“Not far now,” Edward said as we sped through the woods. It was the middle of the night and usually I wouldn’t have been able to see a thing in the dim barely moonlit sky, but tonight I could see everything — which was probably a good thing at the speed I was running. I was so lucky that Edward had taken the time to check things out before we came here. The last thing I wanted was to bump into old friends or family.
“I’ve told you that won’t happen, he has moved.” Edward smiled, reassuring me.
After some time Edward began slowing. In the distance I could see the downstairs light of a house shining. Crouching down near the house, I asked Edward how we should proceed.
“Slowly. He deserves to pay for what he did to you.” His face was hard like stone.
Walking slowly towards the house, Edward informed me that Charles is on his own.
“What do you mean ‘On his own’? Who else would be there, Edward?” I asked slightly taken back by his emphasis on the word own.
“He has remarried since you left Esme; his new wife is visiting her parents tonight.”
As we walk I take a moment to consider how I feel about this new information. Does he treat her how he treated me? Was he still that cruel man I ran from? Quickly I asked Edward the one question that would prevent me from following through with whatever plan Edward had in place.
“Does he have any children now, Edward?” I stop as I look up at him.
Edward turns to look at me with a small smile on his face “No Esme, no children. But he loves her. He was in love with her before he married you. When I found him I took time to listen to his mind; he has always loved her but she cannot bare his children yet, although that does not matter to him.”
I stand frozen to the spot. Unable to look at Edward, I stared at the ground as the rage began to boil. How dare he? If he didn’t love me then fair enough, I hadn’t loved him either, but he didn’t need to treat me the way he had, humiliated me. He didn’t need to MURDER my Johnathon. He could have just divorced me, at least then we could both have been happy.
I was seething.
Now it was time, my turn for revenge. And trust me, he’s going to pay.
“Let’s go,” I growled furiously as I thrust my head in the air and began to walk at a faster pace towards the house, each determined step bringing me closer to revenge. I could feel the stillness of the woods around me. It was as though mother nature was expecting me. As I reach the path leading to his house I stop, taking a few steps back, breathing slowly. Edward stares at me with a confused look on his face.
“If I’m going to do this properly I don’t want to lose control . . . too much,” I relay to Edward in my head as an explanation. He merely nods to show his understanding.
“Slowly,” Edward whispers.
Retracing the last few steps I made, I return to the door leading into the back of his house.
One last look at Edward. “This is it.”
Edward smiles in encouragement.
I can do this; this is what I have been waiting eighteen months for — my revenge.
“Is that you darling?” Charles inquired.
How had he heard us? We hadn’t made a sound. Had we?
Edward shook his head. I decided to use this to my advantage. Calmly I pulled the latch on the door and slowly pushed the door open.
“Mmm hmm,” I replied. I could smell his blood; I could hear it pumping around in his despicable veins.
As I enter the kitchen he looks up at me, his mouth gapes open in complete shock at the sight of me. Very briefly he looks pained; that is the one look I cannot fathom, how is he pained?
Then he notices Edward walk in behind me and his fork drops onto the plate.
“What the hell? Esme? What are you doing here I thought you were. . . .” He stumbled looking for the last word.
“Dead?” I smirk, finishing his sentence. “No Charles, I am not dead. Did you know that I was pregnant when you killed Johnathon? DID YOU!?” I shout at him, all the emotions catching up with me.
“I– I . . . ” he mumbles. I can’t even allow him to mutter another ridiculous attempt at justifying his actions, instead I spring into action. Grabbing him by the throat I throw him out of his chair across the kitchen so that he slams into the wall.
“Don’t you DARE try to justify your actions to me Charles,” I hiss at him as he clambers around the kitchen trying to keep a safe distance between me and him. Crouching low I stalk him, hunting him.
“Es–Esme, please, please don’t . . . ”
“Remember all those things you did to me, Charles? The way you treated me? Do you remember those things Charles? Because I do, and now it is time for you to pay for everything you did. For Johnathon. For Robert. For me.” He stared at me unable to believe his eyes and ears.
“You ruined my life Charles, and now I shall ruin yours.” Crouching down lower I moved in closer.
“Esme?” Edward whispers so softly only I can hear him.
Lunging forward I grab Charles by his clothes, pulling back one hand to strike the first blow as Edward sucks his breath in in shock. The door flings open and there, in the doorway stands a woman, shock turns to anger as she registers what is happening.
“Nooooo!” she screams, and then shocks all of us as she leaps at me in a vain attempt to save Charles. Natural instinct takes over and before I even have a chance to think about how to react my hand has hit Charles across the face launching him across the room. In a split second I turn to defend myself against this reckless woman, forgetting that Edward is there to help. I must try to keep a handle on my emotions, my thirst.
As I grab her, her eyes widen in shock at the strength I possess. Focusing entirely on her I barely notice the pained screams from Charles begging me to stop. I sink my teeth into her neck as she writhes around trying to loosen my grip on her. I can feel the life being sucked out of her. She tastes all right, better than all right. Her screams begin to fade as the blood drains out of her. I hadn’t meant to hurt her, just Charles. But this will hurt him in the worst possible way.
My love for his love.
“Esme?” I finally hear Edward say my name.
Pulling away, I look down at the lifeless body laying on the floor, an innocent woman, a hole in her neck, her skin translucent and her eyes still wide open with fear.
Hearing a whimper from behind me, I turn to see Charles’ eyes shooting between me and the lifeless corpse of his lover. Blood is pouring from the left side of his face. In my haste to knock him out of the way I had actually ripped away the skin from that side of his face. His flesh underneath the skin exposed. He’ll be lucky to survive, and if he does he shall suffer the loss of his love and his face.
I am finished here, but strangely I find it difficult to move from the spot.
“Edward,” I whisper, allowing him to take my arm and gently pull me from the house.
We don’t speak the entire trip back. I want to think about my actions. The way I behaved was nothing like me. The pain and torture I had experienced at the hands of that man had all boiled over the top. I thought I had dealt with those emotions after the change, but obviously not. The moment I had seen him the memories all flooded back. Never will I allow myself to lose control again.
“I will always protect you Esme, I promise.” And then almost incoherently he whispered, “I never forgot you.”
Releasing me from his grip Carlisle stood up, holding his hand out for me to take; I looked up at him quizzically.
“Don’t worry Esme, I just want to take you somewhere.” He smiled at me, and I knew that if my heart were still beating it would most certainly have jumped a mile.
“Where?” I asked, slightly anxious.
“Do you trust me?’” he asked with the innocence of a child. “It’s a surprise,” he added quickly, maybe seeing the look of confusion on my face. I was scared, and I knew that Carlisle would never force me to go with him, but I also knew that I needed to take a risk and believe in someone. I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I didn’t go, I would regret it for the
rest of my life. That maybe, something special would come of this.
Hesitantly I reached up to take Carlisle’s hand. A jolt of electricity surged through me as our skin connected. His whole face lit up like the sun.
“Thank you Esme,” he said staring into my eyes, “I know you
will like this.” And with that he held my hand tighter and shouted “Let’s run!”
The wind felt amazing in my hair and on my face. I felt alive for the first time in a long time, but most of all I felt free. I tried to remember the last time I had felt so carefree and full of hope.
And with a twinge of sadness, I thought about Jonathon and the plans we had made together.
I remembered the purity and honesty of our relationship and I winced with pain when I remembered the gift from Jonathon I had lost. I hadn’t thought of Robert for a while, but the pain reared its ugly head and I began to slow my running. I knew I needed to say goodbye to my past before I could truly move forward and be happy. Carlisle sensed I had stopped and he was by my side in a moment.
“Esme what’s wrong?” His face was full of worry and something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
I looked into his eyes with as much honesty as I could and simply said, “I was just thinking of my past.”
His eyes burned into mine and very softly he asked me if I wanted to go back. Yes, I wanted to go back to my life with Jonathon and Robert, yes I wished nothing had changed, but it had and now I had a choice to make. I could hold on to my past and dream of what may have been, or I could choose to let go of my past and build new memories. I certainly would never forget
Jonathon or my precious Robert, but I needed to feel alive inside again, I needed to allow myself to feel again.
I suddenly felt an enormous load lift from my body, and I knew in that moment, with absolute certainty, that after today I would never be the same person again. I looked back at Carlisle and said simply, “No, I don’t ever want to go back. It’s time for me to move forward and live my life now.”
He smiled at me then, and said, “I don’t ever want you to feel you have to do something because I ask you to. All I want is for you to be happy.”
I knew then in that moment I could never be happy without Carlisle in my life somehow. Holding out my hand this time I looked at Carlisle.
“Shall we go?” I asked, a hint of mischievousness in my voice. I liked Carlisle, a lot; I really enjoyed spending time with him while Edward was away.
“Of course.” He smiled back at me, grabbing my hand and pulling me back into a run.
Carlisle came to an abrupt halt beside me. Causing me to run straight past him, my arm almost being pulled out of its socket.
“Thanks for the warning,” I laughed at him, silently thankful that my new enhanced abilities had allowed my mind to work fast enough enabling me to stop a mere foot in front of Carlisle.
