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.
8. Chapter 8
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CHAPTER EIGHT: Broken Dreams
Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up, unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up and breathe me
- Breathe Me by Sia
I didn’t fall asleep for hours, thinking about my breakdown and what happened after we got home. I wasn’t sure whether fate was playing a cruel trick on me or showing me the way. I realized the previous day that Jasper was not whom I pictured in my head these past five years. He was still the boy who helped Rose ‘save’ me at my first day of school. He was still the boy who left me waiting for years before finally making a move on me; he was still Jasper. And even though we didn’t made it as a couple, he was still a friend to me. And most important, he was there for me, when I needed him the most.
I tossed and turned, thinking about what to do. I couldn’t bring myself to forgive him, maybe I was selfish but I couldn’t get pass the fact that he broke my heart. I wanted to let it go and move on, but I couldn’t. So now I was trying to persuade myself to forget it for the time being and be nice and thankful to him. I didn’t know whether he was helping me because he was ashamed or felt a little guilty, but I was grateful he didn’t toss me out in the first place.
I thought I wanted him to be mean and angry, because that was how I felt – I felt angry and betrayed and I wanted to show him that. I wanted to throw it in his face, but I couldn’t. He was nice and supportive and I realized he was still my friend and probably always has been. I fell in love with him all those years ago, but maybe he never felt the same. When I thought back on our teenage years, he and Rose had always been there for me, in fact we have all always been there for each other; but Jasper especially had always looked out for me.
He was very protective. I didn’t realize it at first, but when I looked back, especially at the evening we got together, something was suddenly clear to me. I was never on good terms with my family and I have always wondered what I could do to make them happier. I tried very hard as a teenager, before I later realized there was nothing I could do; they simply preferred Cynthia. Was it because of her fair looks or her calm and gentle appearance I didn’t know, but the fact was I would never be good enough. I figured that out when I was 19.
My relationship with me family changed drastically on the night Rose and Emmett had their moving in party. Or, at least, my opinion and attitude changed. I didn’t feel like I belonged to my family anymore, and maybe I actually only finally realized, that I never had.
I have come home from work earlier that day, wanting to go over to Rose’s early and help her and Bella prepare everything for the party. Parties were my thing and I knew I often went overboard but I just always wanted for things to be perfect. And this party was special; it was for Rose and Emmett on their important milestone, so I wanted everything to run smoothly.
So after work, I went to the drycleaners to get my tailored black pants for the party. I arrived home and went straight up to my room. I was still living with my parents, although I had already saved up some money for an apartment. I was changing into my pants and stood in front of the closet, trying to pick up a top. I decided on a grayish blue one I knew looked good on me. I put it on and fixed my hair and make-up. All the stuff I needed for the party was already at the apartment, so I just took my purse and headed downstairs.
Reaching the top of the stairs, I heard my parents arguing downstairs. I didn’t want to pry and eavesdrop but what I heard made me froze in my tracks.
“I am tired of having to pretend all the time,” my mother yelled at my dad. “Do you know how hard it is to smile and be polite in company, when all I want to do is scream?”
“You are acting like this is all my fault and like you are the only one who is hurting here,” my dad yelled back at her.
“You don’t spend much time in other people’s company. But I do. I am the receiver of their scrutinized looks, I am the one who has to smile and have idle chats about good will and afternoon tea parties.” I had never seen my mom like this before. “I just want to stop pretending.”
I heard my father sigh and say with a dead tone, “We never should have gotten married.”
“Well, it is a little too late for that now, isn’t it?” She didn’t even sound hurt by the accusation; it was as if she had heard this many times before. “You should have kept your hands to yourself.”
I didn’t understand immediately what she was referring to and accusing him of, but my dad cleared it up for me.
“It takes two to get pregnant, dear, so don’t even try to implicate that this is my fault.” He pushed a vase off the table. I had never heard him that angry. He wasn’t screaming and yelling like mom was, he said every word in a low but harsh voice. “Your parents made us marry and I am sorry I wasn’t some rich handsome fellow you would have wanted.”
I was just standing there on the top of the stairs not knowing what to do. My father came storming out of the living room and looked up and saw me. He starred at me for a couple of moments and ran out the door.
I felt tears on my cheeks and returned to my bedroom. I called Rose and numbly told her I would be late. I wasn’t sure if she noticed something was wrong, there was noise on her side, so the odds were in my favor.
I just said there and cried, thinking about what I had heard before. My mom got pregnant with me and they had to get married. No wonder I always came second; I was the cause for all their troubles. I was the reason they weren’t happy.
Whenever they looked at me, they considered me the biggest mistake of their lives. I represented everything that was wrong with their lives. No wonder they hated me.
