The Twilight Twenty-Five
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Kate and I sat quietly in the airport—side by side, sipping coffee. It had only been two days since she and Edward arrived in Italy, but we were flying out in a few hours.
Edward was talking to someone from the airline and I considered getting up and joining him. I mean, it was my husband’s body we were trying to get back to the States, but I was still an emotional mess and the details of our trip overwhelmed me.
I thanked God for the Xanax I’d been taking like candy. I still wasn’t sure if it was Edward or Kate who brought them, but I didn’t really care. I was going to take them until they were gone and probably get my own prescription eventually. I couldn’t really think beyond that.
I looked around the airport at the few other passengers moving about and wondered about their stories. You could tell from looking at me that something bad had happened—I mean, my eyes were red, my hair was a mess despite Kate telling me I’d feel good if I looked good. Despite the fact it was early, somewhere around five in the morning, everyone I saw looked relatively happy, and it made me feel worse—if there was such a thing as worse once you were numb.
Edward took a seat in the chair on my other side, sighing heavily. “I think we’re all set.”
We had the option of leaving the evening before, but that flight included a ten hour lay-over at Charles DeGaul in Paris. By waiting to leave in the morning, at the very hint of dawn, we only had a short layover in Amsterdam. Then, after an exhausting fourteen hour flight, we would arrive at Seattle only a few minutes after the Paris flight from the night before. I don’t know who had figured it out, but I owed them a thank you. I couldn’t imagine sitting in an airport for ten hours under normal circumstances, but barely functioning and running on fumes it would have been my own personal brand of hell.
“Are you alright?”
I turned at Edward’s voice and nodded. I must have made a noise or something when I was thinking about airport hell that had him concerned, but it hadn’t been intentional.
He held my gaze for a second, as if trying to decide if I was telling him the truth. It seemed like he wanted to say something, but he stopped himself with a slight shake of the head. Running his hands over his face, he sighed and stood again. “I’m going to get us some water. I’ll be back.”
I glanced at Kate; she was reading her Kindle. I didn’t want anything, but I knew we had a full day of flying ahead of us.
“Edward,” my voice wasn’t as loud as I thought it would be, probably because I hadn’t spoken much over the last few days. He turned back, looking at me like he wasn’t sure of what he’d heard. “Can I come with you?”
He looked surprised, then nodded and smiled.
We walked quietly through the terminal. He and I hadn’t actually talked very much since they found me holed up in the apartment. I didn’t really know why Edward had come to Italy, but I knew that I couldn’t have gotten through the last few days without him.
It was a little overwhelming to think about everything he had done for me. The remainder of Garrett’s and my things had been boxed and shipped. The going away party our friends had planned had become a memorial service. Phones had been cancelled and mail was forwarded. Flights were booked and arrangements were made to bring Garrett’s body into the United States. Edward had taken care of everything. While he was busy taking care of of the details, Kate had remained by my side. She made sure I ate and held me when I woke up crying. I wasn’t entirely sure whose job was worse.
There weren’t many shops open yet in the airport at that hour, so we walked almost the length of the terminal before coming to an open newsstand. Edward didn’t seemed phased by the silence I was keeping and he angled his head towards the store in inquiry.
I was tired of nodding so I gave him a small smile and followed him into the store.
We gathered some snacks and drinks and, while everything Edward chose was healthy—trail mix, dried fruit and water—my hands were full of candy and two bottles of diet Coke. I looked at the mismatched piles on the counter and burst out laughing. I couldn’t help myself. At first Edward looked horrified, like I had finally gone off the deep end, and then he joined me, laughing so hard he had to wipe his eyes.
“How can you eat that?” we said at the same time before bursting into laughter again.
The cashier didn’t know what to make of us. I had no idea how much English she spoke, so when I finally stopped laughing I just shrugged.
Grabbing our snacks, we took our time walking back to the gate. We were still quiet, but for the first time in days I felt almost relaxed. Edward stopped in front of one of the departures screens and scanned the list of flights. I watched him, thinking of everything I wanted to say. There were so many things I wanted to thank him for and a million questions I wanted to ask, but when he turned to me the words were gone.
He tilted his head and waited, like he knew I had something to say.
“Thank you,” I finally managed. “For everything.”
He frowned and I knew he was going to try to shrug it off.
“Don’t.” I stopped him. “Don’t make light of what you’ve done for me. For Garrett. I’ll never be able to repay this.”
Edward sighed and nodded. “You’re welcome, but,” he paused and ran a hand through his already tousled hair, “Bella, I was a shitty friend for the last couple of years. It’s killing me that I’ll never get to fix that…so just…just let me get the two of you home, okay?”
I swallowed back my tears and nodded. “Alright, but Edward? Garrett never thought you were a shitty friend. I don’t know what happened, but you were his best friend. Don’t ever doubt that.”
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