Marriage is simple- two people vow to love, honor, and trust each other for life and then make good on that vow.
Only it isn't.
Marriage is hell.
"Bella…Bella are you there?"
"Yeah. I'm here. I just don't believe it."
"Well, believe it because I saw her with my own eyes. I saw her leaving your house." Angela said to me through the phone.
I can't believe this.
He wouldn't cheat on me. He loves me. He wouldn't hurt me like that.
"Angie, I gotta go. Why don't you find someone else's husband to lie on?" I replied coldly.
"Bella, I'm not lying. I'm just looking out for-" was the last thing I heard as I hung up the phone.
Why would she say something like that? Jacob loves me. That's why he was there for me when he left. That's why he waited for me to come back from college. That's why he married me and we had the twins together.
A part of me wanted to believe her because she has never lied to me before, but the bigger part didn't. And honestly, the bigger part was just plain pissed off.
I can't believe Ang would spin some crap like that! I mean, who does she think she is? I thought as I slammed my car door shut and walked up to the entrance to the daycare.
"Hello, Mrs. Black. How are you today?" the receptionist said as I approached the counter.
"I'm fine, how are you?" I replied not really wanting an answer.
"Well, I've been having this problem with…" she started to answer before I zoned out. I was still dumbfounded that Angela would accuse Jake of something like that. She was my bestie, numero uno, my chica. There was no way she would lie to me. ..and yet she had to be, because there's no way this is true.
"Mommy, what's wong?" Alison said breaking me out of my thoughts as she tugged on the bottom of my shirt. I had to smile like I did every time she talked. Her lisp was just adorable.
Allie and Jazz were my pride and joy. At three years old they were dangerously good at getting what they wanted. All they needed was a smile and a tilt of their heads and their chocolate brown eyes could stop anyone in their tracks. Being the devilish pair they were they could make your day a walk in the park a living nightmare, depending on their mood.
Identical down to their birthmarks, it was hard to tell them apart. The only difference between the two was that Allie was bossier and had a temper while Jaspen was cool, calm, and collected(most of the time). While Jazz would be chill in her booster seat with a juice box, Allie would be screaming her head off until she got ice cream.
"Mommy!" she whined.
"It's nothing Allie. I was just thinking about some things." I said with a smile.
She smiled back and grabbed my hand leading me out of the door. Jaspen grabbed my other hand as we walked to the car. I buckled them into their car seats and was about to start the car when my phone rang. I looked at the caller id to find that it was Angela yet again. I pressed ignore and threw it on the floor in front of the passenger seat.
"How was your day girls?" I asked as I pulled out of the parking lot.
I decided to take the kids to the park. Figured that they would ware themselves out and I could get a chance to think.
Angela was my best friend. She has been since we were in second grade. We graduated high school and went to the University of Washington together, me for culinary arts and her for photography. We stayed in Seattle where I opened my restaurant while she started working for a studio. Our friendship was strong through it all. We were even in each other's weddings.
Jake and I go even farther back. We made mud pies together while our dads watched football. In other words, we grew up together. We slowly progressed from childhood friends to high school sweet hearts to husband and wife.
But as close as Jake and I were, or even Angie and I, there was one person who knew me better than anyone. In the short time it took him to get to know me he learned everything I hadn't told anyone and everything I had.
He and I had known each other since 8th grade when he and his sister Alice moved to Forks from Chicago. I can still remember the day we met like it was yesterday.
"Class we have a new student," Mrs. Wellbaum said as she clapped her hands together. "Please give your new classmate Edward a warm Forks welcome."
"Hi Edward," the class rang out in a monotone voice.
He waved and smiled.
He was gorgeous.
His teeth were so white it almost hurt to look at them. His bronze hair looked like he had just rolled out of bed and unlike every other guy in the room he had absolutely no acne. He stood with his head high as though he expected the world to stop for him if he asked. He probably didn't understand the concept of not getting what he wanted. In essence, he looked like a complete jerk.
He was Apollo on earth.
"Would anyone like to volunteer to help Edward get settled?"
Every girl's hand but mine shot up immediately. She looked around the room as if picking the right person would make or break Edward's first day. Her eyes suddenly rested on me.
"Bella! How about you?" she said as all the other girls groaned.
I was almost speechless. Almost.
"Um…sure I guess."
She smiled her annoying everything-is-a-fun-lesson teacher smile. "Great! Edward, you can take the empty seat next to Bella and she'll help you through the day."
He wasn't paying attention to me until he sat in the desk to my right. He turned to me and flashed his dazzling smile and stretched out his hand.
I shook his hand.
Him the self-centered asshole and me the geek spaz.
This could be the start of something wonderful.
And it was.
