Thursday, June 18, 2009
4 Years Later
“Isabella, Edward the doctor will see you now. Please follow me.” Dr. Harrison's assistant said as she turned to walk down the narrow hallway. This was one of the most elaborately decorated doctor's offices I had ever been in. Of course, for the twenty five thousand dollars each of the patient's paid, it should have been lined with gold.
I felt Edward hold my hand, and I was instantly comforted. It was amazing that after four years his touch was still able to comfort me.
“No matter what the news is we will be great. We have always been great, and we will always have each other.” He whispered softly into my ear.
A small smile came across my face. He always knew exactly what to say to me.
“Dr. Harrison will be in momentarily. Please have a seat.” As the assistant directed us to the two leather chairs in front of the doctors desk.
Edward never once let go of my hand. He would squeeze it gently every so often, and continuously rubbed small circles on the top of my hand with his thumb. I felt bad that I couldn't comfort him at this time, but he had always been stronger than me.
He had always gotten me through the tough times, and always made the good times great.
2 Years Prior
“Bella! You look so beautiful! I can't believe it's finally time!” Alice exclaimed as she practically jumped up and down.
“Me either. I can't believe I'm really standing here in this dress. Have you seen Edward? He hasn't backed out has he?” I felt like I had been living in a fantasy land, and that any minute I would wake up, and Edward would be gone.
“Please! He isn't going anywhere. Jasper wouldn't let him. Just relax. This is your day to shine!” I couldn't decide which one of us was more excited about this.
I had let Alice pretty much plan all of the wedding details. She was much better at it than I was. She had such great taste, and I agreed with every minor detail she had decided on.
Edward and I opted for a small, but intimate wedding. We only wanted our close friends and family in attendance. We didn't want to make a big production out of our wedding.
Alice was my maid of honor. Emmett was Edward's best man. Despite what had happened between all of us, Emmett was his family. It took a little while for them to get their friendship back on track, but they did.
Roaslie and I hadn't been so fortunate. Not long after Emmett and Rosalie made their relationship public, had they finally told us that in fact Emmett had been cheating on me with Rosalie. While that made me feel slightly better about my cheating with Edward, it made me feel pretty shitty that it was with my best friend. But after all, who was I to judge?
Rosalie and I were decent and cordial to each other, but the trust in the friendship was gone.
Edward and I never divulged the true details of our relationship to anyone. The details were unimportant. Everyone seemed to be happy with how things worked out, and we didn't want to ruin that.
All things aside, Emmett and Rosalie seemed to be a great fit for each other. Their interests were the same, and they got along better than he and I ever had.
Rosalie and Jasper were keeping each other company at the wedding; since their respective other halves were in the wedding.
Aunt Amanda and Uncle James were in attendance. Also, my mother, stepfather and father were there. That was pretty much it. All of Edward's parents had passed away, and we didn't have any siblings.
It was small but comfortable, and that was how we wanted it.
My dress was white satin, strapless with an empire waist and a chapel train. I didn't want a veil. I was already pushing it by wearing white and adding the veil would definitely be too much. Everyone knew I was far from innocent. So, I opted for a diamond encrusted tiara. My hair was half up with soft waves cascading down my back.
My something new were the diamond drop earrings from Edward. My something old was my mother's diamond necklace. Something borrowed was the bracelet from Alice, and something blue was the garter belt under my dress that was from my favorite college.
“Okay, it's time to do this! You ready?” Alice asked.
I took one last deep breat, and bent down to grab my bouquet. “I'm ready.”
I turned to follow behind Alice to the double doors that led to the chapel. I saw my dad standing at the doors fidgeting with tuxedo jacket and staring at the ground. He looked a little nervous, and I didn't know why. All he had to do was walk.
As I walked closer to the doors, I noticed Emmett. He looked at me, and it made me a little uneasy.
It was odd to say the least.
