Disclaimer: SM owns characters, I own plot. Copyright IsaKassees 2010
I would have given anything to be able to feel closer to her and if there had ever been a place filled with memories of her, it was here. But it wasn't the same here without her. I'd never come here before alone and it didn't hold any magic without her presence. Without her, it was just a tree.
The storm was going to be big, the lightning striking somewhere in the distance and making definite contact. For a moment, it outshone the sun that slate gray clouds tried to hide as it slipped down into the trees. I closed my eyes, hearing her whisper in my mind.
"Make a wish."
'*' '*' '*' '*' '*'
I fell in love with Bella Swan the day after my seventh birthday. My brother Emmett and his bullying friend Royce stole my brand new remote control racecar and wouldn't give it back, disappearing into the woods behind our house and laughing at me all the way. When I tried to tell my mom what they'd done, she'd given me the universal parental hand wave and hiss that comes when a mom is on the phone, and I decided that I'd had it.
I was done with Emmett and his friends picking on me. I was done with my mom not listening to me and I was done with my dad always working and then coming home and lecturing me to not tattle. So I marched up to my room and filled my backpack with the necessities. With my comic books, Ed - my blanket, not blankie, and my secret stash of red rope licorice packed away, I was ready to go. I marched out of the backdoor with a slam and left, intending to never return.
I've always been a bit dramatic.
Anyway, I took off for the great unknown, ready to start over in a new place. Somewhere exotic, without pesky older brothers and parents that were always busy with work, somewhere like…well, actually, at the time I didn't know of any other place besides Forks, but there had to be somewhere else better than here.
So I wound my way through trees I knew so well, because in a place like Forks, there wasn't much unknown. There were three streetlights in town. There was one diner and one grocery store and one certainty above all others. It was always either about to rain, or it was raining already. In my case, the rain began as I was crossing a field by Newton's Outfitters and I searched with stinging eyes to find some shelter that wasn't a store that would call my parents immediately. I found it in a large tree just at the edge of the field, although I didn't find out it was already occupied until I threw my wet backpack down on the occupant.
"Ow!" a small voice shrieked.
"Oh! I'm sorry!" I exclaimed, rushing to pick up my bag off of the small person already under my tree. And when I did, I was met with the prettiest girl I had ever seen. She was shaking and cold and wet, glaring up at me with red eyes and a trembling chin.
"Hey. Why are you crying?" I asked softly, already opening my pack to give her Ed, even though normally I didn't let anybody touch him except my mom on laundry day. My Oma made it for me before she died and it was the comfiest thing I had. I was glad to find it wasn't wet as I held it out for her.
"I'm not crying," she sniffled, taking the blanket and covering herself quickly. "Thanks."
"But you are crying," I pointed out stubbornly. She was sniffling, her eyes were red and they were filled with tears. It was pretty obvious. Why was she lying?
"I…don't…want…to be!" she wailed, bursting into more tears, just as a lightning bolt streaked and startled her.
I had been prepared to point out that nobody ever wanted to cry, but when she started shaking in fright due to the storm raging around us, I sat down beside her instead and put my arm around her awkwardly.
"So why are you sad?" I tried again, really happy when she lifted up Ed and wrapped him around both of us.
"My mommy and my daddy are fighting again. She said she wants to move away and they won't stop screaming. And I don't wanna move," she whimpered.
My arm around her tightened at her mention of moving. She couldn't move! She was the first person I ever wanted to talk to that didn't make fun of me for being too tall or too skinny or too freckly.
"I don't want you to move either," I whispered. "How come I never saw you before? Don't you go to school?"
"Course I do," she huffed. "I'm gonna be in first grade next year. What about you? Don't you go to school?"
"Yeah. I'm gonna be in second grade," I said proudly.
"That's why you don't know me. You probly think I'm just a baby. But I'm not," she huffed.
"No, no. I don't think you're a baby. I think you're really nice," I rushed out, desperate to keep from losing my only friend.
"Really?" she whispered.
I nodded quickly, smiling at her when she turned to face me. She smiled back at me, a huge, real smile with her front top tooth missing before she threw her arms around me.
"I think you're nice, too," she said softly. "What's your name?"
"Edward. And please don't ever call me Eddie. My big brother does and I hate it," I begged.
"My long name's Isabella, but I hate it too. You have to call me Bella, okay?" she pleaded right back.
