Renesmee went through the course of her first week of school. She is really enjoying being able to experience a normal teenage life. From what she has told me, she likes to learn in her classes, and the people are friendly and charismatic.
After Renesmee took Carlisle’s IQ test, we discovered just how smart a half-vampire home-schooled teen can be.
Carlisle presumed that starting a year as a freshman in high school would suit her more aptly as far as her education goes, but Bella and I worried that mentally she wasn’t ready for all the personal complications of high school. So Renesmee takes AP classes, but attends Richmond Middle School instead.
Last Monday morning, we reminded Renesmee about trying to blend in and act human – one of many parts of the long lecture by us she’d had to suffer through the night before.
We had all the facts down: Her name was Vanessa, but she went by Nessie. She was fourteen years old; and her parents were overseas on a missionary trip but she lived with her aunts and uncles. I hated making my daughter lie to everyone, but nevertheless she seems excited.
As she stepped out of the car and waved goodbye, I got this feeling from somewhere deep inside me that I could only describe as the feeling a parent would get as their kindergartner went on their first day of school. And it was sort of the same concept.
When we got back, Bella showed me her thoughts. She was recalling our meadow back in Forks, where I’d first shown my true identity to her. Where we’d spent so much time together.
“I want to find another meadow,” she told me.
“It won’t ever be the same, though, love,” I reminded her, wrapping an arm around her waist.
She sighed. “I know that. But…I want a place where we can be together again, all alone in the woods.” She smiled at the thought. “Besides, I’m thirsty.”
It was worth a try. Bella and I took off through the woods, hunting down a few deer and all the while trying to find some place that could replace our meadow. The only place that could compare was a small opening in the forest with a glistening stream and open skies, but it wasn’t high enough to get out of the cloud bank. As we later discovered, the site was too close to a popular hiking trail for any safety. We will search more sometime later.
Nessie has really adapted well to acting normal at school. Though the subjects are complex, her accelerated mind allows her to catch on fairly easily. Her new friends at school, though quite jealous, are not suspicious of anything. She even has some new friends to go on a shopping trip with on Saturday, and of course, Alice looked like she could have burst into tears at the fact that she’d have to miss out.
On Saturday evening when Nessie was out, we received a phone call from Bella’s mother in Jacksonville. Renee, who hadn’t seen Bella since our wedding, wanted to come to New Hampshire and visit. Bella hung up, telling Renee she’d call back once we all discussed it.
“She wants to visit for Spring Break this week,” Bella informed us, though most of us had already heard it through the phone speakers.
“We can’t,” I demanded. “We can’t put your mother’s life at risk. And what about Phil?”
“He wants to come too. Oh, Edward,” Bella sighed. “You’re right. But I really need to see my mom.”
“Alice?” I looked at my sister for help, but she just shook her head plainly.
“I can’t see anything now. You need to make a decision first.”
“Renee is going to see how you haven’t changed, Bella,” Jasper said. “How none of us has. She’s going to wonder about Renesmee and Jake.”
“If Renee and Phil come, they don’t have to know about us werewolves,” Jacob, who was laying flat on the couch flipping through channels, reasoned. “Leah and Seth and I don’t know your mom so much.”
“Yeah,” Seth called from the kitchen. “Leah and Jake and I can just hide out in the forest for a while. We won’t mind.”
“Speak for yourself, loser.” Leah got up from the couch and stormed out, thinking of how disgusting raw rabbit meat was.
Bella started pacing slowly. “Edward, I need to see Renee again. I haven’t seen her since the wedding, and she knows I don’t still have that illness I faked before I had Nessie. Of course she wants to come see us. Besides…” She stopped short and watched me face-on, her golden eyes piercing into mine. “It could be the last chance I’ll ever get to see her again.”
Of course, she was right. Bella needed to see her mother.
So we worked out a plan. The wolves would hide out in the forest or the cabin down the street, so that they wouldn’t get in Renee’s way. Jasper, who still wasn’t sure how he would handle the presence of humans, would be out of town to inspect the astronomy classes at Washington State University.
To decrease suspicion, Rose and Emmett decided on yet another honeymoon, in Asia this time. Once we had a decision set, Alice could see only so much, but it was enough reassurance to us that our secret would not be revealed.
I am hoping that Renee won’t notice how much Renesmee’s grown. Though she has never seen mine and Bella’s daughter and we have kept in very limited contact, Bella has sent her a few of the most mature-looking pictures of Nessie, who posed as our adoptive daughter. Nonetheless, Nessie is only four, but looks much, much older.
Renee will be arriving Tuesday night. Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper are getting set to depart in a few minutes time, so I need to say my farewells to them. I’ll be sure to keep my diary up-to-date on what happens.
“Be safe, Jacob!” I listened as Bella called from the family room downstairs. I cringed internally. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
“Sure, sure,” another raspy voice mumbled back – Jacob – along with two big thuds from his feet hitting the tile as he strode out the door to leave for patrol; an unnecessary precaution from the wolves, but something I didn’t object to.
Bella sighed again, and I had an overwhelming urge to race down the stairs with my inhuman speed and take her in my arms. But I didn’t; I planted my feet where I was, chastising myself for my own irrationalities.
Bella was mine, my wife, and I knew better than to be jealous, dare I say. Of course Bella loved Jacob, but not more than she loved me. It was my stupid, unforgotten human emotions. I had no logical reason to be jealous, even taking my past history with the dog in consideration. Nevertheless, Jacob had imprinted on Renesmee…
I cringed again at the thought. Why my own daughter? I had yet to get over the fact.
My daughter, whom Bella had given birth to while she was still a fragile human, is growing up more rapidly than ever. At about four years old, she gives the impression of your average thirteen-year-old, except Renesmee is nowhere near average. She has a more superior knowledge capacity than any of us had ever anticipated, even Carlisle. If normal human parents thought their kids were growing up too fast, they should take a good look at Bella and me. Especially now that Renesmee is starting to become of age. Undeniably, the thought of my little girl growing up scared me, and it was coming fast. But despite my worries, I am anxious to see how she’s going to turn out. She is already a beautiful young girl.
Jacob is pretty damn lucky.
My family and I now live in New Hampshire, and, I guess you could say Jacob lives with us, too. He has a cabin a few miles down the street from our mansion with other wolves, Leah and Seth Clearwater, but he visits so habitually on a daily basis that you’d believe he actually did live here. We’ve been here about three months or so, and I am relieved that everyone had gotten the time to get comfortable and at ease in our new house.
As I thought through everything that was happening, Bella appeared right at the doorway, looking as beautiful as ever. I still don’t have an understanding about how I was fortunate enough to have her in my immortal life. She had saved me, one way or another, from my own depression. That was just a few years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime.
She seemed curious. “You all right?” she asked me.
“I’m fine,” I replied, smiling at her. I noticed the light in her now slightly-dazed eyes as I did so. Dazzling her. I was an expert at that.
She snapped her expression back to normal just as she realized what had occurred. If she were still human, she would have been as red as a tomato – but that was back then. Her new body was no longer warm, no longer had blood running in her veins. I laughed, and took her stone body in my arms, kissing her head.
“Brooding as usual?” she teased.
“Not brooding,” I told her, “for I have nothing to agonize over. A more accurate term would be ‘having abstractions.’”
She laughed a little. “Too many minds to read?”
“With one exception,” I said, gesturing to her grandly.
“Somewhat,” she whispered, gripping my hands tightly. Images of me and her together filled my mind. Giving me a piece of her mind – a trick she had learned from Zafrina, during her last visit, and around the time period of our encounter with the Volturi face-on again. She showed me images of every time we had ever kissed, ever – from her foggy human memories that she had dug up, which were still blurry, to the more recent ones, which were crystal clear.
