Title: Cold Feet
Author:
Winter Ashby (rosweldrmr)
Disclaimer:
Twilight Series © Stephenie Meyer
Rating:
K
Time Line: Post Eclipse.
Summary: I can't be perfect and graceful... I can't dazzle people. I'm awkward, and normal. I can't be like you. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be me... I wouldn't be Bella Swan. (Bella and Rosalie have a conversation)
Authors Notes: One of my biggest problem with the entire Twilight Series is the ease with which Bella makes the choice to become a vampire. I don't think it's realistic. There should be remorse, and fear, and apprehension. Edward can't make all that just go away because she's in love with him. She loves her family too. And I think this is a somewhat probable freak out that Bella would, inevitably experience. This is an important aspect of her character, and I would be very disappointed in Stephanie Meyer if she didn't have something to this effect in the next look. Just Bella, really taking the time to think about what it will mean to become a vampire. Because, in my opinion, the only thing she's thinking about is Edward. And that would be a big mistake. She does have a life outside of him, and to just throw it all away, without even considering the other people in her life, would be catastrophic. Namely, Jacob. There will be talk of Bella loving him too. There is also a few literary references... (finally a character who can spout my literary parallels without being out of character, huzzah!)


If I was allowing myself to be completely honest, maybe I was more frightened than I was allowing myself to be. I began to realize, as the date grew closer, that I started to notice things more. Little things. Just unimportant, mundane things. Things like brushing my teeth. And I would stand in front of the mirror and wonder, do vampires brush their teeth? Or when I brushed my hair, made dinner for Charlie, washed clothes. It all became essential that I catalog and remember these things.

This would be the last time I walked the halls of Forks High School. This would be the last time I drove my truck to Seattle in the daylight. The last time I'd have to watch Mike look forlorn at me and Edward. This was the last time I would cook fajitas or eat Charlie's horrible attempt at cooking. It was alarming, how fast the 'last of's began to creep up on me.

And even though the wedding was still a little ways off, I was beginning to feel a creeping fear take hold. Wrapped in Edwards cold arms, breathing in his sweet intoxicating scent, I still worried that maybe, maybe I wasn't ready for this. Because the bigger 'last of's were looming. The last time I'd see Renee. The last time I'd give Charlie an awkward one-armed hug. The last time I would be human.

Weeks of this all piled up until one night, as I was giving myself first aid at the kitchen table, it all came crashing down on me. Even the things I hated about my life were becoming indispensable. The last time I'd trip and fall. The last time I'd knock someone over. The last time I would cut myself accidentally, or slip on a patch of ice. And all of a sudden, it all seemed so vitally important to me that I be clumsy. Something I hated, something that, until that point, I had been looking forward to getting rid of.

As the bacitracin cream hit the open scrape, tears sprung to my eyes, it was significant, so much more so than I ever realized that I fall and get hurt. Because, because it was who I was. It was more than just a part of me. It was something that came from Charlie. A legacy from who created me. It was who I was. And without it, I wouldn't really be Bella anymore. I wouldn't be human.

This stupid, cumbersome, irritating quality is what connected me to Charlie. It was a trait he'd passed down to me, something that was proof of where I came from. And without it, who or what would I be?

The tears came harder now, in hot torrents down my face. Sitting at the kitchen table, I couldn't stop the irrational fear from rising up and eating away at my resolve.

That's the way Charlie found me. Cleaning my wound, and crying as though the whole world was ending. And for me, it was. I wouldn't be Bella Swan. I would be something different; something, wholly other. I'd need a new name. I couldn't go on using the name I was born with, my human name. It didn't seem right to use the name of someone who was loved, who was being mourned by her family.

"Bells, honey, what's wrong?" The nervous edge in Charlie's voice was evident, and I was sure any minute I'd begin to hyperventilate. I wasn't sure he was wrong.

"Alice." I whispered, hoarse and between huge, gulping breaths, "Call Alice."

