PROLOGUE: Numb

PROLOGUE: Numb

Sunken, red, sleepless eyes. Prominent cheekbones. Tired shadows and thinning, unexercised lips.

My face, twelve months after it happened. That is, what it would be if I were still human. Now I fed less, I talked less, I moved less. I smiled less.

When he left, I had thought I couldn't sink into lower pits of despair than I had then. Boy, was I wrong.

Although the pain was numbed because I tried not to think about it anymore, it seemed that every time I was reminded of that day, the knife in my heart which had been slowly easing out thrust itself agonizingly back in, even further than before.

Suicide was a regular and daily consideration. The only thing that could keep me going was my daughter. Beautiful, darling, Renesmee. Every time I saw her it broke my heart to be reminded of her father by her face, yet I couldn't leave her! It used to comfort me, to see this shadow of the past in her. To know and have proof that he actually existed, that I hadn't dreamed the whole thing up.

But even now, she was my life, the only precious thing I had left, the only small shard of hope. Hope that, perhaps, her father would come back for her. For me.