You Won't Feel A Thing
AN: I am back! And what better way to reappear in the community as writing -what I think is- a very soul-searing story of Bella and Jasper. Those of you who know me know that I would normally never veer from my canon pairings (even for Jacob). But! I have been reading a lot of fics lately and I must say that I am quite impressed with some of the stories that are non-canon pairings. For those of you who are looking for something, I am hopelessly addicted to Leaves of Grass by Nauticalmass. She is truly, truly genius. The story gets it's name from a song by The Script, one of my favorite bands.
The chapter titles are song titles for my little writing soundtrack for this. This one is It Is What It Is by Lifehouse.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer is the master of all things wonderful... including these characters... I'm just borrowing them.
Chapter One: It Is What It Is
I've come to a decision that the world seems much more beautiful and mysterious when I'm riding in a car staring out the window. Especially when Edward is driving. I have had a lot of time lately to come to this conclusion. There is something magical about watching all the colors of the passing world blend together until all you see is streaks of green with flashes of brown or pink or yellow. There used to be a time when I didn't even pay attention to the world outside the car, when I just stared at Edward; his face, his hands, his eyes.
Now I almost want to laugh thinking about it.
Edward and I have been drifting apart recently despite tiring efforts on my part to stop him. After the accident a year ago, Edward started disappearing from my side during the night. Then he would be gone for days. Sometimes weeks. Whenever I tried to talk to him, he just told me that he was comforting Jasper. I didn't argue with that until I was talking to Jasper one day -an odd occurrence for me but he was my best friend's husband- and I said that it must be nice to have Edward around to ease the pain without having to voice his agony. That was when Jasper gave me the strangest look and said that he hardly ever saw Edward anymore. Then his face became dark and he stormed away, back up to his room and slammed the door. It was then that I realized that Edward was lying to me.
And if I was being honest with myself, I wasn't the most supportive person on the planet after losing Alice. Her loss made me feel like I was waking up in a world where nothing good ever happened. I became silent and somber, always thinking about her. So I wasn't completely surprised when I would wake up in the middle of the night and Edward was missing. After a while though, I noticed that he was different. He didn't seem to care about me. When we kissed -which was becoming rarer and rarer- it was like kissing a statue: completely unresponsive. It finally occurred to me that losing Alice wasn't the reason he was disappearing from my life like smoke in the wind.
Something else was holding his attention.
Now, as I looked over at him behind the wheel of the car, I felt the pang of hurt that I was trying to accustom myself to. I had thought that our feelings for each other would have brought us closer after our shared loss. But Edward disappeared more often and longer now than he did before. I knew where we were going now. And even though we've been growing apart, I can't stop the small hole in my heart from burning at the edges, getting bigger. I was attached to Edward. In a way more than just my love for him. I needed Edward. I needed the feel of his icy, smooth skin against mine, his golden eyes dazzling me, his sweet breath against my lips before we were about to kiss. I couldn't live without Edward. I had tried...
He pulled the car off the highway toward the Cullen house. Despite my growing pain, I couldn't but feel a little surprised at his choice of location. I was sure he was going to take me home or to the woods and leave me there, like he did last time. I never imagined he would do it with an audience. He must not trust me to make it home this time, to get lost again. He was probably right. He pulled up the drive and parked in the garage. Then, he got out, opened my door for me and lifted me into his arms. And suddenly we were running, past the house, past the trees. When he finally stopped, I was in the middle of the forest. Perhaps he hadn't expected to have an audience at the house and this was just out of earshot? He set me down gently, a last, bitter attempt to be civil. Then he faced me. I stared at the ground just in front of his shoes.
"Bella... I need to apologize to you. My behavior this past year has been horrible." I looked up at his eyes, unwillingly hoping that I was wrong, that he hadn't brought me here to leave me. "Alice's loss... I know how much it must hurt you, still. And I was not there for you, did not comfort you when you needed me most. And for that I apologize profusely." I stared into his eyes until he looked away, at a tree trunk somewhere to his left. "But I can no longer continue living a charade. I cannot keep stringing you along like a rag doll that a child has grown out of but does not want to let go of. My feelings towards you have changed and I can no longer continue to try and give you what you want and be happy myself." That small piece of hope that I mistakenly let myself feel suddenly ripped my chest apart. I wasn't wrong.
"Who is she?" My voice was hoarse, weaker than I wished it was. Edward did not dance around the question.
"Tanya." I closed my eyes and tears sprung in them. My throat began to burn with repressed sobs. "She knew Alice as intimately as I did. She needed comfort and it turned out that we could both comfort the other. I didn't intend for it to turn into more, to develop feelings for her. But I did." My shoulders shook with the effort it took to not cry. I cleared my throat and then bit my lip until I found my voice was steadier.
"It would have been nice if you had given me a chance to try," I said bitterly.
"I was just trying to help my family," he said, voice breaking with repressed anger. "I hardly expected that it would become more. I don't know why you are so angry! I am just doing the right thing and stop trailing you along and making promises to her that I cannot keep! Any self-respecting gentleman would do the same." I looked at him, tears filled in my eyes but refusing to fall, jaw set.
"No gentleman leaves their mate because it's better for the other woman," I said harshly. His face darkened with rage. I thought for a moment, he would come at me and then kill me. But he only hissed and then the next thing I knew he was gone.