Overheard Conversations Chapter 3 Explanations
Change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.
The view of the Forrest from the Cullen's back yard was beautiful. The lush green trees and bird's chirping happily usually put me in a good mood. The deep woodsy smell of the trees and the scent of fresh cut grass always seemed to calm me. None of those things were comforting to me today.
Nobody tried to stop me when I walked away from the back wall and stepped out into the back yard. Edward and Nessie were still talking on the phone. She was trying to come up with ways for Edward to cheer me up. She suggested buying me flowers and I had to smile. She suggested that Edward play his piano for me, and I laid my forehead against the glass wall with my eyes closed. Edward listened and chuckled with every suggestion. When Nessie told Edward that he shouldn't hunt anymore without me, because it makes me too sad – That is when I stepped outside.
I was the reason he had to lie to her and I felt horrible. Nessie has never woken up without both Edward, and I there together. How could I be so selfish? Sure, I was angry with Edward but I had unintentionally taken it out on my daughter by keeping him away from our home. I know how worried Edward gets when we are not together, I can only imagine how he felt when I made him stay away from not only me, but our daughter as well.
I had been walking around the back yard for a few minutes when I came upon a patch of Freesia that Esme had planted at Edward's request. He always told me that I had a very floral scent and Freesia was the closest he could come to explaining how I smelled to him. Crouching down I very lightly ran my fingers over the soft purple petals. Lowering myself onto my knees, I reached down almost to the ground and picked one of the long stems. Closing my eyes I brought the flower up to my nose and inhaled deeply. I hoped Esme wouldn't be mad that I took one of her flowers but I wanted take in the scent fully so maybe I could understand.
As the scent blossomed in my nose, I felt myself smiling and almost humming. It was amazing because I always thought that Edward smelled wonderful. His scent was a mix of vanilla and wildflowers, and more often than not, my mouth would water whenever he was close enough for his scent to fully wrap around me. With the freesia still under my nose and my eyes still closed, my mind drifted to the day before. The meadow has always been a special place for Edward and me, and even though I was there alone I still felt complete. A smile played on my lips as it donned on me that the meadow was full of beautiful wildflowers. It was as though Edward were lying beside me, silently watching me read, or gently running his hands through my hair as the wind blew around me.
If I had just stayed in the meadow a little longer...or read a little bit more of my favorite book, or even stopped to smell the wildflowers; I knew that I wouldn't be where I am right now. The distance between Edward and me was killing me.
Startled, my eyes flew open and my surroundings came into focus again. I still sat in the middle of the beautiful garden with one of Esme's freesia in my hand. I turned my head to see that Esme was kneeling beside me. Her eyes were sad, but she had a gentle smile on her face. Very slowly she reached over and took the flower from my hand, and brought it up to her nose.
"I was sitting here in this very garden almost four years ago," Esme whispered, as she very gently touched the petals of the freesia. I didn't know what she was talking about, so I stayed quiet.
"I was a little depressed because one of my children was lost and hurting. I thought working in my garden might take my mind off of everything."
Now I was really confused. I tried to think about what was going on four years ago.
"The week before then started as any other. All of the children dressed and went to school. All but one of them returned."
Esme held out the flower to me and I took it into my hand again. She clasped her hands together and laid them in her lap. Her face held a small smile as she looked at me again.
"I still remember that day like it was yesterday. The children filed into the house after school and instead of heading off in different directions, they all stayed in the living room. I had been in my room painting happily, when suddenly my mood turned somber. I decided to go downstairs and see what was wrong."
Esme's face transformed, into the most beautiful smile.
"Turns out, that very same day a new student started at Forks High school. She had just moved to town from Arizona and she was the police chief's daughter."
Esme chuckled as my eyes grew wide.
"Alice told me how beautiful you were, and how your face flushed bright red the moment you set eyes on Edward."
My smile was involuntary as I lowered my head and my hair fell around my face.
"Alice said, the moment Edward set eyes on you, she knew. You were the one who would finally tear down all those walls Edward had built around his heart. You were the one who could teach him that he was worthy of loving someone else."
My bottom lip trembled as Esme reached over and pulled the curtain of my hair back and swept it back over my shoulder.
