For What I Have Done.
Disclaimer:All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Twilight belongs to the great Stephenie Meyer.
Authors Notes: This was written for a Christmas Secret Santa gift exchange which was run by the lovely Evieeden. This is now "reveal time" – so I hoped my SS enjoyed her story. I very much enjoyed taking part.
Written for: IronicTwist
Two years ago he walked out of my life and left me hurting. One day, entirely out of the blue he turned around and left; only saying that he didn't want us anymore, and that it was over until he could figure out where we were going wrong. He said that we had gotten in too deep, too young and that he needed to get out before he done something he'd regret.
For almost two years I'd held onto the hope that he would be back for me. That he would realise that he had made a huge mistake and that I did make him happy. I really thought that if I waited for him, he would return to me and we would make it work.
I never stopped loving him. No matter what he thought, he was good for me, and we were good together.
Of course, that didn't happen, and after twenty one long months, the feelings I had for him were still there, but the hope of his return started to drift away from me and fade.
I first met Edward Cullen on the first day of high school. He and his family moved to the area at the start of the semester of our freshman year. Around the same time I had moved from Phoenix, where I'd been living with my mother, to Forks and moved in with Charlie, my dad who was the towns Chief of Police.
By the time we were fifteen, Edward and I had given ourselves to each other. We were so in love with each other and no one came between us. We were inseparable.
Edward quickly became the favourite soccer star in the school; he also played Baseball - again, very well. Of course, being on the arm of one of the most popular guys in school, meant that I then became the most popular (which for me was sort of hard to grasp) girl in the school. I hated sports, I was inclined to trip over my feet and there was no way in hell I would ever become a cheerleader. No, I was quiet Bella Swan who sat back and wrote poetry and liked to read. But still, because of my connections, I was invited to all the parties and was generally liked all around by everyone.
Edward and I took the school by storm and were together right through the rest of our time at Forks High School. After senior year it was obvious that we were going to attend college together and move in. That was pretty much a given.
One week in September, just two days after my nineteenth birthday, Edward got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes and we married on New Year's Eve in City Hall and then had a huge party at his parents' house. Everyone, even my family were over the moon for us. I few of the more catty girls at school assumed he'd knocked me up, but truth being told, Edward said he just wanted to do things right. We were living together and he wanted us to be joined in every way possible. We were so in love.
College, marriage and being together were great. We had always got on like a house on fire and felt very comfortable around one another, and around our friends. We didn't have any classes together, so when we got home we always had something to talk about. This continued once we graduated and got jobs.
I was editing for a small independent publishing company and Edward was teaching sports at the High School. We both loved our jobs and I thought that we were both happy and secure in our lives.
One day, ten years and four months after we first met, my husband dropped the bombshell on me. He wasn't happy and he was moving out. He didn't like where his life was going. And he didn't know if he wanted me to be a part of his life.
At first I felt like my whole world was falling apart. Why would he do it? Just days before he'd been so happy. Why didn't he want me? Had he met someone else? Had I done something wrong. The questions that were rushing around inside of my head were endless and I felt hopeless.
I wracked my brain to try and think of reasons for him to flee. Was I being too pushy? Did I moan at him for silly things? No – I didn't think so. I wasn't the jealous type and didn't mind in the least if he went and spent time with the boys without me. We enjoyed sharing the household chores – although my cooking skills were a little better than his... but his dishwasher loading technique was beyond epic.
Our friends and family were amazing and always one hundred percent behind us. We both had good jobs which we enjoyed.
Edward and I had never been in too much of a hurry to start a family but we both knew that it was really the next stage in our relationship. Both Edward and I loved kids and when we had been younger and before we were married, we'd often be found discussing how much children we were planning on having, and where we would like to bring them up.
Our sex life, in my opinion was great. We both walked away satisfied and it was regular. So what on earth was wrong?
Why did my husband, the light of my life not want me anymore?
"He'll come around sweetie, maybe he just needs some space? Where is he staying? With his parents?" Alice asked me as I wept onto her shoulder just two hours after he'd walked out on me.
"H...ho...hotel," I sniffed, wiping my nose on my sleeve. "He says he doesn't want to tell anyone at the moment as he doesn't know what he's doing." My heart broke just a little bit more.
Rosalie, my other best friend growled and began to pace the room. "He's got a fucking nerve. I swear, once I tell Emmett about his, Edward's a dead man."
"No, please," I protested.
It went on for weeks – the guys getting their girls to ask me if I wanted them to track Edward down and talk to him... or beat on him. I tried telling them that it wasn't as though he had run away and they'd need to do a manhunt. They would just need to go to his work if they needed to find him. I told them no, however, and just to leave him be.
Six weeks after he left I'd received three text messages and one email from my estranged husband. He was very vague, explaining to me that for now, he didn't want his parents finding out about our separation – so if I were to speak to them, would I please make up excuses as to why the two of us couldn't go around for dinner.
I did as I asked. I don't quite know why.
