NOTES ABOUT ESME'S STORY: BOOK ONE: THE HUMAN YEARS

So what was I thinking as I was writing? What inspired the writer? What in Esme's human life is carrying over to her new life? What insight can I give you into the characters?

Actual story passages from Esme's Story are italicized.

Since Book One is complete, some chapter notes refer to later chapters. Please be aware of this if you haven't read every chapter.

Chapter 1 – July 1901

Esme's dolls, Molly and Kristen, names were inspired by the American Girl dolls.

Chapter 2 – September 1905

She is protective and loving to her siblings. From early on, her mothering was obvious.

She is musically inclined.

Esme's grandmother, her mother's mother, is who Esme got her heart from. She was the glue for the family and Esme tried to fill that role but it didn't work with her human family.

Chapter 3 – November 1907

Grandmother sensed that Esme was special. She knew she was meant for something greater.

Chapter 4 – June 1909

Esme's aptitude for learning is obvious from an early age.

Chapter 5 – Summer 1911

This is the first chapter in first person. My feeling was that Esme was too young up until this point to be able to tell her own story.

As ladylike and proper as she can be, Esme is also a bit of a tomboy at times. She doesn't let being a girl hold her back and her parents let her get away with it for a while. They let her continue her education. She can sew but prefers to spend her time in her father's shed using her hands to create, skills that will help her one day with restorations. The tomboy also climbed trees.

Columbus was known as the "Buggy Capital of the World," thanks to the presence of some two dozen buggy factories.

Nurse Miller is 19 years old in this chapter.

Esme's first encounter with Carlisle is eerily similar to the first time he and Bella met. Esme is a teenage girl, his patient in the hospital and she, like Bella, is immediately struck by his looks when she first sees him.

The discussion about the cat, falling and one life vs. nine lives - Of course we know that Esme's life will end by falling again and once again Doctor Cullen will take care of her but this time he will give her another life.

Esme is just another patient and Doctor Cullen has exceptional bedside manner.

A young girl today may be embarrassed to have a doctor touch her skin, but back then when she can barely show her ankles in public, Esme is mortified.

Nurse Adams whisper in Doctor Cullen's ear that another patient is not doing well and he needs to check on him right away.

The moment of "twilight" is referred to several times throughout the story.

Just as Bella dreams about Edward, Esme dreams about Doctor Cullen. This also ties into Stephenie Meyer's statement that "but she (Esme) was just happy to be with the man/vampire of her dreams."

Chapter 6 – February 1914

Since the story is a first person tale, I wanted a way to be able to communicate the thoughts and feelings of other characters and letters seemed like a good way to hear their voice.

Thomas's background: He came from a family of similar society status to Helen's family. He is college educated. He graduated from college the same time Helen graduated from secondary school so he is about four years older than her. He started working at the same factory as Michael immediately after graduating in May 1913 and met Helen in August 1913. His last name, Cooper, was random – It was not after Coop on Nurse Jackie.

This is the first time we see Esme with some of her books. Of course Sense and Sensibility and Jane Eyre play bigger roles in "the dream" chapter and ultimately what Esme names her child. As for Bram Stoker's Dracula, it is a reference point for her on vampires.

Although healed, when the weather is just right, she feels an ache in the leg she broke.

The State of Ohio was rather progressive on education. The first junior high school in the United States opened 1n 1909 in Columbus. Most teachers attended five- or six-week teachers' institutes during the summer. Around the time Esme went into the classroom though, Ohio was changing its laws to require public school teachers to have a college education. The link to one of my sources on one-room school house education in Ohio is listed on my profile page.

Why do Will and Millie have two different teachers? Although Esme grew up on a farm, her family's farm is closer to Columbus than George's family. Because it is closer to the city, it is a larger community and therefore their school is larger than a one-room schoolhouse.

The Adam, son of general store owner James Collin, mentioned in Esme's mother's letter is Millie's future husband.

The last few paragraphs begin to establish Esme as a hopeless romantic.

