This is my first ever fanfiction, so please review. Be brutal...if you think I deserve it. If you like it, I like knowing that, too. Anyways, here goes. Thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or New Moon, or any of the charictors except for a few I'll introduce in later chapters. A huge section of the dialogue in this chapter comes straight out of New Moon, so all credit goes to its righful owner, Stephenie Meyer.
I stumbled along the forest pathway, past ferns and moss-covered trees, tripping often over rocks, roots, and my own two feet. I'm covered in damp earth, scratches, and bruises, but it doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore, or will ever matter again. Edward is gone, and with him, my will to live. Tears burn my eyes and blurr my vision as they pour down my cheeks and onto my kneck. My thin, pale body is wracked with violent sobbing , and I am shaking uncontrollably. My round, puffy eyes are glazed over. I know that I should pay at least a little attention to where I am and how I'm going to get back, but I can't seem to bring myself to care. So I wander, not caring if I ever find my way home. What does it matter now, anyway?
I would have given anything in that moment for the ground to open up where I stood and close over my head, erasing my existance. I can't bear to think or feel. All thoughts lead to memories, and now that he's gone, they're all too painful to endure. For an instant, I wondered what it was that made me so different from other human teenagers. To a normal teen, a breakup wouldn't be the end of the world, not really. Eventually they would move on and be happy with somebody else. Somehow I know I never will be. I'll never recover from this, and I will certainly never be able to love anyone the way I love Edward. The way that, up until a few hours ago, I had thought he loved me.
As much as I'm hurting right now, I can't bring myself to even wish that my reaction was like that of a normal teenage girl. No matter how much pain I'm in, my time with Edward was worth it. These last few months have been the best of my life, and even though I now know that they were all a lie, and that he never loved me, they always will be. I know that if I had never moved to Forks, I never would have met him, and I wouldn't be feeling this way right now, but as broken as I am without him, I can't regret any of it. I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend with him and his family.
I will miss all of the Cullens. They have become a second family to me, and I truely love every one of them, even Rosalie, who has always seeemed to loathe me. Carlisle and Esme, Edward's parents, immidiately accepted me and have always made me feel welcome in their home. Alice is my best friend, and has been like a sister to me, while Emmitt is the big brother I have always wanted, but never had. Jasper had keep his distance, since it was harder for him to resist human blood, but I really enjoy having him around. Especially when a sadistic vampire was after me and I would have been in hysterics the entire time if it hadn't been for his unique gift. The beautiful Rosalie has been downright nasty, but I will miss her, too. I will miss all of my would-be family every day of my life, and imagine how wonderful my life could have been if Edward loved me and I could spend the rest of forever with them all.
I feel like claws are tearing at whats left of my heart, just thinking of what could have been. In this one nightmarish day, I have somehow managed to lose everything that matters to me in life. I've lost the love of my life, the family I've come to love and would have spent eternity with, and the entire future I'd chosen for myself. I've never felt more lost and alone. The prospect of my life looms over me, taunting me and tearing a gasp from my throat. It will be as if I am forever treading water, just trying to keep my head above the water to keep from drowning, though there will never be land in sight, and there will never be a moment where I canrelax and stop swimming. I will know, of course that land exists, just as I know Edward exists, but both will be forever out of my reach. Sinking would be easier, and much more peaceful, but I have to just keep going, though I have nothing left to live for. There's no hope for happiness, and I know that. The best I can do is keep living in an attempt to keep Charlie and Renee from having to feel any of the pain and loss that I am suffering.
There's no light at the end of my tunnel. I just have to keep walking forever through darkness. Keep treading water with no forseen rescue. The only person who has the power to rescue me never will, and I can't say that I blame him. Him loving me had always seemed too good to be true, and it wasn't fair for him to have to keep rescuing me and pretending to be something he wasn't, constantly endangering himself and his family just to keep me happy. I miss him so much I feel as though I am being torn apart, but if he doesn't want me...