I understood what she was hinting at, and I pulled her face up to mine.
We kissed for a while, and I allowed myself to lose my thoughts in her. I could still see everything she was thinking. Eventually, the rest of my family began to notice.
Huh, someone from downstairs thought. Jasper. At least they’re better than Emmett and Rose.
Aw, though Esme. I’m still so glad Edward found Bella. Love never ages… And then she started thinking about Carlisle and her kissing as well.
Dude, come on, Emmett thought to me directly. Don’t be boring, get some more action!
I smiled at that, my lips were still locked with Bella’s. She felt my lips turn up against hers, and pulled back. “What?” she asked, a slight grin forming on her mouth as well.
“Emmett’s bored with us,” I told her, and heard a faint growl in Emmett’s mind as he heard. I smiled bigger.
“Maybe we should be a bit more entertaining,” she thought, peeking up at me through her lashes.
Alright, alright, I’m out, Emmett thought hastily at that while he jumped off the sofa to find Rose, who was in the garage.
Emmett wasn’t the only one who’d heard. Grumbles from the few unappreciative members of my family, and smiles from the more courteous, like Alice and Esme.
I grinned and held her shoulders back at arms length. “Later tonight, my love,” I told her. “I promise.”
She smirked, and something about her expression through her golden eyes told me that she couldn’t wait.
Suddenly, a loud thought came through to my head. Alice.
Edward, she called to me, knowing I would hear. The tone of her thoughts was strained. Where’s Nessie?
My breath caught, and my eyes widened as I searched through all the thoughts around the house. It wasn’t even fifteen minutes ago Renesmee had told me and Bella that she would be outside. Lately she’d been interested in various sports, and I had gone out to buy her a brand new volleyball for practice last week.
But I couldn’t hear her now.
“Edward?” Bella said, seeing my alarmed expression.
I flew out the door and down the stairs. “Nessie’s gone,” I snarled under my breath as I scanned the back yard. No Renesmee. How could I have missed that? Where was she now, if she was far away enough that I could not read her mind?
Edward! Alice thought again, and her thoughts twisted around a vision of the future she had just had. It was literally nothing; a gray wall she couldn’t see around. And there was only one thing that could cause that…
“Edward! What happened?” Bella cried out, squeezing my arm.
I was infuriated, but I managed to growl out one word.
Quickly, Bella, Alice and I ran down the road that led to Jacob’s cabin; the first place we could think of. Sure enough, the putrid scent of wolf came to our senses as we approached it, and I could just barely start to hear the thoughts of Jacob. There was another person there as well, and I breathed out a sigh of relief as I recognized the thoughts as my daughter’s.
My relief was almost immediately replaced by fury. I bursted through the cabin doors, and Jacob and Renesmee, who were near the back window, jumped at my sudden arrival.
“What’s going on here, Jacob?” I hissed at him. He seemed surprised.
“How do you mean?” he asked. He was holding a white volleyball in one hand and a ball pump in the other.
“I thought you were leaving for patrol, Jake!” Bella exclaimed.
“I was, I was!” Jacob stood up and came nearer to us. “But when I came outside, I saw Renesmee playing volleyball—”
“My ball was flat,” Renesmee cut in.
“And I brought her back here to get my ball pump. What’s the big deal?” He crossed his arms over his chest.
“That would explain why I couldn’t see her,” Alice whispered to herself.
Comprehension dawned on Jacob’s face as he identified the problem. “Oh.”
“You had us worried, Nessie,” I told her, and she looked at me with an apologetic expression.
Jacob rolled his shoulders back. “I’ve got to go now.” He strode out the open door without another word.
“I’m sorry,” Renesmee apologized. “I forgot Alice couldn’t see past Jake.”
“Or that I couldn’t hear you from all the way down here,” I added.
Bella walked up to her, and brushed bronze ringlets from her face. “It’s okay, honey.”
“Daddy?” She gazed at me with big brown eyes. I wondered how much longer I had before she’d stop calling me “daddy”. “Will you help me learn how to serve the volleyball?”
“Of course, Nessie,” I said, smiling at her. And with that, I took her hand and we all raced back to our home.
Other than the brief moment of unwarranted fear for my daughter, the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Esme invited the wolves over for dinner, as always, because everyone knew Jacob and Seth couldn’t cook, and Leah didn’t bother with it. They ended up roasting hot dogs over a bonfire in the back yard, and later made s’mores.
I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I couldn’t find Nessie. All I knew was that she was with Jacob, and that she was far. It gave me a right to worry.
Jacob isn’t saying anything aloud, but he’s not regretting what he did. Of course he didn’t realize we’d be worried sick because he brought Nessie with him, but lately things have come to a bit of a rivalry between me and Jacob. Since Renesmee’s really starting to grow up, Jacob’s noticing her body’s physical changes now more than ever. His thoughts can be loud.
I hate to seem so domineering over Nessie, but I can’t help it. She’s my only daughter, and I want to keep her preserved and protected for as long as possible. And I know that soon, as she becomes older and older, she’ll start wanting to make her own decisions.
I must end this entry now. I have a promise to fulfill to my Bella tonight.
I am so excited to announce that we have a new –and incredibly talented– writer for Edward’s Diary, Rachel! Rachel is taking over for the previous writer, Sarah, who due to time constraints could no longer write as Edward. [You can see Sarah's note to everyone if you missed it HERE]
♥You can view the very first New Edward’s Diary entry from Rachel HERE!
Rachel plans to wrap up where Sarah left off and then bring Edward’s story to after Breaking Dawn, like all the other diaries on the site. Rachel also, like the other writers, is in school and plans to write whenever she can squeeze in time, making it more frequent when she is on Summer holidays. [Please remember to be courteous when it comes to other people's free time and don't try to rush writers. They appreciate your patience more than you know.]
You can ‘like’ Edward’s Diary on Facebook HERE & Follow Rachel (Edward’s Diary) on Twitter HERE! Sarah so kindly let our new writer take over the original Twitter & Facebook accounts so the previous fans wouldn’t get confused. (Thank you Sarah ♥ )
Before I go, I want to let you all know that I am getting your emails about the other diaries not being updated and I hope you know that the writers haven’t forgotten about you. Alexandra from Renesmee’s Diary updated her Facebook today with a message to let everyone know she’d be back soon. And Erin (Alice’s Diary) is going through a SUPER busy streak and a case of writers block. I get writers block quite frequently and I can definitely say it is super frustrating, but more-so when you feel under pressure.
Meagan (Jacob’s Diary) updated not too long ago and I am working on my last entry now, too.
Really, you are all the best, most supportive readers we could ask for and you are very courteous of our time. I hope you don’t think I’m saying you aren’t. This is just a small friendly reminder for the more ‘impatient’ ones. Also, I’m trying to let you know we would never forget about you and that even though I can’t get back to each one, I am getting your emails.
Head over to Rachel’s Facebook and Twitter links I posted and send her a BIG WELCOME! She is a huge sweetheart and very friendly!
It has been an extensive, complicated couple of days for me.
Nevertheless, I’m finally able to straightforwardly say that I’m alright again.
Everything will be okay this time.
It was only this Saturday that I had last been broken, depressed, lifeless. I was at a hotel in Rio at the time, planning to go hunting after I checked in, when I received a phone call from Rosalie. She quite reluctantly told me that something terrible had happened; Alice saw Bella commit suicide by jumping off a cliff.
I remember when I’d first heard the words through the speakers of my phone, I’d been frozen in place, causing pedestrians to swerve around me and think of me oddly. But I had to be sure. Even though Rose wasn’t lying – I could read her thoughts – I had to be sure.
I dialed the memorized number on my cell, praying and hoping with all my might that it wasn’t true.
