Forgive and Forget
"Mommy, do I have to wear these glasses? I look like a dork." When Charlotte's teacher called and told me that they had had an eye test in school today and that my daughter would need glasses I wasn't really that surprised. I didn't have the best vision, and Alice wore contacts, so when the teacher said that I would need to take Charlotte to the optometrist I made the appointment that same day.
Of course Charlotte would be upset to be missing school, but that was only because today was the day they would start working on their science projects – growing a plant in a Styrofoam cup. I tried to explain that she would be able to start her science project tomorrow, but I was then told that it wouldn't matter and that everyone else's plants would get a head start in growing. I decided to drop the subject and instead tried to engage her in conversation about how trick-or-treating with grandma and grandpa Jacobsen went. Charlotte hit pay dirt at the bakery and the surrounding businesses, and Alex got a good amount of candy as well. He was the cutest Tinkerbell/Peter Pan, and thankfully Celia took plenty of pictures for me to see and I couldn't get over how adorable my little man was. I was worried that some of the other kids would make fun of him for dressing up as 'girl', but no such thing happened. Hank told me that Charlotte scared a few kids by popping out of the shadows and doing her best Dracula impression.
"Charlotte Jacobsen?" The receptionist called. I stood, and when I promised I would be in the room with her, Charlotte stood as well and led the way. The receptionist, who went by the name Diane, did a few preliminary tests; she checked for glaucoma with the machine that spat out a puff of air in her eyes, then the last test she was asked to read the smallest line she could.
After everything was said and done, we found out that Charlotte has a little astigmatism in both eyes. She would of course need glasses, and when she was older we could possibly get her contacts if she wanted them. Charlotte picked out a pair of hot pink glasses; I asked if she was sure that she wanted this pair because she would have to live with this choice for at least a year. She was adamant that she wanted the hot pink glasses and I reluctantly agreed to let her get them. I knew though that she would whine and complain about the color a few days later and stealthily picked out another pair that she would wear eventually.
I took Charlotte for a snack and I could have sworn I saw Edward in his car drive by, it could've been just my imagination, but more likely it was just wishful thinking. It's been about two weeks since Halloween and I haven't seen or heard from Edward in all that time. I wasn't surprised, I mean I had just had the most amazing sex in the bathroom with him then I get a text from Garrett and rush down to go see him and Edward storms off when he sees me with him. Though I wasn't in a relationship with Edward I still felt horrible that he had to find out the way he did.
Charlotte was wearing her hot pink glasses and was showing them off to anyone she could find, when I heard my phone ringing in my purse. I didn't need to look at the caller ID to know who it was.
"Hello Alice, what can I do for you today?"
"Now, why do you assume that I call you only because I want you to do something for me – never mind don't answer that – So I have a surprise for you; you know how you've always complained that you're fat and need to work out more?"
"Wow, way to boost my self-esteem Alice, but yes I do remember telling you about how I wanted to be in better shape… Why? What did you do? Please tell me this isn't the elliptical all over again." I swear, Alice has ESP or something, but it's not always accurate it seems, she told me that she had a 'vision' that I would love having an elliptical, and that it would be so easy to use.
Ok, let's just say that only I would injure myself using that damned thing. I apparently didn't have the pin, that kept the handle bars in place, all the way in because when I went to sit down on it the handle bars gave way and I had a humongous bruise on my forehead and I sprained my wrist.
"It's not like the elliptical fiasco Bells, and I hate that you keep using that against me. I was wrong once and you hold it over my head for the rest of my life – OK, I'm getting off subject. I saw this advertisement in the Classified section of the newspaper about a personal trainer that's offering a free first session this month. I know what you're going to say, but I think it would be good for you to get into shape and maybe it will help you not be so introverted. So – "
"Oh my god, Alice, you didn't sign me up did you? You know how the last time I was at a gym you had to drag me through the front doors. I mean that was so embarrassing that I couldn't go back to there with you for over a month; I am so self-conscious it's not even funny."
"Ok, first off you are beautiful dammit, and it's high time you realize it, and that's why I signed you up for a personal trainer; it's just you and the trainer, no one else is around."
