So here's the Esme Diaries! It was this or a Bella-centric story - you guys got the choice, there was a poll on my profile page. I would have kept it up longer, but it was becoming clear that Esme was winning by a landslide. The Bella one might still come up sometime, but this is the one the world wanted more!
This was inspired by a YouTube video about Carlisle and Esme by SmileMegan, to the song "Set Fire to the Third Bar" by Snow Patrol. The Document Manager won't let me prove a link, but go to her page and watch it, because it ROCKS! (PS - its "real" title is: Esme & Carlisle Cullen - Miles from where you are)
Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! I don't own Twilight. ;)
I'm eight months pregnant and I'm on the run, searching for a vampire.
Well, actually, that's not entirely true. I physically couldn't run if I tried. It's funny; after almost seven months, it still surprises me sometimes to look in the mirror and see this large, unfamiliar version of myself. Whenever I do, I feel a strange sense of guilt mixed with the obvious rush of anxious joy. Perhaps because I allowed everything to go on for so long – I could have stopped it before it went so far. I could have made them believe me. I could have done exactly what I'm doing now before I was so poor and in such fragile condition. I could have, I could have, I could have.
But no more. I finally did, and that's what matters. I have departed. Not only from Charles Evenson, but from that horrible, wretched life that I've been muddling through. I'm currently on a train somewhere between Columbus, Ohio and Ashland, Wisconsin.
And I am alone.
To make a painfully long story short, I guess I finally decided that there was nothing more to lose, so I left home while Charles was at work. It was surprisingly simple; especially since I already had my clothes mostly packed (in case the baby came early, or so I'd told him; you never know with the first) and I had secretly withdrawn a few hundred dollars from our bank account for an emergency. There are some perks to having to balance the checkbook all by myself.
I could allow myself to be hit and battered for a hideously long time, but when it came to my son or daughter, there was a line that demanded to be drawn.
I suppose this part of the story really explains itself.
But the "looking for a vampire" part really doesn't… does it?
I warn you, it is positively pathetic, and proof that I really am losing my mind.
Basically, I am irrevocably in love with someone in whose company I spent a total of an hour, almost a decade ago. We have not kept in touch and I have not even spoken with any of his friends, family, or even former co-workers.
But in my despair I have decided to go looking for him – Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the vampire of my hopeless daydreams.
I gave him that title because of something silly that some old patient in the hospital where he worked told me. I didn't believe it then and I don't now, but it's funny to think about either way – mostly because it makes sense in an odd way. I should back up, though. There's a story.
Dr. Cullen was incredibly, incredibly handsome. And it's rather odd – even in the old days when I was a terribly hopeless flirt, I was realistic. I knew I was prettier than average and I had plenty of self-confidence, but not so much as to be completely unreasonable. When I saw a man I thought was too far out of my league, I had the sense to move on.
But with Dr. Cullen, things were different.
It was like when I first saw him, I realized every woman in the world would look absolutely inadequate at his side. So why not me? In retrospect, after thinking about that, I probably acted like the sixteen-year-old schoolgirl that I was in hopes of gaining a bit of his attention. Even that day, a little part of me thought that I just might have had some success. The smile he gave me as I left seemed bigger than courtesy required. Perhaps he would call on me at home; become a beau. One never knew.
All the smiles and tender "accidental" brushes of skin on skin were running wildly through my mind when I bade him goodbye and hobbled awkwardly into the lobby on my new crutches. I was completely dazed, but was oddly brought back to earth by the tug of a strange old man on my arm. In all honesty, he looked like he could have been over one hundred, but I knew that wasn't possible. His cloudy gray eyes narrowed as they connected with mine.
"Be careful around that doctor, missy," he had cautioned, his voice gravelly and deep. "Don't trust them… the men with the cold touch. They're not like you and me. They're a danger."
I had nodded, mostly out of politeness and a lack of any better ideas of how to handle the situation. But the man hadn't been ready to stop.
"He'll take your soul," he said, his voice getting steadily louder. "The sleepless ones, they aren't to be trusted!"
I looked around helplessly, but about that time, a nurse came to my aid.
Sleepless ones. Cold ones. The whole way home, I had tried to come up with a theory for what that meant. Because Carlisle's touch had been cold – strangely so. And he had also been so hauntingly beautiful. From that point on, I started thinking of Carlisle as my vampire. It seemed silly, but it made for happy daydreams. Which I needed more and more desperately as my married life wore on.
In case you happened to wonder, nothing every came of my vampire and me. He actually left town less than a week after treating my leg. When I asked about him at the front desk, the nurse had raised her eyebrows. I didn't care what she thought, though. I persisted, and she eventually told me that she'd heard Dr. Cullen was headed for Chicago.
