Growing up together in Chicago in the early 1900s, Edward Anthony Masen and Isabella Marie Swan knew they were going marry each other one day. They stuck together through thick and thin, even distance could not break their bond. In hopes of finally winning over Chief Swan, Edward goes off to war to prove himself. Promising to wait for him, Bella eagerly awaits his return. Unbeknownst to them—and miles apart—the two were saved from Death's door by vampires who changed them. Ninety years later their paths cross, can they find what they though they have lost forever?
Canon characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. OCs and plot is all mine and all that copyright jazz.
Chicago, Spring 1915
"Charles, I do believe your daughter is a better piano player than my boy, and it seems to have upset him greatly." By my father's tone, he sounded greatly amused by this, and it did little to dampen my ire. Ever since Bella upstaged me at last week's Piano Recital, people had been making all sorts of ridiculous statements. I was not mad at Bella but irate at those who went out of their way to tease me about losing to a girl. I was especially livid that everyone thought I was mad at Bella. On the contrary, I was mad at myself for slacking so much during lessons. I was quite proud of my best friend because I knew how hard she practiced for that recital. My mother was our piano teacher, and while I slacked off during lessons or played baseball with my friends, Bella practiced dutifully. What type of friend would I be if I begrudged Bella her hard won success? I did avoid her for a few days because my ego was wounded; after all, no one likes to lose, even to their best friends.
"Do you think the children will finally have a falling out?" Mr. Swan's voice tapered off as he took a sip of his brandy. I did my best to bite my tongue so they would not know that I was eavesdropping from my perch in the tree. Bella and I were the best of friends; a little argument would not change our relationship. As babies—according to our mothers—we were inseparable. As we grew, we learned that it was not socially acceptable for men and women to be so close. I accepted the rules but found that they did not apply to us. Bella and I were more than social mores. In public, we kept our polite distance because our families hated being talked about, but everyone knew the Masens and Swans often hosted dinner parties for one another; that was where Bella and I spent our time together.
"I doubt it. The way our wives look at them when we dine is a telling sign we have a big wedding to pay for in our future. My dear Elizabeth is keen to lock me out of the room if I suggest anyone else for Edward. I'm sure your Renee is the same." Bella's father nodded at my father's statement. Our mothers had been talking about our wedding since we were children, and most of the people who knew us, knew that we were going to be wed one day. The idea of my father arranging another marriage for me, even as a joke between him and Bella's father, made my heart pound violently in my chest.
"I know that everyone thinks that they are going to be married one day, but do you not think that they are too young? So many things can happen. By the time Bella has her debutante party, Edward is sure to be a faded memory." The bloody hell I would be, I wanted to shout at Bella's father. I always had the feeling that he did not like me or approve of me. I did not know why, as I was the perfect student, the perfect gentleman. I played great baseball. Bella's mother, Renee, adored me, and that is what really mattered. I knew, deep down inside, that if I wanted to marry Bella, I would have to win over her father, or he would never let me propose to her.
My father turned to face Mr. Swan. "Charles, I cannot shake the suspicion that there is something you have been avoiding telling me. You have been rather odd for weeks now; is there something wrong? Did my son do something?" Bella's father swallowed hard, obviously choosing his words carefully. All of a sudden, I felt my stomach knot up. I could not see Mr. Swan's face, but my whole body grew tense. He was going to say something that was going to change my life. It was as if I could read his thoughts and knew, just knew that what was coming was not good. I leaned over the branch I was on, staring down at them as I waited for Mr. Swan to speak.
"Now, you well know that your son is perfect; too perfect, actually. I admit that I have tried to find a reason to reproach him, but it is hard when the child is so well behaved. It is hard having a daughter. I know you and your wife really wanted one, but they can be a handful. Just thinking about Bella growing up, of suitors attempting to court my daughter, drives me crazy."
My father laughed. "Suitors, Charles? We well know that my son has no competition. I am certain that our wives would faint if Bella allowed anyone but Edward to court her."
"You would be right if my girl had her debutante season here. Things I did not have to previously ponder about her growing up consume my thoughts now, driving me to distraction. You Masens are very observant. I have been acting oddly but with good reason. You know that promotion that I have been pursuing at work? Well, I got it; I have to relocate the family to New York this summer."
