Hi guys! This was written for ParamoreEvanescenceTwilight's Silence Contest. I'm not going to win though – she doesn't like AH stories. *sigh* Oh well, I hope the rest of you like it!

ParamoreEvanescenceTwilight – Sorry! I tried to keep it canon, I really did, but I had to make it AH (for reasons that will become clear in the story).


EPOV

I lay in bed, unable to sleep. How could I? Every time I closed my eyes, I saw her face behind my eyelids. Her beautiful face, alight with happiness. And every time I thought about her, the pain only got worse. I tossed and turned, willing myself to fall asleep. I glanced at the clock. Three a.m.

I was still, listening to the world around me. There was no sound, not even my breathing. Everything was inaudible. There was only silence. Complete, unyielding silence. It weighed down on me, hurting my ears.

I thought back to when Bella used to sleep next to me, her body soft and warm. Back then, there were always noises, her adorable mutterings in her sleep or the sound of her sighing. Now there was nothing. The silence brought back the pain, and I doubled over with the force of it. I cried out silently at the excruciating pain in my heart as the silence swallowed me whole.


3 months earlier

I woke up and looked at my angel's sleeping form. I smiled to myself. We had gotten married a year ago, so I woke up to this every day, but I still couldn't get used to the joy of seeing her lying next to me. I bent my head down to the soft skin of her neck to kiss her gently. She stirred in my arms, and I lifted my neck up to look at her. She looked at me with her sparkling brown eyes, filled with love. The image made my heart swell.

"Good morning, sunshine," I whispered.

"Hi," she murmured back.

We lay in bed for a while longer, simply enjoying each other's company. After a while, though, she decided to get up. My arms tightened around her waist, unwilling to let her go. She looked down at me and smiled.

"Come on, Edward. I can't just lie in bed with you all day."

I skimmed my nose along her collarbone, kissing gently. I smiled when I heard her breathing pick up. "I don't see why not," I murmured into her neck.

I made my way back up to her lips and kissed her softly. She returned the kiss just as gently. We silently conveyed our love into the one kiss, our lips molding together perfectly. After a while, though, my brain began screaming at me to stop for air.

Air? What's that? Don't need it. I could survive on Bella's kisses alone…

The small, reasonable part of me that wasn't completely absorbed in the kiss finally won out. Reluctantly, I pulled back. Her eyes shone with excitement.

"Wow," she breathed.

"Yeah."

"Okay, Edward. Time to get out of bed."

I pouted at her, but she just laughed.

"C'mon, let's get ready, then we can spend the day together, just you and me."

"As long as the 'you and me' part applies."

I bounded out of bed and kissed her one last time, then went to get ready.

After I was done showering, I went back out to the kitchen, where Bella was making breakfast.

She set a plate of eggs and bacon in front of me. I scarfed it down hungrily as she leaned against the counter, watching me with a smile on her face.

"Delicious."

"Thanks."

"So, where are we going to go, beautiful?"

Her eyes shone, and I knew the answer before she even said it. "Our meadow."

She grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the house to the car.

"Well, someone's excited," I teased.

"Of course I am. I get to spend the entire day at my favorite place in the world, with my wonderful husband."

Just the thought of spending the day with her, without interruptions, excited me. I wrenched the door open and held it out for her. "Well, let's go!"

She laughed at my enthusiasm and got into the car. I ran around to the driver's side and started the car.

I held her hand in one of mine while driving with the other. I thought back to the meadow. Our meadow. We had shared so many precious memories there; it would always be ours.

I looked over at Bella, her hair swept around her gorgeous face by the wind from the open window. "Do you remember our first time at the meadow?" I asked her.

"Of course I do. It was our first date."

"And do you remember what happened on our first date?" I prodded.

"Our first kiss." She smiled in remembrance.

"And do you remember our other times at the meadow?"

Her face softened. "The second time we were at the meadow, you told me you loved me."

I squeezed her hand. "Always will."

"And then another time, you asked me to marry you. You said you loved me and wanted me to be yours forever. You told me you couldn't live without me."

"I can't live without you," I told her seriously. "You're my whole world."

"I'm going to die sometime, Edward," she told me with a sad smile.

