[ Excerpt From Book - II ]
She came forward and hugged his waist, her head on his heart, the fear he'd never fathom ran across his wildly pumping veins as he wondered if she'll ever get to know that this time, the reason of his heavy breathing, sweaty palms, consistent bobbing Adam's Apple, dry mouth and his urge to keep her close, as close as nothing ever went through him, is not because of his state of inebriation.
It's because she's standing so close to him, the irony she stood this close to him since forever while he took more than eternity, like a fool he's always been, to realise the reason he never let those three words of truth, those three words of confession, those three words any woman would love to hear from her lover's mouth, leave his lips for some other woman he thought he loved, because his knowing heart has already said it to this lovely soul hugging him close to his heart, a long time ago, and believed it necessary not to tell him that he can never be anyone else's unless he wants her to be his.
e p i g r a p h
\\ Edward \\
❝Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.❞
// Emily //
❝Love is blind; friendship closes it's eyes. For maybe I'm too busy being yours to fall for someone else --- I love you - those three words have my life in them.❞
[ Edward's POV ]
As he walked towards the side road leading to the familiar house he had probably known most of his life, his light careful steps skidded and swished the snow beneath him.
Reminiscent curve of wooden plating entered his curious sight, small garden endowed with the favorite Petunia blooming at their beauty, the winter violas welcoming his presence with subtle tinge of snowy aroma.
His eyes reflexively found the spot where he spent most of his summer days playing King Vs Monster, where the childhood mind in an actual game would surely choose the girl to be the so called "miserable princess trapped in a dark palace"
But he somehow remembered how much he had to fight for his dignity when Emily wanted him to be the Trapped Princess instead while she would mount on a wooden horse and would do every worth in her power to come to his rescue.
He waited inside the rocky cave enlodged in an old mountain, which resided only few minutes away from her house, wondering how much he actually loathed the idea to be the miserable princess and so, at the last moment, he would choose to be the King from the neighboring state instead.
And then would begin the battle with the wooden swords. Which would soon end in the settlement leading to nowhere.
Because her mom would somehow decide to have her hand baked chocolate pie cake open for their treat in the middle of their last final battle. The same battle which he had been so confident of winning, if he wouldn't be so distracted with the extreme hot weather and the inviting glass of Iced Coffee Lemonade that her mom proudly displayed over the table sitting atop the greenest garden he had ever seen.
That still seemed very enticing.
The front window was open, its wings flapping softly against the breeze. From his place, he could make out a hazy outline of someone tying their hairs up into a fine hairstyle.
He could see her moving from one side of the room to other to seek her belongings in haste.
Seeing her after such a long time, even if it was just through a foggy window, seemed to excite and calm his nerves at the same time. He crooked his neck further to get a good look at her.
But it looked like she was still too faraway from his reach that he might never actually get a good look at her face again.
He swallowed the lump in his throat as his heart twisted painfully in his ribacge. There was no way he could deny how much he missed her.
But to see her this close to his needy eyes, knowing she wouldn't let him near her if she knew he was there looking at her up like this, it was indeed overwhelming for him to just watch her from outside.
Emily. His best friend. The girl from his childhood. The same teenager who grew up with him, and while he may say it all to himself that he doesn't acknowledge her gender as a threat to their friendship, it was all a blatant lie to say because deep down he knew how she bloomed into a beautiful swan before his flutting eyes.
Her beauty, the sparkling description of the very innocent qualities she possessed and her heart, as big and even bigger than her own self, would always continue to affect him no matter how much casual he might be, in his attitude with her.
And since it was so, he wondered if she would be willing to trust him enough, and again, to go through the toughest phase of their relationship, to mend their past, their friendship being torn in shreds now.
The door to the window was pushed open outside, and Edward hurried to hide himself from her. He set his palms straight on the wall as he now stood with his back facing the wall, his breath clearly quickening against the harsh cold that was beginning to make him feel dizzy.
