Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.

Fran is my beta extraordinaire. :)

Here you go. Happy Reading.

It's well past midnight when insomnia forces me to I angrily throw the covers off myself and tiptoe down the stairs. The sliver of light peeking through the open fridge door and the clink clink sound of steel hitting ceramic makes me stop at the entrance of the kitchen. I slide my hand back and forth on the wall, blindly searching for the light switch, and when I feel it underneath my fingers, I flip it on.

Rose blinks into the sudden burst of light, her hair resembling a crow's nest and her mouth closed around a spoon. She's sitting on the kitchen counter, clutching a bucket of her favorite ice cream to her stomach and languidly swinging her legs back and forth.

"Hi," I gasp, surprised to find her awake at this hour.

She pops out the spoon from her mouth and licks off the remaining ice cream from her lips.

"Hi," She replies in a raspy voice.

Even from where I stand, I can see that her eyes are red and puffy.

She's been crying.

The air is thick with unspoken words yet I still can't find it in myself to speak. My heart feels weighed down with the thoughts of our fight earlier today.

I sigh, rubbing my eyes in a desperate attempt to clear my head. "Look, if you don't want me here anymore, just say the word. I'll leave …" I trail off when I hear her chuckle.

Rose looks up and a single tear rolls down her cheek. "How could you leave me here all alone, Bella? How could you?"

Her voice cracks and go does my heart when I realize she's not referring to the present time. I back away from her slowly until my back hits the wall and I slide down to the floor, breathing out unsteadily. And here we remain for a few minutes, just staring at each other across the room, some kind of invisible bond holding us together.

Tugging and pulling us closer

Wrapping around us so tightly that it's difficult to breathe.

Stretching, tensing and ripping open new wounds over unhealed, old ones.

"I picked up the phone so many times … Dialed your number so many times… " I admit, looking at my lap.

Rose snorts, smiling disbelievingly to herself. "I called you a thousand times when you were in New York for the first time, but I got tired of listening to your answering machine."

"I'm sorry." It's a thoughtless reply. It's a feeling. God, I wish I could show her how sorry I am.

"You forgot about us, Bella," she accuses.

"I know there isn't any excuse for my behavior, Rose. I know. But I was just so caught up! All these new places, new cities... I had to make my life... my career! I had to fulfill my dreams!" I say, my voice almost quivering.

"Your dreams, your life, your problems ... your excuses!" Rose spits out. "Everything is about you. What about me, Bella? How much do you even know about me anymore? My life, my dreams... my circumstances!" Her eyes are wide and she breathes out unevenly, almost shaking with rage.

I grit my teeth together as the irritation slowly seeps in. "God, why do have to be such a drama queen, Rose? Look at Em … it's not like we spoke every day, but he's still okay with me."

"That's because Em has no expectations of you, Bella!" Her voice is shrill and her expression reflects my father's during our fights.


Given up.

Terrifyingly empty.

I have nothing to say to that so I stay quiet.

"And then you go and cheat on my brother." Rose cries incredulously, throwing up her hands in the air.

I close my eyes and rest my head on the wall, clutching my mouth close as my insides twist and churn painfully.

"Talk to me, dammit!" Rose screams at me and I hear her heavy footsteps come toward me. There's a loud thump as she falls down in front of me and her hands suddenly come around my shoulders, shaking me violently.

"Tell me. Tell me right now. Why, Bella, why?" She shouts, tears now continuously leaking out of her eyes as she shakes me. "Why did you have to be so selfish? Everything was so fucking perfect. Why did you have to ruin everything?" She's so close now that I can smell her breath and it smells strongly of alcohol. I slowly try to loosen her fingers from around me, but she clutches on to me as if her life depends on it. Her nails are so sharp that they can break the skin and I have no doubt they'll leave marks.

"Rose, you're drunk. Come on, I'll take you to bed." I try again to get her up but fail.

"He loved you, hell, he still loves you. And what do you do?" She asks, pointing at me and smirking. She gets up suddenly and walks back to the kitchen counter, taking a large gulp from a wine bottle. "You fucking cheat!" She turns to face me again, smiling dangerously and hurls the bottle onto the floor near my feet where it shatters on impact.

I automatically hold up my hands to shield my face, and feel a few shards of glass hit, and bounce off my body. The sound reverberates through the house and I stare at Rose with wide eyes, surrounded by little bits of sparkling glass everywhere.

