Characters: Edward & Bella, and Charlotte
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, but I wish I did : )
Lyric prompt: I get all numb. When she sings its over. Such a strange numb, and it brings my knees to the earth.
Summary: There are consequences for very decision made and Edward has to face his ten years later. What happens when the past you have hidden crashes into the mind numbing present you have created?
Some times I still dream about her. When I do dream of her, it's always lazy and distorted, just like my memories of her, now that it has been ten years since I last saw her face or felt her touch.
Sometimes the dreams of her are good ones. They are twisted images of her smiling, with her laughter echoing in the back ground hauntingly, teasing me of good times that are now lost.
Sometimes the dreams are sultry snippets of scenes of the past when she was mine, body and soul. In those dreams I would chase after the taste of her skin and her soft moans that she always made while we made love. It was those dreams where I could taste her skin and feel her heat that were always the best and yet the worst since they left me wanting and yet, empty inside.
I often wondered as the years passed if I had dreamed Bella into existence and that the truth was that she was not real at all. That she was just a figment of my imagination that helped me get through a hellish life in a small town.
"Mr. Cullen, Pastor Banner is ready to see you now," Sue, Pastor Banner's daughter called out to me in a very cheery tone that pulled me out of my disjointed memories immediately. I glanced over at Sue and nearly gasped as I finally took a look at her.
Sue was a young, maybe late teens to early twenties. She had long dark hair pulled back in a ponytail and warm brown eyes that shined like the sun. She looked sweet, innocent and shockingly like the girl that had haunted me for the last ten years.
"Mr. Cullen? Are you alright?" she asked me with concern in her voice as I tried to focus on the fact that she was not Bella. She was a girl who answered the phone for the church. She did not know me or anything about my past. She was just some girl, not Bella.
I cleared my throat and stood up slowly as I nodded at her since I had lost my voice when I was barraged with memories of a girl from my past. Sue motioned for me to follow her and soon I was standing before an open door that I was too familiar with by now.
My wife Charlotte and I had been seeing Pastor Banner for a month now to try to resolve my issues concerning starting a family. Charlotte was ready, she wanted children, and it was me that was stalling. I hated that I was breaking her heart, but I just couldn't agree to it no matter how much she pleaded with me. I couldn't tell her the true reason why I could never have children since I knew that once she knew what I had done there would be no redemption for me.
"Edward, come in!" Pastor Banner called as I peered into the room like a child who was lost. I had been in this room before since Char and I were now meeting with him on a weekly basis to increase the effort of coming to some sort of resolution over having children. Char held tight to the promise I had made when we had gotten married that one day we could have children, but what Char didn't know was that I did not keep my promises to the people I loved.
I walked in and seated myself in an uncomfortable office chair as my pastor watched me fidget nervously. I hated that Char had brought our pastor into the middle of our marriage since it would just be one more person to be disappointed with me if the truth were to be known.
"So, Edward, what's been going on?" he asked me in a friendly tone, but I felt anything but friendly as I sat there. I hated being here. I hated that I was not able to convince Char that I needed more time.
"Everything is fine," I replied back calmly as I looked away. I hated Pastor Banner now since I swore that the man could look at me and see my blackest secret.
"Ok, well, Charlotte's not here so it's just us so remember whatever you say here is safe between us," he started to say as I fought the urge to roll my eyes at him. I nodded my head in agreement, but remained silent.
"OK, well, how has this week been?" he asked me, trying to garner more information from me. He knew all too well from Charlotte how I was refusing to budge on having children. How I had promised her and failed her.
"Ok," I said simply as I sat there, hoping like hell that my silence would earn me an early exit out of this place, but as he looked at me I discovered that there would be no such luck for me today.
Pastor Banner launched into the past with vigor. He asked me questions about how Charlotte and I met. I went over the history of my relationship with Char for him since it seemed to make him happy and that meant I could avoid why I was refusing children.
I told him of how I was originally from Chicago, but after my parents died my sister Rose and I were sent to a tiny town in Washington state to live with my uncle and aunt. I froze for a moment as I mentioned Forks since images of the brown eyed girl I left behind there flooded my mind.
"Do you miss Forks?" Pastor Banner asked me as if on cue. The bastard must have noticed that I paused when I mentioned the town.
"No, I hated it there. I loved my uncle and aunt, but the small town was horrible and I counted the days down until I could return to Chicago," I said as I tried to avoid his eyes since I knew they would see my hesitation over talking about Forks and that would only cause him to question it more.
"So, how did you meet Charlotte?" he asked me as I breathed a sigh of relief that I tried to mask with a smile. My meeting Charlotte was probably the best thing that ever happened to me here in Chicago and I wasn't scared to tell anyone that.
I launched into my story of how once I returned to Chicago I fell into booze and women. I discovered that the numbness I was searching for could be found at the bottom of a bottle or between the legs of some faceless girl. I had met Charlotte on campus while hung over and doing the walk of shame back to my dorm after waking up in some random girl's dorm room.
