Lyrical Melodrama Story Contest
Name of story: Remember Me
Pen name: An End Has A Start
Song story is inspired by: Fields Of Gold
Artist: Eva Cassidy
Category: Bestsellers Writer
Main Pairing: Edward & Bella
To read the rest of the entries, go to the Lyrical Melodrama Story Contest on the website/forum. If you want to see the rules for this contest, go to the website. If you have any questions about the contest, contact them either via PM or their email: competitons(at)thewriterscoffeeshop(dot)com or go to: thewriterscoffeeshop(dot)com
Disclaimer: Don't own Twilight etc.
Chapter One: Time to Fly
It was snowing a blizzard the day we buried her. The heavy snowflakes were falling and settling, leaving the town cloaked in a white blanket. We made the funeral procession go ahead, through the thickly covered streets of Forks, so she may have her wishes granted.
I walked behind the horse-drawn hearse, dressed head to toe in black, fighting back the tears. My sister, Alice, was walking behind me with the kids, holding their hands like I should have been. Beside me was Charlie, Bella's father, fighting the same fight I was, but he was losing. We were not too proud to cry in public but we were attempting to present a united front for the kids.
Every so often I would fight for my breath, the frost in the air mimicking my actions as the water in my breath froze, leaving what looked like smoke behind. It was hardly noticeable compared to the snow falling gracefully though, which was a welcomed distraction.
People came out, either to pay respects to the procession walking through, or to join the walk to the church where she would be laid to rest. I avoided eye contact with all of them, knowing I would see pity in their eyes. That was just something I couldn't take at that moment.
With each step we grew closer to where I would be saying goodbye for good. Before the funeral I had that last silly piece of hope that this was all a horrible nightmare I would wake up from. The minute she was laid to rest, at peace at last, I would have to wake up to the reality that she was never coming back. She was gone.
The church was packed to the brim with family, friends, and acquaintances that knew either Bella or myself. They all apologised for my loss, shook my hand and moved on. Some hugged me, needing to feel or give a little form of comfort but most stuck to the hand shake. My expressionless face probably told them I wasn't up for pleasantries before my wife was about to be buried.
My mother, Esme, sat the kids at the front of the pews, next to our main family and friends. She looked back over her shoulder to me and nodded, telling me it was time. I wanted to scream and cry out, throw a tantrum fit for a two year old. This just couldn't be it. She couldn't have died. No. She'd come back to me. She'd be at home, waiting for us. We needed to go home immediately. I couldn't stand there.
"Edward, honey, please." Her voice was crystal clear, whispering in my ear. It pulled my back to the many memories I had of her doing just that, whispering those words in my ear, convincing me to calm down, to love her, to grant her wishes, and to let her go.
A sudden light-headedness took over me and I felt my knees go weak. My father grabbed my arm and hauled me up to my feet before my knees hit the ground, and Charlie assisted. We caused minimal distraction and barely anyone noticed.
"You have to stay strong for this son," Carlisle whispered, the pain evident in his face too.
Bella was like another daughter to him and losing her had hadn't been easy on him either, or the rest of the family for that matter. We all felt her loss, like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples of her death had affected us all.
Several family members, Alice and all that, got up to say some words and then it was me. Their words were comforting but painful too, recalling times I had forgotten about. Then it was me. I had to say something, it was expected.
My legs felt like they would give out underneath me as I walked up to speak. All eyes were on me, some encouraging me to speak and others eyeing me with pity. I was going to have to get used to those looks.
Clearing my throat, and my head, I began, talking off the top of my head and hoping to ease people's worries about me and how I was coping.
"Bella..well where do I start? Bella was my first crush, much to Charlie's dismay." I shot him an apologetic smile to which he shook his head, giving me a weak smile back, silent tears streaming down his face. "As many of you know she moved up here to stay with her father. Well on her first day at Forks High School she tripped her way over to my biology desk and captured my heart with that all too familiar blush of hers."
I had to stop, to hold off the waterfall that was preparing to stream down my face. I promised myself I would make it through this in one piece and with God as my witness I would do so, no matter how many times I had to stop and start again.
"When we found out about the cancer the first thing Bella said was 'together we soar, but alone we can still fly' and it took me a while to work out what she was telling me. Before we even knew how serious it was she was resigning to the fact that she wouldn't be around to help raise our children together. She was resigned to the fact that she would leave us, not by choice, but leave us nevertheless. She was taken before her time, and she knew this was one fight she wasn't going to win. Bella, the most stubborn person I've met, gave in. It beat her. It stole her from us and left behind the memories.
"Bella cared for all of you, the people of Forks. She gave her heart and soul to this small town, embracing it's quirks in every which way. I'm sure all of you have your own memories of her, I know I do. She asked that I give you all the chance to write some of these memories down on the books we have so that when the children grow up they can get an insight into what she was really like."
