I will never forget you
You'll always be by my side
From the day that I met you
I knew that I would love you 'til the day I die
And I will never want much more
And in my heart I will always be sure
I will never forget you
And you will always be by my side 'til the day I die
I wonder what would happen
If we went back and put up a fight
'Cause once upon a time you were my everything
It's clear to see that time hasn't changed a thing
So what in this world do you think could ever take you off my mind
And all along, I knew I had something special with you
But I'm still tired and I can't hide my connection with you
I will never forget you...
'Til the day I die.
~Zara Larsson ft MNEK, Never Forget You
It feels as though I've been obliterated from the inside out. I don't know what to do with myself. Half the time I can't breathe, like I can't catch my breath. It feels like there's a hole in my chest where my lungs and heart should be.
Edward actually left.
It hurts to admit it, but it's the truth. He's gone; for how long, I don't know. I ran him off, chased him out the door. He tried to bring me out of my depression, and I dismissed him.
I've gotten more than a wake up call, I've gotten a slap to the face. My husband left, and I'm pregnant. Several months pregnant, which shows how deep under the water I was floating. I didn't even notice that I'd skipped my cycle, more than once.
It's obvious I have to make changes. But are they worth it if I do?
When I think about it, I realize the answer is yes. I have to take care of myself; no one else is going to do it for me. I blew that chance. But more than that, I have a life inside me to think about.
And I think about it all the time.
Realizing I needed groceries, I chickened out and had a food service deliver to the house, because I look exactly like someone who's spent the better part of six months in a cave. I need to eat better, to take care of myself better, if I have any chance of this baby staying put. Since there was no magic reason for my first baby's issues, the only thing I can do now is eat, start exercising, and stop stressing out so much.
Turns out, I can't force myself to not grieve over my parents' accident. I'm still furious with the drunk driver. I'm still an orphan, and that still cuts deeply. I can't 'namaste' my way out of my feelings. It's like there's static in my brain; I can hear everything going on around me, but it's muddled by the white noise.
I search all over Edward's desk until I find the number for the therapist he called for me. I pause when I see a list, with my name at the top. I sink into his chair as I read it, and tears come to my eyes.
1. Get Bella to eat. Try eggs.
2. Talk to Bella, even if she doesn't respond.
3. Be patient. Remember she's going through so much.
4. Store baby items so she doesn't see them.
He was always looking out for me, and how did I repay him? I ignored him when the static was too loud. He was background noise, hard to focus on, so I didn't even try. I pushed him away without even giving any effort. How pathetic.
Wiping my eyes, I make the phone call I know is most important. When I have an appointment set with the therapist, I call my OB and make an appointment with them. Now I'm actually excited, with something to look forward to.
Making my way to the obstetrician is a bit surreal. It's an office I know well, but it was not for happy reasons that I was here last. I sign in and sit, too anxious to read an outdated magazine. My knees are bouncing up and down, but I don't mind the outlet for my nervous energy.
"Bella Swan?" I hear from behind me. I turn my head in confusion.
"Um, that's me, but it's Cullen now."
"I thought I recognized you. It's Jacob Black." The guy is tall, maybe as tall as Emmett, and his skin is the color of espresso with cream. He has hair the color of wet ink, and it's sort of styled in a fauxhawk. If he knows me, and looks Native American. . .
"Do I know you from La Push?" I guess hesitantly. I'm not looking to offend anybody; I don't have it in me today.
But he grins, his mouth full of white teeth as his smile stretches wide and genuine. "Yeah, I'm a friend of Paul's."
The sound of my ex-boyfriend's name causes my stomach to drop into my shoes. I look down, then back up at him. I have to crane my neck a little, and I bite my lip. "I guess I would know a Quileute anywhere. If nothing else, you guys are tall."
I think I see a blush, and he comes around to stand in front of me, then squats until we're eye level. "Better?" He grins again, and I can tell that it's sincere, as it reaches all the way to his eyes. They're dark brown, expressive and open. "I remember you and Paul ended up on bad terms. He's not really so much my friend as a member of the same tribe, like a brother you don't like but you're stuck with."
I follow along pretty well, even if his words take a left at effusive. "Okay. What did you say your name was?"
