September 11, 2010
Monday, September 19th
I was brought out of my silent relief by a voice I was very attuned to.
‘Edward,’ Alice thought in her musical tenor, obviously within the three mile radius that surrounded me.
‘Edward, where are you? Don’t worry, I didn’t tell the others,’ she assured me.
In all of my heartache, I had failed to account for one unstoppable force of nature – Alice. Surely a vision had tipped her off to my location, and she had ventured out to check on me. Her visions came without warning, and although I knew she wasn’t trying to search my future, she still saw.
I didn’t want to move; I didn’t even want to speak. Nothing was worth it. So Alice found me, then what? Would I just go back to my family?
As predictable as a world without Bella is, I am constantly surprised by the diversity and new challenges every day brings. My next challenge is simply deciding how to occupy the next twenty-hour hours.
Each new day is like a variation to a piano composition – the main melody remains the same, but each line holds a slightly different tune. Pain is the immutable melody, but every so often, frustration and anger are incorporated, changing the whole composition.
Alice replayed a mental time lapse, similar to a weather camera you would observe on television. Several pictures flooded my brain, one after the other. They all were exactly the same despite the varying hours of day. I sat and watched the vision play out, every inch of my thoughts consumed by the mental images before me. I was the main focus of the pictures as I sat in the Volvo with head resting against the black leather steering wheel; the only visible variation was the amount of light outside as time flew by.
The vision left several questions at the forefront of my mind. How long had I been here- hours, days, weeks, months? I prayed for the latest. Where am I, and where is the rest of my family?
Vampires have the ability to sit still for an immeasurable amount of time, and after adding in the factor that time is no longer relevant, I didn’t have the slightest idea of the date or my location.
“Edward, what are you doing out here?” Alice questioned in her disapproving tone.
Her words startled me. I hadn’t even heard the car door open before she was sitting passenger’s seat. My senses were dulled, weakened…maybe even to a human level.
“Just look at you!” she continued when I didn’t said anything.
“Where are we?” My voice didn’t hold any feeling or curiosity, not even an ounce. I hadn’t been expecting my voice to sound that dead, and it scared me.
I turned my gaze to Alice for the first time, watching as her eyes widened when my dull eyes met hers. She hid her shock before I could comment.
“We’re thirty minutes outside of Port Coquitlam,” she replied, oblivious to my confusion.
“And where would Port Coquitlam-”
“In British Columbia,” Alice quickly added.
She rambled on. “You know, you really couldn’t have picked a harder place to hide, with all the highways looking exactly the same out here and all.”
Had I really driven all the way to Canada? It didn’t seem likely, but then again, I couldn’t trust my observations. They hadn’t been doing well so far.
“What day is it?” I asked as my eyes locked on the blazing sun. It was dawn, and the sun was just starting to fade behind the rolling hills. The colors were magnificent; bold yellows, oranges, and pinks painted the sky. It was a sight I would have appreciated if I wasn’t fighting a paralyzing agony. Bella would have loved it.
“Monday,” she sighed. “You’ve been here for nearly three days. Esme’s been worried sick…we all have.”
I just couldn’t seem to stop hurting people, could I? Every decision I make seems to have a negative outcome on someone else. Maybe I should be quarantined, sent somewhere far away where I can’t hurt anyone else.
“Let’s get you home,” Alice proposed before opening the passenger door. She walked over to my door at human speed, being careful not to expose us to the passing cars. Her gait wasn’t as lively as usual.
After opening my door, she sighed again. “Oh, Edward!” she exclaimed as she pulled me into a hug. Alice was my closest sibling, the one who is always there for me. She understands me on a level many don’t.
We didn’t move for a long time. Finally, after what was close to ten minutes, she pulled back and motioned for me to move into the passenger seat.
Alice started the engine and left me to think in silence.
I thought of what I would say to Bella if I had the chance to write her a letter. It was no more than a fantastical wish that she would one day read it, but I found myself planning out exactly what I would say. I knew, though, to find any form of closure, it was something I would have to do.
Writing one last letter to my soul mate, a letter she would never get to read, seems like it would be pointless, but in reality it’s so much more. Maybe one day, right before she…dies, I would leave the letter for her to read. She has no reason to forgive me for what I put her through, but to show her the truth that I still love her…that will be enough.
We were reaching a small tourist town, very similar to Port Angeles. I kept my thoughts in check by trying to focus on what I was seeing out the window- small shops, kids playing in the fountains, and finally, lots of couples. Seeing these people in love made my heat ache for the one person I could never have.
I had never been jealous of other couples, or even payed attention to them for that matter. With Bella, I had it all. But now that we have two separate lives, I am starting to notice more. The couples were all holding hands, completely in their own world. I knew the feeling; I had been there before.
The glory of a first love, of my only love, had completely swept me off my feet. My existence was centered around Bella, and although I knew it was a dangerous thing to do, put your life in one person, I don’t regret my decisions.
Two things happened at once. My mind was suddenly thrust into a scene that was far different from the road we were driving on, and Alice pulled over to the shoulder.
I was looking at Bella’s room, looking exactly as I had last seen it. Chief Swan, Bella’s Father, was standing at the foot of Bella’s bed, talking to someone who wasn’t in view.
“Your mother’s flight from Jacksonville lands in a few hours, Bells. ‘Better get your things packed,” Charlie suggested.
I gasped as Bella pulled the purple covers off her face. She was pale, sallow. Her eyes were hardened and dull, completely lifeless. She looked more vulnerable than I’d ever seen her.
Without speaking, Bella stumbled out of bed- her clumsiness hadn’t faded- and walked over to her dresser. Charlie analyzed her every move with a pained glint in his eyes.
All of the sudden, Bella snapped. She frantically threw her clothes all over her pale hardwood floors until the ground wasn’t visible. Her breathing grew louder, and her eyes were furious.
“I’m…not…leaving!” she shouted, causing Charlie to jump back a step and fall onto her bed.
“You can’t make me!” Bella yelled, enraged.
“B-Bella,” Charlie stuttered, “Settle down, honey. It’s okay. Settle down,” he soothed.
“I’m not going to settle down!” Bella snapped. “Mom isn’t coming here, and I am not leaving Forks…ever!”
“Bells, let’s talk about this. If you settle down, you, Renee and I can have a discussion. We need to do what’s best for you,” Charlie replied.
“I know what’s best for me, and it’s staying in Forks! You can’t make me leave, Charlie!” she bellowed, although there was a different trace of emotion threatening to overpower.
Charlie’s next words caused my heart to contract. “Bells, he’s not coming back.”
That was it. Bella didn’t even have the strength to reply. She wrapped a feeble arm around her torso, sank to the ground, and began crying.
My vision returned to me a few seconds later. My pain had been at the highest level I thought it could ever be, but it just kept climbing. Bella’s pain, in addition to my own, paralyzed me.
Alice didn’t say a word. She simply flipped on the turn signal, floored the gas pedal, and kept her thoughts focused on the road.
I, on the other hand, was in pure agony.