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.
24. Chapter 24
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CHAPTER 24: Change
But wait, you can breathe
You can see what I can see
Don't waste your time
You can't make back
If you could rewind your time
Would you change your life?
Dream and be
What you feel
'Cause change is okay
What's the point in staying the same
Regrets, forget what's dead and gone
Rewind by Stereophonics
The sun and its warm, soft rays were gently awakening me from my sleep. I opened my eyes and looked through the window. It was going to be a beautiful day. After scanning Jasper's empty side of bed, I turned my head and looked at the clock on my nightstand; it was 9 in the morning. He was probably downstairs with Amber already. The bed covers combined with the soft sun rays made me fell warm and cozy and I was in no hurry to get up.
I sighed contently; we were getting married. I still couldn't believe he proposed. He thought I wanted it more romantic, but to me it was the best proposal possible. It happened in the heat of the moment, but it was so genuine and loving. It made my heart skip a beat every time I thought about it. I was getting married … to Jasper. I pulled the covers over my head and made a little happy dance under them.
I never thought this was possible. Even back when we were together, I never thought he would marry me. Jasper never mentioned it and we never talked about weddings and marriage, so I concluded that was either not him or it was too early to be thinking of it. But it has always been my dream to marry Jasper. Even seeing my parents fight and live a miserable life didn't discourage me, I wanted to be his, officially and forever. I knew everyone probably expected a big lavish wedding from me, because I loved parties; but I always wanted my wedding to be small and private. It was about me and Jasper and I didn't want anyone else there but the people we were most close to. I would need to discuss it with Jasper first and then with Rose and Esme.
I threw the covers off me and heard a little thud sound. Something must have fallen on the floor. I leaned over the bed to take a look, and noticed a small box on the floor. I stopped breathing and leaned down to pick it up. My hands were shaking as I sat in the middle of the bed and held the small blue box in front of me, not daring to open it. I took one more deep breath and slowly opened the box.
Inside was a really beautiful ring. I just sat there staring at it for a few moments, before I dared to touch it. It was made of white gold, with a diamond on top. Simple, but very elegant and to be honest, I have never seen a more beautiful ring before. I slowly took it out of the box and slid it on my finger. It fit perfectly. A weird sound came out of me, a mix of happiness and surprise.
I flung the covers away, slid into my slippers and ran down the stairs. I noticed Amber outside on the porch, sitting in her stroller in the warm sun. I smiled and ran into the kitchen hoping to find Jasper there, but he was nowhere to be seen. I turned around, re-checked the living room but nothing. I furrowed my brows and stood there for a few second, excited and annoyed at the same time. Then I heard the water in the bathroom downstairs and went in that direction. The door opened and I ran directly into him.
"Whoa," said Jasper strengthening his hold on me as we stumbled back into the bathroom and hit the wall.
His eyes suddenly had a naughty twinkle in them. He looked around the bathroom, "Round 2?"
I smacked him on the arm, "This is serious, Jazz," I laughed as he chuckled. "I found this on the bed, or under or whatever," I started babbling.
His looks grew serious, "It looks wonderful on you," he said in a low voice.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," I bounced and showered him with kisses.
"You're very welcome, as long as you like it," he said smiling.
"Oh, I love it, absolutely adore it. I'm never taking it off again," I told him excitedly and kissed him again, intimately this time. He drew me closer and deepened the kiss. His hands started roaming down my back and up to my neck. I shivered all over and he groaned. I chuckled inappropriately and pulled away, "I forgot to brush my teeth."
I turned around and ran away before he could pull me back to him and we ended up doing it on the floor.
"I'll be right there, I just need a minute," he said with a husky voice that brought a smile to my face.
I was in the bathroom in a couple of seconds, washed my face and brushed my teeth. I groaned when I saw that my hair looked like a haystack and quickly combed it. I got dressed and joined Jasper and Amber downstairs.
"All proper," I said when I came back downstairs.
I heard a humping sound back from Jasper, slightly mocking me.
I rolled my eyes and sat down.
"How is Amber doing?" I asked him.
"She's sleeping outside now. She woke up early today and since we didn't want to wake you, I just fed her some of the milk we have in the fridge ready for her. A bit later I took her for a walk. I left her outside, cause it's such a warm day and checked on her a few minutes ago," Jasper explained, and handed me some coffee.
"Thank you," I said.
"I figured you needed your rest," he teased.
I ignored him. "When did you have time to buy the ring?" I asked curiously.
He waited a few second before answering, "I've kind of had it for a while."
He was looking at me to see my reaction, but I didn't know what to think. "Define a while."
