1. Seven

I tried. God knows I tried. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you want something, it just doesn't happen. Whenever my mind wanders off to that horrible night, the night when… he left, I can still feel the physical pain his departure caused me. I remember his last words to me: "it would be as if I'd never existed". Right, as if that were even possible. How can a person erase from their memory the most perfect, infallible, angelic chapter of their life? Easy answer. They can't. It doesn't matter now anyway. It's all in the past. And I have to be okay, or at least pretend to be. For Jake's sake. All those years when I was broken and I couldn't even stand my own self he was there for me, healing me, whispering to me that everything was going to be okay. And it is, now. I can't believe he saw the good in me in my darkest of times and he held on to that as if it was his own life at stake, his own sanity and mental balance. He never let go of me, when the going got tough he just got tougher. He's dependable and safe and he feels like home. That's why I'm marrying him. Though he wouldn't have been my first choice.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and put on a light sleeveless T-shirt. It was such a beautiful day. Charlie had already left for the station, he was starting work unusually early the past few days, he said something was wrong, for some reason the water springs in the woods that surrounded Forks were contaminated. Jacob was picking me up anyway.. We were supposed to go paint our house today. He came by punctually as always, the biggest smile on his lips, lighting up his whole face.

"Hey beautiful, are you ready yet?"

I came out of my house with a very painful enthusiasm on my strained face. Today was seven. Seven years. Seven years since I last saw the face of the only person who ever made me feel whole and secure and alive. I put all thoughts concerning that matter temporarily out of my mind. Surely I would find the time of day to cry my eyes out at some point.

"Hey, 'morning! I'm all set, let's go!" was all I could manage.

As soon as I reached Jacob he planted a kiss right smack on my lips and hugged me ever so tightly. That felt good. It made me feel wanted and loved, and I knew that –by him- I was.

"So I was thinking mostly earthly colours for the living room, you know to make it warm and cosy for us.. our little love nest" he said, a taunting hint in his voice " But you can go ahead and do whatever you want with the master bedroom. I don't care what colour it is, as long as it has you in it." He said and he winked at me. Strangely enough those playful words felt more restraining to me and more suppressing that I thought they could.

"How about purple? I like purple, it soothes me"

"Purple it is babe, whatever makes you happy"

It had been a long day and I was truly exhausted. We managed to paint the better part of the house, which wasn't really that big to begin with but still, it felt gigantic by the end of that day. We were sitting on the floor eating pizza, because Jake said I'd only be allowed to cook in this house after the wedding, and drinking warm beer, when I suddenly noticed a change in his tone, I saw his features fall a little.

"Hey" I said, but he didn't respond "hey, Jake, look at me" I demanded this time. I lifted his chin with my hand and he gazed straight in my soul through the intensity of his stare.

"What's wrong?" I asked, before giving myself time to freak out by his expression.

"Are we making a mistake here?" he blurted, catching me completely off guard.

"A mistake about what?"

"All of this, is this whole thing a big fat mistake that is about to backfire on me?"

"Jake? What are you talking about?"

His voice was very calm and his face composed but I could sense the intensity that came from within him.

"I don't know, I guess I'm just scared.. you'll.. change your mind and I'll be left with nothing, because you already know, you're everything to me" he admitted as if he were fighting back tears.

"Why would I change my mind? I love you. You know that. That's not something you can change. Unless you don't want to go through with the wedding anymore.."

"No! Of course not. I've waited a long time for this. I want you, only you. I just noticed you seemed kinda out of it these past few weeks, with all the preparations and the fuss… you seem to not really be present, mentally at least. I was just scared that may-"

"Stop!" I told him as softly as I could. I got up, went close to himand sat on his lap. "Listen to me; I'm only gonna say this once. I love you, I want to be with you, and when I marry you in ten days time none of that, none of it, will have changed." I kissed him then, on the lips, a soft romantic kiss filled with concern and love and comfort which he continued as possessive and intense while his grip on my waist became stronger. I broke the suddenly too intimate kiss off, trying to catch my breath, rested my forehead on his and continued, "It's you and me now, this is it, just us, forever"

"That's all I ever wanted" we whispered back at me, and then his usual cheerful self reappeared, relieving me.

He dropped me off at my house, kissed me goodnight with a strong, passionate kiss -like he always used too, and I never stopped him- and this long day was finally over.

When I got inside I got through Charlie fairly easily, he adored Jake, so just telling him I'd been with my soon-to-be husband painted a grin on his face and stopped any further interrogation. I showered hastily, I couldn't wait to go to bed. I pushed all the boxes of my packed stuff on the floor and I finally tucked myself in. My window shut. From time to time I felt the need to leave it open, but I had decided –or at least tried to believe- that it was useless to keep feeding a fantasy. I fell asleep so easily it surprised me.