A/N: This story requires some explanation, so I would suggest to all my readers that they read the following words before they read the story. I apologize for the length of this author note.
To being with, I've read a lot of AU stories about Bella having a child without Edward's knowledge. Most of them follow the storyline of BD only in the vaguest sense, if at all (in that the pregnancy is accelerated and difficult). Even though I think BD was rather silly, I decided to write this one-shot of what might have happened if Edward and Bella had been together before he left in NM. I tried to make it realistic (as much as a story about vampires can be realistic) by asking several questions: What kind of psychological state would Edward have to be in for him to sleep with Bella? How would her bruises from making love magnify Edward's pain after the paper-cut incident at her birthday? When Bella came out of her catatonic state and discovered she was pregnant, where would she go? This last question was the easiest. After all, she does know where one family of vampires lives, even if she has no idea where the Cullens went in NM.
However, because of these questions, I've changed some crucial parts of the story. Since Jacob isn't there, no one discovers Bella's need to drink blood (which I was glad to dispense with for the purposes of the story anyway – talk about melodrama of the highest order), so she becomes almost too weak to carry the baby. I've also renamed the baby Lizzie, after Edward's mother, since I think Renesme is a stupid name anyway.
I am also rather disappointed because SM never really deals with the issues of mortality/immortality. I tried to think of a situation where Bella would see the value of remaining mortal, and I've tried to incorporate that into the story. I'm sorry if this makes the story more depressing (I thought it had a peaceful feeling, personally), but Bella's constant harping on "forever is okay as long as I'm with you" just made me want to punt-kick the books. I'm sorry, but death and life are a part of our existence and only after one learns to accept and be at peace with death can one really have joy in life.
As one of my favorite authors (Madeleine L'Engle) wrote, "If we knew each morning that there was going to be another morning, and on and on and on, we'd tend not to notice the sunrise, or hear the birds, or the waves rolling into the shore. We'd tend not to treasure our time with the people we love. Simply the awareness that our mortal lives have a beginning and will have an end enhances the quality of our living."
I hope that you, my dear reader, will at least acknowledge the validity of these words, even if you don't agree with them. I tried to include the feelings of this author (through Bella's words and the lullaby), while also incorporating a painful tension between life and death and mortality by the inclusion of the poem "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay into the story and Lizzie's consciousness. Because death is hard…
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
She was sitting on the back step of the large white house with the tiny fairy girl. She was watching the rain. She didn't even really like the rain, but she was watching it anyway. She didn't understand why. Maybe it was because the rain made her remember things.
She saw images from that summer day. The images were like the pretty pictures in the books that the curly-haired man brought for her from the store. She doesn't even know where the images in her head came from… she just knows that these pictures come when she touches the tiny, black-haired girl. They had a strange silver edge to them, like the fog around the trees … And the images were blurrier than the pictures she sees around the blond-haired lady or the curly-haired man … but she likes the fairy girl's pictures all the same.
In the picture the sun had been shining….
That in itself was odd because the sun didn't shine very often in the pictures. She could see Daddy sitting in the green place with Mommy. Most of the pictures from the fairy girl are of the green place. It's pretty. She likes that place, but when she asked Daddy about it the first time he held her he used a rough voice like hail falling and she never asked again.
In the green place Mommy was smiling and Daddy was laughing. She liked this picture because it was one of the only times she had ever seen Daddy laugh. It sounded like sunshine and leaves falling.
Daddy's eyes were bright and wide. They were like the sunshine too. He was running around and around the green place, laughing. Mommy was laughing now too. Then Daddy touched her…. and the picture got fuzzy. Then it went away – the fairy girl wouldn't show her anymore of the picture. But she liked to remember Daddy running around and around and Mommy smiling with red apple cheeks.
The next image always comes next and she doesn't understand why. She doesn't like this one. She wishes the fairy girl wouldn't show her this one. She doesn't like it….There are long streams of paper on the wall. She likes the colors. Everyone is smiling. She wishes Daddy would smile. The colors are so pretty. But Daddy's eyes are black. He's looking at Mommy's arms. They have black smudges on them.
Mommy is opening a box and she cuts her finger on the shiny paper. Then the picture becomes black, like when she spilled ink on the white carpet of the house yesterday. She wishes she could see the colored paper again…. She isn't sure why, but she never sees the cut on Mommy's finger so much as the black smudges on her arm. Oval smudges that weren't there until after the day in the green place when Mommy smiled and Daddy touched her….
After that the colors are always dull and the images aren't bright like the green place or the colored paper. She wishes she could just keeping watching Mommy and Daddy in the green place, but she can't stop the pictures even when she tries. The tumble over each other in her head….
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.
