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Message in a Bottle

Summary:
Edward's parents have just died. Bella just broke up with long time boyfriend, James. Neither know the other exists until Bella finds Edward's message in a bottle on the beach. Can love overcome death and pain? AU/AH messageinabottle.jpg picture by doomedsoul1212


Notes:
So this is a story i've been thinking about doing for a while. Read on!


3. Chapter 3

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2701   Review this Chapter

Chapter 3: Animal I Have Become

EPOV

The months dragged on slowly. Each day I fell back into my own little shell more and more. My friends worried about me, but understood that I needed my time to heal. Losing my mom and dad was the worst thing to ever happen to me and writing a letter to a random stranger actually helped.

The bright point of my day was always going out to check the mail in the morning to see if I had a reply. It was always bills, bills and more bills.

One morning about three months after I sent my bottle out to sea, Rose and Jasper, my best friends, barged into my house and dropped my mail on my counter. “You’re going out today.” Rose said in her ‘I’m not taking no for an answer so you’d better do what I say’ voice.

I just sighed. Jasper, who is actually Rose’s twin, sat down on the chair next to me and spoke in the quiet way of his. “You need to Edward. Wallowing in self pity and moping around your house isn’t going to bring them back. They would want you to be out and enjoying life.” I sighed again.

“I know, but I just can’t.” Rose had been flipping through my mail and she stopped at one piece in particular.

“Who’s Isabella Swan from Florida?” She asked.

“Before you jump to conclusions about having a secret girlfriend I’m going to tell you right now that I haven’t the faintest clue as of to whom she is.” I said calmly. Inside I was almost excited. Maybe this was the reply I’d been waiting months for.

“I promise I’ll go out with you guys tonight.” I said. I would do anything to make them leave so I could rip into that envelope.

“Okay Edward, we’ll pick you up at 6:30 for dinner. You haven’t been eating enough.” I rolled my eyes at Rose but gave her a tentative smile.

Jasper put a comforting hand on my shoulder as he and Rose walked to my front door. As soon as I heard the lock click I pounced on the letter and ripped it open, my eyes scanning it quickly.

Dear Edward,

I must say I was quite surprised to find your letter. My name is Isabella Swan, but I go by Bella. I’m very sorry about what happened to your parents. In my opinion it seems like a freak accident. Your father could have checked it or something, but it’s still terrible. I don’t know how you make it through the day. If Charlie or Renee died I would lock myself in my house and never come out.

I laughed humorlessly at that point. She was pretty close to what I had done.

My parents are divorced. They divorced when I was little and Renee lives in Phoenix and Charlie lives in Forks, Washington. I never could stand that town. It’s tiny and wet and the sun never shines. I much prefer Florida.

I still have the nightmares though. I hate them so much. I can barely get a good two hours of sleep anymore. You see when I was in Forks one summer I went to the near by town of Port Angeles. I was just walking in no particular direction and being me I got lost. So I started wandering randomly. A group of drunken men crossed my path and cornered me in a dark corner. I don’t really remember much after that other than a couple of them trying to put their hands up my skirt I started screaming and I guess someone heard and called 9-1-1 because a few minutes later I heard sirens. If that hadn’t happened I don’t know what would have. But now I have nightmares about men trying to rape me in the dark.

Let’s just say that after that I was never fully comfortable around men. That is until I met James. He seemed sweet and nice and everything a gentleman was, but that all changed as we started progressing in our relationship. It got to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. We actually broke up the morning I wrote this.

So now I’m sitting in my beach house, writing this letter to someone I hardly know and honestly questioning my sanity. Alice would tell me that it wasn’t like I had any to begin with.

Alice and Emmett are my two best friends. They’re actually brother and sister and I love them to pieces. Alice is a mischievous, shop-a-holic little pixie and Emmett is like a big teddy bear, though you wouldn’t think that from looking at him. Anyways they’re the two people that have never given up on me, even in my worst moments.

Now I’m going to ramble on with some random facts, feel free to skip this part.

There was no way I was skipping one word that this intriguing woman had written.

Politics are boring and pointless, the president is a dumbass. Taylor Lautner is probably the best celebrity ever. Tomatoes are gross and should be a vegetable, not a fruit. Math is the worst subject on the planet, Literature is so much better. I work in a publishing office. Men are pigs (no offense to you) and should be shot to be put out of their misery. Sorry about that last comment, I’m a little bitter if you couldn’t tell. I’m so clumsy it’s practically a handicap. I’m rambling and I’m going to stop now.

