I do not own any of these characters and such-SM does: kuddos to the woman! Special thanks to my kickass beta: xparawhorextwerdx (who puts up with me) and to Admittedly Obsessed for the super helpful tips which helped launch this.
The Parting of Ways
Bella was tossing and turning in her dark bedroom. Images of bloodstained sheets and bloodthirsty vampires plaguing her mind. She was running as fast as she could, but going nowhere. Helplessly, she fell to her knees, feeling her demise approaching her. A cool hand softly squeezed her shoulder and she whipped her head around. Her eyes grew wide, not believing what she saw.
"Edward?" She whispered softly.
He didn't speak, but of course he didn't, it was a dream. He offered her his hand quickly, and threw her over his shoulder onto his back. This was the worst part of her dream; it was worse than the bloodthirsty vampires who had been chasing after her. Seeing him, feeling him... Wait. Feeling him? She thought for a moment. She always saw his hand, and she took it, but it never felt this cold, this real. She sighed, enjoying the feeling snuggling closer to his back brought. His smell was always so intoxicating, but she never got dizzy in a dream.
"Might as well enjoy it," she smiled.
He then abruptly stopped, making her slam against his body, hard. They were in front of her house now. Slowly, painfully slowly, he took her off his back and turned her around to face him.
She could see the same look in his eyes that he had held several months ago when he left her. Nothing, they held no love, no emotion, what so ever.
"Promise me that you'll be safe," he whispered, and then took off at inhuman speed.
Bella's heart started beating wildly against her chest.
"Please, come back. You can't leave me like this. Not again...I love you," She whispered. She knew he was long gone, and that not even his vampire hearing could hear her. "Fine, go. But I'll never forgive you!" Her breathing became heavy. She was angry.
"Edward!" She woke up with a start, gasping for air.
"Fuck," Bella whispered softly. What the hell was that all about? Even she was startled by what she had just dreamt. Her dreams were never that vivid. Nor did she ever get mad at Edward, but the fact that he would leave her again was appalling.
She could smell him; his sweet scent was lingering beside her.
"Mmm," she said, inhaling his scent, recollecting warm memories of happier days. But then the painful, slowly healing hole in the middle of her chest started unstitching.
"Holy shit!" She jumped, hitting the bed frame. "Ouch, fuck damnit!" She exclaimed, rubbing her sore head.
"I didn't mean to startle you," Edward said, from the corner of the room.
"Well, you did a pretty good job," she said, still rubbing her head. "Wait...wait," she laughed. "I'm totally still dreaming. Bizarre, they're never this real or this weird. I mean the one I just had was totally different, but this is on a whole new level."
Her eyes grew wide. I've officially snapped, maybe I should have seen a shrink like dad said.
"Bella please, please say something love," Edward pleaded. Since he couldn't read her mind, he was growing impatient with her silence.
"I'm thinking that I've snapped. I've totally lost it...literally. I no longer know the difference between reality and well, non-reality. My dad, well Charlie, said I should see a shrink. He was right, because this is so wrong," Bella shook her head in disbelief.
"You think me being here is a dream?" Edward asked, his tone surprised.
"No, I don't think, I know," Bella was sure.
"Why do you think that?"
"You would never come back. I mean, why would you?"
"You don't remember what happened?"
"Should I? I try to block painful memories as much as I can. Maybe I already have," She pondered the idea of how fast she did.
She saw the painful look in Edward's eyes. "What should I remember?"
"Where we've been for the last few days," he said taking a breath he didn't need. "In Volterra."
"Oh....OH! That actually happened?"
Images of crimson red eyes flashed through her mind. Bella running as fast her legs could carry her to get to Edward before he exposed himself. Edward holding her while she went into hysterics. And Alice, did she really show up at her house?
"No," She said in a small voice. Her breathing became rapid, her hands became clammy, and she became paler if it was at all possible.
Edward slowly and cautiously began to get close to her.
No, don't! Just stay where you are," She put up her hands defensively.
"Bella, it happened. I'm sorry you had to go through that."
"It has to be a dream, a really, really messed up dream."
Edward was still moving slowly towards her. "I said stay there, damn it!"
"Please, Bella, let me show you that I'm here, that I'm not a dream," he was desperate to let her know that she wasn't dreaming.
"I don't believe you. You always, always leave. So let's say you're here, that doesn't mean you'll stay," She smiled sadly.
"I'll stay as long as you want me to."
