A/N: I really do love one-shots. This is shorter than I wanted, but what-the-hell-ever. I never intended this is be tied in with my other story Beautiful Blush, but after all was said and done, it reflects a lot of the thoughts and emotions and actions that I imagined led up to where Beautiful Blush began. So I suppose this is my official unofficial prologue to Beautiful Blush (hence the rating of M). If you want, totally check that one out to (it's my ExB pride and joy so far).

The song is Say Goodbye by Skillet and if you've never heard it, I advised a listening session in the very near future.

What else? What else? Oh yeah! The way this is written isn't supposed to always flow from one section to the next. Some do and some don't. I'll clarify it at the bottom.

Disclaimer: I own my MacBook and PB&J sandwich. That's about it.


EPOV

Things are changing.
It seems strange and,
I need to figure this out.

Crumpled.

Crying.

Utterly broken.

Pain, of an unbearable amount—all caused by my mouth; my silent heart.

Her heart was broken, shattered against the forest floor. Her body limp. Her cries strangled by despair and exhaustion. Her eyes wide and yet dead to the world.

Bella should never look like this. She is a shell—a glorious shell of the ethereal goddess she was.

I am helpless to do anything because this is my doing. The blackest form of blasphemy escaped my lips today; killing the only thing I craved any longer—Bella's love. It was gone, like it never existed, just as I told her to believe of me.

Such a cruel lie.

I'd think it just a dream, a nightmare of sorts, if I didn't still feel the pull of every nerve and fiber of my being, calling out to her.

Bella lay there, not fifteen feet away, sobbing into the rain. I could do nothing without breaking her further. I was a coward, hiding amongst the trees and watching the beautiful tragedy unfold. This was for the best though. I keep repeating the words like my own personal mantra, but my heart honestly refuses to believe that. That electric beat is gone, faded into the night like my words, leaving me more than empty.

Bella was broken.

I was broken too.

Unbelievably so.

You've got your life, I got mine,
But you're all I cared about.

I was different.

She was different.

We were different—different because of the other.

Good or bad, we were forever changed.

Remembering my life without Bella is my own personal hell. It is darkness, creeping against me, waiting to swallow me whole.

And now, I'm going into the darkness, unwillingly willing.

I'm turning my back to protect her, but I'll always watch her from the shadowed side of the sun.

I swear it always.

Yesterday we were laughing.
Today I'm left here asking,
Where has all the time gone now?

How could things change so drastically from one day to the next? We were laughing and smiling, but now—now it's only tears. If tears could escape these eternally damned eyes of mine, I'd be drowning in my own pain. I'd be slipping away right along side of my love.

If I could promise her anything, it's that I'll miss her always; love her always; fight for her always—from the shadows. If she goes, I go. That will always be the purest of my convictions. Whether Bella can see it or not, I don't exist without her. I will always find a way to follow.

I wish I could tell her that those words were the blackest form of blasphemy, but she'd never walk away. The pull is too strong; taking everything I have to turn my back. She'd never be able to do the same.

I have to be strong. I have to walk away. I have to feel like I am dying all over again.

Fate is a cruel master and life is a cruel game. Our worlds were different, but they collided in brilliance of light and love. She gave me a reason to hope and to believe that I am more than my damnation. With her I am so much more.

Now I'm nothing but a shadow of the man I was with my Bella.

I'm left alone somehow.
Growing up and getting older,
I don't want to believe it's over.

Bella's cries have quieted, fading away into the silence of the trees. Her heart still beats low and slow and her breathing still steady and deep, but sleeping beauty does not sleep.

Her eyes remain wide and glassy, with a wild energy lying dormant in their shadows.

Her lips remain parted as if one more word is stilled just on the tip of her tongue.

Her body is curled tight against itself as if that is the only way to hold all the million pieces together.

Her hands remain clutched in tiny fists as if they are grasping her only anchor left to this world.

I should go, leave this place, but my feet refuse take me. They stay planted, making my eyes burn over and over at the destruction of an angel at my feet.

Don't say goodbye,
'Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight.
'Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I.

I can't bring myself to say goodbye to my light, my love, my gravity. I want more than anything to hold her in my arms, to make her believe that there is more to my words—to my lies.

