AN: Thanks for reading this pure uncut unedited update. I didn't fact check my work and I probably messed up a lot in this chapter but I know if I wait to get this beta'd I'll never post. My end game is just to finish this story. It needs to be finished. Hope you enjoy.

Ch 40: Dreaming with a Broken Heart

That moment when… he breaks your heart.

-x-

I feel sick to my stomach as I pull into Edward's complex parking lot. I see his car in his spot so I know he's home. I came here the moment Jessica dropped me off at my house this morning. Last night would have been great if I hadn't been checking my phone for Edward the whole time. My face is still sore from all the fake smiling I did. I wanted to come home right after the competition but Jessica was right. I needed to give Edward time to cool off.

I force myself out of my truck and try to focus on my surroundings. The sky is overcast, but only a little. The sun peaks through and feels nice on my skin. The grass walkway is still wet from the morning sprinklers.

Soon I'm climbing the stairs and I'm knocking on his door. I didn't bother calling because I was sick of no one answering. There is no movement on the other side and I pray it's not because Edward is too messed up to answer the door. I fumble with my keys to locate his and just before I insert it into the lock, the door swings open.

And there stands Alice Brandon. I reel back a step in utter shock and devastation. My first thought is that they slept together and I want to vomit. But I know deep down he wouldn't cheat on me. Especially not with Alice because she's manipulative and crazy. He's probably hungover and doesn't even realize she's in his apartment.

Yeah. That sounds plausible.

I'm proven wrong when I hear Edward's slurred voice from somewhere say, "Whoever it is tell them to fuck off."

I watch Alice smirk and lift a tiny shoulder. "You heard him. Fuck off." She moves to shut the door but my hand shoots out to stop it from closing. "Hey! Get out!" She snaps but I shove past her and into the living room.

His apartment looks like the disaster after an explosion. I glance in the kitchen to see cabinets open and pulled away from their frames. Dishes litter the floor in pieces and everything that was in the living room is either on its side or missing altogether. His couch is the only thing left untouched aside from one missing cushion that lays at his feet ripped open with its guts pulled out in tuffs of cotton.

Edward is in his boxers sprawled out on his couch with a lit joint dangling from his lips and a half empty bottle of whiskey in his hand. His face is turned half away from me but I can see his hair is stuck out in all directions. When I approach closer to the couch he acts as if I'm not here and I feel like a ghost hovering over him.

Alice slips past me and curls herself beside Edward on the couch. "I tried to get her to leave but she won't listen." She sighs.

He rolls his head in my direction and I flinch in surprise at his appearance up close. Red eyes. Dark circles. He has a black eye and a busted lip. Dried blood is stained on the front of his ripped shirt collar. He looks horrible.

"Oh my… what happened?" I cry out.

"Go'way." Edward's words slurred and muffled by his hand rubbing over his face. He stops with a pained hiss when he touches his eye and drops his hand with a grimace. He's so out of it that I can't even tell if he knows who I am right now.

"Are you kidding me right now, Edward?" I scoff in disbelief. "What the hell is this?" I motion all around us. "How much have you had to drink? Or smoke?"

"Ha!" Alice bubbles over with laughter then leans forward as if to tell me a secret. "Or snort." She presses a finger to the side of her nose and mimics doing a line of coke.

Her movement jostles Edward and for just a second his glazed expression focuses. "Bella?" He moves his lips to say my name but doesn't say it aloud.

"Yes, it's me. It's Bella." I step closer and a burst of sobriety causes Edward to shoot upright.

"You need to go." He says in paranoia. "Now. Go now."

"What? No." I refuse.

"I said get out!" His laid-back attitude switches to enraged in a heartbeat. The transition is so sudden it makes me flinch in shock. In seconds he's on his feet and pushing me toward the front door. "I don't want you here. You need to leave."

"Edward, stop!" I dig my heels into the carpet to slow him down but he's stronger than me so its wasted energy. "Edward!" I scream loud enough to make him pause and push past some of the high he's experiencing. I try so hard not to cry but my voice cracks a bit. "Why are you acting like this?" My patience wears thin every second that goes by without a response from him. "Say something, Edward! Talk to me. What happened?" I cry and slap a hand against his shoulder to get a reaction from him.

"Just go, okay? I'm poison, baby." He shakes his head back and forth as he slowly slides back into a dream state then reaches out a hand to my cheek. "I wont bring you down with me. Not you." His tone is so remorseful it makes a tear slide down my cheek.

I'm playing right into this game of his to push me away if I go home right now. His confidence is low and his world has just collapsed. I can't leave him like this. I won't.

