Pop the Question Contest Entry

Pen name: earthprincess4

Twitter Name: graffiti4

Title: Perfect For Me

Word Count (without the A/n and header): 12,757

Pairing: Edward and Bella

Rating: M

Summary: Edward and Bella have been friends since they were kids. After being separated by college they are reunited and finally act on their feeling for each other. Will Edward ever propose or will Bella always live the life of a girlfriend and never the wife?

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters. No copyright infringement intended.

This is the story I wrote for the Pop The Question contest. I didn't win anything but it was still fun to write. I did have song influence for this oneshot, which are supposed to be representative of what Edward writes and sings to Bella. I didn't include them in the contest because I had a feeling it would be rather obvious which story was mine. If you follow me on twitter or have read any of my other stories you know I'm a big fan of Ron Pope. So, obviously one of his songs was one I used as what Edward wrote and sang to Bella. The first song Edward "pretend" writes and sings is: Happiness by The Fray and the second song, which is also the title of the story is: Perfect For Me by Ron Pope. I would suggest listening to the songs if you want the full affect of what Edward is singing.

Perfect For Me

Edward and I have been best friends since we were little kids. We grew up next door to each other and our mothers were good friends too. Edward has always been my best friend. We didn't start dating until we were adults and I came back home from college.

Even though I was pretty much in love with Edward since I became aware of what the opposite sex was, I never acted on it and neither did he. We were happy just being friends. In high school, we sort of went in opposite directions –Edward the band geek and choir boy, while I was the shy girl more worried about getting good grades than having a social life. Even still we remained close. We just weren't as close as we were when we were little.

Although, every time something exciting or even really bad was happening in my life he was who I went to. When my parents told me they were getting a divorce the summer before I started my senior year of high school and my mom told me she was moving to Arizona, he's the one I ran to. He held me in his arms for hours while I cried. He was also the first person I told when I got accepted into University of Florida and when I won a scholarship for an essay I wrote. No matter what it was he was always so supportive and stood behind my dreams every step of the way. I did the same for him when he had ambitions of being a great musician and making it big in the music industry. He started his first garage band when he was thirteen and I would sit in his garage or even on my porch listening to them play every single day. He could do it all when it came to music and I had total faith in his dreams of becoming a big star. He had played the piano since he was five years old. I remember spending hours upon hours sitting in his living room listening to him practice when we were little. As he got older he ventured into playing the guitar and singing. The great thing about Edward was you put any instrument in his hands and he could learn how to play it. Since his main focus was music growing up, academics suffered. But to him it really didn't matter since he didn't plan to go to college like I did. His main goal was to become a musician.

After graduating high school, I went off to college and he stayed behind in Forks, Washington. Eventually, he planned to move to Seattle with his band members and play at any club and bar that would allow them until they got discovered. I wished him luck the day I left and he did the same to me. It was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do to say goodbye to him. We always planned to stay in touch, and at first we did. But eventually it became once a month then maybe every few months until it was once or twice a year.

I did know that even though he moved to Seattle and did have some local success with his band, his parents did make him go to college. He wasn't too thrilled about going to college, but he did it for his parents. Most of the classes he took revolved around music in some way so it wasn't too hard for him.

Once I graduated college I got a local job working as an assistant teacher. I was also dating a really great guy named Jake and spending lots of time with friends. I began to make a new life for myself in Florida. However, it just never seemed like enough to make me truly happy. Something was missing.

After two years of living in Florida, I had enough and wanted something different. I had broken up amicably with Jake and decided it was time to go home. Thankfully, there just happened to be an opening for a fourth grade teacher at the Forks Elementary School. I applied for the job even though I didn't think I would get it. I planned to move back even if I didn't get the job, but to my amazement I did. I guess the principal still remembered me from when I went there and put in a good word for me to the school board. I packed up my belongings even faster than I planned to, and headed back to Washington.

It was nice to see my dad again and to see how the town I'd grown up in was pretty much the same as it was when I left. Even the people were the same, just a little older like me. Carlisle and Esme Cullen, Edward's parents, still lived right next door to my dad. My good friend in high school, Angela still lived there with her husband, Ben and their two kids. It was so exciting to see her again after all the time I'd been gone. I made quick friends with the eccentric kindergarten teacher, Alice. She was a sweetheart but just a little too preppy and hyper at times. She was a great teacher though.

I was beyond surprised when I discovered Edward Cullen, my best friend from childhood and the boy I'd secretly had a crush on for most of my life, was the grade school music teacher. He never once told me he had become a teacher or that he moved back to Forks.

I later found out he had only been at the school for a couple years. After many failed attempts at trying to make it into the music industry, he focused on school a little more than he ever had before and decided if he became a teacher and taught music he could still do what he loves but make a living at it as well.

It was funny how easily we fell back into our old routine of friendship. He once again became my best friend and constant support. We just fit together so easily and he brought out this happiness in me I hadn't had for years. He was what was lacking in my life.

It took us almost a year after being reunited before we went to that next level in our relationship. It was sort of awkward at first. It was a simple night at his house having dinner and joking around with each other when something sparked in both of us and we kissed for the first time. That first kiss led to gentle touches and intimate caresses until we ended up in his bed making love. I'd never felt so alive and absolutely loved than when I was in his arms. Unfortunately, afterwards we both kind of laid there in his bed staring at the ceiling wondering what exactly just happened. After stealing glances at each other over a few minutes, we both burst into laughter. He reached out and pulled me into his arms once again and kissed me gently on the forehead. We spent that night wrapped around each other and discussed what this meant and if it was what we both wanted. We were both a little scared to go from this great friendship we'd shared since we were just little kids to suddenly being in an intimate relationship. We were afraid of losing what we already had. But after talking about how we felt, we realized we'd both been harboring deeper feelings for each other for some time so we decided to try it out and see what happened.

It was definitely the best decision we ever made. I loved him more than anything and he loved me just the same. After just a few months we moved in together and began to make a home for ourselves. Everything was great. We were both happy and felt complete with each other. He was my everything.

After a year of dating, Angela and Alice along with a couple other good friends, Rose and Kate, began asking about Edward and I getting married. It wasn't exactly something either of us talked about. We were both happy with the way things were. But the girls, whom I considered good friends, were pushy about us getting married. They were all happily married and wanted Edward and I to be married as well.

