Entry #92 - AH

Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest

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Title: More Than You'll Know

Picture Prompt Number: #11

Pairing: Bella/Edward

Rating: T

Word Count: 9,993

Genre: Romance/Hurt/Comfort

Warnings: This fic does contain some physical/emotional trauma and the subject of suicide. If this isn't your thing, then don't read any further.

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight! We all know who does... you don't? It's Stephenie Meyer!

Summary: Two people with different lives are brought together in unexpected circumstances, but when one pulls away, does this make it just a one-sided love?

~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~

More Than You'll Know

He's within a few feet from her. She desperately wants to reach out and talk to him, but she knows it can't be.

He doesn't even acknowledge her, even though she's within the distance where he has to notice her. It's as if he's treating her like she's not even there, like she doesn't exist.

He must be pretending. Even his friends acknowledged her presence by merely saying a hi or waved. But that may be because his friends are partially her friends too.

She's with her friends, drowning out what Alice and Rosalie were gossiping about for the day. They're talking something about Lauren who got together with one of the football players. Tyler's his name. She couldn't care less. Who cares who goes out with who? What matters is that whoever you go out with is the person you see as potential of pursuing a relationship with.

Blowing a strand of brown hair away from her face, she risks a glance at him. He doesn't seem to notice that he was looking back at her, which causes her to frown. Just when she's about to turn away to talk to her friends, he catches her eye.

His green eyes stare back at her brown ones and it takes her breath away. She thought he'd be creeped out to see someone ogling him from a distance, but instead he just gives her a half-smile and looks away again.

She shook her head. Was that meant for her? Or was it meant for someone from behind her? She whipped her head back. There's no one behind her... unless you count a ghost that she can't see.

She let her shoulders slump. The vibes that he was giving her were just plain confusing.

~:~

He's there again. She can see him. She was eating lunch with Alice and Rosalie as usual at their table located outside the cafeteria. It was under the sun... but she didn't really care about that. So what if they were out under the sun? At least they were alone and no one can bother them. It gives them a chance to talk easily without the snooping ears of other students, like others would normally do in the cafeteria.

He was there with ten or more friends, near the tree. Their tree. The tree that they've hung around at for every lunch recess since the first day of their freshmen year. The tree, which everyone knows as the freshmen tree. The tree that everyone believed for great things to happen.

And it is... at least for her. It's the one place she know he'll be there. The one place that she can have a few seconds to look at him.

She tries to focus on eating her apple, which was being balanced by her left hand. She took a few bites of it earlier while Alice and Rosalie chatted about the next time they were going over to Alice's house to play video games. Yeah... they're weird that way. Three girls who play video games instead of average girls who would want to go to the shopping mall and spend all their money to themselves.

Don't look at him... don't look at him... she told myself. As tempted as she was to look at him, she knew that if she did, she wouldn't be able to stop.

Sighing, she excused herself from her friends so she could dump her tray into the trash bin outside one of the entrances of the cafeteria. She needed a distraction from him, even if it was doing something as simple as throwing her lunch she hasn't finished.

From behind her, she felt as if someone was staring at her. Her breath hitched, trying to keep the shock at bay. Who would be staring at her? She's nothing interesting to talk about, except for her friends. She shook the feeling off her head and walked back to the table.

But she felt it. Someone is staring at her. She briefly turned her head to the left, trying to see if she can catch whoever it was that's looking at her.

She internally groaned. This was stupid. What someone would be looking at her? Maybe it's a guy checking her out. She didn't understand how she could be gawked at. She wasn't exactly one of those pretty or beautiful girls like Alice and Rosalie.

Or maybe she's wrong. Alice and Rosalie have tried to convince her numerous times that she is pretty and beautiful. There wasn't a guy she knew yet who would appreciate those aspects that she could provide.

She still felt it. Those eyes. Whoever those eyes were won't stop staring at her, and she didn't even know whose it is.

She shook her head. She was getting paranoid thinking about it by each ticking minute.

But there was something about the situation that made her curious, as if she did know who it is that was looking at her... or more like is still looking at her.

It couldn't be him. She bets that he doesn't even care about her. That was a coincidental moment that happened between them. It was nothing more than an innocent gaze at each other from across the field.

She shook her head again. It can't be him...

~:~

"Pst..." a low whisper echoed from a few rows at the side of the class.

She turned to the side to see that it was him.

She rolled her eyes. She knew that he probably just wanted to ask her for a pencil to borrow because he left his at home. That isn't something new. A lot of classmates would do that to her.

What do you want? she mouthed at his direction.

Behind her, she could see a folded piece of paper being passed into her direction. Angela, who was sitting next to her, placed the folded piece of paper on her lap. She was about to unfold it when she noticed that something was written on the front that her eyes were able to see now.

Read it after class.

It was his handwriting. There's no doubt about that. She sits next to him in physical science to know what his handwriting looks like.

She turned her head again to his direction and sees that he's mouthing something at her. She was good at seeing what people are trying to say to her, even if that person wasn't speaking.

Did you read it? he mouthed at her.

She shook her head.

He gave a slight nod, then turned back to the essay that their teacher assigned them to do for the remainder of the class period.

She stuffed the note in her pocket and continued on her essay as if she was never disrupted. She'd read the note... but something deep inside her mind that it was something that she wouldn't enjoy.

~:~

Read it after class.

What was so important about it? Why in the form of a note? If he had something to say for her, why didn't he tell her face-to-face? She wouldn't bite.

