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Never seen the light of day

Summary:
When Bella runs into Alice and Jasper after three years of living separate lives, a chain of events is set into motion that holds surprises in store - and Bella's life takes a turn she would never have thought possible... Banner1


Notes:
My first fanfic in the Twilight universe.
It's been rotting away in my writing folders for a year, now finally it's being rewritten and continued.
I really hope you like it! Feedback/constructive criticism is greatly appreciated :) Disclaimer: The Twilight characters aren't mine. I just borrowed them from Stephenie Meyer to play with. ;)


2. Chapter 2

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 4293   Review this Chapter

Chapter 2

She knows that if she ever breaks free,
She will never see the light of day
She’s been blinded by the stars and dreams she craved
(Mando Diao – Never seen the light of day)

Entering the bathroom in a hurry, I slammed the door shut behind me. A girl refreshing her make up at the sink cringed and shot me an annoyed glance. I ignored her and locked myself into one of the two cubicles, sitting down on the closed lid.

My breath was ragged as I stared at the blue door in front of me, my thoughts racing. Knowing I was close to a panic attack, I tried to calm down, listening as the girl left the bathroom. Now alone, I leaned back against the tank and took off my hat, trying to sort out the chaos in my head.

I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. They weren’t supposed to be here, they belonged to my other life, my past life. Frustrated, I let my head sink to my knees.

I must have imagined this - it just wasn’t possible, period.

But still, I couldn’t bring myself to go back out. I was too afraid. What if they really were there? What should I say? Were they here for me or was it a coincidence?

Coincidence? With her being involved?

Okay, so not a coincidence. Damn, this was bad.

I was still pondering whether I should get out and face whatever expected me outside, when I heard the door being opened. Instinctively, I held my breath, then slowly lifted my head, sitting straight again.

“Bella?”

I exhaled audibly. Just Sarah, no reason to panic.

“I’m in here.” Dammit, my voice was shaky.

“Are you okay? You seemed a little – rushed.” I could hear her approaching my cubicle, then stopping near the sink.

“Yeah, I’m fine, really. I just really needed to pee.” Okay, that wasn’t a very credible excuse, but it would have to do for now.

“Alright then.” Sarah clearly wasn’t a hundred percent convinced. “But if you need anything, if you want to talk – whatever it is, I’m here okay?”

I sighed. “Okay. Now, would you mind…” I didn’t want to be rude, but I needed a minute alone right now.

“Oh. Sure, I’m on my way. But come see me before you leave, okay?” she answered, turning around and closing the door again.

So she had realized there was something weird going on. Crap, now she probably thought it had to do something with her.

My head was still spinning. To clear my thoughts, I decided to go for the cold water splash and then go back inside. I couldn’t spend the night in here, after all. And I really didn’t want Sarah to be angry with me.

Just as I was about to head for the sink, the door opened again. I sighed.

“Sarah, really, I’m okay! I’ll be there in a-“

“Bella? Is that you?”

I blinked, my mouth hanging open in shock; my mind had instantly recognized the brilliant voice that had spoken my name. Okay, so I definitely had not hallucinated. Still, the knowledge didn’t make me feel any better, on the contrary: I felt dizzy suddenly.

I didn’t answer, just balled my hands into fists.

“Isabella Swan! I know you’re in there, just come out already.”

“N-no.” It was nothing more than a whisper, although I had wanted it to sound stubborn and harsh. “You’re not there. You can’t be.”

“Bella, don’t be ridiculous.” The voice sounded very impatient now. Very like her.

“I’m not.” I responded, still shaky. I’d stay in here until she had disappeared again – facing her would make it absolutely real.

“Open the door or I will remove it my way. You don’t want to explain that to the owner, do you?”

Not that she would actually do it, I was pretty sure about that. She never was the overly dramatic person, so I ignored her threat.

“Please. Just leave, okay?”

“I’ll count to three.” Alright, maybe she was.

“One.”

I gulped, my heart still racing.

“Two.”

I put my now shaking hand on the lock. Taking a deep breath, I slid it to the side, then slowly pushed the door open.

