This is the last chapter. Thanks for reading guys, I really appreciate. And I know this has been a tearjerker, so thanks for getting through it. This chapter is the longest one! Okay, now I apparently have some explaining to do:
I chose Jacob to be in this story for a reason. First of all, I usually hate on Jacob's character in all of my stories. I decided making him the nice guy could be a pleasant change of pace. Second, in the original books, while Bella does love Edward more and chooses him, she really did love Jacob in some way. And if you couldn't have Edward, you could probably fall for Jacob later. If you don't like Bella's new love interest as Jacob, pretend his name is Gary or something like that.
And yeah, this chapter has a lot of Jacob. But he's a good guy.
July 2016 Continued:
As Charlotte and I walked down the hallway hand in hand, the doorbell rang loudly. "That's probably Jacob." I murmured softly under my breath, and Charlotte only held my hand tighter in response. I made my way to the front door while she continued to cling onto me, and I took a deep breath before I opened the door, my hand tight on the doorknob. Over the past couple of months, Jacob and I have gone out on little casual dates. To the movies or out for dinner, but it was usually pretty easy going. Now that he was meeting my daughter and we were choosing to start defining our relationship, things were becoming more serious between us.
On one hand, I welcomed the chance to move on. But on the other hand, I didn't want to ever make it seem like Edward could be replaced in my heart. So I tried to calm myself down, and then pulled the door open. Jacob stood before me, looking just as handsome as ever. He held out a bouquet of daises out to me, kissing my cheek chastely as he stepped over the threshold of the house. "Bella, you look beautiful." He said, and I felt the familiar blush sweep over my face.
"Thank you. You look great too." I said, smiling widely. "And…thanks for the flowers." I added hurriedly, making Jacob laugh out loud. Charlotte stood behind me, hiding her face and clutching onto the side of my dress. "Charlotte." I said softly, tangling my fingers in her soft hair. She peeked up at me, her cheeks tinged pink. I smiled at her fondly, hoping to calm her down some. "Charlotte, this is Jacob. Why don't you say hello?"
Jacob waved at her and then crouched down, offering his hand to Charlotte with a friendly, amused smile. "Hi, Charlotte. It's nice to meet you." He said formally, making me laugh softly. I gently nudged Charlotte forward, and she smiled sheepishly before shaking hands with Jacob.
"It's nice to meet you too." She said, lisping slightly. Then she hid behind me again. Jacob straightened up, shoving his hands in his pockets and looking around.
"Are you ready to go?" He asked, and I shook my head, shoving my wallet, lipstick, and a pack of tissues into my purse.
"Technically, yes. But we're waiting on the babysitter, and she probably won't be here for another ten minutes or so." I explained. "Why don't you come into the kitchen? I can get you something to drink." Jacob agreed and trailed after Charlotte and I into the kitchen. As I poured us each a cup of lemonade, I turned my head towards Charlotte. "Honey, why don't you show Jacob all the pretty paintings you made for me in preschool?" I suggested, nodding my head over towards the fridge, where all of Charlotte's artwork was proudly displayed.
Charlotte brightened up slightly, glad for a chance to show off her finger-painting skills. I sat down next to Jacob at the kitchen table as she walked over to the fridge and started showing us all of her paintings, telling us what was in each of them and including when she had painted them. As she showed us, Jacob lightly rested his hand on my knee, glancing at me through the corner of his eye to ensure that I was okay with it. I nodded slightly, not taking my eyes off of Charlotte, and smiled softly. This felt good.
When the sitter came, I whispered in her ear and told her where all the videos that Charlotte wanted to watch were. She nodded in understanding, and I knew that I was doing all that I could to remind Charlotte of her father, even when it was hard and caused me pain. I had promised.
"Your daughter was adorable." Jacob commented softly, and I smiled in appreciation. He had already mentioned this before, but it meant a lot to me that he got along with Charlotte, considering she was basically my entire life and had been for a long time.
"Thank you. She's been a little difficult lately…but she's amazing." I murmured.
Jacob was silent for a moment, playing with the ends of my hair. We were sitting on his living room couch, and we had just gotten back from our dinner. Jacob had invited me back to his apartment to have coffee and talk, which was exactly what we were doing. "She's been difficult? How so, if you don't mind me asking?" Jacob stilled his moments, letting my long hair slide through his fingers.
