I do not own Twilight or any of the songs in here. They all belong to their rightful owners.

Due to the way has been deleting stories for the last week and a half, and the fact that they pulled two of mine without notice/warning, I decided to just pull the rest of mine. They're backed up into PDFs, just ask for them. :)

This was originally a drabblefic called 'Torn, Chained and Hooked', which had an outtake. I decided it was best to just put it all together.


There's something that you do to me, which keeps me holding on.

Your words like cuffs, chained together by the lies that I hear, that I fucking crave.

Nothing makes sense, and yet, everything seems so clear.

We're both messed up, but we don't stop.

I crave your words of poison, and you soak up my forgiveness,

And I continually reach for the lies that spit like fire from your mouth to make this all OK again.

You take, take and take, and I continue to give, give, and give,

Even though I don't have anything give, anymore.

You've drained me of everything. . .

I crave you, your words and lies.


"Hey, B!" Kim says to me.

I turn my head to my friend, and see that she's holding out her cell phone; I look at her quizzically.

"Umm. . .?" I say, uncertain.

"Would you please, pretty please talk to Edward for me? Just . . . keep him company!" She thrusts the phone at me and makes a dash for the other room.

I stare it, unsure of what to do next.

"Bella!"

Edward snaps his fingers in front of my face, effectively snapping me out of my daydreaming.

I whip my head to him, startled.

"Are you OK?" he asks, worried.

I nod my head. "Yeah . . . Just thinking about how we met." I smirk.

Oh, how things were different back then.


XxXxX

Edward walks up to me after school gets out.

"I fucked up big this time," he says.

Oy vey, I think to myself as I can into his car.

The interior of his Mazda 3 is familiar; like home, but still foreign.

"What happened?" I ask in a dull tone as he starts to pull away.

He got Kim a car just like this; only it's custom made.

Speaking of Kim, Edward's talking about her so I decide to tune in before he realizes I'm not listening.

". . . She wants to head over to her parents—God only knows why, 'cause they've pretty much shunned her—their own child!" he rants.

I keep my mouth shut, knowing that he's not finished.

"Her parents are fucking dicks, kicking her aside like that. They used to like me, I don't know what the hell happened." He makes a left-hand turn.

I roll my eyes.

Well dick-twat, look at how you control her, I think to myself.

I'd never say that, though.

"I told her to go if she wants, but not to expect me to be there when, if, she comes home."

Normally, one person would be shocked by this, but with Edward, it's normal.

"So, what happened? I take it she went," I say.

He nods.

"Yeah, two days ago! I haven't been able to get a-hold of her since, and it's killing me."

.

.

.

"If you hear from her, please let me know?" he pleads.

I shouldn't tell him, shouldn't tell him anything.

But, I do.

"'Kay."

I step out of his car and make my into my house, taking out my phone.

Hey luv, miss ya. Hope you're OK.(: -B


Music is playing from my speakers when my phone vibrates on Friday night.

I miss you too,I'm sorry I just needed to get outta there. I'm at a friend's house, so don't worry. :) –Kim


I'm in Edward's room; he called earlier and said that he didn't want to be alone, so I came over. My parents think I'm sleeping over at a girl friend's house.

True Love Way is playing from his computer.

"I heard from Kim," I say while flipping over onto my back.

His bed is so fucking comfortable, I could legit fall asleep just like this.

"Oh, you did?" he says, like he heard wrong.

I nod.

"Umm, how is she?"

He's timid, because we've been down this road before.

I tell him very little, just enough to get him through, but also just enough to drive him crazy.

"She's fine," I tell him.

He nods his head but doesn't speak; this is normal—for him, anyway.


"I'm sorry Bell, I just . . . I need time away, you know?" Kim tells me over the phone later tonight.

It's almost 1:30 in the morning, and I'm hiding in the bathroom across from Edward's room. I didn't dare use the bathroom that connects to his room, because I don't want Edward knowing that Kim called me first and not him.

"It's fine," I say. "I get it."

I speak quietly, because I can never be 100% certain that Edward isn't eavesdropping; he's sneaky like that.

Kim sighs. "Thanks. How are you, though?"

I bite on my lip.

There are a few different ways I could answer this:

'Oh I'm fine, just been trying to refrain from running over your idiotic boyfriend with his stupid Mazda 3.'

'It's been up and down, but I'm dealing.'

'I'm fine. Just been hanging out and school, the usual.'

I go with none of the above.

"I've been fine, just tired." It's not a lie; I am tired.

I'm tired all of the time now, but I'm technically the one to blame, because I could stop this whole thing—if I actually wanted to.


I tiptoe back to the room and find Edward up, messing around on his Macbook.

Great.

"Why didn't you just use my bathroom?" he asks, typing away at whatever.

I shrug and feed him a half-lie.

"Didn't wanna wake you up—although, I guess it's kinda pointless."

When Kim is away he doesn't sleep well, if at all, and it's usually restless. I've been countless times with him because of it.

