I didn't think he was still in town, but I guess thinking isn't my strong suit at the moment. Or really ever.
I take him in—his jeans, sneakers, messenger bag over his shoulder, and T-shirt. He's almost the boy I fell in love with. He's every bit as beautiful as I remember, not the doctor that he became without me. Not the man who he is today, whoever that is.
"If you don't talk to him, I will," Maggie says, pulling me out of my thoughts.
I roll my eyes at her, and she walks to her office. "I'll let you two have some privacy." She walks away, but I have a feeling she'll try to hear anything she can.
Edward makes his way over to my desk, smile small but nervous
"I—" He stops and shakes his head. "Em told me where I could find you."
"That's surprising," I answer. "He's still not your biggest fan."
He smiles a little. "Don't I know it." He rubs his chin, and then his face gets serious. "We need to talk. There are things I need to say."
"Right now? I don't know if—"
Maggie sticks her head out. "I got it covered, dear! See you tomorrow!"
"We can go to the cafe across the street, if that's okay," I say, wondering what I'm getting myself into.
He nods while I grab my things. I try to remind myself to hear him out and listen to what he has to say.
Be an adult, Bella.
We cross the street in silence. It kills a small part of me that he feels like a stranger.
We sit at a table in the corner, and I wait. I don't know how to start this, what to say.
He looks at the menu, outside of the window next to me, then finally he looks at me and takes a deep breath.
"For the longest time, I thought about what I would say to you when I got the chance. Now I have no idea what any of it was," he finally says. I can see the hurt in his eyes.
"Should have brought flash cards," I say, thinking about college, back to when he needed them for everything.
He laughs, and I watch him remember that time, too. Most of the time he would throw them on the floor and kiss me like it was the last time.
"Bella, I'm sorry," he says, watching me. "I don't know how it got so bad."
My defenses rise because I do.
"I spent months thinking you regretted asking me to come with you." He shakes his head, but I add, "I thought you didn't want to be married to me, that you thought it was a mistake."
I keep talking because if I stop, I'll never say what needs to be said.
"For months, you knew Charlie was sick. For months we were in Spain, a million miles away from him. Time with him that I can never get back." I look at him, tears make him blurry.
I think I might throw up.
He watches me for a second he looks away and then he nods. "I need you to know my side of things."
I nod, knowing it's time I hear his side of what happened.
"When Charlie told me he was sick, he made me promise not to say anything. His exact words were, I didn't get to walk Bella down the aisle—you owe me." He gives me a sad smile. "I should have told you, but he said the only thing he wanted was to know you were happy. He wasn't supposed to get so sick that soon." He pauses, looking down at his lap. "I wanted to tell you. I did. When I told him as much, he threatened me with HIPPA and, well... I couldn't say anything. My hands were tied."
"I was your wife. You still should have told me," I say, watching him.
"You still are, Bella," he says, looking at me with dark green eyes.
"Oh, am I?" I ask quietly, watching him. We're quiet as the years of pain and tension that went on for too long bounce between us. I don't prepare myself for his next words, for what it does to my heart.
"God, you're everything. Even when I just wanted to forget you. You've always been it for me, Bella."
"Why are you saying this now?" I ask, hoping like hell he can't see the panic I'm feeling.
"I just needed you to know. I needed to see you today because… Jenks. He drew these up." The last words are rushed, like he needs to say them or he won't.
He pulls an envelope out of his messenger bag, and places them before me as he stands up.
"I loved you, and I probably always will. I know we're not the same people that we were. There is a lot to work out but, whatever you decide..." he says, and squeezes my hand for a brief second before he stands and walks away.
I watch him, and then take out the papers.
The words crash into me like a thousand waves.
Petition for Divorce.
We don't say anything on the ten minute drive to the hospital. Edward barely puts the car into park before I'm running through the doors of the hospital. I find Em sitting in the chairs next to Rose, who wipes her eyes.
"He… his heart. We were talking, and I guess he got too stressed out. It happened so fast."
Me. He was worried about me.
Edward stands next to me for a few seconds before I lose it.
"You," I say, looking at him. "Instead of spending time with Charlie I was with you. I didn't know he was sick because of you. He wanted me to be so happy, but I was fucking miserable. It's all your fault!"
I don't realize I'm yelling until Carlilse appears.
"Bella," Emmett says.
Edward won't look at me.
"Is there somewhere we can go? Privacy?" he asks his dad.
Carlisle hands him a key and says, "My office."
"I don't want to talk to you. I don't want to go anywhere with you."
"Bella," he says, voice strained, and then he's in front of me.
His throat bobs and he nods. "I love you. I'm sorry."
I hear his steps as he walks away, and I crumble. Emmett catches me before everything goes black.
Huge thank you to iambeagle. Meg, I heart you so big fro everything.