Those questions ran through her head as she headed to her next period. It said to read it after class, so now wouldn't be a bad time to read it. No one would notice. She could read it under her seat as everyone listened to the lecture their teacher had for them.

With that in mind, she entered the class and settled down on her seat. Students were filing in the room, so she seized that moment to take the folded note out of her pocket. She unfolded it and, making sure no one would see what she's doing, bent down to read the note laying on her lap.

Bella,

Leah wants me to invite you to my party this Saturday. You in?

- E

That's it? That's all he wanted to tell her? He wanted her to come to his party? Anger suddenly boiled in her.

She got worked up for nothing?

With a huff, she crumpled the note and stuffed it into her backpack. She wouldn't need to look at it again. It was something simple to remember.

And then it hits her.

He's inviting her to a party.

The anger dissolved into the familiar tingle in her stomach. He wants her to come? The Edward Cullen that was a mystery to her?

Then again, it's Leah who wanted her to come. Not him.

Letting her head fall on her desk, she groaned softly.

~:~

Her mind was in a frenzy. She couldn't stop thinking about the note she got from him. This would be the first time she'd be at his house.

The fact alone made her want to faint.

She's waiting for her friends at the bus stop. Alice and Rosalie usually came before the usual bus they took together arrived since their last period of classes were farther than hers. She didn't mind. As long as she has her friends before she went home, then it's alright.

Or, at least, most of it.

She felt her cell phone vibrate in the pocket of her jeans. She reached inside and took it out, wondering who would call or text her at this hour. Alice and Rosalie don't call her after school, except to say if they'd be late. She knew today isn't that day.

It's a text from someone with a number she didn't recognize. Confused, she went ahead and read the text. She figured it's from someone who has the wrong number.

So, you coming? -E

She froze. She didn't need to know the name to know who sent her that text.

How'd you get my number? -B

She didn't wait long for him to text back.

I got Leah to tell me. So are you coming to my party? -E

Uh... sure. -B is what she replied back.

She waited a few minutes to receive a text back.

OK. See you Saturday. -E

She stuffed her phone back into her pocket, growling in frustration. First the note, now a text? She knew that Leah has her number, but she never told her to give it to Edward. Why should she? They hardly speak to each other.

Another part of her told her that she's lucky. This is Edward she's talking about. She should be lucky to have his number. Any girl would be lucky to have his number... yet she's shocked to be among those girls, even if he didn't get it from her in person.

She's lucky no one was there to witness what happened.

With a sigh, she added Edward as one of her contacts on her phone. As long as he has her number, she might as well put his in too.

This was confusing her. He wasn't supposed to be getting these things from her.

~:~

The party was in full swing. She could hear the rhythmic beat of a Britney Spears song playing from the stereo in his living room. All around her, she could see people dancing around to the music and others who weren't dancing mingling with their friends.

She left Rosalie and Alice to get a drink at the side of the spacious room. They were having an in-depth conversation with Emmett and Jasper, who were not only friends with them, but also to Edward.

She wasn't much of a dancer, but she couldn't help but swing her hips to the beat of the song. She lacked confidence, but when it came to music, she'd shed the shy side of herself and replace it with the side of her that was bold and flirtatious.

When she reached the cooler where the drinks were in, she grabs a can of coke. After opening it, she took a sip. She scanned the room and froze when her eyes caught sight of him.

He was alone. He's leaning against the side of a wall and she could tell he was doing nothing but watching everyone have fun. There's a slight smile on his face. She followed the trail of his eyes and she sees Leah and Sam grinding against each other.

She laughed. Leah knew how to have a good time.

She looked at him again and noticed his eyes were now on her. She blushed. He's looking at her. Shouldn't she be looking at him? It seemed as if tonight was making things the opposite. She didn't mind. It was nice that she wasn't the one caught staring for a change.

Why would he be staring at me? She thought. She checked her blouse to see if any of her drink spilled on it. Luckily, her blouse wasclean.

She lifted her head back up and noticed that Edward was nowhere to be seen.

Where did he go?

She wandered off for a moment, wondering where he'd be. One moment he was standing there. The next... gone! Did she take that long to assess her blouse to notice when he walked off?

She didn't see him anywhere. Maybe he's outside?

She wanted to go outside to check, but she felt the need to use the bathroom. She didn't drink much, but she remembered she didn't use the bathroom before she left home.

She should ask someone where Edward's bathroom was, but decided against it. She'd find it herself. She didn't need to interrupt who was having fun at his party.

She headed towards the stairs. She figured that his bathroom was somewhere upstairs. The farther she's up the stairs, the softer she the music sounded from downstairs. The song changed from when she entered the house and is now replaced with a Miley Cyrus song.

For a brief moment, she wondered why he'd have a Miley Cyrus song. Not that she cared. But she wondered... wasn't her songs for girls like her? Or those for sluts? She didn't wanted to be mean. Students were strict about their social standings.

By the time she was upstairs, she hears another song playing in a room that's different than from downstairs.

And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

She froze. She recognized the song and tiptoed to the source of it.

Two doors on the right from the stairs is where she found it. The door of the room was slightly open, giving her a glimpse of darkness inside the room. As she peered closer, she sees that it wasn't fully dark in the room, but is lit with light from a lamp.

A lamp in a room.

A lamp she could tell was from Edward's room.

The Edward that's there himself.

She put a hand in front of her mouth to stifle her gasp. If he heard her, she was dead.