"I was so excited that Edward had finally found you and I wanted to talk to him. That was when Alice told me what happened in your Biology class. She said it was a very close call, and immediately after, he left for Denali," Esme sighed. "I was devastated."
I could only imagine what it was like to lose a child. I would be devastated too.
"Anyway," she said, shaking off the sad part of her story. "So a week later here I sat, in my garden. I was depressed and wondering how long it would be before Edward came home. I knew everyone was missing Edward as much as I was."
"I had just stuck a rose bush into the ground when I looked up to see Edward come out the back door to the house. I was the only one home at the time so Edward came outside to find me. He looked happy to be home, but I could tell there was something on his mind, as he walked over and sat down right next to me. He didn't say anything for a long time, so I continued to plant my roses; content to just have him home."
Esme turned to look at her freesia again
"After a while he did finally speak...his voice was only a whisper when he asked me if it would be too much trouble to plant some freesia. I didn't know why he would want such a specific flower, but I didn't question him. The next day I planted these," She motioned to the patch of purple flowers in front of us.
"The day Edward brought you to meet us, I found out why Edward wanted me to plant freesia."
We both laughed.
All the anger and sadness seemed so trivial after hearing Esme's story. Edward and I have fought so hard from the very beginning just to stay together. It seemed at the time, in the very beginning that everything was trying to keep us apart. Out of control vans, James, Victoria, Jacob, my father, my birthday party - All things that could have torn us apart, But we survived, and I wasn't about to let something as stupid as a conversation about our honeymoon keep us apart anymore. No more running away, no more excuses.
"I think I'm ready to go back in now," I told Esme. She nodded her head and we stood.
When this is all over I am going to tear Emmett limb from limb and bury each of his body parts in different parts of the world.
Our "Bonding" night had started out so well. We played video games and chatted with each other for hours. We talked about our lives and just bonded with each other. It was very rare that we all were together at once. I was missing Bella, but I was having a good time. Then of course Emmett and his immaturity showed itself again. He started talking about sex; Sex with Rosalie to be specific. He talked about different positions, and parts of the house that they "graced" when nobody was home. For the most part I ignored him, but it was a little hard for me because with each story he told I was graced with a visual.
Of course Jasper wasn't shy about his sex life and I got visuals of his sex life as well. I saw things in their minds that one should never see about their brothers and sisters. Emmett and Jasper talked and laughed and Carlisle and I just played our game trying to block them out. Carlisle, being our father figure, never participated in those types of conversations. For the most part he would roll his eyes and smile, but stayed out of it.
After a while Emmett started taunting me about my sex life. I ignored him, but then Jasper started taunting me too.
"Come on Edward we both know Bella has to be a spitfire in bed" Emmett said. I gritted my teeth.
"I have felt nothing but lust from that girl for years Edward, Tell me, did she ravish you on your honeymoon? Jasper said. My hands balled into fists, but still I said nothing.
Carlisle studiously ignored everything they said; now flipping through the channels on the TV. He settled on CNN and we started listening to the stories from around the world. Then one of the stories from the TV set them off. Evidently some golfer who was very popular in America was cheating on his wife. The news anchor said he had dozens of girlfriends all over the country and some of them were strippers. I was a little disgusted. How could someone with that much money and popularity cheat on his wife? How could he send text messages and call those women, knowing he had a wife and children at home?
"Stripper huh?" Emmett said. "I bet she was a spitfire in bed huh Edward?" Emmett said. Still I ignored him.
"Hey Jazz, I bet Bella tied our little Eddie here to the bed and had her way with him." Emmett said dissolving into laughter...
I was starting to get angry, so Carlisle, being the peace keeper, stood and turned the X box back on to try and distract them. It didn't work though.
"I bet the minute they walked into the house she tore his close off and they didn't even make it to the bed." Jasper said.
"No, no...I got it; I bet our little Eddie couldn't wait till they got to the bed. I think he threw her down the minute they made land right there on the sand." Both of them burst out laughing again. That was it. I jumped to my feet and stood over them fuming.
