A/N: This is just a little one-shot about the drive Edward took to the post office in New Moon, just before he leaves Bella. I hope I did well to capture his thoughts on what was about to come to pass.
Thank you to Drifting. Through. Black ! She checked out my work and gave some helpful comments. :-)
Oh, and thank you to HighViscosity ! Without her, this would be so much different than what it is now.
Disclaimer: Twilight is the property of Stephenie Meyer. If you don't know that, where have you been the last few months?
When I was driving to the post office to send Bella's letter to her mother, I couldn't help but stall. Even though I drove slower than I would ever normally consider, a part of my mind still registered that it was faster than what Bella would be comfortable with.
Warm, sweet, heart-wrenchingly innocent Bella.
I would be leaving her soon. Permanently. The thought made my silent heart constrict tightly and a mild burn gave an example to the agony that would soon come to pass. All this was for her, of course.
The bane of my existence was her happiness and safety. And I was putting her safety at risk just by existing.
Trying dismally to put away these emotionally draining thoughts, I glanced into the envelope Bella handed to me. With a deep breath – inhaling the air tainted with Bella's mouth-wateringly sweet scent – I swiftly opened it and checked the contents of the envelope, and what she was planning to send to Renee.
Ignoring the letter – only glancing at it to note Bella's usual messy, yet adorable handwriting – I shook the rest of the contents out.
As I assumed, there were a couple of photos of me in it. She couldn't have any copies of me in any format, in the case that one-day in the future she came across one of them and remembered me. I had to help her forget. So she could move on and live a normal human life. Because that's what she deserved.
I kept telling myself that.
Quickly, I shredded the first one, the photograph showing my eyes blank and dead. It was taken after I made the sub-conscious choice to leave. It took a long while before my mind caught up and stopped battling the inevitable.
Leaving Bella was the brick wall and hurting Bella was the hard place. I was definitely caught between the two. But the wall gave way first and I was heading through that path.
My eyes drifted down to the photo of Bella and I together. She was sitting awkwardly next to me, and seemed troubled. Perceptive as always, she knew there was something wrong with me. Her eyes said it all. But I doubted she could even comprehend the insane battle I've been constructing in my mind. Whether I could leave or not was the main argument I had.
My breath caught as I gazed upon her beauty. I should be counting myself as lucky to have even met her and enjoyed her company for such an extended period of time.
My heart was breaking. The person who made me so happy, the person who depended on me so much, the person I felt an incredible tug towards; I was to leave them to fend for themselves. I didn't know how she would handle this.
If she could handle this.
But at least human memories fade. With time she would heal. And I would be a distant memory. That notion nearly ripped my chest apart in pain.
With a careful rip, I tore away my harsh, inhuman image from the photo and tucked the side with Bella into my pocket. Even though I possessed a memory with perfect recall for all time, I wanted a physical reminder of her. A slightly unfair concept, seeing as I soon would rob her of all her worldly reminders of myself.
For her own good though. All of it was for her.
Quickly, I hopped out of the car and posted the letter. My face was blank, showing none of the turmoil bubbling within me. With haste, I easily slipped back into the driver's seat and made my way to Bella's house.
I knew I would have to tell her to stay away from me. There was no way I would try and put her in danger again. Not after Jasper attacked her. Not after I nearly jumped on her myself to drain her dry. All that drama from a paper cut.
Never will I threaten her life like I did that day.
Hurting her was not allowed in my mind. I would have to remove her from me to protect her.
I was aware that she could not be safe with me. As I was a vampire, inevitably, I was stronger than she could cope with. My skin was harder than diamonds, I was as fast as the wind and my strength surpassed anything that could be considered normal.
Bella was normal. But she deserved so much more.
I hated myself. Actually, I loathed myself. Hate wasn't a strong enough concept. I was a monster no matter what my actions showed. Though I prevented myself from hunting people, I was inhuman. With that came a danger.
Though my family continually were amazed about my level of control around Bella, I knew it wasn't enough. It was barely enough.
That's why I had to force her away from me.
But I knew that in order to save her, I would have to break her heart.
Would it have been better if I never let her get attached to me? There were no maybes; there were no variables. I would hurt her. Why didn't I stay with the Denali's? I could have prevented so much pain for all parties.
Her safety was important. She was important. I would tear us apart to protect her.
The thought alone hurt. She would think I was abandoning her. She would think I was rejecting her. Without a doubt, she would blame herself. Yet it was my entire fault.
Pulling the car out of the car park, I let my mind wonder as I raced over to Bella's house. I needed time to build up strength to reject her.
There was the idea of blaming Carlisle, a rather tempting idea, but I knew that it was my fault in letting us both fall for each other.
If I was given a second chance, a choice to be changed or to be left to die, I knew I would choose life as a vampire. All of it – the days of pain, the decades of loneliness – was all worth it for that short time I got to spend with my angel.
But Carlisle made the choice; well, my mother did too. After all, I was dying. There would have only been darkness left for me. Maybe the darkness would have been preferable to the pain awaiting me.
Bella. She deserved the stars and the moon. She was not just pretty. More than that – she was beautiful. Her smile was more wonderful than any sunset. Her laughter washed away the dark clouds of my life. Would I ever hear that sweet tinkling noise again? I doubted it.
She was dependant on me and I was about to pull all that support away from her.
I knew what she felt about me. But I knew that human emotions had no place on what vampires experience; every feeling, every emotion heightened, reaching uncharted levels of happiness and pain.
Bella wouldn't hurt as much as I would. I knew that to be true. Memories of humans fade over time, and I knew she would soon forget and move on. At least I hoped that. Sort of…
My heart nearly ripped itself out of my chest as I thought about leaving her. There was little doubt in my mind that she was feeling the same level of love and admiration that I experienced on a day-to-day basis.
Of course I was procrastinating the task, leaving it as long as I could before my resolve wore itself away into nothingness. Alice had called before and said that Bella was going to confront me today, and I thought it'd be best if I told her instead of her trying to yank the truth from me.
Not only would she be hurt with my loss, but the loss of my family too. I thought it would be best to have a clean break. So she can move on more easily.
Definitely, it would be hard to leave her. The task itself was nearly impossible to fathom. But I would do it all for her and because I loved her.
I parked in her driveway, making it clear that this would indeed be a short visit. Walking out of the vehicle, I was taking deep, unnecessary breaths. My gut was tightening uncomfortably and I knew it would hurt more than this when the actual break was made.
Her innocence and trusting nature astounded me. But it also showed her lack of self-preservation. If she did not know what was safe for her, I would have to make the choice.
I chose to protect her.
However, by choosing that path, I would break her. It would be easy as snapping a twig.
And I hated myself because I knew I would do it anyway.
I would hurt her. Definitely, I knew I would cause her agony. She had to let me go, and I would use any means necessary.
Because I loved her. More than anything.
And for that I would break her.
A/N: *Sigh*. That was depressing and melodramatic to write. But that's Edward for you.
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