“Swan residence,” a deep voice answered on the other line.
Had I been in my right mind, I’d have wondered who it was. “This is Dr. Carlisle Cullen. I need to speak to Charlie Swan.” It had to be Charlie; if Alice and Rose were wrong, and Bella was still alive, I don’t think either of us could bear to talk.
There was a stifling silence on the other end. “He’s not here.” The speaker was almost growling. “He’s at the funeral.”
That was all I needed to know. And then I knew what I had to do.
It would be impossible to live life without Bella, even if I couldn’t be with her. She was my life. I remembered what I had told her earlier this year, before I’d left her, about what I’d do if something had happened to her.
Well, I wasn’t going to live without you. But I wasn’t sure how to do it – I knew Emmett and Jasper would never help… so I was thinking maybe I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi…
And that was exactly what I was going to do. Without thinking about it, I was on a plane to Italy. Too consumed with anxiety to use my brain – to have to wonder what I would do if I had to live the rest of my wretched life without her – I never stopped to think about how Alice would undoubtedly see my future, or to consider the fact that the Volturi might decide not to take my life away. Or what I was going to do to provoke them, anyway.
Even now, as I’m back from Volterra and safe and happy, I’m having trouble writing about this. It’s all I can do to tear my eyes away from my Bella, who’s asleep on the bed.
My trip to Volterra is a time I’d like to forget for now, I’ll make the rest of this entry short.
The Volturi leaders hastily denied my request of death. Now that I look back in retrospect, it’s simple to see that of course Aro wouldn’t have wished to waste such talent. “I’m afraid your particular gifts are too valuable to destroy,” he’d said. “It would be wasteful.”
The Volturi had still suggested I join them, but I declined. I had my mind made up. And to follow up on my plan, I decided to attempt to break the most-enforced vampire rule there was; revealing my existence.
But thankfully, just before I was able to step out into the sun at the bell tower plaza, Bella managed to get me back inside. I remember thinking that I was dead, that I was in heaven, that I really did have a soul.
That Carlisle was right.
But she was real, and I was still alive. And the entirety of these past days still feels like a dream, if I could dream.
The Volturi let Bella, Alice and I go home in peace. Well, that is an understatement. We left with a haunting warning that Bella knew too much about our existence. My fault.
We had gotten home several hours ago. Bella’s father, of course, was livid at me and my family, continually throwing insulting thoughts at me along with a string of profanities. It wasn’t long before he kicked me out. I’m now not allowed to “take one step through the door.” So I came in through the window.
Bella’s been asleep for a long time, and she needed it. She stayed awake for four days straight. I’m completely fine with watching her as she sleeps, her brown eyes closed, her breath rising and falling in her chest, her wiped clean of the gnawing stress and worry she’d dealt with in my absence. My beautiful Bella. I’ve missed her so much.
When she wakes up, I need to be sure Bella knows I still love her, and that I only left for her benefit. I need to explain everything. But it was so amazing, how she’d believed me before; how could that silly girl actually think I didn’t want her anymore? It was the most ridiculous, absurd concept. I guess I was wrong to try and give her a chance at a normal human life, because Bella is not normal. That’s what I love about her.
As much as I’d love to sit around and be happy everything’s alright, I won’t, because I have the knowledge that it won’t be for long. The Volturi will still be after us. They still want Bella to become one of us, or die. Both thoughts make me shiver. How am I supposed to do that to her – to take away her rightful soul like that?
Victoria, of course, is still out there. But she won’t be much of a threat; there’s seven of us and one of her. She’ll never get her hands on Bella on my watch.
And then there’s the matter of Jacob Black.
But other than that, I’m beyond grateful that nothing worse is in our way. I can’t stress over it enough how exuberant I am to have Bella back, to have my family back, to have my life back. And let’s just hope it can stay that way.
I need to end this entry now. My Bella is waking up.
Will post again soon,
– Edward Cullen
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I’ve never been so grateful for immortal insomnia to this extent in my entire existence. A decision has been made, and turning back at this point is impossible. This decision may, in a way, destroy my attempts to not interfere with Bella’s life, but if it saves her life, it is by far worth it.
I am not acting out of my own needs, but rather ensuing Bella’s safety. This decision is necessary, vital. It hasn’t been made on an erratic whim, but made with full knowledge of what protecting Bella will entail. But I know that Bella is worth it, because if Bella were to die, I would die, too. The grief would be too much.
It breaks my heart to know that even when I take this challenge and leave Alaska to protect her, I still won’t be able to visit her regardless. I knew such a thing was impossible, but even after that dreaded day one week ago, I still hadn’t banished fantasies of being reunited with her from my mind. Maybe, one day in the future, I will have the restraint necessary to watch her sleep without being the selfish man I am and wake her up, but such restraint will be much harder to obtain than the restraint necessary that kept me from drinking her sweet blood. If I come within visible distance of my angel and hear her heart beat, I know I won’t be able to leave again. And so I wait for the day that I can see her again.
My time in Alaska has only helped me infinitesimally. Yes, I have been distracted by being around my closest family, and yes, Jasper’s empathetic abilities have shielded some of the gut-wrenching agony, but I know the small improvement is due to Jasper. The second I leave, my pain will come back in full force…probably twice as strong as the first time. I shuddered at the thought. But it was a sacrifice that I was willing to make. I knew the possible consequences of leaving Bella; this wasn’t a surprise.
However, this time, I will have a greater distraction, one that will occupy my mind more than listening to Emmett’s enthusiastic guffaws at his own perverted jokes or debating the motives behind the actions of characters in English literature with Carlisle. I’ll be tracking.
In the vampire world my family lives in, it’s not rare to find a sadistic tracker who will track a human out of bloodlust. Our coven handled a situation with a tracker first hand last spring. I, on the other hand, will be doing quite the opposite; I’ll be tracking the mate of James, the red-head, Victoria.
One simple vision changed what was left of my future plans, and it may have protected Bella’s. Last night, after I had my epiphany on the snow-laden roof, one of Alice’s visions shifted my surrounds drastically.
The long, dark hair of Laurent ran through the green, dense forest of Washington. Before not too long, he greeted a vampire with flowing hair the color of fire and dark crimson irises flashed before my eyes. I immediatelyrecognized the face of Victoria. He whispered into her ear, and her eyes darkened in anticipation.
The scene shifted to a different section of the wet forest – the meadow Bella and I had spent many spring and summer days in. There, Victoria crouched down to hover over a body idle with sleep. Digging her teeth into her next victim’s carotid artery, Victoria sucked the life out of the human girl. Then she moved back, revealing the human’s face. My ears started ringing once I caught a glimpse of the girl. Bella. My Bella. My Bella I hadn’t seen in what felt like years.
I took in the appearance of her pallid, lifeless body and buried my head in my hands. My life, no, my reason for existence, was gone. I didn’t even have the chance to tell her the truth, the truth that I loved her more than any man had loved anything in his entire existence. The truth that my all-consuming love for her ultimately brought me to leave her. The truth that her safety was more important than my life, that she meant more to me than my own life. She would never get to know, and I’d never get to see her again.
After the vision played out, I threw my body off of the roof and was standing in the family room less than a second later.
I was expecting the sight I walked into; Jasper rested his hand reassuringly on Alice’s shoulder as she frantically searched the future. The other members of my family and the Denali coven were talking in hushed voices in the southwest corner of the room. Their expressions ranged from fear to fury, and no one even noticed I had entered until I was standing right in front of Carlisle.
Carlisle was leading the discussion as he spoke in a persuasive tone. He seemed calm and collected, but the fear in his eyes wasn’t concealed. This was Carlisle’s role in our family, to offer the reasonable and compassionate decisions we needed. I felt bad for what I was about to do, but I was in dire need of counsel.
