So much has happened in the last two years that I don't even know where my life will lead. If you had asked me that question 2 years ago I would have answered instantly with "A suburban home with three small children and Edward. Edward will be a professor of music and I will be a nurse. We'll even have a dog."
Instead I am sitting, alone, in the family waiting area of the Seattle Children's Hospital where on normal days I work as a nurse. I am waiting for Dr. Cullen, a dear friend of mine, to come and tell me how the surgery on my foster daughter, Charlotte, went.
Edward and I haven't been a couple in nearly as long as I have been living in Seattle. He cheated on me and I ran. I couldn't deal with the pain of seeing him or the woman I considered a friend walking through the neighborhood hand in hand it helped that I had a job waiting for me here.
"Bella," Edward started grasping my hand gently. I smiled at him widely. "We need to talk."
"Ok," I nodded. Today had been a great day I had just learned that I had gotten a job at the Seattle Children's Hospital in the NICU ward, nothing could ruin my mood.
"I'm not coming to Seattle with you." Edward said softly refusing to meet my gaze. "I am staying here in Denver."
"I thought you would stay on for a little while until you could get a transfer," I admitted calmly. We were only 23 but both of us were well on the way to fulfilling our dreams.
"I am not coming period." He said a harsh tone creeping into his voice and I was taken aback.
"What do you mean?" I asked perplexed "We talked about this when I applied for the job a couple of months ago."
"I met someone else," He said squeezing my hand tighter. I must have been staring at him like an idiot because he continued "I've been seeing her for a few months and I fell in love."
"What do you mean you've been seeing her!" I shrieked it all suddenly clicked in my mind. All the nights where he would go out for drinks after work and I wasn't allowed to come, the weekend trips that he needed to take for work purposes, the sudden secrecy over his phone. "Who is she?" I asked furiously trying to pull my hand from his.
He tightened his grip and he whispered a name so quietly I almost didn't hear him "Alice."
Oh hell no, was the first thought through my mind, one of my two best friends. He was cheating on me with one of my best friends.
I finally wrenched my hand from his in a shriek of "Don't touch me!"
"Bella, wait," He said standing and trying to grab my hand again "We need to talk about this."
"No we don't," I cried my vision blurring "You thought it would be ok to cheat on me with someone I thought of as a close friend! You could have broken up with me but of course not. You wouldn't want to dump me only to have it not work out with her right?"
"I wasn't thinking Bells," He said softly watching as I threw some of my most prized possessions into a bag. I wasn't leaving for Seattle for a few weeks still and there is no way I could stay here, stay here with the man who didn't love me enough to stay faithful. "You don't have to leave Bella."
"A) Never call me Bella again you lost that right when you cheated on me with my friend and B) I need to leave." I threw more clothes into a second duffle and he started to reach for the first "Don't touch my things and don't you dare try to justify what you did to me."
I stormed out of what had been our bedroom and dialed a familiar number on my cell phone.
"Hello?" Rosalie's familiar voice said. She was my older brother Emmett's wife and my best friend. We had known each other since she moved to Forks when she was 4 and I was as well. Emmett had been 7 and always watched over us.
"Oh Rosie I don't know what to do," I choked out.
"Bell what's wrong?" She asked worriedly. I could hear Emmett suddenly stop laughing in the background and I assumed she'd held a hand up to silence him.
"He cheated on me," Reality started to slam into me and tears began to slide down my cheeks as I continued to choke on my words "With Alice!"
"That no good," Rose growled out trailing off. She'd always made her dislike of Edward clear but had supported me saying that she only wanted me to be happy.
I heard shuffling and my brother came on the phone "Bella, you remember Rose and I are in New York right?" I hadn't and this made me feel panicky- I really couldn't stay here and I didn't want to stay with anyone else "I want you to call Jasper- he'll help you sweets."
Jasper was a friend of Emmett's that I had slowly been getting to know over the past little while. We worked at the same sporting goods store while going to school- me for nursing and him for Criminal Justice.
I sniffled slightly and nodded quickly realizing he couldn't see me when he asked "Baby?" He sounded so sad and I felt awful that I had made him feel that way.
"I will Emmett," I said softly brushing tears off my face. It was the first time I noticed that Edward was standing against the living room wall staring at me, sadness written on his face.
"Call me when you're safe and sound," Emmett sounded more cheerful "I love you Bella- both of us do."
"Love you guys too," I murmured closing my cell.
"Bella please stay," Edward said and I started to walk away again as I scrolled through my contacts before finding the number I wanted to call.
The phone was ringing when Edward grabbed my arm tightly whipping me around to face him.
"You can't leave!" He shouted.
At the same time that I slammed into a wall grunting in pain Jasper's clear drawl rang through the phone "Bella? Bella answer me."
I fumbled for the phone that I had dropped in the heat of the moment and said shakily "Jasper could I stay with you for a few days- until Emmett and Rose get back from New York?"
"Of course," He said and I could hear that he was worried. "I'll be at your apartment in ten minutes. Will you be ok for that long?"
"Ya, I'll be fine." I said quietly "Thank you Jasper." I added as an afterthought. I hung up the phone and headed to grab my bags again.
"Bella, please." Edward said suddenly distraught. I didn't understand him. He says he's not following me to Seattle and that he's been seeing my friend and yet he's freaking out that I am leaving.
"Don't!" I said firmly shaking my head softly.
"I wouldn't have started seeing her if you hadn't wanted to move," He said sounding exasperated.
"So you were going to see her behind my back, fool around and have fun and if I didn't get the job never told me." I said as if talking to an imbecile. "However now that I am actually leaving you decide you love me. You can't love me if you love her and you just said you love her."
