She was hurting, in more ways then one. She hated him for doing this to her. She hated herself for letting him do this to her. So what happens when she sees him again? When Laurent confronts Bella in the meadow, she is rescued just in the nick of time by the werewolves. But what if the werewolves were a second too late?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. :)
9. Chapter 7
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2472 Review this Chapter
I endured the rest of the school day, and when I reached home, I immediately plugged in my stereo and blasted eardrum shattering music through my headphones. This type of noise allowed no possible room for thought, which was exactly my purpose. However, it wasn’t long until Frances barged in and shut off my music.
“Come here, darling. We are going to make you look fabulous for tonight. Poor Edward will fall head over heels in love with you once he sees you in what I’ve got planned. Now, I was thinking we should go for a”—
I cut her off. “Actually, Frances, I’m not going.”
--“glamorous diva look, but we’ll play it down so that you… What?”
“I’m not going. I can’t take it, Frances. Did you see how he didn’t even acknowledge me today? And how the minute I started talking he left? Pigs will fly before I willingly endure that again.”
“Look! A flying pig! Now get over here.” Frances teased.
“I’m serious, Frances. Every time I see him I just get so incredibly angry! But then again, he’s so beautiful that it hurts to be mad at him, and I just”—
At this point I was pacing around the room, and collapsed on my bed. “I can’t do it.”
“Nonsense. Of course you can! Trust me. We will dress you up and Edward won’t be able to keep his hands off you! Please, Bella? For me?”
I shook my head.
“Just tonight. Then I promise I won’t ever make you set foot over there again, K?”
“That’s it, alright? Pretty please with a cherry on the top?”
I stuck out my lower lip, but Frances knew she had already won. Things began to fly out of my closet—even though Frances was seated on the old rocking chair across from me—thanks to her telekinesis, and an assortment of clothes assembled on my bed beside me; I cringed—the only one I could even think of wearing was a midnight blue, simple halter dress and even that would be a stretch.
Frances noticed my expression. “Any of them ones you could possibly squeeze your self into? For me?”
It seemed like I was doing a lot of things for her tonight. I wrinkled my nose and pointed at the blue one.
“ I knew it! Perfect. I can get my silver shoes, and some simple jewelry, a nice updo… you will look perfect. We’ll play it down, though, not to look to eager…”
“Frances, am I going to look too dressy?”
“Of course not. I’m wearing that one.” She pointed to a super short black dress with long sleeves. I shuddered, but knew Frances would look fantastic, like usual.
After an hour or two of flying powders, sprays, and other torture too horrible to be posted, Frances was finished. I looked like a Barbie doll, but knew that if I said anything Frances would put me through it all again, so I just smiled and thanked her. I did look prettier, with my hair pulled back and some jewelry and make up, but I was way too dressed up.
That opinion immediately changed as Frances came downstairs an hour later. She had on the black dress paired with some death trap ankle boots—the kind with about an eight inch heel that would have sent me to a hospital in about ten seconds when I was a human—and her face was coated with makeup; I looked underdressed next to her.
Aaron and Gabriel came down after her, dressed elegantly as well, and we left. Midway there, I panicked, and as we pulled up in front of the house, I let out an expletive. “Guys, I can’t do this! Why did I let you talk me into this? I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t”—
“Relax, Bella, you will be great.” Frances gave me a reassuring smile as we pulled up in front of the house. Gabriel, in the driver’s seat, turned to me. “I was listening to their thoughts today. That Edward fellow—the one you had a history with, correct?—had his mind well guarded, as he is a mind reader as well, but I could hear the longing he felt for you, plain and simple. He does still love you, as do the rest of the Cullens.” He smiled, “You will be fine. Don’t worry about it.” We got out of the car and rang the doorbell. Alice poked her head around the door.
“Hey! It’s about time you showed up. Come on in!” She opened the door wide, exposing her electric blue spaghetti strap dress. Carlisle and Esme stood behind her, and Esme rushed forward upon my entrance, wrapping her cold arms around me.
“Bella! Oh, I’ve missed you so much! Alice told us all about how you… came to be.” She stepped back, and Carlisle took her place, also hugging me.
“Welcome back, Bella.”
Midway through the party, Edward finally showed, rekindling the flame of wrath from earlier. I can’t do this! My mind screamed at me to get out of there, but my heart yearned to throw myself at him. I denied both, staying where I was sitting and chatting animatedly to Rosalie, who wanted to know where I got my shoes—silver high heels that made walking nearly an impossible feat, even with advanced strength and grace—and who did my hair. I launched into a tale of the hours before the party, trying desperately to avoid eye contact with Edward.
After I had stretched my tale into the longest possible explanation I could come up with, Rosalie and I exchanged a few more comments and she stood up. “Well, I have to go find Emmett—with two more pretty girls in the room who knows what kind of flirting he’s up to. We’ll talk later, K?”
And she strode off into the other room, leaving Edward and me the last two in the room.
Edward spoke for the first time since arriving, and his voice sent another wave of sadness tumbling through me.
“Actually, if you’ll excuse me, I promised Esme I’d… help her wash the dishes, yes.” Cursing myself for coming up with such a phony excuse—obviously, there were no dishes to clean up seeing as we had no need to eat—I hurriedly exited the room, looking for Esme. When I found her, she was deep in conversation with Frances, so I grabbed Gabriel, who was looking at some picture frames in the corner, and pulled him into the middle of the room.
Although no one else was dancing, there was music playing, and a dance would get me away from Edward for a few minutes. Gabriel obliged, putting his hands around my waist, and swaying in time to the moderately upbeat music. Soon, Rosalie and Emmett joined us, followed by Aaron and Frances and Jasper and Alice. Edward sat down in France’s place, chatting with Esme.
