Hope Springs Eternal Contest

# of Prompt Chosen: 25, with a mention of 16 & 17

Pen-name: XXX

Title: Meteor Shower Across The Night Sky

Word Count: 10,004

Rating: T

Pairing: Bella/Edward

Summary: My life has a bunch of shards left untouched. Why should I pick them up when it would mean hurting myself again? When I succumbed myself to eternal darkness, a meteor shower crosses the night sky and I know there's still a light of hope left in me. AH

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer everything from Twilight. All I own is this plot (which is mostly based by true events that actually happened to me), any OC characters & a bunch of twilight merchandise.


0~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~ ~:~0

Even the best fall down sometimes

Even the wrong words seem to rhyme

Out of the doubt that fills my mind

You somehow find

You and I collide

~ Collide (Howie Day)

When I was thirteen, I had my first broken heart. When it happened, I swore that I'd never let a boy hurt me again. It would only risk to another broken heart that's worse than the last. I didn't want to suffer liking another, only to find that he'd break my heart and I'd have to face through the heartbreak all over again. I was young, not knowing what the risk of falling in love would do. I've fallen too much. I faced the consequences of what falling in love for the first time would do. I became a shadow of myself, and I was never the same again. The worst part? This all ended because of the stupid note that I thought I was brave enough to give him.

Eighth grade had come and gone, and before I knew it, I was in high school. It has been about three months since the first time I had my heart broken. Being in high school meant having a fresh start, and I'm desperate to make new memories to replace my old, bitter ones. Whenever I saw him, my heart still skipped a beat. I never moved on. It's painful for me to look into his eyes and immediately remember everything that he put me through. Bitterness soon turned into anger and jealousy when I heard the rumors that he had a girlfriend. I didn't like having those negative feelings. It made me feel like more of a bad person to them than I am now. I wanted those rumors to be proven false, but apparently, it wasn't so. He was no longer single. He has someone new, and that someone is my friend Leah. When I saw them together, I get jealous, not because I want to be his, but because I want to know what it's like to be loved by someone. My face would flame red and I'd feel the smile that would be on my face curve into a frown. And trust me, seeing the bad side of me is never a good thing. Seeing them together made me angry that I ever had feelings for him.

I was losing hope of being myself again when it happened. It was a Friday in August and I was at Japanese Club with my three best friends: Alice, Rosalie and Angela. Sam, a senior and Japanese Club's president, decided that today would be a video game day and allowed Tyler, a member of the club, bring in his Wii and his Super Smash Bros. Brawl video game. Alice, Rosalie and Angela are complete maniacs when it comes to video games, so it didn't surprise me when I found them being the first three members to have their arms shoot up towards the ceiling when Sam asked us who wanted to play first. At the moment, Alice was playing against three other members of the club (I didn't know their names, but I'm pretty sure they're upperclassmen), while Rosalie and Angela were cheering her on. Emily, another member of the club, decided to strike up a conversation with me since we hardly spoke since we began high school a couple of weeks ago. She was one of my friends in the intermediate since we shared the same homeroom and fourth period.

"So how are things going with Jacob?" Emily asks me, a mischievous grin on her face. Emily is one of those few people that I told about of my crush on Jacob, and so far, like a friend she is, she hasn't told anyone about it.

I bit my lip. That's the thing about him. I may be comfortable letting people I trust know that I have a crush on Jake, but when it comes to what happened between us, I'm terrified to speak of it. The only people who even know about it are Alice and Rosalie. I'd tell Angela soon, but she usually gets sick of hearing any love problems between Rosalie or I, so for now she'll have to be one of those people in the dark.

"It's… okay. I guess." At least I'm somehow telling the truth.

"Still not talking, huh?"

I shook my head. "I really wish he did."

"Did he kiss you yet?"

That caught my attention. "What?"

"Did you kiss Jacob yet?"

"What? Absolutely not!"

Emily chuckles. "Yeah you did. I can see you blushing. It's totally you, Bella."

Now that she mentioned it… I can feel my cheeks flaming into a blush. I don't know whether it's because of those butterflies I had in my stomach when I was still in good terms with Jake a few months ago, or if it's the anger whenever I feel his presence that's happening to me often for the past couple of weeks.

"I didn't kiss Jacob," I say in a firm voice. "I've never kissed Jacob or anyone else before."

"You kissed who?" a voice says from a few feet away. I turn around to see a boy with a grin of amusement on his face.

I kissed no one," I tell him. I recognize him now. He's in the same team with me and we share all of our classes except our sixth period. My sixth period is a pathway for Arts and Communication, while his sixth period is Japanese 1. I believe his name is Edward…

"Liar," he answers. "I can see it in your eyes."

I pout. "I'm not lying. It's the truth."

He laughs. "Tell me, Emily. Did Bella kiss anyone?"

Don't Emily… you better not give me away.

"Well…" She pats her chin with her finger as if she's lost in thought. "Bella's still blushing, so it's gotta be true." She waggles her eyebrows at me.

Dammit! I should stop blushing.

"What's the matter, Bella? Still thinking about the kiss with-"

"Shut it, Emily!" I interrupt her, her comment only causing my cheeks to flame hotter.

"Ooh…" He pokes my sides. "Dirty mouth."

Edward's words completely takes me by surprise. "What?"

"Dirty mouth! Dirty mouth! Dirty mouth!"

"Shut up! That's so not true!"

"Dirty mouth!"

"Shut up, Edward!"

"Dirty mouth!"

"Edward!"

The two of us, along with Emily, couldn't stop laughing. All that Edward's comment is doing is making me laugh. And I realize, for the first time in a long while, a boy is making me laugh. That hasn't happened since I transferred schools when I was thirteen. I didn't know a lot of guys at the new intermediate my parents enrolled me into, and the guys I did know disgusted me. They were so much different than the guys I knew in my old middle school. I didn't want to admit it, but Edward is reminding me of all the times I joked around with my guy friends before I transferred schools.

