|In the Dark
Author: IngenueFic PM
There once was a girl who had a choice. Many people believed she chose wrong. Bella refuses to make the same mistake… Right? A birthday fic for AmelieGee.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Romance - Bella & Edward - Words: 1,938 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Published: 02-14-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6743806
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Stephenie Meyer owns all TWILIGHT characters. Gaston Leroux owns all LE FANTOME DE L'OPERA characters. Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is behind several changes found in Leroux's original characters in this particular piece.
Happy Birthday, AmelieGee!
The Way It Begins
He always asks.
I always give him a variation of the word 'no' along with what I know is a weak excuse.
I love him. There is no doubt in my mind that I want to spend the remainder of my human days with him and that I want to start a new life once I transition into eternal existence. He is everything to me.
I don't want a white dress or the organ music. I don't need to have everyone's eyes on me as I walk down an aisle so one man can give me away to another. I refuse to wear high heels and have my hair sprayed to an inch of its limp life.
But he wants it.
His eyes tell me everything. He wants to see me walk toward him holding a bouquet of flowers. He longs to hear me say the words that will bind my life to his.
The phrase, I love you, is no longer enough.
With a heavy sigh and a heavier heart, I stand from the bed he has bought for me. I don't really want to uncurl myself from the soft sheets and warm blankets but being human has its downfalls. When I'm done, I stand in the doorway of Edward's bedroom. When I first saw this room, it was so stark, so organized. Now, there is a slight chaos threaded through his things, little tokens that show the beginnings of our life together.
Except I still say no.
Wanting to clear my thoughts, I walk over to the bookshelf set near the bed. The spines are slightly rough beneath my fingers, most of the books special editions with leather covers. Where he finds them, I'll never know, and I'm okay with that. They probably cost more than my life.
I pause when my hand brushes over a deep red – almost black – spine with gold lettering. When I pull it out, there are two titles. Near the top, it says, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra, and beneath it is The Phantom of the Opera. I know it, of course, but I've never read it. With Edward and the others on a hunting trip, I take it back to the bed and read to pass the time.
It's dark outside by the time I'm done. At one point, Carlisle stopped in to let me know he was home and that I was still more than welcome to wait for Edward to return. I'm not entirely sure what time it is now but my mind is a jumbled mess.
It hits home, this tale of a girl torn between two men she loves.
So I move to stand by the wall of windows and stare out at the river flowing in the near distance.
I let my mind wander.
Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
Raoul is Christine's Jacob. That is, he's the equivalent of what Jacob is to me. It's almost eerie how well they match.
An old childhood friend of Christine's, he falls in love with her upon their second meeting, years, almost a decade after their first sighting of each other. He dotes on her, reminds her of how they met on the sands of Northern France, makes her laugh when he reminds her that he was the little boy that once dove into the ocean for her.
It reminds me of that day Jake and Billy came over with the truck. I can see it now, in my memory, the way Jake's eyes lingered a bit too long like someone with a puppy crush. I remember the laughter that bubbled from my mouth when he reminded me of the mud pies we once made as children.
Raoul loves Christine.
Jake loves me.
I'm not stupid; I know what it is he feels when he looks at me. I'm still scared to admit that I might reciprocate the feeling, just the tiniest bit. I can't help it. Jake was there when I needed someone to hold me up. He was my strength.
Sometimes, I think he still is.
It's more than just his relationship with me, though. Jake is a bit spoiled though not nearly as bad as Raoul but he knows what he wants and is quick to anger if things don't go his way. The rage fills his body quickly and it scares me sometimes.
Not as much as a potential love but it scares me nonetheless.
Jake promises normalcy. He talks of a future that is the two of us holding each other without care, kissing without abandon, and though I've never really desired children, he always mentions that it would be a choice with him. In his own way, Jake promises to take me away from what he believes is the cold world of Edward, a world that he truly believes is not for me.
It tempts me.
Erik, The Phantom of the Opera
And yet, nothing is as tempting as Edward in what he believes is his monstrous glory.
Beautiful in his own right, it hurts to hear his thoughts on who he is, what he is. No matter what anyone tells him, Edward will always be the body that encases a demon, a deformed monster that will tear others apart if he isn't careful.
