A/n: This chapter was written by my beta, Bnjwl, although I have her permission to use it. I have added a few touches here or there.
This is the end of the journey. It's been an amazing accomplishment for me to write this. Yes, I cried while writing it. While my own personal journey was slightly different, I have known the ache and longing that Edward lived through. This was so very therapuetic for me. I feel at peace. I hope you all do, too.
Thank you for the reviews and for reading it.
I ramble on and on about Harper's life. While I talk I clear away the weeds from the edges of your headstone. I can look across the cemetery and see Angela talking to Ben as well. I've been by to talk to him several times myself. Angela thinks that I don't know she comes here to see you as well, but I do. Harper spilled that secret a long time ago. I don't mind. I like that my girls all talk.
I whisper to the air, "Bella, I wish you could have met Ethan. He is perfect for Harper. When she is calm he riles her up and when she is riled up, he calms her down. They are a great pair." I run my hand through my hair but the tears leak out anyway. Usually the hair trick works to slow the emotions, it diverts my attention but not today.
In four hours I will walk my little girl down the aisle and this is just one of those hard days. The days when you slip back into my life and I ache for you. I ache to see you, talk to you, share things with you, hold you.
I told Angela all of this last night in bed. She understands. She shared that the night before our twins were born she sat up and cried because she didn't have that with Ben. I understood too. Again, our relationship fulfills us, it makes us stronger but certain days when we are the two weaklings that fell together in the cemetery.
After I catch you up on Harper and tell you everything I could possibly remember since our last visit here, I whisper that I still love you. I still miss you and I won't let you down. Just as the words leave my mouth I see you duck behind a tree again. I can leave knowing that you heard me.
I knock on the door. Harper stands wearing your wedding dress and I cry. Full, fat tears because she is so beautiful and she looks so much like you. Your mom, my mom and Angela are all here. It's amazing how the years have blended our family and Harper has four grandmothers now. Even Ben's family has become attached to ours. It's strange but we all make it work.
I smile as I see Gavin, mine and Angela's son, walk his grandmothers down the aisle and help them get settled in their seats. When the music starts, his twin, Grace makes her way down the aisle first, followed by several of Harper's friends. Then it is our turn. I walk her so slow. I can't let her go just yet. I love Ethan but he doesn't realize that for so long she was all I had. I feel the wind pick up about halfway down the aisle and we both look at each other. The smile crosses both of our faces at the exact same time. We know it's you. I walk her to the end. I kiss her beautiful face and place her hand in Ethans.
I sit down beside Angela and she asks, "You feel her?" I only nod because words won't come me at this point. "Me too. She is so proud of you. She told me so last night." I turn to look at her. "What? You think you are the only one that goes out there and talks to her in the back yard. I got news for you, buddy, I'm surprised that the three of us haven't tripped over each other getting out there at certain points in our lives. She matters to you and Harper and she matters to me. I thank her every day for giving me what she did." I kiss Angela on the cheek and pat her hand. Bella certainly couldn't have found a better woman for me if she had traveled the whole globe in search of one.
I turn back to hear the minister pronounce them husband and wife, I stand to clap with the rest of the crowd. She runs by and mouths, 'I love you'. I don't have time to return it but she knows.
The next morning I get a call from Harper. I worried about her all night. I think back to the two honeymoons I had and what I did on each one. Well, it's safe to say that no father wants to think of his daughter that way. But her words surprise me.
"Daddy?" She hasn't called me that in years, "She told me last night in my dream. She said how proud she was of both of us and that our choices were spot on every time. She said that she wouldn't be back anymore, that we didn't need her. She said to tell you that she loves you, to thank Mom for her and that she wanted us to be able to move on now." Harper was in tears and so was I. But I understood. Bella had done her job. She took care of us long after she was gone and when she couldn't anymore she sent someone else to do that.
At the time I would trade my life for the choice I had to make, I would gladly give it all up then. But now…well I guess I live by the words that each choice brings you a certain amount of pain and a certain amount of happiness.
"I know, baby, I know. She was happy yesterday, I'm sure of it. We all were. Now, get off the phone and go do something with your husband!"
"Gross, dad, seriously did you just say that?"
"Harper, I meant sightseeing or something…you know what I'm hanging up now. Bye, I love you, have fun."
"I love you too, daddy."
All the choices that we made...finally, we have peace. All of us.