Pop the Question Contest Entry
Title: Once Upon a Time in Hanover
Word Count (without the A/n and header): 10346
Summary: Bella believes in fairy tales. Edward thinks that love is for deluded people. Can Bella show him that true love exists, or will he manage to turn her into a cynic like him? Sometimes you don't have to be right, sometimes it just has to feel right.
Warnings (if any): N/A
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Twilight. Just don't rub it in.
Suggested Playlist to read this one shot:
- A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
- Turning Page by Sleeping At Last
- It Will Rain by Bruno Mars.
Once Upon a Time in Hanover
I was always the type of girl who believed in fairytales, the type that dreamt of Prince Charming, Fairy godmothers and Happily Ever Afters. Now, I can say I know better.
This is the story of how I, Bella Swan, discovered the true meaning of love, and how I learned that real life is nothing like a fairytale.
- OUTiH –
5 years earlier…
"Alice!" I yell. I cannot believe she has forgotten how important this day is.
"Bella, would you calm the hell down! Jeez! You'd think by the way you are screaming that someone is trying to murder you."
"Well, I am going to die here if you don't hurry up!" I reply, annoyed at her lack of interest in this truly momentous day.
"Okay…okay. I'm ready," she announces, walking out of her room. "I just wish you'd stop freaking out so much. It's only the first day of College, not your wedding day!"
"It might as well be!" I am beyond exasperated at this point.
"Bella, just because a random fortune-teller told you you'd meet the love of your life the first day of College doesn't mean it's actually going to happen, ya' know?"
"Yes, it will. Don't you remember how she also said I'd break my arm that summer and it happened?"
"Coincidence?" Alice asks, shrugging.
"She also said you'd lose your virginity at fifteen and you were all "No way, my Momma raised me Catholic. I'll wait until I marry." And then James Hunter moves to town and you start fucking like bunnies for three years onwards. Was that a fluke?"
"Have you seen James? He could lure a nun into sin! If he hadn't been accepted to USC and us to Dartmouth I'd still be doing him. In fact, when we are home for Christmas I'll give him a call."
"Alice! You're missing the point!" I whine. Yes, I whine. I am eighteen. I am still allowed to whine and look cute.
"And we are missing our first class or we'll miss it if we don't hurry up!"
We run down the hallway. I can't believe I may be missing out meeting the love of my life! Ugh!
- OUTiH -
"So, do you see him?" Alice asks in a teasing tone.
I am fuming. Not only were we late and got lousy seats - really far back – but none of the boys in our class looks like he could potentially be the love of my life. I'm not picky or anything, but dammit! I've waited almost four years for this guy. He better be kinda good-looking at least!
Okay, that thought made me sound so shallow. It's the nerves, just the nerves.
"No, I don't," I say in an I'd-strangle-you-if-you-weren't-my-best-friend tone. I really do love Alice but she always thinks she knows best. And ever since that fortune-teller read my future in my hand, she's been waiting for this day just to prove I am wrong and there's not so such thing as fated love.
She'll see! They will all see!
Just as I am losing hope and about to burst into tears because I really, really wanted the fortune-teller to be right, the love of my life walks through the door and sits right in front of me.
I know it's him, I just know it. He looks just as I pictured him all through the years. He's blond, tall, unbelievably cute, and oh my…is that a southern accent I hear as he greets his friend?
I am a pile of goo…
"Hi, Jasper," his friend says as my future husband takes his seat. "The class hasn't started yet. You're just in time."
His friend is cute too. He has weird, penny-colored, crazy bed-hair, but he is definitely cute. Maybe we can pair him up with Alice once future-hubby and I are engaged. I smile at the thought.
"There he is," I whisper as I elbow Alice to get her attention, "the blond guy who just walked in."
"He's hot. I like his friend better though. I got a good look at him before he sat and he's hot like smoking hot. I'd do him over George Clooney and you know that's saying something in my case."
"Yes, all of the USA knows of your Clooney obsession, Alice. You are missing the point. I don't care about his friend. I just know Jasper and I are meant to be." I sigh, already daydreaming about our wedding.
"Okay! Don't get your panties in a bunch! I was just saying. May I ask though, how can you possibly know he's the one? I seem to remember that the fortune-teller said that your future husband was a green-eyed god and I don't think you got a good enough look at his eyes while you were staring at his ass," Alice smirks at her own comment. She has never quite believed I would end up married to a green-eyed god. She thought I would end up caving in to my best friend Jacob's insistent pleas to date me. That I would marry him and raise his kids back at home. Jacob was sweet and very handsome, but I've always known what I want. I want Prince Charming and I am not going to settle for less like she did with James. Alice doesn't have a romantic bone in her petite body.
"I just know, okay?" I hiss. "Soul mates recognize each other Alice. I can tell Jasper is my soul mate just by being in his presence."
Okay, that was sappy even for me.
Of course Alice laughs loudly at my statement and both Jasper and his friend turn to look toward the crazy girl laughing. I look straight into Jasper's eyes and my heart sinks when I see they are blue.
No, no, no…. They have to be green… Maybe the fortune-teller meant aquamarine? I mean that type of green looks kind of blue, right?
I elbow Alice to make her shut up and both Jasper and his friend turn back to pay attention to the class. I am certain that Jasper is my soul mate. The fortune-teller must have mistaken the color. I am sure of it. I make up my mind. I'll speak to him after class.
- OUTiH -
Jasper is talking to his friend right outside the class. He is so cute! What do I talk about? How do I get him to pay attention to me?
"Hey buddy!" Alice says shocking me out of my thoughts. "My friend here thinks you're the man she's going to marry. Could you put her out of her misery and propose already?"
She did not just say that!
"Alice!" I protest loudly before I realize Jasper and his friend are looking at me like I've grown three heads because two just isn't weird enough.
