Disclaimer: The Twilight character all belong to Stephenie Meyer. I do not make any money…I simply play with them
Special thanks to ObsessingOverEdward for all her inspiration. She's the one who keeps me writing even when I hit writer's block. She talks out ideas with me and is not afraid to tell me when something sucks.
I would also like to thank Project Team Beta. Without their input this story would not be what it is. To my permanent betas, Jmeyer and TRDancer thank you for making this story readable, and to Nevachell for her work on this chapter.
This chapter was going to post last night, but the site was not allowing me to login. Without further ado here is my new story...
The Oceans of Tomorrow
Chapter 1: Crossroads
I had always imagined my wedding day to be the best day of my life. I had always pictured myself saying "I do" in a small, Italian, church overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. My fiancé and I would exchange vows and start our journey together in front of our family and friends. It would be magically perfect, like a fairytale.
But my wedding day was nothing like that. I had planned the perfect wedding. Everything had been flawless except for the groom. When the time came to say "I do," I found it impossible; I couldn't marry him. I loved Jacob, but I wasn't "in love" with him.
I had rushed out of the church, unable to face him or my family. I couldn't believe that I had allowed myself to get caught up in everything. I didn't understand why I had said yes. Jacob wasn't the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He was just comfortable.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, trying to determine what I had done. Had I just stopped myself from making the biggest mistake of my life? Or had I just committed the biggest mistake of my life? I wanted to believe that I had done the right thing. I felt like a horrible person for hurting Jake. He deserved all the happiness in the world, happiness I couldn't give him.
I stared out into the Mediterranean Sea, trying to decide where my life went from here. I was thirty years old. I had always believed that my life would be completely figured out by this point, but it wasn't. All I had were my books, and I had just turned my personal life upside down.
I sat on the bench overlooking the ocean for a long time. The view was breathtaking; the ocean seemed to go on forever, stopped only by the high standing rocks that towered over the water. The sun was shining bright in a cloudless blue sky, contrasting sharply with stormy turmoil within me.
I was thankful that nobody bothered to approach me. I probably looked like a crazy person. I was sitting in the middle of a public garden wearing a huge, white, pouffy dress complete with veil. I wanted to be alone to think and figure everything out.
Should I go see Jacob? Would he even want to see me? What would I tell him? I needed to make him believe that what I done, was for the best. But I couldn't stop seeing the pain on his face. He seemed so young and vulnerable when I had taken that first step away from him. I had wanted to say so much, but nothing would come out. How could I possibly explain what I had done?
I wiped the tears from my eyes, focusing instead on the beauty around me. I had visited a lot of places throughout my life, but I had never visited the island of Capri. I had intentionally avoided the area, figuring I would visit with my husband.
I still didn't really understand why I believed everything would work out. I had figured I would eventually learn to love Jacob. He's a wonderful person. He's everything I could ever hope for. He's loving, caring, sweet, and gentle. But I had never felt that spark: the all consuming need to be with that person, the love and chemistry I dreamed about, the connection I wrote books about.
I wasn't even sure if that existed. I wanted to believe it did. I wanted to believe that I would find my other half, my soul mate. I didn't want to settle for anything less. As much as I loved Jake, I couldn't do that to him. We both deserved more.
But, what if there wasn't more?
Six times had to be some sort of record. What kind of man asks six different women to marry him and gets rejected all six times? What was wrong with me? Was I really that undesirable? Did I repel every woman away from marriage? Was the prospect of spending a lifetime with me really that bad?
I stared at the empty chair before me, wondering just where I had gone wrong. I had been absolutely certain that Tanya was the one. Our relationship hadn't been perfect. Our relationship had its ups and down, but so did every relationship. Why wouldn't she marry me?
We had been together for almost two years. Marriage seemed was the next logical step. I was ready to settle down and start family. I wanted what my parents had. I wanted to have someone to love and someone who would love me. But she didn't.
My life had consisted of one failed relationship after another. They all started the same and followed the same course. I would meet a great girl, fall in love with her, and have her break my heart. Did I not deserve happiness?
I quickly stood up after I had scribbled my signature on the receipt the waiter had brought. I wanted to get away from the cafe and away from everyone. I didn't want to see their sympathetic looks or hear their whispers. I didn't want to be reminded of Tanya. It was all too overwhelming. I wanted to be alone.
I walked away through the narrow streets. I didn't know where I was headed; I just had to walk to clear my mind. I needed to make sense of my life. How was I supposed to head back home? How was I going to face my family again? I knew my personal life was a disappointment. It disgusted and embarrassed me. I was the punch line in jokes. I was the man whose marriage proposal had been rejected six times.
I made my way past a tall iron gate into a garden. I sighed as I looked around taking it all in. The garden was situated on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. The view was breathtaking. Capri had been the perfect destination. It was romantic, the ideal location for a proposal. But what did it matter? The world had made it clear. Marriage was not for me.
I followed along a brick path until I spotted a woman in what could only be a wedding dress. I knew at the instant that the world was out to get me. I was running away from everything that had to do with love and marriage, yet I had been led straight into a bride. Ironic didn't even begin to describe the course of my life. It was just cruel.
"You must think this is funny!" I yelled out into the ocean. I didn't care if the bride heard me. I needed to vent. "What could you possibly want from me?"
I searched my pocket for the ring, taking a minute to look at it. The ring wasn't small. It was a two carat diamond on a white gold band. It hadn't come cheap. I was absolutely certain that I had single handedly kept the jewlery store in my town in business. But I had no idea why Tanya wouldn't accept it.
She had explained that marriage wasn't in her immediate plans. She wasn't ready to settle down with me or anyone. She wanted to be free. She wanted to experience the world.
