A/N: I wrote this story for the contest Musical Cues. The idea was to pick a song and write a story about it making the reader feel the song. So I chose the song 100 Years by Five for Fighting. Please make sure to listen to the song. It's the inspiration for this story. This story is very special to me and means a great deal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I want to send out a special thank you to xlavendermoonx who was so wonderful to take the time to beta this story for me. Make sure to check out her fantastic writing!

This story is going to flash forwards and backwards through time to specific events in Bella's life.


THIS SHORT LIFE

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 15

My stomach churned as I looked at the cereal floating in my bowl. No way was I eating that soggy, disgusting mess. I stared at it some more before jumping up and tossing the nasty contents into the garbage disposal.

I had butterflies the size of pterodactyls flying around in my gut today from nerves.

Today was my first day of school upon transferring to Forks High School after coming back here to live with my dad, Carlisle. Everyone, including me, called him Carl.

My parents divorced when I was 3, and I went to live with my mom, Angela. My mom worked as a school teacher, and we lived in Phoenix.

God, I miss her so much. How am I going to survive without her?

She died of skin cancer a month ago.


I bent over and picked up my backpack and was almost knocked over by a large nudge in the seat of my pants.

"You silly thing. You can't come to school with me, Nessie. You have to stay here. This is your new home. You'll get used to it."

You'll get used to it, too.

I leaned over and rubbed her head.

I'd had her for two years now. She was some type of a mixed mutt. She had a light tan coat and one ear that stuck up, and one that didn't.

Mom and I had gotten her at the dog pound. She'd been my best friend, and I adored her.

She had really helped me get through this last month….


I headed out the door and jumped into the passenger seat of the old Chevy rust bucket that Carl had bought for me. It was kind of an early birthday/welcome back home/sorry about your mom gift.

My birthday was coming up in two weeks, and I was turning 16. So one of these days, I'd get to drive this piece of junk. I can't wait!

As we pulled into the parking lot, I glanced around nervously. I pushed my glasses up and sighed.

Here goes nothing!

"Bye, Carl." I got out of the truck and headed towards the entrance.

"Have a good one, Bella," I heard Carl holler behind me.

You can do this, you idiot!

I got my class schedule and map from Mrs. Cope and headed out to find my first class. After making several wrong turns, I finally found the room and stopped several feet from the door.

I took in a deep breath and tried to calm my nerves.

My heart was about to pound out of my chest, and I said a prayer to Allah, Muhammad, God, and all other holy deities to please not let me puke chunks when I stepped into that classroom.

I grabbed the handle and swung open the door. I kept my eyes on the floor and headed straight for the teacher's desk.

"Ah, you must be our new student. Isabella Swan, right? Carl's little girl. He talks about you all the time. You can have a seat in the back."

I kept my head down and headed to the back of the classroom. I quickly grabbed my notebook and pen out of my backpack and began doodling.


I managed to find all of my morning classes, only getting lost about four times. It was finally lunch time. The dreaded, dreaded lunch time. I had no clue what I was going to do in there.

Where was I going to sit? Were kids going to make fun of me, the new, geeky shy kid who wears glasses and braces?

I made it to the cafeteria with my hands slightly shaking and got in line. All of a sudden, someone tapped me on the back.

"Hi, I'm Emily. You're the new girl, right? You were in my English class this morning." Emily was very pretty with long, black hair and dark brown eyes.

"Um, yeah, I guess I was." I agreed with her, but had no idea if she was in my class or not.

"Would you like to sit with us today? These are my friends Leah and Bree. Guys, this is Isabella."

"Uh, it's Bella. Just Bella. Oh and hi." Could I be any more stupid?

We got our food and sat down. My nerves were on overload again so I picked at my food, pretending I was eating it.

"So we have to clue her in on everyone," Bree said, tossing her long, light brown hair over her shoulders.

"See that table over there? With that drop-dead-gorgeous-I-hate-that-bitch-barbie-doll-perfection-chick sitting there?" I nodded slightly, looking back down at my food.

"That is Rose. She is a total and complete bitch. Steer clear of her. The big, huge hunk of gorgeousness sitting next to her? That's Em. And Em belongs to Rose. Don't mess.

"Now the guy sitting next to Em with the sexy blonde hair? That is Jazz. God, he is so gorgeous. Let me take a moment and just admire the view." She sat quietly and just stared at him with her mouth open. I shook my head and started giggling.

"Woof, okay, that was nice. Now what was I saying before I got rudely interrupted by the gorgeousness?" Bree asked looking at me with her bright blue eyes.

"Um, you were telling me about Jazz?" I reminded her.

"Oh yeah. Jazz and Rose are bro and sis. And Jazz is with Ali. She is the tiny thing sitting next to him with the whacked out hair."

Leah interrupted Bree and looked around the lunchroom. "But, babe, we are missing the two most delicious man servings of man-meat available at Forks High. Jazz is just an appetizer compared to these two. Where the hell are Jake and Edward?"

Emily started laughing. "Probably in the closet with Laurie and Jess getting blow jobs!"

They all three started snickering, and I just looked down again at my food, not really knowing what to say and feeling very uncomfortable with this conversation.


Lunch came to a close, and I said goodbye to my three new friends. I went to my locker and pulled out my schedule.

Gym. Kill. Me. Now.

If anyone can hear my prayer right now, please grant my request. If there is a meteorite that is going to hit earth at this moment, please point it directly at me.

I shut my locker and leaned against it, and waited. Of course, no one listened to my prayers.

I stood for a while longer staring at my shoes, trying to decide what to do. I knew if I entered that class I was going to be humiliated beyond belief. Today had been bad enough as it were. I tried to move in the direction of the locker rooms but couldn't seem to get myself motivated.

I heard the bell ring, and I decided that for once today, I could pretend that I got lost and show up to my class late. I could get by with it today since I was the new kid.

I made my way as slowly as I dared towards my dreaded destination.

Suddenly I heard scuffling and yelling noises coming from the boys' locker room. I slowed down, curious as to what was going on, but I kept walking at a snail's pace.

The door suddenly burst open and a big, well-muscled guy with short, spiky black hair, brown eyes, and brown skin came running out, laughing hysterically, and carrying a handful of clothes and a pair of tennis shoes.

He was hot. Like seriously hot.

"Oops, sorry." He darted around me, still laughing like a hyena.

Then the door was thrown open again and the next thing I knew, I was lying flat on my back looking up at the ceiling and something heavy was lying on my legs, pinning them to the floor.

"What the fuck… are you okay?" I heard a beautiful voice say.

"Mmhmm," I mumbled. The weight on my legs was gone, and I looked up to see the most beautiful guy I had ever gazed upon looking down at me.

He was tall. Maybe 6'1" or 6'2"… with crazy hair sticking up in all directions in shades of brown, gold, and bronze. His eyes were emerald green, and his jaw was square and chiseled.

Since my mouth was gaped open, I might have drooled a little bit.

His lips were perfection. Red and full and perfectly-shaped.

And he was standing there in his jockey underwear. Yep, ONLY HIS UNDERWEAR!

His chest was lean and muscular with a spattering of hair. And, of course, he had a six-pack.

I didn't look anywhere near HIS UNDERWEAR out of sheer humiliation, but I did check out his feet. I figured it looked like I was no longer looking at him since my eyes were on the floor, but in reality, I was enjoying the view.

Yes, I had a bit of a thing for feet. His feet were huge, and he had perfectly long, straight toes.

Sigh….

"Are you sure you're okay?" he asked as he reached out his hand to help me up.

I waved him off, ignoring his hand, and quickly scrambled to my feet. "Uh, I'm fine," I mumbled. The top of my head barely made it to his shoulders. I felt tiny next to him.

I lifted my eyes up and glanced into his emerald greens and felt woozy. I could not believe a guy could look that perfect.

God was having an exceptionally marvelous day the day He made him, that's for sure!

"Good because I gotta get my damn clothes back. Jake, I'm gonna kick your ass!" he yelled as he ran down the hallway.


FAST FORWARD

18 YEARS IN THE FUTURE

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 33

"Bella, breathe, damn it, breathe!" Edward yelled at me. "Watch me… hee hee hee, hoo hoo hoo; hee hee hee, hoo hoo hoo. That's right, baby, just like that. You got it, hon, you got it," Edward squeezed my hand and pushed my sweaty hair off of my forehead. "You can do this, baby. Not much longer, and it will all be over."

