I don't own Twilight or any other Stephanie Meyer work (duh!)
I've been bored this week. So, I thought I'd get started on the 1st chapter of Emotional Warfare
Welcome dedicated readers and new readers as well. You all voted. Now, I'm introducing the first chapter of my new story. I'm doing something a little different. I hope you approve.
For all of you who aren't familiar with me, my name is completerandomness12. This is my third story.
"Now, for the Valedictorian speech, given by Edward Cullen," the Dean spoke into the microphone as I made my way to the podium.
"Hello and g-greetings, my fellow g-graduates," I stuttered as I pushed my glasses up my nose. "Don't worry. I w-won't keep us here all day. I'm p-pretty darn sure that most of you have a…soirée or s-something of that n-nature to at-tend, too," I added, to silence. They were supposed to laugh at that. Darn it.
"Um…we've come a long way in the past four years. Most of us didn't even know what we really wanted to do until we got here. Now, we consider ourselves future doctors, lawyers, business people, and so forth. I think I speak for everyone when I said when we go to college, most of what we learn is in theory, and when we graduated, it's with great expectations of ourselves and hope that we can change the world.
"The world will see those expectations as us being doe-eyed and try to beat that sense of hope out of us. But, I'm here to challenge you to keep that sense of hope, even if it's a little. Because if you do that, though you may not be able to change the world, you can make a difference. So, I say to this year's Harvard's graduating class, t-thank you and h-have a n-nice life," I finished quickly.
When I turned my back to sit down, I wiped the sweat off of my brow. The crowd did the customary polite golf clap that was appropriate as I made my way to my seat, shaking my head at the epic failure that was my speech.
That was deplorable.
Luckily, I got my diploma first since those who graduated with honors got their diplomas before the others. My 4.0 GPA was good for something. I guess. I didn't understand why. I mean, we were graduating from Harvard. We should have all gotten honors. I looked at all of my supposed classmates and realized that I didn't know any of them. I guess they knew me, though. I was a Cullen. I got past the point of being shocked at the attention I got based solely off of my last name in the first grade. I sat in a daze, drowning out the sound of the microphone and watched my peers pass by.
Some looked at me in awe. Others looked at me in envy. Most of them looked at me with confusion. It was probably because of who I was, because I wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly attractive person. I had eyes that were too green. People always thought I was wearing contacts. It didn't really matter because I wore glasses, anyway. I was practically blind without them. My sister, Alice, had been trying to get me to wear contacts since I was fourteen. The thought of my finger going anywhere near my eyeball was gross. She tried to get me "sexy" frames, but I liked my thick frames. I thought they gave me character.
I was born with a crooked smile, which coined me the nickname "Stroke" in middle school, because when people had strokes, their lips curled over. Let's not get started on my hair. When I didn't cut it, it stuck up everywhere like I had just touched a plasma ball. This forced me to use an obscene amount of hair gel every day to avoid looking like I was insane, which was a pain in the ass, in addition to growing my hair out to where you couldn't really notice the cowlicks.
I looked at myself in comparison to my family and wondered if I had been adopted…or my mother had had an affair or something.
My mother would have never done that. I was probably adopted and they just didn't have the heart to tell me.
"I now introduce to you the graduating class of 2011!" the Dean said, prompting everyone in the auditorium to throw their caps into the air. I gently tossed mine so I could easily retrieve it. The thought of catching another person's hat and wearing it terrified me.
I slowly made my way through the crowd before the small creature known as my niece jumped on my back.
"Ahh!" I crouched over, letting her hop on.
"Is that any way to greet your niece?" my sister, Alice, asked, trying to run her hand through my hair. Her face quickly turned to horror as her hand became covered in hair gel. She wiped it on the graduation program. "Edward, we've got to talk about you putting all this shit in your hair," she rolled her dark blue eyes.
"I love you, too, little sis," I kissed her on the cheek and ran my hand through her short black hair.
Alice, my twenty-year-old little sister, was what I liked to call a force of nature. Being the baby in the family, she was used to getting what she wanted without delay. However, she was never going to get me to let her have control over my wardrobe. I liked my sweater vests…and my hair gel…and my glasses.