"Oh, no, I don't mind." I said, smiling slightly. "Since she's started school…I guess she's figured out that she's the only girl in her class who doesn't have a father. It's just been kind of hard to explain to her why that is, because she doesn't understand it in the slightest." I said, agitation laced in my tone as I let my exasperation get the better of me. "God…it just makes me feel so fucking helpless sometimes." I said angrily, and Jacob gently cupped my cheek in his hand.
"It's okay. You're doing such a wonderful job with her…I can see that already." Jacob said soothingly. I shook my head, tears forming in my eyes. "No, really. Bella, you're a really good mother. Charlotte's a great kid, and you did it all on your own. And I know that she probably wasn't planned, but-"
I shook my head again, cutting him off. "No. After Edward was taken off of his medication, I deliberately got pregnant." I looked up at Jacob, ashamed. "I'm a selfish woman, Jacob. I got pregnant so that I didn't have to let go of my dead husband. I'm…I'm just so messed up." I confessed. "I understand if you want to get the hell away from me. I know I'm ready…but there is still a lot of stuff I'm dealing with still."
Jacob was silent for a moment, and I was afraid that he really did want to get away from me. "I don't want to." He said softly, moving a little closer to me. "Bella, I really like you. And I think you don't give yourself enough credit." And with that, he curled his finger under my chin, tilted my head up, and kissed me softly on the lips.
It felt right.
"Blow out the candles!" Jacob called, and I quickly snapped a picture as Charlotte leaned over and, with Jacob's help, managed to blow out all of the many candles that covered her birthday cake. "Did you make a wish?" Jacob asked, leaning over slightly so that he could look at Charlotte. She nodded, smiling brightly.
Over the past month, Charlotte has warmed up to Jacob a lot. I was a little wary about it at first, wondering if Jacob would really want to stick around long term. But he's been perfect so far, with both Charlotte and I. And all three of us were enjoying spending time together. My parents and Edward's parents had flown to Chicago for Charlotte's birthday, and I had introduced them all to Jacob. They were all a little surprised at first, but eventually Jacob's warm, easy going attitude won them over.
This time of year, this date especially, was a bittersweet time for me. The fact that Edward had died on the same day of our daughter's birth was always hard to stomach, and it was hard to properly maintain my emotions. I have to be happy for my little girl's birthday, but I also have to grieve the death of my husband, remembering all that I had lost and gained at the same time. But this year, Jacob was here in our lives, and that blurred the lines even more.
The rest of the evening was a blur of cake and presents and wrapping paper and Charlotte. She flew around like crazy, driven purely on sugar and caffeine and excitement. We all laughed, Jacob and Esme and Carlisle and Charlie and Renée and I. It was wonderful. But then Charlotte fell asleep on the living room floor, and I knew that the fun was all over. Even Jacob sensed the change- he quickly said that he needed to leave. I walked him to the door, pecking him on the lips and wishing him a good night before making my way back into the living room.
Carlisle had taken Charlotte up to bed, and now everyone was gathered around the unlit fireplace, sitting in silence. I slid into place between Renée and Esme, resting my head on Renée's shoulder as Esme wrapped her arm around my waist. I sat in the middle of the five of us, reveling in the silence.
"I still miss him." I spoke quietly, but my voice still cracked with emotion. "I'm moving on, but still…a day doesn't go by that I don't think about him."
Esme squeezed me gently, staring down at the floor as she bit her bottom lip. "We know, honey. And really, it's a good thing that you're moving on. I know that it must feel like you're betraying Edward…but you're really not. He wanted you to find happiness, for your sake and for Charlotte's too."
"I know." I said, tears forming in my eyes. Renée gently kissed the top of my head, stroking my hair as we all continued to sit in silence.
Two hours and countless tears later, we decided that it was finally time to get some sleep. Carlisle and Esme left to go to their hotel- the modest home Edward and I had bought as a young couple only had two bedrooms and a pull out couch- and Charlie and Renée set up their makeshift as I headed upstairs. I brushed my teeth and washed my face and put my pajamas on, but before I went to bed I made a slight detour.
I stood in the doorway of Charlotte's room, clutching the doorknob in my hand and watching her sleep. She looked peaceful and carefree, and I was jealous of that. She didn't know what it was like to miss Edward, at least not in the way that I missed him. She missed a father figure- a man to play with and look up to and love. She didn't know who her father was, and I felt guilty for robbing her of that experience. Maybe, if I hadn't gotten pregnant before Edward died, I would have settled down with someone else and had children, and those children would get to know their father.