Charlotte approached me and told me that Jesus loved me even if I didn't love myself. I wanted to laugh at her, but I couldn't since there was that small part of me that honestly wanted to believe that it was possible, even after what I had done. I continued on with our story as I explained that Charlotte started to seek me out and at first how I avoided her until I finally relented to attend church with her. I explained how we slowly became a couple. How there were obstacles in our path since Char was twenty four and I was nineteen so my family was not thrilled by our dating. I explained the admiration and friendship that enhanced our love. I told Pastor Banner about our wedding here in Chicago at the small progressive church that we both were members of when I was twenty and she was twenty five. I explained happily how Char supported me through my undergrad years and throughout medical school as I finished up my residency here at Cook County Hospital.
Pastor Banner watched me talk and would scribble down something occasionally, but remained silent over all. I continued talking to him as I explained what an amazing wife Char was since she never complained that I was rarely at home due to work. I bragged about her amazing house-keeping skills and how she cooked for me in an effort to try to take care of me the best she could. It was not hard to tell this story since I had told it a million times over it different people in our congregation as well as to my own family who continued to question the age difference between Char and I even though now I was twenty eight and she was thirty three. I finished my story by telling him how proud I was of my wife for all her work in the community since she worked at a prolife clinic as a counselor to young girls who were pregnant. She was amazing and I was a lucky guy to have her.
I finished the story of how I met Char and then waited as Pastor Banner sat there in silence. He looked at me carefully as if he was thinking over how to word something and that made me nervous.
"That is a lovely story Edward, but I have to ask you something," he said and then looked down at his notebook as if he was searching for the words. I nodded my head at him so he could continue.
"When you first met Charlotte, you mentioned that you were trying to find numbness?" he asked as I grimaced at his words. I hated that he had picked up on that since that would put him too close to my past and the part of my life that I had kept hidden for ten years now.
"Why were you wanting to be numb?" he asked me, but I remained silent. I did not want to answer him. I did not want to tell him that I had sought out being numb to avoid the pain that came from leaving my girl behind.
"Come on, Edward, it's just us," Pastor Banner said with a reassuring tone that reminded me of my father. My mind raced and I felt sick since I knew if my father was aware of my past he would be so disappointed in me.
"When I came here I was in a difficult place," I said in a voice that did not sound like me. It sounded strangled like the words were being squeezed out of my throat in an almost painful manner.
"Well, moving away from the people you love can be difficult," Pastor Banner said as he continued to watch me with a critical eye that seemed to see the blackness in my soul.
"Yeah," I managed to say as I tried to take a deep breath to calm myself.
"Did you leave anyone behind?" he asked me suddenly, causing me to look over at him with shock that I tried to mask quickly, but he could see it clearly.
"It's ok. I did too you know. When I moved to Chicago I left behind my high school sweetheart. It nearly killed me, but we both moved on and now here I am," he said simply with a wave of his hands as if it was nothing and I am sure that it was nothing to him, but what I left behind was different.
"High school love is the hardest since we all think at the time that what we have is forever, when in reality very few of us find what we are looking for while in our teens like that," he continued to talk as I found myself growing angry at how he was acting like what I left behind was nothing since that was a lie.
"There is nothing wrong with feeling guilty over a high school love that has ended, Edward. Just remember that this is life and I am sure that the girl had moved on just as you have," Pastor Banner said in a gentle tone that pissed me off even more.
"I seriously doubt that she has," I replied in a hostile tone, through gritted teeth and then instantly regretted that I spoke since my words caught his attention quickly.
"What makes you think that your high school sweetheart has not gotten over you yet?" he asked me with a curious tone since he knew he was getting somewhere with me now. I had never spoken to him in anger, not even when he had tried to get me angry concerning Charlotte and her past misdeeds before she found Christ. He had taunted me with Charlotte's promiscuous past that was far more lavish than mine, but his taunting did not anger me since I did not care what Charlotte had done in her past. It was meaningless to me since I knew she was a good woman now.
"She wasn't my sweetheart," I said to him without thinking as the anger continued to brew within me.
"OK, well, what was she then?" Pastor Banner goaded me on, smiling at my reactions as I glared at him.
What was she? What was Bella? She was the sun in a rainy town. She was the life line I needed when I could not function any longer. She was fire and emotions that took away the numbness of my existence.
"She was nothing," I told him in a cold tone that sounded detached even to my ears because I knew it was a lie and obviously so did Pastor Banner since he continued his line of questions for me.
"Was she now? Because you are acting like she was something," he replied with a laugh as I rolled my eyes at him like a child.
"I will ask again and remind you that it's just you and me. So, why don't you tell me what makes you think that you are so unforgettable that a girl would still be hung up over the great Edward Cullen ten years later?" he asked me, taunting me once more with a teasing smile that made me want to punch in his face until all that was left was a bloody mess.
I could feel the walls that I had crafted carefully around my past start to crumble as I glared at him. I could feel the words rising in my throat like bile as I tried in vain to stop them from spilling out of my mouth.
