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Waste-of-time friendships

Summary:
Bella seems to attract every queer person within a ten mile radius. Vampires, werewolves... She's seen it all. But what she's missing is a human friend. And of course, Bella wouldn't be Bella unless that person was strange and possibly dangerous, too. Mythical creature expertise doesn't always help with humans.


Notes:
There are a few things to say about this story : Amelia often thinks about drugs, drinking, suicide, etc. Although the actual act is never shown in my story, I suggest you don't read on if those topics make you uneasy. It's nothing major, though. I would like to thank my beta, bloodredskies for editing my work. She went through each chapter for me, and has been a great help. And lastly, I'd like to remind everyone to review. It's honestly the best gift you can give to any author, and how else could I improve if I don't know what you're thinking? Just spare me a minute once you're done.


19. A Better Time

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1700   Review this Chapter

It wasn't quite dark yet by the time I reached the road we had set our meeting to take place on.

The gloomy color of the sky and the shadows cast by the trees gave the impression of nighttime, however, and I soon found myself wishing that I had brought a flashlight with me. I was starting to shiver from the damp chilliness of the air, the thin rubber of my rain jacket not quite isolating the cold. Taking deep breaths, I rubbed my hands together, and hoped the friction would keep me alive until the arrival of my soon non-existent best friend.

I had left quite early in the afternoon after I'd decided to walk the way to the road instead of letting Jack drive; he had returned home only in the later hours of the day, and didn't look alert enough to steer through the dark mazes of trees. Besides that trivial fact, I felt I needed the walk to clear my head up, before and after the meeting. I knew I would need some time to calm down after telling Bella goodbye forever. Surely Jack would understand if I came home later than usual?

The walk had sure done its job. With all my shivering and dripping, I almost forgot what I was there for. While my body tensed up from the chill of the wet air, my mind was able to relax for the moment and forget the dire farewell that was soon to come.

That relief, however, was only momentary, as my mind immediately did twenty summersaults when I saw a silver Volvo approach me from the far end of the straight road. The purpose of my trembling came back to me in an instant.

I tried to keep myself still when the car edged closer, not wanting to show any weakness – no matter how hopeless the task was.

When the car had finally reached me, Bella stepped out slowly, keeping her eyes on the gray concrete. I, too, found it unbearable to look at my lost best friend, and turned my gaze to the thick, murky forest, wanting the ground to swallow me while I was still whole.

All my earlier plans of suicide were meaningless compared to this. This stunt was going to kill me. And I wasn't even the one causing the pain on myself.

I cut off my breathing. I couldn't stomach the shaky intakes of air that seemed to echo through my whole body, as if I were already hollow.

"I think you know why we're here." Bella's voice was amazingly even as she spoke, but the aloofness of her tone scared me.

"Yeah. It's goodbye." I tried to keep the same level of detachment in my voice as Bella, but failed after the very first syllable. My hands still rubbed against each other, not for warmth this time, but for solace.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Bella lift her head and take a step closer to me in a tender manner.

But I panicked and backed away, crossing my arms tightly across my chest.

If I was going to have to shut down after this meeting, I would have to start practicing already.

Bella startled at my reaction and stopped moving, turning to look back at the car over her shoulder. I realized a second too late that she had been searching for courage in Edward, who was obviously waiting in his shiny Volvo.

Grasping the presence of the man I despised more than anyone else in the entire world, I pulled together all my strength and turned my eyes to Bella. If I was going to break down, I might as well do it with integrity.

"Let's get this over with, all right?"

My mind was torn between two options – to get the meeting over with fast so I could run away, or to prolong the moment and cherish the last few minutes I had with my best friend. Both alternatives terrified me.

Without trying to touch me again, Bella let her arms fall to her sides and attempted a smile when she spoke. "I'm happy I got to know you, Amelia. The last few weeks have been… interesting. Not necessarily always great, but definitely enlightening. Thank you."

I nodded.

Seeing I wasn't going to answer in any other way, she continued. "I'm sorry it has to end this way, I really am. I hate leaving you in the dark after everything you've been through, but there's no other way. Our friendship was beautiful; it was just –"

"– at the wrong time?" I cut in, trying to bury the icy pain that was burrowing its way though my soul.

