A little note from me: Sorry I've become THAT person, the one who takes waaaaay to long to update. I hate it. But here it is, the chapter that started this journey. I heard this song, and the girl tells the guy she's carry his baby, he doesn't respond will all rainbows and glitter, and it got my wheels turning. I wanted this Edward to be the immature teenage boy that he is. I wanted his reaction to be real and imperfect and plausible and HONEST. So hold on...
Making the decision to keep the baby is the easy part, it's the day-to-day living afterward that proves to be difficult.
Being pregnant is in everything I do—what I eat, what I drink, why some nights I can't sleep, while other mornings I never want to get up. I think about it while I'm showering, when I dress afterward, when I read, when I watch tv, and when I do nothing at all.
Sometimes I can't even breathe without the word 'baby' running through my mind, and on the flip side of that—there's a name that's often accompanied to the word 'baby'. And that is simply Edward. Edward. Edward. Edward. So yeah, he too seems to always be on my mind.
It is his baby, there's a part of him living and thriving inside of me. Both a blessing and a curse. I mean it's almost sinister how Edward didn't want me so he left me high and dry with one of the most haunting mementos of himself. As if somehow Edward wanted to be sure that I thought of him every single day for the rest of my life. I mean, how could I not? Would I ever be able to separate the two?
My mom called the scholarship department to tell them I wouldn't be coming as planned and turns out they had this small clause we knew nothing of. They informed us that once a person (me) is awarded a scholarship through them, it is the person's (mine) to redeem for as long as the program is active. Meaning, I don't have to go now. There are a few stipulations, like the one that stated that whatever courses I was planning on taking have to be offered with a spot available when I can finally accept or I will just have to wait. They put me on a waiting list of sorts. If a spot, like the one I received, opens up at anytime, they start contacting people on their list (of people like me who weren't able to go prior) to see if they are available to accept their scholarship at the time of the opening (like the one I just now created). I guess it's not too awful to have to postpone my trip. My new life, my dreams—they'll just have to wait on me.
Granted, I can't even imagine when it'll be a good time for me to fly to another country, live in a foreign place, and go to school full time—with a baby. But I'm choosing to not dwell on that part now. Who knows what will happen in the next few years?
Anyway, I'm trying this new way of thinking, where everyday I remind myself to try to always think positively. I look for the good in my decisions and my actions and not focus so much on the negative. Even so in the ways of others. Like being pregnant, every single day I think of a different blessing in it. Even though it's not easy and it's definitely not foolproof, it has eased the weight of hopelessness that had lodged itself on my chest
I'm even looking for the good in Edward leaving me.
Unfortunately, I haven't found it yet.
/ / /
I haven't told anyone outside my family or Edward's that I'm pregnant. In my opinion it's no one else's business. The people who need to know already know. Not even Jessica—even though I talk to her practically every day, it doesn't feel right to tell her just yet.
It's not that I'm ashamed or regretful. I simply don't want anyone else to know. I don't want them to give me the looks I know that they will—the shock, the pity, the judging. And I really don't want to have to justify and defend my decisions.
Even as Jess and I are standing side by side after our graduation ceremony, and we smile for our parents as they snap picture after picture of us in our caps and our gowns, I covet the secret inside of me like the tiny precious miracle that it is.
"Please tell me you're going to Newton's party tonight aren't you Bella? This will be our last party together before everyone starts leaving for college and such. You simply have to go with me!" Jessica whines as we stand together after all the pictures have been taken.
I look over at my mom and dad as they chat with Edward's parents who also came to support me. "I...I don't know Jess, I wasn't planning on it."
I refrain from touching my belly, there is no swell yet, no small baby bump, but I have this new habit of touching it all the time. Silent protection, I guess.
"Please, just for a little while." She takes my hand and squeezes it hard.
"Alright," I huff, "but I don't want to be there all night, okay?" I refrain from cringing as I say it.
Jessica drops my hand and hugs me as she squeals. "Yeah! I promise, you can even drive yourself if you want. That way you can leave anytime and you can go pack or.. or whatever it is you need to do."
She still thinks I'm going to England. I haven't figured out what I'm going to tell her when she finds out I'm not.
"Have you talked to Edward lately?" Jessica glances over at his parents and waves.
I'm sure the forced smile I've had plastered on my lips all afternoon instantly disappears; after all I'm not a miracle worker.
