I could feel the chill of the glass casing through my thin winter gloves. Pungent smells of various perfumes blended together from several counters over, straining against my nose as I took in the gold and burgundy toned decorations that hung around the vast ceilings of the up-scale department store. The hustle and bustle that was stereotypically associated with the holiday shopping season was in full bloom as I waited patiently for the next available sales associate.
“Yes, madam, how may I help you?” the stately woman asked, quickly glancing to take in my appearance.
I directed her attention to the silver and gold men’s watch that was nestled in the casing surrounded by thin gold and burgundy ribbons that helped to accent the store’s holiday decorations.
“I would like to see that one, please,” I explained as I pointed to the gift that was to be for my father-in-law.
“Of course,” came her reply as she placed a jeweler’s mat down upon the glass in front of me and twirled the keys to the display in order to locate the one that would open the lock. “This particular design is made with a combination of sterling silver and fourteen karat gold,” she explained retrieving the time piece from the display. “The time piece itself was hand crafted in Switzerland,” she continued as I removed my gloves, pulling on the fabric one finger at a time and laid them gently down next to the mat.
Katherine, as her name tag read, continued on the merits of such a piece and recited, in great detail, the workings and craftsmanship that went along with the reputation of the maker. At some time, I tuned her out; I knew that this was the one that my husband had sent me to pick up.
The thought of my husband and the sight of an item that was similar to something I had bought for him at Christmas several years ago forced my thoughts to go to a saddened state. I had thought that he would have liked the time piece. Evidently I had been wrong. If I was really being honest with myself, I don’t think that he knows just how much his words had really hurt me.
It has taken me several years of counseling with him to understand that when he says, “Why did you buy this for me?” or “Why did you waste your money on something like this?”, that he really likes the artifact but doesn’t understand why I would spend so much on him.
It’s quite ironic actually. I used to ask him those very same questions when we first started dating. Every time that he would present me with a gift or a token, I would question his motives or his reasoning for such trinkets. It has taken me years to understand that buying me items like that was his way of showing me affection and his appreciation for me. It was something that helped to make him feel good about our relationship.
Once Katherine concluded her presentation, I quickly glanced over the device I held in my hands to ensure that it was in perfect condition. “I assume that the manufacturer’s warrantee and your department store’s guarantee will cover any costs if, for any reason, something should occur mechanically?” I asked leading her to the end of her sales pitch.
“Of course, if any unforeseen problems should occur, please just have the owner return it to our counter and we will gladly take care of it.” I nodded my approval.
“I will take it then,” was my positive reply, as I handed her the black credit card from my wallet that was rarely used.
“Certainly,” she said as she took the watch from my hands. “Mrs. Cullen, if you would care to walk around for a couple of minutes, I will have this item packaged and gift wrapped for you.”
“Thank you,” I said and turned to leave the counter. As I started to walk away a very small display caught my attention from within the glass casings. I was amazed that this small piece of jewelry had caught my attention, as I am not one that usually is drawn to any kinds of trinkets such as this.
This was a bracelet that came in silver, black or gold and you chose various charms that went on the bracelet - not as dangles, but wrapped around the bracelet itself. The charms were very simple in designs and the amount of colors that they had on display was nearly overwhelming. I studied the various designs of charms and mentally put together a bracelet that I would like to have, but would never buy for myself.
“Would you like to see something else, Mrs. Cullen?” the same sales woman asked, noticing the amount of attention that I was paying the display.
“Oh, no thank you. This just caught my eye and I wanted to check it out,” I quickly explained.
“Very well. Have a great holiday, Mrs. Cullen.” I nodded and turned away from the display counter and started to walk towards the clothing department.
I spotted another display not too far away that had attracted my attention, and proceeded slowly over to it. I only had a few others to finish my shopping for, and the sweater display would help to complete another person on my list; my sister-in-law.
The populous was out in full force, being that it was only three days before Christmas. The fierceness of those trying to tie up loose ends of their holiday shopping was a bit overwhelming. Many customers looked like ravenous dogs that were feasting on a meal that they only get once a year. Ignoring their skeptical looks through squinted eyes, I slowly and carefully made my way through the store.
I was taken back, as I am every year with the amount of negligence that is displayed towards others during the shopping season. I find it rather ironic that during a season of giving and good tidings, that we often lose sight of that when it comes to completing our shopping agendas. Our mood tends to take on a rather cut-throat mindset and we turn into selfish, evil people when something, or, in this case, someone stands in our way of finishing our shopping list.
