The Cradle Will Rock
The day after the surprise exam and finding out- from the father of my child and my best friend- that I was having a boy, I couldn't sit still. Thoughts swirled through my mind like a torrent of water rushing from river to ocean, desperate to make their way into the open. Esme's gardening was beautiful around the house, but I needed more natural settings to offset the unnatural situation I found myself in.
I walked around the Cullens' property for awhile, but found myself drifting further and further to the edge of the woods. Eventually I came to a path that led me a short distance to the bank of the river. I found my way, without thought or trouble. It was as if I were destined to sit on the bank of the river and let my troubles wash over me the way the water rippled over the stones in the river bed. The sound was soothing and the breeze off the water was cool, but in a bitter way. It just felt right to be there.
I sat by the river's edge in awe of the light that shimmered in the still pools here and there. The sparkling clear water ignited images of Edward standing in the sunlight, gloriously illuminated, the way he should be seen.
I wondered for a moment how the sun glittering off the snow would look bouncing off my vampire skin. Would I feel the cold? Where would we live? When we arrived in Alaska…
I froze in place. A chill rushed over me.
Don't think about it, Bella. Just let it go.
Would we ever get to Alaska?
I paused to ask myself the same question I'd come outside to escape. I'd spent the morning pouring over a million travel brochures, magazine articles and web pages investigating the one place I thought might be safe for my transition from mortal to eternal life with Edward –Alaska, or as far North as we could go. But then a nagging thought crept in to stir doubt into my dreams.
What if I didn't survive long enough to make it to Alaska? What if the child inside me truly was a monster and I never got the chance at my new life with my true love?
All afternoon I tried to distract myself with pleasant things so that I wouldn't dwell on the nightmare that might be my future. It wasn't working. Every time I relaxed a little I was suddenly sucked back into a vortex of worry. It was a roller coaster ride I couldn't seem to stop. What if…
It wasn't an easy question and the answer wasn't really something I was prepared for. If I lived –one way or another- my future was set. I would become a vampire, and this would please both me and the Volturi. Two birds, one stone. It seemed simple enough. Reasonable? Well, to me it sounded like heaven.
If I died? Well, we'd cross that bridge when we came to it. God, I hoped we didn't get that far. I'd seen how much Edward loved me, for whatever stupid reason, and I didn't think I could bear seeing him in pain because of me. What would he do? The thought of him trying to commit suicide, vampire style, made me shudder.
I picked up a stone and threw it into the river, wishing I could throw away my troubles just as easily as that pebble. A soft rustling behind me alerted me to someone's presence and expecting it to be Alice or one of the Cullens, I didn't turn to see who it was. A warm, heavy hand settled on my shoulder and I looked up wide-eyed to see Sam slowly lowering himself to sit beside me.
I opened my mouth to say something, but I didn't know what he wanted, so I had no idea what would be appropriate. It was an awkward silence that seemed to stretch out forever –although, it was probably more like 5 minutes- before either of us spoke.
"So, what's new?" I asked and immediately regretted being the one to start the conversation. I turned my head just enough to catch Sam glaring at me. No, not at me. He was glaring at my huge belly.
Not an entirely friendly visit then. Okay, well I could deal with that. I jutted out my chin and straightened my posture as much as my sore back would allow. If Sam was going to be rude and stare at me, then I wouldn't play the sweet little hostess either.
Sam sighed and dropped his gaze. He pulled a blade of grass apart with his fingernails and I watched the tiny green ribbons drift back to the ground.
"Bella, there are some things we need to discuss and I don't think you're going to like any of them."
Immediately I grew defensive, thinking that Sam was going to ban Jake from seeing or speaking to me, but Sam spoke again before I could form the words to protest.
"I know you probably won't believe me, Bella," Sam said slowly, as if he wanted to make sure I caught every word he said, "and I'm sure you'll be upset about it, but you need to hear me out, okay?"
I could only stare at him. I was too fat and slow to just run away from the conversation that I didn't really want to have. I was too curious to tell him to take his opinions and shove them. So, I sat. And I listened.
"We think you should consider giving him to us."
It took me a few minutes for that to sink in and another minute to sort out in my mind what I thought Sam was saying. His words seemed to come from a distant place, like an echo that bounced around and made its origin impossible to find.
When the words finally sank in I was furious, then confused, and then speechless. I couldn't find the words to express the feelings bubbling up inside of me. My mind was spinning a million times a minute, but my mouth was sealed shut.
In my confusion, I spat out the first thing that came to mind.
There wasn't any defined emotion in my voice. That annoyed me further. The situation was beyond my realm of reality now. I could deal with vampires, werewolves, even mind-reading, experimental aliens at this point. But just handing over the child that was growing impossibly inside me? My head swam and my vision began to blur.
A shout came from somewhere near me, but everything went black before I could distinguish the voice.