Disclaimer: I own nothing, all rights go to Stephenie Meyer.

By SparklyAshTree

She sits there often, remembering the past and thinking back on happier times. Before it all went wrong. She sometimes thinks to herself about how it was her fault, until the little voice in her head pops up and says, "It wasn't your fault. If it was your fault, it would have happened in a much more sudden way, and you would have expected it more." And she knows that the voice is right. Heaven help her, she's hearing voices in her head, and THEY have more sense than she seems to at the moment. But she doesn't mind anymore, not at all. As she reflects, she comes to the conclusion that perhaps this was the way it was meant to be. No fairytales, no perfect endings. Because this is reality, and she knows that letting these impractical thoughts overtake her will cause her downfall. And she has fallen enough over these past few months to know that it's time for her to get back onto her feet again, and be the person she truly is inside.

It was a long time ago, but she still remembers it clearly. The time where she banned her mother from reading her these ridiculous fairytales, because "they have no basis in fact, and are not real at all!" She was only six. Her mother wasn't surprised-why should she be? Bella had always been very advanced for her age, and was far too realistic to ever dream of a fairytale romance.

Yes, she thinks now. Even from a young age, she was never the type of girl to dream of her perfect husband, or draw out her wedding dress, or even imagine that she would fall in love. She was far too practical and mature to do that. So when she was in school, and all the girls would fantasise about their perfect match with each other, Bella would just roll her eyes, and go out and play with the boys in the school playground, rolling around in the mud and earning the respect of all the boys in the year, despite the fact that she was a "girl, and girls can't play boy games because they're weak!"

And even when she moved to Forks to live with her father, she still knew the impossibilities of romance, and the impracticalities of relationships. She was still that rebel, still that tomboy from Arizona, who would wear boys' clothes, and get dirty, and who would help her father fix the car, or build new appliances for the kitchen. High school was different, as it always was, as she had grown up now, and all the boys didn't see her as an equal who could play for them on the football team, but a girl who was desired and craved by all the hormonal boys, claiming love and other fancy notions. And she was just so sick of it all, because the same thing happen back home in Arizona, with the boys not seeing her as anything more than an object to be shown off, something to be conquered.

So when she met him, she was immediately taken with him, because he was so different from the others, so... Mature, and he seemed to respect her in the ways that the others didn't and couldn't. So one thing led to another and soon they were dating, and Bella had convinced herself that she loved him, because she saw no other explanation for it. But looking back, she sees that it was not love, but infatuation, and they were too young to have any hope of succeeding. She thinks now that it was her hormones finally kicking in, finally giving her a target on which she could latch onto whilst her body just adapted. Not love at all, she muses, but her body just calling out for something new that she didn't know about, and he just happily reciprocated, so he could while away the hours, trying to understand the complexity of her mind.

But changes happened to quickly for her to understand, and soon she found herself in her bedroom, unable to sleep, on the night before her wedding. A picture perfect wedding, made by his picture perfect family, complete with a bow on top. And she just sat there, in her bed, with only six hours to go until the pixie would come and pick her up and stuff her into some lacy, fluffy monstrosity, claiming all the while that she would look fabulous by the end of it, and how this day would be "absolutely perfect darling, don't you worry, I've planned everything, it'll be like something out of a fairytale!"

But she knows that fairytales aren't real. They never could be. And so in the end, whilst they plan everything for her, she just watches on in silence, unable to stop this tidal wave. And they just smile at her sympathetically, and say "Don't worry, it'll be fine. It's understandable to be nervous, but we've got it ALL under control. No need for you to even lift a hand!" And they stay true to that, no matter how much she protests. But this isn't what she wants. She knows that. And as she sits on her bed, staring at the clock, she knows how when she imagines her perfect wedding, she sees a small private ceremony, where she doesn't have to wear what other people expect of her, and where she can wear her boy clothes, complete with mud stains and ripped jeans.

And she doesn't care what other people think. This is her life, and she can do what she likes. So when his face appears next to her, surrounded by the halo of dirty blonde hair, she knows. She knows how he is enjoying this just as much as she is, and when she sees that perfect wedding, she sees him as the only one who would allow this, who would join her, wearing his favourite cowboy clothing that Alice has banned him from wearing, from his cowboy boots right up to his crooked hat.

And when he speaks, it's in that Texan drawl that sends shivers through her, shivers of pleasure, so different to how the Cullens shiver when they hear it, and she knows how he is so like her, so different from the others. They are all so perfect and Bella and Jasper are the odd ones out. The social misfit and the confederate soldier. And he gives the one chance, the one opportunity that she knows that she can't miss.

"Will you leave with me? Run away? It doesn't have to be anything more than friends, but I know how much you are suffering, how much you want to get away."

And he holds out his hand to her, his scarred hand, and she puts her own calloused fingers around his, and appreciates the feel of roughness against her own soft skin and she really does understand. There are no such things as fairytales, and sometimes you just have to make your own fate.

So they leave together, in the dead of night, jilting her fiancé and estranging everyone they held dear to their hearts. But they don't care, because they have each other, and they know that despite all the hurt and hatred that they are feeling, the Cullens surely know how fairytales just cannot happen, and how sometimes, just sometimes, making a decision to take one path can lead you down a completely different path.

And now, as she sits by the window, staring out over the Texan wasteland, the sun shining brightly in the sky and the heat bouncing of her now impenetrable skin, she remembers times gone by and she smiles fondly, and sighs, like saying goodbye to an old friend. Because she is. She is saying goodbye to her teenage dreams of becoming a doctor, or perhaps a policeman, like her father, and she accepts that those ideals are long gone, and sometimes it's for the best to just move on and accept that the world does not always work in a straight line, and there are many different reasons behind a certain decision. When she first left with Jasper, and they both made their way to Texas, she blamed Edward for all her dreams and aspirations being lost, as there was no way she could ever be any of that. But thinking back now, where she has gained some maturity and perspective, she realises that it wasn't his fault. It wasn't his fault that she fell in love with him, or was prepared to give up everything for him. No, it was just the universe's idea of a joke, but she doesn't mind. This 'joke' gave her Jasper, and as she sits in between his legs, both just sitting on the grass appreciating the sunshine without people seeing their sparkling, she gains a new perspective. Maybe fairytales, aren't true, and it is madness to think it is, but sometimes people can indulge in it, just once or twice, because fairytale dreaming gives you hope for reality.

Please R&R, it's greatly appreciated! :)