"She had my child, that's why," I growled at him in anger as the words broke free from their secret spot inside my heart and filled the room with their horrible truth. I watched with perverse delight at Pastor Banner blanched over my statement and then shuffled his papers on his lap once as if he would find this hidden gem noted in his paper work over Charlotte and I, but I knew that this information was listed nowhere since no one knew about this child here except me and I had told no one.
I had built my life around the secrecy of my past and this child that I had with Bella. I had never told Charlotte that it was a pregnant girlfriend that I was running from when I met her. I had never told her that somewhere back in the state of Washington I had a child that I had abandoned with a girl that I left behind as quickly as I could, even though I had promised her forever once.
The truth was bubbling up within me and I felt it fighting its way out as I tried to remain silent. I tried to catch my breath and will the pain away as I always did when I thought of Bella and how I had left her.
Pastor Banner remained silent for a moment as he looked at me. When our eyes met I knew I would not be able to hold back any longer. The truth would come out and soon he would hate me like I hated myself.
I slowly started to speak, not waiting for any more of Pastor Banner's lame attempts of taunting me into the truth. There was no need for them now since the truth was burning a hole through me in its attempt to escape my soul.
I started slowly, telling him of how I moved to Forks and how difficult it was to lose my parents, my friends and everything I had ever known all at once. I explained how hostile the town was and how my sister and I were quickly labeled as head cases since word got around that our parents had died in a horrible house fire. Some people even had the gall to spread the rumor that it was Rose or me that actually started the fire to kill our parents, which was so far from the truth, especially considering they died in a car wreck.
I took a deep breath and told Pastor Banner about Bella. I told him of how she was a grade younger, but was in a lot of my classes since she took advanced placement classes. I told him of how she was a transplant to Forks also. She had moved there from Jacksonville, Florida, where her mother lived. I had hoped that her presence would take some of the heat off of Rose and me, but it didn't since Bella had been welcomed by the elite group that consisted of Jacob Black and his asshole friends. Just thinking of Jacob Black made me laugh since I wondered if he was still hiding in the closet.
"So, this Bella, was not a friend?" Pastor Banner asked me, unsure if he was following what I was saying.
"Not at first, but then everything changed," I said simply as I sat forward and placed my head upon my hands as if that slight move would block out what was to come next.
I told him of how Bella and I came to be. Our houses were next door to each other and we would see each other at night, in the darkness of our back porches. We never spoke at first, but then one night it all changed. I watched her leave her back porch with a sideways glance back at me. She walked into the darkness that was her back-yard and then finally into the woods that surrounded our houses. I waited for a moment or two, but then followed her into the darkness like a fool.
It was that night that Bella and I first spoke. We didn't have this awkward conversation that normal people had as they got to know each other. We were different and I could feel that and so could she. We spoke like old friends as we talked about our old homes and how we both missed the sun since all it ever did was rain in Forks.
"So you found a kindred spirit in the girl," Dr. Banner said with a smile in his voice as he drew me out of my memories of Bella and I huddled together under a large pine tree in the rain.
"That had to make school easier," he said in a casual way that made me cringe since it should have made being in school easier, but nothing was that simple, especially in high school.
I explained that Bella and I rarely spoke in school since I wanted to avoid bringing her attention that was not needed by the assholes that surrounded her. It was bad enough that they thought I was a serial killer in-training, they did not need to torture Bella as well, so instead we met at night. It was easier that way too since her father was never home and my uncle never noticed that I was gone.
I laughed as I explained Bella's surprise as I crawled through her bedroom window that was on the second story of her house. She was so upset that I would hurt myself coming to see her and she could not bear that thought, so the next day in class she slipped me a copy of the key to her house. That simple act made me smile all day since it showed that she cared and it had been so long since anyone had cared for me. The thought of Bella caring about me made my heart pound in my chest. It made the numbness that I had experienced as life in Forks disappear just a little bit.
I recalled how that night I went to her house, entered it using the key she gave me and then walked over to Bella as she watched me with a big smile on her beautiful face as she welcomed me. I walked up to her, not caring that I was dripping wet from the down pour of rain that I had waded through to get to her, as she stood there in the hallway smiling. I stopped in front of her and then reached out to pull her close for a kiss. I remember how surprised she looked as I pulled her close against me since I was wet from the rain. I leaned down and pressed my lips to hers softly. I could recall with perfect clarity the small gasp she made when our lips touched for the first time and how she tasted like strawberry lip gloss. It was in that one perfect moment that I felt the numbness that had settled over me since my parents' death give way to the burning electric heat that was Bella Swan.
I stopped talking and drew in a shaky breath since telling the truth about my past for the first time in ten year was difficult. The more I talked about Bella aloud the more it felt like the air was being forced from the room by the horribleness that was to come as my actions came to light.
"So, this girl, was more to you than nothing?" Pastor Banner asked me in a simple tone, drawing me back into the present, away from the hurt brown eyes that were staring at me in horror in my mind.
