A/N: I don't own. I just play.
"Bella I have something to tell you." My roommate Angela looked a little nervous. We'd only moved into this apartment yesterday. I was pretty lucky that I found her the way I did. We didn't know each other before we decided to live together and so far she seems fairly nice with no apparent serial killer tendencies. Yet.
"Okay." I opened one of the boxes in the living room and started pulling out some of my things.
"I'm moving out."
I dropped one of my picture frames and looked around at the mounds of boxes surrounding me. "We just moved in…less than 24 hours ago and now you're moving out?"
"Ben asked me to move in with him."
"Perfect," I said sarcastically. Her boyfriend couldn't have come to this decision before we signed a nine-month lease? Now what the hell was I supposed to do? I mean we leased the bedrooms out individually so I wouldn't have to worry about covering her part of the rent, but I didn't want to live alone.
"I don't want you to worry. I already found a subleaser." She smiled. "He's bringing his stuff by today."
"Yeah this guy that Ben knows was actually looking for a place." She started moving her boxes closer to the door, kicking them along with her feet.
I bit down on my lip and turned back to my box. I wasn't sure how I felt about living with a guy. I mean I'd lived with my dad, but this was completely different. Young guys were in a whole other category. They drank milk out of the carton, left their dirty socks everywhere and don't even get me started on the hair. I cocked my eyebrow. Maybe he's gay. That's the best I could hope for right now because I didn't know how I was going to handle a typical guy's fuckery.
I glanced at the clock and realized I had to leave or I was going to be late to work. "I have to go. Will you still be around when I get back?"
"Ben's coming to help me move my things at five so I should be here."
"Okay. I guess I'll see you later then." I lifted my bag onto my shoulder and left, feeling a little fucked over and pissed off. It was hard to be mad at Angela. She was one of the nicest people I'd ever met, but seriously…what the fuck?
I stopped by what was sure to become my favorite coffee place and picked up something to get me through the day. I strolled into the bookshop exactly two minutes late, but I knew Eleazer didn't care. He was so old he barely knew what day it was. He kind of reminded me of my Grandpa Swan.
"Hi honey," he said, barely looking up from his book.
"Hi." I set my bag on the stool behind the counter and started browsing through the new books we'd gotten today. This job wasn't glamorous, but I loved it. I got a huge ass discount on all the books here and Eleazer paid me pretty well. There aren't many high profile jobs for English majors.
We weren't busy, as usual. I spent most of the day reading or texting Alice about the Angela situation. She told me she'd kick her ass if I wanted her to, but I decided that I didn't feel like bailing Alice out of jail tonight so I voted against it.
I was a little nervous to leave work because it meant that A. Angela would be moving her things out and B. New guy would be moving his things in. The night was going to be interesting to say the least and I wasn't looking forward to it. I felt like a puppy that was being returned to the pound or something. Not a good feeling.
I avoided leaving as long as I could before I packed up my things and closed up the shop. On my way home I stopped at the convenience store and picked up some candy to procrastinate a little more.
I sighed when I saw Ben's car parked outside of our apartment. I'd only met the man twice, but I couldn't have picked a more perfect person for Angela. They made me want to vomit.
I met him halfway up the stairs as he carried one of Angela's boxes down. "Hi Bella," he said.
"Ben. Congratulations on the whole…moving in together thing." I waved my sucker around as I spoke.
"Yeah it's pretty exciting."
"So exciting," I said, my voice flat as a board. I nodded and continued up the stairs.
The door to our apartment was open and I noticed right away that it looked a lot barer in the living room. She must have most of her boxes gone.
"Bella!" Angela peeked her head out from the kitchen. "I'm so glad you made it home before I left. This is the last box."
A sound echoed from down the hallway, coming from the bedroom formerly known as Angela's. I peeked my head around the corner and saw a shadow move across the doorway.
"He's here already?" I whispered.
"Yeah. He didn't have much…Good thing the living and dining room furniture was mostly yours or you'd have an empty apartment." She leaned in close and smirked. "I'm not going to lie. He's really hot."
"Really?" I squeaked.