Bella snorted. "Like I haven't heard that one before," she rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. Edward was engulfed by guilt and sorrow with every word he spoke.
"Let me rephrase. I won't go anywhere without you, Love."
"No, don't call me that," Bella clenched her jaw in determination.
"What? I don't understand, Lo-"
"That. 'Love'. You've lost that right," Bella tried not to lose her resolve, to let her emotions leak into her eyes. "The day you left me, the day you abandoned me in the forest. You lost that right. The day you told me that you didn't love me. You lost the right to hold me, to touch me, to kiss me, to call me love,"
If Edward's heart had been beating, it would have shattered. Her words were like a shower of knives, each piercing his heart individually.
"Why would you call me love anyway? You didn't want me, why would you want me now?" She whispered, more to herself than anyone else.
Her memories took her back to that moment many months ago when he left her alone in the forest.
"Bella, I don't want you to come with me," was the one sentence that shattered her world - and her heart.
"You...don't want...me?" Was all that she was able to stutter, trying to absorb this confession.
"Bella...Bella? Please answer me," Edward shook Bella rather violently, trying to snap her out of her daze. It was as if she wasn't even there. She was an empty shell at that moment, her mind far away, lost in her thoughts.
"Please, Bella..." He shook her once more, slightly more gently than before.
"You didn't want me because you didn't love me," She said more to herself again. "I wasn't enough to hold you, I'll never be enough. I thought I wasn't worthy of being loved by you. I thought I was so...insignificant. I was just so...so Bella. I always felt so plain, I was never beautiful enough..." Her voice trailed off, but Edward could take no more.
"Bella, please! Stop talking like that! How could you say such things? I've been alive for over a century, and not once have I been in love until I met you. Everything felt so different, new and strange. Yet everything was so much more complicated and dangerous," He sighed, dragging his long, slender fingers through his unkempt hair.
"It brings me to why I left," He swallowed hard.
"No, don't explain. I honestly don't care. Well, at least, not any more," Her eyes were fierce. "I lived for months thinking that you would never come back. I made my resolve, and realized that you'd never come back. Then there was an unfortunate turn of events. Most of it was my fault, to do with my own stupidity. I had to go to Volterra."
"You had to go? Do you regret going, saving me?"
He wanted to know, he needed to know, if Bella still loved him. Edward still loved Bella. He always had, and he always would. He had lied to keep her safe from him and his kind.
After the incident at her birthday, Edward had realized how dangerous they were to her. Jasper had lost control, and any one of them could have done the same, given the circumstances. His entire world was dangerous to her, even his family...
"No, of course not. How could I? I couldn't let you die over a misunderstanding on my part,"
This wasn't what Edward wanted to hear, and he felt a knot develop in his throat. He was never one to cry. Even after he had left Bella, he was strong enough to stop from breaking down. But Bella's words and her indifference to him were proving to be too much.
"I love you Bella. I never wanted to leave. When I heard you calling out after me...it was the hardest thing for me to do. I...for you...to" Edward felt more human than ever before. He was at a loss for words. For once he knew what he wanted to say, but didn't know how.
"For you to believe that I didn't love you so quickly. You believed that I loved you, but then I lie and you believe that so fast. All those months we spent together after all we went through..." His voice trailed away.
"Exactly. After everything we went through, and you still left. Broken promises, even after you promised that you would never ever break a promise to me. How could I believe that you truly love me now, if you lied to me?"
Edward still had his hand on her shoulder. "What did I tell you? Let me go." She said through gritted teeth, and brushed his hand off her shoulder.
"Leaving you was the most difficult action I've ever done in all of my existence. I didn't hate myself; I loathed myself for doing so. I just thought that I was doing the right thing. I only left because I was thinking about you, and what was best for you. You have no idea..." He choked out. "I just thought I was doing the right thing. I wanted you to have a happy normal life with out danger. You have no idea…if I would've known how much pain I would cause you I never would've left."
"It sounds like you're always doing what's best for others. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe, just maybe, you should have asked me before you fucked up my life?" He flinched as she unleashed her fury upon him.
"Get out of my house, out of my room, and don't you dare even consider coming into my room at night. Those days are long gone." She swallowed hard, forcing her eyes to not betray her true feelings. "If you go back to school, I am not your girlfriend. You're on the market, I'm sure that'll make Jessica happy. I don't want anything to do with you...or your family. God, I was so stupid,"
"Bella...how can you be so cold?"