I only want to protect her, but a monster cannot protect the innocent. I'll be her downfall if I stay, killing her each and every day.

But I can't say goodbye.

I never will. Bella has my heart. I left it with her. My heart was hers that very first day and time and distance and acerbic lies will never change that.

Bella owns me, mind and body. My heart is all I have worth anything and it forever rests in her tiny hands.

She is still curled in a ball, moss and leaves crowning her the goddess of the forest. Although utterly broken with tear-stained cheeks, Bella is the single most beautiful creature. Even from the tree that has become cloak, I can witness her simple radiance.

She is a fallen angel.

And although we knew this time would come for me and you,
Don't say anything tonight if you're gonna say goodbye.

I'm selfish and vile, but I hope beyond all hope that she won't say goodbye either. That she'll see past the lies and just…just understand.

This isn't about her and I. It is something greater than us that I'm too weak to fight.

That word, two simple syllables, would end me.

BPOV

Do you remember in December,
How we swore we'd never change?
Even though you're leaving, our feelings,
Would always stay the same.

October.

November.

December.

January.

And farther.

My months, weeks and days run together in a never-ending, painful hour. Awake. Asleep. I don't feel. I am numb to the bottom of my soul.

I think I'd much rather be dead than simply just dead to the world. That way the nothingness could finally consume every fiber of me.

I am broken—incomplete. I know it. I feel it. And yet, there is nothing that could change that Edward still holds my heart. Wherever he goes, it will dutifully follow behind. My heart can never escape his pull.

Honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way. I would only ever be Edward's, even as he turns his back on me and on my love. He will still always have it.

I wish we could be laughing instead I'm standing here asking,
Do we have to end this now, can we make it last somehow?
We both know what we've gotta say, not today,

'Cause I don't wanna leave this way.

You'd think that I'd learn to live my life and to breathe on my own. But there is no hope for existence without your soul. I left my soul, along with my heart, in Edward's hands. They'd always be his whether he wanted them or not. I'd never take them back.

Edward. I love him like the flower loves the rain.

It is days like these, gray and rain soaked, that I used to live for. The days that meant there was no hiding. The days that meant there was no loneliness. Those days that were simply meant for just Edward and I.

Now I hate the false hope it leaves me. I'd cry, but I'm all out of tears—the pain has strangled them dry.

Forks. My home. This is the place of my beginning and of my end.

This place holds no magic or mystery without him. The wind blows, but doesn't whisper his voice. This place is nothing. I am nothing.

Don't say goodbye,
'Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight.
'Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I.
And although we knew this time would come for me and you,
Don't say anything tonight if you're gonna say goodbye.

Days pass and life moves on whether you are ready for to or not. It doesn't wait until you've picked yourself up off the ground. It doesn't wait until you've figured out how to breathe again or until you've found the magic glue to hold your broken body together. It doesn't wait for anyone or anything.

The passing days are still one jumbled mess in my eyes, but my feet keep moving forward. They keep pushing me though I'm worn out and beaten down. They keep pushing because that's all I have left to do.

I miss him.

I miss him with everything that I was, everything that I am and everything that I ever will be. Time can't change that and it can't take those memories from me. I will guard them until my dying day. They're my bittersweet pain, reminding me of everything I have gained and lost and the pure perfection that I once knew.

For just shy of a year, I knew nothing but the purest of love.

And if it's over,
It hurts but I'm giving you my word.
I hope that you're always,
Happy like we were, happy like we were.

More days move, still molding further together.

Up and down.

Forwards and backwards.

Left and right.

It is still simply an extended hour of existence.

Through it all, I've seen the sunlight beckoning me forth. My feet itch to bring my body towards it, if only just to move.

Jacob. He's become my eternal sun, the light and warmth to my grayed vision. He has allowed me to smile and laugh and pretend to actually live.

And yet, it's all ordinary and unbearably empty. I feel like a fish trying to swim without water or like I'm trying to breathe without air. It's a futile battle.

Don't say goodbye,
'Cause I don't wanna hear those words tonight.
'Cause maybe it's not the end for you and I.
And although we knew this time would come for me and you,
Don't say anything tonight if you're gonna say goodbye.

