This story was started because of the song that shares its title.

I heard the song and thought it would make a good story.

I have quite a few chapters already written and will post them daily or as I can.

The Way We Were

Memories
Light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were

Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me - Would we? Could we?

Memories
May be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget

So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were

The way we were

Chapter 1: Do you remember?

~ Bella ~

"Bella, stop tapping."

"Huh… what?"

"That tapping… it's annoying."

"Oh sorry."

I didn't realize I had been tapping my pen on the tray that was open in front of me as I sat on a plane. My nerves were shot and being on the plane for so long was getting to me.

It was October and I was on my way to Forks Washington, a place I had not been to in 10 years. I was flying from New York City to attend my father's funeral. My dad had succumbed to liver disease after a four-year battle. I guess one too many Vitamin R's could contribute to that. In the past 10 years I had only seen my dad a handful of times and that was when he came to see me.

After my parents divorced when I was 17, I was mad at my dad for not fighting to keep me with him. He knew I didn't want to move to Florida with my Mom, but he just let me go. After that, my relationship with my father was estranged. My whole world was ripped out from under me and he didn't do a damn thing to stop it.

The last six months of his life, he spent in a nursing home in Seattle, where I made sure his medical bills were paid. I only saw him twice in that time, the last time being just one week before he died. During that last time, I told my father that I had forgiven him for letting me go. I was finally able to let all my anger go because I was in a good place in my life.

I was living in New York City where I was a science teacher at one of the best private high schools in the city and I had a great fiancé who loved me.

Riley and I had met in my last year of college at NYU where he was studying for his MBA at the time. I transferred to NYU in my junior year from Florida State. He was a great guy, born and raised in NYC and he came from a great family. After two years of dating, Riley asked me to marry him and we were planning for a summer wedding,

I looked over at Riley who sat next to me on the plane. I smiled at him as he typed away on his laptop. He was an attractive man, 29 years old, slightly taller than me with a modest build.

Riley was in his final year at law school. After getting both his undergrad and MBA at NYU, it was time for Law School. Sometimes I thought, Riley was never going to be done with school, but he had to carry on with the Beers Family legacy. Every male in his family were lawyers, so it was expected of him.

I knew he was going with me to Forks because he felt obligated. His time was mostly spent on his schoolwork and it was hard for him to get time off. Most nights I'd spend alone in our apartment while he was at school working on a paper or a mock trail, so when he offered to come with me, I was happy, even though I knew it wasn't for the right reasons.

I looked down at the five-caret square diamond ring that sat on my left hand. On each side of the solitaire, were two one-caret diamonds, the whole ring rest in platinum. It felt like it weighed 100 pounds, it wasn't me at all, but Riley wanted everyone to know I was his and this is how he showed it off. He did it with a ring that cost more then my college education. Riley came from money and he used it in place of real emotion and as a means of status. He was raised the complete opposite of me. I twirled the ring around my finger; it was suddenly starting to feel very uncomfortable.

My mind wandered back to my life in Forks. I had lived there my whole life. I had friends and a boy I loved. It was the perfect life any 17 year-old girl could ask for, until my Mom decided she didn't want to be married to my dad anymore and pulled the rug out from under me.

"My Mom is making me move… we can't be together anymore."

"Bella wake up, we're landing."

My eyes sprang open as I heard my own words in my head from 10 years ago followed by Riley's. I straightened up in my seat and fastened my seatbelt. We were descending into Seattle and then we had an hour drive to my father's house in Forks.

Riley drove the rental car from the airport to Forks. I sat in the passenger seat in silence, as I looked at the town I once called home.

"I can't believe you lived in the Podunk town."

I looked over him and knitted my eye browns together.

"Yeah, well… it was home."

When we pulled up to my father's house, I was overcome with emotion. I spent the first 17 years of my life in that house and it hadn't changed at all. Riley and I walked to the front door and I used my key to unlock it. Once inside, my eyes shifted from side to side taking it all in. My Dad didn't change a thing inside the house. My eyes fixated on the staircase.

"I'm gong to use the bathroom, I'll be right down." I said to Riley as I walked up the stairs.

