Adieu, Mon Coeur
It's 1917, and an extra year on his birth certificate is all Edward needs to get into the college of his choice. He feels like he is on top of the world. He has love, an education, and an indepenence he's never had before. It was that one extra year on his birth certificate that would change his life forever. It starts all human, anyway. Edward/Bella And thanks a million, jillion to MRSBellaCullenBlack for the banner!
I've been thinking about doing this story for quite some time. All our pals from the series are in it... well, the ones that were around in 1917, anyway. Bella and Charlie (and even Jacob) live then, too.
I'd like to give a big ol' heaping thanks to Ghostwriter71 for helping me with all the historical bits.
Just you wait, folks. I've had more fun planning this story than I've ever had before. :)
1. The Finest Pastries in Town
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1500 Review this Chapter
The letter... it tore me to shreds. I had no other choice. After one last look at the paper in my hands, I jumped.
Chicago - August 15th, 1917
As of late, I have been on top of the world. My mother, Elizabeth, and my father, Edward, have given me full permission to live on my own. I am attending one of the most prestigious colleges in the area, and hope to become a lawyer, just like my father.
I did have to change my age on most of my official documents to get into the college... but father was just influential enough to get it done without anyone noticing. He had “connections” in quite handy place. Besides, one year on a silly little birth certificate was nothing compared to the amazing education I was getting.
Not only was I content with my new found independence and college life, but I was also in love. Isabella Swan, a girl who worked at one of my favorite bakeries, had successfully managed to capture my heart. I was the happiest I had ever been.
I strolled into the bakery on the afternoon of August 15th to see Bella. She was there, standing at the counter like she was every day. She smiled as soon as I walked into the door.
“Hello, Bella,” I said. I scanned the small shop, and when I saw there was nobody around, I strolled right up to the counter. I cupped her face in my hands and pressed my lips against her's. It was severely inappropriate to kiss her in public, and I wasn't sure what would happen if someone saw us. The possibility was... well, exciting.
What made it even more forbidden was the fact that I came from a rather... well off family, and Bella was the daughter of a baker. My family had old-fashioned values, and I knew they wouldn't approve. It was getting to the point, though, where I didn't care. She was my Bella, no matter what my parents thought of “her kind.” I was going to do something about it very soon.
“Hello, Edward,” she laughed when I pulled away. “How were your classes this morning?” She pulled out one of my favorite pastries from behind the counter and handed it to me.
“There was nothing exciting today. Just the usual prattle about things that I really don't need,” I laughed. I took a bite of the pastry. Bella was, quite possibly, the best at cooking anything and everything. She always had something stashed away for me when I would come to see her. “Oh, and I got you something today.”
She looked down at her feet. “You didn't have to get me anything, Edward.”
I laughed. “It's nothing.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small box.
Bella reached out and took it from my hand. She looked at me cautiously before opening it. She never liked it when I gave her gifts. She said she had nothing to give me in return, but she was very wrong.
Her mouth fell open when she took the necklace out of the box. It was simple, a silver chain with a small, ruby pendant.
“Edward,” she said uncertainly.
I laughed and took it from her. “Just come here.”
She stepped from behind the counter. I turned her around and she held up her hair. I fastened it at the base of her neck. She spun to face me.
“How does it look?” she asked, grinning.
“Perfect, of course,” I murmured.
She blushed, and pushed the hair out of her face. She was covered in flour, and she smelled slightly of cinnamon. It was perfect. I pulled her into my chest.
“Hmm?” she hummed. Her arms wound around my waist.
“I'm going to tell my parents,” I said.
She pulled away. “Edward... I'm not like your parents,” she stammered.
I laughed. “I don't care! Bella, can't you see? I love you, and I want everyone to know it.”
“Bella, who is out there? I thought I told you to close up shop!” called her father, Charlie, from the back room. As his footsteps got closer, Bella and I stepped apart. It would be hard to explain if he caught us in the middle of something. Charlie would be just as opposed to our relationship as my parents. He thought Bella was going to marry the delivery boy, Jacob. She didn't see anything in him, though. He was still just a kid.
He entered through a door behind the counter. When he saw me, his face dropped. “Hello, Mr. Masen.”
I nodded. “Hello, Mr. Swan.”
“Did Bella get you what you wanted?” he asked. He didn't comment on the fact that she was on the wrong side of the counter to be helping me with anything bakery related.
“Yes, sir. And let me say that you have the finest pastries in town,” I said.
He looked down at the counter. “Well, thank you. But, we actually have to be closing up now. Thanks for stopping by.”
I said goodbye, and then stepped out of the shop. The sun was going down, and I knew it was time to head to my apartment. It was fairly large, and I loved being there. It was hard to find, but it was worth it. I was going to take over payments from my parents soon, and then I would be completely independent.
I got the mail, and then walked up the three floors to my door. I threw the mail on the couch and made myself a quick supper. I was tired, and I knew that I'd probably go to bed early. I had something planned for tomorrow... something big. The necklace was just a precursor gift. Tomorrow, I was going to bring a ring.
I washed my dinner dishes, and then flipped through the mail. There was one letter that caught my attention instantly.
It was from the United States Army. I didn't think it could happen to me, not ever. I knew that forging the date on my birth certificate was going to end up badly. Mother had been afraid that this was going to happen...
I read the letter, my hands shaking the entire time.
ORDER TO REPORT FOR INDUCTION
Greetings, EDWARD MASEN:
You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States. Please report to the lobby of the U.S. Post Office on August 18th, 1917, for forwarding to an Armed Forces Induction Station.
I dropped the letter. I was being drafted. My mother had been terrified of the possibility of it since the war began. I never thought it was going to happen to me, especially since things had been going so well.
Without pausing, I picked up the letter, put on my coat, and left the apartment. I strode down the streets of Chicago as quickly as I could. I had something I needed to do now. I had everything I needed.
Bella's house wasn't far away, and I was there in a matter of minutes. I knocked on the door of the house she shared with her father. It wasn't too late, and I knew that they would both be awake. When Charlie answered the door, he seemed shocked to see me.
“Mr. Swan, I must see your daughter,” I said, an edge in my voice that he had never heard before.
“Now, Mr. Masen, I'm not sure if that's entirely appropriate, especially at this time of night,” said Charlie.
“Edward, is that you?” said Bella from behind Charlie. She pushed past him, and when she saw my face, her expression went from happy to terrified in a split second. “What happened?”
Charlie was trying to take over the conversation again, but Bella shut the door in his face.
“Bella,” I started. I didn't know how to tell her. She and I had spent as much time as we possibly could together. There were nights, when I lived with my parents, that the both of us would sneak out and barely make it home before our parents woke up. I didn't know what I would do when I couldn't see her everyday.
“Edward, tell me what happened now,” she commanded.
“I need to do something first,” I said sharply. Without another word, I got down on one knee. “Isabella, will you marry me?” I pulled the ring from my pocket and held it out.
Tears sprang to her eyes. “I thought you'd never ask!”
I smiled as I slipped the ring onto her finger. It did seem overdue. I knew at least ten men my age who were already married with children.
She pulled me up and wrapped her arms around my neck. We stood there, silent, for what seemed like an eternity. I didn't want to move. I wanted time to stand still where it was. I didn't want to leave behind the flour in her hair, the cinnamon...
“What is it you needed to tell me?” she whispered.
I took a deep breath. She stepped back when I pulled the letter from my pocket.
“Bella, I've been drafted.”