"You're the reason I'm here right now, you horny ass," I whispered through clenched teeth.

Edward laughed. "I know, baby, I know. But it will be so worth it. I'm so sorry you're in pain right now. I'd do it for you if I could, you know I would."

"Sure you would," I sneered.

"Okay, here comes another one," Edward warned me. "This is a big one. Are you watching me? Hee hee hee, hoo hoo hoo. Breathe, baby, breathe. That's it, baby, just like that. Hee hee hee, hoo hoo hoo. This one is almost over."

"How in (gasp) the hell (gasp) did I (pant) let you (gasp) talk me (pant) into a third baby?" I wheezed.

"Because you love me," he said as he leaned over and kissed my sweaty forehead.

"I really hate you right now with a deep, deep passion," I retorted with heavy conviction.

"I know. But I love you with everything that I am," he whispered close to my ear.

Damn, he's good. I really do hate him.

"Okay, you are 10 centimeters and 100% effaced, you can now start pushing," the doctor said as he nodded to me. "Just wait for your next contraction."


After pushing for twenty minutes, the baby's head finally started crowning.

"Oh my god! Baby, I can see his head! You're close, so close. Just a few more hard pushes, and Alec will be here. Okay, here comes the next contraction. PUSH! HARDER! Push, push, push! Oh my god, he's here!" Edward yelled excitedly.

Then Edward was quiet and just watched in silence as the doctor laid our new son on my belly and started suctioning his nose. After a few seconds, his little, tiny lungs let out a huge wail. I immediately started bawling hysterically as soon as I took one look at his chubby little face.

I looked up at Edward and saw tears streaming down his beautiful face as well. He mouthed the words I love you and the look in his eyes was so full of love and compassion that it completely overwhelmed me.

All I could do was sit and continue to cry uncontrollably.


Edward would not leave my side for a minute when I was in the hospital. He was obsessed with changing all of Alec's diapers and taking care of me. He was exactly the same way with our two other children.

He is an amazing father.


"Mommy, mommy, mommy!" squealed Anthony, throwing his little arms around my waist and almost knocking me down.

He was four years old and our oldest. He was a mini Edward. I was going to have to beat the girls off of him when he became a teenager.

"Mama, mama!" I looked down to see that Angelina had her whole body wrapped around my leg.

That's my little angel. She just turned two. I named her after my mother, of course. She had dark brown, curly hair and hazel eyes. She was so beautiful, but of course, I was a bit prejudiced.

"Mmmm, come here, you two rascals, I need me some loving!" I sat on the couch and grabbed them both in a huge hug and proceeded to kiss their sweet, little faces off until they were both squealing.

God, I missed them so much.

"Bella, how are you feeling? You look wonderful!" cooed my mother-in-law ,Reeree, short for Reneé.

"I don't feel too bad, considering," I replied. "Thanks so much for taking care of the kids for us."

"Don't you thank me. I should be thanking you for giving me another beautiful grandchild!" Reeree said lovingly.

"Hey, Jim. Did the kids drive you crazy?" I asked the tall, handsome man standing next to Reeree. Jim was Edward's step-dad.

"Yep, they were a handful. You look great by the way," Jim said.

"Thanks, Jim."

Jim was a wonderful man. He was a marvelous grandpa to the kids.

"Your big bewee is gone, mommy. Where did it go?" I smiled at Anthony.

"You remember how we told you that mommy was going to go to the hospital and bring you home a new brother?" I asked him watching his innocent, sweet face.

"Yep," Anthony replied making sure to pop that "p" really loud.

"Well, Alec was in my belly, and now he's here. So that is why my belly is smaller now," I explained.

"How did he get in your bewee, mommy?" Anthony asked, looking at me with bright green eyes.

"Um, you'll have to ask Daddy about that one, pumpkin," I smiled at him sweetly.

"Daddy's home! And I've got somebody really, really special to introduce you to," Edward shouted, coming in the door, carrying Alec in his car seat.

Edward gently lifted tiny Alec up and came over to me by the couch. He laid him in my lap and sat down. "Climb up, kids. Come meet your baby brother. This is Alec."

I eagerly watched their precious, little faces as they looked excitedly at the bundle in my lap.

Anthony's face suddenly turned into a scowl. "Why's he so whittle? How's he gonna play Darf Vader wiff me?" Anthony asked with a pout on his face.

"He's little now, but he's going to grow a little bit every day and before you know it, he'll be playing Darf Vader with you," I said leaning over and pinching his cheek.

Angelina kept saying, "Baby, baby," with her little hands all over Alec. I think she thought he was her new baby doll to play with.

My eyes caught Edward's green ones for a moment. He leaned over the kids and so softly, placed a sweet, gentle kiss against my lips. He pulled back just a hair and whispered softly, "I love you, forever."


FAST FORWARD

34 YEARS IN THE FUTURE

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 67

"Where are my damn glasses?" I growled, patting my pockets.

"I don't know where the hell those things are. Do I look like your glasses keeper?" Edward growled back. "I swear to all that is holy I get so sick and tired of hearing you whine about your glasses. You lose them at least twice a day," Edward grumbled, giving me a mean look.

"Shut up! I don't need your smart-ass mouth making me more pissed off. Now help me find them," I demanded.

"Look in your damn carry-on," he snarled.

"I did, dumbass."

"Well, where is the last place you went?" Edward asked angrily.

"I don't know! Um… let me think… um… ok, I went to the bathroom. I'll go check there," I said begrudgingly. I got up and scurried to the ladies' room and sure enough, there sat my glasses on the sink.

"Now boarding flight 111 non-stop to Denver," I heard announced over the loud speaker.

"I swear that I am going to make you wear one of those strings around your neck that attaches to your glasses," Edward threatened, giving me an evil stare.

"I'm not wearing one of those ugly, old granny strings, and you can't make me," I replied with a haughty air.

"But, honey, you are a granny, so who the hell cares?" Edward yelled in frustration.

"Now seating First Class."

"That's us, sweetheart. I still can't believe the kids upgraded our tickets for us," Edward said with a soft look on his face.

"I know. What did we do to deserve such wonderful children?" I agreed quietly.

"It's because they're just like their momma," he replied with gentleness in his eyes.

Ugh, after all these years, he still makes my heart melt. And still annoys the shit out of me.

"Grab your stuff, honey. Do you have everything? Your book, carry on, snacks?" I asked, checking the seats to make sure we left nothing behind.

"Yep, got it," Edward said, wincing as he stood up.

"Honey, how's your arthritis? Do you need to take a pill before we board?" I stared at him trying to judge his pain level based on his expression.

"I'll take one on the plane. Just remind me."

I slipped my hand into the crook of his arm as we slowly made our way onto the airplane.


Edward slept through the whole flight so he didn't even get to enjoy our First Class status.

I stared at him as he snored softly.

He was still just as beautiful to me today as he was that first day we met. The day he crashed into me in only his underwear on my first day of school, when I was a mere fifteen years old.

I loved him for the man he was on the inside now. It wasn't all about the fiery lust, physical heat and passion at this point in our lives. It was about a deep companionship, loyal friendship, and unwavering intimate love.

We had such a closeness and familiarity with each other. We were both halves of a whole.

He was still such a beautiful man physically, though. He was completely gray-headed, now, which made him look like a distinguished gentleman.

He was like a fine wine; he aged really well.

Come on, anyone that beautiful is still going to be sexy when they're old.

He had some laugh lines and crow's feet around his eyes. His forehead had deep lines in it. Probably from waggling his eyebrows at me so many times over the years.

I glanced out the window at the thick, cottony white clouds as far as my eye could see and did some reflecting.

We'd been married forty-one years.

It was hard to even comprehend that two people could be together that long. And the weird thing about it was that time was an oddity. Sometimes it felt like we had been together literally all our lives. And other times it felt like it had been no time at all.

We were both retired now. Finally. I had taught kindergarten forever, and Edward had been an executive for a marketing firm. We now wanted to travel and enjoy our free-time together, as well as dote on our beautiful grandkids.

Anthony was a pediatrician. He had worked so hard to get where he was. He'd grown up to be an amazing man, and I was so proud to call him my son.

