Sunday, February 28, 2010



6 Months Later

To say that everything after the catastrophic wedding/ break up day was all butterflies and rainbows would be a huge lie.

I had Edward and he was the amazing partner I had always imagined he would be. He anticipated my wants and needs. After knowing me for over twenty years, he basically knew everything about me. We had been given the ability to skip the introduction phase of the relationship and get straight to the love and admiration phase. He was an amazing lover and I slapped myself more than a few times for thinking that anyone else was right for me.

He would send flowers to my office for no reason or show up unannounced to take me to lunch. I periodically received text messages throughout the day just to say he loved me. He was always amazing me with his attention to romance and details. He often told me that I had completed his life by making the decision to be with him and that he was going to spend every day showing me I had made the right decision.

We spent holidays together with out families. It seemed that everyone had known we were perfect for each other and they were just waiting for it to happen. His parents had always treated me like I was one of their own and vice-versa with my parents. Although we hadn't even began to talk about marriage, our families consistently asked us about having babies. Edward and I had talked about it and wanted to have kids someday but we wanted to have time to enjoy our relationship. There were twenty years of pent up feelings that we were finally getting to live out. I certainly wasn't ready to give that up yet.

The honeymoon Jacob and I were set to embark on was to begin the day after the wedding. It was an all expense paid week in Jamaica. I had all of the travel documents and plane tickets with me at the church. I knew there was no way Jacob was going and even if he wanted to he couldn't get on the plane without his ticket information that I had. Everyone had decided that I needed to go with or without Jacob. My family had spent a lot of hard earned money to pay for that trip and they were not going to let it go to waste. After a ton of calls and a little more money my father had convinced them to change all of Jacob's information over to Edward's. So, Edward and I were going on the honeymoon planned for myself and Jacob. It was slightly disturbing and a little crazy to say the least but who were we to turn down a free week in Jamaica?

The vacation in Jamaica was beautiful. We swam with the dolphins, laid on the beach, had breakfast and dinner delivered to our room. The room alone was like a small mansion. The bed and bathroom were nicer than in my own home. The water was crystal clear and it was the most relaxing week of my life.

I had a minor break down when we arrived. At the resort check in, the lady welcomed us as Mr. and Mrs. Black. Awkward barely covers it.

Edward didn't know what to say and I broke out in tears. I wasn't crying because Jacob wasn't there and I wasn't Mrs. Black, I was crying because I felt like I had wasted so much time with Jacob when I could've spent that time with Edward. I shed tears of joy because of the fact that I would never be Mrs. Black and the fact that I knew I would never endure the problems with Edward that I had endured with Jacob. They were two totally different species of men. I thanked my lucky stars over and over again that I had that epiphany at the church.

At the end of that wonderful week Edward and I had to come back to the real world and deal with the issues we had forgotten about. I would have to deal with Jacob. I had to move my belongings out of his home. I would have to tell him that I had gone on the honeymoon without him. I just hoped that no one had told him about Edward yet. Edward was none of his concern and I didn't want to hear anything he had to say about the situation.

When we arrived home, I checked my voice mails. My mom had called to tell me that Jacob hired a moving company to move all of my belongings to her house. That made me immensely happy. I wouldn't have to deal with Jacob after all.

I stayed with my parents for a while as I figured out where I was going to live on a permanent basis. Luckily, I had a good amount of money in savings and my job paid me well. It wasn't long until I was out looking for apartments. Edward always accompanied me. His excuse was that he didn't want me living in a dangerous area, but no matter how upscale the buildings were, he always told me it wasn't the right place for me.

I secretly thought that he thought none of the places were good enough for me because they weren't his apartment. I wasn't going to ask to live with him. If he wanted me to live with him he was going to have to ask. I would have moved in with him at the drop of a hat. Some people may have thought it was us moving too quickly and that I was rebounding. That would have been true had our relationship been like everyone else's but it wasn't. Our situation was unique.

What was there to fear about living with Edward? Nothing. I knew all of his secrets and he knew mine. I knew exactly what type of guy he was and I knew that he would never dream of hurting me. After all the drunken nights I spent with him when he could have easily taken advantage of me and he never did, there was nothing to fear of building a life with Edward.

Just as I was going to put a deposit down on a beautiful 3 bedroom apartment in the nicest part of town, Edward stopped me. He met me at the leasing office and asked if I would consider living in that apartment with him. Of course, I accepted. It was a new apartment for both us where we could build new memories together without drudging up old memories of past relationships.

It seemed as though my life couldn't get any better. Edward and I were walking to one of our favorite bistros near the apartment when we ran into Jacob. He was walking toward us and had his eyes focused on the ground. He looked like hell. His hair wasn't neat like he usually kept it, it was long and bushy and looked like it hadn't been brushed in days. He wore sweatpants and a ratty old shirt with sneakers that were dirtier than most homeless men's. I didn't want to have to talk to him and I hoped that he wouldn't even see us as we passed each other. No such luck.

Just as he was approaching us, Edward squeezed my hand and whispered "It's gonna be fine." I wasn't so certain. The break up had clearly effected him more than I thought was possible. Jacob had always been such a strong willed and egotistical man. I never thought I would have been able to effect him in such a way.

Jacob froze in mid stride as his eyes locked with mine. Edward tried to keep me moving by pulling my hand but I couldn't just ignore him.

"Wha...where....why?" Jacob stammered.

"Hey Jake." I replied simply.

"Uh hey."

"How have you been?" I asked and immediately felt stupid. It was clear how he had been but I didn't know what else to say.

"I'm here. You?"

I didn't want to rub it in his face that my life was the best it had been in years but I didn't want to lie either. "Fine." I replied.

"You're with...uh....him now?" He asked as he pointed to Edward.

I nodded my head in confirmation.

"I should've known. Fucking prick was always after you." He replied angrily.

Edward stepped in front of me and pushed Jacob back. "You will not speak to her that way and you most certainly will not talk about me like that when I'm standing right here." He turned to me and grabbed my hand again. "Let's go Bella. This loser doesn't deserve our time."

I allowed Edward to lead me away. I knew he was right. The best thing was to walk away. The situation was only going to get worse and Jacob had no impact on our new lives. I glanced back at Jacob as I walked away and saw the anger in eyes turn back to sadness. I almost felt bad for him but I knew he deserved everything that was happening to him. I also knew that Edward and I deserved each other, and no one and nothing was going to take that away.

I never heard from Jacob again. Luckily, we didn't share many friends and I didn't have to hear about what he was doing. In my mind it was like he never existed. I almost completely pushed those years of memories out of my mind.

I had the most amazing man I could ever ask for. We were starting a life together. We would have babies one day and we would grow old together, we would be that couple in forty years sitting on the porch in our rocking chairs, yelling at our grand children running in the yard. I had no doubt in my mind that we would love each other until the day we die. We had already been through so much together that there wasn't anything we couldn't get through together. Always together.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chapter 8- Revelation

Chapter 8- Revelation

What was I going to do? I had almost forgot that I still had a decision to make. A life altering decision at that. Could I walk in the church and marry a man that I wasn't sure was the man for me? Could I walk away from what had been my life for so long? I started to panic again. I was lost in my mind. I was at a fork in the road and had no idea which road to take. I had to make a decision between two men who had been such a huge part of my life. Either way someone was getting hurt today. It was either me or the man at the altar, Jacob.

Yes, I had agreed to marry him. He was a good guy even after the rocky start we endured. He loved me, and I knew it. I loved him. The question was: Did I love him enough to commit myself to him for the rest of my life? I wasn't entering into marriage lightly. I wasn't the type to think if it didn't work we could just get divorced. I thought of marriage as a lifetime commitment. Just like the vows stated. Why agree to the vows if you're not going to take them seriously?

