I don't own Twilight or Edward, or any other recognizable characters. Stephenie Meyer is my master now.
This is my first try at writing fan fiction, be gentle with me. I hope you enjoy it. More thanks than I can convey to ZephyerSky and Amber for listening to me babble about my plot forever, and for taming my comma fetish.
Let's get Edward on his way. Hanky warning.
Love. Life. Meaning.
I sat in the pew, Revered Weber's voice sounding far away in my ears, even though he was less than 10 feet from me. I stared straight ahead, trying hard not to look to the large portraits standing just to each side of the pulpit. Trying to look past the colorful array of flowers. We'd decided not to go with the standard white lilies and orchids.
Tanya loves color.
Her garden at our house teamed with color in the spring and summer. The red and yellow tulips and daffodils in the early spring, giving way to her beloved purple and yellow roses in the summer. Even well into autumn, mums, lilies and hydrangeas ringed the large lawn in varied shades of blue. Only in the wet, cold winter months here in Seattle did she allow her garden to rest. Not that it wasn't still beautiful. Trimmed and prepared to survive the constant dampness and freezing temperatures, her garden slept, a green haze through the seemingly constant downpour out our windows. Her love of flowers never stopped though, she just turned her attention indoors, African Violets and Peace Lilies adorning the shelves and window sills.
I had asked for her garden to be somewhat recreated here in the beautiful large church, even though it was winter now. Tanya would want to be remembered with her flowers.
And Macy, too. My gaze was drawn to the spray of daisies beneath the portrait to the right. Macy loves daisies.
I smiled slightly, even as the tears started. Again. "Happy flowers, Daddy." She would have said, "They're smiley."
So, we had Macy's happy flowers here too. Because she would have had nothing else. White petals, yellow centers.
I felt a warm hand on my shoulder rubbing in a small circle. It was probably my mother, but I didn't look to see. I think she was sitting next to me. The minister's voice broke through my fog slightly.
"It might be near to impossible for me to explain to you how this kind of tragedy can happen to two such good people. I could spout adages and cliches, but we all know that those do little to take away the pain of losing a beautiful wife and mother in the prime of her life, and her innocent child. What we have are our memories of how full of life they both were, how they brought smiles to every one of our faces, and whatever solace we can find in the fact that they are together, at least, in Heaven."
I finally allowed my gaze to linger on the pictures. Tanya, my wife, smiling back at me. The picture was taken on our family vacation last summer. We'd taken Macy to Disneyland for the first time, and I'd caught a picture of Tanya as she sat in the sun while Macy napped. Her strawberry blond hair curled around her face in the warm breeze, her smile full of laughter and her blue eyes sparkling as she spotted me taking her picture. My heart clenched. We had known each other since we were children, I couldn't remember a time in my life without her. Even when we were attending different universities, we stayed in touch through email and phone calls. We didn't really start dating until we returned home, but it just came together so seamlessly. It seemed that our lives would be filled with love for each other and we married quickly.
Two years later, Macy was born. My eyes moved to the other portrait. Above the daisies was my daughter's cherubic face. Red curls, a shade perfectly between Tanya's strawberry blond and my reddish brown, framed her pale face. Her round cheeks and button nose dotted with freckles. Her eyes were green, just like mine. In the picture, they shone with excitement and wonder as she smiled for the camera, clutching the skirt of Belle, her favorite Disney princess. She'd followed the princess around the park for a full hour, not wanting to leave the presence of her animated hero. Her large eyes had filled with tears when we were finally able to talk her into going on another ride. She was a good girl and did, but not before Belle had placed her own tiara on Macy's head. Macy wore that tiara everyday after that. Including her last day. I should have given it to the funeral director to be buried with her, but I couldn't let it go.
I drew a deep ragged breath, it was my turn to speak. To try to express my feelings about the two people I loved more than anything else in the world to this crowd of people. I felt my mothers hand squeeze my shoulder and I stood, blinking back my tears, and walked to the podium. Reverend Weber patted me on the back twice before stepping to the side.
Another deep breath.
"I...I've sat for the last two days, trying to decide how to say what I should say, " I began. "But there are no words. No words to describe how I feel." My voice was rough, I coughed, trying to clear my throat. "I love my wife...I love my daughter. I can't put it in past tense, because it's not the past. I miss them more than words can say..They are...were...so beautiful, they are everything to me."
