Chapter 10 – Decisions

Ten years ago


It's the seventh envelope I receive. I've been accepted to seven different Universities.

I always knew I would have the choice; I've studied hard enough for it, and my total absence of social life helped a lot focus on academics. I had nothing to distract me from studying: no friends, no parties, no girls.

The last acceptance letter I received is from Columbia. On top of being one the most prestigious schools in the country, it's also where my brother studies.

The conversation Jasper and I had last year and the pact we made never left my mind. Maybe he doesn't remember it; maybe he's too busy with studies, frat parties, and girls to remember the offer he made me. I'm not sure whether he was truly worried or only ashamed of me, which feeling urged him to make such a proposition, but I don't care where it came from. I haven't stopped pondering over it for months. I applied to Columbia and I'm considering going there partly for that reason. He could teach me how to live differently and to be confident.

I doubt I can ever be like Jasper, but my life has been miserable this past year and I wish it could take another turn. Using that as criteria to choose where to go to College isn't the smartest or more responsible decision, but it's worth considering it as a plus.

Jasper and I haven't talked almost at all these past few months. We never brought up the pact again, nor my obsession with Bella. My attraction to her has not faded; in fact, it's the opposite. The more I look at her, listen to her, the more I want to be with her.

We have a few classes together, and I'm often amazed by how smart she is. She still doesn't see me, though. I'm inexistent in her world, and I never find the courage in me to talk to her. Every time I pass by her in the hall, every time I sit next to her in class, the need to get her attention is burning me, but the words get caught in my throat. What could I possible say, anyway?

I lay down on my bed every night pretending that in an alternate universe I could be with her, I could have her. I imagine all sorts of scenarios in which she could be my girlfriend, in which I would be good enough for her.

In one of those recurring fantasies, I ask her to Prom and she says yes. I imagine driving to her house to pick her up, watching her walk down the stairs in a gorgeous black dress. We would dance and laugh, making all the other boys in school jealous of me for having such an amazing girl at my side. If I close my eyes, I can imagine the feeling of having her body close to mine, swaying from side to side, her tiny frame pressed against me with her hands holding on to my shoulders. In my mind, I can pretend that she's attracted to me, that she lets me put my hands on her waist and pull her even closer. That she lets me trace my lips close to her ear and whisper for her to follow me outside for some privacy; that she indeed follows. We would stop in a corner, hidden in the dark. I would push her against a wall, keeping my body flush against hers, and bend down to kiss her lips.

The vision only is getting me hard in a second and I can't refrain from sliding my hand inside my boxers. I stroke my cock as I imagine her mouth on mine, her tongue grazing mine, wet and warm, and her little moans of desire and need. I see myself touching her, roaming my hands all over her body, feeling her skin so soft on my fingertips. I move faster on my length as I'm lifting up her dress and ripping off her panties, her hands trembling with anticipation and eagerness as she undoes my pants. I feel my orgasm building up as I envision her body trapped between the wall and me, and my dick sliding inside of her over and over again. The image of her screaming my name in pleasure is what makes me come, as always.

My breathing slowly gets back to normal and the desperation creeps back inside of my chest. My alternate universe won't ever be a reality. I'm not taking her to Prom, Mike Newton is.

That jerk has been chasing after her all year. She refused to go to junior Prom with him last year, but he played the part of the gentleman well enough in front of her that she eventually caved. They've been dating for almost a month, and when he invited her to Prom again, she said yes. He will probably be the one fulfilling his fantasies with her and the mere thought of it makes my stomach churn.

The vague sensation of nausea never abates as the days pass. The entire school becomes very conscious that the year is almost over and we are all going to move to College next year. I overheard Bella say she was going to the University of Washington with Alice. Apparently, they don't want to be too far away from their families.

I haven't applied there. I don't want to base my decision on her, but seeing her every day on campus would be pure torture. I need to go away. I know this situation has to stop one way or another, and the outcome might be that I'll never see Bella again.

