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After All This Time

Summary:
Edward never came back. After much therapy, Bella thinks she has moved on. She thinks she is finally back to normal. But she is changed and abandoned in the woods. Bella is found by a coven of three and taken in by them. Sixty-five years later she is happy again and in love. Or so she thinks. That is until her past comes back to haunt her. Rating may change as I go.


Notes:
So I hope I'm not dissapointing too many people but I'm taking a break from my other stories. I'm feeling really inspired by this idea and I want to get it all down before I finish my others. Thanks XOXOXO, Maddy


1. After All This Time Have I Really Moved On?

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1837   Review this Chapter

I zipped closed my suite case and took it off my bed, standing it up. Today was my last day and Shady Meadows. I’d been here for about eight months. Four months after Edward left, Charlie and Renee both agreed that it would be best if I spent some time with people that could help me. Today was finally the day that my counselors thought I was ready to go back out into the world.

I heard a soft knock on my door and turned to face the sound. “Come in,” I said quietly. Even after eight months, I still couldn’t get myself to be completely myself again. The door opened and April, my personal counselor, came in.

April was in her mid-forties but acted like she was twenty-five. She was lively, funny, and outgoing. She had red hair that she always kept straightened and wore stylish clothing that complimented her thin figure. She had been there for me since that first day I came to Shady Meadows. She was there when I cried and when I didn’t want to talk, and even when I laughed for the first time since Edward had left. She was always there to comfort me.

She came in and sat on my empty, sheetless bed. Her purple wrap-dress spread out against the mattress as she did so. She gave me a warm smile and said, “So, Bella, are you ready?”

I looked at her, momentarily confused. “Ready for what exactly, April?”

“To leave, to be out on your own, to experience the world again, to be yourself again, all of it. Are you ready to go?” April looked at me patiently as I thought.

“Well, I guess I kind of have to be don’t I?”

“No, Bella. Of coarse not.” She looked shocked. “You don’t have to leave if you aren’t ready. We would never kick you out.”

“Oh I know that April, I’m just not sure what’ll happen to me when I actually get out there.”

She sighed. “Bella,” she pushed her black, thick-rimmed glasses up on her nose. “You told me before that after Edward left you, you didn’t feel anything. You, as you put it, were numb. Correct?”

“Yes,” I replied, looking at the floor.

She reached up and took my hand. I looked at her face, old with wisdom, but young in looks. She pulled me down so that I was sitting beside her on the bed. “Bella look at how far you’ve come. Look at what we have accomplished together. Before, when you got here, you wouldn’t even talk. You just sat here on you bed or in my office staring into space. No look at you. You smile. You laugh. You have fun. You are not numb anymore. I have no doubt that when you walk out those doors you will be as strong of a woman as you ever were before. Probably even stronger. Our experiences make us strong, Bella. And I know you don’t want to hear this but Edward has made you so much stronger by leaving you. It was not right of him, but look at what you have gotten out of being here. You told me yesterday that you finally knew who you were. He gave you that. And when you leave Shady Meadows, you will be better off.”

I looked into her hazel eyes and sighed. Tears were brimming in my eyes and I leaned over to hug her. “I know. Thank you April, thank you for everything.”

“No Bella,” she leaned back but kept hold of my shoulders. “Thank you for the wonderful company you have given me over these past months. I really do appreciate it, and I’m glad I’m your friend.” She gave a heavy sigh and stood up, rubbing her hands on her dress. “So, are you ready?” She looked at me quizzically, raising one of her eyebrows.

“Yes.” I stood up and put my hands on my hips. I lifted my chin and said surely, “yes I am.” April gave a short laugh and put one hand on my shoulder.

“Well, lets go then.” I grabbed the handle of my suite case and April picked up my purse. We headed for the door and she held it open for me. We walked down the hallway towards the elevator. When we reached the lobby we saw Renee waiting for me. I turned to April and gave her a tight hug.

“I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too Bella.” She pulled back out of the hug and looked me in the eye. “Now you go live that life of yours.” I nodded my head and walked towards Renee. She gave me a quick hug and ran her hand down my hair, but she didn’t say anything. We left through the sliding, automatic doors and outside.

I was hit by the strong, sweet smell of the rain. The wetness hit my face and then started to drench my hair. The thick fog that had been polluting my mind for the past year seemed to lift and I felt like myself again.

