"Until the end of time," and "for eternity," were not phrases I chose to use lightly. Whenever I told him I loved him, and that he was everything to me, I honestly meant it. He might have been able to let go of me, but there was never a time when I didn't believe that he was still going to be the center of my life, even if he wasn't here with me. Many times I tried to get him to understand that I didn't care what he was, or how horrible he claimed to be, I would always be here for him. Not a day would pass that I wouldn't dream about him, or think about him. I fooled myself into believing such a wonderful, breathtaking creature such as he could ever love a simple girl like me. My false hope came to eat out the rest of the hole that Edward had made in my heart as we were on our way back to Forks from Italy. I might have "saved" him from a horrible fate such as the Volturi, but I can promise you this, nothing will have changed.
Bringing him back will just have made his feelings more definite, and make me come to realize that I would never be good enough for him.
As he held me on the plane ride back, I realized that no matter how things were before, it wouldn't change where we stand now. It wouldn't matter if I was in his arms now for two seconds or two hours, he would always have a strong hold on me; even if it wasn't visibly shown. I unconsciously wrapped my arms around his torso, tighter than normal, hoping that my hold on him would be just as strong as his on me; but I couldn't let myself sink back low like I was before. I couldn't keep tearing my heart up and I couldn't stand being this way anymore. How many times can he twist my heart until it finally gives up, like I have done?
I was completely out of it by the time that I realized Edward was carrying me up to my room through the window. I couldn't believe that he was still feeling so guilty that he felt it necessary to bring me back to my room and sit beside me on the bed. I couldn't let him think that he has to be here if he doesn't want to, I just have to let him go no matter what pain it caused me. If he didn't want to be around me anymore I had to be selfless and set him free.
"Edward," I started off, trying to word it in the best possible way, "You don't have to be here, no one is forcing you to stay. I don't want you here because you think I'm going to lose it again. It's already lost and there's no hope of it coming back. As much as I wish things could be normal for me again, it won't, because life isn't supposed to be normal, and mine never was to begin with. I don't want you spending the rest of your eternity blaming yourself for me being "suicidal" because that wasn't even what happened. Cliff diving is something the kids in La Push do just for kicks you know? So please, even though it's exactly the type of thing you would do, you need to understand that you can't shoulder the blame for every time I get hurt. It just so happens that bad things are drawn to me, so stop fighting fate and just do what you want to do; not some obligation you think you have to me. You can't kill yourself because you feel bad about me falling down a hole or something. You have to think about your family and what it would do to them if you died. You've saved me more times than I can count, so don't worry about saving me anymore; I'll be fine on my own."
As I choked out the last lie, and possibly the last line I'd ever say to him, I realized how hard it truly would be to live without him. I realized how much my life depended on him. If this was what he needed though, to be rid of any ties to me, I would give it to him in the hopes of him finding a better existence; even if that meant giving up everything I wanted and needed. People can call me crazy, but it's only because I love him.
I started to cry, against the better of my restraints, and decided its best not to let him see me break down like this. I got up off my bed and headed towards the bathroom.
"Bella, please don't go." He grabbed at my wrist, fully stopping me from any type of movement. His ice cold fingers burned at my wrist, but I didn't care, nor did I turn around.
"It's such an easier thing to say than to do, I'm sure you've found that out quite well over the summer." I told him, choking up a few times but unable to hide my bitterness.
"I'm sorry. I know those words will never be able to convey how much disgust I truly feel at myself for making you go through this, but it never hurts to say it. I tried to leave you, hoping that life would somehow be better for you. I couldn't risk putting you in life threatening situations such as being tied with me." He told me, trying to say more but I wouldn't allow it.
"You've got to stop this! If I had chosen to die on that cliff, you would have dealt with it by killing yourself? Do you really think that's what I want? Who cares if I die! Big deal! Just because my world ends, like it so much has in a figurative way, doesn't mean that yours has to, too! Think about your family, why would you do this to them? Don't let some stupid guilt trip ruin your family's lives as well as your own!" I whipped my head around to look at him, trying with all my might to glare at him. The sight of his face, though, gleaming in the moonlight was more than I could handle. He dropped my wrist, and hung his head so that I couldn't see the features of his face.
I could have sworn I heard a low chuckling sort of sound. Once I saw his hand reach up to his eyes, and his torso shake a little, I figured out what was making that noise.
"Edward! Of all the times to laugh, I assure you this is not one of them!" I almost yelled at him, remembering that Charlie was probably still asleep; I decided to take my voice down a few notches.
