Written for the Sparkle Awards Challenge
Summary: 'He watched from the confines of the apple tree, burning in jealousy and want. His heart reached out to her as she stood in the sun, speaking to the russet skinned monster of his all-too-real dreams. There was nothing else to do but observe as she taunted him subconsciously with her every move, every look, every word.
There was nothing else to do but obsess over his Forbidden Envy…'
Love is a complicated thing, that much is true in this life. Despite all the fairy-tale romances on TV and in books, spoken out-loud by every-day people stricken with the feeling of endless ecstasy and romance, it is a hard, fruitless labor that leads to nowhere but sorrow and pity for either one or both parties involved. Whatever the romanticizing, fool-hardy vultures of a lover's culture have ever told you about love, I would discard it completely, burning it in the pile of rubbish and filth where it belongs.
Because 'love'—true, unadulterated, pure and real love—is full of pain and unending affliction. It's a fight for a victory that can't possibly ever be won; a race to a finish line that can't possibly exist.
It is an endless failure.
And perhaps I am being pessimistic about the whole thing. Perhaps I am taking too much into consideration my own personal experiences rather than the 'bigger picture'. I'm sure there have been plenty of successful love-lives and relationships. I'm also sure that there have been people that have had a very easy and simple love experience; people who are able to fall into that state of eternal bliss and happiness. There might be those who never go on worrying whether or not they'll ever be able to have their love in their arms forever.
I am not one of those fortunate, select few people.
And why do I think this? Why do I feel as though my whole world is an endless midnight? Why is it as though my heart is a black hole, bottomless and empty, void of emotion and happiness?
Two words: Bella. Swan.
Of course, those two words are probably not enough to describe her. Beautiful. Perfect. Enigmatic. Captivating. Innocent. Remarkable. Pure.
And I was… me.
Edward Masen. Imperfect. Selfish. Unsatisfied. Pathetic. Fool-hardy. Upstream without a paddle.
And all of this was proved by the fact that I was currently sitting high up in the bright green foliage of the old granny-smith apple tree of my family's home, spying on the one person who actually meant something to me. It was proven in the way that I watched; jealous, searing in spite and hatred as I looked on to the scene below.
"Yeah, I'm off tomorrow, why?" she spoke. I couldn't see her face, hidden as her back was towards me. But I could see how she leaned to the side a little on the ball of her left foot; noticed how she held her right arm behind her back with her left hand, a tell-tale sign that she was nervous. Her smooth white skin was set off perfectly by her deep royal blue tank top; her curves more than hinted at by the slightly tight faded blue-jean shorts that she wore that showed off the back of her toned and impeccable legs that were pillars of perfection. Waves of chocolate mocha curls fell in large and natural ringlets down to the curve of her backside. The light and springy summer breeze wafted those curls about, swaying them in its caress, and casting tints of gold from the shards of Michigan sun raining down on her. She glowed like an angel.
And she was more than desirable. She was more than wanted. She was the purest form of temptation; the Eve of my life, the apple of my soul.
The same way couldn't help the longing feeling for her, I couldn't help the acidic, putrid bile that rose in my throat as the russet-skinned monster spoke back to her. He looked down at her, iron-black eyes cast in lust. His mouth opened, white teeth flashing and words flowing forth as smoothly and hitch-free as any line delivered by a well-trained actor.
"I wonder, if it's okay with your adoptive parents, if you would like to go out with me tomorrow evening?"
I grimaced, I growled, I held onto the harsh, rough bark of the apple tree as resentment flowed through my veins like a poison. It was thick and heavy in my system, coating all of my organs and blinding rational thought.
I wanted to rip his throat out. How dare he ask for a date with my Bella? Dare assume that he could even consider the thought of taking my Bella out, alone, with no parental supervision? The supervision of my parents, who would ensure that this… this boy, this teen, this hormonally imbalanced pup would do nothing to harm my Bella.
'She isn't yours though, is she?' a cruel, taunting voice said in the back of my mind. It stabbed at my heart like an ice-cold dagger, freezing inside me. It was a voice that had resounded in my mind for a while now.
Bella shifted her weight from her left foot to her right. Her head tilted down a little to the side and then back up again. I could almost imagine the way her doe-eyes would look up, peaking through thick lashes. They would beckon, they would call. They would speak infinite words, and she wouldn't even have to open her mouth. Her teeth would pull her bottom lip in, chewing nervously of the supple pink flesh there, wishing for someone to kiss those gorgeous lips.
