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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. ;)


4. Chapter 4

Rating 4/5   Word Count 2360   Review this Chapter


Chapter 4

I was walking swiftly through a very familiar forest. I knew where the path I was taking would lead me, and I felt a tug of strange anticipation in my stomach.

Sunlight was falling in bright streaks through the canopy of leaves above me, turning the moss that was coating the bark of the trees into large, bright green spots. It must have been raining; the air was thick with humidity and I could smell the damp earth.

I knew I was dreaming though; in reality I wouldn't have been able to focus on anything besides my own feet without stumbling and landing on my face.

After a few more minutes, I suddenly saw a bright light several yards away from me. I slowed down, then walked out of the thicket into the meadow.

The sun was unnaturally strong and made me blink as my eyes were blinded by the sudden brightness of the light.

When they finally had gotten used to it, I recognized the figure that was standing in the middle of the meadow.

I knew who it was, even if I couldn't see his face against the sun.

Edward. There he was, I had found him.

I slowly walked towards him, still only seeing a shadow where his face was.

When I raised my hand to touch his cheek, I realized there was something different about him - I just couldn't quite make out what it was.

"Bella, my Bella," he whispered, his voice as angelic as ever. "You've come for me..."

I couldn't speak, mesmerized by the way his skin felt beneath my fingers. It had been so long...

"I'm sorry, my love, I never should have..."

A high-pitched beeping noise suddenly drowned him out and I woke with a start. Groaning sleepily, I turned around and looked at my nightstand. The display of my cell flashed for two more seconds, then went out again. I grabbed it groggily, squinting at the display with half-closed eyelids. 8:30! Who the hell sent me a text message at 8:30 on a Saturday morning?

I opened the inbox: it was from Jacob. "call me as soon as u wake up. got news. love, j"

"Idiot..." I muttered and let the phone drop to my stomach, leaning back into my pillows again.

But I couldn't go back to sleep; the images from my dream flashed up behind my closed eyelids. I had dreamed of Edward for the first time in months. Trying to find a reason for this, I suddenly remembered the events of the night before and shuddered, the miserable feeling instantly filling my heart again.

I turned to lie on my stomach, burying my face in the pillow. Alice and Jasper were probably in Boston, and Edward very likely knew what had happened already.

I didn't want to think about it, it surely would drive me insane.

I gulped, swallowing the lump that had appeared in my throat. How had he reacted? He must have been crushed like I had been...maybe even more so. I thought of his tendency to always take the blame for the bad things that had happened between us and bit my lip.

But would he really care that much? I remembered Alice's and Jasper's strange behavior, the way they had looked at me. There was something about Edward they didn't tell me. I became more and more positive about my presumption that he probably had found someone else - a thought that instantly made my stomach churn and brought tears to my eyes.

I pinched the bridge of my nose with two fingers and took a deep breath, then picked up my cell again. I definitely needed something to distract me now.

It took only a second before I heard the familiar raspy voice on the other end.

"Bella! Hey, you're up early!"

"Yep. Guess who woke me like 10 seconds ago? Did you fall out of bed or something?"

"Nope." He definitely was in a way too good mood for this time of day.

"Then what could be so important that it can't wait until later?" I asked him, curious.

He was quiet for a second, before he blurted out, "I did it!"

"Huh?" I was confused at first, but then- "Ew! Seriously Jake, that's definitely Too. Much. Information!" Instead of an answer I just heard his barking laughter.

"Oh Bella, not that. Well, maybe I did that, too," he started mischievously and I cringed, "but that's not the point."

He was serious now, almost solemn. I couldn't help but grin at the idea of a solemn Jacob Black. "Then what is?"

He cleared his throat. "I proposed last night!" he announced, an undeniable trace of pride in his voice.

"Wow- congratulations!" I answered, raising my eyebrows in surprise. Even though he had told me several times that he was planning it, hearing him say he actually did it was different. It meant we were getting older, growing up. Our teenage days were long over, we were adults now.

But I was happy for him - he and Josie were meant to be, after all.

"Thanks," he said and I could hear he was glowing with joy. "Bella, just think about this: I‘m engaged. I can't believe I'm saying this, but you have no idea how awesome this feels."

Well, actually, I had. For a moment, my thoughts went back to Edward and the few weeks that he had been my fiancé. Of course it hadn't been quite the same thing - I hadn't been particularly keen on getting married in the first place - but in the end, I had gotten more and more used to the idea. In fact, I had to admit that it indeed had felt awesome to be committed to each other in that way. I felt the now too familiar lump in my throat rise again.

"Hey, are you still there?" Jacob's voice pulled me back to the present.

"Yes, sure...sorry." My voice was thick.

"Are you okay, Bella?" He sounded worried now. Great - the last thing I needed was to spoil Jake's day. I cleared my throat, focusing on the present.

"I'm fine," I answered quickly.

"Yeah...whatever." He wasn't convinced and I couldn't blame him. I was a bad actress when it came to things like that. "Anyway, I need to go. Sam and Emily decided to throw this big engagement party and there's a lot to do. They'll kill me if I don't help them."

"Oh, right. Engagement party, huh?" I sighed. "Damn, I wish I could be there." I really did. I hadn't been to La Push since Spring Break, as I had spent the summer with Renée. And the thought of my best friend's engagement party taking place without me...

"Actually, you will." Jacob said resolutely.

"Huh?" I couldn't quite make out what he meant.

"You didn't really think I would celebrate my engagement without you? You'll come here, Bella, and stay until Monday."