Of course he doesn't love me! How could I ever have been stupid enough to think he did? Hes so perfect, and I'm just an ordinary, boring, clumsy human who was always slowing him down and needing his protection. I love him and need him with every ounce of my being, but what do I have to offer him. He is an angel, my angel, and now I will never see him again.
I will miss him desperately, and all the things that I will never again experience flash through my mind with a vengance. I will never again look into his topaz eyes and feel my own glaze over, smelling his sweet breathe in my face as he dazzled me. He will never again climb through my window at night and humm the lulliby he had written me as I drifted off to sleep. He won't stay and listen to me talk in my sleep, or press his cool lips to mine while tracing my jawline or collarbone with thin, pale fingertips. I will never again feel his arms close around me as he stopped me from falling.
He will never again grin his crooked grin at me at hearing my heartrate speed up for him, or chuckle at my embarassment, as I blush crimson. I want to feel his lips brushing against my hair and his fingertips sliding down my face. I want to feel him next to me when I sleep, and hear the comforting sound of his breathe entering and exiting his marble body. I want to watch him sparkle in the sunlight.
I had been completely lost in thought and paying no attention to my surroundings, when all of a sudden I heard an evil chuckle behind me, and a icy voice sent shivers down my already shaking body. "My, my, my! What have we here?" I turned, wide-eyed, and looked into a narrowed pair of black-rimmed, glowing red eyes. The vampire's thin lips curled into a malicious smile. I froze, feeling just like I had the time when I was five and ran straight into a table, trying to jump on it, and instead only got the wind knocked out of me. "I must say, this is turning out to be much more conveinient than I had hoped!"
I just stood there looking at her in shock, completely lost for words. She cocked her head a bit to the left, and looked amused. "Aren't you going to at least try to run away?" She raised an eyebrow expectantly.
I know that running would be pointless. It's not as if I have any hope of outrunning her, and I'm not entirely sure I want to. I'm not scuicidal. I wouldn't go looking for death, but if it were to come and offer to take me, would it really be all that wrong to give into it? Why should I spend so much energy trying to get away when I didn't really want to live anymore anyways. Honestly, I didn't even care if it was painful. All physical pain could do now is distract me from the emotional, and I needed distractions!
So I just stood there for a moment looking at her, her glaring back. Her eyes went back to their narrow shape, and her lips pressed into a thin line. She was annoyed, probably because I wasn't running yet, and she liked to play with her food before devouring it. "What is it?" She hissed at me. "Where's your precious Edward now?"
The mention of his name tore the breathe from my lungs and made me feel as though something was reaching between my ribs and pulling me apart. Hunched over in pain, I couldn't seem to breathe, and I felt as though the giant hole in chest was raw and bleeding while someone stretched it. And thats how I got here, curled into a ball on the forest floor, looking up into the red eyes of the monster. Her claws sank into the flesh of my arms, and she was immidiately pulling me up and pinning me painfully to a tree. I couldn't analyse the look on her face, it was changing so rapidly, but she seemed to be calculating. "So its true then. He really did leave." Her expression changed to one of amusement. How does she know? No one knows yet. "That was unexpected. Especially after last spring. I was sure he was in love with you, a stupid human. But if he really did leave, I have to rethink my plans.
Edward, I miss you so much.
She gave me a final shove before releasing me to pace in front of me. Every few seconds her head shot over to look at me, and I recognised the look on her face. She was plotting, but why? What plans did she need to rethink? Was she not going to kill me now? Even if Edward and I aren't together anymore, I am still the insignificant human he killed James over. She suddenly turned to look at me, and there was a malicious glint in her eyes. That thin, chillingly beautiful face curled once again into a smile. I am not afraid to die, but something in her expression told me that she had something else in mind. A pang of terror shot through me. What was she going to do? Just kill me now and get it over with! Please, please just kill me. I don't want to be a part of one of your sadistic plots.