The man that everyone thought I would end up marrying was now the best man to his cousin and I was actually marrying him. Jerry Springer would have a field day with this, and it looked like Emmett was in the midths of a Twilight Zone Moment.
It was strange for all of us, so it had to be weird for him too.
I wasn't going let anything ruin the high that I was feeling at that moment.
“Bella” Emmett began “You really look beautiful.”
“Thank you Em. You look pretty handsome yourself.”
“Thanks, but it's not about me today. I'm just an accessory.” He bent down to hug me. “I'm glad he makes you happy. Welcome to the family.”
I started to tear up. I knew it took a lot for Emmett to actually say any of those things. He was never the type of guy to get sentimental. He was always the tough guy.
“Thank you, Em.” I responded as I embraced him.
“Oh God! You guys are gonna make me ruin my make up. Stop it!” Alice exclaimed.
Em released me from his huge arms. “Alright, Pixie, you ready to stroll?” He asked as he held out his elbow for her.
“Enough with the pixie comments!” She spat at him as she punched his arm.
Em chuckled lightly. “Whatever you say, short stuff.”
“I swear Emmett!” Alice warned him.
I saw the doors open, and I could see Edward standing at the altar looking very handsome in his tuxedo. His green eyes were shining like stars, and his bronze hair was messy like always, but it did look a bit more managed.
As Alice and Emmett began to walk down the aisle, I heard a song come over the sound system that was definitely not the wedding march. Although, I knew exactly what the song was.
Couldn't Love You More by Edwin McCain.
For a split second I was angry with Edward. This wasn't how we had rehearsed it. Although, I should've known he would do something to surprise me.
That was our song. Better yet, he had always said it was his song to me.
As Alice and Emmett reached their spots, I looped my arm through my dad's, and we began to walk. I couldn't stop smiling the whole way down the aisle. Every time I would listen to the words of the song, I had to fight back tears.
And they said I couldn't love you
That it would never last
He's just a crazy boy
Just look at his past
And they said I couldn't love you
But that was just a lie
I couldn't love you more if I tried
As I maintained eye contact with Edward, I noticed that he too looked to be fighting back tears. He was always so strong, and I couldn't believe he was getting emotional.
I completed the short walk to the altar, and to Edward. The song ended, and although the minister had began the ceremony, we couldn't keep our eyes off each other.
“Who gives this woman to this man?” He asked.
“Her mother and I.” Charlie responded.
With that, I turned to my father, and he kissed my cheek. “I love you, Bells.”
“I love you too, Daddy.”
He then turned to shake Edward's hand. As my father sat down, Edward held my hand lightly and led me the rest of the way to stand in front of the minister.
I know we were supposed to look at the minister during the ceremony, but there wasn't a snowballs chance in hell that I was going to break my eye contact with Edward.
I don't even think I heard all of what the minister was saying.
The next thing I heard was “If anyone sees any reason these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.”
I almost expected someone to say something, but I knew deep down no one would.
“Please turn to each other and hold hands.” I handed my bouquet to Alice and turned back to Edward.
“Do you, Edward, take Isabella to be your lawful wedded wife, and do you promise to be her faithful, loving and devoted husband, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, as long as you both shall live?”
“I do. Always.” He responded with a huge smile on his face as he continually rubbed circles on the top of my hands.
“Do you, Isabella, take Edward to be your lawful wedded husband, and do you promise to be his faithful, loving and devoted wife, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, as long as you both shall live?”
“I do. Forever.”
“The couple has chosen to write their own vows. Edward, if you please.”
He took a deep breath before beginning. “Bella, I never thought I would meet my soul mate, the one person in this world that I was destined to be with. My life had been filled with pain and loss until I met you. You brought a light into my world that I had never seen before. You made me feel things that I thought didn't exist. You opened my heart to love when I had locked it away. You brought meaning to my life. I promise to never take advantage of a single day with you. I promise to cherish you like the amazing woman you are. I promise to remind you every day why you fell in love with me, and I promise to show my appreciation everyday for making my life better.”