I slowly approached the closed door that led to my old bedroom. I took a deep breath, opened the door, and walked inside. It was exactly the way I had left it all those years ago. My purple comforter still on the bed, an old sweater I left hanging on the chair, and pictures I left on my dresser. I walked over to the dresser and looked at the pictures. One was of my best friend in high school Jessica and I another one of me, Jessica, her boyfriend Mike, Angela and Eric. And the last picture gave me a lump in my throat. The picture was of my high school sweetheart and I. Even to call him that was minimizing what he was to me, what he meant to me. I traced his face in the picture as a single tear fell from my eyes as I remembered the day my life changed.

Ten years earlier

I came in through the front door of my house from school. It was a Friday and I was so looking forward to the weekend. I had plans to double date with Jessica and Mike; it was going to be a blast. When I opened the door all I heard was screaming.

"I'm done Charlie!"

"Come on Renee we can talk about this, don't be so dramatic."

"No what's dramatic is staying in the god forsaken town. I'm done, it's been too damn long."

My blood ran cold as I heard my parents shouting at each other. I dropped my backpack and walked into the kitchen.

"What's going on?" I asked.

"We're leaving Bella." My Mom announced.

"What do you mean leaving?" I cried.

"We're moving to Florida… your father and I are getting a divorce."

"What?" Tears spilled from my eyes. "Daddy?"

"I'm sorry Bells, but this is what your mother wants."

"I'm not moving!" I shouted.

"Yes you are Bella, this is not open for discussion. We're leaving and that is final."

"I don't want to, if you want to move Mom, then move, I want to stay here with dad."

"That is not possible." My mother spat. "You're coming with me."

"Dad… please let me stay with you." He said nothing. "Dad please!"

"Do as your mother says Bells."

"No!" I shouted as I ran up the stairs to my bedroom, slamming the door.

Once I was in my room, I climbed out of my window and ran with all my might to the one place I felt safe.

Edward.

When I got to his house, I was so out of breath from running. His house was only a few blocks away but I was so worked up that I started gasping for air. I had to sit down on the porch to catch my breath but at that same time, my tears poured down my cheeks.

"Bella?" He said from the front door and then he saw that I was crying and he rushed to my side. "What's wrong?"

"Just hold me please."

I flew into his arms as he sat on the porch next to me. I sobbed into his chest as she smoothed my hair.

"Baby please tell me what's wrong."

I looked up at him as my tears continued to fall.

"When… I got home from school my parents… were fighting. They were screaming at each other and… my Mom told me she's leaving my dad."

"Oh baby, I'm so sorry."

"That's not all of it… she told me she's leaving Forks to live in Florida and… she's taking me with her, Edward."

"What, she can't."

"I don't have a choice, she's making me go and my Dad isn't stopping her."

I fell back in his arms and cried. He held me close to his body and stroked my back.

"It's going to be okay Bella. We'll figure this out."

Edward was my boyfriend and my best friend. We had known each other since his family moved to Forks when he was 13. We instantly became friends when we met in science class as lab partners. A few years passed and we became much more then friends. He was my world and I was his, we shared everything together. We were each other's first kiss when we were 15 and when we were 16 we lost our virginities to each other. We had a bond so tight, I thought it could never be broken.

"My Mom is making me move. We can't be together Edward. There's nothing to figure out."

"I don't believe that and neither do you Bella. We can get through this if we stick together. I love you and I'm not going to let you go."

"I love you too Edward."

But we couldn't figure it out. There was nothing we could do to stop all of this from happening. Before we knew it, it was the night before I was moving to Florida. I had told my parents I was going out with Edward, Jessica, and Mike, but the truth was Edward and I were spending our last night alone. His parents, brother and sister had all gone on a camping trip. Edward told his parents he didn't want to go because it was my last night, so they allowed him to stay back.

I got to Edward's house and we were lying on his bed in his room just holding each other. We were silent for a while but then he spoke.

"I don't know how to let you go Bella," he stated to sob. "Please promise you'll write or call. I mean you'll be 18 in eight months, you could come back then."

"Edward, there's no way for us to stop this," I said. "Please, we can't make promises now that we don't even know if we can keep. I don't know how to let you go either, but what choice do we have?"

