Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of its characters. They all belong to Stephenie Meyer.

A/N: I decided to start this side story so I could include various points of view and outtakes.

This chapter is Chapter 8 of Can't Stay Away in BPOV.

"Forgiveness and letting go are steps on our road back to happiness."

Tina Dayton

Reaching across the seat, I grabbed my apron and slammed the door of my truck shut. Trying to tie the apron around my waist as I jogged towards the diner, I cursed my horrible luck this morning. I was running extremely late and I was sure the diner was packed seeing as I had to park all the way at the back of the lot. I pulled the door open and swiftly made my way to the back room to put my belongings away.

"Sue," I said, as I came back to the front counter, "I'm so sorry I'm late. My truck wouldn't start this morning, Carlisle had to come home from the hospital and jump it for me." She shook her head at me as she handed me two plates of food.

"No problem sweetie. I completely understand. Now, take these over to table four and get to work," she said winking at me. I smiled back at her and began my busy work day. I was so thankful lately that I had this job. After all the crap that went down with E.J., or should I say Edward, I took on extra shifts here at the diner. I didn't want to think about any of it. I would often hear people whispering around me only to become completely quiet once I made my presence known. Thankfully, no one aside from family and friends, had confronted me about it.

Esme and Carlisle had both tried to get me to talk about it, but I had adamantly refused saying that I was fine. Rose and Alice had both done the same at first, but quickly figured out that I would rather just forget about him. But he made that very hard to do.

A week after Esme's party he started calling. The first time I saw his name on the call display I very nearly had a panic attack. I sat on the side of my bed with the phone clutched in my hand, feeling the vibrations as it kept ringing. The ringing finally stopped as it was switched over to voicemail. I swallowed hard and laid the phone on the bedside table and closed my eyes. After a few moments a chime rang through the quiet of my room, and I glanced at the display of my phone.

One New Voicemail

He'd left a message. I wasn't sure whether to listen to it or just delete it. I laid back on the bed with my phone clutched to my chest and cried myself to sleep. This had happened a lot since the night os Esme's party. When I awoke the next morning my phone was still blinking alerting me to a new voicemail and I made the decision that I at least needed to listen to it.

"Bella, it's EJ...ummmm, Edward. It's Edward. I was wondering if maybe you could call me. I really need to talk to you, so yeah, just give me a call."

I hit the button to save the message, but didn't call him back. The messages continued on for an entire month. At first he would just beg me to let him explain, beg me to call him. Later, you could tell he was getting a little frustrated. Then, he just began to talk to my voicemail. He would carry on entire conversations with my phone, just telling me what he had done that day or something he saw that reminded him of me. I would be lying if I said the highlight of my day wasn't getting those messages from him every night.

But the messages stopped last week. In the final message he left me, he told me he wanted me to be happy, told me he wanted me to move on. And in a way, I guess I had. Mike was a great guy. I could see myself being happy with him, but honestly, he's no Edward. I knew deep down that I should completely hate Edward for what he did to me. That is exactly what my mind is telling me to do; to hate him with everything within me. But my heart had other plans.

It was getting darker outside and the customers coming in had finally died down. Sue was handling a table near the front of the diner while I refilled the salt and pepper shakers in preparation for tomorrow. The sudden sound of glass breaking caused me to look towards Sue to see what she had dropped, but it wasn't her. The front window of the diner had been broken and the few tables along the front were now on fire.

"Sue," I said running over to where she stood with the few customers that were inside, "you go ahead and help these guys outside and call 911. I am gonna go check in the back to make sure no one is back there. I'll be right behind you." Sue nodded her head and ushered the older couple and other patrons out of the building.

I made my way to the back room to check and make sure everyone was out. Glancing around the pantry and making sure it was empty, I finally walked through the kitchen to make my way back towards the front door. Suddenly my foot slipped out from under me and everything went black.


