The Twilight Saga

It has been 20 years since Edward left. Bella never stopped loving him.
This story is now complete. Hope you enjoy it.

After All These Years

Setting: 20 years after Edward leaves in New Moon.

Chapter 1

Unlike some people, I loved washing dishes. It was the time that I allowed my mind to wander freely; the time where I replayed the day in my head; the time when I allowed memories to wash over me. Maybe it was the warm water. Maybe it was the feeling of washing everything away. Maybe it was that the window over the sink faced the forest and brought Edward back to my mind each day.

I didn’t push Edward from my mind anymore. The first year after he left, I couldn’t even think of him without clutching myself in physical pain. I couldn’t bear to say his name…couldn’t bear to hear it. But that had changed over the years. I welcomed the memories now. For me, there would never be another love. I knew I had found my one true love as a young woman. I knew Edward was the only piece that could complete me. Twenty years later, I still loved him.

Tonight, Edward was so clear in my mind. Jacob and his family had surprised me with a birthday cake. It was the first birthday since Charlie had died and they didn’t want me to be alone. I preferred to skip over birthday celebrations. Like most women, the thought of getting older was offensive, but for me birthdays also signified the end. The end of Edward and me-----the memory of my eighteenth birthday party at the Cullen’s was one of my blackest memories.

Jake and I remained best friends all these years. He imprinted on Anna when he was nineteen and they were married shortly after. Life had changed for Jacob after the Cullens left Forks. He no longer shape shifted. There was no need. Once in a great while, he would tell me that he smelled a sweet smell in the air, warning me to be careful. I think he thought it would scare me. It never did. I only hoped that meant that an old friend was passing by, or more importantly, Edward was near.

As I washed and dried the last plate, I replayed Jacob’s last words to me tonight. “Lock up good tonight, Bells. I smell a strong sweetness in the air.” He had no idea how I wished that were true.

I hung the dishtowel to dry and went out on the back stoop, staring at the forest. It was dark, but it didn’t scare me. Before turning in for the night I spoke out loud, “Good night, Edward. I love you.”

Chapter 2

I still kept the bedroom at the top of the stairs. I had repainted and gotten new furniture along the years. But in all those years, I never replaced the mattress. It was there that we talked for hours; there that he held me, and that we kissed. It was worn now, and honestly my back would most definitely benefit from a new mattress. I just couldn’t part with it.

I got ready for bed and turned on the bedside lamp. I opened my window a crack, like I had every night since he left. Then I took out my journal. I always wrote in it on nights that I felt particularly preoccupied with memories. I learned years ago that writing my thoughts down would often ward off the nightmares I had so often. Somehow I wasn’t sure it would help tonight. My journal, like anything else about my life, was not a typical journal. I actually wrote letters to Edward. I had filled over a dozen blank books with letters to him. Maybe someday, when I was gone, he would read them and understand the depth of my love for him. He would know that I figured out why he really left and that I eventually forgave him. Tonight was a night I knew I needed to write to him. And so I began…

My Dearest Edward,
I’ve missed you so much today. It’s my birthday. I turned thirty-eight today. That means it is almost 20 years to the day since you’ve been gone. I never would have believed that I would be without you after all these years. On days like today, I still feel the hole in my chest. I know it was your love for me that allowed you to leave. But, I wonder, do you still think of me? I love you, much now as ever before.

I stopped there because tears were making it difficult to write. I cried myself softly to sleep.

Shortly afterwards, the nightmare began. It was always the same when it came. Wandering in the forest. Calling out his name. Crying. Never finding him. Feeling so alone. And then…waking up in a cold sweat, sobbing for what I would never have again.
I tried to calm myself, counting my breaths, in and out.

Then I heard his voice, “Bella.”

I sat upright and looked around the room. It was empty, of course. But, I didn’t feel alone in the room. Oh, God. Tonight was particularly bad. I was having delusions again. It was years since I had heard the delusions this clearly. I tried to concentrate harder. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…

I felt a cool breeze in the room and instinctively pulled the blanket higher to my chin.

