Unexpected Changes and Broken Promises
Edward leaves Bella at the beginning of New Moon. Bella then moves to the East Coast to escape her past. As she takes the final steps to heal completely, the past, both hers and others, comes back to find her.
A huge thanks to Project Team Beta. Without them I wouldn't be here. I owe them more than mere thanks. This is my first fanfic ever so goes easy! Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
2. Unwanted Guests
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It was a rough night in an old house as it creaked and groaned in the cold winter wind. Passing trucks would cause the old house to rattle the paintings on the walls; and at times, even my teeth would clatter. The noises of the house were keeping me up. I had become accustomed to the familiar voices of my family as I slept. No voices were to be heard tonight. I realized I hadn't been alone in a house in years. All the creaking of the floor boards and the pipes moaning was disconcerting. At one point, I swore I heard footsteps on the stairs. Although, I can’t be sure as I was too scared to get up and look.
"There is nothing here; I am letting my imagination run wild. There is nothing here." I kept chanting over and over to myself. Wasn’t talking to yourself the first sign of insanity? I shrugged that thought off; I knew I was slowly going insane so why dwell on it. I kept the mantra up as my pulse quickened and my heart raced. I tried to will myself to believe those words; I was having difficulty with that, though I knew it was the truth. There was a time in my life when the thought of the supernatural moving up those steps would have brought me joy, not panic. Instead at that moment I was terrified. So instead of forcing myself to realize I was over reacting, instead of walking to the stairwell to confirm or deny my insanity, I did nothing. In other words, instead of doing the normal thing, I just lay in bed. As the hour passed I grew more and more anxious. I was sure that it was foot steps now. I could hear them throughout the house, even over all the other noises. I debated getting my phone and calling someone just to calm down but that would have meant me crawling out of bed. I was paralyzed by that thought. As every hair on my body stood on end and my stomach began to churn and my heart began to race, I threw the covers over my head and buried myself into my pillow trying to will myself to relax.
I missed Collin. When I first came to Rhode Island I was wound up tight. He had his own way of calming me and over the years I had spent many nights sleeping on his futon letting his soft snores lull me to sleep. I hadn’t realized how much I had relied on his presence until tonight. There was only one other person who could calm me and my heart broke a little more at that thought. I knew Jasper would have been able to relax me enough so I could actually sleep, albeit it in an entirely different and magical way. I started to think this whole idea was wrong. It kept bringing back the memories of my old family. It didn't help that so many of the things in this house were from the days when my old family was still human. I had fallen in love with the impossible, and when it had gotten tough, really tough, the impossible left. Yes, vampires craved blood, and yes Jasper had tried to take mine, those were just the facts. I never blamed him and I never would. That was the reality of the situation. After all it was only instinct on his part and besides that, entirely my fault.
In typical Bella fashion I had cut myself and Jasper had reacted in a very natural way, he had lunged at me. Although I had never once blamed him, I knew in my soul that Jasper did indeed blame himself. Add to that my stupid, over protective vampire boyfriend and there was no other solution to the problem. I knew that Edward had kept them from me for all these years. I just could not accept that Alice, my best friend, Emmett, my big brother, and Esme and Carlisle, my second parents, would just abandon me without as much as a goodbye. I could understand Jasper; he blamed himself so he would stay away. Rosalie hated me, so much so that her not contacting me was pretty much a given. I was sure she was simply relieved to be rid of me. No, the blame lay with one person and one person alone. ‘Edward!’ I silently screamed. It was all his fault. My crazy life and my current situation should have been his burden to bear.
As pathetic as my life had become, I tended to blame him for the whole fiasco. He always thought he knew what was best. To this day I still think it was all a huge mistake. I had given up everything to be with him and lost myself in the process. Part of me wasn’t sure if the break up was the only mistake that had been made. Perhaps the entire relationship had been one, after all if it hadn’t happened maybe I wouldn’t be so depressed. His parting words to me were always at the forefront of my mind. I was his “distraction.” I had a hard time accepting the fact that I had allowed myself to be played like that.
I still missed all of the Cullens deeply, and not a day went by that I didn't think of at least one of them. I had recently decided not to focus on the past so that I could live in the present. It had been almost a year since I had made that declaration to myself. I thought it may have been working. In the beginning, when he had first left, I had clung to the hope that part of Edward still loved me. But as the years wore on, I began to believe what he said all that time ago in the thick Washington forest. I had merely been a distraction.
