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Bless the Broken Road

Summary:

Thanks to lunamoon for the awesome banner please show her some love Bella and her family are con artists. Her path crosses with Edward and the opportunity is too great to pass up, making him her next mark. Edward is blissfully unaware, and it will take a lot of mistakes to finally lead him back to Bella and the truth.


Notes:
No copyright infringement intended. All things Twilight belong to SM


11. And then She Was Gone

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Chapter 5: And then She Was Gone

Alice and Rosalie were beyond furious; they thought I was the scum of the earth for cheating on Bella. Rosalie was constantly called me names and making me feel like crap every chance she got, it wasn’t like I didn’t deserve, so I took it in stride. Carlisle, Esme, and my parents were all disappointed. They were all so worried Bella would be the one to hurt me when it turned out I was the one who had hurt her. Emmet and Jasper were appalled about the whole situation, now that their significant others knew, of course. When it first had happened Emmett made fun of me and Jasper did too, but also warned me that things would not end well. Of course, I didn’t listen and it blew up in my face.

The weeks that followed I had tried to contact Bella but she had isolated herself from everyone including Alice and Rosalie. I tried to reach her but she wouldn’t see me, she quit her job, just so I couldn’t look for her there. I would go to her apartment everyday but no one seemed to be home, it felt like Bella had disappeared.

After a few weeks, I was beginning to loose hope that Bella and I were not meant to be.

Unfortunately, my suspicions were confirmed when I saw her again, for the last time.

I was getting back from work to the house Esme and Carlisle had intended as our wedding present, when I saw her waiting for me on the porch. I quickly made my way and hugged her, but she pushed me away.

“Edward I’m leaving,” she hesitated, closed her eyes, and finished, “for good”

“Bella, please, let me explain, I didn’t know it was-” she cut me off and started speaking.

“I already know, it doesn’t change anything, I meant what I said, Edward, I’m leaving town, I only came to tell you that and that you’ll be getting the annulment papers soon. It will be like we were never together, a clean break. I only ask you on thing,”

“Anything please just don’t do this,” I said, pleading with her.

“Don’t feel guilty for too long, learn from this and grow. What’s done is done and you can’t change the past, but there is still time for the future. With that said; do not contact me EVER,” she said, stressing the last word.

“Please, Bella, don’t go! We can fix this” Panic was apparent in my voice, but I didn’t care, I was loosing her.

“I won't forget you, I still love you. It’s just too hard to look you in the face and not feel so much pain. I gave you everything, but you just threw it away. How could you? I tried so hard to trust you, to let you in, but you destroyed our future in one single act.” She stopped to gather herself for several minutes before finally speaking, “Besides, we both know this wouldn’t have worked out; I’m not good enough for you, I never was. I mean look at you and then look at me.”

“Don’t be absurd, Bella, your wonderful, amazing, and perfection. I’m no good for you. Please let me make it up to you?” I pleaded again. My mind went into overdrive, trying to come up with something to make her stay.

“No, Edward, I’ve made up my mind and we both know how stubborn I can be. Please don’t contact me, I won’t pick up your calls or respond to your emails. I just need a clean break,” she said. She began to walk away but hesitated, showing me that at the very least she still cared.

I watched her back move further away, not moving a single inch, hoping it was all a dream. I was still in shock when she turned around abruptly, and made her way to me, she gave me a kiss filled with so much passion and desire, I knew it meant goodbye forever.

“Goodbye Edward,” she said, breathing her last words to me.

True to her words Bella sent over the annulment papers soon after, in an informal yellow packet. I don’t know why I expected more but it felt wrong, un-Bella-like when I received them.

Each day I woke up, never wanting to get up, the only true motivating factor was going to work in the hospital. Working in the E.R. unit helped me focus solely on work. I had a pathetic excuse for a life, but I couldn’t bring myself to want to change. I still hadn’t signed the papers, hoping she would come back, but she never did.

I stupidly, went to the bar she worked in, hoping to see her behind the bar, filling orders, and dancing along, but it never happened. My life was becoming a meaningless existence and I didn’t care.

Alice took pity on me and attempted to motivate me to get up, it probably would have worked if the news of Bella’s death hadn’t arrived shortly after.