Charlie moved faster than I ordinarily would've given him credit for. But even before he could reach the receiver on the kitchen wall, there was a knock at the door. "It's her." I pointed and tried to wipe my eyes. Which, I knew was pointless, Alice already saw me crying in her vision. She knew I'd call her before I did.

The door opened, but I couldn't bring myself to look up as she entered the room. "Help." I whispered it, so quietly, I could barely hear it. So I knew Charlie wouldn't. But I knew Alice would.

"What's going on?" Charlie asked, more on edge now at the improbable timing.

"She's just upset about Jacob." Alice answered, swiftly lifting me from the table. She wasn't breathing. And I realized I hadn't finished dressing my hand. In one, swift motion, she had me standing at her side, one arm around me, and another quickly stacking the first aid supplies and balancing them in her other hand.

"Jacob, what about Jacob?"

"I love him." I whispered, still looking at my shoes and wondering if I'd ever wear these shoes again.

"She needs some time alone." Alice said, and I could tell, she was dazzling him.

"Please." I whispered so quietly this time, I wasn't even sure if I made a sound, or just moved my lips slightly. And then, Alice was moving me, taking me to the front door. And we were out into the freezing night air faster than I could comprehend. "Take me somewhere." I begged her. "Somewhere I've never been."

I couldn't take familiarity right now. I couldn't stand the thought of visiting somewhere else that would be my last. I needed a first. A new place for my new life.

She had me in the car before the cold could hit me.

Windows up, heater on, she drove faster than I'd ever seen her. Almost as fast as Edward usually drove. "Tell me." She said.

"I can't do this. I can't do this, Alice." I finished bandaging my hand as I spoke. I couldn't bring myself to look at her. "I can't be perfect and graceful." I glanced out of the rearview mirror and was glad to see that Forks was disappearing behind me. "I can't dazzle people, I can barely manage to smile without blushing. I'm awkward, and normal. I can't be like you. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be me." Just like at the kitchen table, it felt like there was something sitting on my chest, like I couldn't breath. "I feel like everything just closed in on me at once. I can't dance around like you and Rosalie. I'm me." I stressed as I laid my hand over my heart, and with some distant lingering preservation, I kept myself from outright balling. "My heart. God, I won't have a heartbeat. I won't… I won't…"

"Be human." She finished for me.

"Yes." I'd never really taken into account what living was, but now that I was faced with the end of it. Mortality, but a strange kind of way where I stopped but the rest of the world would go on without me; it was all starting mean much more. Living wasn't something that I'd get a second chance at. It was permanent. More permanent that anything I'd ever considered doing before.

Like getting a tattoo. I'd never get a tattoo. Tattoos were forever, and I knew I could never make up my mind about anything I'd like seeing on my skin forever. And yet, here I was, about to turn myself into a tattoo.

"Where's Edward?" I asked, trying to keep myself calm. Trying not to sink over into the seat and vomit.

"He's hunting, with Emmett and Jasper." I knew that, of course. I just couldn't think clearly. Too many things were racing around my head. And as far as I knew, there was only one other person who would understand this.

The one who'd warned me about it. "Take me to Rosalie."

I could see, in the dark reflection in the car window, the odd look Alice gave me. Maybe even a little hurt. But when it came to this particular issue, Alice just wasn't really the right person to speak to. She didn't remember being human, being mortal. She didn't know what it was like to make that change. And I thought of Rosalie. I thought of the conversation I'd had with her all those months ago in Edward's bedroom.

The look on her face, the sound of her voice as she told me the story of her life and death. That's what I needed. I needed someone who remembered, who knew what it was like to live in both worlds.

Alice had us to the Cullen's house in less than five minutes. I stumbled out of the car, disoriented from the speed and gripped the door for support. No doubt, anyone who was home would already know I was here.

"Rosalie, please…" before I could think of what to ask, what to plead with her for, the front door of the house swung open and she stepped out. Radiant as always, framed in the light of the house, she glided over the walk to where I stood on shaky legs.