Chapter 7 – June 1915

Peter Rathbone, Esme's first kiss – Peter for Peter Facinelli and Rathbone for Jackson Rathbone

Robert Lutz, Helen's school crush – Robert for Robert Pattinson and Lutz for Kellan Lutz

Grace (Platt) Smith turned into such a great character and I never intended her to take on the role that she did. When I first mention Grace in Chapter 4, it was just to build out Michael's family and to show that Helen and Esme naturally became close because they both had such age gaps between them and their siblings while the two of them were the same age. As I wrote more, Grace turned out to be this spirited character and I love her. Helen is soft and delicate at times - more romantic like Esme. Grace is louder and speaks her mind. Esme looks to her as the big sister on several occasions and Grace is happy to fill that role.

Charles is immediately attracted to Esme and feels like his wittiness and confidence will be appealing to this farmer's daughter. He thinks he will be something she has never encountered before and he's right. He is surprised by her aspirations and the fact that she isn't fawning over him. Right away, he sees her as a challenge.

Chapter 8 – May 1916

Charles is a rogue. He can be charming but he can also be a bit lackadaisical.

Chapter 9 – December 1916

Esme's parents want the best for her and in their minds the very best for her is to be a married woman. The fact that Charles comes from a wealthy background makes him even more impressive. They are frustrated with her because they can't fathom why she would possibly want or consider something else when this wealthy, attractive man is in love with her.

Esme isn't opposed to marriage but she is a romantic and being so always expected that she would marry a man that her heart beat rapidly. She believes in romantic love and marrying for love. She wants passion. She didn't want to resign herself to a practical marriage but she is obedient and knows at her age, she has to go through with it for the good of herself and her family.

Chapter 10 – June 1917

Esme would have worn a fashionable gown and the fashion of wedding dresses in 1917 matched what was popular in everyday styles.

You can find links to Wedding gowns in 1917 on my profile page.

The entire day is about going through the motions. She cares about Charles. She wants him to be happy and she wants to love him. In the back of her mind the signs are there that make her question their compatibility but she ignores them all.

She is happy because she has made everyone around her so happy.

Charles does not intend true malice when he kisses her hard or says things about treasuring her or that she is his (at least not prior to the wedding night.) He is a bit overzealous and possessive though. He does love her and he wants her and now that she has consented to be his, he wants to show her how much.

Charles is also a wealthy educated man who is "experienced." While he was in school he spent many nights drinking with his friends and sometimes woke up with a woman in his bed. He cleaned up his behavior a bit after he started falling for Esme but she also lived 50 miles from Columbus when she was teaching. She was a bit out of sight, out of mind. He wasn't always alone at night during those two months when he didn't see her during their engagement and other times while he was courting her. He never would have expected her to sleep with him prior to getting married and he wouldn't have wanted her to but that didn't mean he didn't deeply want her. He wanted to marry a virtuous woman but once the vows were made, he wanted to have his way with her and he expected her to be as equally as enthusiastic. That was foolish on his part.

He let lust above all else rule his emotions and decisions on their wedding night. In his mind, why wouldn't she want him as much as he wanted her? Hadn't she been waiting for this night her whole life? He didn't take into account how foreign or nerve wracking the situation was for her because he was used to being with experienced women who wanted to jump into bed with him. He is surprised, hurt and eventually angry at her reaction. He slaps her because she is hysterical. But the way he treats her after that is a horrible combination of lust, hurt and anger.

When it mentions him circling her like an animal, and growling, that was an allusion to the monster versus the man that we see throughout the Twilight saga. You don't have to be a vampire to see a human as prey.

Chapter 11 – August 1917

Charles is not beating her but he is forcing himself on her nightly. When she struggles he holds her down or grabs her, which is where the bruises come from. He has wanted her for so long and now that he can have her, he wants her all the time. If he hadn't gone off to war, he would have eventually backed down a bit but right now he is in lust with her.

