First and foremost I would like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for nominating and voting for TDHIRL for a fanfic award. I am completely blown away and am so thankful for the love. I am usual full of words but I don't know if I will ever be able to truly express how much that means to me.

So this is it kids, THE END. I am sad to see it go but am soooo incredibly grateful for all this story has brought me. It has given me friendships that I will forever cherish, confidence in my abilities to actually put something good out into the world that people will read, and helped in my own personal quest to heal.

Shout outs: Wonder Twin, this story means so much more because it brought me you. You helped make this story better, organizing my thoughts to make sense when I couldn't. You are my Wonder Twin, my sister from another mister, and someone I can honestly say I cannot live without. FLOVE YOU LADY. ReFanSM, you have such a beautiful soul and I always enjoy reading your reviews. You are amazing & talented and I am so glad we are friends. My FF Lady Loves, you know who you are, I am sooo happy that you are now in my life. Thank you for all the love, support, and encouragement. You are all AMAZING ladies. DazzledbyRobSpaRKLyHands, thank you for all the love and support! We will always have Forks! jmeec316, thank you for being B&E's officially/ unofficial cheerleader. I smile every time I see your reviews. BFF Kimmie, there are really no words for how much I FLOVE YOU. Thank you. Lastly, to all of you, my readers. Thank you for continuing on this long journey with me. You have given me love, encouragement, courage, and confidence. For taking the time to not only read but review. To have anyone read the crazy shit my brain spits out, let alone actually like it, makes me so incredibly grateful everyday. THANK YOU.

I went back and forth for a long while trying to decide how to end this. I was gonna kill people off. I was gonna pull a JR and make it all a dream. I was gonna have a chose your own adventure. After a talk with ReFanSM, inspiration was struck while in the shower. I figured it out. Enjoy.

p.s. I don't own Twilight

Ch 24

BPOV

5 years later…

"I can't do this anymore… I just can't."

"Are you fucking serious? You're kicking me out?

"Please don't make this harder than it is."

"I… can't…please don't…please. I'm sorry. I'll change. Please don't make me leave."

"I love you. I love Ella Ro…you can't take her away from me!

I woke up with a start. Fucking nightmares. As my eyes finally came into focus I realized I had passed out on the living room floor…again. I peeled myself off the floor and stretched out my stiff muscles.

After realizing the smell of tequila wasn't from a spill, I trudged my way to the bathroom, downed two aspirin and tried to scrub everything away in the shower.

"You're turning into an alcoholic!"

Scrub.

"Stop projecting your mommy issues onto me. It's getting a little old. Just because I enjoy a drink or two after work, doesn't mean I'm an alcoholic. I'm not your mother and you're not my goddamn mother, so stop fucking acting like it!"

Scrub.

I shut off the water. Clearly scrubbing the pain away is not going to work. I step out and wipe the steam collecting on the mirror so I can stare at myself. Wow, I am way past Medusa scary. Pale (check), gaunt (check), purplish eye circles that looked like I got in a fight (check); I should change my name to Powder.

So driving him to drink wasn't enough, you had to throw yourself in there too? Pot calling kettle dontcha think?

'Oh joy, you're back' I said to the voice in my head.

Please B, I never left. You have to have someone that reminds you of what you are.

And what is that?

Hypocrite comes to mind.

I'm not an alcoholic.

Yet. I'm not at all surprised. It's in your blood. Deep down you know as well as I do that you are just like her. Yes, I'm talking about your mother. You should really start putting money away for Stella, you know to pay for her therapy. I'm thinking years, she's gonna need years of it.

"FUCK YOU!" I screamed and punched the mirror.

Shards split off falling into the sink and onto the floor. Instantly I felt something warm and sticky coating my knuckles and looked down at my blood-covered hand. I just stood there, naked, hair dripping with water just staring at my hand and the broken glass that lay around me. It could have been minutes, could have been hours…I really couldn't tell you. Eventually I grabbed the garbage can and started picking up the pieces, not caring if the shards were cutting me more. I welcomed the pain. Pain gave me something to focus on other than the emotions which had been coursing through me these past couple of months. I picked up the last piece, a long and jagged one and turned it over in my bloody hand a few times.

Couple slices and you wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. All that pain will just go away… come on you know you wanna….

I did want the pain to go away, especially the pain in my heart. I wanted to not feel like a failure. I want the longing, the fear, and the anger…to just go away. It would be simple. Then my daughter's face flashed in front of my eyes. Her dark brown ringlets and green eyes. Her dimples when she smiled. A tear fell from my eyes and landed on the shard of glass.