Brushing unshed tears out of my eyes, I made my way through the toy minefield that was Charlotte's room and tucked her in carefully, smoothing down her covers and placing a soft kiss on her temple. I hesitated slightly, but then picked up the picture that rested on Charlotte's bedside table. It was the one and only picture of Edward and Charlotte together, which I had taken in the hospital room during their first and last meeting with a disposable camera. Edward looked sick and frail, but his beauty and love for our daughter was strong and clear and tangible.
I missed him more in that moment than I had in a long time.
"Happy five month anniversary." Jacob stood on my doorstep early in the morning, holding a box of doughnuts and grinning happily.
I blushed, tilting my head up and kissing him softly on the lips before stepping aside so that he could walk into the house. Charlotte sat at the kitchen table, her chin resting in her hands as she stared down at the tabletop. "Jacob brought us doughnuts." I said cheerfully, but she just sighed. Jacob shot me an inquisitive look as he set the box of doughnuts down and then took a seat next to Charlotte at the table. "Oh, Charlotte's not very happy with me this morning." I explained, glancing over my shoulder at my daughter as I fixed Jacob and myself coffee. "I have to work on the night of Halloween, and I can't take her trick-or-treating." I elaborated, and Charlotte pouted even more.
Jacob feigned shock, tweaking Charlotte playfully on the nose. "Come on, Charlotte. So what if your mom can't go? Clouds may come but clouds must go, and they have a silver lining for beyond them all you know the sun is shining!" Jacob sang the rhyme out cheerfully, successfully making Charlotte smile. "What I'm trying to say here, Charlotte, is that there's a silver lining." Jacob said wisely, taping his temple like he was full of wisdom. "If it's okay with your mom, I'll take you trick-or-treating."
He glanced over at me questioningly, and I raised my eyebrows in thought before agreeing. Jacob was amazing with Charlotte, and I trusted him with her. "Sounds good." I conceded, and Charlotte let out a loud whoop, her foul mood out the window until another time. "Why don't I fry us some bacon along with these doughnuts?" I suggested. "Clog our arteries up a bit more?" Jacob chuckled and kissed me on the lips, taking me off guard. We didn't usually show much affection in front of Charlotte. She knew that we 'like liked' each other, but that was about it. But as I watched her reaction, she didn't seem upset or troubled at all. In fact, she was smiling.
So I smiled as well as I turned to the stove and started laying the strips of bacon out of the frying pan. "Do you have to work today?" I asked, glancing over at Jacob as I minded over the bacon. When I looked over at the breakfast table, though, I was taken aback and didn't even pay attention to Jacob's response. Charlotte was happily eating her chocolate long john doughnut and Jacob sat beside her, reading the sports section and sipping on his coffee. It was all so…domesticated. It felt a little wrong, because this was Edward's family, not Jacob's family. Edward should be the one sitting at the table with Charlotte and taking her trick-or-treating and singing her silly songs. On the other hand, my daughter does deserve some type of father figure in her life, and it's nice to actually be happy for once. The past five years have been hectic and painful, and thanks to Jacob some of that pain is lessening.
We ate our breakfast quickly, and then Jacob and I walked Charlotte down to the bus stop. It was just down the driveway, but sometimes I could be unbearably paranoid when it comes to stuff like this. So with our coffee cups in hand, we stood barefoot in the driveway with Charlotte, who was showing Jacob her completed 'homework' which was really just a color by numbers picture. But he oohed and ahhed over it until Charlotte glowed with pride.
"Bye, baby." I kissed Charlotte on the cheek as the school bus approached, and she gave Jacob a big hug before waving and skipping happily onto the school bus. I waved back and watched her take a seat, talking excitedly to whoever she was sitting with.
Jacob and I stood in silence for several moments, until Jacob spoke. "You're really okay with me taking her for Halloween?" He asked.
I glanced up at him, my eyebrows raised. "Of course I am, Jacob. I trust you with her." Jacob nodded, biting his lip as he glanced at me. "What?" I asked softly, and Jacob sighed.
"Bella…I want you to know that I'm here." Jacob said firmly, and I narrowed my eyes.
"Yeah…I know." I said, laughing because that much was obvious.
Jacob laughed to himself, shaking his head and looking down at his cup of coffee. "No, Bella. I mean I'm here. I'm in this. I'm all in, and I'm going to give this relationship my all. Bella, over the past five months, I've fallen completely head over heels in love with you."