That did sound more my speed. I asked Alice when my first session would be, and she told me that she had scheduled for me to go tomorrow while Alex and Charlotte were in school. It was a Friday, but it would have to do. I wasn't about to argue with my sister. I asked her where I was supposed to go for my workout and she told me that it was at the Optima Chicago Center and that Rosalie was aware of my workout session and would check to see that I actually went.
When I got done talking with Alice I got Charlotte home and she went directly to find Garrett and show off her new pair of glasses. I was met by Alex in the kitchen. He was sitting at the island waiting patiently waiting for whatever it was that Laurent offered to fix him. But I could guess that it was something related to that of pizza rolls.
"I swear, sometimes I wonder if I'm wasting my talents on you child. I remember having to pick grapes on my grandfather's vineyard growing up. Now, that was a lot of hard work, and it made me want to try more extravagant things and widen my horizons." Of course Alex just sat there waiting quietly for his pizza rolls to cook; he didn't even really understand that Laurent was having his usual tantrums when it came to cooking for our family. "If my memory serves me well I seem to remember you telling me that you grew up in New Orleans around Bourbon Street and the Quarter." I said with a knowing smile. Laurent stumbled for a retort, which of course made Alex break out into laughter. I handed him his plate of pizza rolls when the microwave dinged, and then I heard Laurent mutter in French as he sat down to catch his breath. I swear the man could get himself so worked up sometimes. He needed to know that he was nearing sixty; he wasn't the spring chicken he once was. "I will have you know that I did in fact pick grapes on my grandfather's vineyard, granted, it wasn't nearly as backbreaking as I make it out to seem, but my grandfather lived in France and did everything the old fashioned way." I nodded in agreement – knowing that I would not win this argument.
I left Alex to his pizza rolls and strolled in to the living room and the sight I saw warmed my heart, Charlotte and Garrett were sitting on the floor facing one another and Garrett was asking what the eye doctor did to her. Charlotte went step by step what happened and even demonstrated on Garrett to show how the doctor examined her eyes.
The longer I watched the more I had a feeling my little girl would be a doctor one day.
"I still can't believe I let you talk me into doing this. Alice, I swear if I – "
"If you enjoy it – which you definitely will – then you can thank me by buying me that new dress I've been eyeing in the storefront at Nordstrom's."
I groaned but agreed anyway, mainly because I couldn't pass up the opportunity bet against Alice, even if things tended to always be in her favor.
When I finally found my nerve I walked in and wandered around until I finally came across the fitness center where I would spend the next hour and a half with a complete stranger telling me what I was doing wrong and show me the right way to eat and work out. I was probably overthinking this and it would be over quick and I would've stressed for nothing.
I had decided to wear a loose-fitting graphic t shirt and yoga pants – I don't want you to get the wrong idea, I have never in my life ever actually gone to a yoga class – and started to do some stretches before the trainer got here and began the session.
"You have got to be kidding me, of all the personal trainers in Chicago; you have to sign up for a free session here?" I could hear the distain in his voice, and I didn't need to turn around to know who it was either. It pained me to do so, but I turned around and was met with a very angry-looking Edward. But who could blame him; last time I saw him I had just finished having awesome sex with the guy then ran off to go meet up with my husband. I would be pissed off too if I were him.
"Edward, let me explain – "
"Save it, I don't need to hear your bullshit; you made your choice painfully clear. Your sister called and arranged for you to have your free session, and after today if you still think you can handle this workout regimen then I'll have Emmett take over your training – because I am not putting up with your bullshit." I was left speechless, I didn't even know how to even start to explain what was going on and that I never meant to hurt him; he wouldn't believe me anyways if I even tried to explain what happened at the Halloween party.
So I did the only thing I could think of – I decided to tell Edward the truth. I told him I was married and had been for over eight years. I also told him that I had been very unhappy for the past couple of months and that he was the first good thing to come my way in a long time. I also told him how that he made me feel wanted and attractive – something I haven't felt for a while now.
Edward was silent for a good few minutes, and just when I thought he would break the silence and embrace me with a warm loving hug, he just nodded his head and started telling me what all we would do in this session today. I couldn't help but feel a bit deflated, but I also couldn't be angry at him for not wanting to welcome me back with open arms.
