but i still wake up, i still see your ghost

oh lord, i'm still not sure what i stand for oh,

what do i stand for? what do i stand for?

most nights, i don't know anymore


quick recap: edward is in a band called the masens with jasper and emmett. he's 25. he's obsessed with bella, 17, to the point where the band is going to break up. bella is friends with jessica and jake, who are dating. jake hates jasper for the way he treats his girlfriend.

The entire band is in my living room. Living. I don't even know what to do or say or think. Edward is all casual, like it's just a regular thing. Which I guess it is. For him. He pulls me into his side, kissing me on the forehead, acting like Jasper and Emmett aren't staring at him like he's grown a second head.

"She's like a baby," Emmett says.

"Why don't you just shut the fuck up?" Edward asks, queerly polite. I blush. Beet red. "Don't be embarrassed. I'm not embarrassed," he says, just for me. "Remember, I want to marry you."

"Then marry me."


I get them all lemonade, and then The Masens are sitting in my living room drinking lemonade. After a few minutes, Edward excuses himself to go to the bathroom.

"Look, Bella. We have to go on the road," Emmett says, leaning forward onto his knees. "You understand that, right?" He's talking slowly, like I'm mentally handicapped.

I grip the arm of the couch.

"I'm not retarded."

"We can't just stay in Seattle forever," Jasper interjects. "Once all this riot about us breaking up passes, no one will care and we'll get dropped from the label."


"You don't know what this means," Emmett says. "He can't just be with you. We're not the same type of people."


"We need you to convince him to let you go. It'll be better for him in the long run."


"This is just another one of his phases."


The grandfather clock in the living room tolls loud and angry, steady and strong. The deep chime seems to rattle through my whole body, rumbling around in my ribcage and slicing through my heart.

"Why so serious?" Edward asks with his stupid little smirk, entering the room without a care in the world.

I don't meet his eye.

"What's wrong?" Wary voice. Arm around my shoulder. I lean away.

Better for him, anyway.


I look at the ground.

"What did you motherfuckers say?"

And now he's mad, blown twice his size, fists clenched, rising, stalking over to where they sit on the couch.

"Nothing, Edward. Jesus Christ."

Jasper's rolling his eyes.

"That's a fucking lie." His fist closes around Jasper's collar. He lifts him, shoves him into the wall. The picture of Charlie and I rattles around in its frame, precariously close to shattering on the floor.

He lifts and pushes him again, testosterone. The little teacups in the china cabinet tremble.

"Are you on your fucking period?" Emmett asks, standing.

Edward's going to punch him. I know it. I can feel it. The tension in the room mounts and mounts and mounts until I feel like I can't even breathe. I just want to yell out, to scream. Mute.

There are three quick knocks at the door.

Everyone freezes, bones locked. They turn and stare.

I get up and open it. Outside stands Jake, casually carrying a six pack.

"Yo, Bella. Jess is here, right?"

He pushes past me and into the entryway, walking clean past the living room and straight into the kitchen. He deposits the six pack on the floor and plops himself down into a wooden chair, feet up on the table.

"She's not here."

There are no sounds from the living room. I wonder if they've left through the back door. Quiet as a morgue.

"Oh, she texted earlier saying she was going to be here. Maybe she'll show up." He reaches down and grabs a can from the pack. Opens it with a click, pop, hiss.

"I'll call you when she gets here how about?"

"I'll just wait."


"What is this? You look like you're about to explode."

I hear someone walk into the room behind me. Feet on tile floor, shoes tapping.

"Hey Edward," Jake says, casual. He takes a sip of the beer.

"Jake," he replies. His voice is tenser than I have ever heard it. A live wire. "Can I talk to Bella?"

"I don't care."


Jake makes a face and pushes himself into a standing position. He walks around us toward the entryway, feet shuffling like a small child.

"Whatever, dude."

I wait until I hear the front door open and close before I look at Edward. He's staring straight at me. Straight through me. Straight to the bone. All of me and everything and it's scary because I stare straight back, wanting more than anything for the strength to tell him to leave.



Looking at the floor. The tile, so interesting. The tile.

"Don't listen to them, Bella. They don't fucking get us, okay? They don't fucking get it."

"Maybe I don't get us either."

He groans.

"Yeah, right."

"I don't."

"I want to marry you, Bella? You get that? You get it?"

"Then marry me."

"Okay! Right fucking now. I'll do it right fucking now."

His voice is cracking, breaking. He drops to his knees in front of me. I look to the side.

"We can't."


"I'm not eighteen until next week, okay? So we couldn't even if we wanted to."

"Look at me."

I look away.

"Hey, look at me," he repeats. His hand is under my jaw, gentle but firm. I look at him. Christ. I shouldn't have. Christ. His eyes are green as the fucking earth, as the goddamn fucking earth. "I can wait a week. Can you wait a week? I can."

God help me, I nod.

"Yeah?" he asks. He's smiling now. Tentative, but there. Growing.

I nod again.

"Jesus." His hands clasp mine. "I thought I lost you for a second there. I thought it for a second."

He kisses me then, pulling me into his body, wrapping his arms around my back. Hand on face on neck on shoulder on stomach on waist. He sighs, forehead against forehead and he's still painfully beautiful up close and it isn't fair, isn't fair.

"And in one week you'll be mine, I'll make sure of it," he says.

"I'm already yours."

"Thank God."

"Thank God."

We're close to kissing again, so close always close. A moment before our lips touch a harsh cry sounds from somewhere just outside the house. Confused, we break apart.

"Stay here," Edward says.

I don't.

I peek around his shoulder as he opens the front door.

From the ground, Jake cradles his face. Emmett, a few feet away, hold Jasper back, both arms locked beneath his armpits. Jasper continues to lunge forward. I push around Edward and run toward Jake.

I move his hands away from his nose. They are bloody.

"What the fuck?" Edward asks.

"This dumbass claims he's going to steal my girlfriend," Jasper spits out. "Says he's going to fuck Leah."

i'm writing this again because of reasons