“So where are we going?”
“This way.” Carlisle smiled, his eyes dancing with excitement.
Finally, before my eyes, appeared what would have been a large lake, only now it was completely frozen. I looked at Carlisle. I’d heard of skating on ice before, I’d never actually done it though; I’d always been too busy on the farm with my parents to have time available to do that.
“Have you ever skated before Esme?”
I was nervous about this; did he really want me to skate on that? What if I looked silly?
“Err, No, I haven’t,” I replied nervously.
“I’ll be right back.”
Before I had time to turn and ask where he was going Carlisle was back, holding up a pair of boots with a metal blade along the sole of them.
I stared at Carlisle and then the boots. Surely he wasn’t serious. I choked out a laugh.
With the boots on and Carlisle already on the frozen lake I gingerly made my way towards him. I stood at the edge of the lake, shaking in the boots, trying to keep myself balanced.
“Come on Esme,” Carlisle smiled at me, “I’ll look after you.” Holding his hands out in front of himself. Taking hold of his hands, rather too tightly, I stepped onto the frozen lake. Surprised at the way it felt underneath me. I want to say ‘I glided to where Carlisle stood,’
however it was more like I stumbled, very un-gracefully. I could feel my feet slipping from underneath me, to anyone else watching it must have looked very entertaining. It was as though I was running backwards, that I had gone too fast for my body and over balanced. It all happened so slowly, as I braced myself for the imminent impact of the hard ice on my bottom.
Carlisle’s strong arms released my hands and wrapped themselves around my body; lifting me
effortless into the air and placing me softly back onto my feet. Still holding onto my waist Carlisle looked into my eyes. I tried to move away but he held me firmly in place. My non beating heart would have been doing somersaults now, had I been human. The intensity in his eyes overpowered me. I wanted to look away but there was a force making me hold his gaze. I knew that my feelings for Carlisle were strong; I knew that I felt differently about him
than I did with Edward.
I had a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had felt this way before; I just couldn’t place my finger on it.
“Shall we continue?” Carlisle murmured softly.
Gulping down the lump that had formed in my throat I merely nodded my response.
Carlisle readjusted himself so that he was stood behind me, still holding onto my waist.
“Okay, Esme, this time we shall move together. I’ll help you. Push off with your right leg and while your gliding push forward with your left leg. Ready?”
Again, I merely nodded, unable to keep my mind away from the fact that Carlisle stood so close to me that his hands were around my stomach. I imagined us laying on a beach somewhere, just us two, watching the stars.
I was snapped out of my day dream by Carlisle pushing off. I tried to copy what he was doing, and gradually, I began to understand the concept of skating on ice.
Carlisle and I continued to skate on the ice until just before sunrise. I’d had such a lovely time with Carlisle that I didn’t want to leave.
“I’m sorry that we have to go. Thank you for bringing me here Carlisle, I had a lovely time.”
“It was my pleasure, Esme.”
Walking home in silence, I remembered the way I had felt with Carlisle earlier, and I knew that there was something I needed to do before anything could ever happen.
“There’s something I need to do . . . would you mind if I met you at the house in a little while?”
Carlisle pondered this for a second and then worry became etched on his face. Before he had the chance to respond I continued.
“Carlisle, I am fine, I just . . . err . . . need to say goodbye to someone first.”
An understanding look erupted on his face. “Of course Esme, I’ll see you at home,” Carlisle
said, taking off into the woods towards the house.
I followed slowly into the woods, trying to get as deep in as I could before I found a lone tree in a small clearing. It reminded me of that tree back home. I sat down against the trunk, trying to remember everything from my human life. In my memory everything was so distant, vague
It was only because I had you, diary, that I remembered anything at all. As I read each page every night, I think of how in love with Johnathon I was, how heartbroken I was when Robert died. I know now that I will never join them, and in a way I have accepted that. I don’t think I could have accepted it without Carlisle and Edward. But I do have them, and they are my family now. I have to let go of the past. If I want any kind of a future with Carlisle I have to say goodbye. So, here goes . . .
Into my life you came, unexpected
Rescuing me from all the pain,
Saying that I should always be protected,
That no matter what, I was not to blame
Together, we vowed to always stay strong,
Through thick and thin we stood fast,
Until that night when things went wrong,
It broke my heart when they told me you had passed,
Fleeing in the night with our butterfly in my womb,
I prayed to you day and night,
Losing our butterfly, my life filled with gloom,
Hoping to join you, I climbed a great height,
But it was not to be, so with a heavy sigh,
It hurts, but now I must say, ‘Goodbye.’
Standing up I felt a lot better, happy even. As I walked back towards the house, I smiled at the stars. Finally making peace with my past.
“Goodbye my wonderful boys, you will forever have a place in my heart.”
Love Esme xx
Edward and I sat under that tree for hours, discussing our plans to repay Charles for all the heartache he had caused.
Edward wanted to cause him pain for the injustice and pain he had inflicted on me, but I refused. I didn’t want to lower myself to his level. There had to be a better way.
“Esme, he needs to pay for what he has done,” Edward scolded. I could tell by his demeanor that he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to hurt him.
“Edward, my dear, I am not like that. I have never hurt anybody in my life, and I will not start now. Death and pain are far too simple and easy. I want Charles to suffer for all eternity after what he did to me.” Edward looked at me confused. I could tell that he didn’t quite understand what I was trying to say.
“Edward, it may seem strange to you but physical pain will only last momentarily, however,” I said with a smile on my lips, “mental pain will last a lifetime.”
Finally I could see Edward understanding my way of thinking. He slowly nodded his agreement, a crooked smile creeping onto his lips. He jumped to his feet, holding his hands out to me; taking them into his, he lifted me up to my feet.
“This is going to be perfect,” Edward smiled at me. “He will pay, I promise.”
I returned his smile, unable to hide my enthusiasm. “I know, but maybe we shouldn’t tell Carlisle?” I asked.
“No, this is our little secret.”
“Thank you.” I thought this hearing thoughts thing Edward had was definitely going to come in handy. Although I could imagine that the thoughts weren’t always pleasant.
“No they’re not,” Edward interrupted with a smile on his face. “It’s not just our people I hear, as you know, I can hear everybody’s thoughts. And no, they aren’t always… shall we say, pure.”
Nodding in understanding we walked the rest of the way in silence. I tried my hardest to refrain from thinking about anything, however the more you try not to think of something, the more you think of it.
Edward and I sat at the kitchen table discussing our lives, prior to our change. It really was quite amazing how we had bonded in just one day; it felt like we had known each other for years.
We had just started discussing what it was like being a vampire when Carlisle walked in, looking just as gorgeous as he had when he left this morning.
“Good evening you two, have you had a good day?” Carlisle asked, smiling warmly at us. I hoped that he wasn’t thinking there was something going on between Edward and I.
“Good Evening Carlisle.” I smiled at him. I so desperately wanted to spend some time with him, just us two. I wanted to get to know him. “Yes we have thank you. Edward and I have spent the day talking about our lives, the pros and cons of being what we are. He has helped me understand a lot.”
He smiled at me again, probably surprised at the amount I had just spoken. I had been a little… quiet since my transformation. I was transported back to that day at the hospital, the feelings I had felt towards Carlisle then, and I longed to be close to him again. His perfect lips were calling for me.
Oh my, I’m sorry Edward; my thoughts seem to run away me sometimes.
Edward simply smiled at my thoughts then, pushing back his chair, he stood up and started walking towards the back door.
“Thank you for our talk today Esme, however, I must go and hunt now. I shall see you both in a few days.”
“A few days?” I asked, slightly shocked that Edward was going away for a few days. Was it just going to be Carlisle and I? Alone?
“I’ll be back before you know it.”
“See you soon, Son.” Carlisle smiled at Edward.
Edward had only been gone an hour but it already felt like he had been gone a lot longer. I had moved into the living room. Carlisle had gone upstairs to shower after work and was just coming downstairs. I was so nervous. I wanted to get to know Carlisle, spend some time with him just like I had with Edward today, but my feelings towards Carlisle were a lot stronger than they had ever been before.
“So how has your day been with Edward, Esme? Are you settling in okay?” Carlisle asked as he walked down the stairs.
“It was very pleasant, thank you.” I smiled back at Carlisle as he came and sat on a chair opposite me. “We spent a lot of the day discussing our pasts, before our changes, and then we were just about to start talking about what we are when you came home. I’ve decided to stay with you and Edward, if you’ll allow me to?” I asked.
“Of course you can stay with us, Esme. Nothing would make me happier.”
Nothing would make him happier? What did he mean by that? My stomach gave a little hop, skip and a jump.
“Esme, maybe I should tell you my story. If you would like to hear it?”
“Yes, I would really like that.” It would be good to hear Carlisle’s story; I know I hadn’t told him my story yet, and that today would be the day that I did tell him.
