A/N: Please be nice. First attempt at something like this. Ish. Thanks for readin :)

Longer A/N at the end. Beware.

Twilight = Not mine.


"It has been said that 'Time heals all wounds.'" I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

-Rose Kennedy

Prologue

It's cold and dark, the air damp and smelling faintly of motor oil, and I would turn on the light if I knew where it was, but I can't see shit. I make my way through the gray shadows of the garage, the booming music and chatter of the party muted here in the dimness that acts as a bubble. The distorted peace makes me feel like I'm underwater, the real world above and moving while I sit on the floor and watch the rippling figures, an anchor in the sea.

I don't want to break the surface.

There are too many thoughts in my head, cramming together like an overcrowded high school hallway, clamoring students in small spaces, and each and every one of them is me.

And just as I start relishing in the garbled quiet of water in my ears, the sounds come tumbling back in, amplified and sharp; shitty modern music and laughing and beer bottles clinking. Intruder. The sounds are back to being sealed just as fast as they were let loose, the person having shut the door, but I can hear them walking around in the dark and whatever peace I was clinging to is now interrupted, which pisses me the fuck off.

I grit my teeth and my eyes snap open as I turn around, preparing to tell this bastard that barged in to go back to the party and leave me the hell alone. "There's someone in he—"

And my throat catches my voice like a Venus flytrap snapping shut, my breath having jumped.

He stands there, all shadowed and pale, forearms and knees the most visible. And his face.

His face.

It's stunned, as if his eyes do not believe the sight before him, and I'm one to speak because I can hardly stop from pinching my own arm myself because what the actual fuck.

We are silent and staring, puzzled and awkward, and the tension is so thick, it chokes me.

I always pictured this moment differently.

I would never admit, of course, that I pictured this moment period.

But I did. In those creeping nights of lonely desperation, when I woke from dreams and nightmares filled with his face and yearned for his presence so bad it hurt to breathe, when I caught the glimpse of an old photograph I hadn't thoroughly disposed of, when I let my mind wander and wonder and tread the dangerous waters that were my thoughts of him.

I knew I could drown. And yet I dove.

I thought of my words, my posture, my facial expressions, of my ferocity as I hurled words at him. I thought of if his hair would look different, if he'd be different, if I'd be different. Healed.

And now I know the answer. A mental smirk slaps against my mind, condescending and cruel as I internally shake my head at my own stupidity.

Silly Bella. Thinking you were healed. Can't you see the wound, gushing forth with blood just as red and fresh as the day he cut you, two years ago? It pulses, deep in my gut, the beat matching my heart.

I feel foolish and embarrassed, exposed in the darkness with him here with me and why is he here and why am I and there is no more we.

"I didn't…Alice said you were at home," he says, low and deep and indisputably familiar, making me gulp against the homey feeling growing warm in my chest at the voice I'd spend hours trying to get out of my head.

Say something, say something, say something. Something.

My eyes find his shirt because I can't stand looking at his face and the too-easily recognizable furrows and quirks of his features that give away everything I've tried to forget.

"I…" My voice hangs there, limp, discontinued. What is there to say?

He was my friend. My other half. My confidante, kindred spirit, whatever the fuck you want to call it. He was my…He was mine. Soul mate, best friend, lover, the crazy glue that kept me sane, anything and everything, he was it.

And naturally, everything was taken, ripped from me, sliced and torn away when he left.

When he left.

Gone.

"Bella?" he breathes, and only then do I realize I've closed my eyes, a habit I took to whenever painful memories seeped through to my brain, images and sounds, the past slashing the present.

My eyes snap open and I fight a flinch at the jade intensity staring back at me, wondering and wondrous.

"What are you doing here?"

And my knees wobble at the accusation in his words, the confusion in his eyes. Pain stabs at my chest, making my exhale shakier than I'd like because what are you doing here, Bella, in the dark with your past, the star of your memories, dreams, nightmares?

But no.

He. He's the one whose presence needs to be questioned.

And my back is straightened as my forehead furrows, shaky strength surging through my bones. "No."

He has the decency to look somewhat fazed.

"What are you doing here? Edward?" Sugar-laced acid on my tongue when his name is pushed through my teeth, the sound foreign and welcome.

I used to say it out loud; to the air, to my walls, to my ceiling, screamed it to the sky on my knees. A curse.

Now, with him standing before me, his body so thick with existence, his name coated with my breath, it's not so bad as before.

Before.

And the memories come like a freak storm, deceiving blue skies breaking apart for the rushing thunder and harsh gray rain. My mind fights against itself, trying to stop them from coming, but the drops of reminiscence are already pouring.

Pitter-patter.

Hushed laughter in the library, sneaky glances in Biology, hands held in the cafeteria, whispered promises in the driveway, words that float through the air and weigh me down as he tells me "Always, Bella, always."

Pitter-patter.

Too eager and too cramped, breath against my face, eyes and throat and lips kissing, sucking, reverent, fingers trailing, trailing, weaving, holding, wrapping, marking me as his, him as mine. Mine.

Pitter-patter.

He smiles in the sun, rosy cheeks and freckled nose, swinging legs from the branches, and the pesky feeling rises again as I watch him from the ground, and I push it down, down, until it's under my feet and I smash it, thoughts chanting: friend, he's a friend and nothing more, never anything more and don't let yourself fall because it takes too much to get back up.

Pitter-patter.

Pitter-patter.

The downpour continues behind my eyelids, which are bone dry.

"Bella?" And it's the second time he's said my name.

It makes my heart beat slower and faster at the same time, eyes closing. Savor. Deflect. Relax. Flinch.

He makes a sound and I open my eyes to the sight of him taking a step closer.

I want to extend my arms.

And slap him.

Caress him.

Laugh. Cry. Smile. Frown. Accept. Deny. Kiss. Bite.

I want him near and far and his eyes open and shut and to push him away and drag him forward and to take his hand and squeeze too tight and kick his shins and questions flood my brain, along with accusations, sweet mingling with bitter and why is he here?

"I need to go," And I move past him with my eyes on the floor, the slight ruffle of contact when I pass him enough to make me want to pull him closer and cringe at the same time.

He doesn't follow, or maybe he does and I can't hear because it's too loud again as the garage door opens to the party, bright, flashing, booming and jarring.

I don't see faces, I only see the front door as I run through it, fingers fumbling with my keys as I spot my truck. I get in and start the engine and my breaths are too fast and my mind is drenched with disorder but I put it in reverse and back out of the parking spot and I am gone and leaving and breathe, Bella, breathe.

I tell myself that despite the trembling in my fingers, the shakiness in my bones, the lack of focus in my vision, and the shallowness of my breaths, that I have done it. I left.

The realization is a metal balloon blooming in my chest, a heaviness that leaves me lightheaded, the feeling sparkling and new and not altogether pleasant.

I left.

I left him before I gave him a chance to leave me.

Again.


A/N: So…I recently took down one of my other stories, The One With The Flashbacks. The truth is, I liked the idea/plot of it, but my delivery from two years ago is a little different from my style now. The characters needed some tuning up, as did the organization. This story is very similar to TOWTF, but undeniably altered, too. If you're coming from TOWTF expecting something like it, don't be too expectant. This isn't drastically different, seeing as the themes and plot and overall story line is the same, but like I mentioned, delivery characters, and style is somewhat changed.

Phew. Monster of an A/N. My apologies :/ Explanations take a long time with me. Anyway, I hope you guys like this prologue enough to come back in a week or so for the first chapter! I'll try and update as soon as I can :) Don't forget to R&R! Thanks again.