October 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 21
My dread of having to settle things with Tanya was, in fact, not just an unnecessary overreaction on my part. I had never fully believed such a strained relationship could be healed in one conversation, but it was a hope nonetheless.
I can’t recall a time when our relationship wasn’t strained it some way. Whether it was the awkwardness produced when I didn’t return her romantic feelings or the hurt I caused Tanya after falling in love with Bella, the relationship between the two of us was always off in some way.
Our conversation started in the late afternoon. Trying to escape the constant worried looks and thoughts brought by my presence, I had fled to the frozen pond on the edge of the property.
Before my thoughts were interrupted, I was happy. Using my crystal clear memories to my advantage, my mind was transported, completely removed from reality. I was reliving the first time Bella saw the beauty of our meadow.
I watched her dark brown eyes light up as she stepped into the meadow. She turned to face me, and she was alight with wonder and anticipation.
Would this beautiful, perfect girl run once I revealed the complete essence of my being? Would her eyes be opened to this dark creature who wants her blood more than anyone else’s in the entire world?
The idea of our separation utterly petrified me. What would I do with myself if she left me now?
I looked up as she motioned for me to join her, and my will power crumbled. My legs started moving without my consent. The worries hindering my ability to move forward left before my rational mind could remember them.
The heat from the midday sun warmed my cheeks, my nose.
Her breath hitched once my skin reacted to the sunlight. As she observed my skin in wonder, she started to unconsciously shake her head.
Would I ever be immune to the frustration that occurred whenever I couldn’t read her thoughts?
I held out my hand to her and guided her to the center of the meadow. Her eyes didn’t leave my face once.
The next hours were spent in a silent heaven with neither of us feeling the need to speak. We sat side by side, relishing in the others company. I could have lived the rest of eternity by her side and not wanted to change a thing.
As we sat, I hummed her lullaby. I added in slight variations, changing the melody as I found out more about her. She had asked me what I was singing, but I didn’t share share. Surely, she would have ran away if she had seen how strongly I loved her.
My composition halted when her one of her warm fingers started to trace the back of my hand. The heat emanating from her body felt amazing in contrast to my own.
I opened my eyes for the first time in many hours. Her face was calm, peaceful, not at all what I had expected.
“I don’t scare you?” I asked as an excuse to hear her voice.
She didn’t even hesitate before answering, “No more than usual.”
I caught my reflection in the pupils of her eyes, and a smile had unconsciously formed on my lips.
My eyes closed as she glided her fingers across my forearm. I was being spoiled; anything less enjoyable than this would be a disappointment. Her fingers trembled slightly. Was she worried, or rather dazzled?
“Do you mind?” she questioned.
“No,” I assured her. I didn’t mind at all.
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Tanya’s voice sounded.
My eyes snapped open. No. No. I had found relief, a relief that I hadn’t felt for what seemed like centuries, and now it was gone in the blink of an eye.
I scanned my surroundings, taking in the frozen pond, calling birds, and the scent of grizzly in the distance.
“I didn’t mean to startle you there,” Tanya said as an awkward, forced smile spread across her face.
“No harm done,” I lied. She didn’t need to a victim to the hell raging inside me.
“Have…you found your stay accommodating?” Tanya inquired.
‘Pull yourself together, Tanya,’ she thought.
Embarrassment flickered across her face as she remembered I could read her thoughts, and her sheepish smile returned.
“Edward,” she started. “Why exactly are you here?” I didn’t miss the expectation in her eyes.
“I don’t seem to have a choice,” I mumbled. For her sake, I added, “I have always loved it here,” as I looked up at the mountains in the distance.
She smiled a more genuine smile, and her thoughts were in a flurry.
“So…Bella, why’d you leave her?” Tanya wondered aloud.
“To protect her,” I answered, keeping my response matter-of-fact.
“I can’t hurt her, Tanya. My existence puts her in harms way,” I pled for her to understand the situation. “Yes, I need her almost as much as a human needs air, and yes, my life is meaningless without her.”
I looked up to catch Tanya slouch her shoulders. Her eyes darted to the ground as they caught mine.
“You loved her,” she said. It wasn’t a question.
“More than you’ll ever know, Tanya.”
“I, I didn’t…understand…how much you loved her,” she admitted. “I was waiting for you, waiting for the second you would lose interest in her. But I can see now that my patience didn’t change anything.”
“And for that, I’m terribly sorry. I never intended to hurt anyone, but I just can’t seem to stop. It’s my family, you, Bella, myself.”
Tanya forgot all about her own pain, but only for a second. “Now, now, you’re just going through a rough time, Edward.”
“But my actions aren’t inexcusable because of that. I apologize, Tanya. I never wanted to hurt you. Please, accept my apology.
“It’s not your fault; it’s no one’s but my own. It was stupid and childish to think in such a way.”
“You’re just like Bella,” I mused. My heart stuttered at the mention of her name. “Always taking the blame and thinking of others before yourself.”
“No,” she denied, “if I was like Bella, I would have been enough for you.”
In the time it took to glance up from the grass I was studying, Tanya was halfway across the frozen lake.
“Tanya,” I called, but it was no use. She ran without looking back.
After the conversation, at about seven o’clock, I retreated to the roof above the house, and I have been here since. While I want a place without the interruption of the thoughts of those around me, I know for a fact that should I have been far enough away from my family, I would have done something that I would have regretted. I still can’t fully trust my actions.
Only a few hours ago, when I first sat motionless on this frigid roof, my fears of my actions triggered understanding that I hadn’t occurred to me before- changing my actions and denying my feelings are two different things. Changing my actions was necessary, vital, but denying my true feelings would eventually cause more problems.
My actions and my feelings are now in two separate spheres that do not touch. Just knowing what I would be up to if my feelings were once again ruling my actions…it scares me. Would I be running back to Bella as fast as I can? Would I be begging the heartless Volturi to take this life they have sought after for a century and counting?
Up until this epiphany, fighting my genuine feelings was a constant battle. If i was being honest with myself, it didn’t shield an ounce of my pain, anyway. Ending this battle was a partial relief, but on the other hand, it was just the opposite. This truth brought with it the realization that denying my pain was no longer a healthy option.
So, then, would it only get worse from here? The act of shielding my true thoughts and feelings will grow difficult, until the point where it’s almost impossible. The anxiety I felt for Bella’s safety when I was still with her grew to a pain no human has ever experienced after I left her, and now this pain will soon turn into despair, depression, and an all-consuming agony.
It’s not fair, but then again, when is life ever fair? The truth is simply this- a life’s meaning is artificial, temporary; life’s ultimate meaning is defined by the person living it.
And I know my life, if that’s even what you’d call this existence, has no meaning. In some sick, twisted way, God, wherever he is, is out to get me. How could I have chosen this life by free will?
Had my life followed my plan, I would be six feet under the ground and surrounded by dirt, where a plaque would read, ‘In loving memory.’ Maybe it would even say, ‘A life well lived,” if I was lucky.
Three words flew through my head at my last thought- Isabella Marie Swan.
Remembering her face, her selflessness, everything about her…it altered my whole thought process. Bella was the best thing about me; she defined everything I said or did. I know for a fact that Bella’s existence made me a better person than I ever could have been without her.
Those three words changed my previous thoughts. As lonely and painful as my life now is, I can appreciate it. Not for who I am, not for my own accomplishments, but for what I am through Bella. She gives me an identity, even though we are separated. Six months with her outshines six million years without her.
So, I can move forward. I don’t have to life happily, or even live life content, because those six months I spent with her…they’re worth whatever I have faced and whatever I will face.