“Thank you for meeting with me, Esme,” Carlisle said, spinning his coffee mug. “I miss you.”
“I miss you, too,” Esme replied, “but you have to understand why I’m sticking to my guns on this. You were wrong about your opinion about Bella. She’s one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. I don’t understand why you are being so harsh to her. You were nicer to Edward’s ex-wife.”
“No, I wasn’t,” Carlisle snorted.
“Yes, you were,” Esme argued. “What do you have against the woman who has had our son’s heart since high school?”
“Nothing,” Carlisle sighed.
“Then, why treat her like she’s a piece of shit, Carl,” Esme whispered. “That girl was tortured in elementary, middle and high school. So much so, that she moved away to get away from the people who made her life hell. Our son was one of the few people who treated her with respect. You’re friends with her father.”
“I was friends. We haven’t talked since he broke my nose,” Carlisle chuckled blandly.
“Do you blame him?” Esme asked, arching a brow. Carlisle shook his head. “What can I say to get you to pull your head out of your ass? Your son is happy, happier than he’s ever been. The kids are laughing and they love Bella.”
“Liam is questionable,” Carlisle grumbled.
“No, he isn’t,” Esme retorted. “I spoke to him yesterday and he said that Bella has been amazing while on the trip. Bella wanted to get to know the kids, so on Monday, she spent the day with Lucy and yesterday, Bella spent the day with Liam. He couldn’t stop talking about how attentive she was and the fun things they did while out and about. He loves her and most importantly, respects her. He pushed her boundaries, saying that he acted like a brat and Bella wasn’t about to take any of his nonsense. He was upset that she punished him, but he understood why she did it.”
“She’s not a pushover?” Carlisle asked.
“No, she’s not,” Esme replied. “You owe her a huge apology and I pray that she forgives you. The fact that she hasn’t walked away after your nonsense, it’s a miracle. And the fact that you don’t have a great reason why you don’t like her baffles me and makes this pointless. Why can’t you accept her?”
“I can,” Carlisle sighed, scrubbing his face. “I just want what’s best for our son.”
“And Bella’s what’s best,” Esme said. “If you would look past your prejudice, you would see that your son finally has the family he wanted and deserved. The only thing that would have more perfect would be that Liam and Lucy were hers, biologically, but blood doesn’t make a family. It’s the relationships and Bella’s building meaningful, loving relationships with our grandchildren. The only thing standing in the way is your behavior.” Esme stood up, finishing her coffee and glaring at her husband. “When they get back, I want to have Bella and Edward over for dinner, with the kids. I want you there so you can apologize. Properly. If you can act civilly, you can move back home. Not into our bedroom. That will take time since I’m still upset with you.”
“I do want to come home. The condo isn’t the same,” Carlisle frowned. “It’s a long-term rental and I …”
“Those are my terms. If you can’t handle this,” Esme said coldly, producing the draft of divorce agreement, dropping it on the table, “this will happen.”