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.
4. Chapter 4
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CHAPTER FOUR: First steps
There’s still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
There’s still a little bit of you laced with my doubt
It’s still a little hard to say what's going on
There’s still a little bit of your ghost your witness
There’s still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed
You step a little closer each day that I can´t say what´s going on
- Cannonball by Damien Rice
I was still laughing quietly when I entered my bedroom. I had no idea why she reacted the way she did, it’s not as if she hadn’t seen me before. She had, quite a few times, to be exact. Great times. Oh great! I suddenly had pictures in my head I didn’t want to remember. Pictures I have been trying to forget. Standing completely still, I remembered how she used to melt under my touch, gasping every time my tongue touched a sensitive spot and moaning every time I sank deeper into her. How our tongues seductively danced and how desire reflected in her eyes, when she looked up at me and … Stop it!
Still standing there frozen and naked, I took a deep breath and looked down. Great, another shower would come in handy, only a cold one this time. Or better a freezing one. I tried to think of unattractive images to get rid of my arousal. But every time I though of someone unattractive and ugly, the reason behind this action would come to mind and all my efforts would be in vain.
So I gave that strategy up and started thinking about Alice again, only this time about her problems and not the amazing, sweaty hot sex we used to had. Jasper, not helping.Problems, think about problems. Right. I did my best to focus. Ok, so maybe her nervousness had something to do with the fact that we haven’t seen each other in the last five years and didn’t exactly parted on good terms. Humph.
I had desperately needed to shower earlier, since all that wood chopping really hadn’t been a clean and dry business. When I entered the house and checked on what Alice was doing, I saw that she had fallen asleep. I smiled and picked up a blanket and covered her with it. She should not be cold. I kept watching her for a couple of more minutes - she looked so peaceful, and at ease.
I thought back to our earlier conversation and my heart picked up its rate again. I still couldn’t believe what her family had done to her. Who can abandon their own child, their own flesh and blood, their own pregnant daughter, so obviously in distress? More important, who can abandon Alice?
I had been angry at first too and maybe I still was. She just came back into my life and I wasn’t prepared. And even if she had broken my heart and made my life miserable and lonely – well the latter was actually my choice – she was so obviously in distress that I just couldn’t turn my back on her. So I didn’t think and just went with my guts and let her in. Maybe under other circumstances I would have acted differently; but seeing her drenched and hopeless, seeing her eyes without light and spark, I had to help her, whether I wanted to or not. Sure, nothing would be the same again and I haven’t actually forgiven her; but she has always been a good person, she always acted like she thought best – if it actually was best or not, that could be discussed – but she was never mean or harmful. Hell, she was a little pixie, who gave people hope, who used to give me hope. Before she had taken it away.
And therefore, I couldn’t understand why her parents were acting like such low creatures. Nobody deserved parents like that. I had been angry when she told me how they reacted and what Cynthia said and I had to control my anger in order not to do something stupid. I remembered how they used to treat her; they were never exactly mean, but they always made her feel less adequate, not good enough and not important enough. I often had an urge to just hit them.
I desperately wanted to know what her plans were and how long she wanted to stay, but I couldn’t actually ask her that. So I just offered her a way out and told her she could stay however long she needed to. And I meant it. I didn’t know how we would get along and if it could actually work, but I just couldn’t send her away. Not like that.
I didn’t actually need to chop wood; I just needed an excuse to get all my anger and frustration out. When I was done with the wood chopping I went for a run. And it actually worked – I thought it wouldn’t since life doesn’t usually like me – and I felt better.
After staring at her like a child watching his broken favorite toy, I decided to let her sleep. She must have been tired. The past days, weeks or even months – I actually had no idea how long she had been wandering around and looking for a place to stay – must have taken all her energy. And she needed to rest, especially in her condition.
I went upstairs to take a shower and lingered in it for a little bit, letting the hot water run over my body. It felt good and it made my forget everything and just relax for a bit. I had just decided I had enough and stepped out of the shower reaching for the towel, when she stepped in the bathroom.
She had my I-Pod and therefore didn’t hear the water running and was caught by surprise. We both were actually. I quickly covered myself and laughed out loud at her expression. It was hilarious, she didn’t know what to do and kept rambling something and didn’t know where to look. I told her about the other bathroom downstairs and she quickly – as quickly as she could in her state – exited the bathroom and returned downstairs.
