Summary: Alice comes back to Forks, expecting to deal with Bella's death. Instead she is confronted by her barely alive best friend's pain.
Rated T for swearing.
This is Alice's point of view
This story starts with an excerpt taken from page 342 of New Moon (no copyright infringement intended) switched to Alice's point of view and then continues with my version of part of the rest of the story.
I still couldn't get over it.
I was so certain of what I'd seen. It had been crystal clear and definite. A visceral cry had been torn from the deepest of my soul before I could stifle it as the vision tore through my consciousness.
I saw her, serene smile in place, as she plummeted to her certain death. My best friend. The girl who could have made our family complete.
But she was alive, warm and breathing next to me.
Unfathomable, that my foresight had turned out to be so mistaken.
At the moment, she was leaning her head on my shoulder. I was still trying to process all of this. I had expected to be greeted by a mourning Charlie…I had even packed a black dress for her funeral, tried to prepare myself mentally for this sad ordeal.
Thank God that hadn't happened! As disturbed as I was by the fact that my vision had completely deceived me, I couldn't be happier with the results.
Putting an arm around my future's shoulders sister-in-law I sighed. There was no way I was going to let this ridiculous situation between them continue. Edward and Bella belonged together and married. Soon.
"Bella, what are we going to do with you?" I asked.
"I don't know," she said in a small voice. "I really have been trying my hardest."
"I believe you." It killed me to see her so worn out and hollow. I could cheerfully kill my brother for his stupidity.
It was silent.
"Does–does he…" Bella started and took a deep breath. It was obvious she couldn't even say his name out loud. What had we done to her? "Does Edward know you're here?"
But I would let him know. Very soon.
Her low voice spoke again, "He's not with Carlisle and Esme?"
"He checks in every few months." I almost revealed more, but it wasn't my place at the moment. It was Edward's tale to tell and he was going to tell it soon.
"Oh." It was a defeated sound. Who knew what thoughts were going through that mind of hers? "You said you flew here… Where did you come from?"
"I was in Denali. Visiting Tanya's family."
"Is Jasper here? Did he come with you?'"
I shook my head. "He didn't approve of my interfering. We promised…" I trailed off. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to not reveal more than I ought to at the moment. Should I even respect Edward's wishes after everything that had happened? Bella was alive at the moment, but who knew for how long, and I was pretty sure cliff-jumping hadn't been the only act of recklessness she'd participated in during these past months.
Suddenly, she lifted her face up to mine and narrowed her eyes. She pulled back a bit.
"Alice, the way I feel about, well, all this is so complicated. I am furious, but at the same time I tell myself I can't force someone to love me. If Edward doesn't want me anymore, I didn't want to be the pathetic girlfriend who chases after someone who doesn't want me. I just wish you guys had done things differently. You've all hurt me so much. It was all so sudden, so final."
My eyes were glassy with tears I couldn't shed. What I would give for that release right now. I opened my mouth to reply, but she soldiered on.
"I suppose you've also suffered because of all of this. I know Edward forced you to stay away from me, but you do have free will, Alice! You were my best friend! You could have contacted me anyway, even if it pissed Edward off. You have no idea what I've been through!"
I found myself unable to hold her gaze any longer. Dear God, what was she wearing? Look at her nails, the dark circles under her eyes. Her hair was so dull and lifeless. Her peaches and cream complexion was almost gray and lines of anguish were etched on her brow. My hands itched to grab her and take her to the nearest spa. Looking good on the outside was a reflection of one's inside and obviously, Bella's insides couldn't be any more destroyed.
Concentrate on the issue at hand, Alice. You can help her with her ghastly appearance later.
"I am so sorry. I cannot find the words to convey how truly, truly sorry I am. I told him this would break you, but he was adamant. He wanted you to have a normal life; a human life. He wanted you to keep your soul."
"Ugh," she groaned, clenching her hands on her lap. "I wanted to give him my soul. Isn't that what people in love do? I told him I didn't care about it without him. I would've done anything to keep him. I wasn't enough. I suppose on some level I knew from the beginning someone like me, so breakable, weak, clumsy and boring could never be able to truly keep him."
"That's not true at all!" I protested. "You are none of those things. You have it all wrong, trust me. Edward is the one who has issues."
Oh God, Edward. I am so going to hurt you when I see you again.
"Please, don't even try…he told me. He was being sincere -he was telling me the truth! If you had seen his face…He didn't want me or love me anymore. He didn't give me a chance to…I would have settled for being in his life on any capacity, even as just a friend."
She started sobbing again and I held her in my cold, hard arms, trying to comfort her, but the tears and sobs continued on pouring and she was unable to stop. I felt so helpless, not knowing what else to do to help. After a few minutes, she calmed down enough to continue speaking. It was heartbreaking to watch, and I felt horribly guilty. A big part of this was my fault.