"Edward," I take his hand and place it on my heart, "I love you. Don't do this… Please don't do this." I beg him. "Don't push me away."

"It's already done." He stonewalls me, face blanking out as he falls back into the version of him who cares about no one.

As if summoned, Alice comes to the door and blows out a stream of skunky smoke skyward. She lifts her fingers to place the joint between Edward's lips and grins up at me triumphantly when he backs away from me while sucking the joint long and deep.

I move to follow but Alice blocks the doorway. "Nope."

I blink a few times in shock. I'm so shook by what I just saw in his apartment and how forlorn he was when he touched my face that I allow my guard to drop.

She takes full advantage and slams the door shut in my face.

My hands shake as I search for his house key somewhere amongst the exorbitant amount of keychains I seem to own. Then I push it through the lock and twist the knob before I bang the damn thing open. Edward is nowhere in sight but Alice, who looked as if she'd been about to text someone, is staring up at me from the couch with her mouth agape.

Slowly, I walk until I'm standing over her.

"Get. Out." I growl in warning.

Her mouth opens and shuts but she says nothing before she regains her courage. "You're completely fucking crazy. Like… certifiable!"

"I know your first instinct is to circle around Edward like a vulture when he's vulnerable but not today. In fact, not ever again." I yank her up from the couch and push her until she's out the door where I proceed to return the favor of slamming the door in her face.

Wasting no more time, I go directly to Edward's room to see him laying facedown on his bed in the middle of total chaos. Like the kitchen and living room, everything in here is scattered everywhere. Clothes have been ripped from their hangers and thrown to the floor. His lamp lays in pieces over by his window which now is wide open since the blinds are bent and broken and halfway under his bed. Shoes and belts and hats and papers and everything that ever had a place in this room is now broken, torn or crushed and thrown to the ground.

"What did you do to your room?" I whisper more to myself than to him. I bend over to gather an armful of clothes and toss them into the empty closet. I can clean and fold them later, right now I just want a clear pathway to his bed. But when I get to his bed I keep cleaning so I can avoid talking. If we don't talk we can't fight and I really, really don't want to fight.

Because I know deep down in my gut that if I leave this apartment it will be for the last time. I swallow the lump in my throat and sniffle. I wipe my cheeks with one of his shirts and sit down gently at the end of his bed.

"Baby, why are you doing this?" I cry into a hand and allow myself a few seconds to cry with shaking shoulders.

"You can do better." He mumbles into the bed. "Just go. I can't do this shit anymore."

"You can't do what anymore?" I run my fingers under each of my eyes.

"Everything." He sighs. "There's so much shit you don't know."

I turn to him, bringing my legs up and under me so that I face his back. "Tell me."

"No."

Frustration consumes me. "Are you mad that I went to the cheer competition?"

"No."

"Then why did you leave me?"

He doesn't respond.

"What happened last night?"

He doesn't respond.

"Should I call Royce or Jake?" I have now regressed to the possibility of outside help.

"No. Just go." He cradles a pillow beneath his face, nose down and breathing deep.

"What are you on?" I dare to ask.

"Doesn't matter." He mutters.

"Look, I know a lot of important people betrayed you and I understand that you're hurting right now but… You can't just give up okay? Screw your parents they mean nothing. They don't deserve you. We will start over and forget everything else when we go to New York. Out of sight and out of mind. You can take classes in Poughkeepsie at Duchess Community College, it's only like 4 miles from Vassar and they have this really cool Fire Science program that grooms you for career opportunities in that field. I was looking online and—"

"Stop." He snarls. "You and I both know I don't give a shit about any of that." He's angry when he rolls over to face me, scowl lines all over his tired face. "I guess now is as good as any to tell you I'm not graduating. Failed every class. Oh, and I've decided I'm going to start working for Aro."

"What?" Will the hits just keep coming?

"Yeah. It makes sense to get into the family business, right?" He laughs with derision.

"No. It doesn't." I glare at him. "Why the hell did you keep this all from me?"

"I was going to end it before you left for Vassar." He says this as casual as if he were talking about a football game. "Trust me, you'll get over this shit real quick. A girl like you will have tons of rich fucks falling all over themselves for you. You don't need to try and 'fix' me anymore."

I can't even pull together a response to everything he's just thrown at me.

"Who are you?" I question is absolute disbelief. "Because whoever this is? I don't know him or like him at all."

"This is the real me, Bella. Not the guy you tried to mold into some substitute version of your little bitch boy, Jasper. You're hot and tight and you can suck dick like a—"

I explode.

