October 25, 2010
I tapped my pen to the pad of paper on my desk at a slower – but stronger – than human pace. My eyes focused on the lines, each one so clear, so vibrant. The acidic smell of ink from the pen poured into my nostrils, flooding them with solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants… and whatever else ink was made from. Chemicals.
I wanted to write a book. Not a book that would go on to be published; just a book. A fictional story with fictional characters who I controlled. I didn’t know what I wanted the book to be about, exactly. I also didn’t know where to begin. I just knew I wanted to write. The only problem was that as soon as I sat down to attempt writing – either on my laptop, or in a basic paper-filled notebook – my mind went blank.
I could hear Rosalie and Alice bickering downstairs about which color they thought looked best on Renesmee. Alice liked her in dark purples, royal blues and blacks, while Rosalie preferred her in whites and pastels. I mentally agreed with Alice then switched my concentration to the footsteps gliding up the stairs, to Edward.
He opened the door to my library, slowly, and the bright light from the setting sun – that was piercing through the window – illuminated his already angelic grin and creamy, buttery golden eyes. Naturally I felt slightly weakened, hypnotized by Edward’s god-like appearance.”Bad time?” he asked, his eyebrows furrowing together in concern once he saw the obvious look of concentration mixed with frustration plastered on my face.
I relaxed my shoulders and let out a breath of air I didn’t realize I had been holding in. “No. I – I just can’t think of anything significant to write, you know? I don’t know where to start, and every time I get an idea it just seems so boring, so blah.”
Edward walked over to me and placed his hand on my back, rubbing it in short, delicate circles. That was something about Edward that would never change, no matter how much I did; he would always treat me like a fragile human. I didn’t mind, though. I knew it was because – no matter how strong I had become – Edward would always see me as his lamb.
“You do have an eternity to come up with something, love,” he joked.
“That’s it! I’ve got it!” I half yelled, ignoring the joke, relieved and surprised by the simplicity of my idea. “I know what I want to write about! I think the problem was that my life has been so full of magical impossibilities and mythical creatures that it was making everything else seem so boring.”
“Vampires have that effect…” Edward said matter-of-factly.
“But what if my life as a human didn’t have to end? What if they were just chapters of a book that needed to be written still. Pages that could put the pieces of my ‘human life’ puzzle together. What if I had moved to Forks with Charlie, and you were a boy – a normal boy – who fell in love with me, a normal girl?”
Edward’s lips pulled down and I could tell he was contemplating a thought. “Bella, you aren’t beginning to regret–”
“No, Edward. I don’t regret what I am at all,” I interrupted. “I wouldn’t… I couldn’t exist without you. This isn’t about regret. This is about having the chance to live out my human life, in a sense. To close the book, end it for good. I want to conclude it the way you initially wanted; for me to get old and live a long, happy life – then die.”
“So everything will be the same, essentially, only we will all be humans?” Edward pried.
I took a second to think about it, and remembered that if Edward had been human, things naturally wouldn’t have progressed so fast. We wouldn’t have been married, had Renesmee and Edward wouldn’t have left in order to protect me, leaving me to turn to Jacob. I wouldn’t have found myself turning to Jake to help with the impossible pain that Edward’s void caused.
My thoughts ran rampant as it occurred to me that without Edward being what he truly was, a vampire, our lives would simply be another love story; a somewhat boring story of two humans falling for each other. Besides, I never wanted to know what it would be like if Edward were human; I would always love him entirely for who – not what – he was: unconditionally & irrevocably.
“No,” I finally answered, picking my pen back up off the desk. “No, that wont work. Things would’ve been too different if you weren’t dangerous, masochistic. I’m going to simply continue my story as a human from after Renesmee’s birth. In my book, the change – making me immortal – wont happen.” I pressed my pen to the pad of paper and started writing down ideas, vague memories of my human life popping up in my mind as I struggled to cut through the thick fog surrounding those memories.
“Bella,” Edward began in an almost whisper. “My family and I aren’t going to be the reason for your eventual death in your book, are we?”
I laughed and dropped my pen to the desk. “Of course not,” I answered pushing myself up from the chair and wrapping my arms around Edward. “I’m going to live a long and healthy life with you. I’ll figure it all out as I write. I’m not giving any more away. You can read it when it’s done.”
“I’m excited to read it,” Edward whispered. The sweet smell of his breath danced across my face and into my nose then he pressed his stone hard body into mine, his hands on my back pulling me toward him gently. I, too, pulled his body to mine then kissed his neck, allowing my lips to linger for the greater portion of a minute.
“I’m excited to write it,” I finally responded before I planted a kiss of his cheek.
I could hear Alice, Rosalie, Jake and Emmett arguing debating about something new downstairs.
“She should be Tinkerbell,” Alice chimed.
Jake voiced his opinion on the ‘Tinkerbell’ idea. “Ew, no! Worst costume idea ever, Alice.”