Next she sees Mommy and Daddy in the forest. It's not pretty like the green place. She wishes she could see the green place. She doesn't like it here. Please go back to the green place… And Daddy is walking away and Mommy is on the ground. He's not touching her this time. And she's not smiling.
She can see a tightness around Mommy's eyes in the next pictures, like the pretty paper stretched around the boxes at the place with the colored paper hanging on the wall. Her eyes used to look like the shiny rocks from the riverbed, but now they look dry and cracked. She notices her arms and sees that they don't have smudges anymore. But it makes her sad anyway. She doesn't really understand why, but Mommy's arms too small. Too much like the sticks she likes to play with in the yard around the white house…
And Daddy isn't in the pictures anymore.
Mommy is sad, but Daddy isn't there to touch her and make her smile an apple smile. Mommy is too still for too long, lying on a bed with her arms around her tummy.
Mommy finally starts to move around, jerking like a hummingbird she once saw outside the window at the white house. She frightened, but she still doesn't understand what's going on.
The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
The pictures start to come faster. The sounds become clear. She can sometimes hear what people are saying now. But Mommy never says anything. Not to the nice man with the shiny head who looks at her with wrinkled eyes. Not to the tall boy with the black hair. Not to Daddy. Daddy isn't there anymore.
Mommy gets into a red truck, not a shiny one like the toy truck she has. It's dull and cracked like Mommy's eyes. Mommy drives for a long, long time. She drives to a very white place. There's white all on the ground and the sky is dark. It doesn't have sunshine like the green place. Mommy pulls up to a house. She crawls up the steps, and her hand flutters against the door. A yellow-haired woman opens the door. "Please … Please, I need Carlisle," says Mommy. Then she becomes still.
She sees Carlisle now and another yellow-haired girl much more beautiful than the first one. They take Mommy back to the white house. The yellow-haired girl rubs Mommy's tummy and Mommy talks softly to her. "Please take care of my baby, Rose…. Please take care of her if something happens….to me…"
"We've called Edward, Bella. He's coming just as fast as he can. He'll be here soon. He didn't… He never meant…Just hold on…."
Mommy smiles, but the apple-red color doesn't touch her cheeks. Mommy's cheeks are like the snow outside now. "I don't think it will help, Rose…. I'm not sure if I can do it anymore…. I'm so tired…."
"What are you saying, Bella?"
"You were right, Rose. You were right….I'm not meant to live forever."
Mommy sleeps a lot now. She becomes more and more like the snow outside. The only time she doesn't sleep is when she's sick. Or when she's singing to her tummy….
"Lullaby … hush thy cries, my little baby….
The sun will shine so soon…
Night and rain fall on the earth….
The flowers now will bloom…
Lullaby… hush thy cries my little baby…
Life and Death walk hand in hand…
Moon and Sun draw near….
I will hold you through this night…
Daddy comes and his voice sounds like hail again. But soft hail, with rain mixed in…Mommy is in pain and her tummy cracks. There's red everywhere.
"Stay with Lizzie … Please…. Take care of Lizzie … I love you….I can't…Don't leave … me… ," Mommy says in a windy voice, rain falling from her closed eyes.
Daddy holds her and whispers in her ear. "Lizzie and I are right here with you. Let's watch the sky outside. See the soft snow falling? It looks like apple blossoms, doesn't it? Just keep watching, Bella, and I'll hold you. I'll hold you for as long as you need me to. I won't let go. Just watch the snow-blossoms outside. That's right, sweetheart. Just close your eyes. Lizzie and I are right here holding you….Picture the snow blossoms falling….I love you…" His voice becomes like soft rain and he starts humming. A lullaby like the one Mommy sang to her tummy…Mommy falls asleep and becomes very still….
That's always the last thing she sees. Daddy holding Mommy while she sleeps…
She can hear a strange, sad howling past the fog around the trees. She's scared. The fairy girl says that the sounds are from wolves and not to be afraid. Rose and Carlisle come out to the steps outside the white house. The yellow-haired girl, the curly-haired man, the caramel-haired lady, the fairy girl, the yellow-haired man….She's learning all their names now… Rose… Carlisle … Emmett … Esme… Alice … Jasper….
Rose picks her up and she sees the pictures more clearly. Rose remembers Mommy. But her pictures don't have the silver edge that the fairy girl's have.
Rose shows her that Mommy won't be waking up anymore. She went to sleep two days ago and won't wake up now. She has to sleep for a long time. And Daddy went to sleep with her. He didn't want Mommy to be alone.
Rose kisses her and promises that she and Emmett will take of her. Rose and Emmett and Carlisle and Esme and Alice and Jasper will stay with her forever. She doesn't understand much, but she does understand forever.
But she wishes she could just be at the green place with Mommy and Daddy forever.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.