Suddenly I'm across the mattress and astride him with arms flailing. I continuously scream at him while slapping at any part of him I can. My hurt and anger eat away at my heart and my soul. Rational thought and regret escape my mind until I'm mentally checked out. Gone.

"Stop!" He bellows up at me before capturing both my wrists and flipping me onto my back. "The fuck is wrong with you?"

"You!" I shriek. "You are what's wrong with me! I have always been there for you and not once have I ever not been there. I went with you and stood up for you to that bitch mother of yours and you demote me down to a random fuck buddy? Really?"

His eyes soften in sympathy as he looks down and tut-tuts me. "You and I both know this was never going to go anywhere, baby." His gaze travels over my face as he inhales deeply and moves to push a strand of hair from my eyes. "I know you only went into that pool house with me because you wanted a night of fun with a bad boy from La Push." He slides the backs of his fingers down my cheek to my collarbone. "I was your little thrill before college and you were my temporary escape from reality." He dips his head and kisses my lips then my chin then down my neck where he puts a firm hand on my left breast.

His mouth tastes like cigarettes and alcohol.

"Get off me!" I squirm and shove him until he rolls off of me. "You are such a liar, Edward! If you need to twist what we are into some warped version that makes you feel better than go ahead. I know what you're doing and I'm not buying into your bullshit. I know what we have is real and you don't think you deserve to be loved. Well you know what? I love you enough for the both of us."

He smirks at me. "You're so fucking naïve. You always have been, baby." He reaches out to touch me and I slap his hand away. He laughs. "It's time to go back to reality okay? I'm a high school drop out with a drug dealer father and a mother who never wanted me. My only option is to work for Aro. You're going across the fucking country where does that leave us?"

I blink at him. "Did you ever intend to go with me to New York?"

"You already know the answer to that." He replies straight faced.

I shake my head. "I don't believe you. Everything was fine until we saw your mother. We had plans, we—"

"YOU had plans!" He roars. "You have this warped version of me that doesn't fucking exist, Bella! It's like you see what you want to see. I'm fucking drowning here and you just go on living your perfect fucking life thinking everything is going to work the fuck out."

I press a hand to my chest with a grimace. "You never said anything to me. How was I supposed to know?"

He chuckles bitterly and lays back. "I'm really good at hiding shit."

"No." I shake my head. "I don't believe you."

"Do you want to see my fucking transcripts? Go ahead they're ripped and crumbled on the floor somewhere around here." I motions toward the corner of his room. "You can deny it all you want. Doesn't make it not true."

Panic begins to rise within me but I push it down. "Why didn't you say anything to me?"

This time I allow him to touch me. He pulls me by my arm until I'm right beside him and he hovers over me with searching eyes. "Can you blame me for wanting to live the lie for a little longer?" His fingers caress my cheek. "You're the one good thing I had and for little while being with you seemed so possible." He leans in and kisses the tear that leaks down the side of my face. He moves his lips to mine and whispers, "I know better now."

"So that's it?" My voice wavers from the pain of what's happening right now. "After everything we've been through you just cast me aside when you need me the most?"

"No sweetheart. This is where I let you go so I don't crush that bright and beautiful spirit of yours." He kisses me gently. A sweet goodbye kiss that makes me sob into his mouth.

"Please don't do this, Edward." I whimper.

"Don't cry pretty girl."

I cry harder then I get mad. "You're just high and you don't mean any of this! You're not thinking straight!" I slam my hands into his chest and move toward the edge of the mattress. "I'm going to go clean up the kitchen and you can stay here and feel sorry for yourself or you can start cleaning up, too." I fix my rumpled clothes and slowly slide off the bed and to my feet.

"You always do this!" He shouts and jumps to his feet. "You always try to fix shit—fix me." He darts an arm out to block my exit from the room.

I sniffle and swipe my arm across my eyes. "No. I just know how to take care of you. I wish you would accept that you deserve for someone to love you like I do."

"You do take care of me, Isabella Swan." He leans his face down to my ear, "How about you take care of me right now, yeah?" His other arm curls around my waist and pulls my back to his front so I can feel his erection against my ass.

I let out a small gasp and whisper, "Don't be a jerk."

"But you love when I'm a jerk. Isn't that why you've stuck by me this long? You're a masochist baby. I push and you pull." He takes me by the shoulders and spins me around.

I stare up into his blown pupils and swallow the lump in my throat. "I hate you for acting like this."

