“I hesitated at the door to Jacob’s room, not sure whether to knock. I decided to peek first, hoping—coward that I was—that maybe he’d gone back to sleep. I felt like I could use just a few more minutes.” - Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer
I didn’t know what I was doing, my knees grew weaker by the second, yet I knew I had to face it; I had to make a choice, to choose between the two I had so dearly loved with my heart and soul. It didn’t, shouldn’t have made sense to me, not at all—what was there to hesitate about? What had happened to the irrevocable, undying love I had for my angel, my Edward? It was still there, no doubt, but there was this whole other part of me that yearned for Jacob’s love too. It was my utmost stupidity and selfishness that have caused all this, the pain I’ve brought to Edward, to Jacob, and least importantly, to myself.
Edward had promised not to step in tonight, to let me handle this my way. Although I was certain my final choice was Edward, I knew there was a whole lot to handle ahead of me. I took a deep breath as I felt the door knob turn under my fingers, opening the door to Jacob, to my other love, the one I should not have loved more than a friend in the first place. I knew I was going to back out if I let my cowardly nature taunt me for another second, so I let go of the breath I’ve been holding in and stepped into the room, closing the door behind me.
“Hey Jake, how are you feeling?” My voice broke. Twice. I knew it was irrational, but seeing Jacob hurt was hurting me too, not to mention the pain was inflicted on an attempt to protect me. Selfish, cruel, worthless me.
“Bella, I’m fine, and before you even start, it wasn’t your fault. I was careless, and Clearwater was being, well, stupid.” He glanced up at me with assuring eyes, an annoyed edginess to his voice as he mentioned Leah.
“Jake..” I winced. Leah Clearwater, I knew her, and she was one of the many who endangered her life to protect me. Yet here I was listening to my best friend put the blame on her while I stood rooted to the ground in my own little trance.
“I’m serious Bella, what did she think she was doing? Could she BE anymore stupid? You’re in the middle of a fight, you work together with the pack, you think! But for Clearwater? Noooo, she approaches a hiding newborn alone, to-” His endless rant ended abruptly, snapping me out of my guilt ridden train of thoughts at once.
“Bella, are you okay? You’ve been so distracted since you stepped into the room, what, missing your bloodsu-Edward?” I smiled as he fought back his hatred for Edward to please me, but then let my lips fall back into the same cold line. I saw his teasing mask fade as he remembered our kiss before the fight, his eyes fixed on the ceiling board as he struggled to keep his pretence.
“Jacob, you know it’s not like that. I..I love you too. It’s just hard, for me.. to love..both..” My voice broke on the last two words, leaving me speechless as tears welled up in my eyes.
He reached out to grab my hand, pulling me to sit down next to him. Wordlessly, his fingers let go of my hand, only to wipe away the tears that were streaming down my cheeks. As I felt his warm fingers against my skin, I saw the sides of his lips twitch, pulling them up into the smile I always had loved. Then I realized that it was the erratic thumping of my heart that caused my Jacob to smile again. For once, I didn’t feel the guilt towards Edward I was expecting. I felt joy, happy that my Jacob was happy again. What I did not expect, though, was his reaction...
Instead of letting the awkward silence fall into place, Jacob pulled himself up with the support of his good arm all of a sudden, pressing his lips against mine with as much force as he could. I froze under his warm touch, and then unknowingly started to kiss him back. Jacob had always been right; I loved him, and if only I were to give him a chance, to prove he could be as right for me as I thought Edward was…
This time, my train of thoughts wasn’t stopped; it was wrecked, hurled right off the track. His fingers tugged at my hair, pulling me closer as my breathing grew uneven, my hands wounded around his waist, my fingers clawing into his back. Then it hit me;
What on Earth was I doing? What about my promises to love Edward forever? My angel had trusted me to handle things well, to put things with Jacob to an end my way, and this was how I handled things? I turned into stone against Jacob, pulling away quickly as I gasped for air, assembling my thoughts along the way.
No, no, no. This was wrong.
I took a quick apologetic glance at Jacob and barged out the door, stumbling towards my truck as the tears he’s wiped away spilled over again. Not knowing how I did it, I was out of La Push in merely minutes, speeding as much as the truck could go,down the road towards nowhere. That’s when I saw the Volvo tailing closely behind me, my angel’s face emotionless. Edward, I wanted to see him, so much, and yet the other side of me begged to escape him, to escape the hurt I’ve once again caused him. I pulled over; knowing that Edward’s maddening driving would have outdrove me anyway.
