DISCLAIMER: I do not own Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, nor any of Stephenie Meyer's characters.
Edward POV. This takes place around the time when Edward and Bella are ignoring each other, after the incident with Tyler's van in Twilight. An alternate way for Bella to have found out. She has a dream instead of going to La Push, and decides to communicate her feelings to Edward.
We made our way to some seats in the back of the gym, the less to be noticed and the quicker to leave. My family and I sat down, and the resigned thoughts that I tried so hard to block out only seemed to intensify my own.
Forks High was throwing some sort of talent show. It was, by the humans' minds at least, an important event, and Mr. Varner had asked Emmett if our family was coming. Because we had hunted – gone on a camping trip – only two days earlier, and because Alice was not there to warn Emmett, he hadn't been able to think of an appropriate excuse. Even bearing the reputation of remote and snobbish, not coming to the talent show would be beyond rude now.
I leaned back in my seat, pinching the bridge of my nose, and closed my eyes. I didn't have to wonder what the monotonous students of this school would perform. All week the only thing I kept hearing was talent show, talent show, talent show. Everything that the humans had considered doing themselves, what they thought their friends and enemies would be doing – it was enough to drive anyone insane.
Wonder if anyone's going to do some wrestling or weight-lifting . . . Emmett was distracting himself by trying to imagine the impossible – that the show would be even remotely entertaining.
Perhaps the dress she said she liked in that magazine . . . Jasper, like Emmett, was distracting himself, but this time on Alice, internally debating what to buy her. Alice was shamelessly cheating, skipping into her familiar realm – the future – to see exactly what Jasper was going to buy her.
Start and finish already . . . Rosalie's silent tone was twice as scathing as usual.
I sighed. For once, I agreed with Rosalie's thoughts.
At that moment, the talent show started. With what else but a piano playing.
It was a very basic piece, but the way the boy played! It sounded like a jumble of rocks banging together, not a composition. I winced, and Emmett turned to glance at me. One look at my expression and he was smothering snickers.
At least one person was enjoying this.
The boy finished to enthusiastic applause, and I suppressed an eye roll.
The show continued. A bad stand-up comedian act, an obviously fake magician show, and a song that actually brought Alice out of her world and made her clap her hands over her ears, her eyelids shut tight. Jasper scowled and hugged her tight to his chest. I smiled wryly.
But then I stiffened just a bit, because the next performance would be Isabella Swan. The girl – the girl with the impossibly, horrifyingly delicious scent, with the wide, chocolate-brown eyes, and that pale, translucent skin. The only human who had noticed the shift in our eye color, our speed and our strength, our inhumanity. The only human with a mind as silent and mysterious as I had ever heard – or not.
The girl that Alice had seen me fall in love with . . .
No. No, no, no. That would not happen. I had watched and studied Bella, and been awed, for the first time in my life, by a human. She was brave, and unselfish, responsible and advanced for her age – just plain good. And she did not deserve a killer. She did not deserve to have a monster love her, touch her, be with her . . .
That had not stopped me from slipping into her room every night. Watch her as she slept, her lovely, not-quite-symmetrical face peaceful. Listen as she spoke my name, again and again in that strangely anxious voice.
Those moment caused an equal amount of pain and joy, too great for words. But I had to keep reminding myself that she would forget me, someday, forget me and move on.
My dead, frozen, mangled heart seemed and to expand and get mangled some more. She would move on and age . . . and someday die. I would not be able to bear that . . .
I shook myself out of my tortured thoughts. She was going to be reading a poem, I knew. For the first time, I turned to the stage with interest.
Bella climbed carefully onstage – so she wouldn't stumble? I chuckled. Odd, how she could make me smile, even now.
I leaned forward in my chair, my elbows resting on my knees, my eyes contentedly resting on her. Alice turned to watch her someday-perhaps-friend, too, her eyes wistful. She missed the friend she had never talked to yet.
Bella's hand curled around the mike. "This poem is called Forgiven," she murmured, her voice a little husky. From what? I scanned Jasper for a single millisecond. Frightened anticipation pulsed from her . . . why?
Bella took a deep breath, and began.
Rain pattered hard against my window,
and I had the strangest dream that night.
I was walking through the dark wet forest,
and the civil monster stepped into sight.
I froze, and beside me I felt my family stiffen as well. Civil monster . . .
His eyes were black as a void, and bright
with a frightening, feral excitement,
For one moment, those warm, bewildered eyes rose and locked gazes with mine. They were exhilarated and defiant at the same time, but there something else there, something I could place.
His bright black eyes, they beckoned to me,
Confusing, persuading me to relent.
Excited black eyes, persuasive and frightening. Tools of a monster . . .
"Impossible," Rosalie hissed.
A faint, becoming blush graced her pale features, an almost irresistible invitation.
His bone-white body, leeched of all warmth,
was coiled, crouched, as if to spring,
His muscles were tensed, stretched tight,
like a cat, like some long-lost King.
Our kind, the ones who hunted the traditional prey, moved like wildcats. Their bodies were hard and cold and white . . .