I was wallowing again, in the beautiful house meant for the two of us when I got a frantic call from Alice.

“Edward,” she hesitated. I could already hear her sobbing, attempting to control herself.

“Alice, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Japer? Mom? Dad?” I asked worried.

“No I’m fine, we all are except,” she said, meekly before breaking down again.

I heard the phone shuffle and it was Jasper who finally spoke, “Edward, it’s about Bella. She’s been… she’s been in an accident, and…”

“And what Jasper, What happened to Bella? Is she okay?” I felt my bubble ready to burst again, as I waited for his response.

“Edward, she didn’t make it. Renee called Alice, to inform us.”

Jasper and I were silent for a long time. I couldn’t fathom the words he had just spoken. My Bella was gone. In that moment I wanted to join her. Bella was gone and it was my fault. If I hadn’t cheated on her she wouldn’t have been in that accident far way, away from her loved ones, but with me.

“Edward?” Jasper asked.

“How did she… I mean when did this… are they sure?” I muttered, still in shock.

“Her father, brought her ashes back… there wasn’t much left. She was in Phoenix, visiting him when it happened,” Jasper responded, nervously.

I threw the phone against the wall and went to what was supposed to be our bedroom. I grabbed the picture I kept at my bedside, studying her face, every curve, every laugh line, the depth of her blush, and her radiant smile, only she possessed. After staring at it for hours, I finally broke down.

I held it close to my heart, where she belonged. The picture was the only tangible reminder of our love. It was a picture of the both of us, we were on the couch spending a lazy afternoon together, and I decided I wanted to capture it. She didn’t want to take a picture but I begged her to and she obliged. I smiled slightly at that memory, before I broke down again.

I stayed in bed the rest of the day, not eating, or opening the knocks at my door. The next morning I woke up and fell apart again. My mind kept chanting, She’s gone, it’s your fault, she’s gone.

The only reason I got out of bed was to call the hospital, letting them know I would need some time off. It was mid afternoon when Esme, Alice, Emmet, Jasper, and Rosalie came bursting in.

I heard them call for me and search the house, finally finding me in the bathtub, still holding Bella’s picture. I hadn’t realized I had moved to the tub, until they had found me there.

“Edward, get up. Her funeral is today, and you can’t miss it,” Alice said jumping in with me.

I didn’t respond I just starred at the petite woman in front of me.

“Edward, honey, please get out of there. Bella wouldn’t want you to fall apart at a time like this. You need to say goodbye to her.”

Again I couldn’t respond.

Emmet interjected, “Dude, Edward, get up, Bella needs you to go do this. You need to pay your respect.”

“Yeah, Emmett’s right, you need to be there for her and say goodbye. Your wife needs you,” Jasper said, unknowingly causing me more pain when he used the word ‘wife.’

I responded to his comment, because I didn’t deserve to get to say goodbye. “Jasper I cheated on her, with her sister. I don’t deserve anything. I don’t think she would want me there. I already caused her too much pain; I need to respect her wishes, she wanted me to leave her alone.”

“While, I agree with you, I still think you need to say goodbye. You never deserved a girl like Bella, and now you never will, but Bella would not have wanted you to wallow and not get closure, so get dressed!” Rosalie said.

Rosalie words motivated me enough to get up. Hearing her admit I was right, somehow made me want to get up. I needed to be punished for what I had done and she agreed, and in a sick way seeing being at her funeral would be the beginning of my penance. I quickly showered not wanting to feel anything and got dressed.

We drove in silence, as we got closer to the funeral home, my stomach growled, more in anticipation than in hunger.

Bella’s wake didn’t include many people. My family was there, a few friends from the bar, her family, even Vanessa and who I assumed to be her father.

There was a big picture on display, for everyone to see, of Bella laughing. That picture felt so private, like it was taken during a special moment of happiness and we were invading it.

No one from her family spoke but my friends did. Alice gave a speech about hoping she had better style in heaven, while Rose hoped she was happy now, and hoped she would get what she wanted. Emmet recalled a few memories about them hanging out and pulling a prank on Alice. Jasper talked about how bright and amazing she was.

All there speeches were great, they all encouraged me to say something, but I felt it to hypocritical of me to do so. I almost had an aneurism when I saw Vanessa go up.

