Beyond The Story - Forks' Forgotten Friends
Title: The Rainbow Umbrella
Disclaimer: I do not own Stephenie Meyer's characters. I only own the plot, the words, and everything in between.
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The Rainbow Umbrella
Writing this letter is extremely difficult, and I've questioned myself countless times if I should tell you in person, or in words. Nothing beats raw emotions and honest speeches, but paper and ink seems easier and less scary. I know it makes me a coward, but after years of this, I'm used to it.
I've started many letters to you about what I have to say, but they've all ended up as garbage or crumpled up under my bed.
Truthfully, if I can't find the words to say on paper, there's no way I can say them out loud. Trust me, I've tried. Over and over again I've done all that I could to make things seem right, to make sure that whatever I said was what it was meant to be.
Which is why I want to tell you in person, that way if you have questions I can reply to you with the honesty you would want, but I have to promise that what I have to say isn't easy for me to do so, and it may get harder along the way. It will be painful—but you need to know. I need you to know.
Meet me outside the Library by noon.
The young woman read the words over and over again, trying to decipher what the fine print meant. She tried to resolve them, to predict what was on the other side of the black ink and to maybe play it out in her head. She wanted to know, but she was afraid of what she'd find. She could feel the pain in her chest starting to build already, and she feared it.
As much as Jessica Stanley wished to know, somehow in the end, she already did. It was bad news, clearly, but she had to hear it for herself.
She checked the clock above her small kitchen table, noticing that it would be noon in thirty minutes. She sighed and ran her hand over the letter, knowing it word for word. She had received it this morning in her paper, shocked to find it there. She couldn't put it down, she couldn't stop reading it, and she couldn't forget it.
With one final read and a long, hesitant sigh, she pulled away from the table, the back legs screeching again the beige tiles. It didn't take long for her to gather her jacket and her keys. She pulled on her black, leather boots and brushed down her skirt. Jessica caught her reflection in the hallway mirror.
Her eyes drowned in sadness and her mouth was grimacing in disapproval. She ignored her hair, which was something she always checked before she left, and exited her one bedroom apartment. Just as she closed her door she snagged an umbrella and locked the door back up.
Slowly she went down the stairs, each step making her stomach heavy and her chest sting with pain. She felt wetness in her eyes and knew they didn't belong there—not yet. A neighbor walking up with groceries bumped into her, ignoring Jessica as the young girl, bumping into her and causing her to nearly fall down.
"Excuse you," Jessica growled, her body running through too many emotions for her to control. The older woman stopped and looked back at her, questioning the situation. Jessica, too, had stopped. They stared at each other for a moment, the older woman unsure of what she was seeing and the other glaring righteously.
"Right, sorry," the woman spoke before turning back and treading up the stairs.
Jessica shrugged it off, apologizing quietly to herself. The woman didn't hear her, but that didn't matter. The brunette made her way to the parking lot, breathing heavily as she got into her car.
But once inside, she couldn't find the strength to start it. She kept her hands firmly on the steering wheel, eyes set on her fingers, one especially.
The single diamond ring stared at her as it lay blissfully on her ring finger. Her eyes watered at the engagement ring, and in that single moment she despised it. The only thing she could manage to do was to tear it off, feeling it slice her skin as it she threw it at the window shield. It bounced off with a ting and landed somewhere unknown.
A single sob slipped through her controlled teeth, and she started the car, driving from her home to a place she didn't want to go.
It was raining now, hard and fast. Jessica had a hard time seeing, but she was determined to get this over and done with. She parked near the library in Forks, stepping out and opening up her rainbow umbrella. She slammed her car door shut and wiped at her eyes, making sure her makeup wasn't smudged.
She could see Mike standing near the sidewalk beside the road, his hands deep in his dark jean pockets and his hood up.
He looks so cute, Jessica thought with a smile. But it faded as quickly as it appeared. She crossed the street at the intersection, getting honked at by a car that had wanted to go. She ignored it, making her way to the man who'd stolen her heart.