Mr. Swan's words were like a punch to my gut. Bella moving away? Impossible! Unable to keep my grip, I lost my balance, hitting my head hard on a thick branch before I landed awkwardly on my left arm. I heard the snap and knew my arm was broken. The pain that radiated from my injuries was nothing akin to the one that bloomed in my chest. I knew I was going to be severely punished, but I did not care.
"No, Mr. Swan, Bella cannot leave!" I cried out as my dad leaned over me, worry and anger twisting his features, before the pain of my injuries finally dragged me into unconsciousness.
It took all of my strength to remain seated in the Masens' sitting room as Dr. Carlisle Cullen treated Edward in his room. I was alone in the room for now, and I let my thoughts wander over the many things that had transpired today.
The news that my family was moving to New York in the summer broke my heart when my father informed me while I had breakfast. With such horrible news to start my day, I did not expect my day to be any better. I loved Chicago, I loved Grant Park in the summer, and I loved my best friend Edward. I begged my father at breakfast to let me be the one to tell him, and he agreed. The rest of the morning, between bouts of wanting to throw a tantrum, I practiced sounding cheerful at the prospect of exchanging mail and weekly phone calls in lieu of our daily chats. From what I gathered from the conversation I had with my father, he would be breaking the news to Mr. Masen this afternoon while Edward was off in the park playing baseball, and I would be at my biweekly piano lesson.
By midafternoon, I was only half-heartedly listening to Mrs. Masen as she tried to teach me the third movement of Debussy's Suite bergamasque. "Oh, Isabella, dear, you have to focus! You are making the same mistakes we covered last week. It is like you are not here at all!" I looked down at my hands, unable to look up at her. I was ready to apologize when the door leading to their backyard was thrown open and in came Mr. Masen with an unconscious Edward in his arms.
In a panic, Edward's mother left me to my devices as she called for a doctor. The wait seemed eternal, but Dr. Cullen came and quickly went to work on Edward. A broken left arm and a nasty bump on his head were the sum of Edward's injuries as a result of him falling out of tree in his parents' garden. I quickly put two and two together and reasoned that Edward fell after he overheard our fathers talking about the move to New York. The shock of the news must have startled him and led to his fall.
I was so consumed by my thoughts that I did not see or hear Mrs. Masen return to the sitting room and sit beside me. Having been caught unawares, I blushed scarlet as I gave her my full attention. "Dr. Cullen has set Edward's broken arm and assures us that he will be fine. The doctor wants to give Edward a sedative, but he refuses to take it until he sees you. Would you like to go upstairs and see him?"
I nodded eagerly, relieved that my friend would be okay. I started to make my way out of the room when Mrs. Masen pulled me into a tight, fierce hug. "Oh, child, the world is a strange place, but do not be sad. I have always known since the day I met you that you were meant for my son. Someway, somehow you two will be reunited." I envied the way she managed to inject positivity to any situation. "Go on, honey, he's waiting." Giving Mrs. Masen the best smile I could muster, I made my way upstairs toward Edward's room.
I took many deep, calming breaths standing just outside his room, trying to fortify myself before seeing Edward. Dr. Cullen opened the door wide, and I took a moment to take in how much his room had changed since I last saw it. Gone was the big trunk of stuffed toys we would play with for hours as our mothers sat nearby and chatted on days the weather did not permit us to go outside. Edward's personal piano swallowed a good portion of his room, and there were some compositions strewn about on a desk. He had just taken up writing original pieces himself.
"Hey! Guess what, Bella? I fell out a tree!" Edward's attempt at a joke did not quite reach his eyes. My best friend looked horrible; the lump on the side of his head looked terrible and I winced, wondering how he was still conscious. Mr. Masen held out the chair he had just vacated for me and placed it closer to the bed.
Sitting down, I took Edward's good hand between my own. "Of course you did. You may have the face of a monkey, but you are not one," I replied trying my best to make light of the situation.
