I got back from my grandparents, and I was so happy because I broke 1000 reviews! I love you guys! And please, EVERYONE review on this last chapter so I can know what you thought of the entire thing. I will post whether I'm making a sequel in about a week, after Eclipse comes out and if I get an idea for it.
I am very happy with this chapter, I think it leaves you with the perfect…. How do I describe it? Feeling. Anyways, please enjoy the very last chapter of my beloved story, Scared.
Fog hung in a thick, omnipresent curtain as I gazed outside the window. Even the shadows of the towering trees seemed to be swallowed in the mist. The whole world was a mass of gently swirling, pearly grey.
I sighed, turning back towards my room. The furniture stood just as it always had, now oddly muted and foreboding with white sheets draped over them. There were no personal items or apparel to be found, no traces of any presence. The room could have belonged to anyone.
And it feels like it does. I still didn't understand exactly who I was anymore.
I let myself fall onto the covered bed, idly fingering the edges of my photo album. Seeing the pictures had brought on a potent mix of emotions. Happiness, reminiscence; but also depression and guilt. Jasper yelled at me more than once that I was giving him migraines.
I've left so much undone. So many loose ends that will never be tied.
At the moment, I couldn't bring myself to open the worn book again. It would be once again opening the floodgates to a past I half wanted to forget, and half wanted to remember for forever.
A soft knock on the door brought me out of my reverie. "Come in," I called, not bothering to raise my voice above that of one I would use for a normal conversation. The polished double doors swung inwards with a barely audible creak of protest, admitting the person outside.
He had healed very quickly, naturally. His unreal perfection, his godlike appearance held no evidence that he had been nearly disemboweled less than a few short days ago.
"It's time to leave," he said, his butterscotch eyes boring into my own. I nodded mutely, slowly standing. I stepped towards the door, mentally questioning whether I was sad or thankful to finally be leaving.
Perhaps it was a mixture of both.
Abruptly I turned, realizing I had forgotten the album. I reached back to grab its faintly embossed cover but hesitated. A sob rose in my throat, and I was unable to block it from escaping my lips.
I felt Edward by my side in an instant, hesitantly laying a gentle hand on my shoulder. I turned to face him, my expression twisted in an internal agony. His gaze was briefly questioning as he looked at me, quickly clearing when he caught sight of the album resting innocently on the bed behind me.
"Bella," his voice was comforting yet cautious, smooth and cultured as velvet. "I know, maybe more than you, how it feels to remember the past. How there may be happiness, love even; but there's also guilt." I stared at the plush carpet, unwilling to meet his beautiful, understanding gaze.
"I'm rather fatalistic by nature, my family has even gone so far as to call me masochistic," here he shifted, chuckling darkly. "But that has taught me even more to let go of things." He reached out, gently lifting my chin to study my face, his eyes enigmatic. Edward's gaze met mine with a peculiar intensity, both of us scrutinizing the other.
"Some things you can't let go of."
"No, some things you can't," he replied slowly. "Some things you shouldn't. But you have to live in the present, not continually dwell in the past. I should know, I've done enough of the latter. Things change, that's the nature of life. People change."
I stared at him, my gaze torn, vaguely depressed but also comforted by his words. People change… "So you've said before."
He looked fully at me, his eyes soft. "Not all change is bad." We stared at each other for another timeless moment, each intent only on the other's face. Then, slowly, he bent towards me his icy lips hesitantly touching my own. I stood absolutely still for an instant, shocked. Then, just as cautiously, I slipped my arms over his shoulders, gently entwining my fingers in his untidy hair.
It was amazing. I've heard the expression, "words can't describe" but never fully comprehended its depth. Nothing could describe this moment. It was both so magically translucent it should be a dream, but also more real than anything I have ever experienced. It felt like I was drifting in another reality where nothing else existed. But I was also acutely aware of the texture of Edward's hair under my fingers, his strong hands that slipped over my waist gently pulling me closer, and his lips chilled and smooth as ice, gently pressing against my own.
Slowly he pulled away, his gaze meeting mine again seeking approval. I stared back into his intent, enigmatic gaze, a slow smile pulling across my lips. His whole face seemed to be illuminated when he grinned crookedly back, rendering him even more beautiful than before.
Edward pulled me into his arms again, tenderly resting his head on mine as I leaned against his solid chest. He ran his hands softly up and down my back, neither of us speaking. Finally I broke the peaceful silence, my voice muffled by his shirt.
"Not all change is bad," I repeated softly. He chuckled in reply, lightly tracing his fingers down my spine.
"It has been so… hectic," he began, his tone indicating he didn't know exactly what to say. "I've been meaning to talk to you, I wanted to so badly. And then the wolves… I was horrified Bella. I realized once you were gone that I cared more than I imagined."
We were both quiet for a while, simply reveling in the feel of the other person in their arms. I shifted my head, deeply breathing in Edward's sweetly intoxicating scent.
"I barely know you really," I began. He stiffened slightly, unsure of what I was going to say. "But I think I love you."
