The word means so many different things to so many people. For some it elicits feelings of fear, for others a sense of calm knowing that whatever pain they may be experiencing will be over soon. Still, others feel that death is only a pause in whatever grand journey our souls may be on. Whatever the case may be I was certain of one thing…death would be a welcome relief from what my existence had become.
That's all that I remembered of my humanity. Three days of writhing in pain, screaming until my lungs burned, and tears pooled on the cold stone ground in front of me. Three days of pleading to no one, of ragged breaths that eventually stopped and cracked lips that bled until I ceased to have blood. Three days of screaming his name over and over until it stopped becoming a word and started becoming a lifeline that I helpless clung to.
"Edward." over and over I said this, I cried it, I screamed it. His name came out in frantic, bloodcurdling, screams and in soft exhausted whispers. It came out in ragged sobs, and pleas for my own death. And then I had felt darkness, and silence, and I hoped that maybe death had come at last. I drowned in the darkness and repeated his final words.
"Believe that Carlisle is right." I clung to this mantra.
Then, there was nothing. I ceased to be, to think, to feel, and to breathe. It was such a relief to feel absolutely nothing, no pain and no fear. I awaited what was on the other side, perhaps the good doctor would be right…maybe there was a heaven and they would all be there.
Time crept on slowly.
Days passed, perhaps weeks, months, or even years. I felt no concept of time or reality. I was slowly forgetting what living felt like. The relaxation was only temporary, I soon discovered, as I delved further and further into the cool darkness and the fear began to claw it's way back to me. Bits and pieces of who I had been, who I had loved, began to dissolve. Why was I saying this name?
"Edward." my throat burned as the name fell from my lips yet again. It felt natural, as if I had swapped breathing with saying this name.
"Edward." I groaned again. I was thirsty, incredibly thirsty. I felt as if sand had been poured down my throat and was trying, desperately so, to claw it's way out. I need a drink, I needed something to satiate the unbelievable thirst that was dominating my senses. I searched around me frantically for something, anything, that might have relieved me of my hunger, my thirst. What had I become that had caused me to act so animalistic.
Then they had come. They were stealthy and silent, but for some reason I could sense them all around me. A primitive growl escaped me and I was shocked at it's sound. I was crouching on the ground, feeling as if I could spring to attack at any moment. A small framed female danced into my view, she reminded me of someone…but I had no idea who and that fact alone terrified me. Her red eyes shown in the darkness as she bent down to me.
"Three days in an awful long time isn't it?" Her voice was like acid mocking me. My own eyes narrowed as I stared at her, trying my hardest to figure out who she was, or what she was.
"Three days?" I asked, my voice hoarse and tired.
"Three days seems like three years. I know, I've been there. Are you thirsty?" She asked. I couldn't figure her out. Was she trying to be nice or was she mocking me? Was she truly kind or viciously evil? In that moment I could care less, I was incredibly thirsty. I nodded, weakly, trying my best to remain on guard. Something moved to my right and I growled…
What had I become?
"Easy Bella, be nice or you wont get your treat." She said as if I were a puppy. Bella? Was that my name? Had I always been called that? Was it short for Isabella?
I heard a large, heavy, door being opened somewhere to my left. A small amount of light streamed through and I was better able to catch a glimpse of the girl that stooped before me, she had a smile full of malice plastered across her otherwise beautiful face. Her eyes were a piercing red and she looked triumphant as she stared at me. Then the light was gone and I could sense two other presences in the room. I felt defensive and the primitive feeling that I had felt earlier was coming back to me. I did not like it one bit.
"What are you doing? Is this part of the tour? Pretty realistic man, this is pretty scary shit." A harsh voice cut the air like a knife and amazingly sweet smell hit my nose. Suddenly I was ravenous and any part of my humanity that may have been left vanished in an instant. I saw nothing but my prey before me. The smell was sweet and salty all at once and an unknown liquid pooled my mouth.
"Doesn't he smell delightful Bella?" The girl said. I growled in response and I could sense the boy growing more nervous.
"Smell? Well I did put on deodorant this morning but nothing fancy." He chuckled and I hated him. I wasn't sure why, but something about him made me want to kill him.
"Let him go." The girl commanded, no longer kind sounding. She stood up from her spot beside me. "I want to see how quick Bella is." I could sense the boy being released and I pinpointed his exact location in the space around me.
"Do it." The girl said again. I heard the distinct sound of a blade being removed from it's sheath. The sound was loud and pronounced and it hurt my ears a bit. The boy screamed as the blade sliced his delicate skin.
Then it hit me.
It was the most amazing, and intoxicating, scent ever. I sprung immediately as the boy tried to run. It was no use, he wasn't strong enough and I was too strong, too quick, to animalistic to realize what I was doing before it had already been done. I smashed him to the ground breaking his arms, five of his ribs, and his sternum in one fell swoop. He screamed out in agony but the sound did not stop me.