Or since Jacob. A lingering afterthought flashes in my mind.

No. This is not the time to be thinking about him.

"Hey Bella? What's wrong? You just stopped telling Edward to shut up." Emily looks me over with a concerned expression, the smile that was earlier on her face curving into a slight frown.

I do my best to mask the pain of the thought of Jake and put a fake smile on my face. "Yeah. I'm fine. By the way-" I turn to Edward, feeling my fake smile turning back into a genuine one. "I'm not a dirty mouth."

Edward snickers. "I'll believe it when I see it."

I shook my head with amusement. I'm already guessing that no matter what I say, Edward won't believe what I say. With a sigh, I wave him off and shift my eyes back to my friends, where they were still cheering Alice on.

When I turn back to take a quick glance at Edward, I notice that he still has a warm smile on his face. And suddenly, out of the blue, I feel my heart skip a beat and those familiar butterflies fluttering around in my stomach.

Calm down, Bella.

What is this? Why am I feeling this way? The only times I remember feeling this way is when I have a crush on a boy.

Wait, what?

I don't have a crush on Edward! I've only truly talked to him today for goodness sake!

However, it was his warm smile that drew me in. Unknown to me at the time, this first initial confrontation would change everything.

~0:0~

He never called me that nickname again, but it didn't mean that our interactions would stop. Because he's in most of my classes, we often talk to each other. After that day, we immediately became friends. He became one more person that I share my snacks with during a school day. Along with my other new friends that I made in high school so far, he sometimes walks with us to class.

It's obvious that it didn't take me long to fall for him.

It took me a while to realize it, but I did. And when I did, I became really scared. No. Scared is an understatement. I was more like… terrified.

Yes. Terrified is the word.

I don't remember the exact moment when I realized it, but it didn't change how I fear for my newfound predicament. I didn't want to fall for him. Even though he's such a great guy to hang around, I'm afraid that he would repeat what happened in my past. I was afraid that if I did like him, it would end terribly, just like my previous crush. I didn't want him to be another crush. I've experienced that firsthand with Jake. Oh… I have a load of profanities for Jake, and they aren't pretty. But when has profanities ever lead to something good?

Oh right… in Jersey Shore. Har har. If I wasn't this conflicted, I'd be laughing at my own joke.

I confide my new crush to Alice and Rosalie. I choose to leave Angela out of the dark on this for a while since I knew she wouldn't have much advice for my situation. As for Alice and Rosalie, I know I could trust them on anything that involved love. I trust Rosalie the most since she too is having complications on her current crush, Emmett (We nickname him Puppy because… well… puppies are cute. And who doesn't like puppies?). She had gotten over her old crush Ben (We nickname him Brains because I know he's smart) after he was giving her mixed signals on whether or not he likes her.

Rosalie tried her best to give me the best advice on how to deal with this situation. "Forget about what happened to Peaches," she told me. Peaches is the nickname we gave to said boy that broke my heart. "He's a part of your past. If Chef means a lot to you, then take that chance. Who knows? Maybe he'll be worth it in the long run." Chef is the nickname that I came up with for Edward.

That's the question that plagued my mind. Would Chef be worth it? Would he be the one to make me forget what ever happened with Peaches?

~0:0~

"Ugh!" I groan, laying my head down on the blue bench in front of the library. "What am I gonna get Edward for his birthday?"

"Belated," Alice corrects.

"Same thing!" I say, bringing my head back up and groaning again. "He's a guy! What can I get a guy for his birthday?"

Rosalie shrugs. "Guys like candy, so why don't you get him that?"

"And what about Pokemon cards?" Alice adds. "Doesn't every guy in the world at least know what Pokemon is?"

"Hmmm…" I tap my chin. I'm okay with Rosalie's idea, but as for Alice, I'm not too sure. Edward may like anime, but I haven't heard him once mention if he's into Pokemon. But he could be, right? He wouldn't join Japanese Club without a good reason.

"Or-" Rosalie's voice brings me back to reality. "If he doesn't like Pokemon, then we just get him candy. You told us once that Chef likes candy, right?"

"And cookies," I add.

"Well there you go," Rosalie says. "We'll buy some at Don Quiote after school. You have money?"

I nod.

"Good. I'll help ya out just in case, then we'll get ice cream after. Sounds good."

"Sweet!" I pump my fist in the air. "I mean… yeah. That's fine by me."

Alice and Rosalie laugh.

"Oh Bella," Alice chuckles. "What are we ever gonna do with you?"

~0:0~

"I wish I could have this," Rosalie says with a wistful sigh. I turn my head around to see my best friend holding up a Hello Kitty notebook. The two of us are in the Artbox in Don Quiote, where we plan to get a pack of Pokemon cards before we head up deeper in the aisles of Don Quiote to the candy section of the large store and buy ice cream in the food court after we pay for our purchases.

"How much?" I ask Rosalie. If the notebook doesn't cost too much, I might be able to buy it for her. I brought twenty dollars for our little outing, and if we buy one pack of Pokemon cards (It's about four dollars when I checked the price), candy (Shouldn't be more than three dollars) and ice cream, (I'm thinking we might spend around seven dollars for that), I should still have six dollars left, which could be enough for whatever Rosalie wants.

"Ummm…" Rosalie turns the notebook around to check the price. Her smile quickly turns into a frown. "Eight dollars. Damn… things here are so expensive."

"I know, right?" I say, agreeing. "But I can't buy it. If we do, we won't have enough for ice cream later."

"Damn it," Rosalie mutters. "I really want it."

"It's okay, Rose. Here, ice cream or a notebook?"

That puts Rosalie back into good spirits. "Ice cream! Duh!"

"Good answer."