Grace is placating Esme. She is concerned about her well being but she thinks Esme is overreacting and a bit naïve so therefore is trying to justify Charles's behavior. She is a bit thrown off by him trying to avoid getting her pregnant but still tries to come up with a reasonable response.

Chapter 12 - World War I 1917 to 1919

This is just a sample of the numerous letters that Charles and Esme sent back and forth to each other while he serves in WWI.

Charles misses Esme. Even though he hasn't treated her well he still loves her but being away he slightly recognizes that she has been unhappy. At the same time, he does exert his power over her by making certain demands of her. She is doing her best to be a dutiful wife and daughter-in-law. She also is the happiest she has been in her married life once he is gone. As time heals wounds, she begins to miss her friend Charles. She also is able to take a step back and think, this is my life and my marriage and I want this to work.

The broach locket has a picture of Charles in it.

Charles is doing his duty but he would have skipped it if he could have. He thinks it is a European problem. He would rather be home with his new wife.

I believe it was somewhere in this chapter that I realized that Charles reminds me a bit of Cal Hockley from Titanic. It wasn't intended but it is just who he is. He is head over heels for this woman and desperately wants her heart. He can be incredibly charming but controlling and can turn on a dime. He doesn't look anything like Cal though. Charles is about 6'0" tall, average build with brown hair and brown eyes. He is definitely handsome. In my mind he looks similar to Jack Huston. Now I didn't know who Jack Huston was or that he even existed when I started developing this story. When I saw a picture of him I was like Oh My Carlisle, it is Charles Evenson! And honestly, Jack Huston is not what I imagine Royce King looking like at all!

Helen was about a month pregnant when Thomas left. She had no idea yet.

Andrew Smith didn't get drafted because he is a bit older. He is 30 when Thomas and Charles left.

There is a mention of the Spanish Flu that at that moment Carlisle was treating patients for in Chicago.

Esme reads Cinderella to Grace's children just as she did to her dolls in the beginning of this story.

The room in the front on the right that Esme says is a mess is actually the one she has been sleeping in. It isn't really a mess but it is obvious that it is being lived in.

I headed into our bedroom. I had barely entered in a last year and a half. It looked unremarkable now. I quickly changed and climbed into the bed for my last sleep alone. I drifted into slumber and the same dream that I had so many nights with the towheaded child in my arms played through my mind again. There is a lot happening in the paragraph above. The room is unremarkable now because again time has healed her wounds. The only dreams I have mentioned was "That was the first night I dreamed of Doctor Cullen," at the end of Chapter 5 but since the child is towheaded and Charles has brown hair, she is not dreaming of Charles's baby. She is still dreaming of Doctor Cullen.

Chapter 13 – January 1919

The war has not been good to Charles. He has lost weight and aged. He has put on muscle though, which sadly eventually gives him more strength to use against her. He also comes back with the anger closer to the surface and is has made him very short tempered.

Charles and Esme are truly happy to see each other. Time heals old wounds and a year and a half apart has given them each time to reflect. He is a bit of a broken man due to the horrors that he has seen and all he wants is to come home to the woman he adores. Esme missed the man who was her dear friend before they were married and she longs to have him home. She wants this marriage to work and she wants to settle into life with him, be a good wife and start a family.

This chapter was heartbreaking to write because for one moment, for a few fleeting hours, this marriage could have worked out. I've talked with a lot of readers extensively about the events of this chapter. What is so sad about their relationship is that if Charles had given Esme just a little more time, if there were a couple more days like the morning after he came home, they would have been happy. The abuse would have never happened. She would have given her heart to him because as we know, she has such a capacity to love. They would have lived a long happy life together with a big family. He might have been able to salvage it, although it would have take longer, if he just let her go to bed the night he came home drunk but the incident on the stairs broke her heart – it also started him down the same path as his father and once on that path it is a life sentence...for both him and her.

