June 3, 2009
I’m completely astounded by Jasper’s control. For the longest time he struggled to adjust to the ‘vegetarian’ diet. To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure if he would ever entirely gain full control over his thirst. In reality, none of us can guarantee that we’ll always be able to control the overwhelming, burning, blistering thirst–but Jasper definitely had the most difficult time . . . until now.
I went hunting with Jasper today, alone. Edward and Alice had gone together the day before. I wasn’t thirsty at the time, though, so I stayed back with Jacob and Nessie.
Today was a different story.
The torches in my throat wouldn’t burn out. As the day went by, they grew bigger–spreading like a forest fire. I know why, though. I took Nessie to the beach so she could play, skip rocks, do normal kid things. What I didn’t realize beforehand was that there was a big charity event taking place down at the water. Despite the fact that it was overcast and drizzling rain, the event continued. I couldn’t turn around and take Nessie back home after getting her excited to go, so of course I followed through with my promise to her.
There were people everywhere. The piercing, dry burn in my throat grew more wild every time someone would run past me, the wind carrying their sweet scent through my nose and into my throat. People stared a lot, too. I can’t decide if they’re staring because I’m pale and almost obviously inhuman, or because I look too young to have a daughter. Maybe both.
After Renesmee and I got home from the park, I knew I had to hunt right away. Jasper was thirsty, too, so we went together. While we were looking for our victims, the deer, we saw a small line of about ten humans running though the forest. They all had those high tech runners on, and water bottles strapped to their fanny packs. At first, Jasper froze. He was painfully thirsty, his eyes looked like endless black holes.
The athletic-looking lady at the very back of the line of joggers fell. I could have saved her fall, but I didn’t. Any human in their right mind would wonder how I got over to her so fast. I didn’t know if I could trust myself to be that close to her, either.
I could tell Jasper was holding his breath. I wanted to tell him to run, to avoid what could have been a disaster in the blink of an eye. I didn’t say anything, though. I didn’t want to startle him. I didn’t want to make this any harder for him than it already was.
The jogger was all right, just bleeding badly. Her blood dripped thickly down her pale skin. The smell was dangerously fragrant. Even I didn’t know how I was controlling myself. I wanted nothing more than to feel her blood drizzle down my throat and cool the burning. But I was more focused on Jasper. I kept my eyes on him, only glancing at the injured woman for about half a second at a time; not looking at the blood helped, a bit.
No one saw us. We were crouched under a tree that had a large tree stump bent over the front of it; a fallen tree. Of course, we could see them just as clearly as we could if they were standing a foot in front of us. When I finally allowed myself a peek, I could see each drop of blood squeezing out of the torn skin on the fallen runner’s calf. I could see bark from the tree stump she fell on in her wound. Each and every single drop of blood that made its way out of her body was excruciatingly tempting. My mouth watered, my jaw locked.
Jasper turned in the opposite direction and started to run in what would be a blur to human eyes. It took me a second to catch up because I stood there for a good ten seconds, shocked.
Even though he was painfully thirsty, even though he was standing that close to a bleeding human, her scent intoxicating him.
We were on top of a cliff by the time Jasper stopped running. Before I had a chance to even say anything, he’d grabbed and drained a deer. No mess. Perfectly executed. Almost instantly after his meal, he calmed down. His jaw loosened up, his face no longer looked enraged.
I couldn’t think of what to say first. I didn’t want to tell him I was proud of him–that would be too motherly. I didn’t want to seem too shocked, either–that would make it seem like I didn’t think he had any control at all.
Luckily he said something first. “Before, when I almost killed you, I felt so much shame, guilt and weakness. If I would have attacked you, I would not have only killed you, but I would have taken Edward’s life, too. I was selfish, out of control. Every time I think about the fact that I almost took your life, and Edward’s life, I feel so weak. Ashamed.” He paused for a moment and I suddenly felt calm. “You complete Edward the same way I complete Alice. If someone killed Alice, I would not want to exist anymore. I could not exist without her. I hope you know that since that night of your birthday, I’ve been forcing myself to control my thirst. Forcing myself to be stronger.” He looked up at me, his expression flooded with sincerity.
It took me a minute to muster up a response to everything Jasper had just said. I couldn’t believe how much he was bothered by the almost-accident, still.
I reassured him that he was one hundred percent forgiven. “Jasper, I promise you that no one sees you as weak, or out of control. Any one of us could do the same thing–we could lose control any day. You’re clearly in control now. You could have had that woman, had her for dinner. You controlled your thirst, though. Jasper, when you ran, that was amazing.” I half smiled, hoping to shift the mood.
After I caught myself a deer, we headed back to the Cullen house where Edward was playing something on the piano that sounded like it was straight from heaven. He’s been working on Nessi’s lullaby. Jacob pretends not to like it, but he’s just envious of Edward’s talent. He sees how Renesmee’s eyes light up every time Edward sits down at the piano, and he wishes he was the one playing the songs that make her happy. Jacob does make her happy, though. Everyday. Actually, she’s happiest anytime he’s around. I won’t tell him that; it might get to his head.
Jasper reiterated his story to everyone, keeping his focus on Edward, almost like he was indirectly apologizing to him. This really was Jasper’s way of making up for my birthday, when he almost had me as a snack. He can’t change what he did, so he’s trying to show everyone he’s learned from it. He feels stronger now, more in control.
We can never guarantee that we’ll always be able to resist, but we’ll suffer trying. I’m just happy we have Jasper on board now. Alice is, too.
Lets just say she rewarded him.