Friday, June 19, 2009
What Are We Gonna Do
Chapter 26- What Are We Gonna Do
I stood in the middle of the closet and stared at my clothes. What the fuck am I supposed to wear to a family reunion? Especially when I'm showing up with a different family member than I did last time? Ugh!
I dropped my head into my hands. I honestly had no idea how I was going to get through this even without looking like the family slut. No matter what story Edward and I decided to tell everyone, they would still think it was wrong for us to be together. I didn't care what everyone thought about me but they were Edward's family and I didn't want them to think he was a bad guy. We never intended for this to happen. We never expected to fall for each other the way we did. The best we could hope for is that over time they would see how perfect we are for each other and not judge us.
“Love, are you ready to go?” Edward shouted from the bedroom. No I'm not ready to be judged by your whole family.
“Almost, honey. I just have to find the right outfit. I have no clue what to put on.”
Almost instantly, Edward appeared in the doorway of the closet. “Wear whatever you want to wear. You look beautiful in anything.”
“Don't try to be sweet. I'm serious. Do I go for cute and chic or do I go for casual? I don't want them to judge me by my clothes. They are already going to be judging us for being together.”
He walked behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist. He pulled me into his body and spoke into my ear. “I promise they aren't like that. They will see how happy we are and will support us. Why don't you wear that pink sundress right there?” He said pointing to my pale pink strapless tube dress.
“You're right. I'll wear that.” I said as I grabbed the dress from the rack.
“Edward” I started as I turned around to face him. “What are we going to do about Em? Have you talked to him? Is he coming?” That question had been in my mind ever since I found out about the reunion. I just hadn't asked Edward yet, I was hoping he would tell me without me having to ask.
He brushed a stray hair away from my face and feeling his fingertips against my face made my skin tingle. “I don't really know if he will be there or not. I haven't talked to him. When I talked to Aunt Amanda she didn't say anything about him. We will deal with him when we see him. Don't stress out about, Love.”
“I'll try.” I said as I pulled myself up to press my lips against his. His kisses always seemed to calm me down.
I finished getting ready and Edward loaded the car with the food and drinks we were responsible for bringing. I grabbed the directions to the park and my purse as I walked out the door to meet Edward in the car.
I reached the car just as Edward had closed the trunk. I looked at him and took a deep breath. I didn't want him to worry about me but I was so nervous about this whole reunion. I didn't want everyone else's judgments ruin what we have. I felt like I had finally found the man I was supposed to be with and I was so scared that something would mess it up.
He grabbed my shoulders and began to rub them. “Bella, I told you, relax. We wouldn't be going if I thought my family would be judging us.” He bent down and kissed my forehead lightly.
I let out a breath I hadn't realized I was holding. “I know. I'm trying to relax.”
We got into the car and Edward started the drive to the park. The location wasn't anymore than a twenty minute drive from the house. We didn't talk much during the drive. Edward put on some relaxing music and I was very appreciative. I just wanted to get there and get it over with and go back to the house and live in our little love bubble, again.
We pulled into the park and as Edward drove around looking for a parking space, I couldn't help but look for Em's car. I was hoping he wasn't there yet. That way I wouldn't have to deal with his stares as we walked towards everyone. Knowing me I would probably fall right in front of everyone and look like a complete idiot.
Edward finally found a place and I never saw Em's car. I took a few deep breaths and got out of the car. I walked around to the trunk to help Edward unload the food. We grabbed the food and drinks and as we started to walk to the pavilion where everyone was gathering, Edward looked at me with his loving eyes and said “Love, it's gonna be fine. I promise. Just relax. If you feel uncomfortable tell me and we will leave.”
“It's okay. I'll be fine. Just don't venture to far away from me, please.”
“You got it.” He said with a smile.
I made it to the pavilion without falling on my face or passing out. There were a few people I recognized from the last reunion and they all kind of looked at me and Edward like they were confused. It was like they expected Em to walk up at any moment and put his arms around me. Edward introduced me to everyone even though he knew I had already met them. It made me feel good that he was introducing me as his girlfriend. Which seemed to confuse everyone even more.
There were a couple times I fully expected someone to say something about it but they never did. I was grateful that I wasn't having to endure the questioning but I still felt out of place. I knew if Edward and I were to stay together we would have to endure this scenario at least once and maybe it was better to get it out of the way now.
The worst was when we made our way over to Em's mom, Amanda. I had intentionally not made eye contact with her yet. I wasn't sure how she would react to us or how I would handle her reaction. She was always so nice to me when I was with Em. She always treated me like a part of the family. I looked at her as a second mother and I wasn't sure what Em had told her about our break up. I was sure he had told her that we were no longer together but she couldn't have any clue about me and Edward.
