Chapter 20- Ring The Alarm/ Don't Take Your Love Away. (Bella POV)
I finally forced myself to come home. I knew I couldn't just sit there in the park and avoid Emmett and Edward forever. I couldn't wrap my mind around what Edward had said about Em. Could he really be cheating? He says he's in school everyday, I wonder if that's the truth. I felt like I was on an episode of Cheaters. Like I would come home and find Em and some woman having sex in my house.
Em hadn't acted any differently lately towards me. Was I just too wrapped up in my situation with Edward to see what was really going on with him? Had I neglected him that badly? The more I thought about it, the more I felt like a piece of shit.
I should've just fucking ended it with Emmett when I started the affair with Edward. I fucking knew better than to do this shit to someone. Karma was really paying me back for what I had done. He doesn't even know what I did to him but the universe does and it's laughing in my face right now.
I love Em and I should be fair to him. I should just tell him that I met someone else and that I don't think we should be together anymore. I had no intention of ever telling him who it was that I had met. It was unnecessary for him to know that two of the biggest people in his life had gotten together and fucked him over.
I walked into the house and went into the bathroom for a long hot bath. I really needed to relax after my mind had been overloaded with information and accusations lately. Em wasn't home yet. He wouldn't be home for about another hour. Thank God I have a little time to chill before he gets here.
I removed my clothes and threw them in the hamper next to the bathroom door. I felt the cool tile against the bottoms of my feet. I started the water and adjusted it to the right temperature. I added some bath salts as the water filled the tub. I turned the lights off and lit some candles around the tub. I climbed in the warm water and tried to let me body relax and let me mind escape this shit hole of a reality called my life.
Somehow, I managed to fall asleep in the water. I awoke when I heard the front door close. The water temperature had dropped due to the amount of time I had spent in there. I was stepping out of the tub and drying off when I saw Em open the door to the bathroom.
“Hey baby, what are you doing home?” He asked with a surprised look on his face.
“I do live here Em.” I said flatly.
“I know that. I just meant that I thought you had to work today?” He said defensively.
“I wasn't feeling well. So, I left early.” I said as I wrapped the towel around me and stepped around him and into the bedroom.
He followed behind me. “Oh, I'm sorry. Anything I can do to make you feel better?”
“Nah, not really. Thanks though. How was your day? How was class?” I sincerely asked him. I did truly want to know about his classes but I also wanted to see what he would say. I have to start paying more attention to what he says so I can see if he's really cheating.
Em told me about his classes and what they had been learning. He was, of course, using all these big mechanic words that sounded like a foreign language to me. I guess that's how he feels when I start with all the medical terminology. I was very proud of him for going back to school but I was also questioning if he was at school for the entire amount of time that he claimed. Maybe I was being fucking paranoid but hell I was lying to him all the time and he had no clue.
I had to learn to chill out or I was going to make myself crazy.
That night when Em went to sleep I did something I thought I would never do. I went through his cell phone. I didn't want to but it's like the old saying 'curiosity killed the cat' and the curiosity was damn sure killing me.
I went through his recent calls list and there weren't any odd names in there. If he was smart he would put it under a guys name to throw me off. I wasn't going to go completely crazy on him and actually call the people in his phone. That would definitely start a whole lot of shit. I went through his text messages and, again, nothing out of the ordinary. Em was either really smart and deleted everything or he really wasn't cheating.
Did Edward plant this idea in my head just to throw me off? Did he do this just to take the focus off of him? Why would he lie about his favorite cousin? Did he think I would just up and leave Em so easily? Maybe I would have before I found out about Edward's girlfriend. Definitely, not now.
I put Em's phone back in his pants pocket where I had taken it from. I felt like such a hypocrite and a bitch for going through his phone when the only evidence I had was an accusation from Edward. I would never have gone through his phone before. I felt like a totally different person than I was before Edward arrived.
I sat down on the couch and enjoyed the silence in my home. I had a lot of thinking to do. I knew I had major decisions that needed to be made.
I'm not ready to be alone. I love Em but I don't think I'm in love with him anymore. Is that something we can get back? Can I fall in love with him again after I've done him so wrong?
I hoped I could fall in love with Em again and I was definitely going to try. I owed it to both of us to at least try.
The thoughts of him cheating weren't completely out of my mind but he deserved my trust. As far as I knew, Edward had made the whole damn thing up. I decided then to push my thoughts and feelings for Edward aside and concentrate on Em.