Bella bit her lip down, and nodded.

At the wrong time. That was exactly what our friendship had always been. If I'd have come to Forks a few years earlier, or even just a few months, everything would have been so much smoother. But the way things were, we'd been flying towards the inevitable end at a high speed, knowing fully well where the road was leading but still not wanting to accept it.

"This is the end of the road." Both of us knew it wasn't the gray highway I was talking about.

"But every end is also a new beginning. I know this one is the beginning of a new life for me, but how about you?"

She didn't need to say what she was thinking out loud. I knew what she was really referring to without having to hear it.

Bella was inquiring if I would return to my old self once she left, and if I'd just leave behind all the new discoveries I'd made about myself and others. Would I simply close this part of my life and go back to the Amelia I'd been before?

I didn't know the answer to that myself. Only time would tell if I had the strength in me to keep on the right course.

Bella seemed to understand my silence, and nodded.

It was silent for a long moment after that. But though no words were spoken, our bodies betrayed both of our inner workings – the tears rolling down our cheeks were proof of the affection we held for each other, the unsteady breathing revealed our torment, and our shaking hands showed the longing we both seemed to share, the longing to reach out and embrace each other.

But we withstood the craving, and didn't move any closer.

Even at the climax of our distress, we never moved from our places on the ground, as if some force had fastened us onto the wet road. We stood completely still.

I supposed my giggle that then escaped my lips was so unexpected that it threw us both off track.

"It's always like this, huh? You can touch me, you know. I'm not made of glass."

I didn't mention that she had been right in the notion that I'd never wanted her to touch me, but that fact was trivial.

Bella giggled too, relieved that the tense mood had passed, and folded me in an embrace. I hugged her back, trying to cling to her so she would never leave.

I wanted to scream at her to say, to beg on my knees, or even threaten her to at least postpone her departure, but stopped myself on time.

Bella deserved to be happy.

And Forks couldn't offer her anything that could make her stay. The only place that could attract her was wherever he was.

Alongside the small flicker of envy, a new emotion gently planted itself in my heart.

Hope.

Hope that one day, I would find the man who would entice me. Hope that I would learn to live with myself as I was, and stop the pointless self-pity that only smothered me more.

Bella had made it, and so could I.

Pulling away from her squeeze, I smiled as I looked into Bella's eyes. They were probably redder than mine.

Suddenly, I didn't need to follow through any plan of the length of our conversation. The period of our goodbye didn't matter anymore; the pieces just fell in place.

Now was the moment for adieu.

"So… you're leaving for college?"

The familiar look of insecurity flashed over her eyes. "Yeah."

"And you're not going to tell me where you're really going, huh?"

I expected her to turn her head, or perhaps to laugh at my ridiculous question. She did neither, but answered guiltily: "Nope."

Her smile was genuine, playful. She knew I thought something was odd about the Cullens. And for the first time, she was playing along.

But two could play the game. This time, it was my turn to surprise her by giving up.

"Then college it is," I stated, smiling at her relieved expression.

And we embraced each other for one final time.

No words of separation for eternity were spoken. No thoughts of suspicion were expressed.

We both knew where the journey ended, and we both knew that there was no need to say it. We were never seeing each other again.

Eternity was just another word that I used far too often to describe our parting.

With tears in my eyes I watched Bella climb into the car that would take her away from me forever. Edward winked at me from the driver's seat, and I smiled back. Thefight is over, Eddie. See you in afterlife.

And he cracked a smile. I blinked twice at his unexplained expression.

He then shook his head and revved the engine.

Waving and crying furiously, Bella Cullen drove off into the night.

From the distance, I could see Edward whisper something in her ear, and they both laughed at the statement, whatever it may be. That was the last image I had of them – the exceptional, young woman with her glorious husband, laughing while driving away from my life.

Their flawless beauty caused me to fall into another crying fit, but my thoughts stayed on the track that hope had appointed them on.

Would I ever find another Isabella Swan? I didn't think so.

Could I be one myself? No chance in hell.

But could I try to be like her? Yes. Yes, I could.

And maybe, just maybe, I, too, would get my happily ever after.