Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive. I hope you enjoy the differences. A huge thankyou to Shellym127 and Wyldfyre for my wonderful banners.
Chapter Thirty One (APOV) - Page 50 Chapter Thirty Two (BPOV) - Page 53 Chapter Thirty Three (EPOV) - Page 57 Chapter Thirty Four (BPOV) - Page 60
Chapter Thirty Five (EPOV) - Page 65
Chapter Thirty Six (EPOV) - Page 68
Chapter Thirty Seven (BPOV) - Page 71
Chapter Thirty Eight (APOV) - Page 74
The small pockets of warmth and hope that had been slowly finding their way into my damaged soul were threatening to disappear and it left me with a feeling of despair. Just when I thought that I had found some kind of reasonable existence – even a small tinge of happiness – I could feel that it was slipping away. Why did Jacob, my loving, fun, happy source of sunshine have to confuse our friendship for something more? Why couldn’t we just keep being friends and continue healing the broken pieces of my soul one small piece at a time through the warmth he had managed to bring to my life. Selfish, selfish. I knew it for what it was. I was being remarkably selfish to put him through this. To make him keep his distance at the same time as trying to pull his warmth into my very being. I was being unfair. He was being accepting. I should leave him alone but I really wasn’t sure that I could. I needed him to get me through this. It was only with him that I felt even remotely like myself – a shadow for sure but at least it was something beyond that awful place I was at when the other one left. I started to see the other’s face but I pulled myself away from that image and concentrated on Jacob, a different type of pain but somehow something less confronting. What choice was I going to make here? Neither choice would help. I would never love Jacob the way he wanted. Who am I kidding, I would never love anyone the way I should. I was damaged in that respect. I had known love and it had been ripped away. The darkness threatened to engulf me again. Concentrate - we are not thinking about that appalling time. Jacob. Yes Jacob. He knew that I couldn’t love him that way but he felt it might happen in time if I just let it. My choices could lead to even more heartache for him and I knew what that was like. Was I willing to put him through the emotional void I had experienced just so I could start to feel better myself? I had never been a selfish person. I had always been the one to look after others but……. I needed help and he was the only one who could give it.
“Bella. Are you home?” The front door slammed as Charlie entered the house. I quickly studied myself in the mirror. Not that I really cared what I looked like but I didn’t want Charlie to see that I had been crying again. It would break his heart if he thought that I was returning to that awful place I was at a few months ago. He was happy that I had finally managed to pull myself out of that hole and I was pretty sure that he was thanking Jacob for that in his own head. He knew I had a long way to go but I didn’t want to give him even an inkling that I could fall back into that abyss with the slightest provocation. It would hurt him. I sighed. There was always someone for me to hurt.
“Here dad”. I called as I made my way downstairs.
“ How was your day? Did you have fun with Jacob?” he enquired while he studied my face.
I pulled my face into a calm mask and answered the way I knew he wanted. “ Sure, we always have a good time together. We just hung out. You know how it is dad.”
“ When are you seeing him again?” Subtle Charlie. Why don’t you just ask me when are we going to get married and have kids so that you can be sure that I won’t completely lose it again.
“ Um. Not so sure. We are both pretty busy from here on in. You know school going back and all. I am sure it will be soon though” I added because I saw his face show a small sign of panic. “ Have to go dad the grocery store is calling or we won’t have any food. See ya.” I made a dash for the door before he could continue with the discussion and lead me to confess that not all was right between Jacob and I. It wasn’t something that I wanted to face.
Life was full of mundane everyday routines and this was one of them. Grocery shopping. Thank goodness for the mundane. It let me look like I was functioning without really having to think about what was going on in all the other parts of my life. It made people think that I was surviving when all I wanted to really do was curl up into a ball and……. Not an option I told myself firmly. You are not the only person that is impacted by your choices. Charlie, Renee, Jacob, Angela. All people I loved and wanted to protect. One step in front of the other. Slowly but surely things would get better.
I had finished the shopping and was heading out to the carpark. I looked up to see that the shadows were deepening and that twilight was upon us. Twilight was his favourite time. I shuddered and deliberately made my thoughts wander from that potentially destructive course of images. When would this stop. I sighed for the umpteenth time and started to put the groceries in the boot of the car.
“ Bella”. I closed my eyes tightly. Why on earth was I hearing his voice. I was putting groceries in the car for god’s sake. I wasn’t doing anything dangerous that could lead me to hearing his voice. I wasn’t trying to be reckless on one of the motorbikes that Jacob had fixed for me. I wasn’t putting myself into any danger by talking to strange men in the middle of a quiet Port Angeles street. There wasn’t anything remotely threatening in what I was doing at all. I chose to ignore it and kept packing.
“ Ah excuse me Bella”. Now I know I am going mad. His voice was never pleasant when he spoke to me in my mind. He was always angry at me for what I was doing. What a joke. My mind obviously wanted to believe that he cared when I put myself in danger even though I knew that there was nothing further from the truth. This was different though. This was that beautiful sing song voice that I had cast from my mind when he had told me he didn’t love me anymore. When he had told me that he no longer existed. Why on earth was I hearing it now?