And there I was, putting fresh clothes on for the second time that day. Still smiling – and happy that I wasn’t aroused anymore – I went downstairs. When I entered the living room, I saw her sitting in the love chair, reading a book.
“What are you reading?” She looked at me and blushed slightly.
“The Scarlet Letter,” she answered. After a minute she added, “I’ve read it before, but now I’m reading it with a different perspective.” She returned her gaze to the book, looking sad. I didn’t know if it was better to keep my mouth shut or try to make her feel better. I decided for the latter.
“Alice, times have changed and you won’t be shunned by the society and branded a … a slut.” I just couldn’t come up with a better word at that moment. I wanted to slap myself, way to go to make her feel better. I just wanted to convince her that everything would be ok and that her situation was completely different. I wasn’t sure she believed me.
“I know that,” she said rolling her eyes. “It is just that I will still be a single mom, trying to get by and everyone will see that. I can already see a bunch problems and I know people will talk”
“So, let them talk. And you won’t be alone. You will get help, they will forgive you, don’t worry.” I had noticed immediately that I said the wrong thing. She looked up at me, accusingly – I was clueless to the reason – but said nothing. She could be a feisty little thing and if looks could kill …
Not wanting to keep standing in the line of fire, I turned and started walking to the kitchen. “I’m going to fix us something to eat.” Why was she suddenly mad at me? I didn’t do anything; I actually thought I was being supportive and helpful. And it was true what I said, they were going to forgive her; they all loved her.
I took some chicken out of the refrigerator and started cutting it in small pieces. While putting some olive oil in the pan, I tried to sneak a look at what she was doing. She was back to reading the book while nervously fidgeting with the end of her sleeve. Women could be so difficult.
I washed the lettuce, tomatoes, and corn and prepared the cheese while I was waiting for the meat to be ready. I noticed she hadn’t turned a page in a while. So, she was still upset. But why?
“There are some pictures of Rosalie and the twins on my computer, you can check them out if you’d like.” I remembered how happy she was for Rose and Em and though seeing the pictures of the little ones might cheer her up. Maybe this would distract her and she would stop brooding.
She looked up from the book. “Oh, I would love to see the pics.” She had some troubles getting up, but managed. “Where are they located?” She asked me curiously.
“In the ‘Pictures’ folder in My Documents,” I explained and went back to preparing the salad. I waited for her reaction, cause I knew she wouldn’t be able to hide her excitement. And I was right.
After a couple of clicks, I heard her squee, “Oh my god, they are adorable. These must have been taken right after they were born, they are so tiny.” I smiled when I remembered coming to see them after they were born. Rosalie was so tired and happy, and she said to me, “I made it. Aren’t they beautiful?” And I answered affirmatively to the first question, I was really proud of her, and I ignored the second one. They looked like little aliens. It was better to keep my mouth shut.
“And look, here are Bella and Edward. And Carlisle and Esme.” I remembered the picture; I had taken it. Rosalie was sitting in the middle with the twins in her hands. Emmett had his arms around her and looked affectionately at her while Bella and Edward were on one side and Carlisle and Esme on the other.
“You should have seen Emmett,” I said jokingly. “He looks so big and strong but when she was giving birth to the twins, he looked all green and woozy. It was hilarious, because afterwards, I think he was more tired than she was.” I still teased him about it.
I got no reply this time and I went to take a look at what she was doing. She was still sitting behind the computer, but a couple of tears were flowing down her cheeks. She noticed me after a couple of moments and wiped them away quickly, returning her gaze to the screen.
Great, I was doing everything wrong. First I upset her with the comment about the book and then I made her cry. I didn’t know what to do for a moment, but then decided I should just stay out of it. I knew why she was crying – she missed out on so much and wanted her friends back but damn it, she was the one who left. Suddenly, I was angry. I strengthened my hold on the knife. Didn’t she think about what she was doing, who she was leaving behind? I admit, it was untypical, but hell, it was her choice. She abandoned us.
