Pizzicato


From: Esme Masen
Subject: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:32 PM EST
To: Edward Cullen

Have any plans? I need a favor.


From: Edward Cullen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:35 PM EST
To: Esme Masen

I’m not going to the wedding, Mom. If Alice actually wanted me there, she would have invited me as Bella’s plus one, not yours and Dad’s.


From: Esme Masen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:37 PM EST
To: Edward Cullen

And desert Bella’s best friend at her time of need? Alice’s organist is ill; she needs someone to play at the ceremony.


Alice was unbelievable, my mom was on crack and I was getting more pissed off by the minute. This was further aggravated by the fact I’d be able to reason with my mother in person right now if Bella hadn’t insisted I stay on campus every weekend for the rest of September so that I could better assimilate. Meanwhile, my roommates were smoking a bowl in our common area. I was tempted to join them and make my nightly goodnight call to Bella while baked, but I suspected doing so would backfire. With my luck, instead of being told to come home and fuck her next weekend I would receive a hypocritical lecture in which Bella would warn me of the dangers of illicit substances while claiming that her eyes look red and glassed over in her college pictures only because her camera was low-end.

Now more annoyed than I ever thought possible, I replied to my mother.


From: Edward Cullen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:38 PM EST
To: Esme Masen

And to think there are some people who don’t believe in karma.


From: Esme Masen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:40 PM EST
To: Edward Cullen

I didn’t raise you to be spiteful.


From: Edward Cullen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 8:41 PM EST
To: Esme Masen

Well, we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun…


Thirty seconds after I sent the email, my phone rang.

“Mom, I can’t talk now, I’m singing.”

“What the hell is this shit? Three weeks into college you decide you want to have a teenage rebellion phase?”

“I’m not rebelling, Mom; I’m just reserving the right to make my own decisions. Besides, I thought you wanted me to be my own man and not be swayed by pressures from others.”

“Edward, you know very well that conversation was about allowing you to go skiing with your Cullen cousins after they were caught snorting coke in Vail. This is your chance to do the right thing and prove your maturity to Alice and Jasper and anyone else in Bella’s social circle who ever doubted you.”

“That’s the thing, Mom. No one doubted me, they doubted Bella. If Bella wanted me to bail out Alice, Bella would have asked me to play tomorrow. It’s her call, Mom. Not yours and certainly not mine.”

“Fine, then. If you’re going to be an uncooperative asshole, I’ll play the piano for her myself.”

I couldn’t contain my laughter, but it wasn’t at the thought of my mom playing. My mother was arguably every bit as skilled musically as I was, even if she were out of practice. Still, she hated being the center of attention and the last time she played before an audience was at her own father’s funeral. I knew Alice picked out the majority of my mother’s clothes for her, but I couldn’t imagine why this wedding was so important.

“What’s so funny?” she asked.

“You’re going to play.”

“Yes.”

“I thought you stopped performing because you hate being stared at in any context.”

“I’m willing to endure twenty minutes of personal discomfort to help out a friend.”

“A friend? I thought you were a good judge of character.”

“People make mistakes, Edward.”

“Yes, but Alice made a very big mistake that really hurt Bella.”

“You mean like the mistake you made when you failed to tell me where you first encountered Bella?”

“That was different. Besides, I genuinely believed Dad explained to you that Bella was a teacher at my school.”

“Dude, Bella is a teacher? Like, at your high school?”

Mike’s voice took my attention away from my phone conversation. Startled, I turned away from my desk and saw him standing in the doorway. This was just what I needed right now. I held up my index finger for him to wait, but he exited the bedroom just as quickly as he appeared.

Fuck.

“Mom, I’ve got to go.”

“Are you done being a stubborn prick?”

“If you’re asking if I’m willing to play at Alice’s wedding, the answer is still no.”

“Fine, but this conversation is not over.”

“I get that, but now I need to go.”

“I’m very disappointed in you, Edward, but I love you very much.”

“I love you, too, Mom. Bye.”

I shoved my phone into my pocket and headed to the common room, hoping to convince Mike to keep quiet about what he’d overheard.

The moment the door was open, Mike fell to his knees as if I were a deity to which he was praying. I ignored him and instead addressed Tyler, who was on the sitting floor in front of the futon with Peter, another guy who lived on our floor. He had a bowl in one hand and a lighter in the other. Even if the room didn’t smell like an Amsterdam coffee shop, it would have been obvious what they were doing.

“What’s with Newton?” I asked.

“He’s bowing to your greatness,” Tyler explained.

“Huh?”

“You’re fucking one of your high-school teachers,” Peter chimed in. “That’s epic.”

The constant objectification of Bella was starting to get old.

“She’s my girlfriend. Show some respect.”