Chapter 14 – March 1919

It wasn't until I heard the front door close that I started screaming. Esme freaks out. She is scared, hurt and angry and has a fit after he leaves. She is scared of what he will do to her and of a future with him. She is hurt both mentally and physically. She is angry that he is treating her like this and that she allowed herself to be put in this position by agreeing to marry him.

While dreams haunted Bella, they are a relief, an escape, for Esme.

The dream about Pride and Prejudice inspired me to eventually write the dream chapter.

Charles wants Esme to go see Helen because he doesn't want Helen to become any more suspicious than she already is.

Peter is Thomas. For some reason, I randomly started calling Thomas by the name of Peter along the way. I think I have caught all of the "Peters" by now and changed them. The boy that was Esme's first kiss was named Peter. Any other Peter references along the way should have been Thomas.

She is broken enough at this point that she fears becoming pregnant.

Every time Esme mentions a handkerchief, it is the one Doctor Cullen handed her in the hospital.

Chapter 15 - April 1920

Since cars are so important to the Cullens, I liked the idea that Esme learned how to drive as a human. Learning how to drive a Model T in 1920 took a bit of research on my part. I started with the Model T page on Wikipedia and you can find the link to it on my profile page. I also was able to find some very specific sites as well.

The song "Mama Who Bore Me" from the musical Spring Awakening lyrics seem apropos to this chapter. Years from now when Esme hears that song, it will take her back to the events of this day.

Did anyone think she was pregnant when she got sick after she ran outside?

Lazarus is a department store chain that started in Columbus.

Millie is very jealous of Esme. She wants to live in the city, have money and dress fashionably. In Millie's mind, Esme has gotten everything that Millie wants but cannot have. She feels little sympathy for Esme's problems and sides with her parents in thinking that Esme is being ridiculous. She thinks Esme is being completely ungrateful and cannot forgive her for not appreciating what Millie perceives that she has.

The bedroom scene is Esme at her most determined. By this time she usually just gave in to Charles desires. It was easier than to fight him off. He was bigger and stronger than her and no matter how much she fought she was never going to win. There was never a seduction to anything. She never enjoyed it and he thought nothing of forcing her into positions that with him felt degrading for her. Her taking control, even with an attitude, and initiated sex, was probably one of Charles favorite moments of their marriage. It made Esme realize that at times she could gain some control even if it meant doing something the she didn't want to do –at least it was on her terms.

Chapter 16 – May 1920: Part 1

The dream chapter took a lot of work. I pulled a lot more content than what made it in. It was at least twice as long. Much of the text is word for word. There is a lot of symbolism and hidden meaning in the text that was chosen. Much of it is foreshadowing. I'll include the first sentence of text for each section I note so you can look back at what I am referring to.

The texts used are from Jane Eyre, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Wuthering Heights.

"Esme, it is to undertake the education of the five daughters of Mrs. Dionysius O'Gall of Bitternutt Lodge, Connaught, Ireland. Of course like Jane Eyre, Esme is a teacher by calling but as you see throughout the story, Esme ends up feeling a lot more in common with Mr. Rochester than Jane. When she talks about leaving and distance could stand in for several things – the distance between Esme and Charles when she was still teaching before they were married, the distance when she leaves Thomas and Helen to teach in Ashland; or maybe it is something foreshadowing for her and Carlisle (I know, I tease).

A moment later I was dancing in a long room. Of course Charles represents all of the scoundrels starting with Frank Churchill.

In an instant the scene changed again and I was standing in a beautifully appointed room at Pemberley as Elizabeth Bennet. Of course the blond God image of Mr. Darcy is that of Doctor Cullen.

The time, place and story change again. I was shaking my head, tears running down my face in the parlor at Barton cottage as I looked up to find Willoughby wearing Charles's likeness looking at me with worry and guilt marring his features. Like Charles, the dashing Willoughby won everyone over and then broke his lady, in this case Marianne's, heart. There was so much promise that went unfulfilled.

