I don't own Twilight.
I can't do this. We both know that we've been pretending… for a while. I wish that I could have been courageous enough to tell you in person, instead of having your sister give you this letter, but I knew if I saw you… I just can't do this anymore, Jasper. I will always love you but I can't be your wife. Please don't hate me.
I stared at the letter in my hand, reading and rereading what Maria had written. This couldn't be real, right? People didn't get Dear John letters on the day of their wedding; that only happened in movies. It certainly didn't happen to people who had dated for three years and been engaged for another two. We had a plan and that plan did not include Maria leaving me.
"Jasper?" The sound of Rosalie's voice made me look up from the letter I was holding. My sister took a small step towards me. "Are you okay?"
I shook my head. "Where is she?"
Instead of her answering my question, Edward, my best friend, cleared his throat and shuffled towards us. "She's gone, Jasper. When Rosalie called me I went by the house to try and talk her into staying. All her stuff is gone."
With careful precision I folded Maria's letter into fourths and tucked it into my pocket, all the while ignoring the stares from my best friend and sister. I know they both wanted to ask how they could help, ask if there was anything they could do. The answer was no. There wasn't anything either one of them could do.
I took a deep breath before looking back up at them. "I guess I should tell everyone."
"Jasper, why don't you let me or Edward-"
I held up my hand to stop her from continuing. "It's my responsibility, Rosalie."
Before opening the door that lead to the sanctuary, where hundreds of our friends and family sat, I buttoned the jacket of my tuxedo. As the wooden door creaked behind me, all of their eyes turned in my direction. The pianist started playing, my mother wiped a tear away from her cheek, and Maria's grandmother gave me a small wave. I took a deep breath before asking the musician to stop.
With eyes staring at me, I tried to compose myself enough to tell them that there wouldn't be a wedding today. I couldn't make my mouth work properly; instead all I could do was ask myself if this was really happening. I'd spent the better part of my life working towards the future. I'd mapped out a plan for my life when I was thirteen and, up until today, hadn't ever deviated from it. Take care of Mom and Rosalie, check. Finish school and get accepted to Southern Methodist University, check. Fall in love and marry a woman who would be a wonderful wife and mother, partial check.
For the first time in a long time, I had no idea what to do. I couldn't plan for this; I couldn't work out a solution in my head. So I did the only thing that felt right in my heart but wrong in my mind. I ignored my father's voice in my head, telling me that running away from responsibilities wasn't an option, and ran as fast as my legs could carry me out of the church and into the hot parking lot.
"Just like the old days, huh?" Edward reclined his seat back and propped his bare feet up on the dashboard. "Where are we going anyway?"
My hands tightened around the steering wheel and I ignored my idiot best friend. Edward seemed completely oblivious to the fact that this wasn't some sort of summer road trip. I was running away, hiding from everyone and everything that I'd known. But when he basically threw himself in front of my car and refused to move until I agreed to let him come with me, I didn't have a choice. He probably would have just stolen someone's car and followed me if I wouldn't have let him in.
Edward Cullen and I had known each other since we were toddlers but even if we had known each other our whole lives, we were nothing alike. There was one word to describe my best friend and it was irresponsible. He lived life one day to the next, never thinking about what might happen tomorrow. Fortunately for him, Edward's father had also experienced a wayward period in his life and seemed content to let his son "figure it out on his own." That meant that every month a certain amount of money was deposited into Edward's bank account and even though he was twenty-eight years old, and still had an undecided major, Carlisle still wrote out tuition checks to The University of Texas.
I, on the other hand, had been forced to become an adult at thirteen due to circumstances that were beyond everyone's control. I'd worked my ass off in high school to qualify for an academic scholarship and had worked equally hard to maintain my grades during college. I spent four years working towards my degree and then another two to get my masters. As planned, I'd been working as a history text book author for over a year. The timing was exactly what I had planned when I'd asked Maria to marry me. Now… well who the hell knew what would happen now.
"I'll be hungry in about thirty minutes so… you know… plan accordingly."
Edward's voice broke me out of the daze I'd been in. I shifted in my seat before giving him a quick look and then rolled my eyes as he licked the paper of the joint he was rolling.
I shook my head before looking back at the road. "Are you seriously lighting that thing in my car?"
"Well yeah." Edward laughed before giving me a questioning glance. "Unless you wanted to light it and get the first hit."
"I don't smoke."
My best friend shrugged his shoulders and flicked the lighter to life. The smoke from his joint curled around him, making the interior of my car reek, as he inhaled and exhaled. I coughed once before rolling down the windows.
Edward's arm rested on the window. "So really, what's the plan? Mexico? California?"
"I don't know."
"Jasper Whitlock, not knowing something?" He laughed before taking another drag. "Well, there is a first time for everything."
Punching him would require too much effort, not to mention the fact that it could result in me having an accident. I'd already been left at the altar today; totaling my car didn't seem like such a good idea.
"Look." Edward flicked the joint out of the car and sat up in his seat. "You and Maria were going to take a honeymoon, right? So the way I see it is since she skipped out with the plane tickets to the Caribbean, then you should at least use the time off that you've-"
It felt like all of the blood in my veins had turned to ice. With slow movements, I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and turned to look at my best friend. He looked around, obviously confused as to why I had stopped in the middle of now where.
