Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
Edward Cullen watched his five year old daughter playing with her antique dolls on the floor in the living room of their home. His daughter, Gabby, looked just like her. Shimmering brown eyes with matching chocolate curls adorning her small head, framing her delicate face. Whenever he looked at his daughter, he saw the love he lost so many years ago. Her tinkling laugh and her smiling face haunted his dreams every night ever since that dreadful day.
Of course, in the sea of despair, a glow of light came. Gabby.
His little girl was everything he never knew he wanted. The love he felt for her was overwhelming, to say the least. Edward had, in fact, never even thought of having a child when he was younger. That didn't mean he didn't care for Gabby. Of course he did, with all of his broken heart. She was the last thing he had to remind him of her. Aside from the many possesions she hadleft behind.
Gabby placed her dolls gently back into the wooden cradle Edward had made for her. She made her way over to the couch he was sitting on, stumbling a few times along the flat surface. He chuckled; yet another thing she had inherited from her.
"Daddy? Do you remember mommy?" Gabby asked quietly, settling into Edward's lap. The question caught him off guard. Gabby had never inquired about her mother...... about her. Remember her? How could he ever forget the only woman who had ever touched his heart.... his very being.
"Yes, angel. I do remember her." He whispered.
"How come I never got to meet her." Gabby pouted. The same pout she would use when she was irritated or angry. Edward knew he was going to have to tell his daughter the story of her mother sooner or later. He was just hoping it would be later..... much, much later.
" Because, she's..... well, she's gone." Edward said softly, watching her face scrunch up in confusion.
"Gone? Like when Uncle Jasper and Aunt Alice were gone last summer?" She looked adorable when she was concentrating too hard.
"No, not like last summer. This is a more......permanent type of gone."
"So, I'm never going to meet mommy?" She asked, her eyes glistening with sadness. It shocked Edward that Gabby would be so sullen because she wouldn't get the chance to meet someone she never knew.
"Not in person. Mommy is always with you, though." Edward liked to think that she was out there somewhere, watching over them, making sure they were healthy and content. Just likeshe said she would.
"How?" Gabby asked, still confused. Edward wrapped his arms around her tiny frame and held her closer to him.
"She's always here." He said pointing to her heart. "And here." He said quieter, pointing to his own. She would always be the woman who filled his whole heart with love and longing.
"How can she be in my heart if I've never seen her?" Gabby questioned.
"Well, she loved you, even before you were born. I'm sure she loves you even more, wherever she is." The hole in his heart was reopening like it did so many times over the years. The white-hot pain coming back with a vengance.
Gabby tried to stifle a yawn, but it did not go unnoticed by Edward. He cradled her in his arms, carrying her to her room. He turned down the blankets and placed her down softly on her bed, tucking her in.
"Good night my little angel." He whispered and laid a gentle kiss on her forehead.
"'Night daddy." Gabby sighed before falling into a deep sleep. Edward made his way out of her room, shutting the door behind him slowly. He walked down the hall to his room. What was once their room. The room that held so many memories.
That's just what they were; memories. Nothing more, nothing less. Every memory was full of love and happiness but along with it, a cloud of despair, reminding him of the cold, bitter truth he tried so hard to keep at bay. Every night was the same for Edward. His mind opening up and letting him remember all of those very painful memories of her.
He picked up the picture he kept on the table next to his bed. She was wearing a long, dark blue dress with her very noticable pregnant belly. Edward had his arms around her, leaning his head on her shoulder. The picture had been taken in their meadow. Her dark brown hair was braided and came down almost to her waist. Her brown eyes were filled with joy. Her whole face seemed to glow with a light much too beautiful to be heard of on Earth.
The photo was taken about a week before the horrible event that changed his life took place. Edward was in the very room where it had happened. He was a doctor and he wasn't even able to save the most important person in his life? That was the memory that was the clearest for him to remember. The memory he tried to let go of.
The memory that wouldn't leave him alone.
Edward shuffled over to the walk-in closet on the farther side of the room. He still had every article of clothing she had ever worn. Some would call it an obsession. Some would say he needed to rid himself of everything of hers. But honestly, he didn't care what some think. He picked up the dress from the photo and held it to his face, inhaling deeply. How many nights had he been deprived of her sweet smell?
He fell down onto his side of the bed, still clutching the blue dress to his chest tightly. The same silk sheets she had picked out when they had first moved into this house. At the time, the future seemed to hold so much promise for them, for the love they shared for one another.
Why did life have to be so cruel and unforgiving? Taking the most selfless person that ever lived. She gave her life for their unborn child. Ever since that day, he always blamed himself for not knowing that such a petite woman would never be able to give birth to a baby and be healthy too.
He had failed to do one of the many things he pomised her. Edward had promised to protect her forever.
Just like every other night, he fell into a fitful sleep full of dreams about all the memories.
Edward woke up the next morning to little Gabby bouncing up and down next to him on the bed. He pulled her into a tight embrace and kissed her head of curls.
"Daddy, I wanna know more about mommy." She whispered. Edward knew she would, Gabby was always curious about everything, just like her.
"Of course, sweetie. What do you want to know?" He asked softly.
"Everything." She said happily.
"How about we start with what she looked like." Edward said, reaching for the picture from the night before. Gabby snatched the picture out of his hands to examine it carefully.
"She's really pretty, daddy." She said, tracing her fingers across the photo.
"Just like you, love." The tears were welling up in Edward's eyes, remembering just how beautiful she was in person.
"What was she like?" Gabby asked quietly.