Taking a risk, he peeped from his place to see that Emily now looked searchingly outside the window, her hands curled tightly around the railing.
Why she didn't wear the gloves? She'll catch the bloody cold!
His eyes skimmed over her scarcely clothed body and he found himself unable to think of anything for a moment.
She wore a attire he rarely ever saw her wearning.
With the night floral pattern, the wine colored dress clung to her features like a second cloth. The laces used to hold two pieces together gave it a complimentary applause. The lace upon silk sat on her white, creamy, soft skin as soft petals, its hue the many pinks of a rose garden.
The soft curls of innocence fell in cinnamon swirls to a face like hers that was as sweet as a white chocolate button.
If a beam of light could weave itself into a strand, that was her hair; he always felt it glowed from within rather than relying on the sunshine. It was as if the universe had conjured her matter in a ripple of laughter - as if all she was composed of was a sort of musical and loving happiness.
Tiny bow roses hugged her well-endowed cleavage, the silk wrapped around her body highlighted her curves, leaving nothing to the his imagination.
His mouth went dry. She looked ethereal. Beautiful was such an underestimation for her.
A sudden shoot of desire ran through his body, warming his face in an instant. The writhing urge to take her into his arms, bury his face inside her waving curls, to breathe her essence in the moment.
To press her flat against the wall, wrap her leg around him and kiss her senseless until either of them couldn't breathe anymore.
He felt a sense of shame and an utter jackass for thinking of his own friend like that.
His fingers itched to run across her features, to entangle her snowy curls into the warmth of his fingers, to touch her face with the depth of his emotions for her.
Affection. That's what he felt for her.
That's what he means to feel for her. And that'd be the only thing that would ever exist between them.
It wasn't a crime to have feelings for your best friend. Feelings develop when people spend time together. They eat, drink and laugh together, they think of each other when alone. They form memories together.
Slowly over time, they begin to care for each other, much more than a friend. Feelings creep into their lonely hearts. They fall in love. It happens. It was as simple as that.
But the exact reason he didn't know himself, why he didn't and can't allow himself to think of Emily as more than a friend. He just knew that'd complicate things between them.
They'd end up tangled in mind boggling feelings and would end up doing something which would surely jeopardize their friendship.
He didn't want to lose her. That was clear. But why he had such an inherent obsession not to let her go, didn't settle quite well with his mind. He couldn't quite grasp the ultimate reason for his need for her.
Maybe, it can be because they spent so much time with each other that it was easier said than done to let her go.
And then he wondered if she would also ever think of letting him go? If she treasures him as much as he treasures her? If she would ever let him go if he wanted to?
Not that he ever would want that. He fell in love once. He knew about love. He knew the kind of pain through which a person undergoes when in love with their partner.
Little voice in his mind protested if Lara was indeed the right choice for his young heart. Or if thinking of marrying her right after just a short relationship was an idea he should have thought about or not.
In the back of his mind, he doubted if he ever knew the meaning of love. If he ever knew what it would mean to fall in love with someone? What did being in love even mean, did he know?
He might not know all that, but he was content in falling in love just once. People fall in love once, they marry for the one and last time and they die only once too. He believed in Bible but now he wasn't sure where he stood with his words and morals intact.
The last time he let go of his control, he found himself unable to let go of kissing Emily. He needed her like a man dying of thirst in a desert. And the way she clung to him, responding to his ministrations, his caresses, his touches in a way as if she wanted it herself for a long time, made him weak in the knees.
He still remembered the last bit of control over their heated encounter was conjured with such a weak strand of patience within him. He was minutes away from taking Emily into his arms, plop her onto their bed and take her hard, right then and there.
Every inch of her skin exposed to his ministrations felt like a warm chocolate milk in a slowy foggy winters. He wanted to savour the taste of her on his tongue and engrave it in his mind.
But kissing your own best friend, touching them in a way you couldn't keep your hands to yourself, had led him to the road of uncertainity.
