October 15, 2010
Jasper and I didn’t go far from home, as I promised Renesmee; we stayed relatively close by, just past the Canadian border. As soon as I had made the decision to go away with him this week, I had seen a vision of us in this lush green paradise, the majestic waterfall in the background.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or in my case, which came first: the vision or the desire? It happens all the time; I have a vision of something, and so I go along with what the vision tells me. I saw Jasper, and knew I had to be with him. I saw the Cullens, and immediately wanted to join them. And so on; each of the visions had to have been prompted by my subconscious desires, but they each affected me consciously, by driving me toward certain paths.
Well, anyway, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical on you! I seem to get into this quiet, dreamy mood whenever I’m alone with Jasper. My mind drifts away from fashion, parties, and plans, until there’s just a quiet haze of love. I think it’s like how humans react to certain types of drugs – but without all of the horrible side effects and consequences, obviously.
It could be the environment, too. Where we are right now, the trees and the water are a verdant, alive shade of green, with the thundering waterfall drowning out all other sounds. It’s not a pond, more like a smallish lake, but it feels like an enclosed space rather than being out in the open. The sun occasionally breaks through the overhead mists, lighting up the trees, the water, and our skin.
Earlier this week, we spent eight hours just floating in the water, connected only by our clasped hands, soaking in the magical, fairytale atmosphere of the lake. It was so peaceful that I was hardly even aware of my own thoughts as my mind ran through all of the recent events, including Renee’s visit and the birthday party, processing and analyzing everything in a way I hadn’t had time for in the last few weeks. Finally, after hours of this, I was able to let go and with a deep sigh, I felt the weight of all the worries and the plans lift off of me.
Turning my head to the side, I saw that Jasper had been watching me silently. He smiled with infinite tenderness as he took in my newly stress-free expression.
“Got everything sorted out?” he drawled quietly, tugging me closer to his body. For a moment I was distracted by the miniature waves of sparkling blue-green that lapped at his diamond skin in reaction to the movement.
“Hmm? Oh … I think so … at least, I don’t want to think about anything but you right now,” I whispered, my eyes trapped in his loving gaze. I didn’t realize I was moving until we were both underwater, still staring into each others eyes, as the murky rays of sunlight highlighted Jasper’s body in an abstract glow that made me shiver with awe. He was incomparably beautiful, scars and all. Those marks were a permanent testament to his strength and courage, and I loved every single one of them. Tracing the lines of his jaw with my lips, I surrendered to the sweet inevitability of loving Jasper.
Later, we explored behind the waterfall. Where the pounding water would send a human spiraling into the lake, it felt like a tickle to our rock-hard skin, so we stood under the rushing waterfall for a little while, reveling in the feeling. But the sunset was coming, and I wanted to see it through the water, so we stepped into the small, damp stone alcove created by the water’s friction, and settled into a snug embrace to watch the waterfall become infused with pink, orange, violet, and then white again as night fell. It was like being inside a seashell; the clean, fresh scent of the water and the absence of all sound, other than the fall. The experience was exponentially more soothing and special because of Jasper’s presence at my side, even when we didn’t speak or move.
Over the next few days, I felt myself healing from the inside out as my world revolved around Jasper, only Jasper, all Jasper. No other demands on my time, no siblings who needed my help, no mutts to annoy me … it was a paradise that fit my needs exactly, though I wouldn’t wish to stay there forever, away from my family.
“Do you miss them?” I wondered aloud, swinging my legs in my perch on the highest branch of the pine tree. Jazz, on the branch next to me, tilted his head to the side and looked at me searchingly.
“Miss who?” he responded, leaning a bit closer to me. We were ostensibly up there to look at the full moon, which appeared larger tonight, as if it was right above our heads, just out of reach from the top of the tall tree. But Jazz had hardly even glanced at it before returning his gaze to my face.
I was having a similar problem, so I couldn’t chastise him. What were we talking about? Oh, right. “Our family … your family … people you’ve known,” I explained vaguely, crushing a sprig of pine needles in my fingers for the sharp, biting scent it gave in return.
Jazz chuckled softly, his eyes crinkling fondly at me. “There’s no one I miss when you’re here,” he assured me, in a voice so saturated with love it was impossible to doubt.
When I’d caught my breath again, I persisted. “But do you ever think about anyone … wonder where they are, what they’re doing … wonder if they’ve thought about you since you disappeared?”
He regarded me thoughtfully, turning my questions over in his head. When he replied, he caught me off guard completely. “You’re thinking about your mother again,” he whispered, sympathy softening the accusation.
“In answer to your question, I have thought of my previous family only a few times lately, to hope that they were as happy in their situation as we have been in ours,” he explained, with a wistful tinge to his voice. His direct stare cut through any denials I could have made as he continued, “But that’s not what you really want to know, Alice. What I feel from you right now is a sort of … longing, but it’s different from how you normally feel.”
I sighed at his words, unable to protest. The loss of my mother should not bother me. I had no memory of her, and she had deserted me as a teenager, turning me in to an insane asylum and declaring me dead. But those same reasons were the ones that caused this longing ache in my heart.
Jasper was exuding a feeling of warmth and security for me, which I gladly gave in to, as he kept talking. “I know you haven’t wanted to speak about it – I’ve felt your shame every time you think of her, and it hurts me to know that’s how you feel, Alice.”
His eyes begged me to believe his next words. “Your mother loved you, Alice,” he whispered so softly it was almost inaudible. “She must have. How could she not love such a bright, sweet, vivacious, beautiful daughter? How else could she find the strength to admit you to that hospital, even knowing it was all she could do to help you?”
I sobbed silently, wanting so desperately to believe him. But … how could my own mother have me locked up in that place? I’d visited the old asylum with Jasper, and it was horrific; the stench of fear and hopelessness had remained with me for days afterward.
“Alice, Alice,” Jazz crooned, moving to my branch to fold me into his arms. “You don’t have to change your mind this very minute … but please, my dear, please, try to believe what I’ve said. You are not foolish for feeling this way, but I do hope you will overcome it someday, because it pains me to know that you’re hurting …”
I still couldn’t speak, but nodded, hoping for the same thing.
I’ll leave you with this quote Jasper shared with me when I told him how love pushes out all my other thoughts and worries, leaving only a blissful haze in my mind.
Perhaps the feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.
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