Luckily, she saw that he didn't. She poked her head through the gap the door left open to see what he was doing in there. She knew she shouldn't be eavesdropping, but she's curious. It's his party downstairs. Why would he abandon it all of a sudden to come up to his bedroom?

She was going to take a peak. She's safe as long as he doesn't find out.

"I miss you," she heard him whisper. He misses someone.

From the corner of her eye, she sees him lean against his bed with something in his arms. He was cradling something against his chest.

A rectangle. A photo. A photo with a frame. A picture frame.

Those bits of information in her mind gave her what she needed to know.

Why was he holding a picture frame? Who could he miss? Maybe a friend? A relative?

"Kate," was the name she heard.

Kate? Who was Kate?

She heard silence. She squinted her eyes and she sees that he's now on the floor, the picture frame cradled in his arms. His head was buried between his legs and he was sobbing.

He was crying. She wanted to cry. Even though she didn't know what it is that Kate did that upset him, his suffering made her suffer.

She had to get out of there. She couldn't take seeing him suffer. She didn't want him to see her crying too.

With a frown etched on her face, she stepped away from the door and quietly ran back downstairs, back to the party, holding in her tears.

I won't cry. she told herself. This is a party. There's no room for sadness.

~:~

Nothing changed between them since that night. He's still silent towards her, except when they're forced to talk. By forced, that meant anything involving school. She couldn't avoid that.

They still shared those looks at each other. What's weird is that it happened more often than usual. Even when she wasn't looking at him, she had that feeling that someone was watching her.

And it continued.

She should be uncomfortable, but she isn't. Something about his staring made her flattered. It's not often a guy would do that to her.

Months past, and nothing changed. She's tired of this. Her freshman year ends and was now moving on to becoming a sophomore.

As much as she tried to ignore it, she couldn't. It's a problem that she didn't know how to solve.

~:~

She didn't know how she got roped into this. She didn't want to go, but Alice and Rosalie insisted. It's the second time they actually went to an event where they had to wear formal attire held by the school. It's held annually, and knowing her friends, she knew they wouldn't want to miss out on the experience.

The New Years Ball. They went last year, but that's when he wasn't much of a problem. Now that he popped into her life and created an inner conflict with herself, she wasn't sure if she could bear seeing him more outside of school.

But she did. She stood there, in the elegant ballroom, wearing a snowy white spaghetti strapped floor length dress. The dress accentuated her curves, making her someone that boys in the room would stare at.

She didn't want this type of attention. She wanted to have attention for her brains, not her body.

She blamed Alice. She told her specifically that she didn't want to wear something too flashy. And what did she do? She made her wear that. Even though it's a simple design that she liked, she doesn't like being lusted by the upperclassmen. She wanted to grab the attention of one person.

Without Alice or Rosalie, she felt vulnerable. She wanted the comfort of her best friends. She didn't want to be alone, where some random guy could grab her and do things to her she didn't desire.

With a low groan, she leaned back against the wall. She watched as Alice was having her fun with Jasper as they danced together on the dance floor. She smiled for them. They had such great chemistry.

Then there was Rosalie. She was just as shy as Bella, although she wasn't that shy to unable to talk to boys. She knew how to take charge of her life. She's talking to Emmett somewhere on the other side of the ballroom. She too smiled for Rosalie.

They were having their fun. She wasn't, or she was until they ditched her.

She hated not having her fun. Sometimes she preferred to be alone. She wanted time to sort out her thoughts, and now that she realized it, she could use the time alone, even if it's for a while. She wanted to sort out her thoughts of him, who apparently's on the side of the dance floor watching everyone else. And her.

He's doing it again. She felt his eyes on her. She tried to use her hair as a curtain to prevent herself from looking at him. She couldn't look at him. She can't let him see her weak. Or if he did, she couldn't let him see it again.

She turned her head to the side and made her way to the table, where there was food and drinks. She took one of the plastic cups and poured herself a cup of punch from the punch bowl. She had to distract herself, and it seemed like drinking punch was the logical idea.

Don't look at him, don't look at him. she chastised herself for what could be the hundredth time this week.

"Hey Bella?" she heard a voice from behind her.

She felt her body turn stiff. She knew that voice. It was him. He was talking to her, the New Years Ball out of all places.

"Yes?" She tried to not let her voice shaky and give him what the satisfaction of how nervous she is.

"Ummm... do you wanna dance?" When she turned around, she sees that Edward's left hand was outstretched to her, waiting for her response.

Should she dance with him? She's yet to go on the dance floor. She chose not to for two reasons. One, she was the crappiest dancer in the school. Two, she didn't want to make an embarrassment of herself, especially him.

"I don't know..." she replied nervously, tapping her one inch heels on the floor. She cursed herself inwardly. Didn't she swear to not be nervous?

"It's okay if you don't want to," he told her, disappointment evident in his voice. "You weren't with your friends and I thought you might want some company."

She immediately felt bad for him. He wanted to keep her company. That wasn't a bad thing.

"I..." she trailed off.

"Yeah?"

"I do want to, but I can't dance."

He laughed. He actually laughed.

She rolled her eyes. "It's not funny. Not everyone can dance."

"Oh, I'm not laughing because you can't dance," he said, still laughing. "I'm laughing because at I'm not the only one who can't."

"Uh... thanks?" She didn't know if she'd consider that as a compliment. She didn't know how to respond to his last response and only came up with that.

