Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

EPI….

Forgiveness. Forgiveness was a foreign concept for me, but one I was getting used to. It was hard after leaving Bella's house that night to know that there was no going back between us. IT was hard to actually realize how badly, how deeply I had hurt her during our failed marriage, but what was worse was realizing how good it could have been. It could have been perfect. It could have been amazing. It could have been all I ever needed, but I was never one to happy with perfection or anything else really.

Bella's words from the night continued to haunt me for weeks after I left Seattle and her behind.

I love you so much, Edward. So much that I want, no need, you to be happy. I need to know that you're ok, Edward since I can't be ok if you're not.

I never wanted her to not be ok because of me again. I never wanted to be the reason she cried ever again so I took her words to heart. I tried to be happy. I tried to find things in my life to honor her request. I traveled. I taught. I worked. I did all these things in hopes of finding that all allusive happiness that just seemed to be out of my grasp.

Seth would come around and with him came Emily who would whisper things to be about Bella. She knew I wanted to know if she was happy and Seth would never tell me. He would never betray his mother like that, but Emily would take pity on me and tell me a few things about the woman who haunted my dreams like her business was thriving and what trips her and Riley had taken. She would assure me that Bella was happy, and sometimes that was I needed to hear to continue on my quest of self happiness.

It was on one night after a random phone call from Bella that I was now thrilled to receive that I met Heidi. She was a divorcee from the suburbs who left her husband after a torrid affair with a younger man. She was fierce. She was angry. She was guilt ridden and I understood that guilt better than anyone else since it was guilt of knowing that you had it all threw it away over nothing.

It took over a year for us to move beyond the unlikely friendship we had and even when we did make that move it was more out of need to satisfy an itch than an emotion. The emotion came later and when it did it was nice. It wasn't the all consuming love that burned in me for Bella, but instead it was this quiet flame that warmed me on cold nights and burned bright when I was in her arms. It wasn't what I wanted, but it became what I needed and that was all that I had determined would matter.

Bella was one who was always right and it was no different in this aspect. Happiness was something I needed to find without her and I was glad that I had even though in my pursuit of finding me I had lost her. I had lost my Bella while looking for myself. I had lost her, yet found a happiness that made me smile each morning that I awoke. I had lost her and that was the only thing that hurt in the quiet moments of the day. It was in those quiet moments that Heidi left me alone since she knew that pain as well over her own loss.

"You ok?" I heard Heidi call to me, pulling me out of memories of rainy days and warm brown eyes that were thousands of miles away most likely surrounded by her husband and a daughter that was not mine.

"Yeah, I'm good, sweetheart," I replied with a grin as I blinked my eyes to clear the hazy memories to focus on the woman who was my present and future.

AN:

Thanks for reading! Yeah, I know this is not the ending some of you wanted, but this was the ending I saw for them so…..

Until later…

Take care,

Mamasutra

xoxo