1-14 Bennington, Vermont

Me in a white dress, Jasper in something vaguely resembling a suit. Lilacs in bloom; a weeping willow in the back yard.

That vision was always out of place, when I saw it, floating with no anchor to timeā€”just place.

So when we arrived at the Vermont house, I laid eyes on the willow tree in the backyard and popped the question.

Jasper grumbled about my proposal “not being proper.”

He felt better when I let him get me a ring.

On the first day of spring that year, which happened to be nicely overcast, Carlisle found us a minister who made house calls. We stood under the tree and I promised Jasper that I’d be his forever.

Except for the vows, Jasper held his breath, just to be safe.

The only other people there were the rest of the family. Carlisle and Esme held hands so that their entire forearms touched, and while we were saying our vows, Esme put her head on Carlisle’s shoulder and he ran his fingers through her hair. Rosalie stood in Emmett’s arms.

And Edward stood alone, his arms wrapped around himself like he had some sort of need to stay warm.

When we’d wished the minister goodbye and thanked him (and paid him, but Carlisle did that and to this day I don’t know how much he gave), I went looking for Edward.

His door was closed. Through it, I could hear him blasting Buddy Holly.

I knocked.

“Go away,” he called. Then he paused and added, “Congratulations. But go away.”

“I just wanted to thank you for being there,” I called back.

There wasn’t an answer. I listened to Buddy sing for the better part of twenty minutes, to no avail.


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