"Bella," I corrected him since I hated that he referred to her as some girl. She was far more than just some girl to me.
"Ok, Bella was more to you than just nothing, right?" he asked me in a knowing manner that pissed me off.
"If you know the answer already, then why are you asking me?" I shot back at him, causing him to chuckle at my anger. I looked at the man whose warm blue eyes met mine with amusement. I fought back the urge to get up and walk out on this asshole since I knew if I did Charlotte would be called about our session. She was the last person I wanted to know the truth. It was that sobering thought that caused me to take a deep, cleasening breath before continuing on with the story of my past since it was my past that was causing me to be in this god forsaken office with this prick.
I explained to him that Bella and I became more than friends, but it was hard since there were appearances that needed to be kept. The first one was that in the public eye she was Jacob Black's adoring girlfriend. It all was a lie since in reality Jacob Black was gay and hiding it from the town that had crowned him king. My words about Jacob caused Pastor Banner to question me more since he did not understand the dynamics of a small town, but I did and because of this I understood why Bella had agreed to pretend to be his girlfriend. It was a matter of protecting someone that she loved and Jacob had been her lifelong friend well before she had ever moved back to that shit hole.
"So, at school she was with Jacob, but really she was dating you?" Pastor Banner questioned me as I let the truth spill out of me in a torrent of words.
"Yes, Bella and I were together. I spent every night with her. She was mine," I said in a quiet voice as I looked away from the man who was watching me so closely that it made me nervous once more.
"It was a good relationship?" he questioned me as I felt his eyes bore into me like laser beams, scorching my skin with his gaze.
I opened my mouth to speak, but instead I was overcome with images of my time with Bella. All the laughter that we had shared while together echoed in my mind as I could see her face pink from blushing as she giggled for me while her lips were swollen from our kissing on her dad's couch. Images of all the nights I had spent sleeping beside this girl, holding her to me just to feel the electricity of her skin against mine in an effort to keep the numbness that had settled over me from returning.
"Yes, it was good," I whispered to him as I stared out the window of his office, but I could only see Bella.
"We made love for the first time on her seventeenth birthday and by her next birthday I was gone and she was pregnant," I whispered as I tried to conclude my story about Bella since the past was starting to make it hard to breathe once more as it crushed me with its weight.
The room was silent as Pastor Banner and I sat together like fools in its stillness. I wasn't sure what he wanted to say and the weight of my words were crushing me so I just remained silent instead.
I knew what he was waiting for as he remained silent, allowing me to pull myself together to continue on, but I wasn't sure if I could say the words since saying them aloud made them true. I turned to look at him and found him watching me, waiting for me to continue.
"When she told me that she was pregnant I panicked," I said softly as the words started to come to me like sharp daggers cutting me to the core.
"I felt like this pregnancy was a betrayal by her in the worst form since she knew how badly I wanted out of Forks," I continued on as the words started to choke me with their bitterness.
"She betrayed you?" Pastor Banner questioned me in a low voice that sounded calm, like he knew what my answer would be before I spoke the words aloud.
"It felt like it. I was days from leaving that fucking town behind and she just came to me and announced that she was pregnant," I said as I felt my heart start to pound in my chest as I relived that moment in my mind.
"You were going to leave her behind?" Pastor Banner quizzed me as I found myself starting to gasp for air.
"No, I wanted her to go with me. She was going with me until…" I started to say, but then the words trailed off into nothing.
"Until she said she was pregnant," Pastor Banner said softly, finishing my sentence for me while making me feel all the horrible emotions from that day ten years ago. I listened as he took a deep breath and then let it out while I sat there, nearly hyperventilating from the emotions that were raging inside of me.
"So, what did you do?" he asked me softly, but he might as well have screamed it for the effect it had on me.
"I told her that it wasn't mine and that she needed to find her baby's real father. I told her that I was not going to lose my dreams just because she was too stupid to figure out birth control. I told her to go ahead and approach my family about this since none of them would believe that it was mine either because no one had ever seen us together and she would be labeled for the whore she was. I told her that I never loved her, that it was all a lie. I told her that this was her problem, not mine, and then I walked away, leaving her on the ground in the woods as she cried," I said as I struggled to breathe while all the black lies of the past poured out of my mouth, filling the room with its darkness.
The room was silent after I spoke and while I knew Pastor Banner was giving me time to compose myself once more I could not help but to feel his judgment in the silence. It was judgment that I had been avoiding for ten years. I did not need his judgment since I knew what a monster I was for leaving Bella behind like that. I had lived it for ten years now.
I felt sick as I sat there with the truth swirling around me like a black halo. I wanted it to be gone and leave me behind, but I was not done yet. The remaining part of the truth was eating its way out of my soul.
"I went home. I changed flight plans, instead of leaving in three days I changed my plans to leave first thing in the morning. I left Forks and never looked back again," I said as the bitterness of my words turned my stomach even more.