I put my hands on my stomach and whispered to my unborn baby, “You are wanted and you are loved, baby.” I promised myself I would never treat my baby like my parents treated me. My baby would be loved, taken care of and would always feel safe.
I thought about blowing off the party altogether but then I decided to go. I felt like drinking that night and hoped I could forget everything. I repaired my make up and set off. When I arrived, the party has already started. I greeted my friends and went to the roof, but not before taking a bottle of vodka with me.
I wasn’t aware of time, sitting there and drinking, thinking about all the past events. Everything made so much sense. Everything about me bothered them, because I have never been wanted, but they loved everything about Cynthia, because she was their second chance and I guess they wanted to succeed. But they didn’t.
I don’t know how long I had been sitting there when Jasper showed up. He noticed immediately something was wrong and I guess he felt the need to protect me and make it all better. And better he made it.
I remembered the first memory sadly and the second one fondly. I would never forget our first kiss. Neither of us was nervous. Whether that was because of the alcohol or because we have known each other for so long, I wasn’t sure. But it was an amazing first kiss. Everything was great for a while, Jasper made me forget about the problems at home, and instead of liquor and sadness I drowned myself in him.
But I always had the feeling that he was with me because he felt the need to protect me and take care of me. It wasn’t that I believed he didn’t care for me, I could see that in his eyes; but considering the circumstances that made him do the first step, I could never be sure. And also, the way I looked was definitely not an advantage. I was tiny and small, bubbly and chatty, whereas he was tall and lean, silent and calm. He was the exact opposite of me, and I often wondered what would have happened if he hadn’t found me in that state that night.
And when I thought about it, all the actions that followed that year, suddenly they made sense. How could I have been so stupid and believed I would get such a perfect happy ending? How could I ever think he would belong to me? How could I ever think he would actually love me more than as a friend? I couldn’t blame him for betraying me anymore; he was never mine to begin with. A tear rolled down my cheek and I didn’t even bother to wipe it away.
I fell asleep in the middle of the night. I dreamed of a happier place that night. I dreamed about the picnic Jasper was talking about. They were all there, Esme and Carlisle, Bella and Edward, Rosalie and Emmett. Jasper and I arrived last, but we came up to the lake hand in hand. And I was happy.
Unfortunately I awoke soon after and while I desperately tried to fall back asleep and dream some more, I was unsuccessful. I got up with a grunt, and went to the bathroom. I went downstairs but everything was still dark and cold. Jasper wasn’t up yet. I went to the kitchen and made myself some hot tea and a sandwich, since I skipped dinner last night and was hungry.
After finishing my sandwich and making me another fresh cup of hot tea, I didn’t know what to do, so I put on some music and decided to read a book.
When I looked up from the book a while later, I realized it was going to be a wonderful day. It was bright outside and the sun was coming out from behind the clouds. I smiled and got up, because I needed to go to the bathroom again. I decided to go downstairs, since I didn’t want to go up the stairs again. When I was done and wanted to go back to the living room, I passed the storage room doors and this time the curiosity got the better of me. Surely I could take a little peak inside. Jasper was still asleep anyway, so he wouldn’t notice.
I opened the door and turned on the light. There were boxes everywhere and his old motorcycle was parked in the middle of it. I walked into the room and closed the door behind me. I just stood there for a couple of minutes, taking the room in. I knew that snooping around was wrong, but I just couldn’t help myself. And I promised myself to look just a little.
I opened the first box and there were some old clothes in it. I remembered several of them; I even bought one or two items. But clothes didn’t seem that interesting for once and I moved on to the next box. There were some old games and toys in it. I remember Jasper and Edward and Emmett playing them. Sometimes, after they were done, they would be fighting, sometimes laughing and other times sulking. It was quite amusing to observe them; they all behaved like five-year-olds.
I moved on to the next box, a bigger one that time. I carefully opened it and couldn’t believe my eyes. His guitar was packed away in that box. That was very confusing to me, because he loved to play and always had it put away next to his bed. He had been playing since I have first met him and he never went anywhere without it. Why would he keep it in a storage store, put away like it didn’t matter anymore? It was weird.
My feet were getting cold; it was freezing in this room. Good thing I got dressed earlier, otherwise I would have surely caught a cold. I just sneaked a peak in one more box. It was full of books. I chucked for a while, thinking he probably didn’t have enough room for all these books on his bookshelf in the living room. But then I noticed a book with his name on it. I picked it up and read the description on the backside. It was his first book. And I hadn’t seen it anywhere in the living room, and wondered why he would put it away. I decided to take it upstairs with me and read it later. I was curious what it was about, especially after discovering his notes in the table in my room a while ago.
I heard some noises and quickly exited the storage room. Jasper was nowhere in sight yet, which was good, because I had no idea how I would explain going through his stuff. That would have been priceless.