"Me?" Jasper asks, "are you sure your friend has the right guy? I'm not really the marrying type." He smirks. Oh my, his smirk…
"You're not even the relationship type, Jazz," his friend interjects. I look at him and gulp. Alice was right. Jasper's friend is insanely handsome. Like I'm reconsidering my earlier statement and he might be the "love of my life" after all. He has blue eyes too though. Bluer than Jasper's even, they can still pass for green if you look from the right angle.
"Shut up, Edward! You are one to talk. When was the last time you dated someone on a regular basis? I don't remember seeing you with anyone since…" Jasper's friend elbows him harshly and I wince because that looked like it really fucking hurt.
Alice is getting a kick out of this whole humiliating situation. I'm so embarrassed. I want to murder her skinny ass.
Alice stops laughing long enough to look at me and give me the thumbs up. She's literally coughing from laughter.
"So sorry for my friend's manners, I am Edward Cullen, this is Jasper Whitlock."
"Nice to meet you," Alice replies flirtatiously. She doesn't waste a minute. She's right to get in there now though. These are two good-looking boys starting out their College experience. They'll be hounded by girls in no time. If you snooze you lose in this game. God I wish I had Alice's confidence to flirt with Jasper as she's flirting with Edward.
"I'm Alice Brandon, this is my friend Bella Swan," Alice continues.
"Beautiful name for a beautiful girl," Jasper responds taking my hand in his and kissing it. I literally swoon. How can he be so perfect?
I notice that Alice and Edward roll their eyes at Jasper's gesture. They obviously don't understand the importance of wooing. It's becoming clearer and clearer that Jasper is the one for me. We're soul mates.
"Yeah…Yeah… how about some pizzas tonight?" Alice goes on without missing a beat. She's seriously eye-fucking Jasper's friend. Like I said, she doesn't waste an opportunity.
"Where? Do you know a good pizza place near campus?" Edward, Jasper's friend asks.
"Yes, as a matter of fact I do." Alice replies with a smile. "There's one not twenty minutes away from our dorm. So, what do you say? Will you go out with me and my friend here?"
"We'd be delighted," Jasper replies and he winks at me. He freaking winks at me. I feel like I'm melting.
"Shut it, Jasper! That sounds great. I've been looking forward to sight-seeing and getting to know Hanover. Jasper here is only interested in under-the-skirt-seeing."
"Hey!" Jasper says, looking mildly offended by Edward's comment.
"Just stating a fact," Edward smirks. Okay, what is it with these two boys smirking. Their smirks should be illegal.
"Great, so what time do we meet?" Alice starts planning with Edward while I'm left to my own devices with Jasper. I'm so awkward when it comes to boys, always have been. And although I had everything planned out when it came to meeting my future husband. Reality is nothing like my daydreams. He's so tall and intimating, so perfect and handsome. I don't stand a chance.
He smiles encouragingly and asks me how I feel about school so far.
I start telling him about my adventures at Dartmouth so far and it all seems easy. Maybe fate will lend me a hand here. I smile. Inside I'm squealing.
- OUTiH -
Our first few months at College fly by and it's Halloween before we know it. Alice and Edward have become great friends, and although I've pushed and pushed Alice for info she denies their relationship is ever going to turn into anything more than friendship. I believe her. I know that if she was tapping that, I would have known by now every single detail about Edward's cock, not that I'd want to. Alice is nothing but thorough about sharing her experiences with the opposite sex. I knew a lot more about James' anatomy than I ever wanted or cared to.
Sadly, my relationship with Jasper hasn't been moving forward either. He is sweet and adorable with me but that is pretty much it. He treats me like I am his little sister and I hate that.
However, I am hoping I can change that with tonight's party.
There is a party at the fraternity to which Jasper and Edward now belong and I am looking forward to the opportunity of making Jasper see me in a new light - a new sexy light.
I had asked Alice for help in the fashion department and she gladly agreed to advise me in this matter. After a lot of uncomfortable trials, and a lot more disappointing costume ideas, I finally found the one, that in Alice's opinion, will have Jasper dry-humping me by the end of the night.
I can hardly wait.
- OUTiH -
"Alice, are you sure this costume is alright? I don't remember it being so short when I tried it on?" I whine while I try to make my skirt magically longer by pulling the hem downwards.
I'm guessing it doesn't quite work like that.
"Bella, do you think I'd steer you wrong? The costume is perfect! You can't be a naughty nurse with a long skirt!"
"But I thought it was enough with the cleavage," I pout. "You didn't need to make the costume shorter too. Now I'm just showing way too much skin."
"You are showing just the right amount of skin to make Jasper see you're not some cute little sister he needs to protect. Come on! Have a little faith. I know what I'm doing."
"All right," I sigh. I try to stay positive. Alice knows what she's doing. She's an expert in seduction. I think…
We climb out of the car and walk towards the fraternity. It's a really nice building, and I wish I could live in a place like this. But I'm definitely not the sorority type, so I won't be applying to one any time in the near future.
Lots of catcalls and whistles greet us as we walk into the building. Alice is dressed as Wonder Woman and I'm dressed like a Naughty Nurse so it may be expected, but it doesn't make me feel any less uncomfortable.
"Woah!" Jasper says as we walk over to him and Edward who are talking to two very hot girls near the staircase. Even though I can sense Jasper's eyes roaming my body, and the idea of him liking me in that way excites me, I don't like the way those girls are looking at him. It makes me realize that I will always have competition when it comes to Jasper. I almost regret having asked for a handsome man for my future husband. It sounded great in theory, but my insecurities are playing against me now.
Even if I manage to make him fall in love with me, how will I manage to keep him that way? I take a deep breath and try to regain the confidence I once had in the fate the fortune-teller said I would have. She talked about a loving husband, a family, many years of happiness. She talked about the things I've yearned for since my mother decided to abandon my dad and me and run away with my dad's deputy. Not only was he betrayed by his wife, but my dad was also betrayed by his best friend. But I am not my dad, and that is not my fate and I just have to trust in that.