She would inadvertently make herself irresistible.
"I… I don't know Jake. I had some things planned with Edward tomorrow. He's only in for a few days before he goes back…" she trailed off. I smirked, despite myself.
'Yes, turn him down. Spend some time with me…' the more selfish, greedy part of me rejoiced.
A cackle escaped his vile lips and a large, plate-sized hand reached out, took a strand of that silk-soft hair and put it behind a rounded ear. I had to keep myself from jumping down, attacking him, throttling him for touching her. It would be seen by anyone else as just an innocent act, I saw it for what it was.
He was touching her. He was giving himself a reason to be able to lay his hands on her body.
"Edward? Your brother? Don't you get enough of him already?" he asked, folding his arms over a grizzly-bear's chest.
She tossed her hair, catching the light in strands that had not yet been soaked in its rays.
"I like spending time with him, he's hardly ever around, what with college," she reasoned.
'She defended me!'
He rolled his eyes. "His problem, right? Come on, you've been all cooped up in there with him and your parents. Take a ride on the wild side," he coaxed. I narrowed my eyes.
Who did he think he was, trying to get Bella to move her way out of my company?
I saw her shoulders rise in a sigh, though I couldn't hear it.
"I don't know, Jake."
"Come on. Just this once? You can't possibly find him interesting, I mean, doesn't he like, write music and shit? What are you going to do, sit around all day and listen to that?" he quipped.
There was a small silence for a moment, immeasurable by seconds or minutes or hours or days. It seemed to go on forever. I hung onto the silence though, waiting for her to reply. As much as I wanted her to turn him down, I knew that it was most likely not going to happen.
I knew my adopted sister. Though she was a strong-willed individual, she tried oh so hard to please everyone.
Even this vile, insignificant competitor to my Bella's affections.
She moved her hands from behind her to rest at her sides, swinging slightly there. She turned her head, casting her eyes down to the ground, eyeing a patch of decaying brown grass. She seemed to stare at it, contemplating, before turning her head back, and staring straight at me with the side of her face.
Her check was flushed rose-petal-red, bottom lip out in a pout that had been there since the first day that she arrived at our house three years ago. Her half-faced expression was first surprised; taking in the fact that I was up here, in this tree, spying—as crass as the word was—on her. There was a hint of recognition, though, and I couldn't help but wonder if she had known all along that I was up there to begin with. And then I watched as her expression morphed from that look of surprise to betrayal. I could only imagine what she was thinking. Probably questioning why I was watching her after she had warned me to never intrude on her personal life again…
Three months ago, Edward's last visit
I was walking down the hallway, making my way towards the guest room of my parent's house—my old house—to find a book on music theory for a paper I was supposed to write. Being the middle of the semester, it was probably not a good idea for me to have put off the assignment for so long, but being back here with the family was just too much of an opportunity to pass up. Having let the whole thing slip by until just a few days until I went back was not the smartest thing to have done, but I was using my time in a way I deemed otherwise productive: hanging out with Bella.
Ever since college had started, I had been so busy away at the campus. For the first three or four months I wasn't even able to come and visit I was so busy. This was my first visit up here since starting school and I had been spending most of my time catching up with Bella. I enjoyed spending the days with her.
She had matured a lot while I was away. Even just a year and a half younger than me, she was as intelligent and well-versed as anyone my age. She had a mind, and she had a heart. It was great hearing her talk about all her friends, her activities at school. Her ever-changing likes and dislikes throughout the year, movies she had seen, music she had heard. One of the many topics that popped up where her best friends Alice Brandon and Rosalie Hale, two people she shared a close relation to.
I smiled, thinking about how much more out-going she was now compared to how she was when she had first come here. She used to be so quiet, reserved. Now she was like an open book. She spoke so much about her life, letting me know so much about herself and telling me practically anything that seemed to cross her mind. It was a great thing; it had allowed me to get closer to her than anyone in my family before, perhaps more than I should have. I felt for her more than anyone that I had ever known before, cared for her more than my own self, more than what a brother usually would for his sister.
I supposed you could say I was in love with Bella.