He married a lovely woman named Vicky, and they had two beautiful children, Riley and Jared. Riley was five and Jared was three. Those kids were incredible. I was the most gushy, mushy, disgusting grandma in the universe. And I didn't care.

Angelina was a stay at home mom. She was such a strong, beautiful human being. She was married to an awesome guy named, Sam, who was a high school history teacher. They had two kids. Collin and Brady. Collin was two, and Brady was two months old. I swear that, honestly, they were the cutest children in the entire world.

And then there was Alec. My baby boy. The ladies' man. I swore that boy was never going to settle down. He was thirty-four for Christ's sake! And he has never had a serious girlfriend in his life. One of these days he is going to meet someone that knocks him on his ass.

Kind of like what Edward did to me.

He lived in LA and was an aspiring screen writer, currently doing some work for a sitcom. He was so incredibly talented.

Anthony lived in Denver, and Angelina lived in Fort Collins.

Edward and I lived in New York now, and we planned on moving closer to the kids. We did live in Denver near the kids for a long time but had to move to New York five years ago for Edward's job.

We were dying to move back as quickly as possible.

It was Thanksgiving and the whole family was meeting at Anthony's house to spend the holiday together. We were going to extend our stay an extra week so that we could do some house hunting while we were in town.


"Wake up, honey, we're almost there," I said to Edward as I nudged his side. He snorted and ignored me and turned his head, trying to get more comfortable in his seat.

"Hey, wake up! I have your arthritis pill for you." I put a little more force behind my nudge this time. I heard some low grumbling from Edward, which I ignored.

"Can't a man get a nap around here?" Edward mumbled with a hoarse voice.

"Edward, you've been asleep this entire flight! Now shut up and take your pill," I said as I shoved the pill at him along with a water bottle.

After exiting the plane and getting our luggage, we headed towards the exit. We looked up and saw Riley and Jared running towards us at top speed.

"Maw maw! Paw paw!" I bent down and hugged the snot out of those two little rascals. I had missed them so dearly. It seemed like they had already grown so much since I last saw them a month ago. I released them, and they immediately lunged for Edward and wrapped their stubby little arms around his neck. He picked them both up, grinning from ear to ear.

"Mom!" I turned, and two big arms grabbed me.

"Anthony! Mmm, I have missed you!" I held onto him as tight as I could. I leaned back and patted his cheek with my palm. He was so handsome. The spitting image of his father.

"My turn!" I turned around to see Angelina standing there holding her arms out towards me.

"Ang, honey! Ah, you just get more beautiful every time I see you! Are you eating? How can you be this skinny when you just had a baby? I'm going to have to fatten you up this week."

"Mom, stop!" I laughed and hugged her tight and gave her a big kiss on her cheek.


REWIND

45 YEARS IN THE PAST

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 22

I shifted the grocery bag and my purse in my arms and got ready to put the key in the door, when I dropped the keys.

Damn it!

I was lazy and didn't want to set everything down. Because I was lazy and persistent, I picked the keys up and tried again, balancing all of the crap in my arms. This time I was successful!

Loud music was playing in my dorm room. My roommate told me she was going to be studying tonight, and she always studied to blaring music.

I finally got the door open.

"Fuck me harder, Edward!" I heard my roommate scream.

Shit!

I dropped the groceries, and I couldn't control my eyes as they went straight to her bed. There was Edward's naked ass.

His eyes were as big as dinner plates as he gasped when he saw me.

My roommate peeped her head out from underneath him and rolled her eyes.

"Damn it, Bella, you weren't supposed to be back yet," Edward mumbled as he tried to cover his nakedness.

I now knew how Medusa felt when she was turned to stone because I felt like I couldn't move a muscle. I just stood there frozen and slack-jawed.

I came back to my senses when I heard a smart-ass voice say, "Hellooooo… you can leave now."

My body finally started moving. I left the groceries on the floor and walked slowly out of my dorm room. I walked down the hallway to the stairwell and opened the door and sat on the top step. I rubbed my temples and placed my face in my hands and just sat there. I then moved my hand to my chest and rubbed it. It hurt. It hurt really badly. I kept feeling a clinching deep in my chest like someone was squeezing my heart with a vice. I found it difficult to breath. Maybe I was having an anxiety attack or something.

Fuck this shit! He's not worth it! He's a complete and total manwhore!

I kept telling myself that, but it didn't make me feel any better. At all. The pain would not go away. I put my elbows on my knees and threaded my fingers in my hair and held my head.

Don't cry! Don't you do it!

I tried my hardest, but a few tears slipped out. I was so mad at myself.

After sitting there for an insane amount of time, I finally got up and headed back to my room. I flung my door open and went straight to my bed and lay down looking at the ceiling.

"Hey, Bella, sorry about that," I heard the harlot say.

I ignored her.

I hate my hussy roommate.

She grabbed her bag and left.


I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew someone was shaking my shoulders.

"Tanya, get the fuck off of me," I grumbled, irritated that I had been woken up by the hooker.

"Listen, I'm going out tonight, and I promise I won't bring anyone back here. If I hook up with someone, I'll go to their place." I rolled over and ignored her again.

Whore.

I listened to her primping. I pretended I was asleep, and she finally finished and left.

That's when the berating began.

Ugh, you idiot!

I really, really hated myself. I hated myself for my feelings that I could not control. I hated myself for causing myself pain. And I hated myself for being a stupid fucking jackass.

I had been in love with Edward Cullen since I'd been fifteen years old. And he barely even knew I existed.

I fell in love with him as soon as I set eyes on him, that day he crashed into me only wearing his underwear. And my life had been misery since.

Edward was in almost all of my classes in high school. And he didn't even know I was there. He never spoke to me. He was the most popular guy in the school, and I was a nobody.

So I just continued to pine and worship him from afar.

I tried to keep my affection for Edward from my friends, but they found me out pretty quickly. I'm a terrible liar. They did a really good job of keeping my secret. They felt pity for me and tried to get me to forget about Edward. But it was no use. He was it for me.

Anyway, we ended up graduating high school together, and I headed off to the University of Washington for college. I had no idea where Edward was going since I didn't hang with his crowd.

I moved into my dorm, met my roommate Tanya, and started classes the following Monday. I had just sat down in my seat in English class when who walked in?

Yep, looking as beautiful as ever.

Again, I was invisible.

I honestly didn't mind. I was just so happy that I could see him again. I could continue to lust after him from a distance. I didn't want to be away from him.

I know. I'm a pitiful, fucking loser.


So what can I say about Tanya? She was a fucking prostitute. Well, she didn't get paid for sex; she handed it out for free. That made it even worse. She had slept with just about everyone on campus.

Ugh, I can't believe she got her nasty ass hands on Edward!

She had no idea that I was in love with him.

I guessed I shouldn't have been surprised. Edward was pretty much a manwhore in high school. He could have anyone he wanted because he was so drop dead gorgeous. And from the stories I heard, he got a lot of pussy.

Tanya was incredibly beautiful. She was tall with blond hair down to her ass, light blue eyes, tan, and humongous, fake titties. Typical Barbie doll looks. Guys went crazy for her.

I had caught Tanya in a lot of compromising positions. Tanya knew lots of dicks. Always someone new.

To be honest, I kind of liked barging in on her. That was why I didn't bother to knock. I liked annoying the shit out of her. She deserved it, that floozy. She constantly lied to me, telling me that she was going to be studying or some other shit when instead she was leaving a sex stench in my room.

Have I mentioned I hate her?

Which brings me back to today when I walked in on them boinking. God, Edward's naked ass looked so good I wanted to run up and nibble on it and give it a little slap. Stop that right now!

I still couldn't believe that bitch managed to seduce him. Of all the eligible guys on campus, why did she have to have sex with Edward? My Edward, that I was desperately in love with. And do you know what I hated the most? That I was jealous of that skank. So jealous that when I looked in the mirror, my skin was a slight green color. I wished it had been me yelling, "Fuck me harder, Edward."

Dream on, Virgin Mary. Ugh, that pain in my chest is back.

So here she had just been having sex with Edward, the most beautiful specimen of man on the planet earth, and now she was going to go hook up with someone else tonight.

Unfuckingbelievable.


I got up and went to class the next day as usual. Edward and I didn't have any classes together this semester so I didn't see him. But I knew there was a possibility that I might see him at work.