I'm never going to see him again.
In an instant she was pinning me once more to the tree. "Don't worry, Isabella, I'm not going to kill you...yet." Did she not realise I'm not afraid to die? Edward always said I had no sense of self-preservation, and now I really don't, but I still want to know what she meant by yet.
I groaned and looked her pleadingly in the eye. "Please just get it over with," I begged in a whisper. "I'm not afraid."
"No, no, Isabella. I'm sure you would like me to simply get it over with, but you're much too important to my plans for me to just kill you." She laughed again, causing goosebumps to spring up all over my body.
"Plans?" I barely whispered it, but I knew her vampire ears would pick it up with ease.
"Yes, Isabella," she explained slowly, as if I wouldn't be able to understand her. "I will have my revenge, but killing you doesn't do any good if Edward isn't here to know about it. Even if he were to find out somehow, I want him to know that I killed you. He took James from me, so I will take you from him, and he will always know that you are dead because of him!"
Before I could say anything, she bent toward my kneck, and I felt her sharp teeth pierce my skin. She stepped back while I fell into a heap on the forest floor, and when I looked at her, eyes wide, I saw that she was smiling from ear to ear. I don't understand. She touched my face with her cold fingertips, and a shudder ran through my body. Then, the pain started. It was like fire was being shot through my viens, causing me to writhe in agony on the damp ground. My own screams filled my ears, but there was no escape. In all the times I had imagined becoming a vampire, I had never pictured it being like this. I had always thought that becoming a vampire would ensure that I could be with Edward forever, and that he would be there holding me through the pain. Instead Victoria stood over me, and had the pain not been so intense, I would have been screaming at her in frustration and confusion. What does this have to do with anything!!!! The pain was consuming me. I don't understand how this is supposed to help you achieve revenge! All its going to do is force me to live for an eternity rather than a lifetime with the pain from not being able to be with Edward.
Just then, when I thought that the pain couldn't get any worse, my worst memory flashed before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do but watch in horror. The forest around me disappeared, and instead I saw Edward as we got to my house, and he said those fateful words: "We need to talk."
I had been worried for days, ever since my eighteenth birthday when his brother Jasper had nearly attacked me, but his words brought a fresh wave of dread over me. I walked with him to the opening of the forest trail by my house, where he turned abruptly to face me and leaned against a tree. He looked like a Greek god standing there, but the warmth that was usually in his eyes were gone, and my anxiety deepened. His face was cold and blank, and revealed nothing to me, but I tried to mask my fear and sound brave as I spoke. "Okay, lets talk."
No! Please don't make me see it again!
He looked down at me, again, his face revealed nothing as he said, "Bella, we're leaving."
The physical pain of the change was nothing to the feeling in my chest when I saw that moment in my mind. Nothing to my mind conjuring up images of his perfection and showing them to me, as if to pull my emotional wounds wider still.
I had seen this coming. One night after he had started to act moody and distant, I had sat in my kitchen and thought about what it could be, and what the worst thing I could handle would be. I wasn't ready to leave, but I could handle it. It would just be so much easier if we waited a bit. I took a deep breathe, and began, "Why now? Another year---"
But I didn't finish, Edward, still expressionless, cut me off, saying, "Bella, its time. How much longer could we stay in Forks after all?" Suddenly, the meaning behind his words hit me. He was saying that his family had to leave. "Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he's claiming thiry-three now. We would have to start over soon regardless."
I looked up at him, and my face must have showed the shock I was feeling, but he only looked emotionlessly back at me. He wasn't telling me that it was time for us to leave, he letting me know that he and his family would be leaving. I already knew the answer, but I had to ask. I somehow managed to breathlessly whisper, "When you say we---"
"I mean my family and myself."
