Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or the characters... they all belong to Ms. Meyers..the plot of the story is mine and mine alone. If you are found copying or claiming ownership trust me you will be found out :)

A/N: Welcome to my first FF story. Please be gentle since I am as far away from a author as you can get. I need to thank the NJNYTwigals especially Pauline for forcing me to do this. Let's see if it turns out as she has expected it to... I would also like to thank my prereaders TG10781, NJNYTwigals - Holly & Basketgirl for letting me know where I have fallen short. Finally, this story would never be out here without my beta Momakal she has had to deal with me butchering the english language. Many hugs and kisses to all of them. I'm posting today in honor of the Eclipse release which I am happy to say I've seen twice including in IMAX!

Have you ever been in one of those states where you're looking out a window wondering?

Where you are?

How you got there?

That's where I am today…

Wondering about the why's,

the where's,

the how's.

Will the feelings ever change?

Will I ever be whole again?

Is this a dream or is it really happening to me?

Chapter 1-The Beginning

There I was again, squinting as the bright sunrise snaked through the tall buildings of the city. I tended to do this while daydreaming when looking out the window when there were lulls in the mornings at work. I heard a voice in the distance.

"Hello? Is anyone in there?"

Rose had just arrived at Uncommon Ground wanting her morning latte. I shook my head to try to snap out of the daze I was in. "Yeah, I'm here. Just thinking…."

"What about?" She asked inquisitively.

I paused before answering, as I wasn't really sure if I wanted to tell her.

"Is it him again?" she whispered, not wanting him to hear.

"No" I almost shouted and rolled my eyes. Rose knew how to get me rattled.

Rose and I met and became friends seven years ago when we were assigned as roommates for our freshman year in college. We were quite the odd pair; she came from a well to do family from the North Shore of Chicago, and I was a farm girl from central Illinois. I was the first one in my family to go to college, and just being there made my dad proud. When we first met I was anxious that she wouldn't like me and that I wouldn't fit in with her world. Rose was great though, from the first second we just clicked…almost like we were sisters. Without her, I would have never been able to survive the last seven years. Being that I was raised on a farm, I was naive and not really prepared for the real world out there. We've remained roommates and best friends since that first day.

She provides me more than friendship, but also financial support. Her family is well-to-do and doesn't mind helping me out with general living expenses. We have a great condo in Lakeview, which looks out over Lake Michigan and Montrose Harbor. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be able to afford to live here on what I make, working at Uncommon Ground as a waitress/barista and at the Art Institute of Chicago as a tour guide. She was, and will forever be, a great friend. Why then would it be so hard for me to talk to her about what was on my mind? What was I afraid of? She had always been supportive of me in anything I wanted to try to accomplish. Rose was beautiful with her long flowing blonde hair, her expressive blue eyes and that outgoing personality. She knew everyone and people were just drawn to her.

"Sorry," I finally said after I saw the look of sadness on Rose's face, "Let's just talk about it later. I don't want you to be late for work."

"Great! Don't forget you're booked this weekend. It's your birthday and we're celebrating!" I saw her grin widen.

I felt my face get hot as I assumed a huge blush had just come across my face. I then noticed that one of our regular customers sitting along the window had smiled at what she said.

He was the guy she was referring to when she asked me her initial question. He had started stopping in the shop a few weeks ago. I noticed him immediately the first day, as he was the most strikingly handsome man I had ever seen. His hair was nicely cut, but somewhat in disarray; not short but not long either. It was a beautiful color of brown, like a chestnut, and you could see hues of red and blonde when the sun was shining through the window from behind him. He was always dressed perfectly no matter what he wore, whether it was a suit or he was just in something casual. You could just tell he took a lot of pride in how he looked. I assumed he probably worked out to make sure his body looked great in everything he wore, because he sure did. His eyes were dark green, like emeralds with flecks of gold around the edges. Every time I saw them they captivated me, and I felt an uncontrollable pull for me to find some meaning in them. The features on his face were well defined, but not in a harsh way… in fact, they looked very soft and inviting. Oh, and when he smiled the room would light up from it. Yeah, I guess you could say I was infatuated with him and who he was, but I also knew he wouldn't be interested in someone like me. I was rather plain, having grown up on a farm with no real sense of style. I really didn't know much about fashion, at least that is what my friend Alice would say. My idea of dressing up was to put on a newer pair of jeans, a simple shirt or sweater, and not wear gym shoes. Actually I was lucky that the Art Institute provided me a uniform to wear while at work.