I went back to preparing dinner. If I hadn’t occupied myself with something else, I would have confronted her and I didn’t want to do that, not then and not in that way, cause somehow I think I would only made things worse and yell at her. There was so much unfinished business between us, so I pushed it into a quiet corner in my brain, not wanting to access it; cause it would only do damage. After 10 more minutes, the chicken was ready. I mixed everything together and seasoned the chicken salad. I took two plates and prepared the table. She was still sitting behind the computer, when I called her.
“The salad is ready.” I waited for a moment and then heard the chair being pulled backwards. She entered the kitchen.
“It smells delicious,” she said and sat behind the table. She took some salad while I poured her something to drink. I got a beer for myself. I wanted something stronger, but it would look weird if I poured myself a glass of whiskey for dinner. Although maybe I didn’t care how it would have looked. But I took the beer anyway.
We ate in silence. I didn’t want to say something stupid and make it even worse than it already was.
After finishing her salad she stood up slowly and from my sitting position her stomach was right before me. And that got me thinking. I wondered if she has been to a doctor lately. Wasn’t it usual to see your gynecologist every now and then while pregnant? I was curious about what she had been doing these past months once again and desperately wanted to ask her, but was afraid to upset her. Plus, I decided to give her some time to get better and I would.
Instead of going into the living room, she collected the plates and went to the sink. I realized she was planning on doing the dishes. And although I tried to tell her she didn’t need to do this, she insisted. Go figure.
I went to the living room and sat behind my computer, checking the open hours in the clinic in town. I could call Peter tomorrow and schedule an appointment for Alice, but I would have to ask her about it first.
“Thanks for dinner, I am going to go up and read a little bit, if that’s ok with you.” I knew she needed some time to herself. The late afternoon was quite upsetting for her and she needed to rest and think things over. She used to be so chatty, but now I could barely get her to talk.
“I wanted to ask you something before you go.” She looked at me and nodded. “Have you been to a doctor lately? Do you need to get a check-up or something?”
“Um, well I guess so. I haven’t been to a doctor in a while.” I saw she got nervous and a bit anxious when she told me that, resting her hand on her stomach. She was worried about the baby.
“A friend of mine is a male nurse in the town clinic and I could get you an appointment tomorrow, if you wish.” She should really get to a doctor and check if everything was like it was suppose to be. I had no idea about these things, but I remembered Rose going to the doctors all the time. Hers was a different condition, but I still think every mom-to-be needs her regular check-ups.
I could see her relax instantly. “Really? That would be great.” She smiled a sad little smile. What have we gotten ourselves into? This whole thing was a complete mess. We used to know each other so well but now we were just strangers who knew one another from a previous life. But there were these light strings that still attached us to each other and I couldn’t just let her be.
“Sure thing. Night, Alice.” I smiled at her, hoping to pass along the hint that she was safe and had nothing to be afraid of.
“Night.” She slowly turned and walked towards the stairs. I kept watching her, because she was slower at this stage of her pregnancy, although still very much ladylike. She was like a little colorful butterfly that slowed down its dance to enjoy the scenery.
I though of something and said it out loud, leaving it up to her to ignore me or say something back. “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” But she couldn’t ignore a dare like that and answered “Yeah, yeah, very funny.” I smiled and turned back to my computer.
I walked up the stairs, holding the book close to me. Reading the book would hopefully get my mind off things, although it was the book that had gotten me into trouble in the first place.
When I had come back downstairs earlier and went to the bathroom – the one downstairs – I accidentally walked into a storage room first. There was a mess in it, a lot of boxes and some sports stuff. I didn’t want to pry, so I closed the door and tried to find the bathroom. I had better luck at my try number two.
I didn’t know what to do with myself and so I decided to read a book. I just kept standing in front of the bookcase for a while, cause I had no idea what to choose. And the number of books in his bookcase was a little overwhelming. I let my gaze linger for a while on a book or two, when I noticed The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. We had to read it in high school and I remembered the storyline well.
It was set in the 17th century Puritan Boston and it told the story about Hester Prynne. She gave birth after committing adultery and then struggled to create a new life of repentance and dignity. I thought the story suitable and decided to give it a try. I have liked it before, why shouldn’t I now?