After that conversation, I get Rosalie to pay for the pack of Pokemon cards. It doesn't take us that long, and in a matter of minutes, the two of us end up in the candy section, where the two of us think of which candy to buy.

"Well, Bella, now's your chance. Do you know what kind of chocolate Chef likes?"

I shook my head. "I know Edward likes chocolate, but I think I'll try to get candy for him. I just don't know which one is his favorite."

"Hmmm… a lollipop?"

"Nah. It's too small. And don't remind me. I still remember what you told me about why guys like seeing girls lick lollipops."

Rosalie chuckles. "I remember that too. And don't blame me. That came from my brother. What about Starburst?"

I grin. "I'd want that. But do you think Edward likes Starburst?"

"Oh please. Everyone likes Starburst!" Rosalie says with a scoff. "So starburst?"

I nod. "Just buy one. It'll be enough."

"Wait! It's a two for one sale!"

"And…?"

"I want Starburst too! And you told me earlier that you'll get whatever I want if you still have money left after buying Chef's birthday present!"

"Belated birthday present," I correct her.

"Whatever. So please?" She gives me her best puppy dog eyes and I know I can't refuse. Besides, I would have bought another pack for ourselves anyway.

"Fine. But you're paying for the ice cream."

"Deal!"

We walk out of the candy section and I take a few minutes to pay for the Starburst at the cashier. Once that was done, we head over to the food court, where I get Rosalie to buy me a scoop of mint chocolate chip, while she buys herself a scoop of Rocky Road. When we walk out of Don Quiote, Rosalie holds the plastic bag that has our purchases as we walk down the sidewalk towards her house eating our ice cream.

"Well that was fun," I comment as we walk leisurely down the sidewalk, licking our ice cream.

"I know." Rosalie takes a lick from her ice cream. "Wish we could've gotten Alice to come with us. We should get her away from her parents every now and then."

I sigh. "Yeah… but the closest we've gotten is going to her house and yell at her Wii."

"Hey! That's what video games does to us," Rosalie says with a laugh.

"That it does. Hey, do you think Chef will like his belated gift?"

"Oh trust me. He'll love it. Did he even get anything on his birthday?"

"Dunno. All I know is that he got a bunch of birthday greetings on Facebook. Oh wait! This girl did say she'd bake him cookies!"

"Ooh! You got some competition!" She elbowed my side.

"Nah. They're just friends. But he did get excited."

"Typical. But trust me. At least it's something. And he's a guy. It's not hard to please them.

"Ummm… did you forget about the other thing that pleases them?"

"What?" Rosalie genuinely looked confused.

I wanted to laugh. For a girl who knows a lot of grownup sort of jokes, she can have her blonde moments when I try to imply a grownup joke.

"Things that college kids do?"

"Uh…"

"What happens when you go to Vegas and get drunk?"

"You have sex?"

"Yes? And what can happen before they do that?"

"Oh! The girl gives a guy a blo-" Realization hits her face. "Bella! Gross! You had to mention that?"

"What? I had to lighten the mood." It's true. When I get nervous about something, I get pretty high on jokes as a cure to get me to stop being nervous.

"Well it worked," Rosalie tells me, her gross face disappearing. "But back to the Chef thing. Trust me bookworm. He'll like it. You're his friend."

"Yeah…" As much as I like being his friend, I can't help but feel that, like every other girl with a crush, I want more.

~0:0~

"Hey. Uh… Edward?" I stood behind him, holding his gift behind my back as I tap his shoulder. It's recess and now is the right time for me to do this.

"Really?" He laughs at something that Charlie says about a new video he saw on Facebook before turning his chair to face me. "Hey Bella. What's that you got there?" He gestures to my arm that's still hiding his gift behind my back.

"Oh! Ummm… it's for you." I brought out the plastic bag that holds his Pokemon cards and Starburst. "It's a belated birthday present. My friend helped me buy it for you when we went shopping after school yesterday. Part of this is her idea, but it was my idea to buy something for you. Sorry. I should've gotten you something on the day of your birthday instead of later. And… I'm rambling. Okay. I'll shut up now." I took a step back, trying to fight down the embarrassment of my spew of words to Edward.

His mouth curves into a grin when he brings out the items from the bag. "So this is for me?"

"Yeah… happy belated birthday Edward," I say nervously.

Please like it… please like it…

"Thanks Bella!" he beams, immediately opening the pack of Starbursts and eating a piece of the candy after discarding its wrapper. "Mmmm… I love Starburst!" He leans closer to me, inches away from my ear. "Don't tell this to anyone, but I kinda hate yellow starbursts."

Dumb-folded, I release a light laugh. "Uh… I like yellow starbursts."

"You want one?"

"You sure?"

"Yeah! I don't mind sharing my birthday present." He dumps two yellow starbursts on my outstretched hand on the table.

"Aren't you gonna open the Pokemon cards?"

"Nah. Maybe later?"

"Why?"

"I want to be surprised."

For a few minutes, I stand beside him as we eat a few starburst pieces from the pack. When the bell for fourth period rings, he stands up and I follow him as we exit the classroom from the back door.

"Again, thanks for that," Edward says in what I hope is a solemn voice. "I didn't get a lot for my birthday, and getting something from you is nice."

"Y-You're welcome." Gosh, I hope he doesn't notice the stutter in my sentence. I can't let him know yet!

Oh, but he will. My mind tells me.

He will… eventually.

~0:0~

"Who's selling brownies?" Edward calls out, looking around the science classroom. This month, Student Government, also known as SG, is selling brownies for their fundraiser. Since I know a bunch of people that love brownies, Edward being one of them, I'm surprised they haven't raided those poor SG students.

"Edward! You want!" Paul held up his box of brownies.

