LONGEST CHAPTER SO FAR!
Disclaimer: I don't. Stephenie does.
To wake up with unread text messages is not unusual for Bella, but to find five (all from the same person) and a missed call is something she's never encountered. As well as the messages from Edward, there was also one from her close friend, Jasper.
8:47 – Hi.
9:03 – American Chopper isn't on this morning.
9:07 – I'm watching Spiderman.
9:28 – I paused Spiderman. Eating Fruit Loops now.
9:42 – 1 Missed Call
9:59 – Do you not want to talk to me?
"Oh, shit." She groaned, exiting out of Edward's messages and going to Jasper's. His read: 9:13 – Hey Bell, are we still on for meeting at 1st beach later? "Oh, double shit!" Not only had she slept through her alarm and, in the process, sent Edward into a complete state of worry, but she had also forgotten about her plans with Alice and Jasper when she had made plans with Edward. If Bella told Edward that she was meeting her friends, he would automatically think that she didn't want to be with him, which is far from the truth, and so she either had to let him down gently…or see if he wanted to join Bella, Alice and Jasper… Either way, she had a major challenge on her hand.
First things first, Bella replied to Jasper's text and briefly asked if they would mind Edward tagging along. He replied whilst she was shoving on the first clothes her hands grabbed.
10:31 – That's fine with us, Bells. As long as he's comfortable with it.
Fortunately, Jasper was in the same course as Bella, which meant he had had experience and, unlike some people, he doesn't shy away from those who society views as 'different'. His girlfriend, Alice, is the sort of person who makes everyone welcome in whichever scenario they are in.
Next on her list of things to do, Bella typed out a rapid response to Edward at the same time as getting herself ready to leave the house.
10:36 – I'm so sorry, Edward, I slept through my alarm and only just woke up! I'm about to leave now… if you still want me to come over?
10:37 – Yes.
Within fifteen minutes, Bella was parked outside the Cullen house and had spotted Esme waving happily from the kitchen window; she returned the gesture when heading to the front door, which had been left unlocked. Thankfully there was no sign of Edward when Bella entered; this gave her time to speak to Esme privately. Together, they discussed Bella's idea about meeting Jasper and Alice etc. and Esme saw no problem with it, just as long as Edward felt comfortable.
"He has a tendency to sprout out all the facts he knows when he's nervous, so you can keep that in mind. But apart from that I think it would be great for him to meet new people his age."
Edward was sitting cross legged on his bed when Bella went in. He had something on his lap – an iPad? – Bella couldn't tell what it was for certain, but Edward was busy playing a game on it, sliding his finger up or down the screen and occasionally moving the devise from side to side.
"Good morning, Edward. I'm so sorry I slept through your phone call and messages this morning." Edward ignored everything she was saying and continued to play this game, so she tried another tactic. "What game are you playing?"
"I've never played that, is it good?" Their conversation ended, because Edward only nodded.
It took an additional fifteen minutes for Bella to get Edward away from his game, but even then he wasn't cooperating. She didn't want to be cruel and forceful, but she had plans to meet friends and if Edward wasn't going to cooperate then he can just stay at home and play his game.
"Hey, Edward, I have plans to meet my friends today and -."
"But…I thought I am your friend."
"And you are! But I have other friends too, and I was going to go to the beach today to meet them. Would you like to come along with me?"
Bella had not expected for him to agree so quickly, or at all! "Really? Oh, that's great. They are really nice so I'm sure you'll like them."
"What are their names?"
"Jasper and Alice." Edward was now sitting on the edge of his bed, playing with the draw string of his sweat pants (the ones he always wears) and kicked his bare feet against the bed frame. "But if you want to go you'll need to get ready now. So can you put some socks on, please?"
Like before, Edward ignored Bella's question and paid more attention to his swinging feet. When Bella passed him some thick, white sport socks Edward flew out in an unnecessary rage, "I don't like those ones, stupid!"
Bella put her knowledge back to good use – stay calm and talk them through it. "Then can you tell me which ones you do like?" No answer. "Edward, how am I meant to know if you don't tell me?"
"Argh!" He groaned, falling back onto his bed and then flipping over so he lay face down.
"If this is about your socks -,"
Plugging his ears with a finger, Edward transformed into a four year old, ignoring what anyone said. "La-la-la-la-la…"
For the first time, Bella was completely boggled. Yes, he wasn't paying any attention when playing his game, but she knew that the attention span of an Autistic child/person when they are already engrossed in something is zilch. But what she didn't understand is why he would flip out so suddenly, when everything was going pretty well?
"I want my mom." She barely heard his quiet voice but thankfully she did – you wouldn't want to ask them twice when in this attitude.
Once Esme came into the room, Bella took a back seat role and observed how different Edward was around his mother. It was like nothing had happened and that Bella had imagined his fit not five minutes ago. Paying more attention to their conversation, Bella heard Esme giving Edward two choices.
