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.
7. Chapter 7
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CHAPTER SEVEN: A Walk Down The Memory Lane
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow find
You and I collide
- Collide by Howie Day
We were driving home from the shopping trip, with the car full of new stuff for the baby and some groceries, when I noticed that fresh snow has fallen during the day. The spring picnic wasn’t happening anytime soon, if the weather continued like this that was for sure. I sighed. It has been quite a stressful day, although it started out normally. Alice and I were decent and civil to each other; some of the tension has disappeared during the past couple of days. We carefully avoided all the troublesome topics and have even begun to form a sort of friendship again.
I didn’t know whether it was too soon for her to go shopping, but since she has always adored shopping, I didn’t think anything would go wrong. But it did; she suffered a small breakdown at the mall, and I think that it was all just too much for her. She was a strong person but in her condition, and with all the crazy hormones on top; she could get overwhelmed more easily. The situation was definitely not normal or carefree, but I thought we were both handling it pretty well. I guess we were only doing well on the surface, cause beneath it; feelings were still in turmoil. I didn’t dwell on them; I just pushed them to some place in the back of my mind and concentrated on the present.
I was quite upset and worried when she walked out of that store, and for a moment I thought that that was it; I was going to lose her all over again. Destiny was just playing a cruel trick on me, and she would be gone from my life in a matter of minutes. But I managed to stop her and then found out why she reacted that way, and suddenly I wasn’t surprised. Maybe it was wrong that we didn’t talk about the big elephant in the room yet, but we were only human after all and humans tend to make mistakes all the time. And we were certainly no different.
We were just both so confused and messed up and we had to learn to deal with each other and to be near each other anew. But the important thing was that I managed to convince her to stay. She didn’t have anywhere else to go, and she frankly couldn’t take care of herself. It is not that she wasn’t capable of that. I believed she could do whatever she wanted, but she didn’t have the means or the place. Maybe there was another reason I wanted her to stay, but I didn’t want to dwell on it. The important thing was that she stayed.
I looked over at her and noticed she had fallen asleep. I smiled. She must have been exhausted, although she didn’t want to show it. When we dealt with her little breakdown, she decided she wanted to go shopping after all. It was quite interesting how she managed to gather so much energy. We went from one shop to another; she was always a couple of steps ahead of me, waltzing through the stores. She rummaged through things, picking up this and that. And I had to admit she had great taste, but I already knew that. I think I just forgot it for a while. It was like I had forgotten all the good we shared and only focused on the bad and on the pain all these years.
Some shop assistants probably considered us a couple; now and then some even congratulated me when I paid for the baby stuff. I corrected the first few, but then just smiled and thanked them. Why bother.
I pulled in my driveway, and noticed Alice was still asleep. Shopping and all the emotional drama must have really worn her out. I parked the car and considered waking her up. I decided to unload the stuff from the car first and let her sleep a while longer. She might wake up on her own.
I took the things into the house and up to Alice’s room. I saw there was a book on the floor beside the bed and picked it up. It was The Scarlet Letter. I thought she finished that a week ago. I wondered why it was on the floor. And then it dawned on me; it must have fallen and she couldn’t pick it up. I chuckled and put it on her nightstand. She should have just asked me to pick it up, silly.
I returned back outside only to discover Alice still asleep. It was funny that she hadn’t woken up by now, especially with the noise I made when I unloaded the car. Oh hell. I opened the car door, and took her in my arms. She was not heavy at all, even pregnant. I carried her inside. I paused for a moment and debated whether to lay her down on the couch or take her upstairs to her room.
She would probably be more comfortable in her bed, so I decided to take her upstairs. When I was walking up the stairs, I looked at her. I haven’t held her in my arms like this for such a long time. And she fit perfectly. I stopped in the middle of the stairs and just kept looking at her. As if she knew where my thoughts have drifted off, she snuggled closer. My heart skipped a beat and I held back a breath.
I continued up the stairs but my mind was focused on the girl in my arms. And then my memories suddenly took me six years ago, where I haven’t allowed myself to go since she came here. But I was not strong enough anymore. And therefore I reminisced.
I met Alice when she was 10 and Rose and I were 12. Edward was 9 and Emmett was 12, but we hadn’t met Bella yet, although she was 9 at that time as well.
Alice and her family moved to Forks from Biloxi, Mississippi. Her father got a job at the local bank, so the whole family moved there. I will never forget the day I first saw her. It was in elementary school. Rose, Edward, Emmett and I all came to the school together. Emmett didn’t live far from us and mom picked him up as well and took us all to school everyday. That day we arrived a little earlier, because mom had an appointment at the doctors’, but that was ok with us, we would play outside a bit and then go in.