"Yeah! Hold on!" Edward immediately leaps out of his seat and literally runs over to where Paul and his friends were. After he bought his brownie from Paul, he turns around and makes his way back to where I am with my friends in period 7. To my surprise, he's holding up two brownies instead of one. Eh… maybe he's saving the other one for later. That's what Rosalie does whenever she buys Brisk from SG. I have tried, and ultimately failed, a load of times to ask her if I could have her extra Brisk.

"Hey Bella!" He tosses one of the brownies in my direction. Surprisingly, I caught it with ease.

"Why'd you give me one?" I ask, confused.

He shrugs. "You always bring food for us. Might as well pay you back for what you give us every day."

Oh. "Ummm… thanks then."

He smiles, and I notice that it's the same smile he gives me whenever we do something for each other.

"You're welcome, Bella. I might do that again."

I laugh. "Yeah, right. Why would you wanna spend brownies on me?"

"Because you're such a nice girl, Bella," he says in a tone that catches my breath. Is that supposed to be a compliment?

"That's who I am," I answer, attempting to play off, in my view, his compliment.

"Yeah, but I don't see girls bring snacks to school, like… every day. That's something I like about you." Then, and I'm not even sure if I saw it right, but he winked at me.

He winked at me!

But before I could say anything else to make sense of what he just tells me, he turns and walks away.

~0:0~

"Hey Bella. Can I talk to you for a minute? Outside?" It's recess and Edward and I, along with a few other students in our period 4, are in the World History room.

"Uh… sure." I stand up from my seat and I follow him out the back door, where he leads us to a secluded place that I believe is out of earshot from the other freshmen or sophomores in our team.

"Is this important?" I ask him. If he would lead us here, then surely it's some sort of secret that he wants to tell me. I know Edward doesn't confide anything personal to me without dragging me away from everyone else first. But he's my friend. I respect him that way.

He nods. "Really important. You'll be the first person to know about it."

"Is it good or bad?"

"Ummm…" He fidgets with his fingers that, for whatever reason, has super long nails than anyone else in class. I'm not kidding. His nails are longer than what a normal girl would have hers.

Uh-oh. I can already tell this is going to be bad.

"G-Go ahead." Shoots. Whenever I know bad news are going to come up, I get nervous that I stutter. It's a good thing that it's just one word and not a whole bunch. Who knew what Edward would think then.

"Do you remember when I told you that I wanted to go to Japan for college?"

I nod. A few weeks ago, when Edward walked me to the bus stop, I had asked Edward where he wanted to go to college. Even though we're only freshmen, I wanted to know out of pure curiosity. He told me he wanted to go to Japan, and when I asked why, he said it's because he's been dreaming about doing it since he was little and one day, he'd make sure to make his dream come true. I supported his decision when he told me, but it didn't stop me from feeling a bit sad that the chances of us going to the same college at the end of high school decreased.

"Yeah. Why? Did you change your mind?" It's a possibility. People change their minds all the time, and who knows? Maybe this is one of these.

He shook his head. "Nope. And even if I did, it wouldn't be now. But that's not the point. The truth is… I'm moving."

Oh… well that makes sense.

"Okay" is what I reply. "When?"

"Bella… you don't get it. I'm moving in December."

"And…?"

He looks at me as if I'm kidding around, but the expression on my face convinces him that I'm serious. "Bella…" He sighs. "This is a permanent move. I'm transferring schools at the end of the year."

At that moment, time seems to freeze and, if it was possible, I could hear my heart shatter as if it's a glass vase that dropped on the floor.

It's not possible… Why? Why did this have to happen?

Don't cry, Bella. You'll only embarrass yourself.

God's being cruel. I'm sure of it. I bet he's only trying to make me suffer all over again. I had enough suffering through Jacob the first time! Edward, who's showing me what it's like to fall all over again, would be gone within months. I'd be losing him, and there was nothing that I could do.

Why?

"Bella?" I snap out of my thoughts to look back at Edward.

"Oh…" is my response. What else am I supposed to say that wouldn't make me ridiculous? "What are you saying? Why are you moving away? I like you! And you don't even care?" Yeah… that sounded more ridiculous that I thought. Plus, there's no way I'll let Edward know of my crush on him this early on.

"I'm sorry," he murmurs. "I didn't mean to surprise you like this. But I think you deserve to be the first person to know."

How do I respond to that without breaking down. Oh yeah. Do what I always do when I get nervous: joke around. It usually helps.

"I'm really the first person to know?" I ask. "So even Casper doesn't know?"

He laughs. Yups. Joking around will help this time.

"No… but you might be right."

We laugh again, and, as if on cue, the bell rings, signaling the end of first recess.

"Ready to head back?"

I nod. "Let's crack down that quiz Mrs. Keola has for us on religion."

As we walk back, my thoughts swirl on the only that matters.

This isn't fair. I thought to myself. What was the point of liking Edward in the first place if he's only going to leave?

~0:0~

"What?" Rosalie exclaims. "This is so not happening! Dear ghandi! Why would Chef be doing this to you?" If it isn't for my situation of finding out that Edward would be transferring to another school, I'd be laughing when Rosalie said "Dear ghandi." Sue me. It's her quote, and it usually earns a laugh from me. However, this is one of those moments where her special quote won't be cheering me up.

"I know," I say sadly, resting my hands on my knees. "I really like Edward, and then this has to happen?" I expected this reaction from my friends, but their responses still makes me sad.

"This is so bad," Alice comments, moving to sit beside me and resting her arm on my shoulder. "And things were going so well with you and Chef too!"

It's true. Things with Chef were, or should I say are, going well.

"What do I do?" I plead in a soft whisper. "It's so hard for me to talk to him without sounding so sad after what he told me. We've only got like… what… six months left before the school year ends. I'm running out of time."

"That's easy," Rosalie tells me. "How about put on your big girl panties and ask the guy out for goodness sake? It'll save us from seeing you go back to Depressing Bella."