Then there was Edward. The nicest guy I'd known my entire life. The man that had been my best friend since pre school. I knew Jacob didn't like us being friends, and I didn't know if I could live the rest of my life without Edward in it. I thought deep down maybe Jacob was jealous of the bond between Edward and I. Over the years I had always been told that Edward was the one for me. It always seemed that no matter who he dated, it never worked out because he was always waiting for me. I never took any of those comments into consideration, thinking I knew better than they did. Who were they to tell me what my best friend was doing? I knew him better than anyone; just as he knew me better than anyone. There were secrets that Jacob didn't even know but Edward knew. Edward was like my own personal locked box, I knew all of my secrets were safe with him.

"Fuck!" I shouted in frustration as I rubbed my face.

"I don't want to rush you, but you know everyone is waiting on you." Alice said.

"I know. I just don't know what to do. This is such a huge decision. Is Edward out there? Did y'all see him?" I asked. I needed to know if he showed up for the wedding. I had invited him against Jacob's wishes. He was my life long best friend, and he deserved to at least be invited.

"He was seated when I came back here." Rose answered.

I froze. He was here. He came. "Was he alone?"


"Okay." I began to pace the floor. Lost in my thoughts again. Jacob. Edward. Jacob. Edward. Jacob. Edward. My mind went back and forth over and over again. I felt like making a list of pros and cons for the both of them, but that didn't seem fair. A lifetime of friendship and trust didn't seem to translate well on paper. Edward was amazing, sweet, kind, loving, faithful, trustworthy, smart, patient. I had a lifetime of experiences to know that Edward would never hurt me. All I had with Jacob was a few years of a sometimes stable relationship.

Finally, it was like the sun peering through the clouds after a thunderstorm, it hit me. I knew what I needed to do.

"Okay. Can you guys go out there and wait for me. I won't be long."

Rose and Alice looked at each other before answering. "Sure." They exited the room and I got dressed. I walked out of the room and saw Rose, Alice and my dad standing in front of the doors to the sanctuary. They all looked at me with confusion. I was only making this speech once. I walked past them and through the doors. As I quickly walked past all of the guests I heard them all whisper and gasp. I saw Jacob's face tense up as I neared him. He knew what was happening. It was never good to see the bride walking down the aisle in jeans and a shirt.

I stood in front of him and whispered. "I'm sorry. I just can't marry you. We both know this isn't right. We would hate ourselves in ten years for wasting all of that time. I know that we won't be happy in the long run. Please don't hate me."

He glowered at me for a moment. "I can't believe you!" He shouted through his clenched jaw. "Doing this here, now! You could've told me this before I was standing up here dressed like a fucking penguin!"

I knew his reaction was going to be bad. He always had a bad temper, but I wasn't going to marry him just so he wouldn't be mad. "I'm sorry Jacob. You will thank me for this later I promise."

"For embarassing me in front of everyone I know! Not a fucking chance, Bella. Why are you doing this? I gave you everything." He asked. He wasn't trying to be quiet anymore, and the whole church was silent as they listened to our conversation.

"I love you, but I'm not in love with you. It's just not right. I'm sorry." I said quietly.

He began to take his jacket and tie off. He proceeded to throw them on the ground. He started to undo the buttons on his shirt. "Just rip my fucking heart out while you are it, why don't you? Fuck this. You don't deserve me." He shouted before storming down the aisle and through the doors.

I stood at the altar in front of a sea of guests stunned into silence. I hadn't expected he was going to make such a scene. I knew that would be the last time I saw him. He would have movers come in and pack and move all of my stuff. He wouldn't want to see me anymore. I had hurt his pride in front of everyone he knew. That was the worst thing you could do to a man like him. I hadn't planned on doing it that way, but it would've been worse ten years down the road.

Finally, I turned to the audience and took a deep breath. "I want to thank you all for coming today, and I apologize that there isn't going to be a wedding here today. I'm sorry for the scene you just witnessed. I hope you understand that I couldn't marry someone that I knew wasn't right for me. I'm sorry for wasting your time today. Please forgive me." I walked down the aisle and spotted Edward sitting in the audience. He was looking directly into my eyes. I didn't see in his eyes what I saw in everyone else's. In his, I saw compassion and understanding. In everyone else's I saw curiosity, astonishment and perhaps some amusement.

I didn't care about everyone else, I cared about Edward. I walked out of the doors and came face to face with my dad.

"Bells, I can't say that I'm happy you did this, but I am happy that you didn't marry him if you weren't happy. I'll deal with everyone. Go back in the dressing room, and I'll get you when everyone is gone." He said before hugging me.

"Thanks Dad. Can you do me a favor and tell Edward to come in there please?"

He looked at me with confusion in his eyes. "Sure thing."

I then practically ran into the dressing room. I didn't want to have to answer every one's nosey ass questions. I just wanted to talk to Edward. I needed to tell him everything.

I paced the room again while I waited for Edward. Soon there was a knock on the door.

"Who is it?" I asked.

"It's Edward."

I rushed over to the door and opened it. He walked in and looked at me with concern. It was as if he wanted to say something but didn't know what.

"Your dad said you wanted to see me."

"Yeah, I did. Sit down. I need to talk to you." We sat down in the chairs Alice and Rose and been sitting in. I gazed at him for a few moment before I spoke. I had forgotten how beautiful he was, and I wondered how I'd ever thought he wasn't practically perfect. We all had our flaws, but you honestly couldn't ask for a better person. He was an amazing friend, and I knew he had been a great partner for his girlfriends. I could only imagine how our relationship would be.

"You don't have to talk about it you know? I'm sure your day has been hard enough without explaining it to me."

"No, it's not that at all. I was just thinking." I paused. "Do you know why I called off the wedding?"

"Not happy?"

"That's part of it."

"Okay. Is there more?" He questioned.

"Yeah, a lot more. I put that dress on, and I started to freak out when I thought about spending the rest of my life with someone that was just a good guy, but that I wasn't in love with. And then I thought about you. I thought about our twenty plus years of friendship. I thought about everything that had led me to this place and time. I thought about how amazing you have always been to me. I thought about all the times I wanted to kiss you or tell you I loved you. I thought about all the times it seemed like you wanted to do the same thing."


"Edward, I'm in love with you. I have been for a long time. Every time I tried to tell you, something would happen or the timing wasn't right. I want to be with you. I want it to be you and me. No one else. Just us. I love you, Edward." As I felt my emotions start to overflow. I looked at him as he tried to process everything I had said. I'm sure it wasn't what he was expecting to hear today.

"I ... uh... Are..." He stuttered.

"It's okay. You don't have to say it back. I just needed you to know. It's you. It's always been you."

He reached out for my hand and held it between both of his. He looked me straight in the eye. "It's not that Bella. I love you. I've been in love with you since I was four. I just never thought I'd actually hear you say these things. I feel like I'm dreaming. I came here today planning to be upset about seeing you marry another man. Now, all of that has changed. I'm just trying to take it all in."

I lept out of my seat and hugged him as tightly as I could. He wrapped his arms around me, and it felt like I was finally home. It felt right. In his arms was where I was supposed to be. In that moment, I knew I had made the right decision.

I felt his breath on my ear. "I love you so much. You don't understand how happy you have made me today." He whispered and my heart jumped.

I pulled back to look in his eyes. It looked almost like he was going to cry. "I love you too." I said. Then he pressed his lips against mine, and I knew in that very second that being in love with him was right. He was my best friend, my confidant, and now he was my lover.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chapter 7- Another Side of Jacob

"We know Jacob moved to Atlanta that summer after he graduated, and you were so sickeningly happy that I almost had to reconsider my friendship with you." Rose said.

