Hi! Merry Christmas!
I hope everyone is okay. I realise that it's been a long time since I posted anything. I blame school, to be honest - Highers should be abolished. They're truly atrocious. No-one should have to go through them. Seriously. Scotland is lovely and all, but the school system is awful.
In other news, I have tickets to see LES MIS when it comes up to Edinburgh in April! I'm so excited!!!!! I also have tickets to see Wicked in London for June! I love Christmas! I hope Santa was good to everyone else, too. :D
So, the first part of this story was first posted exactly one year ago, and it was made quite clear at the time that I did not plan to write any more of the story, leaving it up to the readers' imaginations. Unfortunately for me, this didn't seem like a very popular decision, and I think that every single one of the reviews asked me to write more. What can I say? I'm only human. And it's Christmas. So here you go. :)
I hope that someone remembers this, and that it lives up to expectations! Enjoy!
(By the way, some of this is shamelessly ripped from the book, although I have changed it to suit my needs. But what can I say? Stephenie Meyer writes some pretty stuff! Also, some of the ending is disgusting. I'm disgusted by it. But I couldn't think of anything else! :()
I stand with twisted hands, leaning against the countertop. I am not sure how long we've stood here in silence. It might have been seconds, or hours, or a year. Neither of us moves. He just stands there, several paces away, staring at me.
If nothing had changed between us, I might have blushed. But my cheeks stay white and pale. I have not blushed in months.
Finally, he speaks.
And that's the spark I need, the one that ignites my anger and pain and fear. I whirl around and snatch a knife off of the countertop, hurling it at him. I know that he'll duck – and if he doesn't, it wouldn't matter anyway. The steel knife would just crumple against his skin. He ducks, and the knife lodges itself in the wall where his head was a moment ago. The hatred spreads through me like wildfire, and I feel as if I'm burning up.
I reach behind me for another knife, and launch that one at him, too. It's amazing that my hand-eye co-ordination, in the midst of my rage, is better than it has been… well, ever.
He allows this one to land, and my best knife shatters against the place where his heart once beat. I know now that it is shrivelled and black. He did not love me. He never loved me. His heart cannot love.
Mine, though. Mine is soft and weak and vulnerable and naïve. My heart can love. And it can break. I feel it break now, shattering in my chest. Like the knife.
I mean to sound angry and hardened, but I don't. I just sound broken. And suddenly, the fighting anger leaves me and I stagger, suddenly weak. I half-fall, but then he's there, holding me against him, his arms tight around me, his face pressed in my hair. I want to pull away, to shout and scream and throw knives again, but I can't find the will. Because he's there, and it's sort of like he's never gone away. Slowly, the pieces of heart in my chest pick themselves up and dust themselves off, and knit slowly back together. I feel his breath shudder against my hair.
His fingers catch my forearm, and trace down towards my hand. And then he stiffens, and I wince mentally. His fingers trace over the single line that still scars my wrist, and his incredibly sensitive fingers feel the jaggedness, the rawness of my pain.
He takes a shaking step back, and I slump against the counter. His fingers are still closed around my wrist, and he's close enough that I see the flash of self-hatred in his eyes.
"It was just once."
He nods, but I'm not sure he believes me. It's true, though, it was only once. Around Christmas, when the pain was at its worst. I remember. I was in the shower shaving when the cheap plastic of the razor snapped, leaving me with the blade in my hand. Suddenly, the metal had been pressed against my arm, and I'd cut without thinking.
It hadn't helped, and the pain caught up with me immediately, leaving me reeling with shock. I'd thrown down the razor, staring at the blood – my blood – mingling with the water and being washed away down the plughole with my tears.
I had not done it since.
I wasn't stupid. And I certainly wasn't suicidal – I could have been. But I'd never felt a true desire to end my own life.
But I can't look at him now, and my gaze flicks instead to the knife that's still stuck fast in the plasterboard. Charlie isn't going to like that. For the first time since he stepped into the room, my mind seems to function again. I straighten up, disentangling myself from his grip.
"This isn't just going to go back to normal."
I see a flash of disappointment in his eyes for a second, and feel my resolve harden. Had he really expected us just to go back, after everything that had happened? No. I was a different person, now. Perhaps he hadn't meant to change me, but he had all the same.
"We have to talk about this."
