A/N: Ok, hello, yes- I am alive. I just realised how long it has been since I've updated, and I was a little shocked. Time has simply gotten the best of me lately, and for that I am sorry. As well as that, I had some difficulty with this chapter. It just wasn't working out as I planned, and things had to be altered and changed. I kept second guessing myself and, well, as a result, this chapter took a lot longer than expected.
So, if you have been patient enough waiting for me, I would like to say thank you. I would also like to say thank you to all of those who reviewed. This fic finally broke the 500 review mark. Small time for some other fic writers, but quite ego boosting for myself. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!
I am going to stop rambling now, and let you get on with this chapter, as I have made you wait long enough for it.
Music: Buttons- Josh Pyke, Eet- Regina Spektor, Strange Teacher- Jupiter One
Sue circled slowly in the middle of her living room. It appeared spotless and she was not happy. Her brow furrowed as she scrunched the cloth in her hands. She had planned to clean today. She had thought it would be the perfect way to keep her occupied...
But the kitchen was clean and the bathroom practically sparkling. She had been banking on the living room- it was a magnet for dust. But as soon as she stepped in she remembered how she had spent the day before...
And the day before that, and the day before that...
Sue knew for a fact that there was only one room left in the house that needed cleaning and there was not a chance that she was stepping in there. If she cleaned that, then...
Her reverie was broken by a sharp knock on the front door. Her heart leapt at the thought of a distraction and she hurried to answer it. However, the sight of the person on her doorstop made her stomach churn.
"You are not allowed on this land," she said flatly, making to shut the door. It was fruitless. He moved his hand, holding it open.
"Sam gave me permission," Edward said, his face showing nothing but sympathy for Sue, and it made her feel sick. "When I explained what I wanted to do, he was more than encouraging."
"Fine," Sue sighed. "But you are not welcome in this house. I have nothing to say to you. Go away, please."
"Sue," Edward paused. "I know I am the last person you want to see at the moment, but this is important. Please, give me ten minutes and then I will be gone. I promise." He noticed her hesitating. "I wouldn't be here, unless it was important- surely, you know that."
After a moment, and a few deliberate and vicious thoughts sent in his direction, Sue stepped aside and gestured for him to step inside.
"Thank you," Edward said, making his way into the living room. "How are you?"
Sue raised an eyebrow at him. "You are not here to make small talk. Please, just get whatever you want off your chest and then go."
"Ok." Edward slipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out a white envelope. "This is for you."
Sue reached out, taking it. "Who is it from?" she asked, preparing to rip it open.
"Leah," he replied.
Sue froze. "Is this your idea of a sick joke?"
Edward shook his head. "It's from Leah. Jacob gave it to me before they were going to leave."
"Excuse me?" Sue could not believe that she was hearing this.
"Leah wrote it, and asked that I pass it on to you after they were long gone. I assumed that it was some kind of goodbye, explanation...I don't know. But she wrote it for you." He paused. "After...I was waiting for the right time to pass it on, but I soon realised that there was going to be no right time. It was going to be hard whenever I passed it over. I don't know..." he shrugged, "I thought that it might help, a little, knowing what she was feeling before..."
Sue stared at him. She inhaled deeply before speaking. "How do you live with yourself?" she asked, her voice low and dangerous.
Edwards blinked, knowing this was coming. "I don't understand," he said, even though he did. Sue's thoughts were coming through loud and clear. However, he knew it would be best for all, if Sue was able to vocalise what she was feeling.
"It's your fault," she hissed. "If you hadn't helped them, they wouldn't have been able to leave. They didn't have the means to do that. It would have taken them forever to save and organise. But no, you had to step in and play the knight in shining armour. You had to offer them the world and because of that my daughter is dead!"
"No!" she held up a hand. "She was out that day because she was leaving that night. Saying goodbye to the place where she grew up. The place where she would still be if you hadn't interfered."
"They came to me, Sue, asking for help," Edward said quietly.
"And you said yes."
"Sue," Edward knew better than to step closer to her. "They were going to leave no matter what. And it was going to happen soon. They felt as if they had no other choice." He saw Sue's eyes flash at this point and hurried to continue. "I was trying to give them the best start possible. I didn't want for them to have to struggle and worry."
"And look how that turned out."
"It was always their intention to return, Sue," Edward said. "I heard that in Jake's head. They were feeling trapped and controlled, and they just wanted time to themselves to figure out what they were. Leaving the country was the decision they made. I had absolutely no idea of how all of this was going to turn out...If it had played out as Jake and Leah planned, then tell me- would you rather them out there with no money, struggling or would you have wanted them to be secure...and happy."
"That's a moot point, Edward," Sue said bitterly. "Because it didn't happen that way and now my baby is gone."
