“You know, Santa doesn’t come until everyone is asleep,” Aunt Lizzie laughed.
I jumped and turned to look at her. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled.
“Don’t be, sweetie. You look lost in thought,” she said as she sat down. Her brown hair was pulled away from her face in a low ponytail and she wore an oversized fleece along with some yoga pants. “You want to talk about it?”
“I should,” I whispered. “But, I’m…I’m…so confused.”
“Why?” she asked, curling her legs underneath her slender body.
“Edward said that he loved me tonight,” I whispered, playing with a pillow on the couch. “That he wants me to keep his heart safe.” I removed my pendant from my shirt. “He gave me this and said that it was the key to his heart. He loves me.”
“Do you love him?” Aunt Lizzie asked.
“I do but I still hear James in my head,” I explained. “He’s constantly putting me down mentally and I’m afraid that Edward…that he’ll start doing that. Putting me down and that he’ll turn into James.”
“Bella, I can tell you that Edward is one of the most kind-hearted men you’ll ever meet. He couldn’t harm a fly,” Aunt Lizzie explained. “But, I get that you are struggling with trusting him to not hurt you. How long where you with James?”
“Um, five years,” I answered. “We met when I was a junior in high school and began dating before the end of my junior year. We broke up for a year when I was a sophomore in college but we got back together towards the end of my junior year of college.”
“Was James always violent with you?”
“It came in spurts,” I shrugged. “But, ultimately it was the final time he was violent with me that ended it.”
I told her my story of how James beat the living shit out of me, causing me to lose our baby and my year long recovery. She was crying with me, holding my hand as I detached myself from the hell that I endured. I also told her about my fears and trepidation of James getting out, haunting me. Finally, I told her about Mattie. My little boy who I loved dearly. That I never got to say goodbye to. That I never held.
“Bella, I get why you are confused. James started as being the perfect man. But, his sick twisted delusions hurt you in the most heinous of ways,” she muttered. “I can’t imagine what you must be going through but the fact that you trusted my godson, my nephew with your story and your love is a miracle. Edward will do everything to ensure your safety, your protection, and your happiness. The love that he has for you is amazing. I’ve never seen him like this. Even with his ex-wife, he was never this joyful.”
“But, what if I’m not enough? What if I can’t get over this?” I asked, tears slipping out of my eyes.
“It will take time, Bella. However, Pam is an amazing therapist. But only you can truly let yourself be healed. By accepted Edward’s love and giving yours in return is a massive step. You should be proud. I don’t know you and I am incredibly proud of you,” Aunt Lizzie said with a soft smile. “Also, if you ever want to speak with me, I’m here for you. We’re family now.”