"I mean I know you're kinda-sorta dating Paul, but there will be a gorgeous guy sleeping not twenty feet from you. I say you should take advantage of it. I don't think he has a girlfriend."
I peeked my head into the hallway again. Now I was fucking curious as to who this knight in shining armor was. Angela was right, I had been on a few dates with this guy I met at the bookstore. He was nice…but that was about it. Nice. The only guy I'd ever been serious with was my boyfriend from high school and that was a fucking train wreck. He was the only person I ever really loved and it didn't end well. If I never saw him again it would be too soon. Way too soon.
"Here let me introduce you." Angela smiled and skipped down the hallway, pulling me behind her. I popped my sucker into my mouth and took a deep breath as we stepped into the room. "Bella this is your new roommate." He was turned away from me, shrugging out of his leather jacket. He set it on the bed and ran his fingers through his messy bronze hair and turned towards me. As soon as I saw his face, I inhaled a sharp breath and started choking on my sucker.
I doubled over and started hacking until it popped out onto the floor and rolled towards his feet. "Shit!" I whispered, not wanting to look him in the eye. This is not happening Bella. You're hallucinating. The only reason you see his face right now is because you were just thinking about him.
"I'd know that gag reflex anywhere," he teased.
My fists clenched at my sides as I straightened back up. "Fuck," I mumbled. I wasn't hallucinating. He was here. Right in front of me. The only boy I'd ever loved and the one I never wanted to see again.
"This is…" Angela started.
"Edward fucking Cullen what are you doing in my apartment?" I yelled. Angela looked confused as her eyes darted between the two of us.
"Bella Swan." A strange emotion flickered in his eyes for the slightest moment before he relaxed again. "I think you mean our apartment sweetheart. And I'm unpacking." He chewed idly on a coffee straw and smirked.
"I take it you two know each other?" Angela asked, gulping hard.
"You cannot stay here," I said, completely ignoring her. "I've been dreaming about keying your car since we graduated high school, I cannot live in the same apartment with you."
"Well tough titties. I'm staying." He shrugged and started unpacking his boxes. I watched in shear panic as he piled clothes on his bed. This could not happen. It was not even an option. The last time we spoke to each other consisted of a lot of yelling and screaming and words not heard in a polite conversation. It was impossible for us to live under the same roof.
"I think Ben needs some help. Good luck guys." Angela gave me a nervous smile and left Edward's new key on his desk before high tailing it out of there.
"You have to find someplace else. We'll kill each other!" I screamed.
"There is no place else. I've looked. I've been crashing on my brother's couch for the past two weeks. There's nothing. You're going to have to deal with it," he said. I hated to admit it, but I knew that was true. The only reason we even got this apartment was because Angela knew the girl that was moving out.
"I can't believe this is happening," I whispered, holding back tears. "Is this a trick? Did you know I was living here?" I charged towards him and poked at his shoulder. When he didn't answer me I poked him harder.
"Will you stop fucking doing that?" He finally turned towards me and grabbed my hand. "And no I didn't know. I've known Ben since freshman year and he mentioned that he knew someone who needed a roommate. That's all it ever was. Although I have to say you always were adorable when you were pissed." He winked and turned on his stereo.
"Asshole!" I stomped out of the room and darted into mine before slamming the door. I didn't realize I was sobbing until my mascara started stinging my eyes. My whole chest was still tight from the shock of seeing him in general, let alone in my apartment. To be honest, it still hurt to think about him and seeing him just made it feel like a giant elephant stepped on my lungs and crushed them to oblivion.
I needed to call Alice. I reached over the spot where I usually kept my bag only to find it empty. "Shit," I whispered. I left it in the living room. I guess somewhere between finding my ex in the next bedroom and hiding in my room I must have forgotten to grab it.
I sniffled and took a deep breath before inching the door open. I peeked outside and heard his music still playing. I hope he didn't hear me crying.
I crept out into the hallway and snuck past his room. I caught a quick glance of him throwing a blanket over the bed. It looked like the same ragged comforter he had on his bed at his parents' house.
My bag sat on the floor, right where I'd left it. I quickly picked it up and scurried back towards my room. As soon as I passed in front of his door he cleared his throat. I froze on the spot and turned towards him. He was standing at the edge of the bed, his arms crossed over his chest.