"Alice, he left me, rejecting me like I was worthless. He was my whole life. You guys had become my family. I pictured my new life ahead of me. All the moments I'd share with Edward, forever, never having to say goodbye to him. I could clearly picture learning how to fight with Jasper. Emmett would constantly crack jokes about our sex life. I hoped Rosalie would someday soften towards me. Esme was going to become my mother, someone I could actually depend on."
"I know," I whispered, still holding onto her. My visions of our new life had been so vivid. I understood this better than she probably did. "We all looked forward to that too."
She sniffed. "Do you have any idea how much it hurt? He dumped me. He didn't try to work things out. He didn't give me the opportunity to be different, to try to be what he needed, wanted. It made me feel so insignificant and unworthy. I will never get over him. Never!"
How could I respond to that? I knew she'd never get over him. That is why I had been the one who fought this the most. But it had done no good; it had almost gotten both of them killed. Heavens knew Edward was suffering hell on Earth. I almost wanted to ask her to stop. It was nearly too much to take. Losing Bella had been the most terrible experience I'd ever had to endure.
"When he left me in the woods," she continued, "I collapsed. A huge piece of me died that day. It started raining, and I wished to drown. I came out of my zombie state only when my mom tried to take me to Florida. I don't remember a lot of what happened during that time. My mom spoke to me about it; it was too painful for Charlie. I had nothing else to live for. I honestly thought of ending it all, many times. When I jumped off the cliff, I didn't do it to kill myself, but a small part of me wouldn't have minded much if I had died."
I gasped, horrified. I wasn't very surprised, though, to hear this. I'd seen it in her face, when she had jumped. Her expression had been too serene. She was letting go.
"No, Bella, don't say that! Please!" I begged. "Edward made the ultimate sacrifice so you could live what he considers a normal life! How could you even think about that?"
"What do you mean, 'how could I even think about it?'" she said, her voice raw. "Of course I thought about it! How would you feel if Jasper left you, if he told you he doesn't love you anymore, that you are no good for him?"
"He said that to you?" I cried out.
What did that son of a bitch do? Edward! I positively hate you right now!
"Yeah, I remember his words perfectly."
I should stop her. She was fragile and weak right now. I could tell this conversation was taking a horrible toll on her. With luck I could have Edward here by tomorrow. I was pretty sure the image of her jump was going haunt him for the rest of his existence and perhaps that would finally drive the fact he had been so very wrong into his tiny little stubborn pea brain. So very, very wrong.
"Bella, you really don't need to do this. We can continue talking later."
"You need to understand how much he hurt me. Did he ever tell you what he said to me?"
I shook my head, disgusted. Oh, I was going to make Edward suffer for this. "No. He absolutely refused to talk about it. I saw him talking to you and leaving, but I do not know what he said."
Bella's eyes were swimming with tears. Where was the vibrant, mischievous girl I'd seen a few months ago? Gone. Edward had taken her life in the cruelest of ways.
"He said: 'Bella, I don't want you to come with me. I'm… tired of pretending to be something I'm not. You're not good for me, Bella. I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. It will be as if I'd never existed. I won't forget. But my kind… we're very easily distracted.'"
Well, fuck me. Edward had been a total bastard.
"It's not true! It's not true at all. He still loves you. You don't have to be different, you are all he needs! You were meant to be together."
"I can't believe that. That would make it even worse. If he still loved me and left me, knowing he was my life…it would be an even bigger betrayal. It's easier to believe he never loved me at all."
"Oh, Bella, I am so sorry…"
"Stop apologizing. What's done is done."
Her face was set in hard lines. Her eyes spoke of her unbearable pain and loss.
"Bella, you are my best friend. I've never met someone like you. So warm, brave, loving…We all love you."
"If you all loved me, how could you abandon me?" she cried out. "You all left, just like he did. You are not without fault. Like Edward said, it was as if you had never existed. Did you know he took my birthday gifts from my room?"
"No, I did not." I gritted my teeth, beyond infuriated. "I cannot believe he did that."
"In a way I was relieved, even though he had made the decision for me as usual. He saved me from the hassle of doing it myself…Or maybe I would've kept them and obsessed over them day and night. Listening to the music he had composed for me, looking at the picture my dad took of us, the day before he…the day before…"
She dissolved into tears. It was as if being in my arms was opening the floodgates of her hurt and sorrow all over again. I could almost sense the feelings of betrayal, anger and abandonment which were rolling off of her. She didn't pull away from me, though, even if my embrace probably reminded her of everything she had lost.