No, you could say I was in love with Bella. The months away at college had taught me that. The days just didn't seem right when she wasn't around. They were empty, dark. Like a moonless midnight hanging above me. Of course, I was wise to keep my feelings and my thoughts to myself. Bella and I, we weren't blood-related, but we had grown up the last few years together as brother and sister.
And as much as I hated it, I would keep it that way. I was sure that she was totally oblivious to my affections for her. It was easy for me to keep my feeling hidden under the surface for just myself to know. She wouldn't know about it; I wouldn't let her. Knowing her it would only make her feel more inclined to feel the same way for me.
And I wouldn't want to influence her own feelings just to see if she felt the same way.
I continued to make my way down the hallway to my room. Thinking about Bella and our not-there love-life split my mood into two directions like a fork in the road. Where I loved to think about her, her face in my mind putting a smile on my face, it also made my heart cry out, wishing that we had it better.
I passed Bella's room, about to ignore the door completely. She had told me she had some weekend work in there she had to do, and that she would come out when she was done. I got about a foot past the door before I heard a voice inside. A male voice. I stopped in my tracks, moving backwards and stopping right outside her door. Her light was on, shining out through the gap in between the bottom edge of the door and the floor. I heard muffled whispering from inside, and I knew that I would be able to hear better if my ear was to the door.
I heard the voice again.
I placed my ear gingerly to the wood.
"…you ready?" said the unfamiliar person.
There was a pause before Bella's voice floated to me. "Yes…"
Silence met my ears before I heard a creaking sound followed by a sigh of content. A shift resounded from the other side of the door, and I heard a moan.
I balled my fists. That was a sound of ecstasy, a sound of pleasure. I clenched my jaw at the thought of someone even thinking about touching her, even wanting her in such a way. She was only seventeen, barely an adult—not even an adult.
But isn't that how I thought of her, everyday?
I drew in an even breath through my nose. I shouldn't be standing here, listening to what went on behind her doors. I should be in my room doing my work, not paying attention to what she allowed someone else to do to her body. I was her brother, not her keeper. For some reason, I couldn't allow myself to move. My ear stayed where it was as she spoke again.
"Touch me there, Jason," she sighed. I blanched. Who was Jason? She had never mentioned him before, and I had never seen him around. I couldn't imagine the thought of him being here before, doing—
An audible groan hammered my ears now, making me shake in anger. What was he doing to her to make her utter such a passionate sound? What could he possibly be doing to make her want this? She wouldn't want it, would she? Not my Bella.
Why wasn't I in there to stop him from ruining her?
Again I heard a creak, this time knowing full well what it was: the sound of a mattress. I heard the combined heaviness of heated breathing, the ruffling of the removal of clothes. There was a small break in that, during which time I heard the words "Did you bring them?" flow like water from my sweet Bella's lips.
I couldn't listen anymore.
I probably should have left well enough alone, let her have her moment in bliss. But something told that if I didn't, I would hurt forever knowing what I had let happen.
My hand clasped around the cold unfeeling metal of the brass, twisting it just like my heart when I saw the scene inside Bella's room.
Her face was turned towards me, shock evident in her wide round eyes. Her lips were parted, pink tongue resting on her bottom teeth as stifling silence met my ears, no coherent thoughts able to pass my mind.
She was lying on her back, nothing covering her body but a lacy blue bra and a pair of white cotton panties. The knee on the side that I was on was cocked up, a boy of around seventeen or eighteen with auburn hair settled in between her silky legs. He was shirtless and pant less, save for the pair of boxers whose waistband was in his fingers as if he were getting ready to pull them down. I looked to see a half-opened condom wrapper lying on the cotton folds of the purple bedspread.
I couldn't think, couldn't speak. I saw red flecks in my eyes. I felt hot anger boil beneath my skin, bubble and brew up to the surface. I wanted to throw something, anything. Destroy all that was in my way, go on a warpath. If it was possible, I would shoot fire from all my visible orifices at the despicable boy lying on her bed.
It should be me. And as much as I hated this… Jason for thinking he could have her that way, I hated myself even more for wanting the same thing.
The boy—Jason—looked from me to Bella with wide olive green eyes. He was in shock, that much was certain. He should be. I could see in his eyes that he was afraid. He had better be. I would kill him. Rip him to shreds, burn the pieces. Leave no trace of him or the hideous act that he would have performed.
This was something that I hadn't felt in a long time. Blinding, untouched rage.