"Was I that bad?"

Alice swatted at Rose's arm. "No, you weren't. I was happy for you. It was nice to see you so in love." Rose stuck her tongue out at Alice in return.

"Thank you, Alice. It wasn't all perfect you know?"

"Yeah I remember the first time you came crying to us." Alice responded. My mind began to remember that horrible day.

~ ~
Jacob and I had been dating for almost nine months. He had accepted a great entry level position at a firm in Atlanta. His bosses seemed to like him, and he was brilliant with his work. He had asked me to move in with him, but I kept getting the feeling it was too soon. I knew I was in love with him, but I didn't want to push our luck.

He invited me over for dinner one night. It was supposed to just be a quiet night in with dinner and a movie, but things went terribly wrong. I took the elevator up to his floor and knocked on the door. He opened the door and kissed me quickly and hungrily. He didn't usually greet me with such a hungry kiss, and I was confused. I followed him into the kitchen where he was putting the finishing touches on dinner.

"How was your day?" He asked as he handed me a glass of wine.

"It was good. Pretty uneventful, but good. Yours?" I sipped the wine.

"It was pretty hectic. It's nice to be at home with you and just relax."

"You didn't have to cook dinner. We could have ordered in."

"No, it's fine. I wanted to cook for you." I felt the concern growing inside of my gut. It was as if there was something he was leaving out, something I was missing.

He was tossing the salad when his phone rang. "Bella, can you get that for me? It might be the firm."

"Sure." I reached over the counter and grabbed his phone. "Hello?" I heard a female voice on the other end.

"Is this Jacob's phone?" She asked.

"Yes. He's busy right now. Can I take a message?"

"Oh my God. It's her." I heard her say softly before she hung up and my heart stopped. It was her? What did that mean? Who was she? I held the phone to my ear. I was in a daze as I stared at his back.

"Who was it?" He asked.

I stood there completely stunned. I couldn't move or say anything. I was frozen.

"Bella? Who was it?" He put down the salad and turned around. "Are you okay? What's wrong?"

"I....I.... I don't know. She hung up." I sputtered out.

He took the phone from my hand and began pressing buttons on the phone. I stared at him as he frantically shuffled through his phone, and then he stopped.

"Who is she?" I asked.

"Fuck." He said under his breath as he slammed his phone down on the counter.

"Answer me." I demanded. He was silent for a minute, and it was almost like I could see his brain trying to think of something to say. "Fine." I grabbed my purse and began to walk towards the door. He didn't even try to stop me. He just let me leave. I knew there was something going on that he was trying to hide. There was no reason for her to hang up, and there was no reason for him not to answer my question.

I drove as fast as I could to Alice and Rose. I needed my girls. I had never been put in such a position before and didn't know how to react. I didn't want to run back to him and act like it hadn't happened, but I didn't want to let him go either. He called non stop for the next couple of days, and I refused to talk to him. He needed to understand how hurt I was and that I wasn't just going to accept it.
~ ~
"Asshole." Rose stated.

"It was a bad time for me. He would never admit to cheating on me, but I always felt like he had. Just because he wouldn't admit it didn't mean it didn't happen. We eventually moved past it, but there was a piece of me that wished he had just been man enough to admit it."

"And you moved in with him after a while. You must have really been in love." Alice said.

"Yeah I did and I was. I wanted it to work so badly that I just overlooked things that I shouldn't have."

~ ~
Edward had called me after months and months of us not talking and asked me if I wanted to go to dinner to catch up. I missed him dearly, and I didn't have any plans with Jacob so I accepted his invitation. Jacob came home that afternoon, and I informed him that I was going to dinner with Edward.

"Okay. Have a good time." He said. He and Edward had met briefly, but didn't really know anything about each other.

"I will baby. Call you on my way home." I kissed him lightly and walked out the door.

I met Edward at the Japanese Steakhouse. It was one of our favorite spots for dinner. We ate and talked about everything. He had told me about his fiancee, and I had told him about Jacob. We expressed how much we missed each other, and by the time dinner was over, we had made plans to meet again in a few weeks. I gave him a hug as we exited the restaurant.

As I got in my car, I finally noticed the time. It was later than I thought. The time had simply escaped from us. I dialed Jacob's number and he answered on the first ring.

"Hello." He said.

"Hey honey. Sorry it's so late. We just got to talking and the time just flew by. Do you want me to pick you up some dinner?"

"Bella, it's way past dinner time. I've already eaten. You should have let me know you were gonna be out so late. I was worried."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry. Just don't do it again." He stated.

"Uh okay. I'll be home shortly." I said before he hung up the phone. I was stunned that he had hung up before saying good bye.

When I arrived home, it was like I walked into a war zone. He was pacing the floor and grabbing at his hair. As soon as he saw me walk in the door, he started in on me. "Bella, you can't see Edward anymore."

"What? Why?" Who did he think he was to tell me that I couldn't have dinner with my best friend?

"Because I am your boyfriend, and I don't feel comfortable with your relationship with him."

What the hell was he talking about? "You've lost me. I know you're my boyfriend, but you can't tell me that I can't see my best friend."

He raced over to me and pointed his finger in my face. "Yes I can! There is more to your relationship with him than friends, and I won't allow you to make me look like a fool!"

"So, you can deny that you ever cheated on me even though I know it's true, but I can't hang out with Edward?"

"Don't bring that shit up again. We've already discussed that."

"But you never admitted it."

"Nothing ever happened to admit to! You have to choose either me or Edward!"

How could he make me choose between the man I was in love with and my life long best friend? It made me look at him totally different. I didn't know what to do and I certainly wasn't going to make that decision right then and there.

~ ~

"And you chose Jacob." Alice said.

"Yeah, I did. As much as I valued Edward's friendship, I had to choose love. Edward was engaged, and I was living with Jacob. We were both starting new lives, and I couldn't live in the past with Edward. It was the hardest decision I'd ever had to make."

"What did you tell Edward?" Alice asked.

"I never really told him anything. I just avoided his calls and eventually he stopped calling."

"That's sad." Rose interjected.

"I agree. After a while of distancing myself from Edward, I started texting him. I couldn't exclude him from my life all together. I explained that I had been extremely busy, and that for a while texting would be the best way to get in touch with me. So, we kept in touch that way for a long time." The truth was that I loved Jacob, and I wanted a future with him, but there were sides of him that were coming out and I wasn't too sure about them. I wanted Jacob, and I wanted Edward too. I just couldn't let Jacob know that I was still in touch with Edward.

"Edward didn't marry that girl though." Alice stated.

"No, clearly not. They eventually broke up, and I felt bad that I couldn't be there for him like I had always been in the past. I unconsciously began to pull away from Jacob. I just felt the need to be there for the guy that had always been there for me. I snuck away from Jacob a couple times and went to see Edward. There was something deep down inside of me that told me I needed to go to Edward. I didn't feel bad for it either, it felt like the right thing to do."

"You shouldn't have felt bad. Edward had always been a huge part of your life." said Rose.

"I know. It was just a tough situation."

"And here we are, sitting in this church waiting on you to decide what you are gonna do. So, what are you gonna do Bella? You gonna put the dress back on and go up to the altar or are you gonna walk away?" Alice asked.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chapter 6-Mysterious New Guy

Mysterious New Guy

"Okay, so you've covered everything up until you were twenty one. Isn't that when you met Jacob?" Alice asked.

I began to answer but was interrupted by a knock on the door. All three of our heads turned to the door in a flash.

"Oh shit! Who do you think that is? How long have we been talking?" I blurted out.