He disagrees, face swishing side to side mockingly. "You fucking love it because you know what comes next."

My heart pounds and he dips his head to suck on my bottom lip so hard I wince. Then he bites down hard and I cry out in pain but he just suckles it and moans. My back is abruptly pushed against the door and he rams his hips into mine with a groan. "Come on, baby. You love me, right? Give me what I really need right now." He bites the curve of my ear and cups both my breasts with rough hands.

My lip throbs as I clench my eyes closed in a desperate attempt to ignore the desire that ignites my body whenever he uses that low and raspy tone on his. He's so absolutely right when he says I love this part. My fingers dig into his biceps and my head falls back on instinct the moment his coarse cheek scratches against the side of my mine on his way down to my neck. Hot breath and wet lips latch onto sensitive skin and I whimper when he nips at me with his teeth.

"Edward… wait." I know deep down this is a bad idea, especially when he's intoxicated but it feels so good and I want so desperately to cling to that connection we have. I refuse to let it go.

Abruptly he pulls back and tears his shirt over is head then tosses it to the floor before he dives in to capture my mouth. His tongue demands entrance and lashes against mine with harsh intrusion the moment I open. His kiss is hard and desperate and his hands are rough and sloppy as he yanks at my jeans and rips them down my hips.

"Ah!" I yelp in surprise then immediately follow up with a heated gasp the moment his fingers slide into my panties and circle my clit.

"Told you," he teases me with a sinister grin, "you love it. Your pussy's drenched and I've barely touched you." He growls and enslaves my mouth once again before I can comprehend.

I whimper and undulate my hips. He groans and enters me with his middle finger. My head thumps against the door and my hands scour his hard chest until they're at the edge of his sweats. I cup him over the fabric and take him in hand. He hisses in reaction and thrusts into me with enough force to make the door bang against the wall loudly.

"You know just how I like it." He grunts. "I want to fuck your mouth so bad but I want in that pussy."

His words makes my body quiver. I release him to push my jeans all the way down to the floor and kick them away. He removes my shirt and rips my sports bra away with a snap and tear. I'll never be able to wear it again. He does the same to my underwear.

I help him out of his sweats and briefs and in rushed and frantic movements we grope and kiss and squeeze and caress. His hands slap at my ass then tug me to him with enough force to take the breath from my lungs. I grip the back of his neck and pull him down to my lips while I lift my leg to curl it around his thigh. The tip of his cock teases my clit and I cry out in delight.

Every impulse is acted on with wild abandon to the point where I know I'll have marks afterward. My nails rake down the back of his shoulders while he thrusts and slides his length up and down my seam. Every pass over my clit sends a shockwave of pleasure through me and torrents of aftershocks make me tremble in his arms.

Then all at once he takes us to the bed and slaps my legs wide open before falling to his knees and latching his mouth onto my heated center. My muscles clench and contract with every pass of his tongue as he fucks my pussy the way he would my mouth, a deep and demanding intrusion. My cries are loud and my chest heaves with hyper breaths. I dig my hands into his hair and throw my head back against the mattress while I roll my hips for more friction. His scruff burns the insides of my thighs as they lock his head in place like steal bolts.

He swirls his tongue in a figure eight and sucks my clit into his mouth with a groan that reverberates straight through me. Heat burns through my blood and floods my every waking thought with nothing but desire for him. My thighs start to tremble and my knees fall open, my toes curl and my breath catches. He thrusts his tongue inside of me and flicks my clit with a thumb over and over. The build up takes over, rising to the surface with every passing second.

I twist and roll and grip my hands at my sides, fingers curled into the sheets tight. I feel my orgasm coming and brace myself with a held breath. Every muscle locks up and then a burst of pleasure rockets through out my entire body. I scream and jerk my ass backward into the bed and my heels pushing me higher up the mattress. He wraps a hand around one ankle and tugs me back to his mouth.

"Oh God," I shout, "Edward. I can't. Not again."

He proves me wrong. I'm so sensitive that it only takes a few pumps of his long lithe fingers against my g-spot and his tongue flicking against my swollen nub to make me come again. I fall back against the bed limp and hyperventilating. He kisses his way up my torso and suckles my right nipple with teeth that pull and tease. My other gets the same treatment and I feel his cock rock between my pussy lips, back and forth to coat itself with my cum.

"You were made for me." He says into my neck. He reaches down, lines us up and drives right into me so hard the headboard knocks against the wall. "Fuck!" His entire body trembles.

