Thank you for the kind words and for staying despite my sporadic updates.

Just a quick warning that heave and triggering topics will be discussed in this story, such as- but not limited to: death, depression, suicide, addiction etc. Proceed with caution.

Mistakes are mine, but Twilight is Meyer's


Ch 3

Christmas came and went with me curled up on my couch with some hot chocolate and burnt cookies, watching Home Alone movies on Disney Plus.

Before anyone judges me, I've always considered myself a great cook and baker. I can bake just about any pastry you can pronounce and cook a mean family meal. However, if you went through- or are going through the same shit as I am, you would know that even the most basic tasks such as making your bed and feeding your dog are hard to do, especially on holidays such as this.

So bite me if I happened to burn three batches of cinnamon cookies, forgot to take out the lasagna in the oven, and stepped five times on my dog- who by the way has been glaring at me for the whole day.

"I said I was sorry" I grumble as I hear Buster grunt for the nth time today. I swear to God I see him rolling his eyes at me.

I'm about to take another bite of my burnt cookie when the doorbell rings. I frown as I pause the movie and double tap the screen of my phone to show the display.

2:13 AM, December 26.

What the hell?

I jump when the person on the other side of the door rings the bell again. Who the fuck visits someone this late - or early, the day after Christmas?

My eyes widen and I feel my hands get clammy as I stand to answer the door. My heart is beating rapidly against my chest when I hear some shuffling behind it.

It can't be?

I take a look at the small monitor beside the door only to see someone standing with their back against the camera next to the doorbell. I squint my eyes and take a moment to try to place who the person is when I hear him speak.

"I know you're in there, Bella" he says, "open up"

I open the door, heart dropping to my stomach, "What are you doing here?"

He straightened, "No one deserves to spend their Christmas alone, Bella"

I cross my arms over my chest, "It's the 26th"

He rolls his eyes, "Technicalities don't suit you" he pushes himself through the door, "besides, I brought sustenance" he says, holding up a bag full of junk food and a six pack.

I sigh and drop my arms from my chest, "Jake-" I start, rubbing my temple with my fingers.

"You're welcome" he winks, walking to the kitchen and placing the bags on the counter. He looks around the mess I have yet to clean, "what the hell happened here?"

"Obviously, I'm not feeling all merry today" I say, "so you can show yourself out because I'm really not in the mood to host anyone"

Jake rolls his eyes, "You're always not in the mood" he chides. "And thankfully, you won't need to host anyone because it's only going to be you and me tonight"

"I don-"

"Stop" he says as he places his hands on the counter and levels me with a glare, "look, the only way you're getting rid of me tonight is if you drag me out of your apartment with me kicking and screaming, which would wake your neighbors and make them call security. So, unless you want to spend your night behind the bars for disrupting the peace on the day after Christmas, I suggest you keep your mouth shut and just go with it"

I scowl and cross my arms over my chest signaling defeat. Jake smirks, "Good girl," he says before opening the cupboard and taking out some glassware. He places them on the counter, grabs the small bucket, and starts filling it with ice from the fridge

"Instead of watching me" he says as he looks up at me, "why don't you pop some popcorn in the microwave and bring these mugs in the living room"

I scoff before doing exactly what he said. I go back inside the kitchen to see him placing everything on a tray and carry it to the living room.

Beep.

I sigh and turn to grab the popcorn from the microwave. Hissing when it burns my fingers and hastly dropping them on the counter.

"Shit" I grimace as I look at my reddening fingers.

What is with this day and burns? I groan, placing my fingers under the running tap water.

"Burn yourself?" Jake calls with the sound of glassware clinking.

I ignore him as I wipe my hands carefully with a dish towel. I grab a bowl from the cupboard, carefully pour the steaming popcorn in it, and walk to the living room where Jake is currently making himself comfortable on my couch.

"Are you seriously watching Home Alone on Christmas?" He asks, eying the movie with disgust.

"It's tradition!" I defend, kicking his shin to make him move.

He grunts as he pushes himself to the other side of the couch and leans his back against the armrest.

"An outdated one at that" he scoffs, "we need to start our own tradition"

I roll my eyes, "Right, cause you'll be spending every Christmas evening or morning after it with me to start one"

"Who says I can't?"

"As if you don't have anything else better to do than dote your heartbroken in the middle-of-divorced friend" I say begrudgingly.

Jake rolls his eyes, "Please" he says, "this whole vibe doesn't suit you. Stop it."

"What vibe?"

"This whole I-don't-deserve-to-be-happy-forever you got going on right now"

"I don't see how I deserve it when I basically asked for this to happen to me" I grumble

"Exactly" he says, "you asked for it"

There's no chance of me hiding the wince when he said it, "Is this your way of making me feel great about myself? Cause so far, you're sucking so bad at it" I frown.

Jake shakes his head, rolling his eyes. Again. "I mean, you asked for it so now it's time for you to accept it and be happy with it or at least move on with your choices," he says before smirking, "and wouldn't you want to know just how well I can suck?" I swear I just barfed in my mouth. All humor leaves his face as he continues, "you can't keep living in the past, Bella. It's not like you did this to yourself for fun. You know how bad things were and you were brave enough to act on it."

"Stupidly as you said" I mumble, remembering all too well the argument we had when I told him about the divorce.