Alice looked at the clock on the wall. "It hasn't been that long, but I guess everyone is getting antsy." She rose from her chair and walked over to the door. She turned to me before opening the door. "Let me handle this. Don't worry." She opened the door, and I saw it was my father. I was relieved that it was just him.

He attempted to walk in the door, but Alice stopped him. "Excuse me Mr. Swan, where do you think you are going?" She questioned him.

He looked her up and down before answering. "Alice, my daughter has kept and entire church of guests waiting for her, and I want to know what is going on."

"Alice, you can let him in." I interjected.

She turned back to my dad and let her hand drop. "Fine."

As he walked toward me, I could feel him taking in my appearance. I knew the question that would follow.

"Bells, why aren't you dressed?"

"Um... because I....umm...I don't have time or energy right now to update you on all this dad. Will you just please tell everyone to sit tight, and I promise I will be ready to face them in a few minutes?" I asked in the little girl voice that always gets him to buckle.

He pursed his lips and thought for a second. "Sure thing, Bells. Just don't be too long. I don't want a riot out there." He then kissed my forehead and gave me a quick hug before heading back out of the room.

I let out a deep breath, and tried to relax back into the chair.

"I guess we gotta hurry up before my dad has to use police tactics out there. Where were we?"

"We were up until the point you met Jacob, weren't we?" Alice asked.

I nodded my head. They knew where, when and how I had met Jacob; they were with me that night.

~ ~
Spring Break - 21 years old

Alice, Rosalie and I had all decided that a trip to the beach was exactly what we needed for spring break. We needed to get away from school, soak up some sun, and look at some hot men. We headed down to Miami for a week of partying and relaxing. None of us were dating anyone at the time. I was finally over my ex, and had somehow repressed my feelings for Edward so much that I almost fooled myself into believing they didn't exist at all.

It was our last night in Miami and we had decided to go to a club that everyone had been raving about all week. We were dressed in our hottest outfits and ready to dance. There were lots of guys ready to buy us drinks and even more that were ready to dance with us. It seemed that we were the life of the club that night. The DJ was calling attention to us, we were dancing on the bar, and taking shots off of each others bodies.

I was on my way to the restroom for what seemed to be the twentieth time that night, when I bumped into the most beautiful man. He was tall, dark skinned, dark hair, well built, well dressed, and had the most amazingly white smile I had ever seen. I pressed my hand against his chest in an attempt to steady myself and I could feel his hands against my back.

"I'm so sorry! I'm such an idiot!" I shouted over the music.

He smiled and I felt like I was going to faint. This man was too beautiful. "Don't worry about it."

I knew I should've kept walking but I was so mesmerized by him that I couldn't make my body actually move. I finally shook my head, trying to regain my thoughts. "And now I'm a staring idiot. This just keeps getting better."

He laughed. "I kinda like that you're staring. If you haven't noticed, I'm staring at you too." He was right, I hadn't noticed at all. I assumed he was looking at me like he would look at a lost puppy. "What's your name?"


"Hi Bella, I'm Jacob." He released me from his hands, and held out his right hand. I put my hand in his, and he began to shake it. "Nice to meet you, Bella." The way he said my name was almost orgasmic. It was so sensual, or maybe it was all the alcohol I had consumed.

"You too."

We held hands for a little too long, but I didn't feel him pull away. He seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. A simple handshake, who woulda thought it could be so intense? Certainly, not me.

I had been so wrapped up in him that I had completely forgotten I had to pee. "Oh my God. I really have to get to the bathroom. It was nice meeting you Jacob. Maybe I'll see you out there." I began to walk around him, when I noticed he had turned with me.

"Well, let's not leave that to chance. How about I wait here for you?"

"That sounds great! I'll be right back!" I ran to the bathroom and checked my appearance in the mirror. It was hot as hell in the club and we had been dancing our asses off, but I didn't look as bad as I had I thought. I smoothed out my hair a little and reapplied my lipstick before walking out.

I half expected him to be gone. Like he was too good to be true, but sure enough he was right in the same spot I had left him.

"You ready to face the masses again?" He asked.

"I sure am!" We walked back out to the bar, and ordered a couple drinks. I went to pay for mine, and he paid the bartender before I could even get my money out. "You didn't have to pay for that, ya know?"

"I know, but honestly, who lets a beautiful woman like yourself pay for her own drinks?" He was so sweet, and I could feel myself blushing at his compliment. "You wanna go out on the deck so we can talk?"

I nodded my head, and followed behind him. There were a lot of people on the deck, but it was much more quiet and easier for us to talk. We talked about everything. The conversation flowed easily. I learned that he was graduating from law school that semester, and that he planned to go into corporate law afterwards. He was an only child, he was raised on an Indian reservation, and much to my surprise he had a job waiting for him in Atlanta after graduation.

He asked questions about my family, childhood, friends, school; just about everything. It seemed that we wanted to know everything about each other.

The club closed and I didn't want to separate from him. It was my last night in the city, and I didn't know if we would ever see each other again. Rose and Alice tried to convince me to go back to the hotel with them, but I wanted to spend as much time with Jacob as I possible. I convinced them that I would be fine, and Jacob and I headed out for a walk on the beach.

We held hands and talked. We sat in the sand and looked up at the moon and stars. The time passed entirely too quickly, and before I knew it, we could see the sun begin to rise.

He walked me to the hotel, saying it was too dangerous for me to walk alone and that he wanted to spend every last moment with me that was possible. We reached my room and I turned to him and handed him my cell phone. "Here, put your number in here. This way I won't lose it."

He took the phone and began to enter in his number. As he returned my phone he handed me his. "You too." I entered my information and pressed save.

"So, I guess this is it." I stated.

He reached for my hand. "I'll be in Atlanta in a few short months. We can talk on the phone until then." I nodded. I felt myself starting to tear up. "You know, I've never felt so much so quick."

"Me either. It's surprised the hell out of me." I confessed.

"Me too." I looked into his eyes and he began to lean towards me. It hit at that moment that we hadn't even kissed the whole night. All we had done was hold hands. It was different-it was nice. I leaned into him and closed the distance between us. I felt his lips against mine and it felt like fire had been shot through my veins.

~ ~

"Wow, Bella. I thought you two had totally gotten it on at the beach that night. I didn't know you only kissed once." Rose interrupted.

I laughed lightly. "No, he was such a gentleman. I figured once we got back home he would forget all about me, but he didn't."

"And thank God he didn't. You were so depressed for those few months. It was like you sat around all day waiting to talk to him." Alice said.

"Yeah, I was a lovesick puppy, but when you meet someone like that you can't help it."

"Where was Edward during that whole time?" Rose asked.

"Well, after finding out about Jacob he started dating a new girl and they got pretty serious pretty quickly. They moved in together after a while, and in typical Bella-Edward fashion we kind of lost touch."

"Maybe, but I doubt the feelings he had for you went away." Alice said.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chapter 5- It's What We Do

"So, you two never hooked up? After he saved you and everything?" Alice asked.

There were times after the night he rescued me when I thought we would confess our feelings for one another again, but it never happened. I was too scared to lose him as my best friend to say anything, it wasn't worth the risk. I had gotten pretty good at repressing my feelings by that point. I assumed he never said anything for the same reasons.

"No, we never did."

"Well that sucks!" Rose interjected.

"Yeah, I just learned to live with it. It wasn't much longer until he met Lisa, the girl he was engaged to."

"Edward was engaged? And who is Lisa?" Rose questioned.

