Sometime Around Midnight
Pairing: Edward and Bella
O/S: Based on the song: Sometime Around Midnight
Song by: The Airborne Toxic Event
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. Plot, song belong to the group Toxic Airborne Event. No copyright infringement intended. I do not own anything.
I sat on my old couch, a gift which she had gladly left behind, drinking my sorrows away. I glanced at the photo album on my lap, and shifted through the many pages, wondering where things had gone wrong. The mess left behind, from going through our stuff, was manageable. The pain left from her leaving was excruciating. But the doubts, and questions left behind from her abrupt leave, were unbearable. How had things gone wrong? I didn't know. So I sat and looked at the pictures trying to piece the puzzle together.
I took picture, by picture out. I examined each one closely, trying to figure out if maybe the answers had been in front of me. I threw each one on the crate that currently served as a coffee table; she took that too, among everything else, except the bed and couch of course. How had I not noticed that everything in our small apartment was hers? How had I not seen that my life had slowly withered away, had been replaced and consumed by her? How was it that I only had a couch, a bed, clothes, and a photo album to confirm that she had been part of 4 years of my life?
The phone rang again for the 5th time in past 2 hours. I knew who it was and didn't care. They could wait. I was the one suffering, not them. They were glad, ecstatic that the frigid bitch was gone. Everyone had warned me one time or another, about how two faced, hypocrite, cold, and floozy she was. I didn't believe them of course. Why would I? I had finally found someone who could put up with me and my moods. She pulled me from the dark recesses of my mind, until recently that is. It almost had seemed as if the last year had been a burden for her. How had I not seen?
I picked up the picture of when we first met. I was a senior in Dartmouth attending a school function. I had been dragged by my fraternity brothers to catch tail. I was hesitant to go with them, but excited to meet new girls. I had recently broken free from stalker Tanya who was being shipped away back to Russia once her parents got fed up with bad grades. I was warned that foreign exchange girls were crazy, trying to impregnate themselves for a visa. I ignored the warnings when I laid eyes on her, she was hot. But lesson learned and all that.
My brothers and I were walking down to the kissing booth when she first stumbled right on to my back. She was beautiful. She had shoulder length brown hair, hazel brown eyes, and lean legs. I helped her to her feet and carried her bags for the rest of the day. We walked around and learned about each other. She was young, just getting a tour to start her freshman year for the following year. She challenged my mind in ways that no girl had before. B, as she liked to be called since she hated her name, became my best friend that same day. We became inseparable, always learning, teaching, and fucking each other. I made sure to keep an apartment close to the school for the both of us. She went to school while I worked. The picture I was holding had been taken from my phone, which I had later printed from my computer that night. I didn't bother to throw on the crate, it went directly to the floor.
I continued to look at the pictures. Our first date at the fair, the disneyland trip, at the bar with her friends, picture after picture that I continued to throw on the crate. It seemed that most of our 4 years had been documented. I noticed a pattern though, there were not that many pictures of her and I with my friends, almost all the pictures were of either both of us or with her friends. The pictures where my family were shown, were a complete contrast to the rest. Where we were always smiling, they had frowns, or tight slipped smiles.
My cell phone rang as I stared at a picture of a family ski trip where I had finally convinced her to go to meet the family. The picture had everyone of my family and friends, along with B and I. Everyone was smiling except for her. I knew that my mom didn't like her the moment she said she could call them Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. I figured they just needed to get to know her better with time. My brother Emmett made fun of how clumsy she was, always crashing on something. Other than laugh, he was indifferent towards her. His girlfriend Rosalie detested her from the start.
"I don't like her," stated Rosalie.
I looked at her as if she had sprung a 2 second head. "I didn't ask if you liked her, Rosalie. Although it would be nice, if you could at least be civil instead of a bitch towards her."
She frowned as she looked across the library where B was currently shifting through books. "She's going to break your heart, Edward. She isn't like us. She's too quiet, reserved. She is so much younger than you. She's going to get swallowed up against the rest of us. Your mom and dad don't like her. Alice thinks the girl is just using you for your money. Jasper thinks she's unstable, naive. I mean, how much do you really know her? Emmet doesn't even care enough about her. I know I've seen her around other guys in campus when I'm there. How do you not see this?"
