Goodbye Never Hurt So Bad
Here it is, my new story. But I have to warn you that we have to get through a bit of Edward to get to Jake. I have to set the story up this way, so bear with me, and I hope you will want to continue reading.
Have you ever woken up with a feeling that something bad was going to happen? Well, there was a day like that for me. Before my feet could even touch the cold wooden floor of my bedroom, I knew, deep inside of me that my life was about to change, more than it already had.
I sat up and tried to pull my thoughts together, telling myself all the while that it was just grogginess, but my heart knew that my head was lying. The cold floorboards under my naked feet, sent shivers up my spine and aided in the eery feeling that hung over me like a storm cloud.
As I brushed my teeth and washed my face, I began to analyze my life, going through every detail of the past few months, like searching for the proverbial "needle in the haystack" and all of my suspicions pointed in one direction. Edward.
Sure, things had been absolutely dream like since he and I had declared our feelings for each other, but for the past couple of weeks I'd had this impression from the look in his topaz eyes, that he might be leaving again.
Of course I had pushed this thought to the far reaches of my mind and spent each day reveling in my fairytale happiness that deep, deep inside of me, I knew was too good to be true. But today, even though I pressed forward, trying not to feel this impending fate, I knew it was there.
Edward had picked me up as usual for school and we had ridden in silence for the most part, other than a few words about the day's assignments. For once, how I longed for him to be able to read my mind and have him laugh at my absurd and dreadful thoughts, then tell me that I was just imagining things. But he didn't, he couldn't, for whatever reason, so I was trapped with my silent speculation and fear.
By the time lunch rolled around, I was sinking deeper into a depressed frame of mind. Edward, I think noticed, but played around it, never once asking me what was wrong. This added more fuel to my suspicions and my mood sank even lower.
The day finally ended, and I walked to the parking lot, to find Edward leaning against his silver Volvo, with his eyes cast down at the dark pavement. He looked distant, I mused, as I came closer and thought that his expression was even more proof.
He reached for the passengers' door, opening it for me, then closed it behind me once I was seated. It moved in slow motion as it sealed itself next to my seated form and the sound of it colliding with the car's frame echoed in my throbbing mind.
Edward slid in beside me and had the car in reverse in one fluid movement, never seeming to look behind him, but I knew he was well aware of his surroundings. I turned to look at his beautiful, chiseled features, just as he began to speak.
"Bella. We need to talk about a few things. Will you go for a walk with me, when we get to your house?"
"Sure Edward. What do we need to talk about?"
My heart was thumping wildly inside my chest and my stomach rolled with a wave of sickness, at the thought of what he had to say. I noticed too that he had never looked at me, not once since we climbed into the car.
By the time we reached my house, my palms were sweating and my hands trembling as I fumbled with my seat belt and then the door. I actually beat Edward out of the car, for a change, and I knew that something was wrong, very wrong.
I dropped my backpack on the front porch and walked to where Edward waited at the edge of the dark, foreboding forest. His hands were in his jacket pockets and he never reached out to touch me, or offered to hold my hand. We walked, neither of us speaking, for several hundred yards into the brush. I hadn't spoken, for fear that I would break into uncontrollable sobs of stupidity.
We came to a small hollow in our lush, green surroundings and Edward stopped at the base of a grand pine tree that stood like a sentinel in the forest. Leaning stiffly against the rough bark of its trunk, he finally looked up at me, but only for a moment, then he seemed to focus his attention on the trees behind me.
"Bella, I have been thinking, these past few days. Well actually weeks, about you, about us. I have enjoyed your company immensely and you have given me many wonderful memories that I will always cherish. No one has ever gotten as close to me as you have and for your friendship I am eternally grateful."
I noticed as he spoke the word eternally there was a flicker of remorse that flashed across his face, as he tried to halfway smile through his statement. It was strange though that the partial smile looked like it was painful.
I found myself leaning against the nearest tree too, for support, as I felt my knees getting weaker with every moment that passed. Couldn't he hear the change in my heart rate? Didn't he care that my chest was heaving with a miserable aching pain that wouldn't go away, I thought?
Slowly, he continued, but never met my gaze.
"My family and I are moving. We have discussed the...well... the situation and we, no I, feel that this is best for everyone involved. You see Bella, I have certain needs and desires, that cannot be met here, in Forks. I need to go where there are others, others of our kind that understand what I am going through. And believe me Bella, this is for the best."