"Hey, Uncle Eddie! You did good!" my niece said, bouncing on my back. She was the only person in the world I let shorten my name in any capacity. She was just that cute. All Hell broke loose in our social circle when Alice got pregnant at fifteen. However, instead of getting an abortion, she decided to keep her baby. Now we had Alexia Karen Whitlock, who might have been the most adorable little person ever. "You smell like Skittles," she giggled before her father picked her up.
"Hey, man," Jasper said, giving me a guy hug.
"Edward, honey!" my mom shouted from nowhere, engulfing me into a hug. "I was so proud of you, sweetie. You spoke so well"
"Well done, Son," my father clapped me on the back while starting to move us toward the parking lot.
"Don't lie, Dad," I pleaded, "We both know it was horrible"
"That's subjective," my mom replied, hugging me from my side.
"Where's Emmett? And Tanya?" I asked looking around.
"Ugh," Alice rolled her eyes and shivered, "I don't know what you see in that b…"
"Alice!" I hissed in warning, "Don't talk like that about Tanya. You know I don't like it."
"I wasn't gonna call her a bitch," Alice deadpanned. "I was gonna call her a BARBIE DESTROYER!" she hissed.
"Here we go again," dad sighed, going to get the car.
It was no secret that Alice and Tanya didn't like each other. To be honest, I think Stevie Wonder could have seen it. It all started when Alice was six and Tanya was seven. My sister had a liking, or others might have called it an obsession, with Barbie dolls. She called Barbie the first legitimate fashion icon. When our great-grandmother passed away, she left Alice a vintage 1955 Barbie, which was in mint condition. You know the one, with the black and white swimsuit. It was still in the box, which tripled the value or something like that. I was not into collectibles.
It was one of the happiest times I had ever seen for my sister. She claimed that she would never unwrap it. Alice claimed that Tanya took her vintage Barbie out of the box on purpose. Tanya claimed she thought it was just a regular doll and wanted to play with it. It ruined the doll's value and Alice threw an Olympic-sized hissy fit. Names were called. Pigtails were pulled. Tanya even said that Alice had tried to strangle her. They hadn't been able to be in the same room with each other since.
"It's not 'what do I see in her,'" I smiled, "It's 'what does she see in me?'"
Tanya Denali. I'd known her since we were practically in diapers. She was my best friend…my only friend, really. She was smart and pretty.
Really, really pretty.
Really. Her face was just…perfect. She had this amazing strawberry-blonde hair and always smelled like vanilla. I hated to seem like I was not a gentleman, but her body…wow. I had absolutely no clue what she saw in me. I could tell people thought the same thing whenever they saw us together because she was so pretty and I was so…not pretty. But I was glad that she at least saw something. This was why I was planning on proposing to her tonight…in front of both of our families.
"Now that we're talking about it, you could do so much better," Alice said nonchalantly.
"No, I can't," I shook my head.
"Of course you can, Edward!" she yelled.
"Her cat is mean to me," Alexia chimed in, rubbing the spot on her arm where Tanya's cat had badly scratched her last year.
"I don't want anyone else. No one is better than Tanya," I hardened my resolve. "Where is she?"
"I don't know," dad said looking around. "They're probably on their way to the restaurant. They sat with us during the ceremony."
Our families knew each other because my father and Alec, Tanya's father, were best friends and frat brothers. My mom and Heidi, Tanya's mom, were college roommates. They met each other at a party and the rest was history.
"We need to get going. Our reservations are for six o'clock," dad said.
"Six o'clock?" Alice shouted, looking at her cell phone. "I have to go change! I'll meet you guys there." She took off, rushing through the parking lot and I heard the sound of tires screeching moments later.
"I'll meet you guys," I said, shifting my suit before wiping my glasses off.
"Okay," dad nodded, taking my mother's hand.
"Baby, I'll ride with Edward," mom said smiling at me, "We have things to talk about."
"See you there then," dad said confused.
She linked her arm through mine and we started to walk to my Volvo XC60. My siblings and Tanya teased me when I requested a Volvo for a car instead of a Porsche, Mercedes, or other high-end car. I even considered it. But once I read about the safety features on this Swedish beauty, my heart was captured.
"Edward, honey, I'm so happy," she said as I drove off. "I'm so proud. My son was valedictorian at Harvard. Your grandpa would be so proud, too," she smiled.