It was my rage that kept me rooted on the spot. I wanted—oh, how I longed to rush across the room—to take that boy in my hands and throttle him within an inch of his life. But I couldn't bring myself to do so. I was incapable of mobility.
Bella was the first one to move, the first one to speak. She sat up quickly, forcing this… Jason to scurry to the end of her bed. She gathered up her lilac colored bed-sheets, pulling them over her and covering her pale and sweat-shined body.
I wished she hadn't.
Her mouth worked in angered words against me, pulling me from my thoughts. My sick, twisted and turmoil-filled thoughts.
"Edward! What are you… Get out!" she shot at me, fury evident in her words. I looked from her body onto her face. It was flushed, sweaty. Small strands of her beautiful hair stuck to the smooth skin of her forehead. Her breathing was labored and her lips were turned down in what seemed to be an embarrassed grimace, eyes flashing dangerously.
And she was breath-taking.
And why now, of all times to feel this… this feeling? The time that I find her in bed with someone, about to do something that I would have never pictured her doing; the time I find her about to willingly give herself to another is the time I feel inexplicable jealousy and anger towards another person. I shouldn't be feeling this, now was not the time.
In the midst of my thinking, the boy dared speak.
"Hey man, you're kind of interrupting," he said, annoyed. He spoke as if he had some sort of right to Bella. Like he had some kind of sick claim to her simply because he was in her bed.
He would pay.
As if moving on their own accord, my feet carried me quicker than I had ever moved before across the room. In a blurry instant I was in front of Jason. I grabbed him by his shoulders, digging my fingers into his skin as I pushed him off of the bed, nearly making him fall before I slammed him up against the opposite wall of Bella's room. His auburn-covered head hit the wall with a loud and painful sounding thud, bouncing off the vertical surface a few times before it stopped.
I hoped he got whip-lash.
"What did you say?" I hissed out barely above a whisper. He didn't speak. I pushed him again.
"What the hell did you say?" I repeated. He shook his head, trying to get words to come out. Bella spoke up.
"Edward, let him go! Let him go now!" she practically shouted at me. I ignored the words, shoving Jason up against the wall again. He would answer me. I wanted him to answer me. I wanted him to beg me not to beat the ever-lasting shit out of him.
"Say it!" I commanded. His mouth began to move, but nothing but unintelligible mumbles came out of his mouth.
I shoved him again.
"I—I… Yo, I'm sorry!" he got out.
"I'll make you sorry," I hissed out. As he began sputtering again, I brought my left arm back. My hand formed a tight angry fist, cocked back and ready to raise hell on his face. I barely heard the 'Edward, no!' behind me before my hand shot forward, giving me a satisfactory 'crunch'.
I could feel the bone give way under my fist, over and over and over and over again. I didn't think, I just acted. A crimson tide rained from Jason's face, and all I could do was hit him again to satisfy my need for him to suffer.
Over and over. I couldn't stop, I wouldn't stop. My fury was unending, going on for eternity.
"Stop it! Just stop it now!" Bella's voice came from behind me as my hand went forward once more. It registered my mind, clicked. She wanted me to stop, needed me to stop. The pain was evident in her voice. But I didn't want to stop.
"Edward! Please! Stop it!" This time, along with her words, there were fists. Somewhere in between my hitting Jason and her yelling at me, she had gotten up, crossed the room, and began hitting my back relentlessly with her little fists. She pulled at my arms, trying unsuccessfully to move me. Her nails scraped across my skin, probably leaving claw marks in the process.
"Leave him alone! Stop!" she repeated again. I didn't want to; God knows I didn't want to. But my hands fell to my sides as she pushed past me, trying to get to a battered Jason, comfort her broken would-be lover.
I was numb as I saw her go up to him; try to make sure he was okay. I was numb as he pushed past her, ignoring her attempts to brush away the flowing blood still pouring from his face. I was numb as tears poured down her face as her anguished eyes looked after him as he quickly pulled on his clothes, muttering in a way that was supposed to be under his breath.
He called me crazy. I was.
He called me a bastard. Likely.
He said he wouldn't ever come near her again. He had better not.
And then, all was quiet. Jason was gone, having slammed the door closed behind him in his haste to get away from me. I was alone in the room with Bella, nothing but our breathing making a sound against the air. She erupted.