He sighs, "Look, I may not agree with how you solved it, but I can never blame you for doing it if it was the best solution you can come up with for you. If it's the solution you can live with no matter how hard it would be."

I shake my head, "I can hardly call this living, Jake"

"That's because you're not trying hard enough," he says softly, holding my hand.

I open my mouth to protest, but can't find the words to contradict what he said when it's true. Half-true, at least.

I do my best to go about my days like nothing is wrong, like my entire world isn't in shambles. I spend time with my co-workers after shift, join them for night outs on Fridays, and sometimes even during weekends, but I can hardly remember what happened or what we talked about the following day and it's not because of intoxication- which I'm still contemplating if it's a good thing or not. I talk to Charlie and Renee once every two weeks now instead of our weekly calls because I can't bear to hear the disappointment in their voices over what was left in my life.

"I go to therapy" I argue weakly

"Sweetheart, you and I both know that a shrink can only do so much without you helping yourself" he says, "I know Lena, or whatever her name is, mentioned this to you during one of your sessions"

I crack a smile at the random name he mentioned, "Leah"

"Whatever" he waves off, "the point is that you need to help yourself. No amount of sessions or pills would do that for you if you don't succumb yourself to heal from this"

I let out a shaky breath. I understand his point. Hell, everyone's been telling me this, even my therapist as he said. But It's. Just. So. Damn. Hard.

How can you think of living when the people you want to live your life with are no longer in the picture? How can you go forward when the universe decides to rip away the life you've longed for after making you have a taste of it?

I used to have it all. I wasn't born from old money, but had loving and hardworking parents growing up. I excelled in my classes from pre-K to highschool and had a solid group of friends, including my ex-husband. My grades got me a full ride in an ivy league for college and I graduated with latin honors. I got accepted for my dream job and even got an early promotion. I married my boyfriend at the age of 27 and had a baby at the age of 29.

I had it all.

Every single thing a person could wish for.

I had it.

Then, in a blink of an eye, it's gone.

In two months, after delivering my beautiful girl, the universe decided that my life shouldn't be as easy as it had been and took my baby from me.

I still remember everything the day the world crashed down on us. Still have nightmares because of it. Flashbacks play on my mind every single time I close my eyes.

My chest constricts as said flashbacks flood my mind. Memories of what I had and what I lost. I can almost hear the frantic commands of the doctors around me as they try to revive my baby.

My eyes fill with tears and I can barely see Jake looking at me sympathetically. I hate it. The look on his face makes me cry harder.

I fucking hate it.

Everything.

"I don't.. I don't know how to live without them" I rasp, "I can't"

"You can and you will, Bella" he says firmly as he cups my face in his hands and tries his best to wipe my tears away. The same gesture that he did the days I broke down after losing our baby girl.

The memory of him brought a new wave of tears and panic. My body starts to shake and my breath comes out in shallow pants. I gasp out loud and I hear a muttered curse near me, "fuck"

"J..ja" I pant, grabbing his wrists.

"Breathe, Bella" I hear him say as he rotates his wrists and clutches my hands tightly, pulling me to his chest. "In…" he takes a deep breath, holds it, and breathes out, "Out"

I don't know how long we sat there, with me trying my best to match my breathing with his. When my breathing finally turns normal and the tightening on my chest eases, I feel all my energy drain and fall limply against his hard chest. I feel him run his hand through my hair, soothingly. Whispering reassurances. Words that I know were empty.

"I'm.." I croak, too tired and numb to even look up at him.

"I know, babe" he says soothingly before letting me go, "better?"

I nod my head and lean back against the couch, too tired to even sit up.

He smiles and brushes some of my hair off my face before settling beside me and grabbing the remote control, "Alright, enough of this. What should we watch?" He asks as he scrolls through my Disney plus, "I'm thinking Princess Diaries"

If I weren't too tired, I would've snorted at his choice and I know he knows this because he sends me a look that dares me to challenge him.

"Seriously?" I croak, voice hoarse.

"What's wrong with Princess Diaries?" He says with a shrug as he hits play.

I lazily roll my eyes as I watch the classic introduction of Walt Disney flash on the screen. I lean my head on Jake's shoulder and shake my head when he offers me the bowl of popcorn.

I made it halfway through the movie before my eyes drops close. The next thing I know is that the credits are rolling and Jake is picking me up from the couch.

It surprises me when he easily carries me from the living room to my bedroom.

"You're getting strong" I slur through the exhaustion as he places me down on my bed.

"I worked out a lot the past few weeks" he moves the covers from under me and places them over my body.

Despite my exhaustion, I can't help but look up at him. "You worked out?" I ask. He hums as he tucks the cover tightly around me. "Why?"

"To kill time" he shrugs as he kneels beside the bed in front of me.

I would have rolled my eyes at his response if I had the energy to do so. He smirks down at me knowing fully well what I'm thinking.

Jacob Black doesn't just go to the gym. Especially to kill time. That guy considers the gym as his personal hell.

"At least tell me the guy was worth the hell you went through" I tell him as I close my eyes

He laughs, "Oh honey, the hard fuck in the shower room was definitely worth it"

I hum as he brush some hair off my face and kisses my temple, "Merry Christmas, Bells"

"Some fucking Christmas" I mumble as I succumb myself to sleep.