Wow, you have no idea how excited and overwhelmed I am to be posting a new story! Thank you to all of you reading this, i appreciate you lots.
To Secretobsession7 and btrflyongreyst41 (I will hold your hand I promise:)) for reading, re-reading and editing this for me, I love you both lots!
Chapter 1-How can good news hurt so badly?
I was in a dead run for the front door of Edward's house. My nerves were like an out of control firecracker, so much so that I wasn't even sure that I had put the truck in park. I hoped so, because I think Charlie would have freaked if my old truck ran into the side of Carlisle and Esme's house.
But this news just couldn't wait. It wasn't every day that you got a letter of acceptance to the only college that you have wanted to attend since you were like three years old. And I now held it in my hands; I was really and truly going to Dartmouth.
And to top it off, I was being offered a full scholarship! Who knew my love of literature would pay off so big? I couldn't wait to tell Edward; he was going to be even more excited than I was. Of course that meant we would not be as close as we wanted, with him at Harvard for his pre-medical in Boston, and me at Dartmouth in New Hampshire. But we could commute on the weekends. It was only a little over one hundred miles and there were plenty of holidays that we could meet in Forks.
All in all we're both getting what we wanted.
I stopped short of the front door; my excitement almost caused me to run right through without knocking. I think I only got out a half a knock when the door was pulled open by Emmett.
"Hey Bella. What's up that you're pounding the door down like that? Is there a fire somewhere?" I wasn't sure why he of all people had the nerve to talk about what a little adrenaline could cause a person to do. But that was Emmett; he was always saying or doing whatever came to mind.
"Hey Emmett, where is Edward? He's not going to believe what I need to tell him. He's going to freak out! Is he here?" I shouted at him.
"Whoa, Bella slow down and breathe! You've spent way too much time with Alice, she's rubbing off on you. Edward went into Port Angeles with Alice; they're shopping for dorm stuff. They'll be back about four. You wanna stay and wait? We could play some video games." Emmett was leading me to a chair to sit, when his words registered with me, and I stood right back up.
Apparently the disappointment that I wasn't able to share my news with Edward was showing on my face, because Emmett immediately offered to drive me into Port Angeles to meet up with them. Fortunately, I had the good sense to turn him down. I knew there was no way in the world that Emmett really wanted to be anywhere near shopping. To him, that would be a waste of his weekend home from school.
"What about Esme? Is she here?" I figured that I could settle with sharing my news with her until Edward came back.
"Yeah she's up in Carlisle's study. She was reading in there when I came down to play the game." The relief on his face was priceless, and it touched my heart that he really would have driven me into Port Angeles. That meant he would have been close enough for Alice to snag him into her shopping web. Alice had a way of convincing Emmett that there was something that he just had to pick up for his dorm room, even though he had already been there a year, and he was already set up.
I ran up the stairs. My excitement was only slightly calmed by sharing this with someone other than Edward, and I was hoping that I didn't trip and break my neck in my anticipation of telling Esme my news. That was my kind of luck. As I bounded off the top step I forced myself to calm down and not run full force into the study. I knew I needed to get myself in check, so I slowed and took a few deep breaths.
I approached the door slowly and quietly. I wanted to also make sure I wasn't interrupting anything Esme was doing. I heard her sweet voice drifting out of the partly open door and waited to see if she was with someone or on the phone. I only heard her after a few seconds of silence and figured that the latter was the case. I decided to wait for her, after all, what else was I going to do? I wanted someone to know that I had reached my ultimate goal and celebrate with me. So I took a seat on the hall bench. I soon realized that this particular seat allowed me to hear Esme's conversation perfectly, and I felt like I was snooping. So, not wanting to intrude, I decided to wait downstairs. As I stood to leave, I heard the words that caused my heart to stop.
"I know. I'm not sure why they're still together. She's only going to hold him back. How is he supposed to concentrate on Medical school with her as a constant distraction? He has so much potential, and I would hate to see it wasted by not applying his full attention."
I was sure that she had more to say, but I was so stunned to hear those words coming from Esme. She was the last person I expected to hear something like this from. Esme was like a mother to me, I had gone to her many times in the past for advice since my own mother lived in Phoenix now. I was crushed to think that she has felt this way all along about me. It did make a small amount of sense to me though. Edward was never in my league, I always knew this. I asked myself everyday why we were still together. I loved him from the bottom of my heart and wanted to be with him enough, that I never really questioned why he stayed, but I did always dread this type of ending for us. Edward, Alice, and I had been best friends since we were small and eventually it turned into more for Edward and me. We had been dating for four years now. I knew I wanted him to be in my life forever, but would I do it at his expense. Would I put my happiness over his? I knew that the girls of Forks would fawn all over themselves to snag Edward before he left for college. Trying to get their crack at him in the small amount of time they had left. At least I wouldn't have to hear the snickers, whispers, and cattiness from them any longer. My relationship with Edward always bothered them.
