Authors note; All Human, Canon, maybe a little depressing.
In memory of the one hundred and seventy eight UK soldier who died, and for the hundreds of others who are returning to us. But mainly for Dad. Love you.
Song: From Yesterday, 30 Seconds To Mars.
Disclaimer; Yes, of course I am Stephanie. Psssh.
Not everyone gets out alive. I hate it when you hear those people who haven't experienced life at all tell you that it takes more courage to live than to die. That is wrong. No one in the world can say that. I believe it is harder to die than it is to live. Life is a breeze. Death is the one that will kill you. Literally.
A hundred and seventy eight dead. The number is huge. Well, without including me, a hundred and seventy seven, but who's going to be picky? Of all the thousands of soldiers sent, one hundred and seventy eight of us died. I also hate those people who tell you it could have been worse, when they have never seen ten people dead at their feet. I have. Ten people I love. The number is huge.
I can remember my death exactly. It wasn't how you see in the movies, with everyone throwing their guns about and mud on their faces and screams pouring from mouths. No. My death was different from the lies.
Dinner was at seven, five to if you wanted it so hot it could melt your face off. I was actually looking forward to it. Usually it was meals filled with rice, pasta and masses of chicken. We didn't have to eat out of those silver tin bowls that you see in the movies (again with those stupid, incorrect movies); we did have plates, and we actually ate quite a lot. We drank out of normal cups you have in your cupboards and we sat on normal chairs, but the chairs did have to be light and portable. So the chairs weren't so normal, but you know what I mean.
The meal was going to be spaghetti. So maybe there was some pasta and some meat, but whatever. I was looking forward to it because it was the first time in six years I would have had a meal that Bella used to cook me. I was so excited that my brothers had to tell me to shut up all day. I was going on about how it would remind me of home.
Of course, I never got there. I got shot in the back of the head. Em, Jazz and I were walking towards base, about three quarters of a mile away, when I got shot. Em turned instantly and got the asshole right in the chest, but it was too late for me. But oh well.
It felt like being run over. Well, I have never been run over, so I wouldn't really know, but I'm guessing it was similar. Actually, I bet mine was a lot worse. No, actually, mine was definitely a lot worse. A billion times worse. I died right away. But still, death is hard.
Not many people believe in the after life. Well, a lot of people believe in God and Heaven and 'the Greater Plan', but almost no one I knew believed in ghosts. Like, haunting after the dead and all that crap. Well, if they met me they would.
It was awful sitting on the plane with my brothers. They were so miserable when they should have been happy. Em was still beating himself up.
"I should have seen it." He muttered to himself, scratching the back of his neck and looking at the floor.
"It's not your fault." I told him. "I should have seen it." I talked though I knew no one would ever hear me.
"I should have seen it coming. I always see these things coming." Jazz interrupted me.
"Well, you obviously didn't see it this time, did you? And do you mind, I was actually talking to Em, not you. You'll get your turn." I snapped, putting my faint arm around Em. The good thing about being dead is knowing that no one can hear you, yet you can take the piss anyways.
"I can't wait to see Ali." Jazz said, trying to change the subject.
"Do you think Bells will be there?" Em asked hesitantly. I moved my arm from around him and went to sit in the corner. I didn't want to listen anymore. But I knew I would hear it no matter how far away I was, so I covered my ears with my cold hands. I could hear their mumbling. The bad thing about being dead is that although you can't be heard, you can hear everything.
I wanted to comfort them both. I wanted to tell them it wasn't their fault and I still love them and they should just forget about me and move on with their lives. I wanted to tell them to watch out for Bella, to look after her, and to tell her I loved her. I wanted to tell them to keep other men away from her, because dead or alive, she is still mine. Well, for now, anyway.
But I couldn't. Not only because they wouldn't hear me, but because I wanted to do all of those things. I wanted to look after her and keep creepy guys away from her, and I wanted to be the one to tell her that I love her.
I took one hand away from my ear to see if they were still talking about her. They were, but this I wanted to hear.
"Do you remember that time you thrashed her at arm wrestling?" Jazz laughed. "She looked so cocky and then smash, you totally beat her!" I laughed along. I sat next to Em again and leaned against his large shoulder.
"Oh, and that time she actually cried when Ed played piano to her?" He smiled. "And we were all standing in the hall and she was bawling her eyes out. God," He sighed. "She's such a drama queen." I smiled too. I liked this conversation.
"That time where me and Alice fought over her." I added. "When Ali wanted to do a makeover with Bella but I wanted to make out with Bella."
I smiled again. This was the kind of conversation I could have all day. Just talking with old friends about equally as old memories. But then I realised that I would never make any new memories, and that I would never be able to touch Bella again, and then I decided I didn't want to have this conversation anymore. I didn't want them telling me how much I would miss her.
"That one time we hid in her trees when she was reading in the garden?" Jazz poked Em to get his attention. "You remember that?"
"Oh my God, yes, and you landed in the rose bush on your arse! And Ed was totally whipped, moaning about how he didn't want scare her." I moaned.
