I find Leah's character and story very interesting, and very tragic. I also believe it's rather sad how little we're shown about her. So I decided it was time to give her a voice, if only for a few pages.
I hate her. I hate her with a deep passion; even when in my mind I realize with a startling lucidity that I'm being unfair. It's not her fault, any more than it was mine. But it is easier, so much simpler on the heart to just feel the burn of loathing. It's always easier to hate than to understand. Because, really, she wasn't so different than me, for a time. But that time is over.
The world is full of tragic stories. I knew that, even years before I understood what tragedy was. I was always vaguely aware of the presence of others' unhappiness, of the depressing stories emblazoned on the front pages of the newspapers. I always noticed the pictures of missing kids on the back of milk cartons, always felt a faint trace of guilt when I compared my life to others'. Because I was happy. I was in love. The deep, unrequited kind that was as inescapable as trying to run from the sun.
A few years, a few blissful years. They were the happiest of my life, the most easily carefree. A time in which I never had to worry, in which I could always feel the warming glow of passion within myself, like I was carrying around a joyfully burning flame within my heart.
I should have known that perfection could only last for so long. Should have realized that it's the nature of the world to rip away what you hold most dear. But I was young. I was in love, head over heels. And at the time, that was all that had mattered.
I met him in high school. It was the classic story of a backwater small town. The archetypal feeling of a glorious whirlwind sweeping you off your feet. One which you cannot resist. Not that I would have defied that feeling even if I could have.
He brought love into my life, joy into my very soul. And I felt matched to him, in a deep inequitable way in which only true loves can. At least, that was what I had thought we were.
If I closed my eyes now, if I ignored the fiery tears rolling down my cheeks, if I disregarded the fiercely burning ache that seemed to fill my body with a cruel fire, then I could almost feel him. I could almost feel his warm arms around me, holding me close. My head leaning against his muscled chest, his hands gently stroking my hair. I could almost see the smile on his face, the light in his eyes when he spoke to me. I could almost hear his laugh.
Because those memories were the ephemeral, fleeting kind. None in perfect clarity, and none of them enough to erase the dagger in my heart. I would never see those things again, not really. All I had left were hollow memories, each one fading as time passed. No matter how long I envisaged what we were, it was never the same. And I knew, that in a few years, those blissful moments would be completely erased by the unfeeling passing of time. And I knew, with a deep, dismal sinking of my mutilated heart, I would never feel the same again.
But I still summoned up those images. Still attempted, every day, to live in the past. To savor what had been—what I had lost. Each time I remembered, I wept. Because, for all the splendor those fleeting memories brought, they also harkened the bitter wave of depression. As much as I loved them, I hated them. Because they reminded me of how much I had lost, and how much I would never regain.
Because my prince charming had left me. Because my knight in shining armor had found another princess. And he had left the damsel in distress in his wake. Not that he had a choice. What he had done was unfightable as the swirling tide of tumultuous seas, as irresistible as trying to stop the sun from setting. But it didn't ease the pain I felt. Didn't erase the sorrow. Nothing ever would.
I knew he felt guilty. I knew a knife twisted in his heart, anytime he had to look me in the eyes. I knew he regretted my fate, and felt the wicked blade of shame at the same time. And I knew it wasn't his fault that he was happy. But I hated him for it. I tried to hate him.
He had promised me the moon. He had held me in his muscled arms, and talked to me in soothing cadences of the future. He had promised me love, love forever. He had promised me himself.
But every pledge had been broken. Every fragile illusion I had so fondly clung to ripped away by cruel, heartless reality.
I had still been a child, in many ways, before he had turned away from me. Still naïve enough to believe in forever, still blind enough to trust the promises of a teenage boy. My blind love, my unearthly bliss, had kept my world a shimmering cocoon. Had sheltered me from the elements of reality. Until he walked away.
That moment was when I understood tragedy. That day was when I first tasted the bitterness of the fruit of actuality. For the first time in my life, I had felt truly alone.
The cruel irony of memory is that the things you so desperately cling to fade as softly and silently as the warm brilliance of the sun setting over the horizon, succumbing into the darkest midnight. But I could remember heartbreak. I could recall precisely how I had felt, when he left me, with an uncanny lucidity.