Bella Swan

P.S. Snail is super long so I wrote my e-mail at the bottom to speed things up.

P.P.S I think you should get a puppy.

What a strange intriguing woman. I found myself captivated by just her words on a page. I could hardly imagine what would happen if I ever met her. Stop it Edward. Don’t get your hopes up. Why would such an amazing woman ever want to be with you? I thought bitterly.

I looked at the bottom of the page and sure enough her e-mail address was scrawled across the page. I practically ran to my laptop and pressed the button to turn it on. Impatiently I started tapping my fingers on the table. Why was it taking so long? Finally my screen saver showed up and I eagerly clicked on the Internet explorer button. The page popped up and I typed the website to access my e-mail. Bella and I both used the same e-mail provider. (A/N: Is that what you would call it?)

The Google mail screen came up and I signed in quickly. I clicked on the compose mail link and typed in Bella’s e-mail address. I clicked on the text box and watched the blinking line signaling me to type, but I was frozen. What should I write???? My mind started running in circles like an over excited dog chasing its tail.

I sighed quietly and started.

Bella,

You have no idea what it means to me that you read my letter and replied. I want to thank you for that simple fact. I have to agree with you, the president is, in your words, a ‘dumbass’. Tomatoes are definitely not a fruit. Math is wonderful, you just have to get used to it. Many men are pigs; myself included half the time. You mentioned your best friends Alice and Emmett and they remind me of my best friends Jasper and Rosalie. Jasper and Rose and twins, much as they’d like to deny it, and are probably two of the most loyal people you’ll ever meet. Thank you again Bella. It means more to me than you’ll probably ever know, but thank you anyways. You don’t have to reply to this e-mail, I’m not expecting it.

-Edward

I quickly re-read the e-mail and decided it was as good as it was going to get. I clicked send and sat back in my chair. I logged Bella’s e-mail into my contacts and the contact’s list said she was online. I considered messaging her and then decided against it. I was about to close the browser when a chat box popped up.

Bella: Edward?

Edward: Bella?

Bella: Perhaps…

Edward: Silly Bella. Let me formally introduce myself. I am Edward Cullen, writer of the message in the bottle.

Bella: And I am Bella Swan, receiver of said message in said bottle. It’s a pleasure to meet…er…talk to you Edward.

Edward: The pleasure is mine.

Bella: How are you doing?

Edward: As to be expected, I suppose.

Bella: In other words, you’re terrible and putting up an act for those around you?

Edward: How do you read me over a computer?

Bella: Because I understand the feeling, to an extent.

Edward: I’m sure everyone’s put up an act for someone at some point.

Bella: I’m sure you’re right.

Edward: I’m always right.

Bella: Sure, sure.

Edward: Why do I feel like you don’t believe me?


Bella: Because I don’t.

Edward: I’m hurt.

Bella: Good.

Edward: You’re crushing me ego Bella.

Bella: And that’s a bad thing?

Edward: Fine, be that way.

Bella: Do you realize how much you sounded like a little kid? Edward: I did, didn’t I? But anyways how are you? Bella: Slightly scared/creeped out. Edward: Why? Bella: My ex-boyfriend left a creepy note on my door. I’ll kill him. Woah where did that come from? You have no claim on Bella. Even if it is a creepy ex that’s freaking her out. I tried to tell my irrational anger, but it did no good. No one is going to hurt my Bella. Wait…my Bella?

Edward: Creepy note?

Bella: Yeah, “You didn’t think I’d give up that easily, did you?” CREEPY!

Edward: That is creepy. What are you going to do about it?

Bella: I’m staying with my best friends, Alice and Emmett. Alice is a feisty little pixie and anyone that messes with me is messing with her. And take my word for it; you don’t want to mess with Alice. Emmett is built like a tank and would take a bullet for me. They’re both amazing.

Edward: Have you reported it to the police?

Bella: I can’t because I have no proof that it was actually James. If I did, I would report it right now.


Edward: Then how do you know it was James?


Bella: I have a feeling. Besides I don’t know anyone else that would right something creepy like that. Now can we get off that topic and onto something a little more cheerful?

I read her last IM in a daze. All I could think about was James and what I’d like to do to his scrawny neck. Since there wasn’t much I could do about James right now I figured I’d get to know Bella a little better.

Edward: Okay, what’s you favorite color?

Bella: Green.

Edward: Favorite flower?

Bella: Freesia.

Edward: Favorite fruit?


