My name is Bella Swan and I am a writer that goes by the pen name, "Ella Marie" and I've been traveling the world these past two years. I've made my way all the way from Washington to Italy and from Italy to Egypt. Traveling is what helps bring out the inspiration of writing… and previous heartbreaks help as well.
It has been two years since Edward and the Cullen's have left but I'm okay now. Sure, it hurts from time to time but it's nothing I can't handle. I was in a deep depression for such a long period of time that I needed therapy in the beginning. When that didn't help and the thought of moving on was too much to bear, I jumped off a cliff. I was saved and dragged to shore that day. I don't know by whom, but whoever did save me, I say thank you to. It was probably someone from the reservation, but I'll never know for sure. It was my stupidity that gave me the wakeup call that I needed. After that near death experience, I realized that I didn't want to die and that I was going to get over Edward Cullen. And I did just that.
After I started to get out of my depression, I finished high school and wrote my first book. One night after thinking about Edward and how he was there to save my life and how he had left me behind, I began to furiously write on paper, remembering every detail of our past together, all throughout the night. When I woke up the next morning, I read what I wrote and I must admit I was pretty surprised. It was pretty damn good. I realized I had this beautiful story to tell and I wanted to share it with the world. Sure, it may have not gotten a happy ending but it was still beautiful all the same.
That story got published six months later and that's when my career took off. I did a small book tour which consisted of 6 stops in six different cities and that was it. Turns out I didn't need the college experience. It was like skipping a step. I now had my career.
People seemed to love reading about a fragile, young girl who was weak and powerless. They loved how she would fall into her lovers' ways and obey his every wish and demand. I may have left out the inhuman parts but I had the sadistic male who lured me to a ballet studio and a boyfriend who dumped me in the woods. It was all there.
Now, here I am. Enjoying the warm air in Houston, Texas and trying to gain some experience for my latest book that I have yet to start. I've already published two but I am having some writer's block on this one. I'm taking a tour that I signed up for and it's very exciting. I'm with a group of twelve for one week and we go and look at historical monuments and see how people lived in the past down south.
I've already seen the Alamo and as much excitement it was to see something so historic, I found no inspiration in a building that Ozzy Osbourne peed on.
I walk towards Henry who is leading our group to an old stone house. It's absolutely beautiful. The roof is caving in and it's barely held together but it's still magnificent. Walking in, I take a deep breath and inhale the woodsy smell. The wood is rotting from the wear and tear of the weather but I don't mind in the least.
Maybe I could write a historical piece. I could start off with a young woman whose husband is away at war and she needs someone to rely on so she decides to pack her things and ride off on her wagon, hoping to find someone to lean on in the process.
God, that sounded horrible. Hence, my writers block.
"Alright guys, you can all take a look around," Henry says while gesturing in front of him, "Enjoy yourselves but please don't touch anything. This home is very, very old."
I walk around and see an old rocking chair in the corner. The wood is rotting but you can see every detail of the carvings. I run my fingers delicately along one of the arms, despite Henry's wishes and let out a sigh.
I can picture a woman rocking her baby to sleep and fanning herself with one of those hand held fans. I chuckle at my silly thoughts.
Making my way into one of the bedrooms, I see an old dresser and a bed that has fallen apart. It's clearly seen better days. This home must have been lived in, in the late 1800's. It's exquisite the way everything was left as if someone were living in it now except for the broken bed and the fallen roof.
"Wow. Isn't this amazing?"
I turn around to see Tommy, a guy in my group who is obsessed with History and always trying to feed me details about his two dogs back home. He seems kind of lonely, if not a little bit weird.
"Yeah, it is."
"I talked to Henry and he said you're also a bit of a history buff."
Now, I know he's lying. As much as I like History, I never said anything to our Guide. Ever. Tommy must be getting on Henry's last nerve as well and he seemed perfectly well with the idea to pass Tommy off to the nearest person in our group… which is me.
I nod my head and wait from him to continue, knowing there is no escape.
"Well, I guess this family lived here and in 1865 they suddenly all disappeared one by one very slowly. The only person who was left was one brother. He ended up leaving because of all the pain this house left behind. He ended up getting married a few years later and never returned again. I guess there was a lot going on back then. Spooky huh?"
"Yeah, very spooky," I agree. "Odd."
"Oh, I got a text message earlier. My neighbor sent me pictures of my dogs. They're so-"
"That's great, but I should really do some more exploring, you know?" I cut him off with a tightlipped smile and look around the room as if I am truly busy.
"Oh, okay," he sighs and I feel a tiny but guilty for sending him off. "Well, here's a pamphlet on some history about this area."
"Thanks" I tell him.
He walks off and let out a sigh of relief. There's only so much a person can take.
I open my booklet; churches, churches and more churches. I wonder if Houston has anything but churches. There is no light bulb that suddenly lights up as I read the pamphlet so I close it and decide to venture further into the room.
I look around and make sure no one else will be walking by anytime soon and open one of the drawers and to my surprise there are lots of black and white photos. I take them out and look at the history. There is a woman with blonde hair down to her waist and I can picture her as the one who would rock her baby to sleep.
There were more of smaller children in very old fashioned clothing. It's amazing how these have lasted so long.
The last picture was not what I had expected.
Not one I had expected at all.
I was staring into the eyes of Jasper Whitlock.
…From his human life.
I can't believe what I am seeing, let alone holding. I almost want to cry that my past is returning but I want to leap for joy that a piece of history, not just any, but Jasper's is here with me. He would be so excited if he knew.
I hurriedly tuck the photos inside my pamphlet and push the drawer back in. I make my way outside the home and take a breath of fresh air. I'm on Jasper Whitlock's property. This was his home. This was the tree he used to climb. He was most likely the baby being rocked in that rocking chair.
I feel on the verge of having a panic attack. I put my hands on my knees and stare at the grass underneath me.
"Deep breaths, Bella. Deep breaths", I chant to myself.
This is just a coincidence. It's nothing more. You've moved on so this is no big deal.
I walk back to the bus and wait for the others to finish they're exploring. I just want to get out of here. I look out the window and see the big oak tree that Jasper used to climb. Edward never told me many specifics about Jasper's human life except that Jasper would draw pictures from the few human memories he had and they always involved this tree. He and his brother would make a game of seeing who could race to the top.
This very tree.
This was his home.
That's all that was ever said about his childhood and here I am barging in on his territory. He may have not lived here for many years but his things were still here. I wonder what the Cullen's would say if they knew about this.
I tuck everything into my bag and lean my head against the head rest. As soon as I close my eyes, I feel someone next to me.
"Are you okay? You were looking a bit pale."
Tommy. I feel like I just escaped him.
"Mhm. I am just fine." I lie.
"Are you sure? Henry noticed you looking ill so we're going to hit the road early."
"Sounds good." I mumble.
The ride was silent which I didn't take for granted and when we got back into downtown Houston, I bid a farewell to everyone.
I walked back to my hotel that was only a few blocks away and headed up to my room. As soon as I got in, I collapsed onto my bed and pulled out one specific picture out of my messenger bag; Jasper's.
I trace the picture with my fingertips and let out a sigh before I fall asleep, dreaming of life on a farm and climbing trees in sunny Houston, Texas.
This story has been published and completed for a while now but I saw some errors in Chapter One and I wanted to fix them.
I'm so glad people are still reading this.
Thank you so much.