“Fine. Your girlfriend was your high school teacher,” Peter corrected.

“No wonder you got all A’s,” Tyler joked.

“She wasn’t one of my teachers, and we didn’t start dating until after I graduated.” I stopped talking, distracted by Mike still genuflecting by my feet. “Is he okay?”

“I’m fine,” Mike explained as he got up and rejoined the rest of the guys in the center of the room. “Just awed by your mad skills.”

I wasn’t sure what to do. Bella’s secret was out, and whereas I didn’t think these guys would broadcast it, I knew Mike was an open book when he was drunk. Unfortunately for me, Mike was drunk an awful lot. I could ask him not to say anything, but then he’d have blackmail material. Granted, he had that anyway, but maybe he wouldn’t realize it if I acted like it wasn’t a big deal.

“I don’t have mad skills. I asked her out, and she said yes.”

Tyler reloaded his bowl, pulling my focus from Mike.

“Want to join us?” he asked.

For the past couple of weeks, I’d been treating Mike and Tyler like pariahs—Mike because of his constant comments about Bella and Tyler because despite already cheating on his girlfriend from home, he seemed to have no intentions of coming clean about it or breaking up with her. It wouldn’t hurt to attempt to make friends with them, considering I would be living with them for the next nine months. Not to mention the fact that pot supposedly mellowed you out, and I was having the day from hell. It wouldn’t be the worst thing I could do.

“Why not?” I flopped on the floor next to Tyler.

He held the bowl and the lighter for me; all I had to do was inhale. It burned my throat a bit and then did the same to my nostrils as I exhaled, which was really more like a cough.

“I think I need something to drink,” I said. Mike handed me a can of beer, and I opened it and took a swig.

“I know you’ve never smoked pot, but have you ever smoked anything?” Peter asked.

I shook my head. “Not until just now.”

“No wonder,” Tyler said. “It takes a bit to get used to.”

I gestured for him to hand the bowl to me and took another hit. This time, I held both it and the lighter myself. It still burned, but I didn’t cough. By the time we’d finished it, inhaling no longer bothered me and I was feeling exactly the way I’d felt before smoking.

“Um, I guess I’m kind of missing the point.”

They all started laughing hysterically.

“What’s so funny?”

“No one ever gets anything out of it the first time. It gets better the more you do it.”

“Oh,” I muttered dumbly. “Well, thanks for sharing anyway, I guess.”

After I finished my beer, I stood up and walked back to the bedroom, closing the door behind me. When I opened my laptop, the email at the top of my inbox was not a surprise even if the one beneath it was.


From: Esme Masen
Subject: Re: Tomorrow Night
Date: September 19, 2009 9:15 PM EST
To: Edward Cullen

I told Alice I would be happy to play for her wedding reception. Crisis averted, no thanks to you.


From: Isabella Swan
Subject: Miss you so much
Date: September 19, 2009 9:12 PM EST
To: Edward Cullen

I’m sitting here looking at my dress for tomorrow and I’m so sad you won’t see me in it. I’m not even sure why I’m telling you this; I’m completely aware the situation with Alice was more of my making than yours, and there’s nothing you can do to change things. I often get the feeling you think I encourage you to spend time on campus because I don’t want you with me. That’s not true–I want you with me, in me, around me. I want you any way I can get you. I just don’t want to deprive you of anything. I don’t want to be that girlfriend–you know–the kind who keeps your balls in a jar under the sink. Anyway, I love the shit out of you and miss you more than I can possibly express.

I’m not sure why I’m so emotional right now. Before I humiliate myself any further and lose what little self-respect I’ve managed to retain, I’m going to bed (pathetic, I know). Just know that I’m not ashamed of myself or of you, and I’m planning to spend tomorrow night with my head held high. I only wish I could have you on my arm while I do so.


Knowing what I needed to do, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and called my mother.

“I take it you’re finished singing.”

“I’m sorry, Mom. I changed my mind.”

“So you’re willing to play for Alice?”

“Uh, no. But I would like to sit beside you and turn pages.”

“You may as well just play. You’re helping anyway, you know.”

“I’m not helping Alice, though. I’m helping you.” While being there for Bella, I added silently.

“I’ll have your tux pressed and tell Alice.”

“Thanks, Mom. I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.”

“You’re welcome. I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

I placed my phone on my desk and formulated my reply to Bella.


From: Edward Cullen
Subject: Re: Miss you so much
Date: September 19, 2009 9:35 PM EST
To: Isabella Swan

Someday (sooner than you think) your wish will come true.


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  1. on 09 Jan 2011 at 8:31 pmSea4Me

    See? She is sharing. He has all these thoughts, but he doesn’t check in with her. This time they were just lucky that she came clean & it answered his unspoken concerns.

    [Reply]