A/N: So, this is the outtake that I wrote to make it up to you guys for being so fail! It's based a year after the Epilogue, so Olivia and Dexter are five, nearly six. I hope you guys like this!
Outtake – For The Love Of A Daughter
Butterflies: the automatic sign for nerves.
They flutter around in the pit of my stomach, making me feel queasy and uneasy.
Today is the day of the reach out concert for Alcohol and Violence Abuse Awareness. It's being held at the Port Angeles Rehabilitation Centre where Charlie was living during my senior year.
Right after our family moment of clarity and declaration of feelings on the front porch of what used to be my childhood home, Renee drove him to the facility–while Edward and I followed–so he could check himself in.
Renee and I filled each other in on what we did with ourselves while we were apart. It was a very emotional road we went down, but it was encouraged by my therapist, Maria. I told her how I met Tanya when I moved to California and what I got up to while I was there: working at the diner, singing on Friday nights, trying to get by day by day, but I couldn't escape the loneliness without Edward being by my side–which lead to Tanya shipping my ass back to Forks and coming along with me.
So it's safe to say, when five years after i graduated from College, Renee found out about the reach-out concert the centre was holding, she let herself into the apartment I now lived in with Edward–just as the kettle I put on earlier reached boiling point–and threw herself into a chair at the dining table.
"Where are Edward and the rugrats?" she asks as I make us a cup of tea.
"Edward took them out," I reply, stirring a spoon around in the mug. "If I knew you were coming, I would have told him to be back by a certain time."
"Oh, it's fine." She waves her hand out in front of her, shrugging it off. "I'll see them later."
"How's everything back in Forks?" I ask, walking over to the table and handing over her cup.
"Thanks honey," she smiles tenderly, taking the cup from my hands before continuing. "It's good. Charlie sends his love."
I smile automatically at the mention of my father.
We've all come so far.
"Bella, can I ask you something?" Her tone is hesitant, which intrigues me.
I nod my head, smiling encouragingly. "Of course,"
"Have you written any songs about the effects of what Charlie's behaviour had on you?"
"Whoa, abrupt change of topic, much." I say, a little bewildered, my eyes widening with shock.
Renee just laughs softly in response. "When I was in Forks, I called into the Port Angeles rehabilitation centre, and they're holding a reach-out concert. I thought maybe you could perform something?"
"Hmm," I drone, bringing my cup to my lips. "Maybe." I take a sip of my tea, quirking my brow at her as I wait for her to continue.
"Well, I had a little talk to the committee organising everything and told them that mine and Charlie's beautiful daughter has an outstanding voice who writes her own song –"
"Wait, hold up," I cut her off, holding my palm up. "You volunteered me to perform without even asking me?"
"I'm asking you now," she concludes.
I scoff, rolling my eyes. "Right."
"I'm sorry, honey." Her eyes soften in apology as she reaches across the table and clasps my hand in hers. "I get a little carried away when I'm excited."
"I've noticed," I mumble against my ceramic cup.
An amused smile tugs at the corner of her lips before she laughs lightly. "So, how about it?" she asks excitedly.
"I don't know …" I murmur hesitantly.
She squeezes my hand, her eyes not leaving mine. "Please?" she pleads. "Charlie would love to see you and the kids."
Oh, I see how it is: pulling out the Charlie card.
"Won't it like, offend him?" I ask uneasily.
Renee's brows furrow in confusion. "Of course not."
I chew on my bottom lip, scrunching up my nose as I mull it over.
Surely, it won't be that bad?
I let out a heavy sigh, slumping back in my seat. "I have a song."
Her eyes light up with glee and she leans forward. "Really?" she asks eagerly.
I nod my head. "Yeah."
Renee bounces up and down in her chair, reminding me a little of Alice.
I laugh softly, shaking my head in amusement.
I wring my hands, cracking my knuckles as I roll my head around in a circle to stretch out the kinks in my neck. I take a deep breath, exhaling slowly while shaking my arms out in a movement that I'm sure looks like I'm trying to get something nasty off of my hands.
Edward wraps his arms around my waist. "You okay, baby?" he whispers next to my ear, resting his chin on my shoulder.
I lean into his chest, bringing my arms up to lay atop of his. I turn my head to the side slightly to look at him, our eyes locking immediately. He smiles tenderly at me and I return the gesture, nodding my head a little.
"Yeah," I sigh, looking back out into the crowd of people. "I think so."
Edward plants a feather light kiss against my neck. "What's got you troubled?" He pulls away and grips me by the shoulders softly, turning me around to face him.
The sincerity in his tone and in the expression on his face makes me smile. "I don't want to upset him." I wrap my arms around his waist, hugging him tight and resting my cheek against his chest.
Edward pulls away, smiling sympathetically when i look up at him. He cups my face in his hands. "You won't."
"You've heard the song, Edward," I mumble, taking my bottom lip into my mouth. "It's pretty deep."
His brow furrows as he glances down at my mouth. "I have," he says, running his thumb along my lip. "And it is." He tugs on it, releasing it from its death grip between my teeth before meeting my gaze again. "But I think he'll be proud of you."
"I just don't want to set him back or anything," I murmur sadly. "Why did I let Renee talk me into this?" I groan, burying my face in his chest once again.
Edward wraps his arms around my shoulders, his body vibrating with laughter. "I'll be right there with you."
"Thank god," I mumble against his soft, blue button-up shirt.
"And you'll have the support of our little angels in the audience." He leans his head down to press his lips against my forehead.
"Are you two ready?" asks a soft, female voice from beside us.
I tilt my head to glance over at her. She's a pretty, young girl; looks about twenty. Bright red hair, piercing blue eyes with a genuine smile plastered on her face. She's wearing a black high-waist skirt and a white tank top with the words 'Be strong, have courage: reach out!' In bold, black letters across her chest. She must be one of the members of the backstage crew.
