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Tough Love

Summary:
Leaving your love is hard, but forgetting about the pain is even worse. Try telling that to Edward Cullen. When he thinks he's imagining things, he doesn't know how real things are about to get. A twist on New Moon Chapter 3 is up!


Notes:
I know what you're thinking, this story is so over done! But really, IT'S NOT what you think it is. I don't know how to explain it, but it's actually really good. I just hope you'll like this.


2. All talk and no action

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1990   Review this Chapter

“Bella?” I asked, gaping at her.

She looked exactly like my love. Her dark brown hair fell lightly onto her shoulders, framing her pale, heart-shaped face. Her brown eyes were light and wide, and her lips whispered a small smile.

I felt the rigid control I usually kept over my emotions slipping, and soon, the love I felt overcame it without much of a fight.

“Bella!” I exclaimed, running to her and pulling her close to me. “Bella, love, I’m so sorry. I did not want to leave. I love you, I swear.”

“Hey!” She yelped, pushing me away. I reluctantly staggered back, grimacing.

“I’m sorry, if you don’t want me anymore, I’ll leave. I’m so so sorry, love,” I whispered, stepping back.

“No, don’t leave!” She looked scared all of a sudden.

“Bella…” I mumbled, reaching out to her, but not quite touching her. Just to be here, just to be in her presence was like a miracle I never wished for.

“No one has called me Bella for years…do I know you? You don’t seem familiar,” she said, stepping closer to me. She was wearing a white, cotton dress that flirted around the pale skin of her legs.

“Have you forgotten me already?” I asked, my heart breaking again. “It hasn’t been years, has it? Emmett said three months…”

I was confused. Emmett had said three months hadn’t he? I wouldn’t put it past myself to not think for years, but Emmett surely had some track of time.

“Forgotten you? I don’t believe I know you…” she said, her voice slightly trembling. She suddenly smiled and raised her hand. “I’m Marie Isabella Stone. How did you know people used to call me Bella?”

“Oh…” I blinked furiously. How could I do this? “I’m sorry, I could’ve sworn you were someone I knew.”

“Really? What did you do to her that could possibly make you say sorry so many times?” She put her small hand to her lips and laughed slightly, just like my Bella did.

“I… should go.” I turned to leave.

“No, wait!” She put her hand on my elbow and I shuddered. I could feel her blood pumping behind that soft skin, and I turned back to her. “Please don’t leave me alone, I’m lost.”

“Lost?” I asked. The word seemed foreign to me.

“Yes, I just went out to get away from the family for a while, and there was this gorgeous little butterfly…” She looked down, as if embarrassed. “I followed it for a while, and when I looked around me, I couldn’t tell where I was.”

She looked up and I gasped inaudibly as I saw that she was blushing. I reached out, about to touch her cheek, but backtracked.

“I’m sorry, I’d like to help, but…” I frowned. “I can’t believe how much you look like her.”

“Well, you wouldn’t want her to be lost in the woods, now would you?” She seemed to be pleading slightly.

Edward, where are your manners?! Esme’s voice echoed in my brain and I shook my head to clear it.

“No, I suppose not… where do you live?” I found myself asking the girl.

“In this white cottage with a really big flower painted on the side of it… do you think you could help me find it? It’s just on the outskirts of the forest.”

“Yes, that would be fine,” I said simply, knowing I’d be able to find it much better than she could.

She fell into step silently as we both walked along the rough path that the trees made. Marie Isabella Stone. How much of a coincidence. Bella’s name was Isabella Marie Swan… could they maybe be related somehow? The likeness in the features was almost exact. Even though it hurt to think about her, it was so different with this girl next to me…as she were Bella also. Needless to say, I was very confused.

And also, try hard as I might, I could not hear her thoughts. Oh how I wanted to hear my Bella’s thoughts for the longest time. I had a similar feeling now. I wanted to know if this girl knew my Bella. Why was I calling her my Bella? She did not belong to me anymore…

“You’re awfully quiet…” Marie mumbled. I don’t think she meant to say it aloud, but I heard her nonetheless.

“Well, you’re quiet also,” I told her. She looked up, slightly embarrassed again. Her heartbeat echoed in my ears.

“I have reason to be quiet. I don’t know who you are…you haven’t even told me your name,” she remarked.

“Edward. My name is Edward,” I said softly, remembering how good it sounded when Bella said my name.

“Edward,” Marie said just as softly. “That’s a nice name.”

And then, the talking started. I, for one, could not believe how much one human girl could say per minute.

“Did you know, for like, a whole year I started to hate my name? I mean, Marie, it’s so boring, so un-enchanting. Now Isabella, that is a nice, enchanting name. I told everyone to call me Isabella, or Bella. I really liked it. But then, everyone started getting confused, and called me Marie, and then the other person would be like, you told me your name was Bella! And then a whole ruckus started. Anyway, since then, I just kept the name Marie, but when you just called me Bella, I was like, ‘oooh, I love that name’ all over again.” She laughed and finally stopped to take a breath.

“You talk so fast,” I marveled. For a human, the way she talked seemed impossible.