"You like?" Alice asks, taking me out of my sad musings.
"What's not to like? You two look hot! Don't they look hot, Edward?"
"Yes, they look really pretty," Edward replies looking straight at me. I don't understand why but even though I've hardly spoken to Edward since I started hanging out with Jasper, he always makes me uncomfortable. There's something about his eyes and the way he looks at me that makes me squirm and feel flustered.
"Come Bella, let's go dance!" Jasper says, grabbing my hand in his.
I smile widely. I can't believe it's finally happening! Jasper is finally going to see me as a girl he could date and not as a little sister! Gah!
I would jump up and down if I weren't in a public place and holding Jasper's hand. I'm holding Jasper's hand! Yay!
We walk into the dance floor and we start moving to the beat of the music. It's suggestive and fast, and Jasper grabs me around the waist: swaying with me, grinding against me. I think I might die. I've never felt so turned on and excited around a man before. I've never felt so sexy before.
Soon, too soon for my liking the song changes to a more upbeat theme. The kind you just jump around and shake your head to, so Jasper walks me to Edward and Alice who are still chatting together. They are near the bar now drinking a couple of beers. I ask Alice for a beer too, even though I'm not much of a drinker, and I take a few gulps. I'm so thirsty and excited. The night is a success so far.
Alice wants to dance and since Edward doesn't like dancing very much, Jasper offers to take her to the dance floor. I laugh as I watch Alice and Jasper dancing. It's a silly song with stupid lyrics and they are having a blast making weird movements and faces. It's hilarious to watch Jasper wiggling his hips and singing "wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.(1)" They are just ridiculous.
Jasper winks at me and I blush profusely. Oh God, how can he be so beautiful?
"He won't ever be what you want him to be."
"Uh?" I reply brilliantly as I turn to find Edward standing behind me.
"You think he is this perfect Prince Charming who will love you and take you to live to his palace someday. He's nothing like that. He's an amazing friend and he likes you. But he likes pussy more right now. He will break your heart and you will let him because you think you'll be able to change him, but you won't. He'll disappoint you over and over again until your dreams get crushed and you become as bitter as me."
I hear Edward's words, the way he pronounces them like a fact, like you would say the Sun is yellow and the sky is blue. With the same unfeeling tone you would use to read the news aloud. What is wrong with him? Why is he saying this to me? I voice my questions and he replies to me, "I like you too Bella. I think you are a sweet girl and I would much rather you hear these things from me than learn them from first-hand experience. Sadly, I know you won't listen to me and you'll get you heart broken."
He places his mouth near my ear, wafting his warm breath in my neck. I shiver involuntarily and close my eyes.
"You'll get your heart broken," he repeats, "maybe as soon as tonight."
With those words he leaves me and when I open my eyes he's gone.
I turn around to find Alice walking towards me with a cold beer in hand.
"Here, take this one. Yours must be warm already."
"Where is Jasper?" I ask because I don't see him anywhere.
"I don't know. He went to say hi to some friends that just got here. What about we dance for a little bit and you play wing-woman for me. I think I want a little action tonight, and I'm not completely against the idea of a one-night stand as long as the guy is cute enough."
"Alice!" I scold playfully. I know she doesn't mean it. Well, not entirely. She's only ever been with James. I know she misses him, and she wishes he could be here with her. But she would never admit it aloud. She's too strong, independent, and frankly too stubborn to admit she needs James like that.
We dance for a couple of hours and drink a few more beers. Jasper is nowhere to be found but I don't worry too much because I'm having fun. Jasper is one of the hosts of this Halloween party after all so he has to welcome guests and help with the party in general.
When we need to go to the bathroom, Alice and I sneak upstairs. Technically, the rooms upstairs are off limits for the party-goers, but I have an issue with public bathrooms so we head upstairs in the hopes of finding a clean, private one.
Alice is laughing loudly, and I try to shush her because I don't want to get caught.
Suddenly, a few noises — or, to be more precise, moans — stop us in our tracks
"Oh my God, someone is having sex in that room!" Alice whisper-giggles.
I'm so embarrassed, but I giggle too. It must be the beer fogging my mind and lowering my inhibitions. However, my laughs are short-lived when we hear a girl scream from the room.
"Yes, oh yes! Jasper right there! Oh God! Your cock feels so good! Oh yes!"
My eyes blur and I feel like the air has completely left the room. Jasper is fucking some girl inside that room. Jasper, my future husband, the man for whom I saved my virginity, the man that is meant to love me and care for me and our kids, is fucking a random girl in that room.
After all I've done. After I dressed like a whore to draw his attention. He's fucking a random girl in that room.
Edward was right.
I can't fucking breathe!
I run and I hear Alice calling for me but I don't care. I just have to run, I just have to hide.
Finally, I find a door. A dark room.
I break down.
"Heartbroken already? Is not even midnight. He worked his magic fast this time," a raspy voice says from within the darkness.
"What?" I reply. I'm not even scared when I should be. I just don't care.
A lamp lights up and I squint trying to get my eyes accustomed to the new source of light. Once I do, I see Edward sitting in a bed, hugging a bottle of what looks like tequila.
I feel angry all of a sudden. It's not Edward's fault that his friend is a jerk. It's also not his fault that I'm a dumb girl who still believes in fairytales and happily-ever-afters at the age of nineteen. None of it is his fault, but I want to blame someone other than myself for this pain. I want someone else to be guilty in this situation.
So I jump to my feet, walk to him and punch him. I punch him with all the force I can manage.
"Who do you think you are?" I yell. "The almighty Edward? The all-knowing Edward? I hate you! I hate you and I hate Jasper!"
"No, you don't," Edward mumbles rubbing his jaw. "Great right hook you got there," he says.
