Twilight Gift Exchange for SiDEADde.
Title: You Are Loved.
Summary: Jasper longs to give Alice a piece of her human life. He uses Leah to help hide his intentions from Alice. As Leah and Jasper engage on a cross country journey they find themselves finding more than they expected and more than they ever could have hoped for.
A/N: This story takes liberty from the oh so talented Minisinoo and the relationship she developed between Jasper and Leah in her fic titled Cowboys & Indians. I have used that story as my basis for the relationship between Leah and Jasper. Permission was granted by Minisinoo for usage of her ideas. If you have not read C&I you are really missing out. It is not necessary to read it to understand this story but it would be helpful.
A/N 2: I was asked to pinch hit and was thrilled to have a wonderful prompt from a wonderful friend and fellow writer to work with. Please go take a look at all the gift exchanges on the Twilight Gift Exchange on Live Journal.
For those of you who are reading this and wondering where the heck the next chapter of A Person of Worth or Flying Ms. Swan are I wanted to explain. I did a story for the Haiti project ran titled Stand Still Look Pretty, it's a Canon Rosalie piece that I have been dying to write for over a year. Then I was asked to do this piece and I couldn't say no. So, I have been writing…just maybe not what everyone wants. But I am working on it. In the meantime, I'll be posting both one shots here on FF and on Twilighted, please take a look and let me know how you feel!
I'd like to thank the usual suspects here, VJGM and Withthevampsofcourse. They are beta extraordinaires and are always available at the drop of a dime for me and for that I adore them.
You can find me on Twitter as tlnuccio and also on formspring if you'd like to pop by and ask me a question!
It was Tuesday, and Leah and Jasper were sitting in what they now referred to as their booth at Fork's diner, Leah had her usual coffee and Jasper with an empty cup in front of him that she had recently finished.
"So, I was thinking – "
"Should I be scared?" Leah interrupted.
"If you continue to be rude you should be," Jasper replied.
Leah laughed. "Continue, Old Man."
"Like I said, I was thinking, I'd like to do something special for Alice for Christmas." He motioned for the waitress so Leah's coffee could be warmed.
She rolled her eyes at him. "You know I'm perfectly capable of getting my own refill."
"Of course you are," Jasper stated, "but in all this time we've been meeting here, I've come to notice you're more agreeable when adequately fed or coffee'd up."
"Touché. So, what does your doing something for Alice have to do with me?"
"Well, you are aware of Alice's 'gift', correct?"
"Ah." Leah's eyes sparkled as she suddenly realized whey Jasper was coming to her. "Is the little fortune teller crimping your style?"
"Well, you could say Alice is a hard one to surprise."
She laughed again and Jasper thought back to a time when the very last thing you'd expect to hear from Leah Clearwater was a laugh.
"I get it… Add wolf and BAM, instant fog; the fortune teller is rendered blind." She drank her fresh, hot coffee and wondered if his request would require a road trip in a certain '69 Fastback Mustang again.
"I'm not sitting in the back this time," she stated.
"I was thinking this time it would be just the two of us," Jasper said. Leah looked at him and tilted her head in question.
"What's up Jasper? You seemmmm…reluctant?"
"I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing here. I want to do something for her that she can't do. I'm not sure it will be the right thing or not, and that's a first. Typically I know what Alice would prefer, but this time, I'm not so sure."
Leah reached out and put her hot hand over his cold one. She didn't flinch, she didn't cringe - Jasper was her friend. This she knew as the absolute truth. "Jasper, when it comes to Alice, you always know what's right. Don't second guess it. When are we leaving?"
Just like that, the trip was planned. Two enemies by nature, beyond what was expected; nature-born enemies, but nurture-born friends.
For the next week, Jasper was careful to not make any decisions. He told Leah what he wanted and then cleared his head of his quest. Alice wouldn't know what they spoke of at the diner. She was always blind to his time spent with Leah. Alice trusted him implicitly.
He wondered if by doing this he was risking that trust. Surely she would understand when the time came.
Leah was planning the trip. She was careful not to give Jasper any of the details for fear he may slip up. Leah was touched by what Jasper was planning. She hoped one day she would find someone who would love her even half as much as Jasper did Alice. Her heart was opening to the idea of a forever with someone. She was slowly letting go of the anger and her past, moving on to better things with the help of her new friend.