His confession of love made me stare at him in wonder…and I knew that this was it. This was the sign that said I was really ready to move on and have a life with someone other than Edward. Because I loved Jacob too. "I'm in love with you too." I said softly, almost shyly. Jacob grinned and pulled me close to him, kissing me firmly on the lips. "It feels really good to say that." I said against his lips. "Thank you for being so patient with me and treating Charlotte so wonderfully." I added, pulling away from Jacob slightly. "I know I come with a lot of baggage, so thank you for dealing with it all."
"You and Charlotte are worth it, Bella. I never thought that I would be able to handle a kid, especially one that's not mine. But she's amazing, and so are you. I've dated a few other women…but they were so terribly wrong. But then again, I guess that if you want to figure out what's right for you, sometimes it's enough to figure out what's wrong. And I know that you're right for me, and you always will be."
It's true that I've fallen hard and fast for Jacob Black. But I owed it to my daughter to try and explain some things to her, especially now that my relationship with Jacob is moving forward. So on the last day of school before Christmas Break, I take off from work early and go and pick her up. She's excited to see me and runs to the car, smiling widely. Charlotte tossed her bag into the backseat before climbing in herself and quickly buckling her seatbelt. "Mommy! What are you doing here?" she asked happily, and I turned around slightly to smile at her.
"I thought that you and I could go get some ice cream, even though it's wintertime. Sound good?" I asked her as I pulled out of the school's parking lot. Charlotte agreed quickly, and then started telling me all about her day. It was moments like these when I wished I could just quit my job and pick my baby up from school every day- even though that would never work, considering my job was our only income. I listened to Charlotte's chatter the entire drive, and we held hands as we walked into the ice cream store. Charlotte was mesmerized by all the different flavors, and eventually decided on mint chocolate chip while I choose rocky road. "You know, that was your daddy's favorite ice cream flavor." I told Charlotte after I paid for our ice cream and we started walking to an open table. She glanced at me in surprise, still licking at her ice cream cone.
"Really?" She asked, and I nodded my head serenely as we sat down at the table.
We ate our ice cream silently for a minute, and then I decided that I just needed to come out and say it. "Charlotte, you know how Jacob is my boyfriend?" I asked hesitantly.
"Yep." She said easily, not at all fazed.
I nodded, setting my ice cream cup down and taking a deep breath before continuing. "Well, I love Jacob, honey. Very much. And he loves me too. So, we talked things over, and we decided that Jacob would come and live with us, but only if it's okay with you."
Charlotte scrunched up her nose at me and I held my breath, anxiously awaiting her reaction. "He doesn't have to share my room, does he?" Charlotte asked, and I burst out laughing before telling her that no, she wouldn't have to share her bedroom with anyone. "Well…okay." She said with a shrug, and just continued eating her ice cream. Relieved, I dug into my ice cream as well. I knew that Charlotte loved Jacob, but for some reason I had still expected a little resistance from her. Her acceptance of Jacob had taken place fairly quickly, and she now treated him like one of her best friends.
As we finished up our ice cream, I realized that I didn't want our alone time to end. So when we got back into the car, I made a little detour instead of going straight home. "Mommy, where are we?" Charlotte asked curiously as I drove the car through the gates of the cemetery.
"This is the cemetery, sweetie." I explained, heading straight to the spot where Edward was buried. "This is where…where your daddy is." Charlotte was silent, and when I put the car into park and turned around to look at her, Charlotte's eyes were big and wary. "I come here sometimes when I miss your daddy." I added, still looking intently at my daughter. "Do you want to come with me, or do you want to stay in the car?"
"I want to come." Charlotte said quickly, unbuckling her seatbelt and climbing out of her booster seat. I got out of the car and took her hand, walking straight towards the grey tombstone that loamed ahead of us. Charlotte was clinging to me tightly, and I could hear her shallow breathing.
"I should have picked up some flowers or something on the way over." I muttered absentmindedly as we approached the grave that bore Edward's name, date of birth, and date of death. Charlotte and I stood in front of the grave, clutching hands and not speaking. "Sometimes…" I swallowed heavily, blinking tears away. "Sometimes I talk to him. I talk all about you, because I know your daddy would want to know everything about you. He loved you, and he still does."
