"We've been through a lot these last few months, you especially. I've never felt more right though- good times and bad- then I've felt with you by my side. I love every morning waking up with you next to me. I love sharing my life with you. Will you be my wife?"
Epilogue Part 2
It took me at least a full minute to process what Edward was saying. I simply stared at him in shock, until I noticed him shift uncomfortably in his seat.
"Maybe it's too soon…" he said, his gaze shifting back to the ocean.
"You want to marry me?" I blurted out stupidly.
"More than anything," he whispered, still looking out over the ocean. "But I understand that you're not ready. I should have waited. It's obvious from your silence that this isn't what you wanted."
"What? No, of course I want to marry you! I was just surprised; I wasn't expecting you to just ask me like that!" I exclaimed.
He finally turned to look at me, his eyes still holding a shadow of doubt. "I didn't exactly plan it this way. It just kind of came out. I meant every word though. You're it for me, Bella. I can't imagine the rest of my life without you in it."
Ever unsure of myself, I asked, "Are you sure you want to marry me?"
Edward sighed. "Of course I do. Why wouldn't I?"
"I come with a lot of baggage. I just don't know if you want to carry that around the rest of your life."
"I have baggage too. I have a fourteen year old," he joked weakly.
"Did you just refer to your little sister as 'baggage'?"
He looked a little sheepish. "Yeah, I guess I did. But you still didn't answer my question."
"Of course I'll marry you," I said, reaching for his hand and squeezing it gently.
This definitely wasn't how I imagined Edward proposing to me, but somehow it felt right. I didn't need a fancy dinner or for him to get down on one knee. All I needed was him.
One Month Later
"It's going to rain, Rosalie, I know it," I said, pacing in front of the window.
"So? It always rains. Why did you expect today to be any different?"
"Isn't rain on your wedding day supposed to be bad luck?" I asked anxiously. "Edward and I have had enough bad luck to last a lifetime."
"Would you come back here and let me finish your hair?" she asked, exasperated.
"What's the point?" I muttered, flopping down in the chair in front of her. "It's going to be ruined the second we step outside."
I could see Rosalie roll her eyes in the mirror, and I gritted my teeth.
"I think this is a very serious concern, and I don't appreciate you rolling your eyes."
"Whether it rains or not, it's going to be perfect, calm down."
"You realize you just told the crazy person to calm down right?" Rosalie rolled her eyes again, continuing with my hair. She pulled the curling iron a little tight this time and I winced. She was unapologetic.
Alice came barging into the room then, exclaiming, "It's time, it's time!"
"Calm down, Alice. It's not time yet," Rosalie said, continuing to curl my hair, and still pulling a little harder than she needed to. We decided to leave my hair simple, just pretty ringlets down my back.
"But Charlie's here with the van!" she said, vibrating with excitement.
For the last month, Alice had been nearly unbearable to be around. She was so excited for this wedding, her enthusiasm trumped mine and Edward's combined. She wanted a big extravagant wedding for us, but we rebuffed her at every turn. We just wanted to keep it simple.
In fact, everything about the wedding we decided to keep simple. Our guest list only included our small immediate families, and Sue and Jasper as Charlie and Alice's dates. Emmett and Rosalie agreed to stand in as our best man and maid of honor. In fact, Emmett and Edward had grown to be great friends over the last few months.
My dress was fairly plain as well. It was just a plain white dress, with no embroidery or adornments. It was sleeveless and bowed out a little at the waist, with a pale blue sash around the middle. My only stipulation for the dress was that it had to be simple, and white. The white color was symbolic to me- it was pure, just as I wanted my new beginning with Edward to be.
Charlie rented a simple economy van to transport Rosalie, Alice, Sue, Jasper and me to the site at La Bush Beach, where Emmett and Edward would be waiting already with a Justice of the Peace. We decided to have a simple ceremony on the cliffs, nothing more. There were no limos, no photographers, no DJ, and no dozens of guests.
I wanted it to be simple and perfect, just like us.
But son of a bitch if it didn't look like it was going to rain.
