This outtake is set in the summer shown in the prologue, and was written for Fandom for Sexual Assault Awareness in 2011. Thank you to everyone who contributed to F4SSA. I felt that, given the premise of Summerboy, it was a very worthy and wonderful cause to write an outtake for. Kind of a sad way to cap off the more optimistic end of Summerboy, but just keep last chapter's vibe and the DeMulder quote in your mind :)
Summary: Bella's summer after "the incident" isn't like the others. She's broken her mother's heart, she's haunted by a man's foolishness, and the clouds are crying. And then, there's Edward. A Summerboy outtake for F4SAA.
You don't want me, no, you don't need me. Like I want you, no. Like I need you, no. And I want you in my life. And I need you in my life.You can't see me, no, like I see you.I can't have you, no, like you have me.
"You" – The Pretty Reckless.
The clouds are crying, sobbing. I watch as their tears streak down the window as I press my forehead against the cool surface. Renee has the heat up in the car. The chill is welcomed.
Renee has the radio up really loud, too. I think she's justified the level of volume by the fact that she totally loves this song! Oh, Bella, turn it up, honey! We both know that Bryan Adams is reverberating around the blue BMW because Renee has no idea what to say to me. The last time we really spoke, Renee broke the vase she inherited from Gran and I got so upset that I threw up.
Phil has become some sickly, evil cancerous growth between us. His fleeting stupidity and wandering hands have totally screwed the good relationship that my mom and I once had, and not to mention broke Renee's heart. The SAPO being finalised the week before I came to Florida for summer vacation seemed like the thing that cracked her. She didn't like the idea of a restraining order, but Charlie insisted. I'm very glad that he did. Phil can't come into contact with me for a long while. I wish the niggling thoughts of his breath, his hands, his words, would go away too.
There's nothing to stop them now.
Renee's driving isn't great at the best of times, so in all this rain I should be a little wary. But I'm just nervous. I don't know what to say to Edward. Sorry, I don't feel like screwing around with you this summer, I'm dealing with some shit. Can we just go get some ice cream? I'm sure he won't ask any questions at all, because that's not a vague response at all. And it's totally like the Bella he knows to just brood, all holed up in her caravan. And ice cream is a totally plausible distraction in all this motherfucking freezing rain.
Get a grip, Bella. It's just Edward. Just the guy you've been vacationing and sleeping with for the past three years. Just the guy that you lo-
Let's not go down that path, Little Red Riding Hood.
Edward's okay with it all. At least, he seems caring enough. He hugged me and let me cry and waited until I was ready to talk instead of asking how are you feeling? He's always been wiser than his years, thank God.
Presently, we're sitting at his piano. Well, technically it's not Edward's. It's the piano that sits in the main eatery that the owners of this park try to pass off as a restaurant. Apparently, it's grand. The piano is old, made of mahogany-hued wood. But the piano is practically Edward's. Our families have been coming here every year for the past couple of years – and there's no doubt that Edward claims the instrument most nights we're here.
Although, Edward does tend to point out that it's not his name that is clumsily carved into the piano's left side.
I watch intently as Edward tells me that he's going to teach me Fur Elise. Lately, my head and heart have been so caught up in the past that it's been so easy for me to be distracted. But I force away the unbidden memories and focus as Edward begins to flutter, delve and weave his fingers on the keys. He plays beautifully, his eyes widening comically at me when he accidentally hits the wrong note.
"Your turn," he announces in a sing-song voice. Then, he slowly begins to teach me.
The tension between us nearly drives me insane.
His fingers are cold as they gently press against mine, showing me when to put my fingers on the black keys, and then the ivory. His breath is hot against the side of my neck, making my straggly, rain-frizzled hair tickle the delicate skin. I know he's watching me intently. I can feel it. I intentionally avoid his gaze for the first couple of minutes as I finally get a short sequence of the song right – the first, infamous strain of decadent notes. But after listening to Edward's soft, reassuring voice patiently instructing me for a while, the urge is too great. I turn my gaze to him.
I look into Edward's strange green eyes; the translucency of them and the rain making the colour look green-grey. My gaze is heavy with sadness and anger and fear.
He closes his eyes, and presses his lips gently to mine, once. Only once. He doesn't touch my face, doesn't caress my cheek, doesn't support my back.
We break apart. The air around us is thick with awkward tension. After watching his hand twitch, as though he would like to hold mine, Edward finally speaks.
"I love you," he says softly. It's almost as though he doesn't want a response.
"I know," I respond quietly, anyway, misery coating my mouth. And Edward knows why I can't say it back. My parents marriage and subsequent divorce showed me what a thousand I love you's can do – break someone's heart.
Edward smiles, shuts the piano, and motions for me to follow him. We leave the piano and the moment in the dark as Edward switches off the lights. I find myself chilled to the bone as we slowly make our way over the muddy grass. The rain is heavy. The clouds are inconsolable. Edward talks about something I can't bring myself to be interested in.