I didn’t take the time to meet the concerned faces staring in my direction. Taking Carlisle’s hand in mine, I led us out the wide French doors and ran west. We didn’t stop for miles, but Carlisle didn’t once complain or voice his opinion. Eventually, we came to a stop at the base of Mount McKinley, nearly eighty miles from the Denali house.
Carlisle motioned for me to sit with him on a boulder.
“Tell me what you’re feeling, Edward,” he murmured.
It took several minutes to evaluate my vacillating emotions. I quickly identified grief and loss at the surface, but I needed to dig deeper. It was then that I realized I felt like I had failed, like I had let everyone down. In the last week, I had forced my family to leave the life they had known in Forks, left my soul mate, and nearly destroyed myself in the process. I owed my family better than that; I owed Bella better than that.
Finally, after I had pinpointed those emotions, I answered. “Grief, despair, failure, guilt…the list goes on and on, Carlisle.”
“As much as you’d like to blame this all on yourself, this isn’t your fault, son,” Carlisle consoled.
“But it is, Carlisle! It is! Bella is going to die because of us, because of what we are. I can’t forgive myself for this.”
I buried my face in my hands for the second time that day, only to feel Carlisle’s hand lift up my face. He looked straight into my eyes. “Who says she has to die,” he countered.
“I- I can’t interfere, I can’t get that close to Bella,” I said, my voice filled with doubt.
“I have faith in you. While Esme and I are not your biological parents, we have raised you to handle tough situations. It is in these situations that one’s character is tested, and this is a test that you will have to take. Remember, son, remember last January. Did any one of us believe you could have controlled your thirst enough to be with Bella? Certainly not, but you did. You may just surprise yourself, Edward.”
I thought back to the day Bella arrived and the path that led me to where I am today. It was then that I remembered the first vampire who had attempted to take Bella’s life – James. He was a tracker, the mate of Victoria, who risked everything to satiate his thirst for Bella’s blood.
I had been oblivious to Victoria’s motives until then; she wanted revenge. Her reason for existence had been taken from her, and she was reacting to her situation by trying to take my reason for existence from me.
This knowledge brought the whole situation into a different light; my pain was overshadowed by rage, fury, and retaliation. Any doubt that I had about leaving Alaska had left. The feline killer will not be allowed to kill my Bella while I sit back and watch. I’ll rip her apart limb from limb, if I have enough control to take the time to kill her slow enough. She won’t see another day; I won’t let her. I started sprinting back to Denali as fast as my legs would take me, knowing that Carlisle was a few yards behind.
Once I reach Denali, I’ll gather my things, say goodbye to my family, and start on my mission to find Victoria. I won’t stop until I know my Bella is safe. This vision of Alice’s is one I will gladly risk my life trying to change.
My dread of having to settle things with Tanya was, in fact, not just an unnecessary overreaction on my part. I had never fully believed such a strained relationship could be healed in one conversation, but it was a hope nonetheless.
I can’t recall a time when our relationship wasn’t strained it some way. Whether it was the awkwardness produced when I didn’t return her romantic feelings or the hurt I caused Tanya after falling in love with Bella, the relationship between the two of us was always off in some way.
Our conversation started in the late afternoon. Trying to escape the constant worried looks and thoughts brought by my presence, I had fled to the frozen pond on the edge of the property.
Before my thoughts were interrupted, I was happy. Using my crystal clear memories to my advantage, my mind was transported, completely removed from reality. I was reliving the first time Bella saw the beauty of our meadow.
I watched her dark brown eyes light up as she stepped into the meadow. She turned to face me, and she was alight with wonder and anticipation.
Would this beautiful, perfect girl run once I revealed the complete essence of my being? Would her eyes be opened to this dark creature who wants her blood more than anyone else’s in the entire world?
The idea of our separation utterly petrified me. What would I do with myself if she left me now?
I looked up as she motioned for me to join her, and my will power crumbled. My legs started moving without my consent. The worries hindering my ability to move forward left before my rational mind could remember them.
The heat from the midday sun warmed my cheeks, my nose.
Her breath hitched once my skin reacted to the sunlight. As she observed my skin in wonder, she started to unconsciously shake her head.
Would I ever be immune to the frustration that occurred whenever I couldn’t read her thoughts?
I held out my hand to her and guided her to the center of the meadow. Her eyes didn’t leave my face once.
The next hours were spent in a silent heaven with neither of us feeling the need to speak. We sat side by side, relishing in the others company. I could have lived the rest of eternity by her side and not wanted to change a thing.
As we sat, I hummed her lullaby. I added in slight variations, changing the melody as I found out more about her. She had asked me what I was singing, but I didn’t share share. Surely, she would have ran away if she had seen how strongly I loved her.
My composition halted when her one of her warm fingers started to trace the back of my hand. The heat emanating from her body felt amazing in contrast to my own.
I opened my eyes for the first time in many hours. Her face was calm, peaceful, not at all what I had expected.
“I don’t scare you?” I asked as an excuse to hear her voice.
She didn’t even hesitate before answering, “No more than usual.”
I caught my reflection in the pupils of her eyes, and a smile had unconsciously formed on my lips.
My eyes closed as she glided her fingers across my forearm. I was being spoiled; anything less enjoyable than this would be a disappointment. Her fingers trembled slightly. Was she worried, or rather dazzled?
“Do you mind?” she questioned.
“No,” I assured her. I didn’t mind at all.
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Tanya’s voice sounded.
My eyes snapped open. No. No. I had found relief, a relief that I hadn’t felt for what seemed like centuries, and now it was gone in the blink of an eye.
I scanned my surroundings, taking in the frozen pond, calling birds, and the scent of grizzly in the distance.
“I didn’t mean to startle you there,” Tanya said as an awkward, forced smile spread across her face.
“No harm done,” I lied. She didn’t need to a victim to the hell raging inside me.
“Have…you found your stay accommodating?” Tanya inquired.
‘Pull yourself together, Tanya,’ she thought.
Embarrassment flickered across her face as she remembered I could read her thoughts, and her sheepish smile returned.
“Edward,” she started. “Why exactly are you here?” I didn’t miss the expectation in her eyes.
“I don’t seem to have a choice,” I mumbled. For her sake, I added, “I have always loved it here,” as I looked up at the mountains in the distance.
She smiled a more genuine smile, and her thoughts were in a flurry.
“So…Bella, why’d you leave her?” Tanya wondered aloud.
“To protect her,” I answered, keeping my response matter-of-fact.
“I can’t hurt her, Tanya. My existence puts her in harms way,” I pled for her to understand the situation. “Yes, I need her almost as much as a human needs air, and yes, my life is meaningless without her.”
I looked up to catch Tanya slouch her shoulders. Her eyes darted to the ground as they caught mine.
“You loved her,” she said. It wasn’t a question.
“More than you’ll ever know, Tanya.”
“I, I didn’t…understand…how much you loved her,” she admitted. “I was waiting for you, waiting for the second you would lose interest in her. But I can see now that my patience didn’t change anything.”
“And for that, I’m terribly sorry. I never intended to hurt anyone, but I just can’t seem to stop. It’s my family, you, Bella, myself.”
Tanya forgot all about her own pain, but only for a second. “Now, now, you’re just going through a rough time, Edward.”
“But my actions aren’t inexcusable because of that. I apologize, Tanya. I never wanted to hurt you. Please, accept my apology.
“It’s not your fault; it’s no one’s but my own. It was stupid and childish to think in such a way.”
“You’re just like Bella,” I mused. My heart stuttered at the mention of her name. “Always taking the blame and thinking of others before yourself.”