Thankfully the rain held off until we were all safely inside the van. As soon as Charlie slid the back door shut though, the sky opened up. Charlie rushed back to the driver's side and climbed in hurriedly.
"That's some downpour," he commented, as he turned the key in the ignition.
That simple statement nearly did me in, and my eyes burned as I struggled not to cry.
"Oh, Bella, don't cry," Rosalie cooed, handing me a tissue as the first tear fell. "It's going to be okay, you'll see."
"I'm just really nervous," I admitted. "And this freaking rain isn't helping."
"There's nothing to be nervous about sweetheart," Rosalie said. "It's just Edward."
"Just Edward," I whispered, staring out the window at the dark gray sky.
The ride to La Push took about fifteen minutes, and by then the rain had slowed a bit, but it was still coming down. I hoped that Edward and Emmett were able to find some shelter from the downpour while they waited.
After Charlie pulled the van to a stop, he reached under his seat and extracted a handful of umbrellas.
"Well, you certainly are prepared, Charlie," Rosalie commented.
"Always am," he said with a smile. After handing one of the umbrellas to Jasper, he stepped out of the van and came around to the door, holding the umbrella over me as he helped me out of the van. I stepped out carefully, afraid to slip on the slick gravel.
Jasper followed Charlie's lead and helped Alice out in a similar manner. Sue and Rosalie got out and each took an umbrella from Charlie, and we started on our short trek to the cliffside.
Jasper and Alice rushed ahead to make sure Edward, Emmett, and the Justice of the Peace knew that we had arrived, and Sue followed behind them. Rosalie, Charlie and I hung back behind the tree line, waiting for the ceremony to begin.
I swallowed my nerves as Rosalie hurriedly fixed my hair, working quickly under our umbrellas. "You look perfect," she assured me.
I heard the music start then, our cue that the ceremony was beginning. Rosalie handed my bouquet to me and walked out to where Edward was waiting, umbrella in hand.
Charlie began to walk me toward the path leading up to the makeshift altar. He paused for a minute before continuing and said, "I love you Bella. I don't think that you could have chosen a better man than Edward to marry. You two are real good for each other. I've thought that since day one."
"Thanks, Dad," I said sincerely, wrapping my arms around him in a warm hug. After we pulled away, he linked his left arm with my right, and held the umbrella over both of us, and we started down the path to my destiny.
The weather suddenly didn't matter as I took sight of Edward before me. Not letting the rain spoil the mood, he stood proudly under the umbrella that Emmett held over him, his wide smile contagious as I shyly smiled back at him. To reach him felt like it would take an eternity. All I wanted was to run to him. Fortunately Charlie was there to pace me, as we made our way carefully to him, in pace with the music.
"Who gives this woman to be married," asked the Justice.
"I do," Charlie said, trying in vain to keep the emotion out of his voice. He kissed me on the cheek before placing my hand in Edward's. Edward squeezed my hand gently.
The words the Justice of the Peace were speaking faded into a dull murmur inside my head as Edward and I stared into each other's eyes, so fully in love that the world around us faded away. Only when we were asked to read our vows did we break eye contact and look at the Justice. We repeated the words he recited to us proudly. We chose to recite the classic vows rather than reading our own. Any personal declaration of love we wanted to make, we knew we could say in private.
"And do you, Edward, take Bella to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do," he said, looking back at me, staring deeply into my eyes.
"And do you, Bella, take Edward to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"I do," I choked out, tears of joy flowing freely from me.
"You may kiss your bride."
As Edward took a step towards me, we were both distracted by a sudden brightness around us. Looking up at the sky simultaneously, we realized the rain had stopped just then. The sun peeked from behind the clouds, bathing us both in light, our pale skin practically shimmering like diamonds in the sun.
With absolute awe in my voice I gaped at Edward. "This was meant to be," I whispered.
He pulled me into his arms, and we kissed slowly. The kiss was so full of love and devotion that it felt like my insides would melt. It was better than any kiss he had ever given me. It was pure and loving. I had never felt so at peace in my entire existence.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. And Mrs. Edward Cullen," the Justice proclaimed happily when we finally extracted ourselves from the other.
