Never Let Go.
I didn't think it would hurt this badly.
I mean, I knew it would, but this is not what I expected. It feels like my heart has been removed from my chest and is being stabbed and chopped up right in front of my eyes. I can still feel it. The connection is still there.
It is still there, regardless that she lies next to lifeless in front of me. Carlisle works over her, trying to fix the un-fixable. Her life is draining away- I can see it in her eyes. Her beautiful brown eyes, which will never open again. She lies on the ground, on the cold cement, as the blood pools around her. I look around and vaguely wonder why no one is lunging toward her in an attempt to feed off of her. Are they as sickened as I? Or are they in denial... as I?
She tries to talk. She says my name. That is all that comes out of her mouth before she coughs. She coughs up blood, like before. Carlisle works faster. I whisper her name- she can hear me. She cannot respond, but she knows I am there. She is still conscious, barely. Her eyes flutter, changing directions if she has the strength to do so. She is dying; and it is my fault.
Edward looks at me for the briefest of seconds. I know what he will say- he will say that I did not harm her, and that I did nothing wrong. But this is it- I did not do anything at all. I watched it happen. I watched it all. But rather than trying to talk sense into me, he stays silent. Bella tries to calm me down, but I already am. I am, because this can't be happening- but I know it is. Maybe... just maybe if I convince myself hard enough, I will wake up again; back into the happy world of a few hours ago. Either this or I will fall asleep into a dream world where everything is perfect. Where everyone is okay. Either alternative is preferred over this Hell. But my brain does not co-operate.
She reaches a hand out toward me. Or at least, this is her intent. Her hand merely twitches, though, so I make it easier for her. I make it easier for both of us. I place her blood-soaked hand in mine, so she can use a small bit of her strength to communicate with me. She cannot speak. She can only think. And this is slipping too. I shudder as she shows me she loves me, and that she will never forget me. I tell her not to say this; that this is not the end. But she shakes her head. She is right- how much longer will I deny this? I grasp her hand, almost as if it will save her from the deep crevices of black that threaten her existence. Almost as if holding onto her physically can save her. It cannot.
She has no strength left. She shows me she loves me, yet again. She smiles, as do I. Why am I smiling as she slips? Carlisle continues his work. I tell her to live, and that she can do this. Again, she disagrees. I can feel the sting. Both in my eyes and my heart. I heal fast, but I do not think this stabbing feeling will ever heal. I cannot live with this feeling, but if she has managed for so long, so can I. I can do this because she can do this. She will live. Edward shakes his head. Why must they be so pessimistic? You have to live! I cry the chorus over and over in my head. Carlisle stops working. He cannot do anything more. She knows it.
Bella murmurs how much she loves her, as does Edward. This isn't the end. We have time to say that another time. Do not say it like this is the end! The phrase "Live like today is your last day," was not to be taken literally. This is not her last day. Her last moment is not going to be with sobbing statues over her. It will be never. She is not meant to die.
She thinks her mental 'goodbyes' to Edward and Bella, knowing Bella will get this message. Edward pushes her hair back, a sad smile on his face. This is not the way he has planned things. Bella holds on to Edward for support. Regardless of any physical power they both have, nothing has prepared them for this. Nothing has prepared me for this.
The blood is soaking through her clothing. She is dying. Her hand is still in mine. I am squeezing it tightly. I will not let go. She has told me never to let go of something I want, so I do not let go. But she is letting go. Is this what she has wanted? Or is she just not taking her own advice? I remind her of this. She lets out a weak laugh. I smile again. Her laugh. I still hold on. I want her. I need her. Her hand grasps mine with such slightness that it could almost be mistaken for none at all. It is hard for her.
I cannot tell her in words how to hold on. I cannot tell her how big a part of my heart she occupies. I wish I have her gift. I could show her. But now I can't. Now I will never have the chance to even try. Her face has a wax-like quality to it. I will never see her blush again. I tell her to hold on. I tell her that it will be fine, as long as she holds on. She does not believe me. Nobody does. I am the only one who hasn't come to terms with the situation.