"Thank you, Mom," I replied. "You don't think he'd be disappointed because I'm not going into the family business?" I asked scared. I knew I could always count on my mother to tell the truth, even if it hurt.
"Sweetie," she laughed, "In case you haven't noticed, none of your siblings have shown any interest in it, either."
She was right. Alice went to school in New York for fashion while Emmett…well, he was just Emmett.
"It's just…don't you think at least one Cullen should…"
I was one of the heirs to let's say…a very popular company. Yet, none of us wanted to take the reins. If she asked, though, I'd drop med school and endure it.
"That's what your father's for," she interrupted me. "You should be excited. You're going to medical school to be a doctor," she grinned, looking out the window. We rode for a couple of seconds before she started laughing. "Only in this family would a child feel ashamed or guilty over going to med school," she shook her head and took my hand. "It's okay, Edward. You have better things to worry about. Tests, studies, dissections…"
"Marriage," I mumbled smiling.
If it had been possible, I would have sworn I felt my mother's hand go cold.
"What?" she deadpanned before slowly turning to me.
"I said marriage," I smiled. "You know I love Tanya, Mom," I giggled excitedly.
"Maybe after med school…and your residency…and…"
"Tonight," I confessed, pulling into the parking lot. "I'm gonna asked her tonight."
"With what ring?" mom asked, cocking her head to the side. "You know Emmett is first in line for Mama Masen's ring. He's the oldest…"
"I know," I nodded my head, going into my glove compartment to retrieve the small robin's egg blue velvet box. "I got it last week," I confided as she opened the box.
I had been planning on giving Tanya a new ring, anyway. When I had brought up my Mama Masen's ring to her a couple of months ago in conversation, she went on a ten-minute tirade about how ugly the ring was. Personally, I thought the ring was simple and elegant, but Tanya liked much more flashy and sparkly things.
"Oh," she said deflated.
"I'm sorry I didn't talk to you first," I sighed. "It's just that Emmett is in LA and Alice is in New York. Then, you and dad are in Connecticut. I feel like we never see each other. I wanted to tell you sooner."
"Oh," she said again, running her hand over her chest. "Don't you think you're a little young?" she asked, closing the box and handing it back to me. "You're only twenty-two years old," she reminded me, trying to smooth back a rogue piece of my hair.
"You and dad got married when you were twenty-three," I retorted quickly, taking some gel from my glove compartment to smooth out the hair.
"That was a different time," she replied just as quickly. "Things are different now. More is expected of young people nowadays. I just…"
"Mom," I interrupted, "I understand where you're coming from. I do. But I know what I want, okay? You always told me how smart I am. I don't think this is wrong. I love Tanya…like how Dad loves you. I want to spend my days with her," I said looking into her eyes. "Please, support me on this," I begged. "I already know Alice is going to tear me a new one when I tell her."
"Fine," she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I'll try," she smiled halfway before getting out of the car.
I looked at the clock to see that it's 5:05 PM. I felt horrible for making everyone wait for me. But, our conversation took longer than previously anticipated.
"Uncle Eddie!" Alexia screamed, running over to me. "I wanna sit by you. Okay?"
"Sure," I smiled at her and picked her up.
"Look what we have here," Uncle Alec joked, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. "The punctuality king made everyone wait a whole five minutes. You all right there, boy?" he asked, feeling my forehead.
"Yes, Sir" I smiled, sitting down. "Where's Tanya?" I asked.
"Uh…she'll be here, Eddie boy," Heidi said, looking out the window, most likely in search of her daughter.
"God forbid Tanya can't make it," Alice griped, handing Alexia a cookie.
I sat down and ordered a Coke while we waited for Tanya and Emmett to get here.
"Edward," Alec got my attention, "Why are you wasting your time going to med school when you have a job that any man would kill for right at your disposal?" he asked, taking a sip from his brandy.
"Alec," dad warned, shaking his head.
"We're all wondering that, actually," Heidi piped in. "I mean, you're a Cullen. I get why Emmett or Alice wouldn't do it. But…"
"What are you trying to say about Alice?" Jasper spoke up, his eyes staring daggers at Ms. Denali.
