"Isabella." She whispered temptingly against my mouth; her delicate arms were clinging around my neck possessively. I unconsciously shivered at the sound of her voice. It felt so surreal having to hear my name uttered seductively by those sexy lips. "Kiss me." Electricity and fire all came rushing through every fiber of my flesh as her warm, stimulating breath had, once again, moistened my lips. My mouth slightly parted, ready to devour her hungry ones. I opened my eyes, a satisfied smile formed my lips at the incredibly breathtaking sight. Her look were undeniably captivating and erotic. She was looking at me ardently; her gaze was burning; it was so alive and intense. I could clearly see my bare soul in those hot, penetrating orbs. Closing my eyes again, I pressed my lips against hers, already getting lost by the softness and the ecstatic feeling of her cool lips. Her hands leisurely moved around my body, exploring every part and inch of it. "I want you." She said shortly after breaking off the kiss.
Opening my eyes, I smiled. "I want you, too, Alice."
I opened my eyes at once; my heart was pumping so hard that I felt my insides quaked with my heartbeat. All I could hear was the strong, erratic throb in my chest. The tingles I got from my dream were still proudly lingering on my skin. The heat in me was suffocating. I could literally feel the gust of blood rushed to every vein of my body. Even with the intenseness of the dream, I felt so exhausted as though all of my strength and energy were sucked out of me. I could not even move my fingertips; I could hardly breathe.
I stared at the white ceiling blankly, thinking about the same exact dream that haunted me for days. That started on the night Alice drove me home, four days ago. The same night that I had discovered something in me, something undesirable to begin with. I sighed, shutting my eyes tight. I didn't want to imagine. I didn't want to remember. I didn't want to think. I didn't want this feeling, not a bit. But why did it feel so good? Deep inside me cherished it more than I actually despised it. I groaned loudly on my bed, desperately wanting to dispatch the inappropriate thought away, far away from this world; so far away where Quinn could not hear my thoughts. I would be damned if that would happen.
Why? Why is this happening to me of all people? I had been nothing but good and faithful to the girl I had loved, to the only girl I should have feelings for. This is so wrong. So, so wrong.
It was as if everything within me was revived from the netherworld. It had been three days since I last saw her.
My hormones, my senses were livened up at hearing the sweet, distinct voice of my girlfriend. My head abruptly swiveled to the beautiful sound on my right. I felt my lips upturned into a smile. She was so beautiful. I could not even finger a word to express how I felt at seeing her angelic features. She was so amazingly perfect in every way, but the most radiant part was her eyes. Her deep green eyes. I could visibly see the love she had for me. How ravishing; how intoxicating; how tragic. I swallowed hard at the thought. How could I do this to her?
"Please, do not cry." Quinn said quietly. I wasn't aware that I was crying until I felt droplets ran down my cheeks. I could see my reflection in her beautiful, sad eyes. A small smile crept her divine face as she stared longingly at me. It was all I needed to live. Her and her alone—my Quinn, my love, my soul mate.
"I love you." I whispered; my voice badly croaked; my heart ached at saying those words. Why did it felt like it was so wrong? I bit my bottom lip hard as I thought of that. The gnawing guilt consumed me that I burst out crying. I wished I could tell her how awful I felt; how miserable I had been; how sorry I was. But I had no balls to say those to her. I was as weak as a dying hag.
"Bella, when I was alive I complicated things by controlling everything—school, friends, my family, my relationships, my life . . . you." She said softly. Looking back at her, I impulsively stopped crying. The sadness in her eyes was heartbreaking. All the living cells in my body went still; I was paralyzed. "I am sad that it would take death to make me see the consequences of what I did." The brilliance in her smile slowly melted. "I always believed that if you truly cared for someone, you would never let them go. That was my greatest mistake. Fortunately for me, I am given an opportunity to correct my wrongs."
