Okay, so this is some emotional stuff that I really think Bella and Edward need to get over if they're ever going to go forward. I don't think you can ignore some of these issues, because let's face it; Edward was kind of a jerk in New Moon. It's important I think. Drop me a review :I'll update tomorrow if I get 10.
Another picture. Bella rubbed her eyes as light spots danced in her vision. She forced a grin." Thanks Mom. I needed another picture." Renee bustled about with the camera, even stopping to snap a shot of the tacky floral arrangements that decorated the gym. Bella rolled her eyes, but let her mother carry on. Charlie meanwhile was attempting polite conversation with Esmé and Carlisle. It was taking him a long time to get over his prejudice against Edward, but Bella supposed he had reason to be angry. He couldn't know the whole story. His efforts towards the Cullen parents, however, were definitely a friendly effort, and she appreciated it. She swiveled her head to look for Edward, but accidentally back into someone, falling over. It was Phil.
" Oh hey Phil! I'm really sorry about that." She looked at him sheepishly .He got up from the ground and smiled at her.
" Nah it's okay. Congratulations kiddo."
She examined him. Phil looked as young as ever, and his curly blond hair stuck in every direction from underneath his baseball cap, giving him youthful look. She caught him looking at her mother, leaning over the appetizers to take a photo of an arrangement of sandwiches, his smile generous and adoring, Her mother glanced up for a moment, and threw a beaming smile at Phil. Just behind Phil, Charlie caught the receiving end of that smile, and it was horrible to watch Charlie realize that the smile wasn't meant for him. Bella turned away. Some things were just too painful to watch.
She walked right into Edward. "Oof! Sorry Edward!"
He beamed down at her, his amber eyes glinting. She nearly melted on the spot. Edward looked particularly amazing in the green and dark blue of the graduation robes, with his bronze hair tousled. He flashed a pearly white smile, and Bella grinned a little more stupidly, if that was possible. He bent down, and whispered into her cheekbone, "And how does it feel to be a high school graduate?" Every word sent feather-light touches of air fluttering across her cheeks, and she visibly sagged in his arms.
Alice chose to go fluttering by at that moment, on her way to the family, and called out mischievously " Edward, I think you may have over done the charm just the teensiest bit. Bella looks like she's forgotten how to speak." Edward glared half-heartedly at Alice for interrupting the moment. He glanced back down at the still recovering Bella.
'"Do you want to take a walk? We could get away from everyone for a few moments."
Bella nodded weakly, and waved a faint goodbye at her parents. Both waved her off, shouting that they would see her at home for a celebration dinner. Edward picked her up in his arms, and carried her across the gym. She squealed in protest, and kicked at him, but he just laughed that great big booming laugh of his, and carried on his way. An envious looking Mrs. Cope was standing by the double doors that were the exit. She was looking with particular vehemence at Bella. " What's she thinking?" She crooked her head questioningly at him, teasing him subtly.
Edward grimaced and kept walking, his eyes straight ahead." We're never going to mention that woman ever again." Bella laughed, and they banged out the doors out into the coming night.
They walked to a nearby park. It was devoid of life, probably because of the rainy weather earlier, and drops of water still hung from the rungs of the monkey bars and collected in cracks of the concrete. Bella kicked absent-mindedly at a puddle, and stared at the ground. Edward walked behind her
"Edward," she said, " I'd forgotten. Really, I had! I was just so concentrated on getting this day over with that I forgot exactly why I wanted it over." She laughed weakly. "Funny, isn't it?"
By the looks of it, Edward didn't think it was funny. No, not at all. His fists were clenched and his eyes were hard. Bella didn't even have to mention what it was. There was only one thing that remained a bone of contention between them. The last couple of months since Italy had been blissful, but there had been a constant undercurrent of unspoken emotions. Neither liked to mention it because it was an instant mood destroyer. But both knew that this was going to be the last time they talked about the change and what it meant. Edward sat down on a nearby bench and motioned for her to do the same. She didn't. He sighed and ran his hand through his hair.
" Please, Bella…" he asked. " Please?"
She glared defiantly back at him. " Please what? Sit down on the bench, or stay your inferior for the rest of my infinitesimal human life?"
" No! It's not like that. It could never be like that with you. Can't you see that I'm only trying to protect you?"
She felt herself harden. This argument was too hashed over, too rigid from frequent use. Both of them knew how this would work out if things went this way. Unfortunately, both had a tendency for stubbornness.
He reached across and grabbed her hand, stroking her fingertips. " Don't do this…. Please." He whispered low, almost too low for her to hear. " Don't become a monster like me." There was desperation in his voice.
