Chapter One

Gone, Gone, Gone

She hurried through the house taking whatever she could get her hands on and shoving it into a small overnight bag. Certainly, if she were serious about leaving for good, she would have grabbed a bigger suitcase. Alcohol was still befuddling my brain. My ability to deal with the situation at hand faded into the background as my bed called to me from across the hall. I was being an ass. I knew this with absolute certainty; I just could not bring myself to do what was necessary in that moment to keep her from leaving. This threat was becoming like the boy crying wolf. I was too tired to deal with the drama so I crawled into bed and fell asleep with every intention of groveling the next morning.

The sun was high in the sky when I finally peeled my eyes open, immediately feeling the effects of my abundant liquor consumption from the night before. The business dinner had been borderline torture and I had ingested way more whiskey than I should have in order to get through the event. The women constantly vying for my attention were annoying, as usual, but I was focused on one in particular. She looked so much like my Bella, my wife, the woman who shared my house but no longer my life. We had drifted apart as I climbed the corporate ladder. Being a lucrative partner in a flourishing company at the ripe age of twenty-five was not accomplished by putting your family first.

A loud groan escaped my throat as I sat up and made my way to the bathroom. After thoroughly brushing my teeth and taking a hot shower, I headed across the hall to find Bella. An apology wasn't going to cut it this time. I was going to have to do some serious ass kissing to make up for the cluster fuck I had created. Only mildly surprised to find her bed empty, I turned and made the trek down to the kitchen where I knew my beautiful girl would be baking all kinds of scrumptious goodies. She always retreated to the kitchen when she was upset or angry. No pleasant smells greeted me, however, as I descended. There were no footsteps echoing around the large room. Bella was not there. After searching our entire home, I finally realized she was gone. This was getting frustrating. I grabbed the phone out of the charger and dialed the all too familiar number. I hated when she ran to him. Charlie was not my biggest fan these days.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Chief, it's Edward. May I speak with Bella, please?" I asked her father in the calmest tone I could muster.

"She's not here. Is there something I should know?" he countered with obvious aggravation. Conversations such as this were becoming increasingly frequent over the last two years.

"No, I just thought she mentioned she was heading over there today and I had a question to ask her. I guess I miss heard," I tried to assure my father-in-law so he wouldn't go ape shit on my ass.

"Edward, I swear," he began but I knew better than to let him continue. He enjoyed chewing me a new one way too much.

"Everything is fine, Charlie. I'll have Bella give you a call when she gets home," I said quickly before hanging up, not giving him any opportunity to respond.

"Shit," I grumbled into the emptiness.

The morning turned to afternoon and then evening with still no indication of where Bella had gone. I had contacted all of her friends, using the same excuse I gave Charlie, with no luck. No one knew where my wife was and I was starting to get worried. This was not like her. Even angry with me, she hated to think of me worrying about her. Apparently, she was beyond that.

Finally, at around eight that night, my cell rang. I rushed to answer it. The caller id indicated an unknown number but I answered it anyway, hoping to find out something about Bella. To my immense relief, her soft voice greeted me on the other end.

"Bella, darling, I've been looking everywhere for you," I answered, allowing my anger to come through a little.

"Look, Edward, I just wanted to let you know I'm okay, so you can stop harassing my friends trying to find me," she responded causing my irritation to grow.

"Why don't you just come on home, baby? I'll make us a nice dinner and we can talk about last night," I insisted in a calm yet forceful tone.

"I'm not coming back."

"What?"

"I am not coming back, Edward," she reiterated.

"Fuck, Bella, just stop this shit right now and come home, please," I pled rather pathetically.

"No. Goodbye, Edward."

The resounding silence surrounded me. No way was this happening. Maybe I had not given her the attention she deserved, but she loved me. She promised she would always love me. Could she really walk away so easily?

My answer arrived five days later in the form of divorce papers. Everything went downhill from there. She wanted nothing other than her own personal belongings that would be collected on a predetermined date in the near future. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line and my life would be over. For days I sat at the table staring at those damn papers, only moving when utterly necessary. The cell phone next to me and the house phone on the wall behind me began ringing incessantly the second day but I refused to answer either. Bella was gone. My marriage was over.

Eventually, the phone calls turned to visits and the ringing was interlaced with knocks on the door. All went unanswered as I continued to wallow in a puddle of my own self-pity.


Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all thing Twilight related. I make no profit from posting my story.

A/N: I know I should not be starting a new story when I have three already hanging out there in desperate need of updating, but I just can't help myself.