Edward nodded slowly. "I am sorry for your loss." He turned to walk out. "That letter...I don't know what is in it, but maybe it can be something you share with Jacob. When you, and him, feel ready to."
Sue did not reply and Edward continued to walk out of the house. After closing the door, he paused slightly, hearing a change in Sue's thoughts.
'No matter how much you put the blame on others, it is not going to change the fact that it was your fault.'
With a sigh, Edward broke into a run. The sooner everyone stopped blaming themselves and others, the sooner they would be able to move on. Why could none of them see that Leah's death was just a tragic accident?
Jacob rolled over sleepily, buried his head in the pillow next to him and inhaled deeply. This had been his morning ritual for some time now, and was one source of comfort he indulged himself in.
But, as he inhaled for the second time, he found himself sitting up suddenly, grasping the pillow in his hands. He brought it to his face once more, trying again.
It was gone.
Her scent was gone.
Rationally, he knew that it was not going to last forever, but that did not make it anymore easier to accept. He inhaled again, telling himself that he could simply imagine the scent was there. Tricking himself should be easy, right.
But, at that point, he could not remember.
Jacob felt his throat tighten and panic started to cloud his mind. What did Leah smell like? Why couldn't he remember? He searched frantically through the recesses of his memories. He could remember what her laugh sounded like, and her smell. He knew what he hair felt like between his fingers. But her scent...it was eluding him.
He felt the urge to throw himself back onto the bed and climb under the covers for the rest of the day, but something stopped him.
'You promised Sam that you would help him with some landscaping.'
Jacob shook his head. Sam could always get someone else to help. He didn't need him.
'So what? Are you just going to hide in your bed every time you forget something? You do realise that this is not going to be the only time. She is dead- gone. There will be no new memories. It will be inevitable that you forget some things.'
Letting out a growl, Jacob jumped off the bed. He couldn't deal with thoughts like that today. Going to Sam's would be a good thing. It would keep him distracted; give him something else to focus on.
'That's not going to change the fact that you are going to have to start moving on one of these days.'
Sam worked methodically and silently, all the while watching his companion out of the corner of his eye. He could not quite put his finger on it, but when Jacob arrived that morning there was something...different about him. It had been playing on Sam's mind all day.
It was not major, but it was if Jacob was more alert...aware...alive even. It didn't appear as if he were just functioning to get through each day.
Stopping to wipe his forehead, Sam noticed Emily stepping out the back door. With a smile, he made his way over.
"Hey," he said, kissing her, and running a hand over her growing bump. "You and Kim have a nice lunch?"
Emily nodded, her eyes on Jacob. "I've been watching you guys from inside- there is something up with him."
"I know," Sam said. "I've been trying to figure it out, but..."
"What's going on? Has he said anything? Has anything happened?" Emily asked, her voice concerned.
"He hasn't said a word, other than asking what needed to be done."
"Should we be worried, or do you think he is ok?"
"To be completely honest..." Sam trailed off, before a wide smile formed on his face. "I think he is fine. Whatever is going on, well, I think that it might be a good thing."
Emily's expression broke into a smile that matched his, and she ruffled his hair. "Well then, I had better let you get back to work, then."
Sue was sitting on the soft arm chair in the corner of her living room. It had been Harry's favourite. In her hands was the white envelope. She had not been able to bring herself to open it. The darkening sky outside indicated to her that hours had passed since Edward had left, but to her, it felt like nothing.
'Just do it. You need to see what she had to say.'
With a deep breath, Sue carefully opened the envelope, not wanting to tear to open. She closed her eyes briefly, before looking down to the sheet of paper in her lap.
Ok, so I realise that by this point you are either hysterically worried or fuming angry, so before I go any further, I want to apologise for not telling you that I was leaving- that we were leaving. That being said, I am not sorry that we left. This was something that we had to do and you know exactly why.
Some part of me understands why you did what you did, why you tried so hard to keep Jacob and I apart. The council and its traditions were such a big part of Dad's life. So much of it made him the person that he was. You were just doing what you thought he would want, and I do understand that.
However, just because I understand, does not mean that I can agree with you and that is why I am now gone.
I love Jacob, mum. More than I could ever imagine. He makes me feel whole again. Ugh, I read back those words and cringe. You know me- I am so not that lovey dovey, rainbows and cupcakes kind of person. I am more of the raging bitch kind...I think that the rest of the reservation can attest to that.
But did you notice? Did you see that I haven't been so much of a bitch lately? (Except when you and Billy implemented that whole separation thing.) I have been happy and I have been enjoying my life. I haven't been able to so that since Sam- can you believe I was able to think about him and write his name without feeling like committing murder?
