"In The Dark" Contest

Pen Name: Randomgirl18

Title: Giving Up

Summary: Both Edward and Bella have lived lonely, depressive lifes. So sadden are they that sometimes they are willing to do anything to get away from it all. Even doing the unthinkable...ending their lives, their worlds, and any hope for a future.

Word Count: 3,331

His hands fell down to his sides as he bowed his head, tears rimming his eyelids and spilling over to fall down his cheeks. The night was still and quiet. The moon was cloaked with dark clouds and a light breeze blew through the air. The Bridgewater Cemetery was empty except for one man, who was having a hard time leaving.

For much of the week he could be seen here. He wouldn't go to a certain grave, no, he would just go a little ways inside and stop, looking down towards the ground, clenching his fists. No one bothered to ask what he was doing. No one saw the hurt on his face. And as he stood there, among the non-breathing, he wished he was one of them. He wished he didn't have to live life with such loneliness.

As he stood there one night, thinking about how death was so near yet so far, a young women was walking down the sidewalk. She pulled her jacket closer around her and put on her thin red gloves. It was getting cold out; too cold for her likings.

She had been walking to take her mind off things. These days, her schedule was too hectic and she needed time to just relax and enjoy life. But it wasn't as if she had a wonderful, fulfilling life. She lived in an apartment building by herself, working at a clothing store as she made her way through college; she didn't have much money. Her friends were slim since she didn't grow up in town and her love life nonexistent.

Truthfully, it was a shame such a pretty young women had to live life alone. Sometimes it was just so easy to want to erase all of it, just end it. She remembered nights where she sat in her dark living room, her eyes red from crying, and her hands wrapped around her kitchen knife, praying that she could find someway to make herself believe that it wasn't her time. She was afraid that one night, after another day with lack of happiness, she might not find a reason to keep living life. One night…she could end it all.

Her heels clicked impatiently down the path, and she increased her walking pace, wanting to get home before it got any colder. As she passed the cemetery, she glanced in. She had never been fond of the cemetery. It was too depressing, too mournful, and she vowed to never step foot it in. She gazed at all the graves, all the dead flowers and long lost memories. It's too sad. She thought. Dying is just too sad. And yet…that's what I need.

As she was turning her head back towards the sidewalk in front of her, she stopped. She saw a man standing there.

The man was tall and slender. He only wore a tee-shirt and jeans, and the women thought she saw him shivering. It was no night to stand there in the cemetery like that.

She considered going over to him. But the vow to never step foot into something so saddening wasn't something she wanted to break. Only when she was dead and gone would she ever enter such a dreadful place. She sighed. He won't be standing there long. He'll go home eventually.

She continued walking, leaving the man there, alone, under the moonless sky in the heartless world.

What she didn't know was that the man was desperate for company. He was lonely, he needed help, and one more night of this was all he could handle. He glanced towards the pocket knife clenched tightly in his hand, and he wished for a sign. A sign that meant that he wasn't suppose to do this, that somewhere, somewhere, was the company and companionship he had been searching for his whole life. Ten seconds later, no sign. He knew what he had to do.

The woman was reaching her apartment complex, but her walking was getting slower and slower. She was worried about the man in the cemetery. She was debating whether she should turn around and go back. If she was in his shoes, she would have wanted someone to ask what was wrong. She would have wanted to see the concern in another's eyes, beckoning her away from such a despairing location. She turned back down the street she had just come from without much thought, only that she knew she had to. I hope he's still there.

The man, with trembling fingers, opened up the pocket knife so the blade was out. He stared in awe at the sharp edge, running his fingers down the silver weapon until he reached the tip. He held it to his chest, closing his eyes, shaking from fear.

The women took off her heels. She had to run; she had to get there in time.

"I wish I didn't have to do this." The man whispered. "But I do."

Please let him be there! Please let him be there!

He pulled the knife away, pointing the tip towards his heart.

The women was running as fast as she could go. She was gasping for breath, clutching at her chest. She was growing tired, the wind was making her attempt more difficult, but she had to keep running, at least for the man's sake if not for her own.

"Bye." The man whispered.

I have to keep running! The women screamed in her head, and then she collapsed.

The sound of a soft thud momentarily distracted the man. He turned slightly to the left, then right, but no person was in sight.

"Focus, Edward," He whispered. "No one's here."

Again, the sharp delicate blade came to rest near his chest. One swift movement and that was all it would take to end his life. His life of such misery and despair, of loneliness and hurt. He was surprised he hadn't ended it sooner.

