I so obviously do not own the twilight franchise. I just like to play with the characters.
"…A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. And where you find true friendship, you find true love."
I took a deep breath, and steeled my resolve to lay my whole world on the line, in the midst of the people who all hold precious pieces of my heart. I looked up, across the long cherry wood dining room table; my coffee colored eyes meet ones that rival the color of the deep green of darkened grass. His eyes, illuminated by the soft flicker of candle light flickered in the deep red wine settled in an intricate wine glass, grasped softly by his long graceful fingers, raged with several emotions, never settling on one emotion long enough for identification.
"Edward, you are the one who knows the song in my heart. You are the one who sings it back when I have so frequently forgotten the words. And in you, I have found true friendship, in you I have found true love. Happy birthday, may your next 25 years be as special as your last 25 years."
Holding Edward's eye contact, I raised my glass as the other attendees did the same. An eerie silence took over the room as eyes flickered between me and Edward as if they were watching the most fascinating tennis match. Over the last 20 years I had known Edward, I had harbored this secret. Granted I did not consciously realize I was in love with Edward until a few years ago, but when the realization had come, I knew there wasn't a time I hadn't loved my best friend. I had been so good at constructing an image of a faithful best friend, no one had any idea these feelings frenzied within. No one knew. My parents, close friends, even Alice, my other best friend and Edward's older sister, did not know of my feelings.
So why now? Why did I decide to spill the largest and most shocking secret of my short 25 years in front of all these people, near and dear to my heart, on Edward's birthday? It is really a quite simple explanation. Edward was fading away, and I had to hold on to him at all costs. This was all costs.
If we were in a movie, I may have heard crickets chirping. But seeing as we live in cruel reality, the eerie silence continued, the eye flickers continued but were now accompanied by gaping mouths. Emse, Edward and Alice's mother, recovered first, electing to remain silent, but a trademark Cullen crooked smirk played at the corners of her mouth, eyes twinkling. It felt like a lifetime since I had heard anyone breathing in the room. Suddenly feeling suffocated, I picked up the small gift bag at my feet. Quickly shuffling over to the other end of the long table, I plunked the gift next to Edward and without speaking or looking from my feet, I nearly jogged from the room. I had to get out. My converse squeaked loudly against the charcoal marble foyer floor. Swinging the heavy oak door open, the cold hit my face like tiny knives. My eyes stung with tears, both from the severe temperature change and the realization of what I had just done. I didn't prevent him from fading away, I sped up the process. The contents of my stomach churned as I rushed toward my car. As I turned the key and slammed the gas to the floor, I imagined the scene I had fled from, crickets still chirping.
After the fifth day of calling in to work, a trendy coffee shop Alice and I co-owned with the moniker IceaBella, derived from both our names, Alice had had enough. For the past five days, I had been drowning in sorrow. I ate all three pints of Ben and Jerry's in my freezer, 2 boxes of Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, a bag of Dove's white chocolate bars, drank all five bottles of top shelf wine I brought back from our vacation in Napa Valley last summer, and even dipped into tequila and margarita mix reserved for group game night, every Friday. I hadn't changed from my hot pink polka dotted pajamas, white fuzzy socks, and white fleece track jacket, which were generally reserved as the "I'm sick, leave me alone" outfit. My house remained spotless, since I had barely moved from the couch in five days. I couldn't bear to look in the mirror. I did shower, 'cause let's face it, after crying hysterically and throwing up from the amount of alcohol consumption on a stomach full of ice cream, chocolate, and cookies, it is completely necessary. Really, I am lucky to be alive, five days into this lifestyle.
I was currently passed out on my couch, from another round of margaritas and cookies at nine in the morning. I was rudely awakened by a loud pounding noise on my door. Startled and still drunk, I ended up rolling myself off the couch and landed on the floor with a loud thud.
"uuugggh!" I moaned as I rolled on my back to stare at the ceiling. I did not care who was at the door, I was not getting up.