I move past him and sit at the table, acting more nonchalant than I feel. Inside I am a turbulent wreck of emotions. But my poker face is strong.
He walks slowly, sits down opposite me. His eyes don't leave me, though, and that's oddly reassuring.
"You left me."
"Yes. You jumped off a cliff."
The silence stretches between us. I'm sort of surprised he let that one go, instead of trying to come up with some half-baked excuse.
"Will you allow me to explain?"
I don't move. He seems to take this as some kind of acquiescence.
"I had to leave. Bella… Jasper hurt you. I could have hurt you so many times. And I couldn't bear the thought that you… that I would be the cause of your death. So I left. I'm sorry. I didn't know what to do. And it was cowardly – I know that now. I was running away because I couldn't be held responsible for you just…ceasing to exist. I couldn't bear it. So I left."
"I hate you."
He winces, like he's taking a bullet. Good. I hope I just inflicted some of the pain that I felt upon him.
"I don't blame you."
There is a silence again for several minutes. It is penetrated only by my breathing and, I imagine, my heartbeat. He doesn't seem to want to make any noise at all.
"Why did you try to kill yourself?"
This time, it's me who winces. Of course he knows. He has Alice – together, they're practically omnipotent. "I didn't."
"Bella, I saw you throw yourself off a cliff. That was no accident."
"No, of course not. It was recreational."
"Recreational? You threw yourself off a cliff for fun!?" He stands abruptly, and just before he turns away from me, I catch a glimpse of his face. It's exasperated, and I see his first finger and thumb pinch the bridge of his nose.
"Not fun, more…" How do I explain this? "Um… Adrenaline?"
"Yes. That's it. I was… bored."
"You were bored."
"What are you, some kind of parrot? Yes. I was bored. Okay? I don't know why you care, anyway."
Suddenly I'm standing up again too, held there by him, pressed against the cabinet. As we stand there, the chair I was just sitting on rocks, and then falls, crashing against the tiled floor. He still moves insanely quickly. His face is just inches away, livid and filled with pain as he remembers.
"I thought you were dead!"
I'm shaken, probably visibly so. I've never seen him so angry, or afraid. He must see the fear in my eyes, because his expression is calmed, and he takes a step backwards, though his gaze stays on me.
"I was already making plans, Bella. Just in case. I'd had them for months. Contingency, you know. In case…. In case you didn't survive. Or I couldn't save you. Do you remember what I said to you on your birthday? There was no way I ever planned to live without you. Surely you knew that. I can't live without you, Bella. You… you don't believe me."
I shake my head. How can I, after all? He runs a hand through his hair.
"How can I put this? I thought I'd explained it clearly before. Bella, I can't live in a world where you don't exist. And I could see it in your eyes that day. You honestly believed that I didn't want you anymore. The most absurd, ridiculous concept—as if there were any way that I could exist without needing you! Before you, Bella, my life was like… like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars—points of light and reason… And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything."
I don't want to believe him, but I do anyway. He's always been like that. So convincing. Compelling. He should go into politics, or something.
"What are you saying?"
"I love you Bella." It's like a release, for both of us. I shudder, and close my eyes, leaning back against the solid countertop again. "I know you hate me, and I don't blame you – but I love you. I never stopped loving you, and I'm never going to stop loving you. Please believe me."
I see his shoulders slump, and I know that I've hurt him again, more than those knives ever could. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. I understand. I'm not going to give up, though. Please believe that."
"I wouldn't want you to."
I feel the tears pool in my eyes, then, and feel his cold hand reach for my chin, tilting it up gently so that I have to look at him.
A look of understanding passes between us. I'm afraid to blink, afraid that he'll be gone, and when I have to a single tear falls. He catches it as it trickles down my cheek, and for one wild moment I think he's going to taste it again, like he did that one other time.
"Do you want me to leave?"
"No!" It's too quick, and I see the shadow of a smile on his face. I'm still afraid that he's going to leave again. As if reading my mind, he takes my face more firmly in both hands, pulling me back against him.
"I won't ever leave again, if that's what you want. Anything. I'll do anything you want."
I nod. I suppose I'll have to hold him to that. And in time, perhaps, I'll grow to trust him again. For now, though, this isw just going to have to do.
Please review, and tell me it wasn't a complete miss!