As I walked up to the semi-neat display, I noticed a woman already there. She had a couple of items folded over her arm and she looked to be focused on one of the sweaters on display. She seemed to be an older woman, late forties-early fifties, and shopping for, who I assumed, would be her daughter. I moved around to the other side of the table to give her space. I started leafing through the items and found a sweater that I thought that Alice would love.
The sweater itself was bright and colorful, yet in its own way, seemed simple. I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be a perfect item for her and that she would love wearing it as she and her husband, Jasper, went on one of their many skiing excursions.
During this decision, I noticed that another woman had also joined the display and was eyeing not just the sweaters on display, but the ones draped over the first lady’s arm. Thinking nothing of it, I continued in my search of a sweater that would fit Alice.
“Excuse me,” a voice broke through. I paused my motions and looked up in the direction of the sound and was met with a kind face. “I don’t mean to be a bother, but, I always have a hard time with sizes for my daughter-in-law. She usually wears a size small, and she is about your size and stature,” the woman explained, as she put down her other items in order to hold up a similar sweater to the one I had in my hands. “Do you think that this would fit?”
I smiled kindly at her and nodded my approval, but my smile faltered as my attention was drawn to the second woman as she picked up one of the first lady’s items that she had just put down, and started to walk away with it. At first, I was stunned that someone would have the nerve to just do that. I called out to the lady as she was walking away, and she acted as if she couldn’t hear me, when other people standing just ahead of her turned around in my direction to see what the commotion was about.
She is ignoring me, I thought irritated to myself.
“Excuse me, miss?” I called out again, a little louder and followed her at a quicker pace and gently pulled on her shoulder to get her to turn around as I reached her.
“Do I know you?” she asked rudely.
“Ma’am, the item that you picked up at that table over there, the sweater, it belongs to the other woman that was standing there,” I explained gesturing to the sweater draped over her arm.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. This item is something that I picked up in another department.”
The fact that this lady was flat out lying to me and made up a completely different scenario fueled my anger and frustration all the more. It wasn’t as if that woman had just discarded those items. No, she was looking at something else for her daughter-in-law, and I knew that the second woman had overheard our conversation.
“Listen, you know as well as I do that you didn’t get it in another department. Why can’t you just give the sweater back to that lady, and find one similar,” I tried to reason, but was not met with the same tone.
“No. I have a better idea. Why don’t you mind your own business, and go back to your shopping,” she snorted angrily.
What is it with people and the lack of respect for each other during the holidays? When did the holiday’s turn society so bitter?
I was about to voice my opinion on the matter when I felt a gentle hand rest on my shoulder. Confused as to who it would be, I turned towards the person. Another kind smile met my gaze and I instantly relaxed, but returned the woman’s kind look with one of confusion.
“Thank you. I appreciate your help, really. Your kind thoughts and actions mean more to me than fighting with someone that is bitter and hardened over a materialistic gift,” she explained as she gestured to the lady that clutched the sweater to her chest. “Your actions and gesture of civility are what this holiday season is about. I can find another item for my daughter-in-law. If it means that much to her,” she continued as she gestured again to the lady, “then she can keep it.”
After what she had said had sunk in, I returned her kind smile. “Thank you,” I simply stated. I chuckled slightly to myself at the woman’s look of confusion. “I know that this is going to sound hokey, but, thank you for restoring hope in my faith of the holiday spirit.”
A wide smile made its way across her mouth, “Nothing is hokey when it is the truth,” we nodded to each other in understanding. W e both quickly glanced to where the other lady once stood only to find her gone.
I wish I could say that I am surprised.
“I wish your family a happy holiday,” I stated.
“Same to you and yours,” came her reply. I found myself forcing a smile at her and we parted to go our separate ways.
I went back to the table of sweaters and picked one out for Alice with a slight feeling of melancholy. I returned to the watch counter with it, made my purchase and slowly made my way out the store’s doors to the rest of the mall.
The same to you and yours.
“It’s been so long,” I whispered dejectedly to myself as I walked past the area where Santa was sitting and laughing with the elves that surrounded them. I ran my fingers lightly along the edge of the display in dazed wonderment at how families seemed to be having so much fun watching their kids interact with the historical figure.