Moving on had been tough, and I still wasn't healed, hell I hadn’t even really tried for a better part of four years. My mind began to wander back to my junior year of high school and the summer after. I shook my head to rid myself of the memories. No matter how I felt, it was time to move on. They had left me and none of them were coming back. It was time to truly put the past behind and move on with my life. Although that was proving easier said then done.
I finally fell asleep around four and slept for exactly forty five minutes before my alarm went off. Cursing my idiocy, I turned the buzzing bastard off and I drifted back to sleep for exactly thirty six minutes when it went off again. It continued to randomly go off a few more times until I gave up and unplugged the thing. I had briefly thought of tossing it out the window but decided that it was far too cold for that. I would definitely be unable to sleep if the cold winter morning touched my face.
I started debating with myself as to why the alarm wouldn’t stop going off. After some far fetched theories, most of them revolving around ghosts, I concluded that I must have been too tired to turn the thing off properly. It had never worked right and I'm sure it got bounced around in the move. I had packed it in with my shoes. By seven I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to sleep anymore. Between the weird noises, the bastard alarm clock, and the bright sun streaming in both windows I was awake. Awake but caffeine deprived. I went to the kitchen, was at the coffee pot when I remembered that I was alone. I was more tired than I had originally thought and I would have to make my own coffee. I sucked at making coffee. I searched for my purse and my keys. Thank God for drive through.
Bracing myself for the cold January morning I raced out of the garage and dove into my truck to get it started. It was freezing and the beast protested. After the third try I finally got the engine to turn over and ran back into the house to wait for the heat to kick in. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to leave just then. My old truck needed coddling. He had to be warm to move or he would just stall out as I tried to turn out of the driveway. I still can't believe he had made the cross country trip without a major blow up. I owed Jacob Black a HUGE thank you. Who knew someone so young could turn out to be such a talented mechanic?
Ten minutes later I was headed down the road in my pj's and a baseball cap to the Dunkin Donuts on the corner. That's the best part of living in Rhode Island. There's a Dunkin on every corner, and if you live here, you know where they all are. The official drink of the state should be coffee. I couldn't be sure but I thought that it may actually be. I had lived near the coffee capital of the world and somehow never craved the stuff. Moving here had changed that. So much had changed since I left the sleepy town of Forks, Washington. I headed to the drive- thru on auto pilot and mindlessly ordered.
"Medium, Iced, Regular" I mechanically replied at the speaker to the voice who had asked if I wanted a flatbread sandwich. It was standard jargon for this state. Apparently I was in another country though. I had to explain to the cashier twice that yes, I really did want an iced coffee in January and that regular was cream and two sugars. Did she need a translator? Or did I move to a foreign country? I really was only a half hour from my uncle's. I know the state was small but I swear I didn't see a ‘Welcome to Massachusetts’ sign on my way to the coffee shop.
It took far too long to get my caffeine and of course it was screwed up. It was way to light to be regular cream. Ah, well. I popped the straw in and made a mental note to never hit this drive through again. I'd try the one on the other corner tomorrow. I took the left and wound my way back down the vaguely familiar streets to my new home. It was Saturday. School started up again on Monday, as did work, and I had a lot to do if I wanted to be settled by then. I absentmindedly began to twirl my hair, I was tired.
As I neared the house I finally took a long swig of my coffee. The only thing that stopped me from spitting it out was the fact that I was in the comforting warmth of my truck. “Ugh, don't tell me this is decaf!" Great, now I was talking to myself. That was the first sign of insanity. This day was going to suck! I groaned and made the final turn into the driveway. I put the truck in park and sat in the driveway going over my to-do list in my head. There was a LOT to be done and I had no clue where to begin. This was mostly because I didn’t want to begin. I wanted someone else to do it for me, but I didn't have anyone to pull a Tom Sawyer on, so I took the key and turned the lock next to the garage door. It groaned to life. I walked in sucking down the coffee and regretting not getting a large. It was already halfway gone and it wasn't even eight yet. Time to get to work; I was still thinking of who I could get to white wash the fence for me. Although in this case, it was more like disinfecting the house than actually painting.
Uncle John was right. The kitchen was a disaster. Grease stains and stickiness of meals long cooked coupled with months of abandonment had taken their toll. I hadn't noticed before but the faucet had a slow leak. Or was it turned on purposefully? Only one way to find out. I turned the taps. The dripping stopped. It was left on purposely, probably to stop the pipes from freezing. I had decided to investigate that theory thoroughly before I got to work being the master procrastinator that I am. Unfortunately that led to the realization that the pipes weren't even the biggest issue.
