The Best Day-EPOV
Written for FGB: Autism Awareness.
This takes place after Bella leaves Edward at the hotel.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight related. No copyright infringement intended.
I smiled as I came out of my sleep state, feeling exuberant and well rested. I hadn't felt that way in so long. I don't even know how it happened, but I had this amazing woman lying next to me who changed my life in one night. Or so I thought.
I rolled over on the bed reaching out for her and all my hands found were cold sheets. She was gone. I jumped up, scanning the room for her and finding nothing. I ran to the bathroom only to find all her belongings gone. It was like she wasn't even here. Did she really exist? I hadn't imagined her, had I?
I plopped down on the bed and my head fell into my hands. What did I do wrong? Why did she leave me with no explanation?
The more I sat there and thought about it, the more I felt like a complete idiot. What was she ever going to see in me? Did I expect she would want be with me; a kid who can't even hack it at college, who ran away from home because he got in a childish argument with his parents.
God, I'm so stupid. She probably looks at me like I'm a child.
It's strange how without her I suddenly feel so lost. I don't even know what to do or where you go?
I slowly put my clothes on, and gather up my few belongings. I stand in the doorway one last time scanning the room for any sign on her just to prove she was actually real. I almost missed it, but just as I was shutting the door I noticed a small hotel envelope sitting on the desk.
I pushed the door open and quickly grabbed the envelope. I ripped it open and found a hundred dollar bill wrapped in a piece of paper. I drop the money to the ground, only interested in the letter. Maybe she went somewhere and wanted me to meet her. I didn't know but I had to read that letter just for my own sanity to know she was real.
I held the letter out in front of me and began to read it with a new sense of hope filling me.
First off, I want to apologize for leaving this way, but I think it's for the best. I had an amazing time getting to know you and spending the night with you. You made me feel alive again, which is something I haven't felt in a very long time. You gave me the courage to go on. You gave me the strength to fight. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being who you are. I'll never regret offering you a ride. It was probably one of the smartest things I've ever done.
But unfortunately, I can't risk the possibility something horrible happening to you because of what we did. It's for the best that I left.
As for you, I really think you need to go back to school. I don't want to tell you what to do or make you feel like I'm trying to be your parent, but I always dreamed of going to school and I didn't get the chance. I always wanted to get out of Forks, but I got stuck there. I'm finally taking a chance and getting out. I wish you would do the same. I want you to better yourself and become something great, because I know you have the potential to do amazing things in life. I don't want you to end up the way I did.
You are a very strong and intelligent person and I know you can make it through college. I have faith in your abilities. Maybe you aren't cut out to be a doctor. Maybe you will end up doing something even better. But I know you have more to offer this world. Just please, for me, don't give up and get stuck in Forks. You deserve better. You deserve so much more from life than to give up now.
Whatever you decide to do, I'm leaving you a hundred dollars to help you out. I don't want you to starve or hitchhike anymore. Get a bus ticket, if you can. I wish I could leave you more, but I hope this helps. I'll never forget you. I hope you have a wonderful life.
I almost passed out after reading it. I could feel the blood running out of me. I dropped the letter at my side and stood there with my mouth hanging open. She did leave me and I had no idea where to find her.
Sighing, I pick up the letter and the hundred dollar bill before leaving the room. I went to the front desk to find out if they could tell me when Bella left and if they knew where she was going. The man at the desk informed me she hadn't spoken to him but he did happen to see a woman fitting her description leave about two hours earlier.
Knowing she left two hours ago gave me no hope. I didn't know where she was headed or even where I was headed.
In the letter she told me to get a bus ticket so I figured I would do as she asked. I got directions to the bus station and walked the few blocks into town until I reached it. Walking through the parking lot, I thought I spotted her car. I dropped my stuff and ran over to it. I peaked inside and knew it was her car but all her stuff was gone. I ran back over to my own bag and ran into the building asking anyone I came in contact if they had seen her. I got the same response every time. They didn't see anyone fitting the description of who I was looking for. It was almost like she was a ghost and I was the only one who could ever see her.
I searched the building for hours and never came across a thing. Feeling defeated, I plopped down on a bench and put my head between my legs. What had I done?
"Are you okay, Sir?" a woman asked while sitting down next to me. I sat up and glanced over at her. For a split second the dark brown, cascading hair around her face made me think it was Bella. However, on second glance, I came to reality and realized it wasn't her.
"I'm fine," I sighed, exasperated.
"Are you sure? You don't look fine."
"I'm sure. I just need to figure out where I'm going."
"I've seen you wandering around here all afternoon. You look like a lost puppy," she teased.
I rolled my eyes and leaned back against the wall. "Thanks," I responded sarcastically.
"I get off work in a couple hours. If you're still around maybe I can give you a ride somewhere or we could just hang out," she offered.
I turned my head towards her noticing the expectant smile across her face. "I'm pretty sure I'll be gone by then. Thanks anyway, though."
Her smile dropped and she gave me a puzzled look. "Well, the offers there if you want it," she reminded before standing to her feet and walking away. For some reason, my eyes followed her to the snack stand where she obviously worked. Maybe I should take her up on the offer. It's not like I had anywhere else to go. She wasn't bad looking or offensive in any way. The thing that got me though, was knowing she had a child. She never told me she did, but I could tell by the way she carried herself and the way she spoke her words. There was a look on her face of being tired and stressed. She was easy to read. She was young, probably about the same age as me but she made a mistake and ended up getting pregnant as a teenager. Her parents kicked her out and now she works two jobs just to survive since the deadbeat dad wasn't in the picture. She obviously saw me as someone she might be able to hook up with for a one night stand for sexual gratification. As tempting as it might sound to any other eighteen year old, I was a little repulsed by it.
