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.
6. Chapter 6
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CHAPTER SIX: The Ties That Bind
We're both looking for something
We've been afraid to find
It's easier to be broken
It's easier to hide
Looking at you, holding my breath,
For once in my life, I'm scared to death,
I'm taking a chance, letting you inside.
First Time by Lifehouse
“Hey Rose,” I said already trying to come up with an excuse to finish this call quickly. I was not prepared for her call and didn’t want to deal with it now. “How are you?”
“Exhausted but fine,” I could hear it in her voice that she was happy. And she deserved it, too. “Look Jasper, I have been thinking about the picnic we should do once the weather clears up a bit. We did it last year late during the summer and I was thinking about organizing one in the beginning of spring, when it gets a little warmer. The whole family could spend the day together, what do you think?”
We had a picnic last year. And it was ok, nice actually. The whole family got together by the lake and we barbecued and just spent the day together. And Rosalie was planning to make it a regular occurrence. It was true that the family, the whole family, didn’t get together often lately.
“Sure Rose, whatever you want,” I tried to get rid of her, but of course she kept talking.
“You know how hard it is to get everyone together and we don’t nearly see each other often enough. I know mom would love the idea, and everyone else better too, cause I want to hear no excuses and see everyone there.”
She was stubborn and I don’t think anyone would ever want to stand up against Rosalie and suffer her wrath.
“You should talk to mom about this. Listen, you caught me in a bad time. I have to go now,” I didn’t even know why she wanted to run this past me. Mom usually did these kinds of things and since last year, Rosalie has thrown herself into it, too.
“I didn’t call because of that silly. I just wanted to see how you were and since I had the opportunity tell you about the picnic, I decided to do it so you can get used to the idea and not bail later.” Always direct Rose. But I was grateful to her, because in the last years, I was barely in contact with anyone else besides Rose. She just wouldn’t leave me alone and tried her best to support me. Now, the others tried too and never gave up on me, but Rose was the only one who could get through to me.
“So, how are you? Don’t be all quiet now. How is your new book coming along?” I haven’t even started writing it, but she didn’t need to know that. I had other things on my mind these days. Suddenly I felt the urge to tell her everything. These past days were so confusing and I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. I couldn’t even think straight anymore.
Without thinking much further and talking myself out of it, I said, “Alice is here.”
There was no sound coming from the other end. I think she even stopped breathing.
“What?” she suddenly said.
“Alice is here,” I repeated. “She came the other night and …”
Rose cut me off immediately. “What do you mean the other night? How long has this been going on and why didn’t you call me?” I didn’t know if she was angry or concerned or just seriously pissed off. And I didn’t want to think about her feelings at the moment and just get the whole thing of my chest.
“I don’t now. Look, she came here looking for a place to stay. She had nowhere else to go.” I tried to explain my actions and reasons, although I probably wasn’t all clear about them myself.
“What do you think you are doing? After all you have been through, you just let her back into your life so easily?” Oh yeah, pissed off.
“Damn it Rose, it wasn’t easy. But you should have seen her. She’s different; she seems so broken and sad all the time. She’s not the Alice she was anymore. She’s so lost and confused.”
“So, she has got some problems. Who doesn’t? Remember what she did to you? Remember how broken you were? Remember what you’ve been through and how you almost ceased to exist? People didn’t recognize you anymore, Jasper. It was that serious, or have you forgotten that already? And you better face it Jasper, you and me both know very well, you are still not fine. Getting there, yes, but not there yet. And now everything is just going to fall apart again.” I didn’t know who she was mad at, me or Alice. Maybe even herself, cause she and Alice had been like sisters and everyone felt used and abandoned after Alice left. And Rose really needed her.
“Rose,” I tried again.
“No, Jasper, I knew something was wrong when you wanted to get rid of me so quickly. You didn’t even ask about the twins and you always do that. But I thought you were just wallowing in self-hatred again.” She was perceptive and knew me well.