"Bella never contacted you?" Pastor Banner asked me as I continued to gasp for air while the weight of my past crushed me.
"I don't know. Once I was in Chicago I changed cell phones so I had a new number and I opened a new email account. I never looked at my old one again," I stammered as my breathing started to ease a little.
"Did she ever contact your family?" he asked me. I could hear the surprise in his voice.
"She wouldn't have. That was just Bella's way," I said as a wave of pain and regret washed over me.
"Edward, I know you want me to tell you how horrible you were and yes, what you did was outrageous and wrong on so many levels, but" Pastor Banner started to say, but I stopped him as my anger came out once more in full force to greet him.
"No, there is no but here! It was a monstrous thing to do since I knew that kid was mine and yet I said it wasn't. I called her a whore. I called the girl that I love a whore! She wasn't, it's just that I was so fucking mad!" I yelled at him as Pastor Banner sat there calm as he could be while watching my melt down.
"Edward, you were a boy who made a mistake. You were just a boy," he said soothingly as I glared at him in anger. How could he dismiss it so lightly?
"Can't you see? I am not meant to be a father. I can't have kids since this is how I will treat them!" I yelled again as Dr. Banner watched me with a sad look on his face.
We spent the rest of my time with him in discussion as to how I should tell Charlotte since she needed to know why I was refusing to have children. I hated the idea of telling her, but Pastor Banner was right when he said I was only hurting her more by my silence and she deserved to know the truth about my past. It was with a heavy heart that I left his office to go home and wait to destroy my wife.
I had been home only forty minutes when Charlotte came breezing through the door ranting about a fourteen year old girl that had tried to hide her pregnancy from her parents. I watched her buzz around our conservatory styled living room with her light blonde hair shimmering around her head like a halo in its chin length cut as her bright blue eyes blazed with emotion for a girl that was in a terrible position in her life. This was the Charlotte that I had grown to love. The one that felt everyone was worth saving. I wondered if she would feel that way about me once she knew the truth.
It took her a full thirty minutes before she had settled enough from her day to even ask me about how my appointment with Pastor Banner went. I knew she was anxious for news and praying at night that I would come to honor what I had once promised her.
I took a deep steadying breath as I listened to Pastor Banner's voice in my head remind me that honesty was the best policy before I began to speak. I watched Char slowly sit down on the couch across from me as I confessed that when we had met I was running from a pregnant girlfriend in Washington. I watched the look of horror settle over her face as I told her that I cut off all means of contact with the girl and never looked back again until now.
"You left a seventeen year old girl to take care of your child on her own," Char stammered with a high pitched voice that was a tell tale sign that she was going to cry.
"She was going to be eighteen in a month," I offered lamely, knowing that my words were not helping me at all. I flinched as Char quickly turned to glare at me for even speaking aloud.
"Bella, right?" Charlotte asked me, shocking me with her knowledge of who I had wronged as a sick feeling settled over me, but I remained silent, letting her speak her mind.
"You have called her name in your sleep for eight years now. I had always figured that she had broken your heart, but never this," she said as the pitch in her voice got louder with the rise of her temper. I sat there, waiting for her wrath that was coming and she did not disappoint me.
"You have a child Edward! A child that you have never seen or mentioned!" she screamed at me in anger. I deserved her anger and more for all that I had done to her.
"You don't know if it's a boy or a girl! You don't know its birthday! You don't know what the child even looks like!" she screamed at me as I sat there, taking in her words. Char was right as usual. I had no idea if I had a son or a daughter. I could not pick my own child out of a crowd of people and I had no fucking clue when its birthday was or what I was doing the moment he or she took their first breath. These were all reason as to why I should never father a child again in my mind.
I was lost in my own misery inside my head when Charlotte spoke again, causing me to wince in pain.
"You love her," she almost whispered as if her words were a dirty secret she was scared to share.
"No, Char. She is the past," I stammered to her as I pleaded with my eyes for her to understand me. It was a lie. I loved Bella and that would never change, but that did not mean I wanted to hurt Char any more than I had already. It also didn't mean that I didn't love Charlotte since I did, it was just different and I blamed that on the fact that Bella was my first love.
"Don't deny it. I know you do. You love Bella and you have for all of our years of marriage. All our marriage I have taken second place to a girl that you abandoned with your child. All our marriage I have fought for scraps of your love. All our marriage I have fought to be in your heart because I knew she controlled your mind," Char stuttered emotionally to me as I watched tears start to spill down her cheeks that were flushed with anger.
Suddenly, Charlotte stood up and walked back to the front door leaving me scrambling to stop her.
"Where are you going?" I asked her as I watched her slip back on her flats and then grab her purse.
"I have to leave for now. I need time to think, Edward," she said in such a sad tone that it brought tears to my eyes.
"I'm sorry that I hurt you. I'm sorry that I never told you about it. I'm sorry," I started to say in a rapid manner as I took hold of her small hand in mine while she watched me closely with her all knowing blue eyes.