"Ha! I don't even have any big girl panties," I say in a bitter tone. "And it's too soon. What if I tell Edward how I feel and he rejects me? Like what Peaches did? I don't wanna repeat the infamous eighth grade incident."

"You won't. I have a good feeling about Chef," Alice says. "And if I know better, maybe he'll be your boyfriend by the end of the semester."

I shook my head. "Yeah right."

"I might have to agree with Alice on this." Rosalie lays her hand on the shoulder that's unoccupied by Alice's. "Chef's a good guy. And besides, if he breaks your heart, he'll be faced with a broken face by me."

That comment from Rosalie makes me crack a smalls smile. At least she knows how to make me smile through my toughest situations.

Alice grins. "See? There's the Bella we know! C'mon, let's go find Angela before she ends up in another fist fight with Jane."

~0:0~

"I'm on the edge and I'm screaming my name like a fool on the top of my lungs," I sang. "Sometimes when I close my eyes I pretend I'm alright, but it's never enough."

It's one of those nights again when I'm thinking so much about Edward that every song in my iTunes playlist that reminds me of him are the songs that I keep on singing to myself. When it's not iTunes, the songs would be through the radio. I'm surprised my mom hasn't busted into my room yet and tell me to shut up.

It's always the same songs. I should get tired of them by now, but for some odd reason, I don't. It's become too much of a regular occurrence for me to let go of this new habit. This used to be my habit with Jacob, but after what happened to us, I questioned myself as to why I was still doing it. I broke the habit for a while until I met Edward, and that's when the habit returned with a vengeance, making me think of Edward each and every day.

Suddenly, as if on cue (I don't get why this happens lately), I can hear as if a light bulb is going off in my head, similar to what I see in a cartoon when the character has a plan or learned something. In my case, it's the second option.

Now that I thought about it, the subject of Jacob doesn't hurt me as much as it did before. Even though it still leaves an ache in my heart whenever Jacob crosses my mind, I feel like I was slowly moving on. In fact, it's more of Edward that pops into my mind. It's as if Jacob is becoming a ghost of my past and I'm doing the one thing that Alice and Rosalie told me to do ever since Jacob broke my heart: move on.

Think about Edward. Doesn't he make you happy?

The answer to that question is obvious. Of course he does!

I wonder if Edward notices my obvious attraction towards him. Every time I see him, I could hear my heart race faster against my chest. Whenever he talks to me, or when I accidentally brush against him as I walk by, I have to fight a raging blush from forming on my cheeks. Whenever we're in class, I always manage to sneak stolen glances to where he is sitting, just because I want to. I couldn't make my crush on Edward any more obvious than it already is.

He might like you. I froze. Yeah, right.

Then why does he tolerate all your randomness?

Psh… Alice, Rosalie and Angela can. Edward just so happens to be one of the people to join the group.

He's not Jacob. I freeze.

Of course Edward isn't Jacob! He's the exact opposite! At least Edward is a person that actually talks to me, unlike that douche of a boy named Jacob.

But if Edward isn't Jacob, then why am I even comparing the two of them together? They're fire and ice. They're two beings that should never meet.

Whoa… slow down, Bella. Let's not get yourself into thinking of poems by Robert Frost again.

I groan. As much as Edward brings a smile to my face, all he's doing is creating more inner dilemma.

~0:0~

November turns into December, and Christmas came and quickly past by. I was pretty broke, with not a lot of money to go Christmas shopping. Instead, I decided to keep it simple and buy candy canes, along with Christmas cards that I would give to friends. I had enough cards and candy canes to give to Rosalie, Alice and Angela, along with Arsiele, Levi, Kelly, Grace, Megan, Liz, Emily, Marcus, Taylor and, of course, Chef himself. They enjoyed my simple present when I gave it to them on the last day of the second quarter.

I can't forget Edward's reaction when I gave him the card and the candy cane.

"Awww… thanks Bella! Wish I got you something." He had sulked for a minute before giving me a one-arm hug.

"No worries. Just a way to show you we're cool friends," was my response. I really wish I could have said we could be more than friends, but, like always, I had to tell myself it was too soon. I literally had to bite my tongue I prevent myself from spilling those words.

Winter break had also come and gone, and soon, 2012 was here, otherwise known as the year when "The world will end."

That is bogus. That was a thought that crossed my head to that belief. Just because of that movie and the whole theory of the Mayan calendar, that doesn't mean the world will end. Natural disasters I'll believe, but no end of the world? Hell no!

With a really new cool student teacher named Ms. Suzuki in my English class, I wanted this year to start fresh. I wanted to forget everything that happened in 2011, keep my head high and hope that this year will be like my days before I entered high school.

"So… how are things with Puppy?" I ask Rosalie, taking a bite of my chicken burger. It's lunch in the last day of January and I'm outside at the usual place where I eat lunch, along with Rosalie and Alice. Angela would normally be here, but she told us that she has to take care of things for English, so she wouldn't be joining us today.

Rosalie chokes on the yogurt that, only a second ago, she puts in her mouth. Since her parents are lazy to give her money for her lunch account, she usually eats the part of my lunch that I wouldn't eat. Besides, I don't want my best friend to starve.

"Bella!" she screeches.

"What?"

"Don't talk of Puppy while I'm eating!"

I chuckle. "But you weren't eating when I asked you the question!"

She slaps my shoulder. "I don't care! Don't catch me off guard or you'll end up killing me!"

"Okay fine. Sorry."

After taking a moment to compose herself, Rosalie places the yogurt back on my tray. "I'm okay. Puppy, right?"

I nod.

"Still the same," she tells me with a shrug. "I hate that I'm so shy to talk to him, even though we're in the same fourth period."

"Then talk to him!" Alice advises, popping a Mario gummy in her mouth. "Don't be scared, woman!"

"But I am," Rosalie whines. "What do I say to him."

I tap my chin. "Hmmm… oh I don't know. How about a hi?"

