January 15, 2012
As the last of the sun’s rays filtered through the trees, I sat on the edge of the bed staring aimlessly at the walls, continually replaying what had happened in my mind. After I had – and it made me sick to even think the words – murdered those poor children, Carlisle had carried me all the way back to the house. He didn’t say anything to me as we walked, he didn’t try to reassure me, he just held me gently in his arms.
I had involuntarily rested my head on his hard, granite-like shoulder. As I lay there, my senses were invaded by the sweet scent surrounding him. I hated myself for what I’d done, especially as I remembered Carlisle and Edward explaining to me that they survived off of the blood of animals, not humans.
I had not been able to stop myself from killing those two young people. I had broken the rules. I was weak. I had let Carlisle and Edward down and all I wanted to do now was crawl under a rock and die.
When we reached Carlisle’s house, I tried to wriggle free from his arms, but he just held me tighter – and to be honest, I didn’t put up much of a fight.
“Trust me,” he whispered, so quietly that I wondered if the human version of myself would have heard him.
The walls I’d built to protect myself began to crack and crumble as his eyes – full of warm, golden, tenderness – overwhelmed me.
I was still in his arms when he walked into the house then towards the stairs. I stiffened in his grip as Charles’ face flashed into my mind and consumed my body. I wondered what was going to happen to me now as I remembered those dark times, and I tried to look for a way to escape.
“Esme, Please trust me, I won’t hurt you.” Carlisle’s voice was sad, yet I knew he meant it.
He kept me in his arms as he carried me up the stairs, down the long narrow corridor, stopping at the last door on the left. I shuddered as he pushed open the door, but I was suddenly overwhelmed by so many different scents. I couldn’t understand what was happening. There were scents that seemed familiar, and there were new, wonderful, scents that made me feel calm.
As I looked around to find the source of the aroma that pervaded my senses, I noticed there were about ten vases of flowers in the room, delicately placed on every available surface. I was so in awe of the flowers, I hadn’t noticed Carlisle had reached the bed. He slowly bent down and delicately placed me on the quilt that was draped on top of the over sized bed. As I sat down, I looked up at this wonderful person, and I knew that the sadness I felt was evident in my eyes. As he slowly sat down beside me, I was shocked to see that it was sadness in his eyes, too. I was even more shocked when, with the kind of tenderness I hadn’t even experienced with Jonathon, he slowly touched my face to push aside a loose strand of hair.
“Esme, I know it’s easy for me to say this, but you cannot punish yourself for what happened. It is in our nature to hunt humans; everything about us attracts them to us for that very purpose. Edward and I, we are different. We have made the choice not to hunt humans. We don’t want to be monsters.” He paused for a moment to look directly into my eyes before continuing. “I realized a long time ago that our kind can survive on the blood of animals. I also know that we don’t have to be savages, we do have a choice.” His explanation was like a school teacher, firm but gently guiding me to see his point of view.
I didn’t speak. I couldn’t speak. I just stared at the face of the man that had captivated me all those years ago. I stared into the depths of his beautiful golden eyes, the same eyes that had given me comfort when I broke my leg a decade ago. I stared at his reassuring smile, the same perfect smile that had made my heart skip a beat and captured my attention as a teenager and turned my complexion the colour of beetroot.
“Carlisle, please help me. I don’t want to be a monster.” I tried to cry, but no tears fell. There was just an uncomfortable feeling in my eyes, and a gurgling sound from my throat. I finally understood. I would never be able to cry like a human again. The hurt was almost too much to bear. It felt like an African summer in which all the water in my body, and all my tears had just evaporated into nothing.
As I cried this dry river of tears, I felt his strong arms envelop me and pull me close. He didn’t say a word; he just held me and gently stroked my hair, until I was quiet again.
That was eight days ago and I haven’t left this room since. Edward and Carlisle, while not having seen me, have left the house on several occasions, but never together. One of them has always been around. I know this because I can hear their footsteps even from the other side of the house.
News Flash… I have also realized that vampires can’t sleep. I wish someone had told me that. For eight long days and nights I have only had myself for company, and I have had time to reflect on all the changes that have happened in my life, and so I have made a decision.
What happened in the woods the other day was normal for a vampire. I can’t change it, but I certainly can learn from it. I have vowed to myself that I will do everything in my power to stop myself from becoming the monster I am capable of. I am not a monster, and I will learn to survive off the blood of animals.