"Edward, Isabella, given today's events I will give you two some time to discuss things. Isabella, dear, no matter what Edward says, please do not let him stay up longer than he has to. I will be waiting outside; just let me know when you two are done," Mr. Masen said as he slipped quietly out of the room. Now that it was just the two of us, the tears I had valiantly attempted to keep at bay all day flowed freely, and the six words that I had chanted in my head all day burst out of me in a rushed sob.
"I do not want to leave!" I said, crying hysterically.
"I do not want you to go!" Edward replied, gripping my hand.
I was crying so hard that I was momentarily blinded. Gasping for air, I pulled my hand out of his to brush away my tears. "Oh, Edward, boys are not supposed to cry," I said taking liberties and brushing his tear stained cheek with the back of my right hand.
"They do when they're in pain," he replied, reaching out for my hand again and lacing our fingers together. "My arm and head hurt something awful, but it is nothing compared to the pain of the thought of losing you."
"You will never lose me! We have all spring left and maybe early summer. I do not exactly know when my father is relocating, but I imagine a move like this takes months to plan. When I move, we can write, and maybe our parents would let us call each other once a week," I said eagerly, trying my hardest to put a positive face on the situation.
"It would not be the same, Bella." He sounded so sad that fresh tears stung my eyes, but I steeled myself against them. I had always been the cool, logical one growing up. Edward was too, but only when he wanted to be. He could be so mercurial sometimes.
"I know, but at least we will still be able to keep in touch. That has to count for something right?" He grimaced as he tried to turn over in his bed, and I was tempted to call for his father. From my position, the lump on his head looked vicious and painful.
"No, please do not call my father. I do not want to sleep. Bella, I want to stay up talking with you," Edward whispered. "I keep telling myself that this is a bad dream, and I will surely wake up. If I go to sleep—if I sleep—then this is real. I desperately wish this is a bad dream."
"I do, too," I replied. "However, I really should go and let you rest, Edward." He whined, muttering something incomprehensible. It was clear to me that his injuries were bothering him, and that was my cue to leave. Reaching out, I brushed his hair away from his face and winced again at the lump that only seemed to have grown since I came in. I could feel Mr. Masen's presence just outside the room, and if I didn't end this session soon, he would. "We have to be brave," I said, letting go of his hand. "I have to go, but I will return after school tomorrow and, hopefully, I can get Nellie to bake you some get-well sweets." Looking over my shoulder to make sure his father was not looking into the room, I leaned over Edward and pressed a quick kiss against his temple, before turning quickly to leave.
"Of course you can come see him tomorrow," Mr. Masen said as he walked me down the street to my residence. He had stayed within earshot of Edward's room while I talked with his son. After all, it was highly indecent for a girl to be left alone with a boy who was not a relative without supervision. "In fact, you are welcomed over anytime you want for the next few weeks while Edward heals and serves his punishment." I bit my lip at his proclamation, thinking that it was highly unfair given today's events. Mr. Masen stopped, and I looked up to see we were already at my front door.
"He was eavesdropping on a conversation that was not meant for his ears, Bella. Edward's fall is a direct result of his misdeed, and while we should all be thankful that he is not worse for wear, what he did needs to be addressed. His punishment, therefore, is not unwarranted." I wanted to stand up for my friend, but it was difficult to come to his defense. "Oh, Isabella, your face is an open book. I know you think it is unfair that Edward is going to be punished, but what he did was a gross violation of privacy."
Having safely escorted me home, Mr. Masen informed my parents that I was welcomed over to see Edward during his recovery before departing. I sat through supper in a haze, picking at my food and deep in my own thoughts. Excusing myself early, I quickly bathed and retired to my room. Alone, the cool bravado that I had shown for Edward's benefit finally faded and hot tears burned a path down my cheeks as I clutched the giant stuffed bear he had won for me last summer at the carnival. I tried to fight off sleep, but it finally claimed me. I knew that tomorrow was the beginning of the end.
:Waves: Welcome to my new story. It has been a long, long time since I've written a story. The end of the movie franchise has made me nostalgic and that sentiment turned to giving writing a story another go. I'll like to thank the awesome folks at Team Project Beta for their awesome work. In regards to the story, it is going to be a slow burn, I hope you like it. Reviews are always welcomed & I'll try my best to reply to them in a timely fashion.