The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truth


I would never understand Edward’s obsession with surprises. Much like our original first date, he refused to tell me in advance where we were going. That being said, the similarities ended there. I didn’t agonize over my clothing choices and instead settled almost immediately on a simple black sheath and heels. Prior to his arrival, I was not overcome with nervousness by the idea of what was to come. I felt at peace with where we were. This time, we would succeed or fail based on our compatibility, not my personal issues.

He arrived at six o’clock on the dot bearing a bouquet of white, orange and lilac roses. After I placed them in a vase with water, he kissed my cheek. He helped me with my coat, and in and out of his car. While we were at the restaurant, he held my hand from across the table. Our conversation during the meal was light and playful. After bringing me home, he walked me to my door where in true first-date fashion, there was a moment of awkward silence before he spoke.

“I had a wonderful time tonight.”

I started laughing hysterically.

“What?”

“You’re acting as if we haven’t done all this before. I’m sorry; the typical, first-date, walk-me-to-my-door routine feels  contrived under the circumstances.”

“Maybe,” he admitted. “Still, I’d rather not take anything for granted. That being said, I enjoyed myself immensely, and I’d like to see you again.”

I was still giggling when I answered him. “I’d like that.”

I didn’t care if it was contrived, his responding smile made me melt.

“May I kiss you?” he asked.

“I’d like that, too.”

He cupped my face in his hands and gently pressed his lips against mine. Like our first kiss so long ago, It was short and chaste.  It also made me want to take him upstairs and ravish him.

Sadly, I now knew better.

“So,” I began. “Now that we’re…wait, what are we doing, exactly?”

He looked at me confusedly. “Dating?”

“Dating,” I repeated. “Is that really what you would call this?”

“Were we not just out on a date?”

“We were, but it seems somehow more…significant than that.”

“Do you feel as if you need a more specific title?”

“That’s just it. I don’t feel as though I have a title at all, therefore it seems a bit off to be requesting a more accurate one.”

“Do you want to be my girlfriend?” he asked teasingly.

“This isn’t the eighth grade, Edward. I would, however, like to know if I’m the only woman you’re currently seeing.”

He threw back his head and laughed. “Listen to you, bringing up exclusivity on the very first date. What happened to your intense fear of commitment?”

“Let’s just say there are other things that scare me more. However, I do feel as though I am entitled to some answers from you before I decide if I would like to pursue this any further.”

“Am I right to assume, despite your previous statement that you would indeed like to go out with me again, that a second date is in fact contingent upon my responses to your imminent queries?”

“That would be correct.”

He shrugged. “Ask away.”

I pushed my front door open. “Would you mind coming in for a bit? This could take a while.”

“Should I be nervous?”

I smiled sweetly. “That all depends on you.” He followed me inside, where I removed my coat and kicked off my shoes. “Would you like something to drink?”

“Whatever you’re having is fine.”

I gestured for him to have a seat on the sofa and went into the kitchen to pour us both a glass of wine. When I came back into the living room, his jacket was off, and he was sitting on the edge of the couch. I placed his glass in front of him, and sat opposite him.

“So…” I twirled my wine glass by its stem. “I know as of Christmas you weren’t seeing anyone…”

“And now I’m seeing you.”

“Am I the only person you’re seeing?”

“Yes.”

My relief was palpable.

“What else would you like to know?” he asked, sipping his wine.

“Why did it take you three months to respond to my email? You’ve never been one for indecision.”

“It wasn’t indecision.” He leaned against the arm of the couch so he was now facing me. “Bella, I don’t mind telling you this, but I should warn you that you’re probably not going to like what you hear.”

“I can handle it.”

“When I got your message, I made a conscious decision not to do anything.”

“You decided not to decide? How very Stephen Sondheim of you.”

“I’m serious. I was seeing someone at the time, and whereas I hated the idea of not replying to you, I didn’t feel that a correspondence with you was fair to her.”

“Oh,” I said, swallowing. Though I’d suspected as much, it didn’t make hearing it any more palatable. “Would this be the person you mentioned at the diner? Kate, I believe?”

“Yes.”

“You weren’t being melodramatic when you said it was complicated.”

“No.” He sighed. “We were together for about seven months. I began dating her even though I knew I wasn’t over you. Kate and I were in the same social circle and it was easy…comfortable. She knew I’d been through a bad break-up and even joked  she was my rebound fling. She never asked more of me than I was able to give her, and I naïvely thought that with time and patience, I’d  fall in love with her. Finally in September, she told me she was falling in love with me. I knew I was doing her a huge disservice. It was one thing when I thought we were both  having a bit of fun, but I couldn’t let myself…” He paused as if putting great thought into his next words. “I couldn’t allow myself to do to her what you’d done to me. Instead of telling her that I returned her feelings, I explained to her why I didn’t feel I ever could. I told her everything—how we met, how quickly things developed between us, and how it all fell apart. Finally, I told her about the email you’d sent me over the summer, and that despite how much I wished otherwise, I was still very much in love with you.”

She’d been my rival for Edward’s affections, and yet I found myself feeling sorry for her. “How did she respond to that?”