"Oh, well, about 6 years?" He said sheepishly.
"6 years?" I repeated shocked.
"It's not a big deal, Alice," Jasper sat down.
"What do you mean it's not a big deal? 6 years, Jasper, hell." I didn't expect this. It came as a complete surprise, because I really never saw it coming.
"Well yeah, I bought it when we were together back then. I had a whole plan oh how to propose to you, I just couldn't find the right moment. I guess I was afraid you'd say no or that we were too young. We'd never actually discussed it and I didn't know what you thought about marriage. So, I kept postponing it until it was too late. And then you were gone."
I could hear the sadness in his voice, although he tried to hide it. "But you've kept it all this time," I wondered.
"I wanted to get rid of it, I wanted to throw it away, but I couldn't. So, I kept it in my nightstand all this time." He looked me in the eyes, when he said this. He was ashamed. "It's stupid, really," he continued, "I'd take it out every now and then and look at it pathetically."
"It's not pathetic," I defended him.
"Of course it is. I dwelled on the past too much, didn't even try to do anything."
I got up from my chair and sat onto his lap and just hugged him. "It's not pathetic, it's amazing and I love you for it."
"I'm just glad you're back," Jasper sighed and hugged me back.
"Thank you for waiting all this time and for keeping the ring," I said, tearing up.
He just kissed my neck in response. I didn't actually need a verbal answer, this was just as good.
After a couple of days of pure bliss, we called Esme and Carlisle first, then Rose and Em and of course, Bella and Edward. Everyone was thrilled about out upcoming wedding. Esme cried and Carlisle sounded really proud. We had our family picnic planned for next week, so we would all see each other then and celebrate our engagement. After asking her for help, Esme happily promised to call in a few days to make some plans for the wedding.
Rose was thrilled and Emmett slightly touched, but he recovered quickly and was ready for the awesome party, as he called it. Rose started to make plans and I had to promise her I'd call her the next day again, because she had a few things to check first and to coordinate with Esme; but then we'd had to start working on it. I explained to her I didn't want a big deal, but wasn't sure she was listening. I was just going to wait till I had them both, her and Esme, on the line, cause I knew Esme would agree with me since it was actually my wedding and Rose would need to relent then, too.
Bella and Edward were excited for us and congratulated us but then started bickering, because Edward wanted to marry Bella, but she insisted she just wasn't ready and asked him to wait a bit longer. She tried to convince him it was enough and just as secure now. Edward obviously disagreed. We hung up the phone silently and let them deal with it. Jasper assured me they had this particular fight often and that Edward would slowly convince Bella to marry him and explained that Bella was much less resistant than she was some time ago.
The next day Jasper showed me how to make a conference call, and I called Rose and Esme. We didn't include Bella, cause she was too far away, and wasn't really into the whole organizing parties thing. But we would definitely ask her about the food, she was a pro in that department.
"We have so much to plan," Rose said excitedly.
"Flowers, guests, dresses, food, music, minister," Esme said as she was making notes in her notepad.
I noticed Jasper take Amber and waved goodbye. He was making an exit and let me deal with the whole thing. I just waved him off and stuck my tongue at him.
"What else," Rose asked.
"Hmm, what about time and place," I suggested sarcastically, knowing they missed the most important thing.
"Right," they both said in unison, making me chuckle.
"Did you talk it over with Jasper yet?" Esme asked me kindly.
"Not really, he said I could make all the important decisions," I sighed, not knowing whether I should be happy or pissed. Men were men and I was good at this, so it was ok.
"Well, at least talk to him about the when and where, and we will plan everything else for now," Rose said.
"Will do," I made a note in my notebook.
"I was thinking lilies for flowers," I started and just heard scribbling on paper on the other lines, "and I know what kind of dress I want, I just don't know where to get it."
"Ok, we'll return to the dress later," Esme said. "What about guests?"
"Only friends and family. We were thinking all you guys and Peter and Charlotte and Cynthia. I don't know if she has a boyfriend or not, so we'd have to make a plus one for now. I don't really care about anyone else, to be honest." I explained and waited for their response.
"Sounds good to me," Rose said. "I already had a big wedding, and it was hell to organize everything, so this will be much easier." I laughed at her bluntness.
"Minister," I asked.
"Hmm, well we could always call the one who married us," Rose said. "He knows Jasper well, so it would probably be an honor for him."
"That's ok with me," I said.
"We'll call Bella for food and drinks," Esme said. "She'll probably want to make a lot herself, knowing her love for cooking. And since we will be a small company, I could help her and I think we could pull it off easily."
I chuckled, "We'd love that."
"Music," Rose asked.
