Looking back at the last ten years, I never thought I'd be where I am today. A father, a husband, a successful singer/songwriter, and one half of the most sought after musical duos in the world.
But here we are and even with all that, it's time to say goodbye.
After the reunion tour, which we rebranded as a "new union tour" was over and Bella and I returned home to Seattle, things were intense. The record label wanted us to get into the studio immediately to record the songs from the tour and anything else we could come up with. What we wanted didn't seem to matter until Bella had a panic attack in the studio. All we could do was ride it out, and when she had calmed down after a few hours, we had a serious discussion about what we wanted.
Yes, we wanted a new album featuring the two of us, but we also needed a break, and we wanted to celebrate our marriage with a special ceremony for our friends and close family. We decided that needed to be the priority, and after discussing it with our manager and the label, we were able to come to an agreement.
The wedding was something like a masterpiece—a perfect day for a perfect couple. At least that's what Ben Cheney called it when we gave him the exclusive. Bella walked down the aisle by herself in a beautiful lace gown and met me at the altar where we exchanged our vows once again. Bella's parents came, but they were stiff and unfriendly to me and my family. I was happy to have that second day with our family and friends, but when I think of my wedding, I'll always favor that little chapel in Vegas with us in jeans and T-shirts.
We took to married life off the road remarkably well. We settled into Bella's house comfortably until one day she came to me after our first album was released and said we should think about getting a bigger place.
Seven months later, we welcomed Harmony Tanya Cullen into our lives.
With unruly brown hair and green eyes, she's a mix of her mother and me that I can't be apart from for more than a few days. She's got all the temperament of her mother, and the lung capacity of an opera singer ... When we went on our first tour two years after she was born, my parents agreed to take care of her, but more often than not she was on the bus with us and living the tour life.
Three years later while on tour, Bella announced to me and the entire world that we were expecting our second child, and then set off a confetti cannon filled with blue scraps of paper. If I thought Harmony had me wrapped around her finger, her younger brother Rhythm was no exception. A duplicate of his older sister in looks, but shy and quiet.
When we decided on this tour, we decided it would be our last for a while. We felt like we hadn't missed out on anything, but we weren't living the family life that Bella and I wanted with our kids. Summer breaks full of life on a tour bus wasn't what we wanted for them. So, just after Harmony's ninth birthday, we announced our "Farewell For Now" tour. We knew we could come back when the kids were older, and we could always put out new music, but touring was off the table for now.
Critics tried to say that we were building hype for something: a new album, a residency in Vegas, something. The truth is we were lucky—hype was never something we needed. We were just ready to be PTA parents and do school drop off and pick up. Homework on weeknights without wondering if Mom or Dad would be home from the studio in time to help. Everything was working out how we wanted it, and this final tour would be the icing on the cake.
Actually, the icing on the cake was Anthony Masen. Every accusation against Bella's former partner turned out to be true; not that we ever doubted them. Anthony went on trial and was sentenced to eight to fifteen years, with the possibility of parole after five years. It was a long hard fight, and some of the women just took payouts to avoid having to relive their experiences in court, and I get that. Angela won her case against him and won an impressive settlement and got to see him sent to prison.
She also got to know Ben better, and the two are quite the hot item, according to the gossip rags. To us, they're friends, and they come to visit often and hang out with us and the kids. I expect them to last a long time as they seem genuinely happy together. It's nice to see Angela so happy after everything she went through.
"You've been incredible, Seattle! We love you so much," Bella says into her mic as she grabs a water bottle and takes a long drink. "This is our hometown and our last show, so we wanted to do something really special." She chokes up a little at the end, and I rush to her side and wrap my arm around her waist.
"We can always come back," I whisper in her ear. She leans into me, and I feel her relax a little. "I love you."
"I love you."
We break into a harder rendition of "Home" by Michael Bublé, and I get teary myself as I see the crowd begin to sway.
Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home, mmm
May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
Just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know
And I've been keeping all the letters
That I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
I'm fine baby, how are you?
Well I would send them but I know
That it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that
I look off into the wings and see Harmony and Rhythm standing with my parents, and I smile and wink at them.
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmm, I got to go home
Let me go home
I'm just too far
From where you are
I wanna come home
For the first time ever, we share family photos of our kids on the big screens in a slideshow so everyone can understand and appreciate why we're stepping away now. Why we've made the decision to stop touring and go home.
And I feel just like
I'm living someone else's life
It's like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
Bella looks over and smiles at me, I nod, and we both wave out our kids from the wings, and they run to us on stage. They help us, in their little but beautiful voices, sing the rest of the song.
I've had my run
Baby, I'm done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It'll all be all right
I'll be home tonight
I'm coming back home
"Thank you, Seattle!" I scream into my own mic as Harmony rolls her eyes and covers her ears. Bella is already holding Rhythm on her hip, and he's holding her mic for her.
"We'll miss you all. We love you," Bella tells the crowd.
There's no bowing tonight. There's no encore.
Just a family heading home.
A/N: That's all she wrote folks! Thank you for coming on this ride with me. I'm marking this complete, but that doesn't mean we won't hear from this Bella and Edward again soon! I loved writing them and want to revisit them again. Thanks again to Alice's White Rabbit for
being the best beta! Pandora's BoxIs Heavy for being my person, and Sunshine 1220 and maplestyle for reading and helping all along the way.