Every holiday, especially Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's Day, they would start telling me they had a feeling it was going to happen. Edward was finally going to ask me to marry him. The first couple of times they made these comments, I brushed it off and rolled my eyes at them, yet I still got my hopes up that maybe they were right. Maybe this was the time he was going to ask me. The first time my friends said anything, I even went out and bought a wedding magazine. I kept it in my desk at school because I truly believed they were right. They had me convinced he was going to ask me to marry him. But he never did. Sometimes they would even get their husbands in on it and they too would insist they had talked to Edward and he was planning to ask me. Eventually, I stopped holding out hope for it to happen. Edward never once brought up marriage or even proposing to me. As much as I wanted to believe it would someday happen, I just couldn't keep getting excited and then end up disappointed when it didn't happen. I was content with how things were for us. We were happy just being in love and focusing on our students.

We both loved being teachers. It was something we took a lot of pride in and enjoyed tremendously. The highlight of every year for both of us was the spring concert where the classes would get up on stage and sing songs for their parents and families to enjoy. We looked forward to it every year and spent hours discussing song choices for each class. Edward loved getting my input on what songs or themes to use each year. He was the expert on music though so most of what I did was just help out with decorating or props for the kids to hold during their concert.

"Guess what?" Alice expressed with her usual bubbly personality. I was sitting at the diner on Saturday morning like I always did while I waited for Alice, Angela, Rose, and Kate to join me. This was our normal weekly routine. We all would get together for breakfast on Saturday mornings and talk about our week, while their husbands and Edward either went hunting or fishing or just hung out at one of their houses to watch sports. I looked up from my book in front of me to look into Alice's bulging eyes and giddy smile. She was practically bouncing in her seat with excitement. I internally screamed. I knew what she was going to say. Valentine's Day was just weeks away and this was always about the time when they would start pestering me about Edward asking me to marry him. It had already been three years since they started this game yet they never gave up like had long ago.

"You're pregnant?" I asked, turning the interrogation on her a little. It was no secret Alice and her husband, Jasper were trying to have a baby. I felt like it was time for the focus to be on them for a while instead of me and Edward.

She rolled her eyes and huffed a little. "No, not yet," she admitted sadly. "But I'm going to see a fertility specialist next week so hopefully soon."

Just as she finished telling me about the fertility doctor she planned to go to, I saw Kate and Rose walking in laughing about something. When they spotted us in our usual spot they came and sat down.

"Guess what, Bella?" Kate teased excitedly. Rose giggled next to her with Alice joining in on the big secret.

I sighed and rolled my eyes. "Please don't tell me some new story about how Edward is going to ask me to marry him. You guys do this every year and I'm so tired of getting my hopes up only to be disappointed when it doesn't happen. Edward can always tell when I'm upset and I can't ever tell him why."

"But Bella," Kate interrupted, looking a little disappointed at my lack of enthusiasm they all had. "This time it's really going to happen."

"You have said that before," I reminded. "I know you guys are just trying to help but it just depresses me."

"So you really don't want to know that instead of fishing like the guys said they were going to do today, they are actually going into Seattle to look at rings?" Rose wondered.

"What?" I asked with shock in my voice. I was sure all the color was draining from my face. The three of them all stared at me with huge smiles on their faces. Alice hummed and nodded her head.

I didn't even notice when Angela, who was eight months pregnant, sat down next to me. Were they really telling the truth? Was it really happening? Part of me wanted to believe but the rational side wanted to push the information away and not think about it.

"You guys told her, didn't you?" Angela asked, sounding upset that they couldn't keep their mouths shut.

"Come on, Angela. She's been waiting, what, three years for this to happen. How could we not tell her?" Rose defended.

"It's not like we're giving her details about the ring or where he's even buying it," Kate added.

"I did give Jasper some hints on what you'd like just in case Edward didn't have a clue," Alice boasted.

"What did you tell him?" Angela asked, suddenly joining in on their fun. I remained completely silent taking in all the information. I was still stunned and didn't know what to think.

"Well, I told him Bella isn't an extravagant girl. She likes things simple and practical," Alice explained. "In my opinion she deserves the biggest rock on the planet for as long as she's had to wait for Edward to get the nerve to ask. But I know Bella would rather have something small and sentimental."

"I'm so happy for you," Angela expressed, putting her arm around my shoulders and squeezing me warmly. "It's finally going to be official and you can stop questioning when or if it'll ever happen."

"I don't know if I want to believe it yet," I finally spoke up. The looks on their faces were all of confusion.

"What do you mean you don't want to believe it?" Kate asked.

"Yeah, I mean, Bella they are going to a jewelers today to look at engagement rings. The rest of us are already married, who else could it possibly be for?" Rose added.

"I heard he was even bringing along your dad," Alice said. "What more proof do you need that it's actually happening?"

"He's bringing Charlie with him?" Angela asked, with an overly enthused and sweet voice. "How incredibly romantic and sweet to include her father in the process of picking out an engagement ring."

"All I can say is it's about time," Rose said. "I don't know why he's waited so long. I mean, according to both of you your love for each other began at, what, birth and has only blossomed more over the years. Now you're both nearing thirty and still not married. It's taken him close to thirty years to get up the nerve. If it took Emmett that long to propose to me I would not be with him."

"You and Emmett got married after two months of knowing each other," Kate teased. "Some of us like to wait and build a relationship with someone before we jump into marriage."

"When you know it's right, what's the point of waiting?" Rose argued.

"You knew Emmett was the one after two months?" Angela asked, skeptical of what Rose was trying to prove.

"I knew he was the one after the first date," she countered proudly. "And in all honesty I asked him to marry me."

"You did?" Alice asked surprised by the information.

"Yes, I did." Rose answered once again proud of her accomplishments with Emmett. "We went to Las Vegas for a weekend of fun and on the first night we got a little drunk. I asked him if he'd marry me as a playful joke and he said sure. He dragged me down the street to the first wedding chapel we could find and we got married. The next morning when we realized what we did we laughed it off and decided to just stay married instead of getting an annulment. I'm sure glad we did too."

"What about you, Alice? How did Jasper propose?" Kate asked.

Alice smiled remembering the moment in her mind. "He took me up to the Space Needle in Seattle, which was one of my favorite places growing up, and asked me just as the sun was going down. He was incredibly romantic and even cried when I said yes."

"I think my proposal was even less romantic than all of yours," Kate complained, looking down at her lap with a saddened look on her face.

"Why, how did Garrett propose?" Angela asked.

"After sex," she blurted. We all stifled a giggle.

"What?" Rose asked not doing a good job at hiding her giggle.

Kate sighed and looked down at her lap once again. "It was right before he had to leave for active duty. We were making love knowing it was going to be the last time for months before he got back and afterwards I was lying in his arms crying. He said he wanted to ask me something and when I adjusted myself to look at him he asked me to marry him. He told me he couldn't leave before he knew for sure I was his forever. I said yes, of course. He left the next morning. I didn't even have a ring." She laughed and twisted her fingers together in her lap before continuing. "I prayed daily he would come back safely. Thankfully, he did and when he got back home the first thing he wanted to do was go pick out a ring to make it official."