Her face was buried in my shoulder, her voice muffled when she started speaking again. "You know, I started doing reckless things after I realized every time I did something dangerous, I could hear his voice. He would scream at me to stop it, to turn around and it thrilled me. Isn't that nuts? Part of the reason I jumped off the cliff was because I had run out of ways to hear his voice." She laughed a bit hysterically.
I hissed, and sent her a appalled look. For some reason, this seemed to amuse her greatly. Oh, had she gone off the deep end? I consoled myself with the thought that it didn't matter how damaged she'd become. We Cullens could afford the best therapists, psychiatrists, doctors…anything to nurse her back to health. No matter what I had to do, I was going to do everything in my power to heal Bella. Even if I had to grab Edward by his scrawny neck and drag him all the way here kicking and screaming while he lamented the death of his love's soul like the whiny baby he was. He was such a moron!
I would even go as far as changing her myself and then delivering her to Edward, immortal and unbreakable. What would be his excuse now? The thought had a lot of appeal.
Bella continued, and her words were like daggers to my heart.
"I wanted to die; I wanted to die so badly. I wanted the pain to go away. Some days I would curl up in my bed and think of nothing else but him and only him. I screamed in my sleep. Even after Jacob helped me heal a little, the excruciating grief still crushed me. Only his presence in my life kept me slightly sane."
Who was this Jacob? It didn't matter. At this point, I remained silent. My mind was whirling with plans, seeing the future as it should be. Bella was going to be gorgeous, probably the most beautiful of us all.
"I'm curious about something else," Bella said, looking down and playing with her fingers. "Did you ever try to see my future?"
"No, Bella. Edward made me promise to leave you alone, to not disturb your life any longer. His hope was that in time you'd love again, live your life. He didn't want you to become a soulless monster like him. He said interfering in your life in any way would defeat his purpose for leaving. I wish I hadn't listened to him!"
Idiot! Estupido! Cabron! Bakayarou! Bastard! Fils de pute! Salaud! Manuke khara! Asshole!
"Do you really believe you are soulless monsters?"
I snorted, stifling the urge to roll my eyes. "No, you know I don't."
It was silent for a bit. Bella rubbed her eyes and looked down. "I don't know what to believe, Alice. Were you ever really my friend?"
Ouch…I suppose I deserve that.
"Of course I was, and I would like to think I still am!" This hurt so much. "I begged Edward countless times to stop being so ridiculous. He wasn't himself. Eventually, he grew tired of our recriminations and sour looks–not to mention Rosalie's bitching–and he took off. He was half alive; nothing held any interest for him anymore. I still continued contacting him when he would let me, asking him to please let me at least call you or email you, anything! I should have never listened to him. I respected his wishes and I shouldn't have!"
I hugged Bella fiercely, almost too tight. I pulled away and looked her straight in the eye. "There is another reason why I came back to see you. It was imperative that I saw with my own eyes if you were truly…gone." I winced. "A part of me clung to the hope that my prediction had been wrong, that somehow you might have survived. If it had indeed happened, I wanted to be here for Charlie."
"I imagine he would've been grateful." She paused and took a deep breath. "Why else did you come?"
I took her hands in mine. "I cheated and looked into your future the day before I saw you jumping off the cliff."
"What did you see?" Her eyes were wide and afraid.
"I saw you in a wedding dress… getting married to Edward."
Bella started laughing so hard she doubled over. Between bouts of frenzied laughter, she managed to say, "Oh my God…you…have certainly…certainly…lost your powers…No wonder…you didn't…see…that I wasn't dead."
"Bella, stop it! I'm telling you the truth. You and Edward will be together again."
"No. That's not possible…He left me, how could he want to marry me? That's not a very nice thing to say, Alice. How can you even tell something so ridiculous?" she screeched.
"I saw it as clearly as I saw Jasper waiting for me. I swear to you, this will happen."
I will make certain of it.
She looked me in the eye, trying to convey how serious she was. "Please, don't ever say anything like that to me ever again."
I nodded, not promising her anything and she lay down on the scruffy couch, her head resting on my lap. I played with her hair and hummed a soft melody, doing my best to help her relax.
"I don't want to sleep," she complained, after a few minutes. A huge yawn belayed her words.
I chuckled. "Go ahead, take a nap. You need it."
She looked up at me, her eyes suddenly panicked. "Promise you won't leave…at least not yet."
"I promise. It is doubtful I will have the strength to do it again. Besides, I do not want to! It was beyond painful, leaving you. I don't give a shit about what Edward has to say, I'm tired of missing you."
"Oh, Alice," she chocked out. Bella wrapped her arms around my middle, and I swore I was never letting her go.
I had a big day planned for us tomorrow. There was no way I was going to let Edward see her like this, as much as he deserved it. She looked an epic mess. Yes, they were certainly going to be reunited soon.
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