You don't want me?
I kept replaying that last conversation in my mind as I blindly groped through the green trees and underbrush. Tears filled my eyes, spilling onto my face. I didn't even try to wipe them away, I was heartbroken – destroyed. Edward didn't want me. I felt foolish that I had ever believed he did want me. I hung my head, my face filled with chagrin. I don't blame him though; I am just a plain human. Nothing special about me at all, at least there isn't anymore… Edward made me special, now that he didn't want me anymore, I just became another human.
As I was thinking about all these things I didn't notice I had lost sight of Charlie's house. I spun in a few quick circles trying to remember which way the house should be when in a purely Bella moment, I lost my balance and went sprawling into a small bush.
"Great, just like me" I murmured aloud.
I stood up, brushing myself off – even though everything in me was just telling me lie there and let death take me. I knew I couldn't last too long without Edward…. or nourishment. But Charlie didn't deserve to lose me this way. And against all better judgment, I had promised Edward I wouldn't do anything 'reckless or stupid.' I suppose lying in the cold, wet leaves until I died would be reckless.
I stumbled around for a few more minutes until I glanced down and saw that I was on a familiar path. I walked for a minute or two, thinking about nothing at all – my mind had become blank and my body numb. I tried to put on a poker face for Charlie, but the tears kept coming.
Soon I could see the house, I knew I had been in the woods long enough that Charlie would be home very soon, if he wasn't home already.
I was no longer in control of my body, I couldn't feel my legs but I knew I was moving forward. Thankfully, Charlie was not home… yet. I stumbled upstairs and into the bathroom where I turned the shower on as hot as it could go.
I didn't realize how cold I was until I felt the warmth from the steam beginning to build in the small room. I sank to the floor beside the bathtub and sobbed.
After a few minutes of shivering and sobbing I climbed into the bathtub, still in the clothes I was wearing when he last touched me. I replayed that memory one last time before I vowed I would lock it away, never to revisit it again. It just hurt too much.
He leaned down to lightly kiss my forehead. "Take care of yourself."
I mentally locked that memory away, the distant look in his eyes, the way it felt as he pressed his marble lips to my forehead one last time… I decided to try and focus on the good things that happened between Edward and I to get me through the night.
I remembered our meadow. The first time I saw him shy from his human façade. How he smelled. How he used his crooked smile to get his way from me and how it worked every time. How he dazzled me, frequently. I couldn't help but chuckle as the memory of our prom came to mind. How he told Tyler that I was unavailable that night and every night after. My chuckling soon stopped as I bitterly remembered how available I am. Totally available but too destroyed to even breathe normally. In a fit of anger and rebellion I climbed over the porcelain wall of the tub, fully clothed, and dropped into the shallow water.
This is stupid, I thought bitterly. Without any warning the mental drawer I had stuffed that last memory of Edward into flew open, flooding my mind as a choked sob escaped my lips. Don't do anything reckless or stupid.
I was furious with myself, embarrassed that the promise I had made merely fifteen minutes earlier now shattered. I pulled my soaking shirt over my head and shrugged out of my jeans, throwing them over the tub wall with a satisfying wet plop.
I knew I'd have to clean up the water on the floor before it ruined the wood, but at that moment I didn't care. I sat there with the water running over my broken body sobbing until I realized the water had run cold.
I knew Charlie had to be home now. I stood and turned off the water, realizing that it was all for nothing because I was just as cold as I was when I walked out of the… No. I will not remember.
I shut my eyes tightly trying to block the rush of remembrance that was threatening to come. After a few moments I opened my eyes and busied myself getting dressed. I glanced in the mirror and was shocked that I didn't recognize myself. My eyes were red and swollen, but yet somehow bleak and almost dead. My skin was sallow, I looked sick. My hair was laying on my back in a tangled mess, soaking through my shirt. This will help,I thought bitterly as I tried to piece together a story for Charlie.
I took one last deep breath while my hand rested on the doorknob before wrenching it open and walking to my bedroom.
I knew the sobbing would resume once more when I entered my room, so I did it with closed eyes, hoping that Charlie wouldn't venture in anytime soon.
As I blindly walked into my room the familiar scent hit me, the scent I've grown to love over the past months. Although it wasn't as potent as having him beside me, it would suffice. I walked towards my bed hoping to find solace and comfort beneath the quilt that I was swathed in night after night as he shared my bed, always being careful that I didn't get chilled from his ice cold body.
I didn't make it to the bed but collapsed into another fit of sobs a few feet away. I sat with my legs crossed, head hung for a minute until pulling my knees up to meet my chin. This is how I sat for what seemed like hours. The sun was fading from the sky… twilight once again. Their favorite time of day. With a sigh I began to stretch my stiff legs when I stubbed my toe. I quickly cupped my foot in my hand biting back the explicative that wanted to burst out.
I laughed in spite of myself, only someone as clumsy as myself could ever stub their toe on a flat surface.