Jasper Whitlock was one of the most laid-back people I knew. He came from oil money in Texas. He met Alice when they went to the same prep school. I'd known him for the past five years. We got close when Alice got pregnant. He was practically family now. My niece couldn't have had a better father.
"Calm down, Whitty," Alec waved him off. "It's just that you're practically made for the job. I don't see why you're wasting your potential by becoming a doctor."
"Since when did becoming a doctor become wasting potential?" I asked astounded.
"Let's be honest, Edward," Heidi said, looking over the menu, "Being a doctor would be a sublime achievement…if you were middle class," she finished the sentence with an air of disgust. "However, don't you think it pales in comparison to being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Seven figure salary…corporate jet…private island…you know."
I loved Tanya. But I hated her parents.
"We're Cullen's," Alice accentuated our name. "That's guaranteed regardless of what occupation we have. We don't base our value as a family member on our job description," she said tightly through gritted teeth.
"Uncle Edward, what's an occupation?" Alexia whispered in my ear.
"It means a job, sweetie," I smiled at her. She nodded her head as if she was giving us the okay to complete our discussion.
"Can we not discuss this here?" dad asked sternly. "This is more of a private…family matter," he said sitting down.
"Gosh!" Alex rolled his eyes, finishing off his brandy, "All of this because of a damn question."
"I must have hit a nerve," Heidi raised an eyebrow.
"Pfft," Alice rolled her eyes. "As if you'd ever…"
"Uncle Emmy!" Alexia screamed, reaching her arms up for my brother. "Aunty Rose! Megan!"
"Lexi Bear!" my brother screamed as he started running in slow motion…complete with slow motion sounds.
"Run regularly," my niece giggled as she started to wave her arms at my other niece, Megan, who went to hug Alexia.
Emmett was my older brother. He was built like a mountain with the maturity of a kindergartner.
"Okay," he said as he scooped her up. "Hey, little Bro," he fist pounded me. "I heard the speech killed."
"We're sorry we couldn't make it, our meeting ran late," she said apologized as Em passes Alexia to her.
"It's okay," I said. You only graduated college for the first time once. What was the harm in missing it?
"Hey, Uncle Eddie!" Megan kissed my cheek. "Did you miss me? I missed you! Lots!" she said, hugging me neck.
"Of course," I hugged her back.
"Okay. I just wanted to make sure," she said before taking a seat on my lap next to Alexia.
"Emmett," Heidi purred. "Rose," she deadpanned.
"Heidi," Rose reciprocates the tone.
"Where's the food?" Em asked sitting down next to Rose. "I'm hungry as Hell."
"Emmett!" mom hissed, and Megan and Alexia started giggling.
"Children are here," Rose added before smacking his head.
"We haven't ordered yet," I told him, sipping some water.
"Tanya isn't here yet," Alice added.
"She's probably doing something important," I told Emmett.
"So? Let's order without her. It's been an hour and a half," Emmett complained.
"You just got here," I pointed out.
"I know. And, I thought there'd be food already present when we arrived," he retorted, looking at the menu.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Cullen?" a woman tapped my sister-in-law on the shoulder.
"Yeah?" Rose said, turning toward the woman.
"After I had my son, Colin, I did your Baby Butt Blaster tape twice a week for three months straight. It changed my life. I'm in better shape now than I was before the baby," she said, shaking Rose's hand. "Thank you."
"Oh, you're welcome," Rose smiled.
"And you," the woman pointed to Emmett, "My husband does your Monkey Man video. His abs are to die for," she grinned widely, shaking Emmett's hand. "Thanks."
"You're welcome," Emmett smiled. "We're glad it works for you."
Emmett and his wife, Rosalie, were what some would call fitness gurus. They had their own line of exercise tapes, workout equipment, power bars…you name it. Rose was called "The Skinny Bitch" and Emmett was called "The Monkey Man" in their promos. It had been pretty lucrative for them so far.
"We're having a get-together," Heidi sneered at the woman, "if you don't mind."
"Oh, I'm sorry," the woman apologized.
"I'll bet you are…" Heidi started.
"We're here," Tanya said as she entered with her two sisters in tow.
"Sweetie," I sighed, going up to greet her, but she stopped me.
"No, Edward! My nails are still wet," she whined, waving her hands to show her point.
"Oh, I'm sorry," I said, sitting down meekly.
