and then work and work and work, until they retire and die. Where's the enjoyment?"
"I beg to differ. Life has a lot of things to offer, it's just that we're blinded by other things to see it. People over look the simple things, and the simple things are the best things," he smiled.
At that moment, a small, white furry dog ran over to us. Edward bent over and picked it up and placed it on the chair, running his fingers through its fur. The dog cooed and exhaled with its tongue sticking out, enjoying Edward's ministrations.
"Hello there, you little fella, where's your owner?" He continued ruffling its fur. "Meet my friend, her name is Bella."
At first, I was frightened. I had never been in close proximity with a dog before. I tried to prevent interacting with them because I didn't know how dangerous they were, but Edward gave me a look of encouragement as I shifted closer to the animal. With a light pat on its head, my fingers laced with its soft fur. The dog leaned closer to my hand and licked my palm. I thought it was gross, but I was feeling proud of myself that I was getting the hang of it. My fingers glided through its fur, scattering the hairs surrounding its body and rubbing its head. I was getting so comfortable, right until the fucking creature bit my wrist.
I immediately withdrew my hand as I felt the sting of its teeth drill into my skin. "Ow, you crazy little mutt!" I screamed, the pain seem to spread through my hand. "What the fuck do you go biting me for? What did I do to you?" My voice grew louder as I stood up, inspecting the skin and checking if it was bleeding.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked with concern evident in his voice.
"No, I'm not fucking okay. This bastard fucking bit me!" I screeched.
The owner jogged to approach us, and picked up her monstrous dog from Edward's lap. "I am so sorry, Jake just ran off." She turned to look at me, while I was fully concentrated on the bite marks the ugly thing left on my hand. "Did he bite you?"
"No, you blind bat, he just licked me," my voice imprinted with sarcasm. "Of course, he fucking bit me!"
"Bella hold on, let me see," Edward said, pulling my wounded hand and looking at it.
"I'm so sorry; I don't know what got into him. He's usually not aggressive," she said in a sympathetic tone.
"Yeah, well I wish I could say the same for her," Edward remarked, still looking at the hand.
"Your dog should be put in a dog pound if you can't fucking control it," I hissed.
"Does it have rabies?" Edward asked, glancing at her.
"No, he doesn't. Once again, I'm so sorry," she said, before she took off.
"Stupid, fucking, idiotic, foolish..." I went on as Edward started laughing. "What the fuck are you laughing at? You're not the one who was fucking bit by a dog." I snapped.
"I swear, I'm not laughing at what happened to you," he raised his hands in a surrender. "Come here, you need a hug to cool off before we go get your wound taken care of." He pulled me into his embrace. "Hugs are good for the heart." His arms cradled me as he rocked both our bodies from foot to foot.
My body melted in his arms as he ran his hands down my back. A strange feeling soared within me and a sigh escaped from my lips. I felt relaxed, really, really relaxed and warm. I had never relished physical contact this much. His arms were so comforting that I could have fallen asleep. My head was resting on his chest and my ears heard the soft beating of his heart. The thought that I was actually enjoying the way he was holding me, cradling me with care and affection, made me feel slightly uncomfortable.
"Uh," I pulled away from him, wondering what had come over me. I felt like I was in a trance when he held me, and shook my head as if that could clear away the feeling. "I…I don't like people touching me for too long." I muttered as the air crackled with a slight tension that never existed before.
He tipped my chin to face him; his green eyes met mine with a penetrating stare. "Whenever you get mad or angry, close your eyes and take deep breaths. It will help. If we get angry at every single thing that happens to us, we will never get to enjoy life the way we should."
"This is where you live?" Edward's eyes opened wide and his face sketched a shocked and horrified expression, as he took in the state of my apartment and dropped his bag.
I grimaced at his reaction. He looked like someone had just told him his loved one was going to jail for murder. My place wasn't that bad. I glanced around and noticed that I hadn't washed the dishes from last week. They were piled up in the sink. I had yet to take the trash out. And I hadn't finished laundry, so the basket of clothes was in front of the washing machine, which was very close to the main door.
But the living room was clean. There were only crumbs of pizza from last night on the carpet, and a few documents from work on the table. I inwardly groaned and reprimanded myself. I should have, at least, made an effort to clean up before agreeing to his weekend visit.
Anyway, why should it matter what he thought about me? I thought. He wasn't my boss, and neither was he my dad. So I shouldn't be worried if he did or didn't approve of my living standards. If he didn't like it, he was free to leave. After all, I wasn't the one who asked for a friendship.
With that conclusion, I replied, "Yes, this is where I live. Do you have a problem with it?" My left brow rose up, daring him to say something.
Most people would have shut their mouth, but because this was Edward and he couldn't let anything go, especially from me; he said, "Of course I have a problem with it. Can't you see the place? How many rats live with you? Are there roaches? I should call the–"
"Call what?" I barked back. "You can't call the exterminator; they're busy at your place. Besides, it's my place and I'm comfortable living in it. I just have to get a few things out of the way and that's it. It can be better in a couple of minutes."
"Maybe you should get a boyfriend to keep your habits in line," he murmured as he took off his jacket and paused, searching for a good place to hang it. "Or friends, you know, those who you share secrets with," he teased.
"Give it to me," I snapped, snatching it from his hands and walking into the bedroom. "And I don't need a boyfriend!" I exclaimed, as I shut the door and rested my back against it.
My back slid against the door until my ass came in contact with the floor. Suddenly, the realization that Edward was going to stay at my place for the entire weekend sunk in. My heart started to pound in my chest, and I wasn't sure why. He was just a friend. Friends stayed over at each other's places during the weekend, right?
I hadn't given much thought to it when Edward asked to stay with me while his apartment was being fumigated. Actually, when I woke up this morning, I didn't really care. But now being in his presence, holding his jacket, with him standing in my apartment – made it seem so real and weird.
"Um, Bella?" I heard his voice call from the living room. "Let's head out now. If we leave later, we might not make it in time to see two movies especially since we're walking to the theatre. And we're going to be late if you keep jacking off with my jacket." I heard the humor in his voice and picked myself up.
I opened the door and threw his jacket at him. "I was not jacking off with your jacket, so please don't flatter yourself." I passed him on my way to get my jacket.
"Why do we have to walk there?" I whined as I placed my hands into the sleeves of my jacket.
"Because it's only fifteen minutes away, and it seems unnecessary paying a taxi to drive us to the theatre when we can walk," He answered as he typed a text message on his phone.
"How about you walk while I catch a cab and meet you there?" I asked as we came out of my apartment and I locked the door.
"How the hell would we spend our time together if you're farther from me?" He removed his eyes from his blackberry and glanced at me.
"Whatever," I replied, putting my hair into a ponytail.
"Why do you always wear your hair up?" he asked, as we got into the elevator.
"Because if I leave it down, it bothers me."
"Then why not just cut it?"
"What good would that do? I'd probably look like an alien or something."
"You already look unattractive. So if you cut it, I don't think it will get much worse," he teased, his lips curving into a smile.
"Yeah, you don't look that great either. Ugly people know ugly people," I shrugged.
Before I could blink or realize what he was doing, he was standing in front of me in the elevator and releasing my hair from its confinement. "If you don't mind, I like it down," he whispered, as his fingers brushed my nape. The hairs on my neck reacted to his touch, like one magnet attracted to another.
I was stuck in a daze that lasted for a few seconds before he ruffled my hair up. A thrill shot up my spine at the notion that his lips were close to mine for some seconds. I shivered involuntarily and tried to clear my throat, hoping this awkward feeling would disappear.