I didn't give up there. I began going to the library and reading the Chicago Tribune. There were always copies around, even if they were a few weeks behind. Yes, this was me at seventeen and eighteen. As my friends watched every move of Walter Long and Billy Murray, so I monitored Dr. Carlisle Cullen. I found an article pertaining to my vampire every couple of months, which was enough to keep me loyally rushing to the library every day after school.
I hate to say it, but this continued well into my married life. I couldn't go nearly as often, but every couple of months, I'd still scan through in search of his name. I tried not to in the months following my marriage and my honeymoon, but after I realized the mistake that I'd made, I had been desperately in need of something to live for. So, as always, Carlisle's memory surfaced.
One day, everything changed. Somewhere in the back of the paper, it was announced that renowned Dr. Cullen had departed for Ashland, Wisconsin to stay with family. I was crushed. There was no way to get access to any Ashland publication, and besides, hadn't this gone on long enough? He was now three states away, and had most definitely moved on with his life. Even if I was still pathetically rooted in the past.
But it was to no avail.
The perfect face and all of the dreams that go with it haunted my memory. Even now, every handsome, smiling face I see, I imagine it's him. Whenever life becomes too much, I can look back and see those clear eyes and that sweet smile. I didn't even spend an hour with him, but every detail is burned on my memory. That includes the way he acted. I've found that if I try hard enough, I really can imagine that he loved me. The tenderness in his words, the gentleness in his cool touch… I can't be that I'm exaggerating it out of desperation.
I am pretty desperate, aren't I?
I must admit, I feel currently as though I am going to throw up. Ordinarily, I would blame the constant motion of the train, but I felt just as bad before we even started moving. The nausea is kind of a perpetual thing nowadays, between the pregnancy and the constant anxiety that comes with looking over my shoulder every hour of every day. Every time I do, I expect to see Charles's dark eyes and that sly smile I hate so much. The smile that scolds me for my latest faux pas and hints at the trouble I'll be in later.
A wave of fear coursed through me at the thought, and for a moment, I was afraid I really would throw up. This train would not be a good place, especially in the cramped little compartments to which my meager finances relegated me.
On the topic of finances, I'm almost exactly halfway between Columbus and Ashland right now. That's a good thing, because I've blown through about half of the money I had set aside for travelling. The rest would have to be put to use for food and temporary lodging once I arrived in Ashland.
I suppose the pregnancy was, ironically, good for my health. Had there not been the guilt that came with knowing that I was eating for two, I might have forgone eating altogether in my nervousness and poverty. But as it was, eating was a necessary expenditure. Keeping it down, however, was the uphill struggle, and I was pleased to have succeeded so far.
I wasn't sure exactly what I expected would happen when I arrived in Ashland. It was kind of funny, in a very sick and depressing sort of way: there was one little corner of my mind that hoped to see my vampire waiting for me at the station. Of course, the tiny bit of logic that remained somewhere within me keeping me sane scoffed. The chance that he still lived in Ashland after all these years was probably slim, even if the nurse had told me the right place to begin with. The chances that my vampire remembered me at all were even slimmer.
And that's when my throat thickened and my eyes started stinging and I had to think about other things.
"You're looking a little sick, dearie," an old woman beside me said quietly. I tried to smile at her, but couldn't really succeed with the fear of the tears that lurked in the corners of my eyes.
"I'm not very accustomed to train travel," I managed to reply. The lady nodded.
"Your fragile condition isn't making anything easier," she sympathized. "I haven't seen anybody here with you, for that matter. Where is your husband?"
"I'm meeting him in Ashland."
The words were out before I could stop or even realize that I was lying so severely. In the moment, it hadn't seemed like a lie. And worse yet, it really still didn't.
"I see," the lady replied, smiling at me in a motherly way. She reached into her purse and pulled out a little package wrapped in aluminum foil. "Take these, dearie. They're peppermint drops – very soothing for an upset stomach."
Gratefully, I accepted it. It really wasn't the peppermint drops that I was grateful for, either. At that moment, I couldn't imagine anything sugary doing more than turning my stomach even more. It was actually the knowledge that there was somebody in the world that cared at all that helped more than I could say. As I slowly unwrapped the candy, mostly out of gratitude and politeness, a voice came over the crackly speaker.
"Next stop, Bloomington, Illinois!"
"Oh dear, that's my stop," the old lady said, reaching under her seat and pulling out a bag made from faded carpet. Taking that in one hand and the big purse from which my peppermint candy had come in the other, she stood to walk up to the front of the car.
"Thank you for everything," I said, realizing my voice was hardly more than a whisper.
She patted my cheek.
"I hope you find the new start you need in Ashland," she said. "Sometimes moving is the right thing to do – when you need to start over."
I nodded, feeling my eyes well up with tears.
She had known all along.
"Thank you," I whispered through my folded hands.
Pt. 2 coming soon!