I watch as he reaches down beside his bed and pulls out something: Alcohol. Sometimes, I think he's like his father, and has a problem concerning alcohol; he likes it and can definitely hold his liquor—has a high tolerance for the shit.

When he doesn't let me have any, I reach over and take the wineglass out of his hand, taking a nice gulp.

"Watch it, little girl," he tells me when I reach to pour more.

My grip on the neck of the glass tightens; my knuckles turn white.

'Little girl', I fucking hate it when he calls me that, and I can't help but think that's why he does it. He's never let me forget the age gap we have.

"Shut up," I snap. "I'm not a little girl!"

"Right," he says, smirking.

"I'm goin' into my junior year this year, ass!" I playfully shove him.

"How's the end of sophomore year going, anyway?" he asks.

I shrug. "It's going."

He nods and then it's quiet again. The silence isn't like it used to be; it used to be comfortable, un-punishing. Now, it's nothing like that; it's forceful, stressful, and I feel like I actually have to try to make conversation with him. It was never like that—our talks flowed easily and freely.


Friday – June 9

Kim came back yesterday, but she made me promise not to tell Edward—not that I would have, anyway.

I know what it's like to need to get away.


Friday, June 9 – nighttime

Is he bugging you? –K

Not really…I think he wants to, but he hasn't – he knows I won't say anything. –B

Good. Lemme know if he does? :) –K

Will do. How's it feel to be back though? –B

Weird, to be honest lol –K

:-/ try to relax, and you're ready, I'll be around.:) –B

Thanks, B. –K

Welcome. :) –B

I cant sleep –e

I'm sorry… -B


Saturday, June 10

"Let's go get some ice cream; it's way too fucking hot out," Edward exclaims.

I nod and follow him to his car.

He starts it and I ask if I can hook up my iPod.

"Sure, I don't care," he answers.

I plug in my iTouch and sift through songs.

Country Girl by Luke Bryan comes on.

"I hate Country music," he complains.

I shrug and turn up the music louder, wanting to annoy him.

When we come to a stop light, he reaches over and switches songs

On comes Woke Up This Morning.

Egotistical ass.

"My car, my rules," he laughs.


On the way from eating, I choose the music.

His car, his rules, I repeat in my head. Fuck it.

Kiwi by Maroon 5 is playing loudly, and I chose it purposefully.

He pissed me off at the ice cream shop, teasing me about choosing Cotton Candy flavored ice cream—a little girl's favorite flavor.

As much as the lyrics make me blush, I hold it in, wanting to see Edward react, and glancing at him, it's kind of, sort of, hilarious.

Especially when I start singing along to the bridge of the song.

I can't wait to take you home

Fingers through your hair

Kisses on your back

Scratch me with your nails

Save me from myself

Show me how to care

Get everything out

Dripping everywhere

Lipstick smeared all over your face—

He cuts the song right as the bridge ends, not once looking my way.

He doesn't have to though; I'm satisfied, for now; it means that I got to him, got under his skin, and that's all I really wanted.

He pushes, and I pull. He strikes, and I take it.

It's a war that no one's going to win, but someone will lose in the end.


Monday, June 11 – morning

I hate Mondays with a passion; they always turn out bad, no matter what you do. I check my phone and see that I have two missed texts.

I think Im gonna tell him that im back… -K

Holyfuck, shes here –e

The texts were sent an hour apart.

Why, why am I stuck in the middle of their shit storm? Yet, I take it; 'cause it's better than not being around Edward.

And Kim, she's been my friend longer, but there's just a way that Edward and I . . . connect, that I can't place—and that scares me.


"He apologized, said that he didn't mean any of it," Kim says over the phone later that night.

I sigh, knowing that this is only half-true.

Maybe he is sorry, but he definitely meant some of what he said to her, if not all.

"He needs take responsibility for his actions, for what he does—growing up would be good for him," I say.

And for everyone else, I add silently.

Kim sighs. "He's still dealing with his dad's death, plus the shit that he had done to him when he was younger."

I turn on some music; Maroon 5 quietly fills my room.

"He needs to grow up," I repeat. "He's twenty-six; it's time for him to."

Actually, he's overdue for growing up, but fuck semantics, right?

"You're right, but I doubt he's going to anytime soon."

I bite my lip. Kim's only twenty-one, she doesn't need this bullshit either.

"Somehow, at just sixteen, almost 17-years-old, I feel more mature than a twenty-six, almost 27-year-old person, who's got ten fucking years on me," I mutter.

She laughs softly.

"You're right B, you're so much more mature than he is."


2am – my room

With my parents asleep, I can do pretty much anything—within reason. My window is open a little, letting in the early summer soft-warm breeze. With the light air hitting and melting into my skin, Adam Levine's voice filling my ears, and the soda that I'd snuck up here earlier (I'm pretty sure my dad knew I took it, though), I feel free, at ease. It's rare to feel this way nowadays.