"You told me that you didn't know where she was."
Edward's eyebrows pulled together. "Huh?"
"At the church, when I asked Rosalie where she was, you said she'd left but you didn't know where she was." I watched as realization set in on his face. "So if you really did go by the house and she wasn't there, then how do you know she used the tickets?"
For the first time, I saw my best friend speechless. He turned in his seat until he was facing the correct way and then spoke in a careful voice. "Rosalie asked me not to tell you."
I allowed myself a humorless laugh. "Well you've fucked that up, Edward. So just tell me how you know that she is on her way to our honeymoon suite?"
He still wouldn't look at me. "I went by the house, thinking that it was just cold feet or something. But she was… with someone else, Jasper. She took the tickets and left with someone else."
I swallowed, hard. "Someone else?"
Edward nodded. "We… I was going to tell you when we-"
There wasn't really a point in letting him finish the sentence. I threw my seatbelt off before shoving the car door open and stepping out into the dry West Texas heat. I started walking, watching as the dirt beneath me covered my shiny dress shoes.
I stopped when I heard Edward's voice yelling behind me. "We didn't want to make today any harder than it already was."
His feet crunched against the gravel, telling me he was coming closer. When he was standing behind me, I looked up at the deserted highway in front of us. "Who was it?"
I turned around to scream at him. "Who!"
He sighed before shoving his hands in his pockets. "Nettie."
Without a reason, other than blinding rage, my arm cocked back and my first slammed into Edward's face. He stumbled backwards for a second before touching his fingers to his bleeding nose. A part of me felt guilty, he was my best friend after all, but another part felt oddly justified. He had just told me that my fiancée, the woman I had asked to spend her life with me, was on her way to enjoy our two week honeymoon with another woman. He had to be lying, there just wasn't another explanation. Maria wasn't a lesbian or bi.
"You fucking punched me!" Edward yelled at me.
I raised my hand to point at him. "You're a damn liar, Cullen."
"Do you not see the blood coming out of my nose, asshole?"
God he was dense sometimes. I shook my head before clarifying my statement. "You're lying about Maria. She isn't into that, Edward. If she was I would… I would know. We were together for-"
"Dude, I saw it." He pushed on my chest. "I get that you don't want to believe this, I don't want to either, but I saw it. She told me she loved her and-"
Edward was quick enough to block my fist this time. He grabbed my wrist and spun me around before knocking my feet out from under me. I landed on my knees, hard, and struggled against his grip as his knee pushed against my back until I was lying on my stomach. "Stop trying to fucking punch me!"
"Stop telling me that my wife left me for another fucking woman!"
"Do you think I like this, Jasper? Do you think Rosalie and I wanted to be the ones to tell you she left? I loved Maria like she was a sister or something!" Edward shoved at my back before stepping away from me. "She made you happy Jasper, but we all knew that you hadn't been really happy together in a long time. Maria can't replace your-"
I sat up on my knees and interrupted him. "Stop."
"Living the life that you think your father would have wanted you to have won't bring him back, Jasper."
My dirt covered hands pulled at the hair on the back of my head while I tried to block out what Edward was saying. He thought he understood, and maybe he did on some small level, but he wouldn't ever really know. No one would.
"When you promised your dad that you wouldn't waste your life, he didn't mean to just go through it like some fucking zombie, Jasper. He asked you to take care of your mom and Rosalie, not put all of their needs above your own. You didn't have to go to SMU. You didn't have to ask Maria to marry you just because you'd been dating for a few years. You don't have to be perfect!"
I leaned back on my heels and wondered if he was right. Had I taken my father's dying words and morphed them into something that wasn't anywhere near what he really wanted or expected from me? Did I really love Maria as my soul mate? Or was it just because we got comfortable being with each other and I never thought there would be more than just her? I really had no idea who or what I was because I had based every part of my life off of my father's wishes.
"I don't know what to do."
There was a loud sigh before Edward sat down next to me. "You don't always have to know, Jasper. Sometimes you just have to… run. Pick a place that you've always wanted to go to and never thought you would get to. Or get a map and throw a fucking dart at it."
I smiled before shaking my head. "I can't do that."
"Okay." Edward stood up and went back to my car. Leaving the door open, he yelled from the front seat. "First letter of the first artist we hear and we pick a state based on that letter! Got it?"
We were in the middle of no where, and the chance of getting anything other than talk radio was slim, but I nodded my head anyway. I listened while Edward scanned through the stations and finally got to my feet when a song started playing.
"It sucks that it had to be Avril Lavigne, but at least we know a letter. How many states begin with an A?"
"Four." I answered him.
"Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas and-"
"Alaska." I finished.
Edward smiled up at me from the driver's seat. "So where are we going?"
I sighed before looking up at the sky. I'd been to Alabama and Arkansas. Arizona was only a few hours away and technically if we went then I could still be back in time to… What the fuck was I doing? Taking a chance didn't mean planning something out.
Edward hit my arm. "Well?"
I looked down at my best friend and nodded my head. "Alaska. We're going to Alaska."
AN: I've never written an A/J story but I wanted to give it a try! Thanks for giving this story a chance, guys! Maggie, as always, you are awesome.