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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OK...It's here. I hope you love reading this chapter as much as I loved writing it. Let me know what you think! Happy Sunday night!

Chapter 13

Angela answered her phone on the second ring. We made small talk about the shop for the first few minutes before I turned the conversation to Edward. I told her all the details that I could, feeling relief being able share this with someone. Next to Jacob, Angela had been my best friend since high school. She had weathered the storm with me and like Jacob, had helped pick up the pieces when Edward had left me. Of course, she couldn’t know everything that Jake knew. It would have been too dangerous for her, and in all honesty, she probably would have thought I had truly lost my mind.

When I told her that Edward proposed to me, she screamed with excitement. “Oh, Bella, I can’t even tell you how happy I am for you. I know this is what you’ve always wanted. Have you set a date?”

“As soon as possible, Ang. I’ve been thinking that if we could get the marriage license this week, maybe we could even find someone to marry us this weekend,” I gushed.

“Wow. Well if it looks like that could work out, call me. I’m sure my dad would gladly hear your vows,” she said.

“That would be terrific. I’ll let you know as soon as I find out anything,” I bubbled.

Angela offered to take care of the shop for the rest of the week, which I gratefully accepted. The store was always closed on Tuesdays, but I was glad not to have to worry about it for the next couple of days. If I could get a wedding together quickly, I would probably have to shut the store down for a week or two so that we could take a honeymoon.

Since my sleep schedule was totally off kilter, I set off to locate some DVDs for a movie night. I pulled out some old classics including my favorite, Romeo and Juliet. I popped some popcorn and settled into my little twin bed for a long night.

Somewhere in the middle of the third movie, I must have fallen asleep. I dreamt about being at the zoo. I was standing in front of the lion habitat. A male lion gracefully paced the length of the fencing. He was an elegant animal with golden eyes that seemed to follow my every move. Then he let out a terrible growl and I woke with a start. It was still dark outside. I took a deep breath, feeling my heart pounding in my chest. I shut the television off and lay awake a long while before drifting off to sleep again.

I wasn’t worried when I woke up in an empty room. I had expected that Edward would need to hunt for a length of time to satisfy the intense thirst the transformation had caused. So, I took a leisurely shower and blew my hair out straight. I made a nice big breakfast of eggs and pancakes and then decided to head into town for a new outfit. Alice would be so proud of me.

I drove down to the only clothing store located in Forks. It was a small store and the selection was limited, but the styles were current. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly, just something feminine. I settled on a silky royal blue blouse and ivory pants. I splurged on ivory suede ankle boots. I picked out. new underwear and bras to replace the ancient pieces I was currently wearing. Then on a whim, I bought an old-fashioned white cotton and lace nightgown. I lugged my bags to the car feeling pleased with myself.

When I got home I grabbed some lunch and called the Clallalm County Municipal Building to find out how to go about obtaining a marriage license. Edward and I would have to drive to Port Angeles to apply for the license and then wait at least three days before we could be married. I calculated in my head…if we applied for the license tomorrow, we could definitely be married on Saturday. I smiled to myself. I could be Mrs. Edward Cullen in just a few days. Bella Cullen…I liked the sound of that.

As the day dragged on into night, my fears started to rise to the surface. I hadn’t heard from Edward, or any of the Cullens, for that matter since yesterday afternoon. Was everything all right? Did someone get hurt? Was Edward unhappy with the results of the transformation? Or….had Edward decided to leave me again? I thought back to that dreadful birthday party. He had been so upset when Jasper lost control. That had been the catalyst for the entire Cullen family’s departure…the end of our relationship. Yesterday, Edward had lost control. Was I losing him again? The thought made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t bear to lose him a second time.

I got up to check my cell phone…no messages, no texts. My heart pounded as I dialed Edward’s phone number. No answer. I dialed Alice. No answer. Finally, I dialed Jacob.

“Hey, Bells. What’s up?” Jacob answered cheerfully.

I tried to hide the sadness in my voice. “Hey yourself. Not much. What are you doing?”

“Just putting my feet up. It was busy at the garage today,” he answered. Jake loved owning his own garage. He loved being his own boss. But more than anything he loved being underneath the hood of a car.

“Oh,” I said, my voice tinged with disappointment.

Instinctively, Jake asked, “You okay, Bella?”

“Yea sure, I’m fine,” I lied.

“You don’t sound so fine,” he pressed.

“Actually, Jake, I’m not so good. I’m worried about Edward.”

He didn’t reply.

“I haven’t heard from him since last night and my imagination is getting the best of me.”

Still no reply.

“Jake, are you listening?” I asked.

“Yea,” he grunted.

I told him about the aging potion and that Edward had gone off hunting. I omitted the parts about Edward’s proposal and his reaction to me when he woke up yesterday. When I finished there was a long pause before Jacob started to speak.

“Why are you telling me this, Bella? Why aren’t you talking to the fortuneteller? She’s his sister for God’s sake. She’d probably be able to tell you where he is,” he said gruffly.

“She went with him, Jake. They all went. I …I guess I thought you…” I said, my voice shaking.

“You thought what?” He raised his voice. “That I would go out and track your disgusting leech down…bring him back to you?”

“No, Jake. No!” I was crying now. “I just needed to talk to you. You’ve always known what to say to make me feel better.”