At 3:00, I hear a noise and look around. I take an earphone out and listen. It's my window being slowly pushed open. I slowly climb off my bed, wary. I shouldn't be afraid though; my mind knows who it is.

It's like I can sense when he's near, or something.

A moment later, his head appears through my curtains.

"Hey!" he whisper-shouts.

"Motherfuck!" I say quietly and jump.

Upon taking a closer look at him, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he's smashed; he reeks of it, too.

Wonderful, just what I need to deal with: A drunk Edward.

How does he always manage to pick the best nights to fuck up?

I stand still as he climbs through my window and then proceeds to fall lazily to the ground. He lays still, except for his hand that's running through his dishwater blonde hair. He's laughing quietly; definitely drunk.

Finally, he gets up and goes to my window, leans out, and pulls something inside: A case of beer.

I sigh.

"What're you doin' here?" I ask, exhausted.

Physically I'm awake, but emotionally I'm tired, I'm drained.

He drains me.


"Can't sleep and I figured you couldn't either," he answers, like it's so simple.

I nod, stretching; my t-shirt rises with my arms, but I'm too . . . whatever, to care right now.

I don't really want him here; I'm so, so exhausted right now, I need a break.

"Well, sit down and get comfy," I say, bored.

However, he's already here, so I don't have much of a choice.

When have you ever had a choice?

Never.

Actually, you always have a choice, even when you think you don't.

"I'm gonna go outside for a smoke; wanna come?"

He doesn't wait for me to answer. He climbs out onto my balcony and then waits. It's like he knows—just knows—that I'll follow.

Because that's what you've always done.


He lights up once I'm outside, and inhales the cigarette like his life depends on it. Who knows, maybe at this point it does.

"Where's Kim?" I ask quietly, looking down.

He doesn't answer right away.

"Home," he finally says.

"Her house?" I guess.

He nods, exhaling smoke.

The smell makes me want to take it from him like I did before, inhale it like he does, because I know he'd just love it if I ruined myself more. I'm being sarcastic of course; in actuality, he'd be pissed that I'm hurting myself, going against rules and all of that.

Oh, but he can hurt you all he wants?

Shut up, I tell myself.

It's quiet after that. Edward continues to smoke, occasionally blowing smoke rings, which I've admittedly never actually seen before.

Figures he'd be the one to show me something new.


"I don't know why I fuck-up so much," he says after a while.

I try not to snort, but I do look up at him briefly.

Do I tell him the truth or do I just ignore it altogether? Because neither one has a very good outcome.

"I . . . never mind," I say.

"No, tell me," he insists.

I hate it when he insists, when he pushes until I fucking cave, because I know it'll just be taken the wrong way. He'll never blow up at me like he does at Kim, but things are still taken out of context.

I can feel his eyes on me, burning into me.

"You need help," I whisper.

"I've tried. But you, you help, B; more than you probably even realize," he tells me.

I want to scream, I want to yell. I want to tell him to stop filling my head with what I can only assume are lies, because it's easier than believing his words and finding out they were never true.

I can't, though.

"You need help," I repeat, a little bolder. "And it's not the type of help that I can give you."

"So, you're saying that I need to see a shrink?" He nods, like gets it—whatever 'it' is.

No, what you need is loads of therapy and to work through shit which should've started about 11-12 years ago, I contemplate snapping at him.

I shake my head.

"No—maybe—I don't know! Okay . . . stop thinking, assuming, that I know everything, that I have the capability to just . . . fix you, when I don't!" I throw my hands up. "I can't even fix myself," I add in a whisper.

"What—what's wrong, B?" he asks, immediately hearing that last part.

Which I knew that he would.


The look he gives me tells me that he doesn't buy it.

"I don't wanna talk about it, okay," I say, irritated.

He nods. "Okay . . . do you want me to leave you alone?" he asks, looking at me and sounding sad, almost bordering on pathetic.

I feel bad, because I know that I'm being a bitch to him right now. I'm just tired, worn out. It's about him, always all about him.

"No," I say quietly.

It's the real truth that I know, and the only lie that tears me up inside.

Because I do sometimes, I do want him to go, to leave me the fuck alone, but another part of me doesn't want to let go; it's like I'm incapable of letting him go. I crave what he gives, even if it's poisonous lies and empty threats, and lonely days and nights without him, only for him to return when I've finally started to be OK. I drown in his company, in his words-lies that cuff around me, and his empty threats that keep me chained to him—I wouldn't have it any other way though, because I honestly don't know any other way.


June 21, 2011

I turned seventeen recently, and I'm out celebrating a friend's birthday when my phone rings. Laughing, I apologize and check my phone quickly. My heart drops into my stomach and my breathing hitches when I see the screen; because there's his number, a number that hasn't appeared anywhere near me since we stopped any sort of contact late last year. I stare, but I don't answer; I'm out with friends and I don't need this right now.

It takes every ounce of me not to sneak off and call him back, though.


