Disclaimer: Sadly Twilight isn't mine. Also, while I may write this story, I am not a musician or songwriter - all songs & lyrics belong to the respective artists/composers.
A/N: So here it is…the epilogue. I have a lot of thank you's and some parting words for you all, but I'll leave them all for you at the bottom. I know at times my author's notes have been lengthy but I would greatly appreciate it if you took the time to read my final one at the end. As always thanks to everyone for reading, rec'ing and reviewing.
Epilogue: Having It All
Song: Bless The Broken Road by Rascall Flats
September 3, 2061 – 50 years later
When I was still human, I thought fifty years was an extraordinary long time. Now, I have a slightly different perspective on things. It's still a significant amount of time, plenty of things have changed, but fifty years doesn't seem so long any more. The things I did fifty years ago still seem like they were only just happening yesterday. Picking up another photo album, I can't help but let out a sigh when I see the pictures that are in it.
Flipping through the first few pages of pictures I see myself sitting in the library at Kings College or in the dining room at Carrington with my books spread out everywhere as I trudged through the four years of my undergraduate studies. After considering everything, I decided to get my degree in psychology. As much as I loved my books and literature, I wanted to be able to do something and help people. That's when I decided to pursue psychology. I thought it would be the perfect path for me to get my degree and then maybe start a practice where I could work with people who had similar issues like I did with the drugs. I knew I would never be able to repay Carlisle and everyone else for everything they did for me, but I had hopes that I could pay it forward.
Flipping through a few more pictures I see the ones from my graduation day. Edward was so proud of me that day. I was proud of myself. I finally had done something worthwhile with my life, and even though I hadn't gotten the PhD yet, I was well on my way to getting there. Edward was by my side helping me along the way whenever I needed him to, and so was everyone else. My hand flips the page in the album and ghosts over the next picture…the one from when I got my acceptance letter for graduate school. Regardless of my ability to have perfect recall now, I was still skeptical of my being admitted. I applied to all the big name schools in Britain just to appease Edward and Carlisle, not thinking I would get in, only after I made them swear to me that they wouldn't try to pay my way into the schools. Who would have thought I would end up going to Oxford for my PhD?
I glance at more pictures of my years in my doctoral program and the ones from my graduation, the day that I officially became Dr. Isabella Cullen. After I graduated, we decided it was time to head back to the States again for a while having spent a good number of years in England. We moved to New Hampshire, and settled in there for a few years. With Carlisle working at one of the hospitals there, he managed to get me a position there as well at the outpatient rehab clinic that the hospital ran. I loved every minute of working there. The clients were tough, but I enjoyed doing something that made a difference ,being someone who mattered. I finally had felt like I had something to offer and contribute.
Edward was a little miffed, about my job, complaining only because he along with Jazz, Em, Rose, and Alice were still stuck going through high school again, but he got over it quickly when he saw how happy I was working. Plus he realized the reality was that even if I hadn't pursued the job, I never would have been able to pull of returning to high school…I looked too old. Now I know I was twenty three when I was changed, and I didn't look all that old either, but it was too obvious and too risky to try to have me pull off being a high school student.
After a few years in New Hampshire, where Edward managed to graduate from Dartmouth again, we relocated back to Washington, deciding that we would all just take a year or two to relax. The time spent there was nice. I got to catch up with Jake and April, who by this point were well on their way to having an entire litter of pups. Already having had two boys, April was now pregnant with their third child, a daughter. If I could have cried I would have when Jake introduced me to his sons when he told me he had named his eldest, Charlie after my dad. He kept telling me he was going to change Charlie's later on when his daughter Vanessa was born, and I kept going on how people were going to nickname her Nessie just like the Loch Ness Monster.
Sadly, during our time there, Sue ended up getting sick. Carlisle did all he could for her, but there wasn't much. The doctors caught the cancer too late so the only thing to do was to make the last of her time memorable and comfortable. Sue and I got close again during that time, and we made our peace. I was finally able to let go of the hurt and forgive her what she had done the day of my father's funeral. A week later, she passed away. It was a difficult time for Leah and Seth, but they had each other and the rest of the pack to help them get through it. Not long after that, we moved on again.
We spent some time in Alaska with the Denali's, and although I never really cared for how Tanya would look at Edward, she never did anything questionable. After leaving Alaska, we continued on in our usual fashion, moving from place to place every so many years. Sometimes I would work with Carlisle in the hospital or at a rehab center, and occasionally I would go back to school for a post graduate certificate program. Before I even realized, time had flown by in the blink of an eye, and here we are fifty years later.
I still can't believe that Edward and I have been married for fifty years. He still looks at me the way he did all those years ago…as if I hung the moon just for him. To tell you the truth, I look at him the same way. He's my everything, and I'd do anything for him without a second thought.
I put away the photo albums and head outside to where Edward's waiting for me. He's kept his promise from all those years ago and brought me back to Fiji, only this time he's rented out the entire resort, so we can have it all to ourselves. We won't have much time to be here this time either, only an extended weekend. As much as I'd love to have more time here with Edward we have to go back to Seattle. We just settled in there and I'm teaching at the university. I remember when I applied for the position, the psych department chair seemed skeptical because I was so young, but as far as my records showed, I was Isabella Platt, the younger sister of Esme Platt who happen to have an eidetic memory and an IQ that qualified me for membership in Mensa. According to my transcripts I graduated high school at the age of fifteen, my undergrad at seventeen and my doctorate at twenty. Now I was the new twenty five year old psychology professor at the University of Washington.