Everything that happens in the dark will eventually come to light. I know if Em is cheating, it will eventually come out. I felt lucky that what I had done in the dark hadn't come to light yet. Maybe it never would.
It has been a few months since I saw Edward. I hadn't spoken to him at all since the day in the coffee shop. I had no need to focus on someone that couldn't be honest with me. I honestly felt like he had blatantly lied to my face about more than a few things.
He hadn't told me about his girlfriend. I would have dealt with him having a girlfriend if he had just told me up front. In the situation he and I were in, we needed to be able to have complete trust in one another in order for it to work. When he quit being honest, I quit the relationship.
He had totally fabricated the lie about Em cheating. I have been analyzing everything Em has done for the last few months and I never once felt like he was lying to me about anything. I even left work early one day to go and spy on Em. I wanted to make sure that Edward wasn't right. I left work and drove over to his school. I saw his car and parked far enough away that he would not notice me. I waited until he came out of the building and he was walking to his car talking with a bunch of guys. He reached his car and waved goodbye to the other men. He entered his car and then drove straight home. He thought I was working late and it would've been a perfect opportunity for him to sneak away and meet someone. He didn't though. He went home and waited on me.
After that day, I never questioned him again. I had no need to.
I was back to focusing my attention on the man that had been there for me for so long. We were spending lots of time together and doing lots of things as a couple. We went out for dinner and drinks a few times with Alice and Jasper. Who were more in love with each other every time I saw them. It was really good to see them so happy. The complimented each other well and seemed to always be in their own bubble.
I hadn't heard much from Rose. That was partly my fault. She reminded me of Edward and I didn't want to be reminded of him at all. I was being a shitty friend to her and I felt really bad about it but I couldn't bring myself to be around her when I knew she would talk about him the whole time.
Edward hadn't been over to our house at all. I assumed he was either scared of how I would react with him in my home or he was too busy with his girlfriend. I was happy that he hadn't called or visited. It made my life so much easier. His absence was confirming that I had made the right decision.
Knowing I made the right decision didn't make it any easier not to think about him. There were times at night that I would lay there trying to fall asleep and I would find myself wondering what he was doing. If he was happy, if he was still with her. Or maybe I was fooling myself into thinking I had made the right decision.
“Tanya, we cannot keep having this same fight everyday!” I shouted. It was the truth. This was not what I had in mind when I agreed to let her move in. She's lived here for three months and it has progressively gotten worse. I should have known that she was putting on an act when she was trying to get back together with me. I suppose I was hoping my feelings for Bella could be transferred to Tanya but that was obviously not working.
“I know that, Edward.” She said sarcastically with her hands on her hips. She was giving me an 'eat shit' look and it didn't phase me at all. “I hate it here. It's fucking hot all the time. This humidity fucks up my hair everyday and I don't have any friends here.”
“You don't have any friends here because you don't give any one a chance. You don't want to like it here. You want me to come back to Chicago with you and I told you that wasn't going to happen. You are making up bullshit excuses for not liking it here. If you wanna leave, you can leave but you will be leaving alone and I swear there will be no going back this time. So, think long and hard.” I firmly stated to her as I walked up the stairs towards the bedroom.
“Edward, don't walk away from me!” She shouted. I just threw my hand up to her and kept walking.
I heard her footsteps behind me. I reached the door to our bedroom and walked in. I laid down on the bed and ran my fingers through my hair as I stared at the ceiling. I saw her walk in front of me holding a piece of paper in her right hand and shaking it at me.
“What do you want?” I asked her.
“I know there is someone else, Edward.” She said calmly.
I honestly didn't know what she was talking about. I hadn't been with Bella, or even talked to her, in months. I wasn't really worried about her finding out about Bella, anyways. I guess I was hoping that would make her leave if she found out.
“What the fuck are you talking about? My fucking head hurts from arguing, just get to the point.” I replied roughly.
She threw the paper at me. “That's your fucking bank statement. I saw all the charges for the hotels. Why else would you being going to the hotel that often? Don't treat me like I'm stupid.”
I took the paper in my hand. Sure enough, it was my bank statement from the last few times Bella and I had been together. The funny thing is I wasn't sad that Tanya found it. I was sad because it reminded me of Bella. I missed her more than I cared to admit. I hadn't contacted her because I felt she was better off without me. I felt that if she felt she could forgive me, then she would contact me. I had already complicated her life enough.
