Though many of you were upset with Edward last chapter, you could also relate to the marital problems he discussed. Thank you for reviewing - sometimes it's nice to know you aren't alone. Now we hear from Bella.
In life there are ups and downs. Sometimes it's hard to believe everything happens for a reason. I learned that lesson after my boyfriend of three years broke up with me. If I'm honest with myself, I knew I wasn't going to marry Tyler but the breakup still hurt. I wanted what every little girl wants – to fall head over heels in love with some amazing guy who would take care of me and love me to death. Little did I know that dream would soon become my reality, just not with Tyler.
It all started on my 21st birthday, when my college friends coerced me into going to a club. I didn't want to go, for two reasons. One, I wasn't coordinated enough to dance and two, I just wanted to stay home and wallow in the misery of my recent breakup. My friends wouldn't hear of it. So I reluctantly threw on a halter dress and some killer shoes, which would serve to be my excuse for not dancing. I took a cab to the club and waited outside by the VIP line as instructed.
Victoria cancelled at the last minute, Leah got sick, Lauren got a better offer, and Bree was stuck at work. There I stood at the club entrance with Bree's newest boyfriend, Edward. I felt so awkward, because he was really hot and I couldn't stop staring. He was dressed to kill in charcoal grey dress pants and a light blue button down shirt. I literally wanted to rip the buttons open and lick his chest. Obviously I didn't have a chance with him and not only because he was dating my friend, but also because he was way out of my league.
Edward's brother worked as a bouncer and let us in ahead of all the other people in line. We grabbed a couple of seats at the bar and he insisted on buying me my first legal drink while we waited. Turns out we couldn't easily talk due to the volume of the music, so we turned to drinking to fill the time. One drink turned into several while we sat by the bar. The more liquor I had, the harder it was for me not to flirt. When Bree texted that she had a work crisis and wouldn't be able to make it, Edward said something that sounded like 'fuck it' before he downed a shot of tequila.
When he asked me to dance, I said yes; the alcohol making me forget all about my six-inch heels. Truthfully, I couldn't resist him. Even without the alcohol coursing through my veins I couldn't deny the connection between us. We danced, our bodies close together, his thigh wedged between my legs to hit the perfect spot in time with the fast and steady beat. I wanted to turn him on like he did me so I pressed my breasts to his chest, grinded my hips against him; then trailed my hands lower and grabbed his ass.
Before we left the club he'd made me his.
The next day we had to face Bree. Edward was unbelievably apologetic, much more so than I was, saying over and over again he would never intentionally hurt anyone. Bree took it well, even reassuring Edward that we looked cute together. In any case, she was dating someone else the following week. Last I heard she was happily married so I guess things turned out how they were supposed to.
Edward's and my romance progressed like a whirlwind. Right from the start he was very intense and first told me he loved me after dating less than six weeks. I was reassured I didn't need to reciprocate because he didn't need to hear the words from me to define his love. If I wasn't already in love, those words would've made me fall head over heels.
We married at City Hall after dating for a year, with his brother and his wife at our sides. I would have loved to have my mom there but I couldn't get a hold of her. That wasn't anything unusual, as she was always drifting in and out of my life. As for my father, Mom has no idea who that may be; though at one point she did narrow it down to four or five guys.
Soon after we were married, we talked about having kids. Edward told me that he wanted to be the best dad ever, since his dad wasn't around for him. Not having a father myself, hearing him say that brought tears to my eyes. I had no doubt he'd be the best dad one day – and he is, honestly. He is.
There are many things my husband does well, and being cryptic is one of them. Edward never speaks of any childhood friends or acquaintances. I hardly believe he didn't have any - he's so personable and confident in social settings. He's just a private person, I guess.
Generally speaking though, Edward's always been very evasive about his childhood. I know his parents divorced when he was a teen. Being that Carlisle is about ten years older, I've figured out it was just Edward and his mom in the house. When she passed away unexpectedly, Edward was still in or had just finished high school and he went to live with his brother and sister-in-law. Obviously, I know he misses his mom and I know they were very close but again, he only occasionally mentions her.
