Author's Note: This was a one-shot that Pompeii got the idea for when listening to Kurt Nilsen's song "My Street". Please note that Pompeii is a little obsessed right now with Kurt Nilsen! We passed the story back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean each adding bits and pieces. We hope you enjoy it and sigh at the end like we did! You can watch the "My Street" video on youtube; the link is posted in the profile.
Disclaimer: If we owned Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, why would we be here? We would be on the beach in Hawaii drinking strawberry daiquiris and learning to surf like the big kahunas do. We also don't own "My Street" or Kurt Nilsen and his voice for that matter…though Pompeii wishes she did!
As soon as Renee left, I knew I was safe. Charlie would never make me leave here. I promised myself I would stay. I thought…I'd just give myself tonight. Just tonight to remember and then I would pack it all away, so that Charlie wouldn't try to send me away again. It was the remembering that crippled me. That made my entire body ache and tremble. I didn't want to let go of the pain. I was pain. Every inch of my skin remembered his touch and ached for it again. All that kept me on this earth was the violent turmoil of my soul. It was all I had left of him, really. But if I didn't end this catatonic state I was in, Charlie would have me committed, or worse… sent to Florida!
I ran down the stairs with my iPod in hand. I needed to get out of there and clear my head. Charlie was smothering me. It wasn't his fault; he was just worried, but I had to get out, get out so that I could have one more night with my pain…one more night with him. Prepare myself for what I would have to bear in silence. This was my new existence…or my old one, back from before he gave me life.
"I need to get some fresh air Dad! I'm going for a walk." I tried to sound cheery, but it didn't work. "It's cold out there Bella, and it's almost dark." Charlie was looking at me with so much worry I thought it would smother me. "I'll be OK Dad; I won't go far. Please?"
He thought for a moment, I am sure he was considering whether or not I would get lost. But seeing me up and moving around, was such a welcome sight he finally said, "OK… Do you want me to come with you, Bells?"
"I'll be fine Dad, I'm just walking down the street." Defeated, he nodded an approval. I grabbed my coat and boots and stepped out into a drizzly cold Forks October evening.
As soon as I got outside, I regretted my decision. The cold night and the sparse stars reminded me too much of him. That night on the way to play baseball with his family had been just like this one. My lips burned with the memory of his kiss, and my knees felt so weak I had to lean up against a car on the side of the street, grateful it didn't have an alarm. This is too much. I can't do this; I can't be what Charlie needs me to be. But then I thought… I'm allowed to remember tonight! This will be the last night I'll think of him, think how it was when I believed he loved me. Then I'll shut down my heart. He asked me to take care of Charlie, and in order to do so I knew I'd have to stop feeling.
But that would all start tomorrow. Tonight it was just me, my iPod, and the memories.
I shuddered from the cold air, and pulled my coat closer around me as I walked down the sidewalk. Cars lined the street; this was unusual for this time of night. Only a few houses showed any sign of life. A few cars passed by splashing water over the parked cars as they went. My iPod was playing, and I let myself sink into the music, all songs from a play list Edward had put together for me. I knew I would delete it soon. How it had escaped me before I did not know, but after tonight it would be history.
Walking past the houses along the sidewalk I watched families busy with their lives. They looked so happy through those windows. I wanted to be in there with them. Memories of my family flooded my heart; Alice, Japer, Emmett, Carlisle, Esme… I missed them almost as much as I missed him. For the second time in my life my family had been torn apart.
"That's what we must have looked like," I thought as I saw a young couple snuggled up on their couch talking and laughing. His fingers grazed her face and my cheek scorched and seared in agony and want. It took every thing I had not to scream and relieve the pressure exploding in my chest. I closed my hands into fists burying my nails into my palms. Then shoved them deep into my coat pockets; the physical pain helped to ease the one scorching across my face. As he bent down to kiss her I had to look away. That would never be me again. That life was over, done.
We were supposed to go down to Jacksonville to see Renée together. It would have been wonderful, being on vacation with him. I remembered how fantastic last summer was, how we had spent every day and practically every night together. "How could things change so fast?" I asked myself. But I knew, and I always had known deep inside, that one day it would all come to an end.
The tears in my eyes swelled beyond control. I tried to choke them back out of habit. I didn't like to cry. I hated it. Even that reminded me of him. I could see his face so clearly, fascinated by my tears. Reaching out with his hand and stealing my tear away. My cheek burned with the memory of his touch. Could I ever show any human emotion again without being reminded of him?