Leah pulled into the Cullen's driveway as Jasper and Alice were coming out of the house. Jasper had a duffle bag thrown over one shoulder and Alice's hand in his. He leaned down to whisper in her ear as he walked to the garage.
Leah leaned against her beaten-up Honda and waited to hear the sound of American Muscle. The garage door opened and Alice walked out heading toward Leah.
Alice came to rest alongside Leah. She smiled and Leah fought the urge to smile back. As much as she and Jasper had grown as friends, she still felt the need to try and keep the Cullens as a whole at a slight distance. It wasn't that she didn't trust them; more like, they overwhelmed her. "How's it going?" she asked the small vampire.
"Well, it's a week until Christmas and my husband is disappearing, quite literally I may add, off into the great unknown with my mortal enemy. " Alice turned to face Leah more directly. "How do you think it's going?"
Leah snickered. "Are we back to being mortal enemies, Alice?"
Alice huffed. "No, but it sounded so much more dramatic that way, wouldn't you agree?"
"Have you been hanging out with Edward again? Isn't one drama queen enough for your family?"
Alice laughed and nudged the significantly taller werewolf. "Be nice, Leah Clearwater."
"Nice isn't so much in my repertoire, Alice Cullen."
"Yes it is, but don't worry; it can be our secret."
The blue Mustang backed slowly out of the garage. Jasper pulled up and turned off the car. He walked around the hood and picked up Leah's bag, then went to the back to put it in the trunk.
As he walked back to the front of the car he felt Alice's emotions, worried and unsure, and the calm that came from Leah, the differences in mood were as stark in contrast as the differences in appearance.
"Darlin'," he drawled, knowing how much Alice loved it when his southern twang emerged. "Please don't worry. I'll be sure to be back before Christmas."
Alice walked the rest of the way to him as Leah went to the passenger side door.
Jasper bent down and kissed Alice softy on the lips. He pulled away and rested his forehead to hers. "Jasper Whitlock," she whispered, "you better not keep me waiting." He felt her fingers as they slowly dragged through his hair.
"Never, Alice. I'll always come home to you." Alice closed her eyes and Jasper felt the love she was feeling for him. It poured from her like the a lighthouse, bright and warm. He'd always find his way home. Alice was his beacon. She guided him through the rocky waters. He'd never lose himself again as long as she was there to guide him.
"I love you too, Mrs. Whitlock."
She smiled, her eyes still closed. She leaned up on her tip toes and kissed him. "Call me when you can."
She turned and walked away. Gazing over her shoulder, she smiled at Leah. "Take care of my man, Leah."
Leah laughed and yelled back, "The Old Man can take care of himself. I'm just along for the ride."
Alice turned and walked into the house. She didn't look back. She didn't have to. She knew he wouldn't leave until she did. Jasper would never be the one to leave first.
When the door was closed he turned and got into the car. "You know," Leah started as she reached over and plugged in her iPod, "I should charge you extra for having to endure the love fest. I've made it clear how I feel about PDAs."
Jasper started up the car and backed down the driveway as the music started. Neither talked; they didn't have to. Leah knew how hard it was for him to leave Alice, even if what he was doing was for her.
It was a two day journey to Biloxi, Mississippi. Leah had MapQuested the trip but Jasper never asked for the directions.
As they merged onto I-90, Leah turned to look at Jasper. "I take it you know how to get to where we're going."
He smiled slightly and she watched his grip tighten on the steering wheel.
"I've been there once."
"Okay, so, I guess I'm lost. Why'd you ask me to look into this?"
He turned his head slightly to look at her. "Well, I needed you to look into the specifics so Alice wouldn't see me doing it. She's been a bit vigilant since I told her we were going on a trip. She really doesn't like to be kept in the dark, no pun intended."
Leah laughed. "Guess I put a crimp in her perfectly pressed pants then, huh?"
Jasper shook his head. "Yeah, I guess you did. She even asked Edward to help her this time. She never asks him to purposefully listen to people. You know she was desperate."
"I'm sure he was all too eager to help." She hated to admit it but as much as she tried, she still didn't love Edward Cullen or Bella, for that matter. She didn't hate either of them, but that was about it.
Jasper felt the disdain emanate off of her. "Leah, Edward doesn't relish his gift. Contrary to what you insist on believing, he doesn't actively use it to his advantage. The only person he wants to hear, he can't."
