I felt sick to the stomach. Nothing could have prepared me for such betrayal. He had attempted to call me, though each time his calls were ignored. As for school, luckily, with prom brought the end of the year and so I was only required to attend for just a couple more weeks. I spent lunches in the library, painfully missing our little spot on the grass. He tried to talk to me, I walked away. The others tried too, though other than Alice I blocked them out. It killed me to ignore Rose like that, but she and Emmett were getting closer and closer and I couldn't face Emmett since he was Edward's best friend.
The next few weeks were a blur, I graduated, began to pack up my life and prepared to move away for college. I had barely seen Alice due to being so busy, though I had been told the whereabouts of everyone. Alice was going to New York to study fashion and design, something she had always been passionate about. Rose and Emmett, still not quite an established couple, were going their separate ways. That was the weirdest part, we had all hoped they would end up together, though it seemed that the fates would not allow it to happen. Rosalie was staying in Washington, majoring in psychology I believe. Emmett had a football scholarship in Florida. I didn't ask where he was going, and Alice never told me.
College proved to be a fantastic distraction. Unlike high school, it completely flew by. This was probably due to my classes, as I enjoyed English literature so much as a result of my love for Emily Brontë and Sylvia Plath. I met hundreds of new people, even making new friends, though there was a constant ache in my heart. Almost like a black, empty void. My best friends were missing. I hadn't even spoken to Alice much, sending the occasional birthday or Christmas card was the only contact we had. As people grow up they tend to grow apart, though I simply found myself missing them even more. It was coming to the end of my time at the University of Chicago and though I loved it there, I knew it wasn't the place I wanted to be. I felt myself itching to try new places, travel the world, find new experiences.
On one of my last days of college, I had returned some books to the nearby bookstore and felt myself craving a caramel macchiato. Following this craving, I found myself running to the nearest Starbucks. I had almost graduated from college, I deserved it right?
Waiting in line, I suddenly heard a long whistle from behind me.
"Well if it isn't little Bella Swan.".
My heartbeat quickened as I turned around, letting out a small gasp.
"Emmett," I whispered, not quite processing the fact that he was in Chicago and standing right in front of me.
"Emmett!" I squealed, jumping up to hug him.
"Hey there, little one, long time no see," he hugged me before putting me down so that I could collect my coffee.
"How about we sit down and play catch up? You look so different!" he smiled, that familiar grin I had missed so much. I simply nodded, unable to wipe the smile from my face.
I smiled self consciously, fiddling with my hair. My glasses were gone now, I wasn't quite as awkward and my hair wasn't as frizzy thanks to my new hairdresser. It was definitely an improvement from high school, though my band t-shirts and Chucks still stayed with me.
Once he had collected his coffee, we sat at a table overlooking the streets of Chicago and I finally looked at him properly. His muscles were even bigger, if that were possible, he still had the same mischievous grin and his ice blue eyes shone brightly with happiness. Unable to control myself, I got up and hugged him once more, I had missed him so much.
He chuckled and hugged me back before I sat down, taking a small sip of my coffee.
"How've you been Bells?"
"I'm okay. I'm almost done with college now, it's crazy how fast it's gone."
He nodded. "I know what you mean, it's crazy."
"Are you still playing football?" I asked, I didn't follow football and so I wasn't really sure if he was still playing or not, but in high school Rose, Alice and I had been there to support every single game.
"Yeah, I love it. I can't imagine doing anything else. What about you? What have you been up to? Still kicking ass with your nose in a book?" he chuckled to himself.
"Sure! I majored in English lit so yeah, still kicking butt in that department."
Conversation grew silent for a moment, each of us deep in thought and still taking in the fact that we were together again.
"Are-" we both started at once before laughing nervously. An awkward silence filled the air.
"You first." he laughed, drinking his coffee.
"Do you still speak to the others?" I asked, my heart thudding in anticipation.
He hesitated for a moment before looking me straight in the eye and clearing his throat.