"He met Lisa shortly after we graduated high school. They were damn near inseparable. It was almost sickening to watch them together. Edward kind of distanced himself from me when he met her. I don't know if she had a problem with our friendship, or if he was doing it to spare my feelings. Either way I was happy to not have to look at them." I said as I cringed in my seat.

"I'm glad she's gone. I don't like her already." Rose said in a harsh tone.

"She wasn't that bad. She was actually a nice person. It was just hard for me to be around. I soon found Brian, and we dated for a couple years. Edward and I barely talked during that time. We would occasionally have dinner or catch a movie, but it wasn't anything like it used to be. Brian was jealous of Edward, and Lisa was jealous of me. We kind of drifted apart."

"Oh, I remember Brian. You were dating him when we all met in college right?" Alice asked.

"Yeah, that was him. It was a shitty relationship, but it kept me occupied and in spite of him being as asshole, I actually learned a lot about myself during our time together."

"Yeah, he was an asshole." Rose stated.

"Believe me, I know!" I said.

"I know why you and Brian broke up, what happened with Lisa and Edward?" Alice inquired.

"Funny thing is we actually broke up within days of each other. I finally dumped Brian after finding him in bed with another girl. Edward called off the engagement after he found out she was sleeping with her boss."

"Wow. Maybe Lisa and Brian should've hooked up." Rose laughed.

"That would've been funny. Two cheating assholes." I said with a giggle. "So, yeah that was the end of those two relationships. Although I wasn't surprised at Brian's cheating, I was still hurt and of course, Edward and I did what we always do when we are single."

"Back to best friends." Alice said.

"You know it. He was hurt, and I was hur,t and we went back to our comfort zone-each other." My mind began to drift back to the first night I saw Edward after our breakups.

~ ~
Bella 21 years old

We sat on Edward's couch in his apartment. He was going to a college that was mere minutes away from mine. I was still living at home with my parents, but Edward had gotten a job and moved out on his own. We were watching some stupid movie, in an attempt to cheer ourselves up. We were like wounded animals trying to heal each other. We were eating pizza in our pajamas and laughing at the screen. We didn't talk much until the movie was over, afraid that one of us would break down and if that happened the other would break down soon after.

"That was a pretty good movie, huh?" Edward asked.

"Yeah, Martin Lawrence always makes me laugh."

"So..... what to do now?" He asked.

"I don't know. I'm not really tired are you?"

He shook his head.

"You wanna talk about our screwed up relationships, or pretend like they never happened?" I asked.

"I don't really wanna waste anymore time talking or thinking about her." He stated harshly. I understood his feelings. I didn't really want to talk about Brian either. I had wasted enough time on him already. "Do you wanna talk about him?"

"No. He doesn't deserve my sadness."

"You're right. Neither of them do. We were too good for them anyway."

"Yeah, too bad we had to waste years of our lives figuring that out." I responded. "Thanks for being here for me."

"You don't need to thank me. It's what we do for each other." He said as he wrapped his arms around me. It felt good to be embraced by him. I was certain he and I would never be this close again. Luckily for me, Lisa had fucked up royally. His smell was invigorating and all man. His arms were strong and warm. I took in a deep breath and relished in every second of our embrace.

"Can we just lay down? I just wanna relax. I don't wanna think anymore."

"Sure." He replied as he released me and began to move in his seat so that we could lay across the couch. He snuggled up behind me as I pressed my back against his strong chest. One of his arms was positioned under my neck, while the other was draped across my stomach. I closed my eyes and relaxed against him. I wanted to take it all in. I never knew when the next time would come that a woman would sweep him off of his feet, and my friend would be gone again.

We slept that way the whole night, cuddled against each other and not speaking a word. It didn't progress any farther than cuddling, but it was one of the most intimate nights of my life. Just being with him, wrapped in his arms and knowing that no words needed to be spoken was comforting.

~ ~
"I swear, I can't believe you two. Y'all should have had sex a long time before then and you still didn't do it!" Rose exclaimed.

"That's what everyone thinks, but we just didn't feel that way. There were plenty of occasions for Edward to try something, but he never did. I don't know if he was scared to, or if he was waiting on me. There were plenty of drunken nights after the breakups when we had the perfect opportunity to hook up."

"Do tell!" Alice requested.

~ ~
"Edward," I began as I sat at the bar of our local hangout. I was completely wasted, but I knew Edward would take care of me. He didn't drink much, but he would always go out with me. He never let anything happen to me and he never even made fun of me the next morning. "I love you. You know that?"

He laughed. "Yeah, I know Bells."

"No no no," I slurred out "I'm serious. I've never known anyone like you. You are perfect for me. Why do I waste time with these losers out here?" As I downed another shot.

"You have no idea what you are talking about. You won't even remember this in the morning." He said as he handed me a glass of water.

"Yes I will. You know I'm right. Admit it!" I shouted.

"Whatever you say Bells." He resigned.

Just then we heard the DJ announce that it was last call. I knew then it was time to get one last shot before Edward made me leave and get some food.

I called the bartender over and ordered another shot. I looked over at Edward, he was staring daggers at me.

"What?" I asked.

"You really think you need another shot?"

"Of course I do! That's what you do at last call!"

"Wow. You are gonna be a handful tonight." He stated.

"You have no idea!" I said as I raised my eyebrows at him suggestively.

I had never really been sexually flirty with Edward, and the look on his face was priceless. It was as if he had no idea what to say or do.

"Calm down, Edward! I'm just playing."

Just then the bartender came over with my shot. I instantly downed it and went to reach for the tab. Before I could grab it, Edward swooped in and took it.

"What are you doing? You don't have to pay for me!" I shouted.

"It's cool. I got it."

We left the bar and he took me to an all night cafe, where he forced me to eat a chicken sandwich. He knew if I didn't eat something, I would be sick in the morning. He always took such good care of me.

We made it to his apartment and he basically carried me up the stairs. I went straight to his bedroom and collapsed on his bed. He took my shoes off of me and covered me with the covers. Soon after, I felt him get in the bed and he brushed back a few stray strands of my hair.

I wanted to reach up and kiss him, but I was so out of it that I had no control over my body. When I awoke the next morning he was still sleeping facing me. He looked so peaceful that it made me feel bad for him always taking care of me.

~ ~

"Again! Edward should've taken advantage of you that night." Rose said.

"Most men would have, but not Edward. At least, not with me anyway. He wanted our first time together to be memorable. Not with me trashed and out of it."

"I swear, he's too nice sometimes." said Rose.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chapter 4- Awkward Attraction

"Well I guess it's lucky for you that Edward has always put up with you and your craziness then, huh?" Rose asked as she sat in the chair and sipped on her water.

"Yeah, I guess I have been pretty lucky. Even through all of the high school drama, he was there. It didn't matter if I had a boyfriend, or if he had a girlfriend, we were always there for one another." I was once again in a daze. It seemed like everything said brought back some kind of memory. The days of high school came flooding back to me.

"Bella? You're in your own world again!" Alice shouted at me.

I shook my head. "Sorry. I can't help it. I'm all over the place today. I was just thinking about high school. That was when our families bought houses right next to each other. Like Edward and I weren't close enough already."

"It sounds like you're complaining about having him next door." Alice interjected.

"Well, I knew he liked me. He was never open about it, but after that time when we were seven, I always knew. I just couldn't risk losing him as my best friend, but for the most part I didn't look at him in a romantic way. He was the little boy I used to play with in the mud."

"Was he as good looking then as he is now?" Rose asked.

I shrugged my shoulders. "I don't know. Like I said, I didn't look at him like that back then. We did everything together. We lived next door to each other, went to school together, went to sporting events together, our families even went on vacation together. After a while, everyone just assumed that we were boyfriend and girlfriend because we were always together."