Bella: Strawberries.

Edward: Favorite song?

Bella: Claire De Lune.

Edward: You know Debussy?

Bella: Only my favorites. My mom had a classical music craze when I was living with her.

We went on like that for another two hours. Eventually Bella said she had to go so that she could pack for her stay with her friends. Her last IM was “And Edward? Tomorrow is my turn.” I suppose that means that its 20 questions time for me. Joy.

I shut down my laptop and sat back in my chair. I had about 3 hours before I was going out with Jasper and Rosalie and I realized at that same moment that I hadn’t thought about me parents deaths at all while I was talking to Bella. She was a wonderful distraction, but at the same time it felt like I was sort of betraying them. I spent the next three hours in a daze, remembering good times and bad that I’d had with my parents. They were great people and I realized that they would want me to be happy and to move on. They wouldn’t want me to live a life of grief and suffering. At 6 on the dot I stood up to go take a shower and get ready.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Where are we going?” I asked for what seemed like the hundredth time.

“I told you you’d find out when we get there!” Rose said through clenched teeth. I shrunk back in my seat in Rose’s BMW and sulked silently.

“Stop sulking Edward. You’ll enjoy this, I promise.” Jasper said, trying to bring me out of my mood. I scowled at the back his head, but sat up in my seat and looked out the windows for clues.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Dancing? Dancing Jasper?” I asked incredulously.

“Yes Edward. We are going to dinner and then out dancing.”

“But Jasper…I don’t have a partner.” I said weakly. I really really really didn’t want to go out dancing by myself. My mom had taught me, and though I could think about her, and my father, without crumbling to pieces, dancing seemed like a stretch.

“Don’t worry about that Edward. We have it all planned out.” Rosalie said, opening her door and stepping out. I followed in a slightly angry haze.

Rose ran up and hugged a strawberry-blonde woman. She was tall and leggy and honestly not my type, I prefer brunettes.

Rose ran back over dragging the other woman. “Edward this is Tanya, Tanya this is Edward.” I took her hand and shook it lightly. There was no way I was getting close to this woman.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Reservation under Hale.” Jasper told the hostess.

She checked her book for the name. “Right this way.” She said, leading us to a booth in a quiet corner of the restaurant.

Jasper and Rose sat on one side of the table, forcing me to sit next to Tanya. I sighed inwardly and sank into my seat. Tanya immediately slid over, practically sitting in my lap. I gently moved away from her. Bella was still on my mind and it didn’t seem fair to have another woman basically sitting on my lap.

“So Tanya what is it that you do?” I asked conversationally as I perused the menu.

She launched into a description of what it was like to be a model. Honestly how hard is it to walk down a runway in a funny outfit. I immediately started picturing her in a clown suit waddling down a runway. I bit my tongue and pressed my lips together to keep from cracking up.

Rose gave me a look. You know the one that says ‘calm down or I’ll kill you.’ I took a sip of water and went back to my menu.

The waitress returned. “What can I get for you?”

“I’ll have the salmon fillet and a glass of red wine.”

“Which wine would you like?” She asked me.

“Whatever’s best.” She smiled at me and then moved onto Jasper and then Rose and Tanya.

We chatted easily until our meals came and then we focused on eating.

“Time to dance!” Rose announced happily as she stood and dragged me towards the dance floor. I groaned.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I hadn’t planned on enjoying this, but it was a surprising amount of fun. I danced with Rose for most of the time, attempting to avoid Tanya. That was the low point of my evening, having to dance with Tanya. I faked a smile and took her hands.

We started whirling around the floor and I was pleasantly surprised by how well she could dance. It was nice to dance with someone that could keep up with the most complicated dances. But she had to go and ruin it.

“You’re a wonderful dancer Eddie.” She purred, leaning in towards my ear. I growled inwardly. I hate the name Eddie.

“My name is Edward, Tanya.” I told her.

She ignored me and looked down at my hands. “Hm…long fingers, big hands. You know what they say about men with big hands.” She took a step closer and pressed herself up against me. “They have a big—”

I cut her off. “I think I need a drink.” I walked away from her and towards the bar. I got myself pleasantly drunk to the point where Tanya’s features blurred, but I wasn’t walking in circles of wobbling. I always had a good tolerance for alcohol.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Morning light on my face woke me up. I looked over and saw a strawberry-blond head on the pillow next to me. We were in bed, naked. Oh shit. I must have been more drunk then I thought. And then one thought sent crippling guilt through me.

Bella.