It was such a simple thought and endearment, really; the wish for happiness and joviality. Those emotions have not been a part of our holiday celebrations for quite some time now. We used to laugh together and snuggle into each other by the fireplace retelling stories of family and conversations at the Christmas gathering at his parent’s house.
As time has passed and the years have gone by, the laughter and the snuggling has left as well. The time spent on the couch had been replaced with newspapers, news reports on television and books to be read. That is, if he wasn’t traveling for work or at conferences overseas.
My thoughts traveled back to a time where the laughter and the joy were overabundant. Our first Christmas together was one that I would never forget.
We had just pulled up to his parent’s house and Edward had quickly shuffled around to my door to help me out of the car by taking presents off of my lap. He reached out his hand and helped me gain my footing on the slick, snowy surface. Presents in one hand my hand in his other, we made our way to the front door.
His parents met us in the foyer, and wished us all a merry holiday with warm hugs and smiles. Their excitement for this time of year was addictive and you just couldn’t but help it but to smile in return.
The dinner was an event that quickly passed with pleasant conversations and the people that surrounded the table held nothing but the upmost respect for each other. It was a time honored tradition that they held to each and every year, but it was never forced and it was always looked forward to.
After dinner, we moved our conversations to the living room and Carlisle handed out the appropriate amount of “after-dinner-frivolity-beverage”, or so he called it, to each of us. I settled down on the loveseat next to Edward and he wrapped his arm around me,pulling me gently into him. I glanced into his eyes, and the sparkle and the love that they encased was staggering.
How did I get to be so lucky as to deserve a man like this, I remember thinking.
I was broken out of my memory as I approached a coffee shop. The smells and aromas that came from within heightened my awareness of my surroundings. I made my way over to the line and looked to the menu to make my selection. I only had to wait a couple of minutes to place my order with the barista. I quickly paid and moved off to the side and waited for my name to be called.
As I waited, I remembered the first time that Edward and I had coffee. It was our first date. Many would think that it was very a stereotypical event, but it was nothing short of momentous.
I had met him just outside of the shop, as he was just getting off of work. I remember watching him approach. His walk was so carefree and open. The confidence that he portrayed could be witnessed by all. The cocky half-smirk of a smile was his signature approach.
We made our way into the establishment and I was reeled in by the smells and a smile had settled on my face. When he asked about what had just placed such a smile, my response was simple, “The smell.”
After explaining to him that the smells of the beans and the teas pleased and relaxed me, he started laughing at the irony of my order. “For one that loves the simple smell of the beans, why do you order something that has more outside distractions, like milk, caramel, whipped cream and sprinkles? Coffee was meant to be served in its’ simplest form.”
I chuckled at his form of banter and again offered a simple explanation, “Love the smell, hate the taste.”
After that our conversation flowed easily. We discussed anything and everything that came to mind. We really were able to get to know each other pretty well after that one cup of caffeine induced coffee.
“A penny for your thoughts,” a strange voice sounded to my right, and startled me back into reality. I looked over to the older gentleman and was met with very wise eyes and a gentle smile that seemed to match his soul.
Sighing, I cocked my head slightly to the side and responded with a saddened smile, “Just recalling memories past.”
“By the looks of your eyes, the memories seem to be mixed with emotions.”
One would probably look at the situation that I was in and wonder which loony bin was short a Santa-look-a-like, but there was something about this gentleman that didn’t give off that weird vibe that screamed, “I’m a crazy person that wants your personal information to scam your credit cards”.
His eyes were gentle and held the wisdom that he has collected over the years. It was hard not to smile at the older man. “I’m just trying to remember the good times, in order to figure out why we are in the bad times.”
The man nodded in appreciation to my honesty. “It is the bad times that we learn the most from.”
I pondered his statement for a moment and decided that he was on to something. I know that when Edward and I were good and the memories were filled with smiles and laughing and sharing that we, as a couple, were working. We were doing it. The entire philosophy of if-its-not-broke-don’t-fix-it fit in that situation. It was our current status that should be examined. I wanted to know deep down where those smiles and gentle touches had gone. I wanted the answer to the question of what was to become of us in the future.
“I don’t mean to pry. I know that speaking with a stranger, especially and old geyser like me is somewhat forbidden in today’s society, but you look like you need to just talk. A beautiful woman, like yourself, deserves to be happy during the holiday season.”
I raised my eyebrows at him in wonder at his forwardness.
Could I really pour my problems to a stranger that I don’t know from Adam?
I stood there dumbfounded, still trying to weigh the situation that has presented itself in front of me.