"I see what you guys don't see. She's smart and funny. She's sarcastic and yes, she doesn't have the money that we all do, but she has me to help her if she needs it. She hasn't asked by the way, but I thought I should inform you that she has a full scholarship. She was male friends because it's hard for her to relate with other girls. And maybe, if you and Alice weren't being so cold towards her, then Emmett and Jasper wouldn't have biased opinions of her."
I walked away from Rosalie and grabbed on to B's hand, needing to feel myself cemented on something positive instead. "Hey, are you ready to go out on the snow? We'll have fun."
She looked around, noticing that we were alone. "Sure, but um...is everyone coming with us?"
"No. Just us."
She smiled a big toothy grin. "Good. Just you and me, even better."
We spend the rest of our time outside, unless it was required to be present with everyone else. The picture was taken on our last day there.
End of flash back...
After that day, I was determined to make it work with B. We spend less and less time with my family and friends after that, unless it was necessary.
I groaned, knowing already who was on the other side of the door. I dragged myself to the door, opened it and walked right back to my couch without looking back. I heard the distinct sound of heels on the hardwood floor following my trail. Why, why can't they leave me alone?
"You stink," deadpanned Alice.
"And you are here of your own accord smelling it."
"We're going out. Get in the shower, wash everything, Edward. And I do mean everything. Lord knows what the hag left behind," she instructed.
I groaned knowing already what a hell of a night was ahead of me.
She ignored my groan and continued as if she had not heard me. "We are going to a bar tonight because you need to go out in to the real world. No more hiding!"
"Alice, as much as I want to say that I appreciate it, I don't. So leave because I really don't want to deal with you, them, anyone. Just leave me alone!" I yelled in frustration.
"No. You've been wallowing in your stink for God knows how long and we've just about had it. OK? She's not worth you being like this. Don't let her take your will, Edward. I'm not leaving without you, and if I'm forced to shower you, I will. I don't care if I have to see your privates, they don't face me. SO GO!" She yelled, pointing to the bathroom.
I thought about what she said about B taking my will. She had taken everything with her. What else did I have left? Nothing. So with nothing to loose, I managed to move towards a long due shower. The water felt great on my sore body. I scrubbed hard, letting my skin feel the scalding water from the rough scrubbing. The last thing I wanted to do was think, think of her.
I got out and put on whatever it was that Alice had left on the bathroom counter. There really was no more privacy in my life, ever since the family had been coming over for my feedings and showers. I would like to think that I had been embarrassed, but I wouldn't even really know. That's how broken I was left.
I left the few days of scruff on my face, deciding it wasn't worth the extra effort to look presentable for anyone. I grabbed my wallet, keys, jacket and headed out the door with Alice. Emmett was waiting for us downstairs by the jeep.
"About time he came out," he muttered, slapping my back hard.
I climbed on the back of the jeep, completely ignoring the fact that tinker Alice would need help getting in. I figured Emmett would help her anyway. I was being dragged away after all. We drove down to the bar in complete silence. The silence was loud, pounding in my ears. It couldn't have been the alcohol in my system, it had not been enough. The silent pounding continued all the way to until we arrived at the bar. Once he parked, I came to realize the pounding was my heart, I was having a panic attack. I took deep breaths, trying to calm myself. This was my first outing since she left me 2 months ago, and 1 month since I had finally come to realize that she wasn't coming back.
We walked in through the door and immediately headed to the table that had been taken over by Rosalie and Jasper. I greeted them the best I could and sat down on the stool closest to the bar, ignoring the conversations from the other tables that were close to ours. There was a crowd tonight, coming in to see the band that was currently setting their instruments on stage. I didn't know who they were, and didn't care enough to find out. I wanted a drink, fast. It must have been sometime around midnight, when my body had finally let loose.
The lights dimmed enough for the bar the get dark, but still have illumination form the various lights on the walls. I made my way to the bar and ordered a scotch on the rocks. I took a long gulp finishing the drink and ordered another one from the female bartender that was trying to offer her boobs instead. I ignored her and pretended to look at the crowd instead.
That was when I saw her.
She was sitting with a group of friends that I had never seen before, 2 girls and 3 guys. The guys were all big, like football player big. The girls had an exotic feel to them, tan skin, long black hair, and barely there clothing. B stood out like a sore thumb, even though she looked completely comfortable with them. She smiled at one of the guys, and then laughed throwing her head back at whatever he had said.