The house had a rodent problem and I had a weak stomach. Ugh... I wondered how much an exterminator would cost. I exhaled. I had like $200 to my name. The rest of my hard earned money was now in the hands of the Bursar of Rhode Island College. If I wanted to eat this month I was going to have to do this myself. But could I con someone into helping? This was worse than I ever could have imagined.
I had to run to the store. I needed bleach and trash bags. And dish soap, LOTS of soap. I would have to wash all the dishes by hand to remove any trace of the intruders. There was no dishwasher. This kitchen looked like it belonged in 1982. The only modernization had been some newer appliances. Newer for the early eighties but still at least twenty years old. It did have a certain charm and I knew that once it was cleaned up it would be a fun place to cook in, albeit a bit cramped. I laughed at that thought though. I hadn't used a stove since I had moved out here.
Charlie, my Dad, had thought that I was an amazing cook, but after eating my aunt’s meals all these years I lacked the confidence I needed to ever attempt to create in the kitchen again. I pulled myself out of my daydream and decided to get to work, starting with the stove. As I moved it away from the wall I was relieved that my less than stellar cooking skills had sent me to BK last night. It was a wreck. There was clear evidence that many, many little disease factories lived here, not the least of which was the chewed up mess of wires trailing from the back of the appliance to the old outlet two feet away. How was this house still standing? It was a disaster waiting to happen! I needed help. I needed someone to get this stove out of here. Crap! I needed a stove now too. I wondered how those microwaveable macaroni and cheese's were. Guess I was going to find out.
Suddenly this free rent thing didn't seem so free. I was going to need help and fast. At that moment, I heard the front door open. That was timing! It had to be Sue, popping in to check on me. I smiled as I went to the door, at least she could help get this thing to the curb. As I walked through the dining room I could smell a cigarette burning. Why was she smoking in the house? I didn't even realize that she did smoke. I certainly had never seen her. I would have to let her know that I didn't want that in the house. I was going to have to work too hard to get this place clean I wasn’t about to allow others to ruin it with nicotine stains. I looked at the walls. They were yellow. I wondered if stores gave a bulk discount on bleach.
I got to the door but it was shut. Huh? I didn't hear her go upstairs and I would have seen her if she went into the dining room. I had just come from that direction.
"Sue?" I called out. Suddenly uneasy, I was sure I had heard the door opening. I was even more confident of my sense of smell. I knew I had smelled a cigarette. I searched the house. I was growing more anxious with each passing moment. Upstairs, the living room, even the basement. Nothing. As the search continued I could feel the panic well up into each and every pore of my body. I kept searching as I felt my blood pressure and heart rate rise. On my third trek through the house I finally realized I should check for her car. I wasn't surprised to see that the only vehicle in the driveway was mine. So I was letting an old house drive me crazy. I wondered what would happen if this got any worse? If you're crazy, can you commit yourself? The last time I was threatened with the asylum I had run. I now had a vague feeling of how Alice must have felt when her parents had dropped her off at the mental hospital all those years ago. It was not pleasant. Between the amount of work I had to do and my imagination working overtime I decided it was time to call in reinforcements.
I thought of calling Sean and stopped. He was in Boston for school. If I called him he would come. I knew he would. But it was a 90 minute drive on a Saturday and closer to two hours in the Monday morning rush. If I called him to come down he would stay here until he absolutely had to leave. I knew I was imagining the noises but I was afraid that he would think I was crazy if I told him about them. He already thought I was a little off. I never really talked about my past with him, and he still had no idea about Edward. I had only ever told him that he had been my first boyfriend, and not a word more. I figured that my new boyfriend wouldn't want to hear that I already met the love of my life, and that he was not it. Not that I didn't love Sean but he could never compare to Edward. After a few drinks which were an inevitable part of a Saturday with us I knew I would tell him. The only time I would divulge anything from my past was when I had had too much to drink. I was extremely grateful that I had outgrown the whole sleep talking thing. I still dreamt of Edward nearly every night and this house was bringing up too many memories. If he did come over I would give away too much. Not something I could risk. While I would edit, it would give him the excuse he wanted to move in with me. To protect me. Like I was some sort of weakling. Not cool and certainly not necessary. I would not allow someone that much control over me again. No matter how much they thought they loved me. I had been through that before and wasn't going to allow it again.
I had never lived on my own before. I had lived with my parents, and then moved in with my Aunt and Uncle. I had even tried the dorms at school, and a two bedroom apartment with four other girls. I had only managed a few weeks with that last one. Four girls and one bathroom is my own personal version of hell. I wanted to try this. I needed to do this on my own. I could do this. I steeled myself for the task at hand and began to mull over who to call.