I shook my head in disbelief. Why was she saying these things to me? It felt like she was breaking up with me indirectly. I knew my fault but I had never acted on my feelings. After that night, I avoided Alice and everyone at school. I had been skipping lunch to stay away from all the people who were giving me the stares. I even dropped my first quiz on Physics to avoid being alone with Alice. I withdrew myself from her, from everyone. I did all of those for her, for us. Because I still believed in the vow we pledged, the promise that we would love each other for eternity. I could never let myself ruin that; I would rather be alone for the rest of my life.
"I know it's not easy but you have to learn to accept the changes, Bella." Quinn said, disrupting my thought. "There are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. We may not understand it at first, but when we learn to accept it, it will be so easy for us to understand what is happening around us." Her presence was oozing with genial glow that, for the first time in four days, I felt so reassured that everything would be fine. But no matter how good I was feeling, I knew this feeling hidden inside of me was still so wrong. "Do not be afraid. That's what I am here for. I'm here to support you accept these changes . . ." She smiled. "to guide you to where you should be."
That stirred me. I sat up too quickly, looking at her eyes steadily. "Lucy Quinn Fabray," I said, my tone was serious. "Enlighten me; you are too vague for my understanding. I am not too smart, remember?"
She grinned amusedly as she sat on the bed with her legs crossed. "You are smart. That's one of the countless reasons why I fell in love you, Miss Swan." She retaliated. Her eyes narrowed slightly as her face became blank again. I inhaled deeply and quietly as I was becoming very uneasy under her scrutinizing gaze. "Acknowledge it, Isabella, the feeling inside of you." She said then smiling subtly. I couldn't tell if she was happy or mad, because the way she uttered it sounded like a demand. A strict demand.
It took me ages to realize the meaning of what she said. Oh, mother of the cows! I almost screamed that out loud, but was distracted by the heavenly music playing in my ears. I did not know what I looked like at that point but when realization hit me, she laughed merrily like everything about the world was so funny.
"You're still into cows." She said, shaking her head with a big smile.
I couldn't help but pout at that. "I will always and forever love them, especially their delicious, juicy meat." After saying that, she fell silent. The big smile on her face was gone. "Baby," I tried to voice out my feelings, but the fright of losing her had stopped me from speaking. She's everything to me; I couldn't afford to lose her. This unwanted feeling I had newly learned would surely pass in time, but what Quinn and I had would live forever.
"I know how you feel about me . . . more than you ever know." She smiled sadly and I found myself smiling sadly back at her. "And I also know how you feel for—"
I did not let her finish as my body jumped out of the bed. I looked at her incredulously. I felt my face burned. I was panting. I was infuriated. "No!" I shook my head furiously. "No." I repeated, shutting my eyes as tears threatened to fall again. "I love you, Q." The hairs on my neck started to elevate. Goose bumps ran down my spine as I felt a cold yet soothing air grazed my face.
"You know I love you, too." She said so tenderly that at the very moment, I wanted to grab her desperately in my arms and never let her go. "But are you saying that to assure me or to assure yourself?" I opened my eyes and saw her smiling so sweetly at me. "You are fully aware of the answer, Isabella. You are already aware of what you are feeling." I could hear my own tense breathing as I gazed at her eyes. "Accept it." She lipped the words I dreaded to hear.
"Why?" I questioned loudly, badly wanting to know why she allowed this mistake to happen. "You should not tolerate this madness! You should get mad at me for what I have done. Having this feeling for someone else is so wrong and you, of all people, should know that! You should hate me; forsake me; make my life a living hell!" I frantically said all of it in one breath. "Because you are Quinn Fabray—my Quinn Fabray." I added softly before I averted her gaze. "Please, just—just tell me I'm wrong so I could tell you how sorry I am. Please, I'm begging you . . ."
"If I were alive, yes, I would have probably done that the moment I heard your thoughts and saw you squirmed with excitement of seeing her." I looked at her; hurt and regret etched on her beautiful face. "Look," Her features were suddenly as firm as her voice. "We make mistakes and that's normal; we are only humans. We lack the wisdom to understand and know everything. However, that feeling you have right now is never a mistake, Bella. Since it is only natural for two destined souls to attract one another." She smiled reassuringly. "You shouldn't be sorry. Instead, relish it. Hold on to it like there is no tomorrow."
