Chapter 32



5 years later…

"Are you excited? I am so excited!" Alice squealed, bouncing on the couch in my dressing room as Maya, a miracle worker, continued her art on my make-up.

"I guess I should know by now that she's always like this. But still, here I am, overwhelmed by her enthusiasm," Maya shook her head, looking wide-eyed at me in the mirror as I beamed, laughing along with her.

"Alice, I'm just performing. It's not anything you haven't already seen me do," I replied, sighing at the fact that, even after five years, she still freaked out whenever I invited her to a concert.

The rest of our friends were backstage, helping the crew set up – they hated sitting around while I did my make-up.

Alice, of course, was the exception.

Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant (parts one and two),had all been major successes in the box office, and even though a lot of doors had opened up for Edward during that entire process, he'd never followed through with any, what with his main focus being completing medical school.

With the two of us attending university in England, it was a long way from home, and it had definitely been difficult to head back to America to shoot all of the Divergent films, but somehow, we'd both managed to graduate with top grades.

England had been a lovely change for us, mainly because it allowed Edward and I to not only have the opportunity of formally living together, but it also allowed us to do so privately. Regulations in the U.K. for paparazzi are much stricter than they are in the U.S., so we were able to go out or stay in, or make-out in the street without our faces being slapped onto every possible magazine cover.

Throughout my schooling, I had taken somewhat of a break from music, but I still attended huge events whenever I was invited to perform, and I continued to write and produce music even though I wasn't able to tour as much as I used to.

Of course, now that I'd received my degree, I was back into the old flow of things, and I was currently ending the last leg of my world tour that had gone from Europe to South America, ending in North America.

My most recent album was my favorite thus far, for one main reason: Edward had featured his talents on some of the tracks. It had taken some serious pleading on my part, but in the end, I'd managed to rope him into playing the piano for a few of the slow songs. And, when he'd helped me with figuring out some of the melodies and harmonies, I'd heard him sing for the first time, and… well, if I'd thought his voice was velvety and musical simply while he was talking, his singing voice was practically honey.

So, naturally, he was touring with me. Singing wasn't his thing, even though his voice was much better than the vast majority of the artists I knew, but he had agreed to sing along with me on one song - the duet that we'd written together. Otherwise, he played the piano to a couple of my other songs.

My happiness throughout the five-year period of our relationship hadn't dwindled.

I was still learning new things about him every day – how he liked his coffee black with no sugar, how he preferred the right side of the bed to the left, though he wasn't entirely sure why.

I'd eventually moved past my hesitancy of getting closer to Edward, and though we'd both convinced ourselves that sex absolutely did not matter in the wider scheme of things, it sort of did. But in a good way.

I was more comfortable around Edward now than I was with anyone else, even my own family. But I guess that that wasn't really too surprising.

Obviously, we weren't perfect. We had fights over stuff like one of us hogging the shower, and forgetting to pick up the groceries, and a bunch of other trivial things. But our disputes never got to the point where either of us wanted to walk away. Many of them always ended in Edward enveloping me in his strong arms, and telling me that it wasn't anything we couldn't work out.

I loved him more than life itself, and he loved me. And it was beautiful to have that. I always felt safe with him, and he never made me doubt myself, or him, in any way.

I hadn't realized I'd been smiling to myself, shuffling through the memories Edward and I had made together, until Alice shot me knowing look, and Maya clapped her hands, telling me that I was officially ready.

Clad in a red thin-strapped dress that hugged my curves before flaring out up to my knees, Alice walked me to the rest of my friends, and we all huddled together as I giggled.

"So Bells, last performance of the tour. Let's make some magic happen!" Emmett cheered, getting me pumped to go on stage while everyone in the group cheered and screamed and I screamed along with them.

It had become kind of a tradition for my friends to do this, and I could not be more thankful that they did. Somehow, my performances always seemed livelier whenever they attended the show and hyped me up.

They all led me below the stage into the box-like contraption that elevated me onto the platform, into the stadium filled with screaming fans whose roars only grew louder when I pulled the microphone to my lips and began singing.

With my friends off to the side of the stage, I was suddenly projected back to memories of my performance at Coachella when I'd seen them singing along with me, as they were doing now.

Edward wasn't going to be up on stage until my last performance, which we were to perform together and end the show with, so he cheered me on with my friends, as I grinned, continuing with the lines.

