Chapter Fifty-Two: A Happy Birthday?

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A/N: The portion of this chapter regarding Bella's interest in the poems of e.e. cummings has been borrowed, with written permission, from Midnight Sun Bridge by AllTheOtherNamesAreUsed on FanFiction.net. A short portion of that story is quoted verbatim from Midnight Sun Bridge and is footnoted as such. Many thanks to AllTheOtherNamesAreUsed for her kind permission in allowing me to reference and quote from her work. 

I do not own Twilight or New Moon—they belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just playing with her (well-populated) dollhouse. Quoted lines from New Moon are used only to relate the story from Edward's unique point-of-view.  

Enjoy this very LONGEST of all Evening Star chapters!!! It's all for YOU!!! :)

Chapter Fifty-Two: A Happy Birthday?

Lightning-fast, I glanced at Bella's face, rose-colored with the lovely blush I loved but which at this time indicated her frustration and anger. She slumped in her seat, arms folded tightly over her chest as she tried taking deep breaths to calm herself.

We were sitting side-by-side in the back of our English class in which we were just beginning a discussion of a new novel, a favorite of mine, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. I enjoyed stories of redemption because they gave me hope—hope that I, too, could be saved from my murderous past.

When I first read the novel upon returning from my years away from Carlisle and his lifestyle, I couldn't help hoping, along with the murderer Raskolnikov, that my own personal Sonya would save me from myself and from my sins. Over the decades since then, I had prayed for a muse, for an angel like Raskolnikov's Sonya who would bring me out of the depraved, monstrous actions of my past and raise me to goodness and rightness...and a pure, holy love.

And Bella, my own personal angel, had indeed saved me just as Sonya had redeemed Raskolnikov.

But at present, my angel was furious with Alice...and also with me. Despite my dire warnings of against it, Alice was planning a birthday party for Bella. With dozens upon dozens of pink double-roses being flown in from Seattle, pink freesia-scented candles ordered online, and a three-layered cake smothered in the palest of pink fondant ready to be picked up from Port Angeles this afternoon, Alice had definitely gone overboard.

Although, I had to admit that it had been hilarious when Esme recommended decorating for the party in Bella's favorite color. When Esme had asked for Bella's favorite shade, I had glibly responded that the one time I had asked Bella regarding her favorite color, her reply had been brown.

Esme's jaw had dropped in shock. Alice had thrown her hands in the air in utter exasperation. Rose had sniffed rudely and muttered something unrepeatable under her breath. Emmett, Jasper, and yes, even Carlisle had held in their mirth for precisely three seconds before falling over each other with the force of their laughter. I had rolled my eyes dramatically in condescending amusement at their responses.

That's my girl. Always a surprise. Even to my “we've been alive for decades and have seen everything” family.

“Brown?” gurgled Emmett. “You've got to be kidding, Bro. Who has brown for their favorite color? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard...” He trailed off in laughter again, leaning on Carlisle for support.

“What can I say? She's original,” I defended, my amusement fading as their laughter continued. One quick round of laughter would have been quite sufficient, and Carlisle at least was gaining control of his laughter, but Jasper, mostly under Emmett's influence, had dropped into a chair, still laughing as uncontrollably as Emmett.

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