Contest: Twilight of Craigslist ONE-SHOT Contest (Part II)

FFN profile web address: .net/u/1799158/rbsschess

FFN Link to ad that prompted one-shot: .net/s/7435469/1/This_is_Me_Being_Honest

Title: Lonely + Honest = Friends?

Rating: M

Word Count: 3,088

Summary: Two lonely people looking for an honest connection reach out in desperation. Can they put aside their own issues to help the other?

Character and/or Pairing: E/B

Warnings and Disclaimer(if applicable): I do not own Twilight or its characters.

Guy with own wheels looking for a friendship with legs. Fully furnished apartment (Seattle)

Date: 2011-10-10, 2.29am

Reply to: eac (at) eacwebdesign (dot) net

I don't even know where to start.

Dutch courage is helping me out tonight, thanks Mister Whisky, you're a real pal. I'd never have the balls to do this in the light of day but shit, I'd still feel like this. I'd still feel like this but I'd be too fucking scared to do anything about it.

I'm lonely.

I really just need someone to share my space, and oh, I don't know... just fucking interact with me?

I feel so fucking cut off from the world.

I don't want to be here, alone, like this.

I can go out, but I don't.

What it comes down to is that... I don't want to be out there.

I don't want to be laughed at, fucked over, tripped on, pointed at. I don't want any of that fucking shit.

You don't need to look after me, I'm self-sufficient. I can move around well enough when I need to. I don't need a nurse or a babysitter or a nanny, so don't answer this ad if you've got a Florence Nightingale thing going on.

I just need a friend.

I know I sound like a fucking loser, maybe I am.

I don't really care anymore how I sound because keeping this shit in is killing me. Keeping it in makes me SOUND normal, but that's not how I feel.

So from now on I'm just gonna say what I feel.

I just want a friend, and I want honesty.

This is me, being honest.

Move in with me.

Probably a waste of fucking time, but I guess I gotta try before someone gives a shit and puts me away in a fucking white room for my own good.

Is there anybody out there?

Edward reread the ad one more time before posting it.

"What the fuck have I got to lose at this point?" He mumbled to himself. "It's not like anyone will respond, I sound like the pathetic loser I am."

He stared at the computer screen, refreshing every 30 minutes, for hours before he passed out where he sat.

While he never really thought anyone would respond to his ad, as the days went by and no one did, he fell deeper into depression.

His family never supported his decision and they have been estranged for years, too many years to count anymore. When he was injured, he knew he could contact them but he was unwilling to listen to them tell him how if he had done what they wanted, all those years ago, he wouldn't be in this position now.

His friends, though they were more like brothers, contacted him when they were in town but that wasn't often and he understood their hesitance. It was hard to be smacked in the face with the reality that you were, in fact, not invincible, especially with what they did for a living. Understanding didn't make it any easier to deal with, so they communicated through e-mail and avoided anything deeper than the latest news and never the job.

The first six months, anger pushed him through the day. Anger was replaced by self-pity and then depression set in, the last twelve months he has been hanging on by a thread and it is more than beginning to fray.

Weeks passed, he had all but forgotten about his drunken post when he found himself staring at an unknown e-mail address with a subject line of Craigslist Ad. His hands started to sweat, did he open it, delete it, what the fuck should he do? His mind was racing. It had been weeks and he had never expected a response. In the end the user name had him opening the e-mail.

To: EAC

From: Lonely2

EAC-

I admit to printing off your ad and taping it to my mirror, where I read it several times a day. I know lonely, I know it very well.

My loneliness is different from yours, but yet the same. I'm surrounded by people every day. People who claim to be my friend and have my best interest at heart, but if that is true shouldn't they recognize that I am miserable.

Like you, I need honesty and these people are only honest to the point of telling me what they think I want to hear. I want a friend who will tell me not the popular opinion but an honest one. Someone who calls me on my shit and will tell me to get over myself, when I'm feeling sorry for myself. Could you be that person?

I can't move in with you. For one thing you didn't give nearly enough information in your ad. I mean, you could be a 25-year-old hatchet murderer or a 70-year-old grandpa pervert type that wants to do nefarious things to me in my sleep. Neither appeals to me, at all.

Second, I actually live near LA, but I have a project in Seattle in a few weeks and will need a place to stay while I'm there. My hope is we can get to know each other before then and become…friends. I need a friend, a true friend and I think you need one too.

If I haven't scared you off with my neediness, please contact me.

Oh – is that fact that I'm female a deal breaker?

Lonely2

Edward read the e-mail again. Hell no it didn't matter to him she was female. But if she was coming to Seattle for a project, why not stay in a hotel. Something felt a little off about her reply, but would he let that stop him from responding? She said she understood his loneliness but was surrounded by people, what the fuck does that even mean. There was only one way to find out.

To: Lonely2

From: EAC

Lonely2-

I admit to being intrigued by your response. How can you be surrounded by people and yet lonely? It sounded as if they have been with you awhile, I would think they know you well. I have friends who check in on me every now and then, but it has become much more sporadic. I understand I make them uncomfortable and wait for them to reach out to me, it rarely happens.