"See, I think that's the most romantic proposal I've ever heard," Angela said, wiping a tear from her eye. "I don't even think my story is as romantic as yours."

"How did Ben propose?" Alice asked. "You know, I don't remember if he ever did officially propose. We just talked about getting married all the time once we graduated. I guess it was just kind of already set in stone and there really wasn't a reason for him to ask. I do remember when he gave me the ring, though. That night was very sweet. He came over and had dinner with my family like he often did. After my little brothers were put to bed we were sitting in the living room with my parents and suddenly he pulled out the little box and handed it to me. I began to cry and both of my parents looked up to see what the commotion was. My mom quickly rushed to my side to see the ring and my dad started congratulating Ben. Even if he did plan to ask he never got the chance. We were married right here in Forks just a couple weeks after graduation."

"I wonder how Edward will propose," Rose said. With the attention back on me, I gasped and glanced between the four of them. They were all watching me waiting for some sort of reaction. I was still unwilling to let myself believe it.

"He'll probably ask on Valentine's Day," Angela theorized. "I can just imagine he'll probably send her a dozen roses every hour at school and then take her out to some romantic dinner in the city. Then he'll get down on one knee and ask her to marry him."

They all squealed at the thought. For the first time in so long I began to let myself actually believe maybe they were right. They were all so sure he was buying a ring. Knowing he was bringing my dad along, made me think even more that it was real.

I was so nervous and scared of the inevitable, I couldn't even eat breakfast. The girls continued to talk proposals and weddings. I had a feeling if Edward did actually propose the four of them pretty much already had my wedding planned for me.

I went home that day feeling giddy and excited. I kept wondering how and when he would ask. I wanted it to be a surprise so I would actually get to experience the emotions of being proposed to. For days, Edward seemed extra happy. I could tell by the way he talked and his mannerisms he was excited about something. It just made the realization of him proposing even stronger. It was actually going to happen. I was sure of it this time.

As Valentine's Day approached, I became extremely nervous and could barely focus at school. My students were questioning what was wrong with me almost daily. I couldn't help the overwhelming excitement.

On Valentine's Day morning, I was literally shaking wondering when it would happen. Before we left for school that morning Edward informed me we were going out to dinner with my dad. I was a little surprised since usually my dad would talk to me about dinner plans instead of Edward. Then, of course, I realized maybe this was all part of the plan. He informed me Sue, my dad's new girlfriend, and her two kids, Leah and Seth, were going to be there as well. I had a good feeling he was going to ask me over dinner with my dad present.

I saw Alice in the hall that morning at school. She excitedly jumped up and down and hugged me tightly. "As soon as he asks you need to call me and tell me all the details," she ordered. I smiled joining in on her excitement. "This is so exciting. I can't wait to see the ring. Jasper won't tell me a thing."

I giggled and shook my head. "I wonder why," I teased. "I'm sure he's afraid you'll give away any surprise Edward might have."

She smiled bashfully and took a deep breath. "I probably would spill all the details. I wouldn't be able to contain myself."

"Exactly!" I expressed.

"Well, I need to get to class," Alice said before giving me one last hug. "Good luck."

I was a mess all day. I pretty much let my students do art projects and play games. Thankfully, they had library, music, and P.E. that day so it filled in some time. When I brought my students down to Edward for music, he asked me to stay and listen to the songs they'd been working on for the spring concert. I tried to hide my smile but I wondered if this was the moment. Would he ask me somehow while singing with the kids? Were my students in on the plan? I sat down and listened to them sing and waited. Edward picked out some great songs for them to sing but none of them gave me the feeling he was trying to propose. Edward was also very calm and collected while he directed them. After the hour of music was up, I gathered my class to take back to the classroom. Edward did steal a quick kiss from me before I headed back, but there was no proposal.

After school, he met me in my classroom as I was finishing cleaning up. In his hands was a bouquet of red roses. I smiled as I took them from his hands and looked down at them. I half expected maybe the ring was hidden away inside the roses somewhere. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything.

"They're beautiful," I said, leaning up and giving him a quick kiss.

"I have another surprise for you later," he admitted with a cheesy grin on his face. I bit my lip trying to hold in my excitement. "I just didn't want you to think I forgot about Valentine's Day."

"You don't have to get me anything for Valentine's Day," I assured.

"Yes I do," he argued. "I need to be sure you don't ever forget how much I love you."

I smiled up at him and wrapped my free arm around his neck before leaning up and kissing him again. His arms circled around my waist and pulled me close to him to deepen the kiss. We were just getting into the kiss when suddenly there was a throat clearing noise from the door. We pulled away from each other and found Alice standing in the doorway.

Edward grumbled and let go of me. "I know, we aren't supposed to be kissing inside of the building," Edward whined irritably.

"Oh, like I care what you two do when the students aren't around. I'm not the principal." Alice said, excusing our behavior. "Besides, I'm sure you have good reason to be kissing so passionately while at school." Alice winked at me as discretely as possible. I quickly shook my head letting her know it hadn't happened yet just in case she said something. Her face dropped with disappointment and she gave me a sympathetic look. I gave her a reassuring smile to let her know everything was fine. "I just wanted to come by and say goodbye to Bella before I took off early. Jasper and I are planning a romantic night at home with baby making plans, so I want to get out of here a little earlier than usual to get ready."

I gave her a quick hug and wished her luck with the baby making. She whispered good luck to me too before telling Edward goodbye and leaving us alone again.

"How much longer do you think you'll be?" Edward asked.

"I'm done," I answered. "We can go ahead and leave now so we have time to change and freshen up before dinner."

We left a few minutes later and headed home. I took a shower and fixed my hair and makeup before changing into a strapless burgundy cocktail dress with a black lace overlay. I slipped on a pair of black beaded sandals and put on a gold chain bracelet. I was about to put on a simple gold chain necklace until I heard Edward behind me saying not to. I looked up at him in the mirror and smiled at how handsome he looked dressed in a suit. He very rarely dressed as formal as he was tonight. Most days he just wore a nice shirt and a pair of slacks. Tonight he wore a black suit with a burgundy tie, which I picked out to match my dress. He walked closer to me and stood behind me with a crooked grin on his face.

"I did say I had another surprise for you tonight," he reminded. Butterflies filled my stomach. Was this it?

