It's not my first shot at writing fanfiction but it's my first try with Twilight. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: The recognizable characters and situations belong to Stephanie Meyer, in all her brilliance! The little changes and extra added ideas are all my own.
I sit, unmoving, in the straight nondescript wooden chair that has occupied a space in my room in every house I have ever called home.It was old and far from comfortable, even back when I could call it new. At the time it had been because my body had yet to grow to its full potential and therefore I didn't exactly fit the chair.
Little did I know then that I would never have the chance to truly reach my potential. If I had managed to reach my 21st birthday perhaps I might stand as tall as my brother, though I doubt I would have ever matched Emmett in overall size. There is nothing in my genetic make up to suggest that I could produce such an abundance of muscle with my generically lean frame.
I can still recall that when I'd finally gone through the growth spurt that my father had always promised was due to take place at any moment, during those times when I was feeling sullen about my runt-like status as a young boy, I had managed to grow into the chair and then some. Afterwards I found myself having to sit down lower than the normal bend of my knees and often I had to hunch over whatever work I was scribbling away at on my desk.
As I sit remembering such things from my past I morn the fact that, though my height had increased and my body had thankfully been given time enough to become proportional, filling out where it was necessary, so that I would not seem awkward or clumsy as many teenagers often become, I never truly had the chance to develop into the man I should be.
Edward let a low rumbling growl of aggravation build at the back of his throat. The words flowed freely without effort yet he knew they would not help him accomplish what he hoped his writing would provide tonight. Perhaps he must purge his anger first before finding some sense of balance.
Taking a deep breath that he did not need, he attempted to continue, only this time hopefully in the right direction.
Tonight however, my discomfort comes not from this chair but from another source. The craftsmanship of my furniture no longer causes me any concern. I can stand for days on end and never tire. I can run for miles and never feel fatigue. I can rip the body of a poor unsuspecting animal in two and hardly notice it's futile attempt to resist me. That said I could easily sit in my old chair, one of the only reminders I have allowed myself to hold on to from my former life, for the remainder of my existence and never feel the discomfort such a position should provoke, for I am a vampire. A simple condition that has taken away my ability to feel any physical discomfort that a human should experience and yet one that has caused more pain, confusion and turmoil to come into my world than I could have ever fathomed possible.
This chair is but a tangible reminder of what I once was, what I will always long to be again and what I know shall never come to pass. I was a boy then, full of hope and ambition. I had plans for the future, dreams of greatness and glory. All things that I still wish I had managed to accomplish but now know that I never will, even should I live a hundred lifetimes, which is entirely possible considering my current state of being.
Edward placed the heavy writing implement he'd been using down on his desktop and slowly brought his right hand up to his face, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. It was a gesture he'd picked up from his father while still alive and one of the few human mannerisms that still came to him naturally without reason or any premeditated thought behind the movement. There was no eyestrain, no headache and certainly no drowsiness that made this position necessary. There was no condition that would be improved by it but he found himself doing this often and always wondered why. Why would what little shred of humanity he still possessed manifest itself in this way?
Grasping the pen once more he began to press on, confessing his secrets.
Yes, I am depressed. I do not need my multiple degrees in medicine to know this. I do not need the countless volumes, analyzing the human psyche, which litter much of my bookshelf to confirm it either. I have accepted it and understand it and will undoubtedly survive it, because I truly have no other choice. I have felt this unrelenting mental anguish for years and though a human would have succumbed to it by now with some sort of physical manifestation, I will never know that pleasure. I am not human after all. I am an abomination. I am only a creature and one that is a poor representation of the boy that I once was and the man I had longed to become.
He closed his eyes briefly then looked down at what he'd written and rubbed at the nonexistent crease that should have been between his eyebrows, knowing that his face was pulling into a frown, a very appropriate expression considering his mood.
It seemed wrong that one should have to consciously work to produce a face that appeared indifferent but he knew that feeling all too well. He felt as if he would frown continually if he didn't make an effort to control his facial expressions on a regular basis, something he was obligated to do, not only for his own well being but for that of his family's also.
