This is a little oneshot I wrote for the Team Losh Fundraiser. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: "Now that you're gone all that's left is a band of gold." Based (loosely) on the song by Freda Payne. Deserted on her wedding night, her dreams shattered, is there ever such a thing as a happy ending?
Band of Gold
Now that you're gone
All that's left is a band of gold
All that's left of the dream I hold
Is a band of gold
Every girl dreams of her wedding. The big white dress, the handsome husband. I should have known it was too good to be true.
I shouldn't have believed in a fairytale. They don't exist, after all. This was reality.
I shouldn't be here.
I should have been moving into a fancy new waterside apartment for two, not sitting alone in a rented room.
This was not the brand new life I was supposed to have.
I really thought I had it all. On paper, he looked like the perfect package. Michael was tall, fairly handsome, a junior partner in his father's law firm, and tipped to take over one day. I had just graduated from college and was due to begin an internship there. After a whirlwind courtship, he proposed and I accepted. We were going to be the perfect, golden couple.
My wedding day was like a fairytale. I had a beautiful dress, bridesmaids, the works. Everything went smoothly. My stepfather gave me away. The day passed in a whirlwind. It was almost time to leave for our mystery wedding night hotel. We were due to jet off to the Caribbean in the morning on a luxurious honeymoon before starting the rest of our lives.
But then it all came crashing down around my ears. I was just on my way back from getting changed when I heard strange noises, grunts, coming from a nearby bathroom. Worried one of my friends might have been unwell, I went to check. The door was ajar and as I glanced through the gap I realised I didn't need to go any further.
There was my brand new husband with his tongue down the best man's throat and a hand down his pants. The awful thing was when I confronted them he didn't even appear to be the slightest bit remorseful. Instead, he told me they had been secretly in love for a very long time. Of course, as the boss's son he was expected to marry and produce a family. This was where I came into the picture. I was supposed to turn a blind eye and be his trophy wife. After taking a whole two seconds to consider this, I knew there was no way I possibly could.
My wedding night was spent in a twin bed, alone, while my husband slept elsewhere. The following morning he was still nowhere to be seen. Instead of flying off to the sun for my honeymoon I took my bags back home. When I got there I found my room already stripped bare. When I told my mother what had happened, instead of being given consolation or so much as a comforting hug I was sent packing.
Renee and I never really saw eye to eye. She provided a roof over my head while I was growing up but that was as far as her parenting skills went. She had barely disguised her relief when I told her I was getting married and would be off her hands.
I was well and truly on my own now.
I slunk away, tail firmly between my legs. I had no idea where to go next. Fortune seemed to be smiling on me as I ran into the path of Angela Weber, my friend from college. She was just heading over to return my bag that I'd dropped the night before.
The first thing Angela did was give me a much needed hug. Then she took me under her wing and back to her family home. They had a small spare room, which soon became my new home.
I spent the week following the wedding trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do. No home, no boyfriend and no job. Quite the bright future ahead.
Thank heavens for Angela. She refused to let me wallow. She was the one who accompanied me to the courthouse to fill in the forms and get my marriage annulled. She was the one who helped me look at job advertisements. But in a small town there was little work to be had. With so much to do during the day I could save my crying for the nights in my lonely room, where no one could see me, I could break down.
It was on one of those nights that I finally had a breakthrough. I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I was going back to my roots.
The following morning I said a tearful goodbye to Angela and her family. I grabbed my case, which I had never got around to unpacking, and got into my car. It was a drive that would take most of the day so I was getting on the road early.
During the drive, I ran through what I was going to say to my father. I hadn't spoken to him in quite some time. We were somewhat estranged – he sent a card at Christmas and on my birthday but he wasn't an active part of my life. Renee made sure I never got to see him when I was growing up and he put up no fight. I had sent him an invitation to the wedding but he was unable to make it. I suspected he didn't want to leave home. Charlie detested traveling, and rarely ventured more than a few miles from home.
My nerves grew as the time and the miles passed by. What the hell was I doing? At several points I had to persuade myself not to turn tail and go back home, but I stayed strong. This was for the best. A new beginning.
By late afternoon, the sun was setting as I neared Charlie's. Driving through the outskirts of town, the rain started to fall, heavily. Great, this was all I needed while trying to navigate. I pulled over and studied my area map. I had been born here but hadn't lived here or even visited since I was a little girl. Armed with the address, Angela and I had consulted the internet for directions.
Within minutes, I was turning into Charlie's driveway, which was empty. On first glance, the house looked quiet and kind of unkempt. I got out of the car, squinting into the rain and headed to the porch. I rang the bell twice, but there was no answer. Peering through the window I glimpsed dust sheets.
Why oh why hadn't I called first?
Me and my stupid impulsive decisions. I slumped down on the porch as the adrenaline left my body and let the tears fall.
What the hell was I going to do now?
As I sat, head in hands, I heard footsteps approaching. Then I heard someone clear their throat. It sounded like a male someone.
I glanced up to see who was invading my moment of despair.
I did a double take. I was staring up at the most handsome man I had ever seen. Forget Mike, he didn't even come close. This guy was tall, well over six foot with messy brownish hair and the greenest eyes I had ever seen. My jaw dropped open.
"Hey, are you okay?" The God crouched down, studying me.
I was rain soaked, disheveled and crying. Not a pretty picture.
"Hi," I croaked, swiping my tears away as I tried to get a grip on myself.
"What's your name?" he asked, politely. "Can I help you at all? My name is Edward, Edward Cullen. I live across the street. You looked a little lost, I hope you don't mind me interrupting."
"I'm Bella. Bella New-Swan. I came here to visit my dad but he doesn't seem to be home."
"Oh," he replied, running his fingers through his hair nervously. "Bella, this place has been empty for quite some time. Mr Swan and his wife have gone away. I think my Dad said something about a cruise."
My head dropped into my hands, my mind reeling. His wife? Charlie had remarried and gone away? He never traveled. The main reason Renee had left him was because he never wanted to venture outside the town limits.
I realized swiftly there was no new start to be had here and I was facing a very long drive home. I let the despair wash over me for a few minutes until I was jolted out of it by Edward. He was talking again.
"My parents...we live just over there. Why don't you come back with me. You look like you could use a warm drink at least."
I was starting the feel the chill from my rain-dampened clothes and a hot cup of coffee sounded like a very good idea. Edward's outstretched hand appeared in front of me. I took it gratefully as I staggered to my feet, feeling a static charge as my cool fingers connected with his warm ones.
"Thank you, Edward," I mumbled gratefully. "It was such a long drive here and I thought I was going to have to just give up and go home," I admitted, shyly.
"Oh don't give up, Bella. Life is full of opportunities."
He smiled at me as he led me across the street.
I followed, tentatively, as I took the first steps into my new beginning.
Life was unpredictable and downright scary at times but the promise in Edward's smile gave me something I hadn't felt in awhile.
Thank you so much for reading. I'd love to know what you thought. I may continue this if there is any interest. Huge thanks to EMCxo, annetteinoz and lel2768 for your help in making this presentable. FMLW readers – new chapter soon I promise.