"You're late, Tanya..." mom started.
"Sorry," she said dismissively, taking a seat next to me.
"You were late because you were getting your nails done?" Alice asked, shaking her head.
"It was the only time Henrique could squeeze me in. He's too amazing. I couldn't pass that up. Edward knows I'm sorry. Don't you?"
"Mhmm," I nodded my head.
"Then, I had to pick up Irina from her hair appointment. Then I…"
"Left Kate to rot at her apartment because you had to have us arrive as a threesome," Kate interrupted, rolling her eyes.
The Denali's, like the Cullen's, had three children. Irina was the oldest with jet-black hair and grey eyes like her father. She basically travelled for a living. I had no clue what she did. Tanya was the middle child, like me, and the spitting image of her mother. Then there was Kate, the youngest child and black sheep of the family. She was currently studying Art at Cornell and now had an entire arm full of tattoos and a piercing on her right eyebrow.
"Jesus, Kate," Heidi hissed, pulling her daughter's sleeve up. "Is that another one?" she asked in disgust.
"Yep," Kate said proudly, taking the piece of gauze off of her arm, "Just got it this week."
"Oh, shit," Alec mumbled before taking a sip from his flask.
"Wanna see?" Kate asked, walking around the table and showing us the newest addition to her artwork.
"Oh, my God, it's fabulous!" Alice giggled, some of her water spitting out of her mouth.
"Kate for the win!" Emmett laughed, taking a picture of the tattoo with his phone.
"Wow," I said dumbfounded when I got a chance to look at it.
It was a picture of the globe spinning on a woman's middle finger with the caption, "Fuck the World," written under it in script. It was definitely…Kate.
"How are you supposed to land a decent husband looking like that?" Heidi hissed, pointing to her tattoos.
"Yeah, that's my problem…because it's 1950," Kate rolled her eyes, making it back to her seat.
"Can you not sit next to me?" Tanya growled with a serious face and tone. "I don't want anyone to know that we share the same bloodline."
"Tanya!" Esme said shocked.
"She was just joking, Mom," I defended.
Not everyone got Tanya's sense of humor. What most people thought was her being mean was just her dry sense of humor so it came across as her being serious.
"Bitch," Kate spat, taking a seat next to Esme.
"Mrrreorw," I heard the unmistakable sound of Tanya's cat from her bag.
"Tanya," Alec shook his head, "Tell me you didn't…"
"Relax," she interrupted, putting her purse on her lap. "I couldn't leave her by herself. She'd get lonely," she cooed to Diva, her evil feline sidekick. Diva was a Siamese demon that hated everyone except Tanya. I would swear Tanya bought her a new jeweled collar every other week. I'd bought her a couple, too, because, well…Tanya asked me to. "Diva wants some filet mignon, maybe some caviar? Don't you, sweetie. Yes, you do. Then, Edward is gonna buy you that nice diamond collar you saw at Bloomingdales," she talked to the cat as it hissed and spat from the inside of her purse at me. "Won't you, sweetie?"
"Uh…okay," I shrugged my shoulder.
Being in my position, I had a lot of money. I didn't see anything wrong in spending it on behalf of the people I loved.
"Oh, God," Alice shook her head, while Jasper rubbed her arm.
"Alice," Irina said, pointing to my sister's purse, "I love that bag…it's to die for."
"Thank you," Alice smiled at the compliment. "It cost about as much as a vintage Barbie nowadays."
"I was waiting for you to bring that shit up," Tanya rolled her eyes as Diva hissed in Alice's direction.
"Excuse me, Ma'am," our server came to the table and tapped Tanya on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, but pets aren't allowed inside the restaurant."
"So…?" Tanya questioned incredulously.
"It has to go."
"She's not gonna shit on the table," Tanya waved the server off. "It's fine."
"I could get in…"
"Listen," Heidi interrupted smiling, "You look the other way and I'll give you a really big tip," she finished before Tanya turned around and put some water in a bowl for Diva to poke her head out and drink.
"A really, really big tip," she said raising her brow.
After that, we finally got to order. Dinner was a pretty quiet affair. No one really felt like talking after the food came. Once we were finished, mom ordered me away from the table so they could get my surprise in order.