I collapse on the floor in front of him and big, fat tears start falling down my face.
"I just…I just wanted it to be real so badly," I weep. "I hoped he would love me, and we would marry and I would be happy!" I know I must sound childish and ridiculous, but frankly I don't care anymore.
"I know," Edward says.
"It's that all you are going to say? You're not even going to try to defend him?" I probe between sobs. I'm so exasperated by his nonchalant attitude towards my heartbreak.
"I don't even know what he did, but guessing from the way he was groping Leah on the hallway a while back, I can guess Jasper was fucking her in his room. I'm not clever enough to explain that and make Jasper look good… and I don't care enough to try. I think it's a good thing you saw him for what he is now. Better now than later."
"Why are you his friend? He's a horrible person! He led me on and made me think I had a chance with him and then went and fucked some random girl in his room!" I'm so angry, and even though it's not Edward's fault, I want someone to explain to me why and how all my plans have crumbled before my eyes.
"I'm his friend because I like him. He's honest, in spite of your current opinion of him. What you see is what you get with Jasper. He didn't lead you on, Bella. You just wanted to believe in the illusion of him so badly that you invented this whole meaning to everything he did. A meaning his actions didn't have. He was trying to let you down easy. He really likes you; he likes you as a friend. Don't take it personally. For sex he only wants the experienced ones. You are way too innocent for his tastes."
I bite my lip really hard at his words, my anger escalating to a whole new level.
So I am too innocent? He likes me as a friend? I'm dressed as a freaking Naughty Nurse! What would I have had to do to draw his attention to me? Would I have to waltz naked into his room? Did I have to screw the whole fraternity for him to consider me as a potential date?
I want to hide under the bed and wallow into a tub of ice cream. I want to punch something, preferably Jasper…in the nuts…
Saying I am mad at myself would be an understatement. I am furious, annoyed, and so disappointed.
Edward shoves the bottle of tequila into my hand.
"Here, it looks like you need this more than I do."
I grab the bottle and automatically take a big gulp of the liquid. I can feel the tequila sliding down my throat and leaving a burning path in its wake. It kinda hurts and I kinda like it. Tequila suits my mood at the moment.
I hand the bottle back to Edward and he takes a big gulp too before giving it back to me. It looks like we'll be sharing our sorrow tonight. But what reason does a guy like Edward have to be this bitter and sad? I ask him that and surprisingly, after a few minutes he replies.
"You don't have exclusive rights over heartbreak, little girl. I've had my fair share of experience with my heart being used as a rug myself."
"But who would be dumb enough to dump or ignore a guy like you? You are gorgeous!" I state in disbelief. Jasper is cute, but Edward is downright gorgeous. Anyone who'd send him packing must be out of her mind!
Edward laughs, one of the few genuine laughs I've heard coming from this boy since I met him. It sounds lovely.
"Thanks, Bella." Suddenly his voice sobers and returns to the dark timbre I've known so far. "However, there are more important things in life than looks or even being nice."
He pulls himself up from the bed, only to take a seat next to me. I hadn't realized until he's beside me how nice he smells: Earthy, like wet grass, but all man.
"Once upon a time," he starts giving me a weak smile, "there was a boy name Edward who loved his girlfriend Angela very, very much."
I gulp, already knowing that this story doesn't have a happy ending.
Edward turns his eyes towards the wall avoiding mine. He takes a drink from the bottle and continues.
"Angela was the daughter of Pastor Webber. She was by all accounts the nicest girl in their community, maybe even the world. She was a paragon of virtue and everyone loved her. I wanted to marry her, love her for all time. My mom is a very romantic woman who taught me to wait for the right time and the right person to have sex with. With my background and the way Angela was raised I thought it was right for us to wait. She wanted to wait too. She even wanted to wait until we were married. Then, when we were in senior year she started to pressure me. Can you believe it? She was pressuring me!" Edward laughs bitterly. I don't like the sound of this laugh.
"I didn't suspect anything. After all, we loved each other so much. Maybe she just wanted to take our relationship to the next level? I prepared everything so that we would finally make love after homecoming dance. I asked her friends to invite her to a 'sleep over' when I had a room booked near the place where the dance was being held. It was filled with roses, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries. It was what I thought every girl would dream of for her first time."
Edward takes another drink from the bottle.
"Then during the dance we lost each other. She went with some friends to get punch and I couldn't find her. I went to look for her, asked everyone where she was. Worried that the punch might have made her sick, I even went looking into the girls' bathroom. She was nowhere to be found.
Then, much like you did tonight, I heard some moans coming from the boys' bathroom. I went to check if someone was sick, and instead I found my girlfriend - the girl I hoped to marry someday - being fucked from behind by the quarterback of our football team.
They weren't even undressed. She was just lying over the sinks with her skirt lifted. He had his pants around his ankles. There I was, the idiot who prepared a romantic evening in a very expensive hotel so that he could lose his virginity with the girlfriend he adored. And guess what? She wasn't even a virgin and she liked it doggie style in filthy bathrooms!"
I want to cry. How could someone do something like that? I just couldn't grasp breaking someone's heart in that manner. It seemed too cruel. Why didn't she just break up with him? Why betray him?
Edward continues before I can ponder on this any longer.
"Later I found out they had been screwing around behind my back since Junior year. She had started fucking him in the hopes that he would break up with his bimbo girlfriend and turn her into the next queen bee of high school. All she cared about was being popular, and I was only the schmuck she was dating until someone better came along."
"Oh Edward," I say placing my hand on his face, just over the place where I hit him.
He places his hand over mine and says, "I don't want your pity, Bella. I just want you to understand that life doesn't have a happy ending. There's nothing wrong with you. You are a nice girl. There should be more girls like you. Sadly, the type of guy you like, bad boys like Jasper. They always go for the naughty girls. You are too nice for them. Like I was too nice for Angela."