He came in several times a week to Starbucks. Sometimes I waited on him and his friends. They were a crazy group of guys. He never said anything to me other than giving me an occasional smile.

I was a nervous wreck my whole shift, checking the door constantly, but he never showed up.

After my shift was over, I headed back to my dorm. For the first time ever, I pounded on the door and waited. I stuck my head up against the door and listened.

"Tanya, are you in there?" I yelled. No response. Ok, hopefully the coast was clear.

I can't bear to see Edward's naked ass again. I might not be able to control my hands from pinching that fine flesh.

I finally got up the nerve and flung the door open. I kept my eyes on the ground just in case. When there was still silence, I finally looked up and saw the room was empty. I sighed and sat down on my bed.

My life is so pathetic.

My phone started ringing. I grabbed it. Bree.

"Hey," I said softly.

"Girlfriend… it's almost here!" she squealed loudly in my ear.

"Bree…." I whined.

"Bella, you are not giving me any shit about this. You promised on Nessie's grave that you would go with us. You are not fucking backing out on me," she said with authority in her voice.

"Arrggghhh," I growled. She was so evil that she had made me promise on my dead dog's grave.

I sat and patiently listened to Bree go on and on about her latest boyfriend drama. I decided not to tell her about Edward. That was just something I did not feel like talking about.

We finally said our goodbyes and hung up.

Bree's birthday was in two weeks, and she had insisted that for her present we all had to go out clubbing. I do not club... AT ALL.

So Bree, Leah, and Emily were all coming here to Seattle. Bree's dad had a lot of money, so he was flying all of them in. She was getting us a room for the weekend.

I couldn't wait to see my friends, but I was not looking forward to the torture they had in store for me. They were constantly trying to hook me up with someone, and make me get over Edward. I was the last virgin in the group, and they felt it was their divine right as my friends to sanctimoniously de-virginize me.

I love them all dearly, but it is none of their damn business!


The next week flew by. Edward didn't show up at Starbucks. I really didn't expect him to. I figured he was probably embarrassed that I had walked in on them.

And Tanya continued on like nothing had happened. She never said another word about Edward. I was so glad that she didn't know my dark, little secret.

A week after the bumping uglies incident, Edward walked into Starbucks with his friends. He didn't get in my line, and I noticed that he didn't look at me.

Yeah, I felt a little dejected. I don't know what the fuck for, though. What did I expect him to do? Come in and announce, "Hi, Bella! So happy you caught me with my dick in Tanya and saw my naked ass. Can you show up tomorrow at ten p.m. for a repeat?" God, I'm so stupid.

He came in several more times after that and still never got in my line.


The night of my friends' arrival was upon me. They picked me up at my dorm in a limo, and we made our way to the hotel. Of course they had plans for me. I cringed as they dragged me into the room squealing with glee that they got to Beautify Bella.

I mean, I didn't look that bad. I had long, brown curly hair and brown eyes. Well, it was sometimes more like long, frizzy hair. I still wore my glasses all the time because I didn't really like my contacts. I was a C cup and a size two. But I wore my jeans a size six with a belt and lived in a hoodie and my Converse. What's wrong with a little comfort? Plus, I was not looking to attract anyone. I knew I would only ever love Edward, and I was never going to get him, so why bother fixing myself up?

Once again, I hate myself.

After hours of torture, we were ready to head out to the club. I had to admit that my girls did a mighty fine job. When I looked in the mirror, I would have never in a million years recognized myself.

I actually looked sexy.

They straightened my hair and it fell straight and shiny over my shoulders. They made me put my contacts in, and my make-up looked astounding. My eyes looked sparkly and beautiful, not plain brown, and I looked like I had high cheek bones now.

They put me in a sapphire blue strapless bandage dress. It had silver detailing going across the front.

I basically felt naked.

I had a lot of cleavage going on, which didn't look too bad, surprisingly. The dress made my tits look huge. The back of the dress hugged my ass and left nothing to the imagination. They put me in four inch strappy silver stilettos that made my legs look long and amazing.

We all piled into the limo. The girls screamed about how they were going to get me laid tonight. I just rolled my eyes at them and shook my head.

We pulled up in front of the club Trinity and got out. I had a hard time getting out as I kept trying to pull my scrap of a dress down and not flash anyone my undies.

I hung on tight to Leah and Bree so that I wouldn't fall down in my heels.

We entered the club, and it was packed. Everyone on the dance floor was grinding, and the music was pulsing.

We found a table and ordered drinks. I ordered a Grey Goose martini. After finishing our drinks, they dragged me onto the dance floor against my will.

As I was moving slightly and pretending that I knew how to dance, someone suddenly spoke in my ear in a deep voice, "Would you dance with me?"

I turned around and stared in disbelief.

"Uh, Bella, is that you?" he said, his eyes taking in every inch of me.

"Jake?" I sputtered in shock.

"Bella, I still can't believe it's you. You look incredible. I mean seriously incredible. Damn! I don't know what to say."

"Yeah, well my girlfriends unfortunately got ahold of me tonight," I complained.

"You should let them get ahold of you more often! So how about that dance?" he asked enthusiastically.

"Um, ok," I agreed nervously.

I started dancing with Jake and suddenly felt like I needed to vomit. Wherever Jake was, Edward was right behind him. So I had a sneaking suspicion that Edward was somewhere in the club. They had been best friends in high school and were also roommates in college.

Every time I saw Edward at Starbucks, Jake was right there with him. Jake was always nice and said hi to me but that was about it.

"You wanna get a drink?" he leaned down and asked me after we had danced awhile.

"Sure." We made our way through the crowd up to the bar. Jake placed his hand lightly on my lower back and leaned over and asked me what I wanted to drink. Just as I was about to speak, I heard a velvet voice.

"So, Jake, are you going to introduce me or keep her all to yourself?"

My stomach lodged in my throat as I turned around.

"Bella? What the hell?" Edward choked out.

Nice. So much for the old ego. And here I thought I looked pretty decent tonight.

He just stood there staring at me with his forehead all scrunched up with looks of disbelief and confusion running across his features. His eyes blazed up and down my body, giving me goose bumps.

"What the fuck, Edward? Bella looks gorgeous! Now fuck off!" Jake said, glaring at him.

Edward stared at me for a moment more. His mouth opened and closed like he wanted to say something, but instead, he just stomped off.

Jake continued dancing with me and never left my side. And it was a pleasant experience spending time with Jake. He was one gorgeous man. Tall, dark, and handsome. But, unfortunately, my heart belonged to someone else.

I suddenly noticed Jake's eyes squinted into slits and his mouth turned into a snarl, and he started shaking his head no to someone behind me. I was confused until I heard, "Dance with me?" in my ear.

"Okay," I agreed quickly. Then I immediately heard Jake say, "I told you to fuck off!"

"Well, now, the lady has agreed to dance with me so it's your turn to fuck off," Edward said with a smile on his face.

I honestly quit breathing. I didn't think I could survive being this close to the object of my affection. He looked so fuckhawt. He had on grey pin-striped pants and a black button down shirt with the two top buttons undone. I could see his sexy chest hair. He was delectable.

He moved closer to me and placed his hands lightly on my hips. I could smell him, and he smelled just so damn manly.

We moved, grinding to the music, and he just oozed sexiness. His emerald green eyes stayed on me, moving from my face, to my cleavage, to my hips. I felt like his eyes were ravaging my body. I suddenly had an aching between my legs.

"Time's up," Jake said as he grabbed my arm and ripped me away from Edward and dragged me towards his chest. I was still lost in my Edward-lust haze and didn't know where I was at for a second.

I looked around to see Edward walking away.

I danced with Jake the rest of the night. I did see Edward standing off to the side drinking a beer and staring at me the entire time. It was like he couldn't take his eyes off of me. It made me feel incredibly self-conscious.

Jake insisted on getting my phone number and said that he wanted to see me again. I wasn't really interested but gave him my number anyway.


When we got into the limo, my girlfriends fucking flipped their lids! They could not quit talking about the fact that Jake and Edward were practically having a pissing contest over me.

I knew that Edward was out of my league and that I would never have a chance with him. But seeing the look in his eyes tonight, gave me a sliver of hope. I wanted him to look at me that way again. Maybe there was a chance with him, even if it was just a one-night stand. He'd slept with every other woman out there, why not me?