“My family and I would like to thank all of you for coming and supporting us during our time of grief,” Vanessa said, softly. She joined her mother, with her head down and we all paid our respects.

Her urn was next to her picture and I took a few moments to say goodbye.

“Bella, I’m sorry. I hope you know that and that I loved you. I know it doesn’t seem that way but I do. I always will. No woman can ever compare to you, I don’t know how I’m suppose to go on without you. At least when we were separated I knew you were still alive. I didn’t realize how much I would value life, until this very moment. Bella I hope your happy in heaven. I don’t know if I ever will forgive myself for all the pain I caused, for causing your death. I never deserved someone has amazing as you.”

We stayed a little while longer, lingering, no one wanting to say goodbye just yet. Being in the same room with all the people that loved Bella made me feel like I was an imposter. I loved Bella, but I didn’t deserve her and everyone knew it.

Finally my friends decided it was time to go, but on our way out Charlie stopped me and asked for a private moment.

“Son, I know you’re feeling guilty for what happened. But it was something you couldn’t prevent. You screwed up but no one here holds you accountable for what you did.”

“How can you say that? I basically put a knife to her back and watched her die. I sent her to you, where she had the accident. I just don’t understand how I could have been so stupid. I try and remember that day and wonder why I didn’t stop? Of course the alcohol doesn’t help in remembering what happened. I just don’t understand why do bad things happen to good people? I should be dead not Bella.”

“Edward, don’t kid yourself. You’re not god, you can’t control everything. What happened happened. Despite what you did Bella still loved you, and spoke highly of you. She was extremely hurt but she loved you, until her very last breath.”

“I don’t know if I believe that but thank you,” I said, walking away to join the others.

I went back home to wallow in my pain, spending another week isolated from the world. When I returned to work, I focused solely on that, but when I was home my mind only thought of Bella.

After her death it seemed like everything reminded of Bella, mainly because I wanted them to. I remained in our home, went to her old job, and passed by her old apartment. Vanessa had moved in with Renee, and now some stranger lived in the place that Bella and I shared our only night together.

My liver took a beating and I began drinking heavily. It seemed like nothing else mattered. I went back to work but my heart was just not in it, the only true motivating factor was knowing that the person I was saving was someone’s Bella.

It seemed like I didn’t learn my lesson because I resumed my old habits and started sleeping with mindless women to ease the pain but it never went away. Life went on. Each night I would sit in the same stool, I use to sit at when I watched Bella work, and some ditzy blonde would come to sit next to me. I never took them to my home, always a cheap motel, despite my promiscuity I still respected Bella’s memory.

I always reasoned that I was seeking a shred of hope each time I slept with someone, but in reality it was another form of penance. Each time we left the motel, while I was driving home I would feel lonelier and emptier. I couldn’t allow myself to feel anything, it wasn’t fair.

A few months later, I was at Bella’s Bar and so was Vanessa. She sat next to me and ordered a drink, never saying a word to me.

We ordered refills several times before she finally spoke, “Look, I know I’m the last person you want to see or talk to right now, but I know you spend too much time here. You need to start moving on, living your life. Bella would not have wanted you to become who you are right now.”

“Your right,” I said, sipping my drink. “I don’t want to see you or hear your voice. Let me ask you something, I was drunk and stupid, but was your excuse? Weren’t you and Bella supposed to be close? All I ever heard was how much Bella cared about you and how close you two where when you were growing up, only relying on each other.”

“I don’t know. I had a few glasses of champagne and I started to feel depressed that Bella had bagged such a great guy. A streak of jealously swept over me and I wanted you. So I came here, that night, in hopes of having you,” she said, innocently. “It’s stupid I know, but I felt like I was loosing my sister, and I just lost sight of what was important.”

I looked into her eyes, and saw that same innocence Bella once had. I watched her sip her drink and continue, “I’ve always had a crush on you, ever since Bella brought you home, and I want to be there for you now. I feel like it’s my duty to help you, since I’m the reason you and Bella are no longer together.”

I couldn’t blame what I did next on the alcohol, what I did next could only be blamed on me. I don’t know if it was the similarities she had to Bella or penance I had concocted myself to endure, but I brought her home that night.