Edward was sitting on a bench, daydreaming, and beside him Rose was watching the students coming to school. Emmett and me were fooling around, wrestling – we did that often, when I heard Rose calling me. I looked over to her, but she wasn’t looking at me, instead her eyes were locked with this sweet little girl.
I have never seen her before; she was small and must have been younger than me, probably around Edward’s age. She was standing there, dressed in a yellow dress filled with butterflies, surrounded by some girls who thought they were better than everyone else. New at school and intimidated be them, she frantically looked around for help and locked her eyes with Rose’s.
Rosalie would not usually let outsiders into our little group, but when she and saw Alice’s cry for help, she needed to do something. And therefore she turned to me. We walked over there together and I greeted the girl.
“Hey, you must be new here. Why don’t you come over here and sit with us for a while? We’ll show you around and introduce you to everyone.” She then looked at me for the first time, and I could see the gratitude in her eyes. Rose was still staring at the other girls and they backed off.
“Thank you,” said Alice with her chipper voice. Rose took her hand and we walked back to Edward and Emmett.
“I’m Jasper, and this is my sister Rose and my brother Edward. This giant here is Emmett.” Everyone nodded when I mentioned his or her name, except for Emmett; he punched me in the arm.
“I’m Alice,” she introduced herself. “And, yes, as you noticed, I am new here. We just moved here because my daddy got a job offer. Thank you for your help.” She was still clutching on to Rose’s hand, but smiled for the first time that day.
And from that day on we were friends. Alice soon blossomed under my sister’s care and influence and became accustomed to the new town and school. A couple of months after that a new family moved to Forks and they became the gossip object, Alice suddenly not being the new one anymore.
She bonded with all of us. Emmett was like the big brother she never had, giving her bear hugs and getting her into all kinds of mischief. Not that the little pixie didn’t enjoy it. She could be quite mischievous herself and she always returned the favor to Emmett.
She shared a lot of her classes with Edward and they bonded on an intellectual level, always discussing academics and philosophy. If she ever needed help with school, Edward was the one she turned to. Not that it happened often; usually they just had to discuss everything they did at school again afterwards.
The fact that Rose was the one who noticed her on the first day and helped save her, gave Alice a special relationship with her. On the outside, they were friends, but on the inside they were more like sisters. They couldn’t be more different from each other though, Rose was blond and Alice was dark. Rose was more silent and observant, Alice was open and chatty. Rose cat-walked, Alice danced. Rose judged and Alice listened. But they both loved fashion and consequently shopping.
I had to smile, when I though back of Rose as a teenager. She was the most stubborn and opinioned girl I have ever met.
Rose had a different relationship with everyone in our little group. She shared a strong bond with Alice. Alice was like a younger sister Rose never had, she was protective of her, because family always meant everything to Rose. She had a bickering relationship with Emmett; they were always fooling around and teasing one another. Edward and Rose pretty much had different opinions about everything, which often led to arguments, but when it came down to it, they were siblings and therefore on the same side.
I bonded with Alice on the day I met her. I don’t know if it was because of the incident on her first day or because she was so small and tiny, but I felt very protective of her from the start. And that never changed. We didn’t talk much at first, but I always looked after her. I don’t know whether she was aware of it, but she was like my younger sister – at first.
My feelings changed during high school. I was not a little boy anymore, and I became aware of girls on a completely different level. High school was a big change for all of us. It was when Edward first met Bella. They started off on the wrong foot though and it had taken them quite a while before they became friends. Bella thought Edward was cocky and too moody, and Edward thought Bella was weird and awkward. It was quite amusing to observe them. She fit into our little group perfectly and bickered with Edward all the time. We all knew they liked each other before they even realized it themselves. They had gotten together in the third year of high school, but their relationship was not peachy, at least not at first. There was this other guy who wanted Bella for himself, Jacob Black. And Edward didn’t like that. So they argued, Edward was jealous, Bella was defensive and one moment they were yelling, the next moment they were Romeo and Juliet personified. But things got better later and their relationship became strong and lasting.
Now Emmett and Rose were a different story. Everyone considered them the macho guy and the perfect Barbie. They had an on and off again relationship, that started in the second year of high school. It didn’t look like they cared a lot for each other, but we knew better. Rose saw something in Emmett that drew her to him and Emmett thought she was an angel. They were very passionate, all over each other all the time and everywhere. When someone mentioned PDA, one would immediately think of Rose and Emmett. Rose had Emmett wrapped around her finger and he didn’t seem to mind. In high school they didn’t take their relationship too serious. But after high school, there was one time, when their relationship was off again; Emmett started seeing this other girl, and Rosalie lost it. They had a long talk that night and I think they grew up a bit then. They both realized they couldn’t go on like that anymore and that they meant too much to each other, so they started a real relationship that time. And that was it, for both of them.