Oh yeah, that was another thing: Edward had only gotten more gorgeous with age. He was only twenty-three, so obviously there wasn't anything major that had changed, but he looked more mature, and looked more built and less lanky. He had always looked like a male model, and that hadn't changed over the years.

Throughout the show, I ended up going through six costume changes, before being shoved into a gown at the end, which was new to my wardrobe. I guessed that since it was the last show, Shelly had wanted to change things up a bit.

"Wow, this is gorgeous," I'd commented when I'd first seen it during rehearsals that day.

It had a princess feel to it, with simple beading forming the bust of the strapless top half, while the rest of the dress was draped in different layers. It was elegant, yet delicate.

It was the perfect dress to sing a song with Edward in.

He walked onto the stage first, clad in a white shirt, jeans, and a black blazer with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, sitting himself down at the piano bench. I watched the familiar movement of him immersing himself in the music, hunching over the keys.

As he struck the first few notes with grace and fluidity, I walked onto the stage, sitting on the piano bench with him, watching as his fingers glided across the keys:

The day we met
frozen, I held my breath
right from the start
I knew that I found a home
for my heart,
Beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid
To fall
Watching you stand alone
All of my doubt
Suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday
waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years,
I'll love you for a
Thousand more

Edward gave me the biggest smile as I sang the words to him, before he moved in towards his microphone, and the crowd went equally as wild, anticipating what was to come.

His eyes kept shifting towards me as he sang the lyrics that he'd written for me. And no matter how many times the words flowed out of his mouth as he continued to play the notes, I couldn't shield my awe. Butterflies rose up in my stomach, as I resisted my urge to sigh like a giddy teenager.

Time stands still
beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything
Take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath,
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

Somehow, I managed to remember to pull the microphone near my mouth as our voices merged together. Him singing a lower tone, while my voice harmonized with his, the sounds of the screaming fans dissipated as his eyes locked with mine.

He looked nervous, as if searching my eyes for something, trying to find some kind of answer. I was confused about that, but tried to focus on the song, and not anything else.

I have died everyday
waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years,
Love you for a
Thousand more

All along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
Thousand years,
Love you for a
Thousand more,
Love you for a
Thousand more

One step closer

I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid,
I have loved you for a
Thousand years,
Love you for a
Thousand more

All along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
Thousand years,
Love you for a
Thousand more

As the final notes died away, Edward and I remained frozen in place, smiling softly at each other as the crowd erupted into cheers.

I laughed into the microphone, breaking out of my daze, as I stood, turning to the audience, "I hope you guys enjoyed tonight as much as I did. As you know, this is the last concert of the tour, and I could not have asked for a better crowd to perform in front of."

That got the crowd screaming once again, as I smiled, almost going to bow out and walk off.

And then the strangest of things happened. Abruptly, the crowd fell into a hush. Deadly silent.

A few murmurs maybe, but otherwise, complete silence.

The lights dimmed, and I looked towards my friends, who all had grins on their faces as they looked towards the spot behind me.

Okay, then?

I didn't know what to expect, but as I turned around, looking down, I definitely had not expected to see Edward kneeling.

One hand flew to my mouth, as I still kept the microphone in my other hand, and Edward took a deep breath.

"Bella, the years that I've spent with you have been ones that I'll treasure forever. The moment I met you, I felt a pull towards you; a need to protect you, be there for you, as a friend, but also, as more than that."

Tears were springing to my eyes as he continued, voice strong as ever, "The day you told me you loved me, I couldn't believe it at first. I couldn't believe that someone so beautiful, kind, and caring could ever feel anything for me. But you did, and every time I hear those words from you, my heart soars.

"Life isn't a movie. It rarely ever is. We have our ups and downs, but I love you through all those moments. I love you even when you get ticked off after I buy the wrong milk," I laughed through my tears at that, and he smiled as well.

Since my microphone was still on, the crowd was hearing every word of Edward's, but they stayed respectful as ever, waiting for him to finish.

"I'll love you in your brightest and darkest moments, because God, nothing would make me happier than waking up to you every morning. It'll be my goal to put a smile on that gorgeous face of yours every single day. I hope that after today I never make you cry again, because I'd rather die than see tears fall from your eyes.

"Bella, I want you, and only you, for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?" as the question left his mouth, the screens changed to mirror it.

