Gazing at his face one last time, I noticed my tears had fallen there. It was like seeing an angel cry. I gave a weak laugh as I wiped them away. Lying down beside him, I wrapped his arm around my waist. With my head on his chest and my arm across it, I felt I was truly home for the first time.
I closed my eyes, waiting for the outside world to end.
Mine already had.
Lying in my meadow, the cool breeze that sang to me, almost lulled me to sleep. I felt as though I was floating weightlessly through the clouds. A melody, just beyond the tree line, wafted through the trees and into the meadow. It was intoxicating and tantalizing. The hum from the melody was so soothing that I felt it wrap itself around me.
Then a figure emerged from the forest and I couldn't believe my eyes…
It was Edward.
Within seconds, Edward was by my side before I had a chance to blink.
I laid there motionless, not knowing what to do. He gently pressed his hand behind my shoulder to help me sit up. To my surprise, my body responded to his touch like it was on fire. I looked down shyly, playing with a stray piece of thread coming from the blanket we were sitting on. I could feel his breath on the top of my hair as he inched closer to me. He tilted my head up so I could look into his eyes. He had one brow arched like he was curious to see what my reaction was going to be. His eyes were bright green with a splash of hazel in the center. My eyes drifted down to his ruby red lips. I licked my lips nervously in response to his crooked smile. I sat there and stared, too dumbfounded to say anything. He slowly leaned in as though he was going to kiss me. My eyes remained opened, lost in his. I held my breath as though I'd waited all my life for that moment…
Just as his lips were about to touch mine, he slowly faded away along with the melody. I reached out to touch him, but he was already gone.
My body jerked as my eyes popped open from my dream. I blushed when I noticed my lips were puckered against something very cold, ready for his kiss that would never be.
My arm and leg were draped over something firm that was definitely not a pillow. I slowly sat up, trembling with fear. Something slid off my waist with a great thud as I got on my knees. I looked behind me to see it was an arm. I quickly turned and realized that Edward's body was lying in front of me. I lowered my head in defeat as I remembered where I was, and why he wasn't moving. Tears sprung from my eyes as I drew my legs up to my chest; my chin rested on my knees. I couldn't help but stared at Edward's face with tenderness. My chest felt heavy and weighted like something heavy was pressing down on it. Each breath was slow and purposeless. Numbness took a hold of my body and didn't let go.
My heart felt as if it had been stabbed with a knife and left to bleed. The man who could have possibly been a part of my life lay dead before my eyes. Did he feel the same connection that I felt before he died? Surely it wasn't all in my head. The way he gazed into my eyes, and the way he held my cheek for just a moment had to have meant something. The physical need for his touch that my body craved and the ache in my chest had to be real.
Why am I mourning for someone I barely had a conversation with? Why am I drawn to him like moth to a flame, even though he's gone?
Since I floated in and out of consciousness during this whole ordeal, I wasn't sure how many times he'd saved me from death. It had to be fate, although fate was definitely merciless. My emotions were spiraling out of control. Anger swept over me as I pounded my fist into the debris on the ground like a toddler throwing a fit in a store. I didn't know what else to do but to cover my face with both of my hands and scream into them, unable to deal with so many different emotions. Once my sobs subsided, depression came creeping back. My spirit was crushed and my body felt as though it was being pulled low to the ground. My heart could've stopped beating for all I cared. Nothing mattered now that he was gone.
I laid on my back, staring at nothing. I didn't move for what seemed like hours. Bits of shattered glass and debris dug into my backside, but I didn't care. Even though he was dead, I couldn't stop my fingers from brushing against his cold hand. I couldn't comprehend why I still had the desire to touch him, but I did.
With a heavy sigh, I sat up and brushed the dirt from his face.
"What's done is done. I can't change anything. This might sound crazy or maybe a little insane, but I love you, Edward. Always..."
As Bella began to stir, I closed my eyes and stilled my body to appear dead. I quickly loosened my grip of her hip, even though I never wanted to let go. My time with her was over too soon.
Her eyelashes fluttered against my bare chest as she opened her eyes. She quickly stiffened and sat up. Her heart was racing ninety miles an hour.
First she whimpered, then it built up to something more. After she released the most tormented scream and began to pound her fist on the ground. My heart sank to my stomach. It was so excruciatingly painful to hear her wail that I felt it in my bones. The worse part was that there was nothing I could do about it, but lay there and listen to her agony. Before long, her cries subsided and she stilled, not saying a word. Panic engulfed me as I waited for any sign of what she was going to do next.
After a while, she let out a big sigh as though she had given up. What she did next blew me away.
Not only did she kiss me before she fell asleep earlier, but she said those three little words that thought I would never hear.
"…I love you, Edward. Always…"
I couldn't believe my ears! Was I the one who was now hallucinating? Did she really say that she loved me? I never thought in a million years that that someone, other than my family, would say such a thing! A spark of excitement lit a fire within me. Oh, but the fire felt so good!
"Bella…," I whimpered, reaching out to touch her thigh.
"Fuck!" She shrieked as she jumped up and stumbled backward over the rubble until she hit the wall, almost knocking the breath out of her. She slid down to the floor.
"I don't understand….you…were…dead," she stuttered, gripping her hair in frustration.
"Not exactly," I admitted. A feeling of shame spread through my body.
"Yes, you were! You had no heartbeat and you weren't breathing! I'm not fucking crazy! You can't just magically be alive after not breathing for so long. This doesn't make sense!" Bella spat as she waved her hand wildly at me.
"If you are really alive, then get up! Show me because I'm about to lose it!" she spat.
Praying that I could stand for her, I attempted to sit up only making it half way before collapsing on my back. Pain shot down my spine as my body made contact with the floor. I was too weak to do anything.
Suddenly, she got a strange look on her face; her eyes appeared glassy.
"I must be hallucinating, because this shit can't be real. Yeah, that's it," she whispered.
She crawled to my side, smiling down at me as she held my hand and held my cheek with the other.
"Oh, but what a wonderful hallucination this is. If insanity makes this real, so be it. I'll take insanity over reality if it means I get to be with you," she said, bringing my hand to her lips and kissing it.
"Bella, I'm really here with you. You aren't hallucinating or dreaming. I'm alive," I croaked.
Wanting to reach out and hold her close, I gathered enough strength to squeeze her hand. She blinked a couple of times like she was waking up and processing what I was saying.
"But…" Her shaky, weaken voice finally seemed to falter.
"I know this is all confusing, but I don't have a lot of time and…,"
My chest tightened and I sighed. I couldn't lie to her anymore. I mustered up the energy and courage to tell her the truth.
I was so desperate for her to know the truth that the words came pouring out of my mouth without censorship. I told her about what little I remembered from my human life, how Esme changed me, how my family came to be, and how I had been lost all my life until she came along.
With each passing minute that went by, her facial expressions went from a look of confusion to a blank stare. She was frozen like a statue. For a split second, I wondered if she was still breathing.
Before I had a chance to declare my love for her, she turned ghostly white and lurched forward on her knees to throw up, but she dry heaved instead. Her heart pounded wildly as she gasped for air. In between breaths, she peeked at me through her strands of hair that were hanging down in front of her face. What I saw broke my heart.
Her eyes had a look of horror and disgust.
I wanted to die right then and there.