"She didn't cheat on me, Rose." A voice speaks and my head snaps up to find Edward standing in the doorway, shadowed by Em.

"What?" Rose stands there, looking every bit as shattered as the glass around her.

"She didn't cheat on me," Edward repeats again, shooting me a quick glance. His eyes are enraged and they quickly give me a once over, making sure I'm not seriously hurt. He looks back at Rose again, his jaw clenched.

"You're lying. Leah told me …" She drifts off, unsure, as the doubt settles in slowly.

"Leah," Edward says angrily, his voice bouncing off the walls. "Leah knows nothing."

"I thought—" Rose's gaze shifts from Edward to me, her expression turning horrified. Her hand closes around her mouth as she cries out.

Em pushes past Edward and quickly gathers Rose in his arms. He pulls her arm around his shoulder and carefully walks her out of the room. Once they leave, I hear the crunch of glass under footsteps, as Edward slowly walks towards me. He squats down, trying to catch my eyes.

"Bella, are you okay?"

I can't make any sense of his words.

All I can hear is Rose.

Her voice rings in my ears; her broken, tear-streaked face flashes across my eyes and I feel my throat tighten. All this is my fault. It's all happening because of me.

Edward calls my name again, but all I can do is stare blankly over his shoulder. Cold hands cup my face and force me to look into pools of green that are Edward's eyes. Up close, I can see specks of gold in them and they are hypnotizing. For just a second, they make me forget.

I feel a soft pressure on my back and on the underside of my legs as Edward swiftly picks me up. Out of the corner of my eyes, I see Char standing in the doorway, staring down at the wreckage with a horrified look on her face. When she looks up at us, I can see the tears glistening in her eyes. She smiles at me comfortingly and moves aside to let Edward carry me out.

In my room, Edward slowly lowers me onto my bed and sits down beside me, his eyes roaming my face with a certain urgency.

"You sure you're okay?" He asks again.

I shake my head as I feel a tear run down my cheek. I internally scream at myself for showing weakness in front of Edward and force myself to hold it in for a little bit longer.

I stare unblinkingly at the ceiling and choke down on my sobs. "How did we get so broken, Edward?" I croak.

His answer is just a whisper, light and soft like a breath. "You know how."

Then there's a shuffling noise as Edward gets up and a soft click as he closes the door behind him, and finally, absolute, blissful silence.

And I let go.


"Get your cute butt up, we're going to the beach."

I look up at the sound of Jaime's voice, shielding my eyes from the sun with my hand.


"You heard me; we're going to the beach." Jaime is all smiles in boarding shorts and a Nirvana band T-shirt, looking as carefree and youthful as ever. He's almost too bright to look at.

"I don't want to go," I say, rubbing down the screen of my DSLR with a cotton cloth.

"Well, tough luck, bitch, you're going. Now stop sulking and get up." Jaime tells me, grabbing my camera with one hand and pulling me up with the other.

"What are you doing here again?"

Jaime smirks. "Em asked me to come with him."

"Yeah, sure he did." I roll my eyes.

"Also, I was missing this certain someone because this someone was ignoring all my calls and my texts and my e-mails …" Jaime looks at me pointedly.

"Yeah, sorry about that."

"Did you even read any of them?

"No. Wait, why, is something wrong?" I look at Jaime worriedly.

"No, everything is fine. It's a good thing you didn't read my texts; I wanted to give you the news face to face."

I frown. "What news? What the hell are you talking about, Jaime?"

"Aro sent me the line-up for our trip. We're going to Asia, baby!" Jaime doesn't give me a chance to react before attacking my mouth. His hands suddenly slip under my shirt and I suck in an air of surprise.

I'm just about to stop him and pull away when I hear someone clearing their throat behind me. Whirling around, I find Edward staring hard at Jaime, his jaw clenched shut.

"Ready to go?" Edward asks me roughly, his eyes still stuck on Jaime's hand around my waist.

The air is suddenly thick with tension again and I cautiously speak up to break the awkward silence.

"Uh, yeah … sure, let's go."


La Push is a beauty in itself. It is pale bleached sand against mysterious, brown water. It is sunrise, sunset, and the sky changing colors every minute. It is bad beer and drunken escapades; driftwood burning blue and pink, out-of-tune songs and raucous laughter.