My feet toe the edge of the rocks, my hair battering against my face. The waves crash and swirl in a chaotic mess below me, expressing all that I can't voice—the turmoil rolling, ready to swallow me whole.

I want nothing more than to hear the phantom voice again, the voice that has haunted my days and months. Delusion or not, that faceless, bodiless voice is all I have to hold to. All I have of Edward when he still has all of me. I want to lose myself in the comfort.

Closer.

Closer my feet move to the edge, bringing my body towards the pull. His voice is faint, warning, whispering in the wind against the waves. It's there though. There in all its glory and comfort and velvet rush. He's there.

My mind is reeling with the gravity of what lies ahead of me and what lies behind. It's a losing battle either way. Backwards or forwards, I only exist.

What am I giving up? I've already lost the only thing it would hurt me to lose.

This brings me closer.

This brings to the very edge.

This brings to him.

Yesterday we were laughing,
If you're gonna say goodbye.
Today I'm left here asking,
If you're gonna say goodbye.

Floating.

Free-falling.

Flying without wings.

I'm neither up nor down, going left nor right. I'm tumbling. Rolling. Escaping.

I'm finding my freedom in his voice.

Edward's voice, begging me to push my limbs, rings through the water's darkness.

My lungs burn and my arms and legs itch for the salvation of the surface, but I'm lost in one more minute with him. Just one more.

My heart beats, if only for the fragmented voice ringing in my ears.

It's slipping, farther and faster into the recesses of my mind. The voice—his voice—is fading into the waves.

I'm fading away beside it—its willing captive.

EPOV

And although we knew this time would come for you and me,
Don't say anything tonight if you're gonna say goodbye.

This is my last hello or maybe my first goodbye. Without her I am nothing.

Empty.

Incomplete.

Lost upon the world.

I'm done with the shadows. I'm done with the night. I'm done being alone.

I'm following her to the ends of the earth and farther.

I'm following the only thing I can—my heart, my love, my Bella.

The sun is warm, happily heating the air as if people truly care. They don't. They are too self-absorbed to discover the simple salvation of the sun.

I'm not blind to notice. I see its very potential and it's calling me forth, waiting on me. It's as if we are stuck in an intense game of chess and the next move—the final move to end all—is mine and mine alone.

I'd whisper forth into the wind if only she'd hear me. I'd whisper that I'm coming, that I'm on my way to the only place it ever mattered to be. I'll be by Bella's side, finding my way somehow.

I'd be home.

My toes move closer to the light streaming through the arch ahead. They are moving me toward my salvation. I am almost giddy, drunk on the knowledge that my love is almost in my grasp again.

Closer.

Another step.

I am nearing the end and the beginning at the same time.

My eyes fall closed on their own free will, allowing Bella's graceful smile to pull me towards my next forever.

Another step.

The light is growing brighter, the warmth trying to melt the icy marble of my core.

Closer.

Inching forever closer.

The electric pull of my body increases with each step I take as if Bella is already beckoning me. Our bodies are calling to the other, even through the separation of the ethereal plane. The pull is bringing me home.

One step left from salvation. One final move left to make. One more moment left without my love. Only one more.

Her gentle voice is floating in the wind, ringing sweetly in my ears. It is the purest sound I've heard, copied straight from the heavens.

The pull is begging me forward.

Closer.

One final step.

The pull is excruciating, but I welcome the pain. The pain is for Bella. I suffer for her always.

Finality approaches.

I welcome it with open arms.

My palms face up to worship the salvation that will swallow me whole.

I welcome it as the pull hits me full force.

Tiny hands find my chest, igniting fire upon my flesh and in my veins. My world crashed around me as I fall to the scent of freesia and warm winds. Bella. My Bella.

Her soft voice, small and scared ringing through every sense of my being.

"Don't go."


A/N: So here's the deal for any need for clarification...the first EPOV all is within the forest as Bella lies there though it's broken up over the hours he watches her (I imagined him not leaving until he knew she was 'safe'); BPOV spans a great deal, but starts up after she has come out of her catatonic state (hence the months) and goes until the cliff jump with filler information in-between; finally the last EPOV is all about Volterra, but I think that it is pretty obvious with the mental dialogue there. Send me questions if anything else is confusing.