I really hope one day I can meet this Angela and introduce her to my right hook.
"Here, drink this. Let's drink until all the other stuff stops being important. Until all this stops being important"
Yeah…I think this is a night to get better acquainted with Jose. So, I grab Edward's bottle and join him in this endeavor.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, here I come!
- OUTiH -
Ugh! My head hurts! What's that light? Someone turn off that light!
I try to open an eyelid but the light really fucking hurts.
I hear a moan and I'm not sure is even me. It sounds so deep, masculine even.
So much pain!
"My head hurts!" a voice whispers in a raspy tone.
Okay, that's most definitely not me!
I turn around in a blind panic only to find Edward lying next to me. However, this is not what makes me jump all of the sudden and squeak like a rubber toy. Nope, what makes me do all those things is the fact that Edward is naked.
Edward is naked lying next to me. I look down…Big, big mistake!
I'm naked too!
"What…?" I start but then it comes back to me.
We are sitting on his bed drinking tequila, and I complain that I even saved my first kiss for Jasper and now I feel robbed.
Edward laughs and tells me I'm cute.
I pout miserably and a few tears fall down my face. Edward instantly wipes the tears from my face and tells me I'm too pretty to cry.
And then…and then he kisses me!
It feels good. It is nothing like I've imagined, but better, much, much better.
I climb into his lap, and I swear I must be possessed by Jose Cuervo because next thing I know I'm grinding my pelvis against Edward's and kissing him like there's no tomorrow.
All I care about is how good it feels.
I open and close my mouth like a fish. Where did that come from? I've never been so brazen in my life!
The rest of my memories are blurry, fogged by the alcohol.
I'm taking off his shirt. He smells nice, he feels so good. Skin on skin.
I moan. His lips ghost over my collarbone. It's delicious.
We are in the bed. Clothes have long been shed. The only sounds in the room are our agitated breathing and our moans.
Sharp pain, then pleasure. You make me feel good, Edward.
I gasp and Edward trembles in my arms. He collapses on top of me. His weight feels good on me.
Holy fucking shit! I slept with Edward Cullen!
Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
"Shhhhh…My head hurts!" Edward protests.
I suddenly remember I'm naked and grab the first thing I can find, on the floor, and put it on. It's Edward's shirt.
"You do realize what we did last night?" I ask because I cannot believe he cares more about a hangover right now than the fact that he just slept with me.
"Yeah…" he mumbles into the pillow he has thrown over his face.
"Yeah? That's all you have to say?" I ask in disbelief.
"What do you want me to say?" he replies removing the pillow and looking straight at me. "I already made a big deal out of losing my virginity once and see how that turned out for me. I'm actually kind of relieved it's over and done with."
"You talk about this like it's no big deal when in fact it is."
"It's only a big deal if you make it a big deal. People fuck each other all the time, Bella. No need to over-dramatize the event."
"Argh!" I yell. I'm so frustrated by the way he's looking at this whole situation.
"Please try to lower your voice. My head is killing me."
I sigh heavily and try to settle my riotous feelings about last night. I drop myself next to Edward in bed and lie next to him again, being careful not to touch any part of his body. I just need to close my eyes for a bit to clear my head.
So, I lost my virginity last night. That in itself is a big deal for me. I always intended to save myself for the man I was going to marry, in a romantic attempt to make my life into a real life fairy tale. Moreover, I lost my virginity to someone who is more of an acquaintance than a friend. I don't really know that much about him other than his former girlfriend was a real piece of work.
Okay…what's done is done I guess? I didn't get my amazing first time. It was more of a cliché, kind of what you would see in Beverly Hills, 90210. However, if I want to look at the bright side of things, the glass half-full so to speak, I just slept with Edward Cullen. He's one of the most sought after boys in College, even though he's a freshman.
Girls of all ages have tried to get into his bed, and not only did I get into his bed, but I'm also the girl who deflowered him. Do people still even use that word?
Hey! I just slept with Edward Cullen, hunk extraordinaire! Not too shabby, Swan!
"Okay," I finally say, coming to terms with what I've done. "I'm okay with this. You are right. This doesn't have to be a big deal unless I make it into a big deal."
"Thank you!" Edward exclaims.
I look to my side and I find him propped on his elbow looking at me.
"So, now that you have seen the light. When can we do it again?"
"What?" I screech. He did not seriously just ask me that.
"Come on, Bella! You can't blame a guy for trying. I know it probably wasn't too good for you. I hear it can really hurt the first time for you girls. But for me, it was pretty amazing."
I blush. I can feel the heat spreading through my cheeks. I do remember some pain. But I also remember pleasure, some really intense pleasure.
I shouldn't do it, but I do. I turn my body to the side so that I'm facing him and ask, "what do you suggest Mr. Cullen? That I turn into your fuck-buddy? You do realize it's me you are talking to? Bella Swan, believer in true love, making the world more Disney-friendly since 1994?"
"Yes, I do know who I'm talking to. Hear me out before you say no. Okay?"
I nod; intrigued by whatever argument Edward has prepared to convince me that sex with him should be more than a one-time thing.
"You think Jasper is your soul mate or some bullshit like that?"
Honestly, I am starting to doubt my belief that Jasper was my future husband, but for some reason I just nod at Edward's question.
"Well, Jasper will only date you if he thinks you're already corrupted. If you were with someone else, and had some experience he would not hesitate to jump on the Bella-wagon."
"So you propose that we what?" I ask because I don't think I'm quite grasping what he wants.
"That we make him believe we are dating, and then I 'dump you'. Of course, broken-hearted, and more importantly, experienced Bella can turn to her friend Jasper for comfort."
I think about Edward's plan for a minute. It's convoluted and destined to fail. There's no way Jasper is going to be interested just because I have some experience. Also, there's no way Jasper is going to date and fall in love with his best friend's ex.
