A/N: I always thought it was ridiculous, the way Bella just accepted Edward back at the end of New Moon. Of course, I'm not Bella, and I don't know Edward, so maybe if I was in her position, I'd do the same. But for now, I'm convinced I would have at least made him see exactly what he'd done to me before letting him back into my life. I tried to keep this as 'in character' as I could, bearing in mind I had to rewrite Bella's personality A LOT, and basically let it go wherever it wanted. I was surprised by what I ended up writing…
Disclaimer: Twilight does not belong to me, but to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer, though I'm willing to borrow it! :P Text in italics comes straight from New Moon.
"I won't contest your decision. So don't try to spare my feelings, please- just tell me now whether or not you can still love me, after everything I've done to you. Can you?" he whispered.
My gaze dropped from his. I only paused for a second, but I heard his sharp intake of breath. I looked up again, frantic to keep him here, and drowned for the second time this week- this time in the pain in his eyes.
"No! Don't think that!" I pleaded, my whispers growing in volume. I forced myself to control my voice. "Of course I love you, Edward!" I savoured the feeling of his name rolling off my tongue without burning me.
"Then…" he hesitated for a second. His eyes of molten darkness stared deep into my own chocolate eyes, reading them as he had never been able to do to my mind. "Bella, my love, my only love, can you forgive me?"
I bit my lip, but he didn't speak, merely waiting for me to reply. His expression grew more and more pained as the silence lengthened until I couldn't bear it any more.
"Edward, I said I love you, and if you love me, then you don't need to ask. I will forgive you, but…" I broke off. Could I hurt him in this way?
I loved him beyond all reason and rationality. My life was unimportant; I would risk it a thousand times over to ensure he stayed alive. My happiness I would sacrifice for him; I would let him go in an instant if he wanted it. That was, after all, why I had believed him in the forest on the worst day of my life.
I was much like Edward in one way: before him, I had believed I was complete in myself. I was determined never to let myself be so totally dependent on someone that my entire life revolved around them, I was certain that I had to take care of myself, and have priorities. A spate of bullying - thanks to my absurdly pale skin - when I was younger had left me with the attitude that I had to look out for myself before others. I had to ensure my own survival. That didn't mean I had to be selfish, not at all, but I had to be tough, and I was determined to be tough. When it came to my sanity and my safety, I had to put myself first.
Since Edward had come into my life though, he had broken all of my careful rules without even knowing he was doing it. I began to go past not-being-selfish, I became selfless. I had gone to Volterra without a second thought to save him. Before that, even, I went to save Renée, knowing that I would be tortured to death for it. But if you take the word 'selfless' at its most basic, I lost my self. When Edward gave up trying not to love me, he forced me to give up trying not to feel at all. I morphed, seemingly overnight, into a completely new person, utterly transformed by being in love. Had I given it a moment of consideration, I would have panicked at the loss of who I was, but I never did. I carried on in a wave of ecstasy, knowing he loved me and letting that take the place of my own self-protection. I knew he would always protect me.
Then he had left.
Suddenly, I had nothing to protect me. I was ten years old again, becoming suicidal because I had nothing to keep me alive. I was like a child learning to ride a bicycle for the first time. I had always carefully maintained my stabilisers, and then Edward came and promised to keep me upright. The stabilisers went, but as soon as Edward let go, I crashed to the ground. If Jacob hadn't picked me up again, I didn't know what would have become of me. Or maybe I did, but I didn't want to know. It scared me too much.
Edward had ripped me apart when he first met me, and now he had done it again. I wouldn't have a soul left to lose if he carried on like this. I didn't want to hurt him again, but he had to know what he had done. He had to know what he had done to me.
I began to murmur again, speaking my thoughts unedited, as he had always wished me to do. "I love you, and I always will, but, Edward," I took a deep breath before continuing. "You utterly destroyed me, when you left. You took everything of who I am, no, who I was, and shredded it, tearing me to pieces. I thought I didn't need to protect myself when you first told me you loved me, so I got rid of my defences and let you defend me instead. You became my everything, my world, my life. You were the one source of light in my universe, and then you extinguished it. My world crumbled, my everything became nothing, and my life didn't mean anything any more. I was so empty, and yet I was filled with so much pain, pain that hurt so much it didn't exist. Impossible pain, infinite pain. If I hadn't promised you I wouldn't do anything reckless, I would have killed myself by now because I didn't have you."
I felt him shudder, and his arms wrapped tighter round me, crushing me against him. Ignoring him, I ploughed on. "But it's worse than that. I didn't have you, but I didn't have my family either. My best friend, my big brother, my surrogate parents; you took them away from me too, and you took me away from them. You said you didn't let Alice say goodbye. You hurt her as well as me. How much did you hurt your family by making them agree to this? You didn't see Alice when she thought you were going to die, when she first had the vision. If you died, part of her would have died too. Every one of your family, they would have died a little because you were gone.
"Me? You were gone for nearly seven months." I finally looked up, meeting his horrified eyes. "Seven months, and every day more of me died, not knowing where you were, whether you were happy or not. I had to believe you were happy, because otherwise I would have had no hope for myself. Edward, you didn't just leave me. You killed me."