He was ready this time. Scared, sure, but ready. He took a breath, preparing for it to be his last, when, again, a faint sound made him stop.

"Damn it!" He hissed, spinning around to glare through the barred gate thickly covered with ivy. "Who's out there?"

The women sat up on her knees, trying to catch the breath that was stuck in her throat. She was near the cemetery entrance, and the sound of the mean voice of the male startled her.

"Tell me!" Edward cried out. "Who's out there! Don't hide!"

"It's me!" The women shouted to him. "I'm Bella. I'm here to help you!"

Help? Edward wasn't expecting that, especially from a woman he hadn't met before in his life. Still, though, he lowed the knife slightly and peered though the places where the ivy was bare, trying to see this women who portrayed herself as Bella.

She was attempting to stand up. Her arms were wrapped around the gate and she was edging herself upward. She was thin, with long curly brown hair, as well as brown eyes that seemed to shine in the darkness. She was wearing winter clothes, already prepared for the oncoming season, and the look on her face, though worried for the man, shown her own hurt.

"I'm here to help," She said again in a breathless tone. She glanced up at Edward for the first time. She was struck by his handsomeness. How could someone so vain be so heartless about himself? Well, she was the same way, she supposed; not believing in herself, she always thought she was pretty.

"I don't need help," Edward sneered, though deep down the pain inside him lifted slightly. "I don't even know you!"

"What are you doing in there?" Bella asked. She ignored Edward's last words. "You look to be…in over your head in something."

"I'm looking at my father's grave-"

"No. No, you're not. Tell me the real reason. Tell me you're there to hurt yourself."

Edward gasped.

"So you immediately assume I'm here to hurt myself?"

Bella had at last steadied herself and was slower moving forward to stand at the edge of the entrance. She still couldn't find the courage to go inside.

"Yes," She answered firmly. "I heard of numerous accounts on the news of people doing that. They believe that being in a cemetery will bring them closer to the afterlife. So that's what you're doing, correct? Ending your life."

The statement was spoken so calmly for how serious the matter was. Edward looked at her sharply, contemplating if she was either friend or foe. Was she there to really help him? Or there to just watch him die?

"I'm here to stop you," Bella pressed on, this time in a softer tone of voice. "I…I know how you feel-"

"No, you don't!"

Bella didn't bother to argue with him. She simple slide down onto the dirty cemented sidewalk, leaning her chin against her knees. The temperature was dropping steadily, and both of them were beginning to shiver.

"You don't know anything," Edward told her meanly, reaching for the knife. "So why don't you just stay out of your own business and go home?"

Edward turned around so his back was to her, breathing a sign of anger. He had not wanted any watchers. He had simple wanted to be by himself; the state he had been in all his life. He stared down at the blade, his hand shaking from the cold and from his fear. Why couldn't he just get on with it? The more time he wasted the worse it got.

"Fine," Edward said to Bella without turning around. "Stay there. But if I were you, I'd leave. You might not want to see this."

Once again, the knife was raised, this time with no return.

Time ticked by slowly. Edward was urging himself forward, screaming at himself in his thoughts; "Get it over with! Just end it here! Do it! DO IT!" Why couldn't he bring himself to? He couldn't stand to live anymore. He couldn't pretend to be okay, because he wasn't. He never was.

It seemed to be hours that past. The coldness had both of them shaking violently, yet they stayed grounded. Bella was dozing, under the condition that it was close to midnight now. She forced herself to stay awake.

Edward, on the other hand, was day-dreaming. He was day-dreaming about his past, the time in his life that was supposed to be the best, but wasn't. Such disappointment, such controversies. Maybe if his childhood had been better he himself wouldn't be in this predicament.

"Edward! I told you! If you can't fix your stupid bike yourself, there's no point in having a bike at all!"

Edward Anthony Cullen was his full name. He was seven-years old, small and fragile, living with his step-mom who was never home and his alcoholic father.

On rare occasions you could see him smile. Most of the time, though, a small frown, grown deep when he was upset, was permanent on his handsome face. He lived in a dirty old house a couple of miles out of town. He had no friends, or neighbors for that matter, and he spent a lot of time alone. He was shy and didn't speak much. The only time he talked to his father was when only extremely necessary.

"Why don't you understand, kid?" His father asked, swatting him with a buddle on mail clutched in his hand. "I'm not here to fix all the stuff you break. You break it, you fix it! Now stop asking, and don't look at me like that! Your crying won't make me go outside and fix your damn bike!"

"But Dad," Edward said. "I don't know how to fix it! And I want to ride it, Dad. It's the only thing I got! Please! Please fix it!"