“No,” she denied, “if I was like Bella, I would have been enough for you.”
In the time it took to glance up from the grass I was studying, Tanya was halfway across the frozen lake.
“Tanya,” I called, but it was no use. She ran without looking back.
After the conversation, at about seven o’clock, I retreated to the roof above the house, and I have been here since. While I want a place without the interruption of the thoughts of those around me, I know for a fact that should I have been far enough away from my family, I would have done something that I would have regretted. I still can’t fully trust my actions.
Only a few hours ago, when I first sat motionless on this frigid roof, my fears of my actions triggered understanding that I hadn’t occurred to me before- changing my actions and denying my feelings are two different things. Changing my actions was necessary, vital, but denying my true feelings would eventually cause more problems.
My actions and my feelings are now in two separate spheres that do not touch. Just knowing what I would be up to if my feelings were once again ruling my actions…it scares me. Would I be running back to Bella as fast as I can? Would I be begging the heartless Volturi to take this life they have sought after for a century and counting?
Up until this epiphany, fighting my genuine feelings was a constant battle. If i was being honest with myself, it didn’t shield an ounce of my pain, anyway. Ending this battle was a partial relief, but on the other hand, it was just the opposite. This truth brought with it the realization that denying my pain was no longer a healthy option.
So, then, would it only get worse from here? The act of shielding my true thoughts and feelings will grow difficult, until the point where it’s almost impossible. The anxiety I felt for Bella’s safety when I was still with her grew to a pain no human has ever experienced after I left her, and now this pain will soon turn into despair, depression, and an all-consuming agony.
It’s not fair, but then again, when is life ever fair? The truth is simply this- a life’s meaning is artificial, temporary; life’s ultimate meaning is defined by the person living it.
And I know my life, if that’s even what you’d call this existence, has no meaning. In some sick, twisted way, God, wherever he is, is out to get me. How could I have chosen this life by free will?
Had my life followed my plan, I would be six feet under the ground and surrounded by dirt, where a plaque would read, ‘In loving memory.’ Maybe it would even say, ‘A life well lived,” if I was lucky.
Three words flew through my head at my last thought- Isabella Marie Swan.
Remembering her face, her selflessness, everything about her…it altered my whole thought process. Bella was the best thing about me; she defined everything I said or did. I know for a fact that Bella’s existence made me a better person than I ever could have been without her.
Those three words changed my previous thoughts. As lonely and painful as my life now is, I can appreciate it. Not for who I am, not for my own accomplishments, but for what I am through Bella. She gives me an identity, even though we are separated. Six months with her outshines six million years without her.
So, I can move forward. I don’t have to life happily, or even live life content, because those six months I spent with her…they’re worth whatever I have faced and whatever I will face.
We continued our endless drive in silence. It was a rare sight to catch Alice speechless, and as much as I needed a distraction, I decided not to interrupt her thoughts. Maybe that was because all of my attention was focused on my own thoughts. I simply would not allow Alice’s perspective affect my own, even if I didn’t exactly know what my thoughts were.
Although I wasn’t reading Alice’s thoughts, I knew her well enough to know that she was obviously missing Bella…and a lot. Bella was Alice’s best friend. Actually, Bella was Alice’s only friend. Assuming that Alice’s visions always distanced her from others in her human life, she had never experienced what it was like to have a best friend outside of her family.
Closing my eyes in attempt to pinpoint my emotions, I blocked out everything from the outside world, but my thoughts weren’t arranging themselves into coherent sentences regardless. Incoherence is a frequent symptom of my withdrawal from Bella. When there is no more Bella, the drug I need to continue my life normally, I find myself constantly on-edge. The things I knew and the things that were customary in my life have disappeared. I am no longer Edward Cullen, the perfect vampire I had spent eighty plus years struggling to portray myself as; I am a monster with no control over my feelings whatsoever.
Is Bella reacting in the same fashion I am? I’ve been praying that she is not just reacting, simply enduring what life has given her, but that she is responding and making the most of her situation.
Although a very small part of me wanted Bella to be as affected by our separation as I was, I would be much happier in the long run if she could maintain a normal life.
Both Alice and I had witnessed Bella’s episode, but I can’t be sure of what she is truly going through. She constantly surprises me. Bella had always responded to me with an intense love stronger than most humans would, but she wouldn’t be left in such a pain from my absence, would she?
I shook my head back and forth, trying to keep what I knew as the truth and what my emotions were telling me separate. The action cleared my head for the fraction of a second it took to arrange my thoughts.
During that brief time, I reminded myself of a few truths I had forgotten. First, Bella was a human. Human memories, human pain, fade with time. Their weak minds don’t have the capacity to remain in despair for such an extended amount of time; it would ruin them. Second, Bella is a stubborn, independent person. I knew that she would not let this ruin her; she would fight on. Third, I was the first person Bella had fallen in love with. If there was one thing I knew about humans, it was that their emotions change. At least one other man was out there, waiting to capture the heart that has captured mine.
And if I knew she could find happiness while being free from danger- a situation that was down right impossible while I was in the picture- then how could I burden her with my presence? It wasn’t fair, and it certainly wasn’t right. After all, leaving Bella was for her soul and her safety. My well-being had nothing to do with it.
I occupied the large remainder of the car ride by contemplating who will eventually steal Bella’s heart. Surely Bella wouldn’t settle for someone like Mike Newton or Eric Yorkie, right? She deserved far more than that, but the choice is not mine to make.
Thinking of someone else being blessed by Bella’s continuous presence, of someone else breathing in her luxurious scent and holding her in their arms…it infuriates me. However, I know my overwhelming anger is originating from the reality that I’m not good enough for Bella, and not from the fact that she will love someone else. She will follow the natural path her life should have taken all along. Bella deserves to find happiness amidst my mistakes.
I opened my eyes for the first time in what seemed like hours. The scene around me was all very familiar; I’ve seen it countless times before. Judging from the dirt roadways sheeted with ice and the excessive snow drifts bordering the road, we were approximately half an hour southeast of the Denali coven’s house. Spruces and Douglas Firs towered above the roadways, and the sun was still shining regardless of the late hour.
Glancing over at Alice, I noticed that she had added yet another layer to her flashy and unnecessary designer outfit. The woman owned far more coats than necessary for a vampire who isn’t affected in the most frigid weather.
Noticing my disapproving look, Alice simply shrugged. Leave it to Alice to find the utmost importance of dressing like a celebrity in an area where many work as loggers and fisherman.
But I knew Alice had more than one reason for shopping. Don’t get me wrong, she genuinely adores buying a new pair of Christian Louboutin heels – and I only know the name because she raves about this god of hers night and day – but shopping provides distractions from issues she’d rather not think about, issues that she may not even notice herself. Shopping fills voids her subconscious is trying to block, such as the absence of knowing her real life mother, or in this case, the absence of her best friend.
“Alice?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yes?” She replied, sensing my unease.
“Does Tanya…know…what’s going on?” I finally inquired.
“Yes,” Alice sighed. “Well, she knows that things didn’t work out between you and Bella. If you ask me, she seems pretty thrilled. Of course, she wouldn’t tell you so, but she believes this is her chance to finally win you over.”
A memory hit me from the last time I visited Denali. It was January 18th, the first day I had laid my eyes on Bella Swan. To escape her overpowering scent, I fled to Denali. Thinking back on that day, I remember that I was completely unaware that Bella was my soul mate. My thoughts were consumed by her. I didn’t know what I was feeling, but I knew it was completely new. I was oblivious to the undying love for Bella that was growing within me by the day; she was only a demon sent from hell to destroy the life I had made for myself.
Oh, how wrong I was! In reality, Bella was quite the opposite – an angel, sent by God to give my dreary existence meaning, even if it was only temporary.