"I hope you're happy and free," I cried out, before flinging the ring off the cliff and into the blue waters below.
I leaned against the stone ledge staring out into ocean. I had expected to be spending the night with my future wife. I had planned to take her sightseeing before dancing the night away in each others arms. It had seemed like the perfect plan. But it had blown up in my face like everything else in my life.
"The answer is not out there," a small voice interrupted my train of thought, causing me to turn around.
"Excuse me?" I questioned, once I realized that there was no one in else in the garden but the bride and me.
"You're not going to find the answer to your problems out there. I've been sitting here for hours, and I'm no closer to solving mine. I'd thought I'd save you time." The bride seemed pretty sure of herself as she spoke. It was annoying. How could she know that I was searching for an answer? Was she trying to be cruel?
"What do you know about problems?" I replied angrily. She had it all. She was in the most beautiful place on Earth probably marrying her Prince Charming. I was absolutely certain that her life had to be a fairytale.
"You'd be surprised," she answered softly with a sniffle.
I took a good look at her for the first time since I had entered the garden. She was wearing a full-length wedding gown, but her face was streaked with tears. Her eyes were puffy from crying, and her makeup had faded. She looked like she was in deep pain. But she was still beautiful.
She had long, brown hair and flawless pale skin. Her eyes almost seemed to shine even through her sadness. She wasn't overly done like most of the women I met. She had a timless beauty about her. I had never seen a woman like her.
"What did he do?" I asked suddenly feeling a closer connection to her. My pain mirrored hers. I wanted to help her and make the bastard that had hurt her pay for it. What kind of man leaves a woman on their wedding day?
"What do you mean?" she questioned as I approached her, taking a seat next to her on the bench.
"He didn't deserve you," I added, wishing I could believe my own words. Tanya didn't deserve me.
"Jake didn't do anything," she clarified with a sad laugh.
"Don't blame yourself," I interrupted. I felt oddly protective of this beautiful creature before me. I couldn't make my pain disappear, but I would help her.
"How can I not? I should've never let it go for as long as it did." The tears began to fall as she looked away from me. She remained silent for a few minutes as she stared out into the ocean.
"I couldn't do it," she admitted as her lips trembled. "I didn't mean to hurt him, but I knew he wasn't the one. I should've said something before today."
I sat there in shock as her story began to sink in. It appeared that it hadn't been the groom that had hurt her. She had left him. She had been the heartbreaker. How could she do such a thing?
"I can't believe you," I stated as I shook my head. "You have the audacity to sit here and cry. You must really be a great actress."
I truly didn't understand how women could be so hurtful. Did they really think that their actions had no consequences?
"What's your problem? You have a lot of nerve. How can you even sit there and judge me? You don't even know me." I could almost see the steam blowing out of her ears as she glared at me. I had pissed off the bride. But I was to angry myself to care.
"I know you probably broke some poor guy's heart. Thats the problem with all you females," I stated, knowing I was starting to lead off into a rant.
"What is the problem with 'us females?'" she retorted.
"You're all heartbreaking bitches. You love to blame your pain on men, but you fail to realize just who the real culprits are. You lead us on and then crush us." I took a deep breath in the hopes of calming myself.
"Don't even begin to blame my gender for your problems. I don't know what your deal is, but I know you're definitely overreacting. Whatever your problem is, it can't possibly be bigger than mine."
"Self-centered much?" I responded with a laugh. "Do you really think that world revolves around you?"
"I'm not self-centered," she stammered. "I just left my boyfriend of three years on the alter. I'm alone in a garden arguing with some strange guy. And I have to go back and face my family and friends. Excuse me for thinking my problem is pretty damn huge."
"You brought this all on yourself, sweetheart." I wasn't a mean person, but this woman was beyond infuriating. She didn't make any sense. Why had she led this poor man on?
"I'm not going to listen this," she said as she shot off the bench.
The next few seconds almost seemed to happen in slow motion. One minute the bride was sitting next to me, and the next she was tripping over her dress falling face down on the brick path. I tried to grab her and stop the impact, but I wasn't fast enough.
I knew the minute my shoe got stuck in one of the layers of my dress that I was going to hit the floor. It wasn't unsual for me. Everyone knew I was a klutz. But why did it have to happen in front of him?
"Are you alright?" the man asked, extending one of his hands to me.
"I'll live," I answered dismissively.
The entire world seemed to stop suddenly as I regained my balance. I hadn't realized just how beautiful this man was. He looked as if his picture belonged in art gallery. He had strong, masculine features. His hair was a bronze mess, and his eyes were deep green.
I was lost in the moment as I realized that my hand was still in his. His touch was warm, and I could almost feel small sparks of energy passing between us. I bit my lip nervously as my eyes met his. I didn't know what to expect to find in his eyes, but I had not expected to find pain and despair.
The hurt in his eyes made me feel like a terrible person. I didn't know what had happened to this man, but I did know he was hurting. I clearly recognized that look of despair. It had been the same look Jacob had given me when I had walked away that afternoon. I had caused Jacob to feel like this. I didn't deserve him or anybody.
"I have to go," I whispered as I pulled away from him. I needed to set things right.
I didn't wait for a response as I walked away. I couldn't deal with the ache in my chest. I didn't know what was going to happen. I had no idea where my life was headed. But I did know where I had to start.
I owed Jake an explanation.
A/N: I hope you have all enjoyed the first chapter of this story. I am so happy to be able to finally share this with all my readers.
My updates will continue every Sunday as they did in Vendetta at Twilight.
I'm dying to hear your thoughts so make sure to review.
Next Chapter: New Neighbor