Edward leaned against a tree and stared at me, his expression unreadable. He took a deep breath.
"Bella, we're leaving."
I took a deep breath too. This was an acceptable option. I thought I was prepared. But I still had to ask.
"Why now? Another year—"
"Bella it's time. How much longer could we stay in Forks, after all? Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he's claiming thirty-three now. We'd have to start over soon regardless."
His answer confused me. I thought the point of leaving was to let his family live in peace. Why did we have to leave if they were going? I stared at him, trying to understand what he meant.
He stared back coldly.
With a roll of nausea, I realized I'd misunderstood.
"When you say we--," I whispered.
"I mean my family and myself." Each word was separate and distinct.
I shook my head back and forth mechanically, trying to clear it. He waited without any sign of impatience. It took a few minutes before I could speak.
"Okay," I said. "I'll come with you."
"You can't, Bella. Where we're going…It's not the right place for you. I'm no good for you."
"Don't be ridiculous." I wanted to sound angry, but it just sounded like I was begging. "You're the very best part of my life."
"My world is not for you," he said grimly. "Bella, I don't want you to come with me." He spoke the words slowly and precisely, his cold eyes on my face, watching as I absorbed what he was really saying.
There was a pause as I repeated the words in my head a few times, sifting through them for their real intent.
"You… don't… want me?" I tried out the words, confused by the way they sounded, placed in that order.
"Don't." My voice was just a whisper now; awareness was beginning to seep through me, trickling like acid through my veins. "Don't do this."
He just stared at me, and I could see from his eyes that my words were far too late. He already had.
"Goodbye, Bella," he said in the same quiet, peaceful voice.
"Wait!" I choked out the word, but in that second he was gone. I chased after him, consumed by my emotions, tears flooding down my face, screaming till I didn't have a voice to yell, but there was nothing. All too soon it grew dark as I tried to keep pace through the forest. I was extremely tired but dispirit to try, because without Edward everything seemed pointless. I never knew my place in this world until I met him and now he was gone. It was too much to handle and when I tripped falling to the ground, I stayed down…
Love, life, meaning… over.
That scene played back all too vividly in my head, all these years later. It has been over hundred years since I was human, but there was no escaping the past. For some reason, I could never keep myself from thinking about them every day. Loving the Cullen's was the worst decision I ever made and I paid dearly for it, nonetheless, my warped heart always wanted the deception back. My mind was another story though; the betrayal my mind felt always left me furious. I was so angry at myself for believing I belonged with them that it caused scorch marks whenever I think about it. Needless to say, my so called life goes on and I do have something to be thankful for.
It was probably eighty years ago, while I was off hunting alone that I ran into the Ellis coven. They were very pleased to meet me and very surprised that I had no vampire family to speak of. I was not one for long stories so I told them I didn't remember much from before my change other than I knew I had been deeply hurt. Thankfully, they were not ones to pry and took pity on me. It was after spending that whole day with them, that they asked me to join their family and I couldn't say no. The companionship they gave me held back the bad memories most of the time, but every once in a while they would overwhelm me again and I would leave the Ellis family to be on my own for awhile, but that was not the case this year.
I have stayed with the Ellis family for a healthy thirty years straight, which is a new victory for me. Ethan and Brianna or Bri could not be happier that I haven't strayed off in such a long time. Ethan is the leader of the Ellis coven and Bri is his wife. They remind me slightly of Carlisle and Esme but their personalities are quite different. Ethan was thirty-one when he changed and works as an appraiser/consultant in the museum circuit. He spends long hours restoring and cataloging artifacts for museums. Bri was twenty-eight when she was changed and is a fantastic landscape designer. While she only designs gardens for a hobby, she is an expert and definitely has two green thumbs. Ethan and Bri are quite content parenting all five of their so called vampire children and not working at all, but we do need to keep up appearances, which brings me to my siblings. Dean and his wife Laney are the oldest at about nineteen years old and they are both quite gifted. Dean has the ability to see your worst fear or what you are most ashamed of when he touches you. Laney has the ability to change her appearance, like if she wants to be a red-head that day she just runs her fingers through her hair, or if she suddenly does not like the shade of lipstick she is wearing she can change it in the blink of an eye. Calista and her mate, Toby are about eighteen, just like me and I feel the closest to them. Calista and I actually look alike, because we both have long brown hair and we are about the same height. Toby is does not have a gift, but he is a very talented fighter and he is very protective over Calista and I both. Calista has the power to see peoples pasts, just like Alice could see the future but in reverse. And I am actually called Zoey Ellis now. When I first met the Ellis coven, I was rather eager to leave the past behind me and with that my name as well. I discovered after I changed that I am able to shield myself from other people's powers and through time I have developed it to protect me from physical attacks as well. I also have the ability to control fire, which was rather alarming when I was able to first manifest it. Toby thought it was the best, because how do you kill a vampire by any other way but to rip it to pieces and burn them. With my ability to control fire, Toby thinks I am pretty durable even for a vampire.
And so that brings us to today, which feels like my fiftieth time of starting high school again. Every time, we decide its time to start fresh my family gathers around and starts looking for places they have never been before. I have never cared where we go, so I usually don't stick around when it turns into a scream match about where we will go next. So I wasn't surprised when this last family meeting took place without me. What really rattled me was the news that in my absence my family picked the very last place I would want to go ever. But by the time I found out it was too late, and we were already on our way.