“Nick!” the barista called. The old gentleman that I had been chatting with moved to claim his drink from the counter. My name was called just shortly thereafter.
With drink in hand, I scanned the room to find a place to sit and rest my feet for a bit. Since it was the height of holiday shopping, the shop was full. As I looked around, I found Nick, seated at a small table near the fireplace. His warms smile and hand gesture met my gaze and I found myself walking over to him after releasing a deep sigh.
“I don’t even think that there is one main event in our marriage that can be defined result of the distancing, per say,” I started before I even sat down. “It might just be a combination of smaller things that have taken a toll on us over the years,” I ventured as a hypothesis.
Over the course of an hour, I found myself telling him the story about my husband and the dilemma that I found us in. He nodded as I spoke and comforted me with his kindness, but never touched me or questioned anything that I was saying. For some strange reason, it felt good to actually tell someone about us. I couldn’t really go to family for guidance, they would hound us, with the intentions of helping, but that would only add more stress to our relationship. I couldn’t tell any of our friends because that would only get back to Edward and that would bring up heated conversations that I just didn’t want to have.
I swirled the last of my drink around in my cup, and watched as the caramel and the coffee interacted. “I just don’t want to lose him. He is my light, my rock,” I admitted as a single tear escaped down my cheek. “I don’t know what it is that I have done. I wish that I knew so that I could fix it. I wish that he would just put down the paper, turn off the TV. I wish that he would take my face into his hands and tell me how to make us whole again. I miss us,” I softly sobbed. “I just want us to be right again. I just want us right again,” I softly pleaded.
A small white handkerchief made its way into my hands. I dabbed softly at my eyes with it, hoping not to ruin it with remnants of my mascara. I tried to calm myself down with slow breaths. The silence between us was palpable, but not uncomfortable. The sounds of other conversations were mere murmurs through the shop and trace amounts Counting Crows’ A Long December could be heard. I sighed as the lyrics came to a close and found that I had been playing with Nick’s handkerchief. It was splayed out flat and the initials S.C. were embroidered with an elegant script in the corner.
Maybe this year could be better than the last. I just hope that it’s not too late.
I took a chance and my gaze was met with the soft eye and gentle smile of Nick. “There is always hope,” he said as he echoed my thoughts. I sat in amazement at the generosity of this man. I have basically dumped the baggage of my deteriorating relationship on him, and he didn’t judge me. He did what he said he would, he listened. I did feel better. A lot better, if I was being honest with myself. His next question, however, brought me back to the reality of the moment, “If you could have anything you wanted for Christmas, what would it be, Bella?”
The casualness in which he used my name didn’t go unnoticed by me, but my eyes sank back down to watch the fingertip of my right pointer finger lightly trace the embroidery on his handkerchief. The simple, yet youthfulness of the question almost made me giggle. I sniffled and took a deep breath, trying to steady the voice that came out.
“I miss my husband. I want our marriage back. I don’t want any of the materialistic items that are now associated and expected from this holiday. I would gladly accept the notion of never getting anything wrapped up from under the tree again if it meant that I would have him for the rest of my days.”
“To what lengths are you willing to go in order to have that?” he asked as his gaze scanned the room. His eyes met mine again and with a gentle smirk he asked, “If he were here, right now, what would you say to him?”
At first, my initial reaction was that Edward was standing right behind me. But, he wasn’t. He was away on another business trip, California this time, Hollywood to be more specific. He was meeting with a company that his investors wanted to take stock of. He wasn’t due back into town until after the holidays.
A soft chuckle sounded from me as I contemplated the possibilities and the severity of my conversation choice.
What would I tell him? Where would such a conversation take us?
Sighing, I finished the last of my drink. “I guess I would tell him how much that I love him. I would tell him how much he means to me. I would…I would say that I never want us to be like this again,” I choked out. “I would tell him how much the distance between us kills me and that I want nothing more to be like we were. I miss his touch, his gentle coo as we sit side by side at the fireplace. I miss the unsolicited “I love you’s” as we watched out our front window as the snow fell.” I gently picked up the handkerchief and dabbed at my eyes, embarrassed at my emotional plea.
I looked at Nick, and he was smiling, but his attention was not on me. A strong hand lightly squeezed my shoulder, and I choppily turned my attention to look at it. A shuddering breath broke from me and tears began to form, threatening to spill over as I recognized who the hand belonged to. I didn’t need to look at his face. I knew from the slight current that raced through my body at his touch.
