4 years on this crazy site have taught me so many things. I've been able to grow as a person, in ways in which are indescribable. I won't talk about what I've been through while writing this story, I'll simply state that writing this story was truly a blessing for me. Hearing your love, feedback, and support along the way was one of the most amazing things I've gotten to experience, and sharing my words with you made me happier than you could ever know.
This is the last time you guys have to hear me apologize for how long this update took, but I promised from the beginning, I'd never quit. From start to finish this has been my plan with MaB all along, and I can only hope my Edward and Bella were able to touch your hearts and entertain you along the way.
I reread the reviews for this story frequently, because they seriously are so touching. Words can't express my thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my chaotic words. To those of you who've been with me for the past four years and to those of you who just read the story today, thank you with everything I have in me.
I loved writing this. I love all of you.
And without further ado, the final chapter of Miserable At Best.
It started and it ended with a crash.
This last year had taught me all about miracles; they were rare, fleeting. Some were fortunate enough to experience them, while others only wished an entire lifetime for one.
I was one of the lucky ones.
The amount of miracles in my life since I had moved to Forks had been truly remarkable. First, there was Edward.
A miracle that was at first, very unrecognizable. Not only had I been his miracle, but the love he was able to give me, after such a dark hole in his life, was breathtaking. The most miraculous thing, however, was the fact that Edward was still here, living.
And that wasn't because he had survived not one, but two car accidents that should have killed him. It was because in some incredible way, he had been able to overcome those accidents mentally.
The second miracle was Seth. Seth's ability to reach out and steal the hearts of everyone he met was proof that when you looked hard enough, there really was good in the world. He would make a good angel.
It had been nearly a year since the accident. The second one. The weeks following it were devastating and unpredictable. No one knew what to expect and after Edward had heard the news in his hospital bed, bloody and broken, I had such little faith he would be able to mentally survive this second round of healing from losing yet another part of his family.
I remember that night; in clarity I wish I couldn't see.
The news of Seth's death sent me into hysterics, bringing on a whole new wave of loss and pain I had never experienced. As I tried to register his sudden absence in the world, I began shaking violently at the realization that Edward could also face that fate.
Not another chance a death. I couldn't keep myself together to play the waiting game for a second time now. He had been lucky last time with the overdose, and the time before when he was able to wake up after a weeklong coma.
Was it possible for lightning to strike three times? Wasn't three miracles asking too much?
I couldn't see straight, blinded by the tears in my eyes. I couldn't tell if Billy was still standing there next to me. I couldn't tell anything other than Seth was gone.
And Edward could soon be too.
I don't know how long I sat there. It could have been minutes; it could have been days. No one continued to update me on Edward. Was that good? Bad?
Life seemed so far away at the moment.
At some point Billy's voice brought me back to reality, as I wiped viciously at the tears on my face. His voice sounded so far away.
"We were able to save him, Bella." I blinked. "Edward is going to be okay."
And then with a strength I managed to find somewhere in me, in rapid speed I was able to pull myself off the floor and run into the room now empty of all medical personal. If I wasn't supposed to be in there, Billy wasn't about to stop me.
Edward's mangled tux had been removed, and he laid on the med dressed in a hospital gown and an unthinkable amount of wires. He was asleep.
They had sewed up the cuts on his face, and with the gown and blanket, it was impossible to tell the condition of the rest of his body. I watched his chest move up and down, listening to the steady sound of his heart beat sounding loudly from the nearby monitor.
A nurse came in, informing me they were going to move him to a different room for him to stay. Like a robot, I followed wordlessly behind them until he was secured in his new room.
"It's amazing," the nurse had said, "that this boy is still alive. How the impact didn't kill him, I'll never know. His body fought so hard during the operations. He never quit"
Through my wet eyes, I slowly looked up to her.
"I remember him, you know. From that time months and months ago," she paused. "There's something damn special about this boy."
With that she left me, and when she did, I crawled into bed next to Edward, carefully avoiding all the IVs and any harm I could cause him.
The others came in, each one their own mess of sadness at the news of Seth. Relief filled everyone's eyes upon the sight of Edward's well being. No one really said anything because there was nothing to say in a situation like this. There was no right way to mourn.
I wasn't sure how long I laid there with him before I heard his soft voice. "Bella?"
"I love you," was all I could choke out.
"Where's Seth? Is he okay?" Though his voice was quiet and faint, there was great deal of panic behind it.
