This is it!...the last chapter. I must say, I have really enjoyed writing this story—I've fallen in love with it (And sorry, you didn't get the teaser, I had absolutely no access to internet yesterday or today until now). So with a heavy heart, I ask you to read this chapter and then give me a review telling me everything you think/feel for this story!
I planted my foot firmly on the wood of my old bedroom wall, gripping the yellow lace with both hands and tugged with all my might. I grinned to myself in satisfaction as I heard the sound of the fabric ripping and tearing. The curtains had come off easier than I thought.
I held the yellow lace curtains delicately in my hands and just stared as they lay limp.
I had been so weak back then, so naïve, so childish; I had let a mere piece of fabric discourage me. I realized that I had liked my old curtains, the ones that were dark, for a deeper reason than I had speculated. I had liked the security, the enclosure; they had blocked out the truth, the cold reality, the world. I felt vulnerable without them; and the lace ones had let pieces of the world inside.
Well, no more.
I pushed open the window and let the warm sunlight hit my face and the cool breeze push my short hair back with its gentle touch.
I welcomed the world now; no longer did I keep it at bay with my juvenile endeavors.
Many good things had come with the Fall of The Wall; for instance, I could now watch the sun, at any time of day, instead of having it being blocked by The Wall for a portion of the day. But that just a small perk.
When I had crossed The Wall back then in Ole' Rust, and talked to Jacob openly, I had started something. He and his friends were connected to a secret, underground, resistance that had stations at almost every village on the male side.
After seeing that the Volturi was not all powerful, and that deception was possible, he told the Resistance. They saw a window of opportunity, a kink in the armor, and attacked. We were grateful, for without it, we would be in a much worse place than now. The Resistance had given us just enough leeway to escape; and not only that, but achieve the impossible. That word 'impossible' seemed almost like a joke now. It meant nothing, for we kept defying its limits time and time again.
The Volturi had wanted Edward to get into his position so he could take on the military and combat division and hopefully reign in the acts of rebellion that had popping up. The last year, as it turned out, had been riddled with rebellions and talk of revolution. The Resistance had been watching the Volturi headquarters' perimeter for a while.
They had planned to attack at the wedding and assassinate the Volturi members; their first priority being Edward, to make sure no one would take over the important position anytime soon. But my confession had halted their assault, and they went back to regroup and attacked later on. The troops were told to let us join their forces if we wished. Which we did, in mid-fight.
When The Wall crumbled, the whole system that the Volturi had constructed fell apart, like paper in water. Most Hawks were glad to fall right into a regular pattern of routine living; as it turned out, most had been victims of heavy control and brainwashing.
That first day after the Fall of The Wall, was one of the most chaotic I'd ever experienced. There was fear (mostly from my side, I was sorry to admit), anger, but most of all, happiness, relief, and elation.
Both sides did nothing for about an hour—just stared openly at the other side with mouths agape. Some fainted. I'm not just talking about from the women's side, either.
When the girls my age and younger saw how happily and joyfully the older women reacted, they went right along with it. They were, however, just a bit nervous (which was understandable).
But the week that followed wasn't a walk in the park. Some battles clashed between some die hard Hawks and Rebels, but soon enough, they realized that their time of reign was over.
To my (and Edward's) huge relief, Miss Garratt was perfectly fine; albeit disoriented and not in the best of health, but fine.
The scene between Edward and her, meeting once more after so long, was one right out of a storybook; there were so many tears of happiness between them, I ended up crying too. She had kissed his forehead, his cheeks, his hair, everywhere visible. I had never seen her so happy in her life. Such a light alit inside her, so powerful, it moved me to be eternally thankful that my father had been so inventive with a mere necklace.
Edward had been crying. I had been expecting that, but I didn't think the sight would bury itself so deeply in my heart. He collapsed like he was nothing more than a little boy, and she stroked his hair in a motherly way.
Eventually, I began to feel like I was intruding on the moment, so I left to go see Alice.