I stumbled down the stairs and muttered a weak goodbye to Emmett. He was so engrossed in his game that all he was able to offer me was a weak "See you later."
I didn't remember driving the roads that lead me home, but I was in my own driveway; I could only hope that I drove them safely. I was numb all over, especially my brain. I slowly climbed out of the truck, locked the door, and walked up the sidewalk to the house. As I was opening the front door the phone began to ring. I grabbed the kitchen phone so I could sit. I wasn't sure that my legs would hold me up for long.
"Hello?" I mumbled into the phone.
"Hey Bella, Emmett said you came by and were very excited about something. Why didn't you wait for me?" Edward was slightly out of breath, I was sure from carrying in all the stuff Alice bought.
"Oh. Well I know how shopping with Alice can be and figured I would wait it out at home. That way I could make dinner for Charlie. Besides I was getting a headache and wanted to come home to take something for it." I hoped my voice sounded normal, since I couldn't tell for myself. Every sound had an echo in my ears, and I felt like my head was spinning.
I started to speak again before he could offer to come over. I wasn't sure I could see him right now. "Edward, would it be okay if I came over tomorrow and shared my news then? I think I might be coming down with something. I don't feel so well."
"Bella, are you okay? Is Charlie home? Do you need me to come over and help?" He asked in a panic.
"No Edward, I'm sure I will be fine. I just need a few aspirins and some rest. Can I see you tomorrow?" I tried to ease his worry.
"Of course. I'll call you in the morning. I love you Bella, goodnight." Edward was so patient with me even when I didn't make sense to myself.
I was alone again with Esme's words running through my head, over and over. Was I really holding him back? Who was I kidding? Of course I was. I asked myself everyday why he was with me. I didn't deserve him, but to hear someone else voice this out loud just rocked my world.
I sat still for so long that my lower legs went numb.
I got up and took a hot shower, then climbed into bed. I think my head was finally past the shock, but now all new questions were starting to flood in.
The biggest one was now what was I going to do? Do I be selfish and stay with him, or could I let him go?
After hours of lying in bed I was no closer to the answer I needed. I heard Charlie come home, then later go right back out to work. The house never seemed so quiet.
At some point I must have drifted off because the phone woke me up. I wasn't sure how long I slept, but I didn't feel any better so it must not have been enough.
"Hello?" I croaked into the phone, the lack of sleep making my voice sound injured.
"Bella, is that you? You sound worse; do you want me to bring you some hot soup?" I could always count on Edward to know exactly what I needed from him.
"Edward that would be great. No offense but come by yourself, okay?" After the revelation that left me with more questions than answers, I wasn't ready to face Edward, much less any other of the Cullens. I was sure that the group of them would crack my façade, and I would be forced to admit what I knew.
"I'll be there in about thirty minutes, by myself," he said.
I was sitting on the couch when I heard Edward knock. He started to come in before I could get to the door. He must have been anxious to see how I was feeling; he never came right in. It wasn't good for us both to be wound up when I made my announcement about college; Edward always tended to over think things. The last thing I needed was for him to be all worked up and therefore cause me to worry as well, when I already had the biggest decision of my life to make. I guess I'd have to wait until later to talk about what this meant for us in details with him.
Just keep it short and simple. I got into Dartmouth. He doesn't need to know anything else right now?
Yeah that was the plan I was going with for now. I must have looked pretty bad because Edward blanched when he saw me. He started barking orders before I could say a word.
"First you are going to eat all of this soup, and then you are going to get comfortable on the couch. Lastly we'll discuss your news." Edward had no idea that his plan was perfectly fine with me. I wanted to put this off as long as possible. So I began to eat the soup, and I must say I did feel much better afterward. I settled on the couch after taking more medicine, and Edward wrapped a blanket around me to keep me warm. Finally he said, "Okay, let's hear your news."
"Edward, it's not that big of a deal. I just got into Dartmouth, that's all. My essay qualified me for the scholarship, so I can go without the guilt of what it's costing Charlie." He was practically jumping up and down beside the couch as I spoke.
"That's all? That's all? That's great! I told you that you were Dartmouth material." His eyes were dancing with the joy that I wanted to feel. I knew I was kind of putting a damper on the celebration. But I just couldn't be overjoyed at this when I knew what was looming on the horizon. "I knew you were going to get in. I'm so proud of you. Bella, why are you acting like this is no big deal? We need to celebrate!" By this time he was shaking the whole couch.
"I want to celebrate, but I just feel like crap! Can we celebrate for real at a later date?" I begged. He just gave a short nod and wrapped me up in his arms to comfort me. As Edward held me, we talked excitedly about the new things we were going to do at college. I let his excitement wash over me and carry me with him for a little while. I had worked hard for this and felt like I earned the right to celebrate this accomplishment. I would deal with all the other details at a later date when I had them figured out. For now Edward and I would share this joy, the wonderful feeling that the world is laid out before me.
Shortly after our "high" wore off Edward headed home. I went back up to bed and hoped that all of the details I was leaving for later would suddenly answer themselves in my head.
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