A/N This EPOV is slightly different from my previous offerings because it is much more like a missing scene than a companion scene; aside from the first line, none of the text is copied from Meyer's book. Furthermore, the immediate textual connection is not the book itself but an "official" missing scene published on Stephenie Meyer's Web site. If anyone hasn't read those, I suggest you do so now, both because this EPOV will make more sense if you know the scene I'm coming from and because they are, in themselves, delightful. This scene picks up exactly where Meyer's leaves off. (Meyer's scene can be found in the Extras link in the New Moon section. It's titled "Rosalie's News.")
Disclaimer Inspired by "Rosalie's News." (Meyer, Stephanie. "Rosalie's News." The Official Website of Stephenie Meyer. 2006. w w w . stepheniemeyer . com.)
Thanks to Kimjustkim for prodding me to post this, even though it's not what I had originally envisioned.
I shut the phone again.
And there was nothing.
I don't know how long it was before some semblance of awareness returned to me. It may have been only seconds. It may have been hours. It didn't matter. Time was irrelevant now, like everything else. There was only one task left—a task that held not meaning but an inevitable end.
The deck had been stacked against us from the start—I knew that now. How could it be otherwise when the supreme act of self-sacrifice led only to death? We were cursed. Or rather, I was cursed and I had cursed Bella with me, the moment she walked into Biology all those months ago. Nothing could save her once she met me. Not reason and not love and not sacrifice. If I had cheated fate in the beginning—pulled her from in front of the van, saved her from James, from Jasper, from myself, then fate had its revenge, driving her to throw herself over a cliff, ensuring me the greatest possible torment. The price I had paid to save Bella's frail humanity was now a mockery. Because she had ended it herself. Because of me. I never doubted that.
But I was through being the universe's whipping boy. I had to move quickly, before Alice could act on the visions no doubt flashing before her at this very moment.
Outside, the sun was still sinking into the west, but the shadows were long enough to cling to, so I slipped from my hiding place into the street. I traveled to the airport on foot—infinitely faster than taking a taxi through the packed streets, stopping only once to make a cash withdrawal—the last money I would ever need.
There was only one direct flight to Rome that evening.
"I'm sorry, sir, the flight is full," the desk attendant told me.
I stared at her dispassionately. "I will pay extra, of course."
She shifted, uncomfortable beneath my gaze, but she murmured, "I am sorry, sir. There are no seats available."
She was an obstacle. She had to be removed, and I mechanically dipped into the anxious thoughts that swarmed around her head. She had been gambling the night before, as she did every time she received a paycheck. She'd lost it all and the rent was due, but her luck had been about to change, she thought, when her cash had run out. If she only had one or two thousand reales, she could recover. She was sure of it.
I slipped a thick stack of American currency across the counter. "I understand—to get a seat at the last minute is very expensive," I murmured in soft Portuguese.
She looked at the money with wide eyes, and then her hand closed over the bribe and pulled it out of sight. "You are very lucky," she replied, smiling. "It seems we have one seat left after all," and her fingers flew across the keyboard, deleting some unlucky person's reservation while she thought, It is a sign. It is a good omen.
There is thy gold, worse poison to men's souls, doing more murder in this loathsome world …. I pursued the wisp of a thought as she printed my boarding pass. Who had said that? Romeo, of course, as he persuaded the ancient apothecary to sell him forbidden poison. I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none. Romeo had been right, I thought suddenly. He had been right about everything. He had seen that when Juliet was gone, death was no evil. And you could sit back and watch the world burn because it no longer concerned you. You were out of the game.
I had always rather despised Romeo for the scene in Act Five where he hears of Juliet's death. With only a single bitter exclamation, he rides off to purchase his poison, and yet, I used to think, if ever there were a time for grandiose speeches, it should have been then. Why didn't he shape fury and anguish into verbal blows until the boards of the stage shuddered with echoes of a grief to shake the universe?
But now I understood. He said nothing because to speak would have been a waste of time. The connection between a word and meaning is tenuous at best. Those slender tethers had snapped.
All that remained was to do.
A/N I'd like to take this chance to once again thank all of you for your very generous reviews. This will probably be my last EPOV (I was quite disappointed in Breaking Dawn, but I still plan to see the movie, so I suppose there's a chance I'll get re-inspired!), but I've had a blast fiddling around in this fandom, thanks to your encouragement and enthusiasm.