This was my father's favorite place in the world- this reservation. The serenity used to draw him in and he would come out here as often his job would allow, which was pretty rare, since being the Chief of Police was a never-ending job. Sometimes I used to accompany him and just sit by him while he fished or just simply stared out at the river. We were never ones to talk, my dad and I. We just let the calmness and warmth of our surrounding cocoon us and hide us away, from the constant tension that stifled us, even for just a little while.

Those are best memories I have with my father, but also the roots of some of my deepest regrets. In those moments of quiet and tranquility, my heart used to yearn to tell him everything. I may have been young when it happened, but I still remembered her face and the last words she spoke as if it was yesterday. What was the most that could have happened if had mustered up enough courage to tell him? Would he have died a happy man? I don't know. There is no possible way for me to know anymore.

Standing on the edge of the water, the memories come flooding back to me.

I don't know what's happening and it scares me. I can't even see properly because of all the tears, but I reach up and grab a fistful of Mommy's dress anyway. She tries to pull away from me instantly and grunts my name when I refuse to let go.

There are clothes all over the place and two large suitcases open on the bed. Mommy scoops up all the strewn clothes and dumps them in the suitcases, reaching over to zip them close.

"Mommy, what are you doing?" I cry, leaping onto the bed and trying to stop her.

"Bella, stop," She pushes away my hands and picks up the suitcases, setting them on the floor.

"Mommy, no!" I jump down off the bed and run after her down the stairs. The moment I reach her, she turns around and strikes me hard across my face. I fall down at her feet, my head spinning slightly and my cheek throbbing.

Mommy exhales deeply and sits down on her knees in front of me, cupping my face in her hands. "I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry all this is happening to you."

"W-What are y-you doing, Mommy?" I stutter through the tears.

"I'm leaving, Bella, and I'm not coming back." She says gently, smoothing my hair.

"N-No, don't leave. Please don't leave, Mommy, please!" I beg, clutching her dress as if my life depended on it.

"Shhh, baby girl," She presses a firm kiss on my forehead and then looks me hard in the eye again. "You won't understand why I'm leaving now, Bella, but you will understand my reasons one day. Someday you'll meet a man who will change the entire definition of life for you and you won't be able to stay away. It won't be right and it won't follow the rules; love almost never does."

She smiles sadly, rubbing away a few of my tears before continuing, "Mommy doesn't like Daddy anymore, Bella. I can't stay in this house anymore. It's killing me."

With that, she stands and walks to the drawer where Daddy keeps petty cash for groceries and such and empties it into her purse.

"It may not be enough, but I love you, Bella. I know you'll hate me for the rest of your life, but you'll always be my beautiful baby girl."

Another kiss on the forehead and a click of the lock later she's gone from my life. I remain on the floor for the rest of the night, waiting for her to spring back through the door, yelling 'surprise.'

She never does.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if she had turned around and returned to us, if her love for me were enough to make her stay.

Would I have ever forgiven her?

Would I have ever forgotten?

But she didn't turn around and her love wasn't enough.

Not for me, anyway.

With the dawn came news of a car accident just outside of Forks. They said the explosion was so big it could be seen from miles away. Nothing and no one in the five-meter radius had survived.

I lost my mother that day in more ways than one.

After that incident, my father had retreated into himself, hiding away from everyone and drowning his sorrows with alcohol. He wasn't the same person since.

My father was an honorable man who loved my mother blindly. He didn't know what his wife was doing so far away from home that night and he didn't care. All he knew was that she was gone.

I don't know if telling him the truth would have ever made any difference; if he would have ever treated me better or ever tried harder to show that he cared. That's what I regret the most- the possibilities.

I don't know if my mother deserved to die, but she certainly didn't deserve my father. Even if I'd told him the truth, I don't think he'd have believed me.

He died loving her.

"Come into the water," Edward's voice snaps me out of my trance.

I shake my head, looking up at him. "It's too cold."

Edward smiles and reaches for my hand. "Come here," he says, coaxing me gently into the water.

I take a step forward but jump back, gasping at coldness. "Jesus Christ, it's freezing!"

Edward laughs and pulls me back in. "Give it time, it's going to be all right."

