Twice Upon A Time
Edward and Bella are ex husband and wife, who have been divorced for twelve years. So what happens when one night spent reminiscing on their past makes them realise that they might just want one last fling?
I own nothing, as usual.
Chapter One – Good News, Bad News
I was the tender age of sixteen when I first fell in love. I was seventeen when I got married, and I was eighteen when I gave birth to my first child. I was twenty two when I gave birth again to my second child. I was twenty eight when my husband and I realised we had moved too quickly, and we decided the only option was divorce. Here I am now, at forty years old, and still don't know any better.
"I still don't know why he picked Pennsylvania over Georgetown."
"It's an Ivy League school."
"Benjamin Franklin founded it."
"The grounds are beautiful."
"And most importantly, it was ranked higher than Georgetown."
I scowled at my two best friends, who were meant to be on my side; the two of them were traitors. "Shut up. Both of you."
"Bella, how do I put this delicately? Pennsylvania shits all over Georgetown." Rose said, with a smirk on her face as she twisted her hair around her finger. Alice laughed alongside her, and they clinked their wine glasses together before raising their own wine glasses to their lips.
I did the same, and I noticed that Alice had downed hers completely. I didn't even attempt to hold the words back, as they escaped my lips before I could process it. "Take it easy Alice." I warned her, while a giggle escaped her lips, a good indication that she was taking the alcohol way too far - again.
Rose rolled her eyes dramatically, obviously not letting her worried side show. "Bella, get back on track. Your son is graduating in a couple of weeks. He's finishing up, and then he's in the real world, on his own." I held back a sigh; not this conversation again, which had been parading itself around for the last six months or so. It happened every time we had our wine and cheese nights, every three weeks.
"Please don't make me cry." I said, sniffling. "He really is growing up." I sighed, thinking about how I was when I was his age. God, I would have been five months pregnant with a four year old running around the place. And I was happily married. It seemed like a different life entirely, what with the messy divorce and all.
"He's come a long way. So have you, by the way. You don't give yourself enough credit for that." Alice chimed in. She looked down to her empty glass, bit her lip, and decided to grab the red wine bottle in front of her. Both Rose and I looked at each other knowingly.
"I don't think that's a wise idea, Whitlock." Rose said, taking her glass from her and putting it on the table. Alice tried to act like it bothered her that we badgered her about her alcohol consumption, but all three of us knew better – she was grateful to have us. I helped myself to another slice of camembert and popped it in my mouth. Hello, calories. "Let's recap, anyways. So, it was eighteen years ago that you were twenty two. So you would've been pregnant with little Amelia and four year old Nathan would've been running circles around you." Alice said, disrupting me from my thoughts about how I really shouldn't have eaten that cheese.
"And Edward and I would be married." I added without thinking, with was a completely stupid move. I might as well have walked into a wall.
"Can you not bring his name up?" Alice said, sighing. "Honestly Bella, you said you were over him!" If our lives were a sitcom, this scenario would pop up every two episodes, and sadly, I was partly to blame. Bitter, crazy ex-wife to the gorgeous doctor Edward Cullen realises she brings him up in almost every conversation that said ex-wife has with two best friends.
"I am over him; I'm just saying at that time, we were married. It's been twelve years, and you think I still love him? God Alice, you have had too much to drink." I shrugged nonchalantly, as though it were no big deal, as though it was just a simple statement. Rose pursed her lips together unflatteringly and Alice rubbed her temples.
Rose steps in, and I thank my lucky stars that she knows how to break the ice. "Anyway, you had your two best friends as well, the most important thing in your life at that time, and in the present time."
"And in the future." Alice reminded her, smiling. Rose nodded once. Queue corny "awww" from audience.
"I'm pretty sure, as much as I love you guys, my kids came first. They always will." I said in defiance. That was something that would never change.
The front door opened, which startled all three of us. "Mom, I'm home!" Amelia called out, as the door slammed shut again. She really had to stop slamming doors.
"In here." I called, with a yawn. Amelia peeked into the room and smiled when she saw myself and her two aunts, who although were not blood related, might as well be. After all, Alice and Rose had been around her entire life. "How was school?" I asked, wondering what crazy even she had participated in this time.
"Wasteful." She said with absolutely no emotion, as a teenager should. Rose and Alice took turns in kissing her cheek.
"Good to know the money is going to nowhere then." I said, pouring myself another glass of wine, a somewhat symbolic act – drunk Bella, here we come.