"Jacob. Or just Jake. I'm a few years younger than Paul, so I guess I'm younger than you, too. Don't you remember, we used to play on the beach as kids?" He looks expectantly at me.
I feel as though I can dredge up a dim remembrance. A handful of kids from the reservation, my dad and mom, and me. I press my hand to my stomach. "Um, yeah," I say quietly, thinking of my parents.
"I'm interning here. Are you seeing one of the doctors?"
"Yes, Dr. Greene. How long have you been an intern?"
"I'm going into my second year. I've not seen you here before, have you always come here?"
"Yes, to this practice, but today I'm seeing the high risk doctor."
"Would you want to catch up over lunch? After your appointment, I mean, I can take a lunch break. I'd love to talk some more." He looks so hopeful, his eyebrows raised up in earnest.
"I think that would be nice," I find myself replying. Well, we knew each other as kids, so it's okay. I'll lay it out for him when we talk. I realize how much I'm starving for human interaction. We can be friends.
"That's fantastic. I'll keep an eye out for you to be finished." He looks thrilled that I agreed.
"Isabella Cullen?" I hear the nurse call.
"That's me. I've got to. . ." I gesture towards the nurse, since it's obvious what I mean.
"Sure, sure. I'll see you soon."
I wonder if I've just made things more difficult for myself.
When I emerge from the office into the sunshine, I blink a few times to adjust to the bright light. I look down at the black and white sonogram, staggered by the image in front of me. It's real.
I remove the sweater I had on in the air conditioning, scanning the parking lot for my next move.
Do I wait, or go to the truck?
"Bella, hey," I hear next to me, and I glance over, then up as Jake walks to me. He kind of swaggers, and I bite my lip to keep from laughing and rolling my eyes.
Instead, I smile warmly. "Hey."
"You wanna, you know, walk down the street and pick a place?" He suddenly seems shy, and I try not to groan. I really have to explain my situation over lunch.
We start off, and I find I have to take a step away from him, as his broad figure covers so much of the sidewalk. Not to mention he seems all too content to brush against my side.
I pick the first place we come to, a simple coffee and sandwich place. We order at the counter and sit down at a small table inside. I sip my tea, waiting for him to say something.
"So. . .you said your last name isn't Swan anymore, but you're not wearing a ring. And you were in Dr. Greene's office. I don't want to make assumptions, so maybe you can help me out?" He looks up as our order is brought to us, then down at the table and his massive burger.
I take a bite of salad, in no hurry to explain myself. We chew in silence for a few minutes before I decide what to tell him.
Finally, I pull my necklace out from under my shirt, letting my wedding set rest between my collarbones with my locket. "I'm married." I take a deep breath. "My husband left me, just recently."
He frowns, and I frown in response. "Is it too nosy to ask why?"
"I gave him plenty of reasons. I believe he said he thought I'd be happier without him. There've been some. . .things. . .that have happened. I didn't handle them well." I swallow past the lump in my throat, realizing that the ache is back in my chest. I fold my arms around myself, hoping
Jake doesn't notice the gaping hole.
"That doesn't sound fair," he states, then takes a huge bite of food. I have to wonder if steroids are on the menu.
"Well, you can't glean that much information from a snapshot. Also. . .my parents were killed in February. Car accident." Great, now I'm crying. I dab my eyes with my napkin, and he reaches a hand towards me. I ignore him.
"I'm sorry, Bells." The nickname startles me, but I remember Dad always called me that when I was little. "If you want an ear, or a shoulder to lean on, I'll be there. We've known each other for twenty years."
I don't know if I can expend the energy keeping him as a friend, and fending off any other overtures. But I don't have any unbiased friends right now, either. "Maybe I'll take you up on that." I see the way he lights up at that, from his smile to his eyes. "As long as you realize one thing." I sit back, rubbing my stomach over my clothes. There's a small bump, but I'm still underweight.
"I fully intend to get myself together and earn my husband's love and trust back. I'm going to show him that I'm not better off without him, but I have to fix my issues first."
I watch the emotions flicker over Jake's face. "Of course," he finally says. "Just friends."
I'm not sure if I believe him, but I'll give him a chance.