Charlotte nodded, hugging her arms around herself. Then I knelt down on the cold earth, and Charlotte quickly knelt down beside me. "This is weird." She whispered, and I chuckled slightly, ignoring the big fat tears that were sliding down my face. The cool winter air was stinging my cheeks but I didn't care anymore. Charlotte was leaning against me, her arms wrapped around my waist as we both continued to stare at the tombstone. "We don't have to talk, do we?" She asked, looking nervous.
"No, not if you don't want to." I soothed her, kissing the top of her head, which was covered by a black fleece hat. "We can just sit here and think."
And that's what we did for the next half hour. No words we uttered, we were alone in our thoughts. Eventually, I wiped the tears from my cheeks and stood up, and then leaned down and scooped Charlotte up into my arms. I stood still for another moment, staring at the grave of the man I had loved more than life itself. "Love you." The words fell from my lips effortlessly, and I kissed my fingertips and then touched the top of the tombstone. My heart felt like it was being torn into a million tiny pieces, scattered away so far apart from each other I couldn't even begin to put it all back together. "Let's go home." I said softly to Charlotte, tightly holding her against my body as she clung onto me, burying her face in the crook of my neck. I could feel her warm tears on my neck, and all I could do was hold onto her tighter and pepper the top of her head with soft kisses.
When we got home, Jacob's car was in the driveway, and when we walked inside he was in the kitchen, making dinner. He took one look at Charlotte, who was crying still in my arms, and looked at me with a confused look on his face. I shook my head at him and then took Charlotte upstairs, helping her change into her pajamas and then wiping her face off with a cool washcloth. Then I tucked her into bed early for a little nap before dinner was ready. After I wiped off my own face, I went back downstairs and straight into the kitchen. Jacob was still standing over the stove, and he looked over his shoulder at me when he heard my footsteps.
"Are you okay?" He asked. "What's wrong with Charlotte?" He pulled me into his strong arms for a hug, and I welcomed the comfort eagerly.
"It was just an emotional afternoon." I explained, pressing my cheek up against Jacob's chest. "I picked her up from school and took her out for ice cream to tell her about…you know, about us moving in together. She took it really well, but then I decided to take her by the cemetery and it just got to be a little too much." I took a deep breath, closing my eyes tightly and feeling the warmth that Jacob radiated.
He held me comfortingly, kissing my temple several times and smoothing down my hair. "Better?" He asked after several minutes, and I managed to nod. "That's good. I love you." Jacob said, kissing me sweetly on the lips and then squeezing me one last time and then letting me go.
"Love you too." I said quietly, wiping the last of my tears away with the sleeve of my sweater. "When will dinner be ready?" I asked, changing the subject.
"Hmm…in about half an hour." Jacob said, glancing over at the timer on the stove. "Is Charlotte going to come down for dinner, or is she out for good?"
I shook my head, walking over to the cabinets and pulling out three plates. "No, I'll wake her up before dinner." I said, reaching into the silverware drawer for forks and knives. "Hey…have you by chance changed your mind about going to Washington with us yet?" I asked suddenly, peeking up at Jacob through my long eyelashes as I started to set the table.
He sighed, turning back to the stove. "Bells…I don't know. Won't it just be weird if I came?"
"It would be weirder if you didn't." I said lightly, focusing on straightening the plates and silverware instead of looking at him.
"You know I have no problem with any of them. Your parents are great, and they've been really accepting of me, which I appreciate. But Bella…you really want me to sit through Christmas dinner with your dead husband's family?"
His words were harsh and stung a bit, but I just rubbed my forehead. "Jacob, they understand. They know that it's time for me to move on. They know that Charlotte adores you, and they know that I'm in love with you. What's the problem?"
Jacob sighed in frustration, turning around to face me. "Bella, I understand all that you've gone through, and I understand that you really loved your husband and it's been hard to get over him. And I know that you're not doing it on purpose, but do you realize how much Edward has been shoved in my face?" I was about to protest and yell at him for being so hurtful, but then I realized that it was true. Charlotte and I couldn't help it, but Edward was still a main focus of our lives. "I can't compete with ghosts, Bells." Jacob added softly, staring at me evenly and calmly.
"There's no competition." I managed to say.
"I know, Bella." Jacob said, his shoulders slumping slightly. "I'm sorry for saying all of that. If you think that it will be okay, I'll come with you and Charlotte to Washington for Christmas with the Cullen's and the Swan's."
"You're happy?" Esme spoke, looking up at me from the dishes that we were washing. I nodded honestly, smiling shyly. "That's good. I'm glad. Alice and Carlisle and I…we're trying to move on too, but it looks like you're doing better than we are."
