March 3, 2005
You're wrong, Alice.
There is a different path – a different future.
I see it now. I understand what I must do.
I will never allow the monster to have her, no matter the strength of her song, no matter the scorching fire that courses down my throat. That future – her, so still, so broken and pale in my arms – shall never come to pass. I cannot bear that – a world in which she doesn't exist… because of me. I cannot bear what it would do to me. I will destroy myself before I allow him to consume her.
And I reject your alternative.
She is too good – too kind and brave and selfless. She is light, where I am darkness, and I refuse to force her into this… empty, soulless half-life we lead through my own weakness and selfishness. I will not condemn her. She would surely despise me for eternity.
But you were right about one thing.
I do love her. I know that now. After last night – that moment when she uttered my name and asked me to stay – I am no longer the same man I was before.
In the same way that it happened for all of you, I will always love this girl, for the rest of my limitless existence.
Please understand, it's because I love her, I will leave her. I will circumvent your two futures.
I don't know what this will do to me. It doesn't matter. Her life is more important.
I know this isn't the choice you and the others wanted me to make, but please, please do one thing for me.
Watch over her for me.
She is so incredibly fragile.
All the more reason for me to stay away.
A/N: as mentioned in the note at the bottom of the prologue, this story deviates from canon right after Edward snuck into Bella's bedroom and watched her sleep. Instead of staying, he chose to leave for good. See Midnight Sun, pg109.