“You know what? I need to tell someone about it. God knows I’m not getting any better by bottling it up anymore,” I said. “My ex-fiancé beat me nearly to death.”
Edward sputtered out his water and looked at me with shock. “Excuse me, what?”
“My ex-fiancé beat me nearly to death,” I said as I stared at the wood grain of the table. “It’s not a pretty story. But for some strange reason I feel like I can talk to you. If you don’t want to listen, I’ll…”
“No, Bella. Please, I know I was an asshole when we first met but I want to listen,” Edward murmured. He reached across the table and took my hand in his, gently rubbing my palm with his thumb.
I took a breath and flipped my hand in his. I pulled up my sleeve of my sweater, showing Edward one of my first scars that I had gotten from James’ hand. I had broken my wrist and I needed surgery to get the bones reset. I had a seven-inch long scar from the surgery. “I met James Hunter when I was seventeen years old,” I began. “He was a senior at Forks High School. Big man on campus. I was a junior. I was the resident theater geek. The only guys I hung out with were gay and the girls were catty bitches. But, I fit in with them. Not that I’m a catty bitch.”
I smiled bitterly at the memory of how James and I met. The waitress had taken that opportunity to make her presence known. I ordered the first thing I saw and another glass of water. Edward did the same; his emerald green eyes never leaving mine.
“So, James,” Edward whispered.
“Right, James,” I sneered. “He was the captain of the football team. He already a full-ride scholarship to Stanford University for football. He was gorgeous, of course. Short blonde hair with piercing blue eyes. Built like a god. The guys wanted to be him. The girls wanted to fuck him. And did he fuck them.
“But he got bored with the vapid tramps in his class. He turned his attention to me. At first, I was surprised that James Hunter was flirting with me. Me! I was such a nerd. Frizzy brown hair, plain brown eyes, baby fat, the whole nine yards of being the typical nerd. I pretty much ignored him all of first semester. He was relentless, though. He’d buy me flowers. Escort me to class. Tell me how pretty I was. I still didn’t believe it. It wasn’t until second semester that I finally buckled and agreed to go out with him.”