"I was hoping you wouldn't leave." He rubbed his neck in an almost sheepish manner "I do love you. I just, Bella, don't you get it?"
"What's there to get Edward?" I sighed tired of going around in circles. "You were hoping that breaking my heart would make me stay? That threatening and hurting me would make me stay here?"
When he didn't answer I gave a small snort of disgust and with my duffles in hand. With a little bit of difficulty I slammed the door behind me.
When Jasper pulled up in an older Chevy Impala I was sitting with my arms wrapped around my knees on the soft grass in front of my apartment building. I hadn't even had a chance to stand when he practically ran around the car and scooped me into a large hug.
"I'm sorry I didn't get here sooner," He said quietly. He blushed when he pulled away muttering quietly "You looked like you could use a hug."
"Thanks for coming to get me." I said trying to hold back tears that once again threatened to fall. He grabbed both my bags and wrapped an arm around my shoulders making me wince and hiss in pain when he touched where Edward had grabbed me.
A look of anger crossed his features "What happened?"
"We fought," I sighed climbing into his car "He cheated on me and expected me to stay with him. When I was starting to leave he grabbed me. That's why I dropped the phone when I called you."
"God I should go up there and," He trailed off with an almost growl which made me smile.
"It'll be ok." I said "I just need to stay away from him until I get to Seattle."
"No problem- you can stay with me as long as you need to," He smiled brightly as he started the car and we peeled out of the parking lot.
We sat in amicable silence as we drove to his apartment.
"You can stay in my room while you are here," Jasper said opening a door that led to a decent sized room that was definitely inhabited by a guy.
There was a large TV in one corner, with an old Nintendo 64 hooked up, a stereo and a desk against the far wall. There was a closet that was half open to reveal various jeans, hats, and t shirts and a double bed pushed against the other wall.
"I don't want to impose." I murmured my characteristic blush coloring my cheeks.
He chuckled softly moving past me to drop my bags on the bed. "You're not imposing, you aren't going to sleep on the couch while you're here so don't worry about it." He smiled broadly "Sorry it's a little messy I usually don't have guests on short notice."
I returned his smile and said "Well, thanks. I appreciate this a lot."
"Why don't I order pizza and you call your brother? We both know he will want to know you're safe and sound." He said and walked out leaving me alone.
I moved to sit on the edge of the bed and made the call I knew my brother was expecting.
"Bella? Jasper get you yet?" He asked an almost panicked edge in his voice. Having the time to think between calls probably made him worry even more than he normally would.
"Ya, he picked me up," I laughed slightly much more relaxed than I had been only twenty minutes prior "I think he's ordering pizza."
"Well, Rose and I will be back in a couple of days and we'll pick you up. You can stay with us until you find a new apartment." He said playfully "Though you may have to put in for bail once I get my hands on that idiot who hurt you!"
"Well, do you think Rose would take a trip to Seattle with me?" I asked.
"Why would she do that baby?" He asked obviously confused.
"Because I got the job at the hospital there and I'm supposed to start in at the end of the month which kinda means I need a home!" I teased. This playful banter was seriously helping calm my frayed nerves and feel normal again.
He started whooping and hollering so loudly that I had to pull the phone from my ear until he calmed down "Congratulations Bella from both of us." I knew he was smiling as he continued on "She'll be glad to. I'd come too if I didn't have to work."
"Dad said he'd meet us when I talked to him this afternoon."
We continued talking for a little while until Jasper called from the front room "Pizza!"
"I'll talk to you later brother bear." I said softly "Love you."
"Love you too, sweetie." Emmett said boisterously.
Jasper and I sat on the couch and he listened to me vent for hours before I noticed him starting to look tired and I announced that I was going to go to bed.
"Good night Bella," He said while unfolding a blanket on the couch. "If you need anything don't hesitate to ask."
"Thanks," I said my cheeks flaming yet again.
I took a quick shower in the bathroom and found myself staring at the dark ceiling contemplating the day.
How could he cheat on me? Did I do something to deserve it? Sure I was moving but we'd been discussing that since the beginning of the year- the Seattle job was my dream job and he agreed that he would love a job at UW and that Seattle would be perfect to raise a family.
I thought he understood and supported me; I thought he loved me. Apparently I was wrong.
As all these thoughts coursed through my tired mind I couldn't stop the sobs that escaped me. I curled onto my side and held my arms tightly around my body. It felt as though a huge hole was torn through my heart and it hurt so bad.
I didn't even hear when the bedroom door creaked open so I jumped quite high when a pair of warm strong arms encircled my waist.
"Shh, it's ok Bella," Jasper soothed running his fingers through my tangled hair pulling it out of my face "Just let it all out."
Without even thinking I rolled so that instead of hugging myself I was hugging him and burying my face into his bare chest.
"I don't know what to do." I sobbed "He's supposed to love me and he slept with her!"
"I don't know why he would do that," Jasper said his voice low and calming "But he obviously doesn't deserve you. You deserve a real man- one who knows what he wants and will fight for it. You are beautiful, smart, funny, and persistent. You'll find that perfect guy and a hundred bucks says Edward ends up alone and bitter."
He continued murmuring softly to me until I cried myself to sleep.
The next morning when I woke up he wasn't beside me and we never brought that night up again but that's the night that he started to fix my broken heart and I started to fall in love with him.
As I thought back on the night that changed the course of my life I realized that I hadn't seen Jasper in almost 4 months although we talked quite frequently and he had moved to Seattle.
That was why I was shocked when a familiar pair of warm arms wrapped around my waist shocking me out of my reverie.
I looked up at his bright blue eyes and he gave me a shy smile.
"Jasper what are you doing here?" I asked practically leaping into his arms.