Marriage was hard. Everyone who was married knew that. Was marriage supposed to be so hard that you felt sick thinking about your spouse? No, and Bella knew that just as well. After two years of being married to Jacob, she knew that she had to get out of this life for both their sakes. Jacob was one of the most gorgeous things Bella had seen in her 20 years. He was olive-skinned, had big brown eyes, thick, long lashes, a smile to kill, and the body that would assist in the murder. He was every girl's dream, and Bella knew it. She felt so lucky to have married him at 18, right after high school.
They had a small wedding; all their part-time jobs could afford. Bella got her white dress at a retail store, where in the next isle over they were selling men's boxers. It was in the garden on the Reservation. Everyone that mattered was there, and that was it. Happily, ever after. For the first few months at least. Bella lost touch with her friends after graduation, so the only peers she saw was Jacob's friends. Sam Uley, the oldest of their "pack", was 25, and loved to party with his younger friends. The more Jacob drank, the less Bella found herself attracted to him. He would come into their room late and wake her up by throwing himself drunkenly on the bed, reeking of booze. Bella would often go sleep on the couch to avoid his drunken snores throughout the night. After dealing with it for six months straight, Bella found that she needed a hobby if she was going to save her marriage.
Bella was never physically fit. She was clumsy, skinny, and much too weak to even think about weightlifting, but she knew that exercise was supposed to help clear a person's head. Bella joined their local gym. They had yet to leave Forks, wanting to have a good amount in their savings before moving away from their home, so it was no uncommon that Bella got odd looks and sheepish waves every now and then. Running on the treadmill for an hour and then taking a quick swim in the pool really made a big difference for her. She found that Jacob noticed the tightening of her skin around her abdomen and extremities as well, seeing as they were more… physical than usual. He would call her "sexy" and "hot", but never "beautiful".
After attending the gym for a few weeks, Bella saw a new face. It was rare to see a new face in Forks, so she found a small interest. He was tall, pale, and had the craziest copper toned hair. After some days passed, she noticed that he may have found interest in her as well. A few weeks went by of passing glances, blushing, and dainty smiles from across the gym before he approached her.
"Hello," He said, his voice a perfect balance between deep and soft. "I'm Edward."
"Bella. Isabella, but just Bella." She replied, having to stop herself from rambling on.
That exchange changed everything. Edward and Bella only got closer and closer as days turned to weeks, then to months. They saw each other more than Bella saw Jacob, and to no fault of her own. It just so happened that their schedules didn't line up more than spending nights together. Bella found sanctuary in Edward after some time. They began to ditch the gym on nicer days, opting to go outside and jog or play soccer or something of the sorts. She confided in Edward of all her insecurities as a woman and a wife, and Edward spoke of his troubled family. He would come visit her at work, speaking with her while she put in orders at the Carver Café, sipping on the complimentary milkshake he would get every time. They laughed together, played together; a great friendship bloomed from that one day at the gym.
Over time, Bella found that what she was feeling for Edward was much more than friendship. She would catch herself mesmerized by the curve of his upper lip or the crease of his brow. She wondered if he felt the same way for her, with her muddy brown eyes and hair to match. No, Bella thought. No way. Edward Cullen was an ivory god, with gorgeous tawny eyes and copper hair that reflected strokes of red when in the sun. He was taller and leaner than her husband, but had the same gorgeous smile, one that could bring a woman to her kne-Oh shit, her husband. Bella shook the thoughts that romanticized Edward out of her head as she laid on the couch, her head propped up on the arm while her feet rested in Jacob's lap. He scrolled on his phone mindlessly, the same way he had been every time she looked up at him for the past hour and a half.
Bella stood up and adjusted the shorts she wore to sleep every night. "I'm going to bed." She announced for Jacob to hear.
"Okay, I'm gonna go out with the boys." Jacob replied.
Oh, right. Bella thought as she rolled her eyes. It's Friday.
"What was that?" Jacob asked, catching her wrist before she could escape to the comforts of the plush, queen bed that they were supposed to share.
"Nothing." Bella muttered. "Have fun, see you later." She pulled her arm away from him and receded to her room. Normal men might take the hint that their wife was upset with them, but Jacob simply shrugged it off. When Bella heard the front door slam and lock, she pulled her phone out, the bright screen illuminating her room. Edward had texted her.
What are you up to? She could almost hear his voice in her ear.
Jacob just left. Bella typed back, sighing out loud for no one to hear. Want to hang out?
Where? Edward replied almost instantly.
Just get me off this Reservation.
The next text received was an address. Bella tapped on it with her thumb, and her phone opened a new app. 23 minutes. That wasn't too bad. Bella mindlessly got out of bed and slid on some sweatpants, knowing that the cold Washington air wouldn't be kind to her pale legs, grabbed a cardigan from off the back of a chair, and slid her feet into some warm house shoes.
On my way, see you in 23 minutes.
The drive was pretty boring at night. When Bella pulled into the apartment complex on the other side of town, she felt a rush of anxiety flood her. She had never been to Edward's apartment in the year of their friendship. Her eyes were peeled for building 3000, and there just so happened to be a parking spot right in front of it. She shot a text to Edward that she had arrived, and when she looked up out of her windshield, he was standing on the balcony over her. He waved her up, causing her to climb out of her rusty old truck and rush up the stairs before the cold air could nip at her though the knitting of her cardigan.
They talked for a long time, and as it passed, Bella found herself entranced by him. This is wrong, a voice in the back of her mind told her. You're married.
"Bella?" Edward's voice was questioning, pulling her out of her daze. "Did you hear me?"
"No," She said, shaking her head, trying to rid the thought of what his hands would feel like out of her mind. "Sorry, I zoned out. What did you say?"
"Well, I was saying… I think I have feelings for you." He muttered, definitely louder the second time.
Bella raised her eyebrows just enough to show emotion. Her lips parted, trying to form words to say, but nothing would come.
"I know you're married," He said, lowering his head. Before he could continue, Bella finally spoke.
"I want a divorce." Her own voice surprised her, causing her to draw her hand up to cover her lips, like that would stop her from further incriminating herself.
"Don't do that for me," Edward started after a pause, taking in her bold statement.
"It's not, I'm not." Bella finally could control her words again. "I'm not happy. I haven't been in a while."
Edward's eyes gazed into hers, trying to read her. He felt nothing but desire for Bella, and he hoped that she felt the same as he leaned in.
Bella saw Edward slowly moving towards her. This is wrong, the same voice told her. Don't cross this line, Isabella. But she couldn't help herself. Her body scooted towards Edward and met him in a passionate kiss, like nothing she had shared with Jacob in a long time. His hands felt like fire on her, rubbing her over the layers of clothes she had on.
Though all they did was kiss, that was the beginning of Bella's affair.