I do not own any of these characters. The wonderful Stephanie Meyer does.
Also – FYI adult language in this chapter.
I would not live, however you may define living, in a world without Bella. I could not live in a world where I wouldn't be a moment's run to her to feed into my masochistic tendencies I'm sure I would succumb to sooner rather than later.
It had been 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days since I had seen her; since I had said the one thing I knew would destroy me and set her free in the same breath.
It had been 2 days since Rosalie had told me of Bella's death. At first I didn't believe her; Rosalie had never cared for Bella and I thought that it was a construed lie said to make me return to my family who now resided in the Siberian Plains. Perhaps she had thought that Bella's death would set me free. So I went to Alice. She had not been able to confirm nor deny Rosalie's information and thought that it could be because it had been so long since she had tried to see Bella's future.
So I did the only thing I could think of - I went to her. Against my better judgment, against the final promise I had made to her that I had intended to keep, I went back to Forks.
Forks looked the same, nothing had changed in the time I was gone. Then again, it hadn't even been a year since I'd lived here, since we'd been happy I thought to myself – and nothing had changed in the decades my family had moved and resettled here, so why should it be any different now?
The skies were dark and threatening another bout of rain, the first round reflected in the puddles and slick roads. I arrived just after midnight and found myself perched up in the tree that I had used so many nights, a lifetime ago to get into her room at night. To hold her, to love her, to listen to her sleep in the hopes she would say or even better, moan, my name.
I wasn't prepared for what I saw as I nestled into the curve of where a thick branch met the tree trunk.
First, it wasn't even the sight but the smell coming from her room. It wasn't freesias and cinnamon; it was fertilizer and wet dog. I had begun smelling it about 1/2 a mile away from her home, chalking it up to the general stench my family dealt with from time to time during our stay, which resonated from the reservation a few miles north where a pack of werewolves lived.
As I peered into her room, I saw a man who looked a bit older than Bella, perhaps in his early 20s, sitting on her bed, flipping through one of her journals. He looked vaguely familiar but I couldn't place; I thought maybe if I got into his head I could pinpoint where I had seen him before.
"I don't get it. I don't get why the fuck she felt it necessary to do what she did when she had me. When it was so clear that I would love her and never leave her like he did..." with that his head shot up his eyes glaring directly into mine as his nostrils flared and he winced in discomfort.
What the hell had Bella been thinking? I let her go so she would be safe, not so she would run into an even bigger threat to her life – a werewolf.
The man strode in 2 steps from her bed to the window and opened it, teeth clenched.
"What the hell are you doing here Cullen?" he asked. I wasn't about to give him an explanation, especially when he seemed to know me and I still hadn't been able to figure out when we had met, so I settled for answering a question with a question. "Who the fuck are you and is Bella alright?"
He raised an eyebrow and smirked "how convenient that you come now. Is that what you bloodsuckers do? Get off on seeing girls like Bella fall to nothing? Did you come back in hopes that you would get to whack off to seeing her crumble once again because of what you put her through?!" His voice was raised as he shouted blind accusations without giving me answers to my questions. Wait, what the bloody hell was he talking about?
"What do you mean, crumble once again?"
"Don't play stupid Cullen. I know that your family may be a lot of things, but stupid has never been a description of your kind. If anything you creeps are acutely aware of everything that goes on, so don't tell me that you haven't been laughing it up at how Bella took you admitting you never loved her."
I thought for a brief second as to her reaction. She had cried, as most teenage girls would have over a breakup, but that was all I saw. I could barely handle that much as I sped off towards Alaska to meet up with my family who had taken off days before me.
I jumped through the open window, pinning him by his shoulders on the wall beside her bedroom door. I did not like being out of the loop, especially when it concerned Bella and especially when it seemed that this smelly fucking dog had all the answers.
My fangs shot out of me as my anger and confusion at his words boiled over. "I will ask you once again, out of politeness and for Bella's sake before I snap your fucking neck, what the fuck do you mean?"
He flashed that unpleasant smirk again and rolled his shoulders with a force that had me stumbling back.
"Don't give me attitude. Remember, I'm the one of us that knows what the fuck is going on, and I highly doubt that you running downstairs to ask Charlie will get you anything other than a bullet to the head. Not that it would have any effect, I would venture to guess." He said, sounding disappointed.
Fuck he was right – on all accounts. I sighed unnecessarily and sat on Bella's bed, my resolve crashing. I just needed to know she was ok, and where she was. And what this fucking dog was doing in her room.
I stared at the floor, teeth clenched as I murmured barely above a whisper. "I just need to know she is okay and I'll leave her be... even if she has found love elsewhere."
His face was still unreadable as he moved back against the wall and leaned against it. "You must know something, if you came here in a panic like this" he said gesturing to my current state.
"I was told, through an honest but somewhat biased source, that Bella had jumped off a cliff. I just need to know if it's true. And I need to know why."
For the first time since the last night I spent with Bella, I felt like an open book. My voice did not hide my worry at all and I took a chance look up at this man who had seemed so comfortable in her room, on her bed; a bed that her and I once shared.
He moved to sit in her vintage 1950s plush green satin chair that sat in the corner by her window, his elbows on his knees, his face cast down as he let out a slow breath.
"I don't think you deserve to know, not after everything you did to her. But I can only hope that it will cause you more pain than she ever felt."
It did not slip by me that he used the past tense when referring to her. But that still wasn't confirmation. Perhaps she was just no longer in pain; maybe she was in love again; maybe she was in love with this dog-man sitting 5 feet away from me. I could learn to accept that, to be okay with that, if I knew she was still alive.
"It's not in my place to tell her story. Of how she handled you leaving the way you did after saying what you did. What I can give you is what you requested. My name is Jacob. I'm surprised with your bloodsucking mind you don't remember since we met last spring right after Bella got back from Phoenix – that stupid dance, remember?"
I looked up at him and simply nodded. "I thought you looked familiar."
He stood walking towards the door. "You should go before Charlie heads upstairs to go to bed... but just so you know.." he opened the door looking down and mumbling so softly even I barely heard it, "you're friend was right. Bella jumped."
With that he closed the door behind him and I was left with the deafening silence.
Bella, my Bella, was gone.