Note: I know, I started another story. Wow, so many WIPs floating on my to-do list. I finish everything that I start, so not to worry! I guess I just really like weird titles for my stories. The quirkier, the better. Anyway, this Paybackward is a little dark and rather driven on getting rid of people who have directly or indirectly hurt him. If 'Darkward has internal conflicts so he's sort-of-but-not-really-good' isn't your thing, then perhaps this story might not be your cup of tea.

I adore trying new plot ideas. Oh and I'm also excited to write in first person for this story, though only in Edward's POV. Totally love getting into the mind of a guy. Yas! I think first-person shall work well for this storyline.

P.S I highly recommend listening to the theme music because it sets a tone of voice and might also help paint a mood for the story, its characters and the readers.

Readers: Viewer discretion is advised. This story is rated M. It deals with themes that might not be comfortable for all. Please read with care.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. It is owned by Stephenie Meyer, and not part of my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only. This is a fictional story about fictional representations of real people.

Theme: The Hoosiers - A Sadness Runs Through Him


Chapter 1: Fuel

"Dad, it's going to be okay," I spoke into the phone. I was at a lost for what to do. I couldn't believe everything he'd told me. Sitting in the flimsy studio of my apartment, I felt physically incapable. I was too far away to get my father to listen to my words carefully. To tell him that what she did was utterly disgusting.

How could I do that when I was all the way on the other side of the country?

He meant so much to me. Carlisle was the one who taught me how to play ball. He looked after me when my mother would be out drinking with her friends. He gave excuses to things that didn't deserve his lenience. He gave me compassion, he taught me empathy. But now, that was all dwindling down into nothing. It was collapsing into the smooth surface of the river like heavy boulders. A feral rage settled in my bones.

"Son," my father started to speak. Dry mouth and raspy voice. "I don't know what to do... I don't know."

A guttural sob was elicited, making me tug at my hair.

"Listen," I replied. "I'm going to fly over and visit you. I'll book the earliest-"

"No," Carlisle said. "Tomorrow's your big day. You've got that important meeting you've been waiting for. It's not every waking moment when your book is in the talks of getting published. It'll be a special day. You need to be there for that, son."

"I can always reschedule another meeting with the editor," I said. A plea for my father's agreement danced on my tongue. "Dad, you're... you're not doing well."

"Trust me, Edward. I'm okay," he said. I could hear the soft brokenness in his voice. He was deeply hurt. Cut. Torn apart. He was not okay at all.

"Don't hate your mother," he quietly said, a minute later. "I don't want you to despise her for what she did. It's ultimately just between us two."

"How can I not hate that lying-"

"Edward..." he sighed. "Just please don't hate her. I can't even bring it to myself to wipe out all the good memories we had as a family. So don't do that for me. She's still your mother. She just won't be my wife anymore."

"She tossed away all those years of marriage. She's a piece of trash," I respond with fierce anger. I loved my mother... just not now. Perhaps, never. I was always closer to my father. Like father like son. I was a man who loved to learn because of him and now that he was drowning in his own ruins, I felt a surge of duty to do something about it. To repay him for everything he'd done for me.

Carlisle never deserved any of it. I couldn't even fathom how she could do something like that. Who could have supported her? Who could have made her think that it was alright to be the world's worst wife?

"What's the other guy's name?" I growled, angrily. The phone groaned as my hand threatened to shatter its very existence.

"Edward..." my father spoke. "You're not going to do Hamlet's job for him. I've already come to terms with it. We'll just need to move on, son."

"How are you so calm about everything?" I exclaimed into the phone. It bewildered me and completely drove me into a room full of bold question marks. Everything just felt out of balance. Slightly psychedelic.

"Because I loved her once," Carlisle said. "And I'll learn to let her go. She let me go a long time ago. I just never made a move to get her back."

"That's no excuse."

"I'd always work... all day at the hospital," my father rambled on. "I thought I could be a good psychiatrist. I thought I could help everyone that needed me. I was too busy. I ignored her feelings and her thoughts. The one woman who mattered so much to me."

"Stop," I said. "You have to stop making excuses for her. I know you're an understanding guy. But she's... she's a motherfucking adulteress."

"I met his daughter once," my father continued. "She was such a bright, lovely girl. She spoke with intelligence and she listened with patience. But she... supported what her father did."

"Wait. Who are we talking about here?" I asked. A little confused about where this conversation was going.

Carlisle sighed. "Nothing, I shouldn't have said anything. They just seemed like such a nice family. I was hoping to get to know them better. And now... it seems like Esme will be the one doing that. She broke every promise she's ever made. And I can't even hate her for that. I hate myself for letting that happen."

"You met the guy who Esme's been sleeping with?" I questioned with complete shock. "And what the hell, you met his daughter as well? Is he a cheating son of a bitch with a wife who is hurting?"

"No, his wife died when she gave birth to their daughter," Carlisle responded.

"Oh, so he thinks it's okay to go steal someone else's wife. That guy has balls. I'm going to kill-"

"That's what I mean," my dad muttered. "You have this need to be a hero in situations where there is no hero. Marriages collapse all the time... it just never worked out between us two. At least we raised you right."

"You raised me right," I firmly corrected. "All she wanted me to be was a perfect son who she could brag about. She never treated me like an equal. She never spoke to me like an adult and taught me how to fix up my mistakes or stand up from a fall."

There was a thin veil of momentary silence that draped over the phone conversation.

