“Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” Elton John
“Shattered” (MTT Version) Trading Yesterday
“The Reason” Hoobastank
Jesus fucking Christ! It was Bella! My heart stuttered in my chest. Not only was I face to face with the only person that I could ever love, the only person who held my ultimate redemption in the palm of her hands. I had dreamt about this moment so many times and never did I think it would become a reality. I was touching her. She looked so fucking good. Her scent, fuck, so much better than I remembered. My palms began to sweat. This was a moment that never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to happen. She was here, in Norman, at the University of Oklahoma. What were the chances of this happening? I couldn’t find my voice. For the first time in my life, I was rendered speechless.
“Edward...” Her voice sounded like the best damn music I had ever heard. My dreams had not been doing her justice at all. Bella was so much more than I remembered. She was so much more than I would ever deserve.
“Bella.” What the hell was my damn problem? I prayed every day for a chance to make things right with her. I was blowing it and blowing it big. I needed to get my shit together because I might not ever get an opportunity like this again.
“What...what are you doing here?” She asked me.
“Um, I go here.” Great, Edward, very eloquent. Pull your head out of your ass you stupid prick, I told myself. “How about you? What are you doing here?”
“I go to school here too.” You couldn’t cut the fucking tension between the two of us with a chainsaw.
“Do you...can we...I’d really like to talk to you for a minute, Bella, if that’s okay with you. There is a great coffee house just across that street.” It looked like her eyes were beginning to fill with unshed tears. My heart accelerated even more while I waited for her to respond.
“I...I can’t, Edward. I’m so sorry. I have to go to work.” I suddenly noticed the camera bag slung over her back as she pointed to it. I looked at her and she seemed to hear my silent thoughts. “I work for the school yearbook and newspaper.” She glanced quickly, almost too quickly, at her watch. “It was, well, it was nice to see you again.”
She began to walk out the door. I couldn’t face the thought of having this chance slip through my fingers. She had to know, she deserved to know everything. I remembered the letter, her letter. I always kept it with me, because in some sort of sick, twisted way, it made me think that she wasn’t totally gone from me, that I still had at least some kind of connection to her.
“Bella, wait, please.” I heard my voice crack with the last word and she slowly turned around to face me. Tears were falling down her cheeks and it made me feel fucking worse than ever before. Could I ever do right by her? Would I ever be able to do anything other than hurt her? “I know you didn’t expect, I didn’t expect, fuck...”
I reached for my wallet and pulled out the letter. It was worn from the months it had spent in my wallet and from the many times that I pulled it out to read it. I grabbed a pen from my backpack and wrote my cell number on it. I put the pen away and walked slowly, cautiously, to the beautiful sight before me.
“Bella, a lot has happened. There is so much that I want to say to you. There is so much that you need to hear. I can see that you don’t feel that you can talk to me. I understand completely.” I held out the note to her. “This is for you. I’ve had it with me for a while now. It tells you, well, if you could please read it.” I pleaded with her with my voice and with my eyes that were now beginning to mist over. I tried to swallow, but the lump in my throat kept growing bigger by the second. “Please read this. If you feel that you are willing, it would mean the world to me, if you could call me or even text me. My number is on the letter.”
She moved so slowly and I could feel the jolt of current that flowed between us when her hand barely touched mine as she reached for the crumpled letter. I extended my other hand towards her cheek to try to wipe away her tears and she flinched away from me. Fuck! I’ve done it again. All I wanted to do was to make things better for her and I continue to just be a bastard without even trying.
“I’m sorry. I was only...” It was now or never. “Will you please read the letter?” She nodded her head and walked away from me. My heart was screaming for her to return, but my head knew that this was not going to be easy for either of us.
I wanted to run away, but I knew with my clumsiness I would not make the exit that I could see myself making in my head. Edward was here. He was going to school here!
I looked down at the nearly wadded up paper in my hands and I glanced over my shoulder where I had left him standing. Edward was heading towards the parking lot and I noticed that had his head down and he was limping. It had to be from when I shot him. The tears were flowing more freely now. Though I often did my best to not talk about him, Edward was almost constantly in my thoughts. Even though he had said that he didn’t love me anymore, I couldn’t make my heart feel the same. My heart had only been and would only be his forever. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to work today, so I pulled out my cell and called my editor telling her that I had a headache and needed to rest.
She was worried that I wouldn’t make it to tomorrow’s football game, but I assured her that I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I needed to get to the shelter of my house, so I could digest what had just happened.
It was like time was standing still on the drive home. Jake and Emily wouldn’t be back for a few hours yet. I got back to the house and went to my room and locked myself inside. I grabbed his letter and stared at it. The longer I looked at, the more pissed off I got. How fucking dare he come into my life now! I wadded the letter up and threw it across the room. This is my damn time to shine. I had just found out how to live my life without him in it and he shows up and turns my world upside down and inside out!
I was happy. As happy as I could be, without him loving me the way that I knew I would always love him. I wanted to hit something. I wanted to break things. I wanted to hurt him the way that the fucker hurt me. He destroyed me, left me in tatters, left my heart bleeding and bruised. I never thought I would be able to live in a world where he didn’t exist, but I did. It had been a long and bumpy road, but I loved this life. It may not have been the life that I imagined having a year ago, but it was a world that I created for myself. It felt so good to live for myself and not someone else.
