Sometimes Goodbye Is A Second Chance
After 5 years of rebuilding his life and putting the pieces back together, everything falls apart once again when she comes storming back into his life. Alice/Jasper - AU and AH
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me. I am not, will never be and never was Stephenie Meyer. This is an Alice Jasper AU and AH story. And also my first Twilight story.
12. Chapter 12
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CHAPTER TWELVE: Baby Girl
I don't need no one to tell me about heaven
I look at my daughter, and I believe
I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth
I can see the sunset and I perceive
I look at my daughter, and I believe
- Heaven by Live
The first two months have been crazy. I found out first hand how much time little babies demand from you. It was exhausting, but it wasn’t too hard. I tried to help as much as I could, but I have to admit that Alice was the one who was doing most of the work. And people would probably say that that is the way it should be, since Amber was not even my child; but I didn’t mind, I wanted to be there for them. And Alice didn’t seem to mind either; I think she actually liked it.
The day I picked them up from the hospital was nice and sunny. I didn’t spend much time with them before, because mom and dad were visiting all the time. Mom, of course, had to come to the house, too and check everything out. She had the right to check up on her son was what she said. So I let her. She refilled my fridge and bought me new clothes. As if I was ten.
I arrived too early and I had to wait for Alice to be released.
“Hey you, ready to get out of here?” I asked Alice, when I entered her room. Mom and dad had gone back home the previous evening, so we were back on our own.
“Yes, please. I hate hospitals,” she shuddered. She slowly got out of bed and I handed her the bag mom brought her.
“I’ll go change now,” she said and went to the bathroom. I moved closer to Amber, who was awake. I took her in my arms.
“Hey, baby girl, how are you today?” I asked her and she just looked at me, grabbing my finger. She liked to do that. She was so tiny and it was weird that I wasn’t afraid I would drop her. Or even worse, break her.
“You are going home today, you know that? Yes, you are. And you’ll see how nice it is there, much nicer than here.” I said to Amber. She was looking up at me with those beautiful blue eyes of hers seriously, like she could understand every word I was saying.
“You’ll see how many toys you already have. Your grandma and grandpa bought you a thousand, and Bella and Edward send you a big lion and a lamb. They probably couldn’t agree on the gift. You’ll be able to play with them, when you get a bit bigger. And all the cartoons Emmett sent over, you’ll be able to watch TV all day long.” I joked.
“Corrupting Amber already?” Alice came out of the bathroom, dressed in nice black sweats and a blue sweater. She looked lovely. And I immediately noticed the glow she had around her, it was the same glow Rose had when she gave birth to Ella and Jack.
“No time like the present,” I grinned back at her. “Ready to go?” I asked her and handed her Amber. I had to pick up all the things Alice brought with her and the entire stack mom bought her.
“Sure, lets go,” she said and kissed Amber’s forehead.
After I put all her belongings into the back of the car, Alice settled into the backseat with Amber and I drove off. The drove home was pleasant, and passed in friendly chatter. I haven’t talked to Alice yet, but I planned on confronting her soon, after she settled in a bit. But I promised myself I would be more attentive to her actions and statements. It was not only us anymore, and we couldn’t dance around the issue much longer.
We finally arrived home, and I grabbed the stuff from the car and took it inside; Alice followed behind with Amber. I put the stuff on the floor and showed Alice a baby bassinet beside the couch.
“Mom brought this over, she thought you should have something downstairs, too, so you wouldn’t need to run up and down all the time,” I explained.
“Oh, it looks great, I love it,” she said excitedly. “Let’s see if she likes it, too.” She laid the now sleeping Amber slowly and carefully in the bassinet.
“Looks like she likes it,” I commented, seeing how the baby girl sighed contently and just kept on sleeping. “You can leave her in the bassinet and get settled in. I’ll help you.”
She nodded and slowly stroked Amber’s cheek. “See you in a minute, peanut,” she said. I grabbed her stuff and we both went upstairs, leaving Amber in her bassinet.
“I put all the new stuff in your room, I hope you don’t mind,” I explained. “You can rearrange it, however you like.”
“Of course, thank you, Jasper.” She smiled and I let her enter the room first.
“Oh, so many things,” and it was true. They all went overboard and Amber had more clothes and toys then she needed. Of course I would never say that out loud, I learned that lesson years ago. “And look, Jasper, a crib. It’s so beautiful. I can’t believe I completely forgot I still needed to buy one. Did Esme buy this, too?” she asked, still examining the crib. “It is such a beautiful crib, I couldn’t have picked out a better one myself,” she smiled.