The pounding did not stop. In fact, I could hear the cadence of my tiny best friend's voice over the incessant knocking.
"Open up this damn door Bella! I will break this fucker down!"
My eyes immediately popped open, aching. Alice was not one for profanity. None of us were, unless we were furious and meant business. The scariest part of it all was, my four-foot-eleven friend could break the door down. I decided I wasn't too afraid and remained on the floor.
"IS-AAA-BE-LLLL-AAAAA!" I heard her scream at the top of her lungs
I stayed rooted to the floor, gazing at the texture of my ceiling, and wondered when she would give up. Then silence. My brain wanted me to smile, but the motion was so foreign it caused actual physical pain. I contemplated getting off the floor, because I was uncomfortable, but couldn't bring myself to do it.
As I fought with myself internally, I faintly heard a sound, breaking my reverie. Keys jingled outside my door. I heard the lock on my door click.
"huh, I wonder what that's about" I wondered aloud.
"Oh god!" I heard a gasp.
Lovely. The Pixie Monster found a way in. I wondered who she cajoled into giving up the key to my house. Then I remembered the hide-a-key, which isn't so hidden on my front porch. I made a mental note to hide the key better when I felt like getting up.
I heard the clank of designer stilettos against my wood floors. Closer, closer, closer. I knew I needed to move quickly, I needed to escape. But I couldn't. Then she was upon me, staring down at me. Alice's face wore a devastating expression. I couldn't take it and began to blubber again. My eyes burn from the excessive amounts of salty tears leaking as I choke on sobs, hyperventilating from lack of air.
Alice dropped to the floor, dress and stilettos forgotten and laid next to me, enveloping me in a bear hug. In between sobs, I heard her talking on the phone.
" Em, I need you and Ro here, like yesterday!" I couldn't hear the booming voice on the other end clearly, so I settled for listening to her one side conversation.
"It is bad, really bad. Oh god, I can't believe I left her for this long. I am the worst best friend." Alice whispered into the phone.
"It's killing them. We have got to do something. He is our baby brother! She is our best friend!" Alice choked.
With that she hung up still squeezing me with all her might. She cried "I'm so sorry" over and over again, rocking us back and forth. My eyes drooped closed as I fell asleep again.
I was awakened some time later, this time by someone scooping me up in their arms and carrying me through the hall. I opened my eyes as much as I could manage, to see I was nestled in the arms of Emmett, Alice and Edward's older brother. Behind him, I heard the voices of Rosalie, Emmett's wife, Alice, and Jasper, Alice's husband. I was nearly unconscious as I heard Alice bark out the directions to my bathroom.
"Chill, Al. I know where it is. I have been here plenty of times!" Emmett gritted through his teeth.
"Sorry, I…I…gosh…THIS IS SO…" I had never heard Alice so flustered before. She was generally so poised, well spoken, talented in articulating her feelings.
"I know, Al. "Emmett soothed.
"I can't believe we have to do this a second time today!" mused Rosalie "I mean the two people who are everyone's confidants, so calm and collected about everything, are in shambles."
"Well, even brick walls fall down, Rosalie" drawled Jasper.
I heard the shower running briefly as I was emerged in the warm water, still in the arms of Emmett, still fully clothed. I gasped and choked on the assaulting water, oddly soothing my aching face. As the water ran cold, Emmett stepped out of the shower and set me down on the cool toilet.
"Alright girls, your turn. We are going over to check on patient number two."
Still in a haze, I mumbled "who is patient number two?"
Alice and Rose exchanged a glance and muttered "one half of a whole heart".
I was so confused and exhausted, possibly still a lot drunk, I just nodded slowly. I had not the slightest clue what they were talking about. I sputtered as two Tylenol were shoved in my mouth along with some ice cold water. Rose worked to rid me of my water logged clothing as Alice dried me off and replaced the soaked clothing with dry ones. Rosalie began to brush my hair while Alice worked on brushing my teeth and washing my face. I felt more than a little ridiculous that my friends were taking care of me as I was completely inept. But, I knew them all too well to argue when they were on a mission, such as the one they were currently on. I was unaware of their mission, and what the objective really was.
