A/N This idea popped into my head a couple weeks ago and I couldn't resist writing it. There are so many Edward/Bella stories out there that the other characters tend to get neglected....
I'd like to thank Katmom for her great advice and helping me to get to the ending when I was stuck.
And I'd like to thank LittleFairyMaiden for betaing this story for me..She was able to point out some things that I overlooked....
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyers owns Twilight....
"Emmett, what's wrong?"
I sighed. June was always a hard time for me. Even after eighty years, the death of my best friend weighed heavily on my shoulder. "It's June twenty-third," I simply stated.
I knew that Rosalie needed no further explanation. She sat beside me on the couch in our room and gently squeezed my arm. She had heard my sad story before and had always sat by me as I lamented over the memories.
Jumping into a lake; it was just an innocent child's game; a game that many boys my age and older played hundreds of times. So, when my best friend Gary had asked me if I wanted to try it when we were ten years old I said sure. It was a warm summer day and I was hot so I put on my navy blue swimmers. I grabbed a towel from the cabinet and went outside to await Gary. He lived right next door to me so I didn't have to stand there long. He came out wearing dark green swimmers with a towel and a rope in hand.
"What's with the rope?"
"It's so we can swing into the lake, Emmett."
My cheeks tinged pink from embarrassment. We started walking to the woods and found a worn path that led to the lake. I've been there before with my parents but they'd never let me do something as crazy as swinging from a tree. As we got closer, I could see an old birch standing right next to the lakes edge. It must have been a hundred years old. There was one thick branch that hung over the water. Gary walked up to it and swung one part of the rope around it.
He turned once it was up there. "Em, will you climb up there and tie the rope for me?"
I was better at tying ropes so I smiled and nodded. "Sure."
I dropped my towel and took a few paces backwards. Digging my feet into the dirt, I took off in a run and leapt, ending up in the almost midway up the trunk. From there I deftly climbed to the branch and tied the rope into a sturdy knot. I pulled on it to make sure that it wouldn't break before climbing down the trunk.
Gary went first and hit the water feet first. "Come on in, the water feels great!"
I jumped in and was immediately cooled off. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking turns until the sun was low in the sky, signaling that it was time to go.
I decided that this was my last jump. Gary was already in the water. "Better move back Gar, or you'll get wet."
He smirked. "I'm already wet."
I rolled my eyes. "Okay so you'll be soaked."
He moved back as I positioned myself on the rope. I propelled myself into the air and jumped, causing a huge wave. Gary screamed and I looked over to see him go under. I dove under searching for him. He was just floating near the bottom with his eyes closed. Adrenaline raced through me as I quickly went to him and swam ashore. I found his towel and placed it under his head. I covered him with mine. Gary wasn't breathing and his skin was pale so I did something I saw one of the doctors do once at a party my parents held. It was called CPR and it had revived the woman who had passed out. Turned out her heart just gave out and she would have died without the doctors smart thinking. I figured since CPR helped her it could help Gary so I put my hand to his chest and pushed on it. Nothing happened. I tried again and he coughed, spitting out water.
"Are you all right Gar?"
He coughed up some more water. "What happened? He asked, his voice barely rising above a whisper.
"You were pulled under water and unconscious when I found you so I used CPR to get you to wake up."
His eyes shone with awe and confusion. "What's CPR?"
"Something I saw a doctor use once. He used it on a woman who was unconscious like you and it woke her up."
I grinned. "Will you be all right staying here? I want to go find help."
He winced as he moved his head to nod and put it right back on the towel. "I will."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes Em, if you don't go get help then I'll just have to live here," he said.
"It could be nice. I could make a little tent and bring you food."
His lips curled up into a smile. "Very funny Emmett. Just go get help."
I nodded and with a last look at him, I took off towards our neighborhood. His mom was outside sitting on her porch swing. She smiled when she saw me.
"Hi Emmett, where's Gary?"
"Ma'am," I said politely. "We went to the lake but there was an accident."
She was instantly on her feet. "What do you mean 'accident'?"
"Well we used a rope to swing ourselves into the water and the last time I made a wave so big that it carried Gary under. I rescued him and he's alive but I don't think I could move him myself."
Gary's mom, Mrs. Thorpe, looked bewildered when I told her about her son. She ran into the house calling for her husband and came back out with him in tow. They followed me to the lake where Gary was still lying under the towel with his eyes closed. He was paler then when I left him and it sent a shock through my system.
"Oh Gary!" Mrs. Thorpe exclaimed. She rushed to his side.
"Don't move him dear," Mr. Thorpe told her.
She frowned up at him. "But we need to, to get him home."