“Huh, uh no, mom didn’t buy it,” I said, although I was tempted to just say mom bought it and be done with it. Alice looked at me quizzically. “Did you buy it then?” she asked.
“No, not really.” Alice shot me a confused look. “I made it, actually.” I admitted.
“You made it? You made this? By yourself?” Alice asked me surprised.
“Yeah.” I answered. She looked back and forth between the crib and me and suddenly hugged me. “Oh, thank you so much, Jasper.”
“You’re welcome,” I said and hugged her back. It felt so good to hold her in my arms again. It was interesting how well we fit together, especially since I was considered tall and lean, and she was a small pixie. But we fit together perfectly.
She pulled back; her eyes glistening in unshed tears. I pulled my shirt over my hand and wiped her eyes with it. “It’s not a big deal, I had the time,” I chuckled at her.
“It is for me.” She said silently. And I smiled. “I’ll freshen up a bit, if you don’t mind and put the things where they belong.” She looked at her watch. “Amber will need to eat in about half an hour. She has a strong appetite, I have to feed her every two hours.” She said proudly.
“I will leave you to it then and bring Amber up in half an hour, ok?” She just nodded gratefully.
I went downstairs, leaving Alice to do her thing. Amber was still soundly asleep. I sat down beside her and watched her for a couple of minutes. I still couldn’t believe how tiny she was and how adorable her little lips and little nose were.
I never spent the night in the hospital with Alice, so I didn’t know how her nights actually were. But I found out the first night they were back home. At first glance it seemed that all Amber did was eat, sleep and cry. She slept every couple of hours and she ate every couple of hours. And that seemed normal to me, but when it happened during the night, it wasn’t so pleasant anymore. But I didn’t blame her, it was what babies did and it was a good thing I wasn’t sleeping a lot anyway.
Amber woke up every three to four hours, demanding to be fed, changed and cuddled. It took me a couple of nights to get used to this rhythm, mainly because every time I had just fallen asleep, her cries woke me up again. And since our walls were adjoined, I could hear Alice talking to her and calming her down quite well.
One night, soon after they have come home, I could hear Alice’s door open in the middle of the night and her walking downstairs. I wondered if everything was all right, so I pulled my pants on and followed her downstairs. She was in the kitchen, without Amber, drinking a glass of water.
“Hey,” I said when I approached her, not wanting to startle her. “Everything ok?”
“Hey,” she said turning around. She blushed adoringly and gulped, “yes, sure, I just need to get a glass of water. I’m sorry if we woke you,” she apologized.
I just waved it away with my hand. “No need to,” I said and went to get a glass for myself, too.
“I have been reading all these magazines Esme got me, and I think Amber is actually doing quite well with her sleeping. Some babies wake up every hour,” she explained.
“She’s a good baby,” I said, thanking God silently that she wasn’t one of those babies. “How are you feeling?” I asked her and leaned on the counter, drinking the cold water.
“I’m fine, really,” she said, but I just gave her a pointed look. “Well, it still hurts like hell when I move wrong, but Carlisle gave me this salve that helps.” If I would be prone to blushing, I would have been red at that moment. I didn’t mean that, I just wanted to know how she was feeling in general.
“Oh,” she said, realizing what she was talking about, and continued flushed. “Otherwise, I am fine, really. And don’t give me that look, because yes, I am exhausted, but happy.”
“Rose always said the first weeks are the hardest, but then you’re suppose to get used to it,” I explained. Mom always agreed with her, so it must be true.
“Yeah, she said the same to me. And it is not that hard, I just miss the sleep a little,” she chuckled. “But it is worth it.”
We just stood there staring at each other for a minute, but then she broke the gaze and said, “I better return back upstairs.”
“Good night,” I said to her, probably sounding ridiculous, since it was about 3 am. She just nodded and returned back upstairs. I wondered why she kept looking at me oddly the whole time we were talking, blushing slightly. Then I took a look at myself and realized I want shirtless. Oh. So, I guess she wasn’t immune, and meant I still had an effect on her. That could come in handy. I smiled mischievously and stepped outside to cool and clear my head a bit.