On the night of the 18th, Tanya and I had shared a conversation that was long needed. Tanya had taken a liking to me many decades past, but I didn’t return those feelings. She attempted to keep her feelings hidden from me, but constantly monitoring one’s thoughts is just about impossible. Apparently, attempting to let Tanya down easy didn’t quite get my message across, and I needed to set some things straight.
The Volvo rolled onto the stone courtyard in front of the Denali house. Kate, Irina, and Tanya flitted onto the wrap-around porch before I could finish sighing.
“You can do this, Edward,” Alice assured me.
I nodded, not because I agreed, but because I couldn’t find the right words to say.
Alice put the car in park and hopped out. She walked to the front of the Volvo, waiting for me to join her. Anyone who hadn’t known her for countless decades would have been oblivious of her fabricated emotions.
‘You’re going through hell, Edward. I understand that. Just try and fake some excitement for Esme and Carlisle’s sake. They hate to see you like this,” she told me through her thoughts.
I looked up at the blazing sun and back down at the stones beneath my moving feet. Alice and I had perfected this way of communication, and our silent conversations had improved since last January.
We reached the porch then and were greeted by the three Denali sisters.
“Ah, Edward, I’m so sorry,” Kate expressed before pulling me into a hug.
“Thank you, Kate,” I replied, making sure to maintain the polite standard I held myself to.
“Welcome, Edward. I, too, am so sorry for what you’ve been going through,” Irina voiced as she looked me in the eye.
“Welcome back, Edward,” Tanya finally spoke as she stepped forward. Her greeting sounded far too close to ‘welcome home’ to find any comfort in her words.
“Well, let’s get you inside! There’s no sense in standing out here,” Kate blurted in attempt to clear the awkward atmosphere.
We walked through the large foyer and into the living room that boasted high ceilings and a marvelous fireplace.
Breaths hitched as I glided into the room. I looked down, avoiding the eight pairs of troubled, golden eyes staring up at me. Their thoughts returned to normal within seconds
“Welcome back, Son,” Esme sang in delight. She glided to my side and placed a hand on my cheek. “Oh, I’ve missed you terribly!”
“We’ve all missed you,” Rosalie responded, looking down at her nails. I was shocked that Rosalie had voiced her actual thoughts. She didn’t know how much it meant to me.
“Yes! My hunting partner has returned,” Emmett smirked with a wicked glint in his eyes.
“Welcome back, Son. It’s good to have you here,” Carlisle said.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed myself for the remainder of the night. I had missed my family more than I would have guessed, and being around so many people provided a distraction. My emotions couldn’t be trusted, though. Jasper was tainting the emotional atmosphere with excitement and happiness, but for that I was grateful. Although the emotions weren’t mine, I would take them gladly over my own.
One day, I will be strong enough to leave my family behind and deal with my emotions, but this is the place I need to be right now, surrounded by family and friends that love me. I knew I had some things I would have to take care of and some people I needed to talk to, and just maybe, if I was lucky, I would even have the chance to smile.
I was brought out of my silent relief by a voice I was very attuned to.
‘Edward,’ Alice thought in her musical tenor, obviously within the three mile radius that surrounded me.
‘Edward, where are you? Don’t worry, I didn’t tell the others,’ she assured me.
In all of my heartache, I had failed to account for one unstoppable force of nature – Alice. Surely a vision had tipped her off to my location, and she had ventured out to check on me. Her visions came without warning, and although I knew she wasn’t trying to search my future, she still saw.
I didn’t want to move; I didn’t even want to speak. Nothing was worth it. So Alice found me, then what? Would I just go back to my family?
As predictable as a world without Bella is, I am constantly surprised by the diversity and new challenges every day brings. My next challenge is simply deciding how to occupy the next twenty-hour hours.
Each new day is like a variation to a piano composition – the main melody remains the same, but each line holds a slightly different tune. Pain is the immutable melody, but every so often, frustration and anger are incorporated, changing the whole composition.
Alice replayed a mental time lapse, similar to a weather camera you would observe on television. Several pictures flooded my brain, one after the other. They all were exactly the same despite the varying hours of day. I sat and watched the vision play out, every inch of my thoughts consumed by the mental images before me. I was the main focus of the pictures as I sat in the Volvo with head resting against the black leather steering wheel; the only visible variation was the amount of light outside as time flew by.
The vision left several questions at the forefront of my mind. How long had I been here- hours, days, weeks, months? I prayed for the latest. Where am I, and where is the rest of my family?
Vampires have the ability to sit still for an immeasurable amount of time, and after adding in the factor that time is no longer relevant, I didn’t have the slightest idea of the date or my location.
“Edward, what are you doing out here?” Alice questioned in her disapproving tone.
Her words startled me. I hadn’t even heard the car door open before she was sitting passenger’s seat. My senses were dulled, weakened…maybe even to a human level.
“Just look at you!” she continued when I didn’t said anything.
“Where are we?” My voice didn’t hold any feeling or curiosity, not even an ounce. I hadn’t been expecting my voice to sound that dead, and it scared me.
I turned my gaze to Alice for the first time, watching as her eyes widened when my dull eyes met hers. She hid her shock before I could comment.
“We’re thirty minutes outside of Port Coquitlam,” she replied, oblivious to my confusion.
“And where would Port Coquitlam-”
“In British Columbia,” Alice quickly added.
She rambled on. “You know, you really couldn’t have picked a harder place to hide, with all the highways looking exactly the same out here and all.”
Had I really driven all the way to Canada? It didn’t seem likely, but then again, I couldn’t trust my observations. They hadn’t been doing well so far.
“What day is it?” I asked as my eyes locked on the blazing sun. It was dawn, and the sun was just starting to fade behind the rolling hills. The colors were magnificent; bold yellows, oranges, and pinks painted the sky. It was a sight I would have appreciated if I wasn’t fighting a paralyzing agony. Bella would have loved it.
“Monday,” she sighed. “You’ve been here for nearly three days. Esme’s been worried sick…we all have.”
I just couldn’t seem to stop hurting people, could I? Every decision I make seems to have a negative outcome on someone else. Maybe I should be quarantined, sent somewhere far away where I can’t hurt anyone else.
“Let’s get you home,” Alice proposed before opening the passenger door. She walked over to my door at human speed, being careful not to expose us to the passing cars. Her gait wasn’t as lively as usual.
After opening my door, she sighed again. “Oh, Edward!” she exclaimed as she pulled me into a hug. Alice was my closest sibling, the one who is always there for me. She understands me on a level many don’t.
We didn’t move for a long time. Finally, after what was close to ten minutes, she pulled back and motioned for me to move into the passenger seat.
Alice started the engine and left me to think in silence.
I thought of what I would say to Bella if I had the chance to write her a letter. It was no more than a fantastical wish that she would one day read it, but I found myself planning out exactly what I would say. I knew, though, to find any form of closure, it was something I would have to do.
Writing one last letter to my soul mate, a letter she would never get to read, seems like it would be pointless, but in reality it’s so much more. Maybe one day, right before she…dies, I would leave the letter for her to read. She has no reason to forgive me for what I put her through, but to show her the truth that I still love her…that will be enough.
We were reaching a small tourist town, very similar to Port Angeles. I kept my thoughts in check by trying to focus on what I was seeing out the window- small shops, kids playing in the fountains, and finally, lots of couples. Seeing these people in love made my heat ache for the one person I could never have.
I had never been jealous of other couples, or even payed attention to them for that matter. With Bella, I had it all. But now that we have two separate lives, I am starting to notice more. The couples were all holding hands, completely in their own world. I knew the feeling; I had been there before.
