Now it is Seth Clearwater's turn.
He steps up to the podium.
He looks every one of his pack brothers in the eye.
He says, "Chuck Palahniuk said 'You have endless ways you can commit suicide without 'dying' dying.'"
He looks every one of his pack brothers in the eye.
He says, "All of you… You have no fucking idea."
Then he walks briskly out of the funeral home.
After about three hours of thinking and trying hopelessly to remember, Sam Uley comes to his conclusion.
"Quil was the last to die," he says, his voice all-knowing.
His words echo off of the walls and boomerang back to him, hit him in the face.
But what's the point, anyways? Order doesn't matter. The difference between the first death and the fifth death is only four. It still hurts the same, no matter who's inside the casket.
Bella Swan is gone now.
Well. Maybe not gone gone, but still, far away enough that Jacob wants nothing to do with her (except that he does).
Leah knows. She's known far longer than him.
Distance means nothing. Love knows no bounds.
Newsflash, sweetie. Neither does heartbreak.
Jacob is torn between ripping her jugular out and making love to her.
That night, Seth Clearwater storms into Jacob's house. His face is red, his eyes are puffy, he is yelling, screaming, howling. Nothing makes sense.
It never made sense before.
Jacob can make out one thing:
"Why couldn't you just leave her?" Seth is yelling at the top of his lungs, at the top of his throat, at the top of his whole entire body.
Jacob holds his hands out in front of him, as if they can provide a shield.
This usually isn't Seth's trick (it's Jake's), but he uses it anyways. He takes one step toward Jacob Black, his friend, his brother, then he phases.
For once in his whole entire life, Jacob doesn't react quickly enough.
Seth swings his mighty paws at Jake, knocks him down, nearly kills him. He sees Jake's maroon blood pumping, spilling all over the floor, and he calms down enough to phase back.
He is standing naked over Jake when Sam Uley arrives.
Sam tosses one guilty look at Jake, then tosses another one to Seth. He reaches his fever hot hand and puts it on the younger boy's shoulder and says, "I heard. Seth, it will be all right."
Seth lets out a wild howl, then punches Sam square in the jaw.
Sam remembers this:
Sue Clearwater kept a lot of Harry's old things after he died.
His records, some of his favorite shirts, the beaded and feathered earring he wore on their first date, his stationary, some of his sleep medications.
Leah and Jake are in love. They are in the kind of love that hurts, actually physically fucking hurts.
Everyone in the pack knows about it, the couple isn't ashamed to hide it.
Sam corners Jake in the forest one day; they are both in their human form. Sam stands close to him, leans in and whispers, "One day you will imprint and you will break her heart again. What the hell is wrong with you?"
Jake takes one huge step back, puts both of his hands on Sam's broad shoulders, looks him square in the eye and says, "I don't mean any disrespect, Sam, honestly, I don't. But I am a much stronger person than you."
Sam is taken aback. He blinks a few times, isn't sure he heard what he actually heard.
"I mean it. I love Leah Clearwater more than you love your little imprint-girlfriend. That's the truth."
Sam takes a swing at Jacob. How dare he talk his love for Emily down? Who does he think he is?
Jacob is quick, and catches Sam's fist. Then, he punches him in the gut. Sam is down for the count, and Jacob stands over him. "I don't mean any disrespect, honestly." Then he walks away.
The way Quil Ateara dies is he drinks seven 12-packs of Budweiser Tallboys, gets in his car, wraps himself around a tree.
It's a dumb decision, sure. But who really cares? The only people who would tell him not to do it are dead.
The original plan was to go after Claire, to live his whole entire life with her, die gloriously to defend the person he was made for.
The police find the wreck the next morning
They have to use the Jaws of Life to pry Quil out, but it's no use. His spine is cracked in eighteen different places.
It's definitely not glorious, but it's something.
Seth goes in to tell Leah a funny joke he just heard on the radio, but she is sleeping in her room.
She is sleeping, her chest isn't moving, her lips are blue.
There is a bottle of wine beside her bed, alongside the bottle of his dad's old sleeping pills.
Except there's no wine, there are no pills. The bottles are empty.
Leah is dead.
In a way, both Sam and Jacob are right.
On the eve of their one-year anniversary, when Jake is out to buy a promise ring for Leah, he imprints.
He is perusing the selection, a lady asks him if he needs any help, he looks up, and there she is.
His other half.
Jacob buys the ring, almost offers it to this stranger, but catches himself. As soon as the transaction is finished, he runs away with lightning speed.
The next night, over a candlelit dinner Jacob says, "I'm not going to lie to you."
A million thoughts race through Leah's head, he cheated on me, Bella Swan is back, he wants to break up with me. All of them are wrong.
"I imprinted yesterday." Leah falls silent, feels the tears welling up in her eyes. "I told you I would love you forever…"
"So you don't, anymore? You're leaving me for her?" she interrupts, tearfully.
"No." Jacob shows her the velour-covered box, opens it up, reveals the ring. Leah gasps. "I am going to do everything in my power to never look at that woman again." He takes the ring out of the box, reaches for her hand. "All I could ever want is you, Leah Charlotte Clearwater." He puts the ring on her finger. "I will never love anyone but you. I promise."
The tears are pouring out of Leah's eyes now.
Nobody sees Seth after he walks out of Leah's funeral.
Sam has the pack taking shifts as werewolves, just in case Seth phases.
Two days later, Colin and Brady find him in the forest, so they howl loudly, urgently.
Everyone rushes over to help, but there is nothing to do.
What Colin and Brady failed to communicate is that, even though they had found him, he was already hanging from a tree.
Sam is the only one with enough guts to approach the corpse.
On his shirt, a note is pinned. It reads:
None of you fucking deserved her.
Embry is the fourth to go. The way he does is by accidental drug overdose.
He's just another in a long list, order doesn't matter. It all stings the same.
Nobody knows where in the hell he got all that cocaine, or where in the hell he got all the money to buy it, but who really cares?
What really matters is that everyone knows why he did it.
Everyone has been depressed since Leah died
Everyone has been committing their own personal suicides.
What's the point? The pack (the remnants of it, anyways) is just an inventory of who is survived by whom. Who will live to tell?
He was a good son. She was a smart girl. I will miss my baby so much.
Story of the fucking century.
In a way, Jacob is right. He only loves Leah, but still, he did imprint on that girl, whoever she is.
He doesn't show it on the outside, but he does long to be with her. He imagines her face at night, hears her voice over and over again.
But on the outside, all he has is love for Leah. He still kisses her with the same intensity, holds her as close as he did before. He still remembers to moan 'Leah' when they are making love (even though he is imagining that she is that perfect stranger, instead).
It really just does not help that she can read his mind.
"From the Desk of Harry Clearwater:
'The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.' –Chuck Palahniuk
If that is true, then here. Take everything I fucking have. Slice up my fucking body, harvest my insides. Do anything you want.
I will not live in a world where love is given only to those who are born for it.
Cut me fucking open now.
I love you, Seth, more than life itself. Stay strong, don't ever forget that."
When Jake sees Seth's suicide note, he knows nothing else in the world could be more true.
He returns home, there is a note on the table saying Charlie has picked up Billy and they are at the Swan house watching the game.
Jacob finds a pencil, and underneath Billy's note writes:
I love you, Billy, and I'm sorry for everything.
He rummages through the kitchen drawers, finds Billy's handgun. He blinks, and two tears fall out of his eyes in unison.
He blinks again, and then it's over.
Sam Uley is sitting alone in his living room, talking to nobody.
Everyone (who mattered, at least) is dead. Today he is the leader of no one.
The holocaust is complete.