The Cullen's were constantly under intense scrutiny and the subject of local gossip, even under the best circumstances in any place they had chosen to live at any time in the past. Having to account for the youngest son's perpetual state of depression and angst was not going to help their situation and he knew it. So he hid not only his true nature, as they were all forced to do, but his outward emotions as well.
Only here, at his desk with his journals spread out before him, with his version of therapy underway, did he ever let his guard down and allow his body to do whatever it felt like, within reason of course. Frowning was just a mild side affect of this constant state of melancholy he'd been in for as long as he could remember.
He did not wish to dwell on this subject any further since he had far more pressing issues to work through tonight, though he knew it might prove to be an important part of the process. His incessant brooding was a topic he'd gone over and over and over again, with no solution or reprieve on the horizon so he may as well move past it for now and on to the more immediate problems at hand, the look upon his face was the very least of his worries at the moment. He needed to feed once more before starting what would likely turn into a very long day, so his anger was one emotion that could be sorted out then.
He picked up the old fashioned fountain pen from where he'd let it rest once more and examined the bit of ink still clinging to the tip. He let a humorless sound escape his lips as he pondered his own thoughts. Old fashioned. It was a term that described everything about him and what he was use to, comfortable with. The pen may be old fashioned by today's standards but it was practical nonetheless.
He knew that there had been many improvements to ink pens in the 90 years since he'd begun practicing this nightly ritual, but he still felt most comfortable with what he had known in his previous life and so his durable fountain pen, like the old wooden chair, survived and had remained in his possession through the years, as both a reminder of his past and a tool to help him move on with his future.
He wanted another moment to continue thinking, so Edward set the pen back down on the desk's surface and turned to look at the impressive stack of leather bound journals resting nearby. Years of his existence had been transcribed onto the pages contained within them. Musings about life and death, the state of his mind and body during different discoveries regarding his vampirism and all that it entailed were recorded there. The darkest moments and the few random bright spots that appeared in his world had been cataloged and obsessively reviewed over the years by the lone scribe of these journals. It was a way of remembering but also more importantly a way to insure that he never let his instincts get the better of him. He would always have proof of what he'd done, where he'd been and how he'd handled each situation he was made to face. The evidence was written in his own hand, irrefutable in that he could only deny these truths by lying to himself, something he adamantly refused to do.
He glanced back at the words he'd just been writing.
for I am a vampire….
He had no idea how many times he'd included that statement verbatim in the multiple volumes that held his personal history but he knew that it was a lot. Because he was a vampire he could easily take a few brief moments and count up the total but what would it matter. It was a true statement, one he would never deny and one he could never change. It was the very source of his discontent.
He let his eyes stray from the troubled words before him and focused again on the collection of books nearby. He didn't have to think about which one he wished to look at or use any powers of recollection to know exactly what he would find when his hand grasped the aged book resting third from the top in the nearest stack.
This was the one journal he'd owned and kept from when he was still human. He had written in it 2 or 3 times a week as his obligations with school and various social engagements his mother had insisted upon would allow. It was yet one more thing that helped him to hold on to whatever level of humanity he still possessed. The boy he had been was clearly outlined by the random passages entered on the pages of the old worn book, which had been a gift from his grandmother several years before he'd actually seen any need to make use of it.
He opened the book to the center and let the fragile paper skim past his thumb while his sharp eyes followed the movement of the rapidly turning pages, able to catch words and phrases he'd written, the imperfections to the shape of his letters and smudges of ink, created by his human mind's predilection for taking too long to pull the right words to the surface, often causing his hand to hover uncertainly over the paper while he composed his thoughts.
He would forever lament his lack of forethought back then, that now left him with only a brief glimpse into the past that he often longed to remember with so much more detail. If only he could have known how important it would be for him to one day be able to recall what he had been like for sure. If he could remember how it was to feel human, to truly be human, he might know what to do with this present matter.
Trying to remember himself as that boy who had painstakingly poured over the words he now read began to sharpen his depression rather than improve it. He skimmed over passages he'd written in regard to his classmates at school, friends he could barely form a picture of in his mind after all these years and pondered his next word, knowing that it wasn't safe to dwell within his present emotion for much longer.