I literally squeaked with joy and the announcement of my new name. Edward took my hand and we made our way down the now sunny path to his precious Volvo, ready to start our lives over, together.
It was a new beginning for us.
*Four years later*
"Alice, what the hell is this?" I asked, picking up the white plastic stick from the bathroom counter.
"What?" she asked, straightening her dress and poking her head into the hotel bathroom. "Oh shit!" she exclaimed. "I meant to throw that out."
Today was the day of Alice's wedding. She, Edward, and I were sharing a suite at a swanky Seattle hotel. Tomorrow she would share a room with Jasper before leaving for Bermuda, but for tonight she decided to be traditional and sleep away from Jasper.
"Is this what I think it is?" I asked pointedly, waving the stick at her.
"Um, yes. But you can't really get mad at me, because I'm getting married in an hour," she practically sang.
"I'm not mad, Alice, but… are you pregnant?" I knew that wasn't why she was getting married at such a young age, but I didn't want that for her. She and Jasper still had to go to college, and when they told us they were getting married, they both promised that they would go and finish school.
"No, it was negative," she said, handing me the box. "See, blue is no and pink is yes. It was blue." The box must have been a two-pack, because I could hear the other test rattling in the box as my shaky hands read the instructions on the back.
"Thank God," I whispered, as I found the box confirmed what she said. Just then, I heard the beep of a key in the hotel room door and knew Edward was back. I shoved the box in my purse hastily, not wanted Edward to blow a gasket and ruin Alice's day.
"For the love of God, do not share any of this with your brother," I said anxiously.
"I'm not stupid, Bella," she said, rolling her eyes.
As Edward entered the room, I sat down behind Alice on her bed, and clasped the necklace she had chosen to wear behind her neck. After a quick hello, Edward went straight into the bathroom, so we had a moment to talk.
"Alice, didn't I take you to get on birth control like two years ago?" I whispered.
"Yes, but I was so nervous about the wedding I realized I forgot to take a couple of them, and I just wanted to make sure."
"Just be careful. You two have such a bright future ahead of you, and I'm afraid that you'll ruin it if you get pregnant too young, okay?"
"Hey, Bella? Can we have this conversation another time? It's time to go."
"Yeah, okay. I just worry about you."
I sighed as I ran through the last few months. Alice and Jasper wanted to get married before they left for college. Alice was nothing short of a bridezilla since graduating, spending every waking moment planning her dream wedding.
After Edward sold the Aston Martin, he split the money evenly between himself and Alice. While he put most of his money away for safekeeping, he made Alice promise to use hers on college. Alice instead decided to put half away for college, which ended up being more than enough, and spending nearly the rest of it on her fairytale wedding.
Alice had grown up so much since I met her. She was no longer a shy insecure child. She was truly a woman. She had grown into her body, and had a positive self-image that I envied. She was still a little hesitant about wearing anything that showed her scars, but we had a long conversation the first day we came back from a failed dress shopping excursion.
She was so distraught that day, because she said she couldn't wear the dress of her dreams. We talked about it, and she realized that if it was the dress she'd imagined wearing since she was a child, and she didn't want a few scars to keep her from wearing it. Now, I couldn't help but be proud of her as she stood proudly in the gorgeous dress, not worried about the scars on her back showing.
Alice was a vision today, and I doubted anybody would even notice the scars on her back and neck- she looked too beautiful.
The wedding was absolutely stunning. Edward walked Alice out onto a rolled white carpet, which was adorned with bright red flower petals, laid by the flower girl, who was one of Jasper's cousins. While Alice had a small family, Jasper's family was absolutely massive, and they took up most of the church.
Ever the proud sister, I couldn't help but cry as Alice and Jasper read their vows. The ceremony went off perfectly, no doubt because of Alice's obsessive planning and rehearsal.
