I always suck at what to say at the start of any new story, accept hello, thanks for opening this!
I own nothing accept the twisted things that come out of my head.
Thank you to Allison & Rhonda for pre-reading and BusyBrie for betaing!
Thanks for giving me a shot!
Extended Summary: He was right and they were wrong, and that was all he had to stand by. With his career soaring and his marriage sinking, will Edward finally see that everyone was right at the start? It's just a game until someone gets hurt. It's just a game until you start playing for keeps. The truth is, it was never a game-This is the journey of Edward figuring out exactly where he was meant to be in life. Told primarily from his therapist's armchair.
Banned made by SoapyMayhem: http:/i10(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/a140/a_soldiers_princess321/OPEN(dot)png
"Walking away from her was the hardest thing I've ever done," I admitted with my face planted firmly in my hands.
"Why?" She continued to push for more like she always did.
"Because…" I sighed as I looked up, willing myself to form the words. Trying to find, deep down, where I had gone wrong while praying that I could still put the pieces back together. "Because she was home. When I was with her, I felt like the world made sense and it wasn't about being right anymore. I just wanted to be happy…happy with her."
"Do you still think you could be happy with her?" she asked next.
"Yes," I replied without missing a beat. A smile played on my lips as I thought of her brown eyes shining at me the day I took her to the beach. "If only she'd return my phone call."
The lights were on inside the house when I pulled up. After glancing at the clock, I realized it had taken me over an hour to get back, despite only being twenty minutes away. I couldn't even remember the traffic, or really, how I had managed to arrive safely.
When I was a boy, I always thought pulling into my driveway would put a smile on my face. It would be another day marked off, accomplished, as I greeted my wife at the door, perhaps a few babies at her heels. I'd walk in, give her a kiss, shrug off my coat, and ask her about her day. I'd help set the table while she lay dinner out and we'd smile at each other while we ate. Once our children were older, I'd ask about their days and tell them about mine. I'd help get the kids in bed before cuddling up with my wife in front of a fireplace, or sit in my study doing the monthly finances while she cleaned up. I'd offer help when it was needed, and every night, we'd go to sleep in each other's arms. Those were my dreams, no matter how idealistic.
Perhaps my notions were too old fashioned, but it was what I saw growing up. My parents were the epitome of perfect, and that was my goal: to achieve my own perfection. But, only now did I know that I'd chosen a girl who would never give me any of that. I had chosen wrong, and now I had lost everything. God, I could see it with her, just not my own wife!
Now, as I sat in my driveway at the height of my own failure, I realized I knew what had to be done. I knew it before I started driving back home, I knew it the month we went back to visit our families together; hell, I knew it at the start, but I had refused to admit it. My inability to accept my own responsibility was the only source of blame.
So, as I exited my car and walked up the steps to our door, I took one giant breath before walking in. I followed the sounds of music playing in the kitchen, watching blonde hair sway from side to side as she stood in front of the stove. A numb feeling ran through my veins as I decided how to approach her.
It was only a few seconds before she realized I was home, but the second I saw her smile, I saw the ugly truth. I was her seconds and she mine.
How could I have been so blind as to what we were really doing? I mused inside before Lauren saw me standing there.
"Edward, what's wrong?" she asked as she floated toward me with a bounce to her step. She knew who I was seeing, so it caught me off guard. Lauren hated her, and I couldn't understand why at first, but now I did. When Lauren told me she felt threatened, I laughed, but no one would be laughing now.
"I'm sorry," I croaked, letting my voice betray me. I coughed to clear my throat a bit, but Lauren had already gone off on her own tangent, assuming she knew how my evening had ended.
"This isn't about her again, is it? Please don't tell me I'm going to have to sit and watch you fall apart again, am I? Because I won't, Edward, not again. Can't you just stop doing this to yourself?" she ranted while turning away to dismiss me with her hands thrown up. Her smile had disappeared, and reappeared in its place was the woman I didn't know anymore. The woman I didn't want anymore.
Though I wasn't sure at exactly which word my veins started pumping adrenaline, I knew by the end of her speech that it was now or never. Inaction had gotten me here, and I could not, would not do that to myself again.
"Shut up," I forced out through gritted teeth. I didn't want to scream or yell; because it would get me nowhere, but Lauren needed to shut her mouth or I knew I'd blow up beyond reason.
"Edward," she continued as I huffed. "I get it. It's hard. But it's not fair that I have to sit by and watch you mope. You'll get over it and find someone new. This is why I don't do what you do; you get way too emotionally involved. However, you're home now. It's just me and you here, remember? That was the agreement."