I saw Alice's lips move in a blur and Rosalie's face draw into a concerned expression. Corners of her lips pulled down slightly, her beautiful, stone face was even more rigid than usual.

"I'm going to take you somewhere." She said, pulling me away from Alice, away from Carlisle and Esme who'd appeared at the front door as well. She led me to the garage and shuffled me into a car I'd never been in before. "Close your eyes."

I obeyed, surprisingly obedient tonight and laid my head against the corner of the leather seat and the cool window.

"Don't open them until I say." I didn't even feel the car move, but I knew we were already speeding away from the house and the town and the life that I wasn't sure I wanted to lose. It wasn't hard to do what she asked. I felt exhausted, the ebbing fear that'd been gnawing at me for weeks now crashed with surprising ferocity tonight. Leaving me exhausted, bone weary. And I wanted to rest, to rid my head of these things, these thoughts that were slowly driving me insane.

"Thank you." I think I mumbled as I drifted off.

I dreamt of a white beach and sparkling, clear water and sea shells. I made my way over to a small tide pool. I looked down at the water, but the reflection looking back at me was someone else. Pale skin, sunken eyes, sparkling face. She was beautiful, achingly so. She had my face, my lips, and my nose. But it looked as though I was run though a computer, all ivory and smooth. No imperfections, no trace of humanity. And the eyes, god the eyes were so different, so dark, and nearly black with hunger.

Edward was at my side. But when I reached out for him, I couldn't feel him. There was no sensation of his cold skin against mine. It was like my sense of touch had gone. And the empty, gaping hole in my chest, where a heart didn't beat was devastating.

I fell to my knees in the sand. But it didn't hurt. I couldn't even feel the sand against my skin or the breeze on my face. Even the tears on my cheeks were only registered by the indentations in the sand. And somewhere, in the distance, a wolf howled and my heart was clenched tightly in the vacuum of my chest. It felt like guilt, for letting him down, for betraying him, for not loving him enough to live, for not loving anything enough to keep me from Edward. I betrayed everyone, even myself. Whatever meager dreams I might have had at one point in my life, like being a ballerina when I was four, I took from myself. All because I couldn't see past Edward. I couldn't see past him, so how could I possibly see what the future would be?

When I woke, the sun was cresting in through the dark tinted windows. We'd driven the whole night. I moved my head, stiff from how I'd slept, to look at Rosalie. And I was grateful, more grateful that I've even been to her before. She didn't treat me like the rest of them did, as though I were made of glass. She let me sleep all twisted and uncomfortable, knowing that I'd wake with aches. I didn't know if it was because she knew that I needed that, I needed that feeling right now – of being only human – but a part of me was fairly sure that she wouldn't have moved me anyway. Because she didn't think I needed to be coddled quite the way Edward and Alice did.

She smiled. Not full-blazing, dazzling – as I'd seen her do so often in the past – it was a small thing, a quiet affair with all the hallmark indicators of authenticity. "Good morning."

"Hi."

"Feeling a little better?" she asked quietly, pulling a snickerdoodle from the center consul and handing it over to me. I don't know when she stopped. It must've been some time during the night.

I smiled, sheepishly, and accepted it. I could feel the blush color my cheeks and turned away.

"You're beautiful when you do that, you know."

My head shot up and I must have given her a reproachful look, because she laughed, softly. Like the tinkling of glass. "That's not really fair, you know." I told her, feasting my on breakfast of champions.

"What?" she asked and tilted her head to the side.

"Calling me that, when you look like you do. If that's what you'd call me, then the English language needs to invent another word for what you are." I laughed too this time, I could still feel the tension in my muscles: drawn tight, full of dread and fear and apprehension. But just then, it all didn't seem so bad.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that. Inhuman works pretty well, don't you think?" she asked, and the ball emotion in my gut swirled.

"Yeah." I spoke softly, and looked out the window.

It wasn't until then that I'd noticed our surroundings. We definitely weren't in Forks anymore, and from what I could tell, it didn't look like Washington. One of the Dakotas maybe, Montana. The way the prairie spread out in vast sheets of reeds that danced in the sun. I turned to look at her, a lump caught in my throat.