In a flash I was in the story again, no longer observing it as an image like a play. It was night and only moonlight lit the massive rose garden before us. The chapter Richmond from The Scarlet Pimpernel is heart wrenching. Percy Blakeney, like Carlisle Cullen, is a tall devastatingly handsome blond Brit, who hides his true identity from the world for the sake of saving human lives. Sound familiar? Some consider The Scarlet Pimpernel the first superhero story. Esme is playing Percy's estranged wife Marguerite. In this scene she longs to tell her husband the truth about her past. She is also protective of her family, her brother. She hears so many distinct sounds. The two of them wordlessly long for each other but refuse to acknowledge it for pride is in their way. I love the ultimate symbol of adoration when Percy bends down and kisses every place her had touched and her foot tread – again, I can picture Carlisle doing it, can't you?

I resolved to be outdoors in the sun as soon as possible. Never had the exquisite sight, smell, sensation of nature, tranquil, warm, and brilliant after a storm, been more attractive to me. I loved this description of the outdoors and sunshine, which Esme loves. The description of Frank Churchill seemed very fitting for Charles and how Carlisle would feel about him. I also liked the part about time healing her wounds.

"The wedding is to take place quietly, in the church down below yonder and then I shall waft you away at once to town. This whole passage says so much about her future with Carlisle that I can't really talk about it without giving too much of Book Two away.

Elinor opening the door, saw I was stretched on the bed, almost choked by grief, Willoughby's letter in my hand, and two or three others laying by me. This is a reference to Esme's over all heartbreak.

``But you see that Jane,'' said Mrs. Gardiner, ``does not think so ill of Wickham as to believe him capable of the attempt.'' This section refers to Charles public appearance versus who he really is. She sees Millie as Lydia because her sister continues to be blind to Charles's true nature – she only sees the charmer and won't listen to the truth.

Elinor would not speak. Willoughby repeated the enquiry with yet greater eagerness. Elinor is Helen and Willoughby is Charles. Think about it in the context of Charles confronting Helen after he finds out that Helen was hiding Esme.

He turned now to face me and a new story inserted itself. I was in bed and I was sick…I was dying. Catherine Earnshaw was dying and I had rightfully blamed Heathcliff for my suffering but Charles's face disagreed. Take the words spoken by Heathcliff and put them in Charles's mouth. I can hear him cruelly saying them to Esme.

"I have no doubt of their being happy together," I said .I thought Mr. Knightley's "at three and twenty," rant was deliciously ironic coming from Carlisle's mouth. I also found the following line very appropriate, "A man would always wish to give a woman a better home than the one he takes her from; and he who can do it, where there is no doubt of her regard, must, I think, be the happiest of mortals." Also, Mr. Knightley's declaration is just so romantic, how could I not include it – although there are things in there that fit their future relationship, but again I don't want to give too much away.

You," Mr. Rochester looked down at me and spoke with such wonder in his voice, "you strange, you almost unearthly thing!I know it is ironic that Esme is declaring her love for Edward but it is Rochester. Again, the future.

Elinor hovered in the doorway, I, once again Marianne, was in bed, my eyes closed. Symbolism -Helen, her best friend on earth is hovering in the doorway, while Carlisle watches her with no intention of leaving.

Heathcliff was crying out with passion and grief, "Esme Evenson, may you not rest as long as I am living! Again the words of Heathcliff screams I can hear coming from Charles.

The scene was calm again as Knightley teased me, "'Mr. Knightley.' This is a reference to Esme only knowing Carlisle as Doctor Cullen in her human life and that she uses in their married life too as a term of endearment. There is also a reference to her speaking his name ten years ago, which is how long the time is between when Esme is treated by him and when she meets him again.

Mr. Darcy stood before me anguished, "Painful recollections will intrude which cannot, which ought not, to be repelled. I liked the reference to Darcy's father. Although Carlisle's lessons from his father were different, they were not much better – he chose to rise above it just as Darcy did.