"Lauren, I'm done," I stated so quickly it felt like I was ripping off a Band-Aid. "I can't do this anymore. I'm done."
"Okay," she drew out as her face fell. "Well, if you want to take a break, I guess we could. I'll need to make a few calls, but how long do you want to stop for? I have something Friday, but…"
"No, Lauren, you're not listening. You don't need to make any calls, except to a lawyer. I'm done with you," I explained as calmly and evenly as I could manage.
"You're not leaving me," she challenged as her hands flew to her hips. "That's not how this works. You get upset, you mope for a few weeks, and you meet someone else. You'll get over it, move on, or whatever, but you and me - this is the core of it all. You're can't leave me, Edward. Not after all we've been through. I don't believe you."
The look on Lauren's face wasn't something I hadn't seen before. It was the same look she'd been giving me since we were teenagers, whenever I dared to go against what she wanted. Her confidence drew me in when we first met, but somewhere along the way she'd become the dictator, and I became the simple servant. However, I wasn't a teenage boy anymore, and that look wasn't going to intimidate me. Lauren had given me something she couldn't go back on now: the permission to find out what else was out there. I didn't think she expected what was to come, and neither did I, but it had happened and I wasn't turning back now.
"Believe what you want, but I'm calling an attorney in the morning. I'm leaving you," I reiterated and Lauren erupted. I tried my hardest to stand there and take it, telling myself she had the right to be angry and express herself. Knowing that it wouldn't change a thing, I stood there and listened as she paced across the floor, swung her arms around like a crazy woman, and even threw a glass on the floor. She kept asking how I could do this to her, and if she meant anything to me. Assuming they were rhetorical, I continued to stay quiet. For five whole minutes I let her swing verbal insult after verbal insult until finally, she hit my chest with both of her hands and the world stopped.
"You can't do this to me, Edward Cullen! You are my husband; you cannot do this to me!" Lauren screamed again and pushed against my chest with more force than before.
"What do you mean, do this to you?" I shot back with anger and frustration laced through my tone. "This wasn't my idea, Lauren! None of this was ever my idea! Do you think I wanted this when I married you? Do you think I thought this was where we'd end up while I fought everyone who thought we'd never make it? Lauren, all I wanted, all I ever fucking wanted was you. I wanted your smiling face when I got home; I wanted to give you the house you always wanted and the car you never thought you'd get. One day, I wanted to start a family and grow old and sit in fucking rocking chairs, talking about the good old days. All I wanted was you, but I wasn't good enough for you," I roared as Lauren retreated further into the kitchen and away from me.
When I turned my head, a picture that hung on the wall caught my eye. It was taken at our wedding, but it wasn't part of the pictures we had professionally ordered. Instead, a friend had caught me smiling in Lauren's direction as she talked to her mom about fifty feet away. I had received it in an e-mail several months later and immediately had it framed to put up on the wall because it was my favorite. I took one single step and plucked it off the wall, never taking my eyes off of Lauren.
"This," I started with more calm to my voice than before as I flipped the picture in Lauren's direction. "This was all I ever wanted, and we ruined it. None of this was my idea, none of this was what I wanted, but I did it, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not fighting you more and I'm sorry for giving in and I'm sorry for not being enough, but I'm not sorry when I say that I'm done. I'm not sorry that along the way, I realized what we had wasn't enough. I wasn't enough for you, and now you're not enough for me."
For a brief second, I felt like the world had frozen in time. Lauren appeared as shocked as she was stunned, while I could almost feel every ounce of my body flowing through my veins as I threw the picture onto the table next to Lauren. The glass immediately cracked over the picture as it lay in a ruined mess, much like our marriage had become.
"I'm tired of only having a second-place marriage¸ Lauren," I whispered as I turned to leave. To me, this wasn't home anymore, and the only thing I wanted to do now was find a place to sleep. So, while Lauren continued to run after me, and even took to banging on my car windows while I backed out as slowly and carefully as I could, I continued to look away at my failure in life.
My goal is to always update once a week, sometimes I do more, rarely is it less, but normally if there comes a time where I'll have to miss a week I have enough warning to clue people in first.
I always aim to reply to all review replies. If you ask a specific question or would like clarification on something, I will always answer as long as I'm not being asked to give the entire plot away.
I will post teasers to Chapter 2 on facebook (SammieLynnsMoms Fanfiction) and twitter (SammieLynnsMom), plus some others once I figure out where.