I heard the sobs of Tanya's mother in the front row, her husband holding her tightly. My eyes blurred again.
"I'm sorry..I should have.. If only I had.."
There still weren't any words. My head bowed and I gripped the podium tightly as my stomach rolled. I felt strong hands on my arm, my brother Emmett, his own voice rough as he spoke into the microphone, echoing off the stained glass of the church windows. "I don't think anyone here is unaware of the love between my brother and his family. I'm the goofball, and even I see it." There were some chuckles scattered. "The passing of my sister-in-law and niece is something we'll never forget, and we're glad all of you could celebrate their lives with us. Tanya and Macy would want nothing more than to see you all with smiles on your faces though, so please join us for the reception. There's FOOD!" He boomed, to more laughter.
He lead me off the stage area, I was no longer seeing anything. I was vaguely aware of my mother and father embracing me. Tanya's parents came over and more hugs were exchanged. I was just numb now. Voices were miles away. My vision was blurred constantly, so much it was starting to seem normal now. Emmett kept his arm around me, supporting me. I was aware we were moving out of the sanctuary and to the reception area. Hands were touching me, words of sympathy spoken. Offers of help poured in around me. I woodenly thanked them, and forgot them. After all, what did I need help with? I had lost everything, so there was nothing needing help. A cold glass was pressed into my hand, I have no idea what it was. Punch, maybe? Could have been water, for all I tasted it. I slumped in a chair.
"Edward, honey, you should eat something..you need your strength." I recognized my mother's voice, and a plate of warm food appeared in my lap. A good meal fixed everything in my mother's book, and with her cooking, I usually agreed. But when my nostrils filled with the aroma of meat and vegetables and bread, my stomach lurched again. I pushed the plate back into her hands quickly.
"I need some air, Mom.." I stumbled out of the chair and headed for the door. Pushing it open, the salt-tinged cold wind blowing in from Puget Sound washed the smell of food from my nose. I breathed deeply, feeling unsteady still, and dropped to the stone bench in the church lawn, bending over to rest my elbows on my knees. Burying my face in my hands, my fingers tugging at my hair, anxious for some physical pain to distract me from the emotional turmoil.
I don't know how long I sat there, sometimes my brother or my mom or dad would come sit with me. Tanya's parents never did, not that I blame them. Eventually, hands pulled me towards the car and stuffed me in, and then I was home. I don't think I slept that night. Or maybe I slept for days.
The next few weeks passed by in a haze. My parents were at my house. Food appeared and I was guided around, ordered to sleep or shower or take a walk. I did as I was told, because I didn't know what else to do. After a while though, I became irritable, so I went to work, losing myself in measurements, and angles, and load-bearing walls. Emmett and I ran an architectural firm in downtown Seattle. We'd worked hard for it and were doing pretty well now, but it definitely kept us busy. Emmett took all the client meetings, he was always better with that side of things anyway. Every day he'd come in to my office and talk. I knew he was trying to help, so I'd answer, but I didn't really remember what the conversations were about.
Today was no different. It was already getting dark outside when Emmett walked in and plopped himself onto the leather couch on the opposite wall of my office.
"You look like shit, man.."
"I'm never very good with the serious stuff, Edward, you know that. Is working helping? Because I think you should do whatever helps you. If you want to keep going, just doing the technical stuff, that's fine, man. I want you to know, though. I got your back. Do whatever you need to do to get through this. I can see wanting to work a bunch, get your mind off things, stay busy, but if you need to take some time away..off or whatever. I got the business.." he said.
"Thanks, man..I don't know what I'm going to do." I shook, my hand gripping my hair. "They're everywhere I look." My gaze fell on the pictures lining the floor to ceiling bookshelves running one wall of my office. Among the design books and technical manuals are photos illustrating my life with my family. Macy's lopsided and color splashed pre -school projects sitting in between antique vases and marble statuettes. I take a deep rugged breath It still hurts to breathe. "I can't see a vacation though, that just seems too...wrong."
We lapsed into silence again for a while. Emmett laying out on my couch, me staring blankly at my computer screen. Finally he heaved himself off the couch.
"I'll leave you alone, but you know I'm here for you whenever you need me, Eddie.."
"Don't call me Eddie.."
He snorted, "You still have some life in you, see?" He clapped me on the shoulder and walked out of the room. The door clicked shut behind him.
