So, um, please read like, all the way through.. Surprise at the end!
"Jasper, I want ice cream," Alice said from my side. I looked up from my book with a look of confusion, and then looked at her with the same look. She was looking forward with her head tilted to the right a little. Her eyebrows were creased together, thinking.
"Alice, honey, you can't have ice cream," I said gently. I didn't know if she was in a good mood or not, and when she couldn't have what she wanted, she tended to get a little angry. This only made a sense of cuteness come about her. All her emotions made her look cute.
"I know, but, it just sounds so good. How did they ever get ice to be creamy? And flavored. I remember when it was either water flavored ice, or no ice at all. There was no cream added to the ice, and certainly no flavor. And the coloring, how did they get some ice to be brown looking? And who knew that chocolate flavored creamy ice could be so good smelling? I can only imagine how it tastes, Bella said it's wonderful," she said. Occasionally, perhaps once every year, she would have a rant about things that just occur to her. This time it was ice cream.
"I don't know how they 'get ice to be creamy,' and I would assume that food dye would explain the coloring, and I always found the smell of ice delicious," I said calmly. I had placed my bookmark in my place and set the book on the table. Carlisle had too many books in his study. Yes, they made for a good read, but there were too many. And they all seemed to be about medical sciences. I suppose it was only fitting, but one got the assumption that he had no sense of adventure or imagination.
"Jasper Jasper Jasper, over the years, have you never learnt that my questions tend to be rhetorical?" she asked. She had been facing forward, but now she was sitting on our couch with her legs crossed and facing me, her hands on mine. She had a small smile on her face, and her eyes were full of adoration. I'm sure mine showed the same emotion, but I thought that her eyes were more beautiful than mine. Yes, they were the same color, but hers would always be more beautiful.
"I've learnt that, and after all these years, dear Alice, have you not learnt that I will answer every question you ask me, rhetorical or not?" I countered her politely. Her smile grew, and one of my own formed.
"You know," she said, scooting closer to me, "there are a few questions you haven't answered before," she whispered, stopping when she was almost in my lap.
"Oh? And would you care to fill me in on those questions?" I asked. I loved her rants, it gave me some access to her mind.
"Okay. So we're aware that scissors definitely beat paper, and rock can crush scissors, yes, so, if rock can beat something so tough, then how does paper beat rock? It has no defenses, because paper can't give rock a paper cut, and that's about all it's capable of doing. And, if paper can be rock, then why can't paper beat scissors? Were the people who made it up just entirely out of their minds when they thought that paper could beat rock, and not beat scissors? Or did they just not want paper to be invincible?" she said all in one breath. Sometimes the things she talked about were so amusing.
"Paper could gather other paper, and they could form a barrier, making it so that rock wouldn't be able to do anything. And I'm sure that, no matter how hard paper tried at beating scissors, scissors would win because they can cut through the paper so easily. I would say your invincible theory is correct though," I explained. She smiled and rested her head on my shoulder. My arm wrapped around her loosely, not wanting to let her go. Yes, she would never leave me, but I also loved the feeling of contentment she sent off when we either embraced each other or when I simply put my arm around her.
"I'm done now," she said in an exhale of breath.
"Are you sure? No more questions for me?" I asked, teasing her slightly. I felt her shake her head and chuckle. Then I felt her hesitate.
"Actually, do you know what today is?" she asked sheepishly. She was excited, but also a little nervous. Why had the date caused this reaction from her?
"September 24, 2006. Why?" I asked, weary. Alice could have any number of cards up her sleeves, so to speak. I was just worried what this one would be.
"Do you remember what's so special about today?" she asked, sheepish again, only this time I detected a hint of excitement? Anticipation? I wasn't sure, it could have been both. But many things had happened on September 24. The Honda company was founded, Devil's Tower was the first National Monument in the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints renounced polygamy… Many things, but I failed to see what was so special about any of them. I shook my head slowly.
"It's your birthday," she said carefully. Her head lifted up to watch my reaction. How had she remembered? I couldn't even remember. Not that I wanted to, but she did. Why did she remember that? She didn't even remember her own birthday.
"Are you mad?" she asked suddenly, when I didn't reply. I looked at her for a moment, not sure what I was. Which was very unusual for me.
"No, I'm not mad, just…" I struggled to find the right word, "surprised, is all," I finished. I honestly hadn't been expecting this.
"Good!" she said, happy again. I couldn't help but smile. "Because I got you something," she said, getting up and walking to her closet. She came back out with what looked like a suit bag. I already had enough suits. I didn't need another one. "Now, before you start going off on how you don't need any more clothes, I should have you know that you can't exactly wear this. It is an antique after all, and it was quite a bit of money. The Smithsonian Institute can drive a very hard bargain," she explained. It's funny how her explanations always left me with more questions than before.