We stepped out of the building and into the streets. The sun was descending into the sky and leaving twilight in its wake. It wasn't very cold, but there was a chill in the air that made it cold enough to wear a jacket.
"So are you rich?" I asked. The dazed feeling had left me unsettled, and I was trying to find something else to engage my mind with.
He laughed. "What? Why? You think I'm not capable of paying for the movie tickets?"
"I'm paying for mine," I replied. "I was just asking because you always seem to wear suits," I said. "Expensive suits," I added, my eyes flickering to the one he was wearing.
"Depends on what you define as rich. But nope, I'm not rich. I'm just a guy with many suits. I figured since they're expensive, they should be worn. No point of them sitting in the wardrobe doing nothing,"
I nodded, even though I still didn't understand why he wore a suit to the movie theatre. We talked about a lot of random stuff on the way. He asked what my favorite food was, my favorite movie, favorite song, favorite band, and a bunch of other favorite things. He asked why I ordered burgers, but specifically requested that they remove all the lettuce and pickles. I told him I hated vegetables and salads. He was completely disgusted when I said I loved roadside hot dogs. I asked how many girls he dated throughout his thirty years of living and he told me a few. I asked if he had ever fallen in love or considered marrying, and he said only once, but he never thought of getting married until a few months ago. I thought his answers a bit vague, but brushed it off because we were running late.
I looked at my watch and exclaimed, "Holy shit! We're late for the movie." I grabbed his hand and started walking faster toward the theatre, which was just a couple of blocks across the street. It had gotten darker and the lights of the streets sparkled against the night's sky. The evening was filled with noise of vehicles squealing against the tarred road. A club was located very close to the theatre, and we could hear the dance music from outside.
"Bella, hold on," Edward released his hand from my grasp. "The movie is not running away. Go ahead, I'll meet you."
I ran towards the theatre, and turned to check if he was behind me when I reached the door. He wasn't. He was still walking as slow as a snail. "Come on old man, you're not even that old. If you're already getting tired walking this distance, what will you do when you're old?" I cocked a brow at him.
"Maybe I'll be dead by then. So I won't have to walk. You never know what can happen," he smiled.
"Come on, you pessimistic, depressed human being," I yelled, laughing as he caught up with me.
"Oh wait, I thought that was you," he continued smiling as I opened the door for both of us to get in.
We watched two movies, an action movie and a horror movie. Edward thought I was strange because I didn't like popcorn. He teased me as he ate a handful of popcorn, moaning at how good it tasted and trying his best to tempt me into eating it. When I opened my mouth to protest, he popped one into my mouth. I didn't like it, but I was momentarily stuck in a daze as his fingers lingered on my lips. I felt incredibly hot, and was almost tempted to stick out my tongue and lick his finger, but I resisted it. Instead I opened my mouth and tried to bite him, removing the awkward tension that sizzled between us.
Once we had finished watching both movies, Edward suggested that we walk back home again.
"We are walking again?" I whined, like a petulant child as rain drops fell from the sky and landed on my jacket. "It's about to rain!"
"Walking under the rain is good. It's healthy. I recommend people do it at least once a week," he replied as I rolled my eyes in response.
The rain started getting heavier as we walked home. I was drenched from head to toe by the time we reached my apartment building.
"Are you coming in mister? Or you're going to stay in the rain?" I asked, as Edward ran his hands through his wet hair that had finally been tamed by the rain, and was smoothed back. He was staring at the sky, as drops of rain washed over his face. The steady downpour of rain darkened his hair. His suit was completely soaked. He bit his lower lip and closed his eyes as drops of water slid down his chin.
I was stuck in a trance looking at him. I couldn't move. I was rooted on the spot, watching him, completely enthralled. His tongue stuck out from his mouth and ran over his lower mouth and I groaned.
I shook my head, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. There was an ache in between my thighs and my stomach was fluttering. What the hell is wrong with me? I thought. I definitely needed to have sex with somebody soon. Edward's weirdness was becoming to rub off on me. I wondered what normal human being basked in rain, when others when running for shelter?
Edward and I got our wet bodies into my apartment. I ran my hands through my hair and pushed the strands away from my face as he walked into the bathroom to change. I tried to distract myself from thinking of Edward being naked in my bathroom. I picked up the clothes that were piled on the floor close to the washer and stuffed them into the laundry basket. Edward came out of the bathroom, wearing only a pair of jeans.
"Oh nice, you actually have casual clothes," I mocked with a smile. My eyes surveyed the length of his body. He was lean and slightly muscular. I noticed he had a scar running across his chest, but I couldn't see it clearly.
"Yes, Swan. I have casual clothes," he rolled his eyes. "Where do I sleep?" he asked, looking around.
I was still staring at his chest with my mouth slightly opened. He repeated, "Where do I sleep?"
"Uh," I removed my eyes from his chest. "You can sleep on the bed, while I sleep on the couch. You're the guest so–"
"No, no, no." He said, moving past me toward the bedroom. He came out with two pillows and a blanket. "I'll take the couch."
"But you won't be comfortable."
"I'll be good."
After he was settled, I walked into my bedroom and turned off the lights. I lay down and closed my eyes, waiting for sleep to come. I had never really slept easily; I always needed something to suck me into unconsciousness. However, I knew the reason why I couldn't sleep that night. Edward was sleeping just a couple of footsteps away from me. He was in my living room, and my body was restless. I could also hear him tossing and turning on the couch and I felt bad because I knew the couch was the least comfortable place to sleep on.
I stood up, making my way through the darkness in my room to go to the living room. His eyes were closed and he was lying very still, pretending to sleep. But I could tell he hadn't fallen asleep yet because of the tightening of his jaw. He didn't look peaceful; he looked like he was uncomfortable. I decided to offer an alternative sleeping arrangement.
"Maybe you should come with me to the bed? I mean, you could lie on one side and I could lie on the other. It won't be that awkward," I offered, almost feeling sorry that I had subjected him to the couch.
"Is that okay with you?" He winced from the metal springs of the couch.
"Yes, it's fine."
He picked up the pillows and the blanket and walked back into my bedroom. He laid on the left side while I occupied the right side, our backs to each other while we were facing the walls. It had been a long time since I had someone sleep on my bed, so it felt strange for a while.
My eyes were opened as I heard his breathing slowly decelerate into a soft soothing sound. When I was sure he was asleep, I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.
"Wake up, Bella." A masculine voice pulled me from the comfortable, divine arms of sleep. I felt the covers being pulled from my legs as a deep voice penetrated my unconsciousness again. "Bella, wake up."
I turned to the other side of the bed, nuzzling into my pillow and wishing the voice would go away. "Bella, you have to wake up," he called again.
"What? What? WHAT?" I shot up as my eyes flew open, wondering who decided to be my alarm clock today and got ready to implode my rage into that human being. "Why the fuck are you waking me up?" I looked straight into the eyes of a man with a chaotic hair. I rubbed my eyes and yawned. "Are you dying?" My eyes raked his form. He was dressed in a grey sleeveless shirt and the pair of pajama pants he wore to sleep yesterday.
"Maybe," Edward chuckled with an amused expression coloring his face.
"Are you injured?" I asked, wondering why he decided to rob me off the most precious thing one could ask for on a Saturday morning – sleep.
"Probably," he laughed.
I groaned and fell back to the soft pillows and the comfort of my bed. "Ugh, leave me alone." I said, as he continued tugging the sheets.