I had finally sobered up enough by the end of their poking and prodding, I was finally capable of following and sharing intelligent thought. When they were finished they both looked at me, fire in Alice's green and Rose's blue eyes, hands on their hips and a stance of power.
"Time for a change." Alice chirped. Following Alice's lead, Rose whispered "enough is enough."
The visit from the bunch of hooligans I call me friends, was two weeks ago. While I was now a functioning version of myself, my heart ached on a continual basis. I still had yet to speak with Edward since his birthday, three weeks ago. We had never gone this long without seeing each other, since we had met. Even when he spent his year of residency in Chicago, while Alice and I came home to Seattle open IceaBella, I flew back to Chicago every other weekend to see him. He flew home once a month to see his family. We would spend one week apart, talking whenever his schedule allowed over texts and Skype.
It was during that year, I learned I was in love with him.
It was just after eight, and I was in a dead sleep. I was scheduled to meet the contractors remodeling IceaBella at 5 AM to go over floor plans, countertops, and cabinetry with Alice. My phone chirped with a new emergency text. Startled, I grabbed frantically for me phone and flipped it open. Edward's profile picture popped up in the text feed. Next to it was three words, which irrevocably changed my life. Although, at the time of the text, I had no idea it would change the fabric of my life. Next to his picture, the text read, 911. Skype Now.
Stumbling out of my bed, tripping over blankets and other various things littering my floor, I scrambled to the office to grab my laptop. If a full sprint, I practically fell on my bed, flipping up the lid to my laptop, quickly turning it on and logging into Skype. I didn't even have time to search for Edward before I had an incoming video call. I answered it immediately, and the view on my screen broke my heart.
"Bella, I…I…I nnnneed you" Edward choked out between sobs. In the years that I had known Edward, I had never witnessed him cry. This incredibly strong being was thousands of miles away, totally and completely alone. Tears flooded his face, and I couldn't understand a word he was saying. He was near hyperventilation. I calmed him the best I could, and he fell asleep from exhaustion, his eyes shut tight, swollen and red from tears, with the Skype conversation still running.
Before I knew it, I was calling Alice to have her meet the contractors alone, and hopping on a red eye out of SeaTac to O'Hare International Airport. Three hours and forty five minutes later I was dashing through O'Hare International to baggage claim.
By four in the morning, I was standing on Edward's porch in the onslaught of a Chicago blizzard, in jeans, a NorthFace fleece, and Ugg Boots. I knocked on his door continually, waiting to hear some kid of movement inside. I heard his soft footsteps approach the door. The door slowly opened and I saw his shock of bronze hair peek around the door followed by his tired eyes. When he realized who was at his doorstep a gorgeous crooked smile broke out on his face. Edward ran out on the porch in his boxers and tee, scooped me up, and rushed inside.
Edward twirled me around in his living room, laughing. He made my head spin and my heart beat rapidly. I lifted my head to see him smiling, laughing, and crying at the same time. The sight made my warmed and broke my heart all at once. I had flown thousands of miles and stood out in a snow storm, just to take away his pain. I gasped as I realized that is what love is, and I was in love with Edward.
"I can't believe you are here, boo!" Edward breathed as he crushed me to his chest.
"What did you expect, boo?" parroting our childhood nickname for each other. "You called all upset. I had to come save you." I smiled weakly.
"Only you would fly thousands of hours in the middle of the night, just for me. Only you" Edward chuckled, wiping his eyes. "I'm sorry Bella; I didn't mean to worry you. I just missed you, and I had a tough day at the hospital. I needed my favorite girl." Edward walked us into his room and snuggled into the bed. Facing each other, cuddling, I watched his face as a smile settled across his features and his eyes flickered closed. He clung to me like a lifeline through the night.