However, I have a plan.
I like Edward, obviously. I mean I really, really like him. He's not only beautiful, but from his words last night, I can tell there's a kind soul underneath the careless façade he shows to the world. He acts like he doesn't give a damn about anything but I know better now. He cares and he can love with great intensity. He has had his heart broken in the worst way possible, and any smart girl would run away from him. He's damaged goods, probably incapable of loving again, but it doesn't scare me. I find it challenging in fact.
I've always had this idea that the fortune-teller was right, and there's this perfect green-eyed God waiting for me somewhere. I think I might prefer a blue-eyed God instead.
"And you think this will work?" I question, pretending like I actually think this plan has a chance.
"I'm sure of it."
"So, how will I acquire all of this experience that you speak of?" I sit down and then shock Edward by straddling him on the bed. "Does this course come with a study program? Or will we just improvise the lessons?"
I feel Edward's hands caress my calves and then go up all the way up to my thighs. His hands feel delicious on my skin. I tremble and gasp, not used to this kind of feelings.
Suddenly, I'm on my back. Edward is on top of me, my legs wrapped around his waist.
Edward leans in further and places his mouth next to my ear, "My only plan for this morning is see you cum like you did last night. That has to be the sexiest thing I've seen in my life."
The next few hours are spent in what I can only name as bliss. Now I know what all the fuss is about. Sex is addictive.
- OUTiH -
Alice doesn't buy it. It's been a month since the famous Halloween hook up between Edward and I. We've been "pretending" to date all of this time and Alice is the only one who doesn't buy our story.
Of course she wouldn't. She befriended Edward at the beginning of the semester and probably knows about Angela. She also knows about my obsession with "finding the one" and is pretty sure I wouldn't just see the light and give up on that dream.
What she doesn't know is that I've actually given up on it, in one sense at least.
Edward has gotten under my skin. I can't stop thinking about him and it scares me, but it also thrills me to no end.
He has been playing the doting boyfriend a little too well and I can't help but fall for the pretense. There are times though, in which I notice the wall building up and closing around him. It's when we are more comfortable with each other that I can notice him retreat back into his old ways. We can be laughing at a movie with Jasper and Alice at one moment; he will lazily draw patterns on my skin, and then take his hand away like it's burning him and he will sit as far away from me as he can.
I wish I hadn't agreed to Edward's plan. At the time I saw it as a chance to get to know him, because I knew that if I suggested having a real relationship he would not accept. His wounds are a little too fresh still — it hasn't even been a year since he had his heart broken.
When I remember that it's all Angela's fault that Edward can't give his heart to me and have an honest relationship I want to find and throttle the girl. But it's no use being mad at someone you don't even know for damage that was done when you weren't even part of the picture.
I'm taken out of my reverie by a mouth ghosting delicious kisses on my neck.
"Mmm… I love the way you smell…" Edward's voice whispers next to my ear.
I smile and turn to give him a proper kiss.
When we part he takes a seat next to me and holds my hand in his. This, sitting in the library, holding hands, this is enough for me to want to cry out of sheer happiness. It's so simple and yet more than I ever dreamed I could have.
"Jasper is looking. He's sitting a few tables behind us," Edward says breaking me out of my illusions. "You should be happy with how the plan is working out. He asked me last night how things were between us. I told him I was getting tired of you and wanted to play the field a bit. There's a small gathering tonight at the fraternity. You and Alice should go. I think I'll flirt with Lauren and you can act the hurt girlfriend. You could be Jasper's girl by Christmas if we're successful."
I blink twice, taken aback by Edward's machinations. He wants us to break up? Why? I thought things were great. I thought he love…I stop myself. He doesn't love anyone but Angela. She broke his heart and now he can't give it to anyone else.
"Okay," I say, taking my hand out of Edward's.
He gives me a weird look. Like I said something unexpected, like he was hoping for something different. Like he's disappointed.
"Okay," he repeats, and then it's settled. We're breaking up tonight.
- OUTiH -
Edward and I are dancing to the beat of a very sexy song. I can feel his breath on my neck as his hands glide around my waist and he pulls me harder against his body. There's this neediness in him tonight I don't quite understand. I don't care why though; I only care about the way it makes me feel. I wrap my arm behind his neck, pushing myself more firmly against his body. I can feel his erection pressing against my ass. He's hard as a rock and I wish we could just climb upstairs and take care of his 'not so little at all' problem.
"Jasper is looking," Edward says.
Could he quit saying that? I don't care if Jasper is looking! I just want to take him upstairs and do naughty things to him. Jasper can go fuck himself for all I care! Ugh!
However, his words take me out of my zone. They are like a bucket of iced water thrown over my head. I remember that Edward wanted us to "break up" tonight because he thought this party was the perfect opportunity to do so.
I'm mad at myself for thinking that he cared about me the way I care about him. My love life is one disappointment after another instead of the fairy tale I was hoping for.
"Let's get this over with," I say disentangling myself from Edward. If we're really going to do this I'd rather it's a clean break. No delays.
Edward walks behind me and grabs a beer from a table.
"So, how do you want to go about this? Do I go over to Lauren and start flirting with her or do you want me to dance with her first?"
I don't want either option, but Edward has made it clear to me that this has to end tonight.
"Whatever you think is best," I reply, not really interested in the how. The result will be the same in the end: my heart broken, me all alone.
"Okay," he says simply and walks over where Lauren is talking to Leah. I find it ironic that those two girls are friends. One already made me cry bitter tears once; her friend will be the tool through which I'll let my heart get broken tonight.
I feel sick to my stomach and paralyzed by anger when I see Edward run the back of his fingers against Lauren's arm. They are alone now, talking in a corner. They are mostly hidden from view but I can see them clearly from where I stand.
Alice is by my side in a second. She has seen them too it seems and she's beyond furious from the looks of it.