Mike had spotted Jessica and he smiled widely, but then he remembered his purpose of having her here and it was gone. He sighed and looked down, listening to her footsteps growing closer and closer, each step in sync with his fast-paced heartbeat.
"You wrote?" she asked but without question, an irritated voice in her tone. It sounds the same, he thought then. Maybe she has no idea.
His baby blue eyes met with her brown ones, and he nodded his head.
"I did," he coughed, sheltering his face from the rain.
But the rain wasn't enough to stop him from admiring her.
She looked so beautiful to him. She had that same grumpy look on her face, the face that said she didn't want to be here. Jessica wore a black leather jacket that matched her boots, and a cute black skirt and white blouse. Her brown hair had been straightened and looked shiny against the some-what sunshine.
It wasn't her favorite look to wear, but she was going out for a job interview. He remembered this clearly, only because she was screaming at him the other night that she had plans for this very day.
He hated to bring this upon her, especially now when their marriage was undergoing and her career was starting.
He smiled again, knowing that it was wrong to do so.
"So?" Jessica began, "I've got stuff to do. What in the world do you need to tell me that you just couldn't put in that letter? You know, that's so middle school, right? That's what texting is for. You could have just texted-"
"Jess, shut up," he laughed.
She did this, scoffing and looking into traffic.
The tone of the situation grew darker then, and Mike knew he had to tell her before it was too late. He just wasn't sure where to start.
"When I went to Seattle yesterday, I ran into someone," he started to explain.
"Who?" Jessica questioned, intrigued.
Mike cleared his throat and tried to avoid her curious yet dark gaze.
"Bella Swan," he told her.
"What? Bella? I thought she went to Alaska to live with her prince charming." Jessica sighed and put all her weight onto one leg. Mike saw the immediate anger and wondered if he should have brought this up a different way.
"Yeah, I bumped into her in a book store. You should see her. She looks….like a fucking model now." He was still amazed at her transformation.
Jessica glared at him with hurt and jealousy.
He quickly tried to turn the situation into something that would please her. "But in that weird creepy kinda way. Kinda like the Cullens. Freakish."
"Continue," she said, bored.
"Well, we got talking. She asked about me and you, and how things were. I told her everything, because that's just what I do. I even talked to her about our problems…"
Mike knew he was sticking his foot into his mouth, but his brain and his voice were battling against each other.
His voice over powered his mind.
Jessica laughed, but not with humor, and threw her free hand in the air.
"Perfect!" she scoffed. "Do you tell everyone our life problems, Mike? Seriously. Bella dropped kicked us out of her life, and you randomly run into her and you begin to act as if she's your diary!"
Jessica began to walk down the sidewalk, and Mike followed.
"No! It was nothing like that, it was just a sort of…opening up," he tired to clear up, trying to keep up.
"Like I said: Diary. Seriously, Mike. What the fuck!?"
As Jessica made it to the next intersection, she stopped and thought for a moment.
What does Bella have to do with anything? she asked herself. But then she remembered the time in high school, the time that Mike was practically head over heels for her. But she was stuck day dreaming about the perfect Edward Cullen. And then Mike settled for Jessica, because that's all he knew how to do.
The thought sent a shiver down her spine.
She figured Mike brought her here to break up with her, to end the engagement so he could go find his perfect woman—his Bella.
What if I break up with him first? she thought, a slight ray of sunshine busting through her personal gloomy clouds.
She turned around quickly, nearly knocking Mike onto the ground.
"Save it, Mike. Look, I can see where this is going and I'll do what makes us both happy," she spoke.
He stared at her, his expression confused. "Which would be…?"
She took a deep breath. "We're done. I'm calling off the engagement. We'll both get to see other people and we can move on with our lives."
"What?" he croaked, a smile on his face.
"Don't be dim, dummy. It's over. Finished. Got that? Comprende?" She rolled her eyes and stepped out into the road, making her way across the street. The road was basically empty and quiet, which Jessica knew would soon turn into traffic.