I was pacing my room like a caged animal longing to make its escape to freedom. Edward’s damn letter was calling to me from across the room like a siren. Why in the hell after all this time did he have something to say to me. He said that he hated me, that he wanted nothing to do with me. His restraining order against me had said that loud and fucking clear. I walked towards the letter cautiously and picked it up from the ground. It was worn, the edges and the folds tattered. It had obviously been in his wallet a long time. I opened it and not reading a word, saw Edward’s elegant script before me. I rubbed my hands over the words not seeing them. I noticed some of the ink was smudged, like it had gotten wet. It almost looked like someone had cried while reading it. The Edward that I knew would never shed a tear for me or anyone else for that matter even though I had like shed millions upon millions of tears for him.
I sat down on the edge of my bed. There was no going back. What was so important for him to tell me that he carried this letter everywhere he went? I took a deep breath and prepared myself to read the words that I hoped wouldn’t haunt me for the rest of my life.
What I really wanted to write to you was “Dearest Bella,” but I know that I don’t deserve to be able to tell you that. I really don’t know where to begin. Chances are that I will never be able see you to give this to you, with the restraining order, and how I reacted after the shooting... and I know that with everything that went on, well...
To say that I’m sorry... “sorry” isn’t even enough for all of the pain that I caused you. It took me almost dying, actually it was because I was trying to force myself to get better when I wasn’t ready, and I tried to find my peace in a bottle of pills; to bring myself the peace that I really didn’t deserve, and I literally died and had to be brought back. I was finally able to see myself as everyone else has seen me. It wasn’t a pretty picture, but it was about damn time for me to face the fact that I’ve been a horrible, self-centered, miserable motherfucker to everybody that I’ve ever come in contact with. I’ve hurt so many people, but I hurt you most of all.
It makes me sick to my stomach, literally causing me much deserved physical pain, when I think of all the times that I hurt you, physically and emotionally. Damn, I close my eyes and I see the bruises that my hands put on you. The times that I yelled at you and made you feel like you were worthless. All of the girls that I thought it was OK to be with, as long as you never found out. Fuck, I’m a monster. I was never worthy of someone like you.
“Sorry” is the most difficult word I’ve ever had to say. I was a sick bastard. Hell, that doesn’t even come close. It is so hard for me to put into words... Now that our relationship is over, now that you no longer love me because I just wanted to be “the fucking man,” I wish I could take all the pain away from you that I caused. The shooting, - I was the one to blame. It was not your fault. I brought everything on myself. It was really my finger on the trigger of the gun. Saying you were a bitch, telling you to leave me the fuck alone, I was the one who you should have said to leave you alone.
I have learned the hard way that when you make a mistake, when you do someone wrong, when you cause someone any type of pain, you have to do what whatever it takes to fix it. I know you may find this hard to believe, but I’ve been working on just that, finding everyone and I mean everyone , that I have fucked up in one way or another. You, Bella, you are the person who deserves to hear that it was never you. It was me. It was who I was. I am not the same person anymore. I know that may be hard for you to believe. My parents have said that it was like I was reborn after the doctors revived me. I think they might be right.
I will never get to see you again, talk to you, touch you, make love to you, tell you that I love you and that you are the most special person in the world, who I would cherish and protect with everything I am and everything that I will be. I will never be at the end of the aisle watching you walk towards me on our wedding day. I will never get to watch your stomach swell with our children. I will never get to grow old and spend the rest of my days with you. If this is the price I have to pay for you how I treated you, it is no less than the price I deserve to pay.
I would give anything and everything to make you love me again. I will love you until the day I die, and everyday I hope and pray that you are happy. That is what you deserve, to be happy and loved. I’m so sorry that I destroyed the most amazing opportunity that God has ever given me to be happy and loved by you. I pray everyday for you to be happy and healthy. May you find someone that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.
I will always love you, more than my own life.
I curled up on my bed with his letter and cried.
After I was finally able to stop the tears that Edward’s words caused, my anger was back again. How dare he! How fucking dare he tell me these things! He almost died! What the hell happened after I left? My Mom and Dad both told me that he wanted nothing to do with me, yet this letter? Dammit! This letter said that he would always want me. That he still loved me! If he loved me, why did he do what he did? How could he hurt me if he really loved me?
The asshole wanted to talk. I turned the letter over and saw his number. I didn’t think I was ready to hear his voice yet, so I sent him a text.
It’s Bella. R U busy?
It took me a good five minutes before I could hit the send button. I didn’t have to wait long to wait for his response. It’s like he could read my mind and knew that he would be hearing from me any minute.
No. Never 2 busy 4 U.
Never too busy for me! My anger was getting ready to boil over. That fucker never put me first before. He was always the most important person to himself. Why in the hell would he act like I was it for him?
If U still want 2 talk meet me at Starbucks on Boyd Street in 30 minutes.
He responded immediately.