"I don't get it!" My face scrunched. "What the heck are you talking about, Q? I am only destined to be with no one but you!"
"Yes, you were destined to be with me, but I was only a mere passerby, Bella. Your story has yet to be concluded." I was about to open my mouth to counter the ridiculous things she said, but she halted me. "Let me finish." She said sternly. "You decide. Accept it and the right things will slowly fall into place or continue to reject it and live the rest of your life being lonely and miserable. You have to remember, being happy or sad is always a choice." She said, her eyes darkened. "Because of my own selfish desires, I unintentionally put your future into chaos. I made you believe that you are for me. What is wrong is the road you are walking now. You are choosing the wrong path when you fixed your mind not to love again. You even shut your heart from the beautiful, happy future destined for you. Trust me, I'd seen it." Her face lifted but it quickly changed into a sad frown. "And I'd also seen the end of this path. I want you to be happy, Bella. The reason I am here is to help you move forward, to help you accept that it is okay to be happy and love again. Fate already helped you clear some things. All you have to do is chase after your future . . . chase after the one for you. And I think you already know who it is."
"This is insane." I unconsciously mumbled the words in my head. "You're telling me Alice—" My eyes widened at the thought. "You mean—" I shook my head stupidly. "Impossible!" I almost shouted, continuously shaking my head. "No. Way. Heaven and Earth will never allow that to happen. There is no way that will happen."
"That's where you are wrong." I looked deep into her eyes. The word sincerity was written all over it. "Why do you think I'm here for? A special vacation to see you?" She could certainly hear my thoughts, no doubt about that. "Listen to me very carefully, Isabella." I stood stiff at the sound of her voice; the small smirk on my lips faded. I had no idea how long we stared at each other but I was sure it was quite a while. Her hand slid down to my chest as she looked at me. "This is your last chance. Do not push away the person who is meant for you just because you are too afraid of hurting your dead girlfriend."
I shook my head, closing my eyes. "Please, stop it, Q. Please, just stop. I don't want to hear any more of it. This is so ridiculous." I said as tears were starting to fall.
"It's all right." I could hear the smile in her voice. "I want you to know that you are free. You are free to be happy, Bella. So please, be happy for me." The soothing cold that was on my face traveled all over my body comfortingly. I smiled sadly as I knew she was embracing me. "When you wake up, follow where your heart is. Do not waste this chance. Do not falter. Run and tell her how you feel before it is too late."
"What do you mean?" I said as I opened my eyes, but the sudden intense white light came from nowhere blinded me for a second. "Q, what's happening?" Squinting my eyes, I looked at my surroundings. My room was gone. Quinn was gone. I was alone in a white empty space. "Quinn?" I shouted when I felt my whole body quaked.
I quickly turned around, responding to the voice. "Dad? Is that you? Where are you?"
"Bells? Bells, wake up, honey."
I groaned loudly as I felt my hair being yanked off my scalp mercilessly. It took me a heartbeat to realize it was my own two hands tearing my hair off, almost making myself hairless. I opened my eyes groggily and saw Charlie's awkward face, looking at me worriedly. "Dad, it's so early in the morning. What's the fuss?" I mumbled as I slowly pushed myself up.
"It's Saturday." He said so serious that it sounded like I was being reprimanded of something crucial.
"Um, yeah, I'm aware of that." I responded, raising an eyebrow at him. "Why are you waking me so early?"
"It's almost twelve. If you haven't forgotten—"
"Twelve!? Holy cow!" I exclaimed, immediately jumping out of the bed. "Dad, the interview is at one." I said as I rummaged through a pile of decent clothes in my old cabinet.
Charlie sighed. "Why do you have to do this, Bells? Is your allowance, um, not enough?"
I turned to look at him. His eyebrows knitted together. "Dad, you know I need to do this."
"Uh right, you need extra cash? How much do you need?" He was about to grab his wallet in his back pocket but I halted him.
