So, there I was, riding home in my car, and all of a sudden, inspiration hit me for this chapter!
So I wrote it, as a Christmas present for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edward's Point Of View
Of course, I already knew what Carlisle was planning. No one could be that good – good enough to not think, yet still get your thinking done. It wasn't possible. I had been finding that out in the last few months – or had it been a year? I didn't really pay attention to time. Would you, when your throat burns each time a human passes too close, when everyone's thoughts pressed into your head, when you can barely control yourself?
No, I didn't think so. And neither did I.
I was fiddling with the dial on the radio, but each station played Christmas music. It hurt to listen to it, because each time I heard a song a knew, a vague memory, a dull feeling, from my human life would flood through me, making me yearn for the time I could enjoy things. Simple things, gathering around a fire at Christmas, receiving gifts when you're younger, singing carols… These were all things I could no longer do. I eventually got tired of trying to find a non-Christmas music station, and just turned off the radio.
Carlisle came in, just then, as if he'd been waiting for the right time. Which, maybe he had been, but I couldn't tell, nor did I care. His thoughts were nothing to me – I didn't care what he was thinking, because it was encroaching on my personal space and freedom.
"Edward?" he asked tentatively. I turned my head to him, noticing that he was thinking in whispers. That was thoughtful of him, but of course, that was Carlisle – he was always thoughtful, much more so than I ever deserved while being here.
"Yes?" I replied, still surprised at my velvety voice, once rough and uneven, now like a radio star's.
"Would you like to…" he couldn't seem to say it aloud, so I heard it in his mind: have a Christmas celebration with me?
That was an idea I'd heard him pondering for awhile, but he'd seemed to be leaning toward not doing it, so I hadn't really worried, or cared, about it. But now here I was, being approached, cornered, with this human idea, when what I was was so far from human that it did not deserve to enjoy human rights.
I was going to decline, gracefully, of course, tenderly with no harm done, when I saw in Carlisle's mind flashes of Christmases past.
Carlisle sitting alone at a fire, a lone stocking hanging above it.
Carlisle at a hospital, working hard as if he's never even heard of Christmas.
Carlisle out on the street, handing out money to the needy, while snow blankets the ground around them all.
Carlisle setting up a tree, hanging the ornaments, joyously, then realizing he's alone and stopping dejectedly.
I hadn't been drained of all compassion along with my soul; I was not a complete monster. I could see when a heart yearned for something, and now, Carlisle wanted a companion on Christmas. So I nodded my head, slowly, and stood up.
"What shall we do?" I asked, and he lead the way into the living room. I saw it in his mind before I saw it for real – he had set up a tree in the corner of the room. It was huge, at least 13 feet tall, and there were 7 boxes of ornaments lying at its base. I knew what we would do, and we set about it at once.
Quietly, at first, and then with polite conversation, we hung the ornaments on the tree.
We talked about people he'd seen at the hospital, and a little bit about the neighbors (who smelled so delicious, but lived just far enough away that I could only smell them when I went into the drawing room, which I didn't.) and their recent divorce, and he even told me some about his childhood.
When we were done, Carlisle told me to sit down, and he got something from the kitchen, trying very hard not to think of what was in the little package, brightly wrapped in red and green paper.
I tore it open, trying hard not to crush it (although I did smush the box a little on the corners). Inside was a very old watch. Carlisle said it had been his father's, and that he had kept it all these years so that he could give it to his son.
I asked him how he knew he would have a son, and his eyes got unfocused and he became wistful as he replied, "I just knew, Edward. I knew that someday, it would happen."
This first Christmas with Carlisle was the turning point for me – I went from monster to half-monster, as I was shown real compassion for the first time in this … "life."