I sat there for a few minutes. My mind betraying me as the images began bombarding. I could hear the squeal of car brakes, the image of Tanya's car spinning across the pavement in my rear-view mirror, the lights and sirens, hands pulling me back from the twisted metal, the sterile smell of the hospital, the voices informing me of their failure to save either of the two precious loves of my life.
And I still had some life in me. Tanya and Macy died in terror and pain, and I still had some life in me. The hand of fate spun their car across the invisible patch of ice on the road, barreling it into the car in the next lane, sending them both careening off the side of the highway, twisting together and crumpling like paper. While my car miraculously avoided the ice, even though I had just passed over the same piece of road. I still had some life in me.
How did that work?
I should have been in that car with them, I should have done something...anything different to change the course of events. But no, I can't change my mind now. It's too late. And I'm here, without my wife and four year old daughter. With some life in me.
Time, is that what I needed? Time heals all wounds, or some bullshit like that?
I drove home, by rote, like always. Navigating the dense Seattle traffic across the lake took some focus. I actually welcomed it now. Dodging cars in heavy traffic on a rain soaked floating bridge actually took away time I could think of something else. I pulled into the garage, avoiding looking at the empty stall to the right of me. I moved woodenly through the mud room, hanging up my coat and tossing my keys and wallet onto the kitchen counter. I grabbed a container of whatever my mother had left here last, staring out the window while it warmed in the microwave. I could see the dormant plants waving in the darkness, Tanya's garden barely illuminated from the exterior lights. She'd be anxious about getting her bulbs in the ground now, waiting for the elusive dry day to pat them into the earth. Macy would beg to be allowed to play in her playhouse, bundled up to stay warm and dry this time of year. I was startled by the beep of the microwave, shrill and deafening in the silence that filled the house now.
I ate at the table in the breakfast nook, still staring out the windows at the garden. The food was sawdust in my mouth but I had promised I would eat and I didn't want to be babysat anymore. I rinsed my dishes when I was done, placing them in the dishwasher. I stood in the middle of the kitchen for a few minutes, unsure of what to do with myself. Without really thinking, I turned and walked to the hall closet, grabbing my parka and knit hat and pulling them on. I hadn't worn this coat since the night of the accident. My lungs constricted as the memories washed over me again. I almost put it back, but instead let the memories flood my mind again. I turned and walked out the back door, across the covered patio, to the middle of the large lawn, my boots squishing over the wet grass. I stood there for a while, turning, seeing Tanya kneeling at her flowers, Macy running and somersaulting crookedly, laughing as she managed to turn herself over.
I walked over to her playhouse. Emmett and I had built it just last summer. When two architects decide to build a child's playhouse, you get a hell of a playhouse. The walls and roof were just as sturdy as any full size house. If it had heat and water, you could probably live in there pretty comfortably. I ran my hand over the shingles of the roof and the peak above the door. In the summer, her happy white and yellow daisies would grow on either side. Remembering her joy when we brought her out to see it, I could hear her excited squeals in my head, almost feel her little arms wrapping around my neck when she kissed my cheek to thank me. I could see the smile of pride and joy on Tanya's face as we shared this moment of happiness in our daughter's life.
The emotion became too much, my knees weakened and I sank to the ground, turning and sitting on the little step, my back to the door. I bent my head to my knees as I sobbed.
I stayed that way for a while, the memories still playing in my head. The thoughts of the happy times were interrupted by the memories of the accident. Slowly though, Emmett's words from this afternoon started breaking through. Go away, take a break, do whatever you need to do to get through this.
I didn't know if I'll get through this, but I did know I needed to get away from everything that reminded me of them and the perfect life we had together. I couldn't do it here, not with my house and my job and their flowers and everything that reminded me of all that was important to me. None of this was important anyway.
I stood, looking into the damp February evening. It was completely dark, except for the small lanterns ringing the patio leaving a warm glow on the stonework. I shoved my hands into the pockets of my parka, feeling cloth and paper, but not bothering to look to see what it was. I strode across the lawn, opening the gate that led to the front of the property and walking through. I passed the side of the house, more sleeping flower beds, the gazebo that would be covered in moon flowers in the summer. I reached the street, and without a look behind me, started down the hill. And I walked away.
Stay with me, it won't always be this sad. Please leave a review, I'm anxious for feedback
Hoping to update at least once a week. Thank you for reading!