The next two weeks passed quite quickly, probably because we were both busy all the time. Amber sure was keeping us occupied. I haven’t even talked much to Alice, she was usually up, when Amber was up and then napped when Amber slept. I tried to help as much as I could; I even learned how to change a diaper. Alice laughed when she stood by my side and watched me do it for the first time. I would have preferred to do it without an audience, but she insisted. Fortunately, I did quite well. Amber was changed and looked fine, although I couldn’t say the same for myself. I was covered in powder. Alice let me do it on my own after that, though.
One day when Alice was downstairs with Amber, I was outside working on a table and benches for the backyard. Since we had the crib in Alice’s bedroom and the bassinet downstairs, Amber slept downstairs during the day and upstairs during the night. And where Amber was, there was Alice. Amber must have woken up from a sleep and was hungry. Alice, thinking I would be busy outside, didn’t think twice about feeding her downstairs. Which would be fine, if I hadn’t walked in at the most unsuitable moment possible.
Alice was just preparing to start feeding her, when I stepped through door and looked straight at her. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t stop starring. Alice quickly covered herself with a small towel and blushed vividly.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to,” I stammered, not knowing where to look.
“It’s ok, I should have gone upstairs,” Alice said flustered.
“No, it’s ok. I should have knocked or checked first, I’m sorry,” I apologized. I didn’t want her to go upstairs because of this.
“Besides, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” I wanted to lighted the mood, but it didn’t work. Alice blushed deeper and I wanted to slap myself. Good timing to point something like that out. Idiot.
“I’m just going to go take a shower,” a cold one preferably, I thought to myself, “and let you be, before I say something else that will embarrass us both even more.” I just went past her, trying as best as I could to keep my eyes straight ahead of me. I heard her giggle when I reached the top of the stairs, and was relieved.
I just wasn’t prepared to see her exposed like that. It has been quite a while, and I missed a woman’s touch a lot. And since this was not just any woman, but Alice, it only made things worse. I needed a cold shower, and I needed it now.
Sometimes when Alice still napped and Amber was up, I would hold her and play with her. She was an observant little thing, already noticing faces and noises. She moved her little head when she heard something, and sucked on her finger occasionally. I felt protective of her, and was ridiculously proud when she would hold my finger or fall asleep in my arms.
I also started introducing her to music. I chose softer tunes, but it was still rock. She should learn about good music as soon as possible. And she seemed to like it, music would calm her down and she never started crying when she heard a song. I would have to remember that. Alice didn’t mind at all, we were both music junkies, so she was all for introducing Amber to music. And whenever we did that, all our troubles and problems would be forgotten.
When she was two weeks old, I suggested to Alice we should take her outside a little bit. Alice was a little unsure at first but after talking to Rosalie about it, agreed. She bundled the baby girl warm and put her in a stroller. It was a warm afternoon, there was barely any snow left on the grounds. The weather was getting warmer with every week; spring was coming.
“It is nice to be out and about again,” Alice said, “I missed the fresh air.” She hadn’t been for a walk since she had come home from the hospital; she only went outside the house.
“The weather is warmer now, and Amber is big enough to go for walks, so you can do this anytime you want now,” I answered.
“Yeah, I’ll do that,” Alice said, “I’m sure it’s good for Amber, too. Plus, I need some exercise.”
“You look great,” I said.
“Liar,” she answered and punched me in the arms.
It was a lovely afternoon; we were walking and chatting comfortably. There was no tension, and no pressure. I never imagined months ago Alice and I would be walking a baby down the road. It was so surreal and never in my wildest dreams did I dare to hope for something like this to happen. Maybe I should have dealt with her more harshly and told her what was on my mind. I was very strategic and I often thought like a soldier, but I just didn’t have the heart to put her through any pain. Whether she realized it or not, whether I have been aware or not, I loved her with all my heart and I would do anything I could to protect her. And maybe protect myself, too. Cause deep down, I was still afraid of being turned out and finding out the answers.
But walking there beside her, looking at her being a mother, was an overwhelming feeling. She was so beautiful, her hair was longer than it used to be, but it suited her. It was clear to me that she was not the Alice I once knew anymore, but most importantly she was still my Alice. And that was enough for me.
It was indeed a really great afternoon.
I was finally out of the hospital. My stay there was not bad at all, they had all been very nice to me and took great care of both me and Amber; but hospitals were not my thing. I always felt trapped and afraid I wouldn’t get back out. Therefore, I was very happy when Jasper came to pick us up and felt a relief that I didn’t have to stay there anymore.