I had to get out of here. I walked over to the ticket stand and bought a ticket back to Washington. I boarded the bus a half hour later and headed home. I had nowhere else to go.
During the bus ride home, I kept having images of Bella's face, and her smile. I could see her eyes twinkling like stars in the night. I could hear her soft, musical laugh. If I closed my eyes the image was even brighter.
Nearly being run over by her was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. From the first moment I saw her, I knew she was running just like me. It didn't take long for me to figure out what she was running from. As we drove along and the more I talked to her, I knew she was running from an abusive husband. I didn't know how serious she was about leaving him until we were in the diner. Before then, I could still here the doubt in her voice. She was still contemplating going back when she picked me up. However, I watched her walk across the road to the pawn shop when I got into the diner and knew she was going to do it. The prominent wedding ring on her finger had suddenly disappeared and she was offering to buy me dinner. Inside, I was a little proud. I thought maybe I might have had a little something to do with giving her the courage to do it.
I never saw her leaving me though. The night we shared was the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I hadn't had many sexual partners in my short lifetime but with her, it was like fireworks going off all around me. She was the most amazing woman I'd ever met and quite possibly ever will. Yet now, she's gone and I have no way to find her.
After the bus pulled up in front of the small station in Port Angeles, I headed out on the road. It was already dark and probably a little dangerous to be walking along the highway this late at night, but I wasn't about to call my parents. I was kind of hoping I could just slip inside undetected and deal with the aftermath of what I'd done in the morning.
After walking along the highway in the cold of night I arrived at my parent's home. The lights were off and the curtains were closed. I got the impression they really didn't care that I was gone for two days. They went on with their life while I was God knows where.
I pulled the hidden key out from under the planter on the doorstep and opened the door as quietly as possible. I slipped in and walked into the kitchen to find something to eat. I hadn't eaten anything all day and I was starving. I flipped the light on, only to be met by my dad.
He stared at me like he was expecting me to walk in. My shoulders dropped in defeat. I knew I was in for a long lecture and an "I told you so" moment.
"Where've you been?" he asked.
"I don't know," I answered vaguely.
"Your mother has been worried about you. She didn't sleep at all last night," he informed.
I barely acknowledged him with a grunt before walking to the fridge and taking out stuff to make a sandwich.
"I've been worried too," he admitted with barely a whisper.
"There's nothing to be worried about. I'm not a little kid anymore. I know how to take care of myself," I shot back.
"I'm just saying I was worried. You didn't have any money or a car. It's freezing outside and it's been raining quite a bit. I hated the fact that you were out there in the cold all by yourself."
"Well whose fault was that?" I accused while I fixed a sandwich and refused to look at him.
He sighed and dropped his head in shame. "Edward, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to blow up at you. I just don't want you to give up your life when you have so much potential. Being a doctor has always been your dream."
"No, Dad, it's been your dream. Ever since I was a kid you've talked about having this father and son clinic here in Forks. It's what was drilled into my head and what I thought was expected of me. For once, I'd like to make a decision for myself."
"I don't want you to throw your life away. You can do so much better than a crummy part time job here in Forks. I want you to finish college whether you become a doctor or not."
I rolled my eyes and started eating my sandwich. In that moment, the letter Bella left me came to mind.
She told me to go to school. She told me to do something great. She said just about the same thing my dad did.
"Look, I'm not planning to stay here long. I just had nowhere else to go, and I…"
"Edward!" my mom shouted, interrupting me. I turned around to see her flying down the stairs and colliding into me. "Where have you been? I've been so worried about you."
"I was with a friend," I answered vaguely.
"Your father kept insisting you had gone back to the campus. I couldn't know for sure since he took everything from you." I distinctly saw her glare over at my dad. "I had no way of reaching you." She gasped, holding me out at arm's length. "I was so worried you were going to starve or be stranded in the rain somewhere."
"No need to worry, Mom. Who I was with took real good care of me."
"Oh?" she asked skeptically. "Who were you with?"
I smiled crookedly remembering how I compared her to my mom. "You would have loved her mom. She was kind and caring. She was amazing."
"Amazing, huh?" my dad cut in with a smirk. "Who is she? Does she live in the area?"
For a moment I thought about telling him the truth but then I remembered she was trying to get away. I couldn't tell either of them who she was. Forks was a small town and there's no way of keeping anything secret. She would have to remain my secret. This would be my thank you to her for being there for me when I needed someone.
"No, she doesn't," I lied.
"Are you planning to see her again?" my mom asked enthusiastically.
"I don't know. Like I was telling dad I'm just here for the night. Tomorrow I'll try to figure out how to get back to the campus."
"Are you going back to school?" my dad asked.
"For now I guess," I shrugged, answering his question.
"Good, I'm glad."
I grabbed a soda from the fridge and the rest of my sandwich before heading out of the kitchen. "Just so you know it has nothing to do with you or taking my stuff away. Going back to school is for me." I took the stairs by two and went to my childhood bedroom. There wasn't a lot left in my room other than a bed and a few boxes of my old stuff but at least it was a place to sleep. I'd figure out how to get back to school tomorrow.
I had decided that if Bella wanted me to make something of myself then I would. I would work my ass off to get through college. Maybe if I did what she wanted in some way she'd come back. I just wanted to see her one last time to know she was actually real and not a figment of my imagination.