Although they still drove each other mad, a connection had spiked up between Alice and Jas (as it turned out, the bullet only went in his shoulder, and surgery remedied that quite quickly. Also, Alice seemed a little too eager to be his nurse); it was strange but I supposed Jas really did need a good dose of humility. He stopped throwing as many venomous comments at her (and me too), and acted like she was the only thing he wasn't allowed to be rude to. She was the only one who didn't receive his snarks.
I could tell she didn't despise him as much. One day, Edward asked what I thought of them. I answered honestly 'nothing'; I was blind then. Edward just cocked his eyebrow and laughed. Apparently he knew his brother better than I knew my best friend. Alice was glowing with joy; I'd never seen her so intellectually challenged before. But I think that might not have been all… She seemed to be able to understand Edward and my relationship with the more time she spends with Jas.
He still made those antagonistic comments toward me, though. It was different despite that fact. After making the comment, there was usually a teasing glint in his eye that showed it wasn't supposed to pack a punch. I finally understood Edward and Jas's relationship regardless of how I felt I the beginning.
Em liked girls; very much so. Well, one girl in particular. Strangely enough, the murderous wife named Rosalie had moved into his heart; I found out later that she had murdered Royce. But because he forced sex upon her every night and she couldn't take it. I didn't blame her one bit. That coldness in her eyes significantly receded with the time she spent with Em. Ah, that boy was completely captivated by her very presence, and her his.
I got past the whole 'Jasper and Emmett' thing; after all that we'd been through, it seemed silly to say their full names when no else bothered to. I ended up referring them to as Jas and Em, as they should be called (I felt even more of an outsider, being the only one calling them by their full names). It was a nice feeling, to know I belonged to something; a family.
When I caught back up with Edward and his mother (who was now Esme, and she took back the name Cullen), we brought her back home to Carlisle. Edward was practically bouncing with excitement, it would have been funny if it wasn't such a serious moment; he acted like this was the best present he could ever give. Perhaps it was.
I was lucky enough to be there when Carlisle saw Esme, alive and well, maybe, that was the best reunion I'd ever seen. His eyes lit up like they'd been dead for years; they embraced like they were kids again. There was so much love, so much affection, between them; I thought I would drown in it. It was moving to see that after so many years of brainwashing, separation, and longing, they still loved each other as much as they did before The Wall went up.
I still saw Peter from time to time— the man who had helped us so far along in our most distressed hour. He was in charge of the rebuilding effort; after the Fall of The Wall, the rubble didn't just disappear. He put together a group of hardworking people (and I saw people because a lot of women joined the rehabilitation effort), who are using the debris from The Wall to make new houses, to replace the ones that were destroyed in the initial annihilation of The Wall.
I'd been inquiring every so often if he had seen my necklace, but each time, he would just shake his head. I supposed it was stupid to want it back, to desire for its return; it probably got crushed to bits during The Wall's obliteration. Peter knew that too. But, aside the obvious, he has promised to return it if it was found. Somehow, though, my desire for its homecoming wasn't as strong as I predicted; it was destined to bring down The Wall, that's what it was made for. It has no purpose past that; something just made me feel almost okay that it was gone forever.
I thought of my father often. How he was the voice that inhabited my head for so long, his plans to have The Wall taken down, by his own daughter.
What puzzled me is how he knew that, somehow, I would defy the Volturi and full-fill his plan. I now know I was never meant to follow the rules and regulations of the Volturi. Perhaps my father was counting on that. They had tried to hide the spot for my necklace with a steel square, because if they filled it, it might have triggered the detonation process.
He no longer spoke to me, which made me wonder, if he was real at all. If he was really talking to me, coaxing me, leading me to my destiny and advising me whenever I strayed from the path. Or if he really was a figment of my imagination; that somehow, I knew that I had something to accomplish, and my mind generated a voice to comfort me, because it knew I wouldn't be able to accomplish that without something to help me stand. I guessed some mysteries are meant to be left unsolved.
A few months after The Fall of The Wall, the number of marriages spiked up; The Wall had acted more like a dam than a wall, holding back years and years of potential merry, loving lives. Now that the restraint is gone, the love flowed freely.