"Edward and Bella," I said slowly, more to myself than her. "That's good best friend names."
"We're going to be best friends forever."
I smiled so big my cheeks hurt, which made her giggle, which made me laugh, until we were both in hysterics and all our pains were forgotten. I pulled out my licorice and offered to share with her, an offer that she accepted with a small smile.
"Thanks, Edward. How come you have all this stuff?" she asked innocently as she chewed on her stick.
Looking down at the ground, I told her about my brother and my parents, and my grand plan to leave Forks forever. When she started to cry again, I rushed to reassure her.
"But that was before I met you! I don't want to go anywhere now!"
Mentioning leaving just made her cry harder, reminding her of her parents and their fight. Her lips trembling, she looked at me with her wide eyes unblinking.
"If I have to move…promise you won't forget me."
Sliding my hand into hers, I stared right back at her. "Promise you'll come back."
"Promise," we said in unison, which finally got her to crack a smile.
"Jinx," we said again, which finally got her to giggle again.
Once we settled down, we sat and chewed licorice in comfortable silence and I read her one of my Batman comic books. I even let her turn the pages and I never let anybody touch my comic books before. The storm stopped without our notice, until a break in the clouds revealed the sunset.
"Look! Make a wish!" she exclaimed, pointing at the horizon.
"Why? You're only supposed to do that on shooting stars and birthday candles," I explained.
"No," she insisted stubbornly. "My Ninny told me that every sunset is a chance to wish. 'Cause it's magic 'cause it's not day and it's not night. It's like, in between."
"Oh," I replied dumbly. "Okay."
So we closed our eyes and made our wish. She wouldn't tell me hers, so I wouldn't tell her mine, even though she tried to pout and I tried to tickle.
"I really hope you don't have to move, Bella," I sighed.
"Me, too," she said sadly. "I don't know why they fight so much. When I grow up, I'm never gonna get married."
"Well, my parents are married," I argued. "And they don't fight. They're best friends."
"We're best friends! Are we gonna get married?" she asked in wonder.
"Yeah, okay," I shrugged. "We can get married."
After a moment of thought, something hit me and I cringed. "Do we have to kiss now?"
She grimaced and shuddered. "Eww. No way. I definitely don't wanna kiss. You wanna shake?"
I smiled and held my hand out and she shook it gladly. I kept reading to her for awhile until I heard a sound.
"Do you hear that?" I whispered. From far away, voices were calling out and I could have sworn I heard my name…Yeah, definitely heard my name. Bella's too.
"I think they're looking for us," she whispered back. I nodded sadly, stuffing my comic books and candy back into my bag. When she tried to hand me back Ed, I shook my head.
"You keep him. If you don't move, you can give him back to me next time I see you. If you move, then give it back when you come back to visit. That way you can think about me. Don't forget, you promised. You hafta come back."
She nodded, her eyes filling with tears as she stood up with me. "Are you gonna be in trouble for running away?"
I shrugged. "I dunno. Maybe. But it was worth it. Are you gonna be in trouble?"
She rolled her eyes. "I don't know. I've never been in trouble before. Maybe. But it's okay. You're my best friend and I love you. Just don't forget. You promised to remember me."
I shook my head incredulously, pulling her into me for one more hug. "I could never forget you, Bella. I love you, too."
Silently, I prayed once more for my wish to come true.
Please let me keep her.
Unfortunately, my wish was not granted that day. We followed the sounds of our parents' and their friends' worried voices until we met in the middle of town, both of us swept into our respective parents' arms. The last I saw of Bella that year was the back of her head and Ed wrapped around her shoulders as she was ushered into a police cruiser and driven away.
My mom and dad's relief was quickly surpassed by their anger at my disappearance and I spent the rest of my summer grounded and pining, watching each sunset through my window and wondering if she was doing the same, wherever she was.
What if this storm ends?
And I don't see you
As you are now
A/N: So I was inspired to try my hand at some fluffy drama after finishing the angsty outtakes for TINML. I was inspired by The Lightning Strike by Snow Patrol, who own the lyrics written above. You should definitely check it out if you've never heard it before. I'll be updating again this Friday. You can follow me on Twitter isakassees. Thanks to Fantasy Mother for prereading, and to aleighy for betaing.
Let me know what you thought!