The next morning my dad left my keys, phone, and credit cards on the counter in the kitchen. I knew it was his way of saying he won and I was almost tempted to leave it all behind to prove a point, but I would never make it without a car and money. They were necessities if I was going to make it.
I roughly grabbed them off the counter and shoved them in my pocket to head back to campus. I was determined to do this and do it right.
I didn't go back home again until Christmas about a month and half later. I was avoiding my entire family. I didn't really want to see any of them and listen to their snide remarks about how they were right and I was wrong. I wasn't going to school for them. I was doing it for Bella.
I had got home in the early afternoon of Christmas Eve. My mom was already in the kitchen cooking up this huge feast that wouldn't be eaten. She was humming a tune as she stirred whatever it was she had on the stove. My dad was whistling happily while he got a fire going in the fireplace.
"You're home!" my mom exclaimed excitedly. She ran to me and wrapped her arms around me like she normally did. "How was your drive? Is school going okay? Have you been dating anyone?"
"The drive was fine, Mom." I answered her first question but avoided the others. I stepped around her and headed for the stairs. "I'm going to unpack. I'll be down later."
I went to my old bedroom and unpacked before taking a long shower. I was avoiding going downstairs to join my parents in Christmas joy. I really wasn't in the mood to be joyful. When I got out of the shower and changed my clothes, I could hear my mom and dad laughing and talking loudly with my sister. I could hear Rosalie's exuberant voice floating up the stairs, making me roll my eyes.
My sister, Rose was bringing home some new guy she was dating. I hated when she brought random guys home with her. We had to pretend like her "career" didn't exist. No one was ever allowed to know she was Doctor Rose on the Seattle radio station. We had to pretend she worked as a paralegal for a law firm. Like that was any better of a lie. She didn't know the first thing about law.
Dragging myself out of the room I headed downstairs to pretend I was happy and excited about it being Christmas.
"There's my little brother," Rosalie squealed. She ran across the room to give me a hug just as I hit the bottom steps. "How are you, Edward? How's school going?"
"I'm fine," I answered unenthusiastically.
"Come," she urged dragging me across the room. "I want you to meet Emmett."
I walked over to the main entrance and met with a large man standing at least a foot above me with bulging muscles and dark curly hair. He smiled when I shook his hand and I noticed a dimple in his left cheek.
"It's good to finally meet you," he greeted. "Rose has told me so much about you."
"I'm sure she has," I replied sarcastically.
"What's with you?" Rose wondered angrily.
"Dinner is just about done," my mom interrupted. "Why don't we go into the dining room and take our seats. My mom obviously saw the tension between me and Rose so she intervened at the right moment. Rose was not exactly known to back down during an argument, which is what made her gig on the radio great. She didn't let people bully her on air when they tried to tell her she was full of shit.
We all took our seats around the table and began to eat. The conversation led towards Rose and Emmett most of the night, which was fine with me. I would rather stay silent and not be a part of the festivities. I barely ate a thing on my plate. Lately, I haven't been very hungry. I don't sleep very well either. At first, I thought it was because I missed Bella, but I barely knew her. I wasn't so obsessed with the woman that she was changing my entire mood and outlook on life. It just didn't seem possible. I came to the conclusion I was just stressed about school and I really didn't want to be there. I hated school. I didn't want to be there.
"Are you okay, Edward?" my mom asked bringing me back to reality. Everyone around the table was staring at me, waiting for an answer.
"I think I'm just tired," I lied, getting up from the table. I walked outside and sat down on the deck staring out at the trees in the back of our house.
"It's a girl isn't it?" Emmett said coming up behind me. "I'd know that look and attitude from anywhere. Sadly, I've experienced it a few times myself." He sat down next to me not waiting for an invitation and stared out at the trees.
"It's not a girl. It's just stress from school," I countered.
"Keep telling yourself that," he laughed. "You can try to cover it up anyway you want, it doesn't change anything."
"What makes you think it's a girl?" I asked.
"When I was your age, I thought I was in love with this girl and I did everything to make her love me back but she didn't. I was a fool and fell into her trap."
"What happened?" I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
"Well, I found out she wasn't who I thought she was and she pretty much broke my heart. I acted just like you are right now for about six months. Then, I came to my senses and realized I wasn't going to let some girl ruin my life. I started going out with friends and working out regularly again. Eventually, I forgot all about that girl and found someone so much better. I found Rose."
I rolled my eyes and turned my head at him talking about my sister.
He laughed, knowing exactly what I was doing. "You know, if you want I can introduce you to some people. I know a few girls who might help you forget all about the nemesis girl."
"Thanks, I think I might like that."
"You'll get over her, and you'll realize she wasn't worth all the trouble."
I didn't think it was possible to forget about her but I nodded my head in agreement.
"Come on," he suggested slapping me on the back. "I think Rose has some gifts she wants to pass out tonight."
I got up and followed him back into the house towards the living room where everyone else was already gathered. Rose was giggling and acting like a child. I watched as Emmett sat down next to her and kissed her on the cheek. Rose placed her hand on his knee and rubbed gently. They shared a knowing look like they had a secret language.
My parents passed out their traditional Christmas Eve gifts to everyone, Emmett included. The conversation as we opened gifts drifted back to Rose, like always.
My dad accidently let it slip about my sister's work when he suddenly asked about some deranged caller from the other night he wanted to know about. Everyone in the room froze when he finished.
My mom and I turned to Rose, while my dad tried to cover-up what he just slipped.
Rose and Emmett started laughing and shared that look again, leaving all of us confused.