"How dare you! Who do you think you are?! You had no right, Edward, no right at all! What the hell did you do that for?!" she screamed, pummeling me once more with her fists. I looked down at her, her face not looking at mine but rather to the floor as her hair whipped around as she continued to attack me. I could swear I could see furious, hot tears flying around.
They broke me.
But I stood there, letting her yell whatever angry words she had for me. I stood there, still as a statue taking whatever she gave me as she cried and yelled. Because if one thing was certain, it was that no matter how angry I was at Jason, I was more despised at myself for allowing my emotions to get the better of me and hurt Bella. Even trying to protect her—because in my mind, that's what I called it: 'protecting'—I harmed her more than helped.
"Ugh, you're such an idiot Edward! Why did you do that?!" she panted out. Her punches came slower and less frequent now, barely even touching me. She backed away, her feet carrying her to her bed as be buckled against it, sitting on the edge. Her breathing was slowing from the quickened pace that it was. Her hands were fisted in the material of her bed sheets, the comforter no longer covering her.
How was I supposed to answer that question? 'Why did you do that?' I could always tell her the truth, that I was blindingly in love with her, jealous that another had her so much that she would be willing to give herself to. I could tell her that I had to make him pay for even thinking that he could have her for himself. I could have told her that the envious rage that I felt blinded me.
I could have.
But I didn't.
"I—I… I just… I don't know," I finished lamely. "I walked by your door, and I heard what was being said and—"
"You were listening in on in my room?" she asked incredulously. I sighed.
She sighed, and shook her head. "You were totally overreacting—"
"What did you expect me to do, finding you and him like… that?" I interrupted. She scoffed.
"Left me alone to do as I pleased." I rolled my eyes.
"Oh, and is that what you do with every teenage boy you know? Whatever you please?" I said bitingly. I know I shouldn't have, but my anger was coming back as she continued do defend Jason.
"Maybe, and what's it to you? My body, my rules, and you had no right to spy on me and overreact like a crazy person!" she yelled. I was about to open my mouth, but she stopped me by holding her hands up. "No. You're not Mom and Dad, you're not my boss, or my keeper, or my—" She stopped short, taking in a deep breath through her nose. She closed her eyes for a moment before going on. "You can't just bust in and do that, Edward. I'm not a little kid."
"But you're my little sister." 'Oh, but I wish you were so much more.'
She shot me a fiery look.
"Then act like it. Don't act like some crazed b—father, and go off attacking people. Promise me you won't spy on me like that again," she said. I thought about it for a moment, thought of arguing with her and saying that I would do damn well what I pleased to keep some random sleaze from touching her.
I wanted to tell her she was mine. But I had done enough damage to her for the day. I had upset her; I had made her cry, all because of my jealousy. I couldn't do that again, at least, not where she would know.
And I couldn't say no to her anyway.
The days after making that promise three months ago had proven to be hard. I tried not to let what I had seen, heard, done, affect how my relationship with Bella was. But in truth, it did change. I tried to not let her presence affect me so much, tried to make my feelings dissipate into the dark past. The fact that I loved her much more than I should had now not only made my life miserable, but I had upset Bella by taking my jealousy and warping into a violent rage.
Essentially, I tried to fall out of love with her.
I had for weeks—even after I had left home and was back on the campus—tried and tried to make myself see Bella for the less-than-perfect creature that she was. Had tried to pull apart everything that she had done, everything that she had said, and seen it for what it was. I tried to turn her flaws from a mild grey to darkened black, painting her that way so that she seemed more a nuisance and an unwanted candidate for my affections rather than the headliner of my mind.
I analyzed everything she had ever done; all her quirks, all her short-comings, hoping to love her less so I could move on and prevent myself from hurting her more and inadvertently myself.
At first, it worked. She made me hate her those first weeks after I went back to college. Why should I waste my life on someone who obviously did not want me, who obviously was oblivious to my feelings? Why should I go on vying internally for a person who couldn't see what she was enough to save herself for someone who meant something? Why should I go on with a wilting heart waiting for my true love to come along and kiss my spell goodbye? I told myself to forget the wasted labors of love, move on. Then maybe I could find happiness in myself and in life.
Because why should I want someone less than total perfection?
And then I began to realize—as time wore on, and I began to try to go about with other companions—how could I not love her for all her wrongs? How could I not love someone who was so impossibly humanly and amazing that she made me fell so many things at once? I berated myself; beat myself internally for what seemed like eons for trying to turn my heart against her. It was her flaws I loved so much, her uniquely imperfect personality that made me want her so much. The others—oh, the other women I sought comfort in so futilely to forget her—could never possibly compare to her, and it was foolish of me to think that they possibly could.