Stella Rose, my little angel. The one person who can make my feel loved no matter how bad I am feeling. She is my reason for being which is hysterical since I never wanted children. Being a mother scared the shit out of me. But carrying her for nine months, holding her right after she was born, playing dress up or painting with her, I couldn't imagine my life without her. The thought of not being there on her first day of school, or her first dance, or her wedding…now that pain was too much to bear. I placed the last glass shard in the garbage.

I may not be perfect but I love my daughter more than life itself. Just thinking about causing my little girl any kinda of pain emotionally or physically makes me fucking ill. There is no way in hell I would ever do that to her. Ever. And that right there proves that I am not my mother. If I were, I wouldn't have cared.

I wrapped a towel around myself and grabbed another for my hand. I needed to sweep up the pieces I couldn't see.

"Isabella Marie Cullen. Where are you?!" I heard someone scream.

Shit. Before I could move, Alice came bounding up the stairs.

"Alice? What are you doing here? Why aren't you in Paris?" I asking, trying to hide my hand.

"Better question, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? I leave for two months and shit falls apart. Why didn't you tell me Edward moved out? Why did he move out? I talk to you at least three times a week Bella. Nothing! I'm supposed to be your best friend! I would have never known if Rose hadn't mention something about going to Forks more now that Edward lives back at home. Silly her thinking that I knew. Do you know how hurt I am?"

"I'm sorry A, I just…"

"Don't give me that, 'I didn't want to worry you' bullshit Bella." Alice said jabbing a finger into my chest.

"Best friends don't cut out major life changes from each other. They support and care for each other. I thought we went over this when your mom died. Didn't you learn anything?"

She paused and I watched her eyes narrow. Suddenly something was being waved in front of my face and Alice's voice went up another octave.

"And another thing, would you like to explain this?" She screeched.

"I…"

I heard her take a calming breath before lowering her voice.

"Is that why Edward left? Are you drinking too much? For God sakes Bella! You worked so hard on not becoming Renee. Why? What about Stella? Do you want her to hate you?" I flinched when she said that. I can't believe she just said that.

"Fuck you Alice. Fuck. You." I said practically spitting in her face.

"How dare you accuse me of being her! I am nothing like her! I'm sorry for not telling you. You're right, I didn't want you to worry. You were in Paris, for god sakes, planning the wedding of your career. So excuse me for not wanting to worry you. I knew you would be on the next flight home to come and help poor Bella who can't manage to keep her shit together! Do you know how bad I would feel if that ruined your career in any way? I would hate myself and I have enough shit on my plate without adding that to the list." I yelled. I reached out and grabbed the tequila bottle from her hand.

"Yes, I drank an entire bottle of tequila over the course of two days because I just couldn't take it anymore. My fucking world has fallen apart Alice. My marriage, my sanity…fucking shot to hell. I just couldn't take the pain clawing at my chest or the sadness and failure I was drowning in. I wanted it all too just fucking stop. I wanted to sleep. Even if it was only for one day. But if you want to call someone an alcoholic then you need to talk to fucking Edward. He is the one who drinks at least three fifths a week. He is the one who punched a hole in our bedroom wall, barley missing my face because he was drunk and pissed off. Not me!" She just stood there eyes wide as continued to rage in front of her.

"Do you know what it's like only getting to see your child three and half days a week? To either only see the man you love through a car window or briefly at the door when you drop off your daughter? To see the sadness, anger and hate is his eyes? Having the only form of communication be fights and having everything that is wrong with you thrown in your face? Only to turn around and have him beg and plead to come home but knowing you can't do that because nothing has changed? To know that part of the reason your husband drinks is because you can't manage to keep your mental health in check, leaving him to pick up the slack on top of trying to run a business. Do you, cause I have and it is fucking torture. So sue me for fucking drowning my sorrows in a single bottle of tequila but don't you EVER excuse me of being Renee. I love my daughter more than life itself and would never, ever do the things that that bitch did to me!" I slid to the floor and started to bawl.

"Oh Bella, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." Alice cried as she wrapped her arms around me, holding and comforting me while I cried.

When the tears finally stopped I pulled away from Alice's embrace.

"I'm sorry Alice. I really am. I'm trying so hard not to go back to that dark place again, I really am."

"No, B I'm sorry. I should never have said those things. I just didn't know what was going on and when I got here I saw the empty tequila bottle on the floor and…" She stopped and grabbed my towel wrapped hand. The once white towel was now spotted for red where the blood had started to seep through

"What happened?" Alice said slowly and calmly.