"Wake up!" he continued, relentlessly.
"Why?" I grumbled into my pillow.
"Because we're late,"
"Late for what?" I asked as he completely removed the covers from my body.
"To see the sun rise, we need to hurry."
"Why the hell would I want to see..." Before I could finish asking my question, he wrapped his hands around my ankles and dragged me off the bed. He placed his hands around my waist and pulled me over his shoulders, carrying me to the kitchen. "What the hell?" I screamed.
"Yeah, this won't work. You're too heavy." He dropped me immediately, panting and breathing in air furiously like he had just carried an anvil over a long distance.
"You think?" I muttered sarcastically as he pulled off his jacket from the wooden coat rack.
"Let's go." He threw my jacket toward me, and I watched it fly across the kitchen and land next to my feet.
"Go where?" I asked, feeling disoriented and exhausted as I bent down and picked it up.
"You'll see," he smiled.
It was dark when we left the apartment. The streets were silent, as I figured that every normal human being would be in their beds at this time on a Saturday morning. I rubbed my arms and tried to squeeze them into the cocoon of my jacket, trailing behind Edward.
"Why are going into the subway?" I asked, as we descended down the stairs into the train station.
"Because we can't walk all the way there," Edward replied as he reached into his pockets and brought out a couple of bills and slid it to the poor guy sleeping behind the booth.
The guy gave Edward his change back, and we ran downstairs to meet the train, that had just arrived. Both of us got in and sat down on the seats. The train was almost empty, except for an old woman, who sat at the far end. She looked like she resembled a witch, and I whispered my concern regarding her appearance while Edward laughed at me.
"So when you go on dates, do you use the subway too?" I asked, twisting my fingers with his long ones.
I was really curious about what he really did on dates. He had made me walk to the theatre, take a train to see whatever the hell it was we were seeing, and had done some other odd things. Did he wear suits on all his dates? And he looked like someone who was making a sufficient salary, so why couldn't we just use a taxi? I knew he didn't consider any of our meetings as dates, but I wondered what he did when he took a woman out. Was it different from what he did with me?
"Nope," he said, watching our fingers intertwine with each other. "I've never taken a date to see the sun either." He looked at me with a smile brightening his features.
My gaze shifted to the floor of the train, as the tires screeched against the railway tracks. I had never met anyone like Edward before. Apart from his strange character, I never knew a guy who just wanted to be friends with a girl without an ulterior motive. Edward had never tried anything sexual with me since we had become friends, and now that I realized it, I wondered if he really thought I was unattractive.
Maybe he just didn't see me that way. After all, we were just friends. He saw me as Bella Swan – the unattractive, untidy infantile who had a temper as hot as a chili sauce and was always trying to pick fights. And this Bella Swan didn't usually care what anyone thought about her.
Except for some odd reason, I wanted him to see something more. I wanted him to look at me and want to take me out on a date. For heaven's sake, I was holding his fucking hand and I hated touching people. What was he doing to me?
"Our stop," Edward said, pulling me out of my reverie.
We got out of the subway station and stepped out into the streets. The darkness in the sky was quickly dissolving and fading into a light blue color.
"I'm not even sure why we are going to see the sunrise. What's so special about this anyway?" I asked as we turned into a narrow street.
Why did I have to sacrifice the most favorite part of my day to watch something that always came in the morning? So what if the sun rises? I thought. I didn't get why the whole journey was important.
"Because it's the sun," Edward replied, as if that reason was sufficient enough to validate why I had to lose sleep. "How can you not like the sun?"
"It's too bright and it always takes the night away. It just brings work and problems to me in the morning,"
"The sun doesn't bring problems. That's just your own doing," Edward laughed as we turned into the corner of a street. "You need to open your eyes and give things a chance in order to see the good in them."
We passed a couple of streets and took more turns until we reached a forest. Edward practically dragged me through it once he looked at his watch and realized we were behind schedule, while I complained about insects and animals that could have been lurking around the thick, dark forest.
Finally, we made our way through trees and vegetation, and a lot of spiders, into an open space as the hills Edward had been anticipating came into view.
"Just a few minutes and we'll be there," he panted, sweat covering his forehead.
"This is so…" The words died in my throat as my eyes browsed around my surroundings. I had never known this place existed before. I wasn't even sure if we were still in the city. There were so many hills.
"Uh huh," Edward glanced at me with a smile. "Now we gotta continue hiking." He pulled my hand as we started walking toward the hills. "We are late; the sun rises in fifteen minutes."
Edward looked like a five year old racing to accept a trophy at the finish line of a competition. The excitement was drawn all over his face. His eyes were dancing in happiness, his face looked relaxed but with a set determination to get us there before the sun came out, and his chest was heaving as we increased our pace.
Edward decided that we climbed one of the shorter hills because he wasn't sure if we would make it in time. My slippers were full of sand and I'm sure there was dust in my hair. I had a bruise from the time I slipped and fell as we tried to climb up the hill.
"Okay," Edward said as he dropped to the ground, out of breath.
I sat cross-legged beside him as he checked his watch for the millionth time in two hours.
"This is it," he swallowed as my eyes turned to look at the sky.
It was so surreal. The clouds slowly parted as the first arc of the sun sprung up. It started gradually, but if you weren't looking at it, you would have missed it. The sky was like a canvas with the light blue at the top and a vermilion color accompanying the sun.
A quarter of the golden sun became visible then half of it slowly ascended up, until the full circle was out illuminating the whole horizon. Rays of sunlight emerged and bounced off the peaks of hills, spreading across the vast land and glistening against the green fields. As the sun rose, it seemed like it was approaching us. It was so beautiful. I had never seen anything more amazing in my life.
"Wow," I said, completely speechless. "I…I don't know what to say."
"Pretty spectacular, huh?" Edward turned to look at me, dusting his hands on his jeans. "Makes the whole hiking thing worth it."
I put my arm over my eyes to shield them. "I'm thirsty. Maybe we should have brought water."
"Yeah, we'll be going back soon anyway."
I nodded and ran my hands through my hair as Edward asked, "So tell me something about yourself that I don't know."
"I know you hate popcorn, even though you're the only human being who does," he grinned. "No, seriously tell me something."
"Um, okay. I can't sleep," I said, chewing my lower lip. "I have trouble sleeping at night. It's happened every night since my mom died last year. She died of cancer."
Edward nodded in understanding as my gaze travelled to the other hills. "That's why there's alcohol in the cabinet?"
"Yeah, well not exactly," I laughed. "That's just my way of solving problems. Alcohol makes everything better," I smiled. "So tell me something about yourself that I don't know," I countered.
"What would you like to know?" He ran his hands through his hair, pushing it away from his face.
A bunch of questions where racing through my mind. Did he have a girlfriend? Was he secretly married? Was he attracted to me? Why did he always spend time with me? Why was this even bothering me this much? Why did I care to know about him? Why did I want to enter his head and delve into his mind? See what made him look so put together and so happy all the time. What made him laugh, and how does he always maintain a smile on his face? I wanted to know so many things, but I doubted that he would have given me all the answers. And the rest, I just couldn't bring myself to ask him.
So I opted out for the easiest question that popped in my head. "What's your greatest fear?"
He looked at me thoughtfully, as if the answer was written on my face, before he said, "Being separated from a loved one. I'm not sure if I can do it, I don't think I'm strong enough to say goodbye to people…" he trailed off, looking at the hills.
"Do you mean like breaking up with someone…or death?"