I started crying with his words. I knew he loved me, but to hear him profess it in front of everyone made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
“Don't cry, love.” He whispered as he wiped a tear away for me.
“Bella.” The minister continued.
“Edward, I love you more than I thought I could ever love anyone. I never believed in true love or soul mates, until I met you. You have been my rock. You have always been the one I could lean on, and the one who understand what was going on in my head without it being spoken. I never believed there was another half out there to complete me, until you. You changed my whole outlook on life. You made me want to live life, and not just watch the days pass by. I promise I will always make you happy that you chose me as your wife. I promise to always cherish you for the amazingly strong and sensitive man that you are. I promise to love you and to do everything in my power to make you happy for the rest of my life.”
“From the earliest times, the circle has been a symbol of completeness, a symbol of committed love. An unbroken and never-ending circle symbolizes a commitment of love that is also never-ending. As often as either of you looks at this symbol, I hope that you will be reminded of the commitment to love each other that you have made today. As a token of mutual fidelity and affection the rings will now be given and received.”
Alice and Emmett had been holding our rings since there weren't any small children in our small family.
I turned to Alice to receive Edward's ring, and Edward did the same.
“Edward, place the ring on Isabella‘s finger and repeat after me: I, Edward, give to you, Isabella, this ring as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you.”
He repeated after the minster, and I swear I felt my heart burst with joy. This amazing man was truly going to be mine forever.
“Isabella, place the ring on Edward‘s finger and repeat after me:I, Isabella, give to you, Edward , this ring as a symbol of my commitment to love, honor, and respect you.”
I quickly repeated the words after the minster, and I could almost see every tooth in Edward's mouth. His smile was electric, I could feel the emotions he was trying to hold back. He was just as happy as I was about this.
“Now, because you have chosen one another, honored each other with the precious gift of your rings, and pledged to love and care for each other for all the days of your lives, it gives me great joy to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride.”
I didn't think he was ever going to get to that part. Edward brought his hands up to cup my face and quickly licked his lips. I grasped his neck and pulled myself up to him as he bent down. Finally, I felt his soft, strong lips against mine. As much as I wanted to deepen the kiss, I knew we were in a house of God, and I didn't want to get too obscene. He lightly swept his tongue across my bottom lip, and sucked it into his mouth.
After a few moments, he pulled away and left me breathless.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen.” With that we turned to the audience that I had honestly forgotten about, and walked back down the aisle hand in hand.
I was Mrs. Edward Cullen.
I had never been so happy in my life.
As Edward and I made our way through the double doors. He turned to me and hungrily kissed me again.
“Mmm, Mrs. Cullen. I like the way that sounds.”
“Me too.” I responded.
We had a small reception where we danced, and ate cake. After all of the congratulations, we were carried off in a stretch limo to our hotel for the night.
I should've known Edward would take me to where it all began. The Hilton at the airport. He reserved the same room, but had it completely fit for us. There were champagne bottles, and rose petals covering almost every inch of the room.
The next day we were on our way to Capri, Italy. It was somewhere I had always wanted to go, and it was absolutely breathtaking. We spent a week in Italy before I had to come home and go back to work. Edward assured me I no longer had to work, but I wanted to work. I wasn't going to sit around, and live off of him for the rest of my life.
“Love, are you alright?” Edward asked and brought me out of my daze.
I turned to him. “Yes, honey, I'm fine. I was just remembering our wedding day. We were so happy.”
“We still are so happy. We will always be us. No matter what the doctor says.” He assured me, and I knew he was right. He was almost always right.
“I know. Thank you.”
Being in this depressing doctors office and knowing I was most likely going to hear news that wasn't good, only made me want to live in my memories for a little while longer. Like when Edward proposed to me. The man always had to make a spectacle of everything. He was very much into grand gestures, and making a scene.
He had taken me to the bar in Little Five Points where we met, The Brewhouse. It wasn't the most romantic place but it held meaning for us. It was the first place we saw each other, and the first place we felt the electricity.