"I bet the vacations were fun. Having hot ass Edward running up and down the beach." Alice exclaimed.

"Yeah, that sounds like a good vacation to me." Rose said as he laughed.

"They were fun, but I could never meet any men because he was always with me. Our parents even had us sleep in the same bed sometimes."

"Wait, I thought Charlie wouldn't let you two be close or alone or anything?" Alice questioned.

"That was true for a while, but as we got older and Charlie saw that I wasn't interested in Edward like that, he didn't worry anymore."

"Oh, okay. You are better than me. If I had Edward in my bed, I would've had to jump him!" Rose exclaimed.

My head instantly went to the time when Edward and I had went to the beach with our families in the summer. We were sixteen years old, and you couldn't tell us anything.

Bella 16 years old

"Mom, Edward and I are gonna go ride around and see what we can find."

"Okay, you two be safe. Be back by six. We are going to dinner." Renee said as she continued to lay on the beach.

"Will do, Mom." I said as I turned to run back up to the room.

"You ready to go?" Edward asked.

"Yeah, we are good to go." I answered. We walked out to the parking lot and got into Edward's car. We were so excited about finally being sixteen, and there was no way one of us wasn't going to bring a car.

We got in the car and let down the windows. We pulled onto the main strip of road that ran the length of the beach. We turned up the music and we were totally jamming out. It was the best! It felt so free to be with my best friend and without our parents. The girls were trying to talk to Edward as they passed by and the guys were trying to talk to me. I can't tell you how many times I had to tell them that he wasn't my boyfriend. He looked a little hurt the first few times I said it, but then he was saying the same thing to the girls.

It was finally time to go back to the hotel and go to dinner with our parents. After dinner we could hardly contain ourselves. We were so ready to get away from our parents. We enjoyed the freedom of going out and meeting new people without them. It made us feel like we were almost adults.

One of the local clubs was having teen night and our parents agreed to let us go. My parents weren't worried because they knew that Edward would never let anything happen to me.

We were walking around the club, surveying the people and figuring out where we wanted to situate ourselves. We decided to grab a couple seats by the bar since it was close to the dance floor. Edward wasn't the best dancer, but I had been trying to teach him.

We ordered a couple of sodas and sat down for a few minutes. There were a few girls eyeing Edward, but looked as if they were unsure of his status. So, I got up and walked away. I wasn't going to block him from meeting girls. Hopefully without him around, I would meet a guy or two.

Shortly after I found a new seat, a really handsome, well built, dark haired guy came up to talk to me. He was amazingly good looking. I honestly had no idea what he was saying, but his muscles, looks, and smile was saying enough for me. Before I knew it, he was standing up and holding out his hand to me.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"I asked if you wanted to dance?" He replied.

I smiled. "Oh, of course."

We passed by the table Edward was sitting at, and I noticed the group of girls were still sitting there and smiling while he talked.

Once we were on the dance floor, the new guy and I began to move with the beat of the music. He was surprisingly a good dancer. Who was I kidding? The way that man's body was built, he could've stood there and smiled and I would've been amazed.

Just as new guy and I were enjoying ourselves, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder.

I turned to see who it was. "What's up, Edward?" I asked. I couldn't believe he was seriously interrupting me.

"You wanna dance?" He asked.

Seriously Edward? No!

"Are you serious?" I asked incredulously.

"Yeah, why not?"

"Because I'm dancing with this hot ass guy right now!" I replied.

"Oh, fuck it then." He angrily replied as he turned to walk away.

I felt bad for about a half of a second until I turned around to new hot ass guy.

"Is that your man?" He asked.

"Not even close." I replied.

He shrugged his shoulders, and we continued to dance for a while.

I later noticed that Edward was dancing with one of the girls from earlier. She was tall, thin, blonde. She looked cute from behind so who knew what her face actually looked like.

I felt a small twinge of jealousy, but pushed it back. I didn't even know where it had come from. I had never been jealous of Edward and another girl; especially when I had new guy in front of me.

The rest of the night went by without incident, and next thing I knew, Edward and I were laying in the bed together making jokes about the people at the club.

"I cannot believe you two slept in the same bed and didn't do anything!" Rose said.

"Believe it. It was like that for years. We were just friends."

"But you said you felt a little bit of jealousy when he was dancing with that chick, right?" Alice asked.

"Yeah. And?"

"You never got jealous when he had a girlfriend?" Alice asked.

I thought about it for a second. "Yeah, eventually I did. He was dating this girl in the eleventh grade. It was the first time he was serious about a girl. He had told me how much he loved her, and that made me really jealous. Him dating girls, and him falling in love with them were two totally different things. I could handle him dating, but it seemed Edward in love wasn't something I could handle."

"Did you say anything to him?" Rose asked.

"Not for a while. I was still shocked myself. Why had it taken so long for me to realize my feelings for him? I couldn't process it all, and he seemed so happy. I didn't want to ruin it with my retarded feelings."

"So, he never knew?" Alice questioned.

"No. After seeing them together so much, and having him ditch me for her so often, I had to say something. I was going crazy."

Bella-Eleventh Grade Year

"Edward, can we talk for a second?" I asked. We had been studying at his house all day, and I had been working up my nerve to confess my feelings to him.

"Yeah, of course. What's up?" He asked as he sat down his pencil.

"Well," I began "I know you and Rachel are happy, and I don't want to interfere, but I need to tell you something." My heart beat was racing and my palms were sweaty. I had never been nervous around him before.

"What is it Bella? Just tell me."

I swallowed hard. "Okay. It's just that lately... I've kinda been having feelings for you." I said softly as I fidgeted with my pen.

"Really?" He asked.


"Why are you telling me this now?" He asked.

"What do you mean? When was I supposed to tell you?" I asked.

He sat back in his seat and ran his hands through his hair. "I don't know, but telling me now wasn't it. You could have told me anytime in the past twelve years."

"I didn't know until you told me you were in love with her. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I've been putting this off for a while because I didn't want to complicate what you have with Rachel." I retorted.

"Well this is really shitty timing. What am I supposed to do? You know how I feel about Rachel."

"I know. I'm sorry."

He looked at me with pain in his eyes. "What do you want me to do, Bella? You want me to break up with a great girl because you might finally want to be more than friends?"

"I don't know, Edward. I just needed you to know." I replied. I could see this was not going to work out in my favor and deep down I had to wonder if that was what I had even wanted. Was I confessing to Edward to inform him or to make myself feel better? I had no idea. I was starting to get upset.

"You needed me to know? Why? So that when I'm looking at Rachel and she's telling me she loves me, I can be thinking that the girl I've wanted for twelve years finally wants me too?" He sarcastically replied.

"That's not what I wanted. Never mind. Just forget I said anything." I said while I began to gather my books. I packed them in my back pack and began to walk towards the door.

"Bella! Wait!" He called out.

"Just forget it, Edward. I'm sorry I told you." I replied as I walked out the door.

"What happened after that?" Alice asked.

"Nothing. He didn't break up with her. It was awkward between us for months. I felt like my whole life had changed. I eventually started dating a guy, and that helped to take my mind off of Edward. It didn't last long though. I wasn't the long term relationship type back then."

"How long were they together?" Rose questioned.

"A while. I think they broke up the summer before senior year. Then all of a sudden he was back to being my best friend."

"And the awkwardness was gone?" Alice asked.

"It was a little weird at first, but we soon fell back in our comfortable routine with each other. We never talked about the day that I confessed all of that to him. It was like it never happened."

"You two are weird." Rose stated.

"We are not. It's just how our relationship has always been. I was always there for him, and he was there for me." I stated as I began remembering the time that summer when Edward was there for me more than he had ever been.