“What am I suppose to do now Rose?” I needed to hear it from her, I needed to hear it was ok.
“Well, what did she say? Where was she? Why did she leave?” So many questions and I had no answers.
“Well, it’s complicated. She came here a couple of days ago, drenched by the rain and without any possessions. She has lost so much weight and all the color is gone from here face. I think she has been through a lot, but you see, I haven’t actually asked her about it yet.” I knew what was coming now, but she had to understand why I did what I did. I didn’t want to hear the answers, I didn’t want to hear her story and admit it to myself that she has been suffering too and had been through hell as well. Cause then I wouldn’t be able to be so angry anymore and I didn’t know if I was ready for that.
“Of course you didn’t,” I heard her sigh. “But you need to uncomplicate things, and ask her. Get some answers Jasper, cause otherwise you will just both be dancing around this issue and not get anywhere.”
“I know that, I just don’t think I’m ready,” I whispered the last part of the sentence and sat down to the floor. “I just need some more time.”
I knew she wanted to come over right now and get everything cleared out and maybe that would have been the right thing to do, since I apparently didn’t have the guts to do it myself, but I was suddenly thankful she didn’t live next door anyway.
She ignored my plea and asked me more questions.
“Do you plan on letting her stay with you then? Are you sure that’s what you want?” I knew she would act differently in my place, but she hadn’t seen Alice. And since she asked me these questions, I suddenly knew I was doing the right thing. And deep down Rose knew it too, cause otherwise she would still be screaming at me.
“Yeah, for now I do. She has no where else to go, her family said she was dead to them and they won’t let her return home.” I heard her hiss. She might be angry but she disliked Alice’s parents nearly as much as I did and their actions were unacceptable to her. She would understand if I hadn’t taken her in, hell, maybe she would even prefer it, but for her own family not taking her back, that was unforgivable. To Rose, family is the most important thing and one should always take care of family and deal with their mess.
“She has no money, no job and no possessions. And Rose,” I paused for a second, considering whether to tell her that, but I wanted to get it over with sooner rather then later, “she’s pregnant.”
“She’s what?” I heard her pause. I wanted to repeat my sentence, although I knew very well she heard me. “And let me guess, you didn’t ask where and who the father was?” I didn’t need to answer that.
“Fine. You get some time, but don’t expect a lot. I know she was my friend, but you are my brother and I want some answers.” I was grateful for the time gained, but I wasn’t a fool, the first thing she would do, was call our mom and dad and tell them. She was never good at keeping big things to herself.
“Fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into. But Jasper, don’t forget these past few years. Remember what you’ve been through and don’t let her walk all over you.” She was angry and betrayed. And she needed the answers just as much as I did. The only difference between her and me was that she wanted to hear them.
I just nodded, not realizing she couldn’t see me over the phone. She hung up then and I just kept sitting there for a little while, contemplating what she said. I would need to face Alice soon, whether I wanted to or not. But I also had to consider her high blood pressure and face this whole mess delicately and carefully.
I returned to the kitchen and prepared the food. With not thinking about it too much, I took out a glass and poured some whiskey in it. I downed it in one gulp. I needed that, to calm my nerves and get myself back together again.
I heard Alice coming down the stairs.
“I’m so hungry already and this smells so nice,” she said walking into the kitchen. “I haven’t had Chinese in ages.” I just smiled at her. It was good that she had her appetite.
She took a glass and poured herself some orange juice and then sat behind the table. “Who called?”
I froze for a moment but then proceeded with bringing the plates to the table and sat down.
“Rose,” I answered her. She looked up at me and I could see how nervous she immediately got.
“What did she say?” she asked me, trying to stay calm but her voice betrayed her.
“She was babbling about a picnic we did last year.” I wasn’t sure whether to tell her if she knew that Alice was here or not. But I knew Rose well and Alice needed to be prepared.