“Not when it comes to him, Bella. You’re on your own when it comes to him,” he said
with anger in his voice.

“But, I…love...him, Jake.” I stammered, hoping his heart would soften.

“THAT, I AM sorry about. But I’m not going to say I’d be sorry if he left. He doesn’t belong here. He’s not good for you!” Anger still radiated in his voice.

I cried softly without answering. Jacob broke the silence. “I gotta go, Bella. Try to get some sleep.” And then he hung up.

The sense of loss felt like a heavy weight on my chest. Just last night I had been so thankful that I had Edward back in my life and Jacob as my best friend. Now I felt like I was losing them both.

I walked to the back porch and sat on the white wicker rocker. I hugged my knees to my chest and stared out into the dark, moonless night. The wind was blowing through the trees in the forest and I could smell rain in the air. Lightning flashed in the distance and thunder rumbled in a quiet roll. I felt numb. I wasn’t crying anymore but the sadness permeated me to my core. A small voice in the back of my head kept trying to tell me not to worry…he’d only been gone just a little more than twenty-four hours. But, I couldn’t seem to grasp on to that hope.

Through the storm I sat there, alone, rocking back and forth. I was cold and damp, but I didn’t have the energy to move. So I watched the rain rush to the earth and the lightning flicker in the sky. The thunder was getting closer and so loud that it was vibrating in my chest. A fleeting flashback reminded me of Vampire Ball, and I wondered if perhaps the Cullens were playing baseball tonight. Suddenly a gust of wind came through the trees and a huge bolt of lightning cracked and lit up the entire sky. In that brief moment of light I thought I saw a figure at the edge of the forest. I strained my eyes to see through the once again black night. I was a person, a man, and he was walking towards me.

“Bella?” the voice called through the night. It was a familiar voice. It sounded very much like Edward’s voice, only deeper. Then I realized it was Edward’s voice…of course that would have changed, too.

I ran off of the porch, through the rain, and into his arms. My own waterworks began, and I was sobbing again.

“Shh, Bella. Everything’s alright. Shh, don’t be afraid, it’s only a thunderstorm, Love. I’m here,” he said holding me tight with one arm and stroking my head with the other.

“You’re here!” I cried, clutching him and kissing his face. “I was so afraid!”

He lifted me up and walked me back onto the porch, sitting in the rocker. “What brought this on, Love? You’ve seen hundreds of thunderstorms in Forks. I don’t ever remember one causing you so much distress.”

“I wasn’t afraid of the storm, Edward,” I sniffed, keeping my face buried in his chest. “I was afraid I had lost you…that you had left me again.”

“Oh, Bella.” He raised my face to look into my eyes. “I promised you I would never leave. Didn’t you believe me? I could never lose you again.”

“But yesterday,” I started.

He put his finger over my lips to silence me. “Yesterday I was not myself, Bella.” He paused, “Well, actually that’s not true either. That WAS exactly who I really am. I’ve told you repeatedly that I’m a monster. I can usually control myself better, though. But, yesterday my defenses were down and the transformation made it very difficult to resist you. That’s why I needed to have you leave, Bella.” He stared into my eyes. “I wanted you very badly…in a very bad way. I’m okay now though, really, and I’m so very sorry for scaring you. I’m so sorry…for everything.”

I removed his hand from my mouth. “Edward, I’ve told you the only thing that scares me is losing you.”

He lifted my left hand and touched the engagement ring to his lips. “Bella, as soon as we can possibly manage, I will make you my wife. Then will you finally believe that I will never leave you?” he asked.

“I will believe that you will love me forever. When you change me…that’s when I will believe that you will never leave me.” I answered honestly.
ok, I have got to learn to read SLOW! It is over too soon!! I hate seeing Bella that way, and Jake! Get over yourself and just be supportive of your best friend. Thanks for taking care of her but the love of her life is back! And I for one and sooooo happy about that!! Ok, cannot wait for the moment when they really get a chance to look at each other and see him as he is now. Details, we need details! Will Bella need to change now at all?? A wedding, in a few days! Only our Alice could pull that off, but she will not like having to do it so quickly, will she??? You gotta love Angela. True friend to the end!

Awesome job! Love it, waiting again. No pressure! You should not be so darn good, then we would not have to sit on the edge of our seat waiting for the next post!! Good night everybody. Going to bed to dream my Twilight dreams. Gotta get up early to head to the firestation!

Lovin all of you!! Especially you, Miss Bella43! Please give your hubby and kids a big hug and kisses from me to them for letting you have time to write to us and spending time with us! XOXOXO *blows kiss!*

Wendy, Yes ,you did read that quickly!!! Thanks for all of your support.
My daughter said I read way too fast!! I will go back and read them all again probably while waiting for the next chapter. You Rock!!

*I am insane, but lovin it!*

wait one Q...did the potion work or not?????
Keep reading!!!



love ur story!!!! :) :)
Thank you !!!! So glad you stopped by to read!
Love it...but I thought Bella might describe how he finally looks, maybe??? How old is he about...34 to her 38 which is cool??? I really like this story!! Good Job...and I also will have to learn to read slower as well! LOL!
It was dark outside---wait until she gets back in the house.
i love it!!!!!!! you need 2 keep writing this is really good...... you dont need to leave us hanging like that lol


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