Life As We Know It

A/N at the end.

Hope you all have a sense of humor - If not why are you here? Hope you enjoy.

=============== RR ==================== RR =================== RR

Ahh. BELLA.

Bellisimo.

Love of my life. My SOULMATE.

Her body, mind and soul sing to me.

I fell for her the first day of kindergarten across the sandbox and just KNEW that one day she would become mine in every way.

She took a while longer to realise this, but finally, two years ago, she agreed to start dating me. We'd eventually kissed after many study sessions for a science paper.

Not long after we started dating, her faithful friend, Jake, also decided to make his intentions clear. Luckily for me she never reciprocated his feelings, surprising the hell outta his egotistical ass, and shocking the absolute FUCK out of me.

Just imagine - the school geek (me) beating the school jock (AKA Mr Popularity) for the affections of the hottest girl in school...Bella.

She was THE girl for me. The one who - despite the over-valued inflated self-opinions of the likes of Tanya, Jessica, & Lauren - was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. I'd held that opinion since we were 4. So had Jake.

Despite my geek status, and numerous playground fights with him over her too many times to mention over the years, Bella & I are still an ever loving couple. Jake had tried to come between us many times, but never succeeded. Bella told him, time and time again, that I was the one for her.

Back to today. Graduation Day!

It had been a long time coming for us. We were looking forward to it in so many ways. Bella and I applied to many colleges, but to be honest as long as we were together I could give 2 hoots where we went (much to Jake's chagrin, who still had a year left to graduate).

We'd passed school with flying colours, the both of us heading for Dartmouth in the fall. I, to study for my medical degree and Bella had chosen Journalism.

Unsurprisingly, Jake planned to follow us the following year. Little did he know that by the time he got there, if my plans after graduation tonight went off successfully, Bella and I would be happily married and living together in the dorms.

I'd booked a luxury hotel for us at the Hilton in Seattle for graduation night. Jess and her cohorts were throwing a swanky post grad party at Jessica's place. Bella hadn't particularly wanted to go to the party as she wasn't really friendly with most of them. We really only hung out with Alice, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie anyway. They were all at college now but were home for our graduation ceremony.

A lot of people thought we were too young to be so serious about each other. But, we both knew we were it for each other. And NOTHING Jake said or did could stop that.

Bella had packed a bag for our journey, but she didn't know the exact details or the fact that I had booked a table at our favourite restaurant for tonight. Unbeknownst to Bella, Alice had organised some designer clothes for her to wear for our dinner out and had them sent straight to the hotel. I was pondering these thoughts and others, when my mom knocked on my bedroom door.

I called out, "coming" and grabbed my keys off the bedside table before racing out the door, raring to pick up my girl. I hope Jasper was there. For some strange reason I had this uncontrollable need to see him.

I arrived at Bella's quickly, in my silver Aston Martin Vanquish. Over the top? Hell Yes! Mom and Dad had insisted on buying it for me as a graduation cum celebrating getting into Dartmouth and a goodbye present. Bella hated travelling in it as she felt it was too ostentatious, so whenever we went out we would take the Volvo. She really liked the Volvo for some reason I didn't quite get. I figured she wouldn't mind for today. After all, it wasn't every day we had such a momentous occasion in our lives.

I turned the car off and took a few deep breaths. It wasn't graduation I was nervous about; but rather the little black velvet box wrapped in red ribbon that was burning a hole in my front left pocket. I took another breath, shook my head as I slowly got out of the car, and walked up the footpath to Bella's front door.

I stood on the front step of the Swan's residence and raised my hand to rap on the front door. Before my knuckles even made contact with the thick wood, it flung open, and I nearly fell backwards off the porch when Bella just about flew into my arms amid a flurry of limbs and lips.

After a few minutes I had to pull back or risk suffocation. I touched my forehead to hers and smiled.

"Hey Baby." I breathed against her lips huskily.

"Hey." She whispered throatily. "I missed you last night. I half expected you to climb the tree last night and come in through my window."

I looked at her incredulously. "Honestly, Bella, that's a bit stalker-ish don't you think? Besides with my luck I'd probably fall out of the tree climbing up there. It's not like I'm a spider monkey or anything. Besides, I don't particularly fancy Chief Swan busting me and putting a cap in my backside. I aim to get to Dartmouth in one piece."

Bella stepped back and looked at me with a big grin on her face. Then we both laughed. Out loud.

Once we'd settled down a bit, I reached slowly for her hand and yanked her towards me with a grin on my face.

"Come on Beautiful. We've got a graduation to get to." She laughed at me and let go of my hand as she ran to the car.

