This story takes place one year after Edward leaves Bella in New Moon. Disclaimer: All recognisable characters and locations belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Changed In A Heartbeat
Chapter One: Italy
No letters. No phone calls. No contact. Not even the slightest hint or clue that he or any of his family might still care for me.
Why wasn't I surprised? Of course, I would never mean anything to him. I was just a weak, fragile, breakable human. I was just a shiny new toy, a porcelain doll. Something that would captivate the imagination for a little while. But never something to last the rest of eternity.
I knew all of this. I knew that...Edward... didn't want me. But, this wouldn't stop me from loving him.
Everytime I thought of his name, it hurt. But, I had to stop trying to hold back my memories, right? I couldn't dwell on my own rotting pain and loneliness, forgetting about the truly magnificent months with Edward. I should cherish those memories. After all, how many humans had gotten the experiences that I had experienced? How many had been able to feel the endless joy I had felt?
I may be able to move on but I would forever love Edward.
Even if he didn't want me anymore.
Of course I missed the family too- Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper and Alice. But I knew that I would probably never see them again. And they would probably never think about my face either. I might be able to accept that they were gone but this couldn't stop me from wishing that they were back.
And yes, my heart still belonged to Edward. The one and only Edward Cullen.
"Bella!" I was dragged out of my wistful thinking by my father, Charlie's call from the kitchen; he had recently begun learning to cook with varying degrees of success.
I went downstairs to meet him in the dining room. The pleasant smell of a steak and baked potatoes wafted into my nose. I half grinned (but it was half hearted) as I surveyed the plate. I was still amazed that Charlie had improved so much from the old days of burnt clumpy pasta.
"This looks excellent dad", I said as I sat down and out one forkful of meat into my mouth. "A nine out of ten."
I was warmed by Charlie's answering smile and I could tell that he was pleased that I was continuing to talk more often. I couldn't bear to think about my recollections of the first few months after Edward left me.
You could easily say that a zombie had more life in its eyes than I did.
I didn't want to wake up. I didn't want to wake up let alone go downstairs and start another school day. Everything hurt, but not physically but psychologically. Socially. Everywhere I looked, I saw him. I saw him as he snuck through the window to sing me to sleep; I saw him with his sexy crooked grin at the foot of my steps.
I groaned when my alarm clock went off. I hated the sound. Unhappy, I buried my face into the pillow and tried to block all the noise out. It didn't work. I heard Charlie's heavy footsteps make their way up the stairs before three sharp raps pounded across my bedroom door.
"Bella?" Charlie would ask, opening the door. "Honey? You need to get up now."
It was maybe a minute before I got up and began to move. Without speaking a single word, I rolled out of bed and made my way over to the bathroom. My arm swung inelegantly and hit the doorframe but I didn't care.
In my peripheral vision, I saw Charlie's heartbreakingly sad expression.
I had put my father through hell and back, yet he still cared for me and supported me the entire way. As I ate the last remaining bits of my dinner, I noticed Charlie watching me with a very nervous and uncertain expression. I knew that he wanted to say something to me.
"Um...dad?" I began, sounding rather uncertain myself. "You look as though you have something on your mind. Care to share?"
"You know me to well Bells." Charlie chuckled; well, I guess he had a good point. Charlie was pretty much my only companion now. He was the only one who understood. Jessica, Lauren and Mike; I could have been a brick wall for all I was worth. Angela was the only one would smile at me or say 'hi' anymore. Ang was nice but she just didn't understand what I had been going through. She and Ben Cheney were precisely two halves of a whole. Perfectly matched. Equal. Partners in destiny.
"Anyway Bells" Charlie sighed. "It's your birthday in a month and I feel like you haven't been able to have fun and enjoy life in a while. And, I want you to be happy. You're my only daughter Bells and it kills me to see you miserable. I think that we should go for a holiday somewhere together. Just you and me having fun in ITALY!"
I stared at him in shock. Italy? Italy?
"Bells please." Charlie almost pleaded. "We could all do with an escape every once in a while."
I thought about it for a minute before making up my mind. Anything that made Charlie happy would make me remotely happy too. I grinned, watched as Charlie visibly relaxed.
"Okay." I said. "I'm in."
Italy, here I come!
No words could describe the joy, relief and euphoria I felt when my lovely daughter agreed to go on holidays with me. In my mind, I made a list of places to go and attractions to see. The cities of Florence, Rome, Venice and classic Volterra came to mind. Yes. I would make this the become and absolutely unforgettable and special adventure.
Bella was worth it.
It wasn't every day my darling girl turned nineteen.
Last year, Bella had a horrible birthday. Any fun was overshadowed by the darkness when that bastard, Edward Cullen (I couldn't even think of his name without fuming) left. I was infuriated. Bella cared so much about him and all the thanks she got was to be abandoned in the forest.
The kid was lucky that he was out of the state. I would have murdered him and burned the pieces.
My daughter deserved better than Edward Cullen. She deserved to be cherished as the fine, caring woman she was not as a bastard's toy.
Two weeks had passed and then three. Soon enough, it was time for Bella and I to relieve ourselves from little Forks and get a look into the greater world. I was excited and I could easily see the sly grin my daughter was bearing upon her angelic face. A sight that would bring content to any father. That my daughter had finally had brightness and hope in her eyes, the peaceful facade had vanished only to be replaced by the real thing. Fierce determination.
"Dad?" Bella said, her voice had developed a lighter tone. "Thanks for being there when everyone else turned their backs. Thanks for understanding. Thanks for believing in me. Thank you so much."
I grinned widely and heart fully accepted my daughter's hug.
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