Summary: Raised together after her parents died in a car accident, Bella and Edward grow up with an unbreakable bond between them. In high school, however, Bella begins to see Edward as more than just her best friend. In fear of destroying everything they have together, Bella is terrified to tell him the truth, and instead stuffs everything down while she watches him fall in love with the epitome of perfection, Rosalie. As Bella learns the truth behind her parents lives and their deaths, her life spirals out of control. Will Edward be there for her when she needs him the most? What will happen if he finds out about Bella's true feelings? Will there be a happy ending?
I sat in the middle of my empty, run down motel room, staring at the dirty, waterlogged walls. How had I gotten myself here? Where did everything go wrong? It was my fault. Everything changed because I couldn't keep my stupid mouth shut, because I was too selfish to give him up. It felt like I'd lost my only reason for living. Now all I was left with were my memories. I thought about the last time I'd even spoken to Edward, how horribly I'd treated him. What I wouldn't give to take everything back.
"Bella..." he trailed off, his eyes pleading. "Please, don't do this."
"I've given you everything I possibly can, and it's still not enough for you. I'll never be enough for you, or anyone. This is all I have left." I crossed my arms over my chest, feeling my protective walls collapsing.
"How can you say that? I can't do this without you. I can't do anything. This isn't right, I don't know what to do," he whispered, bearing that frantic look that made me want to hold him until the pieces of his soul fit back together.
"But you don't want me, and I can't do this anymore. Just leave, Edward, go away," I spat, channeling my anger from him to keep from crying.
"Can we please just talk? I don't want to lose you, Bella," he begged.
"I said go! Just leave me alone! GO!" My screams echoed off the walls. His shoulders slumped and his face suddenly looked so hopeless.
"Bella, please, I'm sorry. If we just talked about things. Maybe if I had some time, maybe you're just confused-"
I cut him off, knowing I would break down at any given moment now. "Just. Go." The last thing I saw was Edward's back as he walked away. I slammed my door shut and sank to the floor, feeling my entire life slowly slip away from me. And suddenly, nothing mattered anymore.
From the beginning, it always felt like we were destined to be together, like he was my other half, just waiting until we were ready for each other. At least, that was how I felt when I realized that Edward was always going to feel like more than my best friend to me. We'd been raised together. We knew each other inside and out, like a favorite sweater, or a book that's been read until the cover is so warn that it's dangerously close to falling off. I don't think we could have ever gotten closer; he became my life and I became his. Our thoughts were always on the same wavelength. We always got into mischief together as kids. He jumped, and I would follow. As we grew older, we simply got closer, sharing more secrets with each other and learning who the other was like the backs of our hands.
When I was four years-old, my parents passed away. I hardly remember them at all; any memory I have is vague and blurry. They were hit by a drunk driver while coming home from a late dinner party. From what I'd been told, they had just picked me up from the sitter's and weren't very far from home. I was the only one who survived, making it out with a mild concussion and a broken shoulder. I was lucky. They died on impact.
I didn't feel their true absence until I got older, until the battered pieces of my past began to fit together. Carlisle and Esme had already been a part of my life, as my godparents, before they died – when they took me in, I guess I was just too young to really understand. No matter how many times I'd tried to remember things about my mother, Renee, I'd only come up with scraps. The sound of her voice, the way her hands felt, the way she baked me cookies. My father, Charlie, was more of a blur to me. I could remember his laugh and his curly hair. I remembered people telling me I had his eyes and his smile.
All through elementary and middle school, our effortless relationship grew. There was never an Edward without a Bella. He truly was my best friend in the entire world, the one person I could turn to for anything. The one person who knew me better than I did myself.
We all lived as a makeshift family in Seattle, Washington. We were always introduced as the Cullens, even though I kept my last name, Swan. Carlisle and Esme never adopted me. I asked Esme why when I was younger. She told me it was to respect my parents, because adopting me would be like canceling them out. I was still treated like her daughter, and Carlisle was really like a dad to me.
Everything changed when we started high school.
It was no secret that I was incredibly shy. Esme taught me how to assert myself well enough, but I always went to extremes to avoid unnecessary attention. Edward was a natural head turner. He smiled and the entire room was on him like paparazzi with the latest celebrity. With my reserved nature and Edward's social dominance, we balanced each other out together.
I expected high school to be just like middle school – I fit in better as "one of the guys" and left it at that. Apparently, that wasn't the case anymore. Boys were suddenly paying attention to me and trying to get me to notice them. And, apparently, Edward didn't take kindly to it. He noticed my new popularity before I did.
"You should hear what they're saying about you in the locker room," he growled at me one day. I blushed furiously, and tried to shrug him off. It was just Edward being protective, as usual.
On top of that, no one quite understood our living situation. People automatically assumed we were brother and sister. When we explained what we really were, all we got in return were confused looks. The only people who understood were our closest friends, Alice and Emmett. With Carlisle being a well respected and highly demanded doctor and Esme a well established interior designer, we never had any financial problems. It took a year for people to stop tagging us as "rich bitches". I never saw us as rich, just fortunate.
Edward easily fell into several different cliques. He identified with the jocks, the "musically talented", the math geeks; he pretty much got along the majority of the people in the school. He was the hot, nice guy that every girl on campus wanted. I, on the other hand, was limited in where I fit in. The only reason people really knew me was because of who my friends were. Between Edward, Alice and Emmett, I'd been introduced to the majority of the students. I didn't really know very many of them, though.
Things got harder half-way through our sophomore year. I suddenly found myself overbearingly protective of Edward…on the inside, at least. It bothered me tremendously when people assumed we were brother and sister. Suddenly, every decision I made somehow revolved around him, every thought I made included Edward and I didn't know how to make it stop. Growing up together, the bond we had was stronger than the average best friends', but I sometimes felt like it wasn't enough. Then I struggled with guilty feelings about even thinking that the relationship I had with him wasn't the best thing that had ever happened to me.
For the first time, I found myself keeping a secret from Edward. Probably the biggest secret I'd ever had in my entire life. The only reason I was terrified to tell him was because I knew it would destroy everything. I'd seen him with other girls. It was different than the way he was with me. I was only his Bella, not anything else. Telling him about the way I felt would only turn a valuable friendship and deep connection into a thing of the past. We would become the tattered remains of a once beautiful memory, and that terrified me.
Instead, I settled for stuffing it down, forcing myself to watch and be there for him while he fell in love with the exact mirror of what I couldn't ever be. The only thing that kept me going was hope. I hoped that one day, he'd wake up and see me as more than just his Bella. I'd hoped that he would see me as his everything, the exact same way that I saw him.
I know, there are plenty of these stories out there. It's the clichéd "girl in love with best friend" story, but as every other author with a story like this will tell you, this one is different than all the others. Well, if you're willing to put up with me, read it and find out if it really is different from all the others. Depending on the response I get from it, I may write more, I may not. I've developed a bit of an obsession for this story topic, so I figured I'd write my own. You never know, you may like it. Anyway…please let me know what you think. I would really appreciate it.
P.S. This is shorter than the majority of the chapters will be – this is more of an intro.