I was proud to announce that one of the first of those weddings was my own; well ours. Luckily, there still were priests to wed people, that hadn't been lost to the Volturi. That had to absolutely be the best day of my life… so far.
This wedding was the one, we'd wanted. Not orchestrated by anyone by ourselves (except Alice and Lucinda), without any other motive but love; Alice and Lucinda made the dress, since wedding dress selling wasn't a business yet. I got little say in what it would look like, but it was for the best; Alice knew what would look great on me better than I did, to be honest.
Esme had warned me about cold feet. Apparently, way back in the day, some brides or grooms would get nervous about marriage and run away at the last minute. But no such feelings arose, thankfully. Plus, even if I had gotten cold feet, I would have been too afraid of Alice to act upon it.
I knew if I had tried to run, after all the effort and hard work she'd put into the wedding, she'd beat me with a stick and drag me by my hair back to the chapel. I could imagine her words exactly, 'how could you do this to me? This isn't about you anymore; this is my wedding, now! If you don't get back there and forever join yourself to him, I swear…'
Ah, lovely, sensible, level headed Alice.
On the day of the wedding, I couldn't help but feel a little nervous; Alice was my trooper as she held the bucket in which I threw up in. Twice. But she was very careful to scream at me each time for almost staining the wedding dress she'd made. "You think you're sick?" She'd said after I vomited for the last time. "I'll give you something to be sick about if you so much as turn that shade of pearl white to cream white!" I couldn't see the difference in the two colors; but she clearly could, and I didn't want to chance it.
When I saw Edward waiting up there—for me— I knew that it was always meant to be like this. The Wall was always meant to go down; it was doomed from the start. I was supposed to be with him forever. No mere wall, no organization, nothing could stop the inevitable, could stop me from finding Edward, to stop us from finding each other.
I was now Mrs. Cullen; butterflies fluttered within me every time I thought of it. I was tied to Edward in a way no one else was, and that thought made my heart fill up to the brim to love. If I had known, back then, what love could feel like; if I had known for sure that it was real, I would have found a way to cross much earlier. Then again, my blindness of this journey had made the perfect outcome, one I wouldn't trade for anything. I wouldn't change anything on the path that led me here.
I had moved into his house (the one I had thought of as a shack in the beginning). It was more my home than this place ever was. I thankfully didn't have to sleep in the basement—Carlisle and Esme moved into Esme's house she'd had on her side. I never thought I'd be lucky enough to have the home I so dearly loved, to raise my family in. Jas and Em moved in with them; not surprisingly, Esme welcomed them with open arms. They all fell in love with each other quickly—even Jas and Em were suckers for Esme.
Though I told Edward he'd have to take the swords down and hide them when the baby came. He didn't see the point at first. Then Esme came by and explained all the safety hazards there were in the home, and she was so glad she'd came by; for if she hadn't, she said our baby would have decapitated, burned, stabbed, sliced, and broken itself by within the first week of its life.
Edward, in reaction to this news, has taken on the job of completely fixing up the house. The roof, repainting, taking down sharp objects—all that good stuff.
He really does work at the old hospital now; with the mixing of the races once more, hospitals would be a necessity more than it was before. I went up there a few times, and everyone was working like dogs each time, no matter what time of day.
They're juggling rebuilding the place, while training doctors, while getting equipment, while trying to handle a constant flow of patients. One thing that's been left unchanged is the knowledge that I couldn't do all that, that caring for the sick and injured was not my forte.
I'd never seen so many people so cheerful; this is the first time in my whole life, that everyone was happy.
Well…not quite everyone.
My mother wasn't happy; far from it. Ever since I was born, she had run from her pain of losing my father and sought power through controlling me. The Volturi had merely given her a reason to do it openly; and now that I'd broken free, and was no longer hurt by her, she had officially lost everything.
I didn't hate her— in fact I felt sorry for her. She was a pitiful creature, a childlike bully who hunted for solace in mentally abusing me.
She would always be my mother, and I would always love her – I couldn't change that; I finally understood her pain. Why she reacted such a way, and acted toward me; I understood it, but I didn't agree with it.