"We'll bring some CDs and you can bring your own and we'll just go with that. I don't need a band."
"I made a note, but we're going to discuss this again later," I rolled my eyes, expecting this from Rose.
"Rings, we forgot the rings," Esme said.
"Oh, well, I guess we have to order them. We're planning on going into town this week anyway, so we'll go to the jewelry store and take a look at them," I explained, quickly adding rings to my list.
"Discuss traditional ceremony or your own vows with Jasper, Alice," Rose reminded me and I added that to the list, too.
"Will do," I said.
"Now back to the dress," Esme said, "what kind of dress would you like?"
"I have the design in mind, I just have to look online a bit and see if someone had anything like it."
"Why don't you draw it yourself and get it made for you," Rose suggested. "You always drew clothes back in school, why not do the same with your wedding dress?"
"Yes, do it," Esme joined her.
"I haven't really thought about that, I guess I could do it," I said, suddenly more excited. I missed drawing and sketching, I hadn't done that in so long.
"Well, that's settled then," Rose concluded. "Ok, we'll call these people to check with them, Bella too. You just handle the rings, dress and most importantly, time and place."
"Oh, but what about a bridal shower and a bachelor party?" Esme chipped in.
"Right, I forgot all about those." I said to them.
"We'll discuss it after you've set a date, ok?" Rose suggested.
"Ok, thanks for your help, guys," I said.
"Are you kidding me? You never had a choice," Rose smiled.
When Alice was in planning mode, there was no way to stop her. She would do what she wanted and what, in her opinion, was needed to be done. And since she started planning the wedding with Rose and mom, she was like a whirlwind. Not that I minded, I loved seeing her in planning mode – as long as I didn't have to do anything. She had impeccable taste and I trusted her with everything. She would ask me for opinions and suggestion, and I helped her whenever I could, but it wasn't very often.
Today we were going to the jeweler to get a look at the rings and maybe decide and order some. Alice preferred white gold to gold and I was happy with that. We parked at the mall's parking garage and went for a walk to the jewelers. We brought Amber's stroller with us, so she could sleep or just watch the surroundings.
When we arrived at the jeweler's there were a few people in front of us and that gave us some time to look at the rings. Alice wanted something simple, yet elegant, just like her engagement ring she said. She was looking at the rings, comparing them to each other. She asked for my opinion, but was still undecided. The saleslady came to help her, took out some wedding rings and showed them to Alice. Alice examined them and tried on a few, but couldn't decide.
She was adorable, standing there in a midnight blue summer dress, frowning over the counter. I was walking up and down the store with Amber, she was starting to fuss and distracting her worked, although not for long. I was a few feet away from Alice, looking at some rings, when I noticed a pair in the back corner. The rings were made of white gold and were simple, but I liked them immediately. The bigger one was just a simple band of white gold, the smaller one was the same, the only difference were the three inlaid diamonds or some similar stones, I couldn't tell. What I also noticed was that the ring would go really well with her engagement ring. They matched perfectly.
"Alice, come here for a sec," I called to her.
She looked up distracted and bounced over. "What is it?" she asked me.
"Look at this pair," I told her and waited for her reaction.
In a few second I was awarded with a big smile and I couldn't help but grin myself.
"Oh, Jazz, you found them," she gasped, "they're perfect." She jumped and kissed me quickly on the cheek. She returned to the saleslady and told her we found our rings. They made the arrangements and we left the store.
"Aren't they beautiful?" Alice gushed when we walked towards the hot dog stand to grab something to eat.
I nodded and she grabbed my hand. "Thank you," she said and snuggled close. I put my arm around her and pushed the stroller with the other one.
"When do you want to get married?" Alice asked me.
"Whenever you like, but soon," I answered. "I don't want a long engagement."
Alice nodded, "Me neither. I can't wait."
"What do you think about a late summer, early autumn wedding?" I asked her.
"Really?" Alice jumped a little. Her smile reached her eyes and I could see how excited she was. "I think I could manage that."
"What about the place?" she asked.
"Hmm, whatever you prefer," I said.
"I've been thinking of getting married up by the lake. It's so beautiful there and serene." Alice suggested.
I smiled, I liked the idea. "That would be great."
"Do we write our own vows or do we go traditional?"
"Traditional," I said.
"I was hoping you'd say that," Alice chucked. I think we were a couple who didn't act all lovey dovey in front of other people. Alice knew how I felt about her and I would gladly tell her every day, but in private.
"What about bridesmaids," I asked Alice.
"I was thinking I'd just ask Rose and Bella to be in the wedding, but wouldn't really have a maid of honor, cause I couldn't decide."
