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Forget Me Not

Summary:
The Cullens have left Forks, leaving Bella broken hearted and alone until a near-fatal car accident temporarily erases her memories. What happens when the one person she finds comfort with happens to be the brother of the man she can't remember? Will she regain her memories of Edward or will she find a new love with Jasper?


Notes:
This story starts around the beginning of New Moon. Rated NR-17. B/E and B/J. DISCLAIMER: All characters are the sole property of Stephanie Meyers but the story is my own.


21. Realization

Rating 3.4/5   Word Count 2830   Review this Chapter

Jasper’s POV

Life was hell. The darkness that drove me away from my family was cruel and relentless, feeding away on my soul with each passing day. When I first arrived in Alaska, I was certain that I could beat the urge to revert back to my old lifestyle, but a month passed and my thirst for human blood was worse than ever. Patrick offered to show me his way of life on more than one occasion, usually when I was at the peak of my struggle. It was easy to refuse in the beginning, but lately, my strength was fading fast and the darkness was devouring my senses. Without Bella, there didn’t seem to be a good enough reason to deny my thirst. My promise to Carlisle haunted me each time I came close to giving in to my cravings. There were times when I thought about calling home for some much needed moral support, but my pride and shame prevented me from getting further than opening my phone.

I paced the short length of my room. My bags were still partially packed and tucked neatly in the corner. I couldn’t bring myself to empty them, fearing that doing so would make it too easy to get comfortable with the living situation that I had taken up temporarily. The room was fairly empty, consisting of a bed, dresser, and a wooden chair that had seen better days. I hung a heavy wool blanket over the small window when I first arrived in order to block the sunlight from splashing in. The darkness was comforting to me.

I turned on the small lamp on the dresser and opened the top drawer where I kept Bella’s pajamas. Her scent had faded completely from the fabric, just as she was fading from my life. Each day that passed took a piece of the hope I carried with me. I knew it was wrong to expect her to wait for me to get better before she decided on where her heart belonged, so I stopped believing that I still had a chance to keep her. There was no way of knowing how much longer it would be before I was well enough to return to Forks and, judging by my lack of progress, it didn’t look like I would ever make it home. As painful as it was, I had to accept the fact that it was time for me to let her go.

Bella’s POV

I didn’t sleep very well. For hours, I sat and read over Jasper’s letter, my heart aching with each line. I will never leave you…there is nothing I wouldn’t give to be with you. Those words hurt me the most. I trusted him, believed that he would never leave…but he did leave. His face haunted my dreams, reminding me of the time when I finally felt like I knew where I wanted to be, where I belonged. None of that mattered now. Jasper made his decision and there was nothing I could do to bring him back.

My phone vibrated on the nightstand, its obnoxious buzzing equivalent to nails being forced down a chalkboard. I snatched it up and saw Emmet’s name flash on the caller ID. With a groan, I flipped it open, ready to unleash the wrath of my sleep-deprived nerves on him.

“Emmet, it’s seven o’clock in the morning,” I moaned.

“I know. It been a while since you and I hung out so get dressed, I am on my way to pick you up.”

“Look, I don’t want…” The phone clicked and went silent. Great. He was coming whether I wanted him to or not. I quickly got ready and headed down the stairs. Charlie was stretched out on the couch, sipping down a cup of coffee.

“Where are you off to this early?” he asked, looking away from the TV for a brief moment.

“Emmet is coming to pick me up.”

“Bella, we need to talk.” I rolled my eyes and dropped down into the chair beside the couch.

“I hope this isn’t going to be another one of your embarrassing lectures,” I grunted. He glared at me, obviously not pleased with my sarcasm.

“What is going on with you lately?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean. You insist on spending all your free time with those Cullen boys when all it seems to be doing is making you miserable.”

“I’m not miserable!” I snapped.

“Cut the crap, Bells. You don’t think I hear you cry yourself to sleep damn near every night?” My stomach churned. I guess I wasn’t as quiet as I thought.

“I don’t want to talk about this.” I jumped to my feet and headed for the door.

“Isabella Swan, you hold it right there! You may be eighteen but I am still your father and as long as you live under my roof…”

“What, Charlie? Are you going to try to force me to move back to Arizona? I won’t go!” The heat of my anger scorched my cheeks as tears filled my eyes. Charlie sighed, the sternness fading from his face.

“No. Bells, I am no expert on love but I know a broken heart when I see one. I hate that you are so unhappy and I don’t want to see you go through that depression again.”