"It sounds more like you are trying to protect your heart. But, yeah, I have a problem with saying goodbyes too." My eyes dropped to my lap. "I was really close to my mom and so it was difficult to–to let her go." I croaked, the emotions clogging my throat.
"Is that why you shut yourself out from the world?" he asked.
I brought my head up to see his smile. "I don't shut myself out," I said, smiling in return. His smile was so infectious.
"Yes, you do. You bark at people for little things, your place is scattered because you don't like guests. If you did have visitors all the time, I assure you, you'd keep it neat and clean. You try to avoid human contact as much as possible by placing your earphones in your ears even when you're not listening to anything in particular. You don't like making eye contact with people. You don't smile because you know it will attract attention. You–"
"Okay, okay, okay!" I raised my hands for him to stop. "Yes, I have a very pathetic life. You don't have to push it in my face," I said, standing up and walking back toward the direction we came from.
He had figured out that I was a total loser and that's why he didn't want more than friendship. This realization hurt me more than it should, and my heart started to feel like there was a heavy weight was pressing against it. A weight of embarrassment, that he had seen the real me.
"Bella, wait." I heard him call to me as I started to walk faster, almost breaking into a run. "Bella, please don't make me run. I can't run."
"Why can't you run? You should be more athletic!" I shouted back as I continued walking.
"I look ridiculous when I run," he replied and I almost laughed. "Please wait."
I stopped and composed myself before turning back to face him. "What?"
"It's human nature to shut ourselves out when we've been hurt. It's like the mimosa pudica flower that closes when it's touched. We try to prevent ourselves from feeling pain, so we lock ourselves up. It's not bad, it's a defense mechanism. It's only bad when you also prevent yourself from being happy," his finger grazed the curve of my cheek. "And that's what you're doing Bella, you're preventing yourself from being really happy. Because to experience happiness, you have to know what sadness feels like. How can you know what heaven is, if you haven't been through hell?"
I closed my eyes and inhaled as his finger traced my face and chased all the sorrow and insecurities away.
"Bella, I have something to tell you," Edward said as my eyes flashed open. He looked at me intently, almost as if he wanted to say something but abruptly changed his mind. "Um, I think we should head back."
After that weekend that I admitted to Edward I didn't sleep well, he called almost every night to talk to me or stay on the phone while I fell asleep.
"Hey," I said, picking up the phone after I recognized it was his number.
"Hi, not falling asleep yet?" he asked, and I could hear his breathing through the receiver.
"Nope, same old same old," I smiled, twirling the strings of my pajamas around my fingers and staring at the ceiling.
"Are your lights off?"
"Turn them off," he said, as I reached to the lamp and twisted the knob so darkness fell upon the room. "I'm going to tell you a story until you fall asleep."
"Okay," I giggled. "You sound like my mother, who told me stories when I was little. You do know we've passed that stage right?"
"Yes, but it doesn't mean it won't still work." I heard him laugh. "Besides I'm older than you, so you're kinda' a kid."
"Shut up Cullen!" My chest rumbled in laughter. "So what story are you going to tell me?"
"Just shut up and listen to the story," his deep voice said. He sounded so sexy on the phone. "So there was a man named Lockwood. He had just come into town and he was renting a place from another man who was a master of an estate. He decided to greet his landlord, but unfortunately, there was a big storm outside so he was forced to spend the night at his landlord's place."
"Wait, hold up. You can't tell me a story about Wuthering Heights. I'm not going to fucking sleep if you do that."
"Ah, I was wondering how long it'd take you to guess it."
"Tell me another story and please not from Emily Bronte or Shakespeare."
"But I don't know any other stories, okay fine."
"Okay," the sound of his laughter echoed in the receiver. "I'll tell you another story." He cleared his throat. "There was a man whose name was Sydney Carton. He was a lawyer and an introvert. He met this young woman called Lucie Mannette, and he fell in love with her. The problem was that she didn't love him."
"Oh no! Unrequited love is the worst kind."
"Yes, it is. Now don't interrupt me again."
"Sorry." I mumbled.
"You just interrupted me. Shut up." I could hear the smile in his voice. "So, she told him nicely that she didn't have the same affection he had for her. Sydney, who was truly hopelessly in love with her, decides he'll make any sacrifice and be her friend. He will hide his love for her just so he could still be close to her."
"Why would he want to do that?"
"Swan," he exhaled sharply into the phone. "I'm not giving you a lecture; you have no right to ask questions. Just listen to the damn story. Anyway, that's what true love is. It's not about you; it's about your beloved. Your beloved's needs come first before yours do, because her happiness is your happiness. Lucie meets a French guy named Charles and falls in love with him. Charles and Sydney look nearly identical."
I wanted to interrupt and ask why she would fall in love with someone who looked like the man who loved her, but I knew Edward would have my head on a platter, so I kept quiet.
"Charles and Lucie get married. This happens during the French revolution, and Charles is arrested for leaving France. He stays in jail for a year and three months, and his family tries to help free him but they don't succeed. Now with his execution coming up, Lucie is devastated. Sydney, who is still very much in love with her, can't stand to see her so hurt. So he decides to visit Charles in prison. The guard lets Sydney enter Charles' prison. Sydney makes Charles unconscious by placing ether against his nose. Quickly, he swaps their clothes before Charles wakes up. Sydney then calls the guard and tells him that his guest fainted. The guard takes Charles away and Sydney is executed the next day in place of Charles."
"That is a very depressing story," I said. "And you're not a very good storyteller," I chuckled.
I could almost see him roll his eyes as he said, "Yeah, like you can do better."
That's how our nightly conversations began. I wondered if I was keeping him up too late at night and making him late for work, but he never complained. Sometimes, he would call and say he was unavailable and I would have to take sleeping pills to sleep. I had become accustomed to hearing his voice before I dozed off into unconsciousness.
"I'm in love with him," I said, gazing faraway and speaking to no one in particular, even though Jessica was sitting right in front of me.
"With who?" She asked as she popped some French fries into her mouth. Jessica Stanley was my co-worker, and probably the only person that could tolerate my attitude. The rest of them were cowards.
I shook my head, clearing the invisible fog that was surrounded around my head. "A guy I met a few months ago."
"What's his name?"
"Edward, his name is Edward," I replied.
It felt strange saying his name with this new revelation dancing in my mind. We had met on a beautiful morning in April and it was almost June, and I was in love with him. I never even imagined that I would fall for the guy who irritated every last nerve in my body. Did love usually work that way?
"So how do I tell him?" I asked Jessica, taking a sip of my drink as we walked out of food court.
"Tell who?" She questioned, checking for something in her bag.
"Edward," I said through clenched teeth, slapping myself mentally. Her brain was as porous as the typical guys I dated.
However, her stupidity wasn't deterring me this afternoon, I needed help and Jess had more experience with men. "How do I tell him? Am I supposed to do something special or like–"
She cut me off as her eyes grew wide with shock painted on her face. "You're in love?" She asked in disbelief, as if I hadn't just mentioned that five minutes ago. I ignored her and continued walking out of the mall. Sometimes, I wondered why I associated myself with such stupid friends. They all needed to be fired. I needed new friends who had brains and could retain things for more than five minutes.
"Wait, hold up," she tried to catch up with me. "I'm sorry, it's just that it's been long since you even gave a guy a chance and you're not the type who falls in love. I pictured you as one of those women who, when they are sixty, are surrounded by cats instead of grandchildren."