"My fist may or may not have punch my bathroom mirror. It's cool. I needed a new one anyway." I shrugged pausing to note that Alice must have been seriously pissed off at me if she didn't notice the mirror when she first walked in.

"Isabella Marie Swan!" She said shaking her head. She pulled me onto my feet and started to drag me into the bathroom.

"Be careful, there is still tiny pieces of glass on the floor. I was on my way to get a broom.

"B." She sighed. She stopped in front of the doorway and slowly started to take the towel off of my hand. She gasped as my hand became visible.

"Holy shit B! How have you not passed out? Even I'm getting a lil squeamish."

I laughed. "I have no clue."

" Go get dressed. We need to get you to a doctor." She said making her way into the bathroom.

"Alice, I'll be fine. I don't need a doctor. I need to get dressed and pick up the house before Edward gets here to drop of Stell." Getting dressed with only one hand was tricky so opted to go with one of my long jersey knit dresses and a sweater.

"Don't worry about Stella Rose. I just texted Edward and said you heading there." She called from the bathroom.

"Alice." I started to object.

"No arguments. You need stitches and it just so happens that your father-in-law is an excellent doctor." She came out of the bathroom and frowned a bit once she took in my attire.

"Don't give me that look. I can't really pull on pants or button anything."

"And whose fault is that?"

"The evil bitch inside my head who wouldn't shut the fuck up."

She just looked at me with sad eyes and grabbed my hand, bandaging it up the best she could until we got to Carlisle.

"I really don't think this is a good idea." I said as I got in the car.

"Of course it is. I'm Alice, I'm always right. We need to get my adorable little niece and you need to get your hand stitched up. It's called killing two birds with one stone. Plus this gives us more time to talk. " She said smiling.

I slumped down in my seat as she took off down the street.

"But first." She said handing me her phone. "You need to call Dr. Denali and make an appointment."

I huffed, taking the phone from her hands. I knew she was right. I needed to go back on meds and I needed to start working some shit out…again.

"Can you do me a favor?"

"Anything B."

"I don't expect you not to tell Jaz but can you not tell anyone else what I told you. Please."

"Don't they already know?" Alice said confused.

"They know we separated but they don't know why. I don't want people taking sides because really we're both to blame. Plus, I don't want my father or brother to go to jail and my daughter needs her father."

She stared at me for a long moment then simply said, "Ok."

&*^&^*%&^%

"Mommmmmy! Aunty Alice!" Stella said as she ran out the front door jumping into my arms.

"Hey there lil Peanut." Alice said kissing her on the cheek.

"Well hello my little Ella Ro. How is my beautiful little spawn? Did you have fun with daddy?" I said squeezing her tight, not caring that my hand was throbbing. No matter how bad I feel, having her in my arms always makes it better.

"You know it. We played princess ninjas and pirates and sang karaokadee and played with my monster high dolls." She said bouncing up and down.

"Wow that sounds like you had a blast." I said kissing the top of her head as we walked through the door. Alice smiled at me and headed towards the kitchen.

"Oh no mommy, what happened to your hand? Where you fighting ninjas too? They're sneaky lil bastards."

"Stella Rose! Language. That is an adult word that goes in your adult word bank" I said trying not to laugh. One of the hardest thing about being a parent is trying to discipline your child when they do something that is "wrong" but you find so funny. That and not swearing so much, which for me is soooo hard to do. Hence the adult word bank.

"Damn, I mean darn. Thought I could say that one." She said shaking her head.

God this kid makes it hard. "Nope, in the bank. You can withdraw it when you've come of age." I put her down on her feet.

She turned and saluted. "Yes ma'am." I just shook my head and chuckled silently.

"GRANDPAAAA! MOMMY HURT HER HAND FIGHTING NINJAS!" She yelled through the house.

"We need a doctor." She said attempting a southern accent. I love that kid.

Carlisle and Esme turned the corner.

"Stella Rose, what did I tell you about inside voices?"

"Sorry Grandma. Mommy hurt her hand and she needs Grandpa to fix her up. Dr. Feelgood style." Stella said a matter-of-factly.

"Oh lord. No more Motely Crue for you." Carlisle said shaking his head laughing.

"Bella dear, it's good to see you." Esme said pulling me into a hug.

"We love you and you will always be our daughter. Don't forget that." She whispered in my ear. I swallowed back some tears that where trying to escape.

"Thanks mom." I said kissing her cheek.

"Why don't you come with Grandma while Grandpa looks at mommy's hand. I think the cookies are done."

"Sweet!" Stella said, making a fist pump and running to the kitchen, Esme in tow.