I picked up her bag off the porch with a grin plastered firmly on my face, and took off after her with both of us laughing as I met her at the car.

I opened her door and smiled at her as she sat down and buckled up. I bent down and checked her belt. She shyly grinned up at me as my hands lingered across the seatbelt that sat low on her abdomen. Something about this still felt very surreal, as if it wasn't really happening.

"Just checking." I said to her with a smirk on my face. "I just want to make sure you're safe."

She reached out to slowly run her fingers down my cheek and jawline and sighed. "Edward, as long as I have you, I always will be." I laughed at her when she said this, not really sure why I found it funny.

And with those words she craned her neck up and sensually kissed me. It was a short kiss but full of love. I could feel all of her emotions poured into that one quick kiss.

She pulled back from me and sighed. "Well come on, we haven't got all day, Edward. For the final time...take me to school!"

And with those words, I quickly shut her door and ran around the other side of the car and jumped in. Once I was buckled in, I took my Rayban's off my head, put them on and started the car.

I reversed slowly out of her drive. Once I was ready to drive ahead, I turned to her and smirked.

"Ready Baby?" My voice sounded off calling her that. I couldn't pinpoint the reason why exactly.

As she laughed at me, I gunned the engine, feeling it purr. For the last time I took off in the direction of Forks High and the final chapter in our high school lives. I couldn't wait for our future.

We were in the front row. Valedictorian speech. And guess who'd been chosen to give it?

Jessica, I'm-such-a-fucking-skank, Stanley (soon to be Newton), that's who. Her and Mike had announced their impending marriage just a few weeks ago. Exactly why she was chosen as valedictorian I wasn't sure, as Jessica was as dumb as 2 shitbricks. The mere thought of it made me scoff. As such, Bella and I were struggling to hold back our laughter when she stepped up to the podium. I was sure this would be epically bad.

Jessica cleared her throat and looked around nervously. I firmly believed they really should have picked me or someone in the debate team for this. We were much more intelligent. Most of us had been practicing our valedictorian speeches since we were 7th graders.

When Jessica started talking however I was shocked. We all were. Fuck. Jessica had just completely floored us all. As Bella snuggled further into me as I listened, Jessica's speech completely shocked me, even with all the grammar misuse. She really should have brought it to me or someone from the debate club to correct her mispronunciations.

I was suddenly aware of Bella nudging me as everyone around me was standing up and applauding. I abruptly stood up and started clapping as well. Bella elbowed me and glared, so I guess I must have been a little overenthusiastic with my praise.

I slyly smirked at her, pulled her to me and kissed her deeply, mumbling congratulations as we smiled against each other lips. "I've got a surprise for you tonight." I told her. She pulled back to look at me with a bewildered look on her face as the crowd around us began to disperse. "Edward, You know how much I hate surprises."

"Oh Baby… you'll love this one." I said huskily. "Guaranteed."

"You seem pretty confident there, Edward." She said with a slight grin.

I leaned down and gave her a chaste kiss and wrapped my arms around her.

"Only in us baby...in us."

With that I pulled back and lifted her over my shoulder, running for the car while listening to the sound of her squeals and her fists beating playfully on my back. I only put her down to open the door.

She jumped in and I quickly got in the car, and then gunned it out of there.

After we checked in at the hotel - which Bella was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by - we quickly got changed and headed straight to the restaurant, La Bella Italia.

Bella had been slightly distressed when she saw the dress Alice had helped me to buy for her to wear tonight (only because she hated me spending money on her). Every time I mentioned Alice however, Bella's eyes would glaze over and she'd get a dreamy look on her face. Huh! That's weird. Anyway…she'd told me on many occasions she had everything she ever wanted just having me loving her. I felt the same but still loved to spend my money on her, just because I could. I saw the joy in her eyes whenever I gave her anything, although she did her best to hide it. She treasured it all, even if she did object to it along the way.

Tonight, Bella was wearing a knee-length dress. Alice told me it was by some designer - Viola Wong or something like that. I wasn't sure who that was exactly - but the dress made Bella look transcendent. The black kitten heels she had on set off her gorgeous legs to perfection. She wore only the bare essentials in jewellery, as I hoped to be adding to it later this evening, and it's the only piece of jewellery that could ever make me ecstatic.

I hoped tonight would be the beginning of the rest of our lives.

I was pulled out of my musings by Bella's voice. "Edward, are you ok?"