Bella- Summer before Senior Year

I was going on a date with a guy I met at the mall one day. He picked me up from my house, met my parents and everything. We went to dinner and were having great conversations. He seemed like a really great guy. That was until after the movie when he was supposed to take me home, and began driving in the opposite direction.

I asked where we were going, but he just kept telling me he had something special planned. Instead of feeling excited, I was feeling scared. I didn't really know this guy, and he was driving somewhere I knew nothing about. I began to panic internally as we reached an empty park.

He parked the car and released his seat belt. He reached his hand over and began to slide it up my leg. I pushed him away quickly.

I asked what he was doing, but he kept telling me to relax. How the hell could I relax when I was in a dark, empty park with a guy I barely knew?

I told him to stop but he didn't. He was so much stronger than me, and before I knew it he was climbing over the console and on top of me.

At that point, I knew I had to get out of there. It was either stay and be raped, or get out and just run. I chose the latter, I opened the door and ran as fast as I could. I hid in the woods for a while. I could hear him yelling out, and threatening me, but I didn't care. I would have stayed in those woods all night.

He finally left, and I grabbed my cell phone out of my purse. I didn't know who to call. My parents would have freaked out.

The only person I could call was Edward. I dialed his number and prayed he answered.

"Hey Bella! What's up?"

"Thank God you answered!" As breathed heavily into the phone.

"Are you okay? What's wrong?" He asked.

I began to cry uncontrollably, finally allowing my emotions to come out since the bastard was gone.

"Bella? Where are you?"

"I don't know. I'm in the woods at some park. I'm scared." I managed to say through my sobs.

"Why are you in the woods? Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm just scared. That guy I went out with turned out to be an asshole and tried to make me have sex with him. Can you come get me?"

"Son of a bitch. I'm already in the car. I just need to know where to go. Try to walk towards the road so you can tell me the name."

"Okay. I'm just scared that he's not really gone. What if he's hiding and waiting on me?"

"Don't think like that. He's probably gone. Just help me out here."

"Okay. Don't hang up." I said as I began to walk out of the woods towards the street lights. I didn't see him or his car anywhere as I approached the street sign. I read the sign to Edward.

"Okay. I'll be there before you know it. Find a bench or table to sit at until I get there."

He stayed on the phone with me the whole time, even though I cried for the majority of the time. I was constantly on edge that the guy was gonna come back looking for me.

I saw his car pull in the park and I instantly began to run towards him. He was out of the car and running towards me before I could reach him.

"Thank God you're alright." He sighed.

"Thank you for coming." I said as I cried into his chest.

"You don't have to thank me. I'm just glad you're okay. I'm gonna kill that loser."

"Let's just go. I don't wanna think of him anymore."

"Okay." He said before walking me over to the car. He shut the door behind me, and got in on his side. He reached to grab my hand and squeezed it.

I looked at him and he smiled. "You're safe now," He said.

I knew I was safe with him. He would never even have thought to do something as deplorable as that other guy had. Edward was a nice guy.

"I never knew any of that, Bella!" Rose said.

"I've never really told anyone. It's just one of those secrets between me and Edward," I confessed as I attempted to purge the memory of that awful night from my brain.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chapter 3- He's My Rock

"Well, Bella, there's clearly more to it than Edward picking on you in pre-school. I mean we are sitting in a church on your wedding day, but you have taken the dress off. That was like twenty years ago. We need more info." Rosalie sharply stated.

"Yeah, Bella. Pre-school didn't make you have a panic attack a few minutes ago. Out with it woman!" Alice demanded.

"Fine." I began as I readjusted myself in my chair. "After that first day of pre-school, Edward continued to do things to pick on me. Finally, one day I was fed up with him, and decided to make him stop. He was throwing little pieces of candy at me during class, and I finally yelled at him to stop. I apparently yelled so loudly that I interrupted the teacher's lesson. She asked what happened, and I told her all about Edward's tormenting. He apparently got in so much trouble with his parents that day that he was nothing but nice to me after that."

"Little punk." Alice murmured under her breath.

I couldn't help but giggle at her statement. It was true. He was a little punk back then.

"He was four. What do you expect?" I asked her.

She shrugged her shoulders and motioned for me to continue with the story.

"After that year, Edward and I were pretty much inseparable. Our parents thought it was so weird that our best friends weren't kids of the same sex. My mom thought I should have been closer to girls, and not so close to Edward."

"Renee didn't like Edward?" Rose asked.

"It wasn't that she didn't like him. She just wanted me to be around more girls, and not spend all of my time with the little boy down the street."

"Oh, that's right. You guys used to live close to each other, right?" Alice chimed in.

"Yeah, his house was like a mile from mine. Anyway, back to the story. We were inseparable. It didn't help when our parents signed us up for recreational sports. My parents thought it would be good for me to join a cheer-leading team. Something about being with girls, and learning teamwork. What they didn't know was that the team I was cheering for was the same football team Edward was on. Which meant going to games together, and having parties together."

"Ohhh, I bet Charlie was pissed, huh?" Rose interjected.

I laughed to myself. "Yeah, he was less than excited. All throughout elementary school, we had classes and sports together. We had other friends, but we had been friends for so long that no one could really get close to either of us. Eventually, our parents gave up and actually became friends themselves. So, then it was all cookouts, pool parties, family vacations-everything was together." I paused for a second.

I was remembering this one incident between Edward and myself.

"Hello? Bella? We need you to continue!" Rose yelled.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I got lost in my thoughts for a second. I was just thinking about this stupid thing Edward and I did when we were seven."

~ ~
Bella- 7 years old

"Edward, I swear if you push me in you are gonna pay!" I shouted.

I was frantically running around the pool in our backyard. Edward's family had come over for a small outdoor get together. Everyone else was inside getting the food ready to put on the grill. Our parents knew we were great swimmers, and generally good kids. So, they didn't worry about leaving us outside alone.

I didn't know what had gotten into Edward. I guess he hadn't picked on me in a while, and was feeling the need to do so.

"Bella, you better run! You know I'm faster than you. I'm gonna catch you!" He responded.

I was trying everything I could think of to get away from him. I ran around the trampoline and back to the opposite side of the pool. As I took a second to catch my breath, I noticed it had gotten really quiet. I started to panic. I didn't know where he was. Just a second later, I felt two cool hands press against my back, and shove me towards the water. I fell in, and because I was unprepared I inhaled a huge amount of water.

I came up to the surface, and managed to get out of the water while I was basically choking. I heard Edward laughing in the distance, and I wanted to rip his head off.

I was practically dying, and he was laughing.

As I continued to cough and gasp for air, he finally realized I wasn't joking. He ran over to me in an attempt to help, but he didn't know what to do. He just kept asking if I was alright.

He finally ran inside to get help, and by the time they were all outside, I had recovered.

"What happened, Bella? Oh my God!" My mother exclaimed as she wrapped me in a towel.

"I... I... was .. playing with Edward and he pushed me in the water." I managed to spit out.

I didn't want to throw him under the bus, but I told him not to push me in.

Esme and Carlisle turned their attention to Edward.

"Edward, what were you thinking?" Carlisle began. "You could have killed her!"

I looked at Edward. He looked like a sad puppy dog.

"I didn't mean to hurt her, Dad. We were just playing." He said timidly.

"You can't just push people into the water. You would've been really upset if you had hurt Bella." Esme chastised him.

"Bella, go in your room, and lay down for a while." Charlie tendly instructed me.


I walked into the house, and went straight to my room. I closed the door behind me, and began to change into dry clothes. Once I was out of the wet swimsuit, I switched on the TV and laid down on the bed.

A few minutes later I heard a knock on my door.