And then all of a sudden we're sitting on two foldout chairs outside his mom and dad's caravan. We're sharing a bottle of cheap and nasty vodka between us. It's night-time. I can't believe I've managed to lose track of a few hours. I guess Linkin Park were right about becoming numb.
I'm wearing a ratty old black jacket, the sleeves coming down to my fingertips, and a white beanie. Good thing, too, because it's so cold tonight.
Edward and I talk about the usual stuff. School, annoying assignments, good movies we've seen, strict parents, Emmett's break-up with his long-time girlfriend. I throw back a couple of shots from my pink plastic shot glass while we talk. My head starts to feel familiarly strange, control suddenly out of my reach. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. My head whirls with horrible memories of the last time I felt out of control – when Phil came up to me in the kitchen a few months ago – and I feel like I'm being haunted. Haunted by my past, haunted by his unforgivable touches, haunted by my inconsolable feelings. I want to tell Edward I'm scared but I'm afraid my words will slur. He's so drunk himself, anyways; he's nattering on about some new band he loves and trying to find one of their songs that he's stored in his phone. He's having trouble with the keypad.
I try to not completely freak out. I close my eyes, trying to get my breathing even. Maybe twenty minutes pass. Emmett joins us and takes Edward's seat from him while Edward sits on the sandy ground. Edward goes to have another shot, can't stand the smell, and runs some distance away to throw up. I can hear the vomit splatter sickly against the ground. I grimace. I know what that feels like. Or, at least, I used to. I don't think I'll be drinking again for a while.
Emmett watches Edward retch over by a nearby tree and sighs. "He's pretty pissed off at Mom and Dad at the moment. They aren't really taking to the whole Juilliard idea."
I raise my eyebrows so that they are obscured by my white beanie, but I don't look at Emmett to show my surprise. Instead, I focus on the chipped midnight-blue toenail paint while I dig my toes into the grainy, sandy grass as I speak. "So he really does want to go to Juilliard? He was tossing between that and Stetson last summer."
Emmett uncaps the vodka bottle, takes a sniff, and pulls a face in mild disgust. He takes a long swig of the clear liquid. Licking his lips, he replies, "Right now, he'd go to any college with a music program if they'll let him." Emmett laughs. "I think Dad wants him to go to Dartmouth, or Wash U or something. Never thought I'd feel superior for choosing a trade. Always thought Edward would become a doctor like Dad or whatever and I'd be the one who'd be told I didn't have a proper career."
"That's a dumb thing to think."
"It's how society thinks."
A ghost of a smile haunts my wind-chapped lips. "Going anarchist on me, Em?"
"Never, dear Miss Swan," Emmett responds teasingly. He takes another gulp of spirits straight from the bottle. I'm pleased to note that half an hour has passed and my head doesn't feel so foggy. Emmett asks me after a while, "Are you going to college? I can't really picture you in a sorority, to tell you the truth."
The old me would have made some joke or mocked a bimbo crying Delta Nu! The new Bella Swan clears her throat awkwardly. "I'm not sure, really. I was thinking I might study an English literature degree if my GPA 5.0 classmates don't crush me. I…haven't really thought about it, lately, to be honest."
Emmett catches my eye. He looks serious. It's kind of intimidating. "I heard our parents talking about what happened. I'm sorry."
I'm frozen. I'm so frozen. I get like this every time someone I know knows and I haven't told them. But Emmett isn't like the rest of my grade. He doesn't want to hurt me.
"Thanks," I choke out in reply.
Edward saves me from talking about it, bless him, by heaving up what looks like it used to be pizza. So I guess that's what we had for dinner. I praise his holy name, anyways, because Emmett takes this as his cue to leave. He gives me a salute goodbye and takes the bottle with him. I get up with a huff and go help the poor boy by the tree.
I give Edward a drink of water and make him stay up for another hour. It's the only thing my drunken mind can come up with to ensure Edward's safety. I'd witnessed Lauren drunkenly try to force bread down Angela's throat one too many times to know that only time would tooootally soak up all that vodka.
Finally, I drag his sorry ass to his bed and tell him to go to sleep. I can't believe he's so drunk and yet he doesn't try to get handsy with me. He grumbles some bullshit about how if he's asleep he won't be able to protect me. I tell him dryly that I can handle Emmett on my own, and he promptly falls unconscious/asleep. His breathing confirms the latter.
He looks adorable as he sleeps. Even if he smells like sick. A girl on the TV cries, "She doesn't even go here!" and I smile. It's once of Edward's favorite scenes from the movie, he likes to claim, when he cares to admit he actually likes Mean Girls; it's the scene when all the girls are trying to sort out their issues in the gym. I watch Edward sadly.
Sometimes I feel guilty for being so guarded – and now because of the incident I'm doubly so. Especially when Edward is being so gentle and fun and perfect.
I know he wants me to give in, because he knows that there are times when I want to. Times like this, when I watch him sleep.
But I keep on lying to myself, and Edward lets me.
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