I looked over to some of the pictures they had of her, adorning that graceful smile, that coy smirk, that angry pout, and that gorgeous blush. God what I would give just to see that one more day, just to kiss those lips one more time, hold her to me one more time.
"My beautiful girl, I'm going to miss you so much my darling but I hope you're safe, happy and pain-free now. You were an angel among mortals and now you're finally home, back in heaven. I'll love you forever my love," I addressed her, as though she was standing three feet from me.
Without saying anymore I shook my head and moved to sit down, the dam finally breaking and the tears spilling through. My father was on hand to take over next, it was meant to be Charlie but he was too cut up about it to speak, which I could understand wholeheartedly.
I followed the rest of the service to some degree. My mind was reeling from the emotional turmoil that I wanted to sleep, sleep forever and wake up next to my angel, in our bed, fourteen years ago, so I could relish every moment with her, knowing there would be an expiration date somewhere along the line.
Someone, I think it was Jasper, my brother-in-law, came and got me when it was time to move outside. We had the service in the church and were going to carry the coffin over to her burial site. She was being buried in the Cullen land of the graveyard, a corner at the far back, which was cared for specially. It was separate from the other graves in the yard, at least giving her some privacy. That much she deserved.
Charlie, Carlisle, Jasper, our best friends Emmett and Jake, and myself all picked up the coffin once it was cleared of flowers and made the long walk out of the church. I leant my head against the coffin and kissed it quickly, biding her one last farewell before we set it down.
The snow was still falling heavily so with few words from Priest Weber she was buried. And that was it, reality sunk it pretty fast. Emmett, who was by far the largest guy in our friend group, came over and gave me a crushing bear hug. He didn't say anything but it was clear this was tearing him up as much as the rest of us. Emmett usually didn't show deep emotions but when he did it was a sight to behold and right then he was hurting, badly.
Rosalie, his wife, came over to comfort him. I wanted to kick and shout about how he still had his wife yet was hugging and clinging to me. If I had those few precious moments with Bella I would not waste them. If her death taught us anything it should have been to cling to the ones we love like their our air supply, show them how much they mean to us like it might be the last.
Esme came over and took my hand in hers, giving it a squeeze. She told me the kids were in the car and that we were going home, trying to get me to come with her. There was a wake being help but I wasn't going. Alice was taking me home with the kids and we'd be there while everyone else went to the wake. I just couldn't bring myself to go, to be around people telling me their sorry and that they understand when they don't. They never lost their wife; they have no idea what it feels like to be facing the world alone from now on.
We returned to the house and like it was any other day the boys wanted to go outside and play. I knew they would be handling grief differently but I was angry they wanted to play on a day like this. Alice dealt with it though, sensing I was a mess, and gave them ski gloves and proper hats so they wouldn't get too cold outside.
She cooked us some food that neither of us planned on eating and kept my daughter amused. I sat like a zombie, barely feeling just to carry on. I don't know how much time past or for how long I sat there, but it had to have been several hours because when I looked out the window it was getting dark.
"Guys, come in the house now please!" Alice called, ushering the boys inside. They shrugged off their big woollen jackets and hung them up on the pegs like they were taught. I smiled a little as they raced through into the living room to warm up in front of the fire.
"It will be okay," Alice said, putting a steaming mug of decaf coffee in front of me.
"You think so?" I couldn't help but think this was something the kids or I would never recover from.
"Yeah, I know so. It's hard now Edward, I know." Tears were welling up in Alice's eyes. She did know, she had lost her best friend, much like me.
I opened my arms and she walked into them, crying softly into my embrace. Her tight little fists beat my shoulders in anger and rage. I took the blows and relished the physical pain. Being so numb from the emotional pain it was good to finally feel something, despite that it was going to probably leave bruises.
"Aunt Alice?" my son, Masen, asked. He was standing in the doorway, holding an empty glass and looking worried.
Alice quickly tried to compose herself before turning round. She gave him a soft smile, inviting him over. Getting down on her knees so she was at his height level, give or take, Alice accepted the hug he was offering her. My little gentleman.
"Our little gentleman." I nodded in agreement with Bella's voice, not caring that it was in my head. It sounded as real as you and me, I was going to cling onto it for as long as I could, just to hold her that much closer to me. Physical distance does not annihilate love.
"Are you sad about mummy?" he whispered, as though not to speak any louder in case it upset me.
"Yeah, I miss her."
"Me too," he said, staring down at the floor. "I want her back."
"So do I, so do I." Neither of them were voicing what they both knew, it wasn't possible, though I wished it was. "Now, what did you come in here for? I thought you were warming up by the fire."