It was unlike anywhere I'd ever been before. I reached for the handle and pulled the door of the black sports car open. I was sorry Rosalie and I weren't closer, especially now. It would have made all this much less awkward, for both of us.

There were no trees, just rolling hills and miles and miles of grass. Like a river, like a flowing meadow, waist-tall reeds and nothing but subdued sun and blue skies the exact color of cerulean crayons. The same color I loved so much when I was younger.

The air was crisp and clear. It wasn't as damp as Forks, like it weighted on you. It felt clean, new. Like I was the only person who ever breathed this air.

Rosalie joined me, her skin sparkling in the sunlight, just as luminescent, as dazzling as Edward.

"Thank you." I said, "Thank you for taking me here." I didn't look at her as I spoke. It would just be too strange to see her reaction.

"I come here sometimes when I just can't take it anymore." Her eyes were a deep bronze, she must be getting hungry. She noticed my staring.

"Don't worry," she told me confidently, flashing a little teeth, "I'm not like the boys. I don't have that overwhelming thirst like they do. And besides, you're not my type at all." She wrinkled her nose, as if I'd taste funny and I laughed. She leaned against the car and sighed. "I can't imagine what this must be like for you. This decision." She took the time to look at me, really search my eyes, and just like Edward so often did to me – I was powerless to look away. "I don't envy you for the choice that's in front of you."

"But I've already made my choice." I told her, forced into a defensive tone, without even realizing it.

"You wouldn't be here if you had. Alice knows it, Edward knows it. We can all feel it Bella." I turned sharply to look at her. She touched a finger to her nose. "Predators, remember. We can smell fear."

"I'm not afraid of dying."

"No, I shouldn't think so. Not with Edward there. Bella, you're scared of what you'll be giving up. As you should be."

This was going to be harder than I thought, talking to Rosalie about this. At least while I still had lingering concerns about her and Edward.

"Are you in love with Edward?"

She laughed and shrugged. "I'm not sure I know what love is. Can vampires love?" she held her hand up quickly to stall the protest hanging in my throat. "I'm well aware of your thoughts on this. But I have my own."

Turning away from her, I looked out over the prairie. There didn't seem to be a road, or another person for miles in any direction. I wasn't even sure how she had the gas to get home. I leaned my hip against the warm metal and allowed myself a moment to think.

"I hate being a burden to you, all of you." I began, changing the subject. She smiled.

"Trust me Bella, it's no burden. You're novelty has no expiration date. You are a happy distraction for this family."

"Distraction?" I didn't like the way she said it, like I was just a passing phase for Edward.

"We like the diversion, something to break the monotony of being immortal. Everything begins to blend together after spending so many years with the same people. It can't be healthy." She paused, "New blood." She teased as she went to get something from the hack-back trunk of the small car.

She came back with a blanket and spread it in the shade of the car.

"Being trapped with the same six people forever gets old, fast." I took note of the way she said trapped. She made no effort to hide the distain she felt for what she was. "We would be happy to carry you around for another seventy or eighty years. For us, it would be like the passing of the seasons. If that's what you wanted."

"And what about the Volturri?"

"You'd be safe with the werewolves. It would be like disappearing from our world. They'd never know were you were. Not even Demetri could anticipate their involvement." She made a terrible face at the thought of them, like she was imaging the scent.

"I love Edward."

She sighed, "No, you're consumed with him, and there's a difference Bella."

I shifted on the blanket, trying to dispel the anger she was making me feel.

"I know you don't want to hear it. But Bella, please, think of it. This country, all of this," she spread her arms wide "is only 400 years old. Think about it. You're a smart girl. I know you can imagine a future not full of flying cars and killer robots. What do you honestly think this world will be like in another 400 years? What about 1000? And when the resources of this planet are gone, and there are no animals left to hunt, when the sun fails and humans destroy themselves with atomic bombs, what then?"