Rosalie rolls her eyes. "Very specific, Bella. I'm gonna need more than that."

"Ask him about school-related stuff or something," I start. "Get to know him so you could be friends. If you wanna push the boundaries, then start talking about him with stuff that doesn't involve school. And, when you're really ready, ask him out. You'll go uphill from there."

Rosalie scoffs. "What kind of plan is that?"

"Uh, my one year plan?" I say in an obvious tone.

"It's not a stupid plan, Rose," Alice responds. "I agree with Bella. That should be your way of talking to Puppy."

"But I'm scared," Rosalie whines again.

I shook my head. "Stop making up excuses, Rose. You'll have to talk to him eventually."

"Yeah… in the year 2020 when we're going on with our lives," Rosalie muttered.

"Fine. How about you talk to him before the school year finishes?"

Rosalie gazes at me skeptically. "I might take you up to that. But I have a catch."

"What?"

"Tell Chef you have a crush on him before the last year of school."

"W-What? No!" I sputter. "He's my only true guy friend in this school! I don't wanna lose him if I told him how I feel! And you know how much he makes me happy, unlike Peaches!"

"The douche," Nicole clarifies. I give her a curt nod.

"Then I won't talk to Puppy," Rosalie simply says, crossing her arms, a smirk on her face.

"You should tell Chef how you feel," Nicole says softly. I stare at her, bewildered that she'd take Rosalie's side.

I stare down at my food. "Why?"

"Because he's moving," Alice simply says. "When he moves, then how will you ever find a second chance? God doesn't always grant people second chances."

"God my butt," Rosalie scoffs. "He's given me enough confusion with Brains."

"True, but this is more for Bella." Alice directs her attention back to me. "You've been given a second chance after what Peaches did to you. Make the best of it."

"And who knows? Maybe he is the one," Rosalie adds.

Wow. That's deep. I've never seen Alice have a crush on someone before, yet she spoke as if she's had a longtime boyfriend. Alice is right. Edward is my second chance of falling in love. Well… maybe not the love part, but the falling part is dead on.

"So what do you say, Bella? Do we have a deal?" Rosalie extends one of her arms out. "I'll talk to Puppy in the condition that you tell Chef how you feel before the last day of school."

I sigh. Might as well do it. If I'm going to get Rosalie anyway in speaking to Emmett, this is my one chance. Besides, it's still the beginning of the year. I can deal with the consequences later.

"Deal."

~0:0~

An open composition book is sitting on my lap, as well as a bunch of folder papers scattered around me. I'm in my room days before Valentine's Day in one of my 'Venting Days.' On these days, I have so many story thoughts running through my mind that I have to write it down so I won't forget them. Most of the time, these thoughts end up becoming new story ideas. Those folder papers are mostly filled with poems that I'm desperate to write down, while this composition book is filled with all the short stories that has been stuck in my brain over the past couple of weeks. And the not so funny part? All of this is about Edward. I don't know why, but he's been so inspiring to me lately, even more than Peaches ever was.

You're too important to me. I thought to myself. I don't ever want to let you go. It sounds selfish of me, but that's how much Edward means to me.

I'm in the middle of writing one of these poems when a thought of realization hits me full force.

It's been over four months.

Rosalie once told me this last year. It's a belief that if you have a crush on someone for over four months, it means that you are in love with he or she. In my case, I've been crushing on Edward for over five months.

"Damn..." I whisper to myself.

Am I in love with Edward?

Why did this thought cross me now, when Valentine's Day isn't that far away?

Am I in love with Edward? Now that I thought of it... maybe I am. It does explain why I act so nervous whenever I'm around him. It does explain why he's constantly on my mind. It does explain why I feel like I can escape reality whenever I'm around him. It does explain why I feel my stomach drop whenever I see him talking to another girl. But most of all, it does explain why I'm having this familiar feeling. It's that feeling I had months ago with Jacob. It's that feeling I had when I know my feelings has reached that specific point of no return. It's a feeling that always gets the best of me. Why didn't I see this sooner?

You know why. It's because you were so caught up with your worries about Jacob that you failed to see what Edward has been doing to you this whole time.

Wow. Edward has a bigger effect on me than I thought.

I sigh. So what if I'm in love with Edward? What would be the point? He's still transferring to another school after this school year is over. All I have to do is survive until then and I'll never have to see him again.

I freeze.

Never seeing him again... Maybe holding in my feelings for him isn't the right direction I should be going... So what should I do?

You don't want any regrets, do you? My conscience tells me.

Of course I don't! My experience with Jacob had taught me that firsthand!

Then tell him how you feel. I pause. Should I tell Edward how I feel, even though he'll be gone in a few months?

Yes. Curse my conscience. Apparently, it's my only best friend now since my human best friends are not here. For some odd reason, it acts like Rosalie on the strangest times. My conscience can give advice and keep me occupied, but it irritates me at the same time.

But my conscience is right. It's better to let Edward know how I feel than to never let him know at all and think "What-if?" for the rest of my life. The only question I have left now is the "How?"

Uh…duh! Did you not remember the deal that you made with Rosalie?

Psh…! Of course I remember! How else do I get Rosalie to make a move on Emmett?

Follow through with the deal. Since you're in love with Edward, it makes much better sense to say you love him.

"I'm in love with Edward Cullen." Damn. It makes my tongue tingly when I say it. I wonder how Edward will react when I actually do say those three words…

I smile to myself. So it's settled. I'll tell Edward how I feel, just like I promised Rosalie. I'll plan out the rest later. I say "Wtf!" to whatever consequences there'll be later.

For now, I'm good with knowing that I'm in love with Edward.

~0:0~

Agh! Maybe I was right! Maybe I shouldn't do this…

Rosalie sees the look on my face and shook her head. "Nopes. Nuh-uh. Nada. You've chickened out twice already." She gives me a little push towards Edward's direction. "Now go get your man!"