"It's basically the end of school; they aren't making us do anything really. They're more focused on preparation for college." Oh yes, college choices. That was just another thing for me to badger her about.
"And have you made a definite choice yet?" My eyebrows rise, praying she's selected Georgetown or UCLA.
"No. I have to decide by the end of the month. It's impossible." She flops herself down to join us.
"Sweetheart, the answer will come. And if it doesn't work out at college, then travel and see parts of the world, then come back and make your choice. You're a top notch student who excels academically and athletically. Any school would be lucky to have you." I said, smiling at her. Oh my God, my daughter is the female version of my ex husband. Itdoesn'tevensurpriseme.
It was all in front of her, but Amelia was like me – she didn't see things as being straightforward, but instead complicated, plus she over thinks in unhealthy quantities. "You didn't apply for Sacramento state, did you?" Alice asked with concern.
"No, I didn't. Was I meant to?" Amelia asked, looking concerned.
"I know the Dean, that's all. But you don't need connections to help you get in. You've got the brains of your parents combined." Alice said, smiling.
"You've got two of the greatest minds combined into one. I'mjealous." Rose said, and all of us that those words hardly ever came out of her mouth.
Amelia cocked an eyebrow up at her two aunts. "Thanks? Anyway, I'll be down later." She said with a smile, before disappearing upstairs to her room.
"She'll make the right decision." Rose said, comforting me, seeing that I was chewing on my bottom lip. "I mean, she truly is a bright kid."
"I'd like her going to Georgetown, but she's my baby. I want her close to home. I just don't want her to follow in her brother or her father's footsteps and go to Pennsylvania. As great as that school is, I wouldn't want her there."
"You don't trust her as much as you trust Nathan." Alice says – it was a blatant statement.
"Can you blame me? She's an eighteen year old girl. I was eighteen once, and I know exactly how her mind works."
"Yes, but remember you were married and had a baby on the way. Bella, back her up on whatever decision she makes. She might want to spend a year at home, or go away to travel and do university the year after."
"I don't want that to happen." I told my friends. They both looked at me with bemused, puzzled expressions. "I don't want that to happen because the more she sees, the less likely enticed she'll be to complete her education. I know that it might seem stupid to launch into another four years of education after you've finished thirteen years of it, but it would be the wiser option to do it and get it done with."
"Mom, we're out of pop tarts!" Amelia called from the kitchen. I didn't even hear her come down the stairs – Had she heard us gossiping about her? Most likely.
"I'll go shopping tomorrow." I called out to her, making a mental note.
"Bella, she's going to do what is best for her."
"Well, I want her to -"
"- She's going to do what's best for her." Alice said strongly, and I sighed – Alice was good at getting her message across; I just chose not to listen to it the first time. "Anyways, I'm going to go, I will speak to you soon." She said, kissing my cheek. "It's good seeing you again."
"You too Al." I smiled. "Amelia, say goodbye, Alice and Rose are leaving!"
"Bye aunt Alice!" She said, coming into the room and smiling at Alice.
"Best of luck to you Amelia, remember it's your own decision and it isn't up to anyone else." Alice reminded her with a genuine smile and kissing her cheek.
Rose brushed off the invisible crumbs from her jeans and smoothed her shirt, standing up and getting her bag. "I best be off too, everyone is most likely at home, waiting for me to cook dinner." She sighed.
"Get Emmett cooking classes for his birthday." I said, and Rose laughed.
"The last time Emmett cooked, he burnt his eyebrows off. It was shocking. And he only made grilled cheese sandwiches, for crying out loud. I don't know how he did it." She shuddered visibly and we laughed a little.
After I closed the door on Rose, Amelia started to go upstairs. "Where do you think you're going?" I asked, my eyebrow raising. I could immediately tell she was trying to not roll her eyes or stomp her foot at me, in typical adolescent fashion.
"I need to get ready to go out." She said, smiling. When she noticed my face of disapproval, her head rolled back. "Please?" Her father's eyes burned bright and I sighed intently.
"I want you home at midnight."
"One?" She pushed, a cheeky smile on her face that was exactly like my ex-husbands'.
"Twelve thirty and you have yourself a deal." I waved my hands in the air. Now that it was just us two, I found myself letting go a lot more than what I was used to.
"No." I said firmly, but the smile on my face was evident. I saw too much of myself in her.
"One it is." She said with a winning grin.
"Fine, but that means you're on house arrest for the next two weeks."