"Alright already, Mr. Rogers, I get. I don't know who's worse, you or Seth."
"Seth," he replied.
"Don't I know it?" She turned and traced her finger down the window. It was raining again.
"And no, he wouldn't help her. He told her if I wanted her to know, I'd would told her myself."
"Well, that must have pissed her off. Alice doesn't strike me as the type of girl who takes no for an answer."
He laughed again. "She can be very persuasive."
"All right there killer, so not interested in wherever it is you're thinking of going on that one."
He raised his hand in surrender.
Their sleepless hours were filled, as usual, with philosophical debate. They were in Montana before she asked him what it was he hoped to discover in Biloxi.
She noticed the knit in his brow as he sat silently. She knew he'd answer in his own time.
"I'm not really one for telling other people's stories, but in this case, I don't think Alice would mind me sharing hers."
She sat quietly and waited for him to continue. "How much do you know about mental asylums of the early 1920s?"
"Um," she paused, "not a whole lot, why?"
He pulled in a deep breath which she knew he didn't need and exhaled before he continued. "Alice was fifteen years old when her parents had her committed. See, the 'gifts' Edward Alice and I have? We've always had them in some capacity. Mine could have easily been construed as charisma in my human life. Edward's, intuition. Alice's was always something more. You couldn't explain hers away."
"Did she have visions?" Leah asked him. Even though she knew little of the 1920s she could image that a girl having visions would not have been welcomed; even now it wouldn't.
"From what we've found out, we assume she did. Her parents had her committed and then told everyone she died. They abandoned her." Jasper's voice conveyed the anger he felt toward the people who abandoned his mate.
Leah knew she could add nothing to the conversation so she sat and waited for him to continue.
"She had a younger sister, Cynthia. We know that Cynthia had a daughter - her name is Marie. But that's really about it."
"So," Leah started, "we're going to Biloxi to, what? Find her sister? I'm lost."
Jasper turned and looked at her with a furrowed brow. "I'm not really sure what I'm expecting to find, to be honest. I just know that I have to go there. I had someone look into it and I know Marie is still alive. I just… I just want to give Alice something of her human life."
Leah nodded her head as she noted his apprehension. "I get it."
Jasper sighed again. "That trip we took - you, me, Edward and Seth? It helped me…" he cleared his throat. "It helped me find myself. Alice gave me humanity, but remembering my past gave me my sense of self. Alice has never had that. Her existence began with her death. She didn't know who she was before she became who she is. I know it sounds convoluted, but, it's just how it is."
Leah understood what he was saying. She understood the need to know one's self. "Well Old Man, looks like we've got a date in Biloxi then, huh?"
They continued to drive, stopping only to tend to Leah's human needs. Jasper hunted one night while Leah slept in the tent they'd used on their last trip. The trip took thirty-five hours, well below the expected forty-eight. A vampire's need for speed, souped-up American Muscle and the determination of a man on a mission made a liar out of MapQuest.
They pulled up in front of a quaint little country store. Floral dressings hung in the old glass windows and a door mat that welcomed all graced the old red wooden door. "This is it," Jasper whispered. "This is Marie's store."
The bell jingled as they pushed the door open.
"I'll be right with ya," they heard a warm old voice say from behind a wall. "Movin' aint what it used to be. These old bones take a bit of motivation to go from place to place," the elderly woman said as she walked from a back room.
The resemblance shook Jasper more than anything in his last fifty years.
She was small and frail, her shoulder-length salt-and-pepper hair was cropped, not a hair out of place. Her face showed a youth her body had not had in years. She walked with a slight hunch but with grace and poise. But what struck Jasper the most were the piercing green eyes.
The clarity he saw there staggered him. He reached out and placed a hand on the counter for nothing more than stability.
Leah watched as the woman stopped walking and furrowed her brow. She narrowed her eyes as she looked from Jasper to Leah. Then a smile formed and her confusion turned to something else… something lighter.
"Well, I'll be…" she said as she walked over and stopped in front of Jasper. "You sure took your time getting here. You've kept me waiting a long time, kind sir."
Jasper gasped and cracked the wooden counter he was holding onto. "Pardon me?" he whispered.
Leah thought vampires were pale and ghostly-looking on a regular day, but Jasper had managed to pale even further as the woman spoke to him.