Once again, I was wrong. It only reminded me of my situation and how I was there now, pregnant and alone. And I knew people were going to talk and throw looks my way. Was I strong enough to ignore them and live my life in peace? Was I strong enough to raise a child on my own?
This was the moment Jasper had caught me in. He came downstairs, dressed in fresh clothes, his hair still a little wet. Of course I blushed again, suddenly remembering the incident that almost got me into premature labor. I was so freaking hormonal. I wanted to get up and jump him in the middle of the living room, just to wipe that stupid smirk of his face. Wonder how he would react to that? Humph, it would probably just backfire on me.
“What are you reading?” The smirk was still there, when I looked at him and, probably still blushing, I answered truthfully.
“The Scarlet Letter. I’ve read it before, but now I’m reading it with a different perspective.” I used to love it when I could compare myself to a character in a book, like when I was little I really loved Alice in Wonderland and played around the house pretending to be her; but now, it wasn’t much fun anymore.
“Alice, times have changed and you won’t be shunned by the society and branded a … a slut.” I knew that, I wasn’t stupid. But you had to look at the bigger picture.
“I know that,” I rolled my eyes. “It is just that I will still be a single mom, trying to get by and everyone will see that. I can already see a bunch problems and I know people will talk.”
I tried to explain as best as I could. Wait, did he just call me a slut? I narrowed my eyes.
“So, let them talk. And you won’t be alone. You will get help, they will forgive you, don’t worry.” I looked up at him fast. They were going to forgive me? They? Cause I left them? I would never have left if his actions hadn’t made me. How dare he say something like that? How dare he make the assumption that I would be forgiven as if I had done the wrong thing and not him? How dare he?!? I suddenly wanted to scream and throw things at him.
I took a couple of slow deep breaths, because I needed to calm myself down, and just kept staring at the book, not reading a thing. I was upset and I didn’t know how to calm down. And he just kept staring at me. I could feel his gaze. Like I was the crazy one.
He finally started walking to the kitchen, probably deciding to let the whole thing pass. Definitely a wise decision because if he kept talking he would have gotten a book thrown in his face. “I am going to fix us something to eat.” I didn’t answer, I was still pissed and I would just yell at him. I could feel angry tears in the corners of my eyes, threatening to drop, but I was stronger this time. He made me leave, it was his fault. I made the choice to leave, that was true, but he made me; I couldn’t stay, not after that. Not after he broke my heart.
I don’t know how long I was sitting there; thinking about the past, but his voice brought me out of my trance. “There are some pictures of Rosalie and the twins on the computer, you can check them out if you’d like.” I immediately looked up, desperately wanting to see the twins. And my best friends, I haven’t seen them in so long.
So I decided to take the bait and look at the pictures. “Oh, I would love to see the pics.”
“Where are they located?” I asked and he told me the location. I clicked on the My Documents folder and then the Pictures folder and saw he had many subfolders with different titles. I didn’t want to snoop around, so I clicked on the first folder titled “Twins”.
I clicked on the first picture and there they were - tiny little pumpkins. They were beyond cute. And so small. “Oh my god, they are adorable. These must have been taken right after they were born, they are so tiny.” I smiled and moved on to the next picture.
“And look, here are Bella and Edward. And Carlisle and Esme.” It must have been a wonderful day; I wished so much I had been there. Rosalie’s face shone with happiness, I could see she was tired, but beyond happy and content. I noticed that Jasper wasn’t present in the picture. I wondered why.
“You should have seen Emmett,” I heard him say from the kitchen. “He looks so big and strong but when she was giving birth, he looked all green and woozy. It was hilarious, because afterwards, I think he was more tired than she.” I could easily imagine it, Emmett trying to be there for Rosalie. Carlisle probably delivered them and the others waited in the waiting room. They must have been nervous and excited, hoping that everything would go well and anxiously awaiting the new additions to the family. I felt sadness overcome me all of a sudden – who would hold my hand in there? Who would wait in the waiting room for me? Are they going to accept me back into their lives or would I get the same rejection as I did from my parents? I felt the tears immediately, wondering when I had turned into this watering pot, I never used to cry. Well, almost never and now it has become a daily occurrence.
