Here it is, the last chapter. i hope you guys enjoyed it as much as i enjoyed writing it. Thanks to all who help me countrydoglover, DiamondSkin, and Dansmabulle. thanks a lot!!
The pain was unbearable, but I tried my hardest to keep from screaming. I knew that each scream tore into Edward and caused him excruciating pain. It was easier when I could finally hear, because Edward's unmistakable voice was right there, murmuring words of comfort and singing to me.
His love made me stronger and gave me the will to fight against the fire. Edward never left, and I never forgot what the pain was worth. For one thing, I got my hearing back, but that was a small benefit in comparison to the fact that I would be with Edward…forever.
And that was what kept me going, kept me from screaming. Finally, my three days were up. With one last surge of fire, my body was released from the evil torture. I opened my eyes, unable to remember when I had closed them. I looked around in wonder.
"Bella?" Edward asked cautiously.
I searched for the most musical sound in my world, and a huge smile spread across my icy face. "Edward," I responded happily.
We embraced. "You can hear me," Edward said, his happy smile even more stunning when seen with my crystal clear vision.
I contemplated that. "Yes, I can hear… but I don't think it matters now." I looked down, feeling odd that no blush would creep into my cheeks, "I finally understand what Carlisle and you meant by accepting it. When I was stuck in that cellar, I knew that no matter the outcome, I would be happy with my life. I realized that it didn't revolve around one of the five senses. I could have moved on." I paused, glancing swiftly at Carlisle who stood inside the doorway. "I should have moved on, and I very nearly made a fatal mistake."
Edward smiled genuinely, grasping my hand and pulling me up. "Let's go hunt." And we ran, ready to face whatever came.
I lay on the floor of the upstairs bedroom, my ear jammed to the floor, doing my best to hear everything going on downstairs. Finally, the sound I had been waiting for wafted up to me.
A human heartbeat.
Charlie had come today to see why his daughter wasn't home yet.
The door opened at Charlie's approach, and I heard his gruff voice say, "Where's Bella?"
Right on cue, Edward asked, "What do you mean? She went home."
Before my dad could panic too much, Carlisle answered, "She was sick, Charlie, remember?"
He must have nodded, too emotional for words. I heard Carlisle sigh, "Charlie, I'm very sorry. Bella died yesterday. She had caught a rare and deadly disease. I did all I could, but I couldn't save her. I'm so sorry."
Unable to cry, I started silently choking on the air. How could I do this?
"How?" Charlie demanded, his voice breaking.
"I don't know. I treated her the moment she showed symptoms, but it was too late." I could hear Carlisle's grief in his voice. He didn't like this anymore than I did.
"You didn't tell us?!" Alice and Edward screamed.
"She begged me not to. Not only was she dying, but the disease she had was extremely contagious. She didn't want anyone to catch her illness. To prevent the spread of the disease, I had to burn her body. It was too risky. Even then she pleaded me to give you a letter. When I informed her of the risk, she told me that you would take the risk to have one more thing from her."
He handed the letter to Charlie, I heard the crinkle of paper. "Edward, she left one for you too." Edward let out a choked sob and stormed from the room.
Then it was quiet as Charlie read the letter I wrote for him.
Dr. Cullen told me that I was going to die, but the only thing that I regret is that I won't be able to see you one last time. I love you, and I'm so glad that I decided to come to Forks. I know you would have wanted to see me if you had known I was sick, but I didn't want you to see me like this. I want you to remember all the good times and how much I love you. I want you to know that I am immensely happy that I came to live with you. I wouldn't trade anything for the time we've had together. I love you. Be happy, and don't be sad for me.
Always your daughter,
How I wished I could cry, to relieve my emotional burden, but I could only listen tearlessly as Charlie cried downstairs.
"Carlisle, I want to thank you and your family. You loved Bella and took care of her," he said, once he collected himself. He paused, "Tell Edward that, if it had ended differently, then I would have been glad to call him son one day."
He left soon after that, but I stayed on the floor, my eyes squeezed shut. A comforting hand began stroking my hair. I was pulled into Edward's lap, happy to be comforted.
But, like the fire that burned in my veins, this pain didn't last. Charlie got his last goodbye, which was all I could give him. I stood and pulled Edward with me, walking to the window. The sun was slowly coming over the horizon- a new day and a new life.
I looked at Edward. "What was the name sign you gave me when I couldn't hear?"
He smiled slightly, "I named you angel, for you saved me from my pathetic existence and gave light to my world."
I laughed, and the sound was clear and bright. I would miss certain aspects of my human life, for I wasn't quite ready to give it up yet. However, through that trial, I had learned and gained more. I would no longer push things away but accept them and live life to the fullest.
"Marry me, Isabella Swan," he whispered in my ear.
"Yes," I whispered back, and we embraced and watched the sunrise together, the beginning of our life together.
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