The glory of a first love, of my only love, had completely swept me off my feet. My existence was centered around Bella, and although I knew it was a dangerous thing to do, put your life in one person, I don’t regret my decisions.
Two things happened at once. My mind was suddenly thrust into a scene that was far different from the road we were driving on, and Alice pulled over to the shoulder.
I was looking at Bella’s room, looking exactly as I had last seen it. Chief Swan, Bella’s Father, was standing at the foot of Bella’s bed, talking to someone who wasn’t in view.
“Your mother’s flight from Jacksonville lands in a few hours, Bells. ‘Better get your things packed,” Charlie suggested.
I gasped as Bella pulled the purple covers off her face. She was pale, sallow. Her eyes were hardened and dull, completely lifeless. She looked more vulnerable than I’d ever seen her.
Without speaking, Bella stumbled out of bed- her clumsiness hadn’t faded- and walked over to her dresser. Charlie analyzed her every move with a pained glint in his eyes.
All of the sudden, Bella snapped. She frantically threw her clothes all over her pale hardwood floors until the ground wasn’t visible. Her breathing grew louder, and her eyes were furious.
“I’m…not…leaving!” she shouted, causing Charlie to jump back a step and fall onto her bed.
“You can’t make me!” Bella yelled, enraged.
“B-Bella,” Charlie stuttered, “Settle down, honey. It’s okay. Settle down,” he soothed.
“I’m not going to settle down!” Bella snapped. “Mom isn’t coming here, and I am not leaving Forks…ever!”
“Bells, let’s talk about this. If you settle down, you, Renee and I can have a discussion. We need to do what’s best for you,” Charlie replied.
“I know what’s best for me, and it’s staying in Forks! You can’t make me leave, Charlie!” she bellowed, although there was a different trace of emotion threatening to overpower.
Charlie’s next words caused my heart to contract. “Bells, he’s not coming back.”
That was it. Bella didn’t even have the strength to reply. She wrapped a feeble arm around her torso, sank to the ground, and began crying.
My vision returned to me a few seconds later. My pain had been at the highest level I thought it could ever be, but it just kept climbing. Bella’s pain, in addition to my own, paralyzed me.
Alice didn’t say a word. She simply flipped on the turn signal, floored the gas pedal, and kept her thoughts focused on the road.
It only took me half a minute to remember my Volvo idling in Charlie’s driveway. Although, I didn’t care about my car anymore – I didn’t care about anything- such a blatant reminder of my absence wouldn’t be in Bella’s best interest.
As I scanned Charlie’s property for any sign of Bella before exiting the towering trees, I stopped dead in my tracks.
“Edward?” Bella called, her voice in hysterics. Had she seen me? No, she hadn’t seen me; she was looking for me.
“Edward!” she called again, this time from further away.
I heard what sounded to be Bella’s foot catching a log followed by a hard thud, and it took all of my will power to not approach her.
“He-he’s gone,” Bella whimpered. “Edward’s gone.”
The underlying pain in her voice ripped through my chest like wildfire. Bella so was close, but so far away. I knew I had lost the right to be with her by putting her in this much pain; she was off limits.
It wasn’t until I heard the distinct engine of Charlie’s cruiser pulling off the main road that I moved an inch. How long had I been standing there at the edge of the forest?
Dashing out from the trees and climbing into the Volvo, I turned up the heat out of habit, but it wasn’t needed. Bella wasn’t there. Sighing, I threw the car in reverse, and was driving mindlessly on the highway within a matter of minutes.
This didn’t end as I had suspected. Right now, I should still be with Bella in the forest, breathing in her enticing scent as I struggle to control my thirst. I would give anything, do anything, to be in the presence of my Bella in this moment. But she isn’t my Bella anymore, and our separation wasn’t for my benefit.
It’s only been four hours and twenty-two minutes since I left her, but this level of pain hasn’t been experienced by anyone in their entire existence. My heart had been dormant for nearly nine decades, but the place where my heart rested is now hollow. Bella’s scent still lingers on my tongue, as I have denied my instincts and held my breath in attempt to keep her scent with me.
Each tick of the nearly inaudible clock blares in my ears, distancing Bella and me further apart. I don’t know where I am, and I don’t care in the least. Driving can’t hold my attention, leaving a colossal amount of space for my thoughts to wonder. An empty and hollow existence faces me now, and I have already accepted what goes along with it. Time isn’t relevant, and everything I used to find purpose in has vanished. I’m left with nothing.
But that’s what happens when you give love the opportunity to heal your heart, right? You’re often left with a broken one. But a broken heart is far less important than a damned soul. Bella will never know the truth behind why I left her, I’m sure of that, but she will benefit. Her safety will benefit, and more importantly, her soul will benefit.
People often say God does everything for a reason, and although that reason is being kept from me, I’ll make it my mission to find out what it is. At least it will distract me from being separated from Bella…temporarily. Temporary distractions, that’s all I ask of life. A temporary distraction from an intolerable agony and haunting memories. These vivid memories are etched in my mind, never to leave or lose their potency.
Try as I may to return to the mindset I had before I met Bella, I just can’t. After I met her, my world changed forever. My life is unchangeable, unalterable. Was there any way to remember her, but also encounter relief? I added the challenge to my list of distractions.
“Don’t…don’t do this” Bella’s agonized voice played in my head. Her voice was so close that I could almost imagine her here with me.
Her voice nearly made me steer off the wet road while an ancient feeling made my chest tighten. Vampires weren’t supposed to feel pain…at least, not physically.
“You…don’t….want me?” the hurt voice asked.
As each word replayed itself in my mind, new wounds were cut open. The pain was excruciating. It was torture. I had to pull over, now, before I mauled down oncoming cars.
Another memory hit me at full force. “Besides, if you turn us into a Volvo pretzel around a tree trunk, you can probably just walk away.
In my planning to leave Bella, never had I once expected the pain to be this down right unavoidable or this real. But now I know why this level of pain isn’t known to a human – their vulnerable bodies simply couldn’t take it.
Oh, to be human again! To have a beating heart and blood running through my veins, to be freed from this monster’s body I am stuck in for the rest of eternity… I would give almost anything for it. Had I been born in this day and not been changed, a relationship with Bella would have been easy, as simple as breathing.
Would she even want me if I was human? Would she still love me if I didn’t have the accompanying strength, beauty, and speed that comes with what I am? She would still love me if I was normal…wouldn’t she? I guess it doesn’t really matter now anyway.
Banging my head against the leather steering wheel, I forced myself to clear my mind. If I didn’t, I would become the next nutcase in a long line of insane vampires. Closing my eyes, I concentrated on little things; the sound of the birds and the passing cars, the warm air as it caressed my cheeks and before long, my thoughts had ceased all together.
It took a few moments for me to gather up the courage to exit the car, but I knew what I had to do. Continuing on like nothing ever happened was no longer an option, and changing her was not even a consideration. The very thought of Bella without a beating heart did far more damage than leaving her could ever cause.
Remembering back to the day I returned to Forks after almost slaughtering Bella upon her arrival, I remembered a promise I had made to myself- I would do anything to protect Isabella Marie Swan. Had I ever imagined protecting her would cause me- and her- this much pain? If I had, I would have left long ago, long before our feelings for each other escalated to this intense level. But I didn’t leave, and so I am left with the painful, strenuous task of leaving her forever.
‘Anything to keep her safe‘ I reminded myself as I pushed open the Volvo’s door. Once again, I studied Bella’s face. Walking over to her, I lifted her book bag off of her shoulder before placing it on the driver’s seat. I knew she could see right through my blank expression, but she remained silent.
“Come for a walk with me,” I proposed in a dead, emotionless voice.