He pulled his hands out from behind his back and gently laid a gold chain with ruby stones across my neck. The necklace was beautiful and matched the dress exactly. I touched the stones as Edward fastened it behind my neck. He leaned down and kissed the back of my neck while watching me in the mirror. "Perfect," he whispered before kissing my neck again. I turned around and kissed him on the lips thanking him for the gift. I decided since he gave me a gift it was a good time to give him his. I had a feeling I might forget all about it if he asked me to marry him later tonight. I walked to the closet and pulled out the wrapped box. He chuckled and took the box from me.

"Just so you don't forget how much I love you," I said, using the same words he used earlier in the day. He shook his head and chuckled even more before opening it up. Inside was a vintage guitar I had seen him admiring at the music shop we go to in Seattle. It was quite expensive but definitely worth it to see the expression on his face.

"You have got to be kidding me!" he exclaimed in complete shock as he pulled the guitar out of the case. "You actually bought this?"

I nodded my head, happy he liked it. "I know you've been looking at it for quite a while, and I thought it would be something you'd really appreciate."

He placed it on his knee and put his arm around the side to play a few chords. His face was lit up with pure bliss as the sound of him playing filled the room. "I can't believe you bought this for me. I never imagined you would get something so extravagant for a Valentine's gift."

"Like I said, I don't want you to forget how much I love you."

He placed the guitar back in the case and stood up pulling me into his arms, kissing me passionately. "I love you so much. I don't know what I'd do without you. I was never complete without you."

"I love you too," I said, kissing him once again.

Before our kiss got out of hand we pulled away and fixed ourselves a little before heading out the door to drive to Port Angeles. We met my dad at a little Italian restaurant and waited for Sue and her two kids to arrive. My dad was dressed up in a suit as well, which was odd for him. My dad looked a little nervous. Edward and I ordered a drink while we waited. Once my dad saw Sue his eyes lit up and he quickly rose to his feet to pull out her chair for her. I smiled at my dad's old fashioned charm. I could tell by the way he looked at Sue that he truly cared about her. I was glad to see my dad happy again. When my mom left I thought it was going to break him. I actually considered staying with him instead of going to college all those years ago. But Edward encouraged me to go because he said I'd regret it if I didn't. He stood by me when I went to talk to my dad about it and of course my dad insisted I go. He said if I stayed behind because of him he'd only grow more depressed. He needed something to be proud of. So, I went to college and while I was gone, he formed a close relationship with Sue Clearwater, which eventually turned into romantic feelings for each other.

My dad loved her kids as well and made sure to include them as much as possible. They lost their father when they were still very young so he took on that father role for them. Leah was still a little hesitant to accept my dad but Seth instantly became attached.

After chatting for a few minutes and looking over the menu, we all ordered our food. Conversation focused mostly on Seth and Leah throughout the night. We discussed the guitar I had given Edward. He was very proud to brag about the extravagant gift I'd given him and how much he loved it. He made comments about how he felt like he needed to get me something even better than just the necklace since I'd spent so much money on the gift I'd given him. I laughed it off as just his way of trying to trick me. I was sure any engagement ring he bought wasn't something cheap.

After our food was delivered and we all ate and chatted a little more, conversation led to my dad talking about how much Sue meant to him and how he wanted her to be a part of his life forever. It was really sweet how he included Seth and Leah in his speech about how he wanted all of us to be a family. Before I knew what was happening, my dad was on one knee in front of Sue proposing. She looked shocked and glanced over at her kids for approval before answering. Both Leah and Seth nodded their head in consent, so Sue turned back to my dad and accepted his proposal. They kissed and hugged and cried happy tears.

I grabbed Edward's hand and smiled at him. I kept thinking about when he was going to ask me. Was I next? Was this going to be a double proposal? It seemed odd for my dad and I to both get engaged on the same night, but I didn't care as long as it happened.

After Sue composed herself she quickly started talking about wedding plans. She wanted me and Leah to be her attendants. Charlie wanted Seth and Edward to be his attendants. They wanted something simple and meaningful. I offered my help in planning the wedding. Sue quickly took me up on the offer and we made plans to go into Seattle to do some dress shopping.

Throughout the night I kept looking over at Edward waiting for him to say something or give me some sort of clue that he was going to ask me to marry him. He never did though. As the night ended and we headed home, I once again became disappointed. I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up. As we drove home silently, I started to put it all together. The guys weren't going shopping for an engagement ring for me. They were helping my dad buy a ring for Sue. That was why my dad was with them, not because Edward was being chivalrous and trying to include my dad in the buying of an engagement ring. My friends were once again wrong, and stupidly I once again let myself believe them only to be crushed when it didn't happen.

When we got home, I faked being tired because of the alcohol and went straight to bed. Edward stayed up for a while playing his new guitar. I cried myself to sleep thinking about how he was never going to ask me. I loved Edward, I always had, but I wanted more. I wanted to be his wife. I wanted us to be married and committed in the most sacred way. I wanted what everyone else had. I didn't understand why he wouldn't ask me. He told me constantly how much he loved me. He said things like I completed him and he couldn't live without me, so why wasn't he trying to make sure I was his forever?

Weeks went by after that disastrous night. I never let it known to Edward that I was ever upset. I put on a fake smile and helped Sue plan her wedding. When I told my friends what happened they were all shocked and so sorry for once again getting my hopes up. I pushed my feelings aside and acted as if it didn't bother me. I was happy for my dad and Sue. The more I thought about it I was glad Edward didn't ask me to marry him at the same time. I'd hate the specialness of my dad's proposal to Sue be shared. I accepted what didn't happen and went on as if everything was fine. I pushed my feelings aside once again and just reminded myself how lucky I was to have Edward in my life at all. I could have stayed in Florida instead of returning or he could have made it big in the music industry and be thousands of miles away with not even a thought of me in his mind. But it wasn't like that. After years of being apart we found our way back to each other and fell in love. Love was all we needed. We didn't need a piece of paper or a priest to say we were committed. I was committed to Edward for the rest of my life regardless if he never asked me to marry him.

As my dad and Sue's wedding, as well as the spring concert, approached Edward and I were extremely busy. We barely had any time for each other and found ourselves not even sleeping in the same bed anymore. Edward would either fall asleep on the couch with his guitar or at the piano. I would sometimes fall asleep on the couch or on some occasions I would just stay at my dad's house. Simple kisses goodbye or hugs just because we needed one never happened. We really didn't even talk much other than to let the other know what our plans for the day were. We both engrossed ourselves in other things and avoided each other.

The day before my dad and Sue's wedding, I was sitting up in bed grading a stack of papers when Edward walked in. I barely acknowledge him when he crawled into bed next to me.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Grading papers," I answered, annoyed by the question.

"Are you almost done?" he asked.