"I said you've kept me waiting." Marie smiled as she extended her hand. "My name's Marie, but for some reason I think you already know that, don't you?"
Jasper extended his shaky hand. "Jasper Whitlock, ma'am, it's my pleasure to meet you." He raised her hand to his lips and kissed it gently.
Marie blushed as she took her hand back from Jasper then she turned to Leah. "You, I didn't see. And who might you be, young lady?"
Leah extended her hand. "Leah Clearwater."
"Well, it's nice to meet you Leah, Jasper. Would you like to come on back and have some tea? Then we can discuss why you've come here today."
Jasper was shocked. "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but could you please tell me what you meant when you said I'd kept you waiting?"
She crooked a smile at him. "Let's head on back, I'll make us some tea and we can discuss this. Hold on, let me put up the Closed sign."
With that she walked over to the door, flicked the lock and turned the sign to 'closed'. She then led them back to a small living room. The room had a fireplace that wasn't lit, two plush, pink sitting chairs and a love seat. The wide plank wooden floors were covered by a Persian rug where a finely carved antique table rested.
Marie indicated they should sit then she disappeared into another room where the sound of a clattering kettle could be heard.
A pilot light popped and Jasper sat, shell-shocked, in one of the pink plush chairs.
Leah sat on the corner of the couch and nudged his foot with hers. "You okay, Old Man?"
He shook his head minutely. His eyes were still glazed. He turned to her and whispered, "Those were the exact words Alice said to me nearly sixty years ago, the day I met her."
Leah looked confused but sat back, pondering the odd behavior of the old woman and the even odder behavior of her friend.
They both sat in contemplative silence and before they knew it Marie was coming around the corner with a tray which housed a teapot and two tea cups.
She placed the cup in front of Leah and poured her a steaming cup of herbal tea. She glanced as Jasper and smiled. "For some reason I get the feeling you won't be wanting any tea, Mr. Jasper. Would I be thinking correctly?"
Jasper shook his head slightly. "No thank you, ma'am."
She smiled warmly at him as she put the teapot down and walked over to a wooden chest which lay flush with the furthest wall. She popped the hinges and reached down into the wooden chest and pulled out two boxes.
She straightened with the speed her age allowed and Jasper rose quickly, almost too quickly, to rush to her side and offer assistance with the boxes. He placed them gingerly on the table next to the tea tray and waited for her to sit before he took his seat again.
Marie reached over and took the lid off the largest. She pulled out a large journal and passed her hands over the cover reverently. Her eyes teared up as she opened the cover and ran her hand over the writing that was barely discernable from across the room.
She placed a kiss on the top page and closed the cover.
"You asked me why I said what I did." She turned in her seat with the journal on her lap. "Would it shock you to hear that I always knew you'd come? I had a dream when I was a little girl that you'd come some day and I'd give you this. I didn't know why and I didn't know when. I couldn't see myself or this lovely lady you've got with you here today. I just saw you and my Momma's journal."
She ran her hand lovingly over the cover again. "That was the first dream that I realized was more than just a dream. I was ten years old. It was the first… I always knew you'd come, I just didn't know when."
She handed the journal to Jasper and he ever-so-slowly opened the old leather binder. His jaw tightened and he pulled in a harsh but unnecessary breath. Leah looked over the edge of the book and smiled as she saw the picture of the two little girls. One clearly was Alice, the same small frame, although fuller than her current form. Her hair was long and curled at the ends, black as night. She held the hand of a smaller girl, both of them dressed in long dresses, sisters.
Above the picture was writing that was elegant and feminine.
The Personal Journal of Mary Alice Brandon.
Scribbled below the elegant script was
Continued by her loving sister, Cynthia Jane Brandon.
"After I had my first vision, Momma gave me this. Mary Alice kept a journal of what happened to her right up until my grandparents took her away. She didn't know she wasn't ever coming back. She took nothing with her. Momma found her journal and started writing in it, waiting for Mary Alice to come back."
She smiled at Jasper as she took the lid off the other box which had more journals and several pictures inside. "As I'm sure you know, Mary Alice never did come back."
"Momma kept on writing, though not daily. She wrote about all the things that happened after Mary Alice left. Grandma died five years after Mary Alice supposedly did. She never did get over losing her daughter. Grandpa lived on until Momma