And through my revelations, I also realized that if I truly loved her, I would treat her more like my sister than I had ever before. I would distance myself; immerse myself in school, anything, to keep from going off like I had done with Jason.
Of course, sitting in an apple tree and spying on her wasn't helping the matter much. Watching her now, accepting the date with Jake as she turned her head away from me with an angry fire in her eyes was bound to put us back in the same emotional muddy rut as we had been three months ago.
"Awesome!" he said triumphantly, slathering a smirk on his face at her words: 'Of course I'd like to go out with you tomorrow, Jake. I'd like nothing better, in fact.' "I'll just pick you up, seven good?"
There was a pause.
'Please say no. Just forget you ever agreed…'
I sighed, turning my face away from the scene. Why I tortured myself, I had no idea. I leaned my head onto the bark of the tree, idly swinging my feet in the air. I tuned out anything else the two were saying, not wanting to dive deeper into the pile of shit that I would be in when Bella was done talking, and would be coming over here to bite my head off.
Yet again, I sighed.
I looked up, trying to find something to take my mind off the pathetic way my life seemed to revolve around Bella. Staring into the foliage of the branches above me, I looked at all the bright, emerald apples hanging from brown stems above me. Each one shined against the light of the sun, reflecting their own individual resilience in their smooth, impeccable skins. They each were almost too perfect.
All but one.
Hanging in the middle of an array of blemish-free Granny-Smith apples was a single, bruised apple. From another side, a different angle, it could probably have been mistaken for just another perfect, unmarked fruit. But from where I was sitting, I could see a single, lopsided light brown bruise decorating its side, making it a one-in-a-million on the apple tree.
For some reason, this apple—this solitary, unremarkable apple—caught my attention more than all the otherwise more appealing apples on the tree.
I needed to reach out and grab it.
I shifted my weight, swinging one leg over to the other side of the tree branch to balance myself so that I wouldn't fall. I scooted up, placing my hands in front of me to brace myself. Pulling my body up, I reached my hand forward, stretching my fingers out to their fullest extent. At first, they barely brushed up against the smooth skin of the apple. Then suddenly, a light wind rose up, caressing the apple and pushing it ever forward into my waiting hand.
I grasped around it, pulling it easily off the branch that it was resting on, sending the leaves of it rustling lightly. Placing it in my other hand, I scooted back carefully on my precarious perch until my back hit the trunk of the tree. I rolled it in my hands, inspecting it.
It was a really vibrant shade of green. It was more lime-jade than the others, rather than a consistent shade of jade. Small specks of light brown dotted it around where the larger brown spot was, but it didn't diminish the beauty of the apple anymore. It had a great beauty in its blemishes, a sort of finer quality for being less-than-impeccable, if you will.
For some reason, a reason I couldn't quite place, the apple that I held in my hands seemed significant. It was as if it represented something that I couldn't grasp at the moment. Perhaps…
"Edward! Edward, what the hell are you doing up there?!" I jumped, surprised at how immersed in my thoughts I was. I tore my eyes away from the apple, looking down to a very agitated Bella. Even angry, panting—most likely having run over here—and covered in a light sheen of sweat, she was marvelous. Her mouth was turned down slightly in that frown that made her look like a vengeful goddess. Her doe-eyes flashed, and if there was a wind blowing right now, she'd look like a Fury herself.
I cleared my throat.
"Enjoying the scenery," I said simply. She rolled her eyes, scoffing and crossing her arms over her chest.
"Don't bullshit with me, Edward," she fumed. "What are you doing up there, and tell me the truth."
"Okay, I was watching you," I told her bluntly. I mean, she had seen me; she had come to confront me. What was the point in lying? It would have done me no good.
"Why?" she hissed out. I shrugged.
"I don't know. Maybe I like seeing my sister making dates with random guys she's barely known for a week," I pointed out. She snorted.
"I happen to have known Jacob for two weeks, thank you very much, and unlike some people, he actually pays attention to me up front rather than hiding from me on a daily basis and sneaking up trees to watch me and my private business. You've been avoiding me like the plague, Edward, so why now are you suddenly oh so interested in seeing what I do and whom I do it with?" Her voice came out like shards of glass cutting against me bitterly. It was true, I had been avoiding her at most costs this week, but I hadn't thought that she had noticed. And if she had, would it have really upset her so?