I opened my mouth to argue back, and came up short. What would the world be like? All that came to mind was George Orwell's 1984. It always did have a big impact on me, and here I was on the cusp of a decision that could very well mean I lived long enough to experience a world like that.

"And now, this is what you need to consider, Bella. And consider it very carefully. Would you honestly want to live to see it? Along with everything else that goes with it? Watching everyone you love grow old and die? Watching things go on, and change. You never will. Don't you want to know what kind of woman you grow to become? Would you be like your mother?"

Tears sprung to my eyes again at the thought of Renee. Every girl wants to be nothing like her mother, now it would seem, I wouldn't even get the chance.

"But I love him." I sounded like a child, even to myself.

"And that won't change."

"But I will. He'll still be 17 and beautiful and I'll be old and wrinkled."

"And," she pointed out, handing me a napkin I hadn't even seen her reach for, "he will still love you."

The hyperventilation feeling was beginning to come back now. Like the world was folding in on me, pressing me back and down.

"When did you first think, maybe it wasn't what you wanted?" she asked, eyes sparkling with curiosity.

"It was about three weeks ago. I was in the shower. I love showers. I love to just stand under the hot water and let my skin soak it in. It's the best place to think, to relax. Sometimes I just sit in the tub, under the hot water, watching my skin turn red and my hair drip into my face. That's when it hit me." I looked at her, somewhat embarrassed to be telling her this, "I like to be warm.

"I'd never be warm again. I'd never be hungry, or tired. I'd never need anything like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, except food – but even that I could probably live a long, long time trapped at the bottom of the ocean without. I wouldn't need shelter, or protection. And I'd be beautiful." I looked at her disapproving face and amended my statement. "I'd be inhuman."

She nodded, but didn't say anything.

"It just didn't seem to fit. It's not me. I'm plain, you know. Just Bella. Not gorgeous, or graceful. God, graceful is the last thing in the world that I should ever be. I'm supposed to be utterly useless with anything concerning hand-eye coordination. And I'd be a hunter. A hunter. How ridiculous to think that I would kill anything. I can't even kill lizards that would get into the shower when I lived in Phoenix. And now I would, what, just tackle and bear and take a bite?"

"Well, that's the point Bella, you would be different."

"No." I insisted, turning to her, pleading with my eyes. I had to make her understand, I had to make her see. "I won't be me anymore. I won't be Renee and Charlie's daughter. I won't be Bella Swan."

She smiled, in such a sad way that I stopped shouting – I hadn't even realized I was yelling – and watched her. It was an exquisitely sad face, too heartbreaking to turn away from.

"Do you know what they called me when I was human?"

I shook my head.

"Ana."

"Ana?"

"Yes, quite plain, isn't it?" I shrugged; I didn't really know what to say. "I felt the same way you did, once I was more myself enough to know who and what I was. I couldn't just go on calling myself a name that two people gave to someone else. That person died. She was buried," she looked pointedly at me, "gravestone and everything."

"Really?"

"Yes, I'll take you to see it someday, if you like. It's lovely." It was appalling to me, that she could sound wistful even when she spoke about her human grave.

There was a lull in words and I took the time to feel the breeze on my face, blowing through my hair.

"What does it feel like?" she asked, watching me intently.

"What?"

"That." She pointed at the open sky in front of us. "I could see you enjoying the wind. What does it feel like to you?"

"It feels like," I tried to think. I wanted to be perfectly truthful with her, since she'd gone through so much trouble to help me. "Like part of me is disappearing with it. Like I might just come apart and blow away, like sand or pollen."

She cocked her head to the side and raised her eyebrow – she'd definitely spent too much time with Emmett, she was beginning to imitate him. "That's awfully fleeting, isn't it?"

"I suppose it is." I paused and watched her as she closed her eyes. I assumed she was trying to imagine what I'd described. "What does it feel like to you?"

She opened her eyes, and there was an emotion there I couldn't place. Disappointment I suppose would come closest. "Like I'm a stone and it just passes around me without really touching me."

