Summary: Betrayed, heartbroken and devastated, Bella Swan never planned on falling in love again. Fed up and frustrated, she makes the trip to New York to visit a old friend. What happens when a surprise encounter with a handsome stranger on the subway changes her plans?
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight; all respective characters belong to S Meyer.
Authors note: Just to warn you this story isn't for Jacob lovers. As you will tell from the first chapter he's a dirty dog, so stay away now if you don't like it!
Our wedding was supposed to be in July. July 26th to be exact.
It was suppose to be the happiest day of my life. I couldn't have been more prepared; The venue was booked, the cars were hired. I'd picked out my flowers and chosen the dresses for my bridesmaids. I'd even been to my final dress fitting with over 3 months to go.
And then my life fell apart the day I discovered my cheating, lying, two timing ex-fiancé screwing another woman in our bed.
I could tell you I expected it, that I was suspicious of him, but that would be a complete lie. I was flabbergasted, paralysed, dumbstruck. I hadn't seen it coming.
Jacob and I had been together for six years—six very happy ones, if you ask me. He was my first everything; my first kiss, my first serious boyfriend. My first everything if you know what I mean...
We met six years ago at a student bar close to the university. I'd been chatting away with my room-mate, Angela when a tall, dark haired guy leaning against the bar caught my eye. I was far too shy to make a move so I stayed besides my friends and admired him from a far for much of the night before he eventually came over and introduced himself.
"Hey," he'd had to shout over the music
"Hi," I responded shyly, my heart thudded as I stared up at the handsome man towering over me.
"Can I buy you a drink?" He offered. His smiled blinded me and I nodded back.
"I'm Jacob by the way," he said.
"Bella," I replied, taking his hand in mine.
We spent the next few hours talking and getting to know one another. I'd always been shy and uncomfortable around the opposite sex but with Jacob I felt something instant, something exciting which I'd never experienced before. Of course it helped that he was gorgeous and he had this gorgeous dark brown, almost black, kind of tousled hair, and incredibly rich, deep brown eyes. Not to mention, that he was smart, genuinely nice and most importantly he made me laugh.
Jacob swept me off my feet, quite literally and by the end of the night I was smitten. We went on our first date the next night, two weeks later he called me his girlfriend, and a month after that he told me he loved me for the first time.
It was a perfect romance.
Jacob was everything I wanted in a boyfriend and more. He was cute, funny, my family loved him and he was incredibly thoughtful. We stayed together throughout our time at university and when we graduated and found jobs in the city we made the move down to London together. We rented a small, poky, flat on the outskirts of the city. It was nothing flashy or extravagant but it was ours, and we were happy.
Living together was comfortable, 'as easy as breathing' as Jake had innocently joked one night when we were sitting at home watching a movie we'd rented with a Chinese take out and a few beers. Sure we had silly little disagreements and the occasional argument from time to time about money and other day to day issues but we always managed to work through our problems.
The next logic step was marriage and at a time when most of my friends from university were marrying off left, right and centre, I couldn't deny that the thought of marriage had started to appeal to me. However Jake had been in no great hurry to settle down which many of our coupled up friends seemed to find strange. At friends weddings I had heard the sad whispers and been on the receiving end of many pitying glances.
"You're not getting any younger you know, Bella?" They'd joked, but I ignored the pitying looks and snide remarks from Jacob's college buddies about him ever getting round to proposing by claiming that I didn't want to be attached to the old ball and chain when we had years ahead of us to settle down.
Sure, I had been a little hurt that he was taking so long to propose but we were happy and in love and I was sure that marriage would come eventually when the time was right.
And sure enough that time came on our 5th anniversary when Jake took me out to dinner at a very expensive restaurant in town and asked me to be his wife. At the time I had been overjoyed, happier than I ever thought possible, but not six months later my world came crumbling down around me.
I can still remember the day I caught them as if it was only yesterday. Call it intuition but I had known something was wrong as soon as I came home early from work and found the front door unlocked, and clothes littered around the living room.
Time stopped. I stood still, paralysed for I don't know how long not thinking, not even feeling anything. I wasn't sure I was even breathing at that point. I heard the creaking, heard the moans and the sighs before I finally snapped out of my haze and went marching into our bedroom fully prepared for the sight which greeted me.
Except no amount of forewarning can prepare you to see you boyfriend shagging another woman in your bed. For a moment I tried to wrap my mind around what I was seeing. My stomach was in knots,. I felt sick. For a moment I really thought that the sandwich I'd had for lunch was about to work it's way back out.
Moments passed, I opened my mouth to say something but no words came out. I couldn't seem to get my mouth to cooperate with me. I was so shocked that I could hardly find the words, but I must have made a sound because they both looked up at me, their eyes wide and panicked.
"Shit!" Jake exclaimed as he frantically started scurrying around the flat trying to find his clothes, while whatever her name was slopped off into the bathroom.
