I’m standing out in the parking lot leaning up against the wall when the back door opens. I don’t have to turn to know who it is; I can smell his cologne, feel his presence. Like there’s an electromagnetic pulse beaming between us. I push off the wall and start walking, and I don’t stop when he falls into step with me. I walk out of the parking lot and down the street, and I don't have the first clue where I’m going or what I’m doing.“Mr. Black was already in the back of a squad car when I finished tending to Rose, more's the pity.”
When I don't respond, he speaks again. “I’ve been coming every night. You might not know that, so I thought I’d tell you.”
It wasn’t my imagination conjuring him up, then.
“Did the medics look you over?”
I can feel him staring at me, but I can’t make myself speak or even stop walking. I keep moving until we come to the railing that overlooks Puget Sound, and then I finally stop and lean against it. My hoodie and sweats aren't quite enough to keep me warm, but I refuse to admit it out loud. I stare at the water, and he stands next to me at the railing. I still haven’t even looked at him.
“Your hands are a wreck,” he tries again.
I laugh bitterly. “My psyche is a wreck.”
“So’s mine,” he murmurs.
I finally relent enough to look at him, knowing it’ll tear me apart. And I’m right, it does. It kills me to see the softness in his eyes, leaves me damaged to see the worried expression. Why is he being nice to me now?
“Why have you been coming every night? I haven't even been here every night.”
Edward resumes looking out over the water, rubbing the back of his neck. “I didn’t like the way we left things.”
If he hears the bitterness in my tone, he doesn’t acknowledge it. “I shouldn’t have told you to go. I should have talked to you.”
“It’s too late for should have or shouldn’t have. You were right, I don’t love you.” I don’t know what has possessed me, why I would say such things, but that doesn't stop me.
“I never suggested that you don’t love me. I never said that I don’t feel the same for you, as a matter of fact.”
I can’t hold in the gasp, and it steals my breath as I stare at his profile. “Do you think that coming here now and saying these words somehow makes up for kicking me out? We haven’t spoken in over a month, Edward. If you had any feelings for me, you had plenty of time to say so.”
He looks at me again, meeting my gaze and holding it. “I don’t know what love feels like, Bella. I know that I care about you. I care what happens to you, and I care about how I feel when I’m with you. I was so scared of losing you, but I shut you out instead of dealing with my feelings and yours.”
“And I jumped headfirst into this whole thing after holding you at arm’s length. I didn’t want to be controlled or dependent on you, but I mixed things up and clung to you after being so defiant. Clearly, I don’t know what love is either. So it’s better that we moved on.” Silence greets my statement, except for the gentle lapping of the water below us.