Graveyards and Letters
It didn't take me long to realize that the cold surface my cheek was pressed against wasn't the ground – as I had hoped – but Edward's chest. The feeling was so familiar, so pleasant that my panic seized, and the anxiety became a dull throb against my ribcage.
He was speaking to me. I couldn't hear him, but I could feel the soft whoosh of his cold breath on the hollow behind my ear. I was pretty sure that meant we were in fact standing, though my numb legs were useless in order to test that theory.
The afternoon light shone bright red behind eyelids that weighed much more than they should have. I struggled to open them, blinking rapidly in a frantic attempt to strengthen them.
"Bella!?" The voice was undoubtedly Edward's.
"I'm fine," I mumbled as an initial response, though I had no idea whether I was fine or not. The anxiety was beginning to thump unevenly in my chest as flickers of a staggering scene replayed in my mind.
I heard a loud sound close to my ears, almost like a harsh wisp of wind hurdling through broken leaves. It took me a moment to comprehend that the sound had rose from my own throat.
My brain – finally functioning – forced my eyes to search my surroundings wildly, hoping that the scene playing through my mind had been merely dreamed, just a figment of my imagination perhaps.
I wasn't so lucky.
My gaze gravitated towards the substantial stone once more, though this time I was somewhat prepared.
My lungs heaved down a portion of air. "Edward?" My voice was strained and hoarse as if I had swallowed a box of nails. "What's that?"
Obviously I already knew the answer, but my eyes were doubtful.
I swallowed hard as his arms wound around me tighter, prolonging his time to respond.
"It's fake, Bella," he said deliberately slow. "It's just a stone. Nothing more." He was trying to calm me, but my tense muscles flexed throughout my body. He paused before speaking again, more of a mutter this time. "Theoretically, I was suppose to . . . pass away a long time ago."
He was choosing his words carefully, eluding the prospect of my anguish.
I didn't answer, nor look at him. My eyes stayed focused on the stone, tracing over the letters, unknowingly burning the image in my mind.
Edward remained quiet, his arms were tense around me and they remained like that for an immeasurable length of time.
My eyes soon drifted from… -- I didn't want to call it his gravestone – the gravestone to his mother's.
"Where's your Father's?" I wondered aloud, peeking at Edward for the first time. His eyes were already on mine, though I couldn't understand the expression swimming in the golden pools.
"He doesn't have one, I would assume. He was in the war, and passed away while my mother and I were in the hospital." That's when I realized the emotion in his eyes was caution. Caution at what my reaction would be.
"Do you remember him much?" We had discussed this before, though not very much in detail.
"No, not much." His words were still careful, his eyes wary. "Though I do remember one thing…"
I nodded in encouragement, curiosity tugging at my expression.
Edward sighed. "Every Sunday night, my father would sit in his chair, and read the Newspaper to me. I was youthful. Seven or Eight perhaps? I remember the animation he would show on his face as he read about simple things, like… the new post office opening down the block, or the cheese factory being evacuated after an attack by unaided rats." Edward chuckled to himself. "He could make anything exciting, anything an adventure."
"That's… amazing," I sighed. And than the questions ran through my brain like wild fire. "Did he look like you? What was his job? Did he always plan on joining the army? What about –"
"Bella," Edward laughed, and it was the first time I realized that his arms had relaxed. They now hung loosely around my waist. "You have an eternity to ask questions, but right now, I believe we should return to the hotel before you shiver yourself into a coma."
I wasn't even aware that I was cold until his fingers brushed against my arm and they seemed to resemble the same temperature as my own skin.
The atmosphere was a murky gray as the sun lingered, just setting below the horizon.
Edward removed his jacket. This time I didn't protest as he helped me slid my arms through the too-long-sleeves. In an inherent action I took a deep breath, inhaling the beautiful scent that loitered on the thick fabric.
"Better?" He inquired. I could just make out the subtle rise of his eyebrow.
"Yes," I sighed.
He smiled at my surrender. "Good." His lips pressed against my forehead and his arm began to lead me towards the broad iron gate.
I glanced over my shoulder a few times as we retreated, not quite able to find the shapes of the gravestones through the compact obscurity of the darkness. I get my final good bye tomorrow, I thought, and I'll bring my letter.
The air was warmer this morning, though the wind made up the difference as it rocketed through the opaque town.
I was wearing Edward's jacket again and I pushed the sleeves up as I approached the matching gravestones, feeling oddly nervous.
I glanced around, unsurprised to discover that I was alone. Edward was still at the hotel – per my request – and it was so early in the morning that the sun had yet to flicker rays of pink above the horizon. Today was the day I would be changed. Tonight to be exact. I had some things to take care of in the mean time.
My hand reached for the letter that was folded in my pocket. It was written on a piece of hotel stationary but I didn't think the receiver would mind too much. The letter teetered back and forth in my hands for a few moments. Finally, I leaned it against Elizabeth Masen's grave.
Without a second look, I ran. The memory faded dimly behind me, and I wondered if I would cry. My tear ducts felt threatening as the harsh wind wiped away the moisture. The lack of moisture didn't help as I ran straight into a brick wall.
The breath quickly separated from my lungs and it felt like my stomach had been flattened against my spine.
"I'm so sorry, young lady. Are you alright?"
I nodded, breathless, as my eyes struggled to find a focus. "I'm sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going."
The man chuckled, and the sound was beautiful, familiar somehow. "It is a wonderful day." His eyes searched the surroundings before his gaze fell on mine and he smiled softly. "Good day miss." He bowed slightly at his waist and continued into the cemetery.