Then the door was open, and my angel stood in front of me, unbuckling the seat belt that held me down before he swiftly pulled me into his chest. I sobbed, soaking his shirt as I breathed unsteady breathes, while he silently stroked my hair and held me closer.
“Edward..how did you..” I looked up at him. How did he find me here? How did he know?
“Alice called…she told me, it’s okay Bella...” his words trailed off as he wrestled for words, trying to keep up his conserved, casual charade.
I..I never..meant..to..” I couldn’t think of anything. I wanted so much to console him, to tell him that the kiss with Jacob didn’t mean anything, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to lie to my angel anymore, I loved him, but I loved Jacob too.
I didn’t know what to do, what I could do, to take away the agony that once again flickered onto Edward’s godlike features. He tried— I could tell— to hide it, to keep me from another one of my dramatic wailing moments, he failed. I could see it in his eyes, hidden beneath the smoldering gold, the anguish and disappointment he buried so deeply. Disappointment…in me? Before I could decipher his expressions any further, he pulled away from me; his eyes gazed into the depths of the surrounding forests that stretched out on either side of the road.
I stepped forward, placing my hands on his cold cheeks, pulling his face towards me as I ached to comfort him, to free him from the sadness that was so overwhelming, but his iron grasp got hold of mine instead, forcing them back down to my sides. I choked against the wails in my chest I fought back, trembling as I stared at the ground, letting the fresh streaks of tears pour down. I deserved this—he didn’t want me anymore.
He then turned to look at me, anxious, his eyes boring into mine, searching for some hidden answer he was seeking. “Bel..Bella, love..shh” My angel cradled me tightly against his chest once more, my body molded against his, closing the excruciating space between us. “It’s okay.. Don’t cry.” I felt his cold fingers brush against my damp cheeks, soothing against my skin.
“I said I could be noble, Bella, and..” He let out a deep sigh as he started.
“..And if Jacob is what you want, if he’s what’s best for you..” He paused, and I already knew why. Edward was battling against his feelings, trying to give me up for what I wanted, or what I chose to want.
“Edward don’t. I..I love you, so much, it’s just..” I tried, before he left me again, before he left for me.
“You love Jacob too.” He finished for me; the words pierced through my heart like daggers. Not only was that true, I had forced Edward to say it, to tell me, to convince me that my love for Jacob was strong enough to drive a wedge between us.
“Bella, he is, after all, more human than I. And… and I think..” He was shaking, shivering as his velvet voice turned into a cold, flat, monotone. “I think you should be happy, just pretend I never happened, love. That was how your life was supposed to be, before I selfishly took you anyway. I love you Bella, and I know what’s best for you, this isn’t. Now you have another choice, one that is safer, one that doesn’t involve you giving up your soul, you-“ I interrupted him before he could continue.
“But…what about you?”
Her words struck me like lightning. “What about you”, I knew at once I had lost my Bella, that our love wasn’t as inevitable as I thought it once was. Her response wasn’t one I had seen before—she wasn’t telling me that she loved me more, or that she could never leave me no matter how much she loved that dog—she was asking me how I would be. I hadn’t noticed how much her love for Jacob Black had grown, but as Bella looked up at me with pained eyes, I knew that I had to be noble— for her.
“I’ll be fine Bella, all I need to know is that you will be happy. I will, of course, never forget you, but I promise I’d keep a distance between us, as long as it’s what you want.” I erased all signs of pain that shot through my body, hoping she would fall for the smile that I slapped across my face.
“I’m… I’m really sorry Edward. I just, I just never gave Jacob a chance and…it is unfair to him…” She murmured, catching a deep breath after every few words she choked out. I knew right then I had to help her with this, to let her have what she wanted as easy as it could be.
“Bella, it’s okay. I think it is what’s best for you, and you should be happy too. I don’t want to be keeping you from this happiness Bella, as long as you’re content, then so am I.” I hopelessly struggled against my will to pull her into the urgent kiss I’ve longed to give her, to crush her against my chest and let her know I would never want her to go, not for eternity. I didn’t want to give myself away, so I merely brushed my lips against her warm, soft cheek, then stepped back, ready to return to my moonless life. “I love you, Bella. Never forget that.” I whispered, and then returned to my Volvo, letting it roar to life as I sped away.