"It's not a problem," he chuckled. "Since we both can't dance, we'll both make a fool of ourselves."

She shrugged. How could she say no to that?

"Okay," she said. "We'll dance, but if I hurt you, it'll be your fault."

She finally took his outstretched hand and he led her to the crowded dance floor. The current song is a fast hip-hop song, and they tried to blend in with the rest of the teens, who were grinding against each other to the beat of the music.

"Let go," he whispered in her ear.

Let go.

With a deep breath she moved so that her back is to Edward. She starts grinding against his chest. She felt a smile grow on her face. Maybe dancing wouldn't be that bad.

"Oh god."

"C'mon." She grinds herself more against Edward. "Dance with me."

And he dances. She felt as if they were the only two people dancing on the dance floor. She felt so carefree, so innocent... So happy.

She forgets about the staring that he does to her and she focused on this moment, where they acted like normal teenagers. She savored this rare moment of being able to talk to him, to be with him.

She knew the song that she's dancing to would end soon. She stopped grinding against him and turned around. She almost melted when she sees his green eyes with a fixed, hard expression. It wasn't anger. If it wasn't, what was it?

"That was nice," she told him. "Thanks for dancing with me."

Another song was about to begin, but before she could walk off, he grabbed her wrist.

"Can you dance with me for this song before you go?" he asked.

She couldn't believe what he was asking her. It was a slow song, and he wanted her to dance with him.

I was a quick wit boy

Diving too deep for coins

All of your street light eyes

Wide on my plastic toys

"You know this is a slow song, right?" she muttered.

"I know, but I still feel like dancing. And since we're still here, why not?"

He still wanted to dance with her. She could feel a blush rise on her cheeks.

"Sure..." Since she didn't know where her friends, she might as well make the best of it. She wanted to savor the moments that she shared with him before they'd go back to the way it was before.

She stood closer to him, his arms encircling her waist. She hesitantly brought her arms up to lay on his shoulders and wrap around his neck. They swayed from left to right, getting used to the idea of slow dancing with each other. They stayed in comfortable silence as the song progresses.

Have I found you, flightless bird

Grounding, bleeding

Or lost you, American mouth

Big pill, stuck going down

They haven't spoke. It seemed like they were afraid to break their bubble.

When the song ended, they stepped away from each other. She had a half-smile on her face. His expression reflected hers.

"Thanks," she said. "I gotta go find my friends now."

He nodded. "You're welcome. It was nice dancing with you."

She nodded back, then gave him a hug. It was brief, but it's her way of showing him her thanks.

When she pulled away, she gave him a light smile before turning away, the dance they shared burning fresh in her mind.

~:~

It's now or never. Today is Valentine's day. Today was her chance. She'd take the chance to do it. She wouldn't chicken out. She'd ask him out.

She didn't know what made her come to this conclusion. Ever since she danced with him at the New Years Ball, she had different opinions about him. Yes, they still didn't talk to each other as much like they did before, but something changed since that night. He would stare at her more. She would stare at him more.

There was something about him that she couldn't put her finger on. Whatever it was, she hopes it's a good thing.

Which is why, if she gets lucky, she'll go for it and try to ask him out. Maybe, she thought the other day, if they went on a date, they'll get the chance to talk more and she'll see where they'll go from there.

She sat alone on one of the benches near the cafeteria, where she'd have a clear line of sight for him without having him know what her plans of action were. Around her, she could see many couples around. They'd be holding hands, giving each other gifts for Valentine's day, or even be making out in a corner.

She felt bile rise in her throat and she forced herself to swallow it down. She had lunch and she didn't want it to come back up. She had PE next period and couldn't stay hungry. She wanted to be like those couples. She wanted to know what it's like to be in love. She wanted to know how it felt for someone to love her back..

She took a deep breath. This was it. She can't back down.

She stood up, clutching the gift close to her chest. She didn't know what to give guys on Valentine's day, so she settled for something simple. She hoped that her gift would be enough and he'd appreciate it.

"Hi Edward," she greeted him when she's a few feet away from him.

He gave her a small smile. "Hey, Bella. What's up?"

"Listen, I-"

"Edward!" She turned her head around to see Leah running to them.

"Hey Leah!" Leah leaped up and gave him a hug. He's still smiling as he returned her hug.

She took a step back and frowned. Did Leah have to intrude their moment?

"I have something for you." She watched Leah reached into her backpack and pulled out a medium-sized teddy bear. It held a heart, which said BEST FRIEND in pink, capital, bold letters. Edward just smiled wider as he took the gift from.

"Thanks Leah." He gave her a one-armed hug.

Leah beamed. "It's no problem. Happy Valentine's day!"

"Happy Valentine's day Sparkles!" he said just as cheerfully, ruffling her hair.

She watched their pleasant exchanges, feeling the bile rise in her throat again.

Leah gave him a teddy bear. Her gift wouldn't mean much anymore. Leah's better in the mile run. That's when she realized that she's jealous. She shook her head. There's no reason to be jealous. Why should she? Leah and Edward were good friends. Nothing more.

She must have been caught up in her thoughts to realize that Leah is gone, walking with Emily, Sam and Seth.

She walked back to him, staring at him awkwardly. He held the teddy bear that Leah gave him and it seemed to be taunting her.

Go away. it seemed to be telling her.

"What were you saying before Leah came by?" he asked her, doing one of his infamous hair flips.

"Uh..." She couldn't do this.

"What's that?" He pointed to the small heart box she held in her hands.

