"You're going to have to leave your room eventually, Jake." Billy complained from the hall outside of my bedroom. "It's the 15th anniversary, not her death."
I shoved the pillow tighter against my skull, trying to drown out my father's voice. It's times like these when I wondered why I allowed my father to move in with me in the first place. He definitly isn't too helpless because he has enough energy to lecture me at 9 in the morning.
"Fine. Wallow. I'll be in the living room."
I removed the pillow from my head and instead rolled my body ontop of it.
15 years. It had been 15 years since the death of Bella. So much had happened in those 15 years, and yet none of it had really mattered. I pulled the pillow out from under me and absently threw it at the wall. The action was soon followed by a crash.
"What was that?" Billy groaned from the living room.
"Nothing." I barked, dragging myself out of bed to look at the damage.
There on the floor, lay a smashed picture of Bella and I. The picture taken shortly before she took her fateful leap off of the cliff. Sighing at the mess of glass on the floor, I left my room, too depressed to clean up the pile.
"Where are you going?" Billy grunted from his chair placed dangerously close to the television.
"To see Bella." I answered, slipping my jacket on.
"Eh? Why would you go there?"
I closed the door behind me without an answer. Why did he think that I was going there?
"When we stop phasing for a solid length of time, we age again. It's not easy. It's gonna take a long amount of time to learn that kind of restraint."
I remembered the conversation that we had had at the beach after describing how I no longer aged. Would she be proud to know that I'm human now? That I'm now in my thirties and no longer an eternal teenager? I'd imagine that she'd be.
When I finally made it to the cliff, I took a seat at her grave, gently brushing off the dirt that had begun to accumulate due to the wind. Where she was to be buried was a topic of very heavy debate. The Cullens wanted her buried at the cemetery, while Charlie, understanding how much she meant to me, agreed to have her memorialized in La Push. I picked out the cliff. She would have appreciated the dark humour.
The only thing that I did not like, however, was the grave directly to her right.
The raw nerve of the leach to off himself after she left was unbelievable. Did he think that I was living life happily now that she was gone? What I was doing could hardly be considered "living"! So how would he justify going against what Bella would have wanted when I'm left on this Earth alone?
The thought sickened me and I brushed more dirt over his stone. He wasn't even supposed to be on La Push soil, let alone underneath it.
"You lucked out Edward. Lucky for you there are only enough room for two gravestones on this cliff." I mumbled before turning my attention to Bella.
"I wish..." I began, taking a deap breathe in order to control my cracking voice. "I wish you had talked to me... that we could have had a final conversation... a goodbye..."
I hesitated as I fought the tears. The last thing that Bella needed right now was a middle aged man crying pathetically at her grave. But I couldn't control myself.
"Are you happy? I know that you're in heaven... but the hell that I've been living through will be worth it if you just tell me that you're happy up there..." I said, no longer fighting as the tears came. "Can I have a sign?"
I waited where I sat. What was I waiting for? A sign. Anything. My mind was ready to interpret any sign that might be coming from Bella.
A gentle breeze rolled in, causing the grass around me to rustle; a noise that filled the silence. In the distance I heard a squirrel cross branches. A bird chirp absently. A wave crash against the cliff. Nothing that could be of any use at all.
"I've never thought of you as cruel, Bella." I smirked, looking at her grave.
Faintly, I could hear the sound of two people walking towards the spot. Without thinking, I quietly stepped aside and behind a tree.
"I'm glad she was put here."
Ugh... the tiny vampire and her mate. Fantastic.
"Hey Bella!" The tiny one announced, nearly dancing to the grave. If I hadn't known better I'd have thought that she was greeting my actual Bella. I stayed hidden behind my tree.
"We've all missed you and Carlisle asked me to give you these." she chirped as a russling of flowers were heard. "Tulips. He figured you wouldn't want roses. Too expensive. So tulips we decided were safe. I'll just put them here."
I sank into a seated position behind my tree as she continued to babble about meaningless things to the stone. Why was I even hiding?
"I'm going to go back home, alright?" the blonde one asked.
The small one momentarily stopped her talking and smiled at him.
It took a few minutes before she spoke again, and this time her voice was downcast.
"We really do miss you... but we understand why you had to go..."
She was talking to her brother now.
"I can't say that I've forgiven you for leaving us... but I can understand. Do you have any regrets?"
