What if Bella hadn't jumped off the cliff? If Rose never made the fatal call. Edward does return but only to check on Bella. What he finds sends him in comatose. When he wakes, he finds that the tables have turned and decisions must once again be made. AU BxJ, BxE, who will win?
This story is based on the premise that after leaving Edward managed to stay away and Bella did not jump off the cliff. Listen to Diary of Jane - Breaking Benjamin while reading this like I did =) Enjoy.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Prologue: Il Sangue
Three hundred sixty five days...and counting.
The urge was insurmountable.
I wanted, no, needed her so desperately that I was blindly hallucinating, deliriously fantasizing – she dominated my waking dreams, commandeered sentient thought.
What was this pain? Why did the very thought of her send me into scrambling into the fetal position? I'd left because I loved her. Because she deserved what I could never give her. So then why couldn't I be happy for her?
Option one: Bella was a danger magnet. Very likely, it wouldn't matter that I had left the radar; she probably had found herself a new monster to occupy herself with.
Option two: She probably had moved on. No doubt Mike Newton had swooped in and taken advantage of my absence. Despite assurances that I was fine with that...I certainly wasn't. If I didn't deserve, he wasn't even in the same sphere. And yet, he could give her so much that I couldn't. it wasn't fair for me to be envious. I did want her to move on, but, selfishly, not completely. She had marked me so irrevocably; I was doomed to suffer for the rest of my existence without her. To think that she had moved on, forgotten me so quickly – it made our love seem petty.
I, of course, had no idea what exactly was going on with her either way. Alice was always keeping watch. But on Esme's orders, they carefully screened what they saw and told me nothing that I could draw conclusions from. Living with me for scores of years had trained them. Whenever they returned from Forks, they were always transcribing the Quaran in Semaphore or finding derivatives in Armenian.
But this pain, this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. Before her, I only had a vague idea of what my siblings had with each other that I didn't. But to have and then have it taken away...
I comforted myself: it was only a matter of time.
But I had to know! Even if, what I saw displeased me...I needed to see her. Know that she was safe.
Before I knew it, I was in my Volvo and less than fifty miles separated me from the cloudy town that homed my only reason to live.
- Ъєαиτιƒи∫ ƒατє -
I eased into the neighborhood of Forks, noting with a grim expression, the house that loomed tantalizingly a few hundred meters away. As my Volvo sighed into parallel formation with the police car, I noticed that a certain big red truck was not parked in the driveway.
It was barely three in the afternoon; her father would not be home quite yet. Even he was, he wouldn't hear me if I sneaked into the house on silent feet.
The last piece of my sanity that I clung to, kicking and screaming, screamed refusal — I had already gone against my better judgment when I decided to revisit Forks. Not because I was afraid of what I would find. It was how I would react to the spectacle. I was so weak when it came to her. She was both my strength and weakness. Who knew what I was capable of now that the blackest of black sins had proven possible?
Carlisle had once joked that despite my gift to read others so well, my own mind was a black hole – a singularity.
No longer in my own control – when, since her, had I ever been completely in my own control? - I took a deep breath. I could smell it, very faintly: the smell of freesia and strawberries, muted like music playing at a cloudy radio station.
I scaled the side of the house and climbed into her room through the window, unlocked and ajar.
My anxiety had been for nothing, it appeared: the room was deserted.
My fear, I realized now, had not been what I would find, but what I wouldn't.
In my absence, things would change, small things but significant enough that I would return to find no traces of myself left – like a forgotten relative who had died and was hidden in a shadow of a black-and-white family portrait.
I wanted her to move on, of course. I was not one to stake a claim, when she so apparently deserved someone less hellish than I. But to forget me completely?
All that was left in her room was the small bed in the corner, the rickety dresser, and the rocking chair that I had used to inhabit, so very long ago. I sat down and was enveloped in her fragrance.
It was heaven.
I couldn't sit still, feeling as though I was the proverbial frog in the pot, being boiled to a slow death. Her wardrobe stood empty except for a shirt too small and a pair of jeans simply too dirty to be washed.
I riffled through the room, aching for just one glimpse, one memento, one of her. A photo, a note. Anything that could assure me of her well-being. Anything to ease the pain of being separated from her.
It appeared as though she had been packing for a journey. Packing tape was strewn all over the room, along with an occasional empty cardboard box. I resignedly drew back towards the window as I saw a note on the seat of the rocking chair. I peeled it off the seat and sat down in the rocking chair, trembling.
Goodbye, the wind whispered haughtily.
"Just once," I whispered my plea.
I turned the paper over, almost fearfully. It was me. Or, at least, a photo of me, staring aimlessly at the camera. The day before I left.
She knew instinctively something was wrong – my behavior had been ever since the night of her birthday. But even then, knowing that what I was going to do was so very wrong – it struck me as odd that she never saw it coming.
"You don't want me?"
The disbelief. The hurt.
She had bought my facade, eventually. Bought it so utterly. How could she think my love so weak?
On sudden thought, I hastened down the stairs in the hallway and lifted the floorboard on the second stair.
I gasped sharply.
I'd hidden all her mementos of me. CDs of Debussy and all the music of mine she had listened to lay smashed. Plastic cases in pieces, CDs lying in sparkling ruins, covers in shreds. How had she found them? But more importantly, did this mean?
I ran back into her room, truly perturbed now.
There was a shirt, lying next to her trash can that I hadn't seen but now recognized. I picked up the shirt; it was blue. The shreds of fabric flowed over my hands, wholesome, clean, except for the cuts, which were suspicious. Instead of ragged, they were linear and straight, inflicted mercilessly by a knife or scissors.
"That color blue looks lovely with your skin."
In her trash can, I saw what looked like the remains of a stereo. Wires poking out of their cover, the screen smashed in, buttons pulling off the front. Even what looked like dried blood on the stereo. Obviously, she'd tried to remove it herself despite not being handy with things like screwdrivers and hammers.
"It will be as though I never existed."
I looked up and around the room - deserted - then back to the devastation. I sank to the floor, begging the tears to follow.
What followed was the pain.
Greater than ever before.
Too cold, too hot, too bright — the snow, the sun, the blood.
Too much — everything.
Every sense screamed with the intensity of living. Being.
Sound, touch, smell, sight — it all scorched my soul.
For so long, I thought my soul lost.
I'd been wrong.
This was what losing my soul felt like.
- Ъєαиτιƒи∫ ƒατє -
I didn't know how long I stayed in the house, rocking back and forth on the rocking chair until it splintered. My family came, calling my name and Bella's, gasping as they found me.
Carlisle firmly picking me me with him as I lay there limply. Esme as she stroked my hair, trying to comfort me. Emmett helplessly holding me back as I fought to reclaim Bella's scent. Jasper finally subduing me so we could leave undetected. Alice crying. Rosalie commiserating.
I swallowed thickly, venom rising like bile in y throat. "...this is what I wanted."
They didn't need to be telepathic to know I was lying desperately through my teeth. To see the repressed pain behind my choked words.
The waves of pain that had lapped at my face before reared head-high and drew me into their folds.
Needless to say, I did not resurface.