Epilogue

Same old shit, just on a different night
She grabs the gun, she's had enough
Tonight she'll find out how fucking
Tough is this man
Pulls the trigger just as fast as she can
Never Again

Seen it before, but not like this
Been there before, but not like this
Never before have I ever
Seen it this bad
She's just a woman
Never Again

(Nickelback)

I touched the glass that protected the picture of James and I. I tried to remember feeling anything for him but hate. I reached deep inside of me and searched for a sad feeling. Remorse. Guilt. Anything. I found nothing but relief. My bruises had finally healed for the last time, and the only mark I had left were the scars you could only see in certain light.

I added the picture to the bin and wiped my hands. That was the last of it. Rosalie came around the corner and smiled at me, taking the box outside with the rest.

Rosalie, my best friend, my savior. She faced no charges thanks to Jasper and Alice showing up to my house shortly after she did. Alice witnessed Rosalie saving my life and his death was defined as defense. He had no family, so no questions were raised. Rosalie got the bragging rights of saving my life, not that she'd use them against anyone but Emmett. Poor Emmett who was still heartbroken he wasn't the one who got to exact justice for me.

I took one last glance around the empty house and smiled to myself. I wasn't sure why I'd wanted to pack any pictures of James last, but now I knew. I have perfect closure on this place. This house. This life. It's over, in every sense of the word.

A horn honked twice from outside. I walked to the front door and stepped out, without looking back.

Rosalie threw the last bin straight into the trash instead of into the Uhaul truck. Alice and Jasper were also outside, having just finished helping me with the rest of the house. Jasper being a therapist and Alice being a social worker, they had plenty to talk about. Not to mention the sexual tension was thick enough to suffocate anyone standing in a ten foot radius. They'd been inseparable since the night they met.

"You out, Bella?" Rose asked, holding onto Emmett like he was holding her together. I knew she'd die before she's let us see her cry.

I rushed into them both, hugging them at the same time.

"Yeah, I'm out. You know it's only a few hours though, right?"

She nodded and blinked away her tears.

I squeezed her hand and went to say my goodbyes to Alice and Jasper.

Alice hugged me tight and promised to visit, we both knew that we had a friendship to develop and that we wouldn't be rid of each other anytime soon.

Jasper just grinned and nodded at me. He knew we'd see each other before I saw anyone else.

I felt a pair of warm arms encircle me from behind. I closed my eyes and let my head fall back against the hard chest behind me.

"Ready?" my favorite velvet voice asked me.

"More than I'll ever be." I turned around to face him.

His green eyes were always soft now, since the day he woke up in the hospital with me curled up in his bed next to him.

He took one look at me and knew it was over. And I'd answered the question before he asked. I wanted him, more than I'd ever wanted anyone.

Today I was leaving Seattle, selling my house and moving to Forks with Edward. I had a few interviews lined up there, thanks to Edward, and an apartment waiting for me. He asked if I wanted to move in with him, but I was a little excited about the prospect of living alone for awhile. He understood.

I knew now that it would take me a while to be back to normal. Whether I liked to admit it or not, James had left an invisible mark on me that took a little longer to heal than I wanted. Good thing my boyfriend is a renowned therapist.

He gave a polite nod to my friends and rolled his eyes at Jasper. We both knew why he was taking a few days off and staying in Seattle longer than it took to help me load up the house.

Like a gentleman, Edward opened the passenger side door of the Uhaul, and offered his hand to help me in.

"After you, Miss Swan."

I smiled and took his hand.

"Thank you very much, Cullen."

He closed the door and climbed in the driver side. Without an ounce of regret, I watched the last three years of my life grow smaller in the rearview until finally, it was gone.