“Three.”

I stepped out, still not breathing.

Alice Cullen stood less than five feet away from me, leaning casually against the sink, her arms crossed in front of her chest.

She smiled at me.

“Finally! I’m really sorry, but if I hadn’t threatened you, you’d have never left that your smelly hiding place.”

I couldn’t speak. Of course I knew that she hadn’t changed, but it was still weird to see her looking exactly the same as she had three years ago. Catching my reflection in the mirror behind her, I recognized that I, on the other hand, looked horrible, almost like I had seen a ghost. Which was true, in a way.

“Hey,” I managed, my voice rough. I glanced around nervously, not daring to look at her though I could feel her eyes on me. “This is – a surprise.”

“It is indeed. Well, not so much for me,” she laughed and I smiled slightly. The sound of her voice made my mind be flooded with many happy memories - memories I had suppressed for a very long time.

Shaking my head, I tried to get rid of the images. I had suppressed them for a reason after all.

I was still pretty much speechless, unable to wrap my mind around what was happening. But I knew that I had to do something, say something, now.

“Alice – what do you want?” I finally asked, unable to hide the slight anger in my voice. Yes, what was she doing here? Why couldn’t she just leave me alone?

After all she had been the reason I had chosen this life over the other alternative.

“I just- thought we might be able to talk,” she said, looking at me hopefully. “It’s been such a long time and I thought you might want to know-“

“You know what? I don’t think so. I don’t want to know anything,” I snapped, instantly sorry about being so rude. But I couldn’t let her go on. This had already gone too far; I shouldn’t have talked to her in the first place. The door in my mind behind which I had securely hidden my emotions and memories was now unlocked - it wouldn’t take much more to open it completely and all my efforts would have been in vain.

“Bella-“ Alice began again, but I ignored the begging edge in her voice. Instead, I bit my lip and stormed past her and out of the bathroom.

This just can’t be happening, I thought to myself. This is not part of the plan I’ve made.

Still in a daze, I made my way back to our table, trying to get back to the real world by taking a few deep breaths. Sarah was looking at me expectantly. She clearly wanted an explanation for my strange behavior, but I really couldn’t think of one.

You know, I just ran into this old vampire friend of mine, who is a psychic and therefore knew we would meet. It was kind of weird and that’s why I really need to go home now.

Yeah, right. Very plausible.

“There you are!” Sarah exclaimed.

“Yep,” I responded curtly. “I don’t really feel good though, I think I have to go home.” I smiled at her apologetically.

“Oh, well-” Her expression was clearly confused, if not even a little offended. “I mean, if you have to leave…”

“Sarah, I’m really, really sorry,” I apologized, and I wasn’t lying. The party had just started after all, and without me there she’d be stuck with Chris and his friends.

I quickly put on my coat and hugged her goodbye. My witch hat clamped under my arm, I took my purse and quickly made my way to the exit.

When I stepped outside, the fresh air was a relief. Taking a deep breath I hastily started walking towards my parking spot. I needed to get away from here, back to my apartment, as quickly as possible.

I didn’t even bother opening the back door of my car, but instead climbed into the front seat, then leaned over and threw my stuff into the back. I started the engine, fumbling with my seatbelt, when I suddenly heard the door open. Before I could even blink, Alice was sitting next to me, closing the door with a thud.

“You don’t really think you can run away from me, Bella?” She looked at me, rolling her eyes in a very Alice-like manner.

I sighed audibly. “Apparently not. So- where’s Jasper? That was Jasper who came in with you, wasn’t it?” I asked, trying to get a harmless conversation going.

She ignored this question, and instead answered another one, one I didn’t dare ask aloud.

“I wasn’t looking for you, you know? But as soon as we had decided to stay here for a while, I saw us meeting you here.”

Although she sounded cheerful, there was a strange edge to her voice; it almost seemed like she was trying to hide something from me. This was getting more and more awkward.

“Who is ‘us’ then?” I asked, taking my hand off the gear shift and my foot off the brake. As I was stuck here with her now, I might as well face it. Driving with her sitting next to me and talking wouldn’t be very safe, I figured.