()~()_()~()_()~()_()~()_()~()

One month later.

I stood in our meadow and looked across to grass at all the flowers. I couldn’t believe I finally found it. I had been looking for it since the day I had gotten home. I sighed and turned my back on our beautiful meadow, starting the long walk back to my truck.

I came in through the front door and called out to Charlie. “Hey dad, I’m back.”

“Hey kiddo, how was your walk?” I rolled my eyes. Ever since I had gotten back from Shady Meadows, Charlie had been keeping a really close eye on me. Sometimes it was comforting. Other times it was just plain annoying.

“It was fine Charlie.” I took off my brown coat and hung it on the hook. I went into the kitchen and got some ice for my hip. It had been a treacherous walk to by car from the forest. I must’ve tripped at least six times. I walked past the living room where he was watching the baseball game, and up the stairs. When I got to my room I took off my boots, slipped out of my jeans and put on a pair of comfy sweats. While I was at Shady Meadows I had gotten into the habit of wearing a lot of sweats. I now found that I couldn’t stand wearing jeans for very long anymore.

I walked towards my bed and my sweatpants got stuck on a nail. I fell to my knees and heard a crack in the wood behind me. I turned and saw that one of the floor boards had come loose. I groaned. “Oh just wonderful.” I got up and wiped my hands on my sweatpants that now had a large tear at the bottom. I walked over and tried to push the board back into place but the wood just snapped off in my hands. “Ugh!” Charlie wouldn’t be very happy about that. I looked down, examining that whole that was in my floor and gasped.

I reached down into the hole and pulled out the stack of photos, tears already in my eyes. I looked through them all and with each picture more and more tears fell. I set the picture aside and reached up on my bedside table for my new cell phone Renee had gotten me when I had gotten out of Shady Meadows. I quickly scrolled trough my contacts until I found the number I was looking for. It rang four times before she pick up.

“Bella? What’s wrong?” Just hearing her voice made me feel calmer.

“April. I-I found…He l-left…I-I can’t d-do t-this. I-I…” I couldn’t get the words out.

“Bella calm down okay?” I nodded my head even though I knew she couldn’t see me. “Now,” she continued, “take a deep breath and tell me what happened.” I breathed in a few times and April waited patiently.

“Okay,” I sighed. “I’m ready.”

“Alright Bella, go ahead.” I quickly explained what had happened and she just listened quietly. “Bella, I don’t understand why those pictures are so horrible for you to see.”

“April he lied to me! He told me he was leaving with a clean break. That there would be no trace of him. That it would be as if he never existed.”

“Exactly Bella! He wanted you to live a normal life. He wanted you to move on! And after eight months of being here with me you told me that you had finally moved on. You told me you were ready to go back out into the world and be yourself again. That is what Edward wanted when he left. He left you Bella because he knew that by him doing so you would be stronger. You don’t need him Bella. What you need is to get over him. That is why you came to Shady Meadows. To get over Edward. Not to forget him though. Never forget him, Bella. Do you understand?”

“Yes,” I exhaled. “Thank you April.”

“Anytime honey.” I said a quick goodbye and hung up the phone. I put my phone in my pocket and put my boots back on, heading downstairs.

“Hey kid, where are you going?” Charlie asked, getting out of his chair and coming over to the door.

“Out,” I said over my shoulder and slammed the door. I walked right passed my truck and out into the road. I didn’t want to drive, walking would take longer and hopefully the rain would clear my head. I walked along the road until I got to the forest. I took a deep breath and looked at the obstacle coarse in front of me.

After about three hours of hiking I finally reached the meadow again. It was almost dark but I didn’t care. I lied down on the wet grass and looked up at the sky. I didn’t know how long I had been there but I soon found I was looking at millions of little, twinkling stars. I sighed. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately. It was so peaceful out here. I loved it. Even though it reminded me of Edward I still felt immensely calm and happy here. And what did it matted if it reminded me of Edward. He was always on my mind anyway.

There was a quiet rustle in the trees next to me. I turned my head to look but didn’t see anything. It was probably just an animal. I looked back up at the stars. The trees rustled again, louder. I turned to look again, scared now. A pair of bright, red eyes stared back at me and the next thing I knew there was a heavy weight on top of me. And then a sharp pain in my neck. And then fire. And then blackness.