She despised that I left her; that I had gotten married and was going to have a family of my own. She had hated me with a passion, for now, she truly had no one.
Then, later on, I had a thought. Perhaps, I could ease her pain, and give a peace offering.
This morning, I had come to her front door (my old front door), with my father's journal clutched in my tight hands. She needed to understand, to know. I had handed it to her, and told her she just needed to read and that it was from Dad; that had stopped her from kicking me out like last time when I came to get my things.
She was still reading it now, as I ponder these things; while she read, I took the liberty of going upstairs and taking down the curtains.
Now, as I sat on my old windowsill, letting the autumn leaves fly into my old room, I drank in the scene.
This wasn't my home anymore. My home was with Edward. I didn't mean just the house, I mean wherever he was, was where I belonged. Instead of feeling a sting of pain, I thought I would, I felt a wave of jubilation. I was out of the real jail, the one that had held me hostage all these years.
The diamond on the ring finger on my left hand twinkled in the light of the setting sun; a small smile crawled across my face, as I watched it throw rainbows. I placed my hand over my now protruding stomach, feeling a tiny kick. A wave of warmth washed through me as I relished the feeling. Yes, I thought, I would have my own family.
I held both of my hands outside of the window, palms up; each hand containing the yellow lace curtains in them.
"Goodbye." I murmured as a whisper of wind picked them up and carried them away into the horizon. I watched my old self disappear into the setting sun with a half-hearted smile on my face.
The sound of the door creaking open was what brought me out of my trance; I turned around to see something so surreal, I almost didn't believe such a sight could be true.
My mother stood in the doorway, her eyes filled with sweet tears, with my father's journal in her hand; she was silent, she just stared at me with an expression so full of sorrow, so full of regret so full of love. I never thought that appearance was possible on her cold face. A face who had always been so stone-like, so resentful, was now the kindest, the sorriest face my eyes could lay on. Like that, all of my angst, antagonism, and resentment melted.
Moving from the windowsill, I ran to her, and embraced her in the hug she so desperately needed. She sobbed into my shoulder, like somehow; I was the mother now, caring for the child in her that never grew up. Providing her the love and affection she never gave, or received for that matter.
I had to let go eventually. No words were exchanged between us— no, it was deeper than that. An understanding. She sat down on my bed and sobbed to herself, burying her face in her hands, and I knew that was my cue to leave.
I carefully stepped through the hallway toward the stairs. I turned and saw that my mother's bedroom door was ajar; I smirked to myself.
Oh no, not this again. I laughed to myself. Remember how much trouble that got you in last time? I carefully closed the door; and left my childhood behind me.
Finally, everyone was happy.
Walking out of the house, down the stone path, I was too deep in thought to notice anything. Or to see that someone was standing there waiting for me at the small white gate.
I trotted straight into Edward, like the idiot I was, and almost fell over. He didn't so much as stumble against my weight, but that wasn't anything new; he steadied me with gentle hands, I sensed he was worried about the baby than me (which I was too).
My eyes went to his face— I hadn't expected anyone to be here waiting. I hadn't told anyone where I was going, I had just mentioned I was going out. I half anticipated him to be upset that I had been here. But, of course, he was the picture of cheer and serenity. The light from the setting sun made his face almost glow.
"What, how?" I stuttered. "How did you know I was here?" A half smile came into his eyes.
"I didn't know for sure, so I just took a good guess." He replied in a low, deliberate way; his eyebrows came down a bit as he stared at my face after a few seconds.
Cautiously he brought his thumb up to my cheek, and wiped it across my cheekbone. I had been mystified as to what he was doing, until I felt a rush of coldness on my cheek where he had wiped and a glistening wetness on his thumb.
I had been crying? How could something so fundamental slip my mind?
"Sorry." I wiped the back of my hand across my other cheek, banishing the senseless tears.
"Don't be." He muttered absently, looking at something over my head. Still looking over my head, he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me closer to him. Bewildered, I went along with it. He leaned down and kissed my hair affectionately; not that I objected, I was just curious as to what brought on these tender gestures.