"For your information Emmett" I spat at him. "We did none of those things. You want to know what really happened. The minute I took Bella into the house and she saw the huge bed, she froze solid..."
Thus began the conversation of doom. They were going to die painfully.
I looked up when I heard Bell and Esme coming in the backdoor. They were both smiling and Bella was holding one of Esme's freesia flowers.
"Everything is going to be fine Edward, You'll see." Esme told me in her mind. I didn't turn to look at her though. I couldn't take my eyes off Bella. She seemed almost happy. When she left the house as I was talking to Nessie, I knew she had been crying. I wondered what had happened to make her so happy.
Alice stood, I guessed so she could call this "Family meeting" back to order, but before she could say anything Bella stood and walked over to me. She smiled and handed me the freesia, and then she walked back to her chair and sat down.
"It's Okay, Alice, I can take it from here," Bella said. "I just want this to be over." Alice sat back down and Bella stood. She took a deep breath and looked at all of our faces smiling.
"Alright everyone I have a few apologies I need to make before we talk about yesterday. First I want to say I'm sorry to all of you. This whole thing was blown out of proportion when I acted like a baby and ran to La Push. I shouldn't have been listening to a private conversation and I definitely shouldn't have run. I am an adult and a mother and it was very childish and I'm sorry."
"Is she really apologizing to US for what we said yesterday?" Jasper asked me in his mind.
"Is she really apologizing for these idiots? Man, I have got to teach her how to punish her husband when he is an idiot." from Rosalie.
"This seems too easy. How could she be so angry and suddenly she is the one apologizing?" Carlisle thought.
"Emmett and Jasper, I wanted to thank you for what you said earlier. You're my brothers and I love you both, along with Alice and Rose. You all drive me crazy sometimes, but I love you anyway." Bella smiled beautifully when they chuckled.
"Jasper," Bella said with a sigh, her smile fading "I want you to listen to me very closely OK? I am going to tell you something and then I don't ever want to talk about it again." Jasper nodded. "You are not to blame for what happened at my eighteenth birthday party. Look, I know I gave myself a paper cut and you lost control. If you want to blame someone, let's just blame both of us. I was being a baby because I hate accepting gifts and I wasn't being careful. You were just doing what is in your nature to do when you smell blood. I don't blame you. I never did. Not once was I ever angry at you."
God I love her. My beautiful Bella is always so forgiving. I knew Jasper would never forgive himself for what happened, but to Bella it wasn't necessary. It was me who over reacted and took my family away from her. How she was able to forgive me I will never know. Suddenly Bella's eyes flashed to mine and she almost looked angry.
"Stop it right now Edward," My eyes widened. Did I just say that out loud? "I know what you're thinking, and I want you to stop. That part of our life is over so stop beating yourself up about it right now do you hear me?" I nodded at her and smiled. She may not be able to read my mind but she was very perceptive and she knew what I would be thinking.
"Alright, now to you Emmett," She smiled and shook her head. "I have resigned myself to hearing sexual innuendos from you for eternity, as my brother I would expect nothing less, that is just who you are. But..." Bella trailed off and her smile faded "I would just ask that my honeymoon be off limits." Emmett nodded and looked down as if her were just scolded by his mother. And then her beautiful golden eyes turned to me.
Her mood since coming back into the house seemed lighter, but I knew that she was still angry with me. Well...maybe not angry, but definitely disappointed. Hell I was disappointed in myself. I never should have let Emmett and Jasper goad me into talking about our sex life. I stood firm in my decision. Emmett and Jasper would die painfully just as soon as this was over and I had my wife back.
"You touch my Jazz Edward and I will make your life a living hell." Alice growled at me in her mind. I had to fight off a smile.
"Edward" Bella said with a slight smile on her lips.
"I love you. Always"
"I love you, too" I whispered. And, of course I hear a chorus of "Awww's" in my head from my family.
"Where do I start...?" She pretended to think about it for a second.
"Okay, so I need to tell you how sorry I am for not letting you come home last night. At the time I was angry and I felt really betrayed. I really did just want to be alone. I didn't even stop to think about Nessie. I'll admit I was being a brat and I was wrong. We have promised her since she was born that we would always be there for her, and I didn't realize how wrong I was until she woke up this morning asking for you. And when I had to lie to her, I felt worse. It won't ever happen again. No matter how angry we are at each other, Nessie will always come first."