So the next day I told the gals that I needed their help and that I wanted to nail Edward Cullen. Like literally nail him to the wall and jump his luscious bones.

We had the most amazing day ever. They took me shopping, and I bought a bunch of new clothes and shoes. They gave me tips on hair and make-up and made me promise to put away my glasses. They bought me a flat-iron and showed me how to use it without burning my scalp.

Operation Ensnare Eduardo was in place.


I arrived back at my dorm room late Sunday night. The gals had to help me in with all of my bags. Fortunately, Tanya wasn't around.

I took all of my old clothes and stuffed them into my suitcase and then hid the suitcase in the bottom of the closet. I took out all of my new stuff and started putting it away. Just as I was putting all of my new make-up into my drawer, Tanya came in.

"How was your—," Tanya started to say and just froze mid-sentence.

I stood up and smiled at her.

"Well, shit. Um, you look… you look um… good," she stumbled on her words.

"Thanks," I said as I turned around and finished putting my make-up away smirking.


I got up the next morning and put on one of my new outfits, did my hair, put in my contacts, and put on a bit of make-up. I got stares from all of my classmates, especially the guys. It felt strange.

When I got to work, everyone kept complimenting me on how great I looked. It made me feel odd but at the same time, happy and somehow empowered. I was starting to feel better about myself.

And I suddenly had a lot of customers flirting with me.

"Hey." I looked up to see Edward standing in front of me. I noticed he was alone.

"Hey," I replied back, feeling suddenly shy.

"Um, I was wondering if we could talk some time? Maybe over coffee?" he asked as he ran his fingers through his hair.

"Uh… okay," I answered in shock.

"How about tomorrow?"

I looked into his green eyes, still not believing he was standing in front of me. "Um… yeah… tomorrow would be good since I'm not working. But can we go to… um… another Starbucks instead of this one?"

He laughed. "Sure, of course. Do you know where the other Starbucks is on the other side of campus?"

"Mmhum," I nodded.

"Okay, how about we meet at six thirty? Would that work?" he asked.

"Yeah, that's fine," I agreed.

"Great! Okay… well… I'll see you tomorrow." He flashed me a beautiful, toothy grin before leaving.


Jake left me a voicemail. I didn't call him back because I didn't know what to say. I swear that I didn't sleep a wink that night because I was so nervous about meeting Edward.


I stepped into the Starbucks at six thirty and looked around. I saw him wave at me from a corner table.

"Hi," I said quietly, smiling at him.

"Hi," he greeted me back.

"Um, what would you like to drink?" he asked.

"Um… short, dark, black."

He came back and handed me the coffee.

"Bella, I wanted to apologize for my behavior in the club the other night. I'm so sorry for acting like that. I was just so shocked to see it was you and to see how you looked…." he paused and took a drink, staring at his cup. "You looked so incredibly beautiful it kind of knocked me for a loop."

He said I was beautiful? Holy fuck!

"Edward, it's fine," I said, still smiling like an idiot because he called me beautiful.

"Bella, I also wanted to apologize for that night… you know… when you saw… um… me and… Tanya. God, that was so humiliating. She told me that you weren't going to be back for a couple more hours," he said, obviously embarrassed.

"Yeah, that was a bit awkward. So are you and Tanya… together?" I asked, picking nervously at my napkin.

"Oh god, no," he answered quickly. "I know this sounds terrible, and it really is… but… it was just a one-time thing. It didn't mean anything. Oh fuck, that sounded even worse," he added as he ran his fingers through his hair, tugging on the ends.

I had no idea what to say to that so I just mumbled, "Hm."

We sat in awkward silence for a few minutes.

Then he asked me about graduation and my plans afterwards. The conversation really started to flow nicely between us. I really enjoyed getting to know Edward more. I found myself attracted almost more to his personality than his insanely good looks.

I looked down at my watch and found that three hours had flown by. I didn't want to leave, but I knew I had homework to do, so I had to.

"Bella, I had a really great time getting to know you. Um… can I see you again?" he asked, imploring me with those emerald greens.

Praise be to Allah.

"Yes, I'd like that."

We exchanged phone numbers, and I left Starbucks with stars in my eyes.


I called Jake the next day and told him that I wasn't interested. He didn't take it too well. I didn't tell him it was because I was interested in his best friend.


Edward called me the next day and asked me out to dinner. He was a complete and total gentleman. He didn't even kiss me until our fourth date. We kept our relationship quiet at first since we had Tanya and Jake to deal with.

Edward eventually told Jake that we were together. He was pissed at first, but eventually got over it as he was starting to date a new gal named Claire. It never affected their friendship thankfully.

I never told Tanya about me and Edward. And Edward never came to my dorm, and I never went to his. We always met somewhere else. We only had six weeks left until graduation so it was pretty easy to keep things quiet.

Once we graduated, it was like we were let out of prison. We both got jobs in Seattle. We couldn't bear the thought of not being near each other.

I found a job as a kindergarten teacher, and Edward found a job with an insurance company working as their marketing director. We each found our own studio apartment, and we lived about ten minutes from each other. And we spent every minute that we could together.


We'd been dating for two months. And we had not sealed the deal, nor did the deed yet. But we had done just about everything else in the book.

The things that man can do with his fingers!

God, I had wanted to mount him so badly it had about killed me.

It's surprising how my little game of trying to snag Edward for maybe a one-night stand turned into something completely different. Something so startling and astonishing.

By some weird, magical twist of fate, Edward Cullen fell in love with me. And, of course, I confessed that I was already in love with him and had been since our sophomore year in high school. He loved that story and made me tell it to him all the time. He didn't even remember it.

I should have known that I was not a one-night stand kind of girl. That's just not me.

I was afraid that Edward could not be reformed from his manwhore ways. But it turned out that his manwhore ways were more fiction than fact.

Thank Jesus!

In high school, he only slept with Laurie and Jess. But he did get a lot of blow jobs from a lot of random girls.

Disgusting horndog.

And in college, he only slept with four girls, including Tanya. But he'd never been in love before so this was a whole new experience for him.

Of course he knew I was a virgin. It was hard to believe we hadn't had sex yet, but we had been busy with our new jobs, finding apartments, moving, and I'd had to take care of Carl since he was having health problems. It had been a busy time for us. And Edward treated me with such respect. He told me I was different because he was in love with me. He didn't want to rush me.

But tonight is the night.

He was coming to my apartment, and I was fixing him dinner, his favorite, lasagna. And then I was going to jump that man's bones. I'd tortured myself long enough.


When I got home from work, I prepared the lasagna and stuck it in the oven to bake. I jumped in the shower.

I decided to wear my blue wrap-around dress. I put on my black lacy bra and decided to not wear panties.

Heehee. Edward will love that.

I slipped on some strappy black heels.

I went into the kitchen and as I pulled out the lasagna, I heard the front door open. I started preparing the salad when I felt arms around my waist, and he buried his nose in my hair.

"Mmmm... I missed you," he whispered.

I wiped my hands on my towel and turned around and attacked his lips with mine. I wrapped my arms around his neck and slipped my fingers into his hair. He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me tight against his hard body.

Then he scooted me back against the kitchen counter and pressed himself hard against me. His tongue slipped into my mouth, and I rubbed my tongue against his, loving how he tasted.

His mouth suddenly left mine and trailed down my neck. He licked and bit at my collarbone, and I moaned like a two dollar whore. His hands crept down lower towards my ass and my breathing hitched as I remembered I didn't wear panties.

He ran his hands lightly over my ass and then squeezed, pulling me closer to him. He breathed heavily on my neck, kissing and licking and pulled me closer to him and pressed himself hard against me as he groaned into my neck.

"Fuck the lasagna!" I announced.

I pushed him away from me, and he looked at me in surprise. I grabbed his hand and dragged him down the hallway to my bedroom. I closed my bedroom door and launched myself at him, ravaging his lips, biting and sucking them.

I heard a deep groan escape him.

I pulled back and noticed for the first time what he was wearing. God, he looked so sexy. He had on black pants, a white button down shirt and a skinny black tie.

I started unloosening the tie, all the while keeping my eyes focused on his emerald green gaze.