Tears formed in my eyes at his questions. The sadness had come on so suddenly once again that my body shook with a heavy sob.
He didn't respond. He knew.
Neither of us spoke as I felt his hot tears roll onto my hair. I shut my eyes and prayed like I had never prayed before.
Hearing the change in his heart rate, a nurse came in, realized Edward had just received the news, and pumped more medicine into his IV. It was to knock him out and stabilize him. Physically and mentally.
For the first time, I was happy there was a drug strong enough to allow Edward to escape the pain, even just for a short time.
Yet here Edward was.
Something had changed after Edward had spoken at Seth's funeral. Something in him had snapped, and miraculously, it wasn't in a negative way.
Everyone, especially myself, had put Edward on a suicide watch the moment he stepped out of that hospital. He said little to anyone, even me. While I urged him to talk about what happened, and let him know it was okay to be sad, he insisted on avoiding the subject.
He played the piano a lot.
He spent a lot of time shooting hoops out in his driveway.
Him and Emmett started talking more. All the time. In fact, Emmett was out there shooting hoops with him a majority of the time.
He was sad, that was obvious, but in a different kind of way. He continued taking his medication, and I was given this strange sense of relief by him that I no longer needed to worry about his smoking habits. When in one conversation, he had told me it was in the past, it was so sincere I had no choice but to not question it.
In fact, after the funeral, his behavior felt so surreal that my head had been practically spinning. How could this have happened? How could any of this be possible?
But then I would remember the words he spoke at Seth's funeral.
Maybe, in the most impossible of ways, it really had started and ended with a crash.
I was nowhere near the only person who noticed the change, and Carlisle soon began pondering the possibilities. He came to no conclusion as the months passed other than a miracle.
The frequency and severity of Edward's mood swings went down. They were still there, and they still happened, but not as much. So much progress was being made and it was like Edward wasn't even trying to make it happen at all.
It just happened.
And not one person could find a complaint. Edward's mood was actually helping everyone cope with the current tragedy.
For once, he wasn't the one bringing the darkness. He was the light. And he didn't even realize.
One day, I finally found the courage to bring it up to him.
I snuggled into his chest as he lightly stroked his fingers up and down my bare back. My sleepovers with Edward were what I craved most, and the fact that I would be going off to college in a few weeks made Charlie less concerned with where I spent some of my nights.
"You're amazing, you know that?" I asked softly.
"Come on, Bells," he responded jokingly, planting a light kiss on the top of my head.
"Can we talk about something? Only if it's okay with you?"
"Okay," he responded cautiously.
"What happened? What changed?" I didn't have to clarify; he knew what I was referring to. There was a long pause, and I opened my mouth to let him know he didn't have to say anything before he spoke.
"I can't really explain it," he began. "I'm not happy, but I feel better. I'm not better, but I feel happy. I can't tell which one it is." Though my eyes were closed, listening to his musical voice, I felt him bring his hand to run through his hair. "Somehow, someway, I finally grasped what I had been doing all along. I can't let anyone down anymore. Not you, not Em, and mostly, not Seth. I spent so much time letting him down that I'm not going to make the same mistake I did with my parents."
I wasn't expecting this kind of explanation from him. He never stopped the movements of his fingers up and down my back.
"I wasted so much time being angry that I couldn't go back and change things that I'm not going to put myself through that twice. You helped me see that," he added with an audible soft smile. "I spent too much fucking time letting him down that now, even though he's gone, I need to make up for that."
I felt a smile tug at my lips but I didn't speak. I wanted him to keep going.
"I have a long ways to go and I know I'll never be completely better, but I want to be better, so fucking bad. I know there are going to be days were I'm sad, days where I'm furious. It's going to happen. But I want to be done living with regrets about the past, and worry for the future, but just live my life now. After three near death experiences, I'm obviously alive for a reason and I'm done trying to throw that all away."
How was it possible to feel like everything was finally coming together? How could it be that Edward was actually realizing all of these things? I couldn't stop the smile. I also couldn't stop the happy tears.
"You don't even know how fucking proud I am of you," I told him fiercely.
He laughed at my profanity I stole from him and hugged me closer.
"I miss the shit out of that kid," he sighed sadly before his voice changed to hopeful. "But do you want to know something? The last thing I said to him before the crash?"
I felt a pang of uneasiness in my stomach at his words, bringing up the memories of the last time he had said those words to me.
"I told him he was my best friend."
The moisture rolled down my cheeks as the room grew silent. Moments of silence passed by before he finally spoke again.
