Title: A Little Too Late
PostSecret Prompt: Five years later I still wonder why we didn't kiss in the park that night. We should have. http:/bit(.)ly/dQuMVB
Summary: There is a beautiful wedding, two hearts are joining as one and one heart is breaking. Can you love two people? How do you choose?
•PostSecret concept created by Frank Warren. Recognizable characters and story elements are the property of Stephenie Meyer•
I stood at the front of the church in the stiff black tux with the blue tie; blue wasn't her favorite color back in the day, but over time that had changed, too. My eyes roamed over the church; it was decorated in simple, white lace with a touch of blue here and there. It was simply beautiful, just like her. Family on each side in the front pews and all of our friends stacked in behind them. She had wanted a small wedding, but she just couldn't fight off the crowds. Everyone in town had showed up for the nuptials. My palms were sweaty and my stomach was turning as I watched two of our best friends make their way up the aisle and I knew that she would be next.
My eyes were locked on the church doors as I heard the music switch over to the wedding march and everyone stood up; when the doors opened like heaven's gate, there she stood. She was wearing a simple white dress that hugged her five-four figure perfectly. She didn't look any taller than usual and I figured she was bare foot under her dress; that would be just like her to not wear shoes on her wedding day. As my eyes swept up I was able to see her beautiful heart shaped face without the obscured veil that most brides wear because she had opted out of wearing one of those; she found them tacky and pointless. She said this wasn't like she was being unveiled in some way and she refused to wear one. Of course no one fought her on it; it was her wedding day, after all.
Her brown hair was curled into tight ringlets framing her face. Her soulful, deep brown eyes were cast downward, and I knew she was watching her steps and praying she wouldn't trip her way down the aisle. She held on tight to her father's arm; Charlie was a good man that raised an amazing daughter. I let my eyes drift off the beautiful bride long enough to see her mother, Renee, she had tears running down her face. I couldn't tell if they were tears of joy or tears of sadness. It was no secret that Renee had begged her daughter not to marry so young.
When I looked back at the bride, she was blushing and her eyes were locked with mine. A small smile crossed her lips and my chest ached, her eyes looked deep inside of me, all the way to my soul. She was the vision of beauty; she was and always would be my Bella.
It only took a second for those words to slap me in the face; she wasn't my Bella. I wasn't the man she was walking down the aisle to stand next to and promise her love to always. I was the man standing next to the man that would hold her hand in marriage. I had my chance with her and I had blown it and now I had to watch the woman I loved marry my best friend, our best friend.
I heard the preacher start the ceremony, but my mind was somewhere else completely.
Bella and I had been friends since I moved to the small Washington town, with the dreadful name of Forks. She was the nicest person I had ever met and we quickly became best friends. I hit puberty before her and was on every girl like white on rice, with the exception of her. She was my best friend and if she had been anything more it would have just complicated things (at least that is what I told myself), but then she got passed that awkward stage and things changed. She always had been beautiful, but it was like she suddenly became a girl to me and not just my best friend. A girl that was too beautiful for a guy like me. For years I would wait for a sign that she wanted me, too, but she was shy and I was overbearing. I am sure we both were too afraid to lose our friendship, but we had a moment once. I knew she loved me in that moment, at that park, and she had to know I loved her, too. With children playing in the background and our toes touching and our eyes locked, I had my chance, but I missed the moment and then it just didn't seem right anymore. It was after that that Jasper made his move and I can't be mad at him for that. I had my chance and I didn't take it, but I still had some harsh feelings towards my best friends, both of them.
Shortly after my missed moment and their newly found relationship, we all left for college, Jasper and Bella going to Seattle together, and me going all the way to Chicago. I just couldn't handle seeing them together, so I got out of dodge as quickly as possible. Though, I still had to see them fall in love through emails, phone calls, and of course the visits back home. Their engagement shouldn't have been a surprise; they dated all the way through college, and they were living together, but it still brought me to my knees. It made me sick to my stomach and then they both begged me to be in the wedding. I moved back home six months before the wedding and Bella and I fell into a comfortable routine. All of our old friends had moved back into the area, some married, a few with kids, and then there was me. I was single and pining over a girl that I had given up long ago, but still I wanted her so bad, so deeply…
"Do you Isabella Marie Swan take Jasper Whitlock Hale to be your husband in holy matrimony? To have and to hold until death do you part?"
My eyes snapped to Bella at the preachers words. She was staring up at Jasper, but for a second I saw her eyes drift to me. There was something there in her eyes; it looked too unfamiliar to me for me to place. It was almost like she was pleading with me about something or if she was thinking of something that she couldn't understand, but it only lasted a second before her eyes were back on Jasper and she spoke the two words that crumbled my heart into a million pieces, "I do."
I watched as they exchanged rings, I held my breath when the preacher asked if anyone objected, and I looked away when they sealed it with a kiss. Jasper and Bella, bride and groom, made their way down the aisle as husband and wife for life. Behind them followed myself and Angela, one of Bella's close friends from her college days, and then behind us was Emmett and Rosalie, Jasper's sister and brother-in-law. They were the best man and the maid of honor. I was a groomsman and Angela was the bridesmaid. Bella had wanted the wedding small and that is what she got for the most part. The audience had turned out larger than expected, but her wedding party only made up four people, the people closest to her and Jasper, which made her day perfect in that sense.