"Not really."

He sighed heavily and leaned back against the headboard with his arms crossed against his chest.

"Do you want me to go out in the living room? If you're tired and want the light out I can leave," I offered.

"No, the light doesn't bother me. You don't have to leave," he assured.

I bit my lip while looking at him. He looked upset and I wasn't sure why. Instead of trying to understand why, I went back to my grading. I didn't have time to get in an argument or play games with him. I had to finish grading the papers before the wedding.

A few moments later I felt the bed shift and Edward lean over me. He pulled down the sleeve of my sheer robe exposing my shoulder and began to kiss my skin. His tongue traced a line down my arm and his hand came up to cup my breast over my nightie. He leaned in a little closer and left a trail of kisses along my neck and cheek while massaging my breast in his hand.

"Edward, I need to grade these papers," I protested.

"You can do it tomorrow, can't you?" he asked between kisses.

"No, the wedding is tomorrow. I'll be busy with that all day and these papers have to be graded by Monday," I argued.

"Please?" he begged, continuing his trail of kisses against my skin while his hand left my breast and ventured down between my legs.

"We can do this tomorrow after the wedding," I promised. He huffed against my skin and pulled away.

"No, we can't. Your dad and Sue are leaving for their honeymoon and you offered to let Seth and Leah stay here with us while they're gone. I can't make love to you knowing there are little kids in the house with us," he whined.

"It's not like they're going to be in the same room with us. Once they go to bed we'll be alone. We just have to lock the door and be quiet."

"Just forget it," he complained, throwing the covers back and standing up.

"Edward," I called after him. "What is going on?"

He stopped at the door and turned around. "Ever since your dad got engaged it's like we became strangers in this house. We barely talk, sex is non-existent, and you act like you're depressed all the time."

"I've just have a lot on my mind," I excused. "With school lessons and grading, then the wedding and the spring concert, I'm stretched very thin right now. Once the wedding is over things will get better."

"Will they?" he asked. "Sometimes I really wonder if it's all this other stuff or if it's because you're trying to pull away from me."

He opened the door and slammed it behind him causing me to jump. I had to admit, since my dad and Sue got engaged instead of me I was a little depressed. But I thought I was doing a good job hiding my feelings. I felt horrible for making him think I was pulling away from him. I wasn't, at least not intentionally.

After a few minutes I could hear the sound of the piano being played. I knew I needed to finish grading the papers but I'd have to find some other time to get them done. I needed to fix this problem with Edward first.

I put the papers aside and got out of bed. As quietly as I could, I walked out of the bedroom and out to the dark living room. Only a small lantern shined above the piano while Edward played a classical piece perfectly. He was so engrossed in the music he didn't realize I was standing behind him.

As the song came to an end, I walked closer to him and wrapped my arms around his neck from behind and leaned my chin against his head. He reached up and took my hand in his bringing it to his lips to place gentle kisses on my knuckles.

"I've always loved listening to you play the piano," I said. "Even when I wasn't at your house I would still sit in my bedroom window and listen from across the yard."

He pulled me around so I would sit down on the bench with him. "I'm sorry," he said, holding my hand close to his chest.

"Don't be. I understand why you're upset. I'm not trying to pull away, though. I love you and always will."

"I know something is going on, though. These last few weeks I've watched you become more distant and I don't know why. I've tried to give you space to figure it out but it doesn't seem to be working." He sounded like a lost little boy. I put my arms around him and pulled him into my arms. His head rested against my chest and his arms wrapped around me. "Just tell me what to do. What do you want from me? I'll do whatever I have to. I can't lose you."

"You won't lose me. I'm not going anywhere," I assured, brushing my fingers through the hair at the back of his neck.

He sat up and looked me in the eyes while taking my face in his hands. "I love you so much. I've always loved you. Losing you all those years ago without ever telling you how I really felt killed me. I lost a part of myself when you left. I can't lose you again."

"You won't," I repeated. I meant every word of what I was saying. I knew I'd been in kind of a rut for a few weeks and I needed to get out of it.

"Will you tell me what's wrong, then? Did I do something wrong?" he asked. I contemplated telling him the reason why I was upset but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead, I hugged him and told him it was nothing.

"Will you play something for me?" I requested, pulling away from him and looking back down at the piano.

He laughed and looked at me strangely. "What do you want me to play?" he asked.

"I don't care. Play me something I've never heard before. Sing to me too," I said. After realizing I was being serious, Edward sat there silently while trying to decide what to play. He took a deep breath and readied himself at the piano. The soft music he created at the tips of his fingers filled the room. When his voice began to sing words of being happy and then losing that happiness, I almost felt like crying. The lyrics talked about having to let the happiness go and wait for it to return someday, even when it destroys you. His words talked about searching and never being able to find it, until one day you stop looking and it comes back filling you with everything you'd been lacking. I got chills listening to what he was saying. It was almost exactly how I felt about him. I had to go away for college, but I was never truly happy until I came home and found him again. A silly marriage proposal didn't mean anything as long as I had him in my life. He was the one thing I needed to be happy, not a ring or a marriage certificate. Those things weren't going to make me happy, he was.

As the song ended and his fingers moved slower across the keys he started laughing and shaking his head like he was confused by something.

"What is it?" I asked.

He dropped his hands into his lap and stared at the keys in front of him. "That song I just played was the last song I ever wrote. I never finished it though. I couldn't figure out how to finish it. I tried and tried but just couldn't, until tonight." His head rose and looked towards me. "Those last couple verses I just figured out."

"Isn't that a good thing?" I asked. I didn't understand what the big deal was.

"You don't get it, Bella. After you left I started to write that song. I couldn't finish it so I got stuck on it. I haven't been able to write anything else since. That song is why I never made it as a musician. I couldn't do what I loved anymore because of my hang-up on that song." He turned towards me and smiled like everything made perfect sense. "Don't you get it? That song was about you. But I was never able to finish it because you hadn't come back to me yet."

My heart sunk as he told me this. "Are you trying to say I destroyed your happiness? Am I the reason you never got to live your dream?" I questioned on the verge of tears.

He laughed and shook his head before taking my face in his hands. "No, Bella. I'm saying you are my happiness. Becoming a famous musician was not going to make me happy. Being a teacher doesn't even make me truly happy. What makes me happy is you. You came back to me and now I have everything I've been lacking in my life. I don't need all that other stuff."

"It's taken you three years to come to this conclusion?" I asked.

He laughed and pulled my face to his. His lips gently brushed mine, teasing me. "I'm kind of an idiot. You should know this by now?" he whispered.

"I knew about twenty years ago," I teased.