I’ll b there. :)
A smiley face? I was beginning to wonder if I had even texted the right number or not. I went to my bathroom to try to fix my face. As I turned on the light I cringed as I saw my bloodshot eyes. Wonderful, just what I needed. I found some allergy drops in Emily’s bathroom and they burned a little as I put them in my irritated eyes. I was not going to give Edward an inch. If he knew that he was able to still get to me, he would take and take until there was nothing of me left. I was the one with the power now. I finished my make-up and changed into my faded skinny jeans and my favorite OU t-shirt. I dug my new crimson Chucks from the closet and prepared to face my deepest fears.
Luck was at least on my side as I arrived at Starbucks. There was a parking spot in front, so I pulled in, took a deep breath, turned off my baby and went in. I didn’t look for him when I got in. I ordered a Mocha Frappuccino and a maple nut pecan scone. I could feel his presence. After all this time, it was like the connection between us had never been severed with the blade of the sharp knife of the multitude of problems that had plagued every facet of our relationship. I still didn’t look to see where he was. I found my favorite table in the back corner and made myself comfortable.
I tore off a small bite of scone and popped it into my mouth. It melted on my tongue and the flavor combined with the frappuccino was divine. I knew that on the outside, for now at least, that I appeared cool and collected. Inside, I was pretty sure that I wasn’t as relaxed as I thought, I was having a horrendous panic attack.
“Bella.” His smooth, silky sexy voice still sent chills throughout my body. It wasn’t fear that I was feeling. How in the hell could I be aroused by this man who had treated me like I was worthless for years. “May I?” He asked as his head nodded to the chair across from me.
“Sure.” I took another sip of my frap and finally looked up into those jade green eyes. He smiled that crooked smile of his that used to make me drop my panties before I even knew what had come over me. When I didn’t smile back, his smile faded away quickly. Did he think he could just waltz in here like nothing had ever happened? I glanced up again and he was shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
“Bella, I don’t have to stay here. I can sense that I’m making you uncomfortable. You should never be around someone who makes you uncomfortable.” He began to get up.
“Edward, sit down.” I couldn’t believe how forceful my voice sounded. From the look on Edward’s face he couldn’t either. He sat back down. I could tell that he was as nervous as I was. His hands kept fidgeting with his coffee cup. “I read your letter.”
With those four words his body became even more tense. “I’m glad that I finally had the opportunity to try to make amends to you for my behavior. For me to continue making strides in my recovery, making amends is very important.”
“Recovery? What are you talking about, Edward? Recovery from what? Being the world’s biggest asshole ever?”
“I deserve that, Bella, and more, so much more.” His voice sounded so distant. It almost sounded pained. The Edward I knew would never show weakness to anyone.
“Yes, you do.” I would never be a person’s doormat again. If we were in the same town, Edward needed to know that I wasn’t going to put up with his old shit ever again.
“A lot has happened since the last time I saw you, like I mentioned in the letter.” He suddenly began to get nervous. “I’m a drug addict, Bella.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Edward had always liked to party but it was always alcohol. He never touched drugs before. When I still hadn’t responded to his comment he continued, “Well, I’m a recovering addict. I haven’t had a pill since March. I haven’t touched them since the day that I died.” I knew that my face registered shock at his words.
“You really died?” I felt my throat beginning to close up. I fought my emotions, because I never wanted to show him any type of weakness again.
“Yes, I did. I was dead for ten minutes. Like I said, a lot has happened. I’d like to tell you about it.” I nodded my head and Edward began to tell me what had happened to him. He was using his pain medication to help him escape from his life. He even told me about how he broke into the hospital to steal more pills when his prescription had run out. He pushed his body to get better from the gunshot wound to only injure his leg to the point that he would never have full use of it again.
When he told me that he still attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings, I was surprised. The Edward I had grown up with would never have sought help from others, because he would never have admitted that he needed it. He even told me that Emmett was married and going to be a father. That definitely shocked the hell out of me. Things at the Cullen house had definitely taken a turn. When he mentioned Alice and Jasper being a couple, I wasn’t sure how much longer that I could sit and listen to his tale. I missed Alice almost as much as I’d missed Edward. She had been my best friend, my confidant for so long. Not having Alice in my life had been almost as heartbreaking as losing him.
“You’ve been quiet.” He reached his hand towards me and then pulled it back. “Sorry, I shouldn’t be taking such liberties with you, Bella. Forgive my forwardness. I know that being with me is uncomfortable enough for you. I shouldn’t even think about touching you, since I know that would be even more uncomfortable for you.”
“You’re right, Edward. This has been very hard for me. All of it.” Forceful voiced Bella was still in the coffee house.
“Thank you for listening to me. Like I said in the letter, I am truly sorry for every hurt that I ever caused you. I will leave you alone now.” He got up and turned to leave.
“Wait just a minute, Edward.” He turned around and looked at me. “I need to ask you something.”
“You said in your letter that you never stopped loving me. You said that you would love me forever. You said that if you could, you would want a life with me. How can that be true when you put a restraining order to keep me away from you?” He face registered shock at my words.
“Bella, I never put a restraining order on you. You were the one who put one on me.”