I looked at Amanda and she also looked confused. “Hey, Amanda. How are you?” I said to her timidly.
She looked at me for a second and then pulled me into a hug. “I've missed you. I was sorry to hear about you and Emmett. I understand though. You have to be happy.” She whispered into my ear.
I hugged her back. I was completely shocked at her gesture. “I've missed you, too.”
She released me and looked over at Edward and pulled him in for a hug, too. “And you, what am I gonna do with you?”
Edward hugged her back as he laughed.
“Now, you two, sit down and talk with me.” She said as she patted the seats of the chairs in front of her own.
We sat down and glanced at each other quickly. I wasn't sure of what she wanted to talk about but she didn't look too upset to see us together.
“So when did this” as he pointed to us, “happen?” She asked curiously.
I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to answer it. They were his family and he could tell them what he wanted. I looked at him and motioned for him to answer.
“Well, I met Bella when we all went out to celebrate my homecoming and I thought she was a wonderful woman. So, when I broke up with Tanya, I found out that Bella and Emmett had broken up too. I called Bella and we talked and realized we were both attracted to each other and it just kind of developed from there.”
That was a good enough explanation. They didn't need to know the whole truth. It would only make them judge us.
Amanda looked pleased. “Well, Bella, as much as I hate that you aren't with my son, I am happy that you found another good man.” She said as she patted his knee. “I know you will be happy with Edward. You two look so in love, already.”
“That means a lot to me. Thank you.” I said sincerely as I took Edward's hand in my own.
He looked to me and smiled. “I told Bella that you guys would support us being together. I know if you can accept it then anyone here should be able to.”
“As long as you two are happy and treat each other well, we will support whatever choice you make.” She was so sweet and hearing her say that made me relax a little more.
We chatted with her for quite a while. She was very excited to spend time with Edward and he seemed just as excited to talk with her. I excused myself from the conversation so that I could get something to drink.
I walked over to the tables full of food and drinks and grabbed a bottled water from the cooler. As I opened the water and took a sip, I saw Em walking towards the pavilion with Rose. I instantly dropped the bottle out of shock. My heart damn near stopped beating as I stood there unable to move. I knew Alice had said Rose had a mystery man but I had no idea it would be Em.
All kinds of thoughts were going through my mind. At first I was angry because they had clearly been lying to me but then I had to push past that because in all actuality I had been lying to everyone, too. I had no right to be angry with them. Em sleeping with my best friend wasn't any worse than me sleeping with his favorite cousin. How long had this been going on? Were they doing what Edward and I had been doing? It was pretty clear that they had been sleeping together while Em and I were still together. The night Em stood me up and stayed out all night, he had to be with her. It all made since now. Rose's distance from me and Em always denying that he was cheating. I guess they didn't want to hurt me just like I didn't want to hurt Em but it was too late. I had already put everything together and knew that they didn't just get together after we broke up.
As Em and Rose came closer to the pavilion, Edward came up behind me and put his arms around my waist. “Are you okay?”
“I.... uh.... yeah. I'm alright. It's just weird. Why didn't you tell me it was Rose that you saw him with that day?” I said as I turned around to face him.
“Bella, he was cheating on you and I knew that they woman was Rose but I felt like it would only hurt you more to know that it was your friend.” He said as he stroked my cheek with his fingertips.
I knew he was only trying to protect me from unnecessary pain even back then but I wish he would've told me. That was I wouldn't be standing here looking stupid.
“I understand, I'm just so shocked. I never pictured them together and I know that we have no right to say anything about them being together but it's still hard to see.” I confessed.
He bent down and kissed my forehead. “I know, love. They are really close so let's just act like it's okay, alright?”
I nodded my head and turned around to see Em and Rose practically face to face with me.
“Uhhhh …. hey Bella, Edward.” Em said hesitantly. He looked just as surprised to see us together as I was to see them.
“Ummm..... hi.” I managed to spit out. I felt Edward lightly squeeze my hip, trying to snap me out of my shock.
“Hey Em, Rose how are you guys?” He asked them in such a nice tone. I was thankful that he could at least be cordial to them but after all, he had known about them for a while now.
“Hey Bella.” Rose said timidly. I wasn't sure what could've been going through her head. Was she as nervous about coming to this event as I was? How did she think I would react to seeing one of my best friends with the man I spent the last few years of my life with?
“Hey Rose.” I said in almost a whisper.
“So this is awkward, huh?” Edward said with a light chuckle. Was he seriously making jokes right now? Hell he might as well. In this type of situation you either have to laugh or cry and I definitely wasn't going to cry.