June 21, 2011 – 11:30pm

For the first time since receiving his call earlier tonight, I check my messages. I have one, and it's from him.

I listen to it.

"Hey Isabella, I hope things are good with you. I know you asked me not to do this to you, but I don't know where to turn. Have you heard from Kim at all, lately? You and her are still friends (which is fine, you should be), that much I know. We had a fight and she left—I don't know where she could've gone, I've checked just about everywhere. Um, so if you know anything, please lemme know?"

The message ends, and I sit there; I think I'm stunned stupid or something. Apparently, I needed his permission to continue talking to my friend—that's a laugh in itself. I don't know if I want to laugh, cry, throw something, or all of the above, but I laugh; because it's actually so simple (and this is the part he still hasn't gotten): If she wanted him to know where she was at, she would have contacted him. He's never grasped that idea, though. I know where she went, she texted me the other day saying that she's fine and that she's hanging out with friends in the Caribbean; I'd never let him know, though. Call me a bitch, call me evil (hell, he has, why not), but sometimes I think this is what he needs—for her to go away and not return until she's ready; not by some guilt-induced shit he's said to get her to return, or sob story.

For the first time ever, I press 7 on my phone, effectively deleting the message.


One year later – 18-years-old

"Why not? Why can't you continue to help me?" he asks for what seems like the thousandth times.

His dishwater-blonde hair is messed up from him constantly running his fingers through it, he and the air around us smell of both new and stale cigarette smoke, and there are empty beer bottles everywhere. We're on my balcony, my dad's away with his girlfriend.

Edward's white t-shirt is wrinkled and he's inhaling his death stick.

Staring at him, I don't answer. Instead, I pick up his pack of smokes and light one. Edward watches me, his stupid-but-broken-slash-beautiful green eyes going wide.

"What the fuck, B?" he asks, eyes still wide, pissed off tone to his voice.

I shrug and slowly lift the cigarette to my mouth—I'm only doing this for effect, because I know he'll react. And sure enough, he does. He rips it from between my fingers and stomps on it.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" he demands, pissed off.

I shrug at him, completely unfazed by his attitude.

"Huh?" he goes on. "You know you're NEVER supposed to smoke this shit!"

I stare down at the white and green Newport 100s that sits on the railing. I nod after a moment. I pick up the pack and toss it over, watching it land onto the grass.

"Fine," I say, looking back to him. "Then neither should you."

In reality, I know you're not supposed to ever take cigarettes away from an addict, but I don't care at this moment.

He starts talking, telling me about Kim, but I tune him out; instead I focus on Sam Bradley's voice coming from my room.

So you come to me

For rest in my heart

Rest in my home

That's all you want

I haven't seen you lately,

But you still call me baby

What about my name?

Still I stand to save your soul

Yes I stand to save your soul

Before you're too far gone

Before nothing can be done

When I should have lied and

When I should have tried and

When I had no fight left in me

And the whole world was screaming

Hold on

Screaming hold on

Edward taps me on the arm, effectively getting my attention.

"You okay?" he asks, concern etching his features.

It would be nice, his concern, if I wanted it.

I'm so sick of his concern, though; it's suffocating me since he came back.

I nod, though. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"Are you sure? Remember, this is me you're talking to," he reminds me.

Of course I remember, how could I ever forget?

You can't, I tell myself.

"Yeah I know. Anyway, about Kim . . . it is what it is, dude."

I watch as he cringes when I say 'dude'.


JMgurl87: Why do you continue to hold onto something when it only tears you apart and causes you to cry?

I stare at the IM from my friend, Nic.

Foreverintime09: bc…I'm scared…

JMgurl87: of what, though?

Foreverintime09: Of never finding anything like it again.


"So, graduation's coming up soon; you excited?" Edward asks.

We're in his kitchen, I'm hanging out, keeping him company while he cooks dinner.

I shrug, knowing he can't see me with his back turned.

"I guess. . ." I trail off, and begin going through the MP3s on his Macbook.

"You guess?" he repeats my words, pouring in spaghetti sauce into the pot.

I nod. "Yeah, it's weird that it's all ending on the 17th."

I choose a song and click on it.

Tomorrow by Sixx AM fills the room.

"Hey, I didn't know that you were into Nikki Sixx," I say, actually surprised for once.

He shrugs. "He's OK—hey, come watch this for a minute, please?"

He moves away and I take his place at the stove, and he goes to do whatever.

Then, I hear him messing around with the Mac.

"If you change that to a fucking Bieber song, I'm gonna toss your computer outta damn window," I warn him, only half-kidding.

He snorts and then I feel him behind me.

Too close, my brain starts to warn me.

"Then I'll sue ya," he jokes.

I laugh and sprinkle in some oregano seasoning.

He places both hands on my shoulders, causing me to jump a little.

Luckily, it goes unnoticed by him.

"How much would I get if I did?" he asks, sounding amused.

