June 19, 2011
“Bella…The only thing that can hurt me is you.”
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Being a vampire with the capability of remembering every detail of every day as if it’d just happened yesterday, it isn’t hard to remember the pain I’d endured after I had left Bella. Vampires rarely experience physical pain, and if we do, it would have to be by contact of a force as strong or stronger than us. It would take a whole lot of emotion and heartbreak to cause a feeling of actual pain.
I had felt that when I had decided to leave Bella for her own good, and that decision left an ache through my entire body that drenched every meaning of life I’d had left. It was the most miserable experience I had ever endured in my century of life.
My return to Bella and to Forks had healed the anguish, as did the preceding events that led up to my life now. All that’s left are the memories, and the fact that Bella is here to stay forever and ever all but erases the memories of those times.
But yet, the memories are etched into my never-forgetting brain, ghosts of the real thing. The ghosts are awakened and set off only at the smallest things, factors that remind me of those dark times.
I had written quite a few compositions during those times, most of them left unfinished because the thought of why I’d been so depressed had just set me off even more. Only one composition had I finished. It has remained untouched for years. No one has ever heard me play it.
But recently, I came across a dusty music folder and unburied the old composition. Memories rushed to my head, memories of the pain and depression, but they didn’t sting now like they would have before. I even took the old composition and started playing it on the piano. The piece flooded the home with sorrow and despair, the dynamics like waves in the ocean. It worked almost like Jasper’s power to change the emotions of people; everyone’s thoughts became somber as the piece flowed on.
I wondered if everyone would want to come into the piano room to hear me play, but it was only Bella, her eyes scrutinizing me, trying to fathom my motives.
After the last note ended, Bella came up to me and put a hand on my arm. Even though her mind was impenetrable to me, I could somehow sense she knew what the piece was about.
After she didn’t say anything, I had to ask. “What are you thinking?”
Those soft golden eyes bored into mine as she tried to make sense of a million thoughts. “I guess I never really thought about how hard it was on you to leave me. To go a day thinking I was dead. And I thought it was hard on me.”
“Bella, no one suffered back then as much as I did,” I told her. “And knowing that the whole thing, everything that happened, was entirely my fault… It was unbearable.”
“I barely remember it,” she replied, a crease forming between her eyes. “I can barely see still how it was when you left me. How I felt… But I’m glad. I don’t think that is a time I want to remember.” She sighed. “I can’t imagine having to…to cope with something you can never forget.”
I wrapped my arms around her waist. “It was…impossible to cope with. I try not to remember it, but every time I do, I regret my decision for leaving you.”
Her hands rested softly on my chest. “But I’m here now. That’s all that matters. I’m here, our whole family’s here. Renesmee’s here, Jacob’s here…”
Of course, she was right.
I bent down and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you,” I told her. “And I’ll never, ever leave you again.”
“I know. I love you too.” She leaned up to kiss me, but Alice then bursted through the doors.
“What’s with all the depressing music, Edward? Nessie’s fashion show is about to start!”
I smiled down at Bella, who looked back up, dazed. I grabbed her soft porcelain hand and we walked out together.
As soon as Renesmee had told Alice about the eighth grade graduation summer dance that took place on Monday night, Alice had practically jumped through the ceiling at the opportunity for another shopping spree. There was no reason to be surprised by this.
“I know the dance is supposed to be fancy–casual, but there’s no way Nessie’s going to…re-wear…an outfit.” The words came out of her mouth like she’d just said a nasty swear word. “Besides, summer’s here, and I’d been meaning to get out to find her a new bikini this year!”
“Alice, when is Renesmee ever going to need a swimsuit? We never go to the beach.”
“Who says she’s going to wear it to go swimming? She needs a proper bikini! Men,” she scoffed to Nessie. “They’ll never understand.”
So Alice and Nessie went shopping together last weekend, and bought too many clothes for her own good. On Friday, Alice set up a mini fashion show for Nessie, who tried on her new clothes and walked down the hallway to the common room as if she were on a catwalk. Even though Alice had, thankfully, made sure to keep her outfits appropriate for her age, Jacob couldn’t keep his eyes off of her.
That evening, just as Bella and I were about to take off to our cottage, I overheard Alice and Renesmee talking from her upstairs bedroom.
“My dress for the dance is absolutely perfect! Thank you, Alice!” Nessie exclaimed. She had chosen a simple blue sundress with eyelet lace that fit to her body perfectly.
“My pleasure,” Alice replied. “So, are you going with anybody?”
“Well, I was going to go with just a few friends of mine, but yesterday Emerson called me and asked if I wanted to go…”
I froze in place. Bella, who heard it too, froze next to me and listened. I heard an almost inaudible growl from Jacob in the kitchen.
“Ooh! What’d you say, Nessie?” asked Alice.
“I told him that we could go together as friends,” she replied. “I know Daddy wouldn’t like it if I did, and besides, I only think of Emerson as a friend.”
I instantly relaxed, as did Bella and Jacob’s thoughts. Nessie was saving me a lecture.
Alice was aware that I was in earshot of them, and I could tell she wanted to tell Nessie something when I wasn’t around, but she made sure to mask her thoughts well. “Well, that’s great, anyway! You guys are gonna have so much fun!”
After we said goodnight to the rest, Bella and I headed back to the cottage. Our engagement anniversary is on Wednesday of next week, and my gift to Bella is going to be the new meadow I discovered back in April. I had planted some of the same wildflowers found back in our meadow from Forks, as did I plant some of the flowers from our wedding. For the past few months I had been taking care of the field – watering the plants from the icy streams that ran down the side of the mountain, and picking the weeds that grew in the way. Among the grass grew a beautiful panorama of violet, blue and white flowers. It isn’t the same meadow as back in Forks, but it is still absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to show Bella on Wednesday.
When we returned to the cottage, I cupped my hand around Bella’s face and stared into her eyes. She looked back, mesmerized, as I leaned down to kiss her slowly – first her lips, then her face, and her neck. Though we have no such beating heart, or the need to inhale air, she still seemed unable to catch her breath correctly. The fabric of our clothing bothered me – it blocked the pure ecstasy of being together. So I tore off hers as she tore off mine, while we sank onto the bed.
Sometime in the early morning, during the everlasting silence between us as we made love, Bella said the first words. “I don’t regret your decision to have left me, Edward. Not at all.”
Her eyes were shut, eyelids as pale as the moon outside. My fingers traced the contours of her back as I spoke. “Why not?”
Her eyes opened, taking in everything, every part of me. “It’s all a matter of how everything ends up. How did it end up, in the end? Just look at us.” She motioned to our naked bodies, intertwined, inseparable. “We will never know how things would be now if you had never left. I might not have never been with Jake, or gotten married or had Nessie, and Jake might have never imprinted. We have no idea how it would have been.”
Her words slowly clicked to me as I saw what she was getting at. She was right. Things might not have turned out the same, if I hadn’t left.
“But we went through it all,” she continued. “We went through it together—”
“—through thick and thin…” we muttered together. I smiled. It was a line in our wedding vows – the unforgettable words, forever etched into my brain.
“And I am sure as hell glad everything happened to me and to us the way it did,” she said, laughing. I kissed her again, letting her know how happy I was to agree with her, and we got back where we left off.
Renesmee’s summer fling is tomorrow night. I’m still a bit worried about how things will turn out with Emerson, but if I learned anything from that night with Bella, it would be that I have to trust that things will turn out for the better, just like it did with me and my beautiful wife. Now, if I can just get Jacob to see it that was as well…
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