I opened by eyes, blinking back the harsh light of the room. I was in a hospital room but how had I gotten here? I remembered the fire at the diner but couldn't recall anything else.

"Bella," Carlisle said coming to stand beside the bed, "I'm so glad you're finally awake."

"What happened? The last thing I remember is the fire. I know I went to the back of the diner to see if everyone got out, but after that is a complete blur."

"Well, the way it looked, you fell and hit your head which caused you to lose consciousness. You inhaled a lot of smoke, but thank God he got to you in time," Carlisle said, whispering the last part.

"What do you mean? Who got to me in time?" I asked frantically. I could have sworn I was dreaming but I distinctly remember hearing Edward's voice telling me to fight and to not leave him.

"Edward. He's the one that pulled you out of the fire." I was pretty sure my jaw hit the floor when Carlisle said his name but didn't have a chance to question him any further because his pager went off. Assuring me he would be back in a bit to check on me, he left me to ponder what information he had just given me.

Edward had been the one to pull me out of the fire. I hadn't dreamed of his voice while unconscious, he was really there. I knew now that I needed to talk to him, face to face.

The door to my room was pushed open and I had to hide the disappointment from my face when I saw it was Mike and not Edward.

"Mike," I greeted him as he walked in the room carrying a bouquet of flowers. He sat them on the bedside table and bent over to place a gentle kiss on my forehead.

"I was so worried about you baby," he said, cupping my cheek gently. I smiled lightly at him and held his hand in mine.

"Well, since I got called back to the floor I was wondering if maybe you would stick around Michael and give Bella a ride home. They just want to observe her for a few hours and then she should be able to leave."

"Sure, that's no problem," Mike told Carlisle as he made himself comfortable in the chair by the bed. Once it was quiet in the room again, I found myself getting sleepy.

"Go ahead and rest, baby. I'll be here when you wake up," Mike said, kissing me sweetly on the lips.


Mike pulled his car up to the front of the house and helped me inside. Esme met us at the front door and made sure I was okay. I knew she had been worried but was sure that Carlisle had filled her in on all the details.

"Bella, are you hungry? I can make you something to eat if you'd like," Mike said as he pointed towards the kitchen. I shook my head no and began to make my way towards the steps.

"No, I'm fine. I'm just gonna go freshen up in the bathroom and then maybe lie down for a while. You could bring me up a glass of lemonade or something in a bit though." He nodded his head and said okay, kissing me gently on the forehead making sure to avoid the bandage. I made my way upstairs with Esme by my said the entire time. Once I entered my room I was surprised to find her following behind me.

"Bella, I need to give you something. Carlisle would probably kill me for doing this but he came by and I couldn't tell him no. He's so much like his father in that way," she rambled on. I looked at her hands and she was holding what looked to be an envelope.

"Who gave that to you?" I asked her quietly. She reached her hand out, handing me the envelope.

"Edward came by earlier. He said Carlisle wouldn't let him see you, but he needed to give you this. Don't worry, I didn't read it," she said smiling slightly. I already had tears in my eyes as I nodded my head. Without another word she left me in my room alone and I sat down on the bed clutching the envelope in my hands. Taking a deep breath, I slid my finger under the seal and opened the letter up.


I figure this is the only way I will ever be able to explain myself to you. I have left countless messages over the past month, but I am sure you haven't listened to any of them, and I don't blame you. But there is some shit I just can't explain to you in a letter. I wish I could explain to you face to face, but the circumstances don't allow it.

I'm not a perfect person, as I've never claimed to be. There is a lot of shit in my life I wish I hadn't done. Most of all, I wish I could take back the past few months of my life. While I'm not sorry that I met you, I am so sorry that I hurt you. It's something that I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life. All the pain I put you through, I wish I could take it back.

Bella, you have changed me so much. You've given me a reason to start over new, a reason to let go of the past...the reason is you. I know this is going to sound so fucking cheesy, but you make me want to be a better person. So, I'm leaving here today and I am going to go out there and show the world a completely different side of me, one that I've only let you see.