"And this time, it wasn't my fault."
To say Edward was always happy was a lie. He struggled countless times to keep himself in check, and when he would lose it, we would always make it out okay because there was nothing that could be done to change it.
Edward would always be bipolar; there was nothing that could change that. But by yet another miracle, he had been able to accept that fact and began understanding the importance of making the best of things.
He had even agreed to weekly sessions of therapy. He grumbled and moaned about them, but he went. Mostly. And that was more than anyone could ask.
It was just before the end of our first semester at the University of Minnesota. College. Against all odds, Edward had decided to enroll. Even though he missed the deadline, the university found a place for him due to his academic excellence and the consideration of past events. We chose it because Edward's therapist recommended that Forks, rather Washington in general, was not a place he needed to linger.
Minnesota was nice. It had more than one weather forecast, unlike Forks. It didn't always rain; in fact there was summer, fall, winter, and spring. Not to mention that with the variety of seasons came a variety of drastic changes. The weather was bipolar, which was so fitting. It was like a happy middle between Washington and Arizona. It was the perfect place for us.
I could begin my studies as an intended English major while Edward could take his general classes until he figured out just what he wanted to do. He was thinking something along the lines of Medical Engineering.
He had the brain, he just needed the focus too. The immensity of how proud I was of both him and myself created a personal high over the past several months.
We decided to get an on-campus apartment together. Since the campus was so big, finding decent housing wasn't a problem. I knew I was missing out on the college experience of being matched with a random roommate, but living with Edward only made me get out and explore college more. There were a lot of friendly people on our floor, and I had made some good friendships with some of the girls in my classes.
Though none of them were Alice Cullen, they were still good for me. Besides, Alice was always only a phone call away. Even though she was going to school out in Boston, evidently being rich had its perks. She flew here to visit quite frequently, and we even visited her a couple of times.
Alice wasn't the only one kept in constant contact. Emmett and Edward were closer than they ever had been. It really was amazing to finally see. They became each other's best friend. They became so close even I got jealous at times. They were all each other had left.
He signed to play baseball for Indiana, and like Alice, he too visited frequently.
Having our own place was nice, but I didn't want to be that girl, the one who lived with her boyfriend in college. I had expressed multiple times my hate for the cliché term, because not only did it not suffice, it was just too simple. It didn't cover everything we had gone through.
This wasn't just because we wanted to. Even though he had made incredible progress, he was still unstable. Past events made it impossible to justify him living on his own, and a roommate assigned by the university would be ineffective when it came to handling his highs and lows. I was the only person who could really be there for him.
So we lived together now. And because it was Edward's therapist and Carlisle who insisted this be the case, Carlisle insisted on paying the rent each month.
I knew why he was doing this: as an apology, and as a sort of graduation gift.
Because not one person, not even me for a while, had thought Edward's future would be possible.
I was reminded many times the consequences of what happened when I put too much faith into Edward's progress.
Because his mood swings were less often, they were also a lot less predictable. Even though the frequency had gone down, the magnitude of them had not.
I had never quite learned my lesson of not getting my hopes up when it came to his condition, so I finally came to accept the fact that he was going to let me down sometimes. He was going disappoint me. I was going to require a hell of a lot of patience. Things would definitely not be easy.
But I didn't want easy, I wanted Edward.
Because we were a miracle. The fact that we had defied all odds and stayed together, though it seemed at times, everything was trying to pull it apart, was enough reason to make the challenge worth it.
Sad days would be sad days. Angry days would be angry days. Nothing could change that, so Edward and I had to learn each and every day how to embrace that.
From tragedy came light, even in the darkest of times. Something had changed Edward after Seth's death, and even though it was impossible, I truly believed that it had started and ended with a crash.
Edward wasn't fixed but he was better. And better was the best you could ask for in a situation like his. It was a miracle. Like everything else had been.
Who knew what the future held for us?
We were young, naïve, and stupid. What else did you expect two teenagers to be? With the past behind us and the whole world ahead of us, the only way to go was forward, and the only thing to do was to not look back.
In the comfort of Edward's strong arms, I glanced over to our nightstand at the frame holding the scribbled note I had written him what seemed like so long ago. I closed my eyes and smiled at the six words.
Life's too short to be miserable.
Sing me something soft,
sad & delicate
Or loud and out of key
Sing me anything
-Existentialism On Prom Night, Straylight Run
This isn't goodbye, it's see you later. :')