"How dare he? After what happened to him, how dare he?" she asks in a low but angry voice.
She stalks towards Edward and I know she's going for blood. I go after her, because I'm actually scared for Edward's life. Alice can be vicious when she wants to be.
She gets to them before I can and starts yelling.
"Are you a freaking idiot? Don't you see the gorgeous girl that was watching you from across the room? That's your girlfriend asshole! Why are you here flirting with this skank?"
I try to intervene, to pull Alice towards me and take her away from there. I don't want a blood-bath on my account and I also don't want Alice fighting with Edward. I know she's one of the few people he has let in. He needs friends.
"It's okay Alice, Edward and I are not dating anymore…" I say trying to take the heat out of this situation.
"What?" Alice replies. She's clearly surprised with what I just said.
"Yeah, we broke up just a few minutes ago. We realized this was going nowhere."
I look at Edward as I say this, and I notice that he looks hurt by my words.
What is wrong with him? Is he bipolar? He proposed this whole scene so that we had an excuse to break up, and now he looks hurt? Maybe, it's part of his act. So that Alice doesn't completely hate him.
"Let's go, Alice," I beg. I want to be as far away as possible from Edward.
Alice nods and gives Edward a look that's a mixture between pity and disdain as she walks away with me.
"I'm sorry, Bella. I didn't know. But still, he could have waited a full hour after you guys broke up before going after that whore, don't you think?
"He's a man Alice. They are like that."
"That doesn't sound like you at all," Alice says stopping me in my tracks.
Yeah, that doesn't sound like my old self at all. I guess I've changed.
"Let's go home," I reply. I don't want to discuss this anymore. I just want to lie in my bed and have a good cry.
"Girls, do you want me to take you home?" I hear Jasper's voice asking from behind me. I turn to see him smiling tentatively. He looks like he actually cares about how I'm feeling. I know better though, he probably just wants to get into my pants now that I am no longer a little innocent virgin nor his friend's girl. It's open season, and I'm prime prey.
"Yes, please," Alice replies before I can react.
"Okay, let's go. My car is just outside."
Jasper grabs my elbow and guides Alice and me towards his car.
This time I can sense that it's Edward who is looking.
- OUTiH -
Alice and I talk through the night. We eat some ice cream as well, because apparently that is law after a break up.
I go to bed and cry when I'm alone in my room because I don't want Alice to know just how deeply I was hurt. I want her to think that this is a break up just like any other would be. I don't want her to know that I'm so head over heels in love with Edward I feel like I could die.
I cry until the sky starts to clear and the sun starts to illuminate my room. Then I close the curtains and surrender to sleep.
It's still early in the morning when I hear someone knocking at my door. Alice must be in class already because they continue to knock insistently and from the way the knocking gets louder; it's obvious they are in a hurry of some sort.
I get up reluctantly to open the door before they knock it out of its hinges. I don't even have the energy to look through the peephole. I open the door and I freeze.
There, standing at my door and looking like he didn't sleep all night is Edward. His hair is disheveled, his clothes rumpled, and he has dark rings under his eyes.
"Wha…?" I start but I cannot finish my question. Before I can even recover from the shock I'm in Edward's arms and he is kissing me like the world is ending and this is our last kiss ever.
My world is spinning around me and my arms wrap around Edward's neck without thought. His lips caress mine. His tongue explores my mouth, tasting me like I'm the most delectable flavor ever.
He moans my name and I breathe him in. I cannot believe this is happening. I wonder if lack of sleep can cause hallucinations.
Eventually, breathing becomes a necessity and his lips move to my neck, my shoulders.
"Edward?" I manage to say in between gasps.
He stops kissing me and lifts his head from my neck to look me in the eyes.
The first thing I notice is that they look sad, but there's a glint of hope hidden behind them. The second thing I notice is that they are forest green, the deepest, most beautiful green I've seen since I've been in Forks. There's no forest in the whole Olympic peninsula that can compare to the green of Edward's eyes.
Before I can ask him about the eye-color change, he speaks, "Bella, I'm so sorry. I don't want you to leave me. I don't want you to be with Jasper. I don't want Jasper to be your future husband. I don't want anyone else to be your future husband. Bella…" He takes a deep breath, "Bella, I love you…" His voice is so low I think I may have imagined what he said.
"I love you," he repeats louder. "I think I may have loved you since the first time we met." He pushes a strip of my hair behind my ear and kisses my cheeks. I can feel tears falling down my face. Edward kisses my tears away and then my lips. The salt of my tears mix with the taste of his mouth and I cling to him. Could all of this be real? Can Edward possibly love me?
"But I thought this was an act, that you wanted to help me to become Jasper's girlfriend," I mumble against Edward's chest. We're standing in my hallway. The door is still open.
"That was just an excuse. I just wanted a reason to get closer to you. After we had sex I realized I was too selfish to let you go. I wanted you for myself and I thought that if we had enough time to get to know each other you might come to feel something for me too."
"But yesterday, you were the one that wanted us to break up…"
"I know. I'm so sorry Bella. I just wanted to see how you would react to that. I wanted to see if you were still interested in breaking up and pursuing a relationship with Jasper. And when you just said okay, I thought that you wanted to. That you were done with me and wanted to go after Prince Charming."
"Are you insane?" I ask lifting my head. "Have you seen Jasper eating junk food and drinking beer? He's no Prince Charming!" I laugh giddily. I'm so happy I cannot stop myself from giggling like a schoolgirl.
"What made you change your mind?" I question. He didn't follow me last night.
"Alice," he smiles. "She came to my room this morning. Woke me up with a bucket of water and told me I was an idiot. She told me you cried all night, that she could hear you sobbing from her room. She also said I was an idiot for letting a girl like you slip through my fingers. She told me to get up, take a shower and get dressed. Then she drove me here and let me know in no uncertain terms that I was not to leave until I fixed things with you."