Work, Alice and Rosalie kept me busy and the time we were apart ticked by.
The time we spent apart didn't make it any easier. The pain didn't ease and the huge gaping hole in my chest grew, more so at bed time when I had to be alone. The nightmares were horrific. Edward took the starring role in each one, and no dream was the same. One of the worst was when I came home from work to see Edward with another woman in his arms as he pounded into her from behind – a fistful of long black hair wound around his fist as he grunted into her ear how much he loved her, and that I meant nothing to him. In my dream he'd hear me come in, and he'd turn around and smile at me, laughing darkly as he continues slamming into the nameless girl.
In another he walks away from me and I see him walk into an alley, never looking back or answering me when I call out to him. I follow him, running full pelt as I try to catch up with him and beg him not to leave me. When I catch up with him, he vanishes into thin air.
Then there is the one where I hear him screaming out my name, begging me to come to him, that he is so sorry. I find him, cold, and grey and covered in his own blood. His eyes wide, staring. In my dream he was dead.
So sleep wasn't coming easy, and my work began to suffer. I was pulled up on it and that was when I cracked. I told them that for over three months I'd been alone at home and that I had no idea what was happening.
I saw my doctor who diagnosed me with depression. I refused medication and he urged me to try and speak to Edward and get him to attend counselling. My text message was met with a "Please, Bella, just leave me alone," request. My heart broke just a little bit more.
I didn't contact him again. Alice, Jasper, Rose and Emmett were behind me, one hundred percent of the way, but I knew that still talked to Edward. The guys, at least were having contact with him. As per my request, they didn't talk about him with me.
I took some time off work and I took a couple of weeks and flew to Florida and spent time with my mother and her husband. Explaining Edward's absence to her was easy as Mom's a flaky character and isn't one to question. So the fact that Edward couldn't get the same vacation time as me worked for her.
I came back home knowing I had to pull my finger out of my ass and carry on. It was tough. So fucking hard, but it was all I could do but get sucked into a black hole and be consumed by nothingness. So I carried on with my life. Albeit, I was a shell of the person I once was.
Being alone didn't come easy. I realised that I'd never actually been alone. I'd never been single and had to deal with everything alone. When you live with someone, or are with someone for so long – you take them for granted. So when they're suddenly gone it hits you hard like a tonne of bricks.
I waited for the day when I'd be served with divorce papers, but it didn't happen. Edward's parents did find out – thank to Emmett. They were supportive and came to visit me often, reassuring me I was a member of the family, and that they were trying to get Edward to see straight. I tried so hard not to shut myself off from them.
Life became easier to cope with, and with the help of my doctor and family I was able to carry on and be as normal as possible. I started to get used to being alone and cooking for one. It was a lonely existence but there was no way I was wanting to look for Edward's replacement.
After eighteen months, I redecorated our bedroom and purchased a new bed in the hopes it would ward off the regular nightmares. I painted the room pink - something which Edward would have put his foot down on. I enrolled on an evening baking course in Port Angeles.
There I met Jacob.
Jacob Black was my tutor. Six and a half feet of muscled, dark haired man. He was utterly beautiful with his sparkling brown eyes and white teeth. Because there was an odd number in the class the first week, he picked on me to assist him and demonstrate the makings of a perfect Victoria Sponge. He was behaving flirtatiously, so I avoided him the next class by taking a workstation at the back of the class. He found me however and had me up the front making butter frosting. His large, warm hands around my waist felt both comforting and disconcerting. I shifted away from him uncomfortably and tried to ignore his advances.
It turned out that Jacob was in fact not interested in me for anything else other than friendship. He was just the run of the mill, handsey gay guy who wanted a new BFF. Jake and I became firm friends and started spending a lot of time together. It was refreshing to spend time with someone who wasn't stuck in the middle of what was happening between Edward and I.
Jake knew about the situation and would just try and cheer me up by saying that Edward would soon see what he was missing out on and come running back home - and in the meantime, I was to start enjoying myself and living a little. I tried so hard. I made the most of my time and spent the weekends with my single friends. I didn't date - there was no way I was interested or ready for that. I just wanted to have some fun.
Jake became a larger part of my life. I adored him and always felt safe when we were together. There wasn't anything we didn't share, and when we went out at the weekends he would protect me and keep me safe. In short, he came my fake boyfriend. The perks of company and protection with a man, yet none of the actual heartache or satisfaction. It suited me fine.
One night, just short of two years since Edward left, Jake invited me out for the night in Seattle. He booked us a twin room in a hotel and drove us to the city. It was apparently a shindig for this guy he used to work with. I went with it, because hell, I was enjoying my new found lifestyle, and I'd rather share a bottle of wine and a few cocktails with a friend than watching re-runs on my Tivo and drinking beer at home on a Saturday night.
