June 24, 2013
June 20th, 1906
I still remember the day when Edward was born. I cannot, for the life of me, comprehend how in the world he turned out to be a complete devil, when he had been so complacent in the womb!
Edward had been entirely at home inside me. In spite of what I’d heard from the ladies, he hadn’t started kicking until after the fourth month. Even then, he had been more content with sleeping in my womb rather than keeping me up at night with his juvenile escapades. The most I’d had to do was eat my weight in food, for that boy was forever famished. And he’d had a bit of a sweet tooth even then! I cannot until this day count the number of cupcakes, sweets and tarts that I consumed during the time when I was with Edward. Anthony had been only too willing to fulfill my wishes: he has a bit of a proclivity for sweets too you see.
It seems that he (Edward) underwent a transformation while coming into the world. Where my boy had been tranquil in the womb, he was the opposite outside of it. Now he won’t admit it, but my boy is a bit clingy. Anthony and I would know! He never spent more than a minute in anybody’s but mine or Anthony’s arms. We had had to have him removed from his nursery and into our bed because he wouldn’t go to sleep unless he felt us with him, and that he did! Even when he’d started crawling, he’d followed me around the house with his awkward tottering. It had only gotten worse when he’d started walking, because then he could catch hold of my skirt and not let go.
Mother is a bit disapproving of it, but I disagree. She says it would make him dependent: looking to me for everything. But I believe that is only his love, and his dedication. Edward, like me, is a passionate soul. He is a believer. He would pursue something to the end of the world if he wants it. For instance his engagement with the piano. He’d discovered the instrument at Anthony’s father’s house, and hadn’t rested until he’d learnt to play one of his rhymes on it.
Yes, clinging to me always can have negative consequences for Edward sometimes, but to me, it’s only a display of his love. If Edward clings, then he doesn’t let it go in vain. He always strives to please the one he loves, like the way he beams when we tell him how proud we are of him. That had consequences, even for a five year old like Edward.
Anthony and I have built him a treehouse! Lord knows that boy has been wanting one for about a year now, but I was scared that with his light footing and Mercuric velocity he could fall and get injured. But it’s been worth the wait it seems. The others will arrive shortly to celebrate his birthday today. Until then, the miniature Master is spending all his minutes up in the oak in our backyard. I have a feeling I would have to haul him out of there more than once now. . .
I frowned and smiled at the same time as I read through what my mother had written about me. She had made me sound like a clone of Alice, only much more hyped up than her. Don’t tell her I said that.
Birthdays in the Cullen Clan are always a big deal, no matter how old one gets. That is the one day when people are allowed to go “all out” (Alice’s words) for the party.
(Hint: Take the Waldorf Astoria, and add to it the grandeur of the Buckingham Palace, the opulence of the white house, and the findings of a gold mine: that’s pretty much what the our house had looked like on Carlisle’s three hundred and seventy first birthday.)
Knowing Alice, I knew that I would not get my wish for a quiet evening out on the porch at any rate, so I had prepared myself for the impact the next morning.
The day started out on a lifting (and raunchy) note. Bella and I made wondrous, magical, riveting love the morning of my birthday. She said she was making me pay for all the times I had tortured and coerced her into doing unspeakable things through sex, but in the end (as usual) it had been her who’d ended up forfeiting her authority.
What can I say: I am persuasive that way.
I had only just finished getting dressed for the day when I felt Bella creep up behind me and engulf me in her arms.
“Hello again,” I chuckled, and I could feel her smile.
“Hi, old man.”
Bella giggled at my antics.
“I wanted to tell you something before we leave for the house.” She turned me around to face her.
“Okay, let’s have it.”
She grinned so wide that I thought her face would split into two, “Be ready at seven.”
And then she kissed me on the cheek and flew out before I could guess what was happening.
I frowned at what she’d said, and not being able to find any meaning whatsoever to her words, I followed her, and soon, we were both sprinting through the forest with blinding speed. She wasn’t looking at me while running, but I could see her smile grace her face. I tried to look into her mind, but it was closed to me. She was thinking something, and I wanted to know what.
“What’s at seven?” I asked, barely out of breath in spite of going faster than Boeing 747.
“Oh, no, no, Edward Anthony,” Bella giggled, “You’ve given me my fair share of heart attacks with your surprises. It’s my turn now!”
With that, she sped up, causing me to redouble my efforts.
“Bella!” I called when I was level with her, but she just laughed.
Before I could get another word in, we had both reached the house. And but of course, I could see, even from here, that the interior had been decked out like the insides of Chateau Marmont. I could see the fanatic gleam in the eyes of the she devil that is Alice Cullen, and I rolled my eyes.
Bella looked barely surprised at the atmosphere inside the house, and I knew that she’d had a hand in this. I shook my head at her (she and Alice, when together, and in reasonable limits, could come up with brilliant ideas) and held her in my arms. When we reached the porch, she stopped and gestured with her hand for me to go in first.
“The Birthday Boy goes first.” She grinned.