Edward picked up his pen again, rolling it gently between his fingers, taking comfort in it familiarity, while letting the old tattered journal rest under the weight of his left hand. He could smell the ink; a scent his body both despised and craved, much the same way blood usually affected him. The sharp point of his pen began to scratch along the deceptively smooth surface of the paper, seemingly too smooth to anyone else's eyes for it to be able to create any sound at all, as he wove his internal struggle into words that he hoped would help him ferret out the best answer to his dilemma.
Would the years passing by, just like so many that had already, allow my most recent mental images to fade away, much like those that I now attempted to revisit? Was there any hope that the account of these challenges I now face could fill the pages of my current journal and sit safely tucked away as a mere collection of words, long forgotten after time works its magic and cleanses the terrible thoughts from my memory?
I know better than to believe that these unnaturally keen senses could be so easily fooled into forgetting. The thoughts and images are forever burned into my mind and will remain there forever, haunting the remainder of my time on this earth. What is even worse is that deep down I know that I wouldn't want it any other way. I honestly long for these memories to stay with me. With this revelation I begin to understand just how hopeless any attempt to resist fate might be. I am already too far-gone.
He paused briefly and felt for a fleeting moment like the boy that he had been so long ago. He did not need the time to think. His brain processed information at an alarming rate and his hands obeyed immediately at an equally alarming speed. He paused however, to savor the moment. He had discovered his solution and just like that he had made up his mind. What he would divulge next would forever change his future for the very best or the very worst, he know not which, but something huge was about to alter however many remaining days he had left.
He wrote out the last few lines at a pace only his vampire abilities could manage, a pace he never allowed himself use while writing. He was fearful though that time might make his resolve falter and so he made an exception.
"We're almost home Edward."
Edward closed his eyes and let the pen finally rest in the crease of his journal after completing the task.
"Congratulations. You're doing the right thing, you know."
It was Alice.
He fought the urge for only a brief moment but relented and let his body respond to the words he so desperately needed to hear. His mouth, that had been drawn and tense, started to loosen and he felt the tug of a smile begin to form.
They were wonderful to him, his family. They may not always understand him or necessarily agree with him, but tonight they had allowed him the freedom he needed to really think. They knew that it was a much harder task for him to handle than the average being. Having the random thoughts of everyone in close proximity bouncing around in your head makes it difficult to not confuse someone else's ideas with your own. The pressure he was under to confront his concerns tonight would certainly not be improved by any additional complications. So his family lovingly stepped out for the night, being sure to travel far enough away so that Edward would be left alone with his uninterrupted worries.
By warning him that they were almost home Edward knew that he was finished for now. He'd made his decision and it would soon be time to put this plan into affect. He glanced out the large windows that made up the far wall of his room and noted the first hint of sunrise trying to push through the eastern cloudbank. He had but a few short hours before he would suddenly be in a position to put his declarations into practice, which forced an overwhelming emotion to surface. Something he recognized but had literally not experienced in decades.
Edward Cullen was nervous.
He glanced one last time at his writings, letting his eyes quickly reread his unspoken promise, and instantly felt stronger for having written the words. He gently set the pen aside and closed the book, repeating his new mantra once more in his mind.
What I am can never be changed, what I was I can never truly be again. This I know and though I fully accept the hardships and challenges that my situation demands, I will overcome what I am. I vow to finally be that man that I was never allowed to become. I will strive to hold onto whatever part of my human nature I still have within me and relearn what my condition has forced me to ignore and neglect.
I am a vampire but I am also a man. I will not give up until I have explored my options and tested the boundaries of what I could possibly be. I have done without for so long. I will not deny what I am but I will not remain a slave to what it has forced me to accept.
I will never forgive myself should this plan go awry, however I have reconciled that I am weak and selfish to a fault. I will proceed carefully but I will proceed. I will return to school and I will speak to Bella Swan. I will endeavor to learn what it is that makes me crave her so and work to quiet the unrelenting questions that plague my cold dead heart.