The reception was held at the same swanky hotel we were staying at in the ballroom. As I stood in the receiving line next to Edward, who was taking the place of his father, I started to feel a little nauseous. I chalked it up to being nervous and having to shake the hands of dozens of people I didn't know. It obviously wasn't the best situation for me- I still struggled with social anxiety- but I couldn't deny Alice of this on her wedding day, especially when her parents weren't here to do it.
Edward kept shooting me concerned glances and I assured him I was fine. We managed to make it into the reception hall and I started to feel a little better once I sat down, until dinner came.
As soon as my plate was laid in front of me, I regretted ordering the fish, as the nausea crept up once more. Not wanting to be rude, I took a small bite, and instantly wished I hadn't.
"I need to use the ladies room," I said, rising quickly from my chair.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked, standing up as I did. "You look a little pale."
"Yeah, I'll be back in a minute."
Rosalie managed to catch me on the way to the bathroom, already drunk from cocktail hour. "Bel-la!" she sang, grabbing my hand. "Didn't Alice look so beautiful?"
Despite the queasy feeling in my stomach, I couldn't help but smile at her exuberance. Eighteen months ago she had given birth to a beautiful baby girl named Emma, after her father. Emmett had been so convinced it was a boy that he already had the name Emmett Junior picked out, and so Emma was a compromise.
When Rosalie found out she was pregnant, she and Emmett flew straight to Las Vegas to get married, much to Charlie's dismay. Rosalie's parents were furious with her for not allowing them to throw her a big wedding, but much like Edward and me, they didn't need big.
Rosalie quickly became super mom after Emma was born. She still worked full time as an athletic trainer at U-Dub, but spent every free moment with Emma. It was nice to see her let loose for the first time in a year and a half.
Noticing my uncomfortable expression, Rosalie threw an arm around me. "What's wrong Bella?" she slurred.
"Nothing, I just feel kind of sick."
"Like throw up sick?" she asked, cocking her head a little.
"Um, maybe. I threw up earlier this morning, but I think it was just sympathy nerves for Alice."
"Or you could be preg-nant!" she sang happily. Someone else caught her attention then, and she danced away, leaving me frozen in place.
That couldn't be. Edward and I were very careful. I started birth control the week before we were married and never missed a single dose. I even set my watch alarm to it, so I would take it at exactly the same time every day.
Edward and I had been married for four years, and we both had good jobs. Edward had recently signed on teaching Music at Forks middle school, and he was much happier than when he worked at the bar. Bringing a baby into our home wouldn't really be any kind financial hardship for us, but I had bigger concerns.
Edward and I both decided soon after we were married that children would not be in the picture for us. I was worried about passing my genes faulty genes on to an innocent child. He was worried about my mental health if I were to conceive, given the hormonal changes that come with any pregnancy.
After I finally made it to the thankfully empty bathroom, I emptied the contents of my stomach and started pacing restlessly. I tried to remember the last date of my period, but my mind was spinning so much that I couldn't remember the exact date. I was pretty certain it was late though. I would need to check my calendar. I thought it was foolish to be so anxious, knowing how careful I had been about taking the pills, but I couldn't ease the anxiety.
After a few minutes of pacing, I came to a realization. I still had the other pregnancy test in my purse. I knew I could just take it, see that it was negative and go about enjoying my evening, foolish thoughts of an impossible pregnancy behind me.
I shut myself into the stall and went about taking the test. I read the box I still had and saw it took three minutes.
Three. Long. Minutes.
I watched my watch anxiously as the seconds ticked by. When it was time, I took a calming breath. I picked up the stick, assuring myself it would be blue and I could go on with my life.
As I stared down at the bright pink window, I felt the world start to spin around me. I fell to the floor of the bathroom stall in a heap, and the world around me faded to darkness.
Okay, so that's it! I'm so very sad right now that this one is over.
I just want to thank all my readers and reviewers from the very bottom of my heart for all the support and praise you've given me. It means so much to me!
The futuretake was meant as more of a teaser for the sequel. The first Chapter should be out by next week, and I plan to update weekly (at least) from there. I'm still working on a title, but I plan to post the first chapter very soon.
Thank you again for all the support. I love you guys!