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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I'm dissapointed everytime I reach the end of one of your chapters. Its torture waiting for the next. You are really good at writing.
Hi, Everyone. Can't tell you how happy I am that you are liking the story! Hope you enjoy this chapter!

Chapter 9

When I returned to the house. Edward was sitting on the front porch waiting for me. He smiled when I got out of the car and walked over to me. “Hey, I thought I might have to call Alice and tell her you stood me up, “he laughed.

“I just had to go visit someone.” I told him smiling.

He didn’t press for details. “Do you need to go in for anything?” he asked gesturing towards the house.

“Nope, I’m all set.” I patted the pashmina that was folded over my arm.

“Then my chariot awaits you.” He said dramatically as he opened the door to a new black sports car. He handed me the bouquet of freesia and wildflowers that had been sitting in my seat. “For you.” He said kissing me lightly. My heart flipped on cue and he smiled to let me know he had heard.

“I just need to remind you,” Edward said driving, “Alice can go overboard sometimes. She has good intentions, though. Can you just try to enjoy yourself tonight, Bella? Let her have her fun?”

“Ohhh,” I groaned. “Is it that bad?”

“I don’t think so, “ he answered, “But you might.”

“I’ll behave.” I laughed.

“Thank you. This is going to make Alice very happy, Carlisle and Esme, too.”

“Carlisle and Esme are going to be there?” I said surprised.

“Yes, they’re all waiting to see you.”

He drove expertly through the winding path that was his driveway. It wasn’t dark yet, but small lights twinkled along the porch rail as the house came into our view. I was amazed at how it looked—so manicured and perfectly inviting. The last few times I made my way up, I could barely get through the grass only to see the house looking so empty with its boarded up windows and doors. Alice waived from the porch and practically flew to the car. “You’re here,” she said pulling me out of the car. “Come on. We have a lot of work to do.”

I turned and threw Edward a pained look over my shoulder and he laughed, throwing me a kiss.

Alice bounded up the stairs, pulling me behind her into her room. “Sit.” she ordered.
I sat on her bed and she brought over a garment bag to me. I groaned. “Open it—This is what you are going to wear tonight.” I unzipped the bag and pulled out a beautiful blue dress. Obviously this was meant to match the pashmina.

“Where am I going?” I asked Alice.

“Nowhere, silly. I just wanted you to feel special. And, I wanted you to look beautiful for Edward.”

“Alice, this is way too glamorous of a dress for me to wear for a night at home. Besides I’ll look ridiculous next to Edward. He’s wearing jeans.”

“You will look perfect and so will he. Now stop complaining and get in here.” She said.

She pulled me into the bathroom. She buffed, polished, and tweezed until she was satisfied with the results of her own handiwork. Then she set to work on my hair, curling and pinning my hair up off of my neck. All the while she worked, I was not allowed to look in the mirror.
When she finished, Alice brought me back into her dressing room. She helped my into the single shouldered dress and handed me a shoebox.- Jimmy Choo’s.”

“Jimmy Choo’s? ” I shrieked. “Alice these must have cost you a fortune.”

“Cost wasn’t a factor. Bella,” she smiled.

I lifted the blue satin peep toes from the box and held them up to look at them. The heels must have been at least 4 inches high. “Alice, how in the world am I going to walk in these?”

“Oh, Bella. Just put them on.” She said shaking her head.

I did as I was told. Then she turned me to face the full-length mirror. I gasped. She had transformed me, I was beautiful. The blue was the exact shade I knew Edward always had loved on me. I touched the tiny rhinestones on the o-circle that held the shoulder strap in place. “Alice, thank you, “ I whispered emotionally.

She clapped her hands. “I’m so glad you like it. Come on. It’s time to go see the others.”

We came down the stairs slowly. Edward stood open mouthed when he saw me. “Incredible, “ he said as he hugged me.

“You look pretty incredible, too.” I said taking in the cream cashmere sweater he had changed into.