"Why don't we go into my study." Carlisle said placing his hand on the small of me back leading me through the house.

"So ninjas?" He said smiling as he started unwrapping the gauze around my hand.

"Yeah, evil mirror ninja. Sneaky lil bastards." I said with a small smile.

Once he unwrapped my hands he gasped a little bit.

"Mirror ninjas huh." He said cocking his eyebrow.

"Yep. I got in one good punch though."

"I can tell." He pulled out some tweezers and began pulling out the tiny shards of glass that where still stuck in my hand. I sat there, quietly, staring at the painting of Italy on the wall. I only winched when he poured alcohol on my hand.

"I don't know all the details and I don't want too. Frankly, it's no one's business.. I will say he is a complete wreck. He barely eats or sleeps and the only time you see him smile is when he's with Stella." I flinched. Not only at his words but also because he started to stich my hand up.

"She has the effect." I said quietly.

"That she does."

"You're not fairing very well either."

"I'm sorry. I really and truly am. I wish things were different but…"

"You know, Esme and I separated once."

"You did? Edward never mentioned that before." I said taken back a bit, flipping through my memory to try and recall anything.

"I honestly don't think he remembers. He wasn't even two years old. It was during my residency. I was working all the time. If I wasn't working I was either sleeping or drinking to take the edge off all the stress I was under. I barely saw my family and when I did Esme and I would just fight. Then one day I came home to a note that said she took Edward and went to stay with her parents. I was furious of course and didn't understand why or what went wrong. Eventually, after many of difficult conversations, we worked it out. It may have been the hardest time in both our lives but we came out the other side stronger than ever."

"Does Edward know this?"

"He does now. I know my son and I know my daughter. You are both very stubborn and hard headed. But I'll tell you what I told him, the road to redemption starts with a single step and that step is sitting down and calmly talking things through."

"We've tried but every time we just end up yelling and getting no where."

"Well then try again. Try again and again until you can."

Before I could reply the door swung open. Standing there was a frantic Edward.

"Alice said you were hurt. What happened?" Edward said making his way across the room and grabbing my now re-bandaged hand.

Carlisle gave me a knowing look, turned and placed a hand on Edward's shoulder before quietly leaving us alone.

"Mirror ninjas." I replied while staring at the floor.

"Bella."

"Please don't worry, I'm fine." I lifted my eyes to look at him and realized he was standing in front of me.

"You're not fine." He whispered as I stared back into red rimmed eyes.

"Neither are you." I replied running my good hand along the stubble on the side of his face. He hasn't shaven in at least 4 days. His dark circles rival mine and he's lost some weight.

"I kinda like this. " I whispered as I continued to rub the stubble on his face. He closed his eyes and leaned into my hand. We stood like that for awhile taking a small bit of comfort in the contact, neither of us making any move to speak.

"Where did this go wrong MB?" He whispered. I can't remember the last time he called me that. I opened my eyes and looked into his. Those beautiful green eyes that I could get lost in were staring back at me filled with tears. There is no anger or resentment, just longing and sadness, making my heart break.

"What happened to our happily ever after?" He choked out.

I took a deep breath. "Happily ever after is for fairy tales, this is real life and real life is beautiful and ugly, happy and happy, messy…" Perhaps we were taking that proverbial step towards redemption.

"I don't know, somewhere along the way we forgot how to happy, how to laugh… how to love each other and I am sooo sorry for the part I played in that. We can try to get back there… or we can let it go. No matter what we decide, I will ALWAYS love you. You made me realize what it truly felt like to be loved and cherished. You gave me hope and friendship, and above all else you gave me the best gift in the world. Our daughter." He reached up and stroked my cheek.

"I'm sorry too for everything. I love you sooo goddamm much Bella Cullen. I wanna try. For us, for Stella Rose. I miss you. I miss this."

Tears where now streaming down my face. This is the first step. As long as we keep taking it one step at a time, I think we'll be ok.

"Me too." I said smiling before place a small kiss on his lips. "Me too."

**A/N

The End. So whatcha think? I'm not gonna hide under a rock this time, so give me what you got. Real life is messy. There are ups and there are downs. You laugh and you cry. For me and for the story this is the perfect ending. So, make with it what will. They both want to try again, to fix what is bent and broken. Sometimes that works and you become even stronger, sometimes try as you might, it doesn't.

I would like to write a few outtakes, mostly because I'm not ready to let go quite yet. So, tell what you would like to see. Do you want a different perspective on a certain situation? Maybe something that was mentioned but not written out? More Emmett (I love writing Emmett)?

Again, and I honestly can't say it enough- THANK YOU!

HB