"Ummm... it's for you." She raised the hand that held his gift and gave it to him. "I came by to give these chocolates to you."

He's about to thank her, but before he could say anything, she took off.

~:~

How could this happen? Her thoughts screamed to her. She was crying in her bathroom. The only difference was that she was in the bathroom of her own home and she wasn't crying because of jealousy and backing down to ask him out... but she was crying for the same person.

It's another simple situation that she's crying over for no reason. Basically, Alice and Rosalie came over to her house for another one of their Friday night sleepovers. The catch? They wanted to invite their boyfriends over. That wasn't a problem for her, although she would have to deal with their make-out sessions.

That wasn't the problem. The problem was that since Emmett and Jasper never wanted to leave Edward out of anything, they decided to invite him with them. She didn't realize the fact until the three boys were walking through her front door. Not only would she have to put up the make-out sessions with her best friends and their boyfriends, but she'd also have to put up with him for the entire night. It seemed like they were the third wheels. They'd be the third wheels together.

She sighed. The four of them were watching a chick flick downstairs in her living room. Alice had already fallen asleep with her head on Jasper's shoulder about five minutes before she'd come upstairs to the bathroom. As for Rosalie and Emmett... she shuddered. They disappeared into the guest room earlier and she didn't want to know what they were doing. That left Edward, who's still watching the movie when she went up to the bathroom.

She was afraid to join him. What would they do downstairs with no pair of eyes watching them? What if he made a move on her? What if she has the guts to make a move on him?

She refused to be afraid. Even though she had all of these questions running through her head, she refused to back down again. She didn't to go back feeling like a gigantic chicken. She didn't want to feel that she couldn't do something as simple as survive a few minutes under his watchful eyes.

I won't be chicken she told herself. With determination, she unlocked the bathroom door and padded back downstairs.

~:~

"If I ask you out, what would you say?"

"Are you asking me out?"

"'m just speaking hypothetically."

"Okay. Then I'd say no."

"No?"

"Yeah. I'm not ready to date anyone yet. If it was you, I'd probably think about it."

"Why?"

"We don't talk often. I have to get to know someone first before I consider them a person I'd date."

She replayed their conversation in her head during class. It's a free period, and she's using her free period by reading and thinking about her conversation with him from her last sleepover with her friends.

She's relieved that she was able to ask the question to Edward, even though she spoke hypothetically. She figured that if she asked him hypothetically, then she'd be able to quickly cover up if he said no, which he did.

She was disappointed when he said no. She felt as if her heart had been crushed by an invisible force and all the signs she'd felt from him were false. Then, she was confused. He said that if it was her, then he'd think about it. That statement gave her the tiniest glimmer of hope that maybe she didn't have to feel dejected yet.

There's still a chance. She just had to find a way to talk to him. If she does, he'll change his mind and he'll reciprocate her feelings that she was struggling to understand lately.

~:~

It's been two months. She's making good progress. She's a junior, and with her girl hormones have kicking in, her feelings for him have increased.

She made small talk with him at first, thinking that it's her first step of getting him to open. She figured that she could start with the littlest things first and work their way through there. She was able to sneak in a few short conversations with him during recesses, lunches and after school before she met up with Alice and Rosalie. Next, she relied on Facebook. Occasionally, she'd like and comment on his statuses, depending if it's a status she had something to say. He'd respond to her and they'd end up commenting on that status for the next hour or so, doing it as if they're chatting on Facebook. The difference is that every one of their Facebook friends would be able to view it.

She didn't mind letting people see what their comments are. If it wasn't personal, then it's safe to let everyone know.

When she did have something to say to him that she couldn't let other people know, she let him know through Facebook chat. Most of the time, it's about her friends or homework, but sometimes it was serious.

It's the middle of the second semester when they're paired up for a project in their photography class. On the projects that they've had so far, their teacher let them choose their partners. Normally, she'd go with Bree while he would go with Alec. Since it's one of their final projects of the year, their teacher decided to pick who works with who.

She was ecstatic when she heard his name and her name called out. When they went to sit together for the project, they had huge smiles on their faces.

"Nice to see I'm working with you," he'd told her. "You'll never top Alec, but I'll see what we can do." He gave her an evil smile, and all she did was laugh and roll her eyes.

It was the first time they were working together for a project, and she made it her goal to get an A on their project no matter what.

Their project was simple to hear at first, but once they actually had the green light to do it, they realized that it would take a lot of work and they only had a few weeks to complete it, which, in her mind, was more than enough time if they don't procrastinate.

For their final project of the year, each pair was randomly assigned a theme and an item. The pair had to tell an original story around their theme, along with adding their assigned item somewhere in the story. It had to be told through pictures. It's okay to use photos from the internet to tell the story, but if there were any trace of words at all in the pictures, then points from the final grade would be taken off. The teacher would give any extra credit to the pair if someone in the class can figure out the whole story of the pair's project. It seemed to be a manga book without all the dialogue.

What really shocked her was the theme they ended up with.

Love.

Their item? A flower.

Out of all the other themes that everyone else ended up with, the two of them ended up with the theme that explained how she felt about him? And an item that she sometimes wished he gave her? There were the themes of pain, supernatural, secrets... and even heaven! But no, she ended up with the theme that'll probably make the two of them awkward for the next few weeks.

And it did.