"You can go out and have a lovely day with Bella and her friends, or you can stay here and play in your room. Now, which one would you like to do?"
Edward whispered his answer too quietly for Bella to hear, but Esme encouraged him to speak a bit louder. "I want to…I-I want to…stay…with you…Bella."
"And that is absolutely fine with me, Edward, but you can't go in bare feet, can you?" He shook his head, "how about I go to the bathroom and see if you can put on your socks and shoes before I return?" Eager for a challenge, Edward bounded off his bed and raced to his sock drawer, determined to beat Bella in her little challenge.
Edward was standing proudly and ready to go when Bella came back through. "I won! I won!" He cheered, doing a little dance in excitement.
They finally left the house almost an hour after Bella first arrived.
"I like my car better…" Edward admitted, inspecting Bella's ancient truck and pulling at bits of metal that were hanging off and picking at the tufts of wool coming from the leather seats.
"A lot of people prefer their car to mine." Bella wasn't offended by his direct feelings on her Chevy, she knows that he never lies and wouldn't ever sugar-coat what he's feeling.
"Next time we can take my car because I don't like it in here."
"You're perfectly safe."
Bella hoped that would soothe his worrying, but Edward continued to ridicule her without even knowing so. "My car was brand new when we bought it."
'Well, we're not all made of money' is what she wanted to say, but, of course, she didn't.
"That's because you're lucky enough to have parents who can provide you with gifts like that."
"Does your dad not have enough money for a brand new car like mine?"
"If he had to, he could afford to buy a new car, but when I was growing up he put money towards my college tuition and so there wasn't enough to buy one first hand."
"Can we stop talking now, please?" This is something that Edward does when he wants to be quiet for a while; he'd cover his ears and close his eyes; slowly calming back to a peaceful state.
Bella thought it was the best thing he had said during the whole journey.
It had been a couple of weeks since Bella had left her college room she shares with Alice and Jasper, they all embraced in an awkward three-way hug with the occasional squeal coming from Alice. Bella instantly remembered Edward was standing right behind them and prayed that he didn't get upset over the chemistry she has with other people when he doesn't have a friendship like this with anyone.
"Edward," She turned with a smile on her face, "these are my friends Alice and Jasper." She pointed to each in turn.
"You didn't have to tell me, because Jasper is a boy name, so obviously the girl wouldn't be called Jasper."
"No, sorry, I was only making sure you remembered their names."
Edward gave Bella another incredulous look, "why would I forget their names? You told me when I was at my house and I have a really good memory."
Sensing Bella's struggles, Jasper decided to jump in and save her from anymore slip-ups. "Hey, it's great to meet you, Edward." He didn't put his hand out to shake, or slap Edward's shoulder, only because he knew how touchy some can get about contact with a stranger, it turned out that Edward was too shy to even look in their direction, only in Bella's.
"Hi…" He whispered, rubbing his hands together with obvious nerves.
"If you want to go home at any point you just have to say, okay?"
The four friends casually strolled along the beach shore, skimming stones on the water surface and kicking at pieces of driftwood which decorated the area. Alice and Jasper were doing a great job at attempting to make Edward feel at ease, but he never broke free from his panicky shell. When Alice asked him what he liked to do Edward just shrugged and either nodded or shook his head when she mentioned different hobbies and asked if he enjoyed them.
All were stunned however the minute Edward began to talk without even being asked a question. "It's my birthday soon, Bella."
Bella couldn't have been more proud of him – he overcame his fear and spoke about something personal with two people he still sees as strangers. "Is it? When is your birthday?"
"Um, June twentieth – it's in thirty-one days and on a Wednesday and I was born at 7:04pm so I won't be twenty until 7:04pm, but I was born on that day and so we celebrate it all of that day."
"Wow, that's not very long at all."
"Will you come to birthday party?"
"I'd love to! I'd need to remember to get something special as your present then." Bella had never seen a smile so bright on his face, and seeing that reaction and knowing she caused it did some strange things with her heart.
"I think it's funny that I'm twenty on the twentieth."
She chuckled lightly, "it is a funny coincidence. I was thirteen on the thirteenth."
Edward laughed, "I like days like that. When is your birthday, Bella?"
"September thirteenth," she replied with a smile, mainly because he had just laughed and that sound beats any other.
"Okay, I'll get you a present. Second thing -,"
"Oh Bella, I have to tell you!" Alice completely cut Edward off from talking, but continued to babble her excited nonsense. She also ignored the disapproving look from Jasper. "Guess who I saw the other week…"
"Um…I don't know, who?"
"Derek!" Alice shrieked, clapping her hands and tapping her Ugg-covered feet.
"Yes! Remember he was the guy we met at that party? You took his wine off him and he slapped your ass then tried to get you up to his apartment?"
