A/N This was originally written for The Jukebox Contest. The song that I chose was Fall at Your Feet by Crowded House. The video is linked on my profile. I decided to add more to the original one shot and break it up a bit. So this is a little different if you happened to read the original.
I need to thank obsmama and LadyTazz7 for prereading and to JaimeArkin for her beta skills. Thanks for the support ladies!
I close my eyes. Visions come sporadically at first…her smile and the echo of her laughter; the deep brown of her eyes as I look up at her; the sight of her chestnut hair as it falls around us. Usually, she's just a little off, almost as though I am looking at a painting rather than a photograph. But when I'm home, my memories of her are perfectly clear. I feel myself start to get aroused as the memories of her float around in my mind. I can almost feel the silkiness of her hair as it slips through my fingers; the softness of her lips as I run my tongue along them; the smoothness of her skin as my face rubs across her stomach. As my memories become more vivid, my fingers unbutton my jeans and my hand slips inside. My breath catches as I grasp myself. I can almost feel her as we move together in the most intimate of ways. I see myself grasp her hips and push her onto me further as she leans over and kisses me passionately, moaning into my mouth. She straightens herself, looking down at me; the expression on her face says everything. I reach up, brushing my fingers across her nipples, and her eyes close. I start stroking myself faster as the images become more vivid. My movements become erratic as she leans down, once again, and whispers "I love you." I groan through my release. My eyes snap open and she drifts away... just like she did a few years ago.
There wasn't one defining moment in our breakup. There was no big fight, no cheating, and no conversation on what was wrong in our relationship. We were together for just over four years. She was my high school girlfriend and we were inseparable. Things were perfect until I went away for college. I got a scholarship to Cornell and moved across the country while she remained in Washington. We had big plans at first. We would talk and Skype everyday and I couldn't wait to come home for break. Things fell through that Thanksgiving and I decided to skip the expense of a plane ticket. Instead we decided I could come home during winter break and spend more time with her. Of course, when I arrived home, my mother surprised me with a trip to Seattle to visit my grandmother for two weeks. I was less than thrilled and by the time we got back Bella and I only really had a few days together.
After that, things began to slow down with us. Our daily talks turned into once a week. That spring, her father got sick. He was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and passed away soon after. She was devastated and I tried my best to comfort her, but there wasn't much I could do over the phone. Thankfully, the spring semester was almost done and I would be going home to her.
When I got home that summer, I received upsetting news from my sister. She was taking the death of her father worse than I thought and had gone to Phoenix to spend the summer with her mother. That was the beginning of our end. We texted a few times that summer and she finally asked me for some time to grieve for her father.
I want to say that I was completely broken by our separation, but it just wasn't like that. Yes, I loved her and I still do, but we were young and got caught up in our new lives. I thought about her frequently, wondered how she was, or if something was going great in my life, I wished she was there to share it with me. She was my first love, the girl that got away. I drifted off to sleep hoping to see her this summer.
I slowly open my eyes and see the sunlight coming in through the windows. I sigh and sit up, finally taking in my surroundings, since it was dark when I came in last night. I'm shocked at what I see. The apartment over my parent's garage is completely different from when I was in high school. It used to be a spot to hang out with my friends, one large room with a pool table and some old couches with a bathroom off to the side. It was every teenager's dream and each weekend my friends and I would meet up here to play pool, drink beer, and smoke weed. My parents were 'the cool ones' and turned the other cheek. They said as long as no one left after said activities took place, they would remain ignorant.
My mother has completely redesigned it and made it into a full two bedroom apartment. This has been her project since I left for school. She wanted me and my sister, Alice, to feel more comfortable and have our own space when we came back to visit. Alice, who is a year younger than me, goes to NYU. She'll be arriving within the next few days to spend the summer here as well.
After taking a quick shower, I make my way to the main house and step through the door to the smell of breakfast cooking. Walking into the kitchen I hug my mother from behind. "Hey Mom, that smells delicious." I kiss her cheek as she swats me away.
"Hey baby. Did you sleep well?" she asks as she plates my bacon and eggs.
"Yes, the apartment looks amazing. Thanks for doing that for us," I say.
"Oh, it was my pleasure. Plus, me and your father are used to not having you kids here all the time, so it's as much for us as you," she says with a wink.
"Too much info, Mom," I groan. She giggles, yes giggles, and sits down to join me. "Where is Dad anyway?"
"He had some big client he had to go see. He should be back by dinner. Oh, and Jasper called yesterday. He said he's going to drop by today. I have to run out for awhile."
"OK. Sounds good, Ma." As I'm finishing my breakfast she gets up and kisses the top of my head. "It's good to have you back home for the summer."
I stand up and give her a hug. "It's good to be home."
After I clean up the breakfast dishes, I grab another cup of coffee and head back to the apartment. I spend the rest of the morning unpacking and settling in.