I am neither a 25-year-old hatchet murderer, nor a 70-year-old pervert disguised as a grandpa. What I am is a thirty something man desperately trying to connect to something, to someone. Yes, I know how pathetic that sounds and to be honest I am almost past caring.

I'm tired of the looks of pity I get when I go out. Or people who give me a wide berth because they are worried that whatever afflicted me might rub off if they accidentally touched me. I want a friend that will say 'fuck them' when I let peoples stares and whispers get to me. Or better yet tell them, 'fuck off' instead. I want to be friends with someone that truly sees me and not my wheels.

Unless you are really a man who wants to make me his bitch or any age woman looking to do the same, I want to try being your friend. I don't understand why you would even want to stay with me instead of a hotel, but I don't think I can afford to turn down this opportunity.

Please contact me with more information concerning your stay in Seattle.

Hopeful –

E

Edward hit send before he could change his mind. In the morning, as he read over the e-mail he sent last night, he did a face palm as he realized, if anything, he had proven himself a bigger loser than he ever thought possible. He also thought he sounded like a bit of an asshole, in reality he was and if she wanted honesty, he was not going to sugarcoat things.

Several days went by and no response. Edward didn't know what to think or why he was disappointed. He hadn't expected a response to his original ad, but once she had, he wanted that connection. He wanted to know someone who only knew him now, who didn't know the before Edward. JD black was his friend that night, a close, personal friend.

He woke the next morning with his face on the keyboard, almost falling out of his chair, and his computer appeared to have shut down from whatever weird sequence of keys he hit when he passed out. After a reboot, thank you lord that was all it required, and staring at the e-mail button for 30 minutes, he finally grew the balls to click on it. He didn't like the feeling of anxiety he felt as he waited for it load or the relief he felt to see she had responded.

To: EAC

From: Lonely2

E-

I see we have progressed pass screen names, I think. Yours really doesn't give much away, so maybe not.

I see you have a bit of a snark to you, or in guys is it just being an asshole? I'm not sure, but think I may enjoy debating the merits of both with you.

Make you my bitch? To tell the truth, I'm not sure I would even be able to locate the bitch in me right now and that frightens me, I used to be on very good terms with her. That is one of the reasons I find myself surrounded by people who no longer know me and to be honest I don't want to know most of them either.

I guess I need to tell you more about me. I hoped to be able to reveal this after I had reeled you in with my dry wit and neediness, but you sound as if you may value privacy and that isn't something I can guarantee if I were to stay with you.

I'm twenty, almost, and I'm a singer, some would say a famous singer. I started singing when I was 14 and my parents shared control of my career. As I got older my mother took more control because my dad felt she would understand me better. She has been pushing me in directions I don't want to go and until recently she held the control and I was just her dancing chicken, like at a fair. Even she doesn't know me like she thinks she does. She surrounds herself with people she thinks are important and her friends, never seeing that their friendship is related directly to her perceived power in the music industry. That is how I can be surrounded by people I have known for years and be lonely. They don't care about me and yet she insists they do. The true friends I had, before the fame, she has gradually forced out of my life.

I don't want to stay at a hotel when I come to Seattle because no one knows about this project and I don't want them to find out until it is complete. I'm not running away, per say, I am running towards getting control of my life back. I know what you're thinking, big rock star feeling sorry for herself, and maybe on some level that is true. What I need is a friend who could care less about the money and the fame, and have the guts to just tell me like it is. If I'm be a whinny baby, tell me, if I'm letting people walk all over me, tell me. I don't need someone to fight my battles for me but I do need one person in my corner, no matter what. I hope you can be that one person, the person that if I walked away from everything tomorrow would say to me, 'I think you're an idiot for walking away but if that's what it takes for you to be happy then I'm behind you 100%.'.

I should warn you that if it got out I was in Seattle and staying with you, there would be lots of questions asked and probably press, photos. I want to be selfish and not warn you because, I think I need you as my friend. But to have a friend you must also be a friend, and that is why I'm giving you this warning about what may happen. I hope you still want to write me after this, I'll understand if you don't but, I think you may need me too.

Waiting –

Bella

What. The. Fuck! That was all Edward could think after reading her e-mail. What kind of sick fucking joke was someone playing on him. It had to be a joke, he thought. What are the odds he was really talking to a famous singer. He wants to put whoever this is in their place right the fuck now. He hit the reply key and starting typing furiously.

To: Lonely2

From: EAC

Listen asshole! Do you get your jollies kicking puppies, stealing candy from kids, or maybe just pulling shitty pranks on people who put themselves out there to show them how pathetic they already know they are?

Whatever your reasons are, do me a favor and FUCK OFF!

Edward hit the send button and slammed shut his laptop. People could be such assholes and he had started to fall for it, asswipes.