I suddenly understood his moodiness. He was upset because he thougth that he was going to have to leave without me. He was worried that I wouldn't want to go with him, that I would want to stay here in Forks. Wasn't he listening all those times that I told him he was my life. Didn't he think that if I was willing to give up my humanity to be with him forever I was willing to leave Forks with him and his family. Of course, preferably we could wait until graduation so Charlie wouldn't be suspicious, but if he was leaving, so was I. "Okay," I said, totally calm now. There was nothing to think about. "I'll come with you."
"You can't Bella," he started. "Where we're going...Its not the right place for you." Confusion swept over me. How could it not be the right place for me? He was being riddiculous.
"Where you are is the right place for me." How could he not already know that?
"I'm no good for you Bella." What! Is that what this was about again? How could he think that? I loved him! I needed him! He was my life!
"Don't be ridiculous. You're the best part of my life." There was nothing more true to me in the world. I hadn't known true happiness until I met Edward. My world revolved around him, and I would love him forever.
"My world is not for you." I felt my eyes grow wide. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of his world, and I was, quite frankly getting tired of him calling himself a monster and saying that he was always putting me in danger. If it weren't for him, there is no way I would be here today. He had saved my life countless times, and I didn't care about the danger. It was all worth it. Was he leaving because of what happened with Jasper? That must be it. But it wasn't that big of a deal! I was fine!
"What happened with Jasper- that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!" I was beginning to get a bit desperate. How could he think he could leave me over something as stupid as that! I was perfectly fine. I wasn't even angry with Jasper!
"You're right it was exactly what was to be expected." The anxiety I had been feeling was growing again. He was really going to leave me over this! I knew that this was adzactly the sort of thing that he feared the most. The fact that he and his family were vampires was putting me into danger, but he couldn't leave! And there wouldn't be any danger if he'd just change me! I was nearing hysterical. I had to get him to stay, and I was grasping at straws.
"You promised! In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay-" I was desperate, but he cut me off again.
"As long as that was best for you," He was really going to leave me! How could he be so calm when I was falling apart at the very thought! What was it with him thinking he wasn't best for me? I suddenly remembered the conversation Carlisle and I had the other night as he stitched up my arm.
"No! This is about my soul isn't it?" How he could believe he and his family had lost their souls was beyond me. Of course he still had a soul, and I don't care what happens to mine as long as I could be with him. "Carlisle told me about that, and I don't care, Edward. I don't care! You can have my soul. I don't want it without you--it's yours already." What was a soul without him? I know he was worried about my afterlife. He wanted me to go to heaven, but I could never be happy in heaven if he wasn't there with me. Plus, I couldn't agree with his ideas of eternal damnation for something he had no control over anyway. Any god that would damn people as wonderful as the Cullens, who fought their instincts every day to not kill, I didn't want to have anything to do with. God had to be more forgiving than that.
I tried to read his reaction, but his face was still blank, he glanced down at the ground for a moment, then said the words that would haunt me forever. "Bella, I don't want you to come with me." My breathe stopped, and I felt as though someone had just kicked me in the gut. I could only think of one reason why he wouldn't want me to come with him. He really didn't want me? He didn't love me? I had to make sure I understood him correctly.
"You...dont...want...me?" I hoped desperately that I was wrong! Please tell me that wasn't what you meant! Please. Before I even finished my question, I was screaming inside. The agony was amazing, and I felt like someone had punched a hole in my chest. I knew that one word from him could tear my heart and my life to pieces. I waited breathlessly for his answer, praying it wasn't what I thought it was.
As predicted, in an instant my heart shattered into a thousand tiny, irreparable shards that continued to tear up the rest of my insides until there was nothing left of my chest but a giant, raw and bleeding hole that was being slowly filled with more than pain than she had thought possible for a person to feel, let alone endure. My world was crumbling, my heart was broken, but I tried to seem calm as I spoke. "Well that changes things." I was suddenly out of arguments. If he didn't love me anymore, what could I do but let him go? My heart was racing, and all I could do was stare at him in horror. He glanced away from me, looking into the trees, and I suddenly realized why he had been so expressionless. He wasn't trying to hide his feelings from me, he wasn't worried, he just didn't love me anymore.
