Disclaimer: I own none of the characters, they belong to Stephanie Meyer. All I own is my ideas.
Chapter 1 - Enough
Is this day over yet? That question has been running through my mind constantly for the last four hours. I used to like my job. When did that change, or is it me who has changed?
I don't know who I am anymore or what I want from life. I go through my day to day activities just existing. I really hate everything about my life lately.
I am suddenly brought out of my musings by the phone on my desk ringing. The receptionist tells me that Mr. Crowley wants to see me in his office. I cringe before I get up from my desk and make my way to what I'm sure is going to be a lovely conversation.
"Tyler, you wanted to see me."
"Yes Bella, we need to discuss your request for a raise. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to give you a raise this year. Times have been tough and we haven't gotten as many new clients as we have before and you know with us being a small firm and all that kind of stuff has to be taken into consideration."
"I do understand Tyler, but when I came to work here and passed the bar you assured me that I would get a raise every year. This is the third year in a row that you have not given me the raise. If you will look at the wage statistics I gave you, you will see that I currently make less than the average wage for the lowest paid attorneys in the state. I really deserve a raise, " I state while trying to keep my voice even.
"I hear what you are saying but you have to look at the economy. When I made that promise things were different. I know that things are tough right now but if I want to keep you on staff I can't afford to give you a raise," he responded.
"I understand and thank you for considering it," I responded before being dismissed from Tyler's office. I went back to my office and noticed that the day was finally over. I wanted to get home before I let my frustrations out.
That night after finishing my dinner I sat thinking about my life and how it had turned out so much differently than I had anticipated when I was younger. I had always thought that by the time I was 27 I would be married and have children, yet here I sat alone.
I tried to stop myself from falling into the negative thoughts that were ravaging my brain but truthfully I had found myself becoming more and more unhappy over the past several months. Now that I think about it I can't remember the last time I was really happy other than a passing moment here or there. I didn't have many friends, and even my family worried more about themselves than they did me.
I sat there thinking about how unhappy I had become and knew that I was going to have to be the person to change it. I didn't like the way my life was. I constantly did what was expected of me and I questioned every decision I made. How did I come to be 27 and not have any idea of who I am? Things that I had done for myself were limited and for the most part secret. They were things that didn't coincide with the idea that my friends and family had of me and I worried about what they would have to say if they were to find out.
I sat there lost in my thoughts for I don't know how long before I was broken out of them by the ringing of my phone. I looked at the caller ID and groaned when I saw that it was my brother Jasper. While I loved Jasper, lately I felt suffocated by him and his expectations.
"Hey big brother. How was your day?"
"It was pretty good Bells. How was yours?"
"You know, same old thing. Not much new in my world," I responded while keeping the sigh out of my voice.
"Yeah I understand that. So what are you up to this weekend?" He asked.
"Not much that I know of. I think I am just going to relax and try to get caught up on some stuff I have put off. What are you doing?" I responded knowing that there was a reason for this phone call.
"Well, that is why I'm calling. Alice, Emmett, Rosalie and I got tickets to a concert in Vegas and I was wondering if you could give us a ride to the airport tomorrow night and pick us up on Saturday," Jasper asked.
"Sure, I guess. Just let me know what times."
"Thanks Bells, I knew I could count on you," Jasper responded.
I don't know why but that conversation made me angry. My brother, his wife, and their friends counted on me saying yes and didn't give any thought to either asking me to go with (not that I wanted to) or to the fact that I might have plans.
After I hung up with Jasper I spent the night thinking about what I needed to do to change how the people in my life treated me and saw me. I was tired of being the good ole reliable Bella. I was tired of being the person who dropped everything to help others no matter what. It's not that I minded helping people but more that I minded that people took advantage and just assumed that I would do their bidding without giving any thought to what might be going on in my life.
I woke up the next morning still thinking about what had happened the night before. As I got ready for work I made a decision that I didn't want to continue letting things go on the way they had been. I needed to get out of my comfort zone and find out who I was and find a way to find happiness.
The workday dragged on like it normally does. I really didn't enjoy what I did anymore but after spending seven years in college I knew I needed to stick with it at least until I could find something else that I enjoyed and would pay the bills. At least it was Friday and I would have two days off. Two days without having to listen to Tyler or Jessica bitch and complain. Two days of solitude. I couldn't wait.
After work I headed out to pick up Jasper and the others to take them to the airport. I put on my happy face so that they wouldn't know that I didn't want to be there. After I picked them up I dropped them off at the airport. Before they left Jasper told me that their plane would be getting in at noon the next day. I told them I would be there.
When I left the airport I thought about what I wanted to do for the night. I toyed with the idea of grabbing something to drink and taking it home but then I knew that if I really wanted to find myself I would need to put myself out there. I knew there was this little bar that some of my friends sometimes frequented and I decided that I would head home, change and go there for the night. Maybe I would run into some friends and even if I didn't I could just relax and unwind.
Deciding to be a little daring I dressed in a mid thigh black skirt, midnight blue halter top and a pair of Ed Hardy pumps. A couple of my tattoos were showing but since I knew there was no chance of Jasper seeing me I didn't worry too much. I liked how I looked and decided that I was going to enjoy the night.
I walked into the bar and went up to the bar and ordered a rum and coke. Part of me knew I should go with something with less alcohol but I frankly didn't care. I wanted to relax and let loose tonight without having to worry about what other people might think. I had been sitting at the bar for about half an hour when I looked over and saw Angela walk in with her fiancé Ben. They took a seat at a table across the bar and when she noticed me she beckoned me over.
Before going over to Angela's table I got myself another drink as well as a shot. I took the shot and took my drink with me. Angela seemed surprised to see me by myself in the bar and she said so when I got there.