I cock one eyebrow at him in question, but he just shakes his head. I look back at the beach where Rose and Alice are laying on their backs, tanning, and the boys are scattered about, playing beach ball and chatting. Leah's absence is suddenly glaringly noticeable.

"I think I should leave. I'm not helping anyone by staying here." I say and Edward's eyes snap back to my face.


"She obviously doesn't want me here, Edward." I look back at Rose. She's been avoiding me the entire day.

Edward follows my gaze and sighs. "I'm sorry for what happened last night."

Well, I guess we're not beating around the bush anymore.

"Did you tell Leah about what happened between us in New York?" I ask, watching him carefully.

He looks at me for a moment and then quickly looks away guiltily. "I told her some things, yes, but it wasn't what Rose told you last night." He stares out into the muddy water with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"You don't have to worry about it anymore, I've talked to her." He tells me after a moment, turning away.

"You do believe it, right?" I question and Edward stops in his tracks. "I didn't cheat on you, Edward. I would never do that."

He's still turned away from me so I can't see his expression, but he nods.

My eyes start stinging again and I look away quickly. Suddenly, my eyes land on a man sitting on the edge of the cliff to my left with his legs dangling beneath him. He looks tiny in comparison to his surroundings, almost insignificant. I wonder what the view from up there might be like.

"How's the water now?" Edward speaks again and surprises me. I thought he had moved away.

I look down at my feet and wiggle my toes, unsettling the dirt. "It doesn't feel so cold anymore," I admit.

This time he smiles widely and nods toward Rose, saying, "Like I told you, give it some time. It's going to be all right."

Forks has nothing to hold me down anymore; not with Rose and Em's departure to California and Edward's and mine to Seattle. I don't hate this town. I don't think I could even if I tried.

But it's too small and my dreams are too big. In my mind, I've already outgrown Forks.

There's a part of me that feels like I'm doing what my mother almost did. I'm running away. I'm abandoning my father.

It's a nagging feeling and it's eating at me, a little at a time, because that's what I'm most afraid of doing.

I'm afraid of becoming her.

I tell myself that I'm just going off to college, like every other normal eighteen-year-old girl, and that I'll be just three hours away if my father ever needed me and that Forks will always be home.

Forks will always be home.

As the sun drops, and the horizon and sky slowly darken, more people start coming out to the beach. A tall male with russet colored skin and jet-black hair makes his way toward our group and I immediately identify him as Jacob Black, the son of my father's best friend.

He calls out a hello to everyone, fist-bumping Jas and Edward and freezing on the spot when his gaze sweeps over me.

Jake looks away quickly to the nearest person standing next to him, who happens to be Jaime and says, "Hey, dude, can you pinch me?"

Everyone laughs and Jaime shrugs, twisting his nails into Jake's skin.

"Motherfucker, it is you," Jake bellows, his eyes widening. "Come here beautiful." He walks toward me, arms outstretched and envelopes me in a hug.

I laugh and greedily breathe in his husky scent, "Hi, Jake."

"Welcome home, baby girl."

The guys put together a bonfire and we all settle down around it. My eyes unconsciously search for Edward and I find him seated on driftwood opposite to me with Leah's arm wrapped around his.

His eyes are stuck on me though, and I look down to my lap, smiling.

Jake nudges my toes and when I look towards him, he hands me a guitar, which I immediately hand back, shaking my head. "No, no, no. I don't play anymore."

Em snorts, "Right."

I glare at him, but when Rose speaks my heart nearly stops. "Please, Bella, I can't even remember the last time you and Edward played together." She smiles tentatively.

I look around and I realize she's right. I can't remember when I last played with Edward. I can't even remember the last time when we were all here together like this.

The fire crackles and spits and I take back the guitar from Jake's hands, looking over at Edward, who has a guitar in his hands, too. He smiles and nods at me to start.

I strum the first few notes and look up at Edward shyly. He catches on instantly, his laughter ringing out like bells and his eyes shining with pure joy. We've played this song together so many times that we don't even have to look at the chords; the music just spills out from us, and our eyes remain trained on each other for the remainder of the night.

One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away

Both under influence
We had divine scent
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough
For me, no

One night of magic rush
The start a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief

Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough
For me, no

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough

And you, you knew the hands of the devil
And you, kept us awake with wolf teeth
Sharing different heartbeats
In one night

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough
For me, no

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough
For me, no


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