I stared after him, stunned momentarily. Suddenly the wind blew and a cherry blossom tree within the graveyard coated the ground with it's crimson petals. A clock tolled in the distant.
I spun around slowly, taking in the scenery of Chicago, before heading towards the hotel. "Good bye… Mom."
(Third Person POV)
The clock tolled in the distance though he barley recognized the sound. It was too familiar now.
The small path he walked, that was all familiar too, as were the two gravestones that were placed before him. Everything in proximity was burned in his memory.
One thing was foreign however, and his eyes found the alien object quickly. With fast, swift movements, he picked it up, and examined it closely. It was a premeditated piece of paper. A letter perhaps? The words etched on it were in a disarray. He read the letter quickly.
Was that too forward of me? Referring to you as Mom, I mean. I called you that in my own assumption that you approve of the fact that I'm married to your son. I guess I'll never really know if you approve, though I can only hope you do. I wear your ring after all. I really hope you don't mind. Do you?
I would ask you other questions, if I really had the chance to talk to you. So many that you would probably be begging me to stop...
See, your son is… different. I'm not sure if you're aware of how different. But from what I've heard, it seems as if you've known all along. Did you know all along? Did you know that Carlisle was a …
Well I guess I can't ask you that. I'm not sure if I can ask you anything really.
I'm sure, if you ever read this, that you notice I sound a little… jumpy. Would you believe it's because I'm nervous to write to you? I'm frightened that you won't like me. And because I have so many questions.
Can you answer questions? Communicate at all? For a minute maybe?
Because if you can, please, don't waste the precious time on me. Talk to Edward.
Tell him that he has a soul. Truly has a soul. And it's more beautiful than any other soul in my eyes. Tell him that he's not a monster. Tell him that I want to be… different like him, only because my need to be with him forever is in every part of me. Every molecule in my body is raging with that need.
He rarely believes me. Perhaps he'll believe you?
I'm running out of time now. I have to drop this letter off and catch a three o'clock plane to Alaska.
I don't think I'm able to put the pen down though, however, my heartbeats are numbered.
Thank you Elizabeth Masen. Thank you for your wedding ring, and your unspoken love, and your son.
I love him, Mom. With every breath I take. I love him.
Love Your Daughter-in-law,
The man read the letter twice. The first time, he had barely comprehended the words. Only the view key names that popped out at him. The second time, he was numb. The letter slipped from his frozen fingers and trembled in the breeze, landing atop the adjacent grave. His eyes followed it slowly and he realized that there was more writing, on the back of the first letter. Should it have surprised him that the name engraved on the gray stone matched the name on this second letter?
You would probably be furious if you knew I was writing to you like this. I don't like writing to you like this either, but I had to give it a try.
I know that you're not really… you know... gone.
You're just in the other room actually.
The water in the shower's running beside me so that you think I'm cleaning up.
It's very difficult to keep a secret from you, you know. Give me some credit…
Anyway, there's something I want to say before… forever.
I'm not sure what I'll believe in after tonight, so I want to make some things clear.
You have a soul.
Someone once told me that you don't love with your heart -- for the heart is but a symbol of love. In reality it's just an organ that pumps blood through the body. What you love with, is your soul.
Now try to tell me that you don't have a soul.
You're not a monster.
Monsters don't fall in love with their… prey, Edward.
I've never been the "romantic" so to speak. That's usually you're part, really. It's ironic that the first time I attempt to be romantic, it's in a letter you'll never read. Then again, maybe that's why I'm trying.
Renee used to read to me when I was younger. Right before I went to sleep. One of my favorites was Winnie the Pooh. I remember a quote. I never really recalled it until about a week ago, though I'm not sure why…
"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you."
It's true you know. Though I don't think you would appreciate the quote as much as I do. And that's just another reason why I'm leaving this letter with your Mother.
I have to go now. I think you're starting to become suspicious. I'vebeen "showering" for forty five minutes.
I love you now, and forever, with all of my soul.
The man did not touch the letter now. He was bent over, reading the scrawl with narrowed eyes that quickly widened.
He understood, though he dared not believe it.
His eyes searched wildly around the small graveyard. A young women to his far right, flinched at the aghast look that surley swam unhidden in his golden eyes.
He had to leave. It was too much.
His mind was far from lucid as he disappeared, breaking away from the rays of light that were breaking through the pewter sky lines.
Once he was far away, his fist unclenched, and in his palm, was a small crumpled letter.
The words that escaped his lips, strangled and soft, were not words of sorrow, or pain. But of new found determination and wonder. "My son," He whispered. And then he ran.
You don't ALL want to kill me... right?
I thought I'd end it like that. Basically to keep you all up at night, thinking of the possibilities. It's healthy for the brain you know :)
Anyway, I'd thought I'd fill this extra space by explaining how I thought up this story. Here it goes.
My family owns a family grave plot. They came over with the pilgrims and established a town, so yeah, we get our own graveyard. Anyway, there's a few other people there who aren't part of my family, but lived locally. I was there the other day, visiting my Grandma's grave, when I stumbled upon three graves in a row with just initials. The initials were E.C. E.C. and J.C. The Cullen men? Edward, Emmett, and Jasper? I'd like to believe that those are their fake gravestones :) Haha. So then I began thinking about the idea, of their gravestones I mean, and came up with this! I hoped you liked it. And the ending wasn't too horrible...
The man was Edward's Father by the way. His vampire father :) Oh aren't the possibilities endless...
P.S. THIS WAS THE LAST CHAPTER.
Review Please! :)