"After prom everything started going wrong. The group wasn't the same without you Bella. I guess in a way, because you still talked to Alice a lot, Rosie, Edward and I felt sort of betrayed. Alice never told us why you stopped hanging out with us, so we were all a little confused. I haven't seen Rose since graduation, I bumped into Alice about a year ago on a trip back to Forks." he shrugged sadly.
My heart sank, Edward had never told them, they blamed me.
"What about… Edward?" It even hurt to say his name, despite the five year gap in contact.
"That's actually why I'm here. I'm visiting him."
I stopped breathing, feeling my face grow paler and paler.
"Edward's… He's…. He's here?" I gaped at him, not quite processing what was going on.
Emmett looked at me, a confused look on his face.
"Well yeah… He's interning at a hospital here. He's been living here the past two years. You didn't know?" Two years? How had I not run into him? Had he been avoiding me? Did he know I was here?
"I honestly had no idea. Does he know I'm here?" I asked, scared of what the answer may be.
"I don't know. He never mentioned anything. Why? Don't you guys talk anymore?"
I took a deep breath, it was time that someone heard the story. My best friends had spent five years unaware of why I separated myself from their company, and I was ready to tell someone why.
"Emmett, there's something you need to know…" I fiddled with my sweater nervously, looking up to see him watching me expectantly.
I took a deep breath, preparing to tell him my story.
"It started with that conversation at lunch one day, about prom…". I told him the full story, only pausing in places to see his reactions. His expression remained calm, almost unreadable. Once I had fully explained, he let out a deep breath but remained silent.
"So that's why I stopped talking to you all. I couldn't face him."
He was still silent, picking at the lid on his coffee cup.
"I don't know what to say Bella. I'm so sorry. I can't believe he never said anything to us."
"I forgive you Emmett, you had no way of knowing, its okay."
How could I not forgive him? He had no idea what had gone on, it wasn't his fault that he had jumped to conclusions.
"I don't know what I'm going to say to him when I see him. I want to punch the guy, he hurt my little sister and that's not okay." My heart filled with warmth at his statement, Emmett and I had always shared a close bond and it was reassuring to see that despite him thinking I had betrayed him, he still cared.
"You don't have to hurt him. I just wish there was a way I could make him see how much it hurt me…" I trailed off, looking at the newfound sadness in Emmett's eyes.
"Well, do you still want to do it?"
"What do you mean?" I smiled, trying to figure out what he was saying.
"Lets do it. A road trip. You call Rosie and Alice, I'll call my buddy Jasper, who you will love by the way, and lets do it. It'll be fun, everyone's finishing college and I want to celebrate with my best friends." My heartbeat quickened at his suggestion, were we seriously considering this?
"What makes you think everyone would come Em? I mean, I haven't spoken to Ali and Rose in years, why would they suddenly come on a road trip? And what about… him?"
"Show him you don't care, go on your trip without him. And they'll do it, Alice especially, I know she misses you. We'll get in touch with everyone and organise a meeting point, then just go. Come on Bella, you know it would be fun…"
In my mind I was going through all the possibilities, coming up with reasons why we shouldn't do it. But my heart was beating rapidly with excitement, and I deserved some fun, so that was the decision I went with. Screw the consequences.
"Give me your number Em, we've got a road trip to plan."
There is so much dialogue in this chapter it is crazy. I'm sorry, it was necessary though to establish what's going on. So the gang are slowly finding out what went on five years ago, next chapter Bella needs to try and contact them. I'm English, so i'm not really sure how colleges in America work... I based it off English Universities where you attend for approximately four years. ALso, if the gang's courses aren't available at those particular Universities then i'm sorry, i did the best that i could!
What's going on with Edward? May be soon you will find out, if this chapter gets a good response…. EPOV has been written, but it needs persuasion via Review to be posted. ;) Yes, I'm being mean.
I really, really hope you enjoyed this chapter. Thank you to those who reviewed last chapter, it really is appreciated. Please review, it's great to hear feedback about my stories and get some criticism so I can try and improve. I'll see you all soon, thank you so much for reading!