Edward had studied music, had loved music, for over a century.

His music collection was arranged organically, the filing system stored in his soul. He had CDs, mixed with records, mixed with cassettes, and none in alphabetical order. In the many moves between towns that the Cullens had undergone, his first priority had always been to sort his music out. The feel of the paper, the cardboard, the vinyl, the plastic, beneath his fingers, knowing that in his hands he held the rawest of human emotions, was intoxicating for him, and always settled him into the new place, made it feel like home. As much as a man, a monster, without a soul, without a purpose, could feel at home.

His music collection was arranged according to mood. He had music he listened to when content, music he listened to when pensive. He had little music to listen to when he was happy, as that emotion rarely cropped up in his existence.

Then he met Bella.

Now, his music was not arranged by his mood. It was arranged by Bella. There was music he listened to when he thought about her hair, music he listened to when he thought about her lips, her blush, the fine hairs on her arms. His music collection was arranged in accordance with parts of Bella. He felt more content with this arrangement, even beginning to approach the fabled pinnacle of happiness.

The day came that he destroyed this burgeoning happiness. After he left her, alone and weeping in the woods, music held no joy for him. He tried rearranging his collection once his family had left Forks. His hands automatically placed the music in the Bella arrangement. His brain made his hands pull the media back out again. He found he could not listen to anything. Everything reminded him of her, of what he had sacrificed to keep her safe.

He tried sitting at his piano, composing new melodies. At first, every time he began to play, he was aware of Esme's presence; hovering outside the door, hoping that this composition would magically begin to heal him, without any real faith that it would succeed. He only ever played in a minor key. His pieces were haunting and filled with anguish. He could hear the pain in Esme's mind every time he tried to compose, to be met with the agony-filled minor key, until she eventually stopped listening, unable to bear the torment in every note.

The time came that he could not bear the emptiness inside any longer. He waited until his family went to play baseball; they had stopped asking him if he wanted to come. Once he was sure they had left, he took every piece of music he owned; CD, cassette, record, compositions, sheet music, and he burned it.

When Jasper arrived, sent by Alice, in time to see Edward carrying his piano to the fire, he couldn't move closer. The waves of pain and loss echoing from Edward forced Jasper to his knees, gasping for the air he had not needed in decades.

Once the Cullen family had watched the most prized possessions of their youngest son wither into ash, they watched him leave.

Alice could not see where he had gone; he refused to make a decision. He composed music in his head, always in a minor key, every composition bidding farewell to a mane of dark hair, a pair of brown eyes, a vivid blush, and the unfulfilled hope of a life full of love.