My mind raced and in the next few seconds I saw every quiet moment, kiss, and embrace we had shared over the many months since I had moved to Forks. Then my thoughts trailed to the nights I had spent cradled in his strong, cold arms, and I felt anger. Why would he come to me, every night and hold me while I slept, if he didn't care about me? If he didn't love me? I hadn't asked him to come. He came of his own free will. These thoughts moved at such a fast pace in my head that it resembled cold drifts of snow blowing on the bitter winter's wind.
I couldn't move, my knees were locked in place and I knew that this in itself was cause for me to faint, but I didn't care at this point. Slowly, he removed himself from the tree trunk and came to stand in front of me.
He looked into my eyes, as if waiting for me to argue with him or beg him not to leave. But I couldn't. If he needed something more, something more than I could give him, then by all means I wanted him to go. I wanted him to be happy.
"Well, I suppose this is goodbye then," he said, as he carefully reached out and took my hand in his.
This would be the last time I would feel his smooth, cool skin, against mine and it hurt. It hurt me to no end to think of the finality of his touch.
"You will be fine. I'm sure, in time, you will forget about me and move onto a more suitable relationship and find happiness. This is for the best."
I struggled, oh how I struggled for words to fill my mouth, for me to find the right thing to say to express how I felt.
"I see. I understand, I suppose. You need something that I'm not. Okay, if this is how you feel, I wish you the best of luck. I hope you can fulfill your needs elsewhere."
I said the last words with particular bitterness, because that is what was washing over me at that moment. He leaned down and kissed me cooly on the forehead and I closed my eyes.
I heard his voice trailing off in an echo as he said, "goodbye Bella. Take care of your self and don't do anything foolish."
Then, when I opened my eyes, he was gone. He had left me alone in the forest. He had left me alone, without him, and had taken my heart with him.
How could he do this to me? How could he just walk away from everything that we had shared? How could he leave me with his secret? Wasn't I the only human in this world that knew what he was, but still chose to accept him as a person, not as a monster?
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I didn't know him at all. Maybe I had been fooling myself all along. He was perfect, he had the world at his fingertips, so why would he need me? He could have any woman he chose. So why would he waste is time with me?
I hadn't realized that I was walking, until I ran face first into the trunk of a tree. My face ached as I bounced off the bark and it scraped the skin on my forehead. Falling backward, I landed on the cold ground and lay there, unable to get back up.
My world, the world I was so sure of, had just come crashing down on me and I was lost. I lay there, with my knees pulled up to my chin holding on for dear life, for hours. I was afraid if I let go, I would cease to exist.
Crying doesn't seem to be an accurate description of what I was doing. It was a cross between, sobbing, weeping, and screaming at the top of my lungs. This I did until I had no voice left, and the salty liquid inside of me had dried up. Then it was rain drizzling down that replaced the moisture on my face.
I remember feeling cold, but the cold that I felt inside was far worse than the cold my body faced on the outside. The shadows of the trees seemed to close in on me as I lay on the wet ground. I could actually feel the moans and sways of the branches high above me, as their voices became louder and louder.
Flashes and bits of memories played over repeatedly in my mind and I began to drift in and out of consciousness. The last time I opened my eyes, I became aware that it was now night. But, that didn't even frighten me, because I had no emotion left at that point. Nothing.
Time passed and my body became numb, but I welcomed and endured the numbness and even the pain of laying in the same position for so long, clinging to myself like I was the life raft adrift on an endless sea of despair.
I became aware of new sounds somewhere in the black, jungle like territory behind me, but I still couldn't move. If it were a wild beast and it came upon me to seize me as its prey, then so be it, I had no fight or will left.
Sniffing. The sound of sniffing. I remembered hearing what I thought was an animal, sniffing at my back. Then I felt the warm breath of the animal against my neck. But that didn't even frighten me, I just lay there.
It wasn't until I heard what sounded like footsteps that I opened my eyes. I could see a faint light moving toward me and for a moment, I wondered if I was dead and maybe I was going to a better place, but much to my dismay, this wasn't the case.
I slowly began to recognize the shape of a man, behind the glow of the lantern that he held. He was a big, broad man with dark skin and hair. But, as he came closer, the only thing that captured my attention, was his black eyes. The look of concern and disgust that he harbored there, became a curiosity to me.
"Bella? Bella Swan? Don't be frightened. I've come to help you. Are you injured? Did he hurt you?"
All of his questions came at me at once and I found them difficult to process. Who was he? Why was he looking for me? But most important, why was he asking me if 'he had hurt me'? Before I could think, I was mumbling out loud and beginning to cry again. I couldn't stop.
"Yes, he hurt me. He's gone. He's gone. He hurt me."
