I Heard Somebody Whisper 'Please Adore Me'

"Edward?" Alice called. He remained silent, unmoving. "Edward!" she threw her newspaper at the back of his head. Still nothing. "EDWARD!"

"Shall I?" asked Emmett, picking up an armchair.

"No, it's OK," said Alice, moving slowly towards him, "Edward? You have to stop this." Edward didn't respond, staring off in to the distance. Alice walked slowly around him, putting her hand on his shoulder. He shrugged her off absent-mindedly, his face unchanged, as if he wasn't entirely aware of his surroundings. Alice flinched at the look of despair etched across his features. She put her hand on his face, and gently said, "Go back."

"I can't," he whispered so quietly no human could have heard him, "I…I can't."

"But just look at what it's doing to you! And I assume you've seen what it's doing to her-"

"It's for the best!" he snapped, getting up and running out of the room. Alice sighed heavily. Emmett went over to her.

"Anything? Tiny improvement?" he asked, ever hopeful. The light went out in his eyes when he saw her expression.

"He's just…dead. More than usual, that is. If anything it's getting worse with time." Emmett put his arms around her, all his usual humour gone.

"He'll be OK when he comes to his senses." Alice stood up angrily, starting to pace the floor at a run.

"But I can't see him doing that! He is still decided on staying away from her forever and-" Alice lowered her voice to barely a whisper, "and if it stays that way, she's going to snap. I still can't see what she's going to do, but it's bad, Emmett, really bad." Alice closed her eyes tight. Emmett struggled with various more positive scenarios in his mind, and then gave up. It seemed if Edward remained so stubborn, refusing to listen to reason, then he genuinely was going to be apart from Bella forever.

Edward stared intently at the tree trunk next to him. Perhaps, if he willed it enough, it would burst into flames. Fire was cleansing. If it worked on the tree maybe he'd try it out on himself. It couldn't make him feel any worse than he already did- in fact, maybe physical pain was what he needed.

No, not needed. Deserved. Owed.

He could feel the guilt and anguish welling up inside him again. To try and distract himself, he punched the tree so hard that a large segment of the trunk exploded off in a cloud of sawdust. Breathing heavily, trying to calm himself down, he let out an ear-piercing shriek and flew up the tree, slamming off branches as he went. He reached the top of the tree, tearing the top set of branches off, concentrating on the way this made every leaf on each branch move as he threw it as hard as he could in front of him. He made himself a seat in the top of the trunk, carving it with his hands, wishing that his ice-white hands could splinter, wishing he could pay penance for what he had done, wishing…wishing for what he knew he couldn't have. Her face, broken with agony over his words swam throughout his consciousness.

"You…don't…want me?" her words stabbed at him, piercing though the protective wall he'd tried to build in his mind. He started thinking about everything around him at once; realising he hadn't taken in his surroundings, realising he hadn't even noticed the type of tree he'd just partly destroyed. It was a Fir tree, hence keeping its leaves through the autumn. He continued listing things in his mind, battling with his personal demons, trying to keep them at bay…

Then he realised. The realisation came like a fall from the top of a high building. He'd called the memory of her his 'personal demon'. How could something so angelic become a demon? The mental wall collapsed, throwing his memories of her at him. As he tortured himself to find the reasoning behind this dreadful thought of his, his will weakened. Maybe he could go back. She didn't have to see him; he could go through her bedroom window like always, while she was sleeping…

No, he couldn't. With a burst of self-loathing he realised she only became a personal demon because of him, because he interfered with her life. The horrific image Alice had let slip while he was still in range tore through him- Bella, alone, in pain…because of him. All of this was because of him, because of the monster he was. With a final scream of pain, he threw himself from the top of the tree and wreaked a path of destruction through the woods.