"Don't worry about keeping anything from Emmett. He knows all about what I do and doesn't have a problem with it," Rose assured.
"What do you mean Emmett knows?" my mom asked. "I thought you didn't want anyone to know the truth."
"Emmett's different," she answered looking at Emmett with a goofy grin instead of at my mom who asked the question. She turned back to my mom after I saw Emmett give Rose a small, reassuring nod.
"I was planning to wait until tomorrow to give these to you, but I'll do it now," Rose explained pulling small envelopes out of her bag. She handed each of us one with a huge grin on her face. My parents ripped into theirs to find out what it was. I didn't need to. I could tell by the look on her face and the way she'd been acting all night what it was.
"So, when's the date?" I asked before my parents had a chance to comprehend what the paper inside said.
"You're getting married?" my mom shrieked excitedly. My mom and Rose met in the middle of the room to hug each other and squeal a little more. My dad walked around them and shook Emmett's hand to congratulate him. I just rested back on the couch and waited for Rose to finally get to my question.
"When did this happen?" my mom asked.
"He asked me about a month ago and I wanted to surprise everyone. It was hard, because I wanted to call you and tell you all about it but I didn't want to spoil the surprise," Rose explained.
"Oh, I'm so happy for you," my mom sighed. "We have so much planning to do."
"What do you think of the 'save the date' cards? Are they too much? This is just an example of what we were thinking about sending out."
"These are beautiful," my mom gushed. "Have you gone dress shopping yet?"
"Not yet. I wanted to wait until I could have you with me."
I was beginning to get sick of all the wedding talk.
"I'm going to bed," I announced standing to my feet. "Congratulations. I'm happy for you both."
The room got quiet when I left, but I didn't want to stick around anymore.
I went to bed and did my best to get some sleep.
The next morning was just a repeat of the day before. We ate, we opened presents, and we talked about the wedding. I just wanted to go back to the dorms and hide out away from people all together.
Around one in the afternoon I finally insisted I need to get back to work on some schoolwork.
I was upstairs packing when there was a knock on my door. I turned to see my sister walking in hesitantly.
"Are you okay, Edward?"
"I'm fine. I just have a lot of schoolwork to do and I need to get back."
"Emmett seems to think you have a girl on your mind. Mom even mentioned there was a girl back when you and dad had your argument but you haven't mentioned her since. Did something happen?"
"Why can't everyone just leave me alone? If there was a girl and I wanted someone to talk to I'd know who to go to. But I really don't want to talk about it so I wish everyone would stop asking me about this girl."
"Sorry, I was just trying to help."
"I don't need any help. I'm fine."
"Okay, I'll leave you alone then. Just remember to keep August twelfth open. That's when we're having the wedding and we're planning a destination wedding in Florida."
"Florida?" I asked chuckling at her ostentatious destination wedding. "I'll be there. Just tell me where to go and when."
"We'll give you the details as it gets closer. We still have a ton of planning to do, but we were thinking of going to Disney World and maybe even down to Miami. It'll be a week or two long trip."
"Sounds like fun," I said. I grabbed my bag off the bed, gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and headed out the door. I went down to the living room and told everyone goodbye. Emmett reminded me we could go out for a drink sometime and he could introduce me to some people. I nodded my head in understanding but I didn't think I'd take him up on the offer anytime soon.
I headed out on the road and got back to the dorm in record time. I actually didn't have anything to do I just didn't want to be home anymore.
The next six months were a blur. I got through my freshman year of college and started to feel like I could get through the rest with no problem. Now that I knew my way around and I was more comfortable with the area I felt like I could last a couple more years. I even talked my dad into letting me get an apartment near the college. It wasn't much but it was mine and somewhere I could be alone.
A week before Emmett and Rosalie's wedding we headed down to Florida. We went to Miami first and while there I hooked up with this girl. She had dark long hair and these bright blue eyes. Thinking back on it now, I don't even remember her name. She was just some local girl who thought I looked pretty good for a one night stand.
It wasn't bad, but Emmett knew. He didn't need to say anything. I could see it in his face and he looked disappointed. For some reason I liked Emmett. I respected him and cared about what he thought of me. However, I had needs and it's been a long time since I'd had sex. As much as I enjoyed the sex with Bella, she wasn't coming back. Even if she did she wasn't going to want me. I still had my doubts if she was even real at all.
After a couple wild nights in Miami we all headed up to Orlando to go to Disney World. This was also the place Rose was planning to get married. She wanted the full fairytale and Emmett was willing to give her everything she wanted.
After one day at Disney World, I decided I'd had enough of the fun and games. I rented a car and decided to go on a little road trip to see more of this state. I'd never been to Florida before so I figured I might as well do a little exploring.
Rose was nervous I wouldn't be back in time for the wedding, but I assured her I would. I figured I'd drive as far as I could in one day then stay at a hotel before heading back the next day. I'd be gone for two days and back in plenty of time for the wedding.
Right before I left, Emmett jumped in the car and said he needed a little bachelor time before he got married. I didn't refuse to let him come.
We headed out on the road and drove to Daytona Beach. We explored the Raceway and the city a little before stopping for lunch.
We really didn't talk much during the trip. But when we did it wasn't about anything important. We just talked about random crap that made no sense really.
When we hit Jacksonville, Emmett got the bright idea to try our hand at surfing. Neither of us had ever been surfing but there were plenty of people around who were willing to give lessons for the right price.
We found someone who didn't look much older than me and he went through the rundown of what we needed to do. He led us out on our rented boards into the middle of the ocean. Every time a wave would come through he would start yelling at us to start paddling. We did our best but neither of us was really able to get up on the board. It was more about the experience and laughing at each other for falling off.