“Oh, just Jasper and me. We were taking some time off, you know? Thought we might pay a visit to the Great Lakes. And then, the idea of celebrating Halloween seemed very appealing,” she explained, her fingers playing around with a bow on her dress.

“Mhm,” I answered briefly, my thoughts somewhere far off. I was fighting with myself, fighting the desire to know more. This was a unique opportunity; I probably wouldn’t get another one. But should I really do it? Should I ask her about the others? Did I even want to know?

But before I could make up my mind, she continued, still babbling.

“You know what? Why don’t I stay with you for a while; I’ll just call Jazz and tell him to go back to the hotel on his own and we can go have a coffee or something and catch up?”

It was tempting. For a second, I almost felt like I was eighteen again, with Alice being a great friend. I was already about to invite her over to my apartment when I remembered that I was 22 now and the situation had changed completely.

“Alice – I don’t think that is a good idea.”

“Why not?” She eyed me curiously, her cellphone already in her hand.

“Because –“ I’m not over it yet. And I probably never will be, despite what you might have seen happening someday.

“Because I’m over it,” I stated. “I’m living a new life now.” I looked at her, pleading for her to understand me. “I just don’t think it would help if I heard–“

“I know,” she answered, avoiding my gaze. She almost sounded remorseful. “I was just curious. Have you found him yet? You know, the guy you’ll marry and have children with?” She winked sheepishly, her eyes glittering with the reflected lights of the street lamps.

At first, I had no idea what she was talking about. Then, suddenly, it hit me. The door in my mind swung open and the memories crashed, cascade-like, into me.

It was a day in July 2006, one week after we had sent out our wedding invitations. Alice was already thriving on the preparations: picking flowers for my bouquet, deciding on the color of the tablecloths, basically all the stuff I didn’t really care about and was glad I could make her happy with.

It was also one week after I had learned from Charlie that Jacob had gone missing. With a slightly reproachful look, he had told me that Jacob had run away after he had received his invitation to my wedding. It had shocked me – of course I had known that there would be a separation, but I hadn’t expected anything like this. All I wanted was to find a way to get him back home and I spent my time desperately trying to find him.

That day I had gone down to La Push to talk to Sam and Billy, but Billy had just told me to let Jake “do whatever he needs to do to deal with it” and Sam hadn’t even wanted to meet me at all.

So I left again, feeling helpless and guilty. I wasn’t crying though, keeping my promise to not shed any more tears for Jacob Black. I just couldn’t believe he was leaving his family and his pack behind – all because of me.

I arrived home, still feeling awful, which didn’t change much when I entered my room to find Edward waiting for me. He was sitting in my rocking chair with a strange, distant look in his eyes. I immediately sensed that something was wrong. I didn’t have to ask him to tell me – he started speaking before I could even greet him.

“Bella,” he whispered. I stopped in the doorframe. “I’m so sorry.”

I was confused – was he talking about Jake?

“I already told you Edward, you don’t have to be sorry for Jake’s disappearance. I know you really-”

"I’m not sorry for Jacob.” His voice was rough, almost as if he’d been crying – that is, if he had been able to do so. This definitely wasn’t right. I felt myself starting to panic as I walked towards him.

“What is it then? Is something wrong with Renee?” I asked, even more worried as I kneeled down next to him and took his cold hands into mine.

He didn’t look at me, just stared into space with that pained expression on his face; an expression I knew only too well – one I had sworn to never make appear on his face again..

“Bella, I’m sorry that-“ He stopped, choking. “I’m sorry that it won’t work out. I’m sorry that I put you under so much pressure; I’m sorry that I made you agree to marry me.”

I couldn’t believe it! What the hell was he talking about? What made him say those things?

I tried to speak, but my voice didn’t obey. It just croaked, then broke and I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I could sense where this was going and it just couldn’t be. He wouldn’t- he couldn’t - do it again. He had sworn never to do this again!

“You’re-“ I managed, whispering now. “You’re not leaving me, are you? Tell me this is not another goodbye speech!”