“Okay,” he began, calmly, smiling. “I was born in 1640, and at the time of my change in 1663 my father was an Anglican Pastor. During these times there were a lot of religious persecution. My father used to lead hunts for witches, werewolves and vampires, in a bid to rid the world of evil.” He half laughed at this, knowing that his father’s attempt had been in vain. “When my father became of an age that he couldn’t lead these hunts, he expected me to run them for him. I was twenty-three at this point. I didn’t approve of the killings; I didn’t want to be a part of that. However, one way or another I actually managed to track a real coven of vampires who were living in the sewers. We set up a trap for them and eventually I managed to chase one of them. My theory is that he was so weak with hunger that he decided to turn and fight us. I was leading the group, and therefore I was the first person he came into contact with. I felt this unbelievably sharp stabbing pain, and then came the heat, the burning.” Carlisle paused and cringed as he remembered the pain.
“I remember him being pulled off of me. I crawled away from the fight that ensued, burying myself in a heap of old potatoes. I knew my father would be devastated with what had happened to me, and I couldn’t bear to think of what my father would have to go through, knowing his son had been changed into the one thing he had spent his life trying to rid the world of.” Carlisle looked sad at this point, I wanted to comfort him, put my arms around him and tell him that everything happened for a reason, but for some reason I was glued to my chair. I sat motionless as Carlisle continued.
“After three days I had changed. I was the one thing I had fought against. I moved away from the town, refusing to become a monster. I tried everything I could think of to end my life. I tried to drown myself, jump from a cliff, starve myself – but nothing worked. It seemed that Vampires were indestructible. In the end, I was so thirsty I ended up attacking a herd of deer that walked past the entrance to my cave. I attacked them, draining the blood from two of the animals. I then realised that I didn’t have to live off of the blood of humans, an animal’s blood would suffice. It never fully quenched my thirst, but it was enough. I didn’t feel as much of a monster if I was killing animals and not humans. I lived like this for a few centuries, traveling the world, living off of animals. I all but became immune to the scent of humans. One day I decided to use what I had been given to give back. I studied at night school in Italy, and became a doctor. I lived there for a while, using my enhanced abilities as a vampire to treat patients. I left Italy and moved to Columbus Ohio,” he smiled at the memory, “I still remember you. I’d never met anybody that affected me the same way you did that day, Esme.”
Oh my, I couldn’t believe he was saying this to me. If I could blush I know I would be.
“I probably shouldn’t be telling you this Esme, but I have never forgotten you. I wanted to stay, to find you, talk to you, but I also knew that I would never subject you to the life that I lead. Shortly after I treated you I left Ohio, moving on to Chicago. I became very lonely; I had spent many centuries alone, apart from my time in Italy where I lived with some other vampires. I’ll explain more about them at another time. Whilst I was in Chicago Influenza hit the city. I ended up treating Edward and his mother. His father had already succumbed to the disease. I did my best to treat them but they were getting weaker by the day. While treating them one day, Edward’s mother asked me to do everything in my power to save her son. I don’t know how, but I had this feeling that she knew what I was. Shortly after this she passed away. Edward’s breathing was getting weaker and he had already slipped into unconsciousness. I took him and his mother’s body to the morgue. I thought about how to change him, deciding to recreate what that vampire had done to me all those years ago. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. My only saving grace, I think, was that I had already hunted that night, so I wasn’t thirsty. I took Edward to my house during the change. He hasn’t adapted to my way of living as well as I would have hoped, but I also know how difficult it is to restrict yourself. To stop doing the one thing that comes naturally, and I don’t judge him for the paths he has chosen. “
“When you were brought to the hospital they took you directly to the morgue, not thinking that anyone could survive a fall like that. My enhanced hearing allowed me to still hear your heartbeat, albeit a very faint one. I instantly remembered you from that time in Ohio; I was deeply saddened by what had become of your life to make you consider jumping from that cliff. I wanted to see you smile again; I wanted to see you happy, so I decided to change you. And, well, here we are now.” He smiled at me, that gorgeous smile I had dreamt about. I didn’t know what to say to Carlisle after his revelation about that time he’d treated my leg.
“Thank you for telling me your story. You have led quite a life Carlisle.”
“Yes, I have Esme. I have seen a lot, but I believe that it has made me who I am today.”
“Would you like to hear my story Carlisle?” He had shared his story with me, it was only fair that I shared mine. Although I probably wouldn’t tell him how I had fantasised about him since the first time I met him.
“If you feel you are ready Esme, then I would love to hear your story.”
I took a deep breath and began to recite my story, the same one I had told Edward earlier in the day. The more I spoke, the less it hurt. I was a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.” There is a reason I am what I am now. I still didn’t believe that Jonathon and Robert deserved to die, but I was starting to understand that if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have ended up on top of that cliff, and then I wouldn’t have met Carlisle and Edward.
I chose to leave out the parts about my fantasising about Carlisle for ten years; even after his revelation earlier, I still didn’t feel confident enough to reveal that part, not just yet anyway.
As I came to the end of my story, Carlisle sat there in complete silence for what felt like an eternity.
“Esme, I’m so sorry for everything you have been through.” And with that he stood from his position on the opposite side of the room and walked to where I was and sat down beside me. He wrapped his strong arms around my shoulder and softly pulled me into his chest.
“I will always protect you Esme. I promise.” And then almost incoherently he whispered. “I never forgot you.”
“Edward, this could take a while, maybe we should go for a walk?” I asked, silently hoping that he would agree so that Carlisle didn’t walk in and hear what I would be telling Edward.
“Of course Esme,” Edward smiled sympathetically, probably understanding through my thoughts how hard this was going to be for me. He’s obviously heard my thoughts from when I was at the hospital, and since I’ve been here.
Edward and I walked side-by-side silently out of the house, towards the mouth of the mammoth forest that surrounded the house. I knew that I was going to have to explain the whole story, and that this was going to be immensely embarrassing. What would Edward think of me once I told me my story? Would he tell Carlisle? What would Carlisle think? Would they still want me around? I couldn’t fathom the thought of being alone, again.
Recently my thoughts had been mostly about a life with Carlisle and Edward, and less about the life I had left behind. My memories of that life, the life before my transformation, was… distant.
Sensing my hesitation at the beginning of my story, and hearing the panic in my thoughts, Edward gently took hold of my hand. Not in a romantic way, nothing like that. It was in a reassuring way; to me it seemed like the way a son would hold his mother’s hand during a time of need.
Taking a deep breath I began my story, starting at the very beginning. Although it was probably unnecessary, I wanted to explain everything – in a desperate hope that it didn’t look as bad as it sounded.
“Some time ago I met Carlisle at a hospital, he treated me for a broken leg. I instantly felt an attraction to him but obviously knew that nothing would ever come of it. I never forgot Carlisle, I longed to marry a man like him, someone that had made me feel the way I had felt when I met him.” I felt so silly reliving my life like this but Edward needed to know. “I was the last of my friends to marry. I guess I waited too long. I couldn’t find anyone that had made me feel like that. I didn’t want to marry, I wanted to move to another town and become a teacher. My parents, however, felt that living like a spinster wasn’t the life they wanted for their daughter. They all but arranged my marriage.” I shuddered at the thought of Charles.
Edward reassuringly gave my hand a little squeeze so I continued. “I wasn’t really left with much of a choice. They had chosen a man named Charles Evenson; he seemed like a gentlemen, he had a good job and came from a good family. In order to please my parents I married Charles.” I took another deep breath. “He wasn’t the same person to the outside world that he was behind closed doors. Abuse was a common event in our household. Love never had any place in our relationship. I suffered in silence for months until, by pure luck, he was drafted to the war. It felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t have to worry about the next bout of abuse. I was free, albeit for a short period, but still. It felt good to have no one to answer to.” I stopped at a tree trunk, sitting down and leaning back against it. Edward followed my lead and sat down next to me.
“I met a man during this time. Jonathon.” I could hear my voice soften as I recalled the time I spent with Jonathon. “He was a very nice person. We used to meet at a tree, much like this one. He was kind, affectionate, loving – a true gentlemen. We quickly fell in love and spent as much time together as possible. We planned to run away together, to live as husband and wife. Whilst Charles was away, we secretly lived together. After eighteen months Charles returned, much to my horror. By this time Jonathon and I had revealed our romance to my mother and my best friend, Evie. They stood by us whole heartedly. My mother came up with a plan for us to get Charles to leave us alone. It worked, although we made him look like a fool.”
I silently remembered what we had done to Charles, the dinner, his cousin, his…. sexual desire. Edward stifled a laugh but didn’t interrupt. “He lost everything, his wife, his job, the respect from his peers, his parents disowned him. Jonathon’s parents weren’t thrilled about our relationship. Well, his mother wasn’t. His father was a very pleasent man and was thrilled to see how happy we were. By this point I was pregnant. We knew that Charles would never let me go, so we were going to go through with our plan to runaway. We had everything planned out. We were going to stay with a relative of mine until we could get a house of our own. The night before we left there was a fire.” I choked, all this time the memories had been so vague, but now they were flooding back to me as though someone had opened a flood gate. “I… I…. I got out.”