"One last try," Emmett insisted. It was already pretty dark and I was done for the day. The ocean exhausted me and I was ready to find a hotel to pass out in.
I waited for our guide to start yelling at Emmett to start paddling. When he did, Emmett took off on his board and finally, after trying all day he got up on his feet and held on for a few second. I was clapping and cheering him on until suddenly he lost his balance and fell off. When he came up, his head was bleeding profusely and our guide kept insisting we get out of the water. I figured it had something to do with shark attacks or something. We paddled back to the beach and got him out of the water to see exactly what the damage was. He had a small gash on the side of his forehead which looked like it was going to need some stitches. Even our guide said I needed to get him to a hospital.
Emmett kept insisting he was fine and didn't need to go see a doctor. He worried if they gave him stitches and put a bandage on his head, Rose would be furious. Her wedding wouldn't be picture perfect.
I finally convinced him we had to see a doctor regardless. I think Rose would be more upset if he got an infection in the cut than if he had a couple stitches.
We pulled into the parking lot of a local hospital and walked inside. The nurse handed Emmett a clipboard of forms to fill out while we waited in the waiting room. My eyes wandered down the hall where I saw two men nearly punching each other outside of one of the rooms. They were shouting and one kept insisting he had a right to be in the room. Watching them was a little entertaining.
A few minutes later Emmett was called back to get checked out and when he came back he had a small line of stitches across his hairline along with a small bandage.
"Rose is going to kill me," he muttered.
I laughed. "No, she's going to kill me. I told her I'd take care of you."
"Well, hopefully in the morning it will look a little better and I can try to cover it up with my hair or something. Maybe Rose won't even notice."
I gave him a doubtful look making him laugh. We knew regardless of how well we covered it up she would find it and get upset.
Since it was late, we found a local hotel and went straight to bed.
"You know what was going on at the hospital tonight?" he asked suddenly.
"Well I saw those two guys fighting. It was pretty obvious they were fighting over a girl. I assume one was a baby-daddy and one was the new boyfriend."
"That's exactly what the nurse told me," he informed astonished by how I knew. "A woman came in to the hospital in labor. With her, she brought the baby-daddy as well as the new boyfriend and I guess these two guys were going at it fighting over who was going to be in the room. Then the older man showed up and broke them up fairly easy. The nurse said many of them were ready to call security because of the situation."
"Funny soap-opera story going on with that family," I laughed. "I feel sorry for the kid who has to grow up in that mess."
"Could you imagine?" he asked thinking about it even more.
We laughed and joked about the ridiculous family we saw at the hospital before we finally went to sleep.
The next morning, we got up late and headed back out on the road towards Orlando. We didn't get very far but we had quite the adventure with the surfing.
Rose was furious about the cut on Emmett's head, like we knew she would be. Thankfully, my dad was able to step in and do some doctor magic to make it as invisible as possible. When he was done it actually looked pretty good. You could still see it up close but from a distance it wasn't noticeable. As long as close-up pictures were from a certain angle he would be fine.
A day later my sister and Emmett were married on the grounds of Disney World. Rose even came in on the Cinderella carriage. I don't think I'd ever seen my sister so happy. I knew Emmett was the person for her and I liked Emmett. He was a good guy and actually fun to hang out with.
During the ceremony I think I even Emmett cried a little. I didn't understand why he was crying. Why would you cry on the day you're supposed to be the happy? Maybe he was crying because he was no longer single. Men did cry over that right?"
He looked rather happy when he kissed my sister though. Everyone cheered and clapped their hands then we followed them down the aisle and into the banquet room where there was this huge buffet.
The great thing about it being a private party is I was able to sneak alcohol. At the bar they didn't card the guests. Unless you were obviously under age you could get anything you wanted.
My parents were so busy talking to people and fussing over Rose they never noticed. I drank myself into oblivion and could barely stand up straight for pictures when we had to have family shots taken. I was able to hide it for a while but eventually Emmett grabbed my arm and pulled me out into the hall.
"Sit down," he ordered. Having no fight inside of me, I did as he said. "Just wait here and I'll go get my keys to take you back to the hotel. He left for a few minutes before coming back and helping me out to the rental car outside.
"I can't believe you got yourself drunk," Emmett chastised. "I can't believe they gave you alcohol."
"They don't card at private parties. It's actually not hard to get alcohol if you know how to do it. I was drinking when we were in Miami also."
"Do you drink a lot?" he wondered.
"Sometimes," I slurred.
Emmett sighed and shook his head like he was appalled by my behavior.
"You know when you told me I would get over her and I'd realize she wasn't worth all the trouble?" I asked. He nodded his head, looking back and forth between me and the road. "She is worth it. I just wish I knew where she was."
"Who is she?" he asked.
Being drunk, I didn't hold anything back. "Her name is Bella. She used to live in Forks and her husband was mean to her. She left him the night I left home. She almost ran me over and out of guilt she gave me a ride. We had the most amazing night and the next morning she was gone. All I have left of her is this note she left me."
"You're seriously caught up on a girl who you had a one night stand with, and was still married at the time of the affair?" Emmett asked, making it sound so much worse than it was. "You're going to end up like that family we saw at the hospital the other night. Is that really what you want? Most likely she went back to her husband, which is why she left so quickly and didn't wait around to explain herself. Don't get yourself mixed up with that. Believe me, Edward, she isn't worth it."
