A/N- Here it is. The final chapter. Please see the epic long author note at the end as it will have something very difficult for me to say.
Katydid2363 is the only set of eyes that has seen this. Jacndaniel & amieforshort, my gift to you. Keeping the final chapter a secret so you can be surprised along with everyone else.
Every Rose Has Its Thorns
My eyes flew open as I took in the familiar surroundings. The heavy maroon velvet curtains. The smell of incense in the air. The small table perched in the center of the room. I gasped out loud realizing that I was back in the fortuneteller's tent. My eyes focused on the only other person in the room with me.
"Welcome back, Isabella."
"Welcome back?" I repeated. "You mean…I'm back in the present time?"
"I don't know. What is the present time?"
"Don't play games with me!" I shouted. "Where am I? Is this 1989 or 2010?"
"Why don't you tell me the last thing that you remember? It might make the transition a little easier to handle."
The last thing I remember? I thought back and like it was yesterday, I remembered burying my mother.
"The funeral, being home, falling asleep in Edward's arms. Edward! Is he here?"
"Slow down. Let's talk about what all has happened. You were given a task, no?"
"To change the lives of six people, but…I don't know if I did it," I admitted.
"Well, what do you think you did?" she asked.
I thought back. "There was Rosalie Hale." The fortuneteller nodded. "I saved her from the rumors started by Lauren and Jessica. She even went on to become homecoming queen."
"Oh Rosalie has gone on to do so much more. Go on," she urged.
"Well, with Rosalie there was Emmett. I stopped Jacob and Tyler from ruining his football career. Then Alice, I'm not sure what I did for Alice other than offer her a ride home.
"And of course Jasper, but again, all I did was be nice to him and sort of introduce him to Alice. And Edward. I didn't cheat off of him and he became my boyfriend, but that's only five people."
The Winona/Heather look-a-like laughed. "Isabella, my dear, you need to open up your eyes. You've done so much that you don't even realize."
"Maybe that's because the last thing I can remember is crying over losing my mother."
She watched me for a moment, her eyes never leaving my face. "You could say that you saved two people in the end."
"How so?" I inquired.
"Well, while changing everyone else, you ultimately changed yourself. You became a better person, a good person. You allowed yourself to love others and to be loved."
"And the second person?"
"It still pertains to you but it has to do more along the lines of a relationship you mended that had once been lost. Before we go too much further into that, maybe I should explain a little more on how you helped the ones you've named."
"Yes, please do."
"Rosalie Hale McCarty," my eyes widened at the name, "was destined to be no one. She was living in the shadows of her extremely rich family, all the while hiding herself behind her words and her bad girl image. Had you not stood up for her, Rosalie would have gone on to get tied up in a very abusive relationship that would have left her for dead. You, however, saved her from that. Now granted, you defied the laws of the time continuum." I took a deep breath remembering my slip up by singing the Katy Perry song, Teenage Dream.
"But, in befriending Rosalie and bringing her and Emmett together, you changed the path of her life."
As soon as the words left her mouth, visions of a new past flooded my mind. Standing beside a pregnant Rosalie at her wedding to Emmett, holding her hand as Emmett passed out from watching her give birth to their first child, a daughter they named Lily. Being in the audience of the Grammy's as Rosalie was nominated for best song of year as a writer.
My legs wobbled as the weight of the flashes passed in front of my eyes. Suddenly, I was hit with another wave, this time it was Emmett. We were in Seattle, all dressed in purple sweatshirts as we cheered for him in the stands while he played football. Smiling as he held his daughter in his arms for the first time, laughing when a set of twins, with the same dimpled grin as Emmett jumped on his back, holding his hand when he finally cut the mullet. The last image made me smile.
"You ready for more?" she asked.
I nodded my approval, honestly excited to be flooded with new memories.
"Alice Brandon accepted a ride home from you after you consistently offered. If you had not kept on her, Alice would have been kidnapped."
"What?" I shrieked.
"Sadly yes. She was the first and only missing person's case to ever strike Forks. In another time it was a cold case. No leads, no body, nothing. It was as if she disappeared from the face of the Earth. However, Alice Whitlock is a happy woman, married to her high school sweetheart."
Memories of Alice and Jasper in college, finding a place amongst the alternative music scene that Seattle sprung. Their over the top wedding in Forks, we girls crying as we watched Alice and Jasper leave with a Uhaul behind a large heavy duty truck.
Jasper reluctantly trading in his cowboy boots for a pair of doc martins. His hair grown past his ears, resembling a very young Kurt Cobain, the tears in his eyes when he said I do, and the smile on his face as he held his baby boy, Luke, so we could meet him for the first time.
"Jasper would have continued to lead a quiet life, until college. He would have only lasted one semester in Washington before packing up and moving back to Texas. There he became involved the rodeo scene and a dangerous woman named Maria. She had Jasper do her biding and he ultimately murdered her husband. He would have spent the rest of his life in a prison cell had you not introduced him to Alice."
"Wow," was all I could say. It was all so unbelievable. I could hardly believe that, I, one small insignificant person could affect the lives of so many people.