I couldn’t continue so I played everything that happened that night in my mind for Edward to see: The fire, the ring, the explosion, seeing Charles hide. I was so upset by everything that happened that I continued to show it all to Edward via my thoughts, unsure if my voice would hold if I continued to speak it. I showed him the parts he needed to know, my dispair at losing Jonathon, at leaving my friends and family in the middle of the night to protect our unborn child, my worry at my son’s illness, my utter heartbreak at his death.
My voice managed to break through again. “After my sons funeral I couldn’t cope, I couldn’t imagine a life without them, I left the church and walked through the woods. I ended up at the cliffs, and well, you know the rest.”
I sighed a deep sigh of relief. It felt good to finally tell someone how I had been feeling and what I had gone through.
I’d almost forgotten Edward was next to me, but the tightening of his grip on my hand reminded me. I was worried to look at him, what did he think of me now? I was sure he was angry at me.
“No!!” he barked at me, turning to face me as quick as lightening, “you have done nothing wrong Esme. Nothing! Don’t you ever let anybody else tell you otherwise. It was that…. that vermin that calls himself a man who was in the wrong.”
I couldn’t believe it; all this time I thought I had been in the wrong, that the reason all this happened was because of my affair with Jonathon, and yet here was Edward telling me that I wasn’t wrong at all. I smiled weakly at Edward, who was looking thoughtful, as if he were planning something.
“Yes, I am planning something Esme,” he smiled, quite evilly, that for just one second I was scared. “I will need your co-operation.”
“For what?” I asked nervously.
“Our payback. That rodent will receive his comeuppance once and for all. He will not hurt you again, or anyone else for that matter.”
I didn’t know what Edward had planned but there was one thing I knew for sure, we wouldn’t hurt him. I would not betray who I was and lower myself to his way of thinking. No, I would have my revenge, my way.
There are advantages in being a vampire after all…
Love Esme x
As I sat there trying to understand the words Edward had just spoken, my eyes looked from his, down to the paper in my hands, then back to his face again. My face must have shown the confusion I felt, because when I looked up at him again his eyes were full of compassion and sorrow. I had so many questions I wanted to ask him, but when I tried to speak there was no sound.
“Esme, please let me explain,” he said in the most soothing, smooth voice. I nodded for him to continue, so he carried on. “I was visiting my father at work on the day your son died. I often walk through the halls of the hospital helping Carlisle on his rounds. I heard your cries and then I heard your thoughts. I understood your pain and I wanted to help you.”
I lifted my eyes to his and asked simply, “How could you understand my pain? You haven’t lost a child.”
He reached out and gently took my hands, his eyes never leaving mine, and when he spoke his voice was drenched in pain. “I understand what it is like to lose someone you love, to feel helpless and to feel guilty for being alive. To never have the chance to say goodbye and to never be able to share your hopes and dreams. Please don’t misunderstand me Esme, I love Carlisle, but I never had the chance to ease my mother’s pain or my own pain, but I had the chance to help you.”
I looked at this young, beautiful man sitting beside me and all I could see were the eyes of a frightened child, and in that moment I knew I would be to him what he needed, a mother figure. And even though he could never replace Robert, he would be the young man who could help mend my broken heart.
In that moment my heart felt like it was melting.
Finally, I was able to understand the words, and the reason why he had given me the poem that had helped me find my way out of a dark place.
My love was my gift. I smiled at him, my whole face glowing with love, and then I gently lifted his trembling hands to my cheek. We just sat there with our own thoughts, alone and yet together. I wanted him to do something special for me, so I gently took his hands from my cheek, placed them in his lap and looked into his eyes…
“Edward, would you read the poem to me. I understand now what you were trying to say, but I would like to hear the words spoken out loud.”
He took a moment to think about my request and then he very simply nodded yes. I was about to offer him my poem, but he just waved his hand and with his beautiful chiming voice he began to recite the words that had been burned into my memory.
As he read each word, I could feel the barriers I had built around me crack just a little bit more. It felt like a school boy reading a prize winning poem to his proud parent, every inflection, every pause, helping me to understand more clearly than ever before my past, my present and my future.
In that moment my heart felt like it was melting.
Finally, I was able to understand the words and the reason why he had given me the poem that had helped me find my way out of a dark place.
“Thank you,” I choked out, “Edward… I…,” I didn’t know what to say, or even how to say it. I wanted to tell him how much the words he had written on a piece of paper had helped me cope with the death of my son. That he had given me hope to believe that I had the potential to be happy again. That I could finally have my dream – to be a part of a family that was mine – come true.
He had given me hope for the future, to believe that a man who had been a part of my fantasies for ten years could now be in my life forever. With a strange tug at my heart I hoped that maybe, just maybe, I could love this remarkable young man Edward as if he were my own son, the way I am sure his mother had loved him.
Remembering that Edward could hear everything I was thinking I silently cursed myself. How could I be so insensitive? This hearing thoughts thing Edward had was going to take a lot of getting used to.
“Edward, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to… I… I didn’t think. I forgot.” Sighing deeply I looked down at my hands, resting on the table.
“Esme, please don’t fret. It is fine.” He smiled, taking my hand in his. “I do have one question though, if that is okay?”
“Of course it is Edward,” I replied.
“Esme? Who is Jonathon?”
Love Esme x
As the last of the sun’s rays filtered through the trees, I sat on the edge of the bed staring aimlessly at the walls, continually replaying what had happened in my mind. After I had – and it made me sick to even think the words – murdered those poor children, Carlisle had carried me all the way back to the house. He didn’t say anything to me as we walked, he didn’t try to reassure me, he just held me gently in his arms.
I had involuntarily rested my head on his hard, granite-like shoulder. As I lay there, my senses were invaded by the sweet scent surrounding him. I hated myself for what I’d done, especially as I remembered Carlisle and Edward explaining to me that they survived off of the blood of animals, not humans.
I had not been able to stop myself from killing those two young people. I had broken the rules. I was weak. I had let Carlisle and Edward down and all I wanted to do now was crawl under a rock and die.
When we reached Carlisle’s house, I tried to wriggle free from his arms, but he just held me tighter – and to be honest, I didn’t put up much of a fight.
“Trust me,” he whispered, so quietly that I wondered if the human version of myself would have heard him.
The walls I’d built to protect myself began to crack and crumble as his eyes – full of warm, golden, tenderness – overwhelmed me.
I was still in his arms when he walked into the house then towards the stairs. I stiffened in his grip as Charles’ face flashed into my mind and consumed my body. I wondered what was going to happen to me now as I remembered those dark times, and I tried to look for a way to escape.
“Esme, Please trust me, I won’t hurt you.” Carlisle’s voice was sad, yet I knew he meant it.
He kept me in his arms as he carried me up the stairs, down the long narrow corridor, stopping at the last door on the left. I shuddered as he pushed open the door, but I was suddenly overwhelmed by so many different scents. I couldn’t understand what was happening. There were scents that seemed familiar, and there were new, wonderful, scents that made me feel calm.
As I looked around to find the source of the aroma that pervaded my senses, I noticed there were about ten vases of flowers in the room, delicately placed on every available surface. I was so in awe of the flowers, I hadn’t noticed Carlisle had reached the bed. He slowly bent down and delicately placed me on the quilt that was draped on top of the over sized bed. As I sat down, I looked up at this wonderful person, and I knew that the sadness I felt was evident in my eyes. As he slowly sat down beside me, I was shocked to see that it was sadness in his eyes, too. I was even more shocked when, with the kind of tenderness I hadn’t even experienced with Jonathon, he slowly touched my face to push aside a loose strand of hair.
“Esme, I know it’s easy for me to say this, but you cannot punish yourself for what happened. It is in our nature to hunt humans; everything about us attracts them to us for that very purpose. Edward and I, we are different. We have made the choice not to hunt humans. We don’t want to be monsters.” He paused for a moment to look directly into my eyes before continuing. “I realized a long time ago that our kind can survive on the blood of animals. I also know that we don’t have to be savages, we do have a choice.” His explanation was like a school teacher, firm but gently guiding me to see his point of view.
I didn’t speak. I couldn’t speak. I just stared at the face of the man that had captivated me all those years ago. I stared into the depths of his beautiful golden eyes, the same eyes that had given me comfort when I broke my leg a decade ago. I stared at his reassuring smile, the same perfect smile that had made my heart skip a beat and captured my attention as a teenager and turned my complexion the colour of beetroot.
“Carlisle, please help me. I don’t want to be a monster.” I tried to cry, but no tears fell. There was just an uncomfortable feeling in my eyes, and a gurgling sound from my throat. I finally understood. I would never be able to cry like a human again. The hurt was almost too much to bear. It felt like an African summer in which all the water in my body, and all my tears had just evaporated into nothing.
As I cried this dry river of tears, I felt his strong arms envelop me and pull me close. He didn’t say a word; he just held me and gently stroked my hair, until I was quiet again.
That was eight days ago and I haven’t left this room since. Edward and Carlisle, while not having seen me, have left the house on several occasions, but never together. One of them has always been around. I know this because I can hear their footsteps even from the other side of the house.
