Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 23 on FFn
Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 23 on Stars
Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 23 on AO3
Picking Up The Pieces Chapter 23 on Wattpad
“Bella, you look miserable,” Mom grumbled as I stood on the pedestal in the bridal salon. My dress was on and we were getting it fitted to my body. The dress was beautiful. I loved it, but my mind was troubled. This wedding seemed almost bittersweet. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”
“I don’t know if Esme is going to make it to the wedding, Mom,” I whispered. “She’s weak and barely able to get out of bed, or stand, or move out of her wheelchair. She’s …”
“I’m well aware of how she’s doing,” Mom murmured, her own eyes swirling with pain and sadness. “I’ve given Carlisle some respite when it becomes overwhelming for him. Carlisle’s struggling with her illness, to be honest. You probably can understand what he’s going through more than anyone. Anyway, Charlie and I have both done this. Esme has her good days and bad days. Mainly bad days as of late.”
“You know more of her condition,” I said, narrowing my eyes at her in the mirror, putting my hands on my hips “Will she make it to the wedding?”
“I believe so, but she’s … her cancer has spread,” Mom said, getting up and taking my hands and turning me on the pedestal. I saw the same look in her eyes when I found out about Jake’s prognosis. “You look so beautiful, Bella. Ethereal, vibrant, happy … I don’t want to take away from that.” She hugged me.
“Mom, please?” I whispered against her curled hair, clinging to her. “I have to know.”
“After we finish the fitting for your dress,” she said, caressing my cheek. “I’m going to look for a veil and comb.”
“No veil,” I said, shaking my head. “Comb or a head piece, yes, but no veil. I’ve got enough tulle on my dress and this is my second wedding.” Mom chuckled, nodding as she darted out of the room and the seamstress came back in with pins. She quickly adjusted the bodice of my dress, tightening the waist and pinning the straps, which were falling off my shoulders. The seamstress said a few things, saying that the dress would be ready to go in a week. Mom came back with a comb. I twisted my hair into a messy bun, putting the comb into my curls. Mom snapped a few photos with her cell phone. “Good?”
“Bella, you’re stunning. Edward and Jake are both very lucky men,” Mom smiled, showing me the photos. “Do you mind if I send these to Esme?”
“Alice and Rosalie, too,” I said. “Are we okay?” I asked the seamstress.
“Be careful of the pins,” she chuckled. “Come, I’ll help you out of your dress. You’re an exquisite bride.”
“Thank you,” I smiled, but it didn’t reach my eyes. Closing the door, I took off my dress with the seamstress’s assistance and put on my street clothes. When I was changed, Mom was waiting for me, holding a bag from the bridal salon. “The comb?”
“Esme sent a text back, saying for me to buy it for you, but she’d pay for it,” Mom said, looping her arm through mine. “Come on. Let’s go get some lunch. Edward and Charlie are torturing your children with a little frozen fishing.”
“Grace must love that,” I snorted.
“She’s hating every minute of it. She was begging Edward to get you pregnant with a baby girl. She hates being the only girl in the family,” Mom snickered.
“Tia is a girl, the last time I checked,” I said, looking at the menu and trying to figure out what to order, but not really hungry. To be honest, my stomach was unsettled.
“Who lives in Phoenix,” Mom said, arching a brow with a smirk on her face. “Are you going to have more babies with Edward?”
“We’ve discussed it, but I’m still on birth control, Mom,” I replied. “I had an IUD implanted just before Jake’s diagnosis. It’s still in there. I’m thinking that when I go in for my annual visit with my gynecologist next week, I’ll get it removed. It’ll take some time for my body to regulate itself, so I can get pregnant.”
“Have you used an IUD before?” Mom asked.
“No. Usually, I was on the shot, but with the possibility of a new job and how heavy and unpredictable my periods were, I figured the IUD would be the best option,” I answered. “It’s been a godsend, to be honest. But enough about your future grandbabies. Talk to me about Esme. Please? Does at least Edward know how bad off she is?”
“I’m not entirely sure,” Mom answered, sipping her water. “But, I think you should know.” The server came, and we ordered a light meal of salads and soups. When the server dropped off some bread along with our drinks, she sighed heavily. “The cancer has spread to her bones, her lungs and there’s a lesion on her brain.”
Thank you to Rita for these beautiful manips of Bella in her wedding dress!