And then before I knew it Esme and Carlisle were with us and hugging me. “Bella, I’m so glad you are going to be part of our lives again.” Esme smiled.

At that moment exact I caught our reflections in the large mirror on the wall. I froze in place. In the mirror I could see myself, Edward, Alice and Esme. I looked the oldest by far. It hit me hard. I looked older, was older, than Edward’s “mother.” In the whirlwind of emotions that I had felt since I saw him, I had never quite seen this picture. What had I been thinking? How could this ever work? Everywhere we went people would think I was his mother. I started feeling like the room was spinning and that my legs were going to collapse from under me.

“Bella!” Edward cried out grabbing me. “Are you ok?”

“She’s ok, Edward.” Carlisle interrupted. She’s just dealing with a lot of emotions right now.”

I looked up at Carlisle. He was smiling, but I knew from his look that he understood what I was thinking. Somehow he looked different to me, not as young as I had envisioned him. I had remembered Edward telling me that Carlisle was barely passing for thirty all those years ago. He clearly looked older than 30. I actually would have guessed 40. Why was that? Carlisle sensed my stare and looked at Edward. I knew they were having a silent conversation. Edward nodded his head yes.

“I can see you have a lot of questions going on in your mind, Bella.” Carlisle said. “We’re going to let you and Edward have some time together so you can get your answers.” He kissed the top of my head before leaving Edward and me alone.

Edward lifted me from the chair and held me tenderly against him. Then he slowly walked me back to the mirror. He stood behind me, his arms wrapped around me waist, just looking into the reflection. I wiped at a stray tear on my cheek. “Bella, what exactly are you seeing in this mirror that has you so upset?” he asked sweetly.

“I see reality, Edward. No matter how much I love you…no matter how much you love me, this is never going to work. We’ll always have to hide our relationship from the world.” I said crying.

“How can you say that?” he asked turning me to face him.

“Because, Edward, I’m old. I’m thirty-eight and you are seventeen. You will always be seventeen. Can you imagine what people would say, how they would talk? I’m older than your mother.” I said sadly.

“Isabella Marie Swan.” Edward began, “I am shocked at you. For one I’d have never imagined you would be bothered by what other people think. And secondly, you are being absolutely ridiculous. You know that I am much, much older than you… eighty-six years older than you. I don’t give a damn what people think about us in Forks or anywhere else, for that matter. All that matters is that we love each other.” He turned me back around to face the mirror again. “You have never seen yourself quite clearly, so let me tell you what I see when I look at you. I see an exquisitely beautiful woman who is as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside… a highly desirable, intensely sexy woman. That’s what I see.”

I smiled, sadly. “It doesn’t change society’s expectations, Edward. I’ll be seen as a cougar---worse a predator.” I regretted my choice of words as soon as they came out of my mouth.

“Stop it, Bella.” He was clearly annoyed, “I haven’t claimed to be seventeen for years. Most people take me for being in my early twenties. And you have to realize that you most certainly do not look your age. I’d place you at 30, if even that. Is that such a bad age difference then, 8- 10 years apart?”

“Edward, “ Carlisle interrupted reentering the room, “Perhaps it’s time to tell Bella about the other options.”
I knew that Bella would feel this way once she caught their reflection together in a mirrior. I wondered how she would deal with it. And, also, I wonder what are those other options!!!!!! And why does Carlisle appear to have aged!!!! Please update soon!!!
u had to end it the 'other options' eh??? great chapter:)
wat other options?!? i need more soon. wait did they find a way to make her look younger ash carlisle looks older?
aw that made me feel sad when i read that but i like ur story alot.
options? what options?
I believe that there is a thing in the world (though extremely expensive) call cosmetic surgery. But... that is just me.
*gasp* other options???????
Hey-Maira-Thanks for joining us...hope you are enjoying the story.
yeah :D im sorry i stopped reading ur story all of a sudden :( i have been very busy lately :( but now im reading it again :) and ur doing a great job!!!
haha she finally realized it. I feel bad for her though.


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