News Flash… I have also realized that vampires can’t sleep. I wish someone had told me that. For eight long days and nights I have only had myself for company, and I have had time to reflect on all the changes that have happened in my life, and so I have made a decision.
What happened in the woods the other day was normal for a vampire. I can’t change it, but I certainly can learn from it. I have vowed to myself that I will do everything in my power to stop myself from becoming the monster I am capable of. I am not a monster, and I will learn to survive off the blood of animals.
Learning about myself has made the feelings I had for Dr. Cullen as a sixteen-year-old resurface, and made me want to learn more about him. I’m certain Edward can hear all my thoughts, but he has been a gentleman so far, so I am sure he won’t speak of this either.
I have decided to stay with Carlisle and Edward, and I hope to become part of their family. I know it won’t be easy, but I will learn. Anyway I need to go now, I have to face the outside world. I think Edward is downstairs and I would really like some time to speak with him.
As I headed downstairs, I saw Edward sitting on the couch, probably waiting for me. He smiled at this thought and it confirmed my suspicion. This mind reading of his was going to take some time to get used to.
“Edward…” I said, and he immediately stood up, “do you have a moment?”
“Of course I do, Esme.” He smiled the most gorgeous smile.
We sat down on the couch next to one another. I didn’t know how to start, and he knew it, so instead he started off the conversation.
“Esme…,” he said, his voice hesitant. “Would you like to hear a story?”
I nodded in response.
“I know you feel bad, mortified, for killing those children, but you’re not the only one who has done something like that,” he said, dropping his head down.
My eyes widened. I never thought that Edward would be able to kill. This gorgeous, gentle boy. But then again, I never thought I’d be able to kill.
He was smiling at me, in response to my thoughts. “A few years ago I left Carlisle and went on my own. I was so depressed, so tired of fighting what I am. It felt as though I needed to embrace what I am, but never did I contemplate how much more depressed it would make me. I never killed completely innocent people. I usually went for those who had hurt others; ones who stalk girls and murder innocent people. I realize now that killing them wasn’t my judgement to make. It was easy at first, murdering them in cold blood, but soon after it started eating away at me. I didn’t want to be a monster and I didn’t need to be one either.”
I felt for this boy who was sitting right next to me. He had been through more hardships in finding himself. He had killed so many people, and yet here he was, forgiving himself. And they were forgiving me, not even judging me once.
“I know it’s hard, Esme,” he sympathized. “But it gets easier with time.”
I smiled at him weakly, wondering how it could ever get easier. I still remembered how those children’s’ scent had smelled to me; it was too overpowering to resist. How in the world it would ever get easier, I did not know. But I was willing to try at least.
“If it wasn’t for Carlisle, I would have slaughtered so many more humans. He truly believes we don’t have to be monsters, and I believe in him. He’s the most compassionate person I know. He never once judged me when I returned to him, and he didn’t even turn his back on me. He welcomed me back with open arms and told me the past is the past.” He clasped his long, pale, fingers together poisedly.
Carlisle truly was a remarkable person. Not only was he the most handsome man I’d ever seen, but he also had a heart filled with pure love and compassion. This made me realize how strong my feelings for Carlisle were. It wasn’t a teenage crush as I first presumed. No, it was more, much more than I ever could have thought. It was as though we were meant to be. As though meeting him that day as a young girl was a sign. But I couldn’t understand why Carlisle had changed me. If this life is worse, and harder than death, why would he doom us like that?
“Carlisle cares for you deeply, Esme.” Edward said, answering my thoughts.
I stared at Edward for what seemed like a very long time. He had just said that Carlisle cares for me – that he wanted to be with me, I presumed.
“Really?” I finally asked.
“It isn’t my place to tell you these things. Carlisle will soon speak to you about it, when things get easier for you. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything,” Edward said apologetically.
I just nodded in response, and for the first time in these past few months, I felt hope. If Carlisle loved me, how could things be bad? How could anything not be right? I loved Carlisle for so many years, and today I only realized my true feelings. Edward smiled at me, and I could see he was pleased with himself. He had helped me realize that there was hope, and with Carlisle by my side, I knew I could face anything.
Then I remembered Robert, my sweet boy, and my loving Jonathon. I had jumped off that cliff to be with them, and it brought tearless emotion to my eyes. I missed them terribly; I still wished to be with them. But I knew it was impossible.
Edward stared at me like something just crossed his mind. Suddenly, he stood up and rushed upstairs. He came back with something that seemed like a piece of paper, or a card. He then handed it to me, and I started reading.
With each sentence I read my eyes widened in shock.
It felt as though my heart started beating again. I looked Edward straight into his eyes.
“It was you who left me the poem?” I asked shocked.
“Yes…,” he said. “Yes, it was me.”
“Esme, to save you I had to change you, to one of us.”
I replayed the words over-and-over in my head. Didn’t he understand? I hadn’t wanted to be saved. I had wanted to be with my precious boys.
First things first, I needed to get away from there. I searched for an escape route, a way to freedom. There was a door across the room, but Carlisle was blocking that path. The only other way out of the room that was holding me captive was by the window to my left. I didn’t know what floor I was on – only that I certainly wasn’t on the ground floor. There were trees outside of the window – and I could only see the bushy, green leaves; not the bark that covered the bottom of a tree.
Just Jump, I said to myself. I glanced to the window again, trying to weigh how fast I needed to move to make it there. In the time it took for me to turn half an inch towards the window to make my escape, the boy was already standing in front of the it, blocking my path.
He was very fast.
I wondered how he knew that I was about to make a break for it.
I stared at him in complete amazement. How had he made it to the window before me? I had been closer to the door. Who was this boy? He had the same buttery golden eyes as Carlisle; the same pale, porcelain skin. He was sort of… beautiful.
The young boy pinched the bridge of his nose; he looked awfully frustrated – by what I didn’t know.
“My throat!” I exclaimed. And as I did, I heard the sound of my voice. I hadn’t taken any notice of it before, and the pureness of it shocked me. It was then that I felt the intense burn in my throat; I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. As I reached for my neck I noticed the white, pearlescent tone of my skin. This could not be happening to me. I had a whole new set of questions racing through my head all at once, but before I could speak, the boy spoke to me.
“Esme, all that Carlisle has told you is true,” he began, his voice almost musical. “I know you have a lot of questions for me and Carlisle. The first I will answer now. My name is Edward, and I am a long-time friend of Carlisle’s. I mean you no harm – for I, too, am a vampire.”
I turned toward Carlisle. It was an instant movement; the moment I thought about turning to face him, I was already facing him. I was able to move so fast. “Dr. Cullen,” I began, all the while the burning in my throat had its scorching-hot grips on me.
“Please Esme, call me Carlisle,” he politely interrupted.
I frowned but didn’t argue. “Carlisle, why did you take it upon yourself to save me?”
Carlisle flickered his eyes at Edward, then back to me. I might had missed the movement if I had not been watching him so closely.
“Esme, your throat must be unbearable,” he said, his tone thick with sympathy. “We can take care of that right now. And any questions you have after that, I would be more than happy to answer.”
At this, Edward nodded in agreeance once.
“It hurts,” I whimpered as I attempted to drown out the flames in my throat with my hands. Carlisle approached me then, slowly at first, like someone approaching an armed man. He held his hand out for me, but I pulled back from him.
“Esme, it’s okay. Please let me help you take care of your thirst.”
“My what?!” I exclaimed, and not for the first time that day.
“Follow me, Esme,” Carlisle said, his voice pleasant, calming. And with that he gracefully walked out of the door, holding it open for me.
As I stepped forward, I did so with such grace. I followed Carlisle out the door, through the house. Everything was so clear, so incredibly detailed. Following Carlisle through the kitchen, I took in the size of it. It was very large.
Why do they have a kitchen? I thought. I wasn’t an expert on vampires, but I had been under the impression they didn’t eat…. normal food. I shuddered as I thought about what they did eat. Was this what happened to all the people who went missing? Had the man I dreamt about all these years actually turned into a stone-faced killer?
As I neared the back door – that Carlisle was holding open for me – I felt something on my arm, holding me back. Within an eighth-of- a-second I had my back to Carlisle, facing whatever had grabbed my arm. I crouched on the floor like a panther ready to pounce, hissing a warning through my teeth.
In front of me stood the boy. Edward. He held his long, pale, hands up in front of him, as though I were about to shoot him. Slowly, cautiously, I stood up, ashamed that I had turned on Edward like that
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, somewhat embarrassed.
“Esme, it is okay. I understand,” Edward said gently. “Before we leave I think Carlisle and I should explain our…. diet.” And with that he nodded to Carlisle who stepped back into the kitchen, taking a step towards me he gently placed his hand on my arm, leading me to the table and chairs in the centre of the kitchen.
Carlisle pulled out a chair for me to sit on. Edward and Carlisle sat down too. I stared at them, waiting for an explanation. Edward was the first to speak.
“Esme, I know you have a lot of questions, and we will try to answer some of them now before we leave to hunt.”
