I debated getting Bella to a therapist sometime in the story, but then I realized I have no idea how to write a therapist, so I decided to just let her face the consequences of using Edward as a crutch. Then just watch shit unravel. Mwahaha.
iambeagle is my beta. She's pretty dang cool.
You wanna playlist? Link on my profile! I put alotta work into that shit.
Seriously. Go listen.
"I can see these things I'd do
But never seem to follow through
She, She is the words that I can't find
How can the only thing that's killing me make me feel so alive?"
~She (For Liz)~
They had a routine now.
Bella would leave calculus and walk Alice to lunch, then the girls would say their goodbyes and she'd head to the library. She'd pull out a book, open her Power Rangers lunch box, and he would join her shortly after. Edward would smile at her, take out whatever crushed sandwich he'd packed in his brown paper bag for the day, and pull out a book of his own. They'd discreetly glance at each other, never catching the other in the act, and just smile.
It was the closest to bliss that she'd ever been.
Edward couldn't pay attention to his book today. He kept looking over at Bella, trying to decide if he should ask her. He wasn't sure if she'd say yes, but if she saidno, he might be crushed. Though there's no reason he should be, since he wasn't asking her on a date specifically.
His left hand was limp in his lap, barely holding onto his book while his right rested on the carpet fairly close to Bella's. He was watching her from the corner of his eyes, trying to see if she'd look at him. It was only last week that she'd been the girl with the breakdown in the cafeteria—only last Friday since they'd become friends. He'd noticed a drastic change in her behavior after Monday. Well, maybe not drastic per say, but obvious to him.
He noticed that the beautiful sad girl wasn't so sad anymore. She'd have her moments when her eyes would get glassy and pain would cloud them over, but not as often anymore, not since they began their friendship. He liked this idea—that maybe her being around him made her less sad. That he, the nerdy quiet boy down the street, could help make the bad things go away. He decided he liked this a lot. It may have been too early to tell if he really did have a positive effect on her, but after two weeks, three weeks, maybe the new subtle brightness in her eyes would be noticed by everyone else as well.
Maybe he was getting ahead of himself.
She lifted her head. She didn't expect to catch him looking at her and it made her blush. He liked this a lot, too.
She observed him with what he hoped to be intensity. He wasn't sure if it was that, but the hopeless romantic in him wanted it to be. Guys can be hopeless romantics, too, right? Maybe now was the time to ask her.
"Hey, Bella?" he began. She raised her eyebrows in reply, and he cleared his throat before continuing. "I was wondering if you'd like to hang out this weekend?"
Her brows rose even higher in shock and her mouth popped open, making a surprised little O, as she suddenly remembered what tomorrow's date was. Is it Friday already? How could I forget? she internally berated herself. She looked down at her scuffed up Keds for avoidance. Avoidance from the question, avoidance from his eyes. Avoidance was an art she excelled at.
It wasn't helping her in this situation, however.
"Bella?" He bent over to try to catch her eyes beneath the curtain that was her hair. "There's, uh... a black and white film festival. On Saturday—tomorrow, I mean. In Port Angeles... Um, I don't know if you like those kind of movies, but I figure if you're into classic books, why not movies, right? I thought it might be fun…" he trailed off uncertainly.
She had to admit to herself that it did sound fun. She'd only ever seen one black and white film—Romeo and Juliet—and it would be a whole day with Edward. If she enjoyed these short thirty minute lunch times with him, imagine a whole day. It sounded absolutely wonderful, and that was the problem. Having fun on that date seemed like blasphemy. Oh, but passing up his offer felt unbearable.
Right when he was about to tell her to forget about it, because he'd obviously made her uncomfortable, she asked what time it started. Stunned, he didn't speak for a moment, then sputtered out an answer through madly grinning lips. "Uh… it starts at seven, so we should leave an hour earlier. Pick you up at six? Unless you'd rather take your own car? I just thought, you know, save gas and the earth and all…"
She put her hand on Edward's to halt his incessant blubbering. Her smile was small, but genuine. "We can go together, Edward. My truck probably wouldn't even make the trip without dying," she chuckled.
He stared at their clasped hands and the way her lips brushed when she said his name. The remaining sadness in her eyes was slowly fading off.
His face hurt from smiling.
When Bella got home, she prepared herself to tell her dad about the next day. She knew he wouldn't exactly be happy about it.
She decided to make his favorite meal to butter him up, but doubted it would help. And he called her out on it, proving her right.
"So what gives? You only make my favorite on special occasions or when you have bad news." He sounded like he was joking, but the tightness in his eyes said otherwise.
"Um…" she began, pushing the meat around her plate. Her stomach churned and the sight of the cooked cow didn't make it much better. She decided to just come out with it. "I'm not going with you tomorrow. Um, I'll stop by of course, but… I have plans with someone."
Charlie Swan was not a man of many words. He'd rather stew everything in his head first before taking his next move, much like his daughter. And also like his daughter, he didn't deal well with abrupt change.
"You're what? Doing something else? What—no, Bells! I mean, I can't—" He slammed his fist on the table, more out of frustration than anger, and took a breath. He hated showing this emotional side of himself, especially to his daughter. Not showing weakness was an unwritten rule between them.
Tears sprung to her eyes at his plea. She blinked them back and bit her lip. This was another reason why she almost told Edward no. But she wanted to go so bad.
"I'm sorry, Dad. But we've been going for three years. I think you can deal with one visit by yourself. Maybe you can get some things off your chest, tell her about Sue. She'd like that." Bella smiled assuredly at her father.
He looked at her, matching brown eyes both trying to hide emotions. He sighed dejectedly. "Okay, sounds good."
She had just barely hoped the conversation was over when he asked, "What are you going to do tomorrow, then?"
"Oh, I'm going to a movie festival with my friend."
"Uh, no… his name is Edward." She blushed for some reason and butterflies attacked her stomach, thoroughly ending her meal.
"Huh. I don't think I've met him."
"Um, he's Esme's son."
"From down the street?" She nodded. "Oh yeah. Nice lady. She's in Sue's book club." He cleared his throat, struggling under the effort of being a good father while trying to avoid the awkward topic of boys. "Well, have fun. And be safe."
"Yeah, are you done?" She pointed to his empty plate, but they both knew what she meant.
He raised his hands in surrender as she took his plate and smiled under that bushy mustache. "Yeah, I'm done."
Long awaited update is long awaited. I know I know. Idk if anyone cares yet though…
It's short, but maybe I can update again later this week. Here's hoping for no feet in my mouth.
This almost-half-a-year-later update is because I was busy writing my Ho Hey Contest entry, A Bus To Chinatown. It's on my profile now. I didn't win, which is totally boo, but it was sooo fun to write! C: Be warned: it's a long bitch.
Reviews are better than bushy mustache smiles.