Submitted Fic of the Week: 10/24/11

October 27, 2011

Forever is a Promise You Keep by shelikesthesound
 Review by ImWithPattz

Rating: M
 Genre: Drama/Angst
Characters: Edward & Bella

Summary: Bella loves Edward, much more than she should. Edward is an addict,and Bella deals with it. Years of this cycle begin to take its toll, and Bella is fed up. A near fatal accident forces Edward into a coma, while Bella re-examines her previous decision.

It is not often lately that I read a story in this fandom like Forever is a Promise You Keep. To say that this story is angsty would be a tremendous understatement. To say that this could possibly be one of the strongest Bella’s in fan fiction would also be an understatement. Even in the first chapter, you end up crying and cheering for her during her inner monologue regarding her love for Edward.

FPYK begins with Bella moving to Forks, leaving her mother behind to live with her father. Her “voice” immediately draws you in and you find yourself laughing out loud as she describes her introduction to Edward at her first day at Forks High School.

The start of my relationship with Edward Cullen, however, wasn't as simple. I met him my first day of school at Forks High, in first period English. Or, I should say, my ass met him in first period English. I was in a bad mood because my locker had gotten stuck, making me late for class. I could feel everyone's eyes on me when I entered the room. My blush grew in intensity with every step I took toward Mr. Berty's desk. Once he told me where my assigned seat was, I made my way down the rows to the back. I tried to avoid the students that were now whispering probably about me, with my head down and mu hair shielding my face. Two seats away, my foot got caught on something, and I hit the floor with a smack. 

My face was angled to the floor and my ass up in the air for all to see. Laughter erupted, and after my prayer for a hole to suddenly open up and swallow me went unanswered, I began to get up with what pride I had left. I pushed off the floor with my hands, rising up on my knees and lifted my head. Looking up, I was startled by the brightest green eyes attached to the most stunning boy I had ever seen. He was slouched in his seat, and his auburn hair was lying haphazardly on his head. I let my eyes roam over him and noticed he was wearing a white t-shirt, loose fitting black jeans, and black Chucks.

Bella describes “The greatest day of my young teenaged life was when Edward asked me to be his girlfriend.” And so begins their love story. FPYK switches back and forth between present day (2003) and their last years of high school. The author describes Edward’s descent into drugs and alcohol and how Bella slowly becomes second to Edward’s “other woman”; drugs.

The night Bella stands up for herself and offers Edward the choice of her or drugs is the night he gets in a very near fatal accident.

"I can't do this," I said. 

"You always were uncomfortable doing it at my parents' house," he said with a smile. "It's okay. We'll go home and pick up where we left off." 

When he spoke the last sentence, he ran his eyes over me. 

"No, that's not what I mean," I clarified. "I can't do it, us, anymore. I thought I could, Edward, but I can't. You're never going to stop, and I can't live like this." 

His featured morphed, and the last of my Edward disappeared. A stranger stood before me, and I was, for the first time in my life, terrified. 

"No, I won't let you leave me," he stated in a deadly calm voice. "You don't get to throw away four fucking years because you can't 'do this' anymore," he mocked me. 

Be strong, Bella. Just end it. You can fall apart later. 

"Is that what you think?" I yelled. "That I came to this decision without any thought? Well, you're wrong. This has been years in the making. Each time you chose your drugs, the alcohol, Jasper, or left me alone to let those sluts hang all over you, I was questioning whether or not staying with you was worth it. Every time, I convinced myself that, deep down, you weren't doing it to hurt me. It was just something you had to do, and eventually you'd come back to me," I said. 

I took a moment to gather my thoughts. Edward stared me down, with his jaw clenched tightly. His fists were balled up; the tendons in his arms were stretched to their limit. Taking a deep breath, I prepared to level the final blow. 

"I'm tired of being hurt all the time. I deserve better. I know that now. I'll always love you, but I can't be your girl anymore. Not when your first love is your addiction. Goodbye, Edward," I said with tears in my eyes. 

A large part of the story is Bella’s support of Edward during his long coma and subsequent way back. Her relationship with his family is strained at best. In this story, Alice is someone that you want to throw rocks at and Emmett is someone whose lap you want to crawl into and never come out. While his relationship with Edward is strained in the first chapters, the reader will love his eventual transition into a strong friendship with Edward and a support for Bella. A support she doesn’t feel from the rest of his family.

"So, the treatment didn't work? I thought they were keeping him sedated?" I questioned. 

"Don't worry, Bella. These things take time. He's in capable hands." 

"Anything else?" I asked in a sharp tone. Obviously, I wasn't important enough to be kept informed when Edward's condition had changed. It was my chance to gather as much as I could, and I was going to take it. 

When he didn't answer me, I took his silence as a no, so I stood up and walked to the door. A hand reached out and grabbed me. I stopped, turning to face Carlisle. 

"I know you must be feeling upset and confused," Carlisle murmured. "But I promise…everything that can be done is being done..." 

I yanked my arm away and all of my emotions rose to the surface. How dare he try to play the concerned father? After everything this man had done to Edward, how could he sit there and act like it was his right? 

"Look," I snapped. "I get that you are his father but how dare you keep me out of the loop. I may or may not be his girlfriend at the moment, but I'm still the one person that knows him better than anyone. You know that if Edward was awake right now, he'd be pissed that you have kept me in the dark. The fact that you are a doctor means nothing. You don't have the first clue what he'd want. So from now on, if it's not too much trouble, I would like to know what's going on." 

Carlisle stood in front of me, shocked. Really, I think that was the first time I'd ever talked to him in that manner. Propriety had flown out the window, though, and shattered to pieces on the pavement below. Edward couldn't fight for himself, so I had to let go of my insecurities and do it for him. 

Bella becomes Edward’s voice while he can’t speak and his champion later on. FPYK is such a beautiful love story and I couldn’t put it down. All of the characters are developed – Jasper as Edward’s best friend and fellow addict; Rosalie as Emmett’s much hated wife; Esme as the grieving mother playing the victim very well and Alice as one of the nastiest Alices you will encounter in fanfiction. You really will want to throw rocks at her.

I promise that you will be cheering Bella on in every chapter. Everything she feels is so familiar to anyone who has ever felt like they have had their heart broken. Yet she remains and she fights for Edward.

The most beautiful part of the story is their eventual reunion and getting through all of the deep angst is worth it to get to this point. I “promise” you will have tears.

I can’t recommend this story enough. I could not put it down for three days and this will remain one of my favorite Bella’s in the fandom. Beautifully written, strong and weak simultaneously, and a fighter.


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