Disclaimer: I Left Her is based upon Stephenie Meyer's novels: the Twilight Saga. All characters and situations other than my own are sole property of Stephenie Meyer.

14th February, 2003
The Midland Apartments
180 Walnut St., Montclair, NJ 07042
Edward: 21 Bella: 21

Edward had moved, once again, into a moderately expensive apartment in Montclair, New Jersey only recently. He was trying to move on from his life in Forks, Washington and the disaster of his life in LA. New York only brought back memories of long hours in a small coffee shop and hangovers. So far, Montclair had been good for him. He had settled down working at a local library which had good pay and grounded him in a way that working at the coffee store or attempting to sign onto music publishing studio never did. He had even made a few proper friends here. The most surprising was that a couple of them were attractive females and apart from his initial reactions, he hadn't wanted to start a relationship with them. There was Victoria. She was attractive in the way that she seemed dangerous and untamed but spoke and had the manners of any other second grade primary school teacher. Then there was her husband, James. He was a good friend of Edward's and was the reason he had met Victoria in the first place. James also worked at the library – he was superior in position, however – and had the uncanny ability of hunting out rare books from around the world to fill their library. There was then Laurent. He was a very good conversationalist and was unemployed as his parents were extremely wealthy, giving him a large trust fund. He spent his time all over town with many of the women who were crawling all over him and talking to his best friend James, and now, Edward. Lastly, his final friend was the lovely, unattached Mary who, with her shiny brown hair and ethnic skin, had the unattached men of Montclair, and possibly New Jersey, wrapped around her thin, long finger. She flirted with every man, included Edward, but Edward and Mary only considered one another good friends.

So Montclair had been good for Edward, but like it had been for Forks, LA and lastly, New York, New Jersey was beginning to suffocate him. Particularly since it was Valentine's Day and, disregarding his frequent date offers, he was alone. He was not female and so being alone on the prestigious day of love didn't propel him to drinking the night away or telling all his friends about his fiancée who was away on business. But he did feel the sting of his first lonesome Valentine's and, in spite of the friends he had made, he was getting ready to leave New Jersey. These feelings were what led to him first asking his parents about using their money. Esme and Carlisle were cautious at first, telling him that while they were wealthy, they couldn't throw away their money on Edward without knowing that he would eventually settle down. In a private conversation, Esme told her husband that Edward had a lot of energy to shake out before he did make a commitment. At the moment, no matter where he was, he would be itching to leave his home and make new in an entirely new location. So Carlisle, being the logical man that he was – you needed to be as a surgeon – proposed an ultimatum. Carlisle and Esme would give Edward enough money to travel around for as much as a year until he got over this "stage". Then, Edward would be cut off from his parents funds and would be forced to find a proper job, or if he decided to do another college course, a part time job. He would have to officially settle down and perhaps, find his way back home and to Bella, who they secretly hoped would end up with their only son.

Carlisle had talked long and hard to Edward on the phone about responsibilities, calling him and his mother once a week and forced the rule that the first and last place he visited would be Forks. Carlisle then, with a tone he had only ever used when Edward had first skipped town and left Bella, told Edward how he didn't want to be disappointed anymore. The dial tone was the last thing that Edward heard before he dropped his old phone onto the ground. Edward had always felt that he would be disappointing his parents but to hear it, officially, brought a whole new reality to his life. Edward felt his ears ringing and rushed to the fridge where an unopened wine bottle that he got from Bella for Christmas was. Edward had forgotten all about it until he had decided to move from New York and then, when he got to Montclair, he had never found the use of getting drunk. But Edward decided that his mental woes were more than enough excuse to spend the evening in intoxication. He popped the cork but didn't drag a glass out of his neat kitchen, instead choosing to slump at the fridge and drink from the expensive bottle. Edward withdrew his camera from the top drawer of his kitchen and browsed through his photos until he got to the least recent. Having had this camera since he first left high school, there were a few dozen photos of Bella, his Bella.

Smiling, laughing, trying to get away from the camera, angry, pouting, sleeping, waking up, narrowing her eyes, cooking and typing away on her old computer.

Edward drank in the sight of his ex-wife, who he should really be over by now, and then, in a fit of rage – whether from jealousy or sadness or being drunk would never be known – he grouped up all of the photos of Bella and he deleted them.

Are you sure you want to delete the selected files?

Edward took a long drink from the bottle, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and then selected yes.

Because, even though he divorced her, he broke her heart, he had come to realise that to him, their relationship had never been over. Edward had somehow managed, on that lonely Valentine's Day, to burrow into his deepest thoughts and feelings to realise that he was still in love with Bella. And what could he do but watch her begin a new life with a new man? He wasn't quite sure whether or not it was the wine that was giving him such clear focus but Edward now knew that he would never feel better about his life, never settle down, unless he got over Bella.

He told himself that by this he meant that getting over Bella didn't mean sleeping with another dozen women or moving homes again but getting her out of his system. For good. He would have to stop talking to her once a week or watching every one of her interviews because he couldn't get her out of his mind – and heart – if he kept constant tabs on her. He would have to stop all communication until, at least, he knew that he could see her with Jared and be okay with it.

Edward drank deeply until the bottle was empty and reminded himself that he was lucky he had just gotten a year's allowance to travel wherever he wanted.

Ahhh hope you guys are happy with the quick update to make up for the lousy ones. Well, Edward's finally realised he loves Bella.

But, I just want to point this out, what's going on with Leah and Bella? Why is Bella so not sober? What's got everyone so uptight about Leah? Hmmmm, I know the answer but it'll be a while before you do so any theories. And if it seems like Edward's forgotten about Bella's drinking, he hasn't. All shall be revealed.

By the way, my summary stinks. Edward doesn't live in LA for the majority of my story so why did I write it like that. If anyone can think of a good summary, I will send you my next chapter. If you don't have an account but have a summary, also write your email.

Okay, thank you again.

Please review :)