Unfortunately Bella remembers that night and, regrettably, the drunken moves she played on…Derek.
"And? He probably doesn't even remember me, Al'."
"Oh, I think he does. Well, he remembered me anyway, and kept on passing over strange looks, clearly seeing if you were with me or not. Girl, why don't you just date him?"
Bella didn't have the time to answer, because Edward stormed up off the driftwood log they were all perched on. "Can I go home now?"
"Are you okay?" Asked Bella, worried at his apparent anger.
"I want to go home."
"Um, okay, okay. Do you two want to follow us and once I've dropped Edward home we could go for something to eat?" That was what they agreed on and turned to see Edward was already heading towards the truck with his head down and feet scuffing away at the sand.
Bella waited until they were in the privacy of her truck, just the two of them, before asking Edward on his sour mood.
"I don't like your friends." He mumbled, finding interest in picking at his thumb nail.
She hated hearing that, her hope was that he could have found two extra friends, but something obviously pissed him off. "I'm really sorry that you didn't enjoy yourself. Can you tell me why you don't like them?"
"'Cause I don't like them."
With anyone else she would have replied with, 'but that isn't a reason'. "Was it because Alice stopped you from saying something?"
"No! I just don't like them, okay?! You're so stupid…"
"Edward you can't call someone stupid for not understanding something."
"Yeah but you're still stupid. I don't even want to be your friend anymore."
Bella gasped and her eyes glazed over with tears; that was the last thing she imagined Edward to say, especially in a malice tone like that. "What did I do wrong?"
Just like when he wanted peace and quiet, Edward covered his ears and blocked out the world. He didn't move until the truck came to a stop outside his house.
"Please tell me what I did wrong…"
"Nothing, I just don't want to be your friend. I need to talk to my brother now."
"Okay well…I'll see you -." Edward slammed the truck door and walked away, clearly not interested in anything she had to say.
Bella managed to hold back her tears until she was in the comfort of her friends, where she sobbed until her eyes stung from tears.
Edward knocked timidly on Emmett's bedroom door and rubbed at his teary eyes.
"Hey man, why are you crying?" Emmett asked, allowing his brother inside and pressing pause on his Xbox game.
"I don't feel good."
"Okay, fire away."
"I don't want to be friends with Bella anymore and that is why I don't feel good."
"Right, and why don't you want to be friends?"
"Alice told Bella (Alice is her friend, and the other one was called Jasper), Alice told Bella that she saw someone the other day, Bella said 'who?' and Alice said 'Derek!' And Alice said he touched Bella's butt a lot and she said 'girl, why don't you date him.' So I don't want to be her friend anymore, 'cause she has her friend Derek who touches her butt a lot and I don't want to touch her butt a lot."
Emmett's eyes grew wide. "Dude! You're so totally jealous! And it's obvious you want to do her."
Edward didn't understand, "do her what?"
"You wanna bone her, man!"
"Bone? Like dogs bones?" Why was Emmett difficult to understand all the time?
"No…right, let me explain it better. If Bella became boyfriend and girlfriend with his guy would you feel good or bad?"
Edward didn't even have to think of the answer. "Bad."
"Exactly. That is because you are jealous and would rather she was your girlfriend and not his."
Edward ignored that and began another approach to his problem. "You know how you're boyfriend and girlfriend with Rosalie?"
"Um…is that…um…because you…wanted to have…sexy with her?"
"Hell yeah, man! Are you saying you want to do the same with Bella?"
"No…but…well…I don't know."
Emmett put his hands out, "let's start from the beginning again. You don't want Bella to be dating this Derek guy and you felt bad when her friend -."
"Right, when Alice mentioned that they should date, and you're not sure if you want to bang her – I mean, have sexy with her. Dude, it's pretty damn obvious that you want her to be your girlfriend."
Did this make Edward feel good or bad? He couldn't tell. He liked the idea…but he didn't like everything.
"I suggest you tell Bella you're sorry and that you still want to be here friend and then slowly turn her into your girlfriend."
Edward agreed with his brother simply because he didn't want to talk anymore.
However that evening, after playing Temple Run and making his new high score 1,267,821, we tapped on the Google Chrome app and found himself typing in the words 'How to get a girlfriend.'
My sister has tantrums because of socks just like Edward did and she has literally spent the last two weeks in her pyjamas… "I've not got school tomorrow, Rose" is her excuse.
Derek is real! Sadly, the whole story from Alice is mine after getting pretty drunk at the pub…
Edward's high score on Temple Run is my sister's; I literally just copied it off her iPod.
I have jumped back onto the bandwagon and am back on Instagram! If you're an Instagramer then follow me and I'll do the same back :) (rosiewrites)
If I can get to 150 reviews I'll update on Monday! I'm sure we all wanna see Edward workin' the charm ;)