Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of its characters.
A/N: This is the moment you've all been waiting for! Sorry it took so long for me to write it!
Bella Swan's POV
"Jake," I breathed through the phone. "I need your help." I didn't exactly know why I called Jacob to ask for help, but since he was the only person who knew about my fake amnesia—who I could trust I might add—he seemed perfect to fit the bill. I really wasn't expecting for the dance to come too soon, for goodness sakes! These past few days, I've been thinking about all the things that Edward said. He seemed really sincere on his intentions. Plus, he's been putting so much effort in helping me remember my past. He doesn't even care if I regain my memories or not, we'll just create new ones he had said. Edward truly cared about me.
"Bella," Jacob exhaled. "If this is one of your schemes again, I already told you that I didn't want to be a part of it anymore, remember?"
"Yeah, you did and no, this isn't one of my schemes." I answered him. "I just need your advice."
"Well, I'm going to the dance with Edward today." The thought seem to have fully sunk in to me now. Nevertheless, I was still very nervous for tonight.
"Uh, Bella, shouldn't you ask your girl friends about that topic?" Jacob said wearily. I laughed inwardly at his reaction.
"Well, I can't since they don't know I'm pretending to have amnesia." I said as a matter-of-factly. Jacob didn't reply. For a while, I thought he hung up on me, but thankfully I still heard his breathing from the other end. "I want to tell Edward the truth." I finally said.
It was silent for a while.
"How do you plan on doing it?" he asked simply.
"I was thinking on doing it before the dance." The sooner the better... Plus, this is a perfect excuse to not attend the dance.
"Bella," he exhaled heavily. "I know I told you that you needed to stop this, but at least have some decency to tell the bloodsucker after the dance."
After the dance? I didn't have that much time. "No, I need to tell Edward as soon as possible." Before someone beats me to it...I shuddered as I thought of Rosalie.
"Fine, it's up to you. This is your problem not mine." He said accusingly. "You created this mess..."
"And I intend to clean it up." I finished his sentence impatiently. "There's another problem though...Rosalie knows. She somehow found me out a few nights ago when we were talking." I paused. "She gave me an ultimatum of three days or she'll tell it to Edward herself. Today's the last day." One day left...the words from my dream still haunted me.
Jacob thought for a while. "That complicates things. No wonder you're rushing into this."
"So what do you think?"
"I think you should just tell him before the day ends." He said simply. "If he really loves you, then he'll forgive you."
I thought about it for a moment. If Edward really loves me like he says he does, then I'm sure it wouldn't be hard for him to forgive me, right? "Alright, thanks Jake."
"Anytime, Bells." He said cheerfully. "Tell me how it goes. Good luck."
With that, the line went dead.
By late afternoon, I started preparing for the inevitable. I curled the ends of my hair, applied a little bit of makeup, and put on the dress Alice bought for me. I looked at myself in the mirror and I was satisfied with what I saw. I was like the old Bella again. There were no more bags under my eyes, my face seemed fuller, and my eyes shone brighter. Was this change because of the Cullens' sudden return? Or was it because of my feelings regarding a certain member of their family?
A car honked outside. I didn't need to check who it was.
I headed down as slowly as I possibly can. I wasn't ready to tell Edward the truth yet, but it's not like I have a choice right? "Hey," I greeted Edward as I opened the door. He wore a very expensive-looking tuxedo with a matching tie.
"Hello Bella," He flashed his breathtaking smile at me. It made it very hard for me to concentrate. "You look very beautiful as always."
I smiled at him.
"Shall we?" He gestured to the Volvo. I nodded and followed him to his car. Edward opened the door for me and I slid in the front seat. He got in the driver's side and then we were off to the dance.
"Are you excited?" Edward asked light-heartedly. He looked more excited than I was. I thought vampires thought that repetitive things such as school dances were boring?
"You're the one who looks excited." I teased.
"Oh come on Bella, you should be excited. It's your first time to experience a dance!" He smirked. If only he knew...
Seriously, why is Edward so excited about something as mediocre as a school dance? I don't remember him being as excited as this when we went to Prom. Then again, maybe I'm the only one who's dull today since my impending doom awaits. Speaking of, should I tell Edward now? But I wouldn't want to ruin his mood. Ugh, why is this so hard?