He laughed again and I joined him laughing along. "Do you want to know what I realized from that song?" I asked. He sat back, looking at me strangely as if it didn't make sense for me to have any connection to the song like he did. "I realized you, too, are my happiness. I was never happy in Florida. I came back here looking for that happiness I had growing up. I found it in you."

He smiled and pressed his lips pressed against mine in a passionate kiss. His tongue forced its way into my mouth, tasting and gently caressing my tongue. I leaned into him and gave myself to him willingly. He slowly pushed my robe down my arms and onto the floor before lifting me at the hips and placing me on the piano keys in front of him. I giggled as the pressure from my body on the piano played music. Edward suddenly became wild with lust turning me on and making me excited. The epiphany we both had from a simple song was what we needed to get back on track.

His hands brushed against my stomach and down my hips, pulling my nightgown up and over my head. He sighed and his mouth dropped open while he stared at my naked body in front of him sitting on his piano. I leaned back against the piano and smiled at him. He smiled back with a mischievous look on his face. He quickly began to kiss my body with open mouth kisses, moaning with every new touch of his mouth against my skin. His fingertips dug into my skin creating an all new sensation. I laid my head back and closed my eyes, letting my body enjoy the feeling of his lips, tongue, and fingers on me. I let out a cry of delight as his lips encircled my nipple and sucked it in between his teeth. My sounds and the arching of my back encouraged him, causing him to do quite a bit of his own moaning and grunting. He reached down and grabbed the back of my leg, pulling it up and placing it on the piano bench. He pushed against my knee, opening me up for him. Two fingers traced a line from my knee along the inside of my leg until they reached my center. He let out a guttural noise and looked into my eyes before dipping those two fingers inside of me. I let out a cry of ecstasy and dropped my head forward. His fingers pumped in and out before he leaned down and joined his fingers with his tongue. I almost came undone when his tongue licked across my clit and then sucked it into his mouth. He knew exactly how to make me go wild with frenzy.

I tried to hold still while he worked me over but the friction was too much, and I found myself wiggling and moving all over the piano to find more of his touch. I almost fell a couple times but was able to catch myself in time. Suddenly, I felt his arms around me and being lifted into the air. My legs wrapped around his waist, still trying to find that friction against him.

He stood up, holding onto me so tightly and continuing to kiss my stomach and breasts. He walked me back to the bedroom and placed me at the end of the bed. He began to remove his own clothes while I laid there on the bed, wriggling impatiently for him to continue where he left off. He grunted as he removed his sweatpants and watched me on the bed taking matters into my own hands and rubbing against my clit. Within seconds of removing all his clothing he was back on top of me, kissing and sucking every inch of my body. He let his fingers join mine on my clit for a moment before he pushed my hand away and let his mouth finish me off. I cried out loudly as the orgasm took over my body and filled me with pure bliss. As I finished, Edward sat up looking pleased with himself and came over top of me. He slid his cock inside of me and breathed almost a sigh of relief. I knew I'd kind of been depriving him of sex the last few weeks and I felt incredibly guilty about it, especially since he just gave me the most incredible orgasm before getting anything for himself.

His groans grew stronger with every thrust inside of me. I grabbed the back of my knees and pulled them to my chest opening myself up even further for him. The groans and heavy breathing from both of us quickly became full on screams as we got closer to release. I had another wave of guilt by having a second orgasm, but I couldn't help it. Edward steadied himself over top of me and pushed even deeper until my eyes clenched shut and my legs locked around his torso. My fingernails dug into his skin as I screamed with another wave of pure bliss overtook my entire body. Edward slowed his movements and his face scrunched up as I felt him fill me. He let out one more loud moan as he finished. He collapsed against my shoulder, breathing heavily and whispering thank you over and over again.

"Thank you for what?" I asked caressing the back of his neck and holding him close to me.

"For that," he chuckled. "For being so incredibly sexy and turning me on with every little thing you do, for fulfilling one of my fantasies of your naked body sitting on the piano. Just for being you and letting me love you the way I've always wanted to."

I laughed and kissed his cheek. "I think I should be thanking you."

He shook his head and hummed against my ear. "I love giving you pleasure. To watch you come from my touch is the most erotic thing I've ever seen. It's absolutely an honor to give you an orgasm. But again, all that screaming you do just proves my point again that we can't make love when Leah and Seth are here."

I laughed again and gently shoved him until he fell to the side of me. "I guess you're right." He laughed a little with me and caressed the side of my cheek with the back of his fingers. His eyes looked heavy and slowly began to close from exhaustion. "I think you need sleep," I said.

"Only if I get to hold you in my arms while we sleep," he countered. I smiled up at him and moved closer to his body until I was wrapped up in his arms and our legs tangled around each other. I think for the first time in weeks we both slept wonderfully.

The next morning we awoke and went for round two and then a third time in the shower. I was sure we were going to be late for the wedding if we didn't stop and control ourselves. But it was nice to finally be back on track with the man I loved. We both needed last night.

I quickly got myself dressed in the light blue bridesmaid dress and fix my hair. I helped Edward with his tux and gathered up all the last minute items we needed for the wedding. When we arrived at my dad's house, I walked inside to find a chaotic mess of flowers, tables, chairs, fabrics, and people. Nothing had been done for the backyard wedding. I instantly went into bossy mode and started ordering people around, telling them where to set up tables and chairs, where to place the flowers, and what to do with everything else scattered around the house. After making sure everyone around was doing something constructive, I went up to check on Sue. She was already dressed in her wedding gown, which was a very delicate lace dress with an A-line cut. Leah sat in a chair next to her in a matching blue dress to mine. "You both look beautiful," I said as I walked into the room. Sue turned around and thanked me before asking how things were going downstairs. I assured her everything was just fine. I didn't need her to stress on her big day. I would make sure everything was perfect for her and my dad.

I went back downstairs to check on things and found my dad trying to help set up. He was making a mess of what I was already doing. I had to grab him and instruct him to go wait in the other room. He was being of no help to anyone trying to help but doing it all wrong. I could tell he was nervous and needed to just sit down and relax. After getting him sat down in his chair and turning on ESPN to help calm him, Edward walked in with a glass and a bottle of whiskey.

"Here, Charlie. Drink this to help calm your nerves," Edward offered, pouring him a little in the glass. My dad took the glass willingly and downed the drink in one gulp. He handed Edward the glass and motioned for another. I looked up at Edward with wide eyes. My dad was not typically a heavy drinker. The most I ever saw him drink was a beer or two. "Just one more, then I'm cutting you off." Edward poured more of the whiskey in the cup and my dad took it from him. My dad took a deep breath and leaned his head back in the chair to relax.