“I’ll be fine. Emmet is waiting for me. I’ll see you later.” I rushed out the door before he could get another word in. Once I was in the Jeep, Emmet slammed on the gas, heading towards town. I didn’t care to ask where we were going, anywhere was better than being at home. I knew Charlie was concerned but nothing was going to make him feel better.

“He’s just worried about you.” Emmet glanced over at me. I shrugged my shoulders and stared out the window, not paying attention to the changing scenery.

“So, why exactly did you feel the need to drag me out of my house this early?”

“I thought it was time for us to have a heart to heart. Charlie’s not the only one that has noticed your dark moods.” It was at times like these when I found myself irritated with their ability to hear everything, although it was a bit surprising to see Emmet look so concerned. Being serious was not something anyone expected from him.

“Ugh. Not you too!” I groaned. We pulled into the hardware store parking lot and he quickly turned the engine off.

“I need to get a few things for Esme and then you and I are going to talk,” he stated matter-of-factly. Arguing with him would be pointless so, with a heavy sigh, I gave a nod of surrender. We went into the store and picked up a few cans of paint along with half a dozen other items that were on the list Esme had given him.

“More remodeling?” I mumbled as we headed to the cash register.

“Of course, you know Esme and here never ending need to improve the house.” My stomach churned when the thought that she might be redecorating Jasper’s room popped into my mind.

“Which room?” I could barely get the words out. Emmet laughed at my uneasiness but stopped when he caught my icy glare.

“Relax, she is redoing her bedroom.”

I let out a sigh of relief as I followed him out to the Jeep. He tossed the bags in the back and then turned to me.

“Let’s go for a walk,” he said.

“Okay.” We followed the sidewalk, neither of us uttering a word until we passed the grocery store. I didn’t know what to say so I was relieved when he made the effort to break the silence.

“Look, Bella, I know you’re probably tired of hearing it, but I am worried about you.”

“I’m fine, Em.” He crossed his arms and stared down at me, calling my bluff. “Okay, okay. I’m not fine. I doubt anyone would be happy in my situation.”

“Just between you and me…who are you going to chose, Jasper or Edward?”

“I don’t know. Since Jasper has decided not to come back it hardly leaves much of a decision for me to make.” I felt the tearing in my chest and quickly continued down the sidewalk, not wanting Emmet to see me fall apart. He followed me in silence until we got to the edge of town and turned to head back to the Jeep.

“Don’t count Jasper out just yet.” I froze, unsure of what he was saying. I glanced up at him and noticed that he was staring across the street. When I followed his stare, I saw a young, dark-haired girl in a knee-length, red dress.

“You are such a pig! I am telling your wife!” I teased him, knowing that he was terrified of getting on Rosalie’s bad side. Emmet grabbed my shoulders and turned me to face the girl.

“Can you see the tattoo on her back?” he asked with a serious tone. I squinted at the inked markings on her back. It was a heart with wings and the words ‘Love is Irrational’.

“Okay I see it, what’s your point?” I turned to him, hoping that this random girl hadn’t noticed us gawking at her. Emmet rolled his eyes at me, as if I was supposed to know what he was thinking.

“The point is that there is nothing safe or easy when it comes to love. That is half the fun of it. Love can make the sane go crazy and turn the strongest person weak. I don’t doubt that you love both Jasper and Edward, but only one of them has that affect on you. Bella, it’s time to decide.” His depth and poetic advice caught me off-guard for a moment.

“You’re right,” I whispered, glancing again at the girl’s tattoo- letting the words sink in.

“Okay, enough of this mushy shit! Do you think she’d give me her number?”

“Emmet!” I punched his shoulder, knowing that it would have no affect on him.

“What? She’s hot!”

“That’s it! I’m telling Rosalie!” I threw my hands up and started walking back to the Jeep. Emmet followed, begging me not to say anything to Rosalie. I waited until we got close to the hardware store before I would promise never to mention the incident.

The ride to the Cullens’ house went fast, mostly because I was deep in thought, trying to make sense of my tangled love life. The longer I thought about it, the more I felt confused. I took a deep breath and cleared my head of the lists of pros and cons that I was mentally creating for both Jasper and Edward. Emmet’s words lingered in the back of my mind like encrypted hints to a difficult riddle. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes, wishing that someone would make this decision for me. With my mind completely cleared, I thought about my desire to become immortal. When I tried to picture the one that would change me, it wasn’t Edward that I saw…it was Jasper. Although I understood the reason for Edward not wanting to change me, it made me realize that my relationship with him was filled with caution and safety. There was nothing irrational about it, other than the fact that he was a vampire and I was human. My thoughts shifted to Jasper and the brief relationship we had. There was never a time when he wouldn’t do everything he could to express his love for me, even if it was dangerous.

