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this is unedited. and i don't own twilight.

I was a big daydreamer. Sometimes I would force myself to come up with different scenarios in my head, and I'd make slight modifications until I got everything just right, and then I'd allow myself to get lost in them. And sometimes I'd even bring back my favorites to replay in my head because they were just so good.

Obviously, a lot of these daydreams involved Edward. There was the ultimate, perfect dream of us becoming a real couple. Boyfriend-girlfriend. This obviously included a "scene" where our parents would find out. Mom and Dad were together, of course, and there was no talk of separation or divorce, but even in my perfect dream they weren't the couple I always wanted them to be. Just two adults who had realized that they'd committed to something, and the right thing to do was to stick it out, because, after all, they did love each other. They just forgot sometimes.

I never delved into the nitty-gritty of how Edward dumped his girlfriend, or why. But I can tell you that he was single when he came over, and it was a sunny day, and no one was home. He kissed me, and I let him keep kissing me, because that's what we did. And then he told me. He poured his heart out. This conversation was the best conversation. I could never decide, though, whether or not I wanted to play hard to get. In some versions, I made sure he knew what he was doing, and that he wouldn't go back to Rosalie. Sometimes, I even asked for some time to consider it. But in my favorite version Edward said the words I wanted to hear, and I embraced him, and we kissed, and he told me, "You're so beautiful," over and over again. Not just the "You're hot" he mumbled a few times that bright, cold morning in New York.

So we were a couple. And the daydreams would really take off from there. We'd meet to "study", but all we did was make out and touch each other. I couldn't fantasize about sex when I was out in public, because my face would be a dead giveaway. Everyone would know my thoughts. But at night, alone in my room, I made him do so many things. All these things I wanted him to try, or just try again, but was too shy to ask for. I think his shoulders were maybe a little broader, and my hair was a little shinier, and there were was no trace of acne anywhere on our faces, but everything felt so real.

I think next time he's here, I'll ask if I starred in any of his fantasies. All I want to do is make them all come true.

XxXxX

This conversation is going well, considering the one we had last night. I mean, how did he think I was going to react to the news that his soon to be ex-mother-in-law invited his family over for Thanksgiving dinner, and Esme said she'd think about it?

First of all, when you know your son wants a divorce, and doesn't want to go back to his wife, why would you put him in such an awkward position? How little respect do his parents have for him?

Number two: does Esme think Edward and Rosalie still have a shot at getting back together? She knows about me. What happened to the warmth and loved she showed me last summer? I don't buy the whole "It would be rude to turn her down" bullshit.

Why doesn't Edward talk to me about his parents? About how they're handling the divorce, and what they think about us? I'm an adult. I can take it. I'd rather know, than to foolishly expect them to welcome me into their lives with open arms.

"Bella, so?"

"Huh?"

"Should I enter? Think it's worth a shot? It's decent money."

"The furniture thing! Yes, I think you should," I tell him.

"Are you busy?"

"No... sorry. Just thinking."

"Cool," he says. "So, if I enter, I need to spend a couple weekends up here, to work."

"Oh, yeah. Of course."

"Maybe you could come up..."

"Um... sure." We talked about this in La Push. He wants me there. He doesn't want me to hide.

"Baby..." I hate that. I love it. I love, love, love it. "I can tell you're busy."

"I'm not!" I cry out, sounding whinier than I intended. "It's just... I can't stop thinking about you guys having dinner with Rose and her mom."

"It's not going to happen. Fuck, if they want to go, they can go. I'm not spending another holiday at that house."

"That's not the point. I mean, do your parents hate me?"

"No, of course not. Mom is a little traditional," he explains. "The word 'divorce' turns her into a crazy person. She knows I'm doing the right thing, but sometimes she thinks maybe there's a chance... I swear, she loves you. I promise, once all this is over, everything's going to be okay. You're part of my life now. You are my life."

"Keep saying things like that because I swear it's all I want to hear."

He laughs, and I close my eyes to see his face, and smile, and the neck I want to taste, and the hair I want to grab.

"I love you."

"How much?" I ask him.

"Really? You're gonna make me do this?"

"Yeah..."

"'Alright, let me put you on speaker. I need both arms."

I want. And I'm giggling so hard when he says, "This much."

"What? I didn't hear you!" I shout.

"This much!" he tells me, again.

"But I can't see!"

"Bella..."

"Okay, okay. That sounds like a lot."

"You're crazy," he tells me.

"Just when it comes to you. And us. Edward, I really, really want to watch you work and make things."

I want to watch his hands. His forearms. His face. Determined and confident.

"I don't know about that... I start early in the morning, way before you get out of bed."

"That's not gonna happen if I keep you in bed."

"Yeah, sure. I could go, work, take a shower, come back to bed, and you wouldn't know." He laughs.

"Would you stay in my room?" I whisper.

"At your mom's?"

"Yeah..."