His gaze was so intense that it looked like there was a fiery inferno blazing behind his eyes. I made quick work of the tie and tossed it. I unbuttoned his shirt quickly and flung it across the room.

I let my hands explore his chiseled chest and the smooth, muscled plains of his stomach. I let my fingers trickle through the soft trail of hair that led his waistband. I then grazed my fingers over his covered erection.

His large hands moved to the tie on my dress, and he slowly untied it while kissing my neck. Once it was untied and hanging open, he placed his hands inside the dress, coming in contact with my heated flesh.

His hands moved sensually over my skin, leaving a tingling trail as he moved his hands around my back and down to my ass. I heard him gasp, and he leaned away from kissing my neck to look at me.

"Where the fuck are your underwear?" he asked breathlessly.

I shrugged and nonchalantly said, "Oops," and grinned at him.

"Fuck, that's hot," he whispered before he smashed his lips against mine. He pushed the dress off my shoulders and pulled back to look at me. I was standing there only in my lacy black bra.

"Damn, you are beautiful," he whispered, kissing me softly. He pulled back and cradled my chin in his hand, looking deep into my eyes. "So fucking beautiful."

I completely melted like wax being burned by a flame.

I reached for his belt, unbuckled it and slid it off. I unbuttoned his pants and then unzipped them and let them fall to the floor. He stepped out of them, removed his socks and shoes, and then crushed me to him.

Our hands were all over each other.

I felt like I couldn't get enough of him.

He picked me up and laid me gently on the bed.

He then took my heels off one by one and kissed up my legs, causing me to squirm. He then reached behind me and unclasped my bra and threw it behind him.

He looked down at my breasts and looked back up at me, his eyes full of lust. He gently moved his hand over my right breast and softly felt it, squeezing it gently. His thumb flicked over my nipple, and a jolt of pleasure shot through me, and I almost jumped off the bed.

With his eyes on me, he leaned down and slipped his tongue out and softly licked the tip of my nipple. Then he made circles around it and finally captured it full in his mouth, sucking and licking it.

It was complete and utter bliss.

He gave the same attention to the other breast. He then kissed softly under my breasts, around my ribcage and down my stomach. He stopped at my belly button and stuck his tongue in it and then sucked it a bit.

Who knew belly button sucking was fuckhawt? I thought they were only for catching lint.

He kept kissing lower and lower, and then he looked up at me as he ran his fingers along my slit. He parted my lips and swirled his finger in my wetness around my entrance. Then he moved his fingers up to my clit and rubbed soft circles.

Moving up my body, he put his mouth just centimeters from mine, so close but not touching, and he whispered, "I love you," while we were both panting heavily and breathing in each other's lusty breathes.

He then attached his lips to mine and slipped a finger inside of me. I gasped and could barely breathe as the sensation of him touching me and kissing me at the same time overwhelmed me.

He slowly moved his finger in and out and then started softly rubbing my clit again.

I grabbed handfuls of the comforter and hung on for dear life. He slipped his tongue into my mouth and then slipped another finger in me, and I suddenly pushed his face back and screamed, "Shiiiiittt!"

He kept moving his fingers in and out, and all over, my pussy while attacking my neck with his lips, and suddenly I screamed out, "Edward, fuck," as I pulsed over and over again with the most incredible sensation.

He removed his hand and smirked at me, and I just lay there trying to catch my breath and come down from my orgasmic high.

He slipped his boxers off, and there he stood with Lil Ed standing all tall and proud. He was so perfect. His cock was long and straight and hard as a rock. He grabbed a condom and slid it on and positioned himself in between my legs.

"You ready?" he eagerly asked. I nodded.

"I'm sorry if this hurts," he whispered.

"It's ok, baby, I'm ready," I whispered back. He positioned his tip at my entrance and then slowly started to push in. I felt a stretching sensation.

He pushed in a bit deeper until he reached my barrier.

"You ok?" he tenderly asked with concern sketched all over his face.

"Yes," I whispered.

He pushed in deeper, and I'm not going to lie, that shit hurt. I felt like there was no more room for him in there.

Capacity full!

"Still ok?" he asked me again. I just nodded my head this time, biting my lip.

He slowly pulled out and gently moved back in. It still hurt a bit but not as bad. He was kissing my neck and feeling my breasts, rubbing my nipples, and it was starting to feel good. He picked up his pace a bit and was moaning into my skin.

He then buried his head in my neck and yelled, "Bella, fuuuuck," and pushed into me three more times before collapsing on top of me. He pulled out and removed the condom and went into the bathroom and came back with a wet towel.

He cleaned me up and then crawled into bed next to me. He wrapped his body around me and whispered, "I love you forever," in my ear.

The status on Operation Ensnare Eduardo? Mission accomplished.


FAST FORWARD

50 YEARS IN THE FUTURE

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 72

"I'll call you tomorrow, okay?" I asked as I gave Angelina one last hug. Sam leaned over and wrapped his arm around me.

"Don't think you are leaving without giving me some love!" I said as I grabbed Collin, now seven, and squeezed him tight. He thinks he's too old for hugs now, but grandma knows better.

Brady, now five, ran over to me and grabbed me tight. He still loved the hugs and put a big, wet kiss on my cheek.

Sam and Angelina had added another boy to their crew. Seth was now two. He waddled over to me, and I picked him up and started chewing on his neck because he was so cute, I just wanted to eat him.

Edward and I watched silently as they loaded everyone into the car and drove away.


I stepped into the bathroom and looked at my reflection. It still shocked me sometimes. I felt young on the inside, but it was not reflected on the outside. My hair was now short. It was still brown because I kept it colored. I had a lot of wrinkles on my skin now. I definitely looked like I was seventy-two.

I lotioned my skin up with my anti-wrinkle cream and finished up my nightly routine.

"Honey, did you take your medicine?" I yelled out to Edward. "I put it on your night stand."

"Yeah, I got it," Edward yelled back.

I slipped into my side of the bed and waited for Edward. He came in and slipped off his house slippers and slid in next to me.

"It was a really lovely evening, wasn't it?" I asked Edward softly.

"Yeah, the grandkids are getting so big."

"I know. I can't believe little Seth is already two. Just seems like he was born yesterday," I said, shaking my head.

Edward and I were facing each other in bed, and he wrapped his arms around me. I looked up at him and softly kissed his wrinkled lips. "I love you, sweetie."

"I love you forever."

"Night."

"Good night," Edward whispered back.


My thoughts wandered a bit since I couldn't sleep. We've been living in Denver for five years now. Sam and Angelina ended up moving from Fort Collins to be near us.

And Anthony only lives about fifteen minutes away. It's been amazing to be so close to them all. We've been able to see the grandkids on a weekly basis.

We've done some traveling, too. We took a tour of Italy. It was incredible.

Anthony and Vicky are still doing really well. Their boys are getting so big! Riley is ten and Jared is eight. They are both big soccer players. So Edward and I go to all of their games. I can't believe I have a ten year old grandchild!

Alec is… well, Alec. Still unattached, still the perpetual bachelor. I guess it fits his LA lifestyle. His career has really gone through the roof. He's now a big-time screen writer. He's writing for A-list movie stars and loves it.

I yawned and snuggled closer into Edward and finally felt myself slipping under.


I turned the alarm clock off and patted Edward on the chest.

"Honey, it's time to wake up. You have an early tee time with your friends this morning."

Edward was always hard to wake up. I decided to let him sleep a bit more, so I just lay there quietly.

"It's time to get up," I said as I poked him in the side with my elbow. I lay there for a few more minutes and then yelled, "Honey, get up!" I was starting to get irritated.

I reached over and grabbed his hand. I dropped it like I had been shocked.

"Edward?" I questioned, panic starting to streak through me. I pushed and pushed on him, not getting any response.

"Edward, wake up, you're scaring me!" I whispered. Panic now boiled through every inch of my blood. I put my hand against his cheek and immediately pulled it back.

His cheek was ice cold.

I put my head on his chest to check for any breathing or heartbeat, and found nothing. I looked back up at his beautiful face and that is when I noticed what an odd white color it was.

My Edward was gone.

"No," I sobbed, "you can't leave me. You can't leave me by myself. You can't! Wake up! Wake up! You have to wake up now!"

I lay across his chest and sobbed. I felt like someone had taken a knife and gutted me. The pain was agonizing and unbearable.


