Disclaimer: Well, I guess this is the last time I'll have to say, "I don't own Twilight or Phantom of the Opera." Finally.
Epilogue: Two Angels
It was late afternoon when a stately black car rolled to a stop on the gravel road of the cemetery. The chauffer pulled a wheelchair out of the trunk and unfolded it in front of the elderly man leaning against the car door. Once he was safe in his chair, the vicomte de Black pulled a large box into his lap, looking reflectively at the two figurines. His nurse already knew where to go, and she pushed him through the maze of tombstones and honorary statures and urns until they were there, in front of the grave marked:
September 13, 1852 – April 21, 1870
As with every visit here, Jacob felt his heart twinge at the sight. They had assumed, all those years ago, after the fire, that she had been caught in the blaze and burnt alive along with seventeen other missing audience members. There had been rumors that the poor opera singer had run off with a mysterious man who had sung in Èclipse with her, but what was rest of the audience were too tired, too traumatized, to recall correctly. Some still heard the call of a velvet voice, though, deep in their dreams, yelling "Run! If you value your lives run! LEAVE!" before it was shattered by the crash of that fated chandelier. Memories can haunt much more persistently than any would believe; Jacob knew that through experience.
Unable to find her body, but desperate to put her tragic mystery to rest, the ruined owners of Forks, Messieurs Clapp and Banner, had paid for the large white marble tombstone and funeral service before returning to scrap metal with a sigh of relief.
Jacob had stood through the service wondering all the time where she was now, at this moment. Was she with him? Did she regret leaving? Would anything have changed if he hadn't told her to go? But all the questions remained unanswered. He'd try not to think about her, tried to busy himself with other activities, but every time he'd wonder odd in his mind, usually during idle hours when there was no work or help to be done, he'd catch himself humming a tune to one of the songs from an opera she sang.
No longer able to bear the brunt of his emotional ghosts, the vicomte gave up on patronizing the arts. He secluded himself to his estate and forbade all visitors, stewing in his misery for months. On his first excursion to the outside world after his self-confinement, he seemed to think the world too bright, too boisterous. His experience with the opera house had changed him forever.
But eventually he grew tougher, lost his childish heartache and put all his energy into his duties as the vicomte. He found he could speak to people again, smile again and, to his astonishment, love again. It seemed that time healed all wounds, and Jacob didn't know if he should feel happy for it or not.
Her name was Sarah Daniels, and she was introduced to the vicomte at a gala for some obscure cause he couldn't remember. After several meeting, he found that he loved her; not the fast paced, heart-pounding love, but a slow, sweet love that took over his heart. The sight of her deep red hair, delicately curling down her back, made him smile wider and her ever patient and compassionate care made him feel complete. They married after a year long courtship and had three children.
Soon he could remember without his heart breaking in two. Soon he came to think of Bella as a sweet friend, a past love. Soon it stopped hurting, and thinking of her only brought thoughts of the good times, not the bad.
But with his acceptance of her new life, came the yearning. He missed her. He had thrown away everything that reminded him of her years ago, and now memories were all that was left; and even memories fade. When he couldn't recall the color of her eyes is when Jacob started his whole crusade. He had heard of the auction and went as quickly as he could, not knowing what to expect. But he had found more than he had hoped for; something that was lying in his lap right now.
The vicomte managed to struggle out of his wheel chair and set the box down on the grave that wasn't really a grave. Now he could remember that her eyes were brown, chocolate brown, and he whispered to the grave, "I wish you the best; wherever you are." His nurse helped him back in the chair and started pushing him to the car once more.
When they were out of sight, a pair of pale hands reached down and picked the box up from the grave. They held it to the owner's chest as a lovely woman's voice said, "I remember this Edward. You made it, and… and my ring was in it. I had forgotten how beautiful it is…" The voice tapered off as she looked thoughtfully from the box to her ring before turning he little knob on the side of the box gently, letting a very familiar melody out.
She set it down on the tombstone with her old name on it and turned to the young man that was standing behind her. "Dance with me?" She smiled sweetly and held out her arms beseechingly.
"How can I resist?" he replied before he swept her up in a revolving waltz. They danced in silence, letting the song wind its way around them both.
The girl seemed to think of something because she frowned, her brow wrinkling. "What is wrong, my love?" asked the boy, his face turning worried.
"Jacob…I don't really remember him. Just when we were little and he saved my scarf and when he last said goodbye at the opera." She looked at the boy, a slightly desperate expression on her face. "Is this all? Beginnings and endings? What will happen when I can't even remember meeting you? Will it be like with Alice, how she has those lapses where she can't remember anything before she was changed? Her memory goes quicker than any of ours did, but she doesn't seem bothered; she has Jasper and it seems like she lives more in the future than the present. I don't think I'm strong enough for that…"
The boy lifted her chin so she'd look him in the eyes and stroked her hair. "I guess I'll just have to remind you then, shouldn't I?" He kissed her sweetly before pulling back and resuming their dance. "Would you like to hear?" She nodded excitedly and he started, "Jessica was on a rampage. This was to be expected as an everyday event that you could practically set your watch on…"
Driving away from the cemetery, Jacob looked out his window and, between the spaces of the tombstones, he thought he could see two pale figures, a tall boy with auburn hair and a short girl with long cascading brown hair, both as beautiful as angels, waltzing in the graveyard to a phantom melody.
But he probably just imagined it.
Aww, I'm so sad it's over. I have a new big time story in the works, so when I get that ironed out, you can look for it. As always, thanks for reading.