I don't know why I expected Forks to look any different since I knew it hadn't changed that much in the 18 years I lived here, why did I expect it to change in the three I had been gone?
I saw the Diner as I drove through town and I smiled. One thing I was glad hadn't changed was the Diner. The whole way through high school it had been where everyone from school would come to hang out. It was where I would hang out every day as I stared at my favourite waitress. That thankfully had changed.
I left three years ago after graduation to attend college in New York. It was a new experience and one that couldn't come soon enough for me. Forks did not hold a lot of happy memories for me, and I had always looked forward to leaving. This was the first time I had come home to Forks since I had left. School was always busier than expected, and there were always other things to do during breaks that beat coming home to a small town like Forks. A town where people loved to gossip about everyone and everything around them. I didn't need that.
I pulled up at the Diner and walked towards the doors slowly, unable to deny my craving for a Diner burger and fries any longer. Unlike every other time I had approached the glass doors I didn't feel the butterflies in my stomach as I wondered whether I would see her today, or if I would be lucky enough to get a booth in her section because I knew she wouldn't be here.
Everyone has one of those people. You know what I'm talking about. A girl who would give you a reason to get up every morning just so you could see her, or for some of you a guy that made your heart slam in your chest every time he walked past. Bella Swan was that girl for me.
Bella had been a waitress at the diner and had worked most afternoons and weekends. We also went to school together. I won't lie and tell you that we were friends; frankly I always thought she never knew I existed but that never mattered to me.
I heard the familiar bells ring above the door as I entered. It was still the middle of the day and there weren't too many other people there so I took a seat in the nearest booth to the door and picked up the menu. I smiled when I realised it also hadn't changed.
"Hi, I'm Bella and I'll be your waitress today. Can I start by getting you a drink?" I stopped the minute I heard her voice. It was impossible I told myself, I was imagining it because why the hell would Bella Swan still be here? It had been her dream to get out of Forks. I raised my eyes slowly and when I finally met hers I could see the shock in her own, and before I knew what was happening she gasped.
"Hi Bella," I said finally after pulling myself together. It had been almost three years to the day since I had last seen her.
"Edward," she nodded. "What are you doing here?" she asked me.
That was typical of Bella, always getting straight to the point. "I'm home for the holidays," I answered
"So what can I get you?" she asked.
"Um I'll have two cherry cokes, a burger, fries, and do you still have that salad thing?" I asked picking the menu back up.
"Yeah," she answered.
"Cool its Tanya's favourite so I'll grab one of those too," I said.
I watched her stiffen at the mention of Tanya's name and was a little surprised. It was obvious that she was uncomfortable with exchanging pleasantries with me, I couldn't blame her it was kind of awkward after three years.
She walked off to get the drinks and brought them to me right away in take away cups "So are you home for the holidays too?" I asked her curious about why she was waitressing in the Diner.
Bella opened her mouth to answer me but stopped abruptly when the bells above the front door chimed. "Mummy," the little boy yelled out pushing away from the man he was with and rushing over to Bella.
Bella's face immediately paled and she stepped back from the booth and bent down to pick the little boy up.
"I'm sorry sweetie," the man laughed and I finally realised that it was Charlie Swan. "I thought you'd be finished your shift by now"
"Hi," Bella said, "did you have fun at the park?" she asked the little boy.
I couldn't take my eyes off them. I know I'm staring; in fact I'm positive my mouth has probably fallen open.
"Yep, poppy got me ice cream," he grinned.
I watched as Bella's face lit up unlike I had ever seen before as she stared at the little boy.
"Order up," the cook calls out then indicating my order is ready and I watch as Bella realises that I am still sitting here.
"Um, I'll just get that for you Edward," she says.
She returned with my order quickly in a to-go bag.
"Is he yours?" I whisper as I look at the little boy. There is something about him and I can't shake the feeling that is building in my gut. Bella obviously senses this too.
"Yeah," she says as she looks down at the little boy who is drifting off against her shoulder.
"Um how old is he?" I ask her.
Bella meets my eyes. "He was two in March," she says.
I don't need to do the math to know what that means. I look at the small boy whose hair is a shade darker than his mothers, but it's his startling green eyes that have me captivated.
"Sally will ring that up for you" she tells me.
"Ok, thanks Bella" I reply
I pay my bill and turn back to Bella contemplating just coming out and asking her, but when I look around all I see is the back of her head as she disappears behind the break room door.
With a shake of my head I step towards the door to leave only to find Charlie Swan still standing and studying me.