Too close, my brain yells at me again.

I shrug and feel him tug on the hair that evidently touched him when I moved my shoulders.

"Wouldn't you like to know," I laugh.

He kneads my shoulders, and I can't concentrate anymore—it's my undoing. I move away from him slowly, and let him take over again.

"Here, you can take over," I say hastily.

"Hey, you sure you're OK?" he asks, catching on somewhat.

I nod anyway, because it's just better to do that than to answer his questions.

"You can come to me any time, you know; I'm here for you," he tells me, just like he has millions of times before.

And just like every other time, I do my part and nod.

"I-I know," I say quietly.

He stirs in the noodles and then turns off the burner. He turns around to face me, an unreadable expression on his face. The air—the vibe—in the room has changed though; I can read him well; even over texts, I've been able to read him.

"Damn it B!" he explodes. "I'm not busy right now, Kim's away on work and things are going really, really good right now. But, that doesn't mean that I'm NOT here for you! If you need something—anything—I'm here."

I smack the huge table, fuming.

"You know what; this is why I don't tell you shit! I know crap's going well for you—what, you think Kim and I don't talk? Well, news for you Sherlock, we do! You can't just push me—demand to know things—expect me to tell you anything! Anything you desire to know!" I yell.

"I know—" he starts, but I cut him off.

"No, no you don't! Stop; just STOP trying to get me to spill things I'm not going to! I am not Kim, but if you wanna say shit to me like you do to her that causes her to go running in the opposite direction, then by all means; at least it's not her! I'm so fucking SICK of this!"

"What . . . what do you mean, B?" he asks, and actually sounds afraid.

I shake my head.

When did it get like this?

When did he and I, become him and Kim?

When the hell did our talking things out, turn into screaming matches?

And when the hell did I cross that line of no return?


I sit in my room, on my bed with my computer sitting on my lap. It's the middle of the night, and Dad's still away with his girlfriend. He checked in on me via phone earlier today; I lied to him, not wanting to worry him. I'm good at that when I want to be, not revealing how I really feel.

I bring up Edward's email address and type out a message.

To: westcoastkid4lyfe_84

From: myforeverintimeisin09

Subject: Why?

Message: I'm sitting here on my bed (it's about 2:15am), and I can't stop thinking. Literally, my mind won't shut up long enough to let me breathe. I've never told you (and there's very little I haven't told you, but I guess I can't say that anymore), but sometimes I lay down and blare music into my ears, and after taking a deep breath, I stop; I stop breathing, until it's too much and I HAVE to take in more air. I wonder if that's how dying feels: you can still what's going on around you, loud and clear (or maybe not, who really knows and the dead can't/don't speak), but you can't breathe, and your brain is fighting to stay alive, to take in more air, but something inside you says 'no'. This is what I feel like a lot of days. . .I feel like I'm fucking suffocating, and the thing, I could stop it if I really wanted to. My depression's coming back; I've had it long enough where I can pretty much pinpoint when it's gonna hit.

It'll pass, but when it comes, there's no stopping it. You say that I can talk to you, but the truth is that no, I can't. I'm not sure I even want to, because it might just make things worse.

I don't wanna stop, because I'm afraid; I'm scared that I won't ever find something like this again. You suffocate me SO MUCH, but you also have this fucking hold on me that, for some reason, I like.

If I believed in soul mates, you'd probably be it for me. You get me, I get you, and it's kinda freaky. You have Kim and you two belong together in many ways. I think, I think this was just the right thing (even if it is just friendship) at the wrong time.

Okay, if you think I'm crazy, that's fine. Hell, "I" think I'm crazy at times like this.

You're a good person. Somewhere, down inside of you there's a good person. I've seen it, so has Kim. It's masked by someone I don't recognize/know, but he's still there. I've been lucky enough to have caught glimpses of him, though. :)

I'm sorry, but I just can't do this anymore.

~~B~~

The mouse cursor hovers over the send button.

Just do it, I tell myself.

Without thinking twice, I do it.


The next morning

Repeated knocking wakes me from a restless sleep. Standing up I check my phone, and see that it's 4:30AM. I groan and take the steps one at a time, not in a hurry to answer the damn door. I know who it is.

I'm surprised he didn't crawl in through my window, I quip to myself.

Then again, I suppose I should be happy that he's never figured out how to open my window from the outside.

I get to the door and pause, trying to wake up.

I swing open the door just as another pound comes down on it.

It's who I thought it was, and when he sees me, relief floods his face, his body relaxes.

"Oh thank God," he rushes out, and hugs me.

I stay frozen in spot until he lets me go.

"Aren't you supposed to be heading to the East Coast today?" I ask, rubbing my eyes.

He nods but holds a pensive look in his eyes.

"Yeah, but I couldn't leave without knowing that you were OK," he says.

I want to roll my eyes, I want to stomp my foot, I want to do a lot of things, but I don't do any of them.

Instead, I just stare right at him.