"Are you okay now?" I asked.

"I'll be fine," he assured. "I just haven't done this for so long. What if I'm a bad husband? Your mother left me because I couldn't make her happy. What if I do the same thing this time?"

"You won't, Charlie," Edward insisted, patting him on the shoulder. "I think you have this marriage stuff figured out by now. You'll be fine."

My dad nodded his head in agreement with Edward even though I could still tell he still doubted himself. "Dad, Sue loves you and you love her. That's all you need. Today is just a formality of what you already share. It's nothing to be so stressed about." He smiled and patted the back of my hand. I think what I said did calm him a little or maybe it was just the alcohol kicking in.

I excused myself once I knew my dad was calm and went back outside to check on the process. Everything was finally coming together and looked really nice and elegant. Guests were already beginning to arrive, so I instructed Seth to go greet them and show them to their seats.

I saw Carlisle and Esme walking across the yard and greeted them. They asked where Edward was and I told them he was with my dad attempting to calm him down. Carlisle laughed and excused himself to go see if Edward needed any help. Esme and I chatted for a few minutes before she found a seat and waited for Carlisle to return.

Right a noon I gathered my dad and the priest. They walked down the aisle followed by Edward and I, then Seth and Leah. I glanced towards my dad and motioned for him to take a deep breath. He did then looked back down the aisle just in time to see Sue walking towards him. He smiled and instantly seemed to calm. I thought it was cute how seeing Sue made him calm down.

The wedding was beautiful and perfectly executed. I glanced at Edward during the ceremony. He looked like he was in deep thought. His eyes met mine from across the aisle and smiled back at me. I couldn't tell what he was thinking but he acted the same way after the ceremony and during the reception. He just seemed like he had a lot on his mind. I was so busy greeting people and making sure everything was being done properly I never had a chance to ask if he was okay. I did see him talking with my dad and his dad for quite a while. They both seemed to be laughing at him and trying to give him some sort of advice.

After the ceremony and everything was cleaned up, Edward and I headed home with Leah and Seth with us. We got them set up in the spare bedroom then let them stay up and watch a movie. I went to kitchen table and quickly finished up grading the papers I had abandoned the night before. I was exhausted but they needed to be graded. Edward sat in the bedroom playing around with different harmonies on the guitar until I came in and collapsed on the bed next to him. He chuckled and put his guitar away before pulling me into his arms and brushing his fingers through my hair to help me relax. I was asleep within moments. The last thing I remembered was Edward kissing my forehead and whispering he loved me.

Since the wedding was over the next big event to handle was the spring concert. Edward and I worked closely making sure everything was ready to go. The day of the show, we set up the risers and brought in all the props to make the effect even greater. The staff of the school greeted the parents as they entered the building and filled the bleachers. I slipped away for just a moment to find Edward backstage preparing. I wished him luck and gave him a quick kiss. He looked a nervous, which was odd for him. He was always so relaxed when he was on stage, especially with the kids.

Two classes at a time filled the stage as parents cheered and listened to the kids performing their songs before they were escorted back down to their seats out in front. I was so proud when my class of fourth graders took the stage with the fifth graders and began to sing their songs. I found my seat where my class had been sitting and listened to the kids perform. As they sang their last song and everyone clapped, I was surprised when Edward grabbed a microphone and began to speak while the kids remained on the risers. I expected the kids to come off the stage and sit back down with me until Edward thanked everyone and then took the stage to say his final greeting.

"First of all I want to thank all of you for coming out tonight to see your kids perform. They have all worked very hard at making this a special evening for all of you," he began. "As most of you know I attended this school when I was a kid and found my love for music right here on this stage. Something rather significant happened to me recently and I got my song writing mojo back." The audience laughed and watched as two of the students stepped off the risers and carried out the guitar I had bought Edward and handed it to him. Another student brought out a chair for him to sit in. "There was another person, who also attended this school many years ago, who helped me overcome my writers block. So to thank her I wrote a song for her. The fourth and fifth graders have agreed to help me out on this last little addition to the program."

I had no idea what he was doing but I knew he was talking about me. He glanced down towards me and winked while setting up the microphone in front of him and setting the guitar on his knee. He looked back at the students and counted off before beginning to play the guitar. They watched Edward as he began to sing a song of a love staying strong throughout the years and making me happy. The words talked about knowing each other's secrets and sharing everything with each other. He sang words of building a life with me and even after all this time he could never be anywhere else but with me. The main message of the song was I how perfect I was for him. During the chorus the kids joined in and sang with him. I was brought to tears listening to what he was singing and how the kids sang along with him.

As he finished the audience cheered and clapped as the kids bowed and began to leave the stage. Suddenly my students began to walk toward me one at a time placing a single white rose on my lap before taking their seats. Once again I was crying and didn't know what to do. I didn't like being the center of attention but this was incredibly sweet of Edward to set up. I looked up at Edward who was still on the stage and shook my head in disbelief. He smiled and winked before mouthing the words, "I love you." My heart was filled with absolute love for him. If I wasn't perfect for him, he was perfect for me.

The principal got on stage and did his last little bit of thanking everyone for coming out and instructing parents on how to retrieve their kids from the teachers. I placed the large bundle of roses on my chair and quickly composed myself so I could dismiss my students to their parents. Many of the parents and even fellow staff members came up to me and said how sweet the song was and how much it touched them to see Edward do something so thoughtful.

After all the parents and students left the building and staff members began to clean up the gym, I went to find Edward. I found him backstage and ran to him, throwing my arms around his neck. He pulled me close to him and chuckled.

"I take it you liked the song?" he asked.

"I loved it," I said while letting more tears of happiness fall. I pulled away just a little to look up at him. "Thank you."

He shook his head and smiled. "No, thank you." He leaned down and kissed me gently.

We were the last two to leave the building. I had placed all the roses back in the bucket of water, which Edward had successfully hid from me until the students needed to get them. Edward carried the bucket and placed it in the back of the car along with the rest of our stuff. I was about to get in the car when Edward grabbed my hand and pulled me away. He shut the car door and motioned for me to follow him.

"Where are we going?" I asked, wrapping my fingers around his.

"I just want to go for a walk before we head home." I smiled and leaned my head against his shoulder as we walked around the school and ended up on the playground. He sat me down on a swing and pushed me gently until I was swinging through the air. I laughed and pumped my legs to go higher like I did when I was a kid. After a few minutes he sat down in the swing next to me and watched me swing with a huge grin on his face.

I slowed my pace until I came to a stop. I looked into his intent eyes and wondered what it was he was thinking.