I was, however, mad that she had obviously been going through my things. These papers didn't have her name on them and she had no right to go through my stuff.
“Where the fuck did you get this from?” I said as my brows furrowed and I stood up from the bed. I was looking her directly in the eyes.
She had a smug expression on her face. “I was looking for some other documents and happened to stumble on them.”
“That's bullshit and you know it. You want to leave and you are looking for any reason to make it my fault this time. I can't deal with this shit. It's time we went our separate ways. For good. I think you should make arrangements to move out as soon as possible. I can't stand to look at you anymore.” I said calmly as I walked out of the bedroom. I was going to sleep in one of the spare rooms. I didn't want to be anywhere near her.
I was relieved that this was over. I would no longer have to endure Tanya's daily bitching about life in Georgia. She could go back to Chicago and live happily and bother someone else.
Over the next few weeks, Tanya had began to pack up her things and start moving them to Chicago. She would be moving back in with her family until she found a new place and a new job. I felt guilty for even letting her move down here to begin with but she was dead set on it and I knew she wouldn't have stopped until she got what she wanted. She had to see for herself that it was over between us.
Things in the house were tense to say the least. We only spoke to each other when absolutely necessary. She never questioned me about who I was with in the hotels. Maybe she didn't care. Maybe she just wanted out. I didn't care if she blamed it on me this time. She could tell those people in Chicago what ever she felt like. The only person I cared about in Chicago was dead. Everyone else there could kiss my ass.
My feelings for Bella were back in full force. Now that I wasn't focusing on Tanya anymore, the repressed feelings for Bella were making themselves known. I missed her, too much. I missed her smile, her laugh, her walk, he facial expressions, her hands, her mouth, her body. I just missed her.
I was an idiot to lie to her. I was stupid to think she wouldn't understand. I would stupid to think Tanya and I would work out. I had royally fucked up everything and it was time to fix it. Or, at least, attempt to fix things with Bella. She deserved to know the truth about everything. I had to find a way to get her to listen to me. I was tired of lying and I was tired of living without her. She was my drug and I had to find a way to get her back.
I no longer knew Bella's work schedule so I had no idea when she would be able to talk to me or if she would even want to.
On a Saturday when Tanya was in Chicago, I decided to text Bella. I didn't want to call her and her be around Em. Hell, I didn't even know if her and Em were together anymore. I had completely cut off that part of my life.
Bella, it's Edward. Can we please talk? E
I pressed send. I couldn't take it back now. What would I do if she said yes? Would she believe me when I tell her everything? My heart was racing in anticipation for her reply.
My phone alerted me to a new message. I opened it and my heart skipped a beat when I saw her name.
What do we have to talk about? B
It was short but it was something. At least she didn't ignore me.
A lot, actually. Will you please meet me somewhere so I can tell you in person? Please? E
Yes, I was begging and I didn't care. I had lied to her when she had been nothing but honest to me. I could do a little begging for her.
I guess I can meet you but you are meeting me where I choose. Meet me at Johnny Rocket's at Underground in a hour. B
I couldn't believe she actually agreed to meet me. Now I had a hour to try and get my thoughts together enough to try and make her believe me.
Ok. I'll be there. Thank you. E
I took a quick shower and dressed. I got into my car and drove to Underground Atlanta. I parked the car and walked into the restaurant. The anticipation was killing me.
I didn't see her so I got us a table. I looked at my watch and I was still a few minutes early. I wondered if she was testing me. Maybe she was playing a game with me. Maybe she was trying to pay me back by making me sit and wait when she never had any intention of coming.
I finally saw her enter the restaurant and my heart fluttered at the sight of her. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. I don't know how I ever let myself fuck things up with her. I stood up from the table as she walked over. Her face was very serious and straight. She didn't smile at me but, then again, why would she?
She sat down across the table from me without saying anything. Her expression never changed. I knew I had a goofy ass grin on my face but I couldn't help it. I was truly happy to see her and happy to get this all out in the open.
“Bella I.....” I began before the waitress came over and interrupted me.
“My name is Jessica, I'll be your server today. Can I get you something to drink?” She asked politely.
I looked to Bella for her to order first. She looked at the waitress and said “I'll just have a Cherry Coke, please.” It was like hearing angels sing to finally hear her voice again. Sappy, I fucking know but it was the truth.
“I'll have a Coke. Thanks.”