Jasper shows up at some point in the afternoon. I offer him a beer and we do the obligatory catch up. Jasper was my best friend in high school. He finally hooked up with Alice the year I left for college. They had been dancing around their feelings for years. I don't know if he felt guilty for chasing after my sister, but I never would have minded. They've been together ever since, even weathering the long distance relationship. In their case, the distance seems to have made their bond stronger. He had to put off school for a couple years because of family obligations. When he finally got to enroll, he decided to go to Peninsula College to get back into the academic mind set.
"So, did Alice tell you NYU accepted me as a transfer student?" Jasper asks.
"No, she didn't tell me. That's excellent!" I raise my bottle and he taps it.
"Yeah, now we'll all be in the city together."
I decided to go to Columbia University for grad school, so I could be closer to my sister and now Jasper as well.
"Hey, why don't we go out tonight to celebrate?" I ask him.
"Sounds great, man. I'll swing by after dinner and pick you up. "
I walk down with him as he leaves and notice my mom is back. I head over to the house and tell Jasper I'll see him later.
I spend the rest of the day with my mother, gossiping and helping her cook dinner. My dad makes it home and we have an enjoyable meal together. Jasper comes over just after we finish and we spend a little more time with my parents before heading out to the bar.
Since the place we go is one of only two drinking establishments in our quiet town, there are plenty of people we went to school with. We enjoy some beers while catching up with some of our old acquaintances. I'm sitting at the bar talking with Tyler, and I feel a presence behind me. Jasper looks over my shoulder and then my eyes are covered with the softest hands. The person behind me leans in and says "Guess who?"
I spin around on my stool and pull her into a tight hug. "I've missed you," I say into her hair. She feels thinner to me than she used to and as I pull away I notice that she has definitely lost weight. I look into her eyes and they are glistening, "I've missed you too," she responds.
"Do you want a drink?" I ask her. I'm elated to see her, and I realize that she still has the same effect on me as she did a few years ago.
"Sure," she responds and takes the stool next to me. We start to talk and she keeps asking me about my life and school. I'm happy to tell her about myself, but anytime I ask her about her life, she gives me vague responses and steers the conversation back to me. I notice that her leg is bouncing up and down and she keeps glancing at the door, like she is looking for someone. At one point, I put my hand on her knee and she looks at me and mutters, "Sorry."
Jasper seems less than thrilled that she is here, but when I give him a questioning look, he shakes his head and turns back to talk to Tyler.
Bella and I are in the middle of a conversation when she glances at the door again and jumps off the stool. "Uh..." she looks to the door again, "I gotta go. It was great seeing you Edward. Um, I'll call you." She kisses my cheek and hurries away. I'm a little shocked that she abruptly ended our conversation and when I finally turn around I see her leave through the door behind a large man.
I turn towards Jasper and cock my eyebrow asking what the hell that was about. He lets out a big sigh and mutters under his breath, "You don't wanna know." I try to resume talking with the guys but am totally distracted by my meeting with Bella. It was so good to see her, but I just can't help but feel that something is wrong with her. My mind keeps going back to how fidgety she was. Constantly playing with her hair, her leg bouncing in anticipation, the way she kept eyeing the door. She never used to be like that; she was always so laid back and relaxed.
"You ok, Edward?" Jasper asks.
"Huh? Oh yeah...I'm good," I respond and push Bella to the back of my mind so I can enjoy the rest of the night.
The few days following my night out at the bar, I think about Bella frequently. There's just something off about her and I couldn't shake it from my thoughts. Plus, I was patiently waiting for her to follow through on calling me. I also wanted to talk to Jasper because it seemed like he knew something was up. He was just so short with her and we used to all be so close. They were almost like brother and sister.
When my sister finally made it home, time seemed to fly by in a flurry of activity. I kept meaning to ask Jasper about Bella, but it never seemed to be the right time.
It's been about a week and a half since I arrived home and Alice and I are sitting in the apartment having breakfast. My phone starts to ring and I look down at it, not recognizing the number.
"Hello?" I answer the phone tentatively.
"Um...Edward? It's Bella." I feel the anxiousness rise in my stomach immediately at the sound of her voice.
"Hi Bella… how are you?" I ask and as I glance up, I see a concerned expression on Alice's face, which she changes to a smile when she sees me looking at her.
"I'm ok. I was calling 'cause I wanted to see...well, what are you doing today?" She asks. I can tell she's nervous and I smile as I picture her cheeks tinged in pink.
"Not much. I was just hanging out around here. What's up?"
"Wanna go to the diner for lunch?"
"I'd love to. What time? Do you want me to pick you up?" I ask her.
She chuckles at my apparent enthusiasm. "Why don't we meet there at say around twelve-thirty?"
"That sounds great. See you then."
"OK. Bye Edward." She hangs up the phone. I look at Alice and sigh.
"All right, what gives Alice?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," she responds.
"Alice, it's just that...I saw the expression on your face when I said her name and the other night when we were at the bar, Jasper hardly said two words to her. I've been meaning to ask him about it, but it keeps slipping my mind."
"Well, it's just that..." she pauses and gathers her thoughts. She lets out a sigh, "It's just, Bella has changed and I know how you felt about her. I don't want you to get all wrapped up in the old version of Bella and end up getting hurt."