I looked down on her. "I didn't realize that you were so upset by it. I'm sorry," I said repentantly. She held her head up high and haughty.
"Good, you should be." Then she sighed, and closed her eyes for a brief moment. Her head turned down towards the ground before bringing it up, hitting me with the full force of her eyes. She shook her head. "I shouldn't be so mad, but it's just frustrating when you constantly just… Just… Ugh. It's just frustrating, okay, when you seem to want to not be around me, or even have me in the same room, and then you do something like this. I just don't get it at all, Edward."
She cast me one forlorn look before turning on her heels, making her long walk back to the house. I watched her retreat silently, wishing that there was somehow something that I could do to make it up to her.
I probably didn't have an idea bright enough to fill a light bulb.
I sighed—for what seemed like the millionth time today—and turned my attention back to the solitary green apple resting in my hand. I had momentarily forgotten about it, what with my brief encounter with Bella, and so that seemed like a good focus for my warped thoughts. Staring at it, once more contemplating the pull that this solitary piece of fruit had on me, it hit me then and there, like a sonic boom going off.
Quickly, I hopped off the limb of the tree, landing with a hard thud on the emerald grass below me. I made sure to have the apple securely in my hand; I didn't want to drop or damage it.
Straightening up, I looked over towards where Bella was still walking. It was a slow, leisurely pace, but she had gotten fairly far; she was already halfway to the front of the country house where she lived.
I broke out in a run. "Bella!" I called loudly. She instantly stopped in her tracks, turning slowly before facing me. Her face first held a look of surprise, and then morphed into a reserved mode.
She watched apprehensively as I ran up to her. I skidded to a stop in front of her, panting as I caught my breath.
"Bella, wait," I said, holding my hand—the one without the apple in it—out in a sign of surrender. She eyed me before speaking.
Instead of answering I took her hand in mine. I tried not to think of how smooth and wonderful it felt in my palm as I looked into her eyes. Bringing my other hand up, the one with the apple, I placed it lightly in her hand. With both of mine, I closed her fingers around it so that it was safe in her hand.
"Sorry?" I asked. She looked down to our intertwined hands, staring with an unfathomable expression look on her face. Then, almost sporadically, a grin broke out on her face.
"Your peace offering?" She looked back up to me, her eyes laughing. I couldn't help the small smile that tugged at the corners of my mouth. I nodded.
"Yes." She chuckled, shaking her head and turning away from me. I was confused as she walked away. And then she turned around. Her head was down, looking at the apple in her hands. Then, she turned her face towards me, and looked me dead square in the eyes.
A blaring grin broke out on my face as I watched her turn away, but not before she brought the apple up to her pink lips, taking a bite with her wonderfully straight white teeth. I watched as she smiled, retreating into the wind.
She had accepted my apology. And in a way, I found a way to find peace within that.
Because the apple had been more than just a peace offering between us. It had been more than just a bit of autumn fruit hanging in the wind. It had been a symbol. It was a symbol of my forbidden love, the fruit I was never allowed to touch. It was riddled in bruises, but just as my heart was, it kept on living, thriving past its less-than-perfect life and going despite its shortcomings. It was as green as the raging envy that I knew I would always feel for her, something that would be there for all eternity. By giving that apple to her, I had given her something that would always be hers.
It represented my struggles, my plight. It represented all that I had felt for my Bella, all that I wanted and all that I needed. There was a subtle message written within its blemishes.
The representation of everything she was to me.
It told the story of my love, as untouchable as the moon and unreachable as the stars.
It told the story of my Forbidden Envy, the one I would never have.
Lennixx: *Wipes brow* WOW! It's finally out in the open! Gosh, it took me forever just to get through it!
So, this is my entry for the Sparkle Award's first challenge, the Apple Challenge. All guidelines can be found with the following link: http://thesparkleawards(DOT)yolasite(DOT)com/challenge(DOT)php
All entriescan be found with the following link:
[Be sure to replace all (DOT) with periods]
Big HUGE thanks to my ninja-beta, TRDancer. She's AMAZING. I swear, she puts up with my insanity daily, for multiple hours at a time. She rocks my socks.