My heart continued to pound as I looked at her looking completely happy. She looked radiant, beautiful in her white dress. I had not seen her wear it for a while, it was my favorite on her, reminding me of how innocent she was when we first met. She smiled at something he said, throwing another dagger through my gut. As if she felt my eyes on her, she turned in my direction, catching my gaze. She leaned in to the guys ear and whispered something to him, still looking at me. She walked towards me, never breaking eye contact until she was standing before me.
"Hello, Edward. How are you?" she asked, holding her empty cup in front of her like a shield.
I swallowed the lump in my throat before answering. "I'm good. You?"
She looked back at the table with her friends before responding. "Great." She gave me another smile before leaning closer towards the bar, grabbing the bar tender's attention and ordering her usual tonic.
Her smell hit me like a fright train. As the smell of the cheap strawberry shampoo she usually used hit my nose, memories came unhinged in my mind. The first time we kissed, made out, had sex, shower sex, memory after memory, came forth without stopping. I was becoming dizzy in the memories that only I seemed to remember. This was my chance to know why she left so sudden. Why she left without any explanations. Why I had to come home after work to an empty apartment with one note on the couch.
I'm leaving and taking all my stuff.
Don't look for me.
I grabbed her elbow and turned her body towards mine. I held on to her before she could run away like she usually did during a fight. "Why did you leave? How come you never said anything was wrong to me? Why did I come home with nothing more than a fucking note on the couch?"
She looked into my eyes for a couple of minutes before she finally responded with a shrug. "Because, after a while...I couldn't remember why I was still with you."
I dropped her elbow as if it had burned me, because it did. Her skin wasn't what it once had felt before, her eyes didn't shine like they used, and the sweet innocence she once had,was gone. If my heart had once been drumming hard against my chest, it was now humming fast. I turned away from her and returned to the table with my family. They were still engrossed in the same conversation from before I left to the bar. My hands were sweating, trembling with force. I balled my hands into a fist and took labored breaths. I had to let go, this was ridiculous. How could she not remember why she was still with me when I could remember everything? Maybe I should send her the fucking album and refresh her memory.
Alice came to my side and grabbed one of my fists in between both her hands. "Edward, please. Just try to forget for a few hours. It's hard, I know. But, Edward, you won't forget if you don't even try."
"I will try, Alice. OK?" I leaned over and kissed the top of her head.
Movement to my right caught my eye. It was B grabbing her coat and holding hands with the guy she had been whispering to earlier. He was laughing, swaying slightly on his feet. She turned back to look at me one last time before pulling the guy along with her, never looking away. I felt as if she had done it intentionally. Did she really want to get a rise out of me? One last stab to the chest? I felt the blood drain from my face as the rage boiled to a new level.
"Hey man," yelled Jasper over the music, patting my back a couple of times. "What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost! You're pale dude."
I downed the rest of my drink and left without answering back to him. I wanted out of here, out of my lonely apartment, out of my life. I had no friends who could understand my hurt, no home to return to; the bitch took that too. I stumbled my way out of the bar into the cold night. I didn't care that I was making a fool out of myself. I could feel people staring, but the haze enveloping me made me not care. There was one thing on my mind, repeating over and over again like a mantra keeping pace with my steps.
I just have to see her.
I just have to see her.
I just have to see her.
One last time, even knowing that she's breaking me in two. I'm a fucking masochist.
I caught wind of her as she leaned on her toes to kiss him and then hopping on top of a motorcycle with him. He drove away quickly after that, no care in the world as if they had done it many times before.
I continued my way down the to the stream that ran along the side of the park. It was so dark that I was barely able to see in front of me. For some reason, the posts that usually lighted the park, had not turned on yet. I relied on my senses instead to lead me to the stream. When I finally reached it, I felt inside my pocket for the one item that I always kept with me since she left. The picture of when we first moved in together, taken 3 years ago. We were happy then, a farce. This was the moment where I would let everything go. I let the hate, anger, love, and longing flow through me before I finally released it. It was so staggering, yet so liberating at the same time. I took a lighter out from my back pocket, ready to light the picture and memories away with it. Just as the flame was about to touch the picture a sudden drift of wind hit my back, startling me so much that I dropped the picture. The wind picked it up taking it along. I tried to run after it, she wasn't going to take this away too. Just as I was about to give up, I heard a yelp about 10 feet ahead of me. I ran the rest of the way just stopping a few inches shy of a girl holding on to the picture.