Mrs. Dashwood appeared ready to cry under the weight of her happiness as she admitted to Elinor that, "Colonel Brandon opened his whole heart to me yesterday as we traveled. What a dream this section is for her. Her mother speaks so highly of Colonel Brandon/Carlisle and finally sees the faults in Willoughby/Charles. "My partiality does not blind me: he certainly is not so handsome as Willoughby;" – I disagree - as handsome as Charles is, we know Carlisle blows him away.

``You are joking, Esme," Jane Bennet with Helen's face exclaimed, "This cannot be! Engaged to Mr. Darcy! No, no, you shall not deceive me. I know it to be impossible.'' Having so many moments of realization or declaration of romantic love are part of Esme's heart longing to feel that.

"You speak of friends, Esme?" Edward Rochester asked me. *sighs*

My spirits were rising to playfulness again. I wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with me. And Esme will want Carlisle to account for it as well.

The following is one of my favorite passages in literature and seemed so appropriate for Esme and Carlisle - I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest - blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully is he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.

Chapter 17 May 1920 – Part 2

Nope, she is not pregnant yet even though she is once again feeling ill. Esme's health isn't great because of the strain she is under. She is depressed. As I point out repeatedly, she has lost weight because she has no appetite. This was a woman who was the picture of health prior to her wedding.

No matter how bad things have become with her family, Esme is still loyal to them and performs the role of dutiful daughter.

Esme is not in the wedding party.

"Because just last week my body indicated to me that I wasn't so even if I was impregnated this week, that would be quite an acceleration to illness from it within days." There is a bit of irony in this statement as we know her future daughter-in-law's pregnancy will be quite accelerated.

What I loved about writing the discussion of the dream between Esme, Helen and Grace is that Esme talks about the elements that she understands but doesn't know the correlations to her future.

Chapter 18 – August 1920

Someone asked me if the young doctor that treated Mary when she fell was Doctor Cullen and the answer is no.

Joyce mentions that she would do anything for her sons.

Mary is sympathetic because she is so blinded by love. Jonathan never had the best intentions going into this marriage. He didn't plan to be an abuser but he's not happy with himself and he takes out all his anger and pain on her. It's that, "take that smile off your face or I'll knock it off" and with Mary that is exactly what he did. And once he started he couldn't stop. Hitting her made him feel like he was controlling her. And that is the same with Charles, he feels like the only way to control Esme is to dominate her.

Someone said to me that they thought Esme was trying to feel Charles out to see if he would be a good father. In actuality, she's more concerned about keeping a child safe. She doesn't want the child abused or he/she to witness any abuse or the abuse cycle to continue, i.e. raise an abuser. She also fears for her own health and safety if she were to become pregnant.

There was humor in his voice, "No you don't. Whether your love me or not, you don't hate. It's not in you. So no matter how much you might want to despise me you are not capable of it and that is your curse dear. You are just too damn emotional." Esme's fatal flaw turns into her greatest gift.

Chapter 19 – November 1920 – Part 1

I knew early on that Esme would end up back in the hospital that she met Carlisle in. I also knew she would run into Nurse Miller. I loved including the discussions regarding the hospital staffs memories of Doctor Cullen. You figure every time the Cullens move, they leave behind humans that will remember them.

Esme's body is pretty battered. He hit her so hard that he cracked her rib so she has a lot of bruising on her torso. She has bruises higher on her arms and on her thighs.

I couldn't speak. Why did my life always change in this room? This is a reference to her broken leg changing to the course of her life because it ended her education. Now, it is a baby changing her direction.

I walked over to my jewelry box and opened it. I looked down at my dress and removed the locket broach with his picture that I always wore as a sign of respect that he never returned. I placed it in the box. I then looked at my left hand - at the bands that bound me to him. I asked God's forgiveness as I removed the diamond ring and the band of gold placing them both in the jewelry box. I glanced down at the rings that had rarely left my hand since June 1917, tears burning in my eyes for what could have been when that ring went on my finger on that beautiful day. I shook my head and swatted my tears away with the back of my hand and then slammed the jewelry box shut. Never again will I wear such a band as I will never vow myself to any man ever again. She never thought this day would come. She had every intention when she said her vows of until death do us part. This is very difficult for her. As much as the baby is a catalyst to leave, her never expected her life to end up like this. She is also angry so she vows never to bind herself to a man again. We know she doesn't keep this vow either.

