When I moved back to Forks, it was so I could heal the hurt Garrett created and find myself again. Never did I imagine I'd heal from the hurt Edward caused, too. It took a bit of time for the pain to diminish, but eventually it did. Several more talks followed the first. He heard more of my side of the story, and we cried together once again, for both the time lost and for the pain we both suffered.

Struggling with the "what ifs" was hard. What if I'd spoken first? What if he'd called me? What if I'd called him? We learned not to dwell on it. There was nothing we could do, and we would never know.

We talked about what we'd been doing over the past decade. I learned about the girl he had planned to marry. She's engaged to someone else, and Edward rarely hears from her anymore.

I filled Edward in on my marriage and its failure. Reliving the pain of the infidelity and sharing my vulnerability wasn't easy. He guided me through my issues better than anyone else had. I realized there was nothing I could have done to prevent what happened. I stopped feeling guilty for making the decision to end our marriage. Garrett was responsible for that.

Edward was there when Garrett came to get the children for Thanksgiving. That was an interesting encounter. It was nice to see Garrett squirm a bit over Michael's constant praise of his teacher. When he realized Mr C. was the Edward, I may have encouraged Michael even more.

Since my children were gone, I was invited to spend Thanksgiving with the Cullens. It was wonderful to see them all again. Everyone was very welcoming, and I fit into their lives as if I'd never left.

Eventually we touched on Edward's soulmate comment. He'd believed we would have taken a break during our college years but always felt we'd get together again. It didn't happen as he'd planned, but maybe we were soulmates?

We were both young and dealing with our own issues and immaturity at a time when we thought we knew best. Life experience changes things. For one, it taught me how to really forgive. Edward. Garrett. And myself.

Time and circumstance brought us back together. Our history helped us build on a shaky foundation, but it seemed to be getting stronger every day. Who knows what our future will bring? I know I don't want to lose him again. He's told me he doesn't want to lose me.

Spending time with him and becoming friends again fills a void in me. I needed my friend back. I needed him back. When you connect so seamlessly with someone, and then one day they're gone, you never really recover from their loss. Having Edward back is everything.

On the days when I catch a glimpse of the boy I once knew or feel like the girl who was fearless with him, I hope for more. I can feel our connection. I can see a future. I know it would be wonderful. But, for now, I'm happy being his friend.

The End

- HtbF -

Wow! To me it's just crazy that I wrote all these words! I hope you enjoyed it and it was what you were looking for, WitchyVampGirl. I want to thank you for the prompt. They were all fantastic, but this one spoke to me. I'd actually written parts of this story more than three years ago, but didn't know where to take it. I greatly deviated from that original plan, but had been helped with it back then, by Perry Maxwell and Bobbi Wordsmith; my gratitude for them is great. I hope they're happy to see I finally finished it.

Again, I'd love to throw as many hugs and thanks to Hadley and Jen who saved me with their expertise. This story wouldn't be what it was without their guidance and friendship. Monique, thanks for helping me to project my feelings.

Bee Lynn, for your amazing banner - I gave you so little to work with and you produced exactly what I wanted. Thank you!

Tiffany - organizing all of us is an enormous task. Thank you for doing it over and over and over again!

Please do check out the other authors participating. If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the Facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps, or follow the C2 to get all the stories direct. community/FAGE-8-Soul-Mates/93625/