I was crying with laughter by the time Edward finished his story. That was such an Alice thing to do. Of course she would go find Edward and drag him here.
After a short while I guided Edward to my room and we sat on my bed, basking in our embrace and the closeness of our bodies.
"So, you love me?" Edward asks after a few quiet moments.
"Of course I do, silly!" I sober quickly and grab his hand in mine. "I've never felt the way I do when I'm with you. You make me feel sexy, and cherished, but you also make me want to laugh. I always thought that I was supposed to wait for 'the one' and I had these big dreams about how he should be. You were nothing like what I had imagined. You are so much better."
Edward smiles and kisses me softly.
"I don't want to be apart from you, Bella. Before, in the beginning, I was scared because I had been hurt before, and the way I feel about you…If I were to lose you I don't know what would happen to me."
"You won't ever have to worry about that," I whisper softly.
"What happened to your eyes?" I inquire then, remembering the change in color they suffered overnight.
"Oh, well I have myopia and I'm supposed to wear glasses all the time. I just accidentally got colored contact lenses and didn't have the time to get clear ones yet with how crazy the semester has been."
"So your eyes…they are green?" I ask for a confirmation.
"No reason…no reason at all…" I reply before kissing him. Maybe there was some truth to what the fortune-teller said to me so long ago after all.
- OUTiH -
5 years later…
"Edward?" I call. He told me to meet him at this townhouse. We've been looking for a bigger apartment for months now so that we can finally move in together. So far we've found nothing good. I never considered a house because it's a lot more expensive and too big for two people. However, he wanted me to give this townhouse a look.
After College was over, Edward and I moved to his hometown, Chicago. Alice moved to New York to continue with her graphic design career since that's where most of the bigger Ad firms are located. Jasper moved to California where he worked for a prestigious law firm for a year.
However, last year he shocked the lot of us by moving to New York and pursuing Alice. Turns out Jasper had had a secret crush on her all of these years but was so intimidated by her that he never dared voice his feelings. Then one day, he decided he was done pining and decided to take action.
It took him all of six months to convince Alice to go on a date with him. They have been dating for the last three months. Alice is still playing hard to get and won't even call him her boyfriend, but I have high hopes for those two. I think they'll get their happily ever after, just like I did.
"Edward?" I call louder remembering my Prince Charming. Where is he? This place is so dark.
Just as I finish that thought, the whole room lights up with Christmas lights in all the colors of the rainbow.
I gasp. The room is empty except for a big bed covered in red rose petals and a table which is set with a big bottle of champagne and a picnic basket. I look around and hanging from the ceiling there's a disco ball that reflects the twinkle lights and makes the room look like it's full of fireflies.
I can hear a sweet melody in the background, Debussy perhaps? I've never been good at pinpointing composers like Edward is.
Speaking of the devil…
Edward walks from out of the shadows holding a big bouquet of primroses (2) which he places on the bed on his way to me.
"Edward, what's the meaning of this?"
Edward smirks, that devilish smirk that always turns me into a puddle of goo.
He doesn't reply. Instead he walks towards me and asks me to close my eyes. I do, because I trust him, and I love him beyond words.
Edward gently places something atop my head. I touch it and gasp when I realize what it is: a tiara, a princess' tiara.
He pulls me to him and kisses me below the ear before whispering, "You freed your Prince from a curse that kept his heart cold and closed to love. You showed your Prince the true magic that can still be found in this world. With your kindness, Princess, you showed me the real meaning of the word love. What was once broken you mended and made whole again. I don't ever want to spend a single day away from you."
He turns me around and tears start falling down my face as he kneels in front of me and presents me with the most beautiful ring, nestled in a cocoon of black velvet.
"Bella Swan, my princess. Would you do me the great honor of becoming my Queen?"
I cannot reply. I am astonished, shocked, and deliriously happy.
Edward looks antsy and asks again, "Would you put me out of my misery here, love? Please tell me you'll marry my sorry ass."
I laugh because I cannot believe this gorgeous, lovely, adorable man thinks I could ever refuse him.
I jump into his arms and practically crush him as we both fall to the floor.
"Of course I'll marry your sorry ass. I love your ass!" I reply enthusiastically.
Edward chuckles and slaps my behind, "I love yours too." Edward places the ring on my finger and nothing has ever felt so right as that ring feels on my finger.
Then we are kissing, our romantic picnic long forgotten.
Clothes are thrown everywhere and soon we are naked in bed, caressing each other, loving each other.
"I love you, Bella. I love you so damn much." Edward moans against my mouth as he pushes deeper into me. I close my eyes and when I reopen them I'm swallowed by the overwhelming need to hug him closer to me. So I do. I wrap myself around him, and whisper against his neck, "I loved you even before I knew you…" I try to continue but I can feel my release getting closer which makes it hard to think.
I use the last of my sanity to say, "You complete me, Edward. I waited so long to meet you, but you were worth it. I would have waited an eternity for you."
"Bella," he gasps and I can feel him tremble as we both shatter into a thousand pieces.
- OUTiH –
And this is the story of how I learned that life is nothing like a fairy tale. Life is full of problems, sad days, tears and bitterness. We'll all suffer from disappointment and be hurt. We'll all have our hearts broken at some point.
But one day, when you least expect it, you'll find that person that will make it all worth it. It might take a lifetime of waiting, but if you look hard enough, your happily ever after will be waiting for you to find it.
Life is not easy, and you won't always make the right choices. But sometimes the wrong choices will take you exactly where you need to be. Sometimes…sometimes, you don't have to be right. Sometimes it just has to feel right.
(1) In case you don't know which song they are dancing to, it's "Sexy and I know it" by LMFAO. Google it, the video is hilarious.
(2) PRIMROSE MEANING: I Can't Live Without You