"He made a lot of difference n our lives." I murmured, scrubbing the plate I was washing vigorously. "You like Jacob, right? It means a lot to me that all of you…kind of accept him, you know? He's just really worried about you all thinking that he's trying to replace Edward. He knows that Edward can never be replaced. And so do I." I was speaking quickly, and Esme patted my hand.
She smiled sweetly, her green eyes bright. "We like him, honey. He's helped you and Charlotte a lot, and we love you girls. I know that you love him, and I know that you'll always love my son, too. He was lucky to have you while he could."
I nodded wordlessly, my tears filling up my eyes. "God, Esme, you always make me cry." I joked lightly, dabbing at my eyes with a napkin. Esme laughed ruefully and pulled me into a hug, kissing my cheek.
"I know, honey. I'm sorry." Esme said. "But I'm so happy for you and Jacob and Charlotte. You took Edward's death so hard and you raised that little girl all on your own…you deserve to have all the happiness in the world."
On our two year anniversary, Jacob took me out to a nice dinner. And during that dinner, he gave me a little velvet box.
The ring was beautiful- an extremely light blue diamond adorned with tiny little diamond butterflies, all set on a plain silver band. I said yes immediately, kissing him firmly on the lips.
When we got home from the restaurant Charlotte was already in bed, and we made love well into the early morning. By the time I woke up, it was nearly eleven in the morning and the house was all quiet. Jacob had gone to work and Charlotte had gone to school. I sat up in bed, pulling the sheets around my naked body to shield myself from the cold air. Smiling, I looked down at the ring on my finger. Although I was happy beyond belief to be engaged to Jacob, there was also a cold tug in my heart. Standing up, I pulled the sheets from the bed with me and walked over to my jewelry box. I sifted through it, quickly locating the two rings I was looking for. Tears stung my eyes as I sat back down on the bed, opening my palm and looking at the rings Edward had given me. The engagement ring- a silver band and a large princess cut diamond. And then the wedding band- plain silver on the outside but engraved on the inside, 'Toujours'. French for 'Always'.
Tears stung my eyes and I quickly wiped them away, clutching the two rings tightly in my hand. These rings would always mean so much for me. But now, it was time for me to let go and let myself belong to another man. A part of my heart is always going to belong to Edward, and nothing will ever be able to change that. But now, my life with Jacob as husband and wife was going to begin.
Blinking away the last of my tears, I got up and walked into Charlotte's room, still wrapped in the sheet. I opened her jewelry box and kissed my engagement ring from Edward, closing my eyes as I did so. Then I carefully placed it in Charlotte's jewelry box, making a note to have a talk with her about keeping it safe forever. After doing that, I went back into my bedroom and put my wedding band away in my own jewelry box. The engagement ring would belong to Charlotte, but I would never be able to let go of the wedding band.
I felt…refreshed. So I took a shower and got dressed, pulling my long hair up into a ponytail. I grabbed my cell phone and purse on my way out to the car and left Jacob a quick voicemail telling him that I loved him and that we needed to tell Charlotte our good news when he got home from work. Then I drove straight to the cemetery, my hands clutched tightly around the steering wheel. I slowly made my way to Edward's grave, but quickly sank down to my knees when I did.
"Hi." I whispered, touching my fingers to the engraving of Edward's name on the tombstone. "I miss you so much." I begin, and I felt oddly comfortable. It was like Edward was sitting right next to me; I could feel his presence. "He's a really great guy, Edward. He's…different from you, but he's still wonderful. He adores Charlotte and they're practically best friends. And oh my, Charlotte is so beautiful. She's got your big green eyes and her hair is light brown with just a little bit of red…kind of like yours. She's smart, too. And creative and funny and just…perfect in every sense of the word. I tell her about you…I don't think a day hasn't gone by that she doesn't miss you too. It took a long time for me to be able to move on from you, but when I finally did, I fell hard. He's wonderful, like I said. He's really supportive of me, and pushes me to be and do whatever I want. Jacob understands how I will always love you, and he's not trying to take your place in my heart. Because a piece of me if always going to belong to you, baby." I paused my rambling for a moment, blinking through all the tears in my eyes. "I love you." I cried, giving up and letting myself cry. "I'm getting married to Jacob…but please don't think for one moment that I'll ever forget you or stop loving you."
Edward and I's wedding had been in a courthouse, with no elaborate decorations or a wedding party or anything remotely fancy. My wedding to Jacob was going to be a lot different, I could tell that much already.