"I hate this, it's not fair. I love you so much."

"Show me," I said as I moved closer to him. "Please Edward show me how much you love me…one last time… please."

A tear fell from his eye as he pulled me close to him and kissed me. He pressed me down on the mattress and moved so he was on top of me. Our clothes were shed and when he entered my body we both cried. Tears spilled from our eyes as we made love for the last time. It was beautiful and painful in the same moment. I loved him with all my heart, but I knew this would be the last time I would be in his arms, the last time I would feel his hands on my body, the last time his lips would kiss mine.

After he had fallen asleep, I got out of bed and got dressed. I reached inside my bag and pulled out an envelope. I held it to my heart and then left it on the pillow I once lay on. I bent down and lightly kissed his cheek as he lay sleeping.

"I love you, goodbye." I whispered and then I was gone.

"Bella, what are doing up here?"

Riley's voice snapped me out of my memories. I looked up at him and then back at the picture I held.

"Sorry, I was just… it doesn't matter." I said as I placed the picture back on my dresser.

"Who's that?" He asked.

"Just some old friends from when I lived here, " I said. "My dad kept this room just as I left it all those years ago."

"That's nice. Come, we have to take your dad's suit to the funeral home."

We left the house and went to the funeral home. I handed the undertaker the suit I had picked out for my father, but opted not to see him. I didn't want to remember my father lying in a coffin. It was bad enough the last time I saw him he was so small and so frail.

After the funeral home, Riley and I decided to get a quick bite to eat. Riley informed me he had some work to do and wanted to be back at the house early.

When we arrived back at the house, Riley went to right to his work and I was going out of my mind with being back in Forks. I needed some time to myself and I needed some fresh air.

"I'm going for a walk," I announced as I walked into the kitchen where Riley had his laptop set up. "Go to bed if you want, I'll be back later."

I didn't give him a chance to respond. I grabbed my coat and left the house. I found myself walking down Main Street. Forks was a small town and Main Street was still the highlight of the town. I was so lost in my thoughts when I heard my name.

"Bella?"

I turned around and there I saw one of my old friends.

"Jessica? Jessica Stanley?" I said.

"Well it's Newton now, but yeah. Oh my god, Bella!"

She ran up to me and we embraced. It was so good to see her.

"Newton, as in Mike Newton?"

"The one and only," she replied.

I looked her over and instantly could see there was more of her. "Oh my god, Jess, you're pregnant!"

"Yeah I am," she said as she rubbed her belly. "About six months."

"Congratulations, that's so great."

"Thank, we're really hap – wow Bella, you're blinding me with your ring." She said as he grabbed my hand. "I didn't know you were engaged."

"Oh yeah, but I want to hear more about you." I said as I snatched my hand back from her hold hoping to change the subject.

We walked over to a nearby bench and sat down.

"How long have you and Mike been married?"

"Going on two years now. I wanted to send you an invite, but I didn't have your address in New York and I didn't want to ask your dad – oh Bella, I'm so sorry about your dad."

"Thanks, it's been a little hard since we didn't have the best relationship, but I think in the end we made peace. Its so weird being back in Forks."

"How long has it been?"

"Ten years."

"Wow, hard to believe it's been that long," she paused. "So tell me about your fiancé?"

"Oh um—Riley. Yeah he's great."

"Just great, that's it?"

"He's a good man, he's actually back at my Dad's house working. He's in his last year of law school so he's really busy."

I couldn't avoid the subject anymore.

I had to know.

"Uh—Jess is… does Edward still live in town?"

"I was wondering if you were going to ask about him." She said. "Yeah Bella, he's still here. His parents retired and moved to San Diego and Edward and Emmett kept the house here. Emmett got married about four years ago to Rosalie."

"Is he… married?"

"No, Edward is not married. However, he's been with this one girl on and off for a while now, I can't keep up with him sometimes. I'm not sure how serious it is though. Mike has basically stopped asking him about her because it changes with the wind. Have you seen him at all?"

"No—I haven't seen or talked to him since the day I left him all those years ago. I told him not to contact me because it would be too hard. I guess he agreed with me, because I never heard from him either. So Mike and Edward are still friends, that's good."