"Alice, what exactly did you buy from the Smithsonian? And which one? There are many," I said. That would answer at least one of my questions.
"Well, the tag did have 'Whitlock' on it, and well, that was your name, well, it sometimes still is, but I saw it, and I talked to the owner, and said that I knew his descendent who had been looking for it, and well, overall I had to give them something like eight thousand five hundred dollars, but – "she zipped open the suit bag and I was pleasantly surprised… again.
"Alice, you didn't have to," I said, staring at my old uniform. Where had they found it? Well, that was obvious. I was the youngest Major in the south at that time, of course they were going to keep something of mine for historical purposes. But why I hadn't heard of it before this, I didn't know.
"I know I didn't have to, but I wanted to. It seemed somewhat appropriate, you know?" she said. She still didn't know how I felt about this, and I wasn't going to manipulate her just to show her.
"It's perfect," I said, standing up. I took the hanger out of her hands, looking at my old clothing. It had various holes – from age no doubt – but other than that it was still the same one. No duplication there. "Even though I'd forgotten about my birthday," I said pointedly. I didn't remember telling her, but she had found out some how. She looked at the floor.
"They had books of soldiers who were missing in action, and I thought I'd take a look at one," she whispered, her hands clasped together loosely in front of her body. That explained why she'd gone to the Smithsonian institutes.
"You are too nosy for your own good," I scolded her with no real intention behind it. In truth, I was enthralled that she did this. It only reminded me of how wonderful she was, and how lucky that made me. "But," I continued, "it has its rewards." She looked up as I said this, her eyes wide with curiosity. I smiled at her, kissed her on the lips lightly, and went to put my gift in my own closet. When I got back she was standing in the same way she had been, but her look was distant. She was having a vision. She'd been getting them more recently lately, and we didn't know why. They didn't seem to be connected in any way. I put my hands on her shoulders, making sure she wouldn't lose her balance. A few of her recent visions had made her fall, and we were worried about it.
She wouldn't tell us what the visions were about, and the fact that they were becoming so powerful as to knock her over was worrisome. Especially for Carlisle and myself. Edward knew what she'd seen, of course, but he wouldn't tell us. He said that she insisted to keep it secret. Often times, when they were having a one way conversation, I could feel worry coming from them. What would they have to be worried about? Her eyes cleared and focused on me.
"Are you alright?" I asked? She looked at me with a confused face, as if she were wondering who I was, and she was feeling confused, and frightened. "Alice, honey, are you okay?" I said, over pronouncing every word. That's when Edward came through the door. He took my spot, and I let him. He didn't say anything. He just looked at her eyes, which – now that I got a closer look at them – were still dazed.
"What's wrong?" I whispered urgently to Edward, who just shushed me. I was angered by his response. "She isn't your wife," I said. Surely he, of all people, would see the reason in that.
"Jasper, if you truly want to know what's wrong, go see Bella," he said calmly. He didn't break eye contact with Alice. He wouldn't tell me anything else, so I followed his directions. Bella was in his room, sprawled on the couch. She was taking a nap. Very enthralling and informative. "Just wait, Jasper," I heard Edward say from my room. I sat on the bed and watched Bella. She wasn't doing anything. But I would wait. Even if this was some sort of rouse to get me away from Alice so I wouldn't be any more worried than necessary. I was about to walk downstairs when Bella did something finally.
"Jasper?" she asked. Her voice was low and familiar, but I shrugged the familiar feeling off.
"Yes?" I replied. I felt stupid. I was talking to an unconscious human. She shouldn't even know I was – She was unconscious, she should think that it was Edward with her, not me.
"What's happening?" she asked, calmly. Bella never asked what was wrong in a calm voice. Only Alice ever did that. I heard Alice speaking in the other room.
"What's going on? What's happening? Is there something wrong?" I almost went to help her, but there was an edge of hysteria in her voice. That wasn't Alice. I responded to Bella.
"I'm not sure. Are you okay?" I asked. Her eyes were still closed. Edward had said that she talked in her sleep, but he had never said that she was able to form complete sentences. As far as I was aware, she only ever said his name.
"I'm fine Jasper. What would give you the assumption that I wasn't?" she said. She had Alice's edge in her voice. I moved closer to the couch.
"Alice?" I asked, highly doubting it.
"Who else would I be?" she asked. This wasn't a good sign.
"Um, no one. I'll be right back," I said, and went to Carlisle's office to find Edward already there.