I still can't help but laugh when I think about the day I got my student rosters for the fall semester. I was flipping through the lists when I got to the one for my Intro to Psych course and a certain name caught my eye…Edward A Masen. As I looked at the list more closely I noticed a few other names as well…Alice Brandon, Jasper and Rosalie Hale, and Emmett McCarty. I had known they were all going to college this go around, but I did not however know they all signed up for my class. It should make the semester an interesting one.
Walking along the beach towards Edward, I get lost in how gorgeous he looks, standing along the shore in nothing but a pair of khaki shorts, the sun setting behind him. All these years later and he still manages to take my breath away. As soon as I reach him, I wrap my arms around him and whisper "Happy Anniversary."
Turning to face me, he kisses me as he says "Happy Anniversary love."
We stand together watching the sunset, enjoying the quiet around us. Once the sun goes down, we take our time making our way back to our villa.
"You know Bella" Edward says, breaking the silence. "It still feels like just yesterday that I saw you for the very first time in that cafeteria in the high school in Forks. We had quite the broken road to travel to get here Bella, and I wish I could give back to you all the time we lost together, but I know I can't. I'm thankful every day that I get to call you mine and I know how lucky I am to get to have you with me forever. You are my home Bella, and I know I might have lost my way a bit, and I know we had our struggles, but despite it all I am thankful that I found my way back to you. You've given me more than I could ever dream of wanting, more than I ever thought I deserved. I love you"
"I love you too Edward" I whisper as we make our way back into the villa.
Edward's words are so heartfelt, I'm not sure how I got lucky enough to have him in my life, but I'm thankful for it regardless. We've fought, we've laughed, we've had good times and bad, but in the end we made it back to each other and made a wonderful life together. And if the past fifty years are any indication of what our future holds…I can't wait for it. I've made peace with my past, made a life for myself, have a loving and supportive family, and most of all I have Edward…my heart and soul, my reason for being. I know he'll always be at my side no matter what comes our way and we'll get through it together. What more could I possibly ask for when I already have it all?
A/N:I know this is going to be an epically long note and I apologize for that, but please bear with me. I hope I managed to do it all justice. I wanted to offer you a bit of a glance into how Bella's new life turned out. Thoughts about her choices? Please leave me some love and your thoughts on things one last time. Thanks for reading!
I truly must thank each and every one of you who has read, reviewed, and rec'd this story. I came up with the idea for The Sharpest Lives completely out of the blue on a plane ride while listening to my ipod. I was so afraid to even try to write it all down, let alone post it, but you have all shown me and this story more love and support than I ever dreamed possible. Thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.
There are also some people I need to thank individually…
Kyla, my twifey…thank you so much for all of your support and your encouragement when I had my moments of doubt about the story or my abilities, for putting up with my frustration when writer's block would rear its ugly head, and most importantly for always being there whether the sun was shining or hidden so far behind the clouds I wasn't sure I'd ever see it again. 35 days babe! You are truly amazing and I'm more grateful than I could ever put into words to have you in my life. I love you!
Massy, my favorite tomato thrower…I don't know where to begin to start with you. I am so glad that I get to call you my sister! You've helped me so much more than you realize along the way. From working out the nuances of this story to helping me find the right music for chapters, to helping me sort through all the emoness that was the Charlie outtake. I can't imagine how this story would have turned out without your help and guidance.
Butterflybetty…you have been a shining example of all that is great in the fandom. I walked into this wonderful world and managed to stumble across your stories and quickly became enamored with them. I am proud and lucky to be able to call you my friend, and I just want to thank you for being there for me whenever I was frustrated with my writing.
Sandra, my avid reader and more importantly my friend…your reviews and words of encouragement mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you for all of your kind words and support.
Ok, enough of the sappy…Now that this story is finished, I will be taking a short break to regroup and begin work on my next story. I have several in the works and plan to start posting again in two to three weeks.
Now, I know I mentioned my outtakes. They will be posted throughout the summer and whenever a new one pops into my head under my story The Lives of Others.
Even cooler than my outtakes is what my twifey Kyla aka Dr. Hugsalot has planned for my characters. Dr. Hugsalot is well versed in hug therapy and has been working wonders on Edward from Breach by Catastrophia (if you aren't reading this then you really really need too!). Dr. Hugsalot has offered to sit down with my characters and pick through their brains about the things that happened in The Sharpest Lives. Her sessions with Bella and the rest of the group will take place sometime this summer and the transcripts from these sessions will also get posted under The Lives of Others so be sure to keep an eye out for it!
If there are any specific outtakes that you would be interested in seeing from this story, please let me know in your reviews or in a PM, and I'll see what I can do about getting it written for you.
Don't forget about Facebook group for my stories called lvtwilight09's lovers. If you'd like to be added to the group, just search it on Facebook and request to join. I hope to see you all over there. It's the place where I post song teasers and additional snippets and pictures of upcoming chapters, stories, and outtakes that I am working on.
Thanks again everyone for sticking with me. It's been a wild ride and I've loved getting to spend every minute of it with all of you. Until next time!