"Gee, thanks Jess. You have so much faith in me," I said sarcastically, feeling irritated. She was getting on my nerves. I was discussing something serious with her and she was turning it into a joke.
How long have I put up with her crap? Three years? How did I survive?
"I don't think you need to do anything ceremonial. Just tell him how you feel. If you want to do something exotic, get lingerie and try the seduction thing," she smiled.
Well, at least she was good at something, I thought.
She linked our arms together, her smile growing wider than her face could accommodate. "Let's go get you something sexy," she said in an hyperactive tone as we walked back into the wall.
I was in love with him.
That feeling changed everything. The alarm clock, that I usually bashed against my wall for waking me up, filled me with joy when it rang that the morning had arrived. My apartment, that was usually disorganized and scattered, was arranged and neat, waiting for him to acknowledge it. When I stepped out of my apartment, the sun was no longer blinding my eyes. As a matter of fact, it became the most beautiful thing to wake up to in the morning.
Everything looked better. Everything looked brighter. Everyone seemed less annoying. My boss seemed less of a jerk. My colleagues that usually infuriated me seemed charming and nice. Even when one idiot spilled hot coffee on my blouse, I didn't get mad. I smiled because Edward said I shouldn't waste time picking fights with people. Instead I just channeled the anger to my work. Everything was great because I was finally going to tell the man who captured my heart that I loved him.
That night, I stood in front of the mirror and said the words to my reflection, trying to build the confidence to tell him. I had brushed my hair out and put a little make up on.
"Edward…I love you," I said, staring at myself and wondering if the moon was suddenly going to fall into my apartment or something magical was going to happen. "Edward, I'm in love with you," I said, trying the words on my tongue. "Edward, I love you so much."
No that sounds completely pathetic, I thought.
I banged my head softly against the wall as I heard a knock on my door. I quickly rushed to the door and opened it to see his dazzling smile and white teeth.
"Hi," he said, holding a box. "I brought pizza,"
"Hi," I blushed as I opened the door wide and kicked myself mentally for sounding so stupid.
He walked in and his eyes took in the state of my place. Everything was neat and kept tidy. "Uh…wow. Did you finally get that boyfriend?" He laughed as he sat down on the couch, placing the pizza box on the table.
"No, I just…uh…did a little spring cleaning," I stammered, feeling really nervous.
"Okay…must have been some spring cleaning," he continued laughing as I sat down beside him. "So what are we doing today?"
"We could watch a movie or…" I trailed off, tucking my hair behind my ears. He looked at me for a couple of minutes with a strange expression before he grabbed the remote and turned on the TV.
I played with my fingers nervously on my lap. "Edward, I–I–uh…"
Edward, I sound like a complete moron.
"What?" He turned to look at me. "You want pizza?" He opened the box and picked up a slice, offering it to me.
"No," I turned my head.
"What? You don't want pizza?" A crease formed between his brows.
"'s not it."
No. No. No. Just shut up and let me talk. This whole thing is harder than it's supposed to be. It's three words Bella, just fucking say it, I thought.
"Okay, so what do you want to say?" He looked at me with a levitated brow in question.
"I…" I fumbled with the words in my mind. "Oh forget it, let's watch TV." I turned my eyes to the television and the dancing figures on the screen.
After a couple of minutes and my failure to express my feelings, I walked to the bedroom to carry out the second plan. I removed my clothes and changed into the rather chaste lingerie Jessica and I bought in the mall the other day.
I was confident, I thought to myself as I stared at the mirror. I'm a strong confident woman. I can do this. Besides, it's just Edward. "Edward," I called.
"Could you come in here for a sec?"
My breathing accelerated. My skin was flushed. My chest started palpitating and my eyelids started fluttering. The nervousness kicked up a notch as I waited for him to enter my bedroom. I inhaled, trying to calm down as thoughts danced in my mind. What if I couldn't do this? I had caught him staring at me a couple of times, but what if he wasn't attracted to me?
Come on Bella, all men are attracted to women in lingerie.
"What's the–?" He stopped himself as his eyes fell upon my half naked body. He swallowed and my eyes moved to his parted lips.
"Wh–where are the rest of yo–your clothes?" He stammered. His eyes almost seemed to pop out of his sockets as they scanned my form and then rested on my face.
I wasn't sure if I could construct a coherent sentence that would have answered him. So instead, I walked up to him and wrapped my arms around his neck. A combination of lust and uncertainty darkened his eyes. I closed mine in response and pressed my lips against his.
He didn't react to my kiss immediately. I had to force him to succumb to me and as soon as he did, he groaned into my mouth. My tongue slipped from my lips and traced the outline of his. His hands circled around my waist as my tongue delved deeper into his mouth.
He broke the kiss with a breathy moan, his forehead resting against mine.
"Bella." My name sounded rough and husky, and I closed my eyes as a dark, lustful sensation racked my body. My nerves quivered and my nipples hardened. I wanted him to say my name continuously. His head fell to my neck, planting soft kisses on my nape as I arched to grant him access.
"Bella." A warm sensation tugged my body every time he called my name. However, there was a conflict in his voice, as if he was trying to persuade himself that he wanted to do this. My fingers threaded themselves through his hair as I dragged his head to mine and force his lips apart.
His hands roved hungrily over my body, unclasping the hook of my bra. His fingers greeted my skin, sketching my curves and caressing every inch. I moaned as his lips descended down my collarbone. Edward rekindled all these amazing feelings that were dead and buried somewhere deep inside me. His tongue stroked my skin, awakening flames that made desire swirl in the pit of my stomach.
He made me forget everything, my pain, my mistakes, my loneliness and even my own name. Everything faded into a haze as his closed his lips around my nipples. Pleasure gripped me as I struggled to keep my balance. Edward held me tightly and crushed his lips back to mine as we began to move toward the bed.
I fell backwards on the soft mattress with his weight pressed against mine and his erection pinned against my stomach. He lifted himself up and rested his weight on his hand, which was pressed into the bed. We stared into each other's eyes for a while as I tried to convey what I felt for him in them. His fingers slowly slid my underwear from my body.
I unbuttoned his shirt and my fingers met his soft, curling chest hair. I followed the trail down to the silver buckle of his jeans, and he groaned as my hands wrapped around his length. I placed my feet at the waistband of his jeans and pushed them down his legs to the floor.
Edward's mouth returned to devour mine as my hands massaged his erection. He released my hands from him and I shuddered as he slowly entered me. My back arched off the bed to meet his thrusts. My hands clutched his arms for support as our bodies rocked back and forth.
I couldn't believe that this was happening. For a second, I almost thought that having his body in such an intimate way was a dream.
My lips trailed hot kisses from his chin to his jaw to his neck, pressing a light kiss on his Adam's apple. Edward hissed as he drew in air sharply. He grunted with each thrust, his eyes closed tightly shut and his jaw locked as his whole body quivered from his orgasm.
"I'm sorry," he said, collapsing on my body before rolling off to the side. His breathing slowed down as I removed his hair from sticking to his forehead. "I'm sorry," he said weakly.
"It's okay," I smiled, knowing he was apologizing for not getting me off. "Being with you is more than enough," I kissed his lips.
One of his hands pulled my body closer to him and the other pulled the blanket over our bodies. He placed a soft kiss on my neck and slowly inhaled. We surrendered ourselves to exhaustion and slept in each other's arms.
I woke up to the noise of someone shuffling things around. I opened my eyes and saw Edward, with his back turned toward me, buttoning his shirt.
"Are you leaving?" I asked, yawning and stretching across the bed.