A few moments of silence passed as she waited for something unbeknownst to me.
"You think I hadn't seen the fight.. the one between you and the d---Jacob. Are you glad that you didn't finish it? Do you wish he was dead? Because he's very much alive now..." she trailed off. I felt goosebumps raise on my arm as I realized that she was talking about me.
"He's actually right here." she said, turning towards the tree. "Hello Jacob."
I stood motionless for a few moments, then decided to give up the charade and enter into the opening.
"Visiting Bella, too?" she asked, her voice no longer depressed.
"Yep." I said, grumpily falling into a seated position on the ground next to her. Even as human I felt nothing but distaste for vampires. And why shouldn't I? What good have they done for the world?
"Do you think she's in heaven?" the pixie asked quietly. I jumped when I realized that she was seated quietly next to me, staring at the sky.
"Of course she is!" I gasped, astonished that she would even consider the alternative. "Why wouldn't she be?"
She absently shrugged her shoulders as her stare became more focused.
"Do you think he's... in heaven?" she whispered.
"Pfft. Nobody goes to heaven after committing suicide."
Her eyes suddenly slammed closed and her lips were drawn into a tight line. Perhaps I shouldn't have told her the truth.
"He always said that vampires didn't have souls.. that there was no afterlife for us... and Bella always said that heaven without Edward was hell... " she sighed and then turned to face me, her eyes searching. "Would you rather Edward was in heaven or that he was right in believing we have no afterlife?"
Her question startled me and it was very obvious that she expected an answer to the question. Would I prefer Bella to be happy with Edward in heaven, or would I rather Edward away from Bella for an eternity?
"Does it matter what I want?!" I accused, rising from my seated position angrily. "What happened happened and there's nothing that I can do about it!"
I stomped away from the site and back towards home. Why did I think that visiting her grave would make me feel better? I was an idiot to believe that anything good could come from this. Bella was dead. I couldn't see her in this lifetime ever again. It was time to move on.
I slowed down my pace when I was few hundred feet away from her. There was no way that I would be able to move on. I would visit the grave later in the day.
"She's happy, you know." the small vampire whispered into my ear from directly behind me. "Let me tell you a story."
The vampire moved so that she was now in front of me before starting, ignoring my protests.
"About a month before she left for Florida, Bella had planted carnations into Esme's garden. Blue carnations, a very strange color for a carnation to be. Of course, we all thought that it was ridiculous. Carnations are weak and feeble- not something that would tpyically be put into a garden as fine as Esme's."
"What does that---"
"But Carlisle pointed out the similarities. A carnation in a garden filled with roses. A human in a house filled with vampires. Of course, Esme was fine with her planting whatever she wanted in her garden. Those carnations were her pride and joy, even amongst the roses."
"Of course, just as a human, carnations don't live a very long time. After Bella's death, Esme tended to the carnations relentlessly. Even when Esme and Carlisle moved away from the house, Esme replanted her entire garden precisely as it had been in Forks, the carnation included. But the carnation never survived the winter."
I found myself enthralled in this story. But how did it involve Bella being happy?
"Esme was very upset when the snow melted and the carnations lay dead amongst the roses. Carlisle bought her new carnations,red ones, but she was livid at the prospect of replacing the plant. So she stopped going into her garden, and eventually the roses began to lose their perfection as well, until they lay wilted and dead in dirt. This all happened about 14 years ago."
She took a breathe and a smile moved onto her lips now.
"This morning, the fifteenth anniversary of her death, there were carnations in Esme's garden. The garden that she hadn't touched in over a decade now possessed a living carnation plant. A blue one. Jasper says that it was a miracle. But I know better. It was Bella."
She then turned her eyes towards me. "Bella is happy in heaven. Be thankful that you, at least, will see her someday." There was a hint of sadness in her voice.
"But that doesn't mean that we can control being sad. I'm sorry for distracting you, Jacob." And she began walking back to the grave site as I made my way back home.
The entire walk I spent deep in thought. The main question being why the Cullens were given a sign and I wasn't. Had the vampire made up the entire story? I doubted it.. she would gain nothing from lying to me.
"Welcome back." Billy announced as I opened the door and turned to enter my room, ignoring his greeting.
And there on the floor, where the smashed frame that held the picture of Bella and I used to lay, was a blue carnation, atop our framed photo.