I just nodded, when Alice explained.
"What about you, have you decided who your best man is going to be?" Alice asked.
"Not really. I can't decide between Em and Ed, it's hell." I let out a sigh.
Alice giggled, "We'll figure something out."
Suddenly Alice tensed and I looked down at her. She was staring in front of her, rigid in my arms. I looked up and saw Cynthia and Alice's parents walking towards us. They hadn't noticed us yet and I tried to find a way to avoid the confrontation. But fate wouldn't let me, because as soon as I wanted to change the way we were going, Cynthia looked up and noticed us. She tensed, too and kept flickering her gaze from Alice to their parents.
"Are you ok?" I asked Alice. "We could still run."
She looked up at me and nodded, "Yeah, I'll be fine. I need to get this confrontation over sometime and today is as good day as any. It was just a shock seeing them, I wasn't prepared."
"Just remember that I am here and you have us," I said to Alice. "You are not alone and have a family, ok?"
She nodded, "I love you."
I smiled, proud of my girl. Alice's mother and father noticed us now too, and while her dad had a confusing look on his face, like he wouldn't know what to do; her mother looked stern and somehow annoyed. I wanted to roll my eyes at them; they pissed me off whenever I saw them. I had tried to be respectful before, they were Alice's parents after all and I knew she had loved them and wanted their approval; so I had always wanted to show them how good she was. But they had never really cared, and it pissed me off. And when they hadn't helped her out and had practically told her she was dead to them, my respect vanished.
"Hello," Alice greeted them, while I only nodded.
"Hey," Cynthia smiled at Alice and got an intimidating look from her mother right away.
They didn't greet us at all. I think they never expected to see Alice.
"Did you know she was back?" Alice's mom asked Cynthia.
"Yes," Cynthia answered timidly.
"And why didn't you mention that little fact to us," she scolded Cynthia.
"I didn't think you'd want to know," Cynthia asked and looked apologetically at Alice.
"Well, I did," she chided Cynthia, "I never wanted to see her again."
Alice was looking from one family member to another, lost at what she was supposed to do.
"Mom, dad," she greeted them again. This time they looked at her. "Stop blaming Cynthia, it isn't her fault. I could have let you know I was back myself, but I didn't think you really wanted to know."
"I have been back for months now," Alice explained.
"Humph," her mom snickered. "I can see that now."
Her parents started to walk away, but Alice stopped them.
"Wait," she said.
"There is nothing we have to say to you," her mother said.
"But there is something I have to say to you," Alice insisted. "So listen."
It looked like Alice's mom wanted to say something, but Alice never gave her the choice. "You didn't want to help me when I was pregnant and alone and homeless, so I don't think you are entitled to any courtesy about where I am now and what I do. You have failed me as parents. You never cared about me and you never showed any paternal love towards me. I've been an orphan since I can remember."
"I don't need to listen to her yapping," Alice's mom said and wanted to brush by.
"You won't go anywhere and you will listen to what I have to say to you," Alice insisted and I could have jumped with joy, when I saw the expression on her face. She was a frightening little monster when she wanted to be and I couldn't have been prouder.
"You screwed up my childhood and you screwed up me, but somehow I got a second chance and I don't intend to waste it. All my life I thought I wasn't good enough for someone to love me, that I didn't deserve any kind of happiness; because I wasn't worth it, but guess what, you were wrong. You can blame me for anything you want; for your unhappy marriage, for your miserable life, but the truth is, it is all your fault. It's your life and you screwed it up yourself."
"Shut up, you ungrateful bitch," Alice's dad snapped, "This is no way to talk to your mother."
"And the way you have treated her all your life was no way to treat your daughter, so I suggest you listen to what she has to say; no matter how she wants to say it." I put my arm protectively around Alice's waist and said as threateningly as I could, "And don't even call her a bitch again."
Alice's dad made a step back and her mom had a horrified expression on her face.
"As I was saying," Alice said, while squeezing my hand strongly, "I am done with you. I have my own family now and I am happy. So blame me how much you want, deal with your own issues or not, I don't care, but I am done. You are not my family anymore and I don't feel anything towards you. You were horrible parents and you brought me nothing but misery."
Her mom lifted her chin up high, "Well, from where I am standing, you are back with your loser and have a bastard for a child, not so peachy. But I guess you're right, you're lucky he took you back at all. You, your bastard child and all the sexual diseases you must have, whoring around."
My hand automatically formed a fist and started shaking. I had to close my eyes to calm down and remind me over and over again that my mom raised me better than to strike a woman.
