Disclaimer: All recognisable content is the property of Stephanie Meyer. No infringement intended.
Sorry for such a long wait. A big thank you to everyone who reviewed, story alerted or favourited, as always. You're all the best. I really appreciate it. This is Chapter 4. I hope you enjoy.
When One Door Closes, Another Opens.
Bella grew up in Forks. She and Jacob were friends from a young age. As they grew older, their relationship develops into something more. Bella leaves for college in Arizona, Jacob remains behind to finish his last year of High School. She returns for the summer after her first year to an unpleasant surprise. Enter, Edward Cullen. AU.
Song for this chapter
City With No Children, Arcade Fire
I awoke the next morning, feeling strangely at ease. Of course, the jagged, gaping hole in my chest was still there, but I felt a sense of calm which had evaded me ever since I had learned of Jacob's betrayal. I wasn't foolish enough to believe that I was getting better, that my heart had begun to mend itself. the wound was far too fresh for that. However, I felt that, perhaps, I would be able to begin to maneuver around the pain, begin to get on with life. Somewhat, at least. I stretched my arms, yawning widely. I felt that a shower was in order.
I slowly pulled myself from the comfort of my bed and dragged myself to the bathroom, grabbing a towel and my bag of toiletries along the way. The hot water felt amazing and increased my good mood. tings were looking brighter, for some inexplicable reason. I began to think, hope really, that there would be, could be, life after Jacob. Without Jacob. I didn't allow myself to dwell on that thought for very long. It caused my throat to constrict. After my long shower, I padded barefoot down to the kitchen. Charlie had already left for work. His shifts seemed to have doubled since I left for college. I felt a stab of guilt at this thought, was he truly that lonely? Every time I came home this year, I spent the majority of my time with Jacob. All of it really. I hadn't realised this at the time, but looking back on it now, it was painfully obvious. I was horrible. Charlie should resent me for it, but he didn't. I guess he was just a good father, I certainly hadn't been a particularly good daughter. I would make it up to him, I would.
Now, to breakfast. I rummaged through the cupboards, almost immediately coming across a box of PopTarts. They would suffice. As I finished off my sugar filled treat I wondered what I would do with my day. I had to do something, or else my thoughts would wander off into dangerous territory. I certainly did not want that. Just as I was beginning to panic, the phone rang. I answered it, grateful for the distraction.
''Hello,'' I said. ''This is Bella speaking.'' There was a moment of silence on the other end and I thought for a dreadful second that it was Jacob calling, too cowardly to speak. Just as I was about to slam the phone down into the cradle, a velvety voice emanated from it, ''Um, hello Bella. I'm sorry if I woke you.'' I looked at the clock and silently commented on the fact that it was unlikely that I would still be in bed at half ten in the morning. He continued nervously, ''I'm sorry to call so soon after last seeing you. But, um, I was wondering if, maybe, you'd like to go see a film with me today? Maybe.'' The hopeful way in which he phrased his offer frightened me somewhat. I thought that I had made myself quite clear. Apparently not. I sighed inwardly. He was a nice guy, but he would have to accept the fact that I wasn't looking for anything of the romantic variety, not in the least. '' That sounds like fun, Edward,'' I answered. ''Okay, I'll collect you in about an hour, okay.'' He asked in an excited voice. ''That's fine.'' I said.
I threw on a pair of jeans and a comfortable jumper. I pulled a brush through my hair, attempting, and failing, to tame it. Five minutes before he was due to arrive, I groaned in frustration and threw the brush onto the kitchen table. My hair would not cooperate. I pulled it back into a rubber band and decided that perhaps it was better that I didn't make too much of an effort. I didn't want to encourage Edward any further that I already had, unwittingly or not. I didn't want to hurt his feelings unnecessarily. When he arrived I walked out to the car as gracefully as I could manage. I felt myself beginning to slip but he was there to catch me and help me to get into the car without killing myself, grinning widely all the time. I was so clumsy, why in God's name would he waste his time on me? I had no idea.
Edward kept up a cheerful conversation all the way to Port Angeles, what he talked about I didn't really know. I was completely wrapped up in my thoughts, I don't think that I contributed one word. This did not deter him however, if anything it spurred him on. My good mood from that morning was steadily disappearing, my chest was beginning to ache, the walls of the car were beginning to close in. What was I doing here, with this man I hardly knew? In his car? I felt shame wash over me. What about Jacob? Had I not told myself that I would hear him out? What if I had made a mistake? A horrible mistake? What if I horrendously wrong? I was beginning to hyperventilate. A warm hand on my own shook me from my frantic thoughts. I looked up and into his green eyes, swimming with concern. I hadn't before realised quite how beautiful his eyes were, twin orbs of emerald. I could lose myself so easily in those eyes, I mused. ''Bella,'' His velvety voice asked, shaking me once again from my reverie. I shook my head, I was acting like a complete and utter idiot, gaping at him, ogling him. I guessed that any fears I had of him liking me too much were irrelevant now. For some reason, the thought saddened me. Get a grip, Bella!