“Edward?” I whispered into the dark room.

Table of Contents
Clickable Links

Chapters 1 & 2- on header of each page
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14

Chapter 15 -This is not clickable....look for it near p. 34

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

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Hi, Ladies. Thanks for all the great responses. I don't know if I can keep up this pace of writing!! Anyway her is the next chaper. Hope you like it!

Chapter 4

The pounding in my chest was so loud that I knew Edward could hear it. My breaths were coming fast and I was starting to see spots in front of my eyes. I grasped the chair behind me and sat, quickly putting my head between my knees.

“It’s ok, Bella. You’re just hyperventilating. Breathe into this.” He said, handing me a paper bag from under the counter. After a short time I was able to sit up again.

I looked up at him. I had so many question, so many thoughts. I didn’t know what to say or where to begin. The tears silently trickled down my cheeks again.

He knelt in front of me, wiping my tears away with his cool fingers. “Don’t be sad, Bella. Please, I couldn’t bear the thought of hurting you any more than I already have.”

I shook my head then, a little laugh hitching in my throat.

“What?” Edward asked curiously. “Why is that funny?”

I didn’t answer immediately and he groaned, running his fingers through his hair. “I forgot how frustrating it is to never be able to hear what you’re thinking. I can be patient.” He said more to himself than to me.

“I’m not sad, Edward. I think shock would be the more appropriate word, here. Would you understand if I said that I’m crying because I’m so unbelievably happy that you are standing here, but also so petrified that you might vanish if I look away?”

He gently gripped my forearms and pulled me up into a loose embrace, all the while never letting his eyes leave mine. “Bella. I’m not going anywhere. This is exactly where I want to be, where I need to be.”

I put my arms around him this time, burying my nose in his chest. I breathed in his wonderful, intoxicating smell. I had never smelled anything as good as Edward smelled. I knew I could stay here forever, but I wanted to look at his face. I had spent years trying to remember the beauty of his face. My dreams didn’t do him justice. He looked more godlike than I had even remembered.

He looked down at me seriously. “Let’s find a place to sit, Bella. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

I led him to a small sitting area in the back of the store. After I sat down, Edward pulled another chair close to mine and sat facing me. He took mine hands in his and stared at me for a while. The deep pools of honey that were his eyes and the sweet smell of his breath already had me mesmerized. He smiled sweetly and then he spoke.

“So, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m here.”

I nodded silently.

“Bella,” he sighed, “When I left Forks, I left because I thought it was the best thing for you. I thought it was your only chance to have a safe, fully human, happy life. If I had a heart, I truly think it would have stopped beating that day. My days and nights were an ugly, agonizing blur. For over a year, I stayed away from my family and from any form of communication. I wanted to see no one, to hear no one. I wanted no contact with the civilized world. I spent my days hiking and hunting and my nights praying that God was watching over you, keeping you safe. I prayed that someday you would come to realize why I had to leave.

About a year after I left, Alice and Carlisle came to find me. They talked me into leaving with them. Carlisle and Esme were going to go to Africa to deliver medicine and offer medical services. He needed another physician and thought I could finally put my medical degrees to work. Maybe that was just the distraction I needed to temper the pain that never seemed to leave my body. So I went with him and poured myself into my work. But I never stopped thinking of you, not one day did you ever escape my thoughts.”

He paused for a moment and then started talking again.

“And so that’s where I’ve been for the majority of the time, traveling around Africa helping open medical centers and training medical staff. Carlisle did all the research so that I never had to go near a computer. The only news I got about the states would come from my family. Alice and Jasper visited frequently, and even though I asked her not to bring me any news about Forks, she would always leave behind information about you.”

That surprised me, and I interrupted him. “Information? Like what?”