"Dad," I smiled lightly, hoping to convince the soft side of him. He still did not like the idea of me taking a part time job. He was mostly concerned of Rene's reaction. "You worry too much. It's just a small job at Mike's."
"What would your mother say?" Here we go again. "Rene will not hesitate to barge at my office once she'll know I let our only daughter work." He grabbed my shoulders, squeezing it gently. "Bells, high school is the time for you to play and make friends and prepare for college. Not spending your free time at a small store in a faraway land. Okay, you can do whatever you want once you enter college. Since you're still in high school—"
"Dad, please? I got this, okay?" I retorted, stopping him in the middle of a very long, irritating speech. I knew that because I already heard the same, exact words a thousand times since I told him about Mike offering me a part-time job at his parent's store.
He sighed again, finally releasing me. "Is that really what you want?" His face was firm but his dark brown eyes silently pleaded me to say what he wanted to hear.
"Yes." I said stubbornly, before turning around to walk toward the open door.
The drive was somewhat backbreaking. Charlie was right. Mike's store, the well-known Newton's Olympic Outfitters, was located at the middle of another freaking woodland in another freaking dimension. It was a whole new place, a pretty good place for campers, hikers, sightseers, and those people who simply wanted to get lost.
I got out of my truck after parking in front of a large rectangular signboard next to the average-looking store. Scrutinizing its façade, it looked more like a typical wooden cabin than a sporting goods store. Mike's annoying face was the first thing I spotted after I got inside. "Hey, Bella!" He called too eagerly, waving at me with a huge smile. "Wow, you're almost an hour late. I thought you forgot about today. I'm about to send you a text." He said as I headed toward the counter where he leisurely stood at.
"I weren't be if this place wasn't too far from human society." I reasoned, not minding the fact that he might be my boss. I sighed inwardly at the thought. "Sorry." I said almost in a whisper but I made sure it was loud enough for him to hear. He was the only person who persistently approached me even after obviously being a bitch at school. Mike should, at least, deserve to be treated nicely. Okay, fairly.
"No, you're right. This place is, um, what can I say?" He muttered, scratching the back of his head. "Er, anyway Bella, are you ready on your first day?" He said, his face lifted excitedly.
I raised an eyebrow at him. "You mean the interview?"
He chuckled. "No, I meant your first day of work." He grabbed a blue polo shirt on the shelf behind him and handed it to me with a disgustingly smug look on his face. "You're hired!" He cheered proudly. "Go to the bathroom to the left and change. You're wearing that; that's your uniform."
Wow! That was easy. I wondered."So, you're the boss of me now, sir Newton?" I asked out loud, not intending to sound comical. Mike frowned. It looked as if he was expecting me to say "Oh, thank you, Mike! I love you so much!" Nope. That would never happen, not in a million years. Sorry, pal. I just don't like the garbage in between your legs. I grinned as I thought to myself. "Um, yeah, okay. I'll go change." I said quickly as I trudged toward the blue door.
When I went out the bathroom, I heard a smooth, manly voice with a trace of Italian accent followed by Mike's grating, kindergarten tone. They exchanged a few words until Mike excused himself to get what the man was looking for. As I was getting nearer to the counter, there was a tall, well-built man standing with his back facing me. He had a wavy, honey-blond hair that reached slightly above his collar. My line of sight traced from his head down to his foot. Wow. This man got a classy taste. I didn't know why or how but when he turned around and looked at me, my heart beat faster. I was nervous all of a sudden.
"Good afternoon, ma'am." The man said, flashing a very alluring smile. He was not only courteous and seemingly rich, he was so damn handsome and elegantly charming. I could picture him as the perfect human Adonis, having a flawless face, beautiful brown eyes, and sexy, full lips. I thought Edward was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen, but this guy—who was taller than him and way, way nicer—proved me wrong. A pleasing personality would definitely make a huge bonus.
"Bella, is something wrong?"