“Awkward is putting it lightly.” Rose replied.
“Why don't we all sit down and talk this out? I think it would be best.” Edward suggested. I guessed he was right. We might as well get it all out into the open and maybe we can move on and be decent to each other.
Rose and Em sat down the cooler and supplies they had brought. Edward took my hand and led me over to a picnic table that was empty. We sat down and he looked at me for a second before Em and Rose made it over. “Bella, it's going to be fine. Stick with the story we told Aunt Amanda and just know that no matter what they have done, you made the right decision. They can't hurt us now. Just remember how much we love each other and it will be fine.”
His words calmed me down a little and he was right. Nothing they could say or do could ruin what Edward and I have between us.
They made their way over and sat down in front of us.
Em looked at Edward and I as he began. “So, how long has this been going on between you?”
I almost got angry at his question but I needed to control my anger and remember that what I had done was much worse.
“Well, after Tanya and I broke up, I found out that you and Bella had broken up, also. So I called Bella to check on her and just talk and we realized that we had feelings for each other and it just took off from there.” Edward replied in a calm tone. I was thankful that he was telling that story because he was much better at it than I would be.
“Really?” Em questioned.
“Yes, really Em.” I replied in a sarcastic tone. “What about you and Rose? How long has this been going on? Were you with her the night you stood me up?” I was a little surprised at what I had said. I didn't expect for all of that to come out but I wanted to know.
Edward looked at me out of shock at my questioning. I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders.
“Well, it just kind of happened.” He said as he looked to Rose. “Rose and I just seemed to keep running into each other over and over. One day we ended up at the same coffee shop and decided to sit down together and we talked and I guess like you guys, it just developed.” He said it like it was so simple. I kept getting more and more angry because I knew he was lying but I had to remember what Edward had said. I didn't need to let them get to me. It didn't matter if they were lying or not. We were lying to save Em some pain so I assume they were doing the same thing. I needed to just let it go.
I didn't say anything in response to Em's explanation.
“I guess we all have our secrets. Now that we are out in the open, do you think we could all be civilized?” Edward asked.
I didn't respond until I saw Em and Rose nod their heads. They all looked to me for a response and I nodded my head.
“Now that we have that settled, let's go get some food.” Edward suggested. I started to get out of my seat and I heard Rose speak.
“Bella can we talk for a second?” She asked.
“Uhhh sure.” I looked to Edward. “I'll meet you over there in a few minutes.”
“Okay.” He replied.
I sat back down and looked at Rose, waiting for her to begin.
“Bella, I'm really sorry I didn't tell you about this before. I just didn't know how to tell you and I didn't want to hurt you.” As she looked down at her hands.
“Rose, I have to admit, it hurt a little to see you two walk up together but I'm fine with it. I'm with Edward and that has to be even more weird for Em. I can't really be mad at you.”
“Do you think we can still be friends?” She asked sheepishly.
I thought a for a few moments before answering. I honestly didn't know if I'd ever be able to truly be friends with her again. I seriously doubted that Em and Edward would ever have the same relationship after knowing that Edward and I were together.
“I'm not sure Rose. We will just have to see. That's the best answer I can give you right now.” I said as I stood up and began to walk away. I was tired of talking about it. I wanted to go back and be with Edward.
I made it over to where Edward was sitting and sat down next to him. He, not surprisingly, had fixed me a plate of food.
“Thank you baby.” I said as I kissed Edward's cheek.
“Anytime, Love. Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah, I will be. It's time to move forward. I can't worry about them anymore.” I said as I reached down to grab my hamburger from my plate.
After that, we ate in silence. We simply listened to the rest of the family tell crazy jokes and embarrassing stories about everyone.
Em and Rose kept their distance from us for the rest of the day and I was happy that they did. It made it a little easier to get through the day. I was happy as long as I had Edward by my side.
The reunion was over and no one had gotten into any fights or arguments and it seemed like everyone was accepting our relationship. We said our goodbyes and got into the car.
Edward started the engine and looked over at me. “See, that wasn't so bad was it?”
“No and at least everyone knows about us now. We don't have to hide anymore.” I replied.
“And at least you don't have to feel so bad about our relationship. We aren't the only ones that had secrets.” He said as he reached for my hand.
He enveloped my hand with his. “It's time to truly start the rest of our lives together and without any regrets.” I said confidently.
“I couldn't agree more.” He said before leaning over to press his lips against mine.
His lips left mine and he smiled at me as he put the car in reverse. I leaned back into the seat and looked out the window as we pulled away from the park.
I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders, yes we would be okay. We could move on together.