After my morning shift was over at Uncommon Ground, I headed back to my condo to change. Today was one of those days where I had to work both of my part-time jobs. Yes, I had been out of college for over three years and still didn't know what I wanted to do. Sure I had a degree in business, accounting to be specific, but that really didn't interest me much. I went down that path to please my dad, Charlie. He wanted to make sure that if I was investing my time in school that I would come out with a degree that could keep me comfortable until I got married. The problem was I had always been a dreamer while I was growing up, and my love life was non-existent. I loved the farm but not in the traditional sense. I loved to discover the beauty in things in the country with my camera. Taking pictures was my outlet. That's why I decided to get a minor in art appreciation, and chose to take a part-time job at the Art Institute when I graduated. The time I spent there was only surpassed by the time I spent exploring the city and taking photographs of everything that I found beautiful and exciting. I hoped to one day be able to have a show of some of my photographs.

When I was done working and arrived home from a rather hectic day, all I wanted to do was take a nice long bath while enjoying a glass of wine, and then spend the rest of the night relaxing while listening to my iPod so that I did not have to think about tomorrow. Just as I was about to pour a glass, I heard the front door open.

"Hey girlfriend, it's me. Is Rose home yet?" I heard Alice say…

Alice was number three in "Charlie's Angels", as we liked to call ourselves. Of course that was in honor of my father whom Alice and Rose just adored. Alice and I were about the same height, five-foot two, but other than that we were different in every way imaginable. She had spiky black hair, while mine was long with waves and a mousy brown color. I had the palest skin, while Alice's was of a light tone of ivory, and flawless. When it came to style and grace, the only one I knew who could rival Alice was Rose. I was sorely lacking in both of those areas.

"Hey Alice, she isn't here and I'm not sure when she'll be home. It's Friday night, so she probably headed out to Casey Moran's or some other bar in the neighborhood to grab a drink with one of her many admirers. Why are you here?"

"You know it's a special weekend and Rose and I wanted to make sure that you were all ready for the adventure we're taking you on."

Oh, no… what does she mean by adventure? Are we going somewhere? I know it's my birthday, but I just wanted it to be low key. I really don't like to be the center of attention and they both know that, or at least I thought they did.

"Bella, why do you have that scared look on your face?" concern evident in her eyes.

"It's your birthday weekend and you only turn twenty five once you know!"

"I know you guys want to make the day special, but you know how I don't like the attention and that I really don't like to celebrate my birthday."

"It's your birthday Bella; everyone likes to celebrate their birthday."

All I can think about is how I can get Alice out of here so that I can enjoy my bath and wine, before curling up with a good book before all hell breaks loose tomorrow with the plans that they have in store for me.

"Hey Al, I know you and Rose have something great planned for tomorrow and I'm more than willing to let you guys go all out, but if you don't mind I would just like to have tonight to myself. Please…" I begged.

In typical Alice style, she gave me little puppy dog eyes to show her disappointment.

"Ok Bella, I guess since Rose isn't home everything can wait until tomorrow. I was just hoping that we could have started tonight, but since your birthday isn't until tomorrow I guess I'll just have to wait."

"Thanks Al, you're a great friend and I appreciate all the hard work you're putting in to trying to make tomorrow special. I promise that I'll keep an open mind and enjoy myself." I was really trying to convince myself that tomorrow couldn't be that bad.

After some chit-chat, Alice finally left. I went to the kitchen to top off my wine and then went into the bathroom to fill the tub. About five minutes later the tub was full and loaded with bubbles that smelled like lavender from my favorite bubble bath. I had my book, my wine and I was so ready to enjoy some peace and quiet before tomorrow, which I knew was going to be one roller coaster of a day.

The problem was the more I tried to relax, the more I started thinking about my life. What had I really accomplished in the years since college? What did I really want to do with my life? Where would I be in five years? Most importantly, would I ever find love?


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