“Oh, God, it’s Jasper! It’s always been Jasper,” I blurted out, suddenly realizing that we were parked in front of the house.

“Well?” Emmet grinned at me eagerly.

“Well, what?”

“What are you going to do about it?” he asked, hopping out of the Jeep.

“I guess I’m going to have to figure out a way to get to Alaska.” I stumbled onto the driveway, feeling my head spin. Alice danced over to us with a grin plastered across her face.

“Charlie has agreed to let you spend the weekend with us, which is good because I don’t think the Jet I chartered to take us to Alaska could get you back home in time for dinner!” she squealed, hopping up and down with excitement.

“Wait! This is all happening so fast. I still need to talk to Edward.”

“You guys can talk on the flight. He insisted on coming with us.” I wasn’t looking forward to the conversation with him, but was at least grateful that he already knew what I had decided.

“I’m going too,” Emmet huffed. Alice rolled her eyes and nodded.

“So, when exactly are we supposed to be leaving?” I asked nervously.

“In an hour. I’ll take you to Charlie’s house so you can get some clothes. We’ll head to the airport from there. Emmet, you and Edward can meet us there.”

“I’ll take her to Charlie’s,” Edward offered as he came out of the house. I glanced at Alice, slightly concerned that he might try to sabotage our plans. Her eyes glazed over for a brief moment and then she nodded reassuringly.

I climbed into the Volvo, feeling more than uneasy when Edward got in and started the engine. He didn’t say a word to me or even acknowledge the fact that I was there as we drove to Charlie’s house. I tried to be sympathetic about his feelings, knowing this had to be painful for him.

It only took fifteen minutes for me to pack and assure Charlie that I was fine. He must have noticed the change of my emotions because he didn’t seem to be concerned in the slightest. I shoved my bags into the backseat of the Volvo and watched anxiously as we pulled away from the house. After ten minutes on the road, Edward finally spoke.

“Are you sure you want to do this, Bella?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“Yes. I wanted to tell you myself, but I guess Alice got to you first.”

“What are you going to do if he refuses to come back?” My heart skipped a beat. In all the commotion, I never stopped to take into consideration the fact that Jasper might not want to be with me anymore.

“I don’t know,” I whispered, too terrified to think about that possibility. Edward gripped the steering wheel tighter, nearly breaking it.

“I don’t understand, Bella. You called out for me when you thought Laurent was going to kill you. That has to mean something.”

“I called out for Charlie,” I confessed, quickly feeling horrible for adding to his pain.

“Were you also lying when you said you loved me?” He slammed the shifter into fifth gear.

“No, Edward. A part of me will always love you…”

“Just not enough for you to choose to be with me. I would die for you, Bella. Don’t you know that?” My emotions spilled out through my angry tears. I knew my decision would hurt him, but I never thought he would guilt me about it.

“You had a chance to love me, but you chose to leave instead of staying and fighting for us!” I shouted.

“Jasper left you too. At least I came back. I’m right here, ready to fight for us.”

“It’s too late.” I stifled my sobs. “Jasper left because he had no other choice.”

“Please, Bella. Give us a chance… just give it a little time.”

“I’m sorry, Edward. Time can only erase so much.” He didn’t say anything more and I was grateful or the silence. I already felt nervous about seeing Jasper again without adding the stress of Edward’s broken heart.

We got to the airport with very little time to spare. Alice and Emmet were waiting impatiently at the gate that led to the private Jet. When I went to retrieve my bags, Edward grabbed my arm and stared at me.

“I’m sorry, Bella. I wasn’t being fair to you.”

“It’s okay, I know this is hard for you,” I sighed, unable to stay mad at him.

“Just promise me one thing…”

“What?”

“If Jasper decides to stay in Alaska…consider giving us another chance?”

“I promise.” He released my arm and grabbed my bags.

We filed into the Jet and within twenty minutes, we were on our way to Alaska. Alice sat with me while Emmet and Edward settled into their seats across the aisle.

“Does Jasper know we are coming?” I asked Alice. She shook her head with a blank expression.

“Don’t worry, Bella. I told him I would drag him back if he tried to stay away,” Emmet said with a smirk.

I nodded silently. There was no turning back now, I just hoped that Jasper would be happy to see us and still loved me enough to come back to Forks, where he belonged.