I looked over my shoulder to see what Edward had been looking at. My mother stood in the window, staring at us with an unreadable expression. I couldn't tell if she was happy to see me with my husband, or if she was angry, or even jealous— or all three? I glanced back up at Edward, still not comprehending his actions completely.
"She needed to see." He answered my unspoken question.
There were so many answers he had given me with such a simple phrase. That she needed to see that I was loved, and that I didn't need her. That she needed to see that I wasn't like her. That she needed to see that I was in love. That she needed to see me happy. They all said the same thing, but meant something different.
She had needed to see, that I moved on, that I wasn't going to be here to baby her. That she would have to do that on her own.
"Hi Mrs. S!" He waved over my head to my mother. I gasped and brought his hand down.
Mother scowled embarrassed and let the curtains fall back.
"Edward!" I whispered. I was trying so hard to be angry, to be worried that she would punish me. But now I was on an equal playing field as her. I could only laugh.
"What? She doesn't like me anyway." He shrugged.
"Well that makes two of us." I laughed.
"I want you to see something." He said, suddenly excited again. He took my hand in his and led me away from judging eyes, toward where The Wall used to be.
After a few minutes of scouring the border, he brought me to a huge pile of ruins that hadn't been picked up by the team of rebuilders.
He led me up the pile, I was about to grill him about leading me up this death trap while I was in my condition, but we reached the top before I could. I turned to him to chew him out, but he just pointed outwardly.
I saw what he meant. The setting sun had turned the world into a land of shadows and light, making it seem more mysterious and wonderful. The sun was setting over the horizon of the old male side, making that side illuminated while the women's side fell dark.
The contrast between the two sides was astounding; the difference was as evident as night and day (nice pun).
Yet, the sides were sort of similar. Although the cosmetic part was difference, the landscape, the dirt, the bodies, were symmetrical on both sides. Like both sides were canvases made out of the same fabric, but the pictures were just different. The connection ran deeper than appearances.
Edward leaned down to whisper in my ear, "We belong together." My smile grew to the biggest smile I'd ever had.
The way he said it, made it in a way that it wasn't just meant for us.
It meant that everyone belonged together; that meant that both sides were supposed to fit together like two pieces, not just us exclusively.
It occurred to me then; my father's inscription on my necklace had meant so much more than I had seen.
Make sure to put the pieces together…
This was what my father had meant. To put the races back together like puzzle pieces.
The realization lifted me so high up I thought my soul would fly; I hugged Edward's arm with so much strength, I heard him shift uncomfortably. But he hugged me back, not knowing the cause for the hug.
The future, for once, was bright; I had the man I loved on my arm, a child on the way, and I was surrounded by the people I loved most. And no one would be able to separate us; not even something as literal as a wall.
The sun was about to disappear completely as night crawled up the sky to take its turn; Edward took my hand and started to lead me back down the wreckage, and to our home. Our home.
However, I didn't step down from the small mountain before a small sparkle glistened in the last rays of setting sunlight. A small, diamond shaped sparkle that was embedded in the middle of a stone that was strangely the shape of a heart with a chain around it, lay nestled between the rubble.
Either the light casted weird shadows to trick me, or the inscription on the back of my necklace was different than before. It may have been the hormones, but I suddenly felt cold, and I felt a presence; a familiar presence.
I read the new inscription in the necklace.
For what? I wondered to myself. I felt the shivers of an invisible presence by my ear.
"For setting me free."
With that, my fathers' spirit disappeared in the horizon, and all traces that the necklace had held any message, fell away; leaving nothing but the smooth stone on the back, new warmth in my heart, and a clean slate for the bright and sunny tomorrow that was my life.
*Tears* thank you all for finishing this story! This has truly been a gift, to get you guys' feedback; I love this story and you guys, you're some of the best readers I've ever had! Now, for the last time, please review telling me everything you've ever felt/thought about this story… I won't be able to feel the joy of you guys' review for a long time :'(
Love you guys, and keep reading!