“Did you tell her I was here?” she asked me, her hand trembling slightly.
“I did. They would have found out sooner or later.” Which was true. I expected Rose to call, she always does at least once a week, and I’ve just been a little preoccupied lately to notice how fast the days passed by.
“What did she say?” Now what was I suppose to answer to that? Should I have told her she was pissed and angry, or just that she was confused and hurt?
“Not much. But Alice, you need to prepare yourself. Now that she knows, she’s going to tell the others and you and I both know Rose well; they are all going to come here soon. Probably not right away, but soon.” She needed to know that, and they are going to ask her questions. Now everyone, but definitely Rose. She has never been very tactful.
Alice just nodded and stared at her plate. I kept playing with my food, I was not hungry anymore and I had a feeling she wasn’t either. I felt the urge to make her feel better, although I didn’t know why.
“You should think about putting together a list of what you need to buy. I thought we would go shopping soon and I have no idea what you need.” If anything could make Alice feel better, it was shopping.
“I’ll do that. Could I use your computer later to check out a couple of things?” she was still upset, but the color returned to her face and she kept eating.
“Sure, you don’t need to ask,” I told her. I almost asked her then, what she has been doing the last couple of years but I changed my mind right before I opened my mouth. The realization that my family was coming soon, was enough excitement for one day. They could all be overwhelming and a bit intimidating, but she has always managed them well and fit right into it.
I put the plates in the sink and went to take a shower. I stopped by the doors and looked back at her. Although I was still confused, I knew I did the right thing, cause seeing her there sitting behind that table just felt right.
A week later we went shopping. I started working on a list of things the night Rose called. I had been terrified when Jasper told me Rose and the other members of the family were soon going to visit. Of course, I didn’t expect anything different from Rose, but it still made me nervous.
I haven’t kept in touch with anyone and seeing them all again – although I did miss them dearly – was suddenly very frightening to me. How would they react and how many different questions would they ask, questions I was not prepared to answer, especially in front of Jasper. I didn’t want to show him how he broke my heart and how his betrayal still hurt. I didn’t want to show them my anger and my disappointment.
I knew that Carlisle called the next day, but Jasper just told me that Rosalie expectantly called him and told him I was apparently back. He didn’t tell me much more. But that was ok, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know more anyway.
The next two days passed quietly. I haven’t given much thought to their visit anymore, and just decided to wait and see. Jasper was keeping busy doing stuff around the house everyday and going running a lot. I went to a couple of walks as well but it was annoying because I got tired so quickly and I was jealous every time Jasper came back from a run. I desperately wanted to run a couple of miles and just let everything go, clear my head and just relax. But I couldn’t. Instead I was reading books and putting together a shopping list for the baby.
I wanted to make it up to Jasper a little bit and did the laundry the other day. He was a little embarrassed when he found out, but didn’t say anything except thank you. So while he cooked, I did the dishes and while he worked around the house I did the laundry. I wasn’t able to do much more anyway, since I couldn’t lift anything and since it took me forever to move around.
We also started talking more, not about the past of course but about more general topics. We carefully avoided all unpleasant conversations and managed to be quite civil around each other. It was as if we were lifelong friends and nothing ever happened, no relationship and no breakup. As weird as it sounds, it was actually quite nice. We weren’t on edge the whole time anymore and I was more relaxed, which was also good for the baby and my high blood pressure.
And then we finally got to go shopping. I’ve missed shopping, I always liked going from one store to another, picking up beautiful things and just enjoying myself. I didn’t like going alone though, I usually went with Rosalie, she was a great shopping gal, Bella, on the other hand, was a completely different story. I even got Esme to go with me a couple of times and we had a great time. I never went with my own mom or Cynthia though. Cynthia was still too young and not a good shopping partner and my mom, well, we didn’t really have much in common, and spending the whole afternoon together was not much fun for either of us.