Days turned into a week, one turned into two that rolled into three. Every day he deleted messages from Lonely2. Even after three weeks, he was still receiving at least two a day, sometimes more. At first he was beyond pissed to see the person was still trying to contact him, but now, he had no idea what to think. He wanted to believe that he had read the situation wrong, that no one would keep trying to reach him if it was a sick joke. He wanted to believe desperately and his desperation is what had him ignore every e-mail until, on the 23rd day, he was once again sitting with his good friend JD.

Edward was browsing porn when his e-mail popped up, it was from Lonely2. He moved to delete it out of habit when he noticed the subject line, I won't bother you anymore. Those words made him pause, is that what he wanted, really wanted. Figuring he didn't have anything to lose he clicked and opened the e-mail.

To: EAC

From: Lonely2

I don't know why I am even writing this. I fully expect it to be ignored, like the others. I just…it isn't a prank E. I understand why you may think it is but it isn't. I knew it was too much information too soon, but it almost felt dishonest, not saying anything. Everything I said about being lonely and my mother was true, all of it. The only thing I left out about why I'm willing to stay with you for the duration of the project seemed very rude to point out, but at this point I have nothing to lose.

How much of a threat do you really pose to me? I mean you're in a wheelchair, I could out run you, and even if you weren't, I'm a black belt, odds are I could fight you off until help arrives. I admit, that fact makes me feel safer about answering your ad. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does. And a part of me hopes that you will call me out on shit and tell me how much worse some have it than me, so I should shut up and live my life.

I need a friend E. I know you are older than me but I have either been caring for or propping people up since I was nine. I am not looking for a 'daddy' or father figure but I am looking for someone who actually gives a damn about me. Not about if I'm making enough money or seen with the right people, but someone who cares if I'm happy or sleeping, or hell, eating something.

In for a penny, in for a pound – right? Your ad sounded as desperate as I feel and, for a second, it made me feel good to know someone, anyone, felt as lonely as I did. I felt maybe I wasn't as alone in the universe as I thought.

Since I'm sure you are making the big loser sign on your forehead – here goes nothing. I need to get this off my chest, even if no one is listening anymore.

My stage name is Izzy Dwyer. As I'm sure you know, if you have ever listened to or watched any tabloid shows, Izzy is a mess. She is a pill popping, booze hound 'ho that fucks any and every one she can. She rocks hard and plays even harder. People are shocked she has only been to rehab twice and thank god, she had her mother there to reel in 20-year-old Izzy.

I signed my last e-mail Bella. Bella Swan is an almost 20-year-old virgin. She loves to sing but hates to perform on stage. Bella loves music period. IF she could, she would go back to writing music and doing voice-overs for movies. Bella has been admitted twice for mental and physical exhaustion. Bella has serious self-esteem issues. Bella has to pop anxiety pills like candy to turn into Izzy. Bella is trying to claw her way out of the depression she is in and exert herself again. She needs someone in her corner, not to fight her fights but to let her know she can do it, she can make it out. Bella needs a friend, a confidante, a cheerleader, a sounding board. Bella needs one person to just listen and then give an honest opinion, someone not already caught up in all the bullshit. Bella read your ad, thought she saw a kindred spirit, and hoped you had the potential to be those things for her. She wanted to be those things for you, but as she often does, she blew it somehow.

I'm sorry E, so fucking sorry. The last thing I wanted was to make you feel more alienated, I really am sorry if that is what happened.

I'll be in Seattle in a few days, if you want to see me, talk, or send me a smoke signal, I'll be at the Fairmont registered under Bella Swan. I'd like to try being your friend, if not your roommate.

Sincerely-

Bella

Edward read and reread the e-mail over the next week. In some ways, they came from totally different places and in other ways, they understood each other like no one else would ever be able to. He flipped flopped for several more days, wondering if the rewards of reaching out to her would be worth the rejection he may face. He had googled Izzy and if what was printed was true, she wasn't someone he wanted to get to know. Now Bella, if she was really Bella, he wanted to get to know her. If his recent dreams were any indication, he really wanted to get to know Bella.

The next few days Edward would randomly pull out the piece of paper with a room number on it, Bella's room number. A call to the Fairmont got him that information. The more he thought about it more he felt he couldn't afford not to reach out to her. After a deep, steadying breath, he reaches out and knocks on the door.

"Just a minute." He heard a soft voice call out.

He hadn't known her schedule so he intentionally waited until after the dinner hour to visit. The door opened and she was more beautiful than any picture he had seen of her, but she obviously had sadness in her eyes. As she looked at him, he thought he saw a spark of hope on her face.

"Bella, Bella Swan?"

"Yes, may I help you?"

"I hope so, I'm Edward. Edward Anthony Cullen."

"E," she gasped.

"Yes, I was hoping we could talk Bella. I'd really like to get to know you better."

She opened the door wider and moved to the side so Edward could enter the room. "I'd like that too Edward. It's nice to finally meet you."

"You too, Bella. It's nice to meet you too."