''Bella,'' He said again. ''Are you okay?'' The worry and that were evident in his eyes and voice caused my knees to shake. Why did he have this effect on me? Why? ''I'm f-fine.'' I lied, unconvincingly, I might add. He suddenly pulled the car into the side of the road and turned to face me, concentrating the full power of those emerald pools on me. I almost whimpered. Did God have something against me? ''You're not fine, Bella. What's wrong? You're a terrible liar, by the way.'' He said with a lopsided grin. My breath caught, he should not be allowed to do that. I sighed. He didn't want to hear about my failed relationship. ''It's complicated, Edward.'' I said. ''Well then,'' He replied. ''I like to think that I am intelligent enough, I'll try to keep up.'' And yet another lopsided grin. He was beginning to wear me down. Seriously, those grins should be outlawed.
''Come on,'' He cajoled. ''You know you want to tell me.'' He began to softly stroke my hand, sending sparks up my arm and through my entire body. It doesn't mean anything, it means nothing. I have no feelings for Edward. None whatsoever. Nothing, zero, zilch, zip, nein, nicht. I attempted to convince myself of this, but I was failing. Miserably. It was so easy to believe when I was nowhere near him. However, when I was sitting right next to him, his eyes seeming to penetrate my very soul. Well, that was another matter altogether. ''Come on, Bella. Tell me.'' He raised his other hand to my face and began to stroke my cheek. I began to feel uncomfortably warm. My blood was rushing to the very cheek he was stroking so softly. My resolve broke. ''FINE!'' I exclaimed suddenly, appearing to take him by surprise. ''I'll tell you.'' I said, much more quietly, staring at my hands. I wanted to get this over with as quickly as possible. So I began.
''I told you that I grew up in Forks.'' He nodded and motioned for me to continue. I could tell that I held his undivided attention. I sighed, there was no way out. And then I continued. ''Well, my father is best friends with a man called Billy Black from the La Push reservation. He has been for years. Anyway, Billy has a son called Jacob. He's about the same age as me, a year younger. As you can imagine, we were pushed together quite a lot as children. We were best friends from a young age and as we grew older, we grew closer. Naturally, we became boyfriend and girlfriend. We had fallen in love.'' My voice became unsteady, threatening to break. I couldn't look Edward in the eye. ''Anyway, we have been together since then. I left for college last year, always anticipating seeing him. I arrived home just a few days ago. He was supposed to collect me from the airport, so we could begin the rest of our lives together.'' Tears had begun to leak from my eyes. I sneaked a glance at Edward, his expression was apprehensive. I continued. ''He didn't show up, so I called Charlie. I assumed he had simply forgotten, Jacob, I mean. So, when I knew he would be home I drove over to his house. I was so excited to see him. When I arrived, I knocked on the door, but there was no answer, but I could hear sound coming from inside. So I looked in the window and saw him k-kissing another girl. He cheated on me!'' Then I began to sob uncontrollably. Edward's arms wrapped around me and he began to rock me back and forth, allowing me to cry until all the tears were gone. I looked up after an amount of time that I was not certain of and apologised for my loss of control. His mouth was set in a grim line and I could see withheld anger in his eyes. ''Edward, are you angry with me?'' I exclaimed. He seemed shocked by my question. ''No, of course not. That worthless dog, Jacob, however. Him, I am angry with.'' His fists were clenched and his shoulders tense.
''Edward,'' I said gently, ''Calm down, please.'' His eyes softened. ''I'm sorry,'' He said. ''It's probably my fault anyway. What he did, I mean.'' I mumbled. My chin was tugged upwards. ''It was not,'' He said forcefully. ''Any man would be lucky to have you, Bella. Just because he was too much of an idiot to realise that. It is, in no way, your fault. Do you understand me?'' I nodded mutely. I couldn't speak, not when he was both touching me and gazing at me so intently. ''Good.'' He said, settling back into his seat. He smiled. ''Now let's go see that movie.''
Not really a cliffhanger. Hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you will tell me whether or not you did with a review. :) I don't know when I will be able to update so here's something to think about the next chapter. Will Jacob be in Port Angeles? Maybe, maybe not.