"Yeah they make it a point to hang out at least once a week… you know boys night. I think Mike is milking it more now cause he knows he might not get the chance every week once the baby is born."

"I'm glad they're still friends, that's good for Edward." I said as I wiped a single tear from my eye.

"Listen Bella… I'm not sure if I should tell you this, but Edward was a wreck for a long time after you left. He missed a lot of school, almost didn't graduate, it was bad for a while."

I started to cry.

"I never meant to hurt him, I just—" I trailed off. "I guess it doesn't matter anymore. He's moved on, as he should have. I'm sure he hates me."

"He doesn't hate you Bella, and I'm not sure he ever completely moved on. He and Mike went out the other night for a drink and Mike told me Edward felt really bad about your dad. I'm not sure he could ever hate you, Bella. He's still Edward. I'm sorry Bella, I didn't mean to make you cry."

"It's okay, I've been doing that a lot lately. Edward would have every right to hate me," I looked at my watch. "I should get back, I'm sure Riley is wondering what happened to me."

"Okay Bella, well Mike and I will see you tomorrow at the funeral."

"It was great seeing you again Jess. I'm sorry so much time has gone by. I hope I can still call you my friend?"

"Of course you can," she got up from the bench and hugged me. "Please don't be a stranger anymore Bella."

"I wont, I promise." I said. "I'll see you tomorrow."

I left Jessica and started to walk back to the house. But when I was supposed to turn left at the street that intersects my dad's house, I turned right. The next thing I knew I was at the driveway of the Cullen house. I didn't know how I got there and I sure as hell don't know I got on the front porch. There were cars in the driveway so there was a good chance he was home.

I rang the doorbell.

As soon as I did it, my heart pounded in my chest.

What was I doing?

I just can't show up on his doorstep after ten years and—the door opened.

Do you ever wonder where
We would be if we'd have tried
A little harder?
It seems like yesterday
That we were making plans
For the future
But it's been so long
Since I have mourned the dreams
Those dreams we've left abandoned
And I'm haunted by your face
And the memory of your kisses
Sweet kisses

There he was.

My Edward.

He looked older, but still had his boyish face. He was exactly how I remembered him to be. He was in jeans and a white V neck t-shirt and he was barefoot. His piercing green eyes locked with mine in shock. I felt my eyes start to fill with tears.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have come." I said.

And then I turned to run down the driveway as tears violently spilled from my eyes.

"Bella!" he yelled after me. He ran down the driveway after me in his bare feet and when he caught up to me, he grabbed my arm jerking me back to face him. "Please—stop."

His hand on my arm sent chills down my spine.

"You're here?" He said.

"I just-I… needed to see you… I'm… sorry…I—"

Do you remember?
I still remember so much
I remember never feeling so alive
Do you remember?
I still can't forget your touch
We swore that we would never end
We knew our love transcend space and time

Our eyes locked again as my tears continued to fall. Without any warning or hesitation, he pulled me in his arms and kissed me. Our lips met for the firs time in 10 long years. My arms were around his neck and then in his hair as his arms wrapped around my back pulling me closer to him. I could feel the whole length of his body against mine. His tongue slipped in my mouth and I instantly opened up to him, as we tasted each other.

He tasted as I remembered.

I never forgot his taste.

I moaned into his mouth as he pulled me closer.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that." He said, as he pulled back breathless. "I don't know what the hell just happened." He raked his hands through his hair. "Bella… how…."

More tears fell from my eyes.

"I don't know how I got here," I said cutting him off. "I went for a walk and somehow… I ended up on your porch."

"How did you know I was still here?"

"I just ran into Jessica… she told me you still lived her." I wiped at my face. "I'm sorry, I had no right to just show up here like this."

"It's okay Bella, its nice to see you again."

I smiled. "You too Edward."

"I was really sorry to hear about Charlie."

"Thank you, I appreciate that."

He took a step closer to me.

I didn't move.

"Bella…I—"

And then his eyes dropped to my hand. He took my left hand in his and my heart sank when I realized he saw my ring.

"Congratulations."

"Edward—"

"No, don't." he said cutting me off. "Maybe you're right… you shouldn't have come here and I shouldn't have kissed you. It was clearly very wrong."