"Thank you, son. It means a lot to hear that," Carlisle said, quietly. I could hear the break in his voice as he spoke those words.

I loved him dearly.

He was my best friend.

When I was bullied in high school, he was the one who told me that some people with unfortunate upbringings and family situations would take out their anger on the weaker ones at school. He got me to understand that there was nothing wrong with me. It was just the flaws of human beings. He trained me to stand up for what was right. To stay true to my morals.

He allowed me to understand human emotions and experience them, by myself and with others. I volunteered at the local nursing home because my father taught me to be a good person. I volunteered at the homeless shelter because my father taught me to be a kind person.

A tear fell down my cheek as Carlisle started to cry.

"Dad," I softly said. "You're pretending that you're okay but you're not. You're letting her off the hook way too easily. You're the one suffering. You can sue her."

"I'm not going to sue Esme," Carlisle replied, stoically. "She'll be happier with... him."

"And what, you're going to suffer for the rest of your life?" I spat as I started to walk around the apartment, unable to get my father to realize he was worth so much more.

"I can't do anything about it," he said. "You can't force people to be with you. They have to want to be with you."

"I still can't believe she did all that shit. She threw away decades of marriage. What the fuck was she thinking? Oh no, she wasn't thinking." I had to remind myself to not break the device that was allowing me to communicate with my father. The phone didn't deserve my wrath.

"I... I couldn't bring myself to tell you earlier," Carlisle said. "I found out a month ago. But I was just lost in my head. I didn't know who to confide in."

"You'll always have me to talk to."

"I know, Edward. You're my boy. And I'll love you no matter what. I just couldn't make sense of everything that was flowing through my head. I might have been an inadequate husband but I didn't know that... that would propel her to find comfort in the arms of another man." A sad sigh came out from Carlisle's mouth.

"How long has it been going on for?" I asked, not even the single bit excited to know the answer to that question.

"A year," Carlisle replied. "She told me it's been roughly a year and that he's the one-"

His words were cut off by his anguished sobs. I brought my fist to my mouth as I forced myself not to cry with him. I wouldn't be helping if I did.

"Tell me his name," I said, quietly. "I want to know that bastard's name."

"Not unless you promise me that you won't hurt him. He's not worth it, Edward. He's not worth bashing until your career is forgotten and your dreams are left aside."

"He hurt you, dad. He knew what he was doing. He knew he was that pathetic guy ruining a marriage," I reasoned with Carlisle. A thought poked me in the head. It reminded me of something Carlisle said earlier. "And what do you mean his daughter supported everything he did?"

My anger started to erupt like molten lava. It wasn't going to be held back. The black smoke clouded my vision as all I could see was red magma.

"Esme said that his daughter had waited for the longest time for them to get married. She wanted a mother figure. And now, she's got one."

"So that... girl is going to be my stepsister? What the actual-"

I paused, trying to calm down my breathing. Carlisle remained quiet on the other end of the phone.

"Do you know how screwed up that is? For him to propose to her when she was still married to you? And what, so his daughter thinks this is all okay because she wants a mother?" I yelled.

"Esme will still be your mother."

"I don't want her as my mother. She's never been a good one anyway," I said, shaking my head. "How old is his daughter anyway? No mature adult would support this cheating business."

"She's a little younger than you. Twenty-one."

"Right, so a girl who is only six years younger than me definitely has the logical reasoning of a not-quite-there pubescent. Esme is obviously marrying into some smart genes."

"Edward... the girl hasn't done anything wrong," Carlisle said.

"You just told me she supported everything they did. The bystander is just as guilty, you know. They are the somebody who can do something about a situation. If she told her dad that what he was doing was foolish, he'd probably listen to her. She's his child."

"It's getting late over there," Carlisle said after a full minute of silent contemplation. "Don't worry about me... I'll be fine."

"If you need anyone to talk to, dad, please call me. I'll pick up no matter what the time is," I pleaded. "Just don't do anything stupid."

"I should be saying that to you," Carlisle chuckled. "I love you, son. Whatever happens next, you have to know that I am so proud of you. Even though you haven't lived with us for a while, I'm sure New York is getting better because of you. You're a good person, Edward. You're my pride and happiness."

"Why is this feeling like some goodbye?" I laughed, suspiciously.

"It's goodbye for now," Carlisle said, allowing me to hear the smile in his voice.

He would always be my best friend. Even though my father would often mask his emotions, over time, I was able to uncover the hints of sadness in the miniscule cracks of his fa├žade. Right now, he was being eaten up by his own despair.

After hanging up the phone with my dad, I settled into an uneasy sleep. He had been too calm throughout the whole conversation. There was something wrong. It was almost as if he had a plan he wanted to carry out. It was like he didn't need my input at all. He was set on accomplishing something for himself. He had everything placed in position.

All he wanted to do was to tell me the tragic news.

All he wanted was for me to understand where he was coming from.

All that was left was to say goodbye.

That was the last time I heard from my father. That was the last time I heard life, albeit a broken one, coming from him.

That very same day, Carlisle put a bullet through his head.

That very same day, I could no longer be the compassionate, empathetic person my father had taught me to be. I could no longer stand by my morals and promise to be a good citizen. I could no longer keep the lessons my father had embroidered into me.

Somebody had to pay.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts. I collect them all and store them in a jar! Metaphorically.

Well, the main backdrop of the story has been set into place. All we need now is for some stuff to happen and character development. Any guesses as to who the daughter is?

Love, perpetually.