In the meantime I had stayed frozen to the spot. I felt like my whole chest had been hollowed out. I couldn't breathe. I felt numb, like someone had just smacked me across the face.
"How long has this been going on?" I managed to say when Jake had his clothes back on and had finally turned to face me.
He stood motionless, his eyes unable to meet mine. "Uh.I ... a ... well . . ." he mumbled.
"HOW LONG?" I demanded.
"A few months," he said sheepishly.
"A few months?" I shrieked. "We only got engaged six months ago!"
"Calm down," Jake reached out to touch me but I pushed him away.
"Calm down! You want me to calm down! Have you lost your fucking mind?" I'd seethed. "You bring her into our house, into our bed and you expect me to calm down. Have you lost your mind?"
"I know this is bad Bella, but..." he started to say before I cut him off.
"But what, Jake? I planned my life with you. I gave you everything. We were getting married for Christ's sake! How could you do this to me?" I choked as I felt anger and hurt rise in my throat.
After an uncomfortable moment, Jake filled the silence. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way, Bella, but maybe its for the best, really. It saves us a lot of bother later. It wouldn't have worked out anyway."
My jaw dropped. I stared at him for a long moment. "It wouldn't have worked out?" I said in disbelief. "How can you say that?"
"I'm not the only one at fault here, Bella," he said seriously. "You're hardly blameless."
I blinked several times, barely believing what I was hearing. Was I really hearing right? Was he really trying to turn things around on me?
"What the hell is that suppose to mean?"
"The wedding was more your idea than mine. You pushed me into it. If you hadn't pushed me so hard then maybe things would be different," he accused.
I stared at him for a long moment. I couldn't even find the words to respond, but when I did my anger kicked in in full force. "Are you fucking serious? Are you really trying to turn this around on me?"
"Bella," Jake said slowly as though he were talking to a child. "I'm sorry. I screwed up, I admit it. What else do you want me to say?"
A thousand things were racing through my mind, but I couldn't seem to get any of them out. How could he have stopped loving me? How could he have cheated on me and have the balls to accuse it of being my fault? And more importantly what was I supposed to do now?
I wanted to stay and have it out with him but the truth was that there was nothing else that he could say. I'd heard more than enough from him already and I told him as much.
"Enough! I can't listen to this any more." I tried my hardest to choke back my tears. "You've got an hour to take as much of your stuff as possible. I don't want you to still be here by the time I return."
I'd grabbed my bag and then I turned and walked out the door. I held off until I made it out of the door before collapsing back against it and sobbing uncontrollably.
I'm sure people think I'm crazy for not knowing what was going on, but sometimes you don't even see what is right in front of you, no matter how obvious it is to those around you. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back now, there were a million and one signs to warn me that something wasn't quite right. We had been fighting, he'd been moody, tired and irratable. Then there was the cancelled diner dates, the last minute business trips out of town and all of those late nights at the office, that I stupidly convinced myself was going towards paying for our honeymoon.
And finally there was the sex or lack there of.
Jacob and I had always had a great sex life, or at least we had to start with. It had only started to decrease in frequency around the time Jacob got his promotion at work. It wasn't exactly like he refused to sleep with me. It was just that he always seemed too busy or asleep when I was ready to go.
At the time I was more than a little disheartened but I tried not to take it to heart. Jake had a lot going on at work and with a wedding to organise it was understandable that he was a little distracted. Besides, I figured that once things settles down we would soon be back to normal. I could almost kick myself at how naïve I had been and even now it made me feel physically sick when I thought back to the numerous times I had tried and failed to gain his attention.
Even when I'd pulled out the big guns, slinking into the bedroom in a black lacy bra and matching panties, feeling utterly ridiculous it had no affect what so ever. I cringed just thinking about it now; How I'd paused, unsure what to say or do next. How I'd gulped and tried leaning seductively into the door frame, wobbling a bit in the ridiculous shoes I was convinced would complete the look. I mean no man could turn down a woman in heels, or so my friend Jessica had told me.
It turns out she was wrong as Jake's unenthusiastic response had proven.
"You'd better put something on or you're going to be cold in that, Bella. And you know we are trying to cut down on the heating bill," he'd said, briefly glancing up from the TV for a second before refocussing his attention on whatever it was he was watching.
"There's those lovely fleece pyjamas my mother got you for Christmas last year in the second draw down," he'd added helpfully.
Humiliation complete, I'd heaved a sigh, stomped back to the bathroom, and changed into the biggest, oldest and ugliest T-shirt I could find. There was no way in hell I was putting on those hideous pyjamas no matter how warm they apparently were.
Jacob hadn't even look up when I'd slopped into the bedroom and threw myself into bed, huffing and puffing pointedly. Even that hadn't got his attention which summed up our relationship perfectly.
At the time I'd took the rejection to heart. I mean wasn't it a proven fact that guys think of sex every 7 seconds? Apparently not my boyfriend!