The waitress walked over to get our drinks and I started my sentence again. “Bella, I know lying to you was wrong and I am more sorry for it than you will ever know. I know it was stupid of me to assume that you wouldn't understand. I should have just told you. I am only human though and I make stupid decisions sometimes.” I said sincerely to her.
She sat there staring at me with a blank face for a few moments. I wasn't sure if she was actually going to speak to me today or if I was going to have to do all the talking. Was she seeing how far I would go with begging and apologizing? If so, I could go all day. She deserved it. She had said last time I saw her, that she didn't believe I loved her. She was wrong.
The waitress brought our drinks over and asked if we wanted to order any food. We politely declined. I didn't want to think about eating. My stomach was already doing flips. There was no way I could keep any solid food down.
The waitress left us to ourselves and I looked at Bella again. I was at least hoping her facial expression would change but it never did. She sipped her drink and kept her hands folded in her lap and blank eyes focused on me. I guess I am going to have to continue the speech.
“I wish I could take it all back. I would never have let her move in with me. I would have told her to stay in Chicago. I'm so sorry. I....”
She interrupted me. “What's her name?” She asked calmly, still maintaining her blank stare.
Did she really wanna know her name? What difference does it make? She's leaving.
“Tanya.” I simply stated.
“Why are you here, Edward? Why aren't you with Tanya?” She asked.
I was completely taken aback. I didn't expect her to just come out and ask me that.
“Well, uhhh....” I stuttered.
“Spit it out Edward. I don't have all day. You asked me to come here, I'm here. Tell me something worth my time.” I wasn't used to her being so expressionless. I didn't like it. I liked the animated Bella. This Bella is pretty fucking scary.
“Okay. She's leaving. She hates it here and wants to go back home. She found some old bank statements with the hotels on them. She knows there is someone else. Most importantly, I...... uhhhh.... I can't live without you.” I watched her face as I said the last part. Finally! Her facial expression changed. The blank stare was gone and her face finally lightened up. Her eyes looked slightly softer. I hoped she believed me. I wasn't just saying this to get her back.
“You what?” She said softly.
“I can't live without you.” I said confidently.
“I don't believe you.” The blank stare was back. Fuck!
“You don't believe what?” I asked her. I was confused. I thought I was making progress with her.
“I don't believe that she's leaving. I don't believe you can't live without me. I think this is all a sick game you are playing and I'm done with it. I thought you wanted to talk to me about something real but instead you are telling me more lies.” She said sternly.
She started to gather her things together. She couldn't leave already. Fuck! She can't leave like this.
Is he fucking serious? He interrupted my day for this bullshit? More fucking lies. I'm outta here.
“Bella wait!” He said as he reached for my arm as I stood up from the chair.
I looked at him with my death stare. “Take you hand off of me, now.” I said harshly. You're gonna fucking grab me like a caveman? I was really starting to get pissed at him. First, he continues to lie. Then, he wants to manhandle me. He was really not helping himself out at all.
He released my arm. “I'm sorry. I just don't want you to leave. I want to explain myself to you. Please stay.”
Explain what? You're fucking explanations aren't helping you. You're making me dislike you more.
I sat back down. “Edward. You have five minutes and I'm outta here. If I feel like you are lying, I'm leaving.” I said firmly.
“Okay. I'm not playing games. She's really leaving. I promise. Ninety percent of her stuff is gone already. I never really wanted her. I wanted you but I couldn't have you. I want you now. I miss you. I love you. Please come back in my life. I need you in my life in some way. I feel more for you than I've ever felt for anyone. I want to do things with you that I've never wanted to do. Please believe me.” I said quickly and sincerely.
Seriously? I can't believe your words. You also told me that you didn't have a girlfriend and that was a lie. I don't know what to believe. I want to believe him because I still have feelings for him but I just don't want to be hurt by him again.
I looked at him with soft, open eyes. I reached out and took his hand in mine. “Edward” I said softly. “I'm sorry. I can't do this with you. I don't know what to believe. Your words don't meet much to me anymore. You don't know what you want. I don't trust you.”
I released his hand and looked at his face. His face was completely stunned and hurt. I could see he didn't expect me to say what I had said. I needed him to understand that I was serious about this. He would have to do more than just talk to make me believe him.
I stood up from the chair. “Goodbye, Edward.” I said as I walked away from him.
He had done too much damage to my heart already. I needed concrete proof that Tanya was gone before I would even consider getting back into our relationship. I had no idea if I would ever be able to trust him again. I needed to be able to trust him and I couldn't. It would be a long road to bring us back.