When they were together to discuss and work on their project, she could always feel the tension in the air between them. Whenever either of them mentioned the word, they would quickly look at each other for a second before changing the subject. She thought that it would be one-sided, but quickly realized that he was affected by it as much as she was.

Finally, she had enough.

She was tired of the countless weeks of wondering if there could be something more between them. She wanted them to be together, to be known as Bella and Edward, not Bella and Edward who were only friends. She wanted to know if he could feel those familiar sparks between them every time they accidentally brushed hands or bumped into each other.

She wanted to know if he loved her.

Their project was due in a few days, and today they'd be finishing it up. She had to admit, they did their best with their project and it looked good. They made it as attractive and obvious as it can be, since, of course, they want the extra credit.

I wish he found me attractive.

She had no idea what they'd be after the end of the project. Would they go back to how it was before, or would it change and they ended up being official friends. Out of the time they've known each other, they'd never put a label to their "relationship."

She analyzed the final product of their project as he was going around and cleaning some of the mess they made in his room. Their poster paper that had their pictures taped on was leaning against the wall at the side of his room. At the same time, she was also rereading the paper that had their story for their project typed and printed.

"Do you think it looks good?" Edward asked her when he finally finished cleaning up and sitting down on his bed next to her.

She nodded. "I think Mrs. Cope will love it."

"And the whole class?"

"Psh... they'll more than love it."

Tell him, Bella. Tell him before you chicken out again.

"So don't you have to go home yet?"

She glanced at the time on her phone. 6:54. "Oh. Yeah. But I have to tell you something first."

"Really? What is it?"

"You see..."

~:~

She slammed the door that led to her bedroom and locked it. Tears streaming down her face as she collapsed to the floor and sobbed.

Why? Why did he have to say that? Did he really think she'd lie to him?

"I'm in love with you."

The moment those words left my lips, She sensed him freeze, his hand on hers jerking away from her. She froze too. What did that reaction from him mean?

They stare at each other in silence. She wondered which one of them was going to break the silence, because a feeling deep in her stomach told her that something bad is about to happen.

Finally, she see him let out a laugh. However, the laugh wasn't a good laugh. It sounded like a forced laugh, like he was trying to force a laugh after someone told him a horrible joke.

"You've got to be kidding me, Bella. Please tell me you are."

I stare at him, confused. "What do you mean? Of course I meant it. I love you."

"Don't."

"What?"

Something in him snapped, and before she knew it, he was talking to her with words that made her brain buzz.

"Don't. Don't say you love me. You don't anyway. Maybe you like me, but there's no way in hell you love me. You can't love me. Say that you don't love me, because I can't love you."

She was speechless. "Of course I-"

"Don't say you love me."

"But-"

"DON'T!" he bellowed. "DON'T TELL ME LIES!"

Fire boiled inside her, and she realized that she was getting angry.

"WHY WOULD YOU THINK I'M LYING TO YOU? I DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU TO JUST ANYONE, YOU KNOW!" Her voice cracked slightly at the end since she was yelling louder than she ever did to anyone.

"Leave," he finally tells her.

"What?"

"You heard me. Leave. I don't want to see you again."

"Wha-"

"I SAID LEAVE!" He was already pushing her through the door.

Her body was shaking from the uncontrollable anger that was waiting to be unleashed, and she knew that she won't be able to take back whatever she said next.

"Okay," she tells him after he shoves her a foot away from the door. She turns around and looks him straight in the eye. "Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're not in love with me, but I am! You want me to prove it? Here. I can't stop thinking about you. I catch you staring at me a lot and wonder why you do that? Is it because I'm ugly, or is it because you want to tell me something? I don't know. I'd ask you, but we're too busy ignoring each other a lot to even notice." She stepped forward once more and poked his chest with her pointer finger. "I'm tired of wondering of all the what-if's. You invited me to Leah's party, and you know what happened?" She didn't pause for his reaction. "I saw you with a picture of someone in your room, saying that you miss a girl name Kate."

"You saw me?" he gritted through his teeth. "Kate is none of your business."

"I'm not finished. You asked me to dance during the New Years Ball on our sophomore year. I was okay with that. It was a one-night thing and I thought I'd forget about it. Then I gave you a Valentine and I wanted to ask you out, but Leah came and I was jealous because her gift was more extravagant than mine and I backed down. Then you, Jasper and Emmett came over to my house for my Friday night sleepover with Alice and Rosalie. I asked you if you'd go out with me hypothetically. You said you would think about it. Don't you see? I was giving you hints that I love you, but you didn't seem to get it."

"You didn't think I noticed?" He laughed darkly. "Of course I noticed. I noticed that I'm not your type and I'm no good for you."

"Uh-huh. Yeah. So tell me. Do you love me or not?"

"Is this a joke?"

"JUST TELL ME!"

Silence.

She sniffed. "Fine. Be that way. I don't care. If you don't believe me, then I'll leave you alone like you want. Hell, I won't even care if you killed yourself, because what's the point of me loving you now? You aren't the boy I fell for." She yanked the cell phone charm of a peace sign that Edward gave her a while back on her 16th birthday from the zipper of her backpack. He said it was his token of her being a good person to talk to, although she sometimes wondered if he was implying that she was a friend.

She didn't care anymore. He can't be her friend if he says those words.

Once the peace sign charm was in her hand, she threw it at him. "So much for me thinking you were a friend and someone I can love." And with that, she walked away and slammed the door shut. She ran downstairs and headed to the front door. She could hear footsteps behind me, but she don't give a damn.