"What did you mean; why'd you send that email?" he finally asks.

I put my hand on the doorknob.

"Because . . . I don't know. I needed to vent—I'm sorry," I chicken out.

"Did you mean it?" he asks.

"Mean what?"

"That you can't do this, anymore?"

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, then answer him.

"Yeah. . ." I trail off.

He nods.

When morning comes, my phone is ringing. I pick it up and it's Edward, saying that he's downstairs but that he doesn't have much time, so hurry the hell up. I throw on some decent clothes and run down and outside, and see him leaning against his car, dressed in something I've never seen in him before: A suit.

I walk up to him, but I don't say a word.

He initiates it.

"I'm gonna be flying into DC for work for a few days, and then Kim wants me to do something with her. She really, really likes New York and has a dream of living there, again. Her family's there, and she wants to try to reconnect with them."

"Okay," is all I can say.


She wants me 2 think about moving 2 NY. We found a place & its actually not 2 bad –e


5 Days later – early morning

She's coming back 2 pack up the house there. The place here in NY is really great –e

Are you comin' back with her or no? –B

No, im staying 2 make sure everything gets here OK :( -e

1 month later – afternoon

Edwardis flying back there today. –K

What? –B

You didn't know? The house there finally sold and so hes going to finalize things. I thought you knew… -K

Nope, noo idea. –B

Edward and I don't exactly. . .talk, like we used to. –B

I told him 2 stay away from you; I know you don't need his shit right now. –K

Thanks. –B


I'm in my living room, talking to Nic on the phone. It's the day before graduation, when I hear a car pull up into my driveway. Looking out the front window, my grip tightens on the phone and I cut Nic off mid-sentence.

"Hey, I gotta go. I'll talk to you later!" I tell her before hanging up.

My doorbell rings and I hesitate when I go to answer. When I do, it's who I expect and don't expect to see. I guess part of me was hoping it wasn't Edward, but it's Edward.

"Hey," he says, hands stuffed into his denim pockets.

I blink at him.

"Uh—hey," I say. "What—what're you doing here?"

"I just wanted to see you, I guess," he says, shrugging.

I know better though; I know him.

"Really," I say, crossing my arms. "Why?"

He sighs. "'Cause I'm not coming back, okay? Kim and I both need a fucking fresh start, and we . . . that can't happen on the West Coast. So, neither of us are coming back—not unless work sends me back out here for some fucking reason."

I nod. I'm over this, I'm so over this.

No, you're not, my head tells me.

"'Kay," I say, looking down for a moment.

"Are you okay?" he asks.

I look back up to him.

"Yes."

"You sure?" he presses.

Maybe I'm making it all up, but it almost seems like he's silently asking me to tell him not to leave; to stay here and continue this fucked-up game of tug-of-war, a game of lose-win-lose-win-lose—a tug of war of sorts. A game that no one wins in the end, but everyone somehow loses in the end.

"Yeah," I say and lean on the door for support that I can't give myself.

He stares at me, and it takes everything in me not to look away, it also takes so much (almost too much) to keep myself from telling him yes, please stay. Because I've always known that when it came down to it, it would be her, and besides, I'd never give him that kind of satisfaction.

"Go home," I tell him quietly and firmly. "Go to Kim and try not to fuck it all up. Don't push her away, but don't keep her hanging on if you're just gonna keep doing the same old shit, the same old. Trust me, believe when I say holding onto something that's already gone or might've never been there to begin with just makes shit worse."

There's so much more I could say, stuff I want to say, but it would be useless and get neither of us anywhere.

He nods again.

"Okay, I'll go then," he says.

"Lemme know how graduation goes, okay?" he asks.

"You're not going?" I ask.

He shakes his head.

I guess I should have expected as much, because lets face it: This is Edward, and he's unpredictable, but if you're smart and know him well enough, you know what you're in for and the possibilities that come along with him.


Graduation day – Sunday, June 17

I slip into my jeans and dark red Healing Rain t-shirt on the way to the school in Nic's car.

"You just couldn't take dressing up for one day?" she teases as she parks the car.

I roll my eyes.

"Please! I am wearing make-up, my nails are painted, and I'm in heels!" I laugh.

My make-up's not too heavy, Nic painted my nails a deep shimmery purple last night, and I borrowed a pair of her black heels. Oh, and my hair is up in a high ponytail.

Nic, on the other hand, is in a sundress and her dark-brown hair is curled and down.


My phone vibrates while I watch the other kids get their diplomas.

Hey love, I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, :( But I hope that you have the BEST day! :D –K

I grin.

Thank yoou! –B

Have u seen Edward yet? –k

I frown, and glance around quickly.

Umm no…he said he wasn't coming, lol. –B

He was here yesterday, though. –B

"Put that away!" Nic hisses to me.

I roll my eyes. "What's he gonna do, hold me back another year because I'm bored at his boring graduation?"

"Jacob Stanley!" Principal Greene calls out.