I took the time to run to my car and get the ring from the glove compartment. I walked back up to the building to see Tanya standing outside talking on her phone.
"I'm almost finished. We're gonna cut the cake, then I'm outtie," she said, turning around to see me. "I'll pick you up later," she said awkwardly before hanging up.
"Who was that?" I asked, hugging her from behind and kissing her.
"Stop it, I just got my hair done today," she said, straightening her hair. "That was...um…my friend, Lauren. Yeah, she wants to hang later."
"Oh," I said, "Although, I'm not sure if you're gonna want to hang out after."
"Oh, I'm sure," she giggled, rolling her eyes.
"Okay," I held out my arm for her to take.
"Fine," she huffed, linking her arm through mine.
"Are you okay?" I asked her. "You aren't acting like yourself."
"I'm fine," she said as I begin to walk her to the door. "Actually…" she started again, separating herself from me, "I'm not fine."
"What's wrong?" I asked touching her head. "Are you sick? We can leave if you want, I don't really like parties. This was more for my mom, anyway," I offered.
"It's not that," she said, covering her eyes with her hands. "I just…I can't do this anymore," she groaned.
"Do what?" My fear increased with every second she didn't answer me.
"This…us," she said, waving her hand between us. "We need to see other people, Edward," she finished, looking away from me.
"I'm breaking up with you, Edward."
What? I couldn't be hearing this right. She wouldn't do this to me…not to me. I was her best friend. I loved her. She loved me. We were meant to be together.
"B-but…I-I love you…"
"I know," she interrupted. "That's what sucks about it."
"I d-don't understand, Tanya."
At this point, I saw that my glasses were fogging up and I felt the tears starting to run down my face.
"Fuck, don't cry," she reached a hand to pat my shoulder. "You're gonna make me feel bad."
"I-I-I c-c-can't help it," I whispered, willing the tears back. I didn't want everyone to see me cry. I'd do that in the privacy of my apartment. "We're Edward and Tanya. We've always been together."
"That's why," she told me, slowly backing away. "We've always been together. I want to experience different things…different people. Maybe after…"
"I don't want anyone else. I want you," I whimpered, walking forward. "Tell me what to do. I can make it better. I can be better," I tried to convince her. "Please, Tanya."
"Edward, don't beg," she backed away further. "I'm…I'm sorry," she said before turning and walking away, getting in her car and driving off…leaving me in the parking lot, heartbroken with a useless engagement ring in my pocket.
I leaned against the car nearest to me for God only knew how long and processed what had just happened.
Tanya had dumped me.
She didn't want me.
I was not good enough.
I would be alone forever.
"Edward?" I heard Alice come outside, looking for me. I must have been out here for a long time. "What are you doing out here? We're waiting on you guys. Emmett's gonna have the first cut of the cake if you don't come back soon," she added, walking to the parking lot and waving me over. "Where's the lovely Tanya?" she asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
At the mention of her name, I lost what resolve I had left and my shoulders began to shake with the sobs I'd been holding back for the past thirty minutes.
"Alice," I whimpered, covering my face with my hands to hide the shame and abandonment I was feeling.
"Edward?" she asked, coming closer. She came to stand in front of me. "That bitch" she said, reaching her arms out for a hug.
"Don't pretend like you aren't happy," I said as I shrugged my arms away from her. I didn't want her pity. She didn't even like Tanya, anyway.
"Edward?" I saw my mom come out to look at us. "What's wrong?" she asked frantically, moving faster to see what was bothering me. "Sweetie, what happened?"
Before anyone else could see the mess I'd become, I ran to my car, climbed in still sobbing, and drove away into the night.
It sucked getting dumped, didn't it? One time, an ex-boyfriend gave me a Kit Kat after he dumped me. It used to be my favorite candy bar. Now, I can't look at one without getting pissed off.
I hope you guys liked it. I'm not really good at writing sad stuff so I normally keep it to a minimum. Did I capture the pain of the breakup good enough? I wanted to set a little backstory about Edward, his family, and Tanya before I introduce Bella. We'll meet her next chapter. She's a little…different. I hope you like it. It's always hard starting something new.
*I promise I haven't forgotten how to be funny. I've been thinking of stuff for this for the past six months. I'll bring it*
What's the worst time you've been dumped…or dumped someone?
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