Now, Alice and I didn’t get together for the longest time. We spent a great deal of time together during all those years and rarely argued, but we were never more than friends. We had a special connection and often didn’t need words to communicate. She would just look at me and I would know what was up and what she was thinking.
During high school we both saw different people and although it sometimes made me wonder and question myself, I didn’t do anything about it. I don’t know when I realized I was in love with her, I had loved her for so long and she has been part of my life for so many years; it just came naturally. I just knew that one day I lost myself in her eyes, the other day I caught myself daydreaming about her. I missed her when she was not near and I was jealous when other guys made a move, and later when they even looked at her. But she was not mine and I had no right.
The real reason I never made a move, however, was that she was too good for me. I didn’t deserve someone so good and so pure, I was supposed to protect her; and if that meant staying away from her and only be her friend, than so be it. Plus, I had no idea how she felt about the whole thing, which was ridiculous, because I always sensed her every emotion and knew her really well; but when it came to us, I was always clueless.
So there we were living our lives alongside each other but not together.
Everything changed one night at the party Rose and Emmett threw when they moved in together in an apartment in town.
Funny, how our relationship started at one party and ended at another.
I arrived late, because I was working at a music store at that time and had to lock up and check the register every night. The party was already in full swing when I got there. Rose greeted me at the door, an ice-cold beer already ready for me. Pearl Jam were playing in the background, and I saw Emmett and Edward playing a video game, each thinking they we’re going to win. Rose sighed and smiled knowingly. I didn’t see Alice anywhere.
“So, how was work?” she asked me. “I took the afternoon off, so I could prepare everything for the party. Bella came over some time before it started and helped me with everything.”
“It was pretty quiet today.” I noticed Bella in the kitchen, making some mini sandwiches and preparing some party food. “So, excited about the big moving in together?”
“Very.” She smiled at me, at first an excited smile which turned wicked seconds later. “It will be so much easier to have sex now, when we don’t have to be quiet and look out for who is at home all the time.”
“Rose, come on, I don’t need to hear this.” I didn’t want to know anything about her sex life. “Plus, you were never quiet.” And they weren’t. But we all tried our best to ignore them and pretend nothing was happening.
“True. But it will be nice anyway, living here together, having this place only to ourselves.” I wondered how she would feel in a couple of weeks, when she would realize Emmett leaves his things everywhere, never cleans up after himself and spends way too much free time playing video games. But she would have to learn to manage him, which I had no doubt she was very capable of. I smiled mischievously, while drinking my beer.
“Oh, come on, I already know what you are thinking. You and I both know how he was when you two were sharing your apartment, but I have my ways.” And by her ways she meant sex. She was not above using sex to get her way.
“I have no doubt you have.” I shook my head and headed over to Emmett and Edward. They were playing Mortal Combat and Edward was losing. After a couple of more unsuccessful attempts to gain the upper hand, the game was over and Edward lost.
“I am going to find Bella, this is ridiculous,” Edward said annoyed and got up.
“She’s in the kitchen,” I told him and sat down besides Emmett. I took the joystick in my hands and turned to Emmett. “Ready to get your ass kicked?”
“Dream on. I am the one who is going to do all the kicking.” And the game was on. We played for a while and had a great time. I was the best strategist but he delivered stronger punches. After a couple of games when each won a few, someone suggested Guitar Hero and that was my game, Emmett stood no chance.
After I kicked his ass, I got around and mingled a little. I still couldn’t see Alice anywhere and I wondered if she came at all. Playing games made me thirsty and not careful of how much I drank, therefore I was already a little bit tipsy by the time I found Bella and asked her about Alice.
It took me a while to find her; I think she had been busy with Edward. At times like these I usually felt lonely. I had no girlfriend at the moment and seeing Bella and Edward blissfully happy and Rose sitting on Emmett’s lap drooling all over him, made the hole in my chest bigger.
“Hey Bells, is Alice not here? I haven’t seen her the whole evening and I thought she said she’d come.” I was a little worried already, Alice usually didn’t say she’d do something and then act otherwise.
“Yeah, she was here a while ago.” Bella looked around but couldn’t locate her. “Oh, you know what; maybe you should check the roof. She might be up there.”
I stared at her. “The roof?”
“Yup, through the window, up the fire stairs.” She pointed to the window and explained. I thanked her and went to the roof, while wondering what she was doing up there all alone.
I climbed the stairs and saw her lying in a deck chair, looking at the stars.
“Hey there, stranger,” I said hoping not to startle her. She looked over to me and I could immediately see something was wrong.
“Hey,” she answered me.
“What are you doing up here all alone?” She probably wanted to be alone. Something must have happened and she was up here thinking about it.
“I just needed some time to myself.” I took a fresh bottle of beer and sat on a chair next to hers. “How is the party downstairs?”
“It’s going great. I think Rose will be very pleased with herself.” She usually was, and Alice too. They were the great party committee, always planning and always on the move.