This time I was to spend the whole afternoon with Jasper, looking at baby things and paying for them with his money. This might get a bit awkward.
On the ride to town I was again looking at the surroundings, this time already more familiar with everything. It was quiet in the car; we were just enjoying the drive and listening to music.
“We’re going to go a little bit further this time, cause I don’t think you’ll find everything you need in those shops we passed be the other day. You probably remember that there is a mall down the street,” he said without ever taking his eyes of the road.
“That would be great,” I knew I could find more in the mall. “Do you need to buy anything?” I hoped we weren’t only going for my sake. Well, I knew we were, but it would make me feel better if he had some stuff to take care as well. I was uncomfortable with him paying for everything and I didn’t know how I would pay him back. And when.
“I just need to stop at a supermarket quickly, but that will only take a minute or two. Otherwise the shopping spree is all yours.” He added with a mischievous smile. I nodded.
We arrived a little while later and I could fell the excitement taking over. The feeling was very familiar, although I haven’t felt it in a while.
We went to the store where they had baby clothes first. I looked around slowly; suddenly not knowing what to do. This all felt so wrong. I felt Jasper’s hand on my back, pushing me further in the shop.
“I never guessed I would have to push you inside a store. One usually has to hold you back and not encourage you,” he grinned. I know he meant well, but did he have to point it out?
I walked to the shelves with clothes for newborns. There had so many wonderful things and in so many colors. I didn’t know which color to pick, so I took a couple of things in random colors. The clothes were so tiny and adorable. I picked out a couple of tiny slippers and other clothing items, whereas Jasper stood in the back, watching me closely but not coming forward. He let me do this on my own.
After I picked up all the things I wanted, I turned around and he took them from me and went to pay for them. I was standing there, watching him paying for my baby’s clothes. He didn’t have any part in this pregnancy and yet he was here helping me. After we have ‘broken up’ and not been in touch for years. He didn’t even once demand an explanation from me; he just waited and gave me time to deal with things. I was no fool, sooner or later, he would ask questions but he hadn’t yet. Did he feel guilty? Probably not, the thing we had was long over and he probably forgot all about it already. Although he did had a haunted look in his eyes sometimes.
And as I watching him standing there by the register, handing over his credit card, I realized that this was wrong. This is not who I was. This was not me.
He came over to me and handed me the bags.
“Where to next?” he asked and that did it.
The walls started to close up on me and suddenly I felt trapped. I needed to get out of there, fast. Looking up from the bag, I said, “I just don’t know if I can do this.” It wasn’t right to use Jasper like this. I turned around and walked out of the store as quickly as I could.
“Alice, what’s wrong? I though you wanted to go shopping and even looked forward to it.” I could hear the concern in his voice and the pressure was suddenly too much. Why was he being so nice to me all the time? I was constantly on the edge and it bothered me that he didn’t seem more upset by this whole mess.
Suddenly I wanted to hurt him, to show him how much he had hurt me. I wanted him to explode, and not treat me this nicely anymore. I wanted him to feel the same as I felt. When I first came to him, I didn’t care if he’d feel offended or angry or even annoyed, he deserved it, because he had hurt me and he would help me because of it. And I wasn’t thinking about his feelings at all, I didn’t care. But then, he was so understanding and supportive, taking care of me, although it was hard for him and he just didn’t deserve to get slapped in his face in return. He didn’t need me opposing on him and making his life difficult. No matter if he had broken my heart, hearts get broken all the time and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It’s a fact of life and I was being immature about it. I have gotten myself into this mess and would need to get myself out of it, too.
“I have to go, I have to take care of myself on my own,” I started walking towards the exit of the building. The air was suffocating and I had trouble breathing. I tried to get out of there as fast as I could.
The problem was I couldn’t walk very fast and he caught up with me quickly. He grabbed my hand and forced me to stop.
“Wait, Alice, wait. What are you talking about? What brought this on now?” he asked me, at the same time locating a bench near the entrance into the mall and made me sit down.