“I know, it’s totally a talent of mine. I like to talk. Don’t you?”

“Well, I…”

“It’s ok if you don’t; I don’t mind. I can keep up the conversation if you’re not comfortable. Are you a loner? I mean, with the whole backpack and walking alone in the woods… ooh, are you one of those dudes who go backpacking across America? That would be so cool! If you are, can I have your autograph?”

“Marie,”

“How old are you anyway? Guess what? I just turned 17 three months ago. Isn’t that so cool? I’m not legal to smoke, but I am so legal to drive. I’m trying to get my license, but my Dad doesn’t trust me on the road. He says I’m such a danger magnet, I’ll manage to kill half the deer in the forests in one drive. I was like, ‘How rude!’ and I stomped off. But then he apologized, and I totally can’t still be mad at someone if they apologize, you know?”

“I’m 17, but--”

“Oh my gosh! You’re 17 too? That’s so cool! Do you have a license? I bet you do, can I see it? How does your picture look? I mean, you’re pretty handsome, which you obviously probably know, but you know, license pictures always manage to get your bad side. My mom’s license picture looks like she just woke up or something. And don‘t even get me started on my dad‘s. He‘s not quite the looker anyway,” she laughed.

“Would you--”

“You know what would be so cool? If I was holding a ‘don’t judge me’ sign while they took the picture. That way, if anyone saw my license, they’d know that that’s not really how I look--”

“Marie!” I exclaimed, about to slap my hand onto her mouth to make her shut up.

“What, Edward? Are we there yet?” She asked looking around.

“No, we’re not. And if you don’t stop talking, I’ll never be able to get you home safely.”

“It’s ok if you can’t get me home, you know,” she said. I stopped abruptly and looked at her like she was crazy.

“Are you serious?” I said angrily. “Then why am I helping you to your house? I could’ve just left if you didn’t want to go home in the first place!”

She was quiet for a while, just staring at me. Suddenly, tears came to her eyes and she put her head in her hands, sobbing quietly. I immediately felt immensely guilty.

“Oh, Marie, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get angry with you, I just… I’m sorry,” I said, my voice sounding dead again. I’m a monster. I had known it already, but my terrible treatment of this girl who looked so much like my heart brought reality crashing back. I patted Marie’s shoulder awkwardly, trying to keep my mind from slipping back into the past where this may have been my Bella.

She sniffled and looked up at me, smiling slightly. She looked exactly like Bella, and it made me want to pull her into my arms.

“It’s ok, I didn’t mean to say it like that, it just slipped out.” She wiped her tears away and sighed dramatically, rolling her eyes into the sky. “It’s just that… home is so boring, you know?”

“It is?” I asked as we started to walk again. “And why is that? You seem a bit too spirited to live in a place that is boring.”

“I know right? You’d think that a girl like me,” she gestured to herself. “Would come from a place like New York City or LA or Phoenix. Somewhere much more exciting than boring Lake Charles, Louisiana. I mean, seriously! Could my parents have possibly picked a more boring place to live in? The biggest excitement that goes on here, is like… the riverfront carnival every two months.” She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. Her scent blew towards me and I inhaled deeply, closing my eyes. Oh, Bella… I mean… Marie. Right, no Bella here.

“Wait a moment, did you say Louisiana? Is that where we are?” I asked, opening my eyes to look at her.

“Yeah. Wow, and I thought I was the lost one. Where did you come from anyway?”

“Lots of places.”

“Ha!” She said excitedly, pointing at me and jumping up. I stared at her in surprise. “I knew you were a loner. You’re backpacking across America, aren’t you?”

“Oh, um…I suppose.” How did one answer such a question, especially when he didn’t want to get into his background? I had no idea. I couldn’t really tell her that I was tracking a rogue vampire, exactly… especially when I was doing such a poor job.

“Oh man, then you’ve got to stay at my house for a while, heaven knows it will be so much more exciting. We own a hugemoungous farm next to the forest, and we take in lots of loners. None of them are near as cute as you though, so it’s not as fun.” She winked at me and grinned.

I couldn’t help but laugh slightly. The girl’s smile was infectious, just like Bella’s.

“I’m sure it can’t be nearly as boring as you say it is.”

“Well, not really, but still…I need more excitement. Dude, I want to surf on the beach, I want to go skydiving and I want to go to a rock concert in Central Park, New York. I want to backpack across Europe and go scuba diving with the sea turtles in Australia. But you know what I really want the most?” She asked, her eyes shining. I nodded and watched as she circled around, her dress dancing around her.

“I want to fall in love!” She sang out. I laughed and shook my head.

“You’re crazy,” I told her. “I don’t even know why I’m helping you out at the moment.”

“Because you said I looked like Bella, remember?”

“I do remember.”

“Exactly. And when you love someone, you can never say no to them.”

“Yes, but you’re not Bella, remember?”

“I know, but you can’t say no to this face,” she laughed, putting her hands on her cheeks.

“Actually… I don’t know how I did it… but I managed to say ‘no’ to that face,” I said solemnly.