Like my heart had been wrenched away by hands of sharp ice. Like I had swallowed chilled poison, and it was slowly working its way through my blood, to my heart. I could still feel myself denying what had happened. I could still recall the numbness, the terrible cold that had spread through my body. The hot tears, running down my cheeks, my eyes burning from my mourning. The exhaustion that swept through my broken body, my tormented soul. I could still remember trying to sleep, trying to fall into oblivion's sweet release, only to be denied.
I tried to forget. I tried with all of my battered heart to disregard it and put it out of my mind. I spent hours trying to convince myself that I didn't love him, that I had never loved him. That he could go to hell for all I cared. But you can never lie to yourself.
Nothing would ever wipe away his words. Whispered so gently, but all the more cruel. Stabbing me in the heart, ripping through my soul.
"I'm sorry, Leah. I don't love you."
That was one memory I could remember his voice perfectly.
I remembered walking into a storm. The wind shrieking and howling like an untamed beast, icy water falling from steely skies. My hair blowing and tangling around my countenance. I turned my face towards the tumultuous heavens, feeling icy rain wash away the hot tears of my contorted cheeks. And I had sought for a sense of release, of acceptance. But the world wasn't even willing to grant me that much.
I had stood on the edge of the cliffs, overlooking a tossing ocean. I had stared at the waves for what felt like a frozen eternity, heedless of the gale that raged around me.
And I had considered ending my life.
Each night, I strove for the sweet release darkness brought on shrouded wings. Each night, I hunted after rest, elusive as trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. And each night, I had wept. Wept tears of rage, of anger. But mostly, wept tears of mourning. Tears that seemed to come from my very soul.
Wouldn't it be better, to simply end this? To give myself the dark freedom I chased?
I remember the rough rocks under my feet, felt the icy lash of rain. And I had taken a step forward.
I was close. So close.
But I didn't jump. Despite all that had happened, despite the fact that I realized nothing would ever be the same, blissful happiness again, I didn't leap. I walked away from the claws of the roaring ocean, coldly and difficultly as my love had walked away from me.
Because the candle had almost gone out. The flame almost completely extinguished. But it still survived, still flickered weakly. And that small smoldering was all it took to make me cling to this hollow life.
And then I had seen the same thing happen to Isabella Swan. I had seen the vacancy in her eyes, which reflected the coldness of her shattered heart. And I had known she felt exactly as I did. The same emotion of heart-rending loss. For a time, I had felt close to her. Like we were sisters, almost. Sisters in the fact we shared the same cruel fate.
And then her prince charming had returned. I saw the light in her eyes once more, the smile on her face. I saw how she seemed to radiate happiness, as if lit from within. And I hated her for it.
Not because she was a leech-lover, though that was disgusting enough.
Because her prince had returned. Because she had found the pieces of her shattered heart. Because she gained back her love. And because I knew I never would.
So I hated her, because she got everything I had always dreamed of. Because her bitter tears, shed during the darkest hours of the night, had paid off.
Her prince charming had just disappeared for as time.
Mine was forever out of my reach.
I would never find the happiness she had gained.
So I was jealous. Insanely jealous. And bitter. Why did she deserve a second chance? Why did she deserve the happiness, the sun, the moon, the stars, when I was left with nothing?
Why her, and not me?
I hated her. Even when I knew it wasn't fair.
For me, it has become so much easier to hate than to love.
I've tried to hate my prince charming. Tried to be angry, to loathe him. But I never will be able to.
Because I can't hate the same person I love. The same person, the one person, I'll always love.
And so I was here again, in the darkness. I was here again, feeling the lash of icy wind, the strength of a raging gale. I was here again, trying to drown my sorrows, striving to forget.
And I knelt again. On my knees, in the pounding rain. Feeling the cold ground soak through my ripped jeans, sensing the harsh wind pull at me.
I was here again, at what felt to be the farthest, coldest corner of the earth. Trying to forget.
I cried for being left behind, for being so utterly alone. I cried for cruel fate, and for my future. I cried as I had done so many times before.
And I wept bitter tears for the man I loved.