I take his face in hands and lift up to kiss him. He pulls back and thrusts forward into me again with just as much passion as before. I gasp at the welcome invasion and squeeze his cock between my walls. I feel so full and encompassed by him and I pull him to me with a hand on his ass and my ankles around his waist.

His hips pump and his balls slap against my bottom. He circles his arms around me and presses me into the mattress with his nose and chest against mine. He squeezes tight then ram into me over and over in rapid secession. I start to feel like I'm going to come against and dig my fingertips into his back.

"Oh, my God." I weep against his lips and flick my tongue out to tease his. "I want you to come inside me. All of it, I want it all inside me."

He groans and pushes up on his arms to hover over me. "Ah, fuck." He brow furrows and the haze in his eyes burns through me like lava. "You want my cum, baby?"

I nod my head, panting, "Yes, yes I want it. Give it to me."

He pulls out and flips me over, lifts my hips up and then enters me again. He hits so deep the pressure makes me shriek into the sheets and instantly cum in a hard shaking scream. My head is yanked back by my hair as he pounds into me, cock hard at steel and the fingers of his other hand gripped possessively over my ass. He uses it and my hair as leverage to push and pull my pussy over his cock.

The friction of his body over mine and the echoes of my orgasm pull me into oblivion. I lose focus and hear nothing but the loud ringing in my ears. It's just me and him and that powerful feeling of being owned and used for pleasure. He doesn't tell me he loves me, he doesn't whisper soft words in my ear or reassure me that everything is going to be fine.

He doesn't release his grip or lessen his hold as passion consumes him but gives into it fully. He curses and loses his harsh dominant rhythm to erratic thrusts that lead up to a loud and enthusiastic groan that come from deep within. I feel his cock jerk inside of me and the spurts of cum fill me up with his final gratification. Breathless he slowly pumps out the last of his orgasm and leans into me to kiss the back of my neck with an open mouth.

I quiver with my ass still in the air and his cock still lodged deep inside of me. I wiggle and he jerks and hisses into my shoulder. I smile and slowly let my knees slide back and my legs extend until I lay on my stomach. He falls over me limp and exhausted, nibbles my shoulder then rolls off of me and onto his back. I feel his cum leak out and onto the sheets but I don't move.

I wait to see if he'll say something apologetic or explain to me what the hell is going on. Instead he lays there silent aside from his heavy breathing, arm thrown over his eyes so he can't see me. I want to ask him if he's okay but I know he's not. I want him to pull me into him and hold me like he always does when we make love.

But that wasn't what this was. I know that now. The dark feeling of dread pools in my stomach and works it way up to my heart. I very slowly reach across the bed to place my hand on his chest. I leave it there and wait for him to take it with his and bring it to his lips. Pray that he does. When he doesn't I start to let every doubt and fear reign free within my mind. I think he just literally fucked me out of his system.

"You really are breaking up with me… aren't you?" I speak my greatest fear aloud and press my palm over his heart to feel it beat for me one last time.

He brushes my hand away and mutters irritably, "You ready to leave now?"

I close my eyes and gulp down a sob while he lays there without looking at me. "Yeah." I rasp brokenhearted. "I'm ready to leave now."

-x-

I skipped school today. It's Monday and everyone knows Mondays suck the big one. It's fine. So what? I like hiding under my covers more than I like being in the real world.

No, wait… it's Tuesday. Or is it Wednesday?

I've gotten up and dressed and acted like I was going to school a few times now to trick my dad. The moment he leaves for work I sneak back into the house and then I go back to bed. I'm pretty sure I've been in a perpetual state on unconsciousness since leaving Edward's last Sunday. I don't like to be awake. Being awake means I'll think and if I do that then I'll remember. I can't do that. Remember. It hurts too much. I grimace and roll over in my bed to clutch my stomach.

My phone buzzes on my nightstand but I ignore it. There are only a handful of people who would ever want to call me. I don't want to talk to them. To anyone.

My alarm goes off and I scramble out of bed. It's Thursday. Okay, wow. I have lost track of reality. I need to get out of here before dad comes home for lunch. My car is in the driveway and he'll kill me if he sees it. I've already intercepted two calls from school in regards to my recent bout of absences. I'm hoping on one foot while struggling with my shoe when I open the front door and freeze.

"Hey dad." Shit.

"Got a call at work this morning from your school." His mustache twitches.

Double shit.

"You want to tell me why the hell my daughter wasn't in school for the past four days?" Dad's nostrils flare which means he's super pissed and he's struggling to reign it in.

Triple shit.