He pulled up in front of the hotel and helped me onto the elevator and down the hall to my room. I plopped on the bed and curled up in the blankets.
"I need to get back to the reception before Rose notices I'm gone. If you can, take a shower and take some Tylenol. You're going to have one hell of a hangover in the morning."
He left the room and I went to sleep.
He was right, in the morning I had the worst hangover. Every little sound made my head feel like it was going to explode. I had to drag myself out of bed to meet my family for brunch, before we bid Rose and Emmett goodbye for their honeymoon. It seemed strange to have a destination wedding in Florida only to turn around and go to Europe for a honeymoon. It seemed like Florida would have been their honeymoon. But, my sister is ostentatious. The flashier the wedding and whole experience the better.
After watching Emmett and Rose leave and packing my own stuff, I headed home with my parents and all the other guests who attended the wedding. It was good to be home. I slept for almost three days straight. Then I went on another drinking binge and slept for a few more days.
After I sobered up, I started to think about what Emmett said the night of the wedding. I couldn't remember everything but I remembered him saying she most likely went back to her husband. Was there a chance she's been in Forks all this time and I didn't know? I was so close to her. If I could find her maybe I could convince her to leave with me. I'd go wherever she wanted me to. I'd keep her safe. Being that it was summer, I had no school so I went home to my parents. I told them I needed a change for a while and wanted to hang out in Forks. In reality, I was going to search for Bella. I didn't know where to begin but it's a small town so it shouldn't be too hard.
I searched all summer. I even got a part-time job as a door to door salesman of vacuum cleaners in hopes I might find her house. I had to have gone to every house in the area. I even sat outside the local grocery store for hours hoping I might see her. I searched the phonebook hoping I might come across her name and at least have an address or a last name. There were a few Bella's and Isabella's listed in the phonebook but none of them ever matched who I was looking for. I became obsessed with trying to find her though. I needed to find her.
Even after school started again, I was still spending every weekend searching for her. I started broadening my search looking in the neighboring towns. Just because she lived in Forks at the time I met her didn't mean she still lived there.
The following summer, I took a job working for my dad in his clinic. He was ecstatic thinking I was finally coming around and wanting to be a doctor like him. I didn't. I just wanted access to files. If she lived here at any time my dad would have record of her doctor visits. It was fairly easy to snoop through the records. My dad was always so busy with patients he barely noticed me at all. I came across all the same Bella's and Isabella's as before. I was beginning to lose hope. I wasn't going to find her. I truly wondered if maybe I had just created her and she never did exist. It seemed strange to not find any clues of her existence in a town this small.
I did come across an Isabella Black in the files but she hadn't been seen by any doctor here for over two years. She couldn't be the Isabella I was searching for. However, I checked it out anyway. I went to the last known address and parked a distance away from the house.
After an hour or so of waiting I saw a tall man with dark hair and skin walk out of the house with some blonde girl on his arm. They were laughing and being playful while they walked out to the car. It wasn't her. This couple seemed happy. If it was my Bella who used to live here she didn't anymore.
I hit roadblock after roadblock which only made me want to continue searching for her. I even went as far as asking Rose if they keep track of their callers or their addresses. Bella did say she called Rose the night before she left. Unfortunately, Rose laughed at me and said they don't ever ask for phone numbers or addresses and most of the time people don't even use their real name when calling in. The callers are just as much a mystery as she is. Another roadblock.
The next summer I spent it back in Forks again. I kept waiting for some clue or anything. I became obsessed with finding her and proving to myself she did in fact exist.
I barely made it through school with all the energy I was focusing on finding her. For four years I searched and searched with never even a shred of evidence she existed. She wasn't anywhere near Forks and I knew that now. I had to seriously think about whether I wanted to keep searching or give up.
I graduated from college and was offered a job working for Emmett as an engineer. He had sort of promised me the job years ago but I never really paid attention. I always wondered in the back of my head if somehow Bella would come back into my life once I graduated, but she never did. It didn't stop me from searching the crowds of people at the graduation ceremony though. I kept waiting for her face to appear. I barely acknowledged my family while they congratulated me and hugged me. My dad was so proud and kept hinting around about me going to medical school but I told him I had no interest in being a doctor. I was going to work with Emmett. Even though it wasn't what he wanted for me he accepted it.
A few days after I graduated from college Emmett stopped by my apartment and found me in the endless search for Bella. I had files and papers strewed across my floor.
"What are you doing?" he asked nervously.
"The same thing I've been doing for the last three years. I'm trying to find the woman I met the night I ran away. I know you want me to start work right away but I think I want to take a few weeks for myself before I start. I'm going to search for her," I explained.
"You're obsessed," he pointed out the obvious. "What are you planning to do travel all across the country and knock on every door until you find her?"
"If I have to," I admitted. "I'm going to retrace our steps and hope maybe someone along the way remembers her. Right now my main goal is just to find out if she was real. I have this feeling I just created her in my head and she really never did exist at all. I just want to prove to myself I wasn't crazy."
"Well if you weren't crazy then, you are now. This is ridiculous, Edward. It's been four years since you saw her. You're still so obsessed with her you're going to extreme measures to search for her?" he asked.
"It's just difficult," I justified. "I searched in the small town of Forks for almost three years and never found a thing. She said she lived there her whole life and never got out. Shouldn't there be some record of her somewhere? I couldn't find a thing and I went to every Isabella and Bella listed in the phonebook. I even searched dad's files with nothing. Every Isabella there was wasn't the Isabella I was searching for. It's literally like she never existed and I have to find her. The more roadblocks I hit the more I want to keep searching."