I shake my head and look away from Esme and Carlisle. I pretend to scour the crowd for something—anything more interesting than this conversation that I don't want to have.
"I overheard my mom and Esme talking the other day, I don't think it was good. Supposedly, he's with his uncle and he's..."
Something in my heart lurches and twists, I'm sure it's the part of me that fell hard for him. That place that's now dark and abandoned. I wish I felt nothing when it came to him. I wish hearing his name didn't upend my world like it did.
"I don't want to hear it," I cut her off. "He made his choice, let him have it. What he's doing now doesn't concern me."
Or at least that's what I tell myself every day; too bad my heart never seems to listen.
/ / /
I walk into Mike Newton's house and instantly I feel out-of-place. Even though every face I see is familiar and the crowd around me is bursting with excitement, this isn't who I am anymore. This isn't who I will ever be again. Growing up is the new me, whether I like it or not.
Not ten steps in Jessica finds me and drags me from room to room. She offers me a drink from the foamy, warm beer in her hand. Not five seconds later she offers me a full cup while we stand in the kitchen. After that I quickly lose count of how many times she asks me if I want a beer or a shot or something with alcohol. I politely decline and try to distract her from asking me why I haven't even taken a drink of the first thing.
/ / /
As the night creeps on, I find myself easily distracted by everyone's foolishness around me. Being the completely sober one in a sea of drunks is entertaining. Everywhere I look, I can always find someone to laugh at or laugh with. Not really much difference between laughing at or laughing with when ninety-nine percent of the people here are lit hotter than a giant tiki torch at the equator.
After losing her awhile back to a game of beer pong, Jessica catches my eye as I see her coming swiftly through the door from the back yard. She isn't smiling anymore but her eyes are fixated solely on me.
My heart starts to speed and a thousand different scenarios run through my head. Not one of them good.
She stops right in front of me. "Bella, can you come outside with me for a minute?" Her voice is soft, but her eyelids narrow with aggravation.
I want to tell her no, but instead I stand and motion for her to go so I can follow.
As soon as we round the door frame and I see that tall figure standing there, I wish I hadn't. I'm not much in the mood for this.
"Bella Swan, isn't this interesting?" Rudeness drips from Rosalie's lips as she addresses me.
"What do you want, Rosalie?" I pretend that I'm not affected in the least by her standing there squinting her Edward-friendly-eyes at me. She probably still talks to him everyday. She probably knows exactly where he is and if he's coming back here or not. Thanks to Edward, she probably knows more about me that I know about her. She probably hates me and once again, I wished I didn't care. Not about any of it but because I do—so fucking much—and it's all I can do to not to beg her for information. Even a shred of something.
"Bella, Rose said something about you being at Dr. Aro's office the other day." Jessica raises her eyebrows at me.
Suddenly, I feel small and cornered. I don't know whether to cower and run or stand tall and defend. This isn't anywhere where I thought this conversation would go. I thought she would give me a hard time about Edward... not about the baby.
"Newsflash Bella, my aunt Irina was there for her monthly prenatal visit and she overheard everything. Aren't you even going to tell your bestest friend Jess here all about it?" Rose crosses her arms and the smile on her face is lethal.
"Mind your own damn business, Rosalie Hale. I swear..." I snarl through my gritted teeth.
"You swear what?" She steps one small step toward me.
Without even thinking about it, I take one tiny step backward.
"You just need to mind your own damn business Rosalie!" My traitor tears begin to gather in the corner of my eyes. "Tell me, what did I ever do to you anyway? Why do you hate me so much?"
"You didn't do anything and it would be too much energy for me to hate you. I only hate how easy everything is for you, Bella. You have this perfect family and perfect grades. You had this perfect boyfriend with a perfect relationship. Your little production was perfect and you received the perfect scholarship. Yet you still wanted more, so in the process of completing your perfection, you fucked up Edward's life and ran him straight out of town. And now this? I bet you don't even know whose perfect baby it is you're carrying, do you?" Rose shakes her head.
I stand motionless, her speech bouncing around in my head. My fists tighten and flex. The saltwater deepens in my eyes, the tears blurring my vision.
But I refuse to break down for her, to her. She means nothing.
"You don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about, Rosalie, because if you were right, and my life was so fucking perfect, I promise I wouldn't be standing here wasting my precious perfect breath on the likes of you." I spit through my clenched jaw, my teeth grinding on each other.