"You could lose your damn spot at that fancy college of yours, Isabella Marie Swan. What the hell has gotten into you? Never in my life had I once thought we'd be having this conversation." He charges forward like a bull and I stumble to get out of his way.

"I'm sor—"

"Save it." He raises a hand to silence me then turns to the kitchen and sits at the table with a tired huff.

I follow him and sit across from him nervously. He stares at me and I stare at the table top and trace the cracks in the wood. I have no idea how to explain why I'm being so stupid when I know I deserve whatever he's about to say. But I have to say something, I have to fill this awkward silence.

"School is almost out anyway." I blurt. Wrong thing to say so I quickly follow up with, "Edward and I broke up." I bite my lip to keep it from trembling. I hate saying it out loud.

Dad grunts and leans back in his chair. "Ya don't say."

I close my eyes and shake my head with a very slight smirk. That's my dad, a sarcastic straight shooter.

"Bella, I'm not quite sure what to do here. Skipping school is unacceptable. It's not only irresponsible, it's… it's not like you. I spend half my day cruising around and sending back the kids who're out skipping school. Now I find out my own daughter is one of those knucklehead kids?"

I shrug apologetically.

"You know, I've had to watch you act like a zombie for the past few days. You sleep all day and you barely come out of your room except to 'pretend' to go to school. I haven't seen you eat a decent meal since, hell, I don't even know. Sometime last week maybe?" He rubs a hand over his face. "What do I do here, Bella? I'm at a loss. What do I do?"

I mimic his face rubbing and bring my elbows onto the table. "I don't know… everything is just really messed up right now. Breaking up with Edward came out of nowhere and in a few months I'll be across the country and I'm scared. Everything I've ever known is slipping through my fingers at a fast pace. It's one thing to leave home when I know I can come back and visit. But I know I'll never see Edward again when I leave and that hurts… so much. I love him like crazy. It kills me to know he's hurting right now and that there is nothing I can do about it. I thought we had a plan, I thought we were solid. I believed we could get through anything and that we were on the same page. I believed in… a lie. How could he lie to me all this time and how did I not even have a clue? Am I that stupid? Am I that naïve?" I start to sob into my hands nosily. "Am I, Dad?"

I feel his hand pat me on the back awkwardly. It makes me laugh but ultimately cry harder until he slides his chair over to engulf me in his arms. For a moment I'm his little girl again and I grip his arm to me while I wail into his shoulder like I did when I was eight and broke my arm.

"No one makes my little girl cry, damn it." Dad growls after I've settled down. "Wait here, I'll be right back with my gun." He pretends to get up.

I laugh and pull him back into his seat. "Thanks, dad." I smile and take a deep breath to calm myself.

He rests his chin atop my head and sighs deeply. "You just say the word, Bells. I'll take that fucker down."

-x-

I go to school the next day like everything is back to normal. Last night Dad let me watch whatever I wanted on TV and we ordered pizza. It felt like old times and it helped me snap out of my funk.

The moment I walk through the school doors and walk to my locker, I know instantly that everyone knows about my breakup. The sympathetic gazes give them all away. It makes me want to vomit. No one comes to talk to me, though. In fact, they give me a wide berth of room to walk.

Jasper is the only one brave enough to approach me with a genuine smile. He holds out a stick of gum in one hand and a stick of deodorant in the other.

"Um, I think I'm offended right now." I look up at him curiously.

"Well I figured you must stink since everyone refuses to be within three feet of you." He shrugs and holds his hands out toward me again. "Take your pick."

I laugh softly and push his hands away. "You're such a dork."

He grins and swings his bag around to zip his stuff back inside. "Need an escort to class?" He asks.

"Why are you being so nice to me?" I ask.

He looks down at his feet. "I know how it feels to have the person you care about dump you."

I slump against my locker from guilt. "I'm such a bitch."

"No. You're not." He says sternly.

I widen my eyes at him. "Come on, Jas. What I did to you was wrong and now karma has come full circle. You should be ecstatic right now."

"Well, I'm not." He places a gentle hand on my shoulder. "Come on, let's go to class."

I follow him and run into Jessica who is waiting with a hall pass in her hand. "You and me are going to an emergency student council meeting."

"Can't it wait? I'm probably one absence away from academic probation." I utter sarcastically.

"Oh, hush. We're seniors and we're like, a week away from graduating." Jessica waves away my concern. "Plus I already told your teacher." She sticks out her tongue.

"Should have just have led with that." Jasper laughs then shuts up at her glare. "I'm going to class. See you later, Bella." He squeezes my elbow then slips past me into homeroom.