It's a lot to take in; to find out that the girl you are casually seeing and obviously crazy about – my take on the situation – is married and has two children as well.
The entire workout session Edward did not speak a word to me other than to tell me what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it. By the time the workout had come to an end Edward walked out and was gone without a single glance back in my direction. I couldn't help but feel a bit hurt by his coldness, but I knew I deserved it. I would just have to let him take all of this in and hopefully he would forgive me. I knew one thing for sure though, and that was that my marriage was over, it had been for a while now. I wasn't ready for our attorneys' to draw up the divorce papers, but I wasn't stupid – I knew that I was falling hard for Edward.
But these feelings did raise a few questions – what would this mean for my marriage with Garrett? I am fairly certain that when Garrett first started working at Katz Law Firm he had asked for me to sign a pre-nup. I knew though that it was Celia that had told him to do so, because Garrett was the kind of guy that wanted an equal marriage, and didn't want everything written down in an agreement saying what could and couldn't be done in our marriage. I remember reading it, and I was fairly certain that there was an infidelity clause in there somewhere. It said that if I cheated on Garrett I would only get a set amount of money from him, and if Garrett were to cheat on me I would get all of his money.
So now it came down to whether or not I would go to Garrett and come clean about everything and risk losing all the money I had grown accustomed to, or I could keep quiet and pretend as if nothing happened.
I was snapped from my thoughts when I saw Edward charging back this way through the floor-to-ceiling windows that looked into the long hallway.
"You know that you are very complicated and frustrating person to love Bella? First I meet you in a bar and we have the most amazing sex I have had in a long time, then just when I think it was just a one-time thing I see you again when you help your sister – "
"Step sister…" I corrected.
"Fine, step-sister, move into her apartment I see you again and all the feelings I felt for you that night in the bar came flooding back to the surface and all I could think about was how I wanted to fuck you raw right there in your step-sister's bed – nothing else mattered at that moment. Then after that hot and sizzling encounter in the dark alley outside the Bridge Bar I thought I wouldn't see you again. I mean I never heard from you, granted I could've called you as well, but I thought that my feelings one-sided.
Then Halloween happened and we once again collided and had earth-shattering sex in a bathroom. I had been gathering the courage all night to find the words to tell you that I wanted more, that I wanted you to be mine and no one else's." I could see the pained look in Edward's eyes and it broke my heart. This man, who was still technically a stranger to me, was pouring his heart out to me right now, he was telling me how much he loves me even though I hurt him. "But then you leave me hanging – quite literally – and when I finally catch up to you I see you in the arms of another man. My first thought was to storm over there and stake my claim on you, but when I saw how you were with him and the look in your eyes I knew that I had been played a fool.
Bella, I don't date women who are in relationships and I sure as hell don't date women who are married – yes I saw both of your guys' rings shimmering in the strobe light beams. I guess what I'm saying is that I am madly in love with you, and I don't want to give up on you – not yet. I'm not ready to give up on us."
Us. He still felt that he and I could still work things out.
I was over the moon excited about this, and though I could feel tears threatening to pour down my cheeks I managed to hold them back and smile. I wanted desperately to leap into Edward's grasp and wrap my arms around his neck, but I found the inner strength to stay rooted to the floor.
I about broke into uncontrollable sobs when Edward slowly closed the distance between us. I couldn't look up at him; I would end up an even more of a sobbing mess. I felt Edward put his fingers under my chin and carefully raised my head so that I was forced to look up at him, but even then I couldn't look at him. I really didn't deserve his forgiveness.
"Open your eyes so I can see your gorgeous brown eyes." Those were the magic words – those were the words I needed to hear, to assure me that Edward still loved me, that he understood that, yes, this was a very complicated situation but that I was also falling hard for him. I slowly opened my eyes and chanced a glance up at his perfect smile. I could see in his eyes that he was still very hurt that I lied to him, but I also saw something that warmed my heart.
I saw that he still loved me and that there was hope that Edward and I could work.
Let me know what you think and I will see you all this Friday!