"Alice, that was years ago. We're just going out to lunch. Plus, we've all changed, haven't we?" I ask.
"Not like this," she mutters under her breath. I cock my eyebrow at her and she just shakes her head. "Listen, are you really going to tell me that you don't still have feelings for her? I see your face light up when anyone mentions her."
"Of course I still have feelings for her. I always will, she was my first love. But, I know that I'm leaving in a couple months and she'll l probably still be here. We tried the long distance thing before and it obviously didn't work. I just miss her, Al. She was my best friend."
"Well, just be careful, ok?"
"Wow Al. Way to be dramatic," I reply.
"OK, on that note, I am going to Jasper's. See ya later," she says and kisses the top of my head on the way out.
I get to the diner a little early and get us a table. Pulling out my phone, I check my email while I'm waiting for her. By the time I'm done it is almost quarter to one and I contemplate calling her to see if she is still coming. I hear the bells on the door and look up to see Bella walk through the door. She's smiling at me and I stand up to give her a hug.
"Hey," I say.
She pulls away and sits down. "Hi," she responds with a small smile.
"I was hoping that you'd call," I say and really look at her for the first time. I'm a little shocked at her appearance. I notice again, that she has lost weight, but I also see that the spark that she used to have in her eyes is gone. She looks really tired.
"Yeah, I've been...busy. I really meant to call sooner."
"That's ok, I'm just glad you did," I say.
Our lunch goes nicely and we pick up our conversation from the other night. Bella still seems to be avoiding going into too much detail of what she has been up to, but I do learn some things. She tells me that when she came back from her mother's the summer of freshman year, that she tried to continue on with school, but she wasn't in the right frame of mind having had to deal with her father's sudden death. She ended up withdrawing and just hasn't made it back yet. I also find out, that while she kept Charlie's house, she mainly stays in Port Angeles. She works as a cocktail waitress at a bar there.
After lunch we walk outside, but I'm not ready to let her go yet. It's the middle of June and it's a perfect summer day. "You wanna walk over to the park?" I ask her.
Her face lights up. "I'd love too," she says. We used to go the park all the time when we were teenagers, especially at night. She loved looking at the stars and I loved looking at her face as she gazed up at them.
We make our way over to 'our' bench and sit on top.
"Remember the night of the meteor shower our junior year?" I ask.
She blushes in response and sighs, "Yeah, that night was perfect." I chuckle, "Yeah, it was." We reminisce some more before we fall into a comfortable silence, just enjoying each other's presence and the beautiful day.
After awhile, I notice that she is getting fidgety again. I look up to her face and it looks like she is in deep thought. I turn towards her slightly and she jumps at my movement. I place my hand on her cheek and move her head so she is looking at me. "Hey," I say quietly. "Is everything all right?"
She stares into my eyes and then glances away, "Yeah, of course. Why wouldn't it be?" she asks defensively.
"I don't know, it just seems that you were far away for a minute there."
"Sorry. Umm, actually," she starts as she jumps down from the bench, "I forgot that I need to be somewhere."
"Oh, ok," I say trying to hide my disappointment. "Let me walk you back to the diner."
"No no. It's fine. You stay and enjoy the rest of the sunshine," she says as she is walking away. "I'll call you," she calls over her shoulder.
"OK," I say under my breath.
I stay at the park, replaying the afternoon with Bella in my mind. Talking with her is so easy and even the quiet parts of our day were enjoyable, just being in her presence puts me at ease. But her quick departures on both occasions, along with her appearance, make me uneasy. I sight and stand up, realizing that I am overthinking the whole situation.
I make my way back home. Alice is sitting on the porch, cell phone in hand.
"Mom made dinner, it's probably almost ready," she says without looking up.
I walk to the steps, "Okay."
"How was lunch?" she asks.
"It was really nice. I've missed her, ya know?"
She sighs and finally looks up from her phone, putting in her pocket. "Yeah, I do. Come on; let's go see if Mom needs help."
I snicker, "Right, like she would ever let us touch her creations."
She laughs, probably remembering times where we have destroyed the kitchen by trying to 'help.' "True, but we can at least set the table." I put my arm around her as we make our way inside.
After dinner with the parents, Alice and I make our way back to our place. We decide on beer and movie night. About halfway through the movie I get a text from Bella.
Thanks for this afternoon. I really enjoyed myself. ~B
I did too. It was nice to catch up. ~E
I hope we can see each other again soon. ~B
Me too. I really have missed you, Bella. ~E
I realize that I am grinning like a fool while looking at my phone, waiting for a response. I look up quickly and see my sister watching me with that look on her face again.
"What?" I ask.
She turns her attention back to the movie. "Nothing."
It isn't until later that night, while I am lying in bed, that I realize she never responded to my last text. I shrug and eventually fall asleep. That night I dream of shooting stars and the feeling of grass under naked bodies.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts!
If you are looking for something to read, obsmama and I have a story we collab on called Supemacy! It is a little different from this one ;) The link is in my profile.