Stephenie Meyer owns characters, story, and everything.
I saw her. Standing there, looking at me with those beautiful wide eyes for the first time in 20 years. What were the thoughts hidden behind those eyes? I tried as I had tried so many times before, to read those thoughts. But still I got nothing. The person who meant the most to me, and I still couldn't understand her.
Suddenly I truly realized what I was seeing. Bella, a vampire. How can this be?
"I need to leave." She said pleadingly.
Suddenly I felt Jasper's thoughts blasted at me. He was reading her emotions. Bella was filled with pain. Then I understood. She must hate me. Hate me for leaving her to fall prey to whoever turned her into a vampire. I left her unprotected.
"I'm so sorry, Bella. Go, you don't have to stay."
Alice looked angry.
"Of course she needs to stay! I know you tried to avoid this Edward, but now she's a vampire. She belongs with us!"
"Alice, I can't force her to stay. She wants to leave."
Bella suddenly took a deep breath. Everyone focused on her.
"No, I do want to stay. I still love you all as my family." She looked down after she spoke.
As a family. She doesn't love me anymore. She probably hates me for all that I've done to her. She HAD moved on after I left her. Exactly as I had hoped for. But this isn't how I wanted it to be. She was supposed to fall for some human, marry, have kids, and lead a normal life. I left to protect her from this life. But now she's a vampire and I've hurt her too much for it ever to be repaired.
Alice put her arm around Bella.
"Come on. We'll take you back to the house."
I walked to their house, all the way thinking that I must be crazy for doing this. This was only going to end badly.
Their house was huge, white mansion. It had the iron fencing surrounding it and an ornate iron gate in the front. As we near the front door, Alice spoke.
"This house isn't really what we were looking for. A little too ostentatious."
"It's beautiful." I replied.
The inside was just as striking as the outside. You could tell it had been decorated by Esme. She had always had such talent and finding things that went together perfectly.
I heard someone coming down the stairs and Carlisle and Esme came into view.
"Bella?" Esme said. Both she and Carlisle look shocked.
"It is!" Alice said excitedly. She filled them in on the story.
Esme came over and pulled me into a motherly hug. The hug broke my heart as it reminded me of how I could never see my mother again.
"Tell us what you been doing for 20 years!" Alice said.
"After I was bitten, the other wolves thought I should be killed. It's thanks to Jacob that I'm here now. He stopped them and protected me until I was changed. After that he watched me to make sure I didn't do anything I'd regret, like bite someone in Forks. I never really had a problem with that, even as a newborn. When Jacob realized I wasn't a danger to anyone, he finally felt safe leaving me alone. By then I was about 4 months old. There had already been a search party, but of course they didn't find me. Charlie had given up hope. Then as more time passed, I realized how much my presence hurt Jacob. He couldn't love me as a vampire. I decided to leave.
After leaving, I wandered around the country for a few months. I didn't have anywhere to go. Finally I got a job and settled down for a few years. When I reached a point where I could stay any longer, I moved and got a new job. I've been doing that mostly for the last 20 years."
Esme looked at me with sadness in her eyes.
"It must have been horrible to have to leave everyone you know and move somewhere new alone."
"Yes, it got pretty lonely at times." I said, thinking back to all the hours I had spent alone.
I looked over at Edward for the first time since I had arrived at the house. He was looking at me with sorrow.
He probably wants me to leave. To be gone and never have to deal with me again. He wishes I was still some human back in Forks.
Then, he abruptly stood up.
"Bella, I need to talk to you. Please."