But then I heard Alice laugh and draw calming circles on my back. "Whatever, I don't care what you think nor am I affected by your insults. Not anymore. Cause you know what? You might have seen your granddaughter but now, you will never see her grow up; you will never be part of her life. You won't get to screw with her and punish her. You will never see what an amazing man Jasper is and how he takes care of us. You will never see me or us either and be part of our life. But know that I am happy, I am getting married and I have a family. A family that I adore, a family that I love and that loves me. A family you will never have."
Cynthia pulled her hands out of her mother's grasp and congratulated Alice and hugged her. Her parents were taken aback and they looked pissed and I couldn't be happier.
"And just for the record," I said, "Amber is my daughter and Alice is no slut, and you better remember that. And if you ever hurt her again or do something that will upset her, you will have to deal with me and it won't be pleasant."
"I'm starving," Alice said after quickly hugging Cynthia, "let's go get those hot dogs now."
I smiled at her, took her hand and gave her parents one more threathening look, but nodded at Cynthia. When we were far away enough, Alice started talking, "Oh, Jasper, I feel so good. And free, finally free."
"You were amazing, darlin'," I told her. "I'm so proud of you."
"For so long they controlled me, me and my future and happiness; but I figured a while ago that I didn't have to let them. It's my life and I deserve to be happy. And it felt amazing to tell them that and rub it in their face. I can't believe how stupid I've been all this time."
"I'm glad," I said and kissed her forehead. "And you weren't stupid, it was never your fault."
"It's sad, you know. I never had loving parents and I tried to make things better for so long. I didn't want to give up, I wanted them to love me and take care of me. I will always regret that I didn't have a loving family or a happy childhood but I've accepted the fact that this is just how it is and there is nothing I can really do about it. And I have my family now, I have you and Amber and that is really all I need."
"And the whole Cullen clan," I added.
"And the whole Cullen clan," she repeated smiling.
I was carefully observing Alice the whole afternoon, trying to make sure she really was ok with what had happened before. But she didn't seem sad at all, there were moments she was really pensive and didn't respond to her surroundings, but she wasn't sad or upset and I took that as a good sign. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it never did.
"Stop being so concerned," Alice chuckled. "You'll get wrinkles."
"I just want to make sure you're ok," I said honestly.
"I know," Alice answered and kept looking at me, thinking about something. "Remember the day, or evening, we got together?"
"Yeah," I said, "it was Rose and Em's moving in party."
"To which I was late," she said, "ever wondered why? Parties were my thing and I was never late."
"I knew something was off that night. You were Alice, but at the same time you weren't. You weren't happy and your normal self, you were sad and drank."
Alice chuckled, "True."
"I guess I wanted to ask you, but I didn't want to pressure you and later I was otherwise occupied," I winked at her.
"Indeed you were. I didn't want to talk about it, cause it hurt too much and somehow you made it all better. You always made me feel better and so safe and secure. Do you want to know what happened?"
I was dying to know, "Sure."
"Well, that day I found out why my parents treated me the way they had." She was silent for a minute and I just nodded, giving her all the time she needed. "I basically overheard them arguing, screaming names at each other and blaming themselves and me for their unhappiness. My mother was from a rich family, whereas my dad wasn't. And they fooled around secretly and my mom got pregnant. They weren't really in love, but had to get married then. Both were unhappy with the marriage and each other and in short, blamed me for it."
Suddenly the whole thing made more sense. I moved closer to Alice, shaking my head, "I'm so sorry. Why didn't you tell me?"
"It really doesn't matter, I am ok with it. But it was a shock when I found out and I was miserable that day, until you came into the picture and made my worst day turn into the best day." She smiled at me and I kissed her tenderly. "And even though I was hurt, in a way I finally understood why. I had an explanation."
"They are stupid, you know," I said to her. "They got the biggest gift anyone could get and they didn't realize it. Stupid, stupid people."
A tear ran down her check and I wiped it away. "Thank you for saying this," Alice said. "And it's all behind me now, I'm glad I've finally told them everything I always wanted. It's some kind of closure."
"I'm glad. What about Cynthia?" I asked.
"She is going to call me tomorrow, she said she didn't want to talk then and I agreed. So, I guess I'll have to wait and see what she'll say," Alice explained.
"Good. She's lucky to have you."
Alice smiled, "Come on, lets go to bed."
I didn't sleep well, I was nervous and afraid Alice would have a nightmare. After a confrontation like this, it was bound to happen. I waited and waited, woke up when I heard even the slightest sound, but the tossing and turning never came. She slept peacefully and didn't wake up at all, except when Amber demanded to be fed.
By morning I was exhausted and relieved; she really was ok.
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