I had met his mother and sisters several times before, but now they were visiting us in Chicago and were practically going crazy over wedding planes. His mother, Sarah, was very nice and already treated Charlotte like her own granddaughter. His older sister's, Rebecca and Rachel, were welcoming as well, and they loved dressing Charlotte up and playing with her.
"You've been married before, right?" Rachel asked, flipping through a bridal magazine. "What did you do for that wedding?"
"Edward and I got married in a courthouse in front of a witness and a JOP." I said absentmindedly, not looking up from a different bridal magazine. "We didn't have a ceremony or anything…so none of this wedding planning stuff was necessary. Rachel pursed her lips and just nodded, and I thought she was offended about something until she spoke again. "What does Charlotte think of you and Jake getting married?"
I smiled, brushing a piece of my hair back behind my ear. "She was actually really excited. She loves Jacob, but I was still a little worried about how she would react. But Charlotte is really excited." I said honestly. Rebecca smiled at me from the other side of the table, her expression happy. Out of Jacob's sister, Rebecca and I were closer. She lived in St. Louis while Rachel and Sarah both lived in California, so Rebecca had visited us on more occasions and she and I had developed a friendship.
The four of us continued to look through catalogs and magazines for a little while, until Rachel suddenly gasped and her face lit up. "Oh, Bella, that's the dress!" She said excitedly, thrusting her magazine out towards me. I laughed at her antics and picked up the magazine. My eyes were immediately drawn to the dress- it was simple white and strapless with a slightly full skirt. It was completely plain with the exception dark red rosettes in the top right corner of the top, and the same rosettes snaked around from the side of the waist to the middle of the skirt. It was beautiful (And the visual is available on my profile under 'TOUJOURS Extra's') and exactly what I wanted.
Our wedding was everything that I wanted it to be. It was sweet and romantic and full of love. Carlisle and Esme came, along with Rosalie, Emmet, Alice, and Jasper. They had been so supportive of me through this entire ordeal, and now it was coming to a close. Somehow, I had managed to find happiness again after Edward was torn out of my life. Jacob was filling that hole in my life; making me feel loved and happy again.
Charlotte was our flower girl, and Rachel and Rebecca were the bridesmaids. The guests were limited to family and close friends, and it was intimate and beautiful. When Jacob slid the ring on my finger, my heart nearly burst with love and adoration.
The reception was as much of a blur as the ceremony; we danced and ate and laughed and loved. Charlotte stayed close to Jacob and I the entire evening, her cheeks flushed pink with excitement.
It was perfect.
"Thank you." I murmured the words softly as Jacob helped me out of the car, holding my hand as we walked slowly through the grass. "Are you sure you're okay with this?" I asked worriedly, and Jacob nodded wordlessly. "Okay." I breathed out, and then stepped right up to Edward's grave, setting the arrangement of flowers down carefully.
Jacob spread out the small blanket for me and I sat down, crossing my legs. Jacob sat down next to me, clearing his throat and resting his hand on my stomach, swollen and large with his child. Our first child together.
"Hi, love." I whispered softly, and Jacob tensed slightly next to me when I spoke. "I still miss you. I've moved on…Jacob and I got married two years ago, but even though I love Jacob so much, that little piece of me that will always belong to you aches every single day. Charlotte is doing great. She loves school and she loves her friends…and she asks about you a lot. She's so curious, and I tell her everything I can about you." I paused, glancing over at Jacob to make sure he was still okay. He looked fine; calm and thoughtful. "Sometimes I'll be at the store or at work or something and I'll hear your voice. It's ridiculous…I always whip around in desperate search of you, and I'm always just reminded that you'll never be able to speak another word to me." My voice cracked slightly, and I took a deep breath. "Jacob and I are having a baby. We bought a new house. Things are changing." I stopped then, overcome with tears.
Jacob held me close, rubbing my stomach gently. "Edward, I've never even met you but I know that you're a good person." Jacob spoke up, surprising me. "You had Bella first…and I'm sure you shaped a part of the amazingly sweet and wonderful person that she is today. So thank you for that."
I hugged Jacob tightly and wiped at my eyes. We both stood up, but before we walked away I kissed my finger tips and touched the cool marble of Edward's tombstone. "I love you, baby. Always."
Aww…the end. Thank you so much for reading, and please make sure to review.
Xoxo- Melodyella aka Mellie