“What’s wrong, Alice? What happened?” I didn’t want to pretend I didn’t know something was up. She knew me better than that anyway and would see right through me.
“Nothing. Just problems at home, the usually stuff.” She smiled a sad smile and I knew how hurt she must have been. Alice was a bright and happy girl and she really tried her best, but for her family she was never good enough. She was different and not like them, the black sheep of the family, so to say. But she loved her family and all she wanted was to be loved in return.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I offered.
“What is there to talk about? We both know the story, today is just one of the days I am more aware of it than on others,” she said bitterly. “It is just sad, you know, nothing I ever do is good enough. I am not good enough.”
“That is not true, Alice.” I needed her to see it, to understand it. “Look at me,” I said to her and she turned to me. I could see the sadness in her eyes, and I desperately wanted to make it go away. “You are good enough, hell you are too good for them.” I ran my hand through my hair, looking for a way to make this clear to her. “You are amazing and it’s your family’s loss. Nobody should treat their child like this and get away with it. Nobody.”
Her eyes lit up a bit but the sadness was still obvious. “You have your friends, and we love you. We are your real family, and Esme and Carlisle adore you. So, never feel alone and abandoned, because you are not.”
I stood up and sat next to her on her deck chair, scooped her up, so we could both lie there and embraced her. She laid her head in the base of my neck and we both looked at the sky. “I know that is true and I love you guys. But why does it still hurt so much, Jasper? Why can’t I just let it go and live my life? Why do I still try so hard?”
“Because they are still your parents and because you love them.” We were both silent for a moment, lost in our own thoughts. I wanted to go to her house and tell her parents my mind. They were so stupid, not seeing the jewel that was in front of them all.
“Thank you, Jasper,” she said and lifted herself up and looked at me. Her eyes were so vulnerable and I desperately wanted to make her feel better. I wanted to protect her, but all my protection was physical, I couldn’t protect her from the psychological trauma.
We kept staring into each other’s eyes for what seemed like an eternity. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or just the moment, but I slowly leaned in and captured her lips with mine. I took it slow and gave her the chance to stop and blame it all on her emotions, but instead of pulling away, she drifted even closer. I pulled her on top of me, never breaking this kiss. Although it started slow, all reserve soon left me and my emotions took over. She parted her lips and I took the opportunity and entered her mouth with my tongue. She responded immediately, her lips becoming softer, beguiling and more inviting. She tasted wonderful and I wanted more. She shivered and welcomed me, and I tightened my grip on her. I groaned, while the kiss became hotter and we both got even hungrier. The kiss lasted forever, but eventually we had to break apart and come up for air.
We just lay there, staring at each other and breathing heavily. After a couple of moments when our breathing returned to normal, she said, “You’ve kept me waiting a long time.”
And I didn’t know what to say. All I could think of was why we didn’t do this sooner. It felt so right, like all the puzzles were finally in place. “I’m sorry,” I answered her. Her eyes were bright and the sadness was gone. She smiled and covered my lips with hers once more.
And that was how our relationship started. Our bond deepened after that and we became inseparable. The others took the news well, and nothing changed, except that now among the six friends were three couples. That is, until everything fell apart again.
Alice stirred in my arms. I didn’t know how long I have been sitting there, holding her in my arms but it has gotten dark outside. I laid her down on her bed. I didn’t remove the covers, because she was still dressed. Instead I just went to the closet and took out an orange blanket.
I gently covered her with it and remained standing there for a couple of moments, just looking at her. I was probably a masochist but I was glad she was there. Suddenly getting the urge to touch her again, I quickly leaned in before I could change my mind and carefully kissed her on her forehead.
I quietly closed the door behind me and headed downstairs.
I didn’t know when I had fallen asleep, but when I woke up; Jasper was holding me in his arms and was sitting on the bed. I tried not to move and just observed him. He was staring in the distance, lost in his thoughts. He was completely still; the only thing that changed was the look in his eyes.
I stirred after a while and that brought him back to the present. I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep. I would have to thank him later anyway for bringing me up, but I didn’t want to do that while still in his lap.
He laid me down on the bed and covered me with a blanket only moments later. I haven’t been this close to him in such a long time and I suddenly realized I had missed him. I wondered if we would still be together, if hadn’t he betrayed me. I wished that we were. I didn’t want to feel this way, but I did and there was nothing I could do. I could be angry with him, blame him for everything but despite all the things; I still cared about him. I don’t think I ever stopped.
I lay there, covered with the blanket when I suddenly felt his lips on my forehead. It was gentle and quick, and it caught me be surprise. I heard the door close with a soft click only short moments later and I burst into tears.
The sorrow I suddenly felt was overwhelming. I sank into the covers, pulled the blanket closer and just kept crying.
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