"Bella, I haven't seen you in forever. What are you doing here? Are you with someone?"
"Nope, it's just me. It has been a long week and I thought I deserved a little relaxation so I decided to come out and have a few drinks to unwind." I told her.
We sat there and talked for a little while until we both needed refills. Ben decided to go to the bar to get us our drinks. While he was gone Ang and I talked about things when all of a sudden a good dance song came on. "Oh Ang, come dance with me. I love this song," I pleaded with her.
"Are you sure Bella? You usually hate to dance. How much have you had to drink?" she snickered.
"Ang, I am turning over a new leaf and I don't care what people think. I just want to dance and have fun. So come dance with me," I pleaded with her.
We hit the dance floor and soon we were grinding with one another. After a few minutes Ben decided to join us on the dance floor. We continued to dance for several more songs when all of a sudden I felt someone behind me. I looked up and was surprised to see Mike, my ex standing there glaring at me.
"What do you think you are doing Bella?" He asked with disdain in his voice.
"I'm dancing and having a good time Mike. What does it look like I am doing?" I responded while fighting the urge to roll my eyes.
"What it looks like Bella is you are acting like a slut. Look at what you are wearing and how you are dancing. You look like a shameless hussy trying to get yourself laid," he retorted.
"Frankly Mike, I don't care what you think. You and I are not together and you have no say in what I do or how I act. You lost that right when we broke up." I retorted.
With that I made my excuses to Angela and walked over to the bar to get myself another drink. I ordered two shots and took them quickly. Then I got myself another rum and coke. I was starting to feel the effects of the alcohol but I didn't care. I wasn't going to let other people tell me what I should and should not do. Who cares what they thought.
Before I knew it I had downed my drink and as I signaled the bartender to bring me another I heard a velvet voice tell me, "here let me get that for you."
I looked beside me and saw the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. He had piercing green eyes and hair that looked like he had just finished having sex. Oh what I wouldn't do to run my fingers through that hair. I suddenly realized what I was thinking and brought myself out of the stupor I had fallen in to.
"Why thank you, but you don't have to, I can get my own drink."
"I didn't say I had to," the gorgeous god before me said, "but I want to."
"Well then I thank you." I said with a flirtatious smile on my face. "By the way, my name is Bella."
"Well Edward. How are you doing this fine evening?" I asked him.
"I'm doing better now that I ran into you." He responded, with his voice dripping sex.
We sat there talking for hours while we drank. We talked about insignificant things and just spent time getting to know each other. I avoided talking about my family and my job. I wanted to spend the night enjoying myself and I knew that if I talked about those topics I would start worrying about what people thought.
Before I knew it the bartender was calling for last call. "Oh my, I didn't realize the time." I stated when I looked at my watch. I didn't know exactly how much I had had to drink but I knew that it was a good thing I had taken a cab to the bar. I was too drunk to be able to drive and I would never chance it.
I got up and prepared to head home. As I was walking away I suddenly felt a bolt of electricity shoot through my arm. I looked back and noticed that Edward had grabbed onto my elbow.
"Bella, I had a great time tonight. I would like to get to know you better. Can I get your number and give you a call sometime so we can get together," Edward's seductive voice purred. I knew that I wouldn't be able to deny him and honestly I didn't want to so I didn't.
After I gave Edward my number I said goodnight and headed home. I knew that I would be hurting in the morning but I couldn't find it in myself to care. I had gone out and had fun tonight for the first time in a long time.
After I changed out of my skirt and put on my pajamas I drank a bottle of water to avoid dehydration and hopefully a hangover. As I was getting into bed I heard my phone go off indicating that I had a test message.
Goodnight Bella. I had fun getting to know you tonight – Edward
I smiled when I read it and decided to respond.
I had fun too. Night – Bella
With that I went to bed happy for the first time in I don't know how long. That night my dreams starred the emerald eyes of Edward. I woke to my alarm reminding me that I had to pick my brother up at the airport. Despite the raging headache I had I got ready with a huge smile on my face. All I could think about was last night with Edward and I looked forward to the thought of maybe getting to know him better.
Because of my headache I was moving a little slower than normal. Then on top of it I got stuck in traffic which meant that by the time I finally got to the airport Jasper and the others were already waiting for me and they didn't look happy.
"Bella, where have you been? You were supposed to be here at noon. You are over half an hour late." Jasper yelled at me.
"Well excuse me for being late. Did you once think that maybe I am doing this out of the kindness of my heart and that I would rather be doing something else than picking you up. Did you eve consider that I have a life." I yelled back.
Jasper was obviously taken back by my outburst. I had never before spoken to him that way and I had certainly never intimated that my life did not revolve around doing what he wanted me to do.
The ride back through the city was quiet one. When we got back to Jasper and Alice's place I pulled into their driveway but I didn't make a move to get out of the car. Jasper waited until everyone else had gotten out of the car before he decided to go off on me.
"What is your problem Bella? Why are you acting like such a bitch?"
"A bitch. Well excuse me for getting stuck in traffic and being late for picking you up at the airport. If it was that big of a problem maybe you should have gotten a cab or better yet maybe you should have just fucking driven yourself," I seethed. "Now get out of my car."
Jasper was dumbfounded. He got out of the car and I took off before he had a chance to say anything else. Before I got home my phone went off several times. I ignored calls from Jasper, Alice, and even Emmett. I was so angry that they had the audacity to be upset because I was late when I was doing them the favor. I was more upset by the fact that had ruined my good mood within the first ten minutes of seeing them.
When I got home I shut my cell phone off and shut the ringer on my house phone off. I didn't want to deal with Jasper today and he needed to realize that he couldn't treat me that way and get away with it.