"Then be home at twelve thirty." I shrugged, smiling as I went into the kitchen and she muttered things under her breath that I couldn't hear. I sighed, looking around my empty kitchen, everything in its place. Was there really nothing I could do around here? I sighed and pulled out the wine – my only friend. I poured myself a glass and sat on the lounge and watched the television for a little while, as it would occupy my boredom, and it meant that I wouldn't be doing any work.
I should be happy. I have two beautiful, smart children who I would gladly give my life for if it meant they kept living theirs. I have a stable, well paying job, a beautiful home, and astounding friends. Why did it feel like something was missing then?
Of course something is missing, idiot. Your love life.
Sure, I had all these things, but I didn't have anyone to share it with. I'm a forty year old woman who fell too soon and too fast, and got caught up in it all. What once sparked had gone stale – or had it?
My thoughts were interrupted by the phone ringing, and me being me, grabbed it on the first ring. Wow - I'm desperate for companionship. "Hello?"
"Bella, is Milly there?" Edward's voice greeted me and I wanted to smack myself in the head. Of course my ex-husband calls when I'm just about to start thinking about our past. No, don't even go there, Bella.
"So no 'how are you' or 'what's up'?" I asked, smacking my palm to my forehead - literally. What the hell was I thinking? It's been a solid twelve years, get over it already. You had eleven years of marriage, it was a good run.
"How have you been?" He asked, no annoyance in his tone, as though he genuinely meant it.
"I'm…fine." I lied, knowing he would pick it up, but not say anything. "And you?"
"Never been better. Is my daughter there?" I wanted to say something insulting to him, but I resisted the urge – I was past fighting with him.
No, I wanted to say to him. It's our daughter – we had her together, and for the first six years of her life, he and I were 'we' and 'us'. "Yes. I'll get her." I said through clenched teeth. I got off the lounge and went upstairs and opened the door. My daughter, my eighteen year old daughter, was looking in the mirror applying whore like make up and wearing clothes that were too raunchy for a prostitute. It was not something I wanted to see, at all.
"What are you wearing?" I asked, my eyes widening in sheer horror.
"This. And can you please knock before you come in?" She asked, taking in my expression. "What's so bad about this?"
"Everything. I sure as hell never wore something like that when I was your age." I raised my eyebrows in disapproval, and then remembered Edward could probably hear everything that was happening. He's probably getting a kick out if, if anything.
"That's because you were pregnant." She muttered, thinking I didn't hear.
"Well, for saying that, you're not going out tonight." I said, shrugging my shoulders.
"Mom, that's so unfair!" She said, her foot stamping, hating that I was abusing my power.
"Nope, you're staying home tonight." I said, then held the phone to my ear. "She'll call you back." I didn't care about his answer; I hung up and held the phone in my hand. "You can't wear things like this. It looks trashy and terrible."
"It's a party mom, you're meant to wear stuff like this. Who was on the phone?"
"Your father, and don't change the subject." I gave her my infamous 'I mean it stare,' and she sighed, giving in. If she was being rational, she knew not to mess with me. I'm her mother, after all. "Is it really necessary to wear clothes like that at a party? You know you wouldn't be able to get away with it."
"Dad would let me."
"No, he wouldn't." Actually, she was probably right. He let her do whatever she wanted – she is his little girl. I'll never be able to understand the weird bond between father and daughter. I had Charlie, sure, but he was usually out working or fishing or parked in front of the television. He was a good dad; we just didn't have anything to talk about. We were never close, although, I did know how much he loved and cared for me.
"I'm calling dad." She said, reaching for the phone, her mood zoning from bad to worse. "I'll stay at his place over the weekend."
I felt appalled. I'm such a monster – I just chased my own daughter away. Well, there goes my nomination for mother of the year… "Why? We can stay in together and watch old movies like we used to." I said, remembering back to when we would watch 'The Philadelphia Story' and 'Singing in the Rain'. Where do the good days go?
Amelia hesitated, knowing that if she declined my offer, I'd pull the guilty mother thing. "We're barely home at the same time – when was the last time us two did something together?" I said softly.
"Ugh, fine. You give me no choice anyways." She said, rolling her eyes, as though spending quality time with me was equivalent to getting the death penalty.
I smiled with a sick kind of triumph and took the phone downstairs and put it back on the receiver. Parenting was easy, as long as you won the argument.
Awww yeah, back with another story! Don't worry, we see a lot more of Edward, and the storyline eventually takes off in the next couple of chapters. I have kind of ripped off the plot from 'It's Complicated,' because let's face it, Meryl Streep owns. Please review your thoughts :)