Jessica links her arm with mine and drags me down the hall. "It's not actually an emergency meeting. I mean it's not even an official meeting. I just really need you to veto Irina's stupid prom theme idea."

I roll my eyes. "Prom is the last thing on my mind." I grumble.

She stops our progress down the hall and turns me to face her. "Every girl gets her heart smashed. You can wallow and cry all you want in the privacy of your room—but everywhere else you have to act like nothing has changed. Do not give him that power over you. He doesn't deserve it." She stares into my eyes in a way that is serious enough to make me nod my head in agreement.

I want to tell her exactly what happened to make me act the way I've been acting, but something tells me it won't matter. Jessica is a go-getter and I have never seen her let a guy make her depressed for more than a day or two at most. She snaps back like elastic. It's incredible, really.

She links arms with me again and starts walking. "Why don't you just pretend like you broke up with Jasper again? You sure seemed to get over that break-up nice and easy."

I laugh and flip her off before we both move on to the 'meeting' where we shoot down everyone's overzealous ideas.

-x-

By the next week I'm so busy catching up on homework and helping out with prom (never thought I'd do that without Rosalie) that I don't think about Edward. At least until the times when I get home and there is nothing to distract me from my own terrible thoughts. Royce came by a few days ago to ask me how I was doing and to apologize—again—for ignoring my calls the night Edward took off.

He also explained—very vaguely may I add—that he an Edward were not currently on speaking terms. They'd gotten into a physical altercation the night they drove home. I wish he would elaborate but every time I try to get him to talk he locks up and changes the subject.

Dad's not home when I walk into the house that afternoon so I plan to heat up leftovers and catch up with watching my favorite my YouTube vlogs. I'm behind because I usually watch them with… My eyes start to sting.

Nope. Not going there. I haven't cried all day and I will not allow myself to do it now. I decide not to watch YouTube and just head up to my room instead. I need a shower and then I'll skype with Rosalie until bedtime. Hopefully I'll actually fall asleep tonight. Ironically I've gone from sleeping all day to unable to sleep at all.

When I close my eyes I revisit my dream with Edward and the cracked ice. This time he helps me only to push me down into murky waters with a firm hand pressing down on my head. Last night I drank nearly two doses worth of Nyquil and instead if sleeping I hallucinated Edward in my room staring at me but not seeing me.

I shudder at the memory, walk into my room… and freeze.

"Oh, my God. I'm hallucinating again." I blink in complete shock at the sight before me. I knew I was going a little nutzo, but this is…

"If you really are hallucinating then I'm offended that you would imagine me looking like this!" Rosalie shouts at me and points to her enormous belly.

"Oh… my God." I gasp and drop my bag to the floor before charging straight for her. I catch myself just before we meet and then grab her into a big hug. Almost forgot to handle this one with care, whoops. "I can't believe you're really here." I start to choke up.

"I…" That's all she gets out before she starts bawling and soon after I'm a blubbering mess as well.

We sit on my bed hugging and crying for a while until we finally get it together again. She explains that Royce helped set everything up, he even paid for her ticket home and picked her up from the airport. When I ask how long she's here for she smiles shyly and starts to confess.

"Royce I are going to give it another go." She speaks softly while holding her baby belly. "We've been talking a lot and Royce has really shown me that he's serious about us this time. He wants to be a family and he's been looking into jobs…" she pauses then looks up at me. "In Texas."

My mouth drops open. "Texas?"

She nods. "He plans to go back to Texas with me after the baby is born. My aunt doesn't want me traveling until then and I want you here with me when she comes." Rose pats her tummy.

I slink down onto my side and place my cheek there. "Hey you," I say to the baby belly. To Rose I say, "So how does your aunt and uncle feel about Royce?"

"They like him, actually. I think it was that call he made to my uncle that did it. Whatever they talked about really gave him points. My uncle said he'd help hook Royce up with a friend he has in construction. Oh, man… he's going to get all sweaty and muscly and—"

"Your prego-mones are showing." I mumble and pat her stomach. "Your parents will probably give you lots of siblings." I joke to the baby and Rosalie smacks me with a laugh.

"It's going to be okay." She says more to herself than to me. "Everything is going to work out and even if it doesn't, that's okay, too. My aunt has my back and I know she'll help us get on our feet if we need it."

I roll onto my back and sigh at the ceiling. "At least one of us will be happy."

"We both will." She squeezes my hand with hers. "This crap with Cullen… it sucks, but you have to keep moving forward, right?"