I shook my head, not understanding why or how he was here.
This couldn’t be happening. He can’t be here. He’s in California, on business.
The smell of the man that I have loved for so many years assaulted my senses and it caused my brow to crease in confusion and tears to form along the edges of my eyes. I also noticed that his hand never left my shoulder, nor did he utter a word. He gently caressed my shoulder in a comforting manner.
“How?” I turned my attention back to Nick. He offered me a solemn look of encouragement and started to stand.
“This is where I leave you, my dear. I have no doubt in my mind and heart that you will get your Christmas wish this year.” With a nod in Edward’s presence behind me, he started to make his leave.
My attention was drawn back down again to the object in my fingers. “Nick?” I called as I rose from my seat. “Here, you almost left without this.”
“I have a feeling that you will be needing to use that,” he said as he gestured to the cloth and then to the silent tears that were making their way down my face. “Keep it. My wife sees to it that I have many in stock.”
A soft smile formed on my lips, “You are nothing short of a miracle, Nick. You should be considered for sainthood,” I offered as I gave him a hug in appreciation for everything that he has done for me. I could have sworn that he mumbled something about already have been, but shook it off.
I watched him leave the shop and disappear in the crowd that flowed through the mall outside of the shop.
My attention quickly turned to the man that now sat in front of me.
“Edward,” I responded with nothing louder than a whisper. I took in his appearance, and he was dressed in a suit, and donned his new trench coat. A small black garment bag was at his feet. “How?” I started shaking my head minutely. “I thought…”
Edward raised his hand and slightly dipped his head as to stop me in my questioning.
“I couldn’t in good faith go on this trip. Something has been eating away at me for the past few months and I just couldn’t let this go on anymore.”
The fear of my worst dreams sprung forth at his choice of words. This conversation would define our relationship. When we walked from this shop, it would either be together as husband and wife, or with us going our separate ways. With the way things have been between us lately and the tone of his voice as he spoke, my thoughts automatically assumed the worst. The tears started to fall over as the realization hit of how messed up our situation was.
A silent sob broke from me and caused Edward’s head to snap up to meet my frightened gaze. His gasp at my current state must have clued him in as to my interpretation of his last statement. His hand reached out to mind and encased it in a gentle yet reassuring gesture.
“Oh, love,” he started, the pain etched across his eyes. “Never in a million years would I leave you, leave what we have, leave what we are. Never.”
Another sob broke from my chest at his words, his determined look to make me understand what he was trying to convey. I used Nick’s handkerchief to try to rid my face of the tears and dampness that seemed to take a permanent residence today.
“I don’t understand,” I tried to get out. I knew that we were in rough shape. I just didn’t know why or how we came to be like this.
The look on Edward’s face just about all but matched my confusion and concern. “To be honest, Bella, I don’t really understand either,” he admitted with a very deep sigh. “But I have a theory. You have to understand that this will not be easy for me. For so long I tried to strive for nothing but a shining outcome. Everything needed to be perfect.
“My job, I had to execute each meeting, each conference, each email with such perfection and level of excellence, that I started to lose sight of why I wanted to go into business at all. I used to love the thrill of stripping companies and rebuilding them, making them stronger and more successful than before. The sense of accomplishment that came with that level of performance….”
“Edward…” I interrupted, not really knowing why. I could see him getting worked up, but not really understanding where he was taking his line of thought. Seeing my husband flustered was not a sight that I saw on a regular basis, and it pained me to witness it.
“Bells, there is a reason for my tangent. Please, just…let me…get this out.”
I nodded in assurance for him to continue.
“The point being is that, I had to be so…flawless at work, that it started to carry over into our marriage, our life. I wanted everything to be perfect for us, for you. The house, the cars, the vacations. All of it. I wanted nothing but the best for us, and it seemed as if over the years, I had lost sight of what we were all about. I lost us.”
“Don’t.” Edward’s focus snapped to my face and his gaze bore into mine at the interruption. “Just, don’t. I refuse for you to take the blame for this all on your own. There were things that I could have, should have done. How hard is it to turn off the television and to take the paper away from you? How difficult would it have been for me to show up at your work and bring you lunch or dinner as you work?” I shook my head. “This is not just your fault. This is not just mine either. We have to work at getting back to where we were. We have to learn to let go of work, and other outside forces that will take us away from each other,” the intensity of his features told me that he wasn’t buying what I had to say.
