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... li....like 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."
"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.
"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."
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."