"What the hell? What are you doing?! What are you?!" He screamed. The sound was annoying, it was ruining what I had chased him down for. I had to satiate my thirst, I had stop the feeling of claustrophobia, of complete dehydration, I had to feel again.
"I have to, I have to." I said in a foreign voice.
"You have to what?!" He screamed. My small hands wrapped around his head and I ended his meager existence in one quick tug. Then, he was all mine. His blood pooled into my mouth and I couldn't get enough of it. It was amazing, pure ambrosia coursing through me. I drained him dry and the blood stained my hands and my mouth.
He had been the first human I had killed.
"Feel better?" Her voice was back to the terrifying sing-song tone it had been before. I could only nod. I didn't feel as thirsty, or as ravenous but I still did not feel whole. Something was gone, something was different but I had no idea what that might have been.
"Good. What a good little vampire." She said.
What had I become?
"Edward." I whispered the empty name once again.
We had tried our absolute hardest to stave off the Volturi. We had believed, with all our hearts, that we could truly win. How foolish we had been to think such things. As Cullens we had fought with our hearts, we had let love power us. In the end, that had not been enough in the slightest.
Rosalie had been the one to go down first. I figured, for some reason, that she would have been. She was just hot headed enough to not think before she acted and in the end it had cost her her life. Not that I would have ever wished death upon her. Though, when it came down to it, I believe it was what she craved the most. Rose had always hated life as a vampire, she had never truly accepted what we were but she had faked it because, in her heart of hearts, Rosalie loved Emmett more than anything.
I never got to tell Rosalie just what I thought her. Rosalie had been a pain in my side many times before but as much as we fought we were still brother and sister and I still loved her. I would have loved to tell her that she was my favorite one to go to concerts with because she shared my similar love for music. I wanted to tell her that I thought dark blue was a really pretty color on her. I wanted to tell her that her distaste for Bella had really bothered me in the beginning but I quickly realized that it was mainly a front for how she truly felt. I wanted to tell her that it had been me, not Jasper, who had peed in her shampoo bottle that one time….or those other three times for that matter. I had wanted to tell her that I loved her, and I never had gotten the chance.
Then, naturally, Emmet had followed. Emmett was the muscle of our family and he loved Rose more than he loved grizzly bears or bad reality television. Emmett was all heart and all muscle and that had been his undoing. He had killed four vampires, including the one who had taken Rose's life, before they swarmed him. It had hurt me the most to see the look of anguish and terror on my biggest brother's face. He was normally so happy and so full of curiosity that it broke my heart to see him like that. I had wanted to tell him that, despite my apparent distaste, I really did love all of his crazy ideas. I wanted to apologize for how horrified I had acted when he had gotten Bella totally drunk without my knowledge because, deep down, it had been truly hilarious. I wanted him to know that he was my favorite when I needed to talk cars, and when I needed to talk girls. I wanted to tell him that I loved him, and I never had gotten the chance.
I hadn't seen much after that. I had heard the frantic yells of Jasper as his partner in crime went down. I heard snarls from my parents, and growls from the ones who threatened us the most. I had heard the thoughts of everyone around me and that alone had made me sick to my stomach.
"All my fault." Alice thought, I turned around to shake my head at her before the flames consumed us all.
"It's not Alice! Don't think that! Not now!" I yelled. The fire encircled us in a ring and we were trapped. The smoke from Rosalie and Emmett's bodies was billowing up to the high ceilings. I wanted to cry, I was such a coward. Carlisle stood beside Esme trying his best to protect her though he had told us not to make it a mate for mate fight.
I heard the thoughts of one of the other vampires before I saw him,
"Human. Girl. Beautiful. Delicious. She belongs to the one with bronze hair. Kill her. Drain her." My head snapped towards the sound and I took off like a bat out of hell.
Then death came…and I lost touch with everything around me.
Death was dark. Or maybe it was Hell, I wasn't really sure where I was. I knew it wasn't Heaven because I saw no Bella around me. I didn't even sense her. I didn't hear any members of my family and I was fairly certain they were all dead.
And I had never gotten the opportunity to tell them I loved them.
Slowly but surely I felt myself being to resurface. Sounds came back to me and I suddenly felt very, very, cold. The ground was hard and covered in, what felt like, ice. Unfamiliar voices shouted around me and I half wondered if I was still in the fight somehow.
Impossible I thought. The fight had been covered in fire, this place was ice.
Fire and Ice, how poetic.
"Too much to drink I suppose." I heard a voice say. Slowly, I opened my eyes. Nothing fit, everything was dark and snow covered. There were humans everywhere and the ground felt like it was made of stone.
Then, suddenly and without warning, I had the extreme need to breathe. I desperately gasped for air, I couldn't get enough of it, I had to breathe, I had to get air….
I needed it.