"Please, please wake up," I whispered, sobbing.

I felt like I couldn't get up and leave the bed. I knew this would be the last time that I could curl up next to my Edward. I couldn't let him go.

Eventually I sat up.

I leaned across him and took my fingertips and grazed them across his beautiful, wrinkled skin, trying to memorize every inch of it.

When my fingers got to his lips, the sobbing started again as I realized I would never feel those beautiful lips on mine again.

"No!" I shouted as tears continued streaming down my cheeks, staining his pajamas.

I then ran my hands through his soft gray hair. It still stood up in a million places like it always did, just now a beautiful snow white.

I leaned over and softly placed a kiss on each eyelid, his forehead, the tip of his nose, and finally his lips.

I reached over to the night stand and hit speed dial.

"Hello?" he answered.

"Anthony, come home," I sobbed.

I held Edward's hand and ran my fingers through his hair, my eyes never leaving his face until Anthony stepped into the bedroom.


I don't really remember much of what happened the next couple of days.

Everything was a blur.

My children were my rock for me. Anthony took care of all of the arrangements, and I basically moved in with them temporarily. I couldn't bear the thought of going back to the house. Especially the bedroom.

They determined that Edward died of a heart attack in his sleep. He went peacefully and quietly. I would never want him to suffer.

I remember being at the funeral home before they shut the casket. I couldn't stand the thought of them closing it and taking him away from me forever.

It was like I had cut off a body part and given it to them to bury.

The pain was indescribable.

I stood by the casket and my three children held me close, and we all just sobbed together.

Finally Anthony leaned down to me and kissed my wet cheek and said, "Mom, it's time. We have to go."

I knew he was right, but my mind screamed at me that it was wrong.

Finally I leaned down and kissed Edward's cheek and whispered to him, "Until we meet again. You wait on me, okay?"


I always thought I would be one of those women who would be strong in the face of adversity. But I am weak. I fell into a deep depression after Edward's death.

What else was I supposed to do?

I had lost my other half. I was seventy-two years old and alone. Sure, I had my kids and grandkids, but they had their own lives to live. I couldn't expect them to take care of me.

Anthony sold the house for me, and I eventually moved into a one bedroom apartment in a retirement community not too far away from the kids.

They drove me crazy calling me every day and showing up on my doorstep non-stop.

I knew they were so worried about me, but there was nothing they could do to help me feel better.


REWIND

27 YEARS IN THE PAST

BPOV

BELLA, AGE 45

I grabbed the toast out of the toaster, burning my fingers. "Ouch!" I yelled as I threw the toast onto the plate.

"Mom, I need some money for this weekend. Remember I'm going shopping with Lydia," Angelina said in between bites.

"Mom, did you wash my basketball shorts? I need them for tonight," asked Anthony.

"Mom, don't forget we are going out for pizza tonight after soccer practice so you can pick me up later, okay?" Alec asked while grabbing some more eggs to pile on his plate.

I sighed. "Angelina, you have to use your allowance money. If you are out of cash, too bad. Anthony, I did not wash your shorts because you didn't tell me to, so tough luck. And I forgot about the pizza thing, Alec. Text me when you get done tonight, okay?" I said, trying to clean up the dishes.

I drove the kids to school, downing as much coffee as I could. I'd been really running on empty lately.

Between all of the kids' activities at school, my work as a school teacher, juggling paying bills, and keeping up on laundry and all of my other fifty zillion responsibilities, I was a zombie.

Anthony was now sixteen, Angelina was fourteen, and Alec was twelve.


And Edward.

That was a whole other story. Where do I begin? I guessed it started when he got the promotion at work. The new title and more pay also meant extra travel. And it had been tough on our relationship.

He was usually gone about two weeks out of the month.

And we had grown apart. To the point where we had no relationship at all.

Our sex life had become non-existent.

We hadn't had sex in over a month. And we hadn't spoken to each other in a week. When he left this time for his business trip, we had gotten into a huge fight.

Lots of screaming.

It got really ugly.

I even accused him of having an affair.

I knew it was wrong of me. I really didn't think he was having an affair. He had just been so cold and distant lately. And I didn't know how to fix us.

And the one time that he had approached me about sex? We had barely spoken two words to each other in so many days, and he just expected me to hop into the sack with him like nothing was wrong!

Not gonna happen.

If he was not meeting my needs emotionally, I was certainly not going to meet his needs physically.

He'd be home tomorrow, and I was not looking forward to it.


After an exhausting day of teaching, I went to pick up Angelina. The boys had practice so I would pick them up later.

We got home, and I made myself a cup of coffee. I threw on some comfortable jeans and a shirt and sat down in my favorite chair in the corner of my bedroom.

I leaned over to turn on the light on the small table next to my chair when I noticed the photo album sitting there. It was our wedding album.

I picked it up and sat it in my lap, taking a sip of my coffee. I sighed and flipped it open.

Memories started flooding my mind. I smiled as I remembered when he'd asked me to marry him.

He was so nervous and adorable.

I was twenty-five, and we had been dating for about three years.

He had our whole evening planned out. He told me to dress up and that he was taking me somewhere special. He picked me up wearing a beautiful suit and looking like sex, and it was pouring the rain. I mean buckets.

And I had on stilettos.

By the time I got into the car, I was a drenched rat and my stilettos had mud caked on them.

We got to the restaurant and somehow they'd lost our reservation. Poor Edward. He almost had a stroke. They were booked solid so there was nothing we could do about it.

We ran back out to the car, getting completely soaked again and ending up eating at a tiny pizza joint. We looked hilarious all dressed up and soggy eating pizza.

Edward was so depressed and barely spoke the whole time we ate. I kept telling him it was no big deal and that I was having a great time, but it didn't help him.

We finally left the pizza joint, getting soaked once again. We were waiting under an awning until the traffic cleared so we could run across the street to our car.

Once it was safe to cross, I started to take off, but Edward grabbed my hand and spun me around to face him.

"Bella, tonight has not gone the way I had planned it AT ALL. But I can't wait any longer."

He suddenly fell to one knee.

"I wanted this to be all romantic for you, and I'm sorry. But Bella, I love you more than anything in this world. I want to spend every day of the rest of my life with you. I promise to love you forever. Will you marry me?"

I'll never forget the look on his face as I looked down at him. His hair was a crazy, bronze mess wet with the rain. It was falling a bit on his forehead and rain was dripping off the ends.

His eyes literally sparkled and shined crystal green glowing with excitement. He was biting his lip and looking at me anxiously with a tiny smile on his face.

He reached into his pocket and brought out the most amazing two carat diamond ring. I just stared at it with my mouth hanging open unable to move.

"So will ya?" Edward's voice snapped me out of my diamond haze and I screamed, "Yes, Edward! Yes!"

I launched myself at him, attacking his mouth with my own. I knocked him backwards flat on his back with me on top.

We just lay there on the nasty, wet sidewalk, laughing and kissing frantically while people walked by us staring in disbelief.


We were engaged for about a year. We were married when I was twenty-six. We kept it simple. I had three bridesmaids. Of course they were Emily, Bree, and Leah.

My fingers gently touched the beautiful pictures in the album.

Edward looked so handsome in his black tuxedo. The black color managed to magnify the color of his hair and eyes. He was almost too beautiful to look at.

As I flipped through the pictures, I came upon a picture of Edward with his mother, Reeree, and his step-father, Jim.

Edward's real father, Edward Sr., died when he was five. Reeree married Jim when Edward was ten. They got along great, and Jim has been a great father to Edward.

I lingered on a photo of Edward staring down at me. There was so much love in his eyes.

How did we lose that? How can we get it back?

I wiped a tear away and sat the album back on the table.


I picked up the kids from basketball and soccer practice and, after cooking supper, made sure homework was done, paid bills, and did a couple loads of laundry, I fell into bed an exhausted mess.

I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

The next morning I got the kids ready for school as usual and headed out to drop them off.

I still hadn't heard from Edward. I knew he was supposed to return today, but I had no idea what time since I hadn't talked to him.

After work, I picked up Angelina. As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed Edward's car was there.

My heart started pounding, and my hands got sweaty.

I went inside and found Edward sitting on the couch watching TV.

He didn't look at me or even acknowledge my presence.

He got up and gave Angelina a hug and kiss and then went right back to watching TV again.