I frowned and smiled at her at the same time as I opened the door, “I am seventeen only physically, if you—WHAT THE HELL?!”
Something bluish-green, gooey and slimy exploded all over me in that second. The shock robbed me off my mental faculties for a tiny moment, and I stood rock still, staring incredulously at my family’s wickedly gleeful expressions.
“What the f—what in the world?!” I screamed as soon as I came to my senses. It was only then that I realized that I (and the glass and carpet, which had been very meticulously covered with plastic so as to avoid being detected at the first glance) had been covered in sickeningly disgusting, horribly colored slime. The place in a three feet radius of me looked as if an alien had been tortured and murdered in the spot, drenched in a vomit hued liquid that looked almost similar to the remains of the Senator in X-men.
“What the hell?! It’s my birthday!” I shook my head, and more slime dripped out of it. I thought I felt some of it crawl down my spine and into my pants, and I shuddered.
My family—ever the traitors, by the way—were laughing their lily white asses off (even Esme and Carlisle).
“What the fuck is wrong with you people?! I just took a bath! It’s my birthday for fuck’s sake ” I shook my hands vigorously to rid itself of the goo—while Alice and Jasper stumbled over the couch and went down laughing (ROFL, that’s what it’s called)—and started to make way for the bathroom to take another shower.
“Oh, no, no! No spoiling my carpet!” Esme held me back.
“What, you couldn’t say that when they drenched me with fucking dragon vomit?!” I felt more slime drip down my spine, and quite frankly, it felt like a centipede crawling down the length of my body.
Just to be clear, I despise centipedes.
Esme pursed her lips together to hold back her laughter, but couldn’t, “I . . . I’m sorry, honey!” she certainly didn’t look so, trying to get her words out through her peals of laughter, “But it was worth it!”
“Happy Birthday, Edward!” Emmett called out to me from where he lay prostrate on the carpet, guffawing like a goddamn Baboon.
“Grow up, Emmett!” I grimaced at him, and walked out onto the porch and into the backyard to wash myself clean of the grime. I think some of it had made way into my ear.
If I could vomit, I would.
“Wait, Edward!” I heard Rosalie behind me, followed by everyone, “We have the water ready!”
“NO, thank you, I can—DAMMIT!” As soon as I turned around, a wave of water punched me in the face, almost knocking me off my feet.
Seriously?! Seriously?! Where is the flash of lightening when you need one?!
“FUCK YOU! ALL OF YOU!” I couldn’t even hear my voice among their laughter.
Well, at least I was clean.
I cleaned up following that utterly unflattering fiasco, after which it was time for the real presents.
Everyone had already gathered around the dining table when I came down after my shower.
“Hi, daddy!” Nessie embraced me before I had stepped onto the floor, and I glared at her.
“Really? You were laughing the loudest while I was trying to wash off the goo. I am already thinking of a punishment.”
“Well, you always say you don’t like us making a fuss on your birthday,” Alice called out while I walked up with Nessie, “This is how we retaliate.”
“Why me? Why not Bella? She’s the one who hates parties!”
“She’s better than you.” Alice just shrugged.
“Go to hell.” I shrugged.
But of course, my chastisement made them giggle even louder. Esme and Bella wheeled in a large birthday cake while Alice positioned everyone in the right places (so the pictures would turn out just right.)
“Really, now you get me a birthday cake?” I grimaced at them.
“Oh shut up, Edward! Just cut it!” As you might have guessed, that had been Jacob, whose words had the entire wolf pack nodding their heads. Savages.
I shook my head and picked up the knife as everybody broke out into a very tuned Royal-Philharmonic-Orchestra version of Happy Birthday. Nessie and Bella were on either side holding the knife with me. I took out a huge piece and stuffed it into Nessie’s mouth as confetti—thank God for that—exploded all over us.
Gift time followed after that. Esme and Carlisle got me a new Grand Piano for our cottage, since it had been deprived of one for some time now. Alice had gotten me a first edition copy of War and Peace (Mine had been destroyed in a quest for the latter, don’t ask me how), and Jasper bought me a rare Spanish guitar (he said I needed a change of instrument now). Emmett and Rosalie had, with great pains I assume, bought me a classic Vintage edition Rolls Royce. They’d also had it decked out with a special stereo to play music (It was playing hideous eighties music when I turned it on). Nessie, Jacob and the wolf pack had, with permission of the elders, gifted me a wooden, altered version of the Cullen Crest. Where our crest had contained only a lion thence, now it was bedecked with an intricate carving of a lion and a wolf. The design had been the produce of Nessie and Leah’s joint minds, and the mastery and woodwork was courtesy of the entire pack. I felt proud to have it: since it was a symbol of mutual harmony and a friendship that would last for eons to come.
The only person who had gone with not giving me a gift was Bella, who once again reminded me, after everybody was done, to be ready at seven.
Curious beyond comprehension, I asked her once again what she was planning. But once again, in wicked exasperation, she just shook her head and smiled.
Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
“Oh shoot,” Bella murmured as she looked to the sky, which had darkened about fifteen minutes ago.
I looked up with her, and saw that the sky was clouding up. Grey clouds were blanketing a dark blue background with celerity, and a steady, wet, mud-scented wind had started blowing.
Bella pulled out her phone, and dialed Alice.
“It’s okay. It’s just clouds. It will rain, but later in the night. You’re okay for now.” Alice said and hung up as soon as she’d picked up. Bella looked to the sky once again and breathed out a sigh of relief when she saw that clouds lacked fervor.
“Bella, what is going on? What are you planning?” I chuckled.
“Edward, don’t ask questions. Just keep walking.” She pursed her lips, and I saw that her worries about the weather were almost gone now.
In accordance with her directions, I had been ready on the doorstep of our cottage when asked, and now, we were ambling through the forest on the familiar path that led to our meadow.
We walked in silence for some time, listening to the intermittent cries of a night bird, obscured in the blanket of leaves and almost invisible against the nightly background. The only sounds apart from that were the soft wailing of the Atlin winds—cold and biting even in the wake of summer—through the vale and the crunching of leaves under our shoes.
At last, when we reached our meadow, Bella turned to me and looked me in the eye, “Happy Birthday.”
I smiled at her, conveying my soft, unheard thanks, and looked around, and was immediately astounded.
There, sitting in the middle of the little field—riddled with wild flowers and shrubs—was a perfectly round, large ice rink.
My eyes were as wide as they could go, “How . . . How did you . . .? It’s freaking June! Ha!”
Bella laughed at my reaction, “Don’t ask how. I just got them to install it in the middle of nowhere.”
The sound of my laugh at her words was both wondrous and incredulous.
“Bella, it’s . . . this is amazing!”
She grinned, “Glad you like it. It’s only for one night though: the ice will melt eventually.”
She shrugged helplessly at that, and I pulled her into my arms.
“This is . . .” Now, I hate this word, but my seventeen year old self got the better of me, “This is awesome!”
I cackled along with Bella at what I’d said, and she made a snide remark about lowering my standards before going off into a corner.
There, from the lap of some wild bushes in the corner of the meadow, she pulled out two pairs of ice skates and held them up.
“Want to skate?”
“Hell yeah!” I grinned at her and we put them on simultaneously, and before I knew it, I was pulling her toward the rink.
“Edward,” She tried to pull me back, “I can’t skate, okay? So you’ll have to teach me.”
“Don’t worry, I am an expert.” I showed her my pearly whites.
“Show off. I hope you fall and bruise your ass.” She rolled her eyes.
“Now, now, Bella,” I chastised her sardonically as we both stepped onto the ice, “Let’s not ruin my birthday.”
She laughed and held onto me tightly as, for the next ten minutes, I showed her the ropes. Bella had lost her inherent clumsiness since being turned—a fact that I both regretted and was grateful for—so she caught on fairly quickly. Before long, we were both gliding over the ice in patterns.
The entire scene looked something out of a fairy tale. Although the sky was blanketed with ominous clouds that I knew would burst forth soon, it did not efface the magic of our paradise down below. Bella had even had dried Carbon dioxide cubes installed, which, when broken, oozed dense white fumes that covered the entire rink, making us feel like we were skating on clouds. We skated with, around and about each other. At one point I even ran circles around her.
Eventually, we slowed down, and finally resorted to slow dancing on the ice, talking about everything and nothing in particular.
“Where did you get this idea from?” I looked around us, in awe of our own Dirty Dancing fantasy. This was almost unbelievable. It looked like my personal fairy tale come true. I could have bet that Disney couldn’t ever come up with an idea this brilliant. Bella and I looked like modern versions of Cinderella and Prince Charming, moving in harmony on that beautiful, surreal ice that engulfed us in both quiescent coolness and happy, exuberant warmth. It was, quite arguably, the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, next to Bella and Nessie of course.
“I just wanted to see how you looked on skates,” Bella shrugged and then grinned, “You missed out last year, remember? You wanted to go skiing, but we couldn’t because Nessie had fractured her leg. I figured it would be next to impossible to build a skiing resort here, so I got you the next best thing.”
“Bella, this is . . . extraordinary.” I sighed, “Thank you.”
“No, this is not extraordinary,” She smiled at me wickedly, “This is.”
She pulled away from me and pulled out from her pocket a small remote, on which she pushed a button. The next thing I heard was the starting riff of a very familiar song, and I groaned.
She laughed again, “You like this song!”
She was right, though. The eighties had been unbearable for me with their transformation into a more grungy, hard style. But there had been some songs that had impressed me, even with a style that I was not accustomed. Aha’s “Take on me” fell into that category.
“That I do.” I smiled as Bella and I started moving a little faster, keeping with the tempo of the song.
“You know what this means, right?” She wiggled her eyebrows as we started flying again.
“You’re probably going to have to disco.” She shrugged.
I couldn’t hold back at that and laughed loudly.
“Yeah, probably. I think I can handle that.”
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