April 24, 2013
“After I awoke to that horrifying realization, I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was night again so I figured it was safe to move. I climbed out of the sewer and walked down the alley. I didn’t see any bodies or blood. I didn’t know how much time had passed. It felt like years but I couldn’t tell. I knew I had to get out of London. I started running quickly, realizing how much speed and strength I had. I ran for what seemed like a great distance. I ended up in the English country side in the middle of nowhere.
I was mortified about what I had become and couldn’t stand to live. I couldn’t be around humans and I was disgusted by the very notion of what I had to eat to survive. It wasn’t an option. It was never an option! I was not going to kill an innocent just to satiate my crazy hunger. I ran and ran and ran some more. I finally came upon a body of water. Considering England was an island, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that sooner or later I’d reach water. I stood at the edge of a great cliff. I knew that if the fall didn’t kill me, which was high enough to feel like you were hitting concrete instead of water, then I would surely drown. Somehow I was glad for my impending demise. I could never be normal again, I didn’t deserve to live!
With that last thought, I leapt into the air and off the cliff, I didn’t bother closing my eyes…..amazingly even falling from such a great height, my eyes didn’t blur and everything I saw was absolutely clear. Then I hit the water. It didn’t feel like I was hitting anything hard, in fact in a way I felt like I was bruising the water with my presence. My body was hard as a rock and the water was so soft in comparison. It just cushioned me, even as I went some 13 feet under water. I then bobbed to the surface like a cork. I was surprised and very angry….I then submerged myself in the water intent on drowning myself but when that didn’t work, I came back up. I was so furious at the world, at the fates, I screamed with everything I had in me!
WHY???? WHY AM I ALIVE??? PLEASE LET ME DIE!!! I’M AN ABORASION! I DON’T DESERVE TO LIVE!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!”
I hadn’t realized I was speaking at the top of my voice until a small cough that brought me back to the present. My whole family was now in the study with Esme, Nessie, Jacob, and myself. They looked at me with wide eyes. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, then opened them, shook my head to clear it and looked sheepishly at my family:
“Oh boy. I’m sorry if I scared anyone. I didn’t realize how loud I must have been speaking. I didn’t realize how passionate I still was about the past.”
I then looked at Nessie:
“I’m sorry Nessie. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m sure this was much more then you bargained for when you asked me to tell you the story.”
Nessie who had been sitting with Jacob’s arms protectively around her said:
“Um…no…..grampa Carlisle…..I wasn’t scared…..I was just very surprised…..I mean I knew there were a lot of scary parts to your story but you’ve always been the quiet one in the family.”
Everyone else in the room laughed and I along with them. That’s me. Mr. Quiet. I guess I changed their prospective today.
“Grampa Carlisle….can you please finish the story?”
“Are you sure? I don’t want to bring the whole town running next time I talk too loudly.”
Nessie and Esme giggled. I winked at my beautiful wife. By this time the rest of the family had scampered around the room to find a comfortable seat and looked at me with profound interest; even Rosalie. Now that one was surprising. I mean I knew they all knew my story backwards, forwards, inside, and out but I guess I had never told them it with such passion and volume. Nessie really did bring out the storyteller in me. I smiled, sat down again and thought for a long moment…..then started where I left off….without the screaming.
Middle of Nowhere England, 1663
“I dragged myself out of the water and into the woods. There I stayed for days, weeks, and months growing weaker and weaker for the lack of food. I didn’t care. If heights and water didn’t kill me, hunger surely would. At that time I had also discovered that unlike the stories my father had told me, vampires didn’t disappear or burn up in the sunlight, they sparkled……I sparkled…..it was both incredibly intriguing and mortifying. Just what kind of a monster was I? Since when did monsters sparkle? I thought I was losing my mind. I lived in a little branch hut, I had built myself. I knew that though the forest was a dense one, one never knew where hunters would go crawling about. I couldn’t risk being seen.
One night as I was laying down, feeling immensely sorry for myself, I heard something approach me. A lot of somethings. At first I was paralyzed with fear thinking I’d been found out and now some angry mob had found me. Then I realized it was a group of deer. I crawled out of my little hut and came face to face almost with a herd of deer. I don’t know what came over me, I was so overwhelmed with thirst that I couldn’t think straight. Without even understanding really what was happening, I leapt up and threw myself at the closest deer. I drained it in 15 seconds and then was on to the next one. Deer, who are normally skittish animals and who can run for cover in a split second, just weren’t reacting as fast or perhaps I was just moving way too fast for even their brains to process. I drained 8 deer before I was full. The rest ran away. I just lay there and felt my strength and sense of self return.