"You're kidding, right?" He must have been. There was no way I was able to get to Forks, especially not today.

"I'm not. That's actually the reason why I woke you this early. Your ticket is waiting for you at the airport and your plane leaves at twelve thirty, so you better hurry."

I was stunned. He didn't just buy me a ticket, did he?

"Jake, really....you shouldn't..."

"Don't you worry about it, Bella Swan! I know there's nothing important coming up at school for you and the ticket is paid for, so pack up and get here." He obviously enjoyed that he sent me into speechlessness with this.

"But it's too expensive, Jake. You can't pay for-"

"I can. Really, Bella, I just sold the Cadillac I restored, so don't you worry about the money. It's a non-refundable ticket anyway. And I really, really want you to be here." He was serious again. I sighed - this was so Jake. I was going to feel bad about this for months, knowing that, even though his car restoration business was going good, he wasn't exactly rich.

"Well, thank you then." I smiled finally, giving in to his persistence. "Just one more question though. What would you have done if I hadn't read your message in time?"

"I'd have called you. Besides, I know you always have your cell next to your head at night." He was right. I'd never gotten rid of that habit, ever since I started doing it during Renée's pregnancy. I wanted her to be able to get a hold of me in case something was wrong and Phil wasn't there. "Anyway, Charlie will pick you up in Seattle; I won't be able to make it. But I'll see you tonight." He was clearly enjoying himself and I, too, had to admit that the thought of seeing Jake in a few hours was great. For the first time since the night before, I felt somehow content.

"Okay, well...- I should start packing. I guess it's see you later, then?"

"It so is! Bye, Bells."

"Bye Jake. And thanks again!"

He had already hung up. I sat up, swinging my legs out of bed, then went into the bathroom. I couldn't believe it - I was going to Forks today! Still, despite the anticipation of seeing Jake and Charlie again, I felt uneasy. I didn't know if Forks was really the place I should be going to, considering what had happened yesterday - in fact I was afraid I would go completely crazy there, seeing all the places that had memories attached to them like neon-colored Post-its.

But on the other hand, I probably would only see La Push and Charlie's house anyway - no need to go into town at all. And La Push had always been my personal place of refuge.

Plus, the Cullens were in Boston - what better place would there be to gather my thoughts about them than one that was at the opposite end of the country?

I sighed as I turned on the tap and splashed water over my face.

"Dammit," I muttered to my reflection in the mirror. "To Forks, today of all days."

For a moment, I was convinced I couldn't do it. I would have to call Jake and tell him I was sorry but I needed some alonetime. But I couldn't do that to him - it was his engagement party after all. And he had said it himself, he really wanted me to be there. So I'd go to Forks, celebrate and use the trip to try and find a solution for the mess I was in.

I shook my head - this certainly was the craziest weekend I've had in years. But I was going to go through with it - it felt like the right thing to do. I took my toothbrush from its holder next to the sink, then started brushing my teeth with newfound determination.

***

After I had dressed, I pulled my traveling bag out from under my bed, opened it and threw it on the small armchair in the corner. Just as I was heading to my closet, my cell rang again. I turned and grabbed it from my nightstand, looking at the number. It was no one I knew, but I answered anyway.

"Hello?"

"What do you think you're doing?"

It was Alice. I closed my eyes, trying to suppress the urge to just hang up again. What part of "I need more time" didn't she understand?

"You just disappeared, Bella. All I see is you leaving the house and then - nothing." She was clearly alarmed. This felt like a déjà-vu: hadn't we had this conversation already, sometime in the past? Apparently, history repeats itself, I thought.

"I'm going to Forks," I answered, trying to stay calm. "Jacob got engaged and invited me to spend the weekend there."

"Oh. Well, that explains it. Sorry, I was just...worried." She sounded relieved now. Wait, had she-? She didn't think I was suicidal or something, did she?

"It's okay...listen, Alice, I need to hurry." I tried to focus on my mental packing list, but couldn't concentrate. Was she home already? Did Edward know? Or worse, was he listening to us talking right now?

"Bella..." she started, but then hesitated.

"What is it?" My voice was trembling again and I could feel myself losing control.

"I just...I hope you'll decide to come here soon. There are many things to discuss, you know."

"Yeah." I replied shakily. "I'll see. Talk to you soon."

"Okay. Bye."

I quickly hung up, then closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths. I really needed to get out of here.

I put the phone in my back pocket and headed towards the closet again, trying to avoid any thoughts of the Cullens, and of Edward in particular. But it didn't work - with every piece of clothing I put into my bag another scenario of what might happen in Boston flooded my mind.

My favorite jeans: Edward with a disappointed look in his eyes, gesturing towards an unfamiliar pale blonde next to him.

My pajamas: the same girl, running her hand through her hair, a ring glittering on her left hand - a ring I knew too well, as I had worn it once myself.

A small stack of socks: Edward storming out of the room.

It was torture, but I swallowed the tears that threatened spill over. Get a grip, Bella Swan, I told myself. At this rate you'll never be able to think clearly. When I finally pulled the zipper closed, I collapsed on my bed, letting my head sink into my hands. I breathed slowly, trying to focus. I really needed company; I would go crazy being by myself.

A look at the clock on my bedroom wall told me that it was about time I got to the airport. I got up and dialed the number of a cab company.

Ten minutes later, after having packed a few small things into my favorite backpack, I grabbed my coat and my bag and left the apartment, still trying hard to focus on anything but the Cullens.