Watching Bella and Nessie walk out the door last night, and knowing that I wasn't allowed to come home with them almost killed me. I knew it was my fault, but we hadn't spent a night apart since Nessie was born and I didn't know what to do with myself. After everyone had retired to their bedrooms for the night, I wondered around the huge house lost. I could hear my family throughout the night feeling sorry for me, but I blocked them out.
I was mad at myself mostly. Once Emmett and Jasper got me talking, my mouth seemed to have a mind of its own. I cringed when I remembered what I had said about Jacob. I'm sure Bella knew how much I detested him. My hatred of Jacob had cooled since the wedding, into a strong dislike. Anyone who played with Bella's emotions for his own personal gain like Jacob had, would never fully be a friend too me. I have accepted him as a permanent fixture in our lives now since Nessie was born, but that didn't mean that I had to like it or him. My worry was Bella. Her friendship with him had never once faltered. She was so forgiving and loving with everyone around her that she was almost blind to the mind games that Jacob played with her.
"Edward, I need you to understand why I was so angry last night. You said a lot of things and I will get to all of them, but I want to start with our honeymoon," She was very serious now.
"You have to understand that I am not angry that you were talking about our sex life. You were with your...family," her eyes briefly flashed to Carlisle. "As I am sure you heard Emily say last night, when guys get together they talk about things that they don't talk about when their wives are around. I accept that you will sometimes talk about our personal lives with your brothers. What I don't accept is you talking about our honeymoon."
Flashes of me burying Emmett's arm and Jasper's foot played in my mind. "Edward!" Alice growled again in my head. I had to clench my teeth to fight off a smile. Her vision showed that I still had not given up tearing my brothers apart.
"Our honeymoon Edward was very special to me, as I am sure it was for you as well. But, too me it meant more than just being your wife. The first thing I heard last night was you telling Emmett that I froze when I first saw the bed. I can understand it would have seemed funny to you, but I don't think you fully understand what was actually going through my head at the time. You can't read my mind so I take some of the responsibility for that. Let me try and explain..."
Bella and I were so focused on each other that the rest of my family seemed to fade into the background. They were still in the room, but we were our own world. I don't know if Bella was using her shield on everyone, but I wasn't hearing anyone's thoughts in my head.
"Edward, when you carried me over the threshold and set me down next to the bed...it was like suddenly everything hit me at once. I had been so lost, for so long Edward. It all happened so fast. Here I was, plain Jane Bella moving to this small town with my father. And then I met you. My life seemed to move in fast forward. For some reason this extremely beautiful man thought I was something to be adored, and of course I fell for you. It didn't matter that you were dangerous. It didn't matter to me that you could slip one day and my life could be over. It didn't matter.
"Then you were gone..." My eyes slipped closed. "You were gone Edward. You told me that I would forget that I would eventually move on. I knew it wasn't true, but at the time as I stood there, watching you saying goodbye to me...I froze. I kept telling myself I was supposed to cry, or scream or plead with you not to leave me, but I couldn't."
My eyes flew open when her voice cracked. She had never told me any of this. I wanted to go to her and pull her into my arms, but I knew that she needed to get it all out.
"I didn't leave my room for a week. I didn't talk to Charlie, or go to school or eat even. It was totally unfathomable to me that you were gone... Ugh... Anyway," She said, standing from her chair shaking the memory from her mind.
"You get the point... I was heartbroken. So that was when my friendship with Jacob started. I needed someone to help me take my mind off the pain. I needed a reason to get up in the morning. His friendship saved me. Without Jacob in my life, I'm not totally sure I would be sitting here right now. I knew pretty early on that Jacob had feelings for me that were beyond friendship. I told him that I didn't have the same feelings, but I was selfish enough to not let him go. It was my fault the things that happened with Jacob. His feelings for me grew every day, and I could see it. I don't say this to hurt you Edward, but I needed him. I need his warm smile and his companionship and friendship, because when I was alone in my room at night that pain...it was... well anyway."