I lay that way for a few hours, then I sat up and started to think. My brain was functioning normally, my muscles were strong and full of life as was the rest of my body. I realized that I didn’t have to be a monster like the one that came out of the sewer. I could survive on animal blood; it would very similar to what I did before when I ate animal meat. I chuckled to myself and thought that I would be a ‘vegetarian’ vampire. I was very happy with myself. I knew that now I could live like a normal more or less person and I could do whatever I wanted to do with my life.
For starters, I had to get money and clothes as well as a place to live. I decided that I would stay in England for a while but not too long. It took a few months to become situated. In those months I crept back to my house and got the money I had stashed away since I was a young boy. Even my father didn’t know that the stash existed. I always thought I would buy something special one day with that money. My father never knew I was in the house as I came at night when he was either sleeping or out with his friends at the pub. I also took some of my clothes that my father wouldn’t find were missing until much later. I lived in various vacant places. Only coming out to hunt. I did watch my father from afar to make sure he was alright. I could tell that my ‘death’ had aged him even more. I felt sad for him. I missed him terribly but I knew he would never accept me for what I had become. He lost his wife and then his son to those evil vampire monsters. So all I did was come to him at night and watch him sleep.
Finally, after about 5 years as this new being, I felt it was time to move on from England. I then went to Germany where I enrolled in university to study to become what I had always known I wanted to be and that’s a doctor. I knew I could be around humans after much practice. My aversion toward killing humans kept me from finding anyone’s blood particularly appetizing. So at least that big thing I didn’t have to worry about. As for being found out? Well I kept to myself even when I took classes. I long wished I could find other vampires like myself. I traveled to France, Russia, Spain, Greece, all were places that I studied medicine, different languages, and cultures. Finally I came to Italy and there I found 3 vampires that really made me look at this supernatural world of ours differently. Amazingly they had heard of me as the ‘vegetarian’ vampire from others I had run into along the way of my travels.
Aro, Marcus, and Caius were very aristocratic when I met them but they had something the average vampires I’d encountered didn’t have and that was refinement and class. I spent a few decades with them. I learned that I could also be refined and didn’t have to feel or look like a brutish monster. They spent the whole time trying to persuade me to change my diet. They couldn’t understand how I could not look at a human as a mouthwatering being that was good for a meal. Aro always particularly thought of that part of me as being absolutely bizarre but he still found me amusing and respected my decision though he never understood it. I on the other hand tried to get them to see humans as more than just food. Needless to say, by the time I left them 3 decades after I arrived, neither had convinced the other. But they wished me well nonetheless.
It’s at that point that I had decided to travel to the new world aka America and see what this land promised. I had enough knowledge from studying the multiple centuries to actually work as a doctor. So I was very incredibly excited to do that. I also hoped I would find other ‘vegetarian’ vampires. I just knew at the bottom of my heart that I wasn’t the only one on this green earth. America had to be the place. I arrived and started working first in New Hampshire and then at the end of the 1800s in Chicago. I sadly I had not found any other vampires at that point so I had started to think about creating a companion but didn’t want to take a life like mine had been taken so I put that thought on the backburner.
It was in Chicago in the year 1917-1918 that I was working when the Spanish Influenza broke out. That was the year a woman named Elizabeth Masen changed my life forever by giving me permission to save her son through any means necessary and with that Edward Masen became my son Edward Cullen. And the rest as they say……is history.”
I looked at Edward who was grinning ear to ear with his arm around Bella. Everyone was smiling as I wrapped up my story with the present day inflection. We all looked at each other. Nessie was the one who spoke first:
“Wow! That was quite a story grampa! I loved it! You have seen so much and done so much! It’s all quite extraordinary!”
I went over and gave her a big hug.
“Thank you, Nessie.” At that point everyone else had gotten up and stretched and were speaking amongst themselves. As I looked around the room, Esme had walked up to me and put her arms around my waist. I kissed the top of her head and she looked up.
“I am a very lucky man. Look at this amazing family I have. How did I ever get so lucky?”
Esme giggled. “Clean living. And we’re both lucky.”
She was right. We were both incredibly lucky. I’d finally come to peace with my life. I was very happy. I got what I wanted…ten-fold. No one was happier at that moment then me.
I just closed my eyes and took it all in……with a grateful smile.
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