And his father? He rarely speaks of or to him. I know he really hasn't been a part of his life since he left for Florida when Edward was fourteen or so. I don't know if that's because of the sheer distance between them or because of his dad's sexual orientation but either way, there's some definite bitterness there. In any case, their relationship has always been limited. In fact, I've never even met the man.
I used to ask Edward questions about his parents and family life in general but he always brushed them off. He'd smile and tell me I was his family now or that his life didn't start until he met me. Melt my heart, why don't you! I had always been content with that answer but sometimes I wondered why he doesn't tell me more. Was he hiding something? Didn't he trust me? What? Even though throughout our relationship Edward was very tight-lipped about his past, I was fairly certain he wasn't a serial killer. He's too cute to be one.
One thing I knew for sure- he was kick ass in bed. Prior to dating Edward, I was hardly well-versed in sex. Tyler was my one and only sexual partner but I wasn't totally innocent before him – the others just didn't make it to home base. Tyler wasn't bad in bed, let me make that clear. In fact he was quite skilled. It's just that Edward was far more attentive. He was passionate like no other - like I said - he's intense. Even when we kissed, he took his time, savored the moment. Almost like he wanted every kiss to feel like his first. I didn't mind and always appreciated that about him.
And then we had kids.
Things changed. Making love before bed turned into cuddles, then into a hug and then, well, nothing more than a polite 'goodnight'. Sex after kids was basically non-existent. Sure, we did it just the other day but it was a quickie and I didn't even have an orgasm. And I don't need one to feel close to him, but the attentiveness he'd once shown me wasn't there and that's what I was hoping for. Desperate for.
Like I said, it started after we had kids. More specifically, it happened after we decided I should quit my job as a nurse to raise our daughters. Don't get me wrong, I'm so thankful that Edward's and Carlisle's company has done well enough to allow me to stay home. But sometimes, I don't know. It's not that I regret it but I do hate that I almost feel like Edward sees me as inferior or something because I'm 'just home with the girls' while he's out making money.
Worst of all, never once did I think the decision to be a stay at home mom meant I was choosing the girls over him. And I sure as hell never figured it meant I could lose my husband over it. I thought I could have them both but I'm starting to think I was wrong.
It was nice in the beginning, being home with the twins. Edward would walk in the door after work asking for hugs from his girls. That always made me smile – that he still thought of me as his girl though it was obvious he was completely smitten with our daughters. Then Cullen Construction landed a really big commercial job that took up more of his time. When that job ended, they picked up another. Obviously I'm thankful things are going so well, but also frustrated because it takes him away from us that much more. Edward has started coming home later and later and unfortunately, he often walks in when I'm at my wits end. Being with kids all day is harder than I thought.
There are days my heart feels like it may explode from the love I have for my children. They will call for me in harmony from their room and I smile at their sweet little two-year old voices. The days when they call me 'pretty mommy' even though I'm in sweats and without makeup make my heart happy. I love the moments the three of us snuggle on the couch with a book or grab a nap together in the afternoon.
And there are days when I am counting down the minutes until bedtime. Times when I hear 'Mommy!' five hundred times in the span of an hour in a tone that grates on my last nerve. Fights, whines, tantrums, and meltdowns by the dozen all before ten a.m. I've put the girls in time out and 'forgotten' to get them out until they call for me just so I can have an extra minute to myself.
Sadly, sometimes the highlight of my day is dribbles of pee in a potty. Lately, I've literally spent half my day bribing or begging for urine and feces. I jump up and down excitedly looking like a complete moron; feeling like an idiot. Any success is monumental because I know there are several failures lurking.
There are times when the girls are napping that I want to sit down with a cup of tea. Maybe catch my breath or simply be quiet for a minute, enjoy the fact that in that moment no one needs me. Unfortunately, there's always work to be done. Laundry, dishes, messes to tidy, you know how it goes. After a day like today, I wanted to sit down and cry because it had been such a shitty one.