My weight was something that had never particularly concerned me before, but when your fiancé stops having sex with you, every pound seems to count and with the wedding dress fitting booked for a few weeks later I had felt a little insecure. When I'd mentioned the few extra pounds to Jake he had simple shrugged and told me that I was being ridiculous. That should have pleased me and it would have, had he not gone on to say that if I was so bothered about it then I should start taking a few extra night classes at the gym.
It was hardly the reassurance I was looking for and thinking about it now he was probably hoping to have some extra time with his bit on the side.
For the first few days after Jake left I had been devastated. I was numb. I didn't know what to do with myself; I didn't leave the apartment, I didn't sleep, I barely functioned. However, instead of hitting the drink as a few of my friends suggested, I turned to food for comfort; Ben and Jerry's to be exact while pondering where the hell it had all gone so wrong.
I tried to keep my mind off of Jacob, really I did, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't stop reminiscing about happier times. We'd been so in love, or so I'd thought. He was supposed to be the man I married, the man who fathered my children and the man who I grew old and grey with. I thought we would be together forever. Instead, he'd ripped my heart out, telling me that I just wasn't right for him.
How can I not be right for him?
The worst of it was that, even though he had taken out my heart and crushed it, my feelings for him didn't disappear. Not by a long shot. It sickened me that they remained, but like my mother told me,"you cant switch your feelings off over night."
I should know, I tried my hardest to forget about Jake but no matter how much he had hurt me, it was a lot easier said than done to hate someone you've spent over 6 years of your life with.
In the meantime I did what I did every other morning; I got up, I showered, I put on my make up, I picked out an outfit and I went to work. I couldn't let my students suffer because my personal life was in ruins. I owed it to them to hold it together and be professional and get them through their exams. In the weeks that passed I threw myself into work, anything to stop me from wallowing in sadness and self pity.
And in time it got easier; I didn't think of Jake every day. I didn't reminisce about the happy times we had shared, and most importantly I didn't imagine a future with him any more.
That was six month ago- the longest six months of my life. I'd go as far to say it had been the worst 6 months of my life but I was slowly adapting to my life.
Some days were better than others. Today had been one of those days where everything and anything had gone wrong. I slept in, I missed my train, I was late for work and all day my students had tested my patience. When I got home I was in need of a familiar, friendly voice to cheer me up, so I picked up the phone to call my friend, Angela whom I'd shared a house with during my time at university.
She had relocated to the States three years ago when she had been offered her dream job at an art gallery in New York. Since she made the move across the pond I had only seen her a handful of times when she would come home for the holidays, but despite the distance we kept in touch regularly through emails, letters and the occasional long distance phone call. I missed her terribly but she had certainly done well for herself and last year she had worked her way up to curator.
"Hey Bella," Angela's cheerful voice greeted me down the other end of the line.
"Hey Ang. You're not busy are you?" I asked. She was always so busy rushing around sorting out one thing or another that I worried about taking up too much of her time.
"I'm never too busy for you, you know that. How are you?" she asked.
"I'm good thanks," I tried to sound cheerful, but despite the thousand of miles between us Angela still knew me better than anyone. She saw beyond the front I put on and even over the phone she could tell when I was not being quite honest with her.
"How are you really?" She asked knowingly.
"I'm okay, really," I tried to reassure her but she saw right through me.
"No you're not. I know you're still hurting, but all this moping around is not doing you any good. I'm worried about you, Bella." She sounded concerned.
I hated to hear her worrying and I quickly tried to reassure her. "Don't be. I'm doing okay."
"That's crap and you know it. Listen I have an idea. You have the whole summer off, why don't you come stay with me?"
"Come to New York?"
"Please Bella. You've been promising to come visit me for so long now. It will be such fun and it's just what you need to forget about that pig of an ex. You need a break. Why not get away from it all?" she encouraged.
I thought about it for a moment. Angela was right. It was time to move on and move forward with my life. No more staying at home wallowing over Jacob Black. A holiday would be good for me and who knows maybe a change of scene and a little time away to myself was just what I needed to get my life back on track. It sounded very tempting and deciding I had nothing left to loose I agreed. "Okay then, lets do this."
"Really?" She sounded hopeful.
"Yes, you're right, a change of scene is just what I need. Besides, it's been way too long since I last saw you."
"Excellent! We will have so much fun," Angela said enthusiastically before she then went on to tell me of all the amazing places she planned on taking me to visit during my trip.
We carried on talking, laughing and making plans, and an hour later when I hung up I was already feeling more excited and hopeful than I had in months.
It all came together surprisingly quickly after that. I booked my flights, I sorted out my visa and so, two and a half months later, just 10 days shy of the day I should have been getting married, her I am, boarding a plane heading to a city I've never even visited before to visit an old friend I haven't seen in ages.
Already, I felt like I was on the verge of something life changing.
New York here I come..
Authors note: Sorry the first chapter was a little angsty to start but it will get better from here! Including an encounter with a certain handsome stranger on the subway. I bet you can guess who that is?
In the meantime I'd love to hear what you think so if you could find the time to review I would really appreciate it:)