I winced slightly at the thought of having to “hunt.”
“Firstly, I have a special gift, so to speak. I am able to hear people’s thoughts. So everything you have thought while I have been in your presence, I have heard as well. This is how I knew you were thinking about escaping through the window. That is why I got there first.” He paused for a few seconds, to let me digest what he’d just told me, then continued. “Secondly, there will be some things that you’ve noticed that are different about us. We are extremely fast and strong. Our sight, hearing and smell are extremely enhanced.”
Edward turned to Carlisle at this point as I tried desperately to take in everything he had just told me.
“Thirdly,” Carlisle began, “we are not the conventional vampires you’ve heard of. As you can see, we try to live amongst humans as normally as we can. Most of the stories you have heard are myths, untrue. We don’t eat the things that humans eat, we can’t. We survive off the blood of—”
I covered my face with my hands. I could hear his voice but didn’t hear what he was telling me anymore. I needed to get out of here. There was some mistake. This wasn’t me, and it couldn’t be. I pushed the table out of my way – toward Edward and Carlisle – with a great deal of force, then turned in horror to the door that Carlisle had left open.
Before I could think about what I was doing, I was running. Running for the door and the thick trees I saw beyond it. I carried on running, trying to rid my head of the images that smothered it. As I ran, my thoughts changed. I could see everything so clear, each leaf of a passing bush, even the tiny insects that called the trees their home. I began to slow my speed, seeing more as I did. My hearing was phenomenal, just like Edward had said. I could hear the insects as they climbed the tree bark, the sound drew me closer.
Unreal, I whispered to myself.
Although I had been running for quite some time, to get away from that house and those… those vampires – I shuddered at that word – I was still surrounded by trees. I closed my eyes and listened to the woods, trying to decipher all the different sounds I could hear. I heard a gentle stream in the distance; I could hear the water lapping at the rocks as it washed over them.
Then I heard laughter.
Two people. It had to be two, there were two different voices. I could hear them splashing, joking and laughing in the distance. They sounded so happy that it drew me closer to them. I wanted to remember what it had been like to be like that with… Johnathon.
I felt the wind change direction. That’s when I caught their scent.
The sweet, intoxicating, scent.
I could feel the white hot heat rise in my throat. I had never smelled anything so enticing in all my life. In that instant I knew that I had to have whatever it was that created that glorious smell. I wanted it to coat my throat, to relieve the dry, blazing hot burn.
I ran slower this time, inhaling the scent with each breath. Each time I inhaled, the hot poker would dig a little deeper into my charring throat. Soon I was so close that the smell had become an impossibly strong bouquet of intriguing scent.
They laughed louder, too, but I still did not connect the two together. I slowed to stop, just meters away from the smell. I could feel my mouth become moist and my throat burned unbearably now.
I made myself wait. Looking through the branches, I could see the stream, but I couldn’t see what was creating the smell, or the laughter. I peered off in the distance now, so I could see further down the stream, and that’s when I saw them. A young couple playing around in the stream, flicking water up at each other. They were clearly in love.
I closed my eyes, remembering the way Johnathon and I had been; our tree, and the things we had been through together. Moving closer so that I could get a better look, the smell hit me like I had been punched in the throat.
These two people were what I was hunting. I didn’t think, I just knew. I was overwhelmed by the desire for their blood. I focused on veins I could see pulsating on their necks. I could hear each beat of their hearts. As I watched, I analyzed how I could satisfy my desire in the most effective way. I needed to satisfy it, and in that moment, that’s all I knew. It was all I cared about.
With that last thought, I crouched low then sprang at the couple. I grabbed the boy in what would be a blur to the human eye, climbing up on his back, clawing at his skin as I climbed. Within seconds, I was sinking my teeth into his throat, drawing out his sweet blood. I felt my throat cool with every drop of the warm blood as it trickled down into my body.
I felt his body jump and jerk as he tried to fight me off, but I was far too strong. Far too strong for this mere human boy who collapsed like a rag doll beneath my grips. He stood no chance against me. That was when I realized just how powerful I really was. The boy threw his body to the floor and thrashed around in his pathetic attempt to throw me off, yet I held my tight grip and continued to drink from his weakening frame.
Once I felt him go limp in my arms, I threw his body away. The girl screamed so loud it could have almost been deafening to a humans ears. What a stupid human, sticking around. Did she not have instincts?
As I stood up to my full height, I found I wanted her too. I smiled and raised an eyebrow as I walked slowly toward her, as though I were stalking my prey. With each graceful step I took forward, she stepped back until a tree halted her. I continued my advance, crouching down, and then I lunged myself at her. As I hugged the girl close, my teeth ripped at her neck until I found what I was searching for, then my teeth sank down hard.
She didn’t try to fight as the boy had. No, she stood there and let me drink, her head turned slightly as if she was allowing me to do what I needed. I loosened my grip on her and felt her head roll back, then I saw her eyes close slowly as her life ebbed away. I let her cooling body drop from my grip and she slumped to the ground.
I looked around at the two bodies on the ground, white from the blood loss they had endured. I peered closer and saw they were very young, younger than I had initially thought; they were merely children, someone else’s child. After everything I had been through myself, I had just taken the lives of two children, they couldn’t have been more than fourteen or fifteen years old.
I murdered them without a second thought to who they were, or the families that they had waiting for them at home. I felt shame wash over me then I fell to my knees and screamed. I wanted to cry, but no matter how hard I tried, the tears wouldn’t come, so I carried on screaming as I tore at my face with my fingernails. But no matter how much pressure I used, my nails didn’t tear my skin. As I sat there screaming, I heard soft footsteps walking toward me and I froze in terror. I held my breath praying another human had not come to this very spot.
“Esme?” I heard the soft whisper. “Esme, darling it’s okay, I’m here now.”
And with that, two arms surrounded my body as Carlisle held me. I looked up at him expecting him to be angry with me, or to look disgusted at what I had done. But neither anger or disgust was on his face, only sympathy and guilt.
I heard Edward speak then. “Carlisle, we must hide this, now.”
Carlisle only nodded at him and held me tighter. Eventually Carlisle pulled me to my feet and supported me as I walked with him. We walked away from Edward, leaving him to dispose of my mess. How he did it, I don’t know. Carlisle had picked me up effortlessly and carried me back toward the house.
Love Esme xxx
Gosh, it feels good to write that again.
I must admit, I am as surprised as you are that I am writing in you again. I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I never thought I would write in you again after my last entry.
And yet, here I am.
Things have changed dramatically since I finished my last entry on the top of the cliff; during my intentions to join Jonathon and Robert. Let me tell you about it. I will do my best to explain everything although my memory of that time is, shall we say, vague.
I did indeed jump from the cliff. I don’t remember what I was thinking as I fell. Just that it felt as if I was flying. I remember closing my eyes, waiting for the impact, the blow. I still don’t remember feeling the fall, or any pain at all. All I can remember is waiting for Jonathon and Robert to come and collect me.
And the lights.
I can remember the lights clearly. Although I knew my eyes were closed, the darkness was disrupted by an extremely bright white light flickering.
I remember smelling this awful smell after a while. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but thinking about it now it smelled like……Death.
Hadn’t I passed over yet? Was I still stuck in this body? The body I had been so eager and ready to say goodbye to. The body I needed to say goodbye to.
Had I failed at another thing? Had I failed at joining my boys? They hadn’t come for me yet.
In the distance I could hear voices. Forcing myself to listen, they seemed to creep closer. I was only able to make out the odd word here and there.
I knew they were talking about me; I had jumped from the cliff. But they were wrong – I wasn’t gone. I wanted to go, oh Lord how much I want to go. I wanted to be with Robert and Jonathon. Please take me, I thought.
My thoughts were interrupted by a different voice; a smooth voice that I vaguely recognised.
“I’ll take it from here boys, I’m heading down there anyway,” said the familiar voice. His tone was filled with such love and compassion. Unlike any other man, his voice sounded somewhat like a purr. It wasn’t gruff or coarse. It was like velvet.
Running through as many memories as I could, I desperately tried to remember where I knew this voice from. Had I not felt like there was a great weight lying on top of me I would have jumped at what happened next.
“Esme? I know your still in there, if you can hear me then listen to my voice. I am going to help you. But your life will be different, different from anything you know. What I am about to do will hurt. It will hurt a lot, but I can’t let you die.”
There were so many different thought’s swishing through my head. How did this person know my name? Had I met them before? Had I had anything on me with my name on it?
I was certain I didn’t.
Where was Jonathon? And Robert? He had promised me that they would come for me.
“Please come for me,” I wished silently to Jonathon.
Can’t let me die? What was the familiar voice talking about? I wanted to die, I wanted to go and be with my boys. That was the whole reason for doing what I had done.
“Johnathon?” I screamed in my head, willing him to come and get me.
“Esme, we are here. It is time now Esme.” I couldn’t believe it. He was here; my Jonathon was here, just like he had promised.