"Do you remember when we used to play on this playground together? I used to push you almost daily on the swings and sometimes we'd play on the merry-go-round until we were sick," he asked.

I smiled, remembering our childhood. "I remember."

"Do you remember when we were six years old and I gave you a plastic ring asking you to marry me?" he asked.

I swallowed hard against the sudden lump that filled my throat. I didn't want to read too much into what he was saying. I had learned not to get my hopes up, yet this was the first time he had ever mentioned anything about marriage, even if it was just a silly memory of our childhood.

"I do remember that," I replied. "I wore that pink, plastic ring every day for almost a week until I caught you kissing Claire. Then I took it off and threw it at you."

He chuckled and shook his head. "For the record, I didn't kiss Claire. She kissed me and it only on the cheek. Afterwards I pushed her down and told her she was icky," he clarified. "I got in trouble from the teacher because I pushed her down too."

"I didn't know that," I laughed.

We both laughed at the memory until it became silent between us.

"If I asked you to marry me now would you say yes or hold the Claire kiss against me?"

Once again, I swallowed thickly trying to choose my words carefully.

"I guess since Claire doesn't live in this town anymore I can get over it," I joked.

He crookedly smiled and pulled the chain of my swing towards him, placing a kiss on my lips. As we pulled away I looked down at his hand extended in front of me to see the same little plastic ring he had given me all those years ago. I gasped and covered my mouth before reaching down to take it from his hand. I examined the ring remembering the exact moment Edward gave it me. It was just a little pink plastic ring with a heart-shaped plastic stone. I put the ring half-way down my pinky and admired it on my hand.

"I can't believe you still have this. Where did you get it?" I asked.

"I've kept it. I knew it would come in handy someday," he answered.

"Come in handy how?" I wondered.

"To ask you to marry me again," he answered.

I laughed and shook my head. "Are you actually asking me to marry you with a plastic ring?"

He laughed and nodded his head. "I guess I am."

"Seriously? You're actually asking me to marry you?" I questioned, wanting to make sure I wasn't imagining this.

He took a deep breath and stood from the swing. He walked closer and kneeled down in front of me taking my hands in his. "Does this convince you enough that I'm serious?" he asked. "Bella, I love you. I should have asked you to marry me a long time ago. I'm truthfully and sincerely asking you to marry me now."

For the third or fourth time in the night I began to cry again. I couldn't imagine a better marriage proposal than this right here. Something meaningful and special to just us was perfect.

I nodded my head and through my tears I answered yes. He smiled and leaned forward to kiss me. As we kissed, there were sudden drops of rain hitting us. We looked up and started to laugh.

"Don't they say rain on the wedding day is good luck?" Edward asked with a playful tone.

"On the wedding day," I clarified. "I'm not sure if the same thing applies to the day you propose."

"Oh well, we don't need luck," he said.

"No, we don't."

We kissed again and hugged before Edward stood up and grabbed my hand to guide me out of the rain and to the car.

We drove home and Edward grabbed the bucket of roses from the back of the car. We both ran through the rain and walked into the house. I was stunned when I walked in our house and there were roses of all colors filling our house along with lit candles and pink, heart-shaped balloons. On the table in front of me was a picture of us together when we were little kids and another of us from recently. I looked back at Edward, who stood behind me, and smiled.

"I had planned to ask you tonight when we got home, but at the last minute I thought asking you on the same playground where I first fell in love with you, was more appropriate," he explained.

"How long have you been planning this?" I asked.

"Over twenty years," he admitted, laughing at his answer. I turned back around and looked at him curiously. He walked closer to me and pulled me into his arms. "I've been trying to ask you to marry me again since we were kids. But, something always seemed to get in the way. When we were little, it was fear of rejection. When we were teenagers, it was again the fear of rejection and the fear of holding you back from your dreams. When you came back, I was afraid of moving too fast and scaring you away. I wanted to ask you to marry me the day we were reunited but I knew I couldn't. Then, in the last few years when I thought the time was right and I started to make plans for it, your friends would interfere. I wanted this moment to be a surprise, and I could never figure out a way to make it happen without anyone telling you."

"How did you pull off today, then?" I asked.

"Well, I didn't tell a soul. The fourth and fifth graders did a really good job keeping the extra song a secret when I bribed them with candy. But I never told them anything else. If any of your friends did know anything, I think their most recent screw up has made them think twice about saying anything to you." He walked me over to the table and picked up the black box sitting between the pictures of us.

"So you were ring shopping then?" I asked.

"No," he laughed. "I bought this ring almost three years ago. I'm surprised you never found it hidden in one of my guitar cases."

"You bought it three years ago?" I asked, amazed he'd had it all this time and never let on about it.

"Yes, I did," he confessed. "I should have just given it to you. I knew every time you got a little depressed it was because I hadn't asked you when all your friends convinced you I was going to. This last time I was sure you had finally reached your limit. So many times I wanted to just hand it to you and confess everything. But I was so afraid you would think I was only asking because it's what you wanted me to do and not because it's what I wanted."

"But it is what you want, right? You do want to marry me?" I asked.

"Bella, I wanted to marry you when we were little kids. What makes you think I would change my mind now?" he asked.

I put my arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "If you would have asked me again when we were kids, I would have said yes."

"I'm glad I didn't though," he admitted. I slightly pulled away and stared at him with a confused expression. "If I would have asked you to marry me when we were younger or even if I had asked you to be my girlfriend, like I always wanted to do, we wouldn't have built this great friendship we have now. The dreams we had for ourselves wouldn't have become a reality. You got your dream of going to college and becoming a teacher like you always wanted to."

"But what about you?" I asked. "Your dream was to become a musician not a teacher."

"I'm still a musician. I get to play music every single day with the students. I get to write even more beautiful songs inspired by you. Who knows, maybe someday I'll even be able to sell a song or two."

"It's not exactly the same as what you wanted," I reminded.

"The only dream I ever had that meant anything to me was to be with you," he said. "You just fulfilled that dream by agreeing to marry me." I smiled up at him as he pulled me close to his chest and placed a kiss on my forehead. "I got everything I ever wanted the moment you walked into my life."

With his last declaration, he opened up the black box and pulled out a white gold band with a simple princess cut diamond. Once again, he kneeled in front of me and took my hand in his. He placed a kiss on the back of my hand before looking up into my eyes. "Bella, will you marry me?" For the second time that night, I accepted Edward's proposal and he slipped the ring on my finger right next to the plastic one.

Even though the real ring was beautiful and exactly what you would expect for an engagement ring, the little plastic one meant more to me than anything else. That little piece of plastic was a declaration of how strong our love was and how much Edward truly did love me.

Thanks for reading :)