Erik may have had the physical deformities that scared away the masses but Edward is stuck nursing the scars left behind by a burning fire and a thirst for blood. Despite the hatred he feels for himself, Edward is, undoubtedly, as close to perfect as I can imagine anyone being.
It doesn't escape my notice that both men – the phantom and the vampire – spent time roaming the streets in search of a meaning. It doesn't escape my notice that both men spent years searching for something – or someone – to live for and that they both found that meaning in a young girl.
I know Edward loves me. No matter how many times I tell myself I'm not worthy of him, I know it's just insecurity on my part. He would give up anything for me. He has given up everything for me, even if I didn't know it at the time. But I'm not an idiot and I know that some of the things he does are done in vain or because he selfishly believes he understands what is best for me.
If he believed it was the best for me, I don't doubt that Edward would leave me again, would allow me to have a long life with Jacob. It would tear apart his emotions but he would give up his very existence for me.
It makes me love him more.
His love also scares me, though, with its intensity. I feel like my love for him will never match the emotions he shows me, the electricity that forms from his touch. Edward is the spark that I need, the blooming of fireworks that jumpstart my heart, but I don't want his ending to be the same as Erik's, one of loneliness and depression and heartache.
I have a feeling I am the only one who can save him from that fate.
She is young and innocent, naïve and uncertain.
I know the feeling.
She hopes for approval and longs to find her place in the world.
I sometimes feel like I'm wandering the world without a clue as to what I need to survive.
When all others see her as a little thing that means nothing, Erik finds her and shows her of the brilliance that is inside of her.
Moving to Forks caused a showcase I didn't want; I felt like a prize to so many people and it brought attention that I wish I never received. It wasn't until Edward showered me with attention that I actually realized who I was. Despite his efforts to protect me, his love helped me – still helps me – to understand what I am capable of as a young woman and as a person.
She finds an old friend and falls in love with him even though she's scared of the idea.
I returned to Forks to find the boy who was once a friend. I love Edward but Jake is my constant, the one person who seems to care even when others are ready to give up on me.
She must make a choice – the boy who is infatuated with her or the man whose love is so deep that it runs through her very veins.
Edward's proposals and Jake's propositions – both of them weigh heavy in my mind, in my heart. I know they both mean well but the decision tears into me, either like razor fangs or sharp claws, and I don't know what to do.
But I do.
Christine's decision changes everything she's ever known.
I know my decision, whatever it may be, will do the same.
The Way it Ends
I sit in my truck with tears gathering in the corners of my eyes.
I stare up at the Cullen house, my heart constricting and expanding with each passing moment.
I've made my choice.
The choice was always made.
Edward appears in the door, waiting, staring, watching. He lifts a hand up and places his palm on the glass. Slowly, I step out of the truck and walk up the steps to the house. His hand pushes open the door and his nose crinkles as the scent of wolves and La Push swirls around me, lifting off of my skin and into the wind that carries over to him.
"Bella," he says softly. His eyes are bright and gold. I glance down to see The Phantom of the Opera dangling from his right hand. "Light reading?"
My lips quirk up into a smile. I can see the worry in his eyes and I know he's read the novel and sees the similarities. I wonder if he realizes he's my phantom, the one who pushes me to succeed and gives me a reason to live.
Instead of allowing me in, he steps out onto the porch. "You went to La Push." It is an observation, not a question.
"I did," I confirm. I reach out and touch the sleeve of his shirt. My fingers dance down until they feel the cool and smooth plane of his palm.
Edward's body tenses. "Christine chooses Raoul in the end."
I bring his hand up to my lips, brushing my mouth against his knuckles. He smiles and opens the fist he's made to cup my face in his palm.
"I know who I am in this scenario, Bella."
"I do, too." My face tilts up. "I won't make the same mistake, Edward, not for this."
He pauses. "Marry me," he whispers. His fingers are light on my skin. His face lowers to mine and I can smell the sweetness of his breath, can feel the cool tenderness on my skin. "Marry me."
I smile and say another silent farewell to Jacob Black.
Thanks to Jill for pre-reading.