“Want her to dress up as a mutt so you can have matching costumes?” Alice retorted, and I could visualize her folding her arms across her chest.
Rosalie laughed at Alice’s ‘mutt’ joke then put her two cents in. “Renesmee would be a gorgeous ballerina. Don’t you agree Emmett?”
“No, I think she should be something cooler. Something freaky, like The Exorcist. It’s Halloween, c’mon.” I could visualize Emmett’s contemptuous smirk, somehow, even though I couldn’t see him.
“If you think my perfect little niece is dressing up like some possessed girl whose head spins in circles then you have another thing coming,” Alice said, not hint of lightheartedness in her tone.
Edward and I laughed, then laced out hands together and made our way down the stairs to mediate. “How about we ask Renesmee what she wants to be, then we don’t have to argue over it?” I said, interrupting Emmett before he could get an argument out supporting his ‘Exorcist’ idea. “Besides, she matures so quickly that at this point she might not even want to dress up. Either way, she can make up her own mind.”
“Not dress up? Are you kidding me Bella? Even when Renesmee is three hundred years old we’re going to be having the same debate. You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween – not if you’re a Cullen, or a Hale,” Alice said darting her eyes to Rosalie.
I half laughed, remembering I still had to get a costume for the huge Halloween extravaganza Alice was throwing at our house on Halloween night. She had already bought bags and boxes full of decorations; everything from life-sized coffins to zombies with motion sensors that moved when you came close. She planned to outdo herself from last year, so I knew we were in for it.
“Trust me,” Edward began, “there’s no getting out of it with Alice around. She will, without-a-doubt, guilt trip Renesmee into picking out a costume regardless.”
“For the record, I’m just in the kitchen baking pumpkin muffins with Esme and I can hear everything you’ve all been saying,” Renesmee yelled out from up the hall. “And Emmett… no. Just, no. Rosalie, ballerinas aren’t my thing. Too much pink. And Alice, Tinkerbell… seriously? I’m going as a bull wrangler.”
Everyone froze like statues. A Bull wrangler? Everyone had the ‘did I hear her right?’ look on their faces.
Within seconds Renesmee and Esme burst into laughter then Ness poked her head around the corner – flour on her face and a glob of batter on her nose – and yelled, “Just kidding! Did you really think I would go as a bull wrangler?”
I noticed Alice’s shoulders drop in relief as everyone laughed. Edward was one step ahead, of course, with his mind reading abilities, but he still got a kick out of all of our expressions.
“She gets her sense of humor from me, obviously,” Emmett said, proud of his nieces quick wit.
Rosalie flicked his shoulder. “It doesn’t work that way with vampires, who aren’t actually related, Emmett.”
“Yeah, no kidding. She still got it from me though. She picked it up listening to me and my amazing witticisms.”
Rosalie rolled her eyes then went off into the kitchen, Jake following close behind. Edward followed after Jake, and Alice and I followed after Edward. Emmett went outside, probably bored from debating. Jake went straight over to Renesmee, his face lighting up, beaming, and he gently wiped the batter and flour off her face then kissed her nose. “What’chya making pumpkin muffins for Ness?” he asked.
“For you, silly. And the rest of the pack,” she answered, motioning toward Alice. “Alice invited everyone for the Halloween party she’s throwing. Actually, she more or less called and told them they had flights booked. We’re going to need a lot of food.”
In one swift movement, Renesmee dipped her finger in the bowl of batter and swiped it across Jake’s cheek, an innocent grin creeping up one side of her face.
“That’s it,” Jake laughed, sweeping Renesmee right off her feet and carrying her to the sofa over his shoulder. “You’re in for it.” He placed her down softly then straddled her, tickling her to the point where she was screaming and laughing uncontrollably at the same time. His tickles turned to kisses eventually and I was somewhat shocked by Jacob’s conspicuous display of affection. Normally he’d be worried about Edward tearing down some part of the house, or tearing his head off.
It was clear to everyone that Renesmee was in love with Jake, though. I had never seen her light up that way. Her face somehow glowed beyond it’s normal luminescent beauty and her grin was wider that I’d thought possible. I looked at Edward, to make sure he wasn’t about to pounce. Though his fists were rolled into tight balls, his face was steady, expressionless.
“You okay?” I asked.
“His thoughts are pure,” Edward hissed under his breath. “Actually, Renesmee is becoming more impatient than Jake. She thinks about him in ways that–” And he was off, down the stairs to our home in a blur before he could finish his sentence.
I loved Edward’s protective side. But I loved that he was learning to control himself even more. Real strength comes from the ability to resist what your mind and body are telling you to do. Real strength is using your own judgment, fighting your instincts. Especially when your instincts tell you to rip someones head off.
I watched Jake and Nessie for a few seconds longer before going downstairs to make sure that – well… that we still had a downstairs. I didn’t hear too much banging, so I figured everything would still be in tact. Everyone else scattered around the house awkwardly, wanting to give Jake and Renesmee some privacy. I tried to pretend I was cleaning up the kitchen to remain discreet.