"Uh, yeah, I need to take of something. Go back to sleep," his voice sounded weak and tired.
"Did you get any rest?" I ignored him, wrapping the sheets around my body and sitting up.
"Yeah, I did," he raked his hair, still facing the bathroom.
"Okay, do you want anything to eat?" I stood up from the bed as he bent down and picked up his belt.
"No, I'm fine. I have to go now though," he replied me, buckling his belt. "I'll call you," he finally turned up to look at me.
I smiled at him, walking toward him and wrapping my arms around his waist. "Thanks for last night, especially for the pizza," I grinned.
I expected him to make a joke about me only showing my gratitude for the pizza when we had shared a night of passion, instead he kept quiet. I figured that he must have really had something important to do that morning and I didn't want to waste his time.
I stood on my tip toes and whispered in his ears, thinking this was a good time to tell him. "I love you Edward." I pressed a chaste kiss on his cheek. His hands wrapped themselves around my waist and he held me tightly for a few seconds. After he released me, I walked to the bathroom as he went to the living room.
When I came out, he had already left.
It had been three days since I last heard from Edward. He hadn't called or sent a text or stopped by my place. I knew it was irrational of me to start panicking especially when it was just three days that we hadn't spoken. Three days. Three words. The paranoia that usually accompanied telling someone about your feelings for them began to choke me.
I fidgeted with my phone. I checked it every ten minutes just to see if I'd see his name in the missed calls section. It wasn't there. I was anxious, and I couldn't concentrate on anything.
I called him twice on the fourth day. He didn't answer. I left a couple of voicemails just in case he was at work, which was strange because he never really mentioned work that much before. I just needed a sign to placate the ache my heart was starting to feel.
On the fifth day, which was a Thursday, I walked into the café to get a cup of coffee. I was constantly checking my phone to be sure that I wasn't late for my board meeting when I caught the sight of Edward sitting at the corner of the shop with a brunette. I couldn't really see her from where I was standing, but I noticed she had short hair. The fact that she was also holding Edward's hands and rubbing them affectionately did not escape my eyes. Neither did the glint of a diamond on her finger.
I tried to gulp in deep breaths of air and calm down. Perhaps their meeting meant nothing. He couldn't possibly be meeting up with her, like he had with me, could he? My memory flashed back to that first time he had taken me to a restaurant. No, this was nothing, I told myself. He was just having coffee with a friend.
But I was a friend. I was his friend. Do friends get jealous of other friends? I told him I loved him; he never responded. Did he even acknowledge my feelings at all? The insecurities lashed out at me as I thought of approaching him. I needed to know where he had been. Friends had a right to care about friends. They had a right to care about their whereabouts.
I sucked in air and tried to look confident as I walked toward their table. "Edward," my voice shook as his eyes darted to mine.
"Bella," he coughed, slowly disengaging his hands from the woman he was sitting with. "What are you doing here?"
I laughed, disguising my anxiety. "What do you mean what am I doing here? This is a coffee shop and I came to get coffee. Or am I not allowed to get one?"
"That's…that's not what I meant."
Oh, what did you mean? Enlighten me please.
"I haven't heard from you in days. Why didn't you call?" I asked, glancing at the woman he was sitting with. "Is everything alright?" I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"Yes," he croaked, "everything's fine." His lips tried to curve into a smile, but achieved a grimace instead. "I didn't call because I've been busy," he said more firmly.
My eyes flickered to the woman he was sitting with again; her eyes were fixed on the window with a blank expression on her face. "Can I talk to you?"
"Sure," he replied, turning to the brunette. "Alice, can you excuse me for a second? I'll be right back." He kissed her forehead and a whip of jealousy flogged me.
She narrowed her eyes at him in a glare, almost as if she was chastising him, but he ignored it.
"How are you Bella?" Edward asked, once we were outside.
"Fine," I answered in a clipped tone.
"Okay," he nodded.
"Edward, I haven't heard from you in four days," I said. "Four days," I emphasized. "Are you ignoring me? Did I do something?"
He stared at the ground in silence, his jaw clamping together. His silence stabbed me and I recoiled from it, diverting my gaze away from him.
I folded my arms against my chest, biting my lower lips as my eyes stung with tears of rejection.
"I don't…I don't think we should be friends anymore Bella," he said finally, with a hardened look.
"What do you mean you don't think we should be friends?" I asked, almost laughing at how ridiculous that sounded. We were no longer in high school. We were two grown adults, since when did adults start renouncing their friendships?
"We both want different things and I don't think that it would be fair for us to be friends, when you clearly have other feelings," he said, shoving his hands into his pockets.
"Is this because I told you I loved you?" The silence hung in the air as he looked anywhere but at me. "Oh Mr. Cullen," I laughed hysterically. "You are just like every fucking pathetic male creature. They sleep with a woman, they get their satisfaction and then they toss her aside. I don't know why I thought you'd be any different. You act all high and mighty, like you know everything. But you were so selfish, you didn't even bother to try to get me off. I can't believe I…" I swallowed as the agony of his words tore through me and I tried to hurt him back.
We both want different things.
I let myself fall for him, hoping he would love me in return and he didn't.
When you clearly have other feelings.
I tried to keep it together and be composed, but I was finding it difficult. His influence had broken a dam in me and all my emotions had flooded out to the surface. The rejection in his words fired at me like bullets. These bullet holes had wounded me and left me to bleed, and all that was left was hurt and embarrassment.
"You are such a hypocrite." I hated the way my voice trembled. "People like you never find love because they're too busy causing destruction. You say I should break my walls down and let people in. I do that, and then you throw the bricks at my face." I sounded weak and I detested it, but he had really gotten to me. "At least, before you, I was ignorant of what loneliness felt like. I couldn't feel anything, and now you've made me feel…you've made me completely vulnerable and human, and then you hurt me. I was perfect before I met you. My life was pretty fucking awesome. You took away my anger, my comfortable loneliness and now, even my happiness."
"I told you not to fall in love with me Bella," he said with an unidentifiable expression on his face. His head was tilted to the side and his face was extremely pale. "I just wanted a friend."
"Fuck you Cullen!" I spat as traitorous tears leaked down my cheeks, suddenly hoping that the sky would allow rain to fall to mask my frailty. I tilted my head back, as if the movement would make the tears stay in my eyes. "So what is the life lesson here, Cullen? You always have one," I wiped my face. "What were you trying to teach me?" I sniffed as he closed his eyes, his lips parted open. "That I should never make myself vulnerable to people?" My breathing came in gasps. "That I should not open myself up to people?"
"Bella, I never–"
Afraid to get a second doze of rejection, I stopped him. "You know what? Just forget it," I sobbed, irritated with myself that I cried in front of him. "It's my fault, not yours. I let you come too close." I turned away from him as the wind whipped my hair across my face. "Goodbye Edward," I said finally, before walking away.
"Bella," he called, but I ignored him.
I had allowed him to touch me. I had allowed him to leave his fingerprints in my heart. I should have known that he'd never want me. After all, it was I who instigated everything. I was the one who seduced him. I was the one who told him I loved him. I should have read the signs, because if he wanted more, he would have told me. He wasn't a shy man. Shyness contradicted his character. Why would I have even thought that he just couldn't be forthcoming with expressing his feelings?
He was the first man I had ever fallen in love with, and he was the first who stomped on my heart.