I storm passed Rosalie and push through the crowd of people I hadn't even notice was forming around us. I blindly head for the exit as quick as my feet will take me.
It still isn't fast enough.
Jessica calls my name, but I don't stop.
I reach my car and start it up. I squeal tires and drive away as hastily as I safely can.
I pull into my driveway, not even remembering the drive home.
From the tip of my head to the ends of my toes, my body is shaking like I've been stuck in a freezer for hours. I'm shaking so bad it hurts. My muscles are tight and cramping. My lungs feel like them filling with air is the toughest thing they've ever done. And my heart, I don't think it knows what a steady heartbeat is anymore.
Then like a flood, my damn breaks. I circle my arms around my belly and I cry. I lean my head forward on my steering wheel and I cry.
And I cry.
I cry for hating myself for being so weak all the damn time.
Hating for falling in love with Edward so carelessly.
Hating for being such a god damned baby.
I just cry and hate til I have nothing left to cry for and hate is the new me.
/ / /
Last night my mother made me get out of my car after I sat in the driveway for hours. She didn't ask any questions, she simply told me to come inside and then she helped me into my bed.
I turn over and look at the clock, it's barely past nine in the morning, the sun shines so brightly on my wall it tricks me into thinking it's late afternoon already.
I get up and head toward the bathroom, no sense in wallowing in my pity longer than I have to.
Nothing's going to change anything now. What's done is done.
I just wished I felt something other than this dread I seem to live in.
/ / /
When I come out of the bathroom, Jessica is sitting on my bed. I stop and stare and wait for her to tear into me.
But instead she asks, "Bella, is it true? Are you pregnant?" Her face masked with concern and questions and hurt.
I slowly nod.
Her shoulders slump and she looks down at her hands in her lap. "Why didn't you tell me?" she whispers.
"No reason, just ...because. This isn't easy for me and I don't want any pity. Or judgement. Or advice. And how was I supposed to tell you? When I say it out loud, it just doesn't sound so good." I make my way over to sit beside her on the bed.
"And you're sure it's Edwards?"
I nod again, "I'm positive."
"Bella, You should have told me."
"I'm sorry Jessica. I really am."
"I wouldn't have done any of those things, you know. I would've just been your friend, however you needed me to." The bed shifts as she turns toward me.
"Will you now?" I ask with a half-smile.
"Of course!" she smiles a little. "I'm going to be an aunt! Yeah! Auntie Jay-Jay!" She throws her arms up in a half-hearted cheer and flops down backward on the bed.
I shake my head and lay down on my side facing her.
She looks over at me and then she reaches out to link our hands. "I'm still proud of you, Bella. You're the strongest person I know. If anyone can handle a baby at our age, it has got to be you."
"You think so?" I ask with a squeeze of our fingers. It's nice to have her believe in me.
"I know so." She squeezes back and rolls over to face me. "You don't need him, B. You never did."
I huff through my nose.
"But what if I still want him, even though I shouldn't. What if I still want him to want me and to want this baby? What if I want more than anything for us to just be a family?" I say for the first time to anyone.
"I think if that's really what you want, then you better prepare yourself for disappointment."
/ / /
Jessica and I lay on my bed for hours talking. I can say anything to her, and she's honest back to me. I apologize over and over about not telling her sooner. I know now I should have.
She tells me she wants to help, and go with me to my doctor's visits, and hold my hair back when I puke. She offers to bring me pickles and ice cream and sushi when I crave it. She swears to tell me if I wear something that makes me look bigger than I actually am or if I start to resemble the ass end of a cow. She even promises she'll paint my toenails when I can't reach them any longer.
Jessica makes me not feel so alone anymore.
It helps a little.
/ / /
A little after two she says she has to leave so I walk out with her on the porch. It's early June and already hot and muggy outside. I can't stand it.
"Call me, no matter what. Regardless of the time, day or night. You hear me? If you need anything, even just a boring body on the other end of the line, I'll be there. Okay? You don't have to do this alone, Bella." She opens her car door and waits on me to answer her.
"I hear you Auntie Jay-Jay. I have an appointment coming up soon, I'll text you the details."
"You better!" she yells before slamming her car door.
I watch her leave and then I hear a small rumble of thunder in the distance. Sounds like a storm is moving in. Stupid hot rainy weather.