"Bella?" Edward said, breaking me out of my stupor. He was waiting for me to answer his unheard question.
"I'm sorry, what?" I said calmly while brushing off nonexistent lint at my dress.
"Bella, are you alright?" he looked at me with concern. "You've been incredibly silent plus, you've been fidgeting for the past few minutes." He reached out and squeezed my hand. "Is everything alright?"
I shrugged. "Yeah, I'm just nervous I guess." Which was true. I'm nervous about what will happen tonight. I don't want to fall completely for Edward again and then lose him in the end. I wouldn't be able to bear that pain again. The thought of Edward leaving me again frightens me.
"Don't be." He comforted me. "I'm sure you'll enjoy it."
"But I'm such a bad dancer!" I protested jokingly, changing the topic of the conversation.
"Well you're in luck, because I happen to be an excellent dancer." He winked at me. Cocky as always. I fought the urge to roll my eyes.
I laughed. "That I would like to see."
About ten minutes later, I realized that we weren't going down the direction towards the school. Was Edward lost? I giggled inwardly. What a silly thought. He never gets lost. Now that I think of it, I doubt it that he ever planned to go to the school at all. So where was he taking me? "Um Edward? I think you missed the turn." I said, hiding my panic.
"I'm not taking you to the school." He said coolly. "We're going somewhere else."
Somewhere else? Great, what tricks does he have up his sleeve now? "May I know where?" I demanded.
"Nope, it's a surprise." He replied, maintaining his expression.
"But you know I hate surprises." I pouted. Where on earth is he planning to take me tonight? I hate guessing about these kinds of things.
"You'll love this one, I promise." He flashed my favourite crooked smile.
Minutes later, we passed a familiar looking road. This pathway looked so familiar as if I was just here a few days ago—wait, I was here just the other day! Realization suddenly dawned on me. Edward was going to bring me to his house again. What for though? Heck, if I was nervous before then I really feel like panicking now. I can't tell Edward the truth with his family here! I wouldn't be able to face them ever again.
"I thought you would've liked it best if we spent tonight together as just the two of us. I instructed the rest of my family to leave for awhile." Edward said as he pulled over in front of the house. "I want you to remember this night as something special."
Edward led me to the back of his house where a small gazebo stood. There was a table set for two inside of it although only one of the plate settings had food in it. Twinkling lights dangled everywhere and different kinds of flowers swung on the trellis. I could hear classical music being played on a CD player nearby.
"This is beautiful." I was taken aback by the scene in front of me. Everything was so beautiful and so magical. It feels like I'm in a dream and somehow my plan to tell Edward the truth was forgotten.
"I'm glad you like it. Alice really went all out with this, don't you think?" Edward laughed heartily. Of course, Alice was the one who always went overboard with decorations. She really enjoys planning parties that way.
"I seem to recall that you liked mushroom ravioli so I requested Esme to cook that for you." He said as he pulled out my chair for me. Ever the gentleman. I thought to myself. "She was more than delighted to use the kitchen again. She loves cooking for you."
I smiled. Esme was always so kind to me. She treated me like her own daughter. In fact, she reminded me so much of my own mother. She treated me so dearly. Now that I think of it, all of the Cullens were good to me. They treated me like I was a member of their family. They defended and protected me even if their own lives were at stake when James was tracking me. They tried to protect me when Jasper lost control on the night of my 18th birthday. I only noticed now how much I took their care for me for granted when they left a few months ago. Even Rosalie cared for me in the end...
"Shall we?" Edward offered his hand to me after I finished eating.
"I can't make any promises to not step on your feet." I cautioned him as he placed his left hand on my waist and pulled me in closer.
As we started swaying to the side, a familiar tune suddenly played. I was a quick, wet boy diving too deep for coins... This was the song we dan—
"This was the song that we danced to at Prom." Edward voiced out the same thoughts I had. "I know that there is a possibility that you may never remember that night, so I just recreated everything for you."
So that would explain everything. The gazebo with the lights, the music, the garden, basically everything; Edward put in all this effort just to recreate the memories we had during Prom. I can't believe he would invest so much effort in me. Did he really love me that much?