He had gotten us the same table on the patio, and ordered us the same drinks. I wasn't thinking anything of it. I just figured it was another night out for us, until he had them play our song over the stereo system, and had the entire patio cleared of people.
I looked around and all the people walking on the street had stopped and were staring directly at us.
I turned to him, and saw him down on one knee with diamond ring in his hand.
I gasped, and my heart started racing. I couldn't believe he was asking me to marry him.
“Bella, I know we didn't start in the most conventional way, but I love you more than anyone I've ever known. Will you please make me the happiest man on Earth, and marry me?”
I was practically bouncing in my seat as I responded with a very loud and high. “Yes yes yes yes!”
He placed the ring on my hand, and stood up to hug and kiss me. The crowd in the bar and on the streets burst into a loud fit of cheers and clapping.
Shortly after our wedding, Alice and Jasper were married. We all knew they were made for each other, and no one could figure out why they waited as long as they did.
Rosalie and Emmett were living together, and she was seven months pregnant. They hadn't gotten married yet, for reasons that were unknown to me.
They were having a little boy, who I was sure would turn out just like Emmett. I was jealous that they were having a child and I wasn't. I knew Edward would be very close with Emmett's son, and in turn I would be close to him also.
I needed to get past my beef with Rosalie, all in all she hadn't done anything worse than I had. I just couldn't tell her that.
I heard the door open, and turned to see Dr. Harrison walk in. She was tall, thin, beautiful, and blond. She looked more like a model than a doctor. We had seen her multiple times, and we were here today to get the results of some tests.
“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Cullen. How are you today?” As she held out her hand to each of ours.
“Just a little nervous.” I confessed.
“I understand. Let's get down to business then. I won't keep you waiting any longer.” She stated as she opened my chart. With that small motion, I felt like I was going to vomit. I felt like the rest of our lives were contained in the folder, and she could make or break our futures depending on what she read.
“Bella, with your history of pre-cancer cells on your cervix, we knew that the effectiveness of this procedure was a huge question.”
In that one sentence, I was taken back to the day the my gynecologist had told me I had pre-cancer cells.
She explained that eighty five percent of the cases simply clear up on their own, but that the other fifteen percent mutate into cancer.
My whole core was rocked with that news.
I was a nurse; I knew what cancer meant, but hearing it for yourself was completely different.
I drove home as quickly as I could. I had to get to Edward. He was the only one that could've comforted me at the time.
I ran into the house, and fell into his lap as he sat on the couch.
“Bella, baby. What's wrong? Are you hurt? What's going on? You're scaring me.” It wasn't long after we were married that we found out. I sat there sobbing into his lap like a baby for the lonest time. He simply rocked me, and whispered into my ear that everything was going to be okay.
I finally found the strength to tell him. “Edward, my doctor told me I have pre-cancer cells on my cervix.”
“Pre-cancer? So that's not cancer yet, right?”
“No, not yet. About fifteen percent of the cases turn into cancer.”
“So, there's an eighty five percent chance that you won't have cancer?”
“Then there you go, love. You are going to be fine. I just know it.”
“It may also mean that I won't be able to have children.” I knew how much he wanted children. He was going to be a great dad, and the possibility that I may not be able to give him children made me feel less of a woman.
“With or without children, we will be great.”
That man always knew what to say to me. He always made me feel like things weren't as bad as I made them out to be.
“We implanted eight embryos in the hopes that at least one would survive and result in a pregnancy.” Dr. Harrison stated. “Unfortunately, none of your embryos have been successfully implanted.”
My heart dropped, and I gasped for air. I felt the bile rise up in my stomach. I was going to be sick. I had to fight back the urge throw up.
It was exactly the news I did not want to hear. Edward was being the strong man as usual; rubbing my back, and telling me it was all okay.