Amber was adapting well to the new surroundings. I read that babies are aware of their environment, even at this early age. She was so adorable and loved to be carried around in my or Jasper’s arms. And she loved her crib, she loved her bassinet, too, but the crib was special. Or maybe that was just me. I never expected Jasper to make her a crib, it was such a lovely surprise and I was really touched. It might sound stupid, but it meant a lot to me.
All of this was actually quite overwhelming. I was so busy with Amber, I hardly had time to think about it all, and when I did think about it, I usually fell asleep, so I didn’t get very far at all. Rose’s words kept ringing in my head; I needed to talk to Jasper and clear things up soon. But I was so tired all the time and didn’t have the strength to go down that road at the moment.
One day after we had gotten home, Edward and Bella called me. I explained myself to them as much as I could and apologized about a hundred times. I told them about Amber and sent them some pictures. Everyone wanted to be updated about Amber regularly, so Jasper took a lot of pictures and send them to everyone.
I woke up one afternoon, I probably feel asleep while I was watching Amber sleep, and wanted to check on her; but she was not in her crib. I immediately panicked, not being able to think clearly since I had just woken up. I took a couple of deep breaths and calmed down. She couldn’t walk yet, so the only possible solution was that Jasper had her. I decided to take a look where they were.
I slowly walked downstairs, trying not to make any noises, because I wanted to see what they were up to. And what I saw took my breath away.
Amber was lying in her bassinet, fidgeting with her hands, looking at Jasper. He was sitting on the couch, his old guitar in his hands, playing a lullaby to Amber. He was singing the Queens of the Stone Age song “This Lullaby.”
Are you there over the ocean?
Are you there, up in the sky?
Until the return of my love
My Hope is on the horizon
Every face, it's your eyes I can see
I plead, I pray through each night & day
Our Embrace is only a dream
Listening to him playing and singing was breathtaking. I took a seat on the stairs and just watched them and listened. I hadn’t heard him play in such a long time and I really missed it. I remembered how we use to sit on the terrace of his apartment and he would play all night long and I would just sit there, listening to him. It brought back wonderful memories.
I was a little confused though, because I had found the guitar put away in the storage room, covered in dust already. And I desperately wanted to ask him about it. Didn’t he play anymore? I sighed and he immediately tensed. Darn, I gave myself away.
“You can come in here, you know that right?” he said to me, not turning around.
I stood up from the stairs, “I know, I just didn’t want to disturb you.” I walked into the living room and sat down beside Jasper.
“That was lovely,” I said to him, smiling softly.
“I haven’t played in 5 years, I just couldn’t, you know?” he said to me. And I didn’t understand.
“Why?” I asked him.
“Why?” he repeated. “Because you left and you took that part of me with you.”
I certainly didn’t expect this answer, he looked so hurt and I suddenly didn’t know what to say.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. And I was, I just wanted to take his pain away, and I couldn’t quite grasp the fact that I was the reason for it.
“I know,” he said and slowly got up. “I am, too.” He slowly leaned in and kissed my forehead, looking at me in a way that broke my heart and went upstairs. I desperately wanted to stop him, but I didn’t know what to say.
Things had changed in the last two months and we became more involved with each other. I talked to Rose on a regular basis; Esme and Carlisle often came over. And I was really touched, because not once have they shown any restraint, they were always loving and very accepting. And therefore I decided to call Rose and ask her about this. Her words at the hospital came back to me and I needed her advice. I stood up, grabbed the phone and called Rose. I could barely push the right numbers; my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I have just never seen Jasper with such a haunted look on his face before.
But the person, who answered wasn’t Rose, it was Emmett.
“Hey, Emmett, could I speak to Rose for a moment? I really need to ask her something,” I said urgently.
“She isn’t home right now,” he said, probably thinking I wanted to ask something about babies. “How is Amber?”
“She’s fine. Do you maybe know when she’ll be back?” I asked. I really needed to talk to her.
“In about an hour probably,” he explained. “Can I help you with something?” he offered.
“No, it’s not that important,” I slowly gave up. And he took the bait and switched the topic.
“So, are you and Jasper back together again? And is Jasper Amber’s daddy now?”
I didn’t know what brought that up, and I answered truthfully. “No, why would you think that?”
“Why? You’re living with him and whether or not you’re aware of it, you two have a pretty interesting history,” he pointed out. I knew all these things, of course, but I didn’t want to admit them.
“Well, no, I am just staying here till I get back on my feet again, then I will leave,” I defended myself.