The reason for that is Jacob, mum. He gets me, calls me out on his bullshit and loves me. We were able to help each other, mum. We got each other to move on from past hurts, and we fell in love in the meantime.
Now, on paper, that doesn't sound like the most stable base for a relationship. I get that. But, the thing is, we just want to have the opportunity to see. We want to know that we gave our relationship every shot it deserves. That way, if things don't work out we can be comforted in the thought that we did everything we could. We didn't ignore what we felt on the whole thought of 'what if?'
(I almost did, mum- walk away. I look back now and know that I would have never been able to forgive myself if I did that.)
The problem now is that you and Billy, along with others, are not going to give us that chance. How are we supposed to go on with our lives with the knowledge that we may have been the best things to ever happen to one another? How could we live with ourselves knowing that we allowed others to dictate the happenings of our lives?
We couldn't, mum. We owed it to ourselves and that is how we came to decision to leave. Being away from everything will give us a chance to be together and see how the future pans out. We don't plan on this being forever; we will be back one day. But only when we are ready. We are calling the shots now, mum. You need to understand that. I have had too many decisions taken out of my own hands. I am taking control now. I will decide how my future will play out. I will decide how I am going to live. I will decide who I am going to be with.
I am strong enough to do that, mum. And it is because of you that I can be strong. You showed me how to survive and go on, no matter what life throws at you. You showed me that it is ok to break down and that it is ok to go on. I may not have shown it enough recently, but I love you. I look up to you in more ways than I can count. You have done an amazing job with Seth and I. Me leaving is not going to be a happy thing, but be proud that you have raised a daughter strong enough to take a risk. Strong enough to take control of her life and hold on.
I am sorry that I could not say this to you in person, but hopefully you understand now. Goodbye mum. I am going to miss you so much. But this is something that I have to do on my own. I hope that you can appreciate that.
Your daughter is going to see the world, happy and in love. Please remember that.
All my love,
When Sue had finished reading, she brought the paper up, clutching it to her chest. It was all she could do, as the strong facade she had been fighting to keep since the day her daughter died, finally cracked and shattered.
The front door was wide open, but Sam knocked anyway. He wasn't about to enter somebody's house without an invitation...his mother would kill him.
"Is that you Sam?" Billy's voice carried through the house.
"I'm in the lounge room. Come on in."
Wiping his feet, Sam made his way into the house. As he entered the living room, Billy muted the football match that was playing of the TV and greeted his guest with a small smile. "Thanks for coming so quickly."
Sam shrugged. "Well, you sounded kinda worried on the phone. I thought it would be best to come over straight away."
Sam sat himself down on the couch. "Emily is currently keeping him occupied with her lemon meringue pie."
"Right," Billy's gaze fell to his hands in his lap. "Look Sam, I hate to put you in this position, but I have to know how he is doing. He still hasn't spoken to me. All he does is sleep, get up, eat and then leave. I heard on the grapevine that he is spending most of his days at you place."
"That's right," Sam said, nodding slowly. "So Jacob is what you wanted to speak about?"
"I'm worried, Sam. I am really worried," Billy admitted. "I am not trying to downplay what he went through, but I was expecting to see some change in him by now. But he is not showing anything, other than the occasionally anger thrown in my direction. He shows no emotion, he shows no hurt...it is like he is blank." Billy paused. "I don't see him getting past Leah's death at this point. I really don't." He looked up at Sam. "What do you think? He spends more time with you. I am not asking you to betray his trust, or to fill me in on everything that he is doing. I just need to know what you see. I need to know if you have the same concerns as me. I need to know what I can do."
"Billy, if you had asked me those questions last week, I would have agreed with you in an instant. I was seeing the same things as you."
Hope lit up in Billy's expression. "But not anymore?"
"I am not saying that anything major has changed, but I know that he will move on," Sam replied. "I am not sure why, but I just feel that he is going to be ok."
Billy exhaled loudly, slumping back into his chair. "Thank you, Sam. That was all I needed to hear."
Sam hesitated before answering. "Other than Jacob saying it," he said quietly. Billy flinched slightly, before giving a short nod. "Billy, it will happen. Jake loves you- you're his dad. He wouldn't have been able to react so drastically, unless he cared deeply for you. You know that right?"
Billy shrugged. "I know and understand why he hates. I can't blame him for that."
"Blame- that is where all problems are stemming from at this point," Sam said. "As soon as all parties involved stop blaming one another and realise that Leah's death was no one's fault- except for the vamps that attacked her- then maybe you can all start moving on."
"You really think that?" Billy asked.
"I know that."
As Sam stood up and left, Billy closed his eyes, clinging to his words. He could only hope that they would be realised.