I slowly turned around to see what was going on. I gasped and instantly felt a fierce joy overcome me. It was instantly rebuffed however as my mind began to register what was happening in front of me. This could not be real. Edward stood about two metres in front of me, flanked by his family. Every single one of them. How could that be? Why on earth were they all here in front of me in a carpark of all places. Edward looked nervous. Alice looked elated. Jasper was worried. Emmett was smirking. Rosalie looked bored. Carlisle and Esme stood a little behind. It seemed like ages before anyone spoke. I couldn’t even grasp if this was reality or some sick fantasy. I had pushed all these people to the bottom of my subconscious in the hope of gaining some semblance of normality. Yet here they were looking as real as uniquely beautiful people can look.
I felt my hands reach across my stomach as if to protect myself. I hugged myself fiercely. This was not happening. This could not happen now. Please, please leave me alone I yelled to myself silently.
“ Bella. we were um….. that is Bella we were hoping……..” His voice trailed off as I stared at him coldly. I watched as he slumped slightly and turned to Alice for help.
Alice placed her hand on his arm and turned to me smiling. “ Hi Bella. We are so happy to see you”
Was she joking? What were they doing? Happy to see me? I had never heard anything so absurd in my life.
Alice came towards me. ‘She is going to hug you.’ my inner voice yelled at me and I reflexively placed my hands up to ward her off. I saw her stricken face as she quickly moved back to her spot next to Edward without touching me at all. Jasper grasped her hand and I knew that he was using his gift to help her. I didn’t care. I was beginning to spiral out of control. I could feel it. I needed to get out of here.
I turned back to the car and slammed the boot closed with as much ferocity as I could manage. My mind was still yelling at me to get out of there. I moved towards the car door. I still had not said a single word and I could still feel seven pairs of eyes staring uncertainly at my back.
“ Please Bella. Don’t go”. His voice was pleading. There was something there but I couldn’t quite get what it was. I was too full of my own anguish that I didn’t want to see what he was trying to do. “ I am so sorry Bella. I truly am…
“ You. Are. Sorry.” I spat out at him. He looked like I had slapped him across the face but he remained calm and tried again.
“ Yes Bella. I am sorry. I should never have left you like that. I have been….”
I could feel the red hot emotion of anger come over me. I couldn’t think straight. All I knew was that the one that had hurt me the most , the one that had ripped my heart out and left me to fend for myself was standing in front of me saying that he was sorry. What did he want from me? Hadn’t he hurt me enough?
“ You left me Edward. You made me think that you loved me and then you just decided that I wasn’t good enough for you and you…. left…. me. Do you think I care that you are SORRY. I DO NOT CARE” I yelled at him furiously and then realized where I was. The carpark. I made my voice softer but kept the anger in it. There was way too much pain involved to just let this go. “ You made your choice Edward. You made my choice for me. Not only did you take yourself away from me… you took everyone.” I glared at the whole family. Oh god how I had loved this family but now all I felt for them was anger. “ Not one of you cared enough about me to check that I was alright. Not one of you tried to keep contact”. I looked at Alice as I said this and I saw her cringe and Jaspers hand tighten on hers.
“ I’m sorry Bella” Alice moaned “ I know it seems like we didn’t care but of course we did. We just had to do the right thing”
“ The right thing, the right thing. Are you serious. You were my best friend. I loved you like a sister. I would never EVER TURN MY BACK on you” I was becoming hysterical. “ You are as bad as him. You LEFT me”
“ We did it to protect you Bella” Alice stammered. “ We were thinking of you”
“ How could going away possibly protect me Alice. How could leaving me to face the others possibly help me. Laurent, Victoria and any other blood drinking mythical creature that feels that I am their personal magnet. It’s neverending. Every sound, every shadow. Constant fear and NOONE to protect me. “ My breathing was becoming quicker and I could feel the shock oozing out of every one of them. I didn’t care. “ How was leaving the right thing to do when I couldn’t feel or breath for god knows how long?”
I caught the significant look that Alice gave Jasper and I turned on him ferociously. “ DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT CALMING ME DOWN. You have no right. Let me be. Let me feel what I am feeling Not what you want me to feel. You owe me that Jasper” Another stab in the heart for someone I had once cared for. He would never forgive himself for what he had done that helped lead us to this moment and I had just driven it home even more. He stopped though. I didn’t feel any calm just the red hot anger. It made me keep the poisoned arrows hurling at the Cullen family. “ and you Emmett. Have you come back to tease me more. Bored, are you, without the silly human to entertain you – obviously I wasn’t entertaining enough to keep around hey even though I thought of you as the big brother I had never had?”
I turned to Rosalie as she hissed at me. No one insults Emmet without earning her wrath. What could I say to her? She had never professed to care so what had she done wrong? “ At least you never pretended to care Rosalie. At least when you left you didn’t make a mockery of a friendship. There never was one between us”
I turned to attack the two remaining Cullens and felt the wind come out of my sail. I had had enough. What could I possibly say to two of the most amazing people I know. I couldn’t inflict any more hurt tonight.
“ Please stop Bella. This is not my family’s fault. They only left because I forced them to…..”
“ Do you know what Edward, I am finished. When you left me you told me to forget that you or any of your family ever existed. Well you have got what you wanted. As far as I am concerned none of you exist. Go away and leave me alone.” I turned away from all of their shocked faces and numbly placed myself in the car as I whispered “I don’t need ANY vampires in my life – NONE”