He finally turned his head and looked at me.

“No,” he answered softly, stroking the top of my hands with his thumbs. “No, it isn’t. I’m not leaving you. But I want you to know that I’m alright with your decision.”

“With what decision?” I exclaimed, angry now. This didn’t make sense – I had made no decision, not that I knew of.

“Your decision not to marry me. I know for a fact that you want something different, something real –something you will have in the near future. And I want you to know that I love you too much not to let you have what you really want. ”

His eyes were full of sadness as he smiled at me.

“Okay, now I get it. You’re kidding, right?” This was the only explanation I had, even though I really didn’t think it was funny. On the contrary, he would pay for joking like that!

“I’m serious, Bella,” he objected. “But I’m okay with it – I thought about it and I’ll let you have what you want.”

“But I already have what I want! I want you, only you - forever. There’s nothing I want more than that, Edward!” I got up again, my knees slightly aching. I was furious. How could he even think such a thing?

“If you don’t - then why did Alice see you having a family?” he asked, his voice on the verge of breaking, full of desperation.

I froze, not believing my ears. “She saw what?!”

“She saw you having a family! Do you understand now that what we’re doing won’t work out? We might get married, yes, but apparently not for long.”

He looked so fragile now, so broken - I’d never seen him like this. My anger instantly vaporized, leaving nothing but confusion and a sting of pain in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t know what to say. I had never doubted my decision to spend the rest of my existence with him, not once – well, not since I had said my goodbyes to Jacob. I had no idea how Alice could have come up with a vision like this – it made no sense at all.

“Edward, calm down. You know her visions aren’t always correct, right? They can change, she makes mistakes! Just remember when you thought I had killed myself! Don’t let this happen again, please!”

I realized that I was trying to hold him back from whatever decision he was about to make. But I knew that he was already set as soon as he looked at me again. He had apparently had enough time to think this through, whereas I was overwhelmed by it.

“Bella – no matter if that vision was a hundred percent correct or not, I won’t take this away from you, not if there’s the slightest possibility this could come true. You should have seen yourself. You looked so happy, glowing with joy-“ he stopped, staring at the wall with a strange look on his face.

In that moment, I asked myself if Alice’s visions were not only the results of the conscious but also of the unconscious decisions someone made. Could it be that with my decision to find Jacob, I had somehow triggered choosing him? That this had somehow changed my future?

I felt a strange tug in my stomach. No. This couldn’t be. I was about to marry Edward, for heaven’s sake, and I had already spent hours contemplating this. I had even figured out a way to deal with Charlie and Renee, defending my changed views on “premature marriage”, as Charlie had called it. And I already had plans on how to deal with them after I was changed, which couldn’t be any more precise, so what was going on here?

“Edward, I won’t leave you. I can’t live without you; I’ve tried that already. This is ridiculous.”

He was still sitting in the chair, his forehead in his hands.

“Just listen to me, Bella, please. If this vision wasn’t based on your thoughts – that’s even worse, because that would mean that there is something coming that will separate us. Carlisle has heard rumours about a small coven in Canada who have apparently heard about our engagement and somehow don’t approve.” He grimaced over the last few words.

He looked at me, determination showing in his eyes. “We don’t know what they’re up to or why, as Alice can’t see them clearly for some reason. But it doesn’t matter! What if they have decided to go after us and they succeed? I’m not being selfish here – you know I would die for you, if you decided to stay with me. But I don’t want to make you a widow, Bella! I’d rather see you leave willingly – it would clear my conscience.”

I stood there, silent, listening to his speech with my thoughts racing.

Could this be true? Could someone want to kill him if he married me? Leaving me behind, broken and human? What if he was right? What if Alice was right? Could I really have a human future? Wasn’t I destined to be a vampire someday?

If I really had to choose between leaving him and trying to live a human life or staying, with the knowledge that it could kill him and maybe even his family… I swallowed the lump in my throat. That wasn’t a fair choice – even if I knew already what my decision would be.

I just couldn’t imagine existing in a world he wasn’t a part of.

