Summary: He promised he'd be waiting behind that church; he promised he'd change her mind. But he broke a lot of promises along the way, didn't he?

A/N: So, here we go! The structure of this story alternates between flashback and "present day" (Summer 2011 being present day.) The flashbacks are in chronological order, so one flashback will never be further in the past than the one before it. I'm going to post a link to the banner to my profile for those who like to have things to look at :) And yes, you can bet it's a Bella & Edward story. Thanks so much for checking it out!


Chapter 1

Summer 2011
-present day-

I'm marching down a hallway in the dream and I just can't shake his memory. The air is heavy, it smells like stale beer and sweat and too much perfume. It's always been like this: years of chasing each other's shadows through these hallways and trying to force our way into locked rooms.

Sometimes I am alone, sometimes he is with me and we are desperate to be alone. Other times it's dark or crowded but always, always I can hear him. His music, it plays in the background. Sometimes it's so loud I can't hear the pounding of my fist against the heavy door that just won't open and can only feel his lips drawing my name against my skin. And sometimes it's soft, like a dying melody and I have to strain to hear the notes but I can still feel it all around like a soft buzz in my ears. But it's always there.

Always.

Today, his music fills my ears so loud I don't even hear the people swarming around me, speaking to me, making a fuss over me. I just smile. Smile when they smile, laugh when they laugh, wipe away the tears that will never come when they fight back their own tears of joy. And today is the first day I wish I could forget his music but I can't.

"It's whiskey," Rose whispers when she hands me a flask, and I wish I could drink it all. I raise the flask to my lips and it tastes like him, like the salty tears and whiskey on his breath the last time we kissed. Back then I was sure that those tears that fell on his lips had been mine. But these days I don't know. Because his music has been so sad lately. So sad.

Sad music that haunts my dreams and makes today impossible.

Every one in the room clears out even though I don't remember asking them to go. I wonder if they know. I wonder if it's possible not to know. I wonder if Garrett will know that today I'll be hearing the wrong words in my head, the wrong voice in my ear. And I wonder if he will care.

I wonder if he's ever cared.

Garrett's always been second and he's always known it. It's difficult to peg me a rogue when from the very beginning he's known this about me. I am hardly a half yet he loves me as a whole. Garrett still wants me like this. I tell myself that's how I got here. I tell myself that this is all for the best. But I still hear the music and taste the salt on his lips and I don't really know anything at all.

But the day has arrived. The one he sings about. And the moment will be soon to follow.

You've got a white dress.

I close my eyes and pretend I'm sitting backstage and I'm wearing my favorite leather pants. I pretend the ringing in my ears is real. I pretend I'm waiting on him instead of this church full of people that are waiting on me.

Gold ring on your finger.

I look down at my hands and wonder what kind of ring he would have bought me. I wonder if he'd buy me a giant expensive rock, or if he'd remember that night in junior year when I'd cried at his kitchen table while working on a project about blood diamonds. I made him promise to never spend another penny on meaningless jewels for me. I wonder if he'd remember I would want a recycled ring or none at all. I wonder if he'd remember all these things Garrett never knew.

And I'm pacing out back, thinking of ways to stop this mistake.

I close my eyes and pretend the music is real.

Now it's my turn to make this right. To take us back, back to before I married my music.

"Bella?"

I look up as Charlie walks into the room. He just looks at me, his eyes filled with tears but not the happy kind of tears. And now, thanks to Charlie, I finally want to cry too. And these are the wrong kind of tears. These are the ones that hurt, not the ones that set you free.

"Hi, Dad," I say, and hand him the flask when he sits next to me. He drinks, and doesn't even cringe after he swallows like I always do. He's so much tougher than I am, my father.

"Is it show time yet?" I ask, trying to be brave.

His smile hides behind his mustache. "No, you've some time still."

"Good." I take the flask from him and tip it back. My father laughs. But he doesn't stop me. He won't try to stop me.

"You don't think I should do this," I say, my eyes on the ceiling because I can't look at my dad because I might cry, and I can't look at my dress because all the lace makes me sick.

My father sighs, and he won't stop me but he won't lie to me. "I just want you to be happy, Bells."

I close my eyes.

His voice is in my ear.

But I'll wait behind that church, for the wedding bells to ring.

I try to picture him, wonder what he's doing. Right now. Sleeping on a bus. Backstage. Drunk. Halfway across the world. In a different time zone. Pacing outside the door. Behind the church.

But I'll wait behind that church, for the wedding bells to ring.

"You don't think he's really here, do you dad?" I whisper.

I'll wait behind the church, 'till you belong to him.

Charlie doesn't reply.

I'll wait, always, 'till you change your mind.

A lone tear escapes, and I feel it roll tortuously slow down my cheek.

"Garrett loves you, kid," Charlie tells me, and his hand finds mine.

I open my eyes and wipe the tear from my chin. And it should be enough.

And maybe it is.

.x.