"Bella," he was calling after her. "Wait-"

"Goodbye Edward. I'll see you at school. Don't bother talking to me." She was outside seconds later and running home.

When she was a few feet away from his house, she could have sworn she heard a scream.

"Bella?" her mom's voice asked through the locked door. "Are you okay?"

"Y-yeah," she said. "Just had a busy night with Edward on our project."

"Dinner's on the table."

"I'm not hungry."

"If you're sure... if you change your mind, I'll reheat it for you." With a sigh on the end end, her mom's footsteps grew softer as she headed downstairs.

~:~

The next day that she returned to school, she was dreading to meet him or any of his friends. She knew that if she looked him in the eye today, she'll remember what she told him and feel sick.

She was at the front of the library with Alice and Rosalie, along with other juniors that she knew. She hasn't told them about what happened between she and Edward, but why should she? They would just hate him. And she didn't want them to hate him. If anything, she hated herself. She hated having those high hopes of thinking that he'd feel the same way towards her.

"Swan!" She, Alice and Rosalie turn their heads to see Emmett and Jasper walking towards them.

She smiled at them. Even if they were his friends, she couldn't hold anything against them. They did nothing wrong to cause her current mood.

"Hey," the three girls greeted together.

"Mind if we borrow Bella for a moment?" Jasper asked. "We need to talk to her."

"Er... sure..." Alice answered for her, a tiny bit of hesitance in her tone.

Emmett motions for her to follow them. She turns to her friends and cocks her head to the side, wondering what they wanted. They just shrugged.

"Just go with them and see," Rosalie tells her. "It's probably important."

She just nods and take quick steps to catch up with the two boys. They stop when they finally reach near a building where they were a good distance away from her friends, as well as the fact that the building only had a few bystanders.

"What's up?" She asks them.

"Edward told us what happened."

She froze, her blood running cold. She didn't expect them to find out about their fight this fast.

"Ummm..." She didn't know what to say.

"It's okay, Bella. We're not mad at you for telling Edward what you said," Jasper reassured her. "In fact, we think that it was about time that someone stuck up for himself, or herself in this matter."

"Huh?"

"Edward's been emo for this long that we're glad that someone like you was there to tell him to get his head out of his ass and start living again," Emmett explained. "Did he tell you the story of Kate?"

She shook her head. She heard the name, but there was a story behind her?

"Who was she?" she questioned. Perhaps Kate's story would give her some insight of why Edward reacted like that during their fight.

"It's a long story, but we'll keep it as short as possible.

You see, before you moved here, Edward had an cousin name Kate. She was Edward's favorite older cousin. I'll keep it short and say that Kate was Edward's favorite cousin. They practically did the same things together whenever she came to town and visited him. When she had a boyfriend, though, things changed. She hardly came to visit Edward, and when she did, it was nothing more than a hello, how are you and a brief conversation before she left. It upset him. He never though that he's be losing Kate to a guy he never met face-to-face.

Kate's boyfriend was this dude name Garrett, who's a friend of one of her classmates or something. They got set up and you know what they say... the rest of history. After that, all they did was act like the perfect couple everyone saw them as. What they didn't know was that their relationship isn't as perfect as everyone dubbed it as.

Garrett was possessive of Kate. You can assume he has anger issues. When he gets jealous, he hits her. Sometimes it's worse than that. Edward found out, and wanted her to break up with him for good. She wouldn't. She loved him despite all the abuse that she gets from him."

They were a year into their relationship when he snapped. She had gotten home late because she was out with her friends and a picture of her kissing a guy on the cheek ended up on Facebook. Garrett assumed he was cheating on her. I don't know much of the details after that, but all Edward told me he knew was that Kate was pushed down the stairs from Garrett and died from hitting her head and blood lose.

Garrett regretted his actions. He would have been sent to jail, but because he felt so guilty of killing the girl Edward said was "his only love", he hung himself. Emoward kinda went to depression afterward for like a month. By the time Jas and I brought him out of his funk, he told us he'd never fall in love. He says it's not because he's afraid of ending up in an abusive relationship like Kate, but because he was afraid of falling in love with the wrong person and having it destroyed."

Once Emmett finished Kate's story, realization finally sets on her. This is why Edward reacted the way he did.

"Edward doesn't hate you," Jasper said softly. "It's the exact opposite."

"W-what?" It couldn't be...

"He feels the same way towards you," Emmett told her. "He was terrified of falling in love with you, so when you told him how you feel, he freaked out. He regrets it. I mean it. He told us. Heck, we've been trying to get you two together for the past few months!"

"You're not the only one," she whispered. "I feel awful telling him that."

"You two better fix what you did," Jasper tells her. "Knowing Edward, I don't want him to do something he regrets."

~:~

I'm so sorry, Edward. I didn't know it would be like this.

She had to fix what she did. With Kate's story, she knew they were meant to be. She was going to his house to talk things out. It's already four in the afternoon, but she had to go to a meeting for one of her clubs and waiting for a bus took a while. She didn't care. She had to fix this.

She wasn't far from his house. The closer she got, the closer she would get to making things right. And, hopefully, to see if Edward could finally succumb his feelings for her.

Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket, making her stray away from her thoughts and back into reality. It was a text.

You said you wouldn't care if I killed myself. You're getting your wish. I'm sorry, but it's for the best.

Her phone buzzed again.

I love you Bella. I'm sorry that I'll never be able to tell you this in person. -E

~:~

He's insane. He can't be doing this.