Five days passed without Edward. I convinced myself I was doing fine, but I wasn't. He had become such a vital part of my life that it seemed weird not to hear his voice or see him in every day. I didn't want to acknowledge it, but I missed his smiles, his laughter, his jokes, his teases. I missed him terribly. Everything seemed dull without him. Sleeping became difficult. I had become so accustomed to hearing his voice at night that my body waited for it before it sank into the depths of unconsciousness.
As I walked on the streets, I could imagine him trailing sluggishly behind me while I complained. I could imagine him scolding me about my apartment being untidy when I came home. I refused to lay on the side of the bed where he usually slept. And every time someone bumped into me either at the subway or anywhere else, I'd look up at them and I hope to find him. I didn't have any energy left to fight. The only person I wanted to fight with was him, which was really fucking twisted.
Because I loved him, even though he didn't love me. I was like Sydney Carton; I wanted anything that he could give.
I was pathetic.
He called continuously for three days. I didn't pick up. I thought it was the strong, rational thing to do. He didn't have control over me. He didn't have the power to decide when to end our friendship and when to continue it.
I knew I was being stupid, but I cut most of his calls. He had to know how much he had hurt me. Jessica noticed there was something wrong with me and tried to get me to talk. I thought it would remove the pain if I confided in her just this once. It didn't, but it helped me see things more clearly. She told me to forget him, and not pick any of his calls. She called him a jerk and an asshole. I'm not really sure what the difference is, but I was fine with her assessment. Her insults didn't stop me from loving him. They didn't stop me from hating him either.
I knew he left voicemails on my phone, but I refused to check them. He sent me a text once, telling me that it was really important to talk to him. I typed a 'Fuck you.' reply, but at the end of the day didn't send it. I thought if I communicated with him in any way, he'd make me want to talk to him and I didn't want to.
A new week started. It was seven days now; I had been counting to prove to myself that I didn't need him. I could last without him for a week. It was a Monday, a sunny Monday in July. It was hot and the train was crowded. There were no seats to sit down. I stood in front of a fat guy, who had occupied two seats alone with his size, my hands wrapped around the railing for support as the train swerved with each turn. I was trying so hard not to think about the bodies rubbing mine, but was terribly failing. I heard someone sneeze and I immediately flinched. I wasn't ready to get anything like swine flu.
The earphones were back on my ears as I listened to a soft piano music, relaxing my nerves. My eyes flickered to the newspaper the fat guy was holding. He needed to lose some serious weight so at least someone could sit down on the second seat his body occupied.
He turned the page and my eyes browsed through the obituary section. I was looking for anything that would distract me from the nameless bodies surrounded around me. He was about to turn to the next page when my eyes caught something.
It was a picture. My heart stopped. I knew the person in the picture. I could draw the smile without looking at him. I could tell you the color of his eyes without seeing him. I thought I was going to faint as I squinted to look at it properly. It couldn't be.
"Excuse me," I snatched the paper from the guy, ignoring his protests.
There, right under the heading 'Deaths, memories, births' was Edward's name. His full name - Edward Anthony Cullen. Instinctively, tears glistened my eyes. My heart raced, almost pumping out of my chest.
It couldn't be, I told myself. Perhaps, this is someone else.
On the newspaper, underneath his picture was written:
EDWARD ANTHONY CULLEN
On Friday, July 17th, 2009 at the age of 30.
Beloved son of the deceased Carlisle Cullen and his living wife, Esme Cullen.
Loving brother of younger siblings, Alice and Emmett Cullen.
Successful accountant of Cullen Enterprises.
Visitation at the Cullen's home. 156 Broderick Avenue (3 lights of West of Dundas) on Friday, July 24th 2009.
Funeral service will be held at Trinity Catholic Church on Saturday July 25th, 2009 at 11am.
Private cremation to follow. In memoriam, donations to St. Michael's heart transplant foundation would be appreciated by family.
My whole world stopped. Everything seemed to tilt on its axis. I couldn't hear what the obnoxious fat guy was shouting at me. My knees gave up on me as I fell flat on the floor of the train. I didn't care that the floor was dirty. I didn't care about the people complaining at me for collapsing. I couldn't see anything. I could only see his face, his picture on the newspaper. I couldn't stop crying, the tears seemed to stream endlessly on my face. I was gasping for air and shaking my head. It couldn't be true. This was a bad dream. It couldn't be true.
There was another Edward Cullen; this was not the man I loved. This was not the man who called me relentlessly last week. This was not the man who I saw a week ago. This was not the man I slept with.
This was a dream. This was a nightmare. This couldn't be happening. Loud, gut wrenching sobs wracked my body. My whole body shook violently as I rocked my body back and forth and tasted salty tears. A few people spoke to me, but I couldn't hear them. They touched me, but I couldn't feel them. I just kept seeing his face, his smile, in the newspaper.
The phone calls I missed. The days I had missed. The hours, the minutes, the seconds I had spent with him. How could I have not known he was dying? Suddenly all the memories fell into place. Why he couldn't walk fast, why he couldn't run, why he only ate vegetables and avoided things with oil and cholesterol. All the stories he told me.
His voice echoed in my mind, leaving lingering traces of pain. All the little things I missed.
"You know…I never thought about having kids until a month ago."
"It's just that time waits for no one, you know. Everything has its time and when you're late, things go awry and you can't go back."
"Hugs are good for the heart."
I closed my eyes.
"If we get angry at every single thing that happens to us, we will never get to enjoy life the way we should."
"Maybe I'd be dead by then. So I won't have to walk. You never know what can happen,"
"Being separated from a loved one. I'm not sure if I can do it; I don't think I'm strong enough to say goodbye to people…"
After a while, people ignored me, probably thinking I was mad. I didn't know how long I sat there and cried. I didn't register the number of people who entered the train and left. I knew the train had already gone a roundabout for about two times, and when I got out of the subway, it was slightly dark.
I went back home. I sat on the floor of the living room in darkness. The only form of light that pierced through the room was my phone. I scrolled though my missed calls and checked my voicemails.
"Bella, I need you to pick up please. I know I've upset you but I need to tell you something really important. Call me as soon as you can." BEEP.
"B, stop being stubborn," his weak laughter permeated through the room and the ache in my chest dug deeper. "Stupid girl, how can you even think that I can live without your friendship? I need you," he panted into the receiver. "I need to tell you something, something really important, something I couldn't say because I didn't want you to feel…goddammit! Pick up the fucking phone." BEEP.
"Bella, time's running out and I need to tell you this before it's too late. I know you hate me, but hear me out first." The tears couldn't stop flowing and couldn't stop the sinking feeling in my chest. I wept, but continued listening.
I heard a feminine voice from the background, "Edward, you need to save your strength please. Mother is worried that you're using up your energy calling her like this."
"Let me call her. Give me her address. Let me go see her," a deep masculine voice said. "She saw me at the restaurant, you said so yourself." BEEP.
"Bella, I don't know if I can make it; I need you to hurry. My heart is weak and it's not going to last much longer. It's going to give out soon. And I need to tell you how I feel, how much I love you." Deep breath. "I need to tell you that the night I made love to you was amazing and I never regretted anything." Another deep breath. "I need to tell you to that…" Gasps reverberated through the phone as my I bit my lips hard. "…that I love you, but that emotion is too big for my heart to carry right now. I want you to know every minute I spent with you was perfect. You're perfect. " BEEP.
"Why aren't you picking up? Emmett says he went over to your place, but couldn't find you. I hope nothing's happened to you. God I couldn't take it if something happened to you." BEEP.
"Bella, I love you. I've loved you since the moment you insulted me in the restaurant." BEEP.