Learning about myself has made the feelings I had for Dr. Cullen as a sixteen-year-old resurface, and made me want to learn more about him. I’m certain Edward can hear all my thoughts, but he has been a gentleman so far, so I am sure he won’t speak of this either.
I have decided to stay with Carlisle and Edward, and I hope to become part of their family. I know it won’t be easy, but I will learn. Anyway I need to go now, I have to face the outside world. I think Edward is downstairs and I would really like some time to speak with him.
As I headed downstairs, I saw Edward sitting on the couch, probably waiting for me. He smiled at this thought and it confirmed my suspicion. This mind reading of his was going to take some time to get used to.
“Edward…” I said, and he immediately stood up, “do you have a moment?”
“Of course I do, Esme.” He smiled the most gorgeous smile.
We sat down on the couch next to one another. I didn’t know how to start, and he knew it, so instead he started off the conversation.
“Esme…,” he said, his voice hesitant. “Would you like to hear a story?”
I nodded in response.
“I know you feel bad, mortified, for killing those children, but you’re not the only one who has done something like that,” he said, dropping his head down.
My eyes widened. I never thought that Edward would be able to kill. This gorgeous, gentle boy. But then again, I never thought I’d be able to kill.
He was smiling at me, in response to my thoughts. “A few years ago I left Carlisle and went on my own. I was so depressed, so tired of fighting what I am. It felt as though I needed to embrace what I am, but never did I contemplate how much more depressed it would make me. I never killed completely innocent people. I usually went for those who had hurt others; ones who stalk girls and murder innocent people. I realize now that killing them wasn’t my judgement to make. It was easy at first, murdering them in cold blood, but soon after it started eating away at me. I didn’t want to be a monster and I didn’t need to be one either.”
I felt for this boy who was sitting right next to me. He had been through more hardships in finding himself. He had killed so many people, and yet here he was, forgiving himself. And they were forgiving me, not even judging me once.
“I know it’s hard, Esme,” he sympathized. “But it gets easier with time.”
I smiled at him weakly, wondering how it could ever get easier. I still remembered how those children’s’ scent had smelled to me; it was too overpowering to resist. How in the world it would ever get easier, I did not know. But I was willing to try at least.
“If it wasn’t for Carlisle, I would have slaughtered so many more humans. He truly believes we don’t have to be monsters, and I believe in him. He’s the most compassionate person I know. He never once judged me when I returned to him, and he didn’t even turn his back on me. He welcomed me back with open arms and told me the past is the past.” He clasped his long, pale, fingers together poisedly.
Carlisle truly was a remarkable person. Not only was he the most handsome man I’d ever seen, but he also had a heart filled with pure love and compassion. This made me realize how strong my feelings for Carlisle were. It wasn’t a teenage crush as I first presumed. No, it was more, much more than I ever could have thought. It was as though we were meant to be. As though meeting him that day as a young girl was a sign. But I couldn’t understand why Carlisle had changed me. If this life is worse, and harder than death, why would he doom us like that?
“Carlisle cares for you deeply, Esme.” Edward said, answering my thoughts.
I stared at Edward for what seemed like a very long time. He had just said that Carlisle cares for me – that he wanted to be with me, I presumed.
“Really?” I finally asked.
“It isn’t my place to tell you these things. Carlisle will soon speak to you about it, when things get easier for you. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything,” Edward said apologetically.
I just nodded in response, and for the first time in these past few months, I felt hope. If Carlisle loved me, how could things be bad? How could anything not be right? I loved Carlisle for so many years, and today I only realized my true feelings. Edward smiled at me, and I could see he was pleased with himself. He had helped me realize that there was hope, and with Carlisle by my side, I knew I could face anything.
Then I remembered Robert, my sweet boy, and my loving Jonathon. I had jumped off that cliff to be with them, and it brought tearless emotion to my eyes. I missed them terribly; I still wished to be with them. But I knew it was impossible.
Edward stared at me like something just crossed his mind. Suddenly, he stood up and rushed upstairs. He came back with something that seemed like a piece of paper, or a card. He then handed it to me, and I started reading.
With each sentence I read my eyes widened in shock.
It felt as though my heart started beating again. I looked Edward straight into his eyes.
“It was you who left me the poem?” I asked shocked.
“Yes…,” he said. “Yes, it was me.”