12/18/08 - I received some great reviews on this story, and some people asked some great questions that I had left hanging, or where I had assumed something (thanks MichelleApril and rorowes), so I have edited Chapters 4, 5, 12, and added an Epilogue. Thanks to everyone who have read this, and a special thanks to everyone who took and takes the time to review!
The rain hit against the window of my rented town car. The familiar green landscape blurred past my window. I soon found myself sweeping through the streets of Forks, Washington. It had been seventy-six years since I had been here. Seventy-six years of patrolling the world, not as a man, or even the vampire I was. The past seven and a half decades I was more of a specter than of the earth. I had always felt like I had lost my soul the day Carlisle changed me almost 200 years ago, but it wasn't until that day all those years ago, that I truly became empty of myself. That was the day she chose Jacob. The day she told me good-bye. I left that day and never looked back. My body left, but everything that was myself stayed with her in Forks.
Over the years, I constantly fought every urge to check in on her. Unfortunately, I knew she was safe. I knew she would find happiness with Jacob in the life she chose. All the excuses I could come up with I knew were just justifications for my own desires, and I couldn't intrude. I had to give her what she wanted. I had to ignore my selfish needs for hers. What I couldn't ignore were Alice's thoughts when she would catch glimpses of Bella's life. Alice did her best at keeping her mind from wandering back to Forks, but some events over-powered even her determination. Their wedding. Their first child, and then the second. Grandchildren. She was living the human life I had hoped for her. The one I was damned not to give her.
I hadn't caught Alice's latest vision. I had been in Alaska visiting the Denali coven when my little silver phone rang. I had rolled my eyes at first wondering what my sister could be pestering me about this time.
"Yes, Alice." I answered curtly. Silence. "Alice?"
Tearless sobs faded to the background, as I heard the phone being handed off.
"Edward?" Jasper's voice sounded wrought with the pain I knew Alice was feeling.
"What's going on, Jasper?" I asked beginning to feel the panic welling up in my own body.
"Edward...it's Bella." His voice sounded choked on the name. "She died."
I dropped the phone. I didn't need to breathe, but at this moment, I couldn't. I fell to the floor gripping my stone arms around my chest. Gone. She was gone. Though I had left my unbeating heart there with her in Forks all those years ago, at this moment, it felt like someone was tearing me apart from the inside. Finally, my lungs found air, and I tore the silent night open with a roar of complete agony.