I considered my answer carefully. "I'd follow as soon as I could."

She looked alarmed. "What?!"

"I can't live without you, Bella. If you died, I'd try to kill myself too."

She got a fierce light in her eyes and took my face in her hands. "You will do no such thing! If I die, Edward, you are not allowed to kill yourself!"

"Bella, if you weren't alive, I would have nothing to live for," I tried to explain.

"Edward, do you love me?"

"Of course I do," I answered, confused. Did she doubt my love for her?

"If you really love me, Edward, you won't commit suicide if I die. Please, promise me."

"Bella…"

"Edward, if you really do love me like you say, you'll promise me this."

I looked at her worried, hurt face. "I promise."

She relaxed. "Thank you, Edward."

I looked back at her, hair still whipping around her face as she smiled at me. If my promise made her happy, so be it. I would probably die before her anyway.

I was looking at Bella as she was about to speak. The stoplight turned green, so I hit the gas. But, a driver approaching from the right failed to put on his brakes when the light turned red. He spun out of control and hit our car.

After that, everything happened in slow motion. The car hit the passenger side of my Volvo, and I saw Bella slump down in the seat, unconscious.

"Bella!" I screamed.

I jumped out of my seat and got her seatbelt off. I carried her out of the car carefully. I laid her on the ground gently and patted my pockets for my phone, but realized I had left it at home.

"I need a phone!" I cried out to the crowd that had formed. Immediately, twenty cell phones were held out to me. I grabbed the nearest one and called 911. I explained what happened to the girl on the other end. I was talking so fast I was surprised she could understand me. I got my message across, though, and soon, an ambulance was wailing down the street.

The paramedics hopped out and tried to look at me, but I shook them off angrily. "Don't worry about me, take care of her!" I gestured to Bella. Thankfully, they listened to me.

Soon, they had her loaded into the ambulance. I got in with her and looked at her unconscious form as the ambulance sped down the street. My heart was thumping loudly in my chest.

She's going to be okay, Edward, I tried to convince myself. I repeated it like a mantra.

She's going to be okay… She's going to be okay… Please let her be okay…

Soon, we were at the hospital. Everything happened in a blur. The next thing I knew, a doctor was about to check on Bella.

The doctor walked into the room. "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the room."

I just nodded numbly and walked outside, where the rest of my family had gathered. I paced outside the door nervously, running my hand through my hair. My brother Jasper, who had a talent for calming people down, placed a hand on my shoulder. I was still edgy, though.

I looked around at my family, who were standing solemnly. Alice looked worst of all, with a tear running down her cheek.

The doctor walked back outside, and I rushed to him. I held my breath – his news would either shatter my world or save it.

Then, he said the words that brought me to my knees in pain.

"I'm sorry sir, but your wife has passed on."


I was numb with shock. I arranged her funeral and made other arrangements, but the reality didn't set in until about three days after it happened. I woke up one morning and looked down, expecting to see Bella, but was faced only with the empty bed.

The pain came back then, much stronger than before. I cried myself dry, my body wracked with sobs.

Everybody had told me it would get better with time, that the pain would become manageable. But they were wrong. If anything, each day that passed only made it worse. Every day, I was faced with reminders of what I had lost.

Music reminded me of her, as did TV or books. Every reminder became a slap in the face, and each time, they pain grew worse.

I had wanted to die after she was gone. What did I have to live for? But I couldn't kill myself. I thought of the pain it would cause my family. Esme would be heartbroken.

But I knew that wasn't the real reason I didn't do it. The real reason was that I had promised Bella.

And now here I was. Afraid to remember, terrified to forget.

I glanced at the clock again. Six a.m. Time to get up.

I went about my morning routine robotically and headed to work.

Once I got to the hospital, I immersed myself in work. Patients, clinics, diagnoses. After the crash, I had worked all the time. It helped me forget a little bit.

Another reason I worked so hard was that it kept the silence at bay. Those were the worst times, times when everything was quiet. A flood of memories was opened in the silence, and there was nothing to take my mind off the pain.

Once again, as I had for the last three months, I buried myself in work. I only looked up when I heard the door open. It was my coworker, Tyler.

"Hello, Tyler," I said out of politeness.