I shrug. "I could handle almost anything except his total disregard for my feelings… why did he…" I clench my eyes shut and take several deep breaths. Do. Not. Cry.

"I should tell Royce to kick his ass." Rosalie growls.

I snort. "I wish. Actually, Jake would probably do it. He got into with Edward the day after I saw him. He won't tell me what happened but whatever it was, Jake said he's done." My eyes move to the setting sun outside my window. "I just can't believe Edward would deliberately pick fights with Jake and of all people… Royce? That's almost more shocking than how he acted with me."

She rubs my back sympathetically and says nothing. Her silence says enough, though. She has nothing encouraging to share with me. The only advise she has is one I don't want to hear right now.

"So what about Vassar?" She changes the subject. "You don't have to find an apartment now since…" she doesn't say 'since Edward's not going' and lets the sentence die. She clears her throat and tries again, "College is going to be amazing and you're going to meet so many new people. You won't think about the boy you dated in high school. You'll be too busy living the high life in New York to remember anyone else."

I snort and roll onto my side to glare at her. "I feel like a part of you is insinuating I'm going to forget about you." I accuse her. "I'll never forget what I had with Edward so what the hell makes you think I could ever forget about you?"

"I never said that." She shakes her head.

"You didn't have to. I know you." I counter.

She groans. "You and your accurate mind reading."

I sit up and scoot closer to her. "I know I said this already, but… I missed you. I missed my best friend."

Rose's face is thoughtful as her eyes tear up. "I missed you, too, Bell."

To lighten the mood I say, "I just love you. I just wanna go to the rooftops and scream, I love my best friend Rosalie!"

She laughs at my Superbad quote and continues with, "Lets… go on my roof."

I grin and whisper. "For sure."

She gives me an arm hug. "I love your goofy personality. Never change, Bella."

I mock bow. "You can always rely on the fact that Isabella Swan will always be predictable."

"No, never predictable. But maybe…" She shrugs and I look at her curiously.

"Maybe…?"

"I don't know." She pulls out her hair tie and smooths her hair back into a tighter ponytail. "You're just… I know you feel like everything has gone to shit—but you give off this… 'vibe' of having it completely together. You look like everything's okay."

My eyes bug out in disbelief. "That is so not the case."

"I know you feel that way, but it's true. I mean come on, Bella. Your future is planned out and you're not scrambling at the last second trying to figure out what you're going to do. Half of the senior class most likely has no idea what they're going to do when they graduate. You have your life planned out to the second you step foot into your first class at Vassar."

I feel my cheeks flame. "Only because I don't want to think about Edward."

"Maybe, but the Bella I knew last summer would have needed someone to hold her hand through the process. You literally used to do anything I said. I said date Jasper and you dated Jasper. But now? You fell in love, you lost your v-card, helped your crazy best friend through a really tough time—helped Royce through a tough time and on top of all of all that? You and your team won second place at Nationals. Now you're about to graduate with great grades and you got into your first choice school. You did all of this by yourself, Bella. No one did this for you."

She makes me sound way cooler than I actually am. This girl she speaks of sounds awesome, no way is that me. I gulp as I think about the truth of everything she's said.

Yes, I did all of those things. I know I did them and yet none of it matters because Edward isn't with me. I know that's a completely irrational way to look back on my accomplishments. I'm becoming one of those girls who set their self-worth upon their relationship. Yes, I had a goal and yes I seem to have reached that goal.

But the goal changed when I met Edward. It evolved. We were supposed to achieve it together. We would both move on to bigger and better things and encourage each other the whole way. I imagined long nights studying on Edward's couch while he studied beside me. I had it in my head that he'd have his own apartment and go to a local community college while I attended Vassar. We'd make a future together.

It was the perfect dream. Keyword: dream. If I were to be honest with myself, Edward was never truly on board with moving to New York. I always ignored that little nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to talk to him about his feelings. I never asked him and now look where we are.

I move to lean on Rose's shoulder. "If what you said is true, then why do I still feel like I'm falling apart?" My voice shakes and her one arm hug turns into a full on embrace.

"Unfortunately," she sighs, "looks can be deceiving."

-x-

When you're dreaming with a broken heart

The waking up is the hardest part

You roll outta bed and down on your knees

And for a moment you can hardly breathe

Wondering, "Was she really here?

Is she standing in my room?"

No she's not, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone...

When you're dreaming with a broken heart

The giving up is the hardest part

She takes you in with her crying eyes

Then all at once you have to say goodbye

Wondering, "Could you stay my love?

Will you wake up by my side?"

No she can't, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone...

-x-