"No, I don't know what's happening," Edward said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Perhaps Bella was in Alice's vision, and somehow their persona's switched. It isn't impossible. It's been done with humans many times. It's what causes post partum stress disorder on people who have never been through certain events in their lives. We still aren't sure how it works, but it's the only conclusion we can come to. They all switch back of course, and sometimes we learn things about a person's past they never knew about. Perhaps that is what is going on here, it would be the most logical explanation I could offer you at the moment," Carlisle explained. Edward sighed in frustration and relief. I was relieved as well, and Carlisle was intrigued. "So this happened to Bella and Alice?" he asked. Edward and I nodded in unison. "Interesting. I'd say their minds linked at some time, and in our family," he said looking pointedly at Edward, "that isn't impossible to believe." I nodded, and walked out. I had heard everything I wanted to know. I waited in the hall, not sure of what room to go in to. Edward came up behind me.
"They should be back now," he said lowly. I nodded and walked in my room. Alice was sitting on the couch.
"I suppose you heard everything," I said to Alice. She was herself, I could tell from the feeling of hominess and comfort emanating from her. She nodded. It's not that she didn't want to talk, she just was shocked. We all didn't know this could have happened, and certainly not with Bella. Edward maybe, but not Bella. "Are you okay?" I asked.
"I'm fine. It's just, I've never noticed how I don't feel like I'm alone in my own mind. It's like Edward is always there, and being… where I was, it was so… empty? No, that's not the right word. Perhaps it was just… different. My thinking was slower than it usually was, I couldn't think of retorts to what you were saying, I could only concentrate on one thing at a time. It was excruciatingly dull," she said. I didn't understand how she felt, but I understood enough to please her.
"Well, hopefully it won't happen. Was this connected to your other visions?" I asked. This would give her reason enough to worry.
"It was, and wasn't. I don't even remember them right now. You should check on Bella, I think she picked up some information she might not want to know," Alice said. She wanted to be alone. I understood that, I respected that. I closed the door on my way out. When I reached Edward's room I heard crying. Not sobbing, crying. I walked in curiously, and Bella was in hysterics in Edward's arms.
"Please, please don't," I heard her say between breaths. I looked at Edward, and he spoke quickly. I listened, the words not sinking in until a few minutes after he'd spoken them. Carlisle had told us about the memories of causing post partum stress disorder when they didn't even belong to that person, but how could that be when Alice didn't even remember. Edward asked me to calm her down, and I did so quickly. I left, and returned to my room. Alice was on the bed.
"She knows, doesn't she?" she asked quietly. I didn't need to ask what she meant. I knew already. I only nodded. "How? How can she know when I don't?" she asked.
"I don't know, but I think the more important question is do you want to know or not?" I said. I felt like she had to make the choice now. It just seemed too important to let it simmer for a while. That would just lead to more explosions later on.
"I do, but at the same time I'm scared," she said in a weak voice. I walked to the bed and sat beside her, draping my arm over her shoulders again. She leaned in to me, staring ahead at nothing.
"I can't make this decision for you this time, Alice," I said sadly. The sadness coming off her was enough to make me cringe mentally.
"But this is the one decision I want you to make for me," she said, stressing the word 'want'.
"I would say that you'd be happier without knowing, but you might have conflicting emotions knowing that she knows, and could tell you at any time, all you would have to do is ask, and for you, that temptation would be too much to handle. You'd find out anyway, willing or not. I would also say that if you knew, it would be a lot to take in, and you'd have to remember that that's not who you are. It's who you were, and nothing can change who you are now. Nothing," I said. I didn't know if it was a good enough answer for me, but I was trying to see things from her perspective. It was much harder for me to do right now. I knew my past, and I couldn't imagine not knowing it.
"You do this all the time," she said, letting out a weak laugh. I lightly kissed her head. "You never directly answer my question and I see it coming every time," she said, her mood lightening quickly.
"And yet you always ask those kinds of questions," I replied, teasing her.
"But that's why I love you," she said. I knew she had more to say, so I waited. "And I'm also not going to ask Bella. I trust her to keep it secret, and I'll always have you to think about, so I won't have to worry about wanting to know about my past. You're my present, and future, and that's all that matters," she said. Now she was done. She could make me melt any day of the week.
"I love you too," was my simple response.
Yes, Carlisle's response should have cleared a lot of that up... but if it didn't... Well, I'll try. People can "channel" other people. Once, I was talking to my friends, and then she was suddenly a different person. It wasn't schizophrenia, but it's like that. In this case, Alice was having a vision about Bella and Bella was thinking about doing what was in Alice's vision at the same time, and the persona's simply switched places... Well, if it's a long shot for you, then say it, but don't flame. If you want to flame me, you need to get a life, plain and simple. Flaming is for losers! Haha, yeah, I said it. Please review though, CC is welcome... Yeah. I totally have a reason for September 24, and if you all have no time on your hands like me you can figure it out. STEPHENIE MEYER OWNS ALL. Except ice cream. Or creamy ice. With flavors. :D ON WITH THE REVIEWING please? I love you forever, and review you. :D