"You went to school with Bella right?" Charlie Swan asks me.
"Um yes Sir," I answer.
"You're Carlisle and Esmes son right?"
"Yeah Edward," I tell him.
"Welcome back to Forks, Edward," he smiles.
I nod at him and smile as best I can considering how I feel right now, and with one last look at the door Bella disappeared behind with her son, I walk out of the Diner.
It doesn't take me long before I'm climbing out of my jeep and carrying the takeout food into Tanya's parents place.
"What took you so long?" she asks as I sit down beside her.
"Um they were busy," I lie. My thoughts are still occupied by Bella and her son.
"Oh," she smiles. "Wow I can't believe they still have this," she laughs. "I used to eat this everyday when you would drag me to that place," she says still completely oblivious after all these years to the real reason I wanted to go there every day, and for that small favour I'm eternally grateful.
"You ok?" I look over at her and notice that she's staring at me with concern. I can hardly blame her since I've hardly spoken since I sat down.
I put on a fake smile for her benefit. "Fine," I tell her.
"So when are we going to tell everyone?" she asks me then and I remember the reason we are actually home.
"Well we could all go to dinner tomorrow night!" I suggest with a smile.
I met Tanya in my senior year of high school. I was mostly a loner except for my best friend Jasper. Tanya was quiet and smart and we got paired together on an assignment. Soon after I asked her out and we've been happy together ever since, which is why I finally popped the question a week ago. Now we're home in Forks to tell our families our happy news.
I finish my burger then, practically shoving in my mouth as I think about what I need to do.
"Um I gotta go," I tell her.
She frowns at me. "What? Where are you going?" she asks.
"There is someone I want to see," I inform her.
I can tell she's confused. I don't blame her. Apart from her and my sister I don't keep in touch with anyone in Forks but I know Jasper still lives here, and I would bet my last dollar that he still lives in the same apartment too.
I kiss her soundly on the lips and smile. "I'll see you later babe," I tell her. I'm lucky that I have Tanya, not only is she beautiful but she's solid, loyal and she loves me. I really am a lucky guy.
"Bye," she says.
I only knock on the door a couple of times before its pulled open. Alice Brandon stands on the other side and is looking at me confused.
"Hi Alice," I say "Is Jasper here?" I ask her.
"Wow look what the cat dragged in," she says and it's clear by the look on her face what she thinks of me. I can hardly blame her either.
"Jasper you've got a visitor I'll be home later," she yells before pushing past me and walking off.
"Edward?" Jasper says confused when he comes to the door.
"Hey man," I smile. Despite the fact I haven't talked to my once best friend in nearly a year it's great to see him.
"What are you doing here?" he asks.
"Um back for the holidays and wanted to come by and say hi," I tell him and follow him inside.
He seems to be waiting for me to say something else like he doesn't quite believe my story. "So you're still with Alice?" I smile. I'm happy for him.
"Yep," he nods.
We grow silent for a while then and it's obvious he has no intention of adding to the conversation. "Why didn't you say something Jazz?" I ask him then.
He raises an eyebrow at me, "about what?"
"Bella Swan having a son," I snap.
"Oh," he smiles. "Back in Forks and already stalking your old haunts," he chuckles.
"Hardly, I dropped in to get some food for Tanya and I, and imagine my surprise to find Bella working, and then her son appears" I say angrily. "A son who looks an awful lot like me Jazz and considering his birthday, could be my son,"
He looks at me then. "It wasn't my place," he shrugs.
"Of course it was, you're my fucking best friend," I yell.
"Some best friend. I haven't heard from you in a year," he scoffs.
"I'm sorry that I stopped calling," I sigh. "There was just less and less to say but God Jasper is he mine?" I finally ask.
Jasper sighs. "Alice would kill me if she found out I was even talking to you about her nephew," he tells me. "The truth is I don't know. Like you said he does look like you so I guess it's possible."
"She doesn't know?" I ask shocked.
"Not for sure. At first he had sandy blonde hair and blue eyes like most newborns and everyone was convinced he was Mike's. Mike got tested and he wasn't a match. No one even suspected you until a year ago when his looks started changing"
I sighed, "Who else was there?"
Jasper shrugged. "No idea man, guess you'll just have to get tested and find out," he said.
I shook my head. "No. No," I tell him before standing up. There is no way I'm going to let a mistake I made three years ago ruin my life.
"I've gotta go man but I'll catch up with you soon ok," I said.