I laughed, sharp and a little harsher than I meant to. I could tell, just as I was sure Rosalie could, there was no mirth in it.

"What?" she asked, unable to decipher what made me laugh.

"Do you read much?" I asked her, not considering that it might sound rude.

"No, I suppose I don't."

"I love to read. I always have. Ever since I was little, I would pick books above my age range and read it over and over; until I was sure I understood it. When I was in, second grade I think, I don't know how old I was, I read this book. It was called Tuck Everlasting. It was always one of my favorite books.

"It's about this girl, Winnie. She doesn't really like her life, and her family, so she decides to run away. Only, she stumbles onto a family that kidnaps her, so she can't tell anyone about them. Because they have a secret, they were trying to hide from the world.

"There was a spring, which if you drank from it, would make you immortal."

Rosalie looked at me, not sure where this was going.

"There was a whole family, see. A mother and father and two brothers. And Winnie fell in love with Jess, the older one. And she wanted to be one of them, to be like them. But they all warned her not to. And I remember this one part, where the father – Argus – takes Winnie aside. He tries to tell her what it's like for them. What it's like to be a Tuck. And it's funny, because he describes them almost the same way you did. A rock, in a stream. And time passes around them, but doesn't touch them.

"That always stayed with me. I don't know why, really. Just something that I never really forgot. Or, at the very beginning of the book, the narrator describes time, seasons, as a Ferris Wheel. It goes in circle, and how autumn is at the top of the circle, just before it falls again."

I looked at Rosalie, to see if any of this was making sense. She nodded and picked at the grass to her left.

"I sort of feel like I'm at the end of spring right now. You know, just on my way up."

"And where are we? Where is Edward in this cycle?"

"I suppose he's in the spindle that holds it together."

"And where is Jacob Black?"

I turned to her, a little shocked that she knew anything about him, or me, or us. "He's the spoke that connects me to both worlds. Without one, I can't have the other."

"But, without choosing one, you can't have either."

My stomach growled, and she laughed, really laughed in what seemed like the whole time I'd known her.

"Making decisions is always the hardest part of existing." She said cryptically as she rose – with elegance befitting her – and extended me a hand. I took it and allowed her to fold up the blanket and put it back in the trunk. "Let's get you some food. I love to see what human girls like to eat."

I laughed, because really, it was just a strange thing to hear a person say.

The ride out of the river of grass was quiet. Just the tires, and rocks, air and sun. And Rosalie.

"Do you think I'll be different?" I asked her, suddenly.

"Different?" she asked without looking.

"I mean, like Edward or Alice or Jasper?" I shrugged. I wasn't even sure I knew what I meant. "You know how they can do things other people can't."

"They aren't the only ones, Bella. Though, they often ignore the rest of us, but I think that once you become a vampire the aspect that predominantly defined you as a human gets increased. Kind of like retaining the one, main thing about yourself while losing everything else. Edward said he was always intuitive. Alice always had a touch of the mystic. And Jasper could manipulate emotion. But Esme has unconditional patience. Carlisle has a strong tolerance for blood. And Emmett has more strength than most."

"And you?"

"What do you think?"

"I would say beauty. But you are all so beautiful."

"Very perceptive." She glanced at me as we pulled out onto a small road that was empty in both directions for as far as I could see. "Physical beauty is part of the package deal."

"So, what is it then? What trait was enhanced for you?"

"Have you ever felt like you were wearing a mask, to hide who you really were?" I nodded. "I have always felt like that. Removed, from myself. I kept a part of myself very public, very on display for the world. The outer shell was for the masses. But what was inside, my thoughts, my heart – that's something I learned early on to hide. Because no one wanted to hear a pretty girl speak her mind. So, when I was changed, that compartmentalization was materialized as a kind of internal mirror."

"You lost me."