I heard him taking a shower and went to my room. I had to take the stairs again, although I tried to avoid them earlier. But it was worth it, because I would get my hands on his book. I entered my room, desperately trying not to think of Jasper in the shower, his hot and wet body surrounded by steam. I shrugged it off and put the book in my nightstand drawer. I quickly – well quickly might not be the best way to put it – went back downstairs and started working on breakfast.
I made fresh coffee and some more tea for me. I preferred tea these days and didn’t want risking even higher blood pressure with coffee. But Jasper loved his morning coffee. I smiled fondly, when I remembered coffee was the only way to get him out of bed on weekends. Coffee and sex.
While the coffee was brewing I made some eggs and bacon. That was the only thing I could make without setting the kitchen on fire.
A couple of minutes later I heard him enter the kitchen. I was just putting the plate on the table when he wished me good morning.
“Good morning. Oh you are amazing, this is just what I needed,” he went to get himself a steaming hot cup of coffee. I chucked.
“And this smells wonderful too.” He looked around the kitchen.
“Looking for something?” I asked curious.
“No, just checking if the room is still standing,” he laughed. I slapped him with the newspaper I was holding in my hand.
“I am not completely useless, you know,” I protested.
He just chucked and stuffed a spoonful of eggs into his mouth. When I took a closer look at him, I noticed he looked worn out and tired. Perhaps he didn’t sleep well.
I knew Alice couldn’t cook well, but the eggs she made were delicious. And coffee was a little piece of heaven on its own. I needed to get something warm inside me; otherwise I would probably throw up. I woke up with a killer headache and a queasy stomach. I felt like truck had run me over. It was really hard for me to smile right then, but I wanted to focus on something else rather than my headache.
After I have carried Alice to bed last night, I went downstairs, grabbed a bottle of Tennessee’s Finest and got drunk as hell. I sat on the floor and listened to music, while thinking about the past weeks and then the past years. I had come close to losing her the previous day, and I realized I didn’t want that to happen. I couldn’t handle all the emotions that suddenly surfaced, so I got wasted instead. But that didn’t do me much good, because I couldn’t get her out of my head no matter what.
The funny thing was that her little breakdown pushed me over the edge as well. Not immediately, but after I have finished my third glass, I finally realized I wasn’t prepared to let her go. I didn’t want to give up. And I didn’t even consider us as a couple or try to fathom up a way we could find back to each other, I just wanted to savor her company and be there for her. Her presence was helping me heal my wounds and I desperately needed a little bit of healing.
I never really stopped loving her. She may have left me that day, but she took my soul with her. Without her I was nothing, I couldn’t function, I was useless. Everyone said I would move on in time, that I would forget her – what a load of bullshit. The only thing I did was focus on the bad and forgot the good. I pushed my emotions and feelings in a dark corner, but it didn’t help – at all. I still felt soulless and broken.
Then I started to write and I somehow survived. I indirectly dealt with my problems and made it through a day at a time. But all these steps and all this progress didn’t really make me forget her. And when she came back, my feelings returned with her.
Who was I to keep kidding myself? I may not want to admit it to anyone else, but I could at least man up and admit it to myself – I was still very much in love with Alice. I took another swing of whiskey, I desperately needed it.
I wouldn’t act on my feelings but I needed to know what happened. I needed to know whether I should expect the baby’s father to arrive any day and whisk her away. I needed to know and I have waited long enough. She didn’t volunteer any information and I was ok with that but now, after we have establish she would be staying here, I needed to know what to expect.
I decided to ask her about it the next morning. I looked at the bottle and for a moment even consider stopping drinking and sparing the whiskey for the conversation, I would probably need it then. But I felt better and more relaxed and I didn’t want the feeling to go away. So, I took another drink instead. And then a couple more, just in case.
I went upstairs a couple of hours later and almost knocked over a statue, but I managed to catch it somehow. I desperately needed to see Alice, if only for a minute, I just needed to make sure she was really there and not a figment of my imagination.
I opened the door of her room and took a look inside. She was sleeping soundly. I turned on the light and stepped closer. I noticed she had been crying and I wondered if she did this often and what the cause was. I pulled her blanket up a bit and almost fell in top of her. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to check on her after all.
I went into my room and didn’t even bother to take my clothes off. I fell on the bed and was asleep in a matter of seconds.
And there I was the next morning, stuffing food into my mouth, washing it down with coffee, trying to overcome the killer headache. I observed her when she was sipping on her tea, she was happy on the outside, but there was sadness written all over her face.
“Hey Alice, would you like to go for a walk?” I asked her. “There is this little path that leads up to the lake. We probably won’t make it up, because of the snow, but we could walk for a while.” And talk.