Panic overcomes me. If I don't find the courage to do it now, I will never have a conversation with her, I will never hear the sound of her voice directed at me, her eyes looking straight at me. I hide in a bathroom stall for a few moments to gather all my strength and think of an interesting topic I could discuss with her before I miss my chance, forever.

A group of boys cheering loudly interrupts my musings as they enter the bathroom. I recognize one of the voices instantly: Mike Newton.

"Seriously, guys, sweetest pussy I've ever eaten," he says and I hear them high-fiving each other.

My blood freezes in my veins, my heart stops. He must be talking about Bella.

"And those tits…just perfect. Almost as perfect as her mouth. She's talented."

His friends are cheering, whistling and I can't stand it. Before I can't ponder whether this is a good idea, I'm already out of my stall, facing Mike. His eyes are level with mine, an incredulous expression on his face. I struggle to keep my stare on him as Ben and Sam take position behind me, ready to grab me if I attempt anything. I don't stand a chance.

He chuckles, eyes me from head to toe and I instinctively shrink. Who am I kidding?

"You really are a loser, Cullen. Look at you. Don't you think I know about your little crush on Bella?" He asks and bursts out laughing, followed by his friends. "As if you could ever eat that sweet pussy."

I want to retort something smart but my mouth is sealed shut. I want to punch him in the face, but my body is too weak. If I touch him, I'll end up on the floor with bruises and a few teeth missing. Whatever I could say to try and defend Bella, he's going to pretend I'm only jealous, and it would be true. So I just walk away, storm out to my car and drive home.

I pace back and forth in my room, overwhelmed by the frustration of letting him talk about Bella so disrespectfully; by the humiliation of realizing that I was too weak to defend her. I never could have made him pay physically, my joke of a body is too frail. I couldn't even open my mouth knowing Newton's right, I could never get a girl like her.

Unless I learn how to be different.

Even though I doubt it's possible for me to change so drastically, I could at least try. I don't ever want to be powerless again, be laughed at without any chance of defending myself. I don't ever want to crush on a girl so hard and have no hope of being with her.

I pull out my phone and dial the number of the one person who could teach me how to be different, the only one who cared enough to even offer to help: my brother.

Jasper was right, living this way has never made me happy. I can't pretend any longer that the mockery didn't affect me all these years, that I could ever make my peace with who I am. The truth is I envy him; his confidence, his natural ease with people. I envy the lustful stares he gets from all the girls swooning over him. I never allowed myself to believe I could be more like him, I was too scared to try and fail. But now I desperately want to be that man.

"Hi, brother," he says as he picks up. "What a nice surprise! How are you doing?"

"Hi, Jasper…um…I wanted to talk to you about something," I answer nervously.

"Sure, what's up? Something wrong? I mean, more than usual…"

"Do you remember the conversation we had last year about-" I start but he doesn't let me finish my sentence.

"Of course I do. I've been waiting for your call."

I pause for a second, my heart accelerating in my chest. Not only does he remember his proposition, but apparently the offer still stands. I have a real chance at starting a new life.

"Well, I got into Columbia," I state more assuredly.



"So I just heard the craziest rumor on my way here," Alice says as we make our way through the hall.

"Which is?" I ask. Rumors being spread are certainly not uncommon in our school, and Alice is always eager to repeat them to me so we can laugh about it. Yet this time, her tone of voice has an edge to it, and it makes me curious.

"Apparently, you slept with Mike," she continues before bursting into a fit of laughter.

"What?" I almost screech. "I knew I should have broken up with him before the stupid rumors began."

"Bella, who do you think started it?" She raises an eyebrow.

I look at her in surprise before realizing that it is in fact completely Mike's type to start such a rumor. I've thought about breaking up with him for almost a week but haven't found the right time. I should have done it before, even though it wouldn't have stopped him from spreading that lie.

"Jerk!" I mutter.

"If it makes you feel any better, he said you were great," she says, laughing again.

"Thanks for your support," I reply in mock annoyance and she just blows me a kiss.

"So, are you going to break up with him, now?" She asks.