"Did you ever stop to think maybe she didn't give you her real name?" he asked suddenly making my whole world crumble around me. "Edward, I know you want to find her but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. You aren't going to find her. She's gone and you need to let her go before you go mad."
I fell to the ground in defeat. I looked around my living room floor at all I'd done and realized he was right. I was never going to find her. Whether she existed or not there was no way I was ever going to find her. I had to let her go.
A single tear fell down my cheek and I quickly brushed it away before Emmett saw. I'm not supposed to cry over a girl. I'm not a wimp who let some mysterious woman consume my life.
After a few minutes, I started to pick up the papers and all the information I'd collected over the years and tossed it in the garbage can. Emmett was right. I had to let her go. If she wanted to be found I would have found her by now.
I started working for Emmett the next week and found I really enjoyed what I did. I shadowed him on most jobs. He even talked about someday being partners and branching the company out. I liked the idea of being partners.
I started hanging out with Emmett quite a bit even away from work. He introduced me to quite a few people and I started dating this girl named Heidi. She was gorgeous. I'm not sure what she saw in me, but I wasn't complaining. I liked having a beautiful girl on my arm and a warm body to sleep next to. Life was good.
At Christmas, she went to Forks with me and spent the holidays with my family. My parents loved her. They thought she was perfect for me. My mom even asked if I was going to need my great-grandmother's ring. I laughed at her and told her there was no chance of that. As much as I liked Heidi I couldn't see myself marrying her and spending the rest of my life with her.
The day before we were supposed to head back to Seattle I noticed there was a rattling noise coming from my car. We couldn't figure out what it was or where it was coming from so Emmett thought I should take it in to get looked at before I drove back to Seattle.
I drove across the small town and pulled into a local mechanic shop called Black's Auto Shop.
"Hi there, I'm Jacob Black. What can I do for you?" a man who looked so familiar asked when I climbed out of the car.
"Edward Cullen," I greeted shaking his greasy, rough hand. "There's a rattling noise coming from the engine. I need to drive back to Seattle in the morning and I just wanted to have it checked out to make sure it wasn't anything serious," I explained.
"Pop the hood and I'll have a look," he ordered. I did as he asked and watched what he was doing.
"It looks like you need you an oil change for one thing. When is the last time you had your car checked out?" he asked.
"Well, I guess it's been a while. Maybe a year or so," I answered. He rolled his eyes and huffs dramatically. I could hear him mumbling something under his breath while he looked at a few other things. I had a bad feeling about him. He sent off bad vibes and I didn't like him from the minute I saw him. However, this was the only mechanic shop in the town of Forks so I had no choice.
"Why don't you have a seat right over there and I'll see what I can do for you," he suggested. I got the impression he didn't want me around. I walked over to the chairs along the wall and sat down. I watched him from a distance for a while before my eyes wandered around his shop. There was a bulletin board hanging on one of the far walls which caught my attention. I walked over to it and looked at all the pictures of engines and proud people hanging over their fancy cars. I saw the man working on my car in quite a few of them. There was one picture covered up a little and when I pulled it out to see the whole thing I saw the woman who had eluded me for years standing next to the owner of this place with her arm wrapped around him, posing in front of the shop.
"Excuse me," I said trying to Jacob Black's attention. I walked over to him and held out the picture. "Do you know who this woman is?"
He gave me a skeptical look and raised an eyebrow. "What's it to you?" he asked angrily.
"She just looks very familiar. I think I've seen her somewhere before."
"I doubt it kid," he said. "That's my ex-wife. She hasn't been back here in almost five years."
"She's your ex-wife?" I asked with a shocked tone. This is the man who had made her life a living hell and made her leave. This was the man who caused my Bella so much pain and made her not think she could trust me enough to take care of her. The anger building inside of me was unbearable. I wanted to kill him right then and there. It took everything inside of me to keep it together to get a little more information from him.
"Where is she now?" I asked.
"How should I know? That slut left me for another man and I haven't seen or heard from her in years. She ruined my life. She took everything I had."
My jaw clenched and my hands fisted at my side.
"Take some advice, Kid. Stay away from bitches like her. They're all the same. They use you for they need and then dump you when there done with you."
I couldn't hold it in any longer. My fist swung towards him and connected with his nose. The pain from the blow radiated through my hand but it was worth it.
"What the hell was that for?" he shouted, holding his nose to stop the bleeding.
"You're an asshole. I just decided I'll take my chances with the car. I don't want your help." I walked past him, shut the hood of my car and drove off taking the picture with me.
Once I got back to my parent's house I very carefully cut Jake out of the picture, leaving only Bella. Isabella Black. Suddenly all the memories of files started coming back to me and I remembered her. I remembered driving to Jacob's house and seeing him with a blonde girl figuring that was the Isabella Black from the medical file. I should have gone over and asked then. I was right there.
For weeks I stalked Jacob. Part of me still wanted to kill him but I was already worried of being charged with assault. I found it strange he never did press charges. I never heard from him again.
Suddenly, I was obsessed with finding her again. I had the small clue I was waiting so long to find and I felt so close now. Heidi noticed my strange behavior and decided it was time we took a break. I can't say I was upset to see her go. I know I should have been but I wasn't.
I searched databases all over the United States for an Isabella Black. There were hundreds of them. I didn't know where to begin. I started out calling anyone who had phone numbers listed and once again came to dead-end after dead-end.
I did my best to hide what I was doing from everyone. I knew if Emmett found out what I was doing again he'd be mad. I didn't want to jeopardize my job in any way.
