Epiphany of the Night
It was four thirty seven in the morning, and I couldn't sleep. It wasn't the rain keeping me up, or the constant creaking of the mattress.
It was more along the line of fear keeping me up. Because despite his words and promises last night, we were drifting further and further apart with each day. The only hours which brought us together were during the night, and only then were we together, physically rather than emotional.
A part of me was beginning to realise that the embraces we shared in the dark would also eventually become meaningless. Nonexistent.
A part of me—that I had been trying to close the door on for the last few months—was overtaking and overpowering the small strands of optimism that I had left for our relationship.
I had vowed when we first began dating that as long as I trusted him, nothing would or ever could come between what we had. But now that the trust was gone... where did it leave us?
Through the white curtains that Edward had put up last summer, I could see the moon in the pitch black sky, and the moonlight illuminated his head on the pillow next to mine. He exhaled softly, his breath fanning across my fingers.
Gently, I reached across towards him and touched his cheek.
Just a simple gesture as this brought a rush of emotions spinning through me, and before I could even blink, a tear had formed in my eye.
I loved him. I always did.
But last night had been a defining moment for both of us. I would have been willing to drop all of my doubts for him and start planning for our future. But instead, he forgot. Just like now.
I wanted to know. How did he forget that relationships need work? It's almost as if he forgets me during his day, and then I merely act as a reminder when he comes home.
I didn't want our love to seem like a struggle and a hassle, and yet that was what it seemed like at the moment.
Seeing him, asleep at peace, head nestled into the crook of my elbow, it was hard to mistrust the supposed 'love' that we shared. It wasn't that I didn't believe he loved me—he did, I knew it. But he'd been distracted by something else recently, and up until now I'd been complacent to believe that the answer was work.
I didn't want to feel like I had to question his actions. If there was something else though, some other distraction –I couldn't just let this drop. So I had to be suspicious of him. That definitely wasn't love.
"Bella," he whispered suddenly into my shirt, and instinctively his arms tightened around me. I was pulled closer against his body, and I relaxed into the slow rhythm of his chest rising and falling.
"Bella," he said again quietly, his voice full of contentment and peace.
"I'm right here," I murmured back to him as he clung onto me desperately. It seemed though he were afraid I would disappear.
At the sound of my voice, he relaxed into the pillows, the corner of his lips curling upwards into a warm, lazy smile. It was one of his true ones; one that I had missed. I smiled back tightly, unable to simply relax like he had done, because to me, the only time when we truly loved each other, was when we were asleep.
Only then could we hold each other without feeling the constant worry of what tomorrow could bring.
"Why are you staring at me?" he whispered quietly, his voice rough and grating, as his eyelids opened slowly. He raised a hand tentatively towards me, before he moved the lock of hair away from my face and pushed it behind my ear.
My cheeks flushed red, and I smiled weakly back in reply. "No reason."
He cocked his head, his gaze travelling over the dark circles under my eyes and my pale, washed out complexion. "Didn't you sleep?" he asked, his voice laced with concern.
I leaned into his hand that was still close to my face, and I pressed a kiss into the centre of his palm. "I couldn't."
His fingers brushed across my lips, his eyebrows still set forward in anxiety. "What kept you up?" he breathed, raising his eyes almost guiltily to meet my gaze.
I didn't reply; we both knew the answer. He sat up slowly, his hands reaching out towards me as he pulled me into his arms. Holding me close on our bed, I rested my head against his chest, not wanting to start the conversation that would destroy this moment.
"I am so sorry about yesterday," he murmured gently as he pressed his cheek against the top of my head. "Any other date Bella, I'll be there, I promise."
I closed my eyes tightly as my hands fisted around his shirt. "What do your promises even mean Edward?" I whispered, regretting every single word.
He kissed my shoulder gently, and then repeated his words. "I promise I'll be there."
"How can I tru—" I stopped myself sharply before I could finish my question.
"Bella," he pulled back quickly, his voice losing the sultry quietness and turning colder. "Do you trust me?"
Now, he was questioning me. "You don't have a right to ask me that."
I pushed his arm away from mine, realising that the moment had just been building up over the months to this. We no longer had our mornings together, and it wouldn't be too long before our nights together disappeared too.
His hand reached out towards me, yearning for the comfort and warmth we both found together, but I pushed it away. This time, it wouldn't be solved physically.
"I am so sorry for what I did Bella. I just... lost track of the time, and the work kept piling up, and before I knew it, the office was shutting up." He closed his eyes and leant his forehead against my arm. "This isn't what I want. But we both knew when I started training that things wouldn't be easy."
"I did know that," I ran my fingers through his hair gently. "I just didn't expect it to completely take over our lives."
He raised his gaze slowly to mine, his eyes full of the guilt and anguish that he wouldn't... or couldn't say out loud.
"I want to be with you," I whispered, knowing that these were fated to be the final words of our relationship. But his lips covered mine before I could continue.
"I want to be with you too!" he breathed fiercely as he pulled away. "We aren't ready to end yet Bella," his hands clasped my face tightly. "Please... give me another chance."
"How many chances can I give you Edward?" I asked him, my voice strained. "How many is enough?"
"Just one more; please Bella."
"Do you want me to trust you?" I asked quietly, and he raised his eyes suddenly – and hopefully – to meet mine.
"Of course I do."
"Then tell me something."
"Last night you... hesitated, where I asked you where you'd been." I closed my eyes quickly; unable to look at him anymore—his expression, ridden with guilt, would have only answered the lingering question in the back of my mind. "I don't want to question you, or be suspicious of you... I just want to know the truth."
The silence between us acted as the final nail in the coffin.
OAC - Seeing as I won the coin toss, I get to be announce the list of apologies and excuses that I have lined up. The wait for this chapter is entirely my fault - literally. And seeing as it's BIK's turn next, I can guarantee that you won't be waiting this long for chapter 5!
BIK: Actually, no guarantees! Just expect a long chapter, as an apology. I'll be busy with a few new one-shots, so be on the lookout.
OAC - I for one can't wait! And I also want to say good luck to everyone doing NaNoWriMo out there this month. I'm participating, so add me as a writing buddy if you're trying to conquer the 50k word count! (I'm not that hard to find)
BIK: I've been a shitty reviewer too, but I'm going to try to reply as much as possible. Well, enough of our rambling. Give us your thoughts please? It only takes a second, or as long as you want.
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