An old car stops on the street right before our driveway. The sun is hitting the windshield so I can't see inside and tell who it is. I've never seen the car around. It looks like it should be in a junkyard somewhere. The engine is loud and sounds awful. White smoke puffs from the tailpipe, and every now and again it sounds like it's going to quit running and maybe even explode. The body must have been bright yellow in its prime and was probably a nice ride, but now there's rust and dirt covering the outside.
When the engine finally dies and the driver's door opens, I freeze.
I would know that silhouette anywhere.
Because I do know that profile, it haunts me in my dreams.
He approaches me quickly, but with hesitation in his steps. Like he wants to rush over to me, but he doesn't.
Or maybe that he's thinking twice, second guessing himself, and that maybe he wants to bolt in the other direction.
I can't move. I don't know what to say. I don't know what I want to happen. I don't know what he's doing here. I don't know anything.
But that he's here.
What if Rosalie called him?
Did she tell him?
Has he changed his mind?
Is he back for good?
Does he want... me?
"Edward? What are you doing here?" My mouth finally finds the words to say.
He stops and doesn't come any closer. His stance is rigid. He crosses his arms and looks at anything—everything but me. "My mom...she said I needed to come by here. She insisted that I not leave Port Angeles until I hear what you have to tell me."
"Oh." All I can do is blink and stare in stupor. His answer is so harsh and unfriendly.
"And by insisted I mean she basically threatened my life." he snarls.
Finally it sinks in what he said, 'before I leave.'
"So you're..?" I nod toward the car.
"Leaving. I'm on my way of here again.. and it's for good this time." He still won't look directly at me, I hate it. This Edward I don't know, nor do I want to. I don't like him like this. He's so ...distant and closed off. He doesn't even look the same.
"There were just a few things I had to get." he shrugs.
"Your car?" I ask.
He looks behind him, and a cloud moves over us. I then can see the other occupants inside the vehicle. Two in the back, one in the front. The one in the front—I can see the outline of her hair, it's long and wild. She keeps running her fingers through it.
I feel sick.
"Well, you know... I didn't graduate. So my dad took mine, this was all I could afford for now."
The air starts to feel thick and uncomfortable. I swear it feels like the atmosphere lodges on my shoulders and my chest, weighing me down, pinning me to the very spot on which I stand.
Edward fidgets and I sense his restlessness. His agitation becomes an invisible thing that stands between us.
"Oh...um," I try to make my voice strong and unaffected, "you missed graduation yesterday."
He shrugs again and takes a step backward. Farther away from me.
More distance. "Yeah, I know. I tried to get here. For Emmett and Rose and the gang but... I got held up."
He's still looking at his car and once again I glance behind him at the figures sitting there. My stomach knots and I fight the need to cover it with my hand. Protect what's inside.
"How's Peter?" Edward asks with a sarcastic tone.
"Don't, Edward, please. We're not..." I take a deep breath. "He did tell me everything though. How you knew about him and Angela and about your argument. His injury. Why didn't you ever tell me?" The words roll out before I have the chance to think about not saying them.
"And when would that have been appropriate, Bella? Would you have even believed me? Come on, I didn't want to be that guy to you. The guy who spills the beans about a cheater and then tries to turn her against her boyfriend. You had to find out for yourself."
The anger starts to build, I feel it deep in my gut, coming alive, awakening. "Oh, but it's alright that you're the guy who leaves me hanging on the second night of the play in which you had the lead with no available understudy to take your place? You knew how important that was for me."
"Always about you right? Never mind; I didn't come here for this." He takes another step backward and I panic.
I resist the urge to lunge at him and cling to his feet. "Wait, you're right, I'm sorry." I shake my head to gather my thoughts. "Will you just tell me why? Why did you just up and leave me like that? How could you? Was I not even worth a goodbye?" I have to ask, but I don't think I really want him to answer.
He finally looks at me and his eyes are so vacant and empty; there's no life behind them. He then quickly looks away across the street. His stare was so brief, I wonder if I imagined it.
"I'm here now, aren't I?" He shoves his hands in his pocket.
"It was a mistake, Bella. You and me —we... We never should have even been friends, much less more than that. You're this sweet, smart, dependable person and I'm... I'm not. I'm the total opposite of you — fire and ice, black and white, evil and good and all that shit. It would've never worked out, so now... this is your goodbye."