Alice immediately took on the role as nurturer, seeing to Masen's every need and sending him back through. A flutter of memories assaulted my brain and I needed to get out of the kitchen for a moment. Standing up I grabbed my jacket off the pegs by the door and put it on.
"I just need a few moments, alright?" I whispered, looking out over the yard and towards the gazebo.
"Yeah, of course. Go on, I'll be here with the kids," Alice said, prompting me out into the garden.
"Thanks," I replied, shutting the door behind me before moving forward across the snow covered grass. I kicked the snow off the steps leading up to the gazebo, not caring about soaking my feet, and walked up to take a seat.
I glanced over at the house one more time to make sure the kids weren't watching before finally allowing myself to feel what had been bottled up for so long. Knowing that three young souls depended on you and only you was a lot to take in and I was trying so hard to be strong for them. They were dealing with enough today, they shouldn't have to worry about daddy crying too.
When they went to grandma's later that evening I would break down, I would really let the waves crash over me and drown myself in the pain of the memories. After all, I couldn't forget, would never forget, my beautiful wife, Bella.
Through the window I could see Annabelle, our youngest child at the age of four and our only daughter, now sitting up on the counter, watching everyone else move around the place. Her big brown eyes were going to be a constant reminder of who I had lost for the remainder of my days. She was Bella's double.
"What now, huh?" I asked aloud, begging for her voice to cut through the rustling wind and wrap me in familiarity. "What do I do now Bella?"
The lack of response ate at me, confirming what I knew but hated to accept.
"I can't do this," I admitted, imagining her sitting next to me like we would during summertime. "I don't know what I'm doing and I will just mess everything up. You were the one who knew how to handle the kids, I just supported you. What the hell am I going to do without you?"
"You'll manage, you always do."
"I won't this time, and Alice, Rosalie or my mother will have to step in. That's not fair on them, and it's not fair you're not beside me, helping me."
"I am helping you Edward, I will help you. The kids will be fine."
"What about me? I'm not going to be."
"No, but you'll survive until we're together as one again."
"I don't want to wait."
"You can't leave them to fend for themselves. They need you."
"Well I need you and that didn't work out now, did it?" I regretted the anger in my voice. I shouldn't be lashing out at her, not when I had this precious time with her. "I need you back Bella. The kids need you. Our family needs you."
There was no response and I feared I had scared her off with my venom.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell. I just….don't think I can do this. I want you, I need you near me, here with me and I'm a mess without you."
"I can see that honey." Her voice made me sigh in relief, happy to have her back.
"Don't leave me."
"I'll never leave you," she whispered. "I love you."
"I love you too, more than life itself."
"Don't do anything foolish," she warned. "They need you just as much as they need me."
"You're right, they do, and they do need you. I mean, how am I going to cope? I'm not. What do I do when Annabelle hits puberty and starts her period, or when she wants to date? And what if she has questions about sex, who does she get to ask?" I asked frantically, running my hand through my hair and tugging on it forcefully, thinking of all the instances where our little girl would need her mother. "What do I do then?"
"You answer her questions, you support her and you love her enough for the both of us." It felt like a goodbye, another one.
I sat in silence for a while, taking in what she said. As the sky darkened more the temperature dropped, meaning I had to go back inside. My parents had both arrived and were gathering the kids' things so they could go over to their house. I greeted them both, no doubt allowing them to see the hollowness behind my eyes, and helped.
When it came to saying goodbye I knelt down in the hall and told all three of them how much I loved them. Annabelle returned the sentiment before hugging and kissing me, Masen nodded, hugged me goodbye and went to Carlisle, while Charles, the eldest at the age of seven, didn't say anything.
I knew at that point he was as hollow as me on the inside, except he was much better at masking his pain. Mine was bared out for the world to see whereas he was keeping it hidden, close to his chest. I'd have to talk to Carlisle about that, make sure he checked him over to make sure he was going to recover from this at some point. Though, at the present moment, I doubted whether I was going to recover.
At the same time my parent's arrived, Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper returned from the wake. They were all sitting in the living room when I returned. After hearing a bit about what happened, all the love and support people offered, I began to tune them out, trying to tune everything out and just switch off. It had been a hellish day.
Alice got up and left the room, I presumed to make a drink or something. She returned though, not empty handed, but with a book in her hand, and eyeing me slyly. I leant back in the chair, knowing this, whatever this was, was going to test my ability to remain calm and collected in front of them.
"She gave me this, to give to you," Alice said, sliding a journal over the coffee table for me to look at. "It's to help you."
I picked it up and examined the cover. It had been decorated, her familiar handwriting gracing the front of it. I ran my fingers delicately over the letters, knowing that as some point not so long ago she had touched here too.
"You don't have to read it now, with us all here. Just promise us you will look at it," Rosalie said, leaning into Emmett's embrace.