“Relax, Alice, take a couple of deep breaths. Calm down.” I looked up at him all teary-eyed. The fresh breeze coming through the entrance helped a bit and my breathing slowed down a little.
“Now tell me what is wrong.” He knelt down in front of me, his gaze never leaving mine.
“I just … I thought I could do this, but I suddenly realized I can’t.” I stammered. I didn’t know how to explain. “I, I came here to get help. I came to you because I had nowhere else to go and I thought that was alright. But don’t you see, Jasper? It’s not alright. It’s unfair to you and I don’t want to be a burden to you.” He tried to say something but I stopped him.
“Let me finish.” He closed his mouth. “It is not right for you to take care of me and my baby, I’m all grown up and I should be able to take care of myself and to find my own way out of this mess. But I pulled you right into it, without actually thinking much about it. And I am sorry. And I hope you understand now why I can’t do this, why I can’t keep doing this to you.”
He sighed and took my hand. “But don’t you see, Alice, it was the right thing to do. Haven’t we discussed this already? You actually had nowhere else to go, you have no job and no money and are in a situation no one wants to be in. And you came to me. I don’t care why you came to me, but you did and I decided to help you. So, let me help you.”
“But …” I started.
“No buts. Look, I know the situation is not perfect and I know you would probably rather be somewhere else, but this is all I can offer you right now. I know our past is complicated and it will have to be dealt with one day, but lets just put that behind us for now and deal with this current situation.”
We both froze a little when he mentioned our past and I think that was the first time we mentioned it at all, so it was a little unnerving.
“Darling, just stay and give it some time, everything will work out somehow, I am sure of it. You are not a burden.” He smiled a sad smile at me.
I didn’t know what to do, it was all so overwhelming and out of control. I could go to Rose and Emmett or Carlisle and Esme, but I didn’t want to. There were several reasons for that, they would ask questions, they would want to hear explanations and I would get to see how I hurt them. I was sure they would all take me in, but it just didn’t feel right. And although Jasper thought he was the last person I wanted to be with, that just wasn’t true. It was rather sad and pathetic, but I was suddenly content to stay.
“Ok,” I whispered to him.
“Ok,” he sat on the bench right next to me and put his arms around me. I leaned my head on his shoulder and we just sat like that for a while. I lost track of time, just sitting there comfortably in the silence, when he said, “You’ll be ok, Alice.”
I didn’t care what his reasons were, I was just thankful he was there for me. I put my hand on my stomach, feeling relieved this little escapade didn’t cause any harm to the little one.
“Now, what do you say we go shopping a little bit more? Or are you too tired and would rather return home?” He stood up and lent me a hand, so I could get up easier.
I thought about it for a minute and then decided to go shopping. Surprisingly, I was not that tired yet and the prospect of shopping suddenly sounded wonderful.
“Shopping,” I said. And he chuckled.
We visited several different stores and got all kinds of stuff for the baby. Aside from the clothes Jasper had bought before our talk, I found a car seat, stroller, bottles, and a cute yellow diaper bag, among other things.
After we were done shopping, we carried all the bags back to the car and returned home. The only thing that bothered me was that I hadn’t found a decent crib yet. I had looked at several but just didn’t like any of them. None felt right and I didn’t want to just buy one because I had to. Plus, they were really expensive and I already felt bad enough for buying so much and not paying for anything. I didn’t know how I was going to pay him all that back.
“You can always look online, maybe you’ll find a crib there,” he said, surprising me with his idea. “Just order it online and let them deliver it to you.” It was a pretty good idea and I decided to try it that way.
“I will, that’s a good idea. And Jasper, thank you for this, it means a lot to me that you are doing this.” I couldn’t help but feel touched that he was doing all this for me.
“You’re welcome, Alice.” He smiled reassuringly at me for a moment and then focused on his driving.
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