A stinging bright light blinded me then; I held my hand up to my face to protect my eyes from it. Was this it? Was I about to join my boys? I could feel myself floating. Looking down I could see my body. I could see that I was – well, my body was – laying on a gurney.
I hadn’t completely left yet. There was still a force pulling me towards it. I was trying desperately to let go of it and join my boys. I could see a man – the voice – standing over my body. I couldn’t see his face, though. He was leaning over my body too much.
“Esme? We are here now,” I heard Jonathon say. I looked towards the light, away from my body. I could just make out the silhouette of someone walking towards me. Could it be?
Squinting hard, I looked closer, still shielding my eyes from the brightness of the light. I could see his dark hair, short on the back and sides, longer on top – just the way I remembered. The slight stubble that Jonathon possessed was still on his face. That perfect smile – the one I had missed so much – was smiling down at me, his eyes twinkling.
“Jonathon?” I whispered, all the emotions of the last year overpowering my body. “Jonathon, I’m so so so sorry, we should have stayed together that night. But I’m here now.” I smiled weakly at him and that’s when I noticed the bundle in his arms.
Jonathon held his hand out for me to take and my eyes widened as I looked in his arms. Was that really our baby? I couldn’t quite believe it. I tried desperately to get away from the pull my body still had over my spirit. I reached out to Jonathon, desperately trying to grab his hand.
But I couldn’t quite reach.
I could feel the warmth of Robert in my arms and Jonathon’s soft caress down my neck, my spine. It tingled with warmth and anticipation. I sighed, happier than I’d ever been before, their loving smiles welcoming me home.
“Jonathon? Please help me,” I begged, reaching up further.
“You have to let go, Esme. Let go of your body and embrace your future” – He paused, looking down at our baby in his arms – “Your future with us.”
I made one final reach to grab Jonathon’s hand, willing my body to let go of me. I managed to grip his fingertips. Oh the feeling of his hand in mine again. I could feel the pull letting go of its grip – even if it was ever-so-slightly.
I felt another tug; my body was pulling me back, and my hold on Jonathon’s fingers was slipping. I tried desperately to hold onto him but I was being pulled back with a force. I looked into Jonathon’s eyes, silently begging him. His eyes were full of sadness, then he turned and started walking back into the light.
“Jonathon! No! No!” I screamed, as I felt something cold on my neck. Jonathon and Robert were gone. They disappeared. And I was back in my body – the last place I wanted to be.
After that I don’t remember anything other than an indescribable, severe, burning pain coming from my neck, slowly moving its way through my body. It hurt more than anything I could imagine. I tried crying out in pain but I still couldn’t speak. I could feel my body thrashing around in pain, but I didn’t feel in control of myself. It was like I was locked in the backseat of a car, with someone else having complete control of everything that happened to me.
Then, I was in the air, being carried by The Voice.
“It’s all right Esme,” he whispered gently. “You’re going to be just fine.” There was wind hitting my face – we were traveling so very fast. Where was this voice taking my body? I tried to move but I still wasn’t in control of myself. Then the wind stopped and I was laying on something soft.
“Who is this?” a different male voice pressed. I didn’t know this voice at all. Who was it? What were they going to do to me?
“Carlisle, what have you done?” the second voice said hastily, yet it somehow still sounded melodic.
Wait. What did he say?
Surely he didn’t mean Dr. Cullen? It can’t be? Then came the pain again and I screamed out in agony.
How long it lasted I cannot remember. The scorching pain was like having hundreds of scalding hot branding irons pressed down onto my body, over and over again. I cannot describe just how it felt; just that it burnt so much I thought and hoped I would die.
Then something changed. The burning started to fizzle out from everywhere except my throat. The blistering heat continued to grow there. My heart started to beat quickly; too quickly. My breathing became fast and shallow. The faster my heart would beat the harder it was to breathe.
I thought this was the end I had prayed for. Was I to join my boys now? This thought made me smile inwardly to myself as I waited for total darkness to engulf me.
But instead, something strange happened. My heart stopped, yet I could still hear the unknown voice and Carlisle talking softly. “Esme?” Carlisle whispered. “Esme, it’s over now. You can open your eyes.”
Squeezing my eyes closed even further, I tried to push his voice out of my head. How could this be? How could I still hear his voice? My heart had stopped beating. His voice sounded different, like it was full of music, the notes flowing perfectly together, as if each note had been created solely for its neighbour.
“She’s awake now. I can hear her.” The unknown voice stated. This sent me into another bout of confusion. How could he hear me? I hadn’t spoken any words. Had I? My eyes sprang open at this revelation as I jumped up from the bed where I had been laying.
“What have you done to me?” I cried. “Where am I?” I asked, looking around at my surroundings. The plain white wall that covered the large room I was stood in housed nothing but a bed; the bed I had just been charring on. I could see each brush stroke, each grain of paint.
Then, from the shadows, a familiar face appeared. This face belonged to the man I had dreamt about for the last 10 years. This was the man that had fixed me when I fell from that tree, the same man that had rendered me speechless at first sight. I had been completely and utterly in lust with him. As I stared at the face that had been etched into my memory for the past decade, I gasped. He hadn’t changed at all in that time, and that quite frankly scared me a little. Slowly, gracefully, he took a graceful step toward me.
“Esme,” he whispered softly, “I have some explaining to do.”
I stared at him expectantly, searching for any sign that he had aged, but instead I found nothing. The burning in my throat intensified slightly, causing me to wince in pain and wrap my hands around my neck.
“Carlisle?” The unknown voice said, causing me to remember his presence in the room. “She’s in pain, maybe we should explain later.”
I hissed at the boy, who owned the unknown voice. He stood, statuesque, behind Carlisle. What did he know? Okay, so my throat did hurt. A lot.
He smirked at me. “I know a lot actually, Esme.”
He knew what I was thinking. He somehow invaded my thoughts. “Explain Now!” I growled at them both. I wanted to know the truth. I needed to know what had happened to me. Something was definitely wrong. I had never been so hostile before. I’d always prided myself on being calm and collected. I never had a bad word to say about anyone. And yet there I was, thinking awful thoughts about this other person.
“Please,” I added as an afterthought. I noticed the two men exchange an awkward glance. Then Carlisle turned to face me.
“Esme, the thing is,” Carlisle began, clearly searching for the appropriate words. I looked at him expectantly, staring into the eyes that had held me captive all those years ago. I could feel the anger melting away slightly. He looked nervous. I almost felt the need to embrace him. “When you, erm… jumped from the cliff they brought you straight to the morgue in the hospital where I work. They believed you to be deceased.” He paused to let me drink in the information. “You were not dead, though. I remembered you Esme, from that time in Columbus when you broke your leg. I just could not let you die.” He looked down while I stared at him.
“But I wanted to die. I wanted to be with my…” The word boys got caught in my throat. I closed my eyes, remembering them. But the memories were vague – my memory had failed me. One more thing I could add to my list of failures. I tried desperately to search my brain for those memories.
“Esme?” Carlisle whispered softly. I opened my eyes slowly, looking into his. “As you can see, we are… different. We survive off the blood of animals because we are” – he paused and flickered his unusual golden eyes around the room, then brought them back to me – “We are vampires.”
My eyes widened in shock. All that was running through my head now was that I had to get away from them. I searched the room, looking for an escape.
“Running would be the worst thing you could attempt, Esme,” the boy said, sending my mind reeling even further. “Carlisle,” he whispered, although I didn’t see his lips move. I just heard it. “Tell her.”
“Esme,” Carlisle spoke, firmly now. “In order to save you, I had to change you” – he took a deep breath – “into, one of us.”
Love Esme xx
I wandered aimlessly through the countryside and away from the graveyard. Away from my son, away from the last thing left in my life that I had loved more than life itself. The heavy weight on my heart stayed, the bricks that had formed on my chest would not budge. I was trying desperately to figure out what I’d done so wrong that meant I deserved this.
I’m so tired.
Tired of asking the same old questions over and over again. I knew that they weren’t going to be answered. So what was the point? What was the point of carrying on anymore? There was nothing left to live for. I lost everything.
My one true love, my beautiful baby boy, my best friend, my family… my life. What was the point of this all? I asked myself silently. “Nothing,” I muttered under my breath.
What was there for me to do now? Find another man? Another baby?
“Absolutely not!” I cried, unsure of who I was trying to convince. Myself? Johnathon? Robert?
“I gave you my heart, my darling,” I whispered, gazing to the heavens above. “I gave you both my heart,” I said, correcting myself. I didn’t want Robert to think I hadn’t loved him. I loved… still love him more than anything. When my boys… left me, they took my heart with them. I have nothing else to give anyone or anything.
Holding Robert’s blanket close to me, I whispered into it. “Please look after our baby Johnathon, Please.” I begged, the thought of not seeing either of them ever again lying heavy on my heart.
“My heart,” I scoffed out loud. My heart no longer belonged to my body. It had died along with my boys. I was empty, a shell wandering this earth, entirely lifeless.
“Is he with you now? Is he still in pain? Does he blame me?” I choked, asking in vein the questions I so desperately wanted answers to.