He pulled a black velvet box out of his pocket; opening it to reveal the most stunning diamond ring I'd ever seen, with an oval-shaped cut and diamonds filling almost every inch within the shape.

I couldn't function. I felt like I couldn't breathe. The ring. The proposal. Everything was so overwhelming. My hands were shaking, and tears were still spilling out of my eyes, and for a moment, I panicked, thinking that I wouldn't be able to give him my answer.

I could tell that he became worried for a second as well, widening his eyes, and looking down with a slightly resolved look on his face. The crowd waited with baited breath, before:

"Yes," my voice sounding raspy, after what felt like hours but were really only a few mere seconds, I'd miraculously found a way to speak, "Yes, I would love to marry you, Edward."

And then he was exhaling, and slipping the ring onto my left hand, pulling my face into his hands when he stood. At this point, the crowd couldn't seem to contain their happiness, clapping and screaming louder than I'd ever heard a crowd before – and that's saying something.

His thumbs stroked my cheeks, wiping away the stray tears, before, slowly, he pressed his soft lips to mine. We were both shaking a ridiculous amount, but it didn't hold either of us back from putting full force into the kiss.

His lips molded to mine, gently at first, before moving more fervently as his tongue slipped into my mouth. His hands remained planted on my face, causing an involuntary smile to form on my lips, as I pulled him closer by the bottom of his shirt, wrapping my tongue with his as we both sighed in contentment.

When we pulled away, I smiled, "For the record: these are happy tears," I reassured Edward, as his signature lopsided grin formed across his lips. To this day, it still gave me heart palpitations to see him smile like that because of me.

"I love you, Edward. I can't express to you how euphoric I am right now," I said, as he lowered his face to mine again, pressing his lips slowly and gently, before pulling back and resting his forehead against mine.

Those ever-smoldering emerald green eyes gazed into mine as I lost myself in his emotions: relief, hope, wonder, joy, adoration.

It was all there. And it was all I needed to see to know that Edward truly wanted nothing more than for me to be his wife.

Which was wonderful, because I wanted nothing more than for him to be my husband.

After a few minutes of staring into his eyes, I realized something.

"Did Alice and Emmett and everyone else know?" I asked, raising my eyebrows, as a sheepish grin spread across Edward's face.

"They've known for a couple of months, yes," Edward's reply came as a shock to me.

"Months? You've been planning to propose to me for months?" I asked, surprise colouring my voice as Edward smiled.

"Years, actually," Edward laughed, "but I wanted the timing to be right."

It all made sense suddenly; Alice's cryptic comment about being excited for the show, Shelly taking extra care in dressing me up for the last performance. It had all been part of his plan.

"You're amazing, Edward Anthony Cullen," I laughed a little, as a smile fell onto his face.

"You bring it out in me, soon-to-be Isabella Marie Cullen," his smile widened so much that I couldn't help but smile right back.

"It definitely has a nice ring to it," I smiled once more, before pulling his face to mine and kissing him once again.

The crowd was still going insane behind us, and even amongst the cheers, I could hear Emmett howling, and Alice squealing, and the quieter of my friends cheering.

Turning towards them, I gave Alice an accusatory look for her little hint backstage before the show. All that same, I was glad she hadn't spilled the beans, because the spontaneity of it all was what had really made this moment with Edward special.

Yes, I'd wanted to get married to Edward for the past two years, but I never pushed him, because I knew that everything would fall into place when the time was right.

Alice, in response to my playful glare, only mouthed, "Love you!" to me as my expression of false annoyance slipped back into pure happiness, looking through the group of my friends and seeing all of their familiar faces, some smiling. Some of the girls were crying – happy tears like me - while their boyfriends laughed, knowing that it would soon be their turn to pop the question to their significant others.

Turning back to Edward, trailing my fingers down to caress his cheek, I etched every bit of this moment into my memory, never wanting to forget a single detail, a single word, a single smile.

"I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you," Edward said breathily, gazing into my eyes as I gazed right back.

I couldn't wait either.

The End.

A/N: I had the idea for the proposal since I started writing the story, and while looking for songs that Bella and Edward could duet together, I stumbled across 'A Thousand Years' and I could not think of a song more fitting. The link to Bella's dress while Edward proposed shall be put onto my profile.

I'm happy with the way I left things, and I hope you guys are, too.

I cannot thank you guys enough for pushing me to finish this story, and continuously giving me your support and understanding throughout the process. As usual, please drop me a review!