"Of course, I'll always love you...in a way. But what happened the other night made me realize it's time for a change. Because I'm...tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella. I'm not human." I felt like I couldn't breathe. My world was falling apart. Nothing could have torn me up more inside. Edward was leaving. He didn't love me anymore. "I've let this go on far too long, and I'm sorry for that."
His words cut through me even more, if that was possible. Not only did he not love me, but he regretted the time he had spent with me. I was a mistake. I couldn't bear to see him leave and know he was never coming back. I just wanted this all to be a nightmare, or some kind of sick joke. I was inwardly begging that was all it was, and I would soon wake up in my bed to Edward holding me and whispering that everything was okay, he was right there.
"Don't. Don't do this."
"You're not good for me, Bella." It was true. I wasn't good for him, but hearing him say it cut deep. He was so perfect, an angel, and I wasn't. I was ordinary, clumsy, and boring. He could do much better than me, but I wanted so desperately for him to stay. I had always known he was too good for me, but that didn't keep me from needing him. I needed him like I had never known it possible to need someone. He had become my very existance, and without him, life meant nothing.
"If that's what you want."
"I would like to ask one favor, though, if its not too much." I looked up at him, and he was looking intensely back at me. I felt just the tiniest spark of hope ignite in me, and I knew I would do whatever it was he asked me. I could hardly speak.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid. Do you understand what I'm saying?" I only nodded. He returned to his cool, blank face when he said, "I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself---for him."
My heart was sinking lower and lower with each passing moment, with each breathe and every word. He didn't love me. He didn't even care about me. He just wanted me to not do anything rash for Charlie's sake.
"I will make a promise in return. I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I wont come back. I won't put you through anything like this again." But I wanted to see him. I wanted to see him each and every moment of my life.
"You can go on with your life without anymore interferance from me." That isn't what I wanted. I wanted him. I wanted him to interfere as much as possible.
"It will be as if I never existed." That wasn't possible, and I would never want it to be. He was the most precious thing in my world. The thought of him not existing, or me not being sure if any of this had been real, was the only thing in the world that could possibly be worse than him leaving.
He smiled and continued. "Don't worry. You're human----your memory is no more than a seive. Time heals all wounds for your kind."
My heart was racing. My knees were shaking. I didn't ever want to forget him. I didn't want the memories to slip away. I wanted to hold tightly to them forever like the precious treasures they were. Would he forget me? Would his memories slip away? Was that what he was saying? Would he someday look back on this period of his life and think 'who was that girl again?' I asked, "And your memories?"
"Well...I won't forget. But my kind...We're easily distracted." Distracted? What was that supposed to mean? Did he mean other women? Other vampire women? Of course, a vampire would be much better for him than I could be. A vampire could spend forever with him and take care of herself without needing to be protected all of the time. A vampire woman would be more interesting than me, more beautiful than me, and more graceful than me. I couldn't even compete.
"That's everything I suppose. We won't bother you again." We?
"Alice isn't coming back?" I couldn't stand that I wouldn't get to talk to Alice again. She was my best friend, and now I couldn't even talk to her when my world was falling apart?
"No. They're all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye."
"Alice is gone?" I couldn't believe she was already gone. I needed her now more than anything, and not only could I not talk to her about any of this, but I wouldn't get to tell her goodbye.
"She wanted to say goodbye, but I convinced her that a clean break would be better for you." A clean break. Is that what this was supposed to be? Nothing about it seemed to be clean to me. My mind and heart were in chaos, my chest was being ripped in two. I felt like letting him leave would kill me, but there was nothing I could do to make him stay.