"Yeah, if she's cool with it."

"I'll talk to her about it. I'm sure she will be."

And if she's not, we'll sneak around. Edward likes this idea. So do I. It's very "us", and it's so much more fun than sanctioned sleepovers.

XxXxX

"I know you're not a fan of pie like I am..."

"Ha. Ha." I rolled my eyes. He was standing in front of my locker, and when I tried to open it, he blocked me.

"What? You hate pie," he continued. "Apple pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, pumpkin..."

"What do you want, Edward? I need my books for the bio assignment."

Rosalie was standing a few feet away from us, waiting for him so they could drive home together.

"Mom wants you to come for dessert Thursday night," he finally said.

"Maybe. I'll ask my parents."

"Please." I knew from the way he looked at me, the intensity of his gaze and the color in his cheeks that I was the only one invited for dessert. Carlisle and Esme would sit around with the grandparents, and we'd go off to "hang out", and he'd kiss me again, and again, and again.

"We'll see," I said.

"Call me and let me know? I gotta go now."

I never got a chance to call him. An hour later he was in our living room, asking Mom if I could go. It was drizzling, so I didn't walk him back to his car, but right outside our door, after making sure Mom wasn't paying attention to us, he grabbed my hands, fingers in fingers, palms against palms, and told me he couldn't wait, and gave me the slowest, more burning kiss of my young, stupid life.

XxXxX

"So, I'm really sorry I forgot to book anything and we're stuck here, but... look! I decorated!"

I found a pumpkin on my way home. It's sitting on the table now.

"I can see that," Mom says. "Nice job, nice job."

"Thank you!" I take a small bow, and she laughs.

"Are you feeling any better, sweetie?"

"I'm fine," I tell her. "I think all the insane dieting almost killed me. I really can't be around boys all the time. Everyone at work orders all this food. I tell myself I'll be good over the weekend, but Edward eats so much!"

Mom smiles. She's looking around, probably to find something to clean, or put away.

"You've always dealt with stress that way. Some chocolate here, a slice of cake there..."

"Ugh, I know! And I am super stressed," I admit.

"Is it work, honey?"

"Work, stuff..."

"Have you and Edward been arguing?" she asks.

"No... not since La Push. Ugh, what a waste of a weekend. I mean, it was fine, but every other minute he managed to say something to annoy me. I know he didn't mean to, but... I finally got him in the hot tub, but we were barely in there for two seconds before we started talking about Rosalie again... Ugh."

"Well, it's not always going to be pretty. He's still married, and..."

"Mommy, please," I beg. "Not today. Like, not this weekend. I know. Believe me, I know."

"Where is he spending the holiday?"

"At home. You know, Rose's mom invited the Cullens over for dinner tomorrow night. They're not going, but when he first told me, I wanted to strangle him and Esme. She was actually considering it."

"Bella, they've been family for years. Of course she was."

"Their children are getting a divorce," I remind her. "It's just... awkward. I don't know why I can't let this go. I feel like I'll be holding this against Esme forever."

"Well, they're not going... They must have turned her down."

"I know, I know."

"Bella, you need to relax," Mom tells me. "Esme is a good woman. These things take time."

"I can totally see my future. Rosalie and her mom haunting us forever."

Laughing, Mom finally spots something to fix. I forgot the duster on the bookcase. She walks over to retrieve it, and touches up a few spots before asking me where it goes.

"I'll take it, thanks."

Mom follows me into the kitchen, and finally takes a seat at the counter. I watch her start to peel an orange, and the smell is so strong. Like some sort of floor cleaner. Is she really eating the fruit I left on the table? That's just supposed to sit there until it goes bad. Or until Edward decides to have it for his first breakfast. I'm annoyed, but I don't want to start anything.

"Edward got his job at the school through Rose after he was hurt on a construction site in PA," Mom starts. "Rose's mom helped them out a lot while he was recovering. He went through some rough times, and even if he forgot everything she did for him, Esme certainly hasn't."

Construction site. Recovery.

"See? I didn't know about any of that. It's like, there's this whole part of his life I know nothing about. I wasn't around for any of this. Everyone helped him, but me. All I've managed to do is destroy his marriage."

"Stop being dramatic. That's entirely his fault."

I want to believe her. I actually kind of do believe her. But we're past that. I'm trying to focus on the future, right? And right now, it's a little uncertain. And I'm kind of scared.

"Have you considered talking to someone about all this?" she asks me, popping a piece of the orange into her mouth.

"Like... a professional?"

Stay calm. Don't start anything.

"Don't look at me like that. I think you have a lot on your mind, and you're under a lot of stress. It can't hurt to have someone else to talk to."

"I'm fine," I insist.

"No one said you're not."

"Did you ever talk to someone?"

"No."

"Maybe you should have," I snap.

I don't want to stop there, but I do. Probably because I know she wasn't trying to be mean. Also because I know we're stuck together all weekend, and I want it to go well.