I didn't know what to say. So instead, I just laid my head on his shoulder and murmured, "Thank you."
We stayed in that position for what seemed like hours. I didn't realize that tears were already sliding down my cheeks and onto Edward's shoulder.
"I love you, Bella. More than anything." Edward said as he rested his chin on the top of my head. We stopped dancing now. "You are my life."
The question that's been bothering me for months suddenly bubbled up to my lips. I finally had the courage to ask it. "Then why did you leave?"
Edward studied my face. "You remember that day?" he said solemnly.
"Bella, I only left because I wanted to protect you. From my kind...and from me." Edward looked directly at me. "I didn't want to endanger you anymore by being in my world. I wanted you live a normal human life. I hoped that someday, you will get married, have kids, and grow old. I knew very well that that kind of future is impossible when you're with me. That is why I decided to leave so that in time, you would forget me and move on with your life. I lied to you, Bella, and I'm sorry."
I processed this information quickly. Edward cared for me all along. There was no mistaking it. He sacrificed his happiness for my safety and all these months I've been thinking that he didn't give a damn about me anymore. That thought made me have an epiphany. "You...love me?"
"Truly, I do." He brought down his lips to mine. Everything else suddenly didn't matter. Edward really loves me. I marvelled in the thought. He loves me. All this time, I thought he left me to hurt me but turns out, it was the exact opposite. He left me to protect me.
"No more tears for tonight, okay?" he said as he wiped away the tears from my eyes. "And I promise that I would never lie to you again."
Guilt suddenly rose from the back of my mind. I shivered. What would Edward think of my lies? "Edward, I-I have to tell you something."
"Can it wait for a minute? I want to show you something." He retrieved a small box under the table and gave it to me.
I removed the wrapper and opened the box. Inside was the most beautiful locket that I have ever seen. It was heart-shaped with diamond crystals that shone like Edward's skin in the sunlight. I flipped it open and there was a picture of me and Edward during my 18th birthday.
This is too much. I didn't deserve this. Edward didn't deserve me. I shut the locket closed and sank onto the chair.
"Are you alright, Bella?" he said immediately with concern. "You look pale."
"I just felt dizzy, that's all." I faked a smile.
"You should've told me you weren't feeling well." He said disapprovingly. "Come on, I'm taking you home. You should rest."
I just nodded.
We rode in a somehow comfortable silence. I leaned my head against the window as Edward held onto my hand as he drove. I felt bad for letting Edward think that I wasn't feeling well. But I guess that is the least of my problems now, isn't it? Despite my calm appearance on the outside, I was already going crazy with guilt. Why did I decide to lie to him in the first place? I know it was because I wanted to hurt him since he had hurt me but that argument was clearly invalid now since Edward obviously still loves me. I now feel bad for lying to him. I feel bad for pretending to not remember him. I feel bad for having this charade go on for so long. Oh and I feel bad for lying to his family too. Why did I even do this? I feel bad for everything! All the lies and the deception. I'm such a horrible person. I am a horrible person.
We arrived at my house twice as fast than when we left to go to his. By then, I was a guilt-ridden and regret-filled mess. Edward insisted on walking me to the door. When we were halfway there, I decided to finally tell him the truth. "Edward," I stopped walking and faced him. This was it. It's now or never.
"Yes?" Edward looked at me curiously.
"Do you remember what I said about the day you left earlier?" I delayed the moment a bit. I know I'll never be ready for this but he has to know. He deserves to know.
"You said you remember that day." He looked confused now. "Why are you bringing this up?"
"Well...you see...the thing is..." I stammered. I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply. This is it. The point of no return. I looked at Edward intently. "I never forgot it."
His expression changed to a bland mask as he processed this information. "What do you mean?" His jaw hardened.
I fought away the tears that were threatening to spill at that moment. "I-I never forgot that day. I never forgot anything. I didn't lose my memory. I don't have amnesia and I remember everything." I managed to stutter out every sentence.
Edward just stared on the ground, thinking hard. I watched as his expression changed from understanding, anger, confusion, and finally indifference.
There was a long minute of unnerving silence.