Then I was in his arms. He was strong and warm, and I felt safe and comforted as he held me close to his chest. I wasn't sure who he was, although I thought he looked familiar, but I knew he was there to help me. I clung to him and wouldn't let go, even as we neared the sound of worried voices.
"I've found her. She doesn't appear to have any physical wounds. But....."
I heard him say, as he slowed, and the voices became louder. Then I heard my dad calling my name.
"Bella. Bells honey. Are you okay? I've got her now Sam."
But I couldn't let go of this man. He was saving me, helping me, holding me. I wouldn't let go. When he too realized that I wasn't releasing him, that I was clinging to him and crying, he told my dad that he would take me inside.
I heard him step onto the wooden front porch of our house, and the boards creaked as our weight moved across them, then the front door swung open, and I saw flickers of light as he moved into the living room.
He brought me to the couch and came down with me, as he lay me onto a blanket that someone had spread out. He sat beside me, never once releasing me. I trembled as I felt the warmth of the blanket underneath me, and the tremors only worsened as I looked around briefly and saw strange faces and eyes staring at me.
This man, Sam, looked at me with eyes that read my thoughts and I somehow knew that he understood everything. He leaned down over me, so he could whisper into my ear.
"Bella. I know things seem dark for you right now, but in time you will find light again. And this time it will be right for you."
His words sent a strange comfort over me, and I began to relax, letting my body sink further into the couch. As I slowly loosened my grip on him, he wrapped the blanket around me.
I looked back at the faces of young men I didn't know, but knew they were with Sam. There were two others, like Sam. They had dark skin, black hair, and their dark eyes held some of the same sentiment as Sam's, that of understanding, but also that of suspicion.
That was the last thing I remember from that night. As I sank into darkness, I was accompanied by my pain, my loss, and my grief. It wasn't until the next afternoon that I began to come around.
As I opened my eyes, I realized that I was in my bedroom, upstairs. I looked around at the room, dimly lit by the limited natural light peering in through my small window and everything in my room reminded me of him.
The corner of the room where I first saw him standing, the first time I woke up to find him in my room. The rocking chair, where he would sit and watch me sleep. The extra blanket that lay on my bed to protect me from the coldness of his body, as he held me night after night.
The room became fuzzy and I felt a swell sickness churning inside of my stomach. I got to my feet as quickly as I could, and made it to the bathroom. I washed my face with cold water and let it linger there, closing my eyes and pretending that it was him caressing my face.
When the water had warmed to my body temperature, I opened my eyes and gazed into the mirror at a stranger. Thus was the beginning of my withdrawal into myself that would last for months.
My days and nights blended together and I just found myself moving in the motion that I knew I should move, but I wasn't really there. I went to school, because I knew I had to and I came home each afternoon, because I knew my dad expected me to. I poured myself into my school work, hoping that it would keep my mind occupied and off of other more painful thoughts. And my nights, my nights were filled with terrifying dreams and screams that would send my dad running to me each time.
I worked around my house like a robot programed for a specific task and tried to cook for Charlie, even though the thought of eating made me sick. I had to keep up certain appearances for fear that my dad might ship me off to Florida to be with my mom for a while. But, even though everything here was painful for me, the thought of leaving the only connection that I still had to him was even more painful. So I pretended.
I was no longer the center of attention at school, but rather the focus of whispers and side talk. I ignored it for the most part and kept to myself. I read my next assignment during my lunch period and sat each day at the end of the table, where a few of my friends still sat, somewhat close.
One friend who didn't give up on me completely was Angela. I think she must have wanted to a few times, but her heart was too big. She tried now and then to include me in what was going on, but I just smiled a dry smile each time and said, "no thank you."
This is how it continued for weeks, no actually I guess it was months. Three months had passed and even I was getting tired of me. So, I decided to try, just try to step out of my cocoon.
It happened to be a Friday and Angela again asked if I would like to do something with her later that night. She suggested maybe going to Port Angeles to eat then go to the bookstore. I bit my lip as I hesitantly agreed, and asked if she could pick me up at my house after school.
She looked surprised and a little unsettled at my proposal, but agreed and said she would be there at four o'clock. The rest of the day passed as usual, but today, I had to admit, I was ready when the final bell rang and hurried to my truck.
I called my dad when I got home and asked if I could go with Angela. I knew he would most likely say yes, as he had been encouraging me to get out of the house for a while now. My assumption was correct and I told him we would be back early. Partly because I wasn't sure how much time I could hold it together and partly because I didn't want to put Angela through such an ordeal.