"Bullshit." I stomp my foot. "We could've tried, Edward." My desperation rolls of me heavy and fast and easy, hell—he can probably smell it.
"I'm not... I need to go." He turns away.
I panic again, but this time my legs listen and I close the distance between us. "Wait. Please, stop. Your mother's right, there is something I need to tell you. Just wait one second."
I place myself between him and his car.
Edward closes his eyes, and I don't miss how dark the skin around them is. His cheeks are hollow and his face is pale. He looks as bad as I feel. When his eyes start to open, I quickly look down. I don't want him to see me examining him, nor do I want him to witness the tears brimming my eyes again.
"When are you leaving?" His voice is laced with something that sounds an awful lot like disgust. It slinks toward me and I swear, it makes the wind around us more thick and more foul than it already is.
"What?" My head jerks up.
"My dad said he put in a good word with those brits and you got the scholarship thing you wanted so bad, so when are you jettin' out?"
"Your dad... he helped me?"
"I didn't know." I start to fidget myself wondering how I can say it, wondering more so if I even can.
"Edward, that's kind of the thing," I close my eyes and search for the right words. Even though I've thought about telling Edward this since the minute I found out, I hadn't quite figured out what I was going to say. "I'm not going."
"What? Why not? For goodness sakes Bella, it's all you could fucking talk about it. It was what you lived for. What the hell? I don't get it, why are you not taking it now? Why are you not going?"
I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I hold up my hands in surrender. "Edward, um, I just have a few things to say to you, so — uh, can you please just hear me out? Don't leave... okay? Don't storm off. I just—I just need for you to listen to me. Calmly. Alright?"
He shakes his head, "I don't like the sound of this, Bella. I'm not making any promises. Just say it."
A few raindrops fall around us. The sky turns darker, a constant shadow looming over us. I lock my fingers together and bow my head, I don't have the dignity to say this to his face.
"What I am about to say, I'm not telling you this to try to change your mind about leaving but..I'm scared, Edward. And no matter what, whether you still leave or not, I'm keeping it."
He's silent for too long, so I force my eyes up. His face is even paler than it was before. His lips blending in, gone. His eyes... so cold.
"What did you say?" Words laced with venom.
"I know, I know. It doesn't seem real. Sometimes it doesn't feel real either. But it is. So don't hate me... please don't hate me for loving you, Edward. I did... I do. This baby doesn't change that. I.."
"Are you saying you're fucking pregnant, Bella?"
I close my eyes, now afraid to look at him. As my tears sneak through, I slowly nod.
"You have got to be shitting me! Did my dad put you up to this? Did he make a deal with you? You get the scholarship and in the process you pin my ass to this town with a fucking kid?"
Shock swallows me whole. I choke. "What? N..nno! This is—this isn't a joke, Edward. I'm pregnant!"
The look he gives me is so hateful and sharp, I wince. "How are you even so sure it's even mine?"
The rain falls harder, but I don't feel it. My skin numb. My heart open and bare, bleeding out. My soul, crumbling. Shredding.
He brushes past me, our shoulders barely touching as he storms by. "I'm out of here, this is fucking ridiculous."
"Edward.." I don't know why I say his name. A last-ditch effort I suppose.
I wait, suspended in disbelief, wanting this all to be a bad dream.
Yet, knowing it isn't, the hurt just builds—intensifies. Consumes me.
His hard steps approach me from behind, closer and louder. I feel him standing behind me. The rain pelting off him and splashing me.
"Do yourself a favor," his voice is too calm, too controlled. "You should get rid of it Bella. Go to England, get out of this damn town and forget all about us, forget about me. You don't fucking love me Bella, you don't even know me."
Then he's gone.
I hear his car door open.
Rage overtakes sorrow, "I don't need you Edward, so you can go straight to Hell!" I spin around and shout at him.
He stops and looks over his open door, "No thanks, I've already been there. Matter of fact, I'm leaving there now."
His tires spin and squeal as he peels off on the slick road.
Before I realize it, I'm on my ass on the ground and the clouds open up and spill their contents all around me. Heavy, fat raindrops. A downpour.
When I look up, it's like the world is crying with me. The trees, the lamp posts, the traffic signs. The sky and the heavens.
Alone and together.
"The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears." ~John Vance Cheney