Surprise flickered in her eyes. “Sure, I would love to. Just let me get my coat.”
“Do you need help with your shoes?” I offered, remembering last time we went out.
She smiled a little embarrassed and accepted. “If you’d be so nice.”
I got up and went to get my things. She already had her coat on when I returned and I helped her put on her boots. When I was kneeling there, helping her I noticed the glass I have been using the previous night under the couch. I wondered how it had gotten there, but gave up the thought because the glass reminded me of whiskey and the nausea returned.
“Thank you. Are you ok?” she said.
I just nodded, I needed some air. We walked outside; it was a fresh cold morning, although sunny. And the fresh air felt amazing. I needed to clear my head and my mind before I did this.
We walked for a while, and I showed Alice around, telling her about this and that. She had been up here before but many years have passed since then and I didn’t know what she remembered. After we have already turned around to go back to the house, I decided I needed to ask her before we returned back.
“Alice, I was meaning to ask you something. I know you probably don’t want to talk about it, but after we had agreed upon your immediate future yesterday, I need to know something.” I tried to explain without upsetting her.
Surprisingly, she took it quite well. She struggled how to start at first but then started talking. “I am surprised you didn’t ask me anything sooner. Always the gentleman,” she smiled. “What do you want to know?”
“A lot of things actually, but most importantly, I want to know who the father of your baby is. I mean, should I expect him to come after you? Does he even know you are pregnant? I know this is none of my business, but …”
Alice interrupted me. “No, you have a right to know. I think it is best if I start from the beginning.” She sighed.
I just nodded. This was her story to tell. “Well, after I left I was a complete mess.” I wanted to ask her why she left and why she was a mess. But she stopped me. “Just let me explain first.”
I let her, although it wasn’t clear to me why she would be a mess. She left us behind, without a word, without a goodbye and without an explanation. I would ask her that later. Now I would take whatever she would tell me and then demand more answers. If we were already going down this road, I would insist on learning why she left. I deserved to know the truth; I deserved to know why I wasn’t good enough.
“As I was saying, I went to Washington. I started working at some coffee shops and rented an apartment. But the money I have saved was soon gone, because the rent was high and my pay lousy. But I didn’t care about that because I felt numb and it really didn’t matter to me what would happen with me.”
I was confused; I didn’t understand any of it.
“Then a couple of months later I ran into Lauren,” she looked at me. “Remember her from high school?” she asked me.
“Lauren Mallory? Yeah, I remember her.” No one got along well with her except for Jessica.
“Yeah, well I ran into her and we went to get some coffee. She told me about her job, said it was easy and made enough money. She also happened to be looking for a roommate and made an offer to me. And I accepted.”
This was getting suspicious. Lauren was never up for anything good and making such an offer to Alice was definitely not for Alice’s benefit.
“But why did you go with Lauren, Alice? We both know what she is like.” I really didn’t understand.
“Well, I was more or less broke and it seemed like a way out. So, I accepted. She also got me a position at this club that she worked in. So, the deal was not bad. I got a job and apartment. Plus, I didn’t really care.” She explained. But I could see it in her eyes that she regretted the decision.
“And what did she get out of it?” I asked. Lauren surely wouldn’t have done this from the good of her heart.
“She got a friend. She got someone she could talk to, someone to hang out with. I didn’t actually mind it, you know. It was not that bad. At least I wasn’t alone.” I could sense there was a double meaning behind her words, but I had no clue what it was. She didn’t need to be alone; she could have stayed in Forks. If she wanted to break up with me, she could have done it and stayed in town.
“Tell me about the baby, Alice.” I urged her on.
“There is not much to tell. I hooked up with this guy a while ago and got pregnant. As you can probably imagine, it was unplanned. I decided I couldn’t work in that club anymore and hanging out with Lauren pregnant and unemployed was not really an option.” She smiled bitterly.
“So suddenly I didn’t have many options left. I had no place to live anymore and no job and I didn’t know what to do and where to turn. And I think you know the rest.”
She left so many things out, I could tell. But I asked what I wanted to know the most. “But what about the baby’s father, Alice? Does he know you are pregnant?”
She was silent for a while but then answered “No, no he doesn’t.”
“Don’t you think he deserves to know? I mean, it is his baby, too.” I asked her, although it broke me to say it. But me wishing it was different didn’t make the situation any less true.
She didn’t answer my question. I waited for a while but she didn’t say anything. She was distressed, I could tell. This was not a topic she was comfortable with.
“Who is the father, Alice?” I suddenly needed to know who this guy was. I wanted to hear his name. But she didn’t answer. “Alice?” I repeated and got her attention this time.
She looked me in the eyes and whispered, “I don’t know.”
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