I remembered the fear I had felt a few months ago, when Edward had gone to Volterra to end his life. And then it occurred to me. Suddenly, I was hopeful again. Alice must be wrong after all – there was one argument that was too important to ignore: the Volturi and our promise to them. Had he forgotten about it? I cleared my throat, trying to think clearly. “Even if I- leave you” My voice broke on the last words, not wanting to pronounce them. “What about the Volturi? I have to become one of you now, otherwise they’ll kill me. And probably you as well.”

Edward looked up at me, a look of resolution on his face. “You were alive and happy in this vision, so they won’t come after you. We will find a way to deal with them.”

In that instant, all hope was gone and I felt a familiar black hole growing inside of me, swallowing all my happiness as I realized that I didn’t really have a choice anymore. There was only one way for me – a way I was afraid to take.

Before I could think of anything to say, he stood up. “Think about it, Bella. I’ll understand, whatever you choose to do.”

Swiftly, faster than my eyes could follow him, he came towards me and looked at me with sad, tortured eyes. I wanted to say something, calm him down, but my head was spinning now. I couldn’t think clearly, let alone speak – and deep inside I already knew what I had to do.

He leaned down and kissed me softly, lingering, waiting for me to respond. And although my heart was yearning to cling to him, kiss him back, do everything to prevent him from leaving, I couldn’t move, even when he finally drew back and turned away from me.

I just stood there, leaning on the doorframe with my arms wrapped around me, and watched him climb out through my window. When he was gone, I sank down onto my knees and started crying, devastated and ashamed of myself...

“Bella? Hey, you still in there?” Alice’s voice pulled me out of my daydreaming.

I looked at her, startled. “Huh? Yeah, yeah.”

“So,” she cleared her throat, avoiding my glance. “have you met Prince Charming yet?”

I realized she wanted to sound encouraging, but didn’t really succeed.

“No…I don’t know. I’m not sure there’ll ever be someone like that.” The fresh memories of Edward had made the idea of having another boyfriend more than ridiculous. I bit my lip, trying to keep the tears from spilling over.

“Come on, I saw that there’ll be someone. Well, you probably haven’t met him yet. Although you looked pretty young, so it can’t be long now.” Her face clearly looked tortured now – I could only imagine what memories invaded her mind, but I was pretty sure they involved my former fiancée.

I closed my eyes and leaned back, taking a deep breath.

“Alice, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to-“

“You don’t have to apologize, Bella,” she interrupted. “You didn’t have a choice, we all understand. It just…wasn’t exactly an easy time. In fact, I’m being stupid right now. I actually should be excited to meet your little girl sometime – if I may?”

“Could you…” I began, not sure if this was a good question to ask. But I needed something to distract me, to take me back to the present. “Would you tell me what exactly you saw back then?”

“Well, sure. I think you have a right to know first-hand,” she answered, smiling slightly. “I saw you holding a baby, a little girl. You’re in your mother’s backyard, sitting on a cute pink blanket with rabbits on it. You were smiling happily at the baby, and your mom was there with you,” Alice said.

Suddenly I felt cold. I knew that blanket – I had bought it myself, almost a year ago. A terrible suspicion made its way into my thoughts and there was only one way to confirm it.

“And the father – did you see the father?” I added, my voice shaking now.

“No, I didn’t. That’s why I’m here, I thought it might be good to meet the lucky guy.” She was smiling again, although, this time, there was a faint trace of sadness hidden beneath it. Sadness, no doubt, for a certain someone who had given me up to allow me to have a future that he had considered better for me.

A future, I knew now, that in fact had never existed. Alice had indeed been wrong.

My hands gripped the steering wheel when realization hit. I admitted, more to myself than to my former best friend, that I had made a terrible mistake.

“I don’t think there’ll be any ‘lucky guy’ for me.” I stated matter-of-factly.

“What? Come on, I saw it!”

“I know. But see, the child you saw with my mom and I - she isn’t my daughter.” I swallowed, hard, before I finally admitted the fact that shattered my world.

“She’s Lilly – my little sister.”