"I promise," I whispered, nodding. I would cherish that journal more than anything else, especially seeing as it was her last parting gift to me. There's no way I would cast that aside as if it didn't mean anything to me.
Everyone was silent, waiting for me to say something else but I had nothing more to say. What was there to say? My wife was dead. I couldn't do anything to prevent it and had to watch it happen, watch her go. Hell, I could remember everything about that day, from the way she smelt – like strawberries – down to the socks she was wearing – red hockey socks if you're wondering, her feet were cold.
I remember the last words, last kisses, last touches and last looks.
Bella died early evening on November 12th, at home, in our bed. The very same bed I've slept in every night since then, holding on to her pillow with a python's grip for that lingering smell of her, and holding onto the memories like they would vanish in an instant.
"I think it best we all go," Jasper said to the still silent room. The four of them gathered their belongings, hugged and kissed me goodbye before heading out for their homes, with their soul mates.
Once the sound of their cars grew distant I let it all out, curling up on the couch to cry my broken heart away. My head became excruciatingly painful as the night wore on from all the tears, and I was getting to that point where you cry so much you can't cry anymore.
At some point I drifted to sleep though I had no knowledge of being tired. I was hurt, wounded and broken, yes, but not tired.
Getting up in the morning I ignored the pains in my neck and back, and continued on up the stairs to freshen up. The kids would be coming home at some point so I had to at least change my clothes. I stripped down and took a shower, trying to wash the pain away but sadly to no avail. Reaching into the cupboard I pulled out any clothes I could reach and threw them on, not caring if they matched. Who cared anyway, it's not like I had someone to look good for.
I went to brush my teeth and paused midway, reaching for my toothbrush. Lying next to mine was Bella's, untouched since the last time she used it. I couldn't help but think back to the last time I had seen her brushing her teeth, how close it was to the day she died.
"You and I both know I'm not going to be here long Edward, don't fool yourself."
"Don't do this Bella, don't give in," I pleaded, leaning in the doorframe and watching her get ready for bed.
"Edward, honey, it's too late," she whispered, tears in her eyes and shaking her head. "You need to accept that this is going to happen, whether we like it or not."
"I can't lose you," I said, digging my heels in about this particular topic, even though I knew I was being very unrealistic. But really, why would I want to accept that my wife was going to die?
"You won't lose me, I'll be here." There was so much conviction in her voice I wanted to belief her.
"Won't be the same," I mumbled, hating how we even had to have this conversation in the first place. None of this should be happening. "How can you be so strong?"
"Because one of us has to be." Bella continued brushing her teeth and placed it down on the counter, wiping her mouth with the small towel. "You can manage, you will manage without me Edward. Raise them well, and I'll be there to give a helping hand." Her soft lips kissed mine before she delicately made her way back to bed.
I grabbed my toothbrush, squirted some toothpaste onto it and then went to town on my teeth. All this pent up anger was pouring out by any means necessary, and this time it was at the expense of my gums which were beginning to bleed.
"Stop it Edward, get a hold of yourself," I said aloud to myself. "They need you, buck the fuck up."
And they did need me. It was Charles, Masen, Annabelle and me from then on out. If they needed something they would have to come to me. If they needed to talk it had to be with me. Granted, my family would be there for them too but it would mainly lie on my shoulders.
Bella wouldn't want them to suffer from her death, although they would. She wouldn't want me to push them away because they resemble her or because life was too hard. Hell, if anyone knew how hard it was she did, so I had to get a hold of myself, for the kids' sake.
Even though I was not hungry I forced food down my throat and cleaned the place up a bit, avoiding all the things Bella had left lying around though, like her little knick knacks. That was one thing which would never change; I would not be removing her belongings. It would be healthy to remove them at some point but right now, I couldn't even consider that thought, it was too ludicrous.
If the kids asked, I would however, remove her things. They had to be my top priority now…now that I had no idea what I was doing. Frowning at that thought, I walked downstairs and was surprised to see the journal on the coffee table still. I thought I had dreamt of that.
There was no better time than the present to have a look at it, without the children around, so I moved over and took a seat. Picking it up carefully, I set it in my lap. Opening the first page I saw Bella's familiar hand writing again and began to read, practically hearing her saying all this in my ear.
Remember me and let me guide you through these years.
This will be your parenting manual, tackling everything you could possibly need help with. I may not be with you physically but when I promised you that we would raise our children together, I meant it.
So, you're probably wondering what's in this. Well, I took a trip down memory lane and have filled this with suggestions, help tips, guides on how to bring up certain topics and generally things to make your life as a single parent easier.
I will be there though Edward, every step of the way. I'll be holding your hand so don't let go. And remember, I love you, forever. We will be together again, have faith.
Remember you? How could I ever forget you, Bella? Love of my life and mother of my children don't even begin to convey the love and adoration I have for you. It would not be possible to forget.