"Then suddenly you were back. You were back in my life telling me that it was all a lie, that you did love me and you wanted me forever. Things were back to the way they were supposed to be. But we weren't totally healed. We argued over my change, we argued over our physical boundaries, but most of all we argued over Jacob. And then Victoria came back to wreak havoc on our lives again. I know how strong you all were and the wolves, but I worried a lot about someone getting hurt.
"I couldn't stand the thought of you getting hurt because of me. I knew Rosalie hated me even more, having to stand guard over my house, and my scent caused Jasper pain because I was here so much. And there was Jacob. I hurt you so much every time I insisted on seeing him, even though I knew we would spend the whole time talking about you. He kept telling me he was the better choice and that he could love me better then you could. He played with my emotions a lot and never failed to remind me that he was the one who was there for me when you couldn't be. I was stupid and selfish because I wanted both of you in my life. I didn't realize that I was hurting you both
"And, Then I kissed him right before the newborn battle. You told me that Jacob played me, when he told me he would kill himself so I was free to be with you, but there is something that I never told you about that kiss. This may hurt a little to hear, but I need to explain."
I sat there on the couch between my brothers, dumbfounded. I didn't expect Bella to lay out our lives in front of everyone like she did. My family sat around me shocked. I knew there were things that Bella kept from me because she didn't want to worry me and now the flood gates seemed to be opened.
"When I kissed him Edward, I saw it. I saw everything. I saw Jacob and I married. I saw us living out our lives on the reservation. I saw us growing old together watching our kids playing in the front yard. It was the life that he always promised we could have, if I were willing to let you go. I knew pretty much instantaneously that my feelings for Jacob were more than friendship."
Nobody was gladder then I was that Bella couldn't hear the almost audible gasp from my family. It was all in their minds. Their thoughts had been blocked from my mind throughout Bella's conversation, suddenly bombarded me at once. They were all shocked, and surprisingly some of them were even angry. Most of them had never known the depth of her love for Jacob. I almost smiled at Rosalie's thoughts.
"I finally had to admit to myself that Jacob was more than a friend to me. You both knew it all along but I was too stupid to see it. I know I hurt you when I kissed him, and I hurt you even more when I admitted my feelings for Jacob. You were both waiting for me to make a choice between the two of you. But the truth is the choice was made long before we shared our first kiss Edward. The first time I admitted to myself that I was in love with you, I knew that you were where my life was going to be. Nothing could change that.
"As I told Jacob after the Battle, I only fought my feelings for him because I knew that it wouldn't change anything. Yes, I loved him, but I knew I would never love him as much as I love you. So, in the end, a choice wasn't necessary. The only thing left to do was letting him go."
Bella took a deep breath and sat back down in her chair.
"I guess my point in telling you all of this is – When you carried me though the house on Isle Esme, and sat me down, it all hit me at once. Suddenly I had everything I ever wanted. I was a wife and we were finally going to be together without boundaries. I was a Cullen," She smiled beautifully. "There was no more pain and confusion, no more worrying about hunting vampires or jealous wolves. Nothing else mattered in that moment but you and me. It was the start of our forever.
"Our honeymoon is where you gave me our daughter. The child I never knew I wanted."
Bella stood from her chair and held out her hand to me. Quickly I stood and went to her. I took her hand and squeezed gently. I had missed touching her so much and the soft skin of her hand brought a smile to my face.
"When you and I stood next to that bed Edward," Bella whispered. "I will admit I was a little scared. I had wanted you for so long, and finally I was going to have you. It was exciting and scary at the same time. I know that you had to have been terrified of hurting me, and it was going to be your first time as well. Everything turned out amazing. Do you understand that our honeymoon isn't, and never will be, a joke to me?"
Her eyes were so beautiful I couldn't resist reaching out and touching her cheek.
"Yes, I understand Bella," I said. "Our honeymoon was everything to me, and I am so sorry."
The smile that spread across Bella's face turned my world right side up again.
"I love you, Edward," She whispered, and then she stepped forward into my arms and rested her head on my chest.
"I love you, too, Bella. Always."
Notes: This is the end. Let me know what you think.