Asshole.

I marched upstairs and slammed the bedroom door.

I'm so fed up with his shit. I might as well tell him to pack his shit and get the hell out!

I sat there quietly fuming when the door opened. Edward walked in and sat on the edge of the bed and stared at his hands.

He said nothing for a long time.

I just stared at him, refusing to be the one to make the first move.

Edward cleared his throat. "So we need to talk."

"Yep," I remarked snidely.

"I don't know what is going on with us anymore," he said, sighing. "You seem like you hate me all the time. It seems like you are so busy with work, the kids, and the house that you don't have time for us anymore."

Oh, that pissed me right the hell off!

"What the hell are you saying? Are you trying to pin all of this shit on me? That it's all my fault? I have responsibilities, Edward. Yes, I have a job. Yes, I have kids that I have to take care of. Yes, I have a house that I have to tend to. And you are gone two weeks out of the month! I'm exhausted all of the time and barely making it most days!

"And you know what? I have a feeling that this us that you are referring to is you just referring to SEX! Huh? You want me to work my ass off all day long and then service you at the end of the day!" I ranted.

"Bella, this has nothing to do with sex! Not that I don't miss it, because God knows, I certainly do! I'm talking about us being close like we used to be." Edward's voice lowered. "I miss that."

"I do, too," I agreed quietly.

"Bella, I'm at a loss here. We've been like this for months and months. I can't go on like this anymore. Some things are going to have to change.

"Bella, I have something I need to talk to you about. When I was in New York this past week, I ran into, uh, god, this is so hard to say." Edward nervously ran his fingers through his hair.

"Edward, what is going on?" I asked, starting to panic.

"Ok, I'm just going to spit it out. IranintoTanya."

"What did you just say?" I asked slowly, my eyes narrowing.

"Um, I ran into Tanya," he said with a guilty look on his face.

"Oh. My. God. You have got to be fucking kidding me! Did you fuck that slut? Edward, answer me!" I demanded.

"No, I didn't. But Bella, I'm not going to lie to you, I thought about it. I wanted to. She made it pretty clear that she was up for it, too."

"Fuck," I murmured, burying my hands in my hair, hiding my face. Traitorous tears were slipping down my cheeks.

My husband wanted to have an affair on me. He didn't want me anymore. And he wanted to be with that skank, Tanya.

I suddenly felt Edward's hands on my arms. I jerked them away immediately. "Don't touch me!" I yelled, jumping up out of the chair. "I need to be alone," I muttered as I ran to the bathroom and locked the door.

"Bella, I didn't mean it the way that came out. I want you, not her. I was just desperate for some affection. I've been missing it for so long. But, Bella, you are the one that I love. We've just lost our way somehow. We have to figure out a way to fix us. Will you open the door?" he begged.

"Go away," I said through sniffles.

I stayed in the bathroom for what seemed like hours. I cried until I had no more tears.

My marriage sucked, and I had no idea how to fix it.

Just the thought that he wanted to sleep with that hobag, Tanya, made me want to vomit. I leaned over to the toilet and dry-heaved.

What the hell am I going to do?


I never left the bedroom, and Edward never came back. I hoped he was taking care of the kids, but I really didn't care at that point. I crawled under the covers.

I couldn't pinpoint any place in time where Edward and I had started having problems. I guess it had been a gradual slide over the past several years.

Things were subtle in the beginning.

Not talking to each other.

Not holding hands, or touching each other anymore.

No longer smiling at each other.

We just kept getting more and more distant.

Pushing each other away even further.

Work, kids, and household tasks, I had to admit, had taken a priority over my relationship with Edward.

But how do I balance everything when I am barely keeping my head above water as it is? I don't have time to put work and effort into my marriage. It is just supposed to be a firm foundation that I can rely on and not have to work at. We are just supposed to love each other and be there for each other.

My god, what have I done? I have really fucked things up.

It dawned on me that I had put zero effort into my relationship, and I had given Edward none of myself. I had given myself to my kids, my work, and to juggling all of my crazy schedules and responsibilities.

It was like I forgot to include him in.

How did my priorities get so fucked up?

Edward and my marriage should be my first priority. That was the foundation for everything else. Then my priorities should be: my kids, work, and lastly, my schedule and other responsibilities.

Because who cared about all of that other stuff if my marriage failed? My kids desperately needed me to work extra hard to keep my marriage happy and thriving so that they had both parents in their lives.

Coming from a family of divorce, I never wanted that to happen to my children. I knew how hard it was on me living in a single parent household. It was tough. There were so many nights I remembered crying for my daddy to come home.

And my children deserved more than that. They deserved parents who loved each other and who loved them.


Things changed for me that night. I decided that I was going to fight tooth and nail for my marriage. I loved Edward with every ounce of my being, and he was worth the fight. I was going to put the work and effort in. For him, for my children and for myself. I would not fail.

It wasn't easy, let me tell you.

We started seeing a marriage counselor, and I made Edward top priority.

We made date nights.

And we talked and talked and talked some more.

We both poured out our feelings to each other.

We made it a habit of talking about anything and everything just to make sure to keep that line of communication open. I called and texted him every day when he was out of town on business.

When he was home, I made sure that I touched him frequently and smiled at him. He started helping out a lot more with the kids and helped to alleviate some of the household responsibilities that I had.

After a couple of months of really hard work, things really started to click again for us.

We got our spark back.

We fell in love again.

I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to see him.

We felt close again both emotionally and physically.

And we both agreed that we would work on it every day for the rest of our marriage.

And we did.


FAST FORWARD

54 YEARS IN THE FUTURE

BPOV

AGE 99

Who knew that longevity ran in my veins? After I lost my Edward, I prayed every day that God would take me. I longed and yearned to be with him so badly. I didn't want to exist on this earth any longer.

My chest ached daily.

I'd been without Edward for twenty-seven years now. It was hard to even comprehend that number. It had been such a long time since I'd seen his beautiful face. You would think over the years that I would have stopped thinking of Edward by now. Not when you have a love like we had. Time doesn't erase it. My love for him still burned deep in my soul, and it was never going to diminish.

I was in a nursing home now. I could no longer walk. I required a lot of help and had to use a wheelchair to get around.

My mind still worked amazingly well for my age. I remembered everything about Edward. Sometimes I was a bit forgetful about unimportant things, but for the most part my memory had served me well.

Longevity was a curse for me.

After living for so long, you see everyone you love die. Everyone you love leaves. And you're left alone.

Of course our parents were the first ones to go. We lost the three of them while Edward was alive. Carl died at the age of eighty of a stroke. Reeree passed away at the age of sixty-nine from cancer, and Jim passed at seventy-five from complications due to diabetes.

My three friends Emily, Leah and Bree had all passed.

And I lost… Alec last year. I thought it was hard losing Edward, but losing Alec, my baby, was something totally different. Losing a child was the worst thing that could happen to a person. Even if that child was in his sixties.

He was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Still single.

Anthony lost Vicky to breast cancer five years ago. It was a really hard time for him and the kids. And Angelina and Sam were still married and going strong. She was still just as beautiful.

I was so proud of my grandkids! Anthony's boys Riley and Jared both followed in their father's footsteps and became doctors. Riley was a heart surgeon, and Jared was an orthopedic surgeon.

Riley was married to Maria and they had two boys and two girls. Jared was married to Kate and they had two girls and one boy.

Angelina and Sam's boys turned out just as wonderful! Collin became a veterinarian and married Katherine. They had two girls.

Brady became an English teacher and married Sarah, and they had two boys.

And Seth, the youngest, was a writer for a newspaper and was still single.

So Edward and I had nine great grandchildren. He would have been so proud of them! I could just see his smile right now…


I haven't been feeling too well lately. I'm hoping my time is close. I've been hoping for twenty-seven years now.


Something seems different today. The doctor has been in quite a few times. Maybe today will be the day….


I opened my eyes and looked around the room to see my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren around me.

Finally, please let this be the moment that I've been waiting for.

I closed my eyes again and felt myself floating away… and suddenly I was looking into piercing emerald green eyes.

THE END


A/N: **author hands reader a virtual hankie** I definitely cried writing this. Did it make you cry too? This Edward and Bella are just so special to me.

I would love to hear from you… please let me know what what you thought!

Thanks for reading! :)