"What the fuck are you doing?" He asked, his brow scrunched tightly together.
"I need to talk to Alice."
"Great. Still friends with the little spitfire?"
"Not that it's any of your business anymore, but yes." I wiped at my eyes. He tilted his head towards me and I knew he was going to ask if I was okay, but I didn't want to hear it. I huffed and hurled myself towards my room to escape.
My fingers were dialing her number before my door even closed.
"The Sweet Spot, this is Alice how can I help you?"
"Alice?" I sobbed.
"Bella? What's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"It's my new roommate." I shook my head.
"What's wrong with him?"
I heard her choke on something on the other end. "I said the same thing."
There was a knock on the door and I held my breath.
"Bella you looked pissed," Edward said. "Are you on your period or something?"
My anger flared, boiling beneath my skin. I picked up my pillow and threw it towards the door. "Go away dick!" I yelled.
"Bella?" Alice asked.
"Sorry," I said.
"I'm on my way, hold tight." The line went dead and I set my phone back down. Fifteen minutes later there was a knock on the front door.
I jumped up to answer it when I heard her voice.
"What the hell are you doing?" She yelled.
"Answering the door," Edward said. "It's nice to see you too Ali."
"Do not call me that. How dare you come here after what you did to her!"
"I see not much has changed. Always sticking your nose in other people's business."
"Bella is my business and you're the asshole who broke her heart. You have no right to be here."
I started crying again and realized that this shit was crazy enough to land us on Jerry Springer. Old flame turned roommate. I mean what are the chances? And his demeanor was even more bizarre than that. The last time I saw him, he was so angry and now he was all smiles and sarcasm.
"I signed the contract. I have every right," he said. I heard his footsteps down the hallway. "And you have no idea what you're talking about." He slammed his door and a moment later, Alice was poking her head inside my room. She sat in bed with me, twirling my hair through her fingers as I replayed the events of the day again.
"And there's no way out of it?" She asked. "I mean you can't force him out?"
"Not legally I guess. He signed the papers for the bedroom, I can't do anything about it."
"And there's nowhere else that you can move to?"
"There are zero apartments in this town that I can afford."
"You could always move in with me."
I shook my head. "Alice you have a studio apartment, it's too small for two people. And plus I don't think there's any room in your closet for my stuff."
She laughed a little and pulled me close. "Okay so it's less than a year. You'll just have to tough it out and then you can get the hell away from him. Nine months Bella." Seemed like an eternity living with someone as infuriating as Edward was.
We talked for a while and Alice eventually fell asleep beside me. I hadn't heard a peep from Edward's room since Alice's arrival so I assumed he was sleep or had left.
I slipped silently from my bed and tiptoed over to my closet. I reached up and pulled out a small box from the top shelf. I don't know why I still kept it after all these years, but I couldn't bring myself to throw everything away. He was such a big part of me and even though I wanted to smother him in his sleep at the moment, I couldn't deny that.
I sat down on the floor and pulled the box onto my lap. I opened it with shaky fingers and was met with Edward's smiling face. It was our picture from senior prom, the week before everything went to hell. We looked happy, in love. I didn't understand how something like that could end up so wrong. Even after all this time, I couldn't believe he never told people the real reason we broke up. He didn't owe me that, not after everything that happened. Looking back on it, it was the one redeeming quality he had through our breakup. He called me names, threw glares my way, but he never said a word about it, not even to his brother. I would have known if he did. A lot of things would have been different.
I tucked the box back away in my closet and returned to bed. "Nine months," I whispered. Roughly two hundred and eighty days. It'd taken the man two seconds to break my heart all over again; I couldn't imagine what would happen in nine months.
A/N: Welcome to The Roommate. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter.
Huge thank you to my twin ImHereToReview for being generous enough to preread this for me and offer up her opinions. I appreciate her so much and you guys should all go read her stories : )
At the present time, I have another WIP going on called Love Like Winter. It's a cross between Beauty and the Beast and Twilight, you guys should definitely check it out if you haven't already.
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