"Well, she loved reading.... a lot. She had the most adorable pout," He touched Gabby's nose. " like you."
"What else!" She said impatiently.
"She was the bravest and most caring person I've ever met. She would help out anyone in need. She didn't ever judge anyone, regardless of who they were or what they did." He said, his voice filled with raw emotion.
"I wish I could have met her, daddy." Gabby said sadly.
"So do I, Gabby." Edward stated with an even bigger lump in his throat. How could life be so cruel? Not only had life taken the love of his life away from him, but life also took a mother away from her child.
"Do you miss her?"
"Every minute of every day, love." Edward said as a few warm tears spilled out of his eyes. His already mangled heart was on fire with the pure dreariness of the situatuion.
"I'm sorry." Gabby whispered, wiping away the stray tears on Edward's face.
"For what?" He asked perplexed.
"Making you sad. I don't ever want to make you sad, daddy." Edward could see the tears forming in her eyes and instantly regretted having this painful conversation with his young daughter.
"Why don't you go and play for a few minutes while daddy takes a shower?"
"Okay. Love you, daddy." Gabby kissed his cheek and scurried out of the room.
Edward went over to the closet and pulled out a set of clothes for the day. He entered his bathroom and stepped into the shower. The fresh blast of cold water was just what he needed to wake up. But it didn't help with the steady flow of tears falling freely from his eyes.
All of his loved ones had told him that he needed to move on, saying it's what she would have wanted. He couldn't even think of holding anyone else, speaking anothers name in love, or even kissing sombody elses mouth. He knew that she would, in fact, want him to live a happy life even if it was without her, but he felt like it would be a betrayal to her, to be happy with someone else. Edward still wore his wedding ring as a symbol for his undying love for her.
The words 'Til death do us part' echoed through his head. How wrong they were. Death may have parted them physically, but she was always with him. In his mind and his memories.
Edward turned off the shower and quickly changed into the clothes he picked out.
He was so lonely all the time, craving the one touch that was forbidden to him. He would give anything to feel those petal soft lips moving against his once more. The feel of her velvety skin carrassing him slightly, hearing her sigh his name.
That one memory came back to him. The one memory that wouldn't give him peace. The only memory of her that he never wanted to think about again.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Cullen." The doctor had told Edward sadly.
"Isn't there anything you can do!" Edward yelled hysterically.
"No, I'm sorry. Either your wife survives or your child does. There isn't anything I can do. Her body just can't take the stress from childbirth."
Edward had never felt more morose or bleak in his entire life. He was forced to choose between his wife and the unborn child she had given him. He knew what he would pick. Her. They could always adopt. Nothing was worth losing his only love.
"Can I see her?" He whispered. The doctor nodded gravely.
Edward flew into her room. The sight before him was not a pretty one. His wife was as white as a ghost and her face was sunken in, cheeks sallow. Just two days before, she was the essence of pure beauty, now she looked like she was waiting in line for the Grimm Reaper to come and carry her off.
"Hi, Edward." She croaked, her voice rough. Edward rushed over and gathered her in his arms, holding onto her with everything he had.
"Bella. Bella, love, you still have a good chance. There are so many other options we have. Please." He whispered forlornly. Bella pulled him closer to her.
"You know, a great man once told me something. The most important people in your life are the ones you haven't met yet." Edward remembered when his father, Carlisle, had said that when Bella had found out she was having a baby. His first grandchild.
"Bella, please. I- I can't live without you. The world wouldn't hold an interest to me without you in it."
When they had first found out about their child, the couple couldn't be happier. Those were some of the happiest months of their lives. It was just those last couple of days, when the complications had come out of nowhere, that had killed the happiness.
"Be strong, for our child. I know you wan't me to live, but I don't want to take the life away from the baby that is so close to living. Live on for me, Edward. Take care of our child. I'll always be there with you, right here." She placed a fragile hand on his heart. His large hand covered hers, holding her to him.
"My heart only beats for you." Edward said. He knew this was going to be their final goodbye, but he was trying to sustain his denial.
"And mine yours." She smiled sadly.
"Bella, how am I supposed to keep living without you? I'm not nearly as strong as you give me credit for. There's no way that I could ever be happy without you in my arms."
"I want you to be happy, Edward. Live life everyday. But please, don't forget me."
"Never." Edward said with conviction. He placed a kiss on her smooth lips and just breathed her in.
"I love you, Edward. Forever." She whispered against his lips.
"Forever and ever." He agreed.
"Daddy! Where are we going?" Gabby cried excitedly.
Edward was taking her to the one place he knew Bella would be. Their meadow.
The place where they confessed their love for each other.
The place he had proposed to her.
The place where they claimed one another as husband and wife.
The place he had spread her ashes.
Edward couldn't bear the thought of Bella rotting away six feet under at some cemetary. At least here, she could dance in the wind and be eternally youthful. That was the way he always thought of her; a free spirit. Dancing around like the ethereal angel she was. The hold she had on him was stronger than ever in the meadow. He knew she would be the only woman to ever be right for him. They grew up together, and he had hoped she could have lived long enough to see the amazing daughter they had brought into the world. Edward hoped they would even have died in each others arms; together.
Maybe Bella was out there somewhere, watching her family in contentment, making sure to protect them from the horrible things in life. Maybe she would watch as Gabby grew up, wishing she could be there to hold her hand throughout all of it.
Bella was probably out there, in the meadow, floating around in the gentle breeze.
"We're going to mommy's special place." He whispered.