Gabriel leaned into whisper in my ear. “Edward wants to talk to you.”
I sighed. “I know, but I don’t want to talk to him.”
“Give him a chance; his intentions are pure. He only wants to work things out with you.”
When the song ended, I whirled, planning on making an escape to the ladies room, but Edward was right in front of me.
“May I have this dance?”
I swallowed, going weak in the knees. I’d love to dance, I prepared to say, but then shut my mouth just as quickly as I had opened it. What was I doing? “Actually, I need to sprint to the ladies room for a second to freshen up. Don’t wait up!”
And I headed to the ladies room, where I sat on the toilet lid for fifteen minutes. Finally, I commanded myself to get up and go back to the party, but as soon as I opened the door I ran smack into Alice, who pushed me back in the restroom and shut the door, putting a finger over her lips.
“We need to talk.”
“I know you’re still mad at Edward, but listen. Don’t be too hard on him—this is that happiest I’ve seen him in forty years.”
I sighed. “I know. But I just, I—I can't. Every time I see him it makes me mad and sad and excited all the time. I just can’t do it.”
“Please, Bella. Just talk to him, and let him explain himself. Please?”
I nodded helplessly, and she smiled. “He won’t bite.”
I smiled back, and we left, re-entering the party. Edward was glaring at Alice from his spot in the corner, but she only flashed her set of white teeth and went to talk to Jasper. Edward approached me. “Can we talk? Perhaps somewhere a little more... private?”
I nodded and we went outside, running until we were well out of ear shot.
“Bella,” he said, his velvet voice pained, “Why do you keep avoiding me?”
The question sparked anger in me—sure I had avoided him, but only because I wanted to avoid the same situation we had at lunch. “Oh I’m avoiding you? So it was me who ‘needed a minute’ and had to go hide in my car for the rest of the day?”
“That’s not what I was referring to.” He said, his voice acidic.
“Then what were you referring to, huh?”
“I’ve been trying to talk to you all evening, but you keep ignoring me. You just keep brushing me off, and talking to someone else.”
Unexplainable anger welled up in me at this point, and I unleashed it in my next sentence. “I don’t have to talk to you if I don’t want to! You filthy son of a bitch, you left me, forty years ago and destroyed me. Now you think you can just stroll in here and I’ll welcome you with open arms? Well think again!”
And with this, I took off through the open window and towards the forest, dodging through trees. Sobs ripped through my chest, although no tears escaped.
Soon, I heard footsteps behind me and stopped, knowing he would catch up to me eventually, and sank to my knees. In a matter of seconds, Edward stood across from me, his face twisted into a mask of agony and pain. His voice came out barely a whisper. “I’m sorry…”
I put my head in my hands. “That isn’t good enough. ‘Sorry’ can’t mend a broken heart, nor can it erase forty years of suffering.”
His next words surprised me. “You think you were the only one who suffered?”
I ignored the swelling of my dead heart in response to his words. Instead, I stood up and walked toward him. “It wasn’t my decision. ‘You’re not good for me’? Yeah, last I recalled it was you who made the choice. I can’t be responsible for your suffering.”
“Isabella,” he said pronouncing my full name. “I have a story to tell.”
He sat down on an old tree stump, and put his head in his hands. “Forty years ago, I fell in love with a girl. But she was a human, and that made it a tough relationship. Nevertheless, I convinced myself that it would work. I would just be extremely careful around her, and live with her until she passed away of old age, and then follow after as soon as possible. I still couldn’t understand why she even gave me the time of day, but she did, and I believed that it could work. However, despite my efforts, she wasn’t safe. Ever single second of every single day that I spent around her put her in danger, and no matter what I did, she always ended up nearly killed. I saw what I was doing to her—taking away her human life and destroying all chances of normalcy she had—and made a choice that changed the rest of my existence. I decided I would leave her, for her own safety. I told her many lies that day, and left, seeking sanctuary away from Forks, away from my family, and away from her. I lived miserably, in an old attic of some beaten down house, constantly wondering what she was doing. Six months later, I found out that she was killed in a bear incident. This news shattered what was left of my heart. I no longer had any motivation to live, so I decided to leave for Voterra, where I would see if the Volturi could kill me. However, I was met with a very angry Alice, and was forced to come live with my family once again. I was still miserable, but I did my best to be normal for my family, and while I don’t think I succeeded very well, they let me slide.
“Forty painful years later, I went to our meadow to think. However, I stumbled upon the one girl I felt sure I would never see again. She was there, and she was immortal… Well, it stunned me, to say the least. Bella, I don’t think you understand. When I told you I no longer loved you… how could you believe me so quickly?”
He looked up at me then, his golden eyes scorching. Hope began to take the place of my rage as his words sank in, and I softened.
“It never made sense for you to love me.”
A painful silence stretched across those next few moments, giving me way too much time to think. He left for my safety? I immediately perked up at the prospect, but refused to let myself believe it. Hope would kill me at this point. Instead, I recalled all the hours I spent grieving his departure, and allowed anger to consume me again. He really was selfish, thinking he could come back here and sweep me off my feet, after leaving me for dead forty years ago. All in vain, too, seeing as I now no longer had a heartbeat. Slowly, rage built up in me again, and as I mulled over this concept, I stood up.
“That’s a touching story you have there, Edward,” I said, my tone biting, “but your drawn out apology is forty years too late, and I’m afraid I’ve moved on.”
With that, I picked myself off the ground, and left Edward Cullen in the dust. And it felt really, really good.
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