As promised, here is the last chapter of "Goodbye Bella," hopefully a satisfying ending!
Thank you so much for your reviews as of yet, and please tell me what you think of this chapter!
"Edward!" Charlie sounds grateful we showed up. He even sounds that way in his mind.
No, I can't listen too hard to his thoughts because they're too focused on Bella. My Bella. His Bella.
I am not thinking straight; I should focus on someone else so my head doesn't explode, I think. I pop around, but everyone else has spotted me and is thinking especially hard about how much this must hurt me. Even quiet little Angela is being particularly loud in thought.
She heads toward us while I focus on Alice's mind. She knows everything is overwhelming me. Just being someone at his girlfriend's funeral should have been enough to break a man down. But I have to endure the thoughts of everyone as well. Their pity, their sorrow, their memories of them with her, and especially their memories of her with me. She's not with me anymore.
Immediately realizing I'm not going to answer Charlie's call, Alice guides us over to where Charlie is standing and quietly talks with him for a moment.
Just as he excuses himself to speak with the Newton family and Carlisle and Esme, Angela gets to Alice and me. I look down, trying to block out her extreme sympathy; I don't want to hear it. She was the one person who was for Bella and me as a couple from the beginning. It was nice, but it means that she has all the more pity for me.
She and Alice talk for a few minutes while Angela waits for Ben to arrive. He does right as the ceremony begins.
Charlie apparently asked Alice if I would say a few words. She said I would be honored. Being…what I am, I could come up with a speech within a couple seconds due, to my memory and extraordinary thinking skills, for most anyone. But not Bella. I don't even know where to start.
I look away from Bella's…coffin…when I feel a sharp stab on my arm. It was Alice. Oh, it's time for me to speak. Oh, no.
"Hello, everybody." I may not know what to say, but every heartbeat still speeds up at the sound of my voice. "I'm Edward; I was Bella's boyfriend." They know that already. I need to think of something that they don't know. I search the minds surrounding me to help me figure out what I should be saying.
Great, they're no help.
"I'm sure you've noticed I've been a little…dazed lately." Sure enough, a hundred heads start thinking of some of the few times I've been outside since I returned to Forks from Italy. On the street corner, in Alice or Carlisle's car, at the market. Cold, vacant.
I think about those times, about how I am now, about how I was with Bella.
She wouldn't have wanted me like this. She would want me to be able to talk about her without pain coursing through my entire being. She would want me to be able to be myself, even if I can't be with her. This realization made, I continue with more emotion and strength.
"Bella was a beautiful person, her own person. She didn't form opinions based on what someone was but on who they were." I look toward my family, knowing this was fully true. "She had an infinite capacity to love and to trust." I look at Jacob and his pack and finish the thought with, "She believed in people, even when her loved ones couldn't believe in themselves." I take a deep breath and continue.
"Bella died early in her life. A life that would have been full of sweet moments and happy memories. But we can't change that. All we can do is gather and remember her. Remember her for who she was and who we were with her. I know I changed. My whole existence was impacted by her life. And I know I'm not the only one. Alice, Angela…Jacob, they all got a best friend. The rest of my family, and yours," I say, looking at the pack, "gained a daughter, a sister.
"Just because she's no longer with us in body, doesn't mean she can't be here in spirit. Bella affected all of us in some way. Maybe it was small, helping out at a local store," I say, directing my attention to the Newton's then back to everyone else. "Maybe it was helping you become a better person in the whole. I still love Bella. She's still with me because I'm still the person I strove to be with her. I hope everyone else can be the same. Thank you."
I walk back to my seat by my family and feel as if one large load has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel like Bella's still with me. I'm out of that fog. I can finally grieve for her. I don't have to be an empty statue all the time. I know the ache for her will never fully leave me, but I can still be myself. I can still be the Edward that Bella loved and cared for. I can still be me.
So? What did you think? Did you like the ending? I considered ending it with Edward whispering, "Goodbye, Bella," but I wanted the ending to be that he accepted that she was gone but realized that she wasn't really, that she'd always be with him.
Please, please, please review my very last chapter! Tell me what you liked, didn't like, etc. Love always!
- - Princess J.O.B.