Chapter 62: Forever
I know it's been a while. I'm sorry. I aim to finish this story because these characters just flooded me at first and then they stopped.
I found the maitr'd and asked him when I could start. He was really enthusiastic especially when I had given him the play list. Three songs. Three songs talking about my empty life before her and how she has filled that void, with magic, love and so much happiness, sometimes it's hard to breathe.
"Please follow me Mr Cullen, let me announce you, oh, this will set such an amazing tone, especially tonight." He clapped his hands and did a bit of jazz hands afterwards. Broadway was missing one hell of a number, obviously.
I swallowed again and tried to calm myself. Not an easy feat. My hands were sweaty and the butterflies in my stomach just wouldn't let up. I focussed on Bella then. Her smile, her creamy shoulders, the black satin dress, her scarlet lips. Her eyes filled with happiness and mischief, that promising look of many naughty things to follow.
I had to tell her. The scenery was ideal. It's time.
Edward had gone for a while, and I was starting to get worried. At the table, you could cut the tension with a knife. For a minute there, I saw Leah through my old insecure eyes. Jacob wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings, lest he left his phone alone for even a second. I kept sipping at my strawberry daiquiri, waiting for the appetizers to come.
From our table and past the dance floor there was a thick black velvet curtain that hid something. The music faded away, and the maitr'd appeared and took the microphone.
"Hello everyone and welcome to the Space Needle Christmas Eve Extravaganzza! Tonight, we are very happy to host a lovely pianist. A guy that needs to send a very special message, to a very special someone. It is with great pride that I present to you an impromptu session by Mr Edward Cullen."
At the sound of his name, my shoulders stiffened. Maybe it was all these experiences of ridicule, all the embarrassment and bullying I've gone through, being institutionalised in the small community we lived in. This was Edward, however. He loved me and I loved him with an intensity that was hard to even quantify. I relaxed, then and turned my eyes forward.
The spotlight focussed on the curtain, and my stomach got tied in knots. Even Jacob lifted his head, and made the face "oh fuck, here we go". But then Charlie, looked smug and his mischievous 'tache was twitching with excitement. Renee was looking at the stage and her husband gobsmacked. She wasn't in on this. My eyes turned around to the stage. The curtain pulled, and there he was in all his glory.
The floodlight was blinding him but he was looking in my general direction. His smile was a bit nervous, and part of me wished I were on that stage trying to calm him down.
He talked then, with a deep voice filled with emotion; his Scottish accent getting thicker as it did whenever he was nervous: " This wee show has been staged for my darling Bella. I've been trying to find ways to convey the grandeur of the emotions you have evoked in me. But I'm not very good with words, love. So I've let the best of the best of matters of the heart do the talking. Or rather the singing. These are all for you."
And then he sang. With that hoarse, raw voice of his that filled my heart and thoughts. I put my hand to try and calm my racing heart.
The lyrics of Otis Redding filled the room and I saw the closed eyes of the miracle of a man I called my own. For your precious love he sang, and his voice filled my heart. That man had repeatedly healed me. My heart was pounding in my chest. And now, in one of the most romantic sceneries, one of the most heart warming performances, his voice echoed, in the presence of my family, talking of love and loneliness. I was filled with happy tears, and, at that moment not my family, not Jacob, not Leah or Billy could stop me from being with my man.
If one life was all we deserved, I would do the same things again and again, through time, through space just to be with him. But one life was going to be full of this uninhibited feeling that could not cease.
I ran to the stage just as the applause from this first song, started fading. He turned to look at me, a bead of sweat was gathered at his hairline, and I kissed him with all I have. He kissed me back and the room faded for a split second. The room then erupted in applause holler and whistling. I was feeling a bit conscious but then he looked at me with the blinding smile that makes him look like an angel. His happy eyes could not be concealed. His arm was around my back to my waist. He turned to face the audience and respond to the catcalls that could still be heard.
"Thank you all, thank you. This is my Bella. The bravest, strongest, most beautiful and indeed smartest woman I've even met. A woman, that with her heart, her gentle heart has made me the man I am." He started on the piano, singing Stevie Wonder's I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever. His voice echoed in the restaurant, and I looked mesmerised as his eyes closed while he sang.
The audience looked like in some sort of trance. My man was glowing under the floodlight but I knew better, as his energy was emanating through him to capture the entire room. My shivers would not let up. One look into my family and my father and mother were holding each other and looking proudly at us.
This was a moment I could savour. It had an impact on my five senses as if some wire was providing stimuli to my entire body. Memories, like elusive clouds of our lives together seemed to stream like colourful ribbons above our heads. The star, the explosion, our second appearance, Edward's birth, his travels. And somehow I felt the necessity of this. The closure of the Fates' weaving. Something, a breeze seemed to pick up around us, sealing the untold agreement. We were never two.
"Come on let's fall in love, you're the woman I've been dreaming of," got the crowd really going and that broke my reverie.
"Thank you," show business Edward smugly thanked the audience. Silly boy, turned to look at me with the puppy eyes he usually reserves for when he's messed up big time. But in his knowing wink he acknowledged what I'd seen.
"Now this last song, talks about the inevitability of love. When that right person comes into your love, you need to hold on to them through thick and thin. Because, at the end of the day, love is a loving hand in your own. Love is in the small stuff of every day life. It's what will keep you going when you feel like giving up hope. Ma Bella, ma beautiful amazing woman, I cannae help but falling in love wi' ye. Every day a wee bit more."
The tears kept falling, and I was so moved. This love display, so profound, so unexpected had me holding on to Edward's waist to keep myself steady.
His song started, Elvis of course. His voice was deep and velvety. The crowds got quiet again. The music went to my heart. And in that moment, I realised, the perfection that was us. I was not Bella, the depressed. Not Bella, the professional. We were one. A shining star in a dark sky. A beacon. And we would always be.
Edward's song faded into the closing notes. His eyes bore into mine, as he got off the stool. He bowed to the audience for the show of it and the crowd cheered. The next thing I know he was on one knee.
He took out the red velvet case from his breast pocket. He opened it as my hands flew to my mouth.
"Love, this is just another promise. I love you. It seems I have waited for an eternity for you. I don't want to wait any longer. I want to bind my promise to be with you for all time, with this ring. Will you marry me?"
It didn't take a second, before the resounding 'Yes', came as a whisper from my mouth. Edward, took my hand and placed the princess cut yellow diamond ring in my left hand. Somehow, in it, I thought I caught a glimpse of the supernova we once were.
"She said YES!" he said to the entire restaurant and more applause followed.
Just as our lips entwined, in this delirious happy moment, I heard the distinct annoying voice of Jake exclaiming: "Oh, for fuck's sake!" followed by a plate crash.