“Oh, you know, newspaper clippings, graduation programs, photographs…”

“: What? How did she…”

“Bella, You couldn’t know this of course. But Alice has attended many of your big milestones. She was at both of your graduations, the grand opening of your store, Charlie’s funeral…she was even here tonight.”

“What…when?” My mouth hung open, trying to replay the customers that had been in the store that day.

“Did you see the pregnant woman in here just before closing? That was Alice. She’s a very convincing actress. And, as you probably remember she’s a pretty good make-up artist, too. She has always loved you, too, Bella. She honored my decision, but I don’t ever think she quite forgave me for making her give up her best friend.”

I shook my head not knowing what to say. I was trying hard to understand everything that was happening tonight and hoping to God that this was not just some cruel dream.

“I know, it’s a lot to take in, Bella.” he said rubbing small circles on the back of my hand with his thumb.

“Edward,” I said, looking straight in the eyes, “you still haven’t told me why you are here.”

He tilted his head and smiled that crooked smile I loved. “I just couldn’t do it anymore.”

“Couldn’t do what?” I asked not understanding.

“I couldn’t stay away anymore. When Alice told me about Charlie’s death I just about got on a plane and came back right then. But, I knew what a tough time you were probably going through and I didn’t want to add to the stress and unhappiness you were already feeling. So, I came back to the states and researched everything I could about you. I even hired a private investigator to make sure there wasn’t a husband or boyfriend in your life. When I had all the information I needed, Alice and I started coming back to the old house and getting it ready to be lived in once more.”

“Tonight is not your first night back in Forks? Why, did you wait to come see me?”

He sighed, “Because even though I technically knew everything about you, I didn’t know how you would feel about seeing me. And so, I fell back on an old habit.” He smiled.

I wasn’t getting what he meant.

“You really should lock that bedroom window, you know, “he said still smiling.

“You’ve been watching me sleep again?”

He nodded waiting for my reaction.

“Edward, were you in my room last night?”

“Yes. You had a nightmare. And from what I could tell, it involved me.”

“Did you say my name out loud last night?”

“Yes…you were so upset I wanted to comfort you. But as soon as I said it I got scared. I wasn’t ready yet. I couldn’t gauge how you’d react.”

I sat quietly trying to process everything. I jumped as I heard the front door to the shop bang open.

“BELLA, BELLA…. WHERE ARE YOU?” Jake’s voice boomed.

I got up and ran towards the front of the store.

“Jake, I’m right here. What’s the matter? Is everything ok?” I asked.


“Why?” I asked? And then I remembered I had promised Jake I would call him as soon as I had gotten home. “Oh, Jake, oh I’m so sorry. I’m fine really. See?” I asked holding me arms out.

He took a deep breath. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, it’s just well, damn it ….you weren’t answering your phone either. I guess I let my imagination get the best of me. Why are you still here, anyway, Bells? It’s late.” He finished his question while enveloping me in a hug. And then pulled away suddenly, “No offense, Bella, but you kind of stink.”

Then it hit him. I saw the realization cross his mind. His eyes darted around the store and his fists clenched upon seeing Edward. “What the hell are you doing here.” He yelled.
wow you have to write more so so good
oh i love the story you are writing, please continue.
Wau..please write some more...this is really GOOD
Bella43 you have to continue this is wonderful, I felt as though I was in this story don't you stop writing this
you have what it takes so honey keep this going and soon
this one of the best fanfics ive read so keep going
Ome! This is really good! How have I missed this lol, I'm only on chapter 4, and its really good...and I'm so mad I have to leave and wait to finish it! But I wanted to tell you how wonderful it is :) I'm a little sad that it has been twenty years though! :( lol great job, I can't wait to read more!
Welcome to the story!!
fight,fight,fight!!!! :)
WOW!! still AMAZING!!!!
ok-so I accepted those of you who requested as friends...but how do I send a message to let you know about new chapters?


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