"You honestly think that I was going to kill myself because I felt bad that you were going to take your life away, and because I felt guilty?" He asked, looking up at me with meaningful eyes.
"Yeah, didn't you?"
"You silly girl. You silly, beautiful girl. I was going to kill myself because you were dead. Gone. Never to come back to my world. Of course I felt guilty about it!" He exclaimed, trying to take my hand in his, but I refused. Contact at this point would not have been a good idea on my heart; it was already warped and manipulated to its breaking point.
"Why would you care if I was dead? You shouldn't have felt guilty about it. What was done was going to be done, and at least you wouldn't have to worry about saving me anymore. Then, you could have gone on with your life without having to think a single thought about me. At that point, I would no longer be wasting your time." I tried so hard to get through to him, but he seemed too fazed to even care.
"You surely can't be as blind as I once was. How could I go on without you? Gone or not, I would never, ever stop thinking about you. You saved me from myself at my worst. You were like the first breath of air after being stuck at the bottom of the pool with only the hopes of a slow, painless drowning to look forward. You were the comet that lit my sky, and if my heart could beat, I'm sure you would have sent me into cardiac arrest. For almost a hundred years I have walked this Earth, and made acquaintances with many people. They mean nothing compared to you. I could have chosen anyone to take into my charm, but I could never love anyone forever like I have so surely promised you. I told you that I loved you so many times I'm surprised you would let one thing break our trust. One stupid lie break the mutual love we had for each other. But one of the things I love about you is your inability to see the truth when it's begging right in front of you." Edward replied, finally looking up at me.
"I can't believe it, if I trick myself into believing that you could truly love me, without leaving me, than it would just be the death of me once you leave again. I can't do that to myself; and it's not fair for you to waste your time trying to lie to me." I told him, afraid to take deep breaths for his scent was washing over me in strong, hard waves.
"How could you not believe me? I love you, Bella, I honestly do! I cared so much about you that I let you go, to give you a better life than I could have ever dreamed of providing you with. Apparently, as hard as I tried, I couldn't stay away from you; my plan had failed miserably anyway as I can see. I just want to know why you don't think I'm telling you the truth." He said, sticking to his story.
"It never made sense for you to love me. Me, an ordinary, simple new girl, with a police officer for a father, and a mother that is slightly deranged. You could have a girl that could give you the world, but why would you have chosen me? You are perfect, strong, and the greatest person I've ever met. People would kill to look like you." I was slowly loosing my barrier between fantasy and reality.
"But what is the point in a world without you? When I was gone I could not ever stop thinking about you. I had to lie to you so badly, to get you to believe that I didn't love you anymore, I vainly wished that you would remember all the times we spent, and still love me after all we went through. Nothing about our relationship makes sense, but that's how life is sometimes. Unless you are this adamant to believe the truth because you have found someone else like I had planned. In leaving, I was trying to insure that you would move on and forget about me. You can be as brutally honest if you would like, if you moved on I will try and accept that in the best manner that I can." He was searching my eyes for something, some kind of answer in them before I could say anything.
"No one replaced you; no one could ever replace you. What a stupid question. Of course I still love you!" I told him, before I could stop myself I had flung my arms around him, almost in hysterics.
"Then, please, I know no matter how many times I say I'm sorry that it's not going to be able to fix the damage I have done, but give me time. Let me show you that I'm not going to leave again, at least not without you. All those months I was gone, I learned that I can't live without you. It is impossible to be away from you. I was living minute by minute, second by second, just trying to get through the days without doing something drastic. I was trying to protect you, but I was too selfish to let that happen. If Rosalie hadn't told me about Alice's vision, I would have probably been on my way to Forks to beg for your forgiveness. I want to make one condition though, OK?" He had me mesmerized, and made it all the worse as he pulled me back so I could see his face; his eyes bore into mine, and the least I could say was I was completely in his mercy.
"Y-yeah." I couldn't even form a coherent thought, let alone a coherent word!
"Just promise me that you won't do anything reckless without informing me. I can't imagine what I would do if I lost you, again." His poker face was on again, and I couldn't tell how he was feeling, but the concern was evident in his velvety smooth voice.
"I promise," I told him as I nestled my face into his chest, inhaling his scent again, "You have to promise me something now, too."
"Anything, love. Anything." He told me, running his fingers through my hair.
"Promise that you'll love me, forever." It was the only thing I would ever want in the whole world.
"It would be impossible to do otherwise." He put one finger under my chin, lifting it up ever so slightly and kissed me, full on the lips.