Mr. Thorpe thought for a few minutes and then nodded. "You're right. We need to get him to a doctor." He lifted Gary into his arms so he was cradling him to his chest and started towards their house. After picking the towels up, Mrs. Thorpe and I were quick on his heels. I glanced over at Gary as we walked. His skin was still pale and his head lay motionless against his father's tweed jacket.
When we reached the front door, he kicked it open and headed straight for Gary's upstairs bedroom. He placed him on his bed.
"Will you go call the doctor?" he asked turning to his wife. She nodded and left the room.
"Is he going to get better?"
"I'm not sure Emmett, but if it weren't for you he wouldn't be here now."
I looked down at my feet. "If it weren't for me he wouldn't be lying unconscious."
Mr. Thorpe put his hand on my arm. "You saved him.
Rosalie kissed my cheek. I gave her a small grin. "See even Gary's father knew you weren't to blame," she told me.
I ran my fingers through my hair. "I wish I had done things differently."
"You helped him the best you could."
I shook my head. "But it was all for naught."
Mrs. Thorpe walked back into the room "The doctor's on his way. Why don't you go home Em and change into some warmer clothes?"
I didn't want to leave but I realized that I was still in my soaked swimmers and shivered. "Will you come tell me when the doctor arrives?"
I saw her nod before I made my way to my house next door. I took the stairs two at a time to my room and replaced my soaked swimmers for a dry pair of trousers and a shirt. I then raced back to Gary's house. The doctor arrived a few minutes after me and he went upstairs to examine Gary. When he had completed the examination he took the Thorpe's aside and spoke with them. Mr. Thorpe shook hands with him when he left.
"I never knew what he said. I guess I was too young to hear."
"And you went home soon after?"
I nodded. "I spent some time with Gary first. He had a bit more color in him since he was in bed but he was so lifeless lying there. His mom told me that I could do no more and to get some sleep."
"Emmett, why do you keep dwelling on something you can't change?"
I didn't look up at her. I couldn't. "Shit Rosalie, I killed my best friend!"
During the night Gary Thorpe died. He had internal bleeding the doctor had said. Bleeding, caused by a rib pushing a hole into his stomach from pressure applied to the ribcage.
When I looked up, I found Rosalie's warm amber eyes watching me. "For the first few years after his death I couldn't face going back to the lake. The memories were too painful." I stood going to the window. "Gary's parents moved the year after his death. Even though they had come to terms with what happened I think they just needed to get a fresh start in a new town; one that didn't constantly remind them of the past."
"A death of a child is a hard thing," Rosalie murmured. I knew she was thinking of Esme.
"After they left my last connection to him was gone. It wasn't until I was fourteen that I went back to the lake. I just needed to feel any connection to him even if led to bad memories. It became a tradition over the next four years."
"Em, you were able to give his parents some closure. If it hadn't been for you, Gary's body would still be in that lake."
"And now it's in his family's plot."
She stood and walked over to me, turning me so we faced she pressed her cheek to my chest. "But if it weren't for Gary's passing and your tradition you wouldn't be here now."
That was true. When I was eighteen, I went to the lake on June twenty-third, like I had the previous three years. I spent all afternoon there just talking to Gary's spirit. I knew he wasn't there but I still liked to pretend he was. As I made my way back, I came across a massive bear. It was the first time I had seen a bear in that part of the woods. At first, neither one of us moved; we just stared at each other. My footing wasn't stable and instinctively my foot moved a couple inches and that was my mistake. The bear attacked thinking that I was about to harm him. At first there was a little sting but soon it grew as more gashes were torn into my abdomen. Rosalie had found me and taken me back to Carlisle.
Rosalie was unusually silent while I reveled in my tragic memories so it surprised me at how vocal she was. Everything she had said held truth in it. I needed exactly what I had given to Gary's parents-closure. "Rose, do you think we could go to the lake today?"
She smiled and nodded before grabbing my hand. We were down the stairs within moments, waving at Esme as we ran out of the house on our way to the lake. It looked the same as always, even the old birch was still standing by the waters edge. Sitting by the tree trunk, I stared across the glassy surface of the lake recalling every moment I spent with Gary. It was twilight by the time I finally felt that I was able to move on.
I looked up when Rosalie placed a hand on my shoulder, her amber eyes searching mine for any sign of sadness. I gave her a small grin. "Are you alright?" she asked.
As I stood to go back home with her, I knew that though I would never forget my friend, I was now able to finally come to terms with what had passed and move on. "I am now," I told her.
E/N I hope that you enjoyed this..it was fun to write and my first time writing Emmett or Rosalie...please review!