My thoughts immediately went to Edward. What happened to him? As if sensing my mood, she touched my arm gently and smiled.
"You're thinking about Edward, aren't you?" she asked.
"Is it that obvious?"
She laughed. "Here, you might want to sit for the next part."
She led me to the chair in front of the table that held a small crystal ball. I placed my hands in my lap, fidgeting with my nails as I waited for her to deliver what I assumed was not so good news.
"Do you remember the first time you were here? What you were told about Edward, then?"
I thought back. Angela had mentioned he had a crush on me and that he was back to deliver the coronation speech because he was a best selling author. When I repeated this back to Winona she nodded.
"Did you know anything about the book he had written?" she asked.
"No," I said, embarrassed. "I didn't."
"Edward went on to college and studied English and creative writing. When school was over, he took a job with Apple to make ends meet. It was Seattle after all, Silicon Valley.
"After a while, Edward starting crafting his novel. He worked freelance to keep his mind in the game but all along, he was working on his best seller. The book was about a girl who was given a second chance at life; a second chance at love. Bella, his book was about you and the love that the two of you could have shared."
My ears must have deceived me. He had written about me doing, exactly what I had done, time travel, without evening realizing. Something she said struck a nerve, however.
"Could have shared? That means…"
"No, that was the past that doesn't exist. Well," she laughed. "I guess a part of it is true. Sit back and relax."
She touched my shoulder and my eyes closed. Thankful that I was sitting, I was hit with a mirad of memories.
Spending the rest of the school year with my best friends, prom, graduation, and leaving together for Seattle. Alice, Rosalie and I settling into our new house. Parties, drinking, laughing, and crying. Trading in our pumps for doc martins, our leggings and shirts for flannel and baja jackets. The music shifted from boy bands with a pop tune, to grunge rockers with attitudes. Laying candles at a memorial in honor of the late, great, Kurt Cobain. Smoking lots of pot and drinking a ton of coffee. Fighting with Edward and breaking up. Kissing Edward when we made up. Living with Alice, Rosalie, Emmett and Lily. Moving out when things became rough and trying to make it on my own. Edward on one knee, a delicate diamond ring in his hand. Our families and friends gathered on the beach of La Push as we said our vows. Making love until all hours of the night and well into the early morning dawn. Shaking with tremors as I held a pregnancy test in my hands. The smile on his face when our daughter was born. Tired, worn out, but loved at the end of the day. Crying in Edward's arms as we lost a child but smiling when our miracle was born. Buying our first house in the suburbs, bringing Edward massive amounts of coffee all hours of the night so he could finish his novel. The novel he wrote about a girl who was given a second chance at life, a second chance at love.
When the memories faded, I opened my eyes that were wet with tears. I had changed my life. I had made it better. I wasn't a bitter, cheated on ex-wife. I was a happily married woman with two beautiful daughters.
"I…I can't believe this," I said wiping my face. "I changed things. I made them better."
"You did, but there is still one more person left, one more life that changed because of you."
"Remember," she urged. "Remember the first man to ever love you, the only man other than Edward that you have truly ever loved."
Without hesitation I thought of my father and how our relationship had been strained but as I recalled with perfectly clarity, that had changed as well. We were happy, he was happy. I visited him all the time. We talked almost every day on the phone. He eventually remarried and I was happy that he and Sue could be there for one another. He loved my girls and spoiled them so much that it aggravated me but I wouldn't change it for the world.
In the end, I had changed my father for the better, and our relationship.
"So you see," she began. "Every action has a reaction and in going back in time, you choose to take different actions and look where it's lead everyone. You have a great life Bella Cullen."
I couldn't fight the smile that spread across my face at hearing my name. "Thank you so much," I said standing up. "Thank you for giving me this chance."
"Oh, I didn't give you anything. Maybe the other life was all just a dream. Maybe this is where you were always headed."
I thought it over before I spoke. "No, that life was no dream. It was a nightmare but this? This life I have, it's so much more than a dream, it's Heaven."
I walked toward the exit, love filled my heart. I stopped and turned around to ask one last question.
"Do you mind if I ask you what happened to the others? I mean, Jacob and Lauren, and Jessica?"
She laughed at my question. "Jessica is married to Mike and has four kids. She chain smokes and instead of sounding like the valley girl she once was, she now sounds like Marge Simpson.
"Jacob went on and married Jane, although, both of them have been cheating on one another. And Lauren?" She laughed again. "She spent a little time on reality TV. Seems Lauren couldn't leave behind her inner eighties diva and went on Bret Michael's Rock of Love."
"You're kidding?" I asked shocked.
"Not at all. She didn't win his heart, but she won over America and the tabloids with the sex tape the two of them made on the bus."
"Gross," I said with a shudder.
Winona Ryder from Heathers had given me so much whether she wanted to take credit for any of it when she should have. The least I could do was offer her eighties self some optimism for her later years.
"Hey Winona, one more thing," she lifted her head and smiled. "Remember, before it said Wino forever, it said Winona. Oh, and don't shoplift."
"Alright," she said dragging the words out. "I'm not going to ask but I'll take your word for it."