After that first day we got to know each other and gradually became best friends over the next few weeks. We were eventually inseparable and, needless to say, that didn't set very well with Jake. He was always jealous of how close we were no matter how much he was included. He always complained saying that Edward was a spoiled brat and I couldn't deny it considering it was true. With a dad who worked in the ER who had investments and bank accounts all over the world, why wouldn't he be? But even so, I always stood up for him because, as spoiled as he was he didn't act like it. Jake was too jealous to see how down to earth Edward was.
A loud burst of laughter brought me back to the present.
As I scanned the park I saw the twins on the swings, Jazz going higher and higher while Allie had stopped, talking to a man nearby.
"Allie!" I yelled. She looked over at me and back at the stranger. He glanced at me before quickly looking away. He had on sunglasses, a hat, and an Irish jacket looking suspiscious. Just as I approached he retreated in the other direction with his back to us. I didn't take my eyes off his back until he rounded the corner. He looked familiar but I couldn't put a name to him. It was bugging the hell out of me.
I rushed over to Allie and kneeled down to her eye level.
"What have I told you about talking to strangers?"
"He thaid he knew you mommy." Her expression told me she honestly didn't know she'd done anything wrong.
"You need to remember not to talk to anyone you don't know. Kay sweetie?" I picked her up off the swing. "Promise me."
"Good. Now we need to go. Come on Jazz."
We got to the restaurant a little over an hour before opening.
Let me make something clear right now. Allie and Jazz were my babies, I loved them more than anything else. But Bella Italia was my baby, my second love.
Walking through the door I didn't stop until I got to my office. The girls went to their corner and got out their coloring books and crayons. As they settled themselves into their purple beanbags I closed the door and went to find Tori. Victoria "Tori" Greene was my main assistant and Head Chef. When I wasn't there she was in charge and knew how to keep everything running smoothly. She was the only other person I knew who could keep our smart-ass waiters in check and deal with irate customers calmly. She was me if I had fiery red hair.
When I found her she was going through the night's specials. The bar was covered with past menus and the cooks' suggestion cards. The memo pad in front of her was covered in scribbles with multiple scratch-outs. Apparently she was having a hard time deciding.
"Having trouble?" I asked as I approached. She looked up at me and smiled.
"Finally! I've been waiting for you all day. Kitchen prep starts in 10 minutes and we still don't have specials decided on."
"Well, what do we have right now?" I picked up the memo pad and scanned the options.
"I've narrowed it down to five choices. Pan seared tilapia with special sauce, cheese and mushroom ravioli, or chicken alfredo are the three I'm leaning towards," she said as she pointed them out on the list.
"Didn't we have the ravioli last week?" I asked.
"And how did that go?"
"We had a few complaints but overall it was well received," she said as she folded her hands in her lap. "I think-" she began before I put my hand up in a "stop" motion. I bit my lip in concentration. It only took a moment to choose.
"Do the ravioli. Take out the mushroom and make it three-cheese. Make the second special a shrimp alfredo with a thicker sauce. And…" I stopped to think for a second more. "… make a Ratatouille."
"Brilliant!" She said before she ran off to the kitchen. I could hear her yelling out orders to the prep staff as I walked back to my office shaking my head. That girl thought everything I said deserved its own book. Can't say I'm not flattered.
As soon as I opened the door I heard Allie and Jazz arguing.
"I tol you. Ith mine!" Allie yelled.
"No Allie. It was in my box!" Jazz replied as she waved a bright green crayon over her head.
They were arguing over a crayon. I really wish my problems were that simple.
"Girls!" I yelled as I walked over to them. "What's the problem?"
"Jath took my gween cwayon!" Allie screamed, jumping up and down.
"Jaspen," I said, kneeling down to her level, "Did you take Allie's crayon?"
"No!" She crossed her arms and plopped down in her bean bag.
"YETH THEE DID MOMMY!"
I got back up and stood there for a minute trying to figure out what to do. Allie was starting to cry as I walked over to my desk. Lucky for me, I had just bought a few extra sets of crayons for them. I reached into my drawer where I kept some of their stuff. Allie's face lit up when I pulled out another bright green crayon, identical to the one they had just been arguing over. She was cheesing her toothy grin as I handed it to her.
"Why don't we go to uncle Em's and you can color there?"
"Okay," Jazz said as Allie just shook her head in agreement.
I packed all their crayons and coloring books in their book bags and we headed out.
On the way out the door, James, my dessert chef, stopped to sneak me a piece of cake each for both of the girls, Emmett and Rosalie. Armed with four pieces of chocolate fudge cake, crayons, coloring books, and the twins, I ventured outside.
A/N: Thank you for reading my story whether or not you read this A/N. I want to thank anyone who is reading my other story and I am so sorry that I have to put it on hold but I felt that this story was going in a much better direction. I admire those of you who start a story and the rest just come to you but sadly I am not one of those people. I will eventually finish Sideways but for now this is a healthy distraction. Hope you enjoy this one.