Rosalie's right. I've been putting this off more times than I should. I chickened out twice last month, and since it's the beginning days of April, Rosalie and Alice believes it's good luck and they've been pushing me all day to tell Edward today. I chickened out the first time when Edward was on his cell phone and I was too scared to break the silence between us. I chickened out the second time when Edward and I were at the stoplight in front of the school and, instead of walking with me to the bus stop and taking the bus with me, he walked to the transit instead to wait for the bus. And the weird part? That second time of chickening out happened three days ago.

"Shhh…! Now so loud, Rose!" I whisper-shout to Rosalie. "I don't need to catch any attention from strangers."

She waves it off. "I know, I know. But you remember the deal, right?"

I nod. "Of course not. I am trying to get you to talk to Puppy."

"Yeah, yeah. Ooh! Look! Chef's there! Now go!" She gives me a light shove. "And don't worry. I'll be behind you if you need me."

I give a small smile to Rosalie. "Thanks. I think I might need it." Taking a few deep breaths, I walk away from Rosalie and walk as fast as I could to Edward before I lose sight of him.

"Edward!" I shout, trying to get his attention. I only need to say his name once for him to stop walking and turn around.

"Hey Bella," he says once I reach him.

"Hey," I reply, out of breath. I compose myself for a few seconds, trying to catch my breath before I say my next words. "Mind if I talk to you?"

"Yeah, sure. You texted me on Friday that you needed to ask me something, right?"

"Uh-huh. But it's sort of personal, so I waited till after school to tell you. Can it wait till we get to the bus stop."

All he does is give me a simple nod.

We walk to the bus stop in silence. It isn't an uncomfortable silence, but I need this moment to put together everything that I say to him. I know what I have to say. I'm just scared that I'd make a fool of myself and I won't be able to say everything that I want to say. Edward's that special to me. I don't want him to miss a single word that I want to tell him.

When we finally reach the bus stop, I risk a glance to where Rosalie is. She blends perfectly between the sea of students, but I could see her. When Rosalie spots me walking with Edward, she give me a thumbs up.

'Do it' she mouths.

I nod. No way am I backing down again.

"So what is it that you want to talk to me about?" Edward asks me when I turn my head back around.

"Oh! Ummm…" Find your words, Swan! "We're friends, right?" That's a good way to start, right?

He nods. "Of course. You were one of my classmates that became my friend this year." I can't help but smile a bit wider from what he said.

"And you don't hate me?" There. That should be an icebreaker. I need him to prove if he thinks of me as a true friend or a friend that you'd only see on Facebook, just like how Jacob treated me.

Edward's eyes blink rapidly a few times. "What? Of course not! Why would you think that?"

"Because someone did," I murmur. Dang it! Don't you dare let your emotions get in the way now, Swan! You promised Rosalie! And yourself! Tell him before you chicken out again.

"No one should hate you," Edward says, pulling me out from my mental motivation. "You're a cool girl, Bella."

"I know," I answer sadly. "But I guess not everybody doesn't see it that way."

"Who was it?" Wait what?

"Huh?"

"Who's the douche that broke your heart?"

I stare at Edward, shock evident in my eyes.

"I can tell, Bella." He touches my shoulder. His simple touch sends electricity running into my body, the sensation tempting me to tell Edward not only about how I feel about him, but everything that happened Jacob and I.

I must have stared at Edward for far too long because now he takes a small step back and rubs the back of his head nervously. "Sorry. I shouldn't have pushed you."

"Jacob," I blurt out. Since when did I find the confidence to tell him this? "His name was Jacob."

He gapes. "It's not…"

I nod, shifting my attention away from him. "It is."

"The one that's dating Leah?"

"Uh-huh…" I didn't want to look at his reaction, thinking that he'll take pity on me. I don't want any sympathy. What happened between Jacob and I is old history. I shouldn't be sad over not having him. I'd rather be mad that sad over not having something that isn't mine.

"You're not going to tell me what happened with Jacob, are you?" he says a couple of minutes later.

I shook my head, willing the onslaught of emotions rushing inside me to go away. "That's a story for another day."

He rubs my shoulder again. "It's okay, Bella. I won't push you to say anything else if you're not ready to tell me yet."

I nod, my eyes still not looking at him. "But there is something that I can tell you."

"What is it?"

I gulped. "I love you." There. I said it. I look back up to him, hesitant to see what his reaction.

I shouldn't have looked.

Edward's face is blank, looking as if he just saw a ghost. He isn't gaping, but I notice that his gaze is pointed straight at me. My stomach drops. It's almost as if he's about to shoot me with a riffle. That is, if he had one.

I don't say anything. I'm too afraid to say anything. If I do, I could ruin more than I already do.

"Y-You love me?" he finally says a few minutes later. We were silent for far too long because by the time he spoke, two buses have already passed us. Luckily, those weren't the bus that we were supposed to take.

I nod. "Before you say anything, hear me out?"

He sighs. "Go ahead."

This is it, Swan. Tell him everything that you want him to know.

"I know it's out of the blue since we haven't know each other for a year, but what I just said is true," I start off. "My life has been in a rollercoaster ever since I started the ninth grade. When we first started talking in Japanese Club, I first thought of you as another friend, which was a good thing. I never mind having a new friend." I smile to myself, recalling the distant memory of when he called me 'Dirty Mouth.' "Somewhere before fall break, I started having a crush on you. I was pretty shocked when I first realized it. I wasn't supposed to be crushing on someone after what happened to Jacob. During the summer before we started high school, I promised myself that I wouldn't have a crush on any boy until my sophomore year. I needed time to heal myself before I let myself risk it all over again. Having a crush on you broke the promise that I thought I could carry out." My mouth curves into a frown. "I tried to ignore it. I mean, it's just a crush, right? Crushes weren't made to last. After a month, I still had a crush on you. I couldn't deny the obvious feelings I was growing for you. I even tried to hate you so I'd stop crushing on you."

hear Edward mutter something under his breath, but I don't bother to ask him what he said. "I couldn't fall for you. That was what I told myself so many times. For all I know, you could be another Jacob! This was the exact thing that I told myself to avoid. But that was a fail within a day. I could never hate you. You've never done anything wrong for me to do so. So I decided to throw caution in the wind and said 'what the heck?' You're not Jacob in any way, so I could give this new crush a try."