Smiling, I pulled back the flap of the tent and exited seeing a large gathering of people standing outside. When I saw all of the familiar faces, older but none the less beautiful, I cried softly, so happy to be where I was.
"Damn! I wondered how long you were going to be in there. What'd you do? Go back to another time?" Rosalie asked.
"Something like that," I admitted.
"You okay?" Edward asked, wrapping his arm around my waist. "I feel a strong sense of déjà vu. Like we've been here before."
"We have," Alice piped in. "Twenty years ago Bella came out with the same expression on her face. Did you think we'd all disappear? Geez, I can't help it if cotton candy calls my name. I was only gone for a second."
"No," I shook my head laughing. "Nothing like that. It's just, surreal. Everything about being here is so weird."
"Good weird or bad weird?" Edward asked, holding me tight against his body.
I looked at him, seeing the same green eyes that looked at me that first day in biology that I had spoke to him. He had filled out nicely, leaving behind the awkward lanky frame from high school. His hair still had a mix of color, but slowly creeping in was the sign of grey.
"The best kind of weird possible."
"Hey, I found this munchkin over by the ferris wheel. Claims that her daddy said she could ride it by herself."
I froze looking at my dad. Sure he looked older, but he looked content, happy and the way he was dangling my nine year old daughter off his arm, you would have thought he had made a huge catch at the lake.
"PopPop, Daddy did tell me I could go," she pouted.
"No ma'am I didn't. I said that when your mom was finished inside that we'd all go. Now come on, let's start moving."
"Mom, can I ride with Luke?" Another voice said as it approached. My oldest daughter, at thirteen, was standing with her arms crossed over her chest and smacking her bubble gum, reminding me of Jessica Stanley.
"Gum, now," I said extending my hand palm up. She rolled her eyes and spit the gum into my awaiting palm.
"Gosh, don't be such a drag mom," she whined.
"Don't be sassy, young lady and don't chew gum like a horse."
"Or Jessica Stanley," Alice snorted.
I looked up and smiled. "Yeah, or that."
"Who? I swear you guys are so weird. Come on Sophie," Elle said, holding out her hand for her little sister. "You can ride with me and Luke on the ferris wheel."
We walked over to the ferris wheel, Rosalie and Emmett with the twins hot on Elle's tail. Alice and Jasper, scolding Luke who was Jasper made over. Charlie and Sue held hands and laughed quietly to one another. And Edward and me arm and arm.
"Mom!" I heard shouting from across the parking lot. A tall blonde came rushing over to where we stood. "My heel broke. Do something!" she cried. "I can't walk on the field hobbling along like some crazy person."
"Lily, calm down," Rosalie said in her mother voice. "I don't have anything to fix it. Just go barefoot."
"Mom! The Queen can't walk down without any shoes on!"
"Why not? The queen, sweetie, can do anything she wants. Now go, Daddy and I will be out there soon."
Time stopped. The Earth quit rotating on its axis. Rosalie Hale McCarty had returned twenty years later, Forks High's homecoming queen of 1989, to crown her own daughter as queen. Funny how things happen, then again, sometimes, things are just meant to be.
A/N- I hope it was good for y'all. This is where I've always imagined this story ending. There will be no epilogue. This is truly the end. And speaking of the end...
It's also my time to step back from the world of fanfiction. This is the last story that I intend on writing. I'm tearing up just writing this but I think it's time for me. I came into this fandom a little over two years ago not knowing a single person and in the process I've grown to know some amazing women. I've also found that writing has been buried deep within my soul. Some of you have stuck with me since The Sovereign Six first updated on Twilighted and you've been around for every story since, even when I stepped out of the E/B pairing. Some of you might have just found this story last week. Whatever the case, know that I am eternally greatful to each and every single one of you.
I'm not leaving the fandom. I will still be around, and in no way shape or form am I publishing one of my fanfics. They were written with Edward and Bella- or Bella and Carlisle- in mind and no original character will ever change that. In fact, Dream was my NANO story from last year. Complete with original characters, I could never connect as well with them because the whole time I wrote about my characters, I couldn't help but imagine Edward and Bella. That's why I changed it to fanfic. There was no point in forcing something that just was never meant to be. However...NANO begins in a couple of short months. I've had a plot brewing since January with my own characters, people I see, and not the Twilight gang. I'm going to be spending time with them in preparations for NANO- not to mention, I've also signed my self up for a creative writing class for 6 weeks.
I will also not be taking my stories down. They are for y'all to enjoy. Like I said, I'm not leaving the fandom, I'll still be on twitter, I'll still be around, but it might be less than what it was before.
You've all given me the kindest words and believe me when I say I will take them wherever my journey takes me on. Thank you all for sticking with me through all of the ups and downs. You're all simply amazing and this experience has taught me so much and brought so many people into my life that without them, I'm not sure what I would do.
Thank you all for reading- I will respond to reviews for the final chapter (I'm sorry I've been fail on the others but I won't leave you all with the final chapter without telling you again how amazing you are). Thank you all for being a friend (yes cue the Golden Girls theme here).