She wrenched her hand out his. " Like you? Edward, I would give anything to be like you. My immortal soul, my material possessions, my family. I would give anything, do you hear? So what's stopping you? Why this need to keep me frail and human?" Her voice wavered, but she stood strong in front of him, and slowly got louder. Something in her was overflowing, something wounded and hot.
"If you keep me like this, I will never be your equal! You will look after me the way one looks after a lapdog, for the rest of my life, dressed in my doll clothes and being totted around in a Gucci mesh bag! I hate that I could even think this, but am I just that? A pet, to feed and clothe and remind you of something you don't have? A weak human to watch and take care of? A challenge to make the day more interesting? I love you more than I love life itself. I would give up life for a forever of you, me, and dirt hovel, but if you…if you think I'm not good enough for..." Here she choked back a sob, before continuing on, brokenly."… you and a life together, then you have to… kill me, because…I can't… I can't…"
Edward rushed forward and crushed her frame to his in one swift gesture. He whispered harshly into her hair, " Never Bella, do you hear me? I love you, I love you more than the sun, and the moons, and the stars…Please, please don't ever say that again. A world without you is a world incomplete. I'm not worthy of you. I will never be. Everyday I hate myself a little more for what I did for you…and I know I have no right to say this after leaving you, but… it hurts to think that you could doubt me, and the way you make me feel when you walk into the room, or when you smile, or you when you lie next to me. Everything about you makes life worth living. If you died, I'd find a way to follow you. I'd find you, I swear."
The last thing he expected was a giggle, but that was what he got. She peered up at him with tear stained cheeks and a red nose, laughing a kind of hysterical cry.
" Listen to the two of us, threatening to off ourselves. We're the worst emo couple that ever existed."
He laughed and stroked her cheek with the tips of his fingers, looking at her tenderly. She leaned into his hand, a look of contentment on her face.
" Ready to talk about this?" he asked. She nodded and they down on the bench so they were facing the other. He grabbed her hand and took a deep breath.
" Bella…I love you. An immortal life with you would be nothing short of paradise…but it doesn't come without a price and it's such a high price to pay for an immortality of hiding and lying. I don't know what comes after for us. I don't know, and imagine if there is nothing, or worse, we spend eternity in Hell. How can I damn you to that?
You don't understand the thirst. It is sometimes the only thing that drives you, and then you transform into this hellion that belongs only in nightmares, and the worst part is, once it's unleashed, there's no way to reign it back in. It's this part of you, this monster, and it's always there, just below the surface. I can't stand the thought of you corrupted like that, having to comfort you because you did what all of us did at one point, and slipped up…" He traced the line of her face, and looked tenderly into her eyes. " I don't want to change you because I don't want you to hate yourself."
Bella looked up at him from beneath her eyelashes. "As long as you're with me, and you love me…nothing else matters to me. Please, Edward. You have to know that I … I love you to a point that's unhealthy and so rejuvenating at the same time. It hurts me when I'm gone from you, even if that's only for a moment…And I think…I think you love me the same way, and the thought of you alone, without me for an eternity, miserable- that hurts me. I'm doing this for you as much as I am for myself. "
She ventured to put her hands on his dead heart. " How can you not have a soul?" she murmured gently. "You have love, Edward. You have so much compassion and love inside of you, and no one can take that away from you. Your soul is there. You are your soul. It is a part of you, and nothing could have taken that away from you."
"Not even vampirism?"
"Not even vampirism."
Edward stood up for a moment, and looked far away, unseeing, at something lurking in the distance. He sighed and passed his hands over his face. He turned towards Bella and the pain etched his face was tangible and Bella knew if he could cry, he would have.
He reached down and drew her to him, seeking out the still beating pulse in her neck.
He caressed it and gazed softly into her eyes.
" I will…" he swallowed visibly here "change you." She started, and looked up at him.
"Do you mean that?" Her voice raised a decibel. " Do you truly mean that?" She looked at him anxiously.
"Yes, I do. But I need a favor from you."
He gazed away again at the approaching darkness." Before I change you, I want to take you to my home in Chicago, away from this place, and just let us be us, one last time. Edward and Bella. No werewolves, or treaties, or…vampires. Just Edward and Bella."
He took her by surprise, gathering her up into his arms and embracing her, as if trying to meld them into one. Bella laid her cheek on his, and whispered, " Anything Edward. Always and Forever."
Behind them, the sun set, and the world was plunged into the comforting dark of night, illuminated with the brilliance of tiny pinpricks of light, signaling the presence of something beautiful out in the beyond.
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