Disclaimer: I don't own, nor am I making any money, on any of this. Please don't sue?
A/N: This is something that I've been kicking around in my head for a few days now. I punched it out in less than three hours, but I'm probably not going to go back to it, so here it is. There's a slight chance … but probably not until at least I'm finished with my other story. It's not my first Twilight fan fiction, but it is the first one I've posted. I had to get it out of my head before I could continue my other story.
Speaking of, I've got a multi-chapter story in the works (it's an all-human, B/E, slightly lemon-y (but not yet), fluffy, original idea) that is in dire need of a beta … if anyone is interested. Leave me a review or PM me or something.
That said, that means any and all errors in this story are totally mine, because of my lack of a beta reader. Sorry about that!
She looked so peaceful, lying there on her bed. I knew otherwise, though. She was broken. I broke her.
That tore me apart. I thought it was for the best, leaving her. Without me, she wouldn't have to deal with the constant fear of being attacked, by either me or my family or others of our kind. She wouldn't have to live with knowing that at any moment, her life could be over. I trusted my family, though, and I was beginning to trust myself. But I couldn't trust anyone else.
So rather than risk that, I left. I convinced my family to pack up and leave, and then I had run even further away. It had seemed like a good idea. Without me here, she would be safer.
Obviously I was wrong. Without me here, she only took it upon herself to find danger.
I lowered my head to my hands. I couldn't win. With me around, Bella was in danger. With me gone, Bella was still in danger.
I was good at sitting still. I could do it without thinking. In fact, it came more naturally than pretending to be human, though that got easier every day. But tonight, I couldn't sit still. I needed to be moving. I needed something to distract me from my thoughts while Bella slept.
I moved around her small room, taking care to not make too much noise. I scanned her bookshelf first. Everything looked to be in order, which was strange. Her bookshelf was usually never in order. Usually the books were stacked in every way imaginable, like she had pulled one and started to read it, but gotten bored and laid it back on the shelf as she picked out another.
I moved to take in the shelves that housed her knick knacks. Pictures of her acquaintances from Phoenix, her mom and Phil, and Charlie. Little figurines that she'd collected over the years.
Every surface in her room seemed to be covered in a light layer of dust, like the room had been lived in but nothing had ever been touched. I knew that was because of me. I hadn't realized that my leaving would have such a detrimental effect on her life. It seemed like everything in her room reminded me that I had screwed up.
My eyes drifted to her desk. Instead of having stuff piled so high you couldn't even tell it was a desk, everything was put in its place. Everything except for a crinkled piece of paper sitting in the middle of the empty surface. My eyes were drawn to that piece of paper.
It was wrinkled, as if it had been folded nicely at one point, but had since been read and refolded a million times. I ran my fingers over the softened paper, noticing that the ink had run slightly. I wasn't sure if that was because of the folding and refolding, or as a result of the splotches that peppered it.
On a second glance, I realized that those splotches were really where tears had hit the paper. What could have been so important that it had made Bella read over and over again and cry?
Hesitating only a second, I considered what reading it would do. It would make me feel extremely guilty, but that was nothing new. What was a little more guilt on top of the mountain of guilt I was already feeling? And if it gave me insight into Bella's thoughts right now … well, then it would be worth it.
My decision made, my eyes scanned the paper without picking it up off the desk.
I don't know if you'll ever read this, but I thought it was worth a shot. I know it's not worth trying to talk to you about, because you're so passionate about him. Or at least, you were. I'm not sure anymore. I hate having to stand by while you deal with everything yourself. You can't do it. It's not possible. He hurt you too much, Bella. I heard him tell you that he'd never leave you, but clearly that was a lie. He told you whatever he had to to keep you with him, until he was ready to leave.
Bella, I would never do that. Ever. I couldn't tell you that you were my everything, know that you were mine, and then just take off. You deserve better than that.
I think about it everyday, Bella. I think of you, and what he did to you, and how I wish I could make it better. How I wish you would let me make it better. I want to try. Will you let me try? I love you Bella.
Suddenly, it wasn't so hard to be still.
Part of me was furious at Jacob. How dare he think that it was his place to interfere in Bella's life. I wanted to find him and tell him to stay away from her, to leave her alone forever. That she didn't need him to help her.
But then I remembered that I tried to make it so that I didn't have any place to interfere in Bella's life, either. I was the one that left her. I took myself out of her life, and she had had no other choice but to turn to Jacob. I figured that I should be thankful that he was around in breathe life back into her.
But even though I realized that Jacob had been good for Bella, had brought her back to life after I had killed her, I couldn't be happy about it. That letter was everything that hated about myself and the choices that I had made.
And then I realized that I was the one that made her cry. It wasn't the letter. Those splotches on the paper were caused, at least in part, by me.
Behind me, Bella stirred in her sleep. "Edward … " she murmured, drifting somewhere on the edge of sleep.
In an instant, I was at her side, on her bed. "Shh…" I soothed her, smoothing back a piece of hair that had fell into her face. "Sleep, Bella. I'm here."
My touch must have soothed her, because her breathing evened and her body relaxed slightly. I didn't move from my position next to her, but my mind drifted back to the letter I had found on her desk. In her eyes, I had promised her the world. And then, without any warning, I had taken everything back. I had taken off without any explanation.
She shifted at my side, moving her body closer to mine. Her head came to rest on my shoulder.
I didn't understand. In her sleep, she was so trusting of me. It was like the past few months hadn't happened. Her body merged with mine like she was looking for comfort and security. It was ironic that she turned to me for comfort and security, when it was me that made her feel like she didn't have either.
Everything was my fault.
"Don't leave," she mumbled into my shoulder.
At that moment, I knew I couldn't. I couldn't leave again. I couldn't leave her.
With that realization, I made a promise to myself. I was going to help Bella through this, whatever the cost to me, and we'd go from there. I would work to fix the mistakes I had caused while I was gone. I was going to make things better, for everyone I had hurt with my misguided selflessness, to the best of my ability.
I was going to prove to everyone that I was worth more than they thought.