Once out of the church the photographer grouped us together in different poses for thirty minutes and I tried to smile and act cool as I watched the mushy touches and kisses between the two newly weds. They looked truly happy and I hated myself for being jealous and bitter about it. I loved them and I needed to be happy for them, I needed to be selfless, and let them have their time. I had the rest of my life to wallow in self pity and loneliness.
"You look beautiful," I whispered to Bella as we sat in the limo to head over to the reception. I sat on the opposite side of her groom.
She glanced up at me from under her eye lashes and it had the same effect on me as always. My heart twisted with my love and my gut tightened with desire.
Her cheeks flushed and she softly whispered, "Thank you."
"I can't believe you two are finally married," Angela gushed. "It seems like just yesterday that Jasper was sneaking into the dorm room after hours to steal kisses in the dark."
"I am sure he was stealing more than kisses," Emmett bellowed.
I could almost feel the heat of Bella's blush from her spot next to me.
"He didn't have to steal anything," Bella said softly and I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye.
She was staring up at Jasper and he was staring back at her, both of their eyes full of love. My chest ached seeing it because I wanted her to look at me like that more than anything in the world. I quickly looked away only to catch Rosalie's eyes; she smirked at me knowingly. I resisted the urge to flip her off and stared out the tinted limo window, as the Forks greenery passed us by. Rosalie and Emmett had been our best friends back in high school and Rose had always busted my balls when it came to Bella. She knew I loved Bella; hell I think they all knew it, but my time had passed me by and it was too late now.
The Hale property came into view and the limo slowed down. Their two story house was a beautiful home, but it didn't compare to my parents three story mansion. The Cullen house was known as "The Glass House" and it was the perfect place to grow up. My mother Esme was loving and my doctor father, Carlisle was compassionate. I, Edward Cullen, had only wanted for one thing in my life that my family name or money couldn't provide and that was Bella. Not to say I was spoiled, but I did live a privileged life. Though that didn't mean much when you couldn't have that one thing you wanted, that you needed, but now I really, truly needed to face the fact that I would never have it. Bella belonged to Jasper, now and forever.
"Edward?" Bella's soft voice broke my thoughts. "Are you going to get out?"
I looked around to see that everyone had left the limo, with the exception of Bella and me.
"Yeah, sorry, I was lost in thought," I answered.
"Well, find yourself and let's go celebrate."
I couldn't resist her smile, it was too beautiful, and I couldn't help but smile back at her. She was stunning on a regular basis, but as a bride she was irresistible. I hated that I wasn't the man by her side, I hated myself so much.
Getting through the reception was almost as hard as the ceremony. I had to watch them kiss, love, and everyone praise them. I did my best to be happy for them and I did my best to stand strong by their side, but the later it got and the more cocktails I had, the harder it got to keep quiet.
At one point I watched as Bella slipped outside to get some fresh air. I got up and quietly followed her out. I wasn't sure what I was thinking, but I had to be near her. She was standing out on the balcony looking out over the creek bed that ran behind the Hale house. The wind blew through her hair and the moon made her creamy skin glow in the night.
"Stunning," the word slipped from my lips and I saw her go rigid.
"Edward," she said quietly, almost as if she was speaking to herself.
"We should have," was all I said.
She didn't look at me and I could see her shoulders hunch. I wasn't sure what I was saying or why I was saying it, but I couldn't keep the words in any longer.
"Don't," she whispered and I could hear the tears in her voice.
I quickly went to her side and cupped her face in my hands. She was the picture of beauty, but the tears in her eyes and the sadness on her lips were out of place.
"I am so sorry, I should have, we should have," my voice broke, the emotion of the day and the alcohol catching up with me all too quickly.
"Edward, please," she pleaded, but I couldn't stop myself.
"That day in the park, it was our moment. You felt it; I felt it; that was our moment. Five years later and I am still trying to figure out why we didn't kiss. Why?" I pleaded my heart aching and I could see the pain in her eyes.
"We should have," Bella whispered, her voice breaking as a sob caught in her throat. "But we didn't."
"If only I could go back, if only there was a way for me to change it…" I was trying so hard to find a way to right my wrongs, but before I could find a way she pulled away from me.
"I doesn't matter, Edward. I loved you, okay, I loved you so much, but it went nowhere. I moved on, I am married now, and I love Jasper so much. He is good to me, please just move on, please."
I swallowed the hard, cold lump in my throat. "I can't."
"You can and you will."
She turned and walked away from me, when she reached the door she glanced back at me over her shoulder.
"Edward, if you would have came to me yesterday things may have ended differently, but when I said I do I meant it. You're just a little too late."
Then she disappeared through the door and what was left of my heart slithered away. I would never move on and I would never stop loving her. I would forever be in the shadows hoping that I would get another moment with her, another chance.