"No. Do you hear me?"

Edward had grown attached to his bike. It was the only Christmas present, as well as partial birthday present, he had ever got. He would ride it up and down the dirt road in front of his house for hours, testing out it's gears and speeds, pretending he was racing, always zooming proudly to the finish line where all the screaming fans in his head stood cheering.

"Please?" He asked again, making a sad face that wouldn't do anything anyway.

"No, Edward, now stop asking."

"But Dad!" The seven-year-old wined, getting on his father's last nerves. He was drunk, like always, and when he was he got angry. Fast.

"Damn it, Edward! No!"

His father stormed outside and Edward followed along quickly. They were going over to the bike, which stood half put together in the driveway. Edward had crashed into a tree, and now the bike was awkward and was unable to stand without tipping over.

"See!" Edward chirped. "It's not that bad! All you have to do is- Dad! No!"

His father had already gotten the metal baseball bat, stored on the garage's wall, and was rushing over to the bike with the bat held purposely in his hands.

"No!" Edward screamed.

The bat hit the bike with full force, and the sudden impact knocked it to the ground as Edward let out a scream. His father continued to attack it, tearing apart some of the pieces and leaving it in jumbles of un-rearangable parts. Edward stood behind him, tears streaming down his face, awe struck.

"There!" His father roared. "I fixed your bike!"

"Why?" Edward mumbled. "Why?!"

"You deserved it," was all his father said, hitting his shoulder roughly, knocking him down to the ground. "Thanks to you I missed the weather report on the radio. Nice going."

"Dad…my bike…"

Edward crumbled down to the ground. The agony was too much for his young carefree heart. His most prized possession had been taken away from him. Now what did he have?

Nothing.

This memory always upset Edward, as well as others that seemed to repeat themselves over and over in his head. His mother's sharp voice, accusing him of being a bad son; his father's drunken comments that always sent him into tears…

"Edward?"

Edward came back from his thoughts, not expecting anything of what was going to happen.

"Edward?!?"

"UH!" He groaned. A sharp intensive pain shot through his chest and down his body. He went down to his knees, clutching his chest. The knife? The knife, where was it? What had he done with it? Where-

"EDWARD!"

Bella rushed forward and into the cemetery, tripping on her own feet as she went up to him.

"This pain!" Edward gasped.

"Oh god!" Bella said more to herself than to him. "Oh no! What am I going to do? You…you actually hurt yourself!"

The world seemed to spin out of control. Blood soaked through Edward's thin shirt, coating his hands. Bella was trying to calm him down, but she couldn't calm herself down.

Death. Right in front of her eyes, there, acting out right before her.

The death she thought she needed. The death that she thought could make things better. No. It made things worse.

Edward coughed up some blood and groaned. His eyes were rolling back inside his head, his thoughts muffled, Bella's screaming voice right next to his ear incomprehensible.

"Bella…I…" He was losing consciences. His eyes fluttered to stay open. His breathing labored.

"Edward, I'm going to call the ambulance. Please! Stay with me!"

"Bella…"

He collapsed, hitting his head hard against the ground.

"Edward! Edward, please!"

His parents would have been so proud.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

A pulse. A heartbeat. A life.

Edward opened his eyes to pure whiteness. It blinded him at first, but after a while he liked the brightness of it.

He was in a hosbital bed, healed from all injury, scarred for life by what he had tried to do. All in all, though, he was okay. He was alive. He was…glad for once.

Beside him, waiting anxiously, was Bella. She was still wearing her clothes from when the incident happened, which was about three days ago, and she hadn't slept at all. She sighed in relief at the sight of Edward, awake.

"Thank god!" She breathed, leaning closer to him. His eyes found hers and he smiled as well.

"What happened?" He whispered.

"You tried to kill yourself," Bella replied quietly, looking towards the floor. "You stabbed yourself. You…you almost died, Edward! The doctors thought it was too late!"

Edward leaned back against the soft pillow and closed his eyes. He remembered now. The night when he just couldn't take it anymore. The night when all he really needed was a companion, a friend, someone to guide him out of it. But he hadn't got one, so his only choice was to do the deed.

His eyes flashed open immediately to Bella, who still had an anxious look in her eyes.

"Thank you," He whispered. "I didn't know you…but you saved my life."

"And you kind of saved mine," Bella whispered. Slowly, she held out her hands.

"Friends?"

"Friends." Edward agreed, taking her offered hand.

There. A companion. A life saver.

And now, the Bridgewater Cemetery would be bare for once on cold nights no one dared to go outside for. Except for on occasions when Edward really did want to visit his father.