Damn it. I'm sorry. :( -k

It's fine. I gotta go, they're onto the S's, lol. LOVE YA! –B


Green says a few words after the last of the kids get their diplomas, and then he announces us graduates of 2012.

As soon as I'm able, I take off the damn yellow gown—it's too hot out for this thing. My dad and his girlfriend congratulate me, and take pictures. I go off to find Nic afterwards, and then she wants dozens of pictures too.

"C'mon, just one more!" she laughs.

I roll my eyes and on the last—or twelve—one, I flip her off in it.


We're at Jake's house in La Push; he lives right on First Beach. I laugh as I watch Jake carry Nic towards the water over his shoulder, her slapping his butt. Kings Of Leon's Manhattan is playing from the large-ass speakers, and both the house and outside are packed—somehow, I don't it's just seniors-graduates that gravitated here after the ceremony.

As I'm watching Nic hitting Jake for tossing her in—she secretly enjoyed that shit—somebody picks me up from behind. I squeal-scream, dropping my drink into the sand. I'm in someone's arms, and they're carrying me towards the ocean.

Oh shit, I think to myself.

"Put me down," I yell through a laugh.

"Nope!" the fucker says.

When I hear his voice, I realize who it is: Joshua, the dick who was almost a senior when I was a freshman.

We get a ways into the water and he tosses me in. I go under and try to make my way back to the surface, managing to pop my head out of the water. As I do, I can see Josh just make it back to the sand.

I start wading back, and Nic is bitching him out for throwing me. I flip him off, but I'm laughing when Nic asks if I'm okay.

"I'm fine," I tell her, laughing.

Nic and Jake both laugh as I struggle to peel off my soaked clothes. The jeans are the hardest; they're not super tight, but they're sticking to me as I try to get them down my legs. When I manage to get out of them, I thrust them at Jake along with my shirt—he's staring at me, and I know why: I'm in a black sports bra that just so happens to squish my breast together too tightly, and I'm wearing a pair of boy-cut purple panties.

I roll my eyes at him.

"Here, think you could tear your eyes away to take care of these for me?" I ask, albeit sarcastically.

Jake nods reluctantly; I smirk.

"Hey," I call out as he walks away. "If I find any stains on my shirt when they're dry—I'm killin' you in your sleep!"

He flips me the bird and I laugh.

"I still need new clothes," I groan-laugh.

"You can borrow the change I have in my trunk," Nic says.

I nod and thank her.

She goes off to get them, returning five minutes later.

"Somebody's blocking Jake's driveway," she says.

I take the clothes from her and ask what she means.

"Somebody's car is blocking Jake's driveway."

"What car is it?" I ask.

"A Mazda, I think? I'm not sure," she answers.

It feels like my heart frog leaps into my stomach, but I keep quiet.

No, nope, no way.

"Nobody from school owns a Mazda—it's not that kinda area," she laughs. "I don't know whose it could be . . . unless it's somebody from around here," she adds.

"Dude, sweet car outside! But they're blocking my driveway," Jake says, stepping up to us.

"Do you know who owns it?" Nic asks him.

He shakes his head.

"Nope, but whoever's it is, they're not from around here," he states.

No . . . please, I silently plead.

"H-how do you know?" I ask, uneasy.

"New York plates, for one; and two, nobody from around that area or here would dare own a motherfuckin' Mazda 3!" Jake snorts.

I feel like throwing up.

"Wait, a Mazda 3?" Nic questions and glances at me out of the corner of her eyes.

I ignore her and turn for her car.

"I'm . . . gonna go change," I say quietly and head for it.

The music changes to One Republic's Good life on my way there.


When I get to the car, I'm about to get in when I see something out of the corner of my eye. The car—the Mazda—his Mazda 3. And, taking a closer look, I see that he's in it. His hands are on the steering wheel, and he sees me—of course he does. I'm stuck, it's like I'm glued to the ground, I can't move if I wanted to.

This is the time, the moment where I can choose to either A) go about what I was going to do and pretend he's not here, or B) go see what he wants. It's a choice that's going to hurt no matter what, and I don't want to choose. I want him to disappear, to stop returning just when I've begun to be OK again. But, this is Edward and that's not how he operates.

It's like he wants me to choose, like he's testing me or something. To me (and maybe, just maybe I'm not wrong, but maybe I am), he's gauging my reaction to see if I want him in my life anymore.

I'm taking a mental picture of you now

I have to make a choice, and by now, my bra and underwear are drying. I feel naked though; he's never seen me like this before. I open Nic's car, climb inside, and start to change. I slip out of my wet clothes and slide down so that I'm hidden—hopefully. I put on the slightly too big concert t-shirt and black denim shorts she loaned me and get back out, taking with the wet underwear. I lock the car back up. My phone rings with the Kim Possible theme song, alerting me of an incoming text.

Um hi… -e

I know what he's doing.

And this is where I have to make that choice.

Because it's now or never.