After watching Jacob and doing some background checks on him, I discovered he had a dirty little secret. He was buying parts from a man who didn't look trustworthy. I got deeper and deeper into finding out who these people were and who Jacob Black was and found enough evidence and proof that he was buying parts illegally and using them but charging full price. Anonymously, I sent all the information I'd gathered to the police. I waited about a week and happened to be in the area when they busted him. In a way, I felt vindicated. I had done what Bella couldn't. I made sure there was no way he could ever hurt her again, wherever she might be.
More months, I made phone calls searching for Isabella Black. I even found out her maiden name was Swan from some local people in Forks. I called everyone who I found with that name but still there was nothing.
"Edward," Emmett called from his office. I was doing my best to stay focused on my job but I had a feeling Emmett was noticing my lack of motivation. I walked into his office and sat down in the chair across from his desk. "I need you to go down to Florida for a business trip."
"There's a client who wants to hire us for some work down there. If we get the job this might be the big break I've been waiting for to branch out the company."
"Then why don't you go?"
"Because I just got back from a long trip in New York and if I leave again Rose is going to be furious," he explained. "You can handle it, Edward. You know what you're doing and how to finesse people. I have total faith in your abilities." He may have, but I didn't.
The next morning, I packed my bag and headed to the airport. I was only planning to stay for three days. If I just stayed focused and did my job this should be a no-brainer. Emmett said the client was easy to get along with and there wasn't a lot we needed to do to seal the deal. This was just formalities.
After getting off the plane and checking into my hotel room, I went out to find something to eat. I was supposed to have a dinner meeting in less than an hour but I never ate much during dinner meeting because of nerves so I wanted to eat before I met with the client. I stopped at a fast food place and picked up a burger and fries with a chocolate shake. While sitting in my rental car and eating, I watched people walking by and guessed their lives. I was always pretty good at reading people.
While dipping one of my fries in my chocolate shake, I thought about how Bella did that the night we had dinner together. I thought it looked rather disgusting but once she made me try it I kind of got hooked. Or maybe it was just my delusional way of holding on to her.
I wasn't paying attention when suddenly some of the shake dripped off the French fry and landed on my shirt.
"Fuck!" I shouted out loud. I tried dabbing it with a napkin but it just smeared in even further. I didn't have time to go back to the hotel to change. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't walk into an important meeting with a big brown stain on my shirt.
I looked around the area and noticed a sign for a mall. I put my food away and drove down the road to the mall. I parked and ran inside to find a store that sold men's suits. Thankfully, it wasn't too hard to find and the woman inside was very nice after I explained the situation. She quickly helped me find a new shirt and even let me leave the store with it on.
I thanked her profusely before running out of the store and towards the doors. I was already going to be cutting it close to make it to my meeting in time. I ran around a corner and bumped into someone. Not paying attention to whom it was I apologized just as she did. The voice that came from the person I ran into hit me to the core. There was a tingling feeling that ran up my spine and made my ears twitch. I stopped and looked down at who it was I ran into and saw the same woman I'd become obsessed with so long ago. The air in my lungs had disappeared. Even if I wanted to talk I couldn't. She was older now but still so beautiful. I wanted to touch her just to know she was real but I couldn't move. I stood there with my mouth hanging open and stared at her. Just as I thought I was about to crack a smile I heard a little kid shouting in the distance and Bella turn her head. I focused in on what she was looking at. I thought seeing her again was enough of a shock, but seeing myself as a child running towards her knocked the wind out of me. She was a mom and that little boy was my child. Was this the reason for the obsession? Did my subconscious know somehow she had my child and I needed to find her to find him?
All I remember was the other lady with him calling him EJ and then Edward Jasper Swan. She had given him my name. All this time I was a dad and I didn't even know it. How could she keep him from me all this time?
I leaned down next to him so I could get a better look and talk to him. His hair was the same color and same texture as mine. His little face was the same shape as mine. Even his smile was crooked like mine. The main thing I noticed was his eyes. They were the same shape and color green as mine were. It was like looking at myself twenty years ago.
"You're name's Edward?" I asked with a smile on my face. He nodded his head and smiled back. "My name's Edward too. It's a pretty cool name, huh?"
He glanced up at Bella for reassurance.
"What game did you get?" I asked. He held the game out in front of me and began telling me all about it. Hearing his little voice brought me to the verge of tears. This was my son.
"This character can jump so high, he can even jump on the clouds," he explained. "And this one shoots fire out of his mouth. He burns everything up. He's my favorite."
I glanced up at Bella and shook my head with frustration. How could she do this to me? She just ripped my heart out of my chest all over again.
The other woman who was with them took EJ away for some ice cream to give us a minute to talk. I rose to my feet and watched him walk away. The anger I felt for Bella was masked by the pride I felt at seeing my son and knowing I was a father. I'd never even thought about being a father. It wasn't something I ever planned on doing but in that moment all that mattered to me was that little boy. He was my world. He was my driving force for everything. There was no possible way I wasn't going to be a part of his life.
"I can explain," Bella said. My attention fell back on her. There wasn't anything to explain. I just wanted the truth.
"He's mine isn't he?"
I know everyone is going to be upset where I left it off but I pulled an all-nighter to get this done and barely turned it in on-time. I still have an idea where I want to continue this so I'll probably add more later on.
One last end note, I entered the Showers to Flowers contest and I'd really appreciate if everyone read the entries and voted for your favorites, whether it's mine or one of the others. I'm very proud of the story I wrote for this contest. The link for it is on my profile. Thanks everyone.