"Ha! I was willing to give up my life to be with you forever; literally forever, because I loved you. Then you go on and leave me? When you said goodbye I could see nothing in your eyes. There was no hint of emotion, you were so cold and distant.
You shattered my world. I inadvertently hurt everybody around me. I saw my family suffer because they were helpless. My friends were walking on eggshells being careful not to mention your first name, or even your last name. Pathetic," She mumbled. "I was an outcast for months,"
"I was no better."
And he wasn't. After his family moved from Forks, Edward didn't function. He hardly hunted, and he never interacted with his family. His family also avoided him as often as they could. Edward not only missed Bella and felt tremendously guilty for what he had done to her, but he also felt guilty for what he did to his family.
He told his family they were monsters. It wasn't too far from the truth that he had told himself, but they were, in fact, different. They didn't hunt down humans like other vampires, and that's what made them different, the fact that they were still as human as possible. Jasper out of all of them felt the worst: "If it wasn't for me we never would have left. I'm sorry that I can't be as strong as you, all of you. You have no idea how much I hate myself, Edward."
Jasper's constant guilt gnawed at Edward's un-beating heart. His family slowly falling apart was driving him mad. Esme and Carlisle did everything in their power to keep them all together, but it was no use. One night he heard Rosalie talking to Emmett about how she had had enough. Then, another, he had heard Alice trying to console her husband, but he never could. He had no choice but to leave.
Alice never saw this coming. He changed his mind so many times on what he wanted to do, that by the time her vision flashed of him gone, Edward wasn't there. She had been so engulfed on keeping Jasper from falling apart that she had hardly spoken to him.
"He left! Esme, Carlisle, I never saw it coming. I'm so sorry," Alice's small frame shook under her sobs. "I don't know where he's going. He knows how to avoid me, and he won't slip up. If he wants to, he'll never slip up,"
Silence filled their room because they knew she was right.
"You brought that upon yourself," Bella said icily, bringing him back into the present.
"You're right," he whispered. "I realize that I had everything with you and I lost it because of my arrogance. Thinking, knowing, that I was doing what was right, like you said. I realize now it's far too late. I lost your love, didn't I?" he said choking on his last words. He turned on his heel to leave, taking one more look at the room that held so many happy memories for him. "All of your things from your birthday, I put them under the loose floorboard over there."
With that, he gracefully jumped out of the window, running into the cold night. He didn't dare go back to his home. He ran for what seemed like hours, with literally no direction.
Ha! I was willing to give up my life to be with you forever; literally forever, because I loved you. Get out of my house, out of my room, and don't you dare even consider coming into my room at night. Those days are long gone
He tried to absorb her words.
She doesn't love me any more. What did I expect? Apparently, for her to take me back. That doesn't seem to be happening. I hurt her, and the wound is so deep that I can't mend it. I deluded myself into thinking that she'd take me back. I was wrong.
Edward ran and ran, pushing himself harder and faster, trying to remove her words from his mind. He then stopped suddenly.
"She never said my name. Not once could she say my name," He dropped his head to his hands.
Bella closed her window shut. She walked back to her bed, still not wanting to believe what had just happened.
She moved her eyes to the nearest floor mat and threw it over the loose, creaking floorboard. Throwing herself onto her bed, she pulled the covers over her head. Underneath she clutched a small, butterscotch colored teddy bear she had nicknamed Anthony.
"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen," She whispered into the bear's soft fur.
On one particular sunny day, she decided to go to Port Angeles, because she felt as if she was suffocating in her home. She had walked past a shop and saw the bear in the window. Its bear paws were made of green velvet, and it had a cute, simple, green satin bow tie.
She remembered Edward's eye color from the story Carlisle had told her about his change. Carlisle had described Edward's eyes as a deep green, and the bear's fur was the color of his eyes as a vampire. She remembered that she had wanted to call him Edward, but had settled for calling him 'Biscuit' as a codename, but his actual name was Anthony.
She cried into her teddy bear "Edward, Edward, Edward," she sobbed, feeling like her heart was breaking into even smaller pieces, the pain crippling her.
Over the months, she had learned how to deal with the pain, but seeing him again brought it all back again. Holding the teddy bear close, she cried into the night.
This is my first try at fanfiction- I'm better at non-fiction writing: HaHa- A LOT of the credit truly goes to my beta. She's really amazing.