Char stepped closer while I brought her hand in mine up to my lips for a kiss. I watched her lovely face that was red from anger and tears as she gazed at me in such a sad manner.
"I know you are, but I need time and so do you Edward," she said softly as she pulled her hand from mine before turning to leave me alone just like I had done to another.
The hours passed and Charlotte had not returned home yet. I had called Pastor Banner for an emergency session by phone. I told him what happened when I finally spoke the truth to Charlotte. He was kind and irritating as he agreed that Charlotte walking away to get some perspective was a proper thing to do in this circumstance. It was not what I wanted to hear, but I agreed that I would give Char the space that she needed.
The night passed and soon I was going to bed without my wife since she still had not returned. I was worried since I had no idea where she was and she had not bothered to call me to tell me any different, but if I was to honor her request for space then I would have to let that go.
I stripped down to my boxers and crawled into bed, praying that sleep would take me, but it wouldn't. I laid there in dark as my mind raced back to Bella. I wondered how she was now. I wondered where she was and how my child was doing. I wondered if she ever thought of me and how much she hated me now. It was with those dark thoughts that I finally fell asleep.
I woke to the darkness in the bed room I shared with Charlotte. I could feel someone's eyes on me as I lay there on the bed. I slowly rubbed the sleep out of my eyes to find Charlotte standing at the foot of our bed. She had stripped off her clothes and was standing there naked, watching me with a determined look on her face that seemed to have an edge to it that I had never seen before in all our eight years of marriage.
"Charlotte?" I questioned as she stood there watching me while I lied upon our bed. Before I could move, Charlotte descended upon me. She crawled up my legs, pulled the blankets back as she did and then straddled my hips. My body reacted as my cock grew hard as I felt her warmth through the thin layer of cotton that separated us.
"You are my husband," she said possessively with a slight slur to her words as the scent of alcohol filled the air after she spoke. I had no time to respond to her comment before she began to kiss me in a hard, demanding manner. I could taste the vodka on her lips and in her mouth as her tongue tangled with mine.
I felt her hands, tugging and groping against my skin. They were harsh and unforgiving as her nail scratched my chest, leaving marks behind them. I hissed in pain over her touch, but did not stop her since she seemed so determined to claim me as hers.
I felt her move off of me just enough to bring her face down to my cock. Her hand grabbed the waist band of my boxers and yanked them down with a strong tug to expose my semi hard cock that made me gasp in shock a little since this was not the Charlotte that I knew. Charlotte had never been forceful or demanding when it came to sex. She wanted sweet and gentle. She had us pray before sex to bless our union. There was never anything spontaneous or rough about the sex we'd ever had in the past. It was always planned and reverent since she had always told me that physical love was created god as well.
Charlotte did not look at me, but instead kept muttering how I was her husband before she leaned down and licked my cock in one fluid motion, causing me to jump at the sensation as my body reacted to the attention. She never gave head, never ever, so this was different as well. My mind was filled with warning bells ringing, but I could not sort out the danger as lust took hold of me.
Charlotte continued to work me with her tongue until I was panting her name as she pulled off of me, making the sound of a wet suction pop. I was still panting and slowly the reality of the situation was settling over me as she moved up my body to straddle me once more.
"Charlotte," I began as rational thoughts slowly returned. This was not a good idea. Sex would not fix anything and most definitely it would not fix us.
"Don't! Don't you dare!" she said to me and slid her wet warm pussy along my aching cock, causing me to hiss at the sensation as I lost touch with sensibility once more.
"You're my husband and I will make you mine," she whispered to me in a rambling tone that cut through the fog of lust just enough for me to see that she was out of control. She moved just so to take me inside of her and as I tried to stop her she slid herself down my cock, taking all of me in at once as she groaned loudly.
My mind warned me that it was wrong as she stilled herself upon me for a moment. I didn't have a condom on and in all our eight years of marriage we had never had sex without a condom. I had only gone skin to skin with Bella and to be with Char like this felt wrong.
She started to move against me and as she did her verbal tirade began.
"You are mine. My husband. Mine," Char said as she started to slam herself down upon me, causing me to groan as she punished me with her body. The sensation of being deep inside of her was overwhelming, but I knew I had to stop this. This was not lovemaking. This was not even make-up sex. This was Charlotte being desperate to prove that I was hers and I could not bear it.
"Char, stop," I managed to say as she forced herself down upon me, taking me deep and causing my eyes to roll at the sensation of it. She must have watched my eyes closed since as soon as they did she increased her rhythm into harsh thrusts.
"I am your wife and I will not let you think of her while you are inside of me!" she said in a haggard voice that told me how inebriated she was to be using me in this manner. She moved harder and faster upon me as I took hold of her hips to try to steady her before stopping her movement.
"I know that you think of her and I will not have you thinking of that whore while you are inside of me! You are mine and you will think only of me!" Char hissed at me as her body moved wildly on top of me, causing me to groan as she pushed me closer to my release that I fought back.