I feel like Edward's job has definite start and finish times while mine is never ending. When the girls wake up in the middle of the night, they don't call for Daddy – not that he would hear them anyway. On the rare occasion he does get up, he'll come right back to bed and say 'they want you' or 'it's time they should learn to cry it out'. That frustrates me because he could soothe them, he just chooses not to. Why is it always the mommy's job? I feel like I take care of the girls, the house, and my husband. Who takes care of me?
When I do voice my complaints about my day to Edward, he offers a solution rather than his ear. "Go back to work if you hate it so much." That's his standard line. It's not that I 'hate it so much', but I do get frustrated. It's not easy being home with little people all day. I wish he'd get that. It feels like I'm not allowed to complain to him about my day because I'm 'privileged' to be a stay at home mom. A 'luxury' we can afford because of his job. And why aren't we called 'work at home' mom's, anyway? I certainly do my fair share around the house.
Plain and simple, today sucked. The girls were in fine form from the minute they woke up. Finally, I lost my cool and raised my voice at them (and by that I mean I yelled), which only served to make them cry harder and I was left feeling like the worst mom in the world. More than that, I felt completely alone. There's no way Edward could understand how that feels because he always has people around him – adults to talk to. And he's the boss – people listen to him. Sometimes I feel like the girls boss me around all day and I'm at their mercy.
In any case, it was one of those days where I didn't even get ten minutes alone to get dressed. Even when I went to pee, the kids were pounding on the bathroom door needing me for some reason or another. A day when I was absolutely done with taking care of someone else's needs – even my children's. All I wanted was someone, anyone at that point, to take care of me for a change. Was that too much to ask?
I was about to pick up the house before Edward came home from work – I know he hates walking into chaos, as he calls it. Before I could, two little girls ran past me chanting 'uh oh' and you know that's never good. Turns out Barbie wanted to go for a swim…in the toilet. She didn't survive. The kids are lucky they did.
As I emerged from the bathroom, Edward walked in. He didn't even give me the opportunity to tell him about my day before barking at me about the mess. I offered to make him dinner but that wasn't good enough and he sulked upstairs leaving me with the cranky duo for dinner and bath time.
Know what I had envisioned for our evening together while I was saving stupid Barbie? Edward coming home and, after seeing the chaos, he took it upon himself to order something in. After dinner, he'd offer to put the kids to bed while I had a bubble bath. Then we'd open a bottle of wine and cuddle on the couch and enjoy our evening.
Instead we fought. Again. It's what always happens lately and I really fucking hated it. And I was bitter that Edward couldn't see past the mess to see me, frazzled and at the end of my rope, needing my prince to save me.
When I thought we could finally talk about our day, he plopped himself down on the couch with a beer and a show that I knew he'd be engrossed in. He didn't even bother to ask about my day, which showed me how much he cared.
After our second argument within a few short hours I took my laptop to the bedroom, needing to vent to one of my online friends – another bone of contention between us. You see, not only did Edward not consider people I'd only met in cyber space to be real, I was sure he thought less of me because of my 'imaginary' friends. Funny, because he was the one who initially encouraged me to take up writing and make those friendships. He had no idea the real connection I felt toward those woman; I wish he did. Sometimes they understood me better than he did. That's sad, don't you think?
When I heard Edward coming down the hall hours later, I pretended to be asleep because I couldn't bear the thought of another argument. The reality - I wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon. When he started lightly snoring beside me, I got up. Locking myself in the bathroom down the hall, I slid down the closed door to a heap on the floor. Only then did I cry. The kind of crying where the tears and snot are running down your face and you can't control it. I cried until all that was left was the hiccupping and emptiness.
At three in the morning, sitting on the cold tile in a tee shirt and underwear, I felt sick to my stomach. Not only was I losing my husband, but my best friend as well. The fairy tale was ending. I was alone, utterly alone, and I hated it. And Edward didn't have a fucking clue what that felt like.
My thanks go out to my pre-reader Lolo84 and my beta Capricorn 75 for all their help.
Thank you for reading and (hopefully) reviewing. I'm sure many of you can identify with Bella.
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See you on Monday.