The only reason Joyce has stayed until this point is for Esme. Without her, she has no reason to stay so she quits. After she officially resigns, she calls "Mrs. Evenson," Esme. Esme had asked her to call her Esme early on but Joyce couldn't because Mr. Evenson wouldn't like it. Since she was no longer in his employ, she could as a friend call her by her name.

Chapter 20 – November 1920 – Part 2

The names Laura and Thomas came from my fabulous beta TheCullenPixie.

Chapter 21- Winter 1920 to Spring 1921

What is the deal with Thomas? No, he does not have romantic feelings for Esme. He is unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Helen, which makes him love what she loves. Next to Thomas and her children, Esme is Helen's next greatest love. Thomas sees Esme through Helen's eyes so of course he adores her too. Thomas also is just an incredibly good person in the same way that Carlisle radiates goodness.

You'll be happy to know though that when Charles did show up on his doorstep the next day with Robert Platt and Jonathan Evenson in tow, Thomas punched him in the face. Actually, it was quite a brawl and Robert and Jonathan had to separate them. Charles ended up much worse for wear than Thomas did.

What became of the Coopers? Thomas and Helen's relationship with her family is very damaged by them hiding Esme. They are never truly forgiven by Esme's and Helen's parents, as well as Helen's brothers. Grace struggles with the conflict because she loved Helen and Esme so much and is a bit heartbroken to have lost both her "sisters." Helen has four more children. Thomas's company in Milwaukee shuts down operations a few years after the "Esme incident." They end up moving to Detroit and Thomas goes to work for one of the automakers, and continues to move up the ladder. They spend the rest of their lives in the Detroit area. They have a long and happy life together.

References to sunshine – Not only does Esme love the sun but she brightens a room when she walks into it. Imagine how hard it will be when she has to avoid it.

The only people Esme thinks to send her goodbyes to are Helen, Laura, Henry and Will.

Isn't Ida a hoot? Esme needs someone like her in her life. Ida is someone who says it like she sees it and in some respect similar to Grace. Ida is a woman who has embraced her independence after her husband passed. She loved him and they had a wonderful marriage but she wasn't going to stop living because he was gone.

Mrs. Greene is homage to Ashley Greene.

Chapter 22 – June 1921 – Part 1

She still has the locket with her grandmother's picture around her neck.

She hums to the child in her womb, just as we know she hums in the saga. It is a habit she developed in her human life. She does it when she is happy but it is also calming to her.

The whole sequence of her talking to the baby and then thinking about her dreams and Doctor Cullen were a late addition. Even here, she can't imagine a life where Doctor Cullen does not have a wife and family – it is what she would want for him.

She was cleaning like a mad woman the morning she had the baby because she was nesting. It is also a tribute to my own mother who was on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor the morning of the day I was born.

"You'll find it is instinctual with newborns. They don't even have to think about it." Words to think about in the future.

If Esme had had a girl it would have been Elizabeth Helen Barstow - Elizabeth for Elizabeth Bennet and Helen for her second cousin. Elizabeth of course is also Edward Masen Cullen's mother's name and Elizabeth Reaser plays Esme in the movies but they were not Esme's reasons.

Esme also liked E names because it is a tribute to her real name as well.

The two Edwards in literature are Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility and Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre whose character Esme defended to Helen at Millie's wedding reception in Chapter 17. Keep in mind that Edward Ferrars also became a clergyman, and of course Carlisle is the son of a clergyman. Edward was the #9 boys name of the 1920s. The late elder family member was her Great Uncle Edwin (Note in Twilight when Bella is telling Charlie that she has a date with Edward Cullen, Charlie "accidentally" refers to him as Edwin).

