I don't own it, I just play with it. Thanks Steph…

"I'm sorry, Edward." I told him, gently. I still loved him; would always love him, and I didn't want to hurt him, but it would never be the same between us. "I just can't be with you anymore… not like that." I watched as his face fell in defeat. He knew I was right. He knew there was nothing he could do to change the way I felt. He looked broken and it killed me to know I made him that way, but he had brought it upon himself, and as much as I wanted to take him in my arms, to forgive him all his faults and tell him everything would be alright, I knew that I couldn't. I owed myself better than that. I deserved more than to live a ghost of a life simply because I didn't want to hurt him.

He had pushed me down too hard for too long in the name of keeping me safe. What good was living if you couldn't really live? It started out simply enough. It was frustrating, yes – even infuriating at times – but it was at least reasonable then. The threats were real; the dangers tangible ones. As time went by he had become more and more careful with me – keeping me away from first Jasper, and then Jacob, then even Mike Newton. Soon, it seemed that I couldn't be around anyone anymore.

It became apparent that no one was safe enough to be around me, and it wasn't long before no place was safe; no activity was safe enough. Apparently, even Edward himself wasn't safe enough. First he left me to keep me safe, then he came back, but he was afraid to get too close to me. I had babysitters twenty four hours a day, now.

I had reached the point where it seemed all I did was to sit in a room under constant supervision. The woods could have vampires. His house was forbidden because Jasper was unpredictable, Rosalie hated me and might decide to attack me, Emmett might not know his own strength. I couldn't drive because my reflexes weren't good enough and I might crash the truck.

He had changed his entire schedule at school to share all my classes so that he could be there to protect me from others, or even from myself; after all, I was clumsy. Who knew what might happen to me. If he couldn't be with me at school, Alice was there, but only as a last resort. He was wary of my spending too much time with her alone. I was hell bent on becoming a vampire, and she had seen it; had seen me happy in her vision. He worried she might decide to take matters into her own hands.

When he had to hunt he had no choice but to leave me, but someone was always there - sometimes Alice, sometimes Esme, but usually Carlisle. He had the best control, after all, and would never change me against Edward's wishes unless I was dying and nothing else could be done.

Truthfully, I knew I should have left him a long time ago. I had more respect for myself than to be treated this way. I had no excuse for having stayed this long; for giving him so many chances. It was hard to think of leaving him, though. I loved him deeply and desperately clung to my hope that one day he would see the light and agree to change me. I knew if I were a vampire the insanity would stop. He truly loved me and wouldn't treat me this way simply to make me miserable. He did it because he genuinely believed it was the only way to keep me safe.

Maybe he had been right. I was a danger magnet. Anything that could go wrong, went wrong. People and vampires attacked me, I fell in love with a vampire before becoming friends with a werewolf, and I had quite the habit of injuring myself against all reasonable odds. I needed frequent ER miles. The thing was, though… he was never going to change me, and this was only going to get worse. Every time he decided there was a new danger he would restrict me just a little further until he had crushed the life from me completely.

"Please, Bella…" he pleaded, but he could see that my mind was made up. This was over. We were over. "Don't do this. We were meant to be together. I love you."

"I'm sorry." I responded, numbly "You're right. We were meant to be together, and I know that you love me. I love you, too. I hate hurting you. I'm sorry that you couldn't trust me enough to let me live or love me enough to let me die, but I can't live like this anymore."

Brushing his cheek lightly, my heartbroken expression matching his, I walked away from the only man I had ever loved; I walked away from my life, my past, my present, and my hopes for the future, leaving them behind me in the overcast loneliness of the forest.

It didn't escape me how this experience mirrored the one I had lived through long ago when Edward had left me. It was an odd sense of déjà vu, this ending amongst the trees. I was leaving him to heartache this time, but it was still his doing, and it still hurt. I wasn't sure how it was possible for me to pick up the pieces of my life and go on, especially since so many of the pieces had been lost to me, many of them possibly forever.