"Who is it?"

"It's Edward. Can I come in?"


He walked in and shut the door behind him.

"Are you alright?" He asked.

I shrugged my shoulders. "Yeah, I'll be fine."

"I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"I know. It's okay. I didn't mean to get you in trouble."

"Don't worry about it. I'm just glad you are okay." He said as he sat down on the floor.

"You don't have to stay in here. You can go back outside. I'll be okay."

"Nah, I wanna stay in here. It's boring out there with all of the grown ups."

"Okay. You have to be cold. You wanna change into your clothes?" I asked.

"Good idea." He responded.

Edward stood up and grabbed his bag from the other side of my room. With his towel wrapped around his waist he slid off his swimming trunks, and quickly pulled on his shorts. He then pulled out a t shirt, and threw it on.

It wasn't weird that Edward was changing in front of me. He did it all the time, and it wasn't like I could see anything more than I saw when we were swimming.

He climbed on the bed, and sat down next to me.

We watched TV in silence for a few minutes. We never felt the need to fill the silence with talking.

I then felt Edward's hand on my knee. I immediately froze. We were best friends, but we had never touched each other outside of a hug.

Then he just left his hand there, like my knee was where it was supposed to be.

"Edward, what are you doing?"

"Uhhh... nothing." He responded as he quickly pulled his hand back.

"Why did you do that?"

"I thought you might like it?"

I looked at him in amazement. "Why would you think that?"

"Never mind, Bella. Just act like it never happened." He responded quietly as he dropped his head.

"You're acting weird, Edward."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are! You pushed me in the pool, and now you're putting your hand on my leg. That's weird!"

He turned to look at me. "It's just that.... that.. I.... never mind."

"Just tell me, Edward. We tell each other everything. Don't start hiding stuff now."

"Well, I kind of..." He trailed off.

"You kind of what Edward?"

"L... you."

"I know you like me. I'm your best friend."

He looked back down at his lap. "I like you more than just a friend."

I was completely stunned. We had been friends for so long. Why did he choose now to tell me he liked me? Had he liked me more than a friend the entire time?

He was my best friend. I had never looked at him in any other way.

I was speechless.

I sat there for a few minutes, and just stared into space. Did I like him too? I had never thought about it before.

"Just forget it. You don't like me like that." He said as he moved to get off the bed.

"No, wait!" I shouted. "I've just never thought about it. Maybe, I do like you like that."

He turned back to me and his face was beaming with excitement. "Really?"

"Maybe. How do I know?"

"I don't know." He responded.

"How did you know then?"

"I've always liked you Bella. Ever since that first day of pre-school. You just make me feel different."

Different? What kind of different? What does that mean?

I was so confused. I didn't want to hurt my best friend, but I honestly didn't know if I liked him like that.

"Maybe we should kiss?" He suggested.

He had to be crazy! I had never kissed a boy before. I didn't know what to do. The only people that I had ever seen kiss were married.

"You have to be married to do that." I responded.

"No you don't. Come on, let's just try it."

I looked down at my hands in my lap. "I've never kissed anyone before."

"Me either."

"How will we know what to do?" I asked.

"We just press our lips together."

"Okay." I agreed.

We sat staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Neither one of us having any idea of how to move forward.

Edward finally closed his eyes and began to lean forward. I saw him press his lips together as he continued to lean closer to me. I started to panic. I was scared as hell.

I didn't move an inch. Before I knew it, Edward's lips were planted firmly against mine. My breathing stopped, and my eyes were as wide a saucers.

It didn't feel bad. It just felt weird.

Edward was like a brother to me, and kissing him just felt wrong.

I pulled back, and continued to stare at him.

"Excuse me, young lady! What do you think you are doing?" Charlie yelled at me.

When had he opened the door? I didn't even hear it.

We were so screwed.

"That is so funny. That man has wanted you forever." Alice said as she tried to stop laughing.

"Did you get in trouble?" Rose asked.

"Not really. They knew we were just kids, but after that we were not allowed to be alone. Anytime Edward would even hug me goodbye, Charlie would cringe. You could see in his face how hard it was to restrain himself from separating us. He eventually got over it."

"Wait, didn't he date one of your friends back in middle school?" Alice questioned.

"Yeah, he dated a few of my friends. I knew he still had feelings for me, but I couldn't bring myself to think of him as more than a friend. So I hooked him up with my friends over the years. There was this one time when we were in seventh grade, and it was our first school dance."

"Uh oh, the good old school dances. You gotta tell me this story." Rose said.

"Well, I liked Edward's friend Michael, and Edward liked my friend Danielle. So, we set each other up, and decided to all go as a group. Danielle and Michael lived on the same street, and Danielle's parents drove us all to the dance. It was so great. I was so smitten by Michael. He was tall, dark, handsome. He had these lips that were so perfect. Edward and Danielle seemed to really like each other too."

"Michael sounds hot!" Alice squealed.

"Believe me, he was. Other than the mishap kiss with Edward, Michael was my first kiss. We were slow dancing and he had his hands on the small of my back. My body was pressed against his. I was gazing into his beautiful blue eyes, and he bent down to kiss me. I swear the Earth stopped when his lips touched mine. It was the best moment of my life, at the time."

"Damn, girl. You sure you don't wanna marry Michael instead?" Rose interjected sarcastically.

"Funny, Rose. No. He's married with kids. That ship has sailed." I responded.

"What about Edward and Danielle?" Alice questioned.

"They kissed that night too. We all took pictures together. It was a great night. Michael and I dated for a while after that, and so did Edward and Danielle. It was puppy love though, so it didn't last too long. When those relationships were over it was back to me and Edward. Still best friends. Still there for each other."

"He really is a good guy. I never knew he was that loyal." Rose said.

"He's always been my rock. Through everything good and bad you can imagine-he was there. Like when I was twelve, and my grandma died. She was like a second mother to me. I was devastated when she died."

~ ~
Bella 12 years old

It was my last day at cheer camp. We were about a hundred and fifty miles away from home. I called my mom in the morning to check in, as usual.

"Hey Mom!"

"Bella," she began. "I have bad news."

My mind started racing with all of the thoughts of possible things she could be getting ready to tell me.

"What kind of bad news?" I questioned.

"Grandma died last night. I'm so sorry sweetie."

My heart stopped, and I quit breathing. I felt like it was a dream. That I would wake up any minute, and she would be there. The tears immediately started flowing down my cheeks. I was struggling to breathe again.

"Bella? Are you okay?"

"Ye... ye... yeah. I can't believe she's gone."

"I know baby. I'm so sorry. Just try to get through with your day, and we will be there to pick you up soon."

"Al.... alright."

I hung up on the phone, and walked around the rest of the day in a daze. I couldn't think about anything other than my grandma. I felt like my world had been shattered.

That night my parents arrived to take me home. I walked to the car, and I was surprised when I opened the door to find Edward in the backseat. I was instantly relieved. He had the ability to calm me just by being there.

I climbed in the backseat, and Edward instantly wrapped me in his arms.

"I'm sorry Bella."

The tears were flowing once again, and I couldn't bring myself to actually say anything in response. That was the beauty of our relationship. We pretty much knew what the other was thinking without having to actually say it.

I laid my head in his lap, and he stroked my hair the whole way home. Never speaking another word.

The day of the funeral he was right by my side. He held my hand during the service to comfort me. At the graveside he kept his hand on the small of my back. He was always giving me some sign that he was there without actually saying anything.

~ ~
"Oh God, I think I'm gonna cry!" Alice cried out.

"I know. I'm starting to tear up too!" Rose responded.

"I don't know if I would've made it through all of that without Edward."