Thank you to my Mother, for having the good sense not to interrupt me and for reading my mistakes.
Thank you to Laura and Jo, who have been with me all the way home.
Thank you to my wonderful visual aides:
For Andrew: Gerard Way and Adam Lambert
For Charlotte: Leighton Meester and Demi Lovato
Thank you to the wonderful bands that inspire me to no end:
-My Chemical Romance
-Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim for their fantastic musicals
-The Cast of "Moulin Rouge!"
-The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
And, finally, a great big hug and thank you to you, the gentle reader. I am sure we shall meet again one day.
Until we meet again,
Epilogue: The Man with No Face
Forks, Washington; Two Months Later
I sat at my piano, composing for the first time in forever. Bella was asleep upstairs in my room. It had not been easy to leave her at first, given that I had only just got her back from the jaws of death, but it got easier as the weeks passed. Alice was a great help, looking after her whenever I could not.
I hummed along with the keys I pressed, holding my tongue between my teeth. I didn't know what I was doing; just pressing keys and seeing what came out of it. Soon, random notes became a melody and a melody became a rhythm. Esme paused a couple of rooms over and I heard the smile in her thoughts.
Who's it for, Edward? It sounds beautiful. Sad, but beautiful. She thought.
"I don't know. It's not happy enough for Bella, and it doesn't sound like her besides." I said out loud. She could have heard me across a baseball field, much less a house. I
Well, tell me when you figure it out. I would very much like to hear it when it's done. She offered hopefully. I smiled, though she couldn't see it. I would feel bad for lying to her later, but I didn't have enough space in my head to worry about that.
I knew exactly who the song was about. The compassion, the sadness, the hope…it just oozed Andrew. I sighed and sat back against the wall. I could get the man out of my head, quite an achievement when I couldn't read his mind. The whole plane ride home, when Bella had been watching me, I had thought of him. I was stupid to just leave him, but he had said that he didn't care.
Maybe…maybe he didn't want to be my friend. I flinched at the thought. Andrew was the only person I had ever met that got me. He knew what it felt like to be me and he didn't feel sorry for me. I would have given anything for him to be at the house. Bella hadn't exactly said no to my proposal of marriage, but she hadn't said yes. I needed someone to talk to about it that wouldn't laugh at me. Well, Andrew probably would laugh at me, but at least he would understand.
Why so down, little brother? Jasper's concerned drawl came from his and Alice's room. Alice was out shopping…again. You would think it would have gotten old by now, but noooooooooo, not for Alice.
"It's nothing, Jasper. Go back to reading Ulysses." I said.
You miss someone? He guessed, not going away. Someone close? I hated when he could be intuitive.
"Yes, if you must know." I sighed.
"No." I said. "No, I know she's here for the long haul."
Is it who you're writing that song for? He asked.
Tell me about him. He said. I didn't ask how he knew it was a man that missed. He just knew those kinds of things.
"He's a most remarkable man. He understands me, Jasper. It's not something I run across everyday." I said.
No, I guess not. He sighed. A little bit of hurt colored his tone and I let out a sigh.
"Aside from you, Jazzy." I teased, my voice sickly sweet. He laughed under his breath.
Well, I'll leave you to your thoughts, Edward. Bella is getting restless, just so you know. I think she might wake up soon. I'm no psychic, so don't take my word for it. He laughed.
Leaving to my thoughts was always an empty promise with my family, but I appreciated the thought. I had gotten used to the silence in Andrew's presence and often found myself missing the peace and quiet of his company. I was thrilled to be back with my family, but the thought of him rotting away in his room all alone made me feel sick to my stomach. He was too good for that.
Okay, I lied. Jasper interjected. I growled in frustration.
"What? You're laughing at me, why?" I asked. He was laughing away in his head like a parent who knew something about their child they didn't.
Edward, I think you have a...man crush. He laughed. I felt my fingers close around a vase and smash the glass in frustration. It doesn't mean you're in love with him, you just find something in him to admire. Calm down, I wasn't calling you gay. He said. I felt a wave of calm wash over me and welcomed the relief. He was right; I found a lot of things in Andrew to admire. His courage, his compassion, the way he found a way to smile through his tears.
I snatched a couple of sheets of composition paper off the little side table by the piano and scribbled down the song. It was slow and sad and happy all at the same time, just like the man it was about. Just as I was finishing up filling in the last note, Alice burst through the door, arms laden with bags. Her eyes were wild and her hair was askew. Her thoughts were so frazzled that even I couldn't follow them.
"What's wrong, Alice?" I asked her as calmly as I could manage. She said nothing, just stared, her eyes glassed over. Her vision was blurry and choppy. There was a person involved, a man…a man with no face.
"Edward, someone's coming. I don't know who he is, but I don't like it." She said, her voice thick with panic.
"Alice, it's only one person and you're not sure if they're a threat to us or not. For all we know, he could be a harmless human." I said.
"No, he's a vampire and very powerful. I can't tell if he means us harm, but he's definitely made the decision to come to our house." She said in a rush. Her panic had caught up with Jasper and he came down the stairs running.
"Well, don't just stand there, do something!" He said, his voice raising at least half an octave. All the noise had alerted the rest of the family and they too came running. Esme had woken Bella and was carrying her down at a human pace.
"Edward, what's going on?" She asked, her voice heavy with sleep.
"I don't know, love." I cooed, taking her in my arms. "But there's only one of him and seven of us."
"Eight." Bella protested. I ignored her.
Emmett's back stiffened and he turned towards the front door.
"Too late. He's here." He growled.
The doorbell rang.
"I'm not an expert, but I don't think murderers ring the doorbell." Bella offered. It rang again.
"Well, someone has to go answer it." Rosalie insisted. Everyone turned to look at me. The man on the doorstep heaved a sigh and rapped his knuckles against the door.
"Hello?" He called. "Anyone home?" I looked at all the others and the ushered me towards the door. Alice had taken Bella off my hands. I crossed the room in three strides and very slowly cracked open the door to take a peek at who was there. My mouth dropped and I opened the door all the way.
He was dressed in black skinny jeans and a long, leather overcoat. Combat boots adorned his feet. A pair of old fashioned aviator sunglasses were perched on his nose. A huge pack was thrown over his shoulder.
Andrew smiled and took his sunglasses off.
"Hey kids, did you miss me?"