A/N: I'm so excited to start another story.
A few changes here. Since Bella hates Forks, I wanted to change the Cullens' hometown as Leavenworth, which is also in the state of Washington. it is said to be one of the most beautiful places in the US.
Also this time, I'm not including any trigger warnings here since they are practically story spoilers. But if you do want to check them out, visit my bio and you'll find them there.
Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns the characters. I'm just playing with them ;)
Some people invade your life like a force you can't see until it is too late. They creep in slowly, stealthily, and before you know it, your heart is brimming for them with their memories, aching for their connection, longing and yearning for the moments you can finally dissolve into them. They are like quiet storms, slow tragedies.
They are parasites. They occupy your heart and screw your mind. They kill you sweetly, silently.
Edward Cullen and his fiancée, Bree, are flying to a small town in Washington state called Leavenworth. Their plan for the next week was simple - attend his brother's wedding, catch up with his parents and friends while he was there, spend a couple of days unwinding in his peaceful little hometown, and take a much needed break from his utterly busy lifestyle.
Truth to be told, he'd been giddy with excitement at the thought of going back to his childhood home. He missed Leavenworth so much that the fastest mode of transportation on the planet didn't feel fast enough for him.
Right after Edward graduated high school, their whole family relocated to Seattle, and that was the last time he'd been in Leavenworth. It'd been eighteen years.
But two years ago, his father had met with an accident that paralysed both his legs. After his treatment and rehab, their parents had decided to retire early and move back to their quiet little town, away from all the hustle bustle of city.
Edward reached for his phone for the hundredth time, not knowing what else to do during his long flight. He'd already read the medical journals he brought with him, listened to a lot of music, watched a short film, chatted with his fiancée about random stuff. Still they had a few hours of journey left.
Unlocking his phone, he scrolled down to through a bunch of pictures, stopping at the one he wanted.
His family picture.
It was at his engagement party six months ago. Everyone looked bright and happy. The Cullens looked as closely knit as they were in real life.
His father, Carlisle, was in a wheelchair, smiling at the screen - serene and calm as ever. Next to him was radiant and wise Esme - his mother. His older twin brothers, Emmett and Jasper were in either end of the frame. Emmett had his arm draped over his wife's shoulder and their nine year old was squished between them. On the other end was Jasper, practically glued to his girlfriend (who is currently his fiancée and going to be his wife in a week).
In the centre of the picture was himself and his fiancée, both looking tall, happy and perfect for each other.
One happy family.
He stared at the photo for a long time, feeling a strange constriction in his chest, a feeling of loss too great for his heart to contain. The person who mattered the most was missing in the photo... and in his life.
Thinking of her caused a sharp sting, followed by a dull throb of pain that continued to pulse within him. He hated feeling like this.
This is what they never tell you about missing someone. The longing and pain comes in constant waves. You remember them in the middle of your perfect day and it suddenly knocks you down. You are reminded of them when you eat their favourite food, watch their favourite show, or come across anything related to their favourite pastime.
You remember their smile and it pushes you further down. The powerful yearning to talk to them makes you weak, and you nearly give in to those urges. But then, you have to force yourself to remember all the reasons why you stayed away from them. It is a cruel test of self control. It is resistance. It is hell.
Edward wiped the cold sweat on his forehead and leaned back.
Don't think about her, he told himself sternly and turned to his fiancée.
His mood lightened marginally. He smiled at her.
There was no arguing that he could've have found a more perfect match for himself. Most of their friends and family couldn't help wondering about how two people can be so alike. So similar.
Edward and Bree are single-mindedly ambitious, independent and career-driven. Though their plans usually revolve around gaining the next big promotion or owning better possessions rather than planning date nights or long drives, they wouldn't have it any other way. Their drive for success made them ideal for each other.
In short, they are the perfect power couple.
Even their appearances are somewhat similar. Both are fair-skinned, tall, attractive and dark-haired (until Bree decided to dye hers dirty blonde). They have been living together for four years. Their picture-perfect relationship has earned the admiration of their friends, jealousy of their crushes and friendly taunts from their colleagues.
As with any relationship, they had good days, bad days, arguments, bickering, intimacy and love. But things are usually good since they had accepted and adapted to each other's quirks very early on in their relationship. They share a decent apartment in the Manhattan, split their earnings to meet household expenses, respect each other's personal space, and enjoy a decent social life.
Overall, Edward and Bree have a happy life.
The plane flew among the cottony blanket of clouds that looked like they could only belong in a little girl's fairy tale book. It was quite magical and surreal. No matter how often Edward travelled by air, the infinite sky and the beautiful cloud formations never ceased to amaze him.
"It is a miracle, isn't it? Sitting thirty thousand feet above the ground in a giant metal cylinder and munching on sandwiches?"
He could swear he heard her sweet voice as if she was sitting right next to him. The memories were too sharp. The words sounded as though they were spoken yesterday, not years ago.
He deftly blocked the memory and counted from one to twenty. And back to one. He shook his head to himself and rubbed his face. He couldn't afford to get fazed like this.
Moments later, the cabin lights were turned off and the passengers were cloaked in gloominess. Dark and heavy clouds began replacing the fluffy, white ones outside.
Suddenly, he couldn't help the eerie feeling that he was moving away from his regular, well-structured life to the dark battlefield of bitter truths, confrontations and hidden chambers. Trying hard to ignore the dreaded anticipation enveloping him, he closed his eyes and drew in lungfuls of refrigerated cabin air.
Thankfully, his weird nervousness was short-lived. His eyelids began drooping after a few minutes, blanketing his eyes. One by one, his inner ramblings, musings and emotions began vanishing into the vast abyss of nothingness.
At the brink of sleep, only one thought sieved through and lingered. A thought that was crystal clear, potent and warm. A memory. An emotion. A muse. His dearest friend.