I was so lost in my own thoughts, that I didn't notice I was walking towards school till I was standing by the gate. What was I doing here? The courtyard of the school looked so empty and hollow without the bustling of students. Hollow…we were a good match then. Maybe that's why my feet brought me here. I heard some noise coming from one of the buildings, but didn't think much of it as I started walking again.
Then I saw it. Our bench. I froze. It was the one we sat on the night of prom. When I thought we were going to last forever. Or, at least as long as I lived. How could I have been so wrong? The sudden pain that flashed through me when I saw his face and heard his words in my broken memory almost made me fall to the ground. I staggered over to the bench and sat down on it.
The rain soaked wood seeped through my clothes, freezing my skin. But I couldn't move. I was frozen in place by the pain that racked my chest. Emotional spasms rocked my heart causing it to beat erratically. I couldn't breath. Fighting for each gasp, desperate for air. "This is what a heart attack must feel like," I thought. Maybe I would die right here. Wouldn't that be easier than what I was feeling now? I wanted to be free, to let it all go. "You promised" I said to myself. Of course he would make me promise. My Edward; my perfect noble Edward. Even the thought of his name made my body ache. Could I ever say it out loud again?
Wasn't I supposed to be angry with him for leaving me? Wasn't that normal behavior for a break-up? All I could manage was sorrow and grief at my loss. It felt more like I had lost someone to death than to lack of love. Then my recent thought hit me. "A break-up." I laughed audibly at the words. They were so trivial for what I thought we were. I thought we were so much more…soul mates. How could I have been so stupid to think that he could ever love me the way I loved him. I was hyperventilating now. Tears streamed down my cheeks in rivers of agony.
The noises from a distant school building were growing louder. I reached into my pocket and turned up the volume on my iPod. It felt good to close out the real world, and just hide in the music. It gave me peace to think. My breathing slowed with the pound rhythms in my head.
I never had much experience with relationships. Before Edward, all I knew was what I had observed in Phoenix, and somehow even that seemed far away from what we had. It even seemed far off from what I had seen since I came to Forks, though that may have only been the small town vs. big city playing in. But this got me thinking. Was it even a relationship? I had always believed it to be more, but maybe it was actually less? But if it wasn't a relationship, what was it? Had I just been something to keep him occupied for a while? I was a distraction maybe, pathetic definitely. Not that I wasn't grateful for it. I was, and immensely so.
The questions were too many for me to handle. Not now, not ever. I would never have them answered anyway, so why torture myself thinking about them? It was much easier to look down at my fingers, to feel the physical pain instead of the mentally inflicted one. My fingers and fingernails were torn to shreds. I was surprised when I heard my bitter laugh ring through the air again. I could only imagine how he would've had to restrain himself if he had been there that day in my truck. His eyes, searing with disapproval, as he held his breath to be able to stay with me. I had been struggling for hours to get the stereo out. Emmett had done a good job. Even though it was already installed, they had probably thought I'd still try to get it out to return it. They were only partially right, but for a different reason. I tore out the stereo, but only so that I wouldn't have to see it again. It would only remind me of something I no longer had, and I did not need that. I couldn't erase the memories, but I could try not to remember after tonight. Try to move on…empty…and alone…for Charlie…for him.
I was grateful, I repeated to myself, for the time I got with him. But still, I could not help the tears that once again started to fall from my eyelids, one by one.
"I'll stay here," I whispered out loud. I'd give myself that much. Determination, defiance, and anger for control filled my throat. It would be enough to prove to me that it hadn't all been a dream. He wasn't going to take that away. I wouldn't let him. Then it burst from my lips before I could stop it.
"DO YOU HEAR ME? I'M STAYING!" I was shouting now into the dark oblivion of that cold drizzly October night. A release… In a perfect moment of clarity I screamed with more conviction into the night.
"I'M STAYING RIGHT HERE ON MY STREET! I'LL ALWAYS BE HERE. JUST WATCH! YOU CAN'T SEND ME AWAY FROM HERE. IT'S MY STREET!"
With that last syllable an explosion of color streaked across the sky, then another, and another. Beautiful explosions of red, blue, orange, yellow… Fireworks, I could barely see through the mix of sad and angry tears blurring my vision. It had been October Fest I was hearing from inside the gym. A celebration of the harvest. A celebration of the gifts of life. Ironic, isn't it? When I had just lost the only gift I could ever want in my life, they were celebrating it.
I grabbed a hold of my chest, reveling in my pain and embracing the comfort that came from knowing I would never leave here. I would die here. Hollow, alone and old in a place I hated, despised, now that he wasn't here to brighten it up for me. But I would stay.