My gaze moved slowly up to his face,
Figures that Bella would look the monster in the eye, I thought for one wild second.
And my heart thundered like a throbbing harp,
Ah, her heart was beating very quickly now, and the sound was more beautiful than any harp could play, more beautiful than a piano, than any music on this earth.
because the genteel monster smiled at me,
and his teeth were pointed and sharp.
His teeth were pointed and sharp. My entire family was staring intently at Bella. No one seemed able to move. Their thoughts were faint and almost incoherent with shock.
She knew then. She had to know.
But then his smile faltered, wavered – vanished,
for a great wolf stepped out before us,
its shoulders trembling, his growl terrifying,
his rich red coat gleaming like rust.
Oh, was all I could think. She knew more than that, even.
But then my shock was replaced by a sudden, burning fury, for for her to know about werewolves would mean that, maybe, she had been in the company of one.
Werewolves were unstable, as wild as any newborn vampire.
She had been in danger, then. But she was still obviously unhurt, I calmed myself.
That did not quench the fury.
And the great red wolf crouched, its back to me,
to protect me from the civil monster.
And the civil monster's eyes were fierce,
but the great red wolf's were no milder.
Ah, of course. Even in dreams and poems, mortal enemies will be mortal enemies.
And the mortal enemies fought, and
I suppressed a mirthless, hoarse laugh.
the ground shook with the force of their anger.
They moved too fast for me to see,
till they were just a crimson blur.
Well, she had noticed our speed.
Then the great red wolf dealt the genteel monster,
a lasting death blow to the head,
and the civil monster crumpled in
a cascade of rocks, white and red.
I smiled, and stepped forward eagerly,
To thank the great red wolf, but then
My breath caught in my throat. Yes, Bella would go and thank the monster, but werewolves were monsters as well, and I knew what would have to happen now.
This is just a poem about a dream, I calmed myself, over and over. Not real life, just a dream, never real life.
I froze in horror, for the wolf turned on me,
His eyes red with wild bloodlust.
And the wolf raised one clawed paw,
to swipe me, in his bloodlust,
but then yet another white blur,
flew out of the dark forest.
And the guardian fought the great red wolf,
To protect me, pressed against a tree,
and then the great red wolf ran away,
and the guardian turned to look at me.
This was another vampire, it had to be. A second vampire. But while she called the first a civil monster, she called the second a guardian . . . so did that mean that she knew there were two types of us? One that was the traditional horror, but another that was so much different. Had she or had she not been referring to my family when she spoke of the civil monster . . . or the guardian?
I recoiled away, for one heartbeat,
because the guardian looked so like the monster,
with his pointed teeth, and hard white skin,
and bright black eyes, so much darker.
Yes, but vegetarians were still so alike to the carnivores.
But then I took a closer look,
Why would any human in their right mind take another look at the greatest predator in the world? There must truly be something wrong with hers. I had never heard it, after all.
a closer look into his soul,
for the guardian's was very different from the monster's,
ripped asunder with tears and holes.
The hopeless feeling in me evaporated. Did she think . . . did she believe that I had a soul?
And it did not matter that the guardian
had also drunk, had also killed so many,
It didn't matter . . .
because of one great vital difference,
so small to the true monster.
She did think that there was a difference, between me and a monster, a killer.
For the guardian had repented, felt remorse,
tried again, unlike the real horror,
Unlike the real horror.
and that was what transformed him,
from a demon, to a hero.
My thoughts were incoherent with shock and . . . yes, with love, and gratitude. Gratitude that she believed in my soul, in my chance at Heaven. Not only that, but she thought that I had an even better chance, that I was a hero, just because I had tried.
And she spoke about me, protecting her, like she truly believed that if such a situation were to arise, I would protect her.
Bella's warm, beautiful eyes rose and met my own once again, and she did not flinch away from my alien stare. Perhaps she recognized the love in my gaze, a love so great and strong and all-encompassing that it would frighten most humans. But I could now give a name to the strange emotion I had seen before.
It, too, was love.
She loved me.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to look into Carlisle's wise eyes. "You see?" he whispered. "Listen to her, your love, who knows you better than anyone else." He slipped away.
I blinked, dazed, and realized that my family had left to give me some privacy. They, too, seemed to know me well.
Only then did I become aware that I was in Forks High gym, surrounded by children on a talent show night. Everyone was clapping – a standing ovation for Bella's performance. She smiled shyly and walked quickly back to her seat, stumbling a bit. Her cheeks were still flushed, her eyes still bright.
Her seat was right next to Mike Newton's. He eagerly smiled at her and complimented her poem, and his thoughts were suddenly much, much more aggravating than the past week's.
No matter. I would pretend no longer, I would not ignore her.
I loved her, and, even more incredibly, she loved me back.
She would not forget me. She would forget Newton and Crowley and Yorkie, those generic sheep-like children who wished to court her, who could never possibly deserve her.
I didn't deserve her either. But her poem was still ringing in my ears, and I knew I would try my hardest to deserve her. Be as good as I possibly could, so that maybe, I would live up to her forgiveness of my past.