Jacob would never speak to me again; of that I was certain. He had been there to draw me out of the abyss of lonely despair that I had fallen into when Edward left me, and when Edward reappeared I had let him back into my life. That, in itself, had been a betrayal, but we had been mostly okay; we were working it out. When Edward had decided that Jacob couldn't be trusted at all, forbidding me to see him anymore, or even to go to La Push, I had agreed, reluctantly, to abide by his mandate, which like all the others came in the form of a desperate plea, but in truth was an ultimatum, and for that, Jacob would never forgive me.

I had always believed I was lucky to have Edward, that he was too good for me. I had always been afraid that one day he would wake up and realize how ordinary I was and he would be lost to me forever. Since the moment he had abandoned me in the forest, I knew it to be true. One day I would lose him. During the time following our reunion in Italy, I had lived in constant terror of losing him, and I had conceded every point, had abided by every restriction in order to keep him near me.

My friends from school had been lost to me. I had been isolated from some, drifted away from others as their place in my life was taken by Edward and as I was less and less able to interact with them outside of school. Humans in general were intimidated by vampires and because I was always with at least one, they had developed the habit of avoiding me, making new acquaintances and friends and finding a new place to sit at lunch. I had been replaced, and for most of them, I doubted there was a place for me now.

I wasn't sure what to think about the Cullens. I loved all of them, though admittedly I loved some more than others. Carlisle was a second father to me - in many ways, a first. I loved Charlie with all my heart, but he had never been terribly attentive - and Carlisle loved me, too. Esme was my mother, more so even than Renee had been. She treated me as her daughter from day one and loved me as much as I loved her. Alice was my best friend, and though I hadn't been able to see as much of her, I knew she loved me, too. Emmett was the big brother I never had, but always wanted. He loved me as his little sister, accepting me unconditionally from the beginning and I loved him fiercely.

Rosalie hated me. That may have been too strong a word, but she certainly resented me at the very least. I had always marveled at her strength and had a lot of respect for her and the way that she had overcome her past. I had a high regard for the way she fought so fiercely to protect the ones she loved and I could appreciate the reason that she had resented my choices. I had always hoped that she and I would be friends and sisters. She was really a lot more like me than anyone else could see. They looked at the differences, but we both had strong opinions, morals, loyalty, strength, and the ability to truly see people.

I had never really gotten to know Jasper very well. The family had all done what they could to keep him away from me from the start. I had never understood their reason for it. He harbored no ill will toward me and would never hurt me willingly. His control was the problem, they had told me, but there were enough of them there to protect me that it really hadn't been necessary for them to keep us apart. I forgave him for what had happened on my birthday the instant it happened. It had been instinct – nothing more. I had always mourned the loss of Jasper. I loved the Cullens so dearly and I knew in my heart that I would have loved him, too, if they had given us the chance to know each other.

I had always admired him and had been in awe of him – of his knowledge and experience, his love of history and books, and of the way he took it upon himself to hold his family together, even though he hadn't chosen them or this life, even though it hurt him, even though he struggled the most and was trusted the least. I had always wished for the chance to know him. I believed if he were around me more, he would become desensitized, not only to me, but to humans in general, and that his control would improve over time until he was no longer a threat to me. Edward had managed it, after all, and my blood was more potent to him than to any of them. He had drunk from me and stopped – surely Jasper could have succeeded in being in the same room with me.

Now that Edward and I were over, I wasn't sure I would be able to salvage any kind of relationship with his family. They were my family – when Edward was my soulmate - now what were they? They were his family now. My breath was stolen from me and my vision blurred at the anticipated loss of my dearly loved family. My chest ached as I sunk to my knees on the dampened forest floor. I was alone in the world, and alone, the world had become a dark, dark place.

I hope you're liking the story so far. I have no idea where it's going, so I hope you'll come along for the ride with me. It's just the way I write. I never know what will happen from one line to the next. She will end up with Jasper… I kinda have a crush on him. PLEASE review. It keeps me going. Even if you just say LOVE IT or HATE IT. If you have time, I would like to know:

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