My heart fluttered until I reminded myself this is what he always does when he is down and out. Nothing has changed in the last eighteen years. It didn't mean what I so desperately wanted it to mean. It was then I realized he was the other half to my heart, a completely unattainable half. So began the two year repression of my feelings, which seemed to grow stronger and stronger over the years.
Friday night. Alice was out with Jasper, so I was working closing shift at the coffee shop, happily cleaning counters as I listened to the heavy rhythm of the rain outdoors. It never bothered me to close, especially on Fridays. Before, I would close up and head over to my house, where game night would be in full swing. I appreciated closing these days, because game night, like life in general, was not the same without Edward. This was the first time since our game nights came to being, that we were not having one. It was symbolic. I figured my actions at Edward's party could have disastrous consequences. But I really had no idea the severity. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. Maybe I should contact Edward. Maybe I should move to Australia. Maybe…
A light rapping on the coffee shop glass doors interrupted my musings. I looked up, wondering who would need in the shop this late at night. My eyes snapped up to meet a figure that resembled a drowned rat. I slowly made my way toward the door, my heart beating in my chest. I wasn't sure what to expect.
I opened the door as he came rushing in, dripping with rain water. I stood frozen, not knowing what to do or what to say. I hadn't seen him in almost a month. I felt tears spring to my eyes. The only noises between us were the sounds of his heavy breathing and my short gasps to stave off the tears.
"Why did you do it?" Edward growled
"I DON'T know Edward! If I could take it back I would! God, I never meant for things to get this way. I just needed you to know. It was killing me to sit and watch while other women had what I so desperately lived for! It was killing me to see you miserable. It kills me when you talk about the "special girl" you have been after for so long. It was killing me to see you pull away from me. I didn't know what to do! What do you want from me? What do you want me to do?" I shrieked
"Why did you run? I have been waiting…so long!" Edward shouted "I have been waiting so long for something to happen between us. And it does, and you run! You started it and you left! You gave me this beautiful scrapbook of our lives and then I haven't heard from you for almost a month. What was I supposed to think…?"
My eyes could no longer hold the tears back as my only mistake hung in the air. I didn't think by leaving in such haste, Edward would delude himself into thinking I wanted to take back the words I had said.
Edward had tears streaming down his cheeks as he continued in a whisper "I have told you so many times, you were my special girl! It kills me when you talk about the "special man" you have been after for so long. It kills me to see other men have what I have been after for 20 years. I have loved you since our first play date when we were five. I loved you through our awkward teen years and your heartbreaks. I have loved you in spite of the wear and tear our relationship has caused on my heart. It killed me to be in Chicago for a year, only surviving because we flew to see each other on a weekly basis. And when you showed up two years ago, after a day in hell, in a blizzard…I knew you were the other half of my heart."
He took two long strides toward me, grabbed my hands and knelt to the ground. Sniffling he reached in his pocket and pulled out a light blue box, flipping it open. Nestled inside was a beautiful sparkling cushion cut solitaire diamond ring. "Bella, when you stood up and toasted at my birthday party, you said a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. And where you find true friendship, you find true love. You are the one who knows the song to my heart, and has sung it back many times when I have forgotten the words. And in you I have found true friendship, in you I found true love. I love you with all I am and all I can be. Now that I have you, I will never let you go. Will you marry me?"
Without a second thought, I collapsed to my knees throwing my arms around Edward, and snuggled my face in the crook of his neck "Oh Boo, I'll love you forever and for always. Yes!"
Edward slightly turned his head, still silently crying. He grabbed my hand and slid the ring on my left third finger. Kissing the ring, he gazed into my eyes. Slowly leaning forward, he moved his large hands to cradle my face as he tilted his head, brushing his soft pink lips to mine.
EPOV? Tell me what do you think?