"Edward can read people's mind. But whenever he looks at my mind, he isn't really seeing my thoughts. He see a reflection of what he expects my thoughts to be. If he thinks I'm shallow and vein, then he will see only thoughts that display that. What I really feel, think, that belongs to me. Maybe it's sort of an evolutionary thing too, I don't know. Like a defense mechanism. When Carlisle turned me, he intended for me to be Edward's mate. So, it wouldn't do to have your companion always reading your mind. So, maybe my ability sprang out of necessity."

"So, you can control what Edward sees? I had no idea you could… does Edward know?" I asked, all curiosity, all eyes and hope and interest.

"No, and I would appreciate it if you didn't tell him."

I nodded my head and chewed on my lower lip. "So, that means I will have something like that? Edward can't read my mind. I don't know why. I always thought it was because I think differently than other people. But what do you think I would be like with enhanced non mind reading abilities?"

Rosalie laughed, and I could see a town on the horizon. Small and hazy still, but with the promise of real food and my stomach gurgled at the thought of it. "Maybe you'll be able to cancel out Edward's ability."

"Or maybe I'd lose it, and he'd be able to hear every ridiculous thing I was thinking."

"So, does that mean you are decided?" she asked, half turned, her blonde hair falling in waves around her angled face and other thoughts were washed back into the jumble of what it meant to stop being human.

"I don't know. I don't know how to do this. How do I choose living or Edward when Edward is my life?" I twisted the ring on my finger and felt the weight of it against my skin.

"How do you know what living is when all you can compare it to is a man? There are so many things in this world. Friends, Family, love of all kinds. And this kind of debilitating, blinding love you feel is just a shadow on the face of a mountain. It seems big at first, and hard to see past. But eventually, with time, it shifts and other aspects become clearer. I know you probably don't want to hear me tell you what to do, and I probably shouldn't because Edward would be furious with me. But I'm going to do it anyway." She pulled into the parking lot of some run-down diner with smoke pouring out of a chimney at the back of the building. She killed the engine and turned to face me in the car.

"Tell me." I acquiesced.

"Don't do it Bella. At least not now. Give it some time. Time to think, time to live, time to miss your Jacob" My heart clenched at her use of his name. I must have been talking in my sleep. "I know you love him too. I can see the pain of it clearly. Think of him, think of your parents and friends. Think of yourself. Think of your life. And then, if after a few years you still want to, Edward will still be there. And once you're one of us, age won't really make a difference. Because the beauty will mask the age. What's the difference between 18 and 23 on a person's face anyway? Just make sure you moisturize."

I laughed, heart aching at her words. She was right. I knew it because it's what I had been thinking for a while now.

"At least think about it." She reached for the handle of the door, and my hand shot out to stop her.

"Rosalie, thank you. For everything. You don't know how much this has helped me. Thank you for being part of my life."

She smiled, sadly at that and nodded.

"Now, let's get something to eat so you can see what kinds of breakfast foods teenage girls like to consume when their boyfriends are away." I chuckled, the worry and guilt creeping in on me.

"Don't worry about Edward. He'll be thrilled with this decision. They all will."

We slipped into the shade of the porch in the back of the restaurant and walked around to the front in the shadow. And I couldn't shake the feeling that Rosalie was going to become very important to me. And this trip, this 'first of' adventure wasn't the end of my human life, but the beginning of my college life. I still had a few years before I had to make a decision. Edward would wait for me to sort it all out. I just couldn't do it all so fast. I couldn't lose everything at once. My parents, high school, my home, my truck, Jacob - they were piled too high, too heavy for me to carry right now. I would wait and see. And, after all, people always told me I looked young for my age.


I hope you all enjoyed this... surprisingly, no shippping. I mean, I had to keep Bella in character, so there are thoughts of Edward and Jacob, but I didn't pick a side. I'd love to know what people think. This isn't the normal kind of Twilight fic, but I hope that it was still entertaining. Thanks for reading. Also, I know I may have messed with Canon a little, what with giving Rosalie a power, and giving her a different human name - but please forgive me these few things. I love Rosalie so much, and her story. I wanted Bella to connect with her, so I took a few small liberties. Also, because I think there is much more to Rosalie than Edward or Bella can see.