I know you don't need my permission or anything, but I want you to move on, to be happy. That's all I ever wanted for you, despite my actions. I do care for you Bella, probably far more than you will ever know.


I sat on my bed clutching the letter to my chest as I let the tears fall. I knew he had a lot of crap to explain, but now he probably would never get the chance to. He said he was leaving today. I knew deep down I needed to talk to him. I needed to at least try.

I jumped from my bed, flinging the door open and ran down the stairs. I stopped in the living room surprised to still find Mike there, along with Esme. Esme smiled sadly at me as she noticed that I had been crying.

"Mike, do you think you can drive me down to Jake's?"


"Are you sure you don't want me to go in with you?" Mike asked me one last time before I got out of the car.

"No, I'm sure. Just give me a few minutes and then you can come on in." I leaned over the console and kissed him gently on the cheek before getting out of the car. Mike had been great. I met him a few weeks ago and he helped to take my mind off Edward. I knew deep down that I would probably never feel as deeply for him as I had for Edward, but he did make me happy.

I pushed open the front door of the bar and stepped inside. Glancing toward the bar, I saw Jake standing behind it. He caught my eye and motioned towards the door leading to Edward's apartment. Thankful that I hadn't missed him, I rushed toward the door only to almost collide with someone.

"Bella," he whispered, the shock evident on his face. I asked him if we could talk and he led us over to a small table in the corner of the room. I knew what I wanted to talk to him about, but I just couldn't bring myself to say it. I knew that I needed to let him know before he left that he did really mean so much to me.

I sat down at the table and immediately thanked him for saving me from the fire the night before. He tried to play it off as no big deal, but I knew deep down that it was so much more.

"Is it true? What you said in your letter about leaving?" I asked him quietly. I had to know if he really planned on leaving. Deep down, I knew I really didn't want him to.

"Yeah," He said nodding his head, "I mean why would I stay here? Jake's dad is doing better so he doesn't need me around anymore. Besides, no one really wants me here, Bella."

"What if I want you here?" I whispered looking up at him through my lashes, "I want to be friends Edward. Look, I know you did some pretty fucked up things and I'm not completely over it, but I want to get to know you, the real you." He shook his head and looked back down at the table.

"Bella, it would be better if we weren't friends. Just because I played hero last night doesn't mean that I'm not a bad guy."

"I know what you're trying to put off. You're trying to make everyone think you are some horrible guy, but you're not. I have caught glimpses of the real you over the past few months." I knew he was trying to make himself out to be some kind of bad guy but I had seen a side of Edward in the past few months that I was sure he hadn't let many people, if any, see.

"Bella, I was acting the part." I stood up from the table, shaking my head. He was wrong. There was no way that I had fallen in love with someone who was acting a part. I knew deep down inside that he really was that person.

"I don't believe you," I said. Before he had a chance to respond, Mike was walking over towards us. I stood up from the table and smiled at him at he pulled me into his side.

"Babe, you ready to go?" he asked me. Honestly, I was no where near ready to stop talking to Edward. But I could only hope and pray that something I said to him today would encourage him to stick around Forks.

"Sure," I agreed with him and we began to walk away. I suddenly remembered something Edward had written at the very beginning of his note and knew that I needed to let him know he was wrong.

"Mike, can you go ahead out to the car? I'll be right behind you." He nodded his head in agreement and continued for the door. I turned back around to face Edward again. I could see so much sadness in his eyes that wasn't there months ago.

"And Edward," I said, smiling at him even though it was killing me to walk away, "I listened to every message." It was almost unnoticeable but for just a few seconds there was a brief smile on Edward's face. I would do just about anything to keep that smile there. Hopefully, he would stick around here and let me try.

A/N: **The words from Edward's note, as well as the chapter title, were inspired by the song "The Reason" by Hoobastank.