"Oh, shit! That hurt," she ranted.
"I'm so sorry. That's my picture and the air took it and then...I'm so sorry..."
She put her hand up to stop my rambling. "Hey, it's OK. Accident right?"
I nodded, confirming it had been an accident. I held my hand out to get the picture back. "I'm Edward, by the way."
She pulled her right hand away from rubbing eye and grabbed my hand to shake it. "I'm, Bella. Nice to meet you, Edward. Even if your picture did almost take my eye out."
I shook her hand back and chuckled at her humor. The light post next to us ignited on and I was able to get a real glance at the girl before me. There were no words to describe how gorgeous she was. Even though her appearance was a slight reminder of B, there was no way you could even contemplate putting these two on the same level.
Bella had long brown hair with some red streaks in it falling in waves over her shoulders. Her brown eyes were so expressive and inquisitive, very alluring, calling to the deepest pore of my soul. The top of her head just reached my chin, overwhelming me with the need to just hold on to her. I took a deep breath. Her smell was so sweet, reminding me of the field of freesias my mother had in her home. A squeeze to my hand made me realize that we were still holding hands.
"It's very nice to meet you," I murmured.
"You too," she whispered, wide eyes staring back at mine. "Oh, here. Sorry, this is yours." She handed me back the picture of B and I. "She's...um...pretty," she whispered, while blushing furiously.
I took the picture back from her, effectively ending the contact we had. "I was, um...ex-girlfriend. I was going to burn it. You know...bonfire...get rid of her...I mean not her but the picture, and...yeah her too...well..."
Her laughter stopped my rambling. "It's okay. I got the gist of it, don't worry," she said with a beautiful smile that lit her eyes. "So...do you need help. I mean if you want to of course. I just figured you'd want some company on this lonely night, I should know since I've done it before you know...I, well...I'll shut up," she rambled with and slight giggle. Her blush deepened to a dark, rosy color.
I looked one more time at the picture. This is it. I'm letting go. I'm moving forward now.
"I'd love you... I mean, I'd love your company. If you don't mind?" I asked searching her eyes for any hesitance.
"No. I don't mind. I would love to help," she said, the smile never leaving her face.
I took her hand, and together we walked towards the stream where she held the picture while I lit it up in flames. She let it go on the water, the stream taking it away, along with it all negativity from the last year.
Then a thought came to me. "Hey, how would you like to come with me to a bar. I have some family and friends there, and well...I'm sure they would love to meet you...if you're free of course, you don't have to go. I want you to..."
She placed her hand over my mouth cutting me off. "I'd love to meet your family. I don't have anywhere else I have to be. I just got out of work so I was headed home anyway."
"Great!" I exclaimed, excited to be able to spend more time with her. I grabbed her hand again, and held tight as we made our way back to bar. I wasn't healed, not by a long shot. But I was mending, of that I was sure. I turned to look one last time at the stream that was taking with it my past; and with new hope for the future, I turned to look forward, squeezing the hand of the girl who I was sure would be there along the way.
Sometime Around Midnight
By: The Toxic Airborne Event
And it starts,
sometime around midnight,
or at least that's when you lose yourself,
for a minute or two.
As you stand,
under the bar lights,
and the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while,
and the piano is this melancholy soundtrack to her smile,
and that white dress she's wearing,
you haven't seen her for a while.
But you know that she's watching,
she's holding her tonic like a cross.
The room's suddenly spinning,
and she walks up and asks how you are.
So you can smell her perfume,
you can see her lying naked in your arms.
And so there's a change,
in your emotions,
and all these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind,
of the curl of your bodies like two perfect circles entwined.
And you feel hopeless and homeless and lost in the haze of the wine.
And she leaves,
with someone you don't know,
but she makes sure you saw her,
she looks right at you and bolts.
And she walks out the door,
your blood boiling and your stomach in ropes.
And your friends say "What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost!"
Then you walk under the street lights,
and you're too drunk to notice that everyone is staring at you!
You just don't care what you look like,
the world is falling around you!
You just have to see her!
You just have to see her!
You just have to see her!
You just have to see her!
You just have to see her!
You know that she'll break you in two.