Please Lord, let Robert forgive me. I would never forgive myself for failing him
There is so much I want to say to them both. So many things I need to say. If only I could be with them again. I don’t want to be here anymore. I have nothing left to live for.
Looking up, I stopped dead in my tracks, staring in complete amazement at where I’d walked to. Not only where I had walked to, but at what moment I had decided to look up at where I was going.
“Why?” I asked out loud, slightly annoyed. “Why didn’t you let me just keep walking? I could be with you now.” I asked in vain.
Looking down I noticed the rocks beneath me, leading to the caramel-colored sand, the waves crashing against the bed of sand. I could just make out the shapes of people walking along the beach; I couldn’t take my eyes off of a family walking along the shore. It looked like there was a young boy with them and a large dog. The mother was walking along and, although I couldn’t be sure, she appeared to be smiling as she watched her husband and son run in and out of the gentle waves as the dog playfully chased them.
I meaningfully allowed myself to believe for a short while that it was my family playing on the beach. That it was Johnathon and Robert who were racing in and out of the waves. I would have called my dog Archie – though with a young child in the house I don’t think I would have chosen a breed quite as big as the one who was now clambering over some rocks.
I sat down, hanging my legs over the cliff’s edge as the family walked away from the beach. Cradling Robert’s blanket closer to me, I took in another deep breath, holding in his scent for as long as my lungs would allow, the tears spilling over and tumbling down my cheeks.
“Esme? Esme can you hear me?” Closing my eyes, I sat there listening to the voice inside my head that sounded so familiar.
“Esme, come with us. We need you,” said the voice again.
I knew that voice anywhere, my love was here. He was with me. I knew it must have all been a dream. I knew my Johnathon wouldn’t have left me. Opening my eyes I readjusted myself on the edge of the cliff and then I looked around, trying to find him. My vision blurred from the tears. I rubbed my eyes frantically, then searched again.
“Where are you?” I asked. Slightly annoyed at the game he was playing. “I want to hold you my love,” I whispered, silently cursing my eyes and their inability to see my love. “Damn it” I cursed loudly furiously rubbing my eyes. Where on earth was he?
“Esme, I’m right here,” he said again.
It sounded as if he was right next to me, so why couldn’t I see him. All I could see was the green grass covering the ground leading to the cliff’s edge. I could see the trees behind the cliffs, standing tall in the afternoon sun.
“I can’t see you,” I sobbed, my eyes flicking from side to side, still searching.
“I’m here my darling,” he said again.
“Johnathon, this isn’t funny,” I scolded. “Why can’t I see you?”
“I’m not in your world anymore my love. We are in a much better place Esme. We both are. But now it is time for you to join us,” he said softly, his voice almost purring. “It is beautiful here. It is a place filled with love and laughter.”
All I wanted was to see him again, to see them both again, and to make sure they were okay.
“Robert is fine now my love. We want you to be with us.”
I shook my head, this can’t be happening. I must be mad. I was talking to my dead lover’s spirit.
“Esme, we have come for you. It’s time for you to join us now.”
“How?” I whispered, oblivious to what he meant.
“You know how Esme. Come back to me. We need you. Robert needs you, he needs his mommy.”
“B-B-But,” I stammered. “I don’t know if I can.” Looking down at the rocks below me, it all suddenly fell into place. One simple step is all it would take.
“Jump!” The voice inside my head screamed at me.
“Jump?” I mumbled out loud, finally seeing a light at the end of this abyss that had engulfed me for the past ten months.
“Yes, Jump,” my darling said, the love in his voice exactly how I had remembered. Soon though, I would be with him again. Be with Robert again. It all seemed so simple. So right.
One. One tiny little step. Then I could spend eternity with my boys.
“Are you sure?” I asked the butterflies in my stomach awakening.
“Yes, please my love. Please come back to us.”
“I will,” I agreed. The cloud that had been hovering over my head started to lift as I spoke the words. “I just have one thing to do first.”
“Hurry” Johnathon plead with me.
I closed my eyes for only the briefest of moments, allowing my mind to absorb as much of Johnathon’s voice as it could before turning my attention back to you, my dear diary.
I am going to leave now. But I could not do so without saying goodbye. You may only be paper, but without you I do not know how I would have coped. I will carry you with me as I fall. In the hope someone will find it and understand my actions.
And thank you.
He’s really gone. My little boy is now at peace and my journey as a mother is over. I am now nothing more than Esme.
Just Esme. Plain old Esme.
I’m not a mother, nor am I a wife, or a partner. I am just me. I don’t even feel like a real woman any more. Since the beginning of time the one thing all women have been able to do is bare children, and I couldn’t even do that properly.
I got up this morning and plodded into the bathroom in silence. Today was my son’s funeral, and not only was I saying goodbye to my son, but I was saying goodbye to life as I knew it. After today I knew I would have nothing and I would be left feeling emptier than ever.
Getting to the church early, I wandered slowly around the graveyard grounds. Robert’s service wouldn’t start for another hour but I hadn’t wanted to miss any moment of the day. I wanted to be around my son as much as possible. As I walked around the grounds I began to notice the names and dates on the gravestones around me.
One particular Gravestone jumped out at me.
Gerald Vincent Cridland
Died: December 23rd 1900
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather.
A lump caught in my throat as I realized that Robert’s gravestone would never read anything like that.
After a short while I found myself walking through the children’s section of the burial ground, and I choked back the sobs as I read some on the inscriptions on the graves;
Born: November 9th 1913
Died: November 10th 1913
God took your life to save you,
Though you did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The Day God called you home.
Born and died: September 1st 1893
Our perfect sleeping Angel
I could feel my knees beginning to tremble as I suddenly felt the sorrow of the parents of all these children. I was one of them now, I was a mother burying her only child – and I was all alone. I re-read the inscription on the head stones. ‘Part of us‘ and ‘Our perfect angel’
There was no “us” for me. I was going through this alone. My head began to spin as I turned on my heels. I suddenly felt sick and I could feel my skin begin to burn up with anger.
Where was the justice in this?
“Mrs. Walker,” the minister greeted, his hand outstretched to shake my own. I nodded in response still not fully recovered enough or able to manage words.
I heard them before I saw them. The ‘clip-clop’ of the horses hooves sent fresh chills down my spine. I turned my head just in time to see the two jet black horses round the corner, pulling the cart with my son’s coffin in it.
Nothing about this service was going to be traditional because not a thing in his life had been. But I was hoping he would be proud. The horse and carriage came to stop only a few feet away from me, the funeral director walked around to the back of the carriage and lifted out the small, white coffin. I choked back another sob at the sight of my son’s little coffin. It didn’t seem right somehow that he was in a box. Just a cheaply made wooden box. My son deserved better than that, though I had done the best I could with the limited money I had left. Another one of the men in black suits pulled a small wreath of blue flowers from the back of the carriage and laid it on top of the coffin that the director was cradling in his arms.
“No,” I breathed as he took his first steps towards the church. He looked at me, slightly startled for a moment, until I walked over towards him and held my arms out to take the coffin from him. “He’s my son,” I pointlessly reminded him as I gently took my son and his box from the man’s arms.
“Are we ready Mrs. Walker?” the minister asked me as I turned to face him. I nodded solemnly and stepped forward, the box a heavy weight in my arms. I wrapped my arms tightly around it in an attempt not to let it fall.
I walked through the doorway of the church and down the alter. Each step felt like it was my last. My knees were quivering as the seemingly endless supply of tears began to fall. I placed my son on the two blocks at the end of the altar – which were placed only a foot apart – and then, running my hand along the length of his coffin, I turned my back on my heart, my soul, my life, and walked to the first pew, stepping into it and sitting down. Alone.
The rest of the seats were empty.
I knew I needed Johnathon here with me, it was the only way I’d get through this, but he wasn’t here. Robert wasn’t here. I was all alone.
The service was simple yet elegant. I had given the minster the letter from the ‘angel’ to read out; it seemed a fitting tribute. Certain lines still stuck out to me more than others as he read through it:
“Remember that I am with you every morning noon and night.” The sound of the minister’s voice somehow gave the words more meaning to me, as my sobs enveloped my whole body and I began to shake.
Once the service was over I walked silently towards the graveyard, towards the plot that I had almost encased myself in. Robert’s Coffin weighed heavy in my arms, but I kept telling myself that this was the last thing I would be able to do for him, and so I struggled on.
I cannot begin to describe to you how painful it is watching your child be buried; every part of your body is aching to jump in and be with him – to protect him and stop him from being scared. I wanted to protect him from the dark, kids are afraid of the dark aren’t they?
I shook my head when the minister asked if I wanted to say something. There was nothing I could say now that hadn’t been said already. And there was nothing anyone could say that would ease this pain in my arms and chest.
The worse part of burying your child is the distance; I am used to having Robert close to me in my womb, in my arms. But now… now there is nothing but dirt between us, and that hurts more than anything.
I turned away from the grave and walked. Walked like I had never walked before. I didn’t know where I was going or when I would stop. I just needed to walk.
Next Page »