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Unexpected Changes and Broken Promises

Summary:
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.


Notes:
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.


4. Blast from the Past

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2645   Review this Chapter

My head was still pounding from the debauchery of the weekend. At least my stomach had finally stopped churning, that was a small consolation. I had spent the better part of Sunday and most of today praying to the porcelain God. Unfortunately, the hangover from hell had already caused me to miss my first three classes, and it was only the first day. I decided not to go for four, and so I began the tortuous drive to my night class.

I rushed into creative writing three minutes late. The room was a converted closet in the library, and I had managed to get extremely lost in the labyrinth of rooms on the fourth floor. To make matters worse, twenty-one freshmen stared at me as I tripped my way through the door. “Smooth, Swan” I thought to myself as I took the last available seat. Front and center. Perfect.

“Where was I?” the professor continued, glaring at me. Apparently this guy was one for punctuality. Way to make a first impression. I felt my face burn and knew my cheeks were giving me away.

“Ah, yes. Attendance is mandatory, and it will be taken promptly at 7pm., if you are not here by then, you will be marked absent. I will not disrupt my lecture for inconsiderate students.” He was staring me down at this point. Weren’t English professors supposed to be laid back? Did this guy miss the memo?

“As you can see by the syllabus on your desk, there is an assignment due every Monday. We will take these next fifteen weeks to enhance your writing skills, and by the end, you will have reviewed fourteen of your peers’ work, written fourteen different pieces, and discussed as a group fourteen different assignments from your classmates that I deem worthy of dissecting. I do not give A’s easily, however, those pieces that the class studies will automatically receive that grade.”

I was secretly hoping that at least fourteen other people in this class were better writers than I was. I didn’t care about the grade and definitely did not want the attention. I knew this class was going to be bad; it’s why I had waited so long to take it. My imagination had left me years ago; I hadn’t even picked up a novel since I left Forks. This would be the hardest class of my college career, I had known that. I just hadn’t counted on a hard-ass for a professor to boot.

I forced myself to pay attention as the professor began to take roll. I knew that Abby had said she was taking this class, but she had a habit of dropping classes before they began. We had met at orientation, yet she was still a sophomore while I would walk in May. I hadn’t seen her since fall semester and, in typical Abby fashion, she had lost her phone, so I knew the only way to find her was to pay attention.

“Anderson, Eric?” A goofy kid with glasses nodded. Must be the name, I mused to myself. Every Eric I had ever encountered looked like an AV guy.

“Brown, Erin” the professor continued. A model-like brunette timidly raised her hand. Still no sign of Abby, but he hadn’t reached the D’s yet. I had to focus so I didn’t miss him calling Deluca.

“Cullen, Alice.” Wait? What? Was that possible? Could Edward’s sister and my former best friend be in class with me?

“Cullen, Alice.” The professor stated again.

Shock overtook my body. Was this even possible? It was a night class, but this was Rhode Island, not Forks. True, it was a part of New England, a region known for its unpredictable weather, b,,but it had sun-filled days. Lots of sun-filled days. Vampires couldn’t come out in the sun. Ever. Proof again that this was just a different girl with the same name. After all, I reasoned, Cullen wasn’t such an unusual name. It could have been a coincidence or a shared name, but that would require some luck on my part. It was at the same moment that I determined this to be a bizarre coincidence that my world came crashing down around me.

“Here” a voice that sounded so musical and all too familiar finally answered. Luck, apparently, was not my friend today. With that one word my world crumbled. My palms moistened, my stomach clenched, and my heart took off. I had to escape the confines of that room and fast. I knew from experience I had about three minutes before I passed out. Not the type of first day I wanted. So I did what I had become an expert at since the last time I saw any of the Cullens. I ran.

Forty-five minutes later, I emerged from the Ladies room much calmer than [BB1] I had expected. I had made my decision and had felt immensely better in the few minutes since. It was simple really; I would switch into another class. Although, this would just make my financial struggles that much worse, and my boss would not be happy either. He had been counting on me not having any classes on Tuesday and Thursday. So much for the full time hours I had been promised. Really, there was nothing I could do about it. It had taken me this long to get my life back together. I wasn’t going to take a step back now. This was a decent-sized campus; hell, I barely saw any of my friends while I was here. I usually only saw them if we had class together, and the English department was one of the largest on campus, so that too was rare. I could avoid one person for three months. This would be easy.

I turned the corner to exit the building and saw her staring at me. I shook my head. If she had been a normal person, this would have been weird. As it was, I jumped at the sight of her. I’d nearly forgotten about the enhanced senses and paranormal abilities.

A war erupted in my mind between turning and walking away, and confronting my former best friend. I could leave, but I knew I wouldn’t get far. If she was anything like I’d remembered, she wouldn’t give up. Facing her now would be easier in the long run, like pulling off the Band-Aid quickly, although, I was one to let them fall off on their own.

So, I decided to face my tormenter and brace myself for what she had to say.

“What do you want, Alice?”

“Oh, Bella!” Alice said as she ensnared me in a tight hug. The marble skin and icy embrace alone was enough to make me cringe. The fact that she was crushing me came in a close second.

“Alice….I can’t….can’t…” I said between gasping for air. I would be black and blue by morning.

“Oh, sorry. It’s been a while since….well…it’s been a while…”

That’s when I lost it. The composure I thought I had mustered disappeared. She shouldn’t be here. I had finally put the pieces of my life back together. I had finally managed to start dating again only last year. My life may have been just a shell of what it had once been, but it was mine. The anger boiled over, and I threw my temper into what I said next. I was determined to get it out. I’d let her say her piece once I was done and then avoid her for the rest of the semester, should she choose to stay. It wouldn’t be the first time she had run from me. I was staying. I couldn’t really afford the change in hours,and I had promised myself that I wouldn’t run from my life any more. Not for anyone, especially not for a Cullen. So much for making a decision and sticking with it, that was a first for me and hopefully a last.