"Okay. You're in one of your moods. All I'm saying is, it's not a bad idea. I probably should have considered therapy back then, but don't make my same mistakes. If you're feeling down and feeling stressed, maybe someone can help."

"Mom..."

"Maybe if a professional tells you to stop thinking about the past, you'll actually listen."

"I'm not thinking about the past! I'm freaking out over the future!" I cry.

She's laughing now, and I want to join her, or just scream.

"Crazy girl, everything's going to be alright. Edward or no Edward, you're going to be fine. Stay focused on your career—"

"Stay focused on my career, don't get pregnant, never depend on a man. I know, I know."

We're laughing together now.

"Oh, Bella. Yes. I'm not ready to be a grandmother."

"Oh, come on. You'd love it," I tease. "A little baby that looks just like me and Edward?"

"You're scaring me."

"I'm just saying."

"Is it something you're thinking about?" She asks.

"No!"

"I don't think you two are ready for it."

"Of course not. I just started working at the firm, and he's not divorced, and he needs a real job."

"He has a real job."

"He hates it," I tell her. "He wants to move out here and find something else."

"And if he doesn't?"

"We'll figure it out, Mom. Oh my God! You were just laughing at me for freaking out about the future. Relax. This is so not something we need to be talking about right now."

She nods, and we start getting ready to go head out and pick up some groceries for tomorrow. I text Edward about the crazy conversation, leaving some of it out, of course, and he responds with a smiley face. Typical Edward, right? No words when I really need them.

XxXxX

sorry. was busy earlier. u ok?

Instead of texting back, I call him.

He answers. "Hey."

"Did my texts freak you out?" I laugh.

"Are you trying to tell me you're pregnant?"

"No! I'm not! I'm not."

"It would be fine if you were," he says. "I mean, really bad timing, but..."

"But?"

"But, I guess..."

"Yeah?" Go on!

"It's gonna happen eventually," he tells me. "We've talked about that."

"Yeah, way in the future. And, like, in theory."

"What does that even mean? You either have kids, or you don't." We laugh, and he continues, "You know I don't want to be an old dad."

"Just give me a couple of years, okay?" I smile. Because there's always going to be something very cute and very hot and just... adorable about a man who talks about being a dad. Who talks about having kids with you.

"Take all the time you want. Call me when you're ready. And on that note... I need to sleep if I want to be up by six."

He sends me a kiss after we hang up. I kiss the screen and hug my phone to my chest.

I mean... I can't lie. The idea thrills me. Me. Edward. A family. I'm not going to pretend I didn't imagine being married to Edward back when we were kids. I had the lamest, most embarrassing fantasies.

There was always a wedding.

I couldn't care less about that now.

I'd dream of walking down the aisle, and he'd be standing here, and Dad would be with me, and Edward and I would have a big house to move into after the wedding.

Now, I just want him. Here. Always here. No trips to see him. No waiting to find out how the traffic is on his way over. Edward with me, babies or no babies. The idea of that makes me whole. And if we get to have more... I can barely admit this to myself, let alone out loud, but... the stupid, stupid part of me is saying yes, yes, yes. It's all I want.

When I'm with him, and I allow myself to be in the moment, and not force myself to think and consider things, the roar and the buzz and mess in my head quiet down. Like, when I first wake up and my first thought is "Edward", or when we're deep in the middle of a conversation, or anytime we're lying side by side and I'm trying to learn the body next to me (so, so familiar, and yet new in a way that endlessly thrills)... My mind rests. It doesn't last for too long, but I find myself cured of the thoughts that have been killing me for years, months. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming. I have vague, abstract thoughts of some sort of future, and we're not that much older than we are now. This version of us is grown up, though. We're glowing, almost like victors, or maybe just people who are able to let everything go but the present. Maybe we've found some sort of happiness in the every day, in each other. It's not an obnoxious happiness I'd want to share with the world. But I'm calmer. The bright spots are easier to find. And sometimes when I'm daydreaming, the girl in Edward's arms is someone I like. Someone I would want to be. And maybe if I let go more often, and love him some more, and daydream a lot, I'll get there sooner than I could have ever hoped.

XxXxX

One in the morning and I'm on the couch, because I'd never let Mom sleep on a couch. We argued about it again, just like we did last night, but she finally took the bed. Then we cuddled like we did before I left for college, and talked about how stuffed we were.

I received a text from Edward a few minutes ago. He left after dessert, and he's on his way. He's almost here. I love surprises, even if I tell everyone I hate them. I wait, and wait, and finally, just twenty minutes after his text, he's at my door. We don't talk much. Mom is asleep. But we lie together on the couch, and I kiss him and kiss him until we fall asleep.

so, a quick, edwardless chapter, but there's more to come. soon.

thank you so so so so much for all your reviews, your encouragement. you have no idea how much it meant to me.

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