I didn't think more pain was possible, but with those words, I felt a fresh wave close over my head, and I couldn't stop myself from what I was about to do. "Wait," I hardly got out, as I reached for him. For a split second I thought he was reaching back for me, before I realized he was just moving to gently pin my arms by my sides. That was painful. That was the first time he had ever rejected me, and I realized he didn't even want me to touch him. I wondered if he could see my heart breaking in my eyes, or if he really thought I was going to be okay, and the memories would fade. He leaned foreward and placed one last peck on my forhead, saying, "Take care of yourself." I closed my eyes, and knew that would be the last time I felt his cool lips on my skin. When I opened them, he was gone, and a storm rushed through me.
I knew that I should just go home. We were just on the opening to the path, but I couldn't stand to do that. I ran after him, though of course there was no hope of ever catching up. I wasn't using logic anymore as I ran through the forest, paying little attention to where I was going, shouting his name and sobbing. "Edward!"
I end flashback
For a moment, the memories stopped, and I was back in the present. I found myself starring, screaming up into the cold red eyes that were Victoria's, and I noticed that she was talking. "You're really lucky I found you, you know. The change will help you to forget most of your human life. Especially the painful parts." She laughed. "Not that I care, of course, but it will make my plans just that much easier."
I don't know what she meant by her plan, but I do know that I never want to forget, no matter how painful the memories. Perhaps Edward was right and human memories really do fade, which would make them all but dissappear when the change is complete, but I will do everything in my power to never forget. I don't ever want to forget one single moment I spent with him, or how much I love him. Edward was special. So special, I had known from the beginning that there was no way that this angel was meant for me. I knew it was masochistic, but in that moment, I made a oath, though only the silent trees heard me. I swore that as long as I lived, I would always love Edward, and no one else. Not in that way. I also swore to remember. The memories were brutal, but the thought that the day might come when I couldn't remember his crooked grin or the way his arms felt around me was excruciating.
So with a newfound determination, I watched the memories of my life slide by. For a few moments, I watched my childhood, but the memories of Edward and the Cullens stood out the most. I could see him at that table accross the caffiteria on that first day, and the hate in his black irises on the first day of Biology. I could see him telling me his secret as he drove me home from Port Angeles, and sparkling in the sun in the meadow. I relived our first kiss and the first time he introduced me to his family, but after a while, I began to realize that as I moved from one memory to the next, everything became less and less clear. I tried to focus on them, both to distract from the severe pain and to try to hold on to my memories, but they were like water in my cupped hands, and I could feel them slipping away, no matter how hard I tried to hold on.
A thousand images of Edward flashed before my eyes, and I could see my love and happiness reflecting in his. It was then that I realized what I should have known all along: he was every bit as in love with me as I was with him. He only told me he didn't love me, but why?
The memory of one of our conversations took that moment to flash before my eyes. He was warning me, once again, to stay away from him, that he was dangerous. Of course. He was trying to protect me again. He thought he was a danger to me. He thought that by staying out of my life, he was keeping me safe. He still loved me, and always would, just as I would always love him. He was in just as much pain as I was right now, knowing he would never see me again, but enduring it in the hope that I would move on and be happy without him. Did he really think that was possible? Didn't he realize how much I loved him? How much I needed him?
Knowing that he loved me afterall was a comfort. I wouldn't have to live forever without him, after all. When I woke up, I would be a vampire, and I could search forever for him. Then a realization hit me like a ton of bricks, knocking the wind of me. I could feel my memories slipping away by the moment, and I knew they would be gone by the time I woke. I was desperate to hold on. Desperate to stay awake throughout the change.
I need to remember, but everything is going black, and I know that when I wake up, I'll be a vampire and I won't have the love of my life there with me. Already the memories are getting fuzzy, but I can't seem to call them back. I can feel myself falling through black water, but try as I might to kick to the surface, I just continue to be submerged in the fire of the change. I'm slipping into the darkness, and I know that when I wake up all of this will be gone, but I can only hope that I will somehow manage to retrieve it someday.
Goodbye, Edward. I love you.