"Well, say something." I begged. I needed to know what he felt about this. Could he ever forgive me?
"What do you want me to say?" Edward spoke softly, his jaw in a hard line.
"Please tell me you forgive me." I pleaded desperately.
"I forgive you." He said without looking at me. "I know you must have your reasons because I left you, but tell me one thing, why did you do this?"
I felt tears brimming in my eyes. "I only did this at first because I wanted to hurt you because you hurt me a lot when you left." I explained hastily. "But that all changed when I realized that you've loved me all along and I was wrong for doing this in the first place. Edward, I'm so so sorry for lying to you."
There was nothing but silence yet again.
"You know, I've known for awhile." Edward spoke in a mere whisper.
I only realized now that he didn't look as surprised as he would be when I told him the truth earlier. "H-how?" Did Rosalie tell him already?
"Well I didn't really know for sure, but I suspected." He continued in the same sombre tone. "You were remembering all your memories all too well for someone who had amnesia, maybe perhaps too well." He looked directly at me.
"All throughout this week you've been acting very strange. I couldn't quite point my finger on it though." His brows furrowed. "One moment you act like you actually, truly remember something but after that you act like you don't have a clue at all."
"So I checked your medical records to see what they said about your condition since you said that all the information I wanted to know was there. Turns out, there was nothing there saying that you had amnesia...at all. At first, I thought the doctors made a mistake but then..."
"You had quite an interesting dream last night. I heard you sleep-talking about lying about something and begging me to stay with you." He continued. "Then when I got home this morning, I heard Rosalie smugly thinking about some dirty secret that you had that she was excited to tell me about. Then I remembered the other day when you stiffened at the mere mention of Rosalie's name."
"So I just put two-and-two together," He concluded, his expression was still a bland mask. "I was wrong about you. You can be a good actress but you're such a bad liar."
He frowned. "But I guess you fooled me. You had everyone fooled."
"E-Edward, I'm really really sorry." I said as tears started to fall down my cheeks. "I didn't really mean for this to happen."
"Oh, I'm most certain you did." He said monotonously. "Although I'm sure you didn't really want anyone to find out so soon, am I right? It was a clever plan though."
I didn't like where this conversation was going. I hated this. I hated it all. "I am truly sorry. I-I wasn't really thinking straight when I decided to do this. I was so...blinded by hate and anger because you just left me like I was nothing. But it turns out, you did it for my own good and I was wrong. I love you Edward. Truly, I do."
"Bella," He sighed frustratedly, looking at the sky. "You know I love you too."
"So do you forgive me—for all I've done?" I said with a tinge of hope.
"I've already forgiven you." He said flatly. "I just need to think right now...and space."
And before I knew it, he was walking away from me, just like in my dream.
"Edward, please stay. We can talk about this." I tried to stop him like what I did in that dream.
But I knew that there was no stopping Edward once he made a decision.
"I have to be alone for a while, Bella." He said, sounding tired. "I need to clear my head."
I knew that all attempts at stopping Edward are useless. There was no convincing him.
"Edward, please don't leave me again." I said as a desperate last attempt. The memories of a few months ago in the forest flooded through my mind.
I didn't know if it was how my facial expression looked or how broken my voice sounded, but suddenly I was in Edward's arms. I breathed in his scent, memorizing it for it may be the last time I'll smell it. I hugged him as tight as I could, never wanting to let go. I wanted to stay in his arms forever, even if forever is such a cliché concept. I wanted to be with him. At that moment, I knew what I yearned for all along. I wanted to be with Edward.
"Never again," he vowed when he let me go. "I'll always come back to you."
And just like that, he was gone.
It was like I imagined that whole embrace up.
I went inside the house and decided to call Jacob. "Jake," I didn't realize I was still crying. "You were right." He was right. Edward wasn't the one who got hurt by my stupid plan.
In the end, it was me.
A/N: So what do you guys think of the big reveal? :o Do you like how Edward reacted to it? Btw, sorry again for taking a long time to post this chapter. I hope you all haven't given up on this story yet! I needed a break from writing this so I decided to rewrite the first chapter of my other story, Princess Protection Program. Do check it out when you have the time! :)
One more chapter to go before the epilogue!