Where he knew where he needs to go but rather he founds himself wanting to take the other road instead.
The road to happiness. Where Emily and Edward can be friends again. Where they can spend themselves as well as their times with each other freely. Where no one would ever intrude them and he could talk to her forever. Her laughter would ring in his ears on his own foolish joke and just the mere thought of it brought a sad smile donning his features.
But he wasn't sure if she would ever want to be friends again with him or not. Surely marrying him seemed such a huge burden to her that she decided to bring an end to their long nourished friendship.
It was entirely his fault, for he shouldn't have proposed such a horrendous proposal to her. If he was in his right state of mind, he would have slapped himself for doing so with his best friend.
How could he be stupid enough to think that marrying Emily would grant him the freedom to woo and have an affair with Lara as much as possible? Wouldn't that make him a cheating bastard?
He didn't think of it as a long term journey, he was sure. For the one time he gave his tomboyish friend an opportunity to marry in her life, he provided her with fake vows and kissed her ever so quickly to seal his lies on her lips forever?
He couldn't quite name the worse name for his bastard self for making Emily go through such a humiliation for his sake. He publicly rejected her when instead, he should've protected her.
The girl didn't have a father or a brother, except for her step father, and he felt extremely ashamed to think he used her selflessness to quench his own thirst of love.
And when indeed, he married her, he should've provided her with as much a beautiful life as a wife as she actually really deserved.
He thought he did a right thing when he went to Lara's house uninformed and brought forward the matter regarding their relationship.
She was not surprised enough when he flatly asked her for a breakup, and he wondered if she knew he kind of cheated her with his changing feelings, when the day after he brought Emily as his wife in their marriage home, he felt a sense of completion and complete satisfaction as to see Emily running across their home, playing the role of his wife.
He felt content seeing her in his place. As if she belonged there. And nowhere else. He knew where it would lead him to if he began to think how much comfort Emily brings in his life just by her being there for him.
If only time could go back, he would never bring even a soul inside their precious little marriage home. He would eat with her, laugh with her, cry with her.
He would watch movies with her until he would get tired of watching some thousand movies on repeat for thousand times. And even more, if that was she wished.
He saw Emily go back inside her room, and he wondered if she would wear enough clothes to keep herself warm.
Slowly he came from his hiding place, his frozen hands, he slipped securely inside his pockets while he stood staring at the spot where she was just standing.
If indeed, he could go back in time, he would take back and eat his own words, of ever asking her to marry him just for the sake of pretence.
And if if she didn't forgive him for her genuine reasons, he would even go on his knees to beg him to forgive her.
'Cause that's the real words she deserved and not those pretended words of vows he said in front of thousands of people to make her his wife.
And if she would ever let him, which he knew she wouldn't, he would propose her a real marriage in terms of as reasonable and genuine words as possible, bringing forward all the right clauses to make her happy and cheerful as before.
He took a longing look at the closed window before he sighed and turned to leave.
Before he could take third step away from her door, he heard Emily's voice ringing sweetly in his wanting ears. "Why didn't you wear your winter coat, Edward? You'd catch a cold."
Laced with hesitation, curiosity and...concern.
Quickly, he turned to face her. He saw his heart coming into life seeing her forlorn face after months of not talking to each other.
Only he knew how hard his heart broke and he lost himself in agony for days when he saw her signature on the divorce papers he signed already.
He had despised her for a second, thinking she too wanted their marriage to end. He refused to admit that.
Only he knew how much his hands wobbled, his fingers shook with fear of losing her, while signing the divorce agreement for the last confirmation the judge needed.
Only he knew how much he wanted to go back on his signature, erase it, tear those shitty words of divorce into the thin air and run across the court to take his Emily into his arms.
So, did you like the chapter? It was all in Edward's POV as my readers wanted for a long time.
How was the overall chapter?
I hope with this short little insight into Edward's mind, my audience somehow will know what it is that he wants most in his life.
Do tell me your views.
Good night, Sweet Dreams.