Someone told me that they have read other fanfictions where Esme names her son Carlisle. Carlisle was not in the top 500 boys names of the 1920s and is a unique name so I'm curious as to what her reasons are for that name. For now, I don't read other Esme stories because I have my own idea, as you can see, of the events of her life and I don't want to be influenced by other stories. When I finish Esme's Story, I look forward to reading other authors' versions and see what the motivation was behind Esme naming her son Carlisle.

Chapter 23 – June 1921 – Part 2

The dream that opens the chapter comes from Esme missing her family but also is a foreshadow. The baby leaves with her late grandmother = goes to heaven. Her living relatives leave too symbolizing the final separation from her family. She is about to be left completely void of all of them. Once she is changed, there is no possibility of going back to the Platts and her grandmother and Edward have moved on to heaven.

The coughing wasn't from Edward eating too fast; it was the early signs of illness.

Timeline of Esme's last week

Esme goes into labor on Friday afternoon.

Edward is born on Saturday morning

Sunday morning is when Edward and Esme have their alone time.

The first coughing is Tuesday morning.

Doctor Shaw comes on Wednesday afternoon.

Edward dies on Friday morning.

Edward is buried the next morning.

Esme's life ends on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Esme' heart stops on Tuesday night.

I heard a voice I did not recognize but by his golden tone, seemed to be responding to unspoken questions. It is Edward speaking, answering to what Carlisle is thinking.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Catherine Platt (Barstow) mother

Robert Platt (father)

Millicent "Millie" Platt (sister)

William "Will" Platt (brother)

Adam Collin (Millie's husband)

Michael Platt (Robert's cousin)

Sarah Platt (Michael's wife)

Howard Platt (Esme's second cousin)

George Platt (Esme's second cousin)

Louise Platt (George's wife)

George Platt Jr. (George and Louise's son)

Grace (Platt) Smith (Esme's second cousin)

Andrew Smith (Grace's husband)

Fred Smith (Grace and Andrew's oldest)

Edith Mary Smith (Grace and Andrew's middle child)

Joseph Smith (Grace and Andrew's youngest and Esme's godson)

Helen (Platt) Cooper (Esme's second cousin)

Thomas Cooper (Helen's husband)

Laura Cooper (Helen and Thomas's daughter)

Henry Cooper (Helen and Thomas's son)

Grandmother, Esme Anne Barstow

Edwin Platt (Robert and Michael's uncle)

Charles Evenson (Esme's husband)

Jonathan Evenson (Charles's father)

Mary Evenson (Charles's mother)

Mrs. Hudson (childhood neighbor, has a cat)

Jim (farmhand)

Doctor Warner (childhood local doctor)

Doctor Johnson (Columbus doctor, works at the hospital Doctor Cullen work at)

Nurse Miller (the younger nurse)

Nurse Adams (the older nurse)

Miss Keller (William's teacher)

Miss Mills (Millie's teacher)

Rachel Mead (Esme's elementary school classmate)

Joseph Williams (Esme's elementary school classmate)

James Collin (store owner)

Peter Rathbone (Esme's first kiss)

Robert Lutz (Helen's crush)

Arthur (Charles best friend)

Joyce (Charles and Esme's housekeeper)

Abby (Helen and Thomas's young, live in servant)

Nellie (Helen and Thomas's housekeeper)

Mrs. Jenkins (Coopers' neighbor)

Ida Mason (Anne Barstow's friend and midwife)

Billy Jackson (Anne Barstow's student)

Nathan (Anne Barstow's student)

Charlotte Jackson (Billy's mother, Anne Barstow's friend)

Doris Mason (Ida's granddaughter, daughter of her oldest son)

Judith Christianson (Anne Barstow's friend)

Doctor Shaw (Edward's doctor)

If there is something else you are still curious about, ask me!

The first chapter of Esme's Story: Book Two: The Vampire Years debuts on Friday, February 26!

I'll try and include more chapter notes actually in the chapters in Book Two. Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this story, please let me know by posting a review!