Edward looks as if he wants to say something, but when he noticed the 'don't-interrupt-me' expression on my face, he closes his mouth and lets me continue on. "I tried to do nice things to you to show you how much I like you as a friend, but not enough to make my feelings obvious. When you told me you were transferring to another school since you were moving, I was more than just upset. It made me sorta regret having a crush on you. I felt as if you were my second chance of having these sort of feelings. And for it to be taken away suddenly? It wasn't fair!" I could feel my eyes start forming tears, but I will them back. I have to finish this.

"But it didn't change how I felt for you. I had to push away the fact that you'd be gone by the end of the year. When I did that, it only made me fall for you even more. By the week before Valentine's Day, I realized that I fell in love with you." I reach a trembling hand up to lay on his wrist. I thought that he'd pull away, but he doesn't. When I look up, I notice that his eyes are closed, and his body losing the tension that I felt when we first reached the bus stop.

"I was supposed to tell you that I loved you, but I kept chickening out. My friends had to convince me so many times so I could finally have the chance to tell you today." I leave out the part about the deal that I made with Rosalie. That story could wait until tomorrow.

"And?" he finally says.

"I've been running away from my feelings for you for months. I can't do that anymore. I need to see if I can get what I've been chasing from." I stare up at him, our gazes locked. He must have opened his eyes while I was talking. "I know you don't feel the same for me, but I have to let you know. I love you, Edward." I pull away from him. I finally feel the first of the tears leaking from my eyes. All of the troubles that I've been facing ever since I first met Edward… now he knows. I'm spread wide open. This is the most vulnerable I've felt since the whole moment with Jacob.

I've been blind. What I thought is wrong turned out to be something right. All I have to know now is whether or not everything I've wanted could be mine. It's within my grasp. I can feel it.

Bella," he whispers. "I don't know what to say."

"It's okay." I brace myself for what comes up next. "Just be honest."

"Honestly?" He's quiet for a few minutes before he speaks again.

His next words are what frees me from my cage.

"Our friendship confuses me. I love having you as a friend, but it confuses me because I often see myself wanting you as so much more. It was selfish of me. Why did I yearn for a friend so much? I'm not gonna lie. I do have some feelings for you. I was just unsure of what I should do with them. I like you, but I'm scared of what I should do about it. Get what I mean?"

I nod, because he's describing exactly what I feel.

"After what you told me, I'm sure of what I want to do." He raises his wrist that still has my hand on it and brings it up to my face. He lets go of his hand and I find my hand laying on his cheek.

"What do you want to do?" I ask.

"Whatever you want. I don't love you-" My face falls, but he immediately catches my expression. "But I think I could." Does he mean…?

"You want to love me?"

"Yes." He lays a hand on my waist. "So much."

Our faces are barely centimeters apart when it happens, the one thing that I've yearned for since my days with Jacob.

Edward's lips against mine is the best feeling in the world, second to having chocolate in my mouth. That thought quickly diminishes when I realize that his lips do taste sweet… almost like chocolate. How ironic.

As our lips mold together, I bring myself closer to him until my arms are thrown around his neck and his arms are tightly surrounding my waist, almost as if he's afraid of letting me go. The tears are still there, but they're no longer sad tears. They're happy tears. They're tears of the relief I feel of finally having something that's truly mine.

He's mine. The mere thought almost makes me choke on the swirl of new emotions. This time, they're not the bitter anger of longing that I had for Jacob. They are the sweet bliss of relief of having Edward, the boy that I've pinning for months and the one that I'm free to have.

When we pull away, we don't let ourselves lose contact. Our foreheads are leaning against each other, letting ourselves bask in the glow of our first kiss with each other.

I don't let myself tell him the three words yet. I'll save them again when I see that he's ready to say them back. However, I do know what I can say for now.

"I'm falling for you," I whisper to him. He grins and kisses me on my nose.

"I do too," he answers. ""Someday, Bella. Someday I'll be able to love you back.

For a moment, I turn my head around to see what Rosalie is up to. I vaguely remember that my best friend is still around, watching the events unfolding in front of her.

"Good job, Bella!" she says with a huge grin on her face, taking note of our little intimate position, her blond hair blowing in the breeze. "You too, Edward!"

Edward and I laugh. I turn my head back around to face him and we lean towards each other again for another kiss.

Edward has changed my life in more ways than one. He's the reason why I'm able to fall for someone all over again. I realize that I'm finally getting over Jacob, and I'm ready to move on. Jacob made me think that I was worthless, but in reality, I'm not. I guess his eyes weren't open wide enough to see what I could offer. He couldn't see that everything I'm offering is what I'm offering to Edward, which he gladly took.

I see the world with different eyes now. When Jacob broke my heart, I saw reality as a sin, because what's the point of living in it when all it would do is constantly hurt me? With my feelings for Edward, I see the world as a place of change, not for pain. Changes may not always be the best, but they happen for a reason. In this case, maybe God made Jacob break my heart so I'd meet Edward. And look how it turned out!

What I thought is the end is only the beginning.

Jacob was my past, and Edward is the future. Those blurring lines were becoming clear, and I see that I'll be more than okay. I have Edward. Fate might not always be nice to me, but I realize that my failed attempts in love only makes me stronger. Jacob's loss is Edward's victory. And Edward's victory makes me realize that I'm no longer afraid to fall.


A/N

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