Observing Bella’s alarmed face, I took her hand, knowing that she wouldn’t have moved otherwise. Reading her mind would’ve been pointless; her thoughts were easily readable on her face. Confusion, because naturally, she wanted to know the reason behind my actions. Hesitance, owing to the fact that she knew something dreadfully wrong was coming, and finally, what looked like determination dominated her facial features.
I led her only a few feet into the towering trees, knowing that she would get lost if we continued any further. Bella’s clumsiness and vulnerability were some of her qualities that I would not allow myself to forget. After all, they were two of the many reasons I had fallen in love with her.
No words could describe how I felt in that moment; there was simply no feeling strong enough. Anguish, panic, reluctance, and confusion were all wrapped into one unidentifiable emotion. If I had a heart, it would have been throbbing in my chest, or perhaps even silent.
My stone body suddenly felt weaker than it ever had before as I leaned against a tree for support. This would have to do, because my legs would not respond. I looked past Bella and through the trees to where her house stood in plain sight.
“Okay, let’s talk,” Bella started. The brave tenor of her voice didn’t match her quickly- deteriorating facial expression.
After taking a deep breath to calm myself, I stated, “Bella, we’re leaving.”
She didn’t understand; her face told me that much. Bella thought that she would be coming with us. If only she had assumed right, and she could come with me. If only I could whisk her away now and be with her every second-
I quickly pushed away the selfish thoughts. What I needed was in direct opposition to what Bella needed, and Bella’s needs come first. Bella will always come first.
She took a deep breath before responding. “Why now?” she tried to reason. “Another year-”
“Bella, it’s time,” I interrupted. “How much longer could we stay in Forks, after all? Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he’s claiming thirty-three now. We’d have to start over soon regardless,” I reminded her.
Confusion flashed on her face as she digested what I was saying. I simply stared back at her, my face an expressionless mask while my heightened emotions flared.
And then she understood. Pain was now the dominating emotion on her face. Bella whispered, “When you say we-”
“I mean my family and myself,” I finished, articulating each word.
The next few minutes were pure agony. I could see that Bella was in denial, her mind pushing away the idea that would lead her to pain.
As I waited for Bella to respond, my emotions turned into a fierce hate. Not a hate for her or for anybody else, but a hate for myself. I don’t deserve her. I have never deserved her, so how did I let this go on? I should have left Forks long before I had forced this devastation onto her. If I thought I was a monster before, I don’t even know what I am now.
“Okay, I’ll come with you,” Bella suggested.
You have no idea how much I want you to come. “You can’t, Bella. Where we’re going…It’s not the right place for you.”
“Where you are is the right place for me,” she stated. It broke my heart to see how sure, how positive, Bella was that I was good for her. If that was the case, there would be no need for this conversation, but it’s not.
“I’m no good for you, Bella.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she snapped, “You’re the very best part of my life.”
“My world is not for you,” I replied.
“What happened with Jasper- that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!” Her eyes begged me to believe her words.
Nothing? It was everything! Everything that I had been fighting for had nearly been taken out from under me. Bella had almost died. There were no more excuses I could use to stay with Bella. My need for her had shielded what I knew all along- an accident was unavoidable.
“You’re right,” I agreed. “It was exactly what was to be expected.”
“You promised!” she pleaded. “In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay-”
“As long as that was best for you,” I reminded her.
Her escalating pain added to my own. Seeing her like this, knowing that I was the one who was causing it…it broke my heart.
“No! This is about my soul, isn’t it?” She yelled. Her pain became secondary as anger took its place. “Carlisle told me about that, and I don’t care, Edward. I don’t care! You can have my soul. I don’t want it without you- it’s yours already!”
She had no idea what she was saying. I would give up my soul a thousand times to be with her forever, but Bella? Bella is simply too good. Her soul is far more important than anything else in my world.
That’s when I realized that I would have to go about this differently. As long as it was about me, she would deny it. Bella just doesn’t see me correctly as the monster I am. In order for me to get through to her, I’d have to commit the deepest form of blasphemy there was- I needed to convince Bella that I don’t love her.
I kept my eyes on the forest floor as I delivered the words. “Bella, I don’t want you to come with me.”
“You…don’t…want me?” She asked, hurt. The amount of pain my words caused her yet again reminded me of the monster I am.
I shifted my gaze from the forest floor to her chocolate brown eyes. Denying everything I felt for her, I replied, “No.”
“Well, that changes things,” Bella answered. All emotion fled from her expression, leaving a dead, numb look to take over.
I simply couldn’t look at her anymore. That dead, emotionless face…That wasn’t how I wanted to remember Bella. Looking at the trees, I continued my lie. “Of course, I’ll always love you…in a way. But what happened the other night made me realize that it’s time for a change. Because I’m…tired of pretending to be something I’m not, Bella. I am not human. I’ve let this go on for much too long, and I’m sorry for that.” More sorry than you’ll ever know.
“Don’t,” Bella pled, her voice barely more than a whisper. “Don’t do this.”
I stared back at her. “You’re no good for me, Bella,” I lied. Bella was the best thing that had ever happened to me, and that will never change.
She opened her mouth to say something, but then she closed it again. I waited for whatever she had to say. “If…that’s what you want,” she breathed.
After all the times I had expressed my love for her, how could she believe this lie so easily? It killed me to see that I hadn’t shown her that I loved her enough.
I was dangerously close to my braking point. The guilt and overwhelming pain preventing me from speaking, so I nodded my head once.
“I would like to ask one favor, though, if that’s not too much to ask,” I murmured after I found my voice.
“Anything,” she promised, her voice slightly shaking.
“Don’t do anything reckless or stupid,” I ordered. I needed her to understand. The whole point of leaving her was to protect her, and this was my last plea for her safety. “Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Settling back into my emotionless mask, I added,”I’m thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself- for him.” Bella couldn’t think that I cared about her safety in the least. The idea was completely unfathomable to me, but she needed to believe it.
“I will,” she vowed with another nod.
That’s all I needed. As long as she was safe, I would endure anything.
“And I’ll make you a promise in return,” I stated. “I promise that this will be the last time you see me. I won’t come back. I won’t put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I’d never existed.”
Bella’s knees started to shake while her blood started pulsing faster through her veins. I wanted to reach out and hold her; I wanted take away her pain. But I knew her pain was temporary. She would move on.
Rearranging my expression into a smile, I reassured her. “Don’t worry. You’re human- your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind.”
“And your memories?” She choked.
I had already thought about this many times. My pain would never fade, not even one degree, but I would take the pain gladly if it spared Bella’s existence. She is my world.
“Well, I won’t forget. But my kind, we’re very easily distracted,” I answered.
We are easily distracted, it’s true, but there was no way I will be distracted from the pain of leaving Bella. I could try to distract myself temporarily, but in the long run, it would be a lost cause.
I took a step back before continuing. “That’s everything, I suppose. We won’t bother you again,” I promised.
Something clicked inside Bella’s head, and she finally understood. “Alice isn’t coming back,” she whispered.
I shook my head, my eyes staying locked on Bella’s face. “No, they’re all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye.”
“Alice is gone?” she repeated. Bella and Alice had grown very close. They were best friends, practically sisters, and I knew how hard it would be on Bella to lose Alice as well.
“She wanted to say goodbye, but I had convinced her that a clean break would be better for you.”
As I assessed Bella’s reaction, I knew it was time. After memorizing her beautiful face for the last time, I delivered the hardest words I would ever have to say. “Goodbye, Bella.”
“Wait!” She panicked, reaching for me, but my stone hands pinned her arms to her side. I dropped my head to press my lips against her warm forehead with the lightest of pressure.
“Take care of yourself,” I murmured against her skin. Forgive me, Bella. I love you.
And then I ran, not knowing- or caring- where I was going. After all, what was the point anymore?