“And how is that going, getting back on your feet?” he persisted. “I don’t mean you should go or anything, but we are all waiting here curious about what is going to happen.”
“It is going ... well, I think,” I said confused. I really didn’t see where he was going with this.
“So, let me get the facts straight. You are there, living with him under the same roof, 24 hours a day. You haven’t talked about anything yet nor are you spending all your time in bed; which would the only acceptable reason for you not clearing things up yet, really. Am I right so far?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I whispered.
“So tell me, what are you two doing?” he said all satisfied sounding.
“I’m talking care of Amber, and Jasper helps me, and we are getting along quite well.” I said in my defense.
“You two are both stubborn as mules, I hope you know that. What are you waiting for?” He sighed. “Listen Ali, I know some people think I’m dumb, but I know love when I see it; and I have seen it when it comes to you two. So stop thinking about it too much and just clear things up. You’ll be grateful to me, you’ll see.”
He was silent for a few seconds and then added, “Do something about it, Alice. Life is too short to be unhappy. And remember how long it took you the first time; don’t make the same mistake again. Throw the poor fellow a bone.” And then he chuckled.
And that got me thinking. What if Rose was right, what if I actually really hurt Jasper? But how could that be. I just didn’t understand it. But I did hear Emmett; he made an excellent point. Did it matter what I understood and what not? All I had to do was take a deep look at my feelings and myself. I came here to Jasper, thinking I hated him. But they do say there is a thin line between love and hatred. And I never really hated Jasper, I just wanted to. I wanted him to pay and suffer like I did. But I came back to him, I asked him for help and that must have meant something.
I thought about how he accepted me without any arguments, how he took me in and offered me a place to stay. I was very unfair to him, but he still did all those things for me; he bought me stuff and took me to the doctor. He even accepted my baby without any argument and took care of her in such a loving way it broke my heart.
I thought back at the last two months, since we had returned from the hospital. We didn’t argue once, and he was always there for me, what ever I needed. I remember how nervous I was when I had to give Amber her first bath. I couldn’t concentrate, because I was so afraid I she would slip out of my wet hands and hurt herself. But Jasper fixed the problem. He brought a small baby tub from somewhere, I had no idea where he got it, and put it on the kitchen table. And while I filled it with warm water, suitable for Amber, he turned the heating on in the kitchen. And then he was beside me every step of the way and we bathed her successfully.
And that kind of support and consideration just didn’t come naturally. It is not that he was not a friendly and helpful person; it was just that what he did was in a way very intimate, too. And his touches did sometimes last a little longer, but I never paid attention to it, because I wasn’t focused on the reasons behind them. And that suddenly gave me hope.
I thrived at every glance he threw me; I savored every small and brief touch. I just wasn’t aware of it. My dreams went from bad to hot, and I didn’t realize what was going on at first. But now, when Emmett presented me with the facts, everything was suddenly clear to me. I tried to keep him at bay, but if there wasn’t anything between us anymore and if I didn’t have any feelings left; I wouldn’t care so much anymore. But I did care; I cared a lot. I wanted him to like me, and I wanted him to be proud of me. His opinion mattered, even if I didn’t want it to matter.
I was still very much in love with Jasper. And even though he broke my heart, I was prepared to give him a second chance, because honestly, I wanted him. And I wanted him badly.
“Thank you,” I said to Emmett. And no further argument was necessary.
“You’re welcome,” he said. “Plus, it’s not as if I did it only for you, I do have a bet to win. And if anyone asks, giving advice is not cheating.” And he hung up.
Amber started to fuss, and I took her in my arms and carried her upstairs. Jasper must have already changed her. So I sat down on my bed and fed her, while thinking of Jasper all the time.
“What do you think, peanut?” I asked her. “What should I do?” I looked down at her, but she wouldn’t give me an answer. (Love the peanut nickname, I called my girl, sweet pea:)
I played with her a bit, and talked to her, asking her all kinds of questions that I was afraid to ask myself. After a while she got tired and I put her back into her crib.
I sighed deeply, wanting to just sleep on it. But I couldn’t fall asleep, even though I was tired. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. But I didn’t want to do any rushed actions, so I stayed put, although I desperately wanted to confront him. I sighed; this was going nowhere.
Suddenly, I remembered the book I had put into my nightstand. It was Jasper’s first book, the one that got him published. I took it out carefully and hesitated for a minute, remembering the notes I found in his desk. This could maybe provide me with some answers I definitely needed. I slowly opened the first page and started to read.
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