She's extremely frantic now. The text that he sent her made her heart pound against her chest as if it would burst open at any moment.

Maybe it would, and everyone would be able to see how pent up it was lately.

Her legs picked up speed, and before she knew it, she was at the front door of his house, banging at the door hard when she saw that it was locked.

"EDWARD!" she screamed. "LET ME IN! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!"

Silence.

"Edward," she whimpered, tears pricking her eyes. "You can't do this."

She heard shuffling inside, and began banged the door again. He wouldn't open it, but that didn't mean she'd give up.

"I'M SORRY!" she screamed again. "I'm sorry for what I said! I didn't mean it!"

She tried jiggling the doorknob again. It was no use. By the time she'd find a way to open it, it'll be too late.

Then it hits her. The tree. She knew that he had a tree in his backyard that's tall enough to reach his bedroom. If the window in his bedroom was open, she could climb the tree and get into his room. Even though she's a klutz, she's climbed trees before. It wouldn't be that difficult.

She dashed away from the back door to his backyard. As soon as she spotted the tree, she looked at the window to his bedroom. She could see him inside, but she had no idea what he was doing. He couldn't be gone yet.

She made sure her bag was securely slung on her shoulders and took a firm grip on the bark of the tree.

She started climbing. She slipped a few times, but she managed to not tumble down and restart her trek again. She figured that the times she climbed trees helped her for this moment, where she had to save a life she cares about.

Finally, she climbed up high enough to be leveled to his window. If she jumped, she'd be able to get inside.

She closed her eyes and jumped. When she didn't feel herself falling two stories of a house down, she opened her eyes. Her hands were gripping the bars from the window. After some kicking and climbing, she managed to get inside.

His room was enclosed in darkness, with the only sliver of light from the hallway. She was able to find his shadow, crouched down on the floor, holding something in his hand she couldn't identify.

"Edward," she whispered, tentatively walking towards him. She could see his body freeze.

"Go away," he whimpered. "I'm no longer needed here."

She knew what he meant. She wouldn't let him accept it. "But you are. By me, Jasper, Emmett and everyone else."

"It's only you, Jas and Em," he replied, his head turning. She didn't let herself be lost by his eyes that she felt was piercing through her soul. "No one will care that you're gone."

By this time, she was a few feet in front of him. She knelt down and placed her hand on his hand that held the mysterious item, which she now identified was something sharp.

A knife.

He really was thinking about ending his life.

"I'll care," she tells him. "You, Edward, are important. Don't let Kate's experiences tear you down. If you loved me, why didn't you say so?"

"Love," he corrected her. "Not past tense. Present tense."

Her hand that was atop his trailed up so it landed on his cheek. "So you love me?"

He nodded. "More than you'll ever know."

She stared deep into his eyes, which she was filled up from with emotion that she braced herself for those emotions to pour out of him. It'd be okay. She'd be there to help him.

"I'm so sorry," he tells her after a few moments of silence. "I'm sorry for everything that I've done to you. I'm sorry I lied to you when we fought. It was the only way to prevent myself from falling for you. I'm so ashamed." The tears he fought to hold back were now spilling freely down his cheeks, dropping on the tiled floor with a splash.

She wanted to cry too. This man, who put her through so much, is the one to break down.

He buries his head into her hair, sniffling into her shoulder. "If I could take back everything I did, I would."

She shook her head. "As tempting as that is, I wouldn't. I may have to suffer silently through everything but I wouldn't take it back. It made me stronger. It made me see the light and know what I look for in a guy."

"What do you look for?"

"Everything that you have." He gapes at her. "What? You're smart, funny, understanding, sensitive... should I go on?"

"No need." He lifts his head from her shoulder to gaze at her, brown into green. His gaze is intense that she had to look away.

"Don't," he tells her when she looks away. He lifts her chin so she's forced to look at him. Their faces are only a few centimeters away from each other.

"Why?" she whispered. "I think it's stupid for me to love you. You said it yourself. I'm not your type."

"Will you stop!" he suddenly screams at her. She flinches at the tone of his voice and backs away. He wouldn't have none of that. "Stop putting yourself down! You think you're not perfect. To me, you are. I love your flaws. I love that you get along with my friends. I love that it's easy whenever we talk to each other. I love how you can be really random at times!"

Most of all, I love that you're my friend." Those words take her aback.

That's the word she wanted to hear from him. All this time... he thought of her as a friend.

"Why didn't you say so?" she asked him. "Don't you know how paranoid I was whenever I thought whether or not I'm a true friend?"

"You are a friend. I was scared to say so. To me, you're so much more."

She wistfully smiled at him. "As a friend?"

"However you want me to be."

No words are spoken after. It's natural for them to kiss. With tears trailing down their faces, they poured all their love, devotion, trust and understanding into their kiss. It's what they wanted all this time. Now that they have it, there's no way they'd let each other go.

"I love you," he finally tells her when he pulls away, though he still keeps her in an embrace.

A smile forms on her face. "You know I do too."

They find themselves in another kiss. All their troubles melted away. What matters is that they're together. She saved him from death. He saved her from those constant "what-if's". They had nothing to worry about, but they'd still had a lot of pieces to recover, that it'll take a while for him to heal from all the trauma.

That doesn't matter. She thought to herself. I'll be here for him no matter what.

~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~

Hope you enjoyed! The songs that were mentioned are "How To Save A Life" by The Fray & "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron & Wine.