Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
We sat in silence except for the sounds of Bella's tears.
"Please don't cry," I whispered to her I held her hand a little tighter in mine as she wiped at her tears. I hated that she was crying over me once more.
"I'm sorry," she whispered to me as her hand tightened in mine.
"I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry for everything," she said as she continued to try to stop her tears as her words turned me inside out. I didn't want her to be sorry. I didn't want her to feel bad since I didn't. I hated that she wasn't mine, but I never wanted her to feel guilty over it or me. I never wanted to be the reason she cried ever again.
"Don't be sorry," I said to her as I struggled to find the words to comfort her as I remembered that comforting her was never something I was especially good at .
"I'm not sorry and don't ask me to be," I said as she looked at me with her teary eyes searching mine to see if I was lying to her, and I wasn't. I would never be sorry for that night. I would never be sorry for having one last time to love her properly, to remind her of what we had once upon a time.
"And don't ask me not to love you anymore, because I won't do that either," I said as I looked at her, not giving a damn that the man she had chosen was listening to me.
"I can't do that," I admitted confidently with a sad shake of my head as the memory of when admitting such a thing would have been painful, especially admitting it to Bella.
"I know," Bella said as she looked at me with a sad smile that made my chest ache. She knew all too well that I could never do that. My heart would stop beating before I ever stopped loving her.
"I love you too, you know that," she said as she looked at me knowingly since I did know that. She had told me countless times during our divorce that she would love me forever which only made our divorce worse since it never made sense to me as to why she would love me yet refuse to be with me.
"You've said that before, but it never made sense," I finally admitted with a shrug as I tried to down play the ache in my heart as she wiped a few more stray tears.
"Edward, you've been in my life since I was sixteen. You have been there. You're the father of Seth. You are part of my foundation, of who I am, and of who I've become. I will always love and care for you because of this," she said as she tried to explain what she was feeling towards me. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but I had come to expect that from her now.
"It's been you, Bella. It will only ever be you," I replied as she continued to wipe at her tears that fell. I watched the sad look become etched on her face as she looked at me.
"That's not true," she said in a rough sounding whisper before clearing her throat as she struggled to regain her composure.
"There will be another, Edward. Another woman who will love you with everything she has. She will love you more than anything in her world, Edward, and you will love her," she said with a radiant smile that made me feel warm inside as I basked in her happiness once more even if that happiness came with the insane thought that I would love another like I love her.
"I won't," I said stubbornly as I looked at her with a sad smile of refusal as she shook her head at me with a smile that still hinted at her happiness.
"Ok, fine," she said with a sigh as she looked at me while rolling her eyes over my childish response since it was childish, but true. I would never get over her. I would never stop loving her. I would never forget what I had lost.
"But I want, no, need you to happy, Edward," she said as she looked at me with a determined look in her eyes.
"I need you to be happy since life is too short not to be," she finished with a firm nod of her head as if my happiness could be forced by her sheer will.
"Are you happy?" I asked her catching her off guard with my quick response as I watched her face flush and her eyes go wide.
Bella paused for a long moment as if she was thinking about my question. She appeared to be giving her life and her happiness some thought before responding to me with warm eyes and a lazy smile that melted my heart just like it always did.
"Yes, I am, but I told you that already," she responded with a smile that cased the ache in my chest to grow since I knew it was true. She was happy with her life here and with the people who surrounded her, even though I wasn't one of those people.
"Now, you go find your happiness, Edward. It's waiting for you," she said with a grin as she squeezed my hand reassuringly while I clung to her just like I always had.
We talked for more than hour afterwards, discussing life and everything else. It was hard to talk with her, to listen to her as she radiated happiness while telling me about her life, Riley and their daughter. She spoke of not wanting to lose me, which made me laugh since I thought I was the only one who worried about such things when it came her.
She wanted to be friends. She had missed me and while her words were warm they left me feeling sad since I wasn't sure if I could be a part of her life and yet not in it. I wasn't sure if I could watch her happiness, but I agreed all the same since having a part of her was better than nothing at all.
Time passed and eventually it was time for me to leave. There was nothing left to say, yet everything was still left unspoken as she walked me out to my car with her hand so warm in mine.
I looked at the only girl I had ever loved as she smiled at me before pulling me into a warm good bye hug. She was every bit as beautiful as she was the day I had met her years ago with her dark eyes and sweet smile.
"It will be ok, Edward. I promise," she whispered to me as she held me tight, reassuring me like she always did when we had been together. Her words blanketed me with a warm feeling that I tried to hang on to as she slowly stepped away from me while ending our embrace.
"I will always love you, Bella," I whispered to her as her smile faltered for a second before recovering with the same warm grin that had been on her lovely face.
"I know," she replied before I leaned over to press one last kiss against her forehead just like I used to show my thanks, only this time I hoped that she knew I was thanking her for everything. I was thanking her for her love, her heart, her soul, for our son; everything that she had given me without a second thought all in the name of loving me.
With a few more whispered good byes and promises to stay in touch I got in my car. I watched as Riley stepped out on the small porch to greet her as she made it safely back inside of her home with his arms wrapped firmly around her waist, guiding and protecting her just like I should have. With one final look back I drove off into the night, back to my life, except this time everything was different and that difference was a lighter feeling in my chest instead of the heavy dread that always seemed to fill me. It was that lightness that gave me hope.
Thanks for reading! This is beta free so all mistakes are mine. There is one last thing to post and that's the epi. I do have it thought out even though it is not written yet. I have hopes to have it written & posted by next week.
To those of you who are disappointed with the ending, I am sorry, but I could not put them back together no matter how I tried. Yes, I did try, but I couldn't see it and if I can't see it then I can't do it.