"You're up in a minute," she says, extending out her hand, holding a microphone.
I smile kindly at her. "Thanks," I say, pulling out of Edward's arms and taking the microphone from her.
"I heard your sound-check." Her eyes are lit up with excitement. "You sounded amazing."
"Oh," I respond, bewildered. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. I'm Sarah by the way." She extends her hand courteously.
I take her hand in mine. "I'm Bella. This is my husband, Edward."
"Bella Swan?" she questions.
"Cullen now," Edward corrects politely.
Sarah shuffles her feet, biting her bottom lip-a nervous trait reminding me of myself. I wait patiently for her to scrounge up the courage to speak again. She looks up, her eyes meeting mine. "Your dad's road of recovery has been really good."
"You know Charlie?" I ask, smiling fondly.
"Yeah, I work here." She leans back against a spare speaker.
"Charlie isn't in rehab anymore, though." I say, confused.
"Oh, no," she says, blushing. "I check up on all the past patients to see how they're doing."
"That's nice," Edward says from beside me. I tilt my head backwards to look at him and he grants me with a kiss on the tip of my nose.
"You must be so proud of him," says Sarah, pulling Edward and I back to attention.
I smile genuinely. "I am."
"Okay, next up is the daughter and son in law, of one of our very own recovering patients." I tense at the announcement over the speakers. "Please give a warm welcome to Bella and Edward Cullen."
"Oh, shit," I murmur, taking a deep breath.
"Don't stress, you'll be great!" Sarah encourages, beaming brightly.
I exhale slowly as Edward places his hand on my lower back and ushers us out onto the stage. He kisses me on the cheek before taking his position at the piano, pulling me down next to him. I look out at the crowd to see Olivia and Dexter sitting with Charlie, Renee, Esme and Carlisle. My little angels smile brightly, waving vigorously at me. I laugh lightly at their enthusiasm and smile in return before glancing back at Edward.
"You ready?" he whispers.
"Let's do this," I whisper back, leaning my back against his left arm. Edward beams at me before breaking our gaze and looking back down at the piano.
Edward runs his hands across the keys, the haunting melody flowing throughout the room. I meet Charlie's gaze and mouth 'I love you' to him, before taking a deep breath and singing the first few lines of the song, my voice soft and quiet.
"Your selfish hands, always expecting more," I stand from the bench and walk towards the middle of the stage. "Am I your child, or just a charity ward?"
I close my eyes, resting my hand across my heart as I begin the chorus. "You have a hollowed out heart but it's heavy in your chest, I try so hard to fight it but it's hopeless. Hopeless, you're hopeless."
"Oh father, please father, I'd love to leave you alone but I can't let you go. Oh father, please father, put the bottle down, for the love of a daughter."
I let my hand drop to my side, walking around the stage as I sing the second verse before heading back over to Edward and resting my right arm on his shoulder, watching him pour everything he has into the melody. I wrote this when I was in California after Tanya made me talk about Charlie. I was hurt and angry, but then I felt so lost and couldn't understand how he could treat me like that.
"Oh-whoa, I can be manipulated , only so many times," I cry out, "before even 'I love you' starts to sound like a lie."
I belt out the chorus again, putting everything I can into the lyrics, a thousand memories of begging Charlie to stop drinking rushing back to me and flooding my mind. Charlie and I have come so far in repairing our relationship and I don't want anything to set that back. I hope to god that this doesn't cause him too much pain and he understands why I wrote this song. He has to know that I love him.
I leave Edward, keeping my eyes cast down to the ground as I sing out the bridge of the song, walking out into the middle of the stage again. This part is always the hardest.
"Lied to your flesh and your blood/put your hands on the one that you swore you loved."
I breathe deeply before belting out the lines again. "Don't you remember I'm your baby girl, how could you throw me right out of your world? So young when the pain it begun, now forever afraid of being alone."
As I continue to sing the chorus for the last time, I lift my head, meeting Charlie's gaze. I watch the tears stream down his cheeks while he clings onto Olivia, my eyes also welling up with tears as I sing the last line of the song.
"For the love of a daughter."
The next thing I know, Edward is by my side, his arms wrapping around my waist and tenderly kissing me on the cheek as the curtain is raised down in front of us, shielding us from the rest of the crowd. Olivia and Dexter are clinging to my legs, confused as to why I look so upset. As Edward murmurs softly in their ears and pulls them away from me, I look up and watch in slow motion as Charlie practically runs up the steps to the stage and staggers towards me.
"I'm so sorry, Bella," he whispers before engulfing me in the tightest hug he's ever given me.
A sob wrecks through me as I wrap my arms around him and cling to him tightly. "That song is old, Charlie," I murmur against his chest. "I don't feel like that anymore, i swear." i pull away from him, looking into his eyes. "You know that I love you, right?"
"I love you too, baby girl," Charlie declares, his voice strained with sadness. "I'll never forgive myself for putting you through that."
"But you have too," I sniff unattractively, pulling out of the embrace. His expression is filled with heartache and confusion.
I smile tenderly at him in reassurance. "I've forgiven you, so you have to forgive yourself."
Charlie's eyes fill with tears as he takes my hand in his, pulling me into his arms again. "Thank you," he whispers, hugging me close, his hand tangled in the back of my hair, holding me to him tightly.
Thank you all for everything, and sticking by me! I appreciate it so much!
If any of you have a request for an outtake that you'd like, let me know via a twitter, or just drop it in a review and i'll see what i can do!
Again, a HUMONGOUS thank you to kitchmill for Beta'ing this outtake and the Epi for me!
Twitter - natalayx