March 2006

As I stepped onto the stone precipice, the wind started whipping my hair all around my face. It was just starting to rain, each drop soaking into my skin and matting down my hair. I didn't bother to pull my wet hair off of my face, and stepped closer to the edge. The drop down made my breath catch - it hadn't seemed this far down from the road or when I had seen the "boys" cliff dive.

Cliff diving.

I reminded myself that was why I had made this climb - to hear that voice again. Jacob had promised to take me, asking me to wait for him so we could jump together. If I was being honest with myself, looking down into the crashing waves, I preferred to do this alone - no longer certain I cared if I re-emerged from the water. The dull, rhythmic thunder of the waves crashing into the shore provided a soothing background noise for me to process these thoughts. Was it my initial intention to stay underneath the water? No, however, the thought of eternal silence and numbness was more attractive than the alternative - a life without him. Certainly my absence would hurt Charlie, but he was settled into a life before me and could recover after. I thought of Renee - she had Phil to take care of her and provide comfort. My friends - if I could call them that anymore after my lack of involvement - would carry on just like they have been. That left Jacob. We were close and I knew he was starting to develop feelings for me that I couldn't return. He could also imprint on somebody else, which would bring me right back to this position - alone and in pain. I stepped closer to the edge, sneakers squishing with the rain, and closed my eyes.

"Bella! What are you doing!?"

The voice that shouted out was not the crushed velvet I expected, but just as disapproving. I turned around to see Leah emerging from the trees.

"Step back, what are you thinking?"

"What's going on? Why are you here? Where's Jacob -"

"They got her. They killed Victoria, he sent me to find you. Are you out of your mind? Why are you up here?" She shouted over the rain, which was now coming down twice as hard. My hands started to shake, and my body felt heavy. Could the threat of Victoria really be over? I took several steps closer to Leah who had stopped under the dark canopy of trees.

"Let's go."