EPILOGUE

Graduation was no fun.

I wanted to show up with my pink pumps and shorts but my mom literally forced the cap and gown on my body. Of course, I graduated at the top of my class but and my mom wanted to throw me a party but I told her I was perfectly content with staying at home and not doing anything.

I drank my beer down quickly, hoping it'll make the lonely feeling I had in the pit of my stomach go away. I continued to glare uncomprehending at the episode of Family Guy that was on. Not even the retarded and irresponsible misadventures of Peter Griffin could cheer me up. I threw away my bottle and skipped lifelessly up the stairs.

My room was cold.

I had been leaving the window open for Jacob whenever he decided to see me again. We were still Skyping but it wasn't as satisfying as being face to face with him. To feel his breath on my face, to have him hold and kiss me. You couldn't do that through a webcam.

I sighed and read over the note he wrote to me. He didn't want me to see it but I thought it was beautiful. I read it every night to make at seem as if he were with me.

And then my birthday was coming. School had been out for a month or so and my birthday was about two days from now. Again, I didn't want a party. Just a nice time at home.

A package arrived for me and my mom called me down to open it. The return address was from California and I immediately got excited. It was from Jacob!

I ripped out the box and as I did a card flew out. I ignored it for the moment and was to eager to find out what it was.

It was a black sweatshirt with my name printed in white in the upper right hand corner. I was already beginning to love it. My mom turned it to the back and in huge white lettering, it read Black and 18 under it. It was somewhat like his football jersey and I loved it.

Leah Black; it has a ring to it.

It was a little bit big but I think that was deliberate.

The card was something cheesy but beautiful. I opened it and a gift card to Hot Topic-one of my newer favorite stores since I decided to dress as if it were summer all year round-fell out. I picked it up and put it in my pocket as I read the message Jacob had written.

Happy Birthday, Leah! I love you! This sweatshirt will keep you warm at night when I can't. I'll be home soon. I promise.

-Jacob

"Where is Jacob? Haven't seen him around?" My mom asked when she read the card.

"California," I answered hesitantly.

"Vacation?"

"Yeah."

My mom didn't need to know about Jacob and Sam's little brawl at prom. My mom surely liked Sam way more than Jacob so of course she did ask a few questions about how me and Jacob got to the stage of saying the L word.

When my actual birthday did come, I got a iTunes gift card from Seth and one to Victoria Secret from my mother. I thanked them both and munched into my homemade cake that Sue spent hours on. When I finished, I put my new sweatshirt on and went to my room to chill.

Summer was going better than I thought. Well, Jacob wasn't here but that was okay. The sweatshirt was keeping me warm at night just like he said it would and we had set up a Skyping schedule so we can see each other sometimes. It was nearing noon and I got ready for him to sign on.

I signed in and waited for him to call me. I couldn't call him because it was too much of a risk.

A few minutes turned into five minutes. Five minutes turned into ten minutes. Then fifteen. Twenty. Twenty five.

I was growing impatient. Had he forgotten? He better not have. It was my birthday! I even fidgeted with my hair to pass time. Maybe he was out doing his community service...

My window began to rattle and it made me jump. I got up from my seat and opened it and saw him in all his loveliness, hanging from the tree.

"Are you half monkey?" I joked when he swung himself in gracefully. This is probably why he wasn't online; he was driving up to see me just for my birthday.

"Naw, just really fit." he replied before taking me in his arms and squeezing. "Happy birthday, girl."

"Thanks. I love my gift." I showed off the sweatshirt and he grinned, pleased.

"I thought you might." He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny, black box. "Hey, I got you something else."

"Oh no, Jacob. You've already given too much. You drove down here, in the middle of the day! You're risking getting caught. What more could you possibly give me?" I shook my head in disbelief as he reached for my hand.

"Here," he pulled an item out of the box and smirked when I examined it. It wasn't huge and flashy but the ring was a pretty silver color with a thick band. It had engraving on it that read Jacob x Leah Forever.

"It's a promise ring. I got me one, too." he held up his left hand.

"Jacob, it's so pretty."

He slipped it on my ring finger and admired how it looked on my hand. "Now it's official. Now and forever, right?"

"Right." I nodded and eyed it. It truly was pretty. I knew I was one hundred percent sure that now and forever with Jacob was what I wanted.

"I've never really done this whole 'I love you' thing before. Being in a serious relationship like this is new to me, ok? Being with you is different than being with Nessie. You know I'd never hurt you and I wanna do this right."

He paused and sighed, worried.

"Why be with someone when you know you're not gonna be with them forever? It just seems like a waste of time. I told my grandma about us. And Nessie. She thought this was a cute idea."

I smiled. "Thanks for coming. I really appreciate it."

Jacob's lips were to mine, wishing me happy birthday. "You taste like cake," he noted.

"You want some?" I offered as he held me closer, our foreheads touching.

"I want you," he whispered and nibbled on my neck.

How did I go from a goody two shoes to a rebel? How did I go from dedicating my life and virtue to Sam Uley to Jacob Black? How did he go from being a man-whore to being mine? All mine? Even though Jacob wouldn't get his scholarship and had to stay with his grandmother all summer, it was okay because he had me. I had him. Nothing else mattered.

I still had sympathy for Nessie and great resentment towards Sam. I had seen on her Facebook a week or so ago, that Nessie was dating someone new. He was a lilttle bit older and I didn't recognize him but I'm glad she was happy and out of mine and Jacob's business. Rumors had circled that Mrs. Cullen wouldn't be coming back to Forks High.

Turns out Jacob had to beg his Nana to drive him up to Washington, just to see me. She parked at the bottom of the hill and promised not to tell his dad. But this was a one time thing.

Perfectly content and finally at peace, Jacob enveloped me into his arms, wishing me another happy birthday.

I hoped and prayed we could stay together long enough for more birthdays to come. I loved my Jacob. Even if he was a teacher's pet.

FIN