He looked at me with gorgeous eyes and flushed cheeks as my clenched jaw ached with the thrust of his words. My eyes, automatically narrowing into the tiniest slits of distaste and fury, assessed the pathetic bastard before me. He didn't know what love was. Not that I did either, firsthand anyway, but he certainly couldn't have been capable. Of that I was sure.

"I hate you, Edward Cullen," I spit with as much contempt as I could muster, and then I walked out of the room, shamefully counting every beat of my heart until I would see him again.

I had 311,039 beats to go.


My chest felt heavy and my heart slowed. It ached with a dull throb and a hum resonated throughout my body. I imagined it felt something like being stuck by lightening, yet I wasn't even surprised at her reaction, only crippled by it.

I cleared my throat, glancing around the vacant office, and forced myself to the elevators. One look at the metal door and I knew I couldn't ride it down knowing that it would smell like her, so I took the stairs to the thirty sixth floor and rode the utility elevator the rest of the way to the garage.

On the way to my place, I stopped by the grocery to pick up some Jack Daniels and a stack of frozen entrées, ignoring the bubble gum smacking teeny bopper with the nametag of 'Jessica' making eyes at me over the register.

"Here's your change, Sir. Can I help you with anything else?"

I shook my head and responded with a steely "No thank you," unnerved by the eyes I felt on my backside as I exited the store. I wished that they belonged to someone else entirely.

I couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if Isabella and I had met under different circumstances. If she were just a normal woman, and I a normal man who happened to stumble upon each other with fewer complications and lightened souls.

Maybe I would smile at her from across the isle of a grocery store and comment on the product she was considering, or perhaps I would bump into her on our first day at University, and insist that I take her for coffee as a proper apology. We would exchange numbers and I would wait a day before I called her back, so as not to appear too eager. She would be stunning as she opened the door to greet me for our first date. We would laugh and talk and agree on a second. I would walk her to the door, at the end of the night and we would both be nervous, but I would kiss her goodnight in spite of that.

Our fist time would be sweet and gentle after we both professed our love for each other. I would take her to my mother's house under the pretense of meeting the family, when in reality, I would be there to collect my grandmothers ring.

She would cry as she accepted my proposal, and once again as she walked down the isle, peaches and cream in a white gown, her dark curls and red lips the perfect contrast to her attire. We would begin to build a family of our own, starting with the honeymoon, and live happily ever after, loving each other unconditionally and irrevocably throughout the years as we watched our children grow.

We could have been so happy.

I didn't even bother to heat an entrée, I simply put away my things and headed to my bedroom, shedding my clothing and hopping in the shower. Hot water burned my skin, and it felt good until a trail rolled down my thigh, alerting me to a sharp stinging.

Sighing, I tended to the cut and finished my shower before crawling into bed and succumbing to bittersweet dreams of the both of us in a place where we could both have our happily ever after.

I refused to wake up for seventeen more hours. Unfortunately, even a few of my dreams knew better.

Glistening white feathers ruffled as they spread, shimmering in the light. They surrounded my angel, forming a backdrop as they arched from her shoulder blades. Her gown, white as the clouds she descended from, flowed with the breeze created by her flight.

She stood before me, her eyes large and innocent, her cheeks and lips colored with the most luscious shade of pink, almost red. My Angel's mahogany locks were pinned up and back, but a few curls were loose, hanging around her face and neck.

She took a step towards me, her hand reaching for mine, and as I grasped it, a tear slid from her eye. The honey chocolate orbs that stared into me darkened to a harsh shade of onyx, and a small shriek burst from her lips. Feathers flew and the skies darkened, wind rushing all around us.

Her back arched and a scream erupted from her, and the sound of a whip cracking broke through the air. It was a moment before I realized that was the sound of her wings being torn away, as she fell into my arms, sobbing. Black liquid ran down her back, beginning in the place her wings once were. Her cries quieted as she stared up at me, glaring with the most concentrated intensity.

"You did this to me." She whispered, right before my eyes sprang open.

I was drenched in sweat, and sick to my stomach, as I hurled myself out of bed towards the bathroom. My stomach emptied itself as soon as I reached the toilet. After another quick shower, and a thorough brushing of my teeth, I changed and gathered my sheets and clothes from last night, rolling them into a ball and setting them in the laundry room.

Having nothing else to do, I spent the rest of my day downing the bottle of Jack, and watching nothing in particular on my sixty two inch flat screen. In a haze of alcohol and hopelessness, I finally pulled myself off the couch and into the bathroom, and clumsily sifted through the medicine cabinet until I found what I had been searching for. In my hands was the perfect escape. The perfect way to stop the pain, and do the world a favor by ridding it of a person like me. The perfect way to make sure I could never hurt her again. In my hands, I had a whole bottle of Valium.