“As well as could be expected. She said she appreciated my honesty and had suspected for quite some time that my heart wasn’t in it. Ultimately, she convinced me not to waste any more time. She said I was being stubborn and immature, and I owed it to myself to find out if what you’d said in your email was true.”

“So, when I saw you at the diner…”

“Kate and I had ended our relationship roughly forty-eight hours prior to that evening. I don’t feel as if I led her on, but it was still wrong of me to become involved with her when my emotions were still elsewhere. I suppose dating several girls casually would have been more responsible, but it’s just not me. At the time we began seeing each other, I genuinely believed a future with you was not an option.”

Whoa.

“What?”

“When you broke up with me, you told me our relationship was purely physical on your end. At the time, I believed you.”

“How could you  think I meant that?”

“It fit. Do you remember how you responded to me the first time I told you I loved you? You fell to your knees and tried to open my pants, no doubt thinking that I wouldn’t realize you didn’t say it back if my cock was in your mouth.”

“Well, in all fairness to me, the first time I gave you head you did forget your own name.”

“Wait, are you admitting I’m right?”

“No, you’re completely wrong.”

He laughed. “Care to enlighten me as to what your motivation was?”

I leaned against the couch and sighed. “I’ve honestly never thought about it until now. In the moment, it just seemed like the right thing to do.”

“It’s never come up in therapy?”

“Not that specific instance, no.”

“Huh. Interesting. It has for…well…never mind.” He took another swig of wine.

I thought back to the night in question. “In retrospect, I can see how you would’ve interpreted it as such. I really just wanted to give you something in return, and I didn’t feel comfortable saying the words. They’re  still  hard for me to say.”

“Well, that was the first of many instances, but we don’t need to rehash it. I only mentioned this to you so you’d understand what state my mind was in at the diner.”

“You do realize I didn’t consciously objectify you, right? I’m not trying to make excuses for myself, but in every way that mattered, it was my first time, too.”

“I know.” He brushed my cheek with his thumb. “Was there anything else you wanted to ask?”

“Are you kidding? I could keep you here for hours.”

“I wouldn’t mind, but I should get home to my mom.”

I felt so selfish. “I’m sorry. How is she?”

“Remarkably well, all things considered. She maintains that she was incredibly lucky to have had my father for the time that she did, and though she’s lonely, she still feels blessed.”

“Your mother is quite possibly the most amazing person I’ve ever known. I  know where you get your strength.”

Edward shrugged. “It’s ironic, isn’t it? Everyone places such value on emotional strength, stupidly hoping to rely upon it in times of agony never realizing agony is what makes a person strong. My mother lost a baby to SIDS. She knows pain. She also knows my father would want us to go on living. She is strong. Meanwhile, I’m angrier than I can express. I lost my father, but that was given. Sure, it happened to me tragically early, but burying our parents is the natural way of things. My mother has now buried her father, her son, and the love of her life. I know you meant it as a compliment, but please don’t trivialize her strength by comparing it to mine. I don’t have her strength, nor can I begin to understand her pain. I’m selfish enough to hope that I never do.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean–”

“It’s okay. Really.” He stood up. “I’m sorry to end our evening like this. Please forgive my outburst. You know, my dad waited up for me after our first date. I’d told him not to, but  he ignored me.”

I got up and handed him his jacket. “I can just imagine that conversation.”

Edward smiled. “It was mortifying. He took one look at me and asked me if we used protection.”

I rolled my eyes. “I knew he thought I was a slut.”

“Bella, no. He loved you.”

I put my arm around his waist as I walked him to the door. “Do you think he would approve of this?”

“I know he would. He’s only ever wanted my happiness.” He rested his hands on my shoulders. “You make me happy.”

I pulled his face  to mine and pressed my lips to his. When my tongue entered his mouth, he wrapped his arms around me and held me tightly against him.

He broke the kiss and whispered in my ear. “Soon.”

I nodded my understanding. As much as I wanted him, I didn’t want to repeat past mistakes.

He stepped onto my porch and gave my hand a quick squeeze. “Dinner again tomorrow?”

“I’d like that.”

“I’ll call you in the morning.”

I watched his car pull out of my driveway. The night was cool and clear, and when I looked away from the city skyline, I could make out a handful of stars. I wasn’t certain I believed in an after-life, but somehow, I thought he would hear me.

“I love you, too, Carlisle. Thank you…for everything.”

Late was better than never.





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  1. on 29 Aug 2010 at 3:29 pmizziey

    of course carlisle could hear her!

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  2. on 01 Oct 2010 at 3:02 pmlisa89

    I’m crying a little bit for Carlisle. I’m completely wrapped up in this.

    [Reply]


  3. on 25 Nov 2010 at 5:43 pmBooksgalore/Bookishqua

    Good for Edward for seeing someone Else. And for doing the right thing. Shows growth.

    [Reply]


  4. on 31 Dec 2010 at 5:28 pmFancastride

    So edward was dating someone can’t wait to read those chapters in counterpoint. I know I said it before but great story both of them.

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  5. on 06 Jan 2011 at 1:44 amSea4Me

    He’s still hurting. I’m glad he’s in therapy, too. Poor guy got trampled!

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  6. on 29 Jan 2011 at 10:41 pmJanice

    I’m still crying and I can’t stop reading. I gotta take a break soon!!

    [Reply]