“I want to dress up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid,” Renesmee told Jake. “Will you go as prince Eric? I was thinking it would be cool to sorta do a couples costume.”
“If I get to be your prince, then I’m game,” Jacob answered, obviously not caring what he had to be, as long as he got to be with Ness’ on Halloween.
“Perfect. I’ll get started on our costumes tonight then.” Renesmee reached up and wrapped her arms around Jake’s neck and pulled his face to hers. They didn’t kiss, they just stared at each other for an awkward amount of time. Their eyes were locked on each-others, their noses gently brushing together. They both smiled so lightly is was almost undetectable. I knew my daughter, and I knew she wanted to tell Jake something, but she was afraid. She broke her stare and pulled his face down then kissed his forehead and hopped up from the couch. “I’m going to see if Alice will run me into town to grab some fabric for the costumes.”
“Alright Ness,” Jake said, somewhat confused by Renesmee’s sudden change in mood. “Do you need help with it at all?”
“Nono, Alice will know exactly what to get. Besides, it’d be nice to have some girl talk with her. You know… talk about things guys are completely disinterested in.”
Jake laughed.”Okay, I’ll see you when you get back then.”
In a blur I was down the stairs and by Edward’s side, surprised that nothing had been smashed, crushed or beheaded. “I think Renesmee loves Jake,” I blurted out. “I mean, I’m almost certain she wants to tell him she loves him. That she is in love–”
“She does,” Edward said flatly, cutting me off so he didn’t have to hear it anymore.
I bit my lip in an attempt to hide my excitement. This was harder for Edward. He didn’t get as many years with his little girl as most fathers would. She grew up so fast, too fast. Edward didn’t really get the chance to be the only man she looked up to for very long. She already looks and acts like a nearly full-grown teen. She’s not his little girl anymore.
I put my arm around Edward’s back and rested my head on his shoulder. “In my book, I’ll have the chance to write out her entire life. I was thinking, maybe you could help me write that part. You can’t control what happens in real life, but you can in my book. If there’s something you don’t like, we can change it in my story.”
“No, Bella. I don’t want to change anything. I’m sorry I’m being so selfish. I have an eternity with my daughter and no other parents have that. Sure, she grew up quickly, but you can’t buy time and I have forever with her.” He sucked in a deep breath before continuing. “And Jake, I truly wouldn’t want her with anyone other than him. It’s not Jake I’m frustrated with, it’s how fast Renesmee is slipping away, growing up. The thing about time is that you can’t buy it, and you can’t control it, either. I just wish I would have had more time to really father her before she grew up and fell in love. At the same time, I wouldn’t trade her immortality for anything. That’s why I’m selfish.”
I laughed. “You aren’t selfish. You’re honest. Even normal human parents think these things, but they don’t say anything. I know because I watched Charlie struggle with losing me – in a sense- to you. He didn’t bother me about it, but I could tell he felt a void. He wished he had more time with ‘little Bella.’”
“Yeah, I know. I read his mind. He wasn’t particularly fond of me for quite some time,” he said, dropping his head down guiltily. “I think Jake will take great care of my daughter. I know he will. I’m sorry for being such a child when it comes to my child.” He laughed, and my favorite crooked grin crept upon his face.
“Don’t apologize, Edward. I know what will make you feel better,” I said as I let him in my mind. When you live in a house full of vampires with exceptional hearing abilities, you have to be careful what you say. I was thinking about going deep into the woods to hunt together, then building the biggest bed of colorful leaves to lay down on with Edward. I thought about pressing my lips over every inch of Edward’s stone-like body and… you get the point.
“You’re right,” he said, his eyes wide after reading my thoughts. “Lets go, my love.” He scooped me up into his arms and we were out the door and on our way into the woods.
These moments – in Edward’s arms, so free, so in love – are the moments I ‘live’ for, I thought to myself. Though I was going to write the story of my life as a human, to close the book, to – in a way -allow myself the best of both worlds, I knew I belonged in Edward’s world, right there in his arms. Always.
Edit: Looking for something new to read? I have written a novella called, ‘My Darrling.’ (This is not the Willow series I’ve been working on, rather it’s a small side project. The first book in the Willow series will be up in the early portion of this year). For now, I’m so excited for you to check out the novella I’ve written:
You can read a preview and purchase ‘My Darrling’ HERE. I can’t thank you all enough for your endless support, and I promise to run contests to give back as soon as my books get off the ground!
For those of you who’d like to follow the progress of my Willow series, please ‘LIKE’ it on Facebook here. You can also read a tiny preview if you click ‘info’.
Feel free to stop by my personal blog here, where I post songs, pictures and will soon be giving more previews from ‘Willow.’ Thank you all so much for reading and for the support and encouragement you’ve all given. You have no idea how important your encouragement and kind words has been.
XO Krystal XO