I sighed almost out of defeat. “There are going to be times where we will need to be apart. You have to travel for work. That is a given. But, when we are home together, we are together. That will be our time. We can go back to sitting on the couch, holding each other, sharing stories of our day, watching movies, and everything else that we used to do.”
“How did I ever get so lucky? How did I land you?” Edward questioned. “You always know how to make things, simple, easier. I always find myself over thinking things, making them more difficult than what they should be.”
Edward fumbled with the pocket of his trench coat a bit; a very serene look fell on his face. I watched in apt wonder as he managed to work a small package out. It was wrapped in gold holiday paper with a maroon ribbon wrapped around it. He looked at it for a bit before turning his attention back to me.
“I need to confess something else. Today, I wanted nothing but to find you and to talk to you. I wanted nothing more but than to fix us,” Edward took another breath. “I knew that you would be out shopping today. I knew that you would be here picking up my father’s watch for Christmas. So, that was where I started looking for you. I was in luck. I saw you standing at the counter interacting with that sales lady, and I was taken back by the sight of you. The tones of the store and the color of your coat really set off your beauty,” he explained with a shaky vibrato.
“I was stunned. I found myself glued to my spot, unable to approach you. I wanted nothing more than to just admire you from afar. You were so uninhibited so free from any kind of stress, pressure… from…me. I didn’t want to take that away from you.
“When I saw you stand up for that woman…Bella, I was so proud of you. That situation and how you handled it spoke volumes of your character, of who you are. That made me fall in love with you even more. It made me realize just how much I have taken you for granted over the past year or so. It reminded me of why I fell in love with you and how much I really do love you now. I will never forgive myself for where we are now and I can only hope that we can get back to where we are.”
I sat there for what seemed to be forever, trying to take in all that he had said.
He followed me. He knows everything that I did today.
My head snapped up to his attention; eyes widened in understanding.
“So…” I cleared my throat, my voice no louder than a whisper. “So, you heard then what I had told Nick. You heard everything?” I needed understanding; clarification.
Tears started to fall once again. Shaking my head, I felt ashamed and I admitted as much.
“Why am I ashamed?” I clarified, and he nodded. “Because…well…I should be able to tell the man that I love, that I share my bed with, everything that I feel; that you and I should be able to talk through things. Instead, I find myself more comfortable verbalizing my feelings, my opinions, and my thoughts with a total stranger. What kind of wife does that make me? Who does that?” I hung and shook my head, not wanting to look into his eyes and see the disappointment that I knew was there.
“Bella,” I didn’t respond. “Bella, please. Look at me.”
I sniffled and wiped at my eyes again gingerly with the handkerchief.
“Baby, please. Look at me.” I raised my eyes, my head still hung in shame.
However, once I say his expression, it was one of sadness and understanding rather than disgust.
“Sweetheart, I heard what you said. I know how you feel and I want nothing more than to take away your pain, your sadness.”
Edward shifted around the table, bringing the small package with him, so that he was kneeling next to me, which brought a fair amount of attention to us.
“Bella, I love you more than life itself. You are my sun, my moon and my stars. You bring rays of light into my life that no one can ever measure up to, “ he stated as he brought his hand up to cup my cheek, wiping away at stray tears. “There is no one that I would want by my side, to share my laughter with, to share my tears with. I want no one else to bare my children. You are all that I need, that I want in life. It took me far too long to understand that. I let my work, my job, my career to get in the way of what we are and what we could be.
“You are what matters most. You and you alone.” Edward handed me the package encouraging me to open in with his eyes.
I tore away at the package neatly, and set the remnants of the paper on the table. With a shaky hand I started to open the box, looking back to Edward for reassurance. With a nod of his head, I opened it the rest of the way and a gasp escaped from me.
“Oh, Edward,” I was speechless. There before me was one of the bracelets, complete with charms and colored beads. However, it wasn’t the only item in the box. Nestled within the crushed velvet, was a ring. Not just any ring, but an eternity band.
“Bella, you are my life, my rock, my shield. You are my eternity. If you don’t exist in my life, I don’t exist either. I don’t want to lose you, ever.”
I looked back at him with blurry eyes. Unable to make any kind of coherent sound, I raise my hand to his face and pulled him into a very soft, wet , passionate kiss.
“Merry Christmas, baby. I love you. Now, let’s go home; we have some snuggling to do.”