I noticed a movement and wiped the tears away quickly, returning my gaze to the screen. I took a look at more pictures. They were beautiful, the twins looked adorable and Rose and Emmett looked deliriously happy. Their little miracles have finally arrived. Esme and Carlisle just looked proud and content, and Bella and Edward a little bit awkward. I wondered how much trouble Bella had holding the twins and if Edward smirked at the sight. It really must have been a happy day.
There was a picture of Jasper holding one of the twins, I didn’t know which one. He was looking down at the baby, a slow smile on his face. His hair looked disheveled, and he had dark circles under his eyes, but was nevertheless absolutely handsome. I felt a pang of jealousy and painful emptiness. I tried to shrug it off, when I heard Jasper calling me for dinner.
He had made me breakfast and then dinner. Maybe I should do something around the house, but I didn’t want to appear nosy. I could always do the dishes. That was a way to start. As far as I remembered, he was an exceptionally good cook but lousy at washing up.
“It smells delicious,” I said walking into the kitchen, noticing with a grin on my face that the dishes from the morning were still in the sink, dirty. I sat down; this moving around was getting weirder and harder every day.
After the dinner, I got up and did the dishes. “Alice, you don’t have to do that, I will do it.” I gave him a pointed look and carried on. “You should rest instead.” He tried to convince me.
I just ignored him and hoped he would walk away. I could feel him rolling his eyes at me and going to the living room. I have always been stubborn and some things just don’t change. After I was finished, I decided to rest for a little bit and read the book.
“I am going to go up and read a little bit, if that is ok with you.” I said to him, entering the living room. I noticed he was behind his computer surfing the Internet or working on something, I wasn’t sure.
“I wanted to ask you something before you go.” I just nodded, I was curious about his question. “Have you been to a doctor lately? Do you need to get a check-up or something?”
“Um, well I guess so. I haven’t been to a doctor in a while.” I was already a bad mother. I haven’t been to one of these checkups for a while now, the last time I was there, everything was fine. But then times got harder and I just didn’t manage. And I haven’t even thought about that till Jasper mentioned it. Who would do something like that?
“A friend of mine is a male nurse the town clinic and I could get you an appointment tomorrow, if you wish,” he explained. Another thing to be thankful for. Just great. But I had to think about the baby and although I didn’t think anything was wrong, a checkup sounded necessary and a good idea.
So I swallowed my pride and relaxed. “Really? That would be great.”
“Sure thing. Night Alice.” He smiled at me reassuringly and I immediately felt better, although I wasn’t completely sure why.
I bid him good night.
Already halfway up the stairs I heard him say, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I rolled my eyes and just answered, “Yeah, yeah, very funny.” I had to smile regardless. I had been afraid of the dark when I had been younger. I didn’t know why, it just always made me feel uneasy and I therefore used to sleep with the light on. But later, after I left, I got used to the darkness and it became my constant companion.
I went to the bathroom first and then to my room. I hadn’t even given it a thorough inspection yet. I walked around a bit, opening the closets and putting my new clothes in it. There was still a lot of space. I silently closed the doors and moved to the window. I looked through it and saw lots of trees and one part of the creek. The peacefulness and beauty of this place still amazed me.
I moved to the table and opened the drawers, and I found a notepad and some pictures. I took a look at the pictures first; there were family pictures and pictures from high school. I have seen them all before. I then moved on to the notepad and opened it. It was full of notes about a guy I didn’t recognized.
I skimmed through several pages and it suddenly dawned on me that I was looking at notes for his book. I have never read it, the book I mean. I had just seen a couple of them in bookstore and saw a newspaper article that he had been published. I think he’s written about three books by now, although I couldn’t be sure. But this notebook didn’t seem new and if it was in here with those old pictures, it might as well be the notebook he used for his first book. I took a better look at the table and realized it was his old table, the one he had in his room at his parent’s house. He was always fond of it; I wonder why he put it in this room. He probably forgot some things were left in it.
I returned my attention to the notes and figured out the book was about a guy who tries to find himself after some kind of ordeal. He seems to be completely broken and miserable and becomes an alcoholic. He tries to fight the addiction and only sinks deeper into his depression, not having a reason for living. The notes ended there and I desperately wanted to know how the story turned out and how it ended.
I put everything back and went to bed. I kept reading my book for a while and then fell asleep with the book in my lap.
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