I turned my gaze into her topaz eyes, I was angry, my blood was boiling, and the Cullens were not going to toy with me anymore. Inhaling a deep breath, I began my tirade.

“Again, what do you want Alice? Because I really don’t have time for you, or your family’s sick games. What,did you get bored? Like your brother, thought you could search me out and use me as a distraction?” I made air quotes with my hands, hopefully getting the point across that this was what Edward had said to me.

“Needed a change for a few months? Thought you could go seek out the family pet? You left me. ALL OF YOU left me! That was five years ago, Alice! It has taken me nearly that long just to piece my life together. I’m almost there. I was left devastated. I finally just began to move on, accepting the fact that the Cullen’s are a bunch of liars that I fell in love with. I finally accepted the fact that I would never see any of you again. I loved all of you; to be honest, a part of me still does. I thought that you left me to protect me, and I could deal with that. But you being here? It proves that I really was naïve. You used me. You left me. And you waltz back into my life like this? My life is not a game, Alice, and I am not your toy!”

I was shaking now. I was so hurt, but I still loved her. I truly had thought they left for my own good. I had been so stupid, everything Edward had said was true. This had just confirmed it. It was then I realized that Alice wasn’t talking, so I guess I had to do something to speed this up.

“Alice, say whatever it is you need to say and then leave. I’ll see you in class on Monday and I expect you to respect me enough to keep your distance. Come May, I never want to see you again.” I had begun to calm down. I was ready to hear her out and be done with this.

“Bella,” she began softly, almost too softly for me to hear. “Bella, I’m sorry, I didn’t know---”

I cut her off. “Really? The all-knowing psychic Alice didn’t know? Didn’t know what? That I was his distraction? That he never loved me? That my life is nothing like it once was? Or that I was here? Because really Alice, ‘I didn’t know’ is one sorry and pathetic excuse coming from you. “

I stopped then;, judging by the confused look on her face, she really didn’t know. It hit me then; she didn’t know. She didn’t know because she didn’t look. My cheeks began to blaze red. She truly didn’t care about me. It was time to leave. I needed my bed and a box of Kleenex.

“Bella, please let me explain,” she begged. Her acting skills were good. She looked heartbroken.

“Alice, there’s no need. I jumped to conclusions.” I was so embarrassed, and I knew my face was giving me away. “Go about your life, and leave me be. Please.” I turned and began the walk to my truck.

She was there, fifteen minutes later, when I went to unlock the beast. Of course she was there. This was probably another game to her.

“Bella?” She sounded so broken. Why was she doing this? This was not part of the plan. This was just cruel. I missed her, but if I let her in, she would just leave again. I didn’t know if I would come back from it this time. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t.

“Alice, please, I can’t do this again. You’ll leave and I’ll be broken more than I already am. “

“I won’t leave.“ She was pleading, and I was losing my strength. “Can’t we just talk?”

“Fine. Get in. You can talk while I drive home. Then you need to leave. Agreed?” My tone was acidic. It had to be. This was harder than I thought.

Turning off campus and all through the short drive to the highway, Alice remained quiet. I couldn’t be sure why. She was running out of time. Her mouth kept opening and shutting, like she was going to say something but then would change her mind. Apparently she was at a loss for words. I never thought I would see that day. Then again, I never thought I would see her again.

Finally, about ten minutes from home, I realized that I would have to say something. I racked my brain for something to say and came up with only one word. “Why?” I whispered, knowing full well she could hear me.

“All the whys?” Alice asked. She already knew the answer.

“Yes, Alice. All the whys.”

And so she began. She started five years ago, the day she left with Jasper. It had been Edward who had asked them all to leave and asked her not to look. It had been Edward who had ripped her family apart. Emmett and Rosalie had moved to England with Esme and Carlisle. Last time Alice had heard from Edward, he was somewhere in South America, but that had been a few years ago. Alice and Jasper had come to Rhode Island just this year for a change of scenery. According to Alice, this was going to be the most sunless year the state had seen in over a century. Great.

Not that I understood any of this. I didn’t understand why she left or why she never looked for me. She was supposed to be my best friend, and she left. I just didn’t get it, and I told her as much.

“Bella, when we left we thought we were doing the right thing. It broke Edward’s heart. He still loves you. We all do. But my vision of you has never changed. And since we have eternity, I knew it was only a matter of time.”

I was stuck on only one part of her explanation. “You have eternity, Alice. You all do.” My meaning was clear as was her reaction.

“I thought by letting this play out it would make us all stronger. You will be one of us some day, whether you believe it or not, in every sense of the word.”

My eyes widened in disbelief. It just didn’t make sense that she would say that. Nothing in my life was putting me on a path to immortality. Mental hospital, yes, but not a part of the Cullen household. The conviction of her words was outstanding. Alice believed it to be true, and it as the old Cullen saying goes, no one ever bet against Alice. Although, there was always a first for everything, even Alice being wrong.

“It still happens, Bella. No matter what I can or can’t see, I still see you as one of us and with Edward. You will be a Cullen one day, the only thing that changes is the when not the if.”

It finally began to sink in. “But how? Who will change me? Carlisle? Why?”

“No, Bella.” Alice replied, so softly I had to strain to hear her. “Not Carlisle. Edward.”

“But Alice, he doesn’t want me; I was just a temporary thing.”

It was then I felt the cold air as my door opened without me turning the handle. I looked to see who it was and realized that the subject of my nightmares and my dreams was standing just outside my truck. I could feel my heart start to race and my face flush. He was really here. I was speechless, confused, and on the verge of tears. As I was ready to completely lose it, he finally spoke.

“That’s not true.”