He's never enough, and still he's more than I can take, I say to myself.

I walk away from the crowded driveway, back toward the beach, each step hurting like a bitch. I can't do anymore though . . . I can't.

My phone rings in my hand again . . . another text.

I need 2 talk 2 u –e

I try to keep the tears at bay by focusing on Pink's song Sober that's playing now, but it only makes it worse because the lyrics speak what I fail to.

When it's good, then it's good, it's so good 'til it goes bad

'til you're trying to find the you that you once had

I have heard myself cry, never again

Broken down in agony just trying to find a friend

When I find Nic and Jake again, I hand J my clothes and he runs off to hang them up somewhere. Nic takes one look at me and notices something is wrong.

"What did he do?" she demands.

I shake my head and bite my lip.

"Nothing—absolutely nothing."

"Then what's wrong?" she asks.

"I walked away," I say and look her in the eye. "He looked at me; he looked right at me, and I couldn't—I walked away."

She kneads my shoulder.

"Don't let him get to you; you're better than him, anyway."

I nod, even if I don't fully believe her.


It's nearing 3AM and Nic and I are just now getting back to my place. She's already ready to pass out on my floor.

"Hey, take me tomorrow to get a new phone?" I ask her, nudging her.

Technically it's today, but fuck semantics.

She groans.

"Tomorrow's the first Monday we've had off in, like, twelve frickin' years and you wanna spend it buying a new phone?" She glares at me.

I laugh.

"Okaaay, how about Tuesday then? Work for you?"

She nods.

"Why not just get a new number while you're at it, too?"

Because that's too much, too big of a change way too fast. I'm not ready!

Nic reminds me that I have to be ready, though.

"It's time to let go, B. You already took the first tonight; don't let him ruin your life forever." Her words are slurred, and she's already half-asleep.

I nod my head at nothing, and turn my phone back on.

A new text pops up immediately, and my chest clenches at the sight of it.

Ok, I can take a hint :( -e


It's 5AM and I haven't slept yet. The lights are and Nic is snoring away on my floor, but I can't sleep. I'm deep in thought when I hear something outside. I shoot up in bed and look around, freaked out for a moment. Then, my eyes land on my window and I narrow my eyes, and I can just make out the figure that's right outside.

I grit my teeth and climb out of bed, afraid that he's going to wake-up Nic.

I go over to the window and open it as quietly as I can, ready to kill him.

"Sshh!" I hiss. "You're gonna wake Nic."

He shrugs and whispers an apology as I climb out, but I shrug it off, shivering from the cold late-night-early-morning air.

"What're you doing here?" I ask through a whisper, rubbing my arms.

"Um . . . I just needed . . . I couldn't leave without seeing you," he says.

"You saw me at the party," I say bluntly.

Our voices are hushed, because if my dad were to wake up, Edward would be worse than dead: They'd never find his fucking bones.

"I know but . . . you know what I mean," he tells me.

And I do, which doesn't help any.

"You need to go home—back to the East Coast—and work shit out with Kim. She texted me during graduation and didn't know that you weren't comin'. She was under the impression you are, while you told me you weren't."

"Yeah, speaking of which, you couldn't handle something . . . dressier for one day?" He smirks.

I clench my teeth.

"So you did watch me graduate then?" I ask, knowing the answer.

He nods. "Yeah, I did. I wouldn't leave without seeing you."

"You felt guilty," I pointed out.

He shrugs. "Kinda."

I sigh. "I gotta get back inside before she wakes up."

He looks like he wants to say something.

"What?" I ask.

"Can I . . . can I hug you please?" he says.

I nod, because I'm selfish and I'll take whatever he offers.

He wraps his arms around me, and his body is warm, and so familiar. I put my arms around his neck, reaching up as high as I possibly can. In reality, I just want to be as close I can be.

I cling to him, pressing against him, as if my life depends on it. I squeeze him, and I'm afraid that I might be choking him, but he's not complaining so I don't stop.

I'm almost tempted into saying 'fuck it', and tell him to forget it, that we continue this fucked-up thing. But, he interrupts my thoughts and pulls away before I can say anything, and it's almost like coincidence.

There are no coincidences; you should know that by now, my brain tells me.

"Bye, B," he says, looking and sounding a little forlorn.

It sounds so finale, the way he says it, and I don't want it to be, but it probably is.

Will we ever talk again after he gets back to New York? Will everything be different or the same? All of these different questions enter my mind that I desperately want to ask him, but I don't have the guts to actually do so.

So, I go inside and crawl back into bed, leaving my window open.

I wait and listen for the sound of his car, and when I hear it, I can't and don't bother stopping the tears. They flow freely down my face and onto my pillow.

Memories flood my mind, and I fall into a black sleep thinking of one in particular.


(flashback)

"I cancelled my entire weekend," Edward told me.

"You didn't have to," I said over the phone, feeling bad.

"I wanted to. You need me more."

(end flashback)