Mike's irritating call snapped me out of my stupor. I blinked many times before I became fully conscious of my predicament. I closed my mouth at once, which was partly open after getting a load of this strikingly handsome guy. He was still standing in front of me; his kind, captivating smile never left his lips. Mike stepped closer; his face was stern as he glanced sideways, looking at him fiercely. His expression softened when he looked at me. I pressed my lips, holding down a chuckle. Oh, gosh! Mike looked like an ugly gremlin compared to this man's awesomeness. Well, Mike would always be Mike. That I could never complain.
The time seemed extra slow as I patiently waited for the day to end. My first day was okay; I guess. I did not do a thing except sitting behind the counter, smiling silently to myself as Mike did all the work especially entertaining the male customers. He let me talk to one female customer though, which I thought was not really necessary.
Since it was Saturday, a number of people had dropped by to buy camping equipment, but mostly, people had come to ask questions and directions from time to time. I believed the Newton's would earn triple by answering inquiries than selling gears.
If I would be honest with myself, I would say my day was boring except when the man was in the store. We had a light but fun chat about the town, the weather, and anything under the sun. I kind of felt bad that he had only been in the store for a short while. He was my first customer, a real gentleman and a very hot one at that. It appeared to me he was from Italy considering his Italian accent. He also mentioned he was new in Forks and was only staying here for a couple of weeks to be with his fiancée. So sweet of him to do that. I wondered what her fiancée was like. Such a lucky girl and such a perfect guy. It was too bad I didn't get to know his name since Mike had never left my side. He was closely watching us with his eyes piercing into the man's beautiful face. Yeah, If looks could kill all right.
After closing the store, Mike was following me around like a lost puppy, asking—no, it was more like begging me to go out with him. He finally stopped when I got in my truck and gave him my very firm NO. He looked so upset that he did not say anything and went back inside the store. I started the engine, totally ignoring Mike and drove to where I planned to be. Buying groceries at the freaking ACE Hypermart.
It took me over an hour to reach my awesome destination. I took out my phone in my back pocket after cutting the engine off. There was a text message from Charlie asking how my first day was. I sent a reply saying it was great and added that I was currently at the grocery store. When I got out of the truck, a breeze of cold wind brushed my body just as a sprinkle of raindrops tickled my skin.
I sighed loudly, putting my phone back in my pocket and decided to run toward the entrance. But before I could even make a step, I was halted by the incredibly heart-stopping giggles maybe a few yards to my right. Hearing the distinct voices made my heart pound violently. I was nervous. No, that was an understatement; I was scared.
I didn't know what got into me but when the laughters grew nearer and louder, I instinctively hid myself behind my truck as though my life had depended on it. I did not realize my body fell into the ground until I felt my hands grazed the rough pavement. I did not even care if I was soaked and freezing to death nor if I looked retarded. One thing was for sure, I was completely out of my mind.
When the laughters subsided, the awful feeling in my stomach rushed up to my chest until I felt it all over me—the proud goose bumps, the angry butterflies, the huge, thorny boulder in my chest, the sting in my eyes—though strangely disturbing, these all had made me see what my brain refused to see.
As reality dawned on me, all of the emotions I had never known grew intensely. It felt like someone had threw a thousand grenades on my face, stabbed me in the chest with a billion knives, and fed my wounded flesh to the hungry, crazy cows. I was so wrong when I thought I was scared. I wasn't. Rather, I was unconsciously hurting deep inside; I was in pain.
I would have never thought I would be able to experience such a phenomenal yet heartbreaking moment. Everything was in precise slow motion: the harsh spatter of the rain that pierced through my chest; the flash of lightning in the darkest, despairing sky; the roar of the thunder that equaled to the voice inside my head; and the pitiful sound of my breath as I staggered desperately to say something and be on my feet. I was hopeless as I watched a magical scene took place right before my very own eyes. Right after their romantic kiss, the man embraced the girl longingly and whispered something in her ear. The sweet, loving smile on the girl's lips was the most heartbreaking and appalling of all as she said, "I love you, too, Jasper."
to be continued.
Sorry for the long wait. Really busy, exams and everything. But you know despite the tight schedule, I would always make sure I still had a time for this. Hope you'll also take time and say something, review or comment. It will surely make me a lot happier. :)