Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

"When is she coming back?" I asked Jake as I motioned towards Bella's empty chair. I watched him barely flinch for a second before returning my cool gaze with a casual shrug as if he had no idea. It was almost unnoticeable, yet I saw his hesitation.

"When is she coming back?" I asked him again as he watched me with a blank expression. It was that damn blank expression that hurt.

"I don't know and it doesn't matter," he replied as if it were nothing, as if Bella was nothing.

"It does to matter," I shot back, using the last bit of my energy as I yelled at him, not that Jake reacted at all.

"Edward, you are going to have to learn to get well and survive without Bella," he stated in a very matter of fact tone that cut deep since I could not imagine anything without her. I couldn't even think about life without her and to be honest I didn't want life without her.

"I…" I began with a weak protest, but trailed off to nothing.

"This isn't about Bella or her not being here for you. This isn't about Bella at all. This is about you and if you can't face that, then you aren't ready," Jake finished and then sat in silence as he waited for some response, even though I had nothing to say.

"I don't know how to fix this," I whispered to him, finally admitting the fear that had kept me up at night and robbed me of any common sense. It was the same sense of dread that had brought me into Leah's bed and every bad decision I had made. It was that fear that kept me chasing after answers that were impossible to find, yet I yearned for them.

"Edward, not everything can be fixed. The best a person can do is try to salvage what can be and make peace with what can't," he stated in a confident tone as he watched me closely. I knew he was being honest, but honesty wasn't what I wanted. I wanted fables and lies. I wanted to hear that everything could be repaired; my heart, my marriage, and maybe my life. I wanted to believe that there was hope for me when I knew there wasn't. I wanted to hold on to what once was and not what I had created. Jake knew this from the grim expression that I did not bother to hide.

"I know you don't want to hear that. I know it hurts like fucking hell to hear that, Edward, but a person never gets anywhere by lying to themselves."

AN:

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