"Look at me! See me!" she yelled at me as she continued to bounce on me while raking her nails down my chest in a painful manner that I knew would leave marks. Her words sobered me from the haze of sex that I was lost in as her body punished me for my past deeds. I looked up at her face and possibly for the first time ever, I saw her when we were connected like this.
Charlotte's face was flushed from sex and alcohol. I looked into her eyes and I could see the pain and crazed look that I had caused within her. It was painful to look at and yet I could not look away from what I had done.
I watched as she rode me without mercy, pushing me closer as she demanded that I was hers, claiming me as hers by her actions. It was desperate and painful.
"I should have your child not her. I should have your baby," she said and then shifted against me resulting in her chanting my name as she came upon me with blinding force causing the rippling effects to start my orgasm. I felt myself start to come and as I did I grabbed her hips hard. I pulled Charlotte off me, almost tossing her to the side as I came all over my stomach with sputtered breath as my mind filled with haunting images of warm brown eyes and soft skin.
The room was silent except for the sound of our breathing as we lay there. I searched around for something to wipe off with and as I did I could hear Char start to cry. It made me sick. I had done this. I had done this to us, to her, to Bella. There was nothing that I touched that I did not destroy.
I stood up, grabbed my discarded boxers and left Char alone with her tears that I had caused. I cleaned up and spent the remainder of the night in our guest room away from her, but it did not block out the sounds of Charlotte's sobbing.
In the morning, after showering and dressing, I was greeted by a somber Charlotte. She had her hair pulled back harshly and had no make-up on. She looked older than thirty-three as she greeted me with a cup of coffee, as if she had aged ten years since last night. She was put together, but I could see the void in her blue eyes as she looked at me.
"Edward, you have to fix this," Charlotte said as I took a slow sip of the coffee she had handed me.
"You need to fix how you ended things with that whore," she said to me with ice in her voice. Charlotte had never made such comments about anyone before. She worked with girls who had found themselves pregnant and abandoned by the baby's father, but I had never heard her say such cruel words about them.
"You will not call Bella a whore. She has done nothing to deserve that treatment from you," I said in a slow manner, not hiding my fury from her over her choice of words. Char just shook her head at me as if I was the one who was out of line, but remained silent for a moment to allow the anger to pass.
"You need to fix the past," Char said in a simple tone, but I could hear the edge to it. There was something final about it as if she was ending us as well.
"What about us?" I asked her, wanting her to tell me what her plans for our future were.
"I don't know anymore. I know I won't be second best to her any more. I also know that you need to find this child. It needs to know its dad. You need to do the right thing, even if it is ten years too late," she said with such sadness that it brought tears to my eyes.
The day ended with me leaving. I had no idea how to remedy the past or even where to begin so after speaking with Pastor Banner I decided that best place to begin was at the beginning. This was how I found myself standing in front of my uncle Carlisle's house in Forks, Washington after hours of travel.
I tried not to glance at the house next door since I knew if I did I would be too lost in the past to even focus on the reality around me. I knocked on the door and was soon embraced by my aunt Esme who welcomed me home like the prodigal son I was after a ten year absence.
We spoke of my life in Chicago. I let it slip that Charlotte and I were having troubles, which did not surprise Esme since she claimed she could see that coming just from our age difference. Carlisle came home from the small hospital in Forks and offered to allow me to finish my residency there if I was looking to stay for a while and I was.
Our conversation lulled and as it did I managed to find the balls to ask about Bella since I wanted some information before I finally googled her that night.
"So, what is Bella Swan up to now?" I asked as Esme mentioned that Charlie Swan, her dad, was finally getting remarried.
"Bella comes to visit him quite a bit so maybe you will see her. She lives in Seattle with her daughter. Oh and you should see her daughter, such a doll!" Esme said happily as she took the dishes off the table, noticing my reaction to her words.
I had a daughter. I had a daughter and she was doll. My heart was hammering in my chest as I thought of what a combination Bella and I would make resulting in our child. This wasn't the first time I had wondered what my child would look like, this was just the first time I had done it somewhat sober.
"You ok, dear?" Aunt Esme asked me as she came back in with coffee for Carlisle and me. I nodded and assured her that I was fine, but I am not sure if she believed me, judging by the concerned look in her eyes.
We talked more, however, this time I was able to keep Bella Swan out of the conversation and while it was sometimes awkward, the remainder of the night was nice. It was oddly refreshing to be back here. It was like stepping into the past and that made me buzz with the type of electricity that I had only found with Bella, making me wonder if she was near or if it was just the ghost of the past once more.
I said my goodnights and went to what was my old bedroom. It was exactly how I had left it ten years ago in my haste to get the hell out of Forks, minus the clothes on the floor. I looked around at the band posters and books that I had discarded. I opened my closet door and found it full of my clothes and shoes, which caused me to shake my head since obviously Aunt Esme never, got rid of anything.