That was his last message to me.
I cried uncontrollably. I didn't go to work. I didn't eat. I lay on the floor and wept. It was a miracle that I even slept, and when I woke up, I cried again. I clutched the cell phone to my chest and listened to his voicemails on repeat. I dialed his number every night at 1:35am because that was usually the time he called to check if I was asleep. I waited for him to pick up, which was insane because I knew he wouldn't. It didn't stop me from calling him. The phone rang until his voicemail came on.
"Hi, this is Edward Cullen. I'm sorry I'm not available to pick up your call. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you."
The sound of his voice caused more tears. Just the thought of living without him was unbearable. The memory of our last meeting was tattooed in my mind. All the things I said to him. All the things I wished I could take back. All the time we lost.
I wept for it all.
I arrived at the Cullen's on Thursday afternoon. I knocked on the door softly. I never cared to ask where he lived, but I presumed that this was his parent's house since it was the address listed in the newspaper.
"I'll get it," I heard a voice shout from behind the door, as it opened. I was surprised to see it was the blonde woman who had splashed water on her date when Edward and I had our first meeting. Her blue sapphire eyes were swollen and red. "Hey," she said, swallowing thickly. "We aren't accepting guests at this time, I'm sorry. Please come back tomorrow."
"No," My voice was so hoarse, it surprised me. I hadn't spoken to anyone for days. "I–"
The door opened wide as the young brunette, who was with Edward at our last meeting, looked at me. Realization crossed her face as she turned to Rosalie. "She's…she's Bella," she said simply, and they both ushered me in.
The house was huge. It was overrun by flowers that I assumed were for the funeral. There were pictures of him all over the walls, his smiles captured with a camera. The pain of seeing his face in still life caused me to strip my gaze away. I followed the blonde, her beautiful curls bouncing and contrasting against her black outfit. The brunette, whose name I had forgotten, walked behind me quietly.
We entered a bigger room, which I guessed to be the living room because of the flat screen television hanging on the wall. A brown-haired woman, who looked way older than the two girls sat down, staring at the window with a cup of tea in her hand. When she turned to face me, I almost tripped. Her resemblance to Edward was so striking that I was sure she was his mother.
"Bella," she tried to smile, but it quickly dissolved into tears. "I am so glad you came. I wasn't sure if you would come or know, since you..." She looked away as her body vibrated with sobs. The huge blonde guy, whom I had seen earlier, placed his head on her shoulders and spoke calmly to her.
"Bella, would you like some coffee or tea?" the spiky brunette asked me, and I nodded my agreement. I didn't want anything to drink, but I needed something to keep me busy. "Please have a seat," she said, before leaving.
"I'm Rosalie," the blonde said. "That's my fiancé, Emmett, who's also Edward's younger brother." she pointed to the mammoth man holding Edward's fragile mother. "That's Esme, Edward's mom. And Jasper is not here right now, he's on the phone dealing with the funeral arrangements. He's Edward's best friend, after you, of course."
"I'm Alice," the brunette came back with a mug of hot coffee, the steam hanging at the edge of the cup. "I was the one with him when he told you he wanted to speak to you outside. I'm his younger sister, and Jasper's my husband. He'll be down soon. Is there anything else you would like?" she asked kindly.
"No, thank you," I murmured, taking a sip of the hot liquid and allowing it to scorch my throat as I swallowed. "You have a very nice home."
"Thank you," Esme replied, blowing her nose. "I'm sorry I'm incapable of socializing right now. But I will be back during dinner, if you would please stay." I nodded as she stood up and walked toward me. "Thank you for coming, Bella." She patted my hand as Emmett held her hand and led her upstairs.
It was a little overwhelming, meeting his whole family without him being here.
"How did he…what happened?" I asked.
"He had a heart disease. The doctors called it dilated cardiomyopathy. He was on the donor list for a while and we were hoping he would get a transplant. The problem was as soon as he got it, his body rejected it. It was taking a long time to find him a new heart, and his condition became worse. When they finally found one, they couldn't do the surgery," Alice explained solemnly. "Edward decided that it would be better if he just stopped receiving intensive treatment and live the remaining few months of his life like he wanted."
"And that was with me," I whispered in realization. "I…I didn't know. There were signs, but I didn't…I didn't…"
"It's okay Bella; he wouldn't have wanted you to know any way," Alice said. "He didn't want you to become closed up as he named it. And he wanted to spend time with someone who wasn't always worrying about his health. He loved you Bella."
"I keep feeling like it was my fault. I pushed him to do things, things that someone who had a heart problem shouldn't do."
"A few days ago, I said it was your fault. A few days ago, I blamed you," Alice said, staring at her cup of tea. "Then I realized that he wouldn't want that. It's no one's fault. This is just the way he wanted it," she said sadly. "He told me to give you this," she opened her bag and brought out an envelope.
"What is it?" I asked as she handed it to me.
"I don't know; I didn't open it. It's strictly addressed to you." She shrugged. "We'll give you privacy. If you need us, we're just at the back of the house," she linked her arm with Rosalie's as they left me in the wide living room.
I tore the seal of the envelope and opened it to find a letter.
Dear Angry, Childish, Lovely Bella,
If you are reading this, it means that my stupid brother hasn't been able to reach you and I am no longer there to tell you this in person. I have lived for thirty years – five years older than you, you know. But in those thirty years, I have just roamed around, worked and existed.
I started living my life fully when I met you. You made me laugh more than anyone I know. I loved your fire, your anger, and your fight. You have more energy than anyone I know.
We did a lot of fun things for two depressed individuals. We saw the sun rise, and I hope that changed your perspective about being grouchy in the morning. I tried hard to have a positive impact on you. So that you'd stop fighting things so hard and try to enjoy them more. And in the process, I gained a truly special person in my life.
I am dying Bella, but I'm no longer scared because I located that missing piece that I was looking for. I found it in you.
I need you to remember everything I taught you. Yes, life lessons again, now roll your eyes.
I was too sad to roll my eyes, but I did laugh along - with tears trailing down my cheeks.
I need you to live your life to the fullest for me. Time is precious, my friend, and I want you to enjoy every bit of it. Wake up, smile, and thank whomever's out there for letting you see a new day. Do something fun, do something exciting. Write it in a diary and read it later whenever you're sad.
Take pictures, too. And smile, because smiling is good for the heart - just like hugging. Make more friends, Bella. I also suggest you get a boyfriend - you blossom with the right attention. Please put yourself out there again. Let my sister help you, or Rosalie, if Alice is too much for you.
And yes, I know what you're thinking. Rosalie was the blonde who poured water on my goofy brother, Emmett. I didn't set it up; I just made a bet with him that Rosalie will not accept if he proposed to her in a certain way. Don't worry, it's a long story.
Oh, and stop trying to push people away, you'd be surprised at the number of people who'd show up at your funeral once you're dead.
Take care B, and remember I love you, always
I pressed the letter against my heart and closed my eyes.
I stepped out of my apartment and into the hot sun. I smiled as it warmed my skin, running my fingers through my hair. I flagged a cab and took it to the Cullen's house. When I got there, they had already started leaving for the church. Alice smiled once she saw me and whispered that she loved my outfit. Rosalie was shouting at Emmett to help her carry the flower arrangements.
Esme wore a big, black hat and tipped it over her face to prevent the sun from entering her eyes.
Everyone got into the car and I shut the door, clutching my red rose. A simple farewell to the man who changed my life entirely.
Thank you for reading, let me know what you thought.