“I'm very sorry that I couldn't give you better news. Please take some time and talk things over. Let us know if you would like to try again. Take all the time you need here. I'll leave you alone.” Dr. Harrison stood up from behind her desk, and exited the office.
I saw Edward kneel down next to me. “Love, everything is going to be fine. This isn't the end of the line. We can always try again.”
“I am not trying again. We paid twenty five thousand dollars for nothing! We've been trying to get pregnant for two years, Edward. Two years! I can't keep putting myself through this. The excitement of thinking I'm pregnant only to be let down again, is killing me emotionally. With the hormones and the shots, and the waiting, it is more than I can take or expect you to have to deal with. Maybe it's not meant for us to have kids.” I cried out, as I rested my head in my hands.
“I know baby, I know. Let's get out of here, and go home.” Edward stood and held out his hand for mine. I gave him my hand, and he helped me stand up.
We walked out of the doctors office hand in hand, just like we walked in. Edward was right about thing-We were still us, and we would still be great.
This wasn't going to break us.
We made it home, and Edward carried me upstairs and into our bedroom. I had exhausted myself by crying so much that there was no way I could make it up all those stairs.
He laid me on the bed, and began to take my shoes off. He then covered me with the comforter, and got in the bed next to me. He lightly kissed my forehead, and rubbed my arms.
“Baby, we can do this. I'm here for you. It's your body. I'll do whatever you want. I just want my wife. Everything else is secondary.”
“Thank you, but I know how badly you want kids. I hate that my body can't give them to you.” I responded through my tears.
“As long as I have you, I am more than happy. Please don't ever doubt that. If God wants us to have children, we will have children one way or the other.”
“You think so?”
“I know so.” He responded confidently.
I snuggled into his chest and quickly drifted off to sleep.
I awoke the next morning, still in Edward's embrace. He loved me more than I thought was humanly possible, and I had no idea how I had gotten so lucky to have him as my husband.
I lightly kissed his chin, and he began to stir.
“A good morning it is.” As he kissed my forehead. “How are you feeling today?”
“A little better.”
“Good. Anything I can do to help?” He asked.
“You're already doing it.” I knew there was one option we hadn't been exploring because we were trying to have our own biological children; adoption. “Edward?”
“What about adoption?” I said timidly.
“I'm open to it. You?”
“I am too. There are plenty of wonderful children out there that need a good home. We have a great home with two people that love each other very much. What more could they ask for?”
The adoption process was long and hard. The agency notified us of a teenage girl that was pregnant with a baby girl. The mother was in perfect health. She was just too young to raise a child.
Edward, of course, insisted that we pay all of her medical bills, and we agreed to send pictures of the baby as she grew.
The young girl's name was Madeline, and she decided that she didn't want to have visitation rights with the baby. She just wanted to know how she was doing. She wanted the baby to grow up normally.
Elizabeth Esme Cullen was born on June tenth, and was amazingly beautiful. We named her after both of Edward's mothers. We wanted her name to have meaning, and both of his mothers were very dear to him.
Of course, Edward being the Southerner that he is, calls her Lizzie-Mae. It's cute, and she seems to like it. But then again, she likes everything her father does.
He never hesitated to get up in the night when she cried, or change a dirty diaper. It was like he was made to be a dad. He was loving, and attentive.
Lizzie-Mae almost could've passed for Edward's biological child. She had his fair skin, and green eyes. Although, her hair was much darker than his.
Edward doted on her, and made sure she never wanted for anything. She was spoiled rotten to say the least.
It was amazing to watch those two interact. They were so in love with each other, I was almost jealous. Until I remembered, he was the same way with me.
Rosalie and Emmett had their son. Emmett Junior of course. Everyone calls him E.J. He came out looking just like his father, but with bright blonde hair like Rosalie's. He was a beautiful baby.
It seemed as if the whole gang had finally found their places in life. After all the tragedies and loss, a new generation of Cullen's were coming into the world. I couldn't be happier about the way it turned out. I had the two loves of my life together.