"Wait a minute…" I said aloud. How did I stub my toe on a flat surface? I swept the tears from my face and rubbed my eyes to clear them before looking closer at the floor, I rubbed my hand over the boards in front of me until I found the culprit, a loose board. I wondered how I never noticed it before, surely a loose board this close to my bed would send me sprawling every time I got close to it. After all I was a magnet for danger, as I thought of the night he had told me that I was a danger magnet pain swept through my already shattered heart.
I leaned forward examining the loose board a little closer… as I pushed on the opposite side it lifted up a little more, enough to slide my fingers under and yank it up. I was surprised that I had managed lifting the board off without getting a splinter when my smug thoughts quickly crashed around me.
Lying under the floorboard I found three things. I could only think of one reason they would be here, now. Once again, without warning… that drawer I had closed hours earlier flew open... It will be as if I never existed. My memory recalled his voice to perfection. I realized he must have hidden these three things that tied me to him, things I would undoubtedly cling to with every ounce of strength I had left. He had wanted it to be a clean break.. Nothing to remember him by but my human memories that he thought would fade with time. What he didn't know is that my memories of him were burned into my mind forever. They would never fade and I would never forget.
No, the only thing he accomplished was ruining me for anyone else, not that I would ever want anyone else but him as long as I lived. But even if I had, I knew I could never move on enough from him to let anyone else love me. I wasn't worthy of love, I couldn't hold Edward… just thinking his name brought fresh tears to my eyes.
I gently picked up the items to examine each of them. I saved the worst for last, knowing that I wouldn't be able to put them down when I looked at them. I slide my fingers along the surface of the CD, allowing the memories to wash over me. Sobs racked my body as I remembered the first time he had spent the night lying beside me, watching me sleep.. humming me to sleep. That was the first time I heard my lullaby.
I grabbed the rest of the items and tossed them on my bed as I stumbled up to my feet and made my way to the CD player. With a shaking hand I pushed the button to open the drawer, as it slid out I knew it would be empty because I held the last CD it ever held in my hands. I carefully placed the CD into the empty slot and pushed it shut. In a few seconds my head was filled with the pristine, flowing melody. My Lullaby. I turned the volume up a bit so I could hear it clearly across the room, pushing the repeat button as I turned, knowing I would never turn it off again.
I sank into my bed, pulling the quilt closer around me as I sadly examined the remaining items. The plane tickets I had received from Esme and Carlisle on my birthday. My Birthday.. the memories of that fateful day made me shudder. The way Jasper looked as he lunged at me flashed before my eyes. I wish he would have bitten me… tears slid down my flushed cheeks and landed with soft splashes on the envelope.
I slowly wiped away the tears and reached for the items I never wanted to put down…. Pictures… pictures of Edward, my love, my life, my heart. When he left he took half of me with him, he took half of my life, half of my thoughts and all of my heart. All I was left with was an empty spot in my chest, it felt hollow and filled with sorrow as I stared into his topaz eyes that the picture had captured forever. I took the picture that was my favorite of him. His eyes full of amusement at my childishness with my new camera. I stifled a giggle as the memories of that day flooded my mind, only to be remembered once again that I would never relive moments like that with him.
I stuffed his picture in my back pocket, deciding to keep it with me forever as I yet again wiped my puffy eyes and decided I should venture downstairs before Charlie came up here. I tried to brush through my almost dry tangled locks before making an appearance, but nothing helped. With a defeated sigh I walked towards the door.
Charlie had to know something wasn't right with me tonight, I'm sure he heard the sobs I vainly tried to hide. As I walked down the stairs my suspicions were confirmed as he fidgeted with the remote, trying to act too natural at my arrival.
"Hey Bells, I heard you showering, fall in a mud puddle?" Charlie said with a nervous chuckle. I bit back the sarcastic remark that bubbled up. I knew he was just trying to ease himself because of my weird behavior, I bit my lip and nodded, a split second later realizing he couldn't see me, and so I mumbled "mm."
I didn't expect my voice to crack over a simple mm. I was hoping Charlie would miss it, but he turned his head in my direction as I quickly turned on my heel to head to the kitchen to fix dinner. I knew he would be hungry.
As luck would have it I went sprawling through the doorway into the kitchen vainly grabbing at something to catch my fall, only to grab the edge of the doily that lay on the table against the wall bringing it and the glass fisherman figurine I'd gotten Charlie for Christmas when I was five crashing to the floor around me.
I felt the fractured glass pierce my palms as a wave of nausea swept over me when the rust and salt smell I've come to detest reached my nose.
All of the tears I was holding in came bursting out at that moment. Charlie rushed to my side as sob after sob tore through me.
"Honey, it's just a few little cuts – it's alright. Don't cry.." Charlie was never good with emotions and I felt even worse having to put him through all of this. He had one hand on my back trying to soothe me as I heard a sound I never thought I'd hear again.
Hope shot through me, filling every fiber of my being as soon as I heard the sound only a vampire could make. The hope was then crushed a fraction of the same second later when I realized that it was not a good sound to hear coming from a vampire… I glanced up as I heard it again, a soft feral growl.