As memories slip away
The ghost of what we were
Is fading
But there is no more pain
Which is funny 'cause that night
I was dying. I was dying
Now I don't even recognize
The girl I swore that someday
I would marry
But I can't forget her face
And I can't forget her kisses
Sweet kisses

He let go of my hand and walked back up the driveway. Leaving me alone like I had done to him 10 years earlier.

Do you remember?
I still remember so much

I remember always feeling so alive
I remember never feeling so alive
Do you remember?

I still can't forget your touch
We swore that we would never end
We knew our love transcend space and time

Do you remember?

How we swore we'd never be alone
God I remember so much

"Where have you been?" Riley asked as I walked into the house.

"Out. I told you I was taking a walk." I spat.

"That was over two hours ago Bella!" He shouted.

"You're not my father Riley! In case you've forgotten, my father is dead and I have to burry him tomorrow!" I yelled and then turned towards the steps.

"Bella I'm sorry," he said with a lower voice.

"Just leave me alone!" I stomped up the steps.

When I was back in my old bedroom, I slammed the door shut and fell on the bed.

After a while, I heard Riley come in the bedroom and lie down next to me on the bed.

I pretended I was asleep.

~ Edward ~

What the fuck?

After 10 years, Bella shows up on my doorstep looking ever so beautiful and I kissed her.

I fucking kissed her!

I couldn't help myself, she was at my door looking back at me with her big brown eyes, and something just took over me.

She tasted so fucking good.

My head hurts.

But then when I saw her ring, I felt the pain of losing her all over again. She was engaged to another man, but she kissed me back. I was so confused.

And I knew I was in big trouble.

In more ways than one.

Fuck

I threw myself on my bed and my mind went back to the morning she left me.

Ten years earler

I woke up with a knot in my stomach because I knew Bella was leaving today. My eyes flew open and I turned over to find my bed empty.

"Bella?" I called out.

No answer.

The mattress was cold.

Ice cold.

I looked around the room and then my eyes fell to the pillow where she was. An envelope with my name written on the front in her handwriting

Edward

I took the envelope in my hands and slowly opened it. I felt a lump in my throat as I removed the letter from inside the envelope. I dind't need to read it, my heart already know what it said. I read it anyway.

When you wake up and find me gone, don't think I meant to hurt you. Please understand I just did what we both knew I had to do. I'm trying so hard to make it through this but my heart is broken. Please realize how hard it is for me to do this, but there's just no other way and I couldn't bear to see your heart break. So while I can find the strength, I'll say goodbye for the two of us. I will always remember the love we shared and I will take it with me. I want you to move on with your life and find someone new. Please don't contact me because it will just to be too hard. As hard as it is to leave you, I know it is better this way for both of us. I will always love you.

Goodbye,

Bella

It felt as if my heart was ripped out of my chest.

She had left.

She left me.

After all this time together, she left me a letter to say goodbye.

How could she do that to me?

"Dude, who the fuck was at the door?"

Emmett's voice sapped me out of my memories.

"Uh—Bella."

"Bella? Bella Swan?"

"No fucker, Bella Smith… of course Bella Swan."

"Whoa okay man, cool it. I never would have guessed that."

"You and me both," I said.

"What did she want?" Emmett asked.

"I don't know we didn't get that far. I kissed her and then I saw her—engagement ring."

"Wait—what? You fucking kissed her? She's fucking engaged?"

"Yes and yes."

"Tanya is not going to be happy that you kissed Bella, Bro."

"Tanya is least of my concerns man."

"That may be true, but dude, does Tanya know that?" Emmett asked. "Never mind, but seriously, are you still going to go to the funeral?"

"I have to and so do you! Mom and Dad will be here in the morning. It's the right thing to do no matter how fucked up this is."

"Fucked up is right Edward." Emmett said. "It's been 10 years and if I didn't know you any better, I'd swear you were still in love with Bella."

And with that, he left my room.

Fuck help me…

I knew he was right.

This one made me more nervous to post them the others!

I hope you all liked it so far!

Interested in more?

~ Amber

Song credits for CH1:

"The way we were" by Barbara Streisand

"I remember" by Stabbing Westward