He relaxed, pressing his lips against my neck. I gasped, leaning my head back. "I know I love you." His breath was sweet, softly brushing against my neck.
"I know I love you too."
We just stood then, not saying anything. But words weren't necessary. And we could have remained like that forever, but reality came back to us, rather rudely.
"Edward, Bella, let's go!" Emmett yelled, unnecessarily, from down the stairs. Edward pulled away, rolling his eyes. His gaze met mine and he smiled good naturedly, grabbing my hand and pulling me out the door. I managed to grab the album as he pulled me away, not yet willing to leave it behind.
We walked down the stairs together where the rest of the family was gathering. Emmett looked impatient, "Saying goodbye to your room Edward? We can ship the couch with us if you're really that attached…."
Edward growled, but it was still hinted with a touch of happiness. Alice laughed excitedly, bouncing up and down. She ran gracefully up to me, seizing me into an enthusiastic hug. "I'm so happy for you Bella!"
When she finally released me, I saw Jasper smiling too, no doubt already sensing what had happened between Edward and I.
"Let's go, shall we?" Edward sounded irritated, and moved out the door. His back was turned, but I didn't miss the satisfied looks that passed between Carlisle and Esme. I smiled, following him out the door.
We were cruising quickly out of town in Edward's silver Volvo. He drove, barely glancing at the road, gently holding my hand.
We were almost out of town limits when I noticed the faded white spire of the Forks Church. People were gathered in the parking lot, clad in black and pulling away in their cars. I briefly wondered what was happening when comprehension dawned on me.
"Edward, stop the car," I said softly.
He looked back at me, knowing what was happening just as well as I. "Bella, maybe you shouldn't…"
"Edward, stop the car!" I repeated, this time with much more force. He gave me a resigned look and pulled into the lot, smoothly parking the car.
"At least wait for a moment, Bella. You can't be recognized, and you haven't fed in a while."
"Fine," I sighed reluctantly, sitting ramrod straight in the seat. After a few more minutes, the cars and people had cleared away. I yanked open the door of the car, running out into the swirling mist.
It was all I could do to force myself to run at human pace. I looked around frantically, making out shadowy shapes through the curtain of grey.
A dark outline loomed out of the darkness, and I shrunk back into the concealing mist.
He was dressed in a suit that I had never seen before, his hair combed neatly and his face frozen into a mask of shock and grief. I was so preoccupied with an intense feeling of guilt that I didn't even remember my thirst.
What had I done to him?
He had virtually nothing left. No wife, no family, and now no daughter.
And then he was gone, his figure retreating back to the parking lot.
I wish I could cry.
I ran again, this time unable to restrain myself.
Then I found what I had searched for.
Isabella Marie Swan
Beloved friend and daughter.
A sob rose in my throat, and I felt Edward's arms slip around my waist.
So many memories. So many things I had done and would never do. I had almost killed Charlie, he was far more alone than I.
"What have I done? Charlie, what have I done to him?" I sobbed, leaning into Edward's cold strength.
"You didn't choose to do this, Bella. It happened. At least he still has Jacob."
At least he still has Jacob…
The thought barely eased my guilt.
I stared down at the red roses that lay at the bottom of the cold stone, the green and red leaves contrasting sharply with the epitaph.
I just stood, Edward's arms wrapped around me comfortingly.
So many memories…
I thought of what Edward had said earlier. I couldn't live in the past. There were some things I wouldn't be able to let go of. Some things that maybe I shouldn't. But I couldn't dwell in those things.
It was heart wrenching, seeing my grave. Seeing my past, that seemed to bleed like the crimson roses that rested on the damp ground. But in some vague sense, it gave me the closure I had needed.
I was standing at my grave.
Maybe I should have looked like it that I had died. At least, died to my other life. I had changed so much, I wasn't really the same Bella Swan I had been.
Perhaps this was for the best. That I had seen this.
It was almost like I had buried my past.
I would eventually forget my human past. Already the memories were fading. But they weren't gone, and they never would be.
But maybe, those memories belonged here. In Forks. In this place had so briefly known, but where my life had changed.
I broke away from Edward's grasp, slowly sinking onto the ground. Mist clung to my hair in chilling droplets, soaking through my clothes.
I reached out, tracing the letters engraved onto the stone.
Forever Seventeen. In a way, it was right. I was forever seventeen.
In a way, I was even dead.
I'm dead to my past.
I had always been so afraid. If what had happened taught me anything, it was that you couldn't live your life in fear. You had to look towards the future, and not be scared.
These are where the memories lay. Perhaps it would be best if they stay here.
Slowly, I got up, taking the hand Edward offered me. I looked into his eyes, deep with understanding. A sad smile flickered across his pale face as he stared, turning back.
"Let's go, Bella."
The memories should stay here. I will never forget, but I will not live in them.
I had to let go.
"Let's go." I replied softly.
He smiled again, pulling me towards the parking lot.
I looked back, gazing through the fog. The gloom made the stones into shadows, silhouetted through the murk. Before I turned back towards Edward, back to my new life, I caught one last glance.
A glimpse of crimson petals.
And then they were lost into the mist.