I shook my head, noticing that we had arrived at the restaurant and the valet was waiting to take my keys. Jumping out, I ran round to Bella's side to open the door for her. It was REALLY strange how non-gangly I was, just so unlike me. I'd often hear Jasper comment on how I shouldn't ever run, and that it was a good thing I never joined track at school. Not sure why he was watching me run, but that's a thought for another day.

Holding my hand out to her, I pulled her up to me, smirking as every part of my body touched every part of hers. I threw the keys at the valet and told him if he returned the car to me with not a scratch on her, there was an extra hundred in tips for him when we left. I took Bella's hand as she giggled at me. "I swear, Edward, I think you love that car more than me."

This made me pull up. Sometimes I did feel like that, but I wasn't telling her!

"Not possible, baby." I said and leaned down to kiss her, pouring all my feelings into it, as we walked to the front door of the restaurant. I strode up to the hostess's desk with an air of authority that I didn't normally feel. Once again I got a strange feeling as if this wasn't quite normal. It was almost dream-like. Graduating high school with Bella on my arm; knowing that we were going off to College without the dog yapping at her heels (she called it friendly concern, I disagreed), made me feel powerful and masculine - like I was starting to shake off my outer geek persona.

I looked up as I reached the desk and told the hostess that we had a private dining room booked. She tried to tell me they didn't even have private dining rooms but Marcus, the owner of the restaurant, walked up behind her and said "Tanya, it's alright…this one is pre-arranged, I'll show them to their table."

Marcus, and his wife Jane, owned the restaurant. They are close friends of my parents as well as being my godparents. When they found out my plans for the evening they'd offered their help. It actually made it easier for our moms to set up the restaurant earlier for me during the day (I'd enlisted their help to get everything exactly how I wanted it).

I looked at Marcus and reached out my hand to shake his. As Bella cleared her throat, I mentally face-palmed myself for being so rude to both Bella and Marcus. I quickly introduced them; however I noticed that Bella had a curious look on her face. Huh. Guess that face-palm wasn't as mental as I first thought.

"Bella, this is Marcus. He's a close family friend of many years and the owner of La Bella Italia. Marcus, this is my Bella."

I was shaken out of my thoughts by Bella's sweet voice greeting Marcus. He was kissing her hand for far too long for my liking. I subtly cleared my throat and glared.

Marcus chuckled at me and proceeded to show us our way to what I hoped was a private dining area. I hoped Mom and Renee had followed through on my instructions and not taken it upon themselves to make 'improvements and adjustments'. Tonight, I was going to ask Bella to marry me. I mean it's not like I had anything better coming along right? I wanted everything perfect. I quickly patted my pocket to double check that the ring was still there.

As we approached the door to the private dining area (normally reserved for VIPs but I'd pulled the godson card to get it) I smiled at B. Giving my thanks, I ushered Marcus away so we could eat and talk in privacy. Marcus nodded and walked back to the front of the restaurant.

I grabbed hold of the door with a smirk, leaning down to give Bella an all too brief and chaste kiss. I sure was kissing her a lot today and it felt kinda strange. I was positive that I didn't normally kiss her like this. My inner geek was pumping his fist at the thought of the night ahead but I was also feeling a bit toey. I pulled back and winked at her with what I hoped was a sexy smirk.

All it did was get Bella to ask if I had something in my eye.

I turned the knob and inwardly snorted. Bella laughingly asked me why I was snorting. Hmmm…guess that wasn't as 'inner monologue' as I thought. As I nudged her softly into the room, she stopped and gasped as her hand shot up to her throat and touched the necklace I'd bought for her birthday.

Various candles and tealights were set up around the room. In the centre of the room sat a smallish round table for 2, covered in a red tablecloth. In the middle of it were 2 tapered blood red candles, designed to give us the feel of romanticism and love. There was also a framed picture of Jasper there, which strangely, made me grin more than I had at anything Bella had said all day. Hmmm…strange.

Everything felt perfect. I grinned and tugged on her hand to pull her over to the table. She giggled at me as I pulled her chair out and got her seated and raced around to the other side of the table. Always the gentleman. It's no wonder Bella had fallen for me really.

I took a seat and pulled off the lid to our meals. She had her favourite meal - mushroom ravioli. I noticed her eyes light up as she smelled the aroma. I'd ordered salmon and vegetables for myself in keeping with my non-dairy diet. Dairy does things to me that would play havoc with my organs later.

We didn't really say much during our meal. Occasionally I would look up at my beauty and be stunned by her. What the hell did I see in her? Out of all the girls in this Podunk town, she was the pick of the litter. I still didn't understand quite what I saw in her and why she captivated me so.

When the waitress came in to see if we wanted more wine, I noticed Bella looking at her funny. I wasn't quite sure what that was about. If I didn't know better I'd almost think Bella was checking her out.