"Yes, right now. Where the fuck is that asshole?"

We keep walking, scanning every corner and open door we pass by, hoping to stumble upon Mike.

"You know, this shit would've never happened when Jasper was still here. He wouldn't have allowed it. At least, he wasn't the type to fuck and tell, and the few things he divulged were true."

"Are you seriously taking Jasper as the example to be followed because he actually did sleep with the entire school?" I ask incredulously.

"Not the entire school…" she says bitterly. Indeed, apart from me, she must be the only girl here Jasper never had sex with. Being so insanely in love with him, she felt more left out than jealous that he never showed any interest in her.

He left for College last year but even without having him around every day, Alice is still as obsessed with him as she was before. I'm sure if her family had enough money, she would have gone to Columbia only for the remote chance of catching sight of him across campus.

"Jasper was a manwhore," she continues, always eager to defend him and his steamy reputation, "but he never lied about it, never pretended to be someone he wasn't. And he never talked about those girls disrespectfully. I think it's way better than Mike not being man enough to actually sleep with you and then make up a rumor at your expense to pretend he did."

"Ok, I see your point, I guess. But Al, eventually you're going to have to stop thinking about Jasper as the perfect man. You have to stop thinking about him, period."

"I know," she says sadly. "I missed my chance. There's no point still being hung up on him, right?"

I put my arm around her shoulders as we walk, trying to comfort her. It saddens me seeing her so convinced she lost the man of her dreams, even though I don't understand how she could believe he was, in the first place.

"How about you can talk about him all you want as long as we're in this school. Get it out of your system now, and once we're in College, you forget him and move on, for real."

She eyes me for a second, her expression swaying from shocked to worried, until I can see in her stare that she knows it's for her own good.

"Deal," she agrees, and a mischievous glint flashes in her eyes. I know her and that look well enough to understand instantly that she will take my offer to the letter. She takes a deep breath as she's probably about to launch herself in a three-hour long monologue about Jasper without even taking another breath. We approach the bathroom and before she has time to let out a sound, the door is slammed open and Jasper's brother Edward comes out.

His head is hanging low, a frown on his forehead, his eyes furious. He storms past us without so much as a glance and walks out of the building. Alice and I stand there speechless for a second and the door opens again. Mike, Ben and Sam walk out laughing loudly. As soon as they notice us, they settle down and stop in front of us.

"Hi, girls. How are you?" Mike asks casually.

"What happened in there?" Alice retorts.

"With Nerdward? Nothing. Not my fault if the guy doesn't have a sense of humor," he says and his friends chuckles behind him.

"You really should leave him alone. What has he ever done to you?" I ask annoyed. I may have laughed a couple of times about a joke at Edward's expense, but I never truly understood the need for Mike and his friends to pick on him constantly. At this very moment, I can't remember what reasons I had to accept to date him.

He rolls his eyes at me without answering the question and tries to pull me closer.

"Do you want me to drive you home, Bells?" His tone is suggestive, almost crass, and I want to vomit.

"No, thanks," I answer coldly, pulling away from him. "You and I are done."

"What? Why?" He almost yells, disconcerted and visibly worried about what his friends will think, and tell. It takes me all of two seconds to come up with the best come back I can think of, given the circumstances.

"Your penis is too small, sorry," I reply matter-of-factly, making Ben and Sam chuckle again.

Alice bursts out laughing and grabs me by the elbow to leave, as Mike stands there speechless. We exit the building still laughing only to see Jasper's brother in his car speeding out of the parking lot, the tires screeching on the pavement.

A/N: This chapter is a little shorter, but I'm doing the best I can to update more often, so... I hope you like it anyway!

Thank you so much for still following this story, and also the others I wrote. I had a lot of new followers these past weeks so I guess I must have been rec'ed somewhere... whoever did that: big kisses and hugs and I love you !

This chapter wasn't very smutty, so to show how much I'm sorry, if you leave a review and tell me where/how you'd like E&B to have steamy sex, I'll write it into the next chapter ;)
(I'll choose the most recurring answer)