Bella puts a hand on my shoulder to ease me as I tremble. I do not tremble for the reason she thinks, though. I shake violently as I do not know what to do. I shake as I take in short breaths- holding back the tears. The tears that aren't coming, because this can't be happening. She can't be dying. This sick, twisted smell of blood is just a hallucination. She is fine. I will wake up.
I keep murmuring for her to live. I can no longer tell whether this is for her benefit or mine. Am I this selfish? I don't know. So I hold on, because there is nothing left to do. It takes strength, but she looks deeply into my eyes. Her pupils are dilated. It is getting darker for her, harder to see, so her eyes search for light. I am afraid of the light- the light that she is sure to see. Afraid of the long tunnel that she doesn't have the strength to walk. I want to walk there with her. I want to help her there, and go with her. We could be together- but this is a journey that she needs to experience alone. I will meet her there one day. And then we can be happy.
She says she loves me, out loud, this time with the last bit of her strength. And because I know this is the end, I say I love her too. I say I love her and that she will always be in my heart- she will always be my heart.
She smiles, one last time. Her eyes slowly shut, and her hand goes loose in mine. My eyes widen. No! No, she cannot be gone! But I am no longer hearing her thoughts. They have disappeared. She lies lifeless in front of me. A tear slips down my face. I still do not let go. Another tear slips down my face. Then another, and another. And I am crying freely now. She is gone. I sob. The smile is still on her face. She grows cold. Bella sobs with me, as does Edward. Carlisle looks down.
I whisper that I love her once more. She is unresponsive. I should know this. But I can't help but feel that she can still hear me. I am still holding on. I am kneeling in a pool of blood in front of her. Her blood. And I still hold on, because I want her. Because I need her. My head drops. My heart rips violently from my chest. It is removed, and stomped deep within the bloody ground by the feet of death. And death grins at me with a mocking smile. It has taken my everything away. I am next on its list, for I cannot live without her. I do not want to live without her. I choose not to.
And she is still unresponsive. I should know this. I should know this like I have studied for a test. But I am not a good student. I have failed this test. I cannot make up for this mark just by doing well in another subject. Because I will never give myself that chance. Edward looks wearily my way. He will advise me not to, but he does not understand what I am feeling. I want to stop this feeling.
I want my heart back. I can get it, if I follow her to that light. It cannot be Hell. They do not send Angels to Hell. They take them out of it. This is why she left us. Because we were living in Hell, seeing her like that. I am still living in Hell. That light, I wish for it to take me far from these flames. These flames are burning me from the place where my heart should be. I wish for these waves of sadness to put out the fire. To put me out and drag me away. To drag me under, to the dark crevices I resent so much.
I whisper goodbye. And although I know she will never speak again, I can hear an echo of her voice in my head. She tells me to let go. She tells me to move on, and that things will be alright. I disagree. I try to formulate a response, but it is too difficult to think. I cannot even think of her name. It hurts too much, so I just call her "She." She was beautiful. She was what made life worth living. But now She is gone. And now life is not worth living. Her 'voice' tells me not to think like this. She says again that she loves me. And again, she tells me to let go, and move on.
So contrary to what she has told me many times before, I let go. But just of her hand. I can never let go of her, regardless if this is her wish or not. It is impossible. So I give her the next best thing, and I let go of her hand. It falls to the floor with such grace; I almost think that she is still alive. But there is no heartbeat, there are no breaths. She just lies there. The smile is still on her face. Another tear falls to the ground, making a small splash in the pool of blood, like a cannonball. I smile in spite of myself.
I stand up. The blood runs down my knees. My legs are weak. They have a difficult time keeping me up, but they have to. They have to, because I still need to walk that long tunnel. My eyes have a difficult time staying open, but they have to, because I still have to see that light. I'm having a difficult time hearing Bella and Edward's broken sobs, but I have to keep my hearing strong, so I can hear her when She welcomes me home. My arms fall to my side with no effort. I feel the lump.
The box. The tiny, velvet covered box.
Again, I smile in spite of myself. I didn't think it would hurt this badly.