We continued on with the rest of the meal, with both of us keen to get on with the rest of the night. I continually patted my pockets to check the ring box was still there, paranoid that I would lose it. Or, that she would say no. Based on the law of averages and her feelings for me, it was highly unlikely...but still, I had to account for all situations.

I mean what if she said no? I just didn't know if my ego could take that kind of rejection. I looked up from my plate and inner panic attack to notice Bella staring at me with a perplexed look on her face.

I finished my meal of salmon and braised vegetables and put my utensils on my plate. Bella had also finished. Huh. She must have really enjoyed it. I pressed the buzzer hidden beneath the table to signal for our waitress to come in and collect our plates and to bring in our desert.

Bella loved berry cobbler, so had asked for the chef to make us a special mini one, complete with custard and whipped cream. I didn't like cream (refer to my reaction to dairy). But, she did and that was the main point - right?

After clearing the table, the waitress came back in and served us our dessert (1 plate, 1 fork). Bella smiled at me I picked up the fork with a smirk and fed her the dessert that she loved. She asked me repeatedly if I wanted any, but I assured her I was quite happy just to feed her. I guess the nerves were getting to me finally.

After our dishes were cleared away, I got up and walked over to the ihome dock and changed the play list. One of our favourite songs came on - I'm Yours by The Script. It was one of Bella's favourite songs to dance with me to, and she always seemed to get a bit teary when listening.

I patted my pockets for the speech I had written. Suddenly I felt panicked. It wasn't there. I realised I would have to ad-lib this. I just hoped my stutter didn't return with it...

I sat down and reached across the table to take Bella's left hand in mine. I cleared my throat nervously and wished I'd worn my glasses tonight instead of contacts. I'd have to wing it.

My inner confident self, who was not like me at all, dusted down his jacket, then looked out with a smirk on his face. I COULD do this.

I looked up at Bella with a smile. She was smiling back at me over the small tealights lit on the table and she looked absolutely radiant. I cleared my throat, pushed my chair out and got down on one knee next to her.

"Bella…" I started.

My heart started beating fast and my palms were sweaty.

The whole room was shaking.

I heard a faint buzzing sound.

I looked up at Bella but she was fading from view.

I closed my eyes. Maybe if I shut them for a minute, everything would be ok?

I shook my head to try and clear things.

And that was when everything faded to black.

RR ================ RR ================= RR

I could hear my name being called, seemingly from far away.

I blinked my eyes rapidly, and looking up, I saw Jasper leaning over me in bed with a concerned look on his face.

'Edward, Darlin', are you ok?'

Now I was confused.

"Huh?" I said. I was still in the state midway between dreamland and reality. I shook my head and sat up as I pushed Jasper away.

As I slowly came to my senses I realised that dating Bella and being back at high school was nothing more than a dream. I looked over at Jasper with a bigass grin on my face. I leaned over and pounced, kissing him passionately.

He kissed me back hungrily, before abruptly pulling away.

" Edward, as much as I'm loving this first thing in the morning, what's brought this on? I noticed you were having a bad dream and was about to wake you when the alarm went off. You had me worried."

I looked at him and laughed.

"Oh, Jazz, you would not BELIEVE the dream I just had. Seriously you will laugh at my stupidity!"

I then proceed to tell him about my dream. Once I'd finished, he looked at me for a second before he started to laugh. He laughed so much, and so hard, that he was clutching his stomach as tears rolled down his face.

"Seriously, Edward. You and Bella! Neither of us can stand her, you know the only reason we put up with her is cos she's married to your sister, Alice. I will never understand what an amazing person like Alice sees in her. In what alternate universe would you ever marry someone like Bella? I mean for god's sake she called her dog, Jacob! " He rolled his eyes at me.

I looked at him and smiled. And I realised something.

He was right.

I laughed at him and got out of bed, watching him as his eyes raked me up and down.

I quickly grabbed his hand and dragged him into the shower with me.

Only in my worst nightmare could I be married to Bella.

================= RR ================ RR ================= RR

A/N

Ok it's been an epic 3 months in the making…..so bear with me!

First of all many, many thanks to my awesome beta/pre-reader Edwards Isobel, without whom this would never have gotten up ! She makes my words sound all pretty n shit and fixes my many MANY typos….she is AWESOMESAUCE!

To all my WC h00rs - Love you girls (and guy!) - you inspire me every time! Even when I get distracted by the pretty…..

Everybody else knows who they are…And I hope you take this lil one-shot with the Toungue-in-Cheek humor it's meant to be J