The Man in the Moon
Summary: Her Nana had always told her she'd find the peanut butter to her jelly. But she never did find the one, and now she's 29 and still looking for that perfect one—the man that doesn't exist. He's like the man in the moon; a simple fairy tale that will never be real. AH; BxE; Romance.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilighty, but I do own this plot.
As Bella sat at the window seat in her childhood bedroom and looked out into the darkness, she couldn't help but think of her Nana Swan. She'd been only sixteen when the old woman had passed, but the memories she'd made with Bella would last a lifetime.
Clouds moved with the wind, uncovering the bright, full moon beyond, and Bella smiled as she watched the face of the Man in the Moon appear before her. She closed her eyes, reminiscing about stories her nana had told her about that man as they sat at that very window.
Bella had returned home a broken woman a few days earlier, and that special memory was the only thing making her smile. She'd been so sad over her recent breakup. It had really hurt, because unlike with the few other men before him, they were engaged.
She felt hopeless as she hugged her knees to her chest and spoke aloud to the woman who'd practically raised her after her mother's sudden, unexpected death. "Nana, I don't know what to do anymore. How am I supposed to trust anyone?" Tears fell down Bella's cheeks and she didn't bother wiping them before continuing, "I loved him, I swear I did. He loved me too, but it just ... wasn't enough. I couldn't do it. It felt so wrong, Nana."
She sniffled and fell apart, thinking of a love that never was meant to be. "He says he loves someone else, anyway; that he feels for her more than he does for me and he wants to see if there's something there. It was mutual and he didn't cheat, but I can't help feeling so ... ridiculous." Hiccupping and sniffling, she remembered how her grandmother would equate true love to one's other half. It was why Charlie, her son and Bella's father, had never remarried. Renee was it for him and there would never be another.
Bella had grown up watching her father meander through life all alone. The prospect of living that way made Bella's body convulse into loud sobs that echoed through the small house.
Fortunately, Charlie was at work on the night shift at the mall's security office and wasn't there to witness his daughter's breakdown.
She'd returned to live with him for a few days while Mike moved out of her apartment. She didn't care whether or not he was going to take anything of importance, she just wanted him out.
"I know you said he was out there, Nana, but where?" She continued through her sobs. Saying these things out loud liberated her heart just a little more and helped her grieve the loss of a relationship that never truly was right for either of them.
It was one of many for Bella, unfortunately. She wasn't shy or quiet and attracted a fair share of men, but she seemed to always pick out the wrong ones.
As a teenager, she dated one of her best friends, but the pair didn't stay together for very long. After high school, Bella went off to college and Peter moved to the city where he met Kate. The two had been married for ages and had three beautiful children.
While in college, Bella dated quite a bit, but none of them stuck around for very long. There was always something wrong; something just didn't quite mesh.
Mark was too short, quite a feat because Bella wasn't exactly tall herself, but she towered over him, making her feel awkward. She broke it off and never saw him again.
Jeremy was ... an asshole of epic proportions. Not toward Bella, of course, but he disregarded everyone else, and it made Bella feel embarrassed to be around him. He was now in prison for a slew of minor misdemeanors.
Jacob was a decent guy, but nothing about him made Bella's toes curl. His kisses were sloppy at best and his bedroom skills were ... less than stellar. After a year of bad sex and a relationship that was going nowhere because he was very commitment phobic, Bella broke it off with him. Jacob was now married to his old high school sweetheart whom he reconnected with after Bella had left him. They had two kids, a boy and a girl, and twin boys on the way.
And now Mike. Bella had met him in a bar. He was nice, giving, decent in the sack. He wanted a commitment, kids and the whole nine yards, just like Bella did. With him, she thought she'd finally found that other half; that peanut butter to her jelly.
They got engaged after dating for six months and started living together shortly thereafter. Bella loved him, she was sure she did, but there was always something nagging at her. They had fire and passion, but it wasn't ... enough. She figured that was the best she could do, that Mike was her perfect person, and moved forward at building a life with him.
A year later, she'd gotten a call from Jessica, Mike's secretary. She was asking about their wedding and Jessica was genuinely happy about it all, while Bella was ... not. It all felt off. Someone else, their friend, was more excited than she was and Bella knew then things had to change.
They broke up that night and she came home to her father's house where she'd been nursing her wounds ever since.
"It's all too much, Nana. I'm starting a new job tomorrow, and I have all this stress and heartache nagging at me. These people will think I'm a basket case if I don't get my shit together." She wiped her eyes with her sleeves and searched the rounded moon's face for answers. "I wish you were still here, Nana. I miss you." A new round of sobs rang out as her heart ached and her chest compressed. "I miss Momma, too. I wish I still had her. I wish you both could be here with me."
Pulling the afghan from the edge of the window seat, Bella snuggled with one of the throw pillows. With the light of the moon shining down on her, she fell asleep, dreaming of happier days as she ran around a beautiful field of flowers, picking them and bringing them home for the two older women who she missed so dearly.
I started writing this back in November and am now finally in a place where I can finish it.
This chapter is a little short, the rest will be a little longer. I don't have an update schedule and it's not fully pre-written (although about half is penned out) so this is truly a WIP ... haven't done one of those in a while, but y'all know me by now so ... trust. ;)
Midnight Cougar betas and pushes me to be more. Joey pre-read this chapter ... I'll rope Mandi into this one too.
So ... who's with me?