"She didn't want to go through your things without you," I heard Uncle Carlisle say, causing me to jump in surprise since I was not expecting him to be in my doorway which made him laugh as he entered my room with a box in his hands.
"We all knew how much you liked your privacy, so she was just honoring that," Carlisle said in explanation as I looked around at what was my eighteen year old life in Forks. I nodded my head since I knew she was just trying to make me happy.
"Hey, Bella Swan dropped this off for you not long after you had left for Chicago before she moved back to Jacksonville with her mom," Carlisle said with a slight smile as he handed me a small shoe box.
"I didn't know that you two were friends," he commented as I took the box carefully, as if she had filled it with explosives.
"We weren't" I replied honestly since Bella and I were never just friends. There was always more between us than just friendship.
"I should have brought it to Chicago for you, but I would always forget, so here it is now," Carlisle said and then turned to leave me alone, but I stopped him. I needed to know more about her. I needed to know about my daughter. I had spent ten years trying to get her out of my mind, yet now I was burning with curiosity over what had happened to the girl I had loved and left behind.
"How is Bella?"I asked, hoping like hell that I sounded somewhat normal as I clutched the box from her to my chest tightly. Uncle Carlisle watched me for a moment before speaking, as if he was trying to determine my interest in the girl.
"She is fine now, but she had a rough spell after you left. She moved back to Seattle recently with her daughter, that's about all I know," he said as he watched my face that I kept perfectly emotionless. We said good night and then I was left alone with whatever it was that Bella had left for me after I ran away from her ten years ago.
I sat on my bed holding the box, unsure if I could even look inside of it, but knowing that I needed to if I ever wanted to repair the shreds of what was my life now. I felt panic settle in as I stared at the box. It was the same panic I felt when she told me that she was pregnant. The same panic that felt like all of my dreams were being burned to the ground in front of me as she stood there teary eyed after confessing to the surprise that was growing within her.
I could not breathe as I sat there staring at the box with my name written on it in her scratchy looking handwriting that I would know anywhere. I stood up, grabbed the box, and I walked out of the room. I went down stairs and walked out of the house on to the back pouch just like I used to in the past as if the last ten years were nothing. I continued walking until I was in the middle of the meadow that was behind mine and Bella's house.
It didn't look the same. There were the same trees and shadows, but it felt haunted by Bella's memories, and the memories of our times here in this meadow. I could see us in the shadows. I could see me kissing her under the large pine that would shield us from the rain. I could hear her laughter and remember how I used to think that it sounded like a song to me.
I walked out into the middle of it slowly, as if I was scared to disturb the memories as they played out around me. I gripped the box securely in one hand as I slowly lifted the lid with the other hand. I reached inside and found it filled with oddities. There were movie ticket stubs and love notes that I had passed to her in class. I had no idea that she had kept any of these things and as I touched them I could almost feel the warm touch that was Bella. I could almost smell her fruity scent and it made my heart ache for ten years lost to us. I had tried to block her out of my life. I had tried to pretend that she did not exist, but as I held the relics of our past there was no denying her. My feelings for Bella that I had battled for ten years came flooding back, removing the numbness that I had filled my life with after leaving her to avoid the pain of not having her. I felt alive for the first time in ten years as I read her note to me that said I love you over and over again, filling the notebook page with her words for me.
I reached into the box for the last items to keep this feeling of being alive with me and knowing that only Bella could make me feel this way. I pulled out a white envelope that was sealed. I slowly ripped the envelope apart as my hands shook from the flood of emotion that swirled within me until I was able to see what treasure from the past was waiting for me.
There was just enough moonlight for me to see as the items tumbled out into my hand along with a small scrap of paper. I looked at my hand to find the gold heart locket I had bought for Bella to wear. I had told her that she was wearing my heart around her neck whenever she wore it and she wore it all the time. It would settle over her heart and every time I saw it there it would make me warm with love for her, but now it lay cold and lifeless in my hand.
I felt the air being sucked out of my lungs as I looked at the locket in my hand. She had handed me back my heart and the sight of it was crushing even if it was ten years later. I staggered a little as if she had physically shoved me instead of giving me back a locket. The pain of it hurt and for the first time ever I wondered if this was how Bella felt when I told her that I never loved her in this very spot after she told me about our child.
My movement caused the note and other item to fall out of my hand, resulting in my retrieving them from the wet ground as I clutched the locket in my hand. I picked up the note, not caring about the plastic stick that fell to the earth at the same time. I unfolded the paper, needing to read Bella's words to me, as I opened the small square to find the simple words It's Over written in her handwriting as if she was standing there screaming those words at me.
I felt the numbness creep back over me, but it was a strange numb that felt cold, empty, alone as if my broken heart was adding to it. I felt my knees give away until I was kneeling on the earth with my heart in one hand and her parting words in the other.
I let the nothingness wash over me as our memories continued to play out around me, taunting me with past happiness, while I could hear Bella's sweet voice almost singing to me as I slowly succumbed to the madness inside my mind.