Jake and I had spent a few weekends in Seattle with his friends before, so I knew what to expect. High end bars, good wine and food. It was a nice change to be able to dress to impress, as well as get carded upon entry into clubs. Edward and I would occasionally head on out into Port Angeles, but we'd seriously been missing the night life in Seattle – I loved it.
We'd been sitting in a bar and grill for at least an hour – the drinks were freely flowing and I was well on my way to being a little more than tipsy. Jake was chowing down the remainder of my burger, with an arm slung over my shoulder. Everyone at our table was a laughing loudly when I caught something out of the corner of my eye: a flash of bronze hair and a chisled jaw. I shook it off, merely down to just having Edward on my mind, but at a second glance, I knew it was him – and he'd spotted me.
Edward was there. Edward was in the same restaurant as me, three and a half hours away from home in Seattle. He was glaring; looking between me and Jake, whose arm was still slung over my shoulder.
I swallowed deeply as we made eye contact. I was frozen on the spot. I'd dreamed of our reunion countless times, but it was never like this. My husband raised a glass of scotch and toasted me, before turning around on his stool.
I had to do something. Jake was too wrapped up in his friends to see my leave, after excusing myself to go to the bathroom. I left my drink on the table and walked across the way and took a seat next to him at the bar. Seconds ticked by before either of us had the guts to say anything.
"Edward?" I asked tentatively.
He looked at me, his face incredulous. "What am I doing here? I live here, Bella."
Okay, so that shocked me a little. "I... well... I assumed you were still in town..."
"Didn't take you long to move on," he commented.
Now it was my turn to glare at him. What the fuck was he talking about? Jake? Oh hell. He thought that Jacob and I were together?
"I... I didn't know what to assume... you don't call me, you don't tell me anything. Jesus, Edward, you've not even had the decency to serve me with papers, let alone let me know if you're still alive... and..."
"I needed space... and clearly you did too. New boy-toy? I hope you're having fun with him? Never thought I'd see you with someone like him."
I had to admit, that Jacob Black was pretty much Edward's polar opposite... huge muscles, dark. And gay. Very gay.
"Are...are you jealous? I all but exclaimed.
Edward didn't say a word.
"You left... Edward... you walked out of my life and left me. You broke me."
"Didn't take you too long to move on," he scoffed.
"What the fuck?" I almost yelled. "It's been almost two years. You expect me to morn you constantly?" Which of course, I'd been doing. I was still waiting for him to return, obviously.
Edward shook his head. "So... so what is he to you? Is... is he... special?"
I blinked several times. I couldn't understand him at all. I didn't speak for a few moments but then felt a strong and familiar hand on my shoulder. "Bells, everything okay here?"
I turned and looked at my best friend who was eyeing Edward up somewhat. I then saw the little puzzle pieces slip into place.
"Jake... I'd like to you meet Edward. Edward, this is my friend Jacob. Jake straightened and puffed his chest out and I rolled my eyes.
"Edward... as in your husband?"
Before I had the chance to respond, Edward got to his feet and stood his ground beside me. "Yes, her husband. Bella, I'd like to talk to you... please."
Jake stepped forward and I pressed a hand to his chest. "No, it's okay. I need to hear him out, Jake." I told my best friend... and being as awesome as he was, he nodded and although slightly defeated, walked away from my and back to our table. Edward gently took my elbow and lead me outside the bar and onto the street.
"Jesus fucking Christ, Bella, you look incredible," he muttered as his eyes raked over me.
I shook me head. "You can't talk to me like that... you can't vanish off the face of the earth and then talk to me like I'm still your wife"
"You are still my wife." He said, as his fingers began tracing a path up my upper arm, causing goosebumps to appear.
"Only because you didn't divorce me... and you're... you are drunk right now, Edward... I can't... you can't do this to me and then in the morning go back to being an ass who doesn't want me anymore."
"Bella... please..." he whispered as he rested his head on my shoulder. I couldn't bring myself to push him away. His scent engulfed me as he pressed soft kisses to my collarbone.
"No... Edward. I can't. You screwed me up. If you want to talk, then we will talk tomorrow – when we are both sober. I won't let you hurt me again."
"Jake is my friend. He's more likely to go for you than it would go for me. "I tried to assure him.
"You look beautiful... I...I have missed you." He whispered.
Tears threatened to fall, but I sucked it up. I couldn't let him affect me like that. I didn't want him to see me cry over him after two years. I was beyond that now.
"Thank you." I told him. "Now go home and call me tomorrow. I'll still be in town, and my number is still the same. We'll meet up and we will talk."
"Do you promise?" Edward asked, his green eyes meeting mine.
"Of course, I wouldn't lie to you. Call me, okay?"
And with that, I walked away from him, leaving the ball in his court. Only he had the choice. I didn't know if I was going to hear from him the next day.
Only time would tell.
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to hit review. Love it or hate it? Let me know.
AN #2 - Due to an one heck of a lot more reviews than I ever expected to get for this, and countless people telling me that I must continue - I have decided to add more to this little story, so if you enjoyed, please add this to your list :-)