"Stop it Em. I don't want to hear anymore." I told him.
"And the time that we played baseball? I couldn't believe Edward had to pick a chick who totally hated sports."
"Em, I don't want to. Stop it." I told him a little louder.
"The other time that Edward met Charlie? Edward was totally scared shitless." Emmett added, again.
Sometimes I think Em knows I'm here. I think he knows that I listen to all of his conversations and sit with him and talk to him even though he never answers. I think he just doesn't believe himself that I'm here, when he should trust himself. If he trusted himself I bet he would hear me talk to him. He just blocks it out because he doesn't like to seem weak.
"Em, I said I don't want to!" I yelled, getting frustrated. "I don't want to talk about her anymore! Stop it, stop it, stop it!"
"And their wedding." Jazz said.
"Oh God, their wedding." Emmett added. "And Rose playing piano. Edward looked so pissed that she was touching his baby." I laughed a little. I was pissed at her, but I knew it would make the day that much more special. "But Bella looked so beautiful."
"She was." I whispered.
"But I hated it that Jacob rocked up." Em was practically voicing my thoughts, the thoughts I couldn't voice.
"I swear, if Edward hadn't disappeared, I would have taken Jacob down then and there, dancing with Alice or not." Jazz said, cracking his knuckles for effect.
"Yeah, whatever." I laughed. "You're just a big pussy cat, Jazz. Without that gun on your back, you wouldn't be able to hurt a fly, especially around Ali." I told him, pointing and wiggling my finger. It was true. He had about as much muscle on his arms as Bella had on hers.
Well, that's a little bit of a lie. Of course he had muscle, but he just seemed tiny compared to Em, 'cause he is huge. I swear he must work out like, two hours a day without fail. I wouldn't be able to do that; it would get so tedious.
But of course, that's not the real reason Jazz couldn't hurt a fly. Jazz couldn't hurt a fly because Alice has him wrapped around her little finger. I bet he had her voice in his head, telling him what to do. To be completely and utterly honest, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Jazz turned out to be a little bit of a lunatic. He should have gone into a mental asylum as soon as he started dating my little sister, let alone hearing her voice.
"Heading in for landing boys." A shaky intercom voice told us. The whole team whooped and cheered. I gave a half-hearted smile towards Jasper's general direction, but he didn't return it. I didn't want to go home anymore. I didn't want to see Bella. I didn't want to see her broken and torn all because of me.
Jasper stood and moved to where I was sitting.
"What do you think you're doing, pal?" I asked. He turned his back to me, his army pants falling down giving me a funny view of his pink underwear. Before I knew what the hell he was doing, it was too late. Jasper totally just sat on me!
"Do you mind?!" I cried. No, I didn't feel it, but it was fun to make a fuss. "God, the nerve of some people." I stood and sat where Jazz was, giving him glares he will never see.
Dead or alive, the one thing I will always remember; Jazz put his arm around Emmett, comforting him. And Emmett let him. The rule of 'no guy love' was completely thrown out of the window as Jazz let Emmett cry into his shoulder for a second. I wanted to hit Em, yell at him for crying like a baby, but I had the urge to do the same. Whether people could hear me or not, I wasn't going to have a go for no reason.
"It's alright man." Jazz whispered. "She'll be fine. Bells will be fine."
"Really?" I asked. "What makes you so sure?" But I didn't get an answer. I wondered if I ever would. The answer is no, I would never get an answer.
The helicopter landed with a thud, and the brothers weren't allowed out until the engine had cooled a little. But finally, the doors were open to hundred of cheering, shouting, crying people, ready to give the whole group of us a hug. But I didn't want to look at all of the faces who I didn't remember were related to whom. I didn't care about them. I wanted Bella. My Bella.
There were so many people. Loads, and it was quite frightening. It was like being attacked all over again, only this time with tears and hugs. But I guess I didn't mind so much. I just followed Jazz's blonde hair and Em's big shoulders. They obviously knew where they were going. Well, they looked like they knew where they were going.
The crowd separated, like the red sea. Everyone moving across to let the three, now two, musketeers through. That's what we were called. The three brothers were the musketeers. I wondered how they would survive with just two now, but then I realised that this was Jasper Hale and Emmett Cullen, and that they would do absolutely fine without me. There was no way my big, strong brothers would miss me. No way.
They came into view. The Cullen family could be seen, all of them. Rosalie, Alice, Esme, Carlisle, Rose and Em's twins: Lucas and Nathan, and Bella. And my girl, my little six-and-a-bit-year-old girl, holding onto Bella's hand for dear life.
Even broken and battered, Bella looked beautiful.
Of course, the family were told I was a goner. But watching everyone get off apart from me must have been some kind of realisation that I was gone, and was never coming back.
Forget everything else. Forget adrenaline and forget being dead or alive. Maybe this feeling, the one I get whenever I look at Bella, maybe this is what it feels like to be alive.
Authors note; I know it's not the best, but I wanted something for Dad.