"Hey, Edward. Some of the guys are going out tonight. We're going to get some drinks, watch the game. Want to come with us?"

"No thanks, Tyler."

He hesitated for a moment before speaking again. "Look, man, I know this has been rough on you, but it's been three months. You gotta loosen up. Come with us tonight. There are a lot of cute girls at this bar; you could get together with one of them."

For the first time in three months, I felt an emotion that wasn't pain. No, now I was feeling…anger.

"No, you look, Tyler. I can't just 'loosen up' and get over her to get with some girl I pick up at a bar. I loved her. She was my whole world. And there is no way in hell some slut in a bar could ever take her place." I spoke with such venom that Tyler flinched.

He explained hurriedly. "Hey, I wasn't saying that she could be replaced. I just want you to be happy. Ever since the accident, you've been really depressed. I was just trying to –".

I cut him off with a sigh. "Yeah, I know. Sorry, but I just can't forget her. I don't think any other girl could ever compare to her."

He nodded and left after placing a hand on my shoulder.

I sank into my chair and sighed, running a hand through my hair.

I glanced at the clock. Five p.m. I smacked my head, remembering I was supposed to meet my family at 5:15. I was dreading the meeting, though. I had to try to keep up my calm and collected façade for Esme and the rest of my family, but inside, I was writhing in agony.

I headed to my Volvo and started it up. As I drove through the streets, my mind wandered to my last conversation with Bella. A whole new wave of pain hit me. Would this never end?

Suddenly, I realized I was going way too fast. I saw a sharp turn up ahead, and yanked the steering wheel to the right. It wasn't enough, though. The car crashed into a pole. The last thing I remember was a soft voice calling out to me.

"Bella," I murmured.

Then I passed out.


When I opened my eyes, I saw sunlight streaming down through the treetops. I stood up, confused, and looked around.

The meadow? How did I get here?

I hadn't been to the meadow since the day Bella died. I knew it would only make matters worse.

I scanned the place I knew so well, and what I saw next made my heart stop in my chest.

"Bella," I whispered.

She turned to me and smiled a heart-stopping smile.

I reached toward her hesitantly, as if she would disappear. I stroked her face softly and whispered again. "Bella."

She held my hand to her face and sighed. "Edward."

"Am I dreaming?"

She laughed, and I mourned the fact that I had been unable to hear that laugh for three months.

"No, you're not dreaming."

I was confused. "Then what –"

She sighed. "Edward, you're dead."

My brow furrowed. "What?"

She scanned my face carefully. "The crash killed you."

"So, let me get this straight. I died and now I get to be with you?"

She nodded carefully. I swept her up for a kiss, pouring all of my passion and love for her into it.

After a moment, she laughed breathlessly. "So I take it you're not mad about being dead?"

"Mad?" I asked incredulously. "Bella, I've been wishing I was dead since the day you died."

Her face suddenly looked dejected and she looked at the floor. The sight almost broke my heart.

"Bella?" I coaxed her face up with my fingers so she was looking at me. "What's wrong?"

"I'm so sorry, Edward."

"Sorry? For what?"

Her voice was quiet. "Well, when you're a spirit, like we are now, you can travel from Earth to heaven. So, I would come down a lot and watch you. It really hurt to see how much pain you were in and know that it was all my fault."

"Your fault?" I asked disbelievingly. "Bella, nothing was your fault. If anything, it was the other driver's fault."

I could tell she didn't believe me. "But…"

"No, no buts. Bella, it wasn't your fault." Her beautiful brown eyes searched my face, then she nodded slowly.

"Okay."

I grinned at her and kissed her again.

"I missed you, Edward."

"Not half as much as I missed you," I whispered between kisses.

Later, we sat in the grass. She was seated between my legs, with her back pressed against my chest. I buried my face in her soft hair and let her heavenly scent envelope me. As I listened to her giggles and soft breathing, I knew Bella was the laughter in my life. She would always keep the silence at bay.

I thought about our situation. This stunning creature was mine until the end of time. Not even death would do us apart.

I leaned down and murmured, "Bella, I will love you for all of eternity." As I said the words, I knew they were true. Our love would last forever.


Done! What did you think? Please leave a review (flames welcome).

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~luv2read134