She wondered if she could make it to her interview in time.
"Jess! Don't do this!" Mike called out, pain in his voice. Jessica stopped and turned, confused.
"Isn't this what you want?" she asked him, her own body starting to cope with the incoming pain. "What is it that's so unappealing about me? My hair? My face? My body!? What is it about Bella that you like more than me?"
Tears began to form in her eyes, and instead of pushing them back, she let them fall freely. She walked closer to him, not taking in his face.
"She's not even interesting! She's boring and a prude! For God's sake she didn't even like you, Mike! All she cared about was Cullen, and you got your heart stepped on!"
The sobs escaped her lips and she stopped herself from doubling over.
"I love you, Mike. I always have, and if I knew that you were just settling with me, I wouldn't have said yes when you asked me to marry you back in September!"
Mike spoke up then, hating to see the woman he loved in this state of being. "I'm not settling! I love you, Jess. I always have, but it took me awhile to see that!"
Jessica stepped onto the sidewalk.
"You don't want to break up?" she asked, almost in a child-like tone.
He shook his head, pulling her to him. "Of course not."
She wrapped her arms around him, the umbrella still in her hands. He held her tightly, taking in her floral scent.
"I could never break up with you," he whispered.
"I just…your note…it seemed like a break up letter," she replied honestly, looking up into his sweet eyes.
He smiled at her, shaking his head. "You're too insecure and have too much high school drama branded into your brain."
"Shut up," she responded, but kindly. He bent his head down and pressed his lips to hers, feeling warmth run through his body.
She pulled apart and sighed, thinking about how much she over reacted. But the letter was still stuck in her head.
"What was the letter about?" she asked him. He sighed and looked down at his feet.
"When I ran into Bella, and after we took turns talking about how great our lives have been, she told me something upsetting."
Jessica's eyebrows formed a crevice in her forehead and she stared deeply at Mike.
Mike shook his head and his entire body tensed.
"Angela…is dead," he whispered.
"What?" she gasped, pulling away so she could cup her mouth with her right hand.
"Yeah, suicide. Her little brother found her in the bathroom," Mike said, tears forming in his own eyes.
"Wh-why would she do that? That's not like Angela…she's…she's a good girl! Smart!" Jessica sobbed, fresh tears escaping.
She shook her head.
Angela wouldn't kill herself, she thought over and over again. She couldn't, she wouldn't.
Mike tried to help make sense of it all for Jessica. "I guess she became depressed after her parents' divorce. And then having to drop out of college—it was a bad year for her."
Jessica shook her head in disbelief. She knew her best friend; she wasn't this type of person.
"Angela wouldn't do this!" Jessica screamed loudly, warm, fast tears falling off her cheeks. Mike stared at her in shock, not sure what to do. He'd never seen Jessica so upset.
"She wouldn't! I know her!" she continued to scream.
Then Jessica Stanley turned around and ran onto the black, wet asphalt, Mike Newton calling after her loudly.
You were right. I should have told you everything in the letter. I shouldn't have made you go through hell numerous times during the day. In fact, I was hoping that someone else would have told you.
In the end I told you. I told you that Angela Weber killed herself. She slit her wrists and died on the bathroom floor. She left a letter for you, and me, and everyone. She said that she was sorry, but that she felt as if God was calling her, that her place belonged beside him.
I know you'd rather die than have her life be taken from her.
Too bad it was a bit late for that.
You're dead now.
You stepped out into traffic and got hit by a car. I tried to stop you, but it was too late. The death was instant and all I could do was pray to God to give you back to me.
But the only thing I got was your favorite rainbow umbrella, and your blood splattered on it.
Don't ever forget that I love you, and please don't forget that I would never, ever settle for you.
I love you, and I'm truly, utterly sorry for being the one that ended up making your death happen.
Michael M. Newton.
I literally wrote this in an hour on a spur of the moment thing. I've always wanted to write something with Jessica or Mike, and now I've done this. I can die happy.
I love you, IChimpz.