AN: This is the alternate end, the one where Jacob gets the girl.


Chapter 55 - Edward

The lifeless garden is a perfect counterpoint to the devastation within my soul. Cast aside, I can only contemplate the long, bleak years that lay ahead. Conquering the love of a child that most likely will never see me as a father figure ... Having to watch from afar while another man lives the life I coveted for myself ... Their marriage will forever rub salt on my wounds, but since I plan on becoming a permanent fixture in Alice's life, there is no way around it.

Although broken by her decision, my heart keeps beating. There is a part of me that still hopes for the best; that still nurtures dreams of love. Maybe somewhere down the line, I will meet a good woman who will love me as I deserve to be loved. Our story won't be ruined by deceit or be polluted with lies and we will be beautiful. And the image of this faceless woman is what prevents me from descending into hell.

I'm aware that I don't have the power to wish away the love I feel for Bella. However, I refuse to let it define my entire future. As I rise from the spot where she said her goodbye, my eyes don't linger on my desolate garden. They seek the horizon. For beyond the visible, lies the realm of hope, and that's where my heart needs to be.

Epilogue

5 years later

I can't stop fidgeting, for I feel as nervous as a new bride. This time around, I'm finally having the wedding all girls dream of, no stinky city hall or getting married in jeans. This is a Christmas ceremony, with snow and everything. I only hope that he shows up ... It's silly, since the past five years have been nothing short of heaven, but I still fear that he will give up on me one day.

My girls are giggling, obviously mocking their poor mother. I send them a glare and they respond by dissolving into fits of laughter. Fortunately, they have finally gotten to the age where they stopped fighting over silly things and became friends.

Charlie comes to collect me, and I clutch his arm for support. He looks at me worriedly, quietly inquiring if I'm all right. I just smile and shake my head. Sure I'm nervous, but also so, so happy. For at the end of the aisle, the love of my life stands beautiful and proud, just as he has always been.

The story of our love isn't perfect, but it all worked out in the end. Alice got to develop a deep relationship with her real father and keep the one she always had, with the man who raised her for eight years. Rosalie has taken everything in stride, she is direct and outspoken, but also pretty laid back, just like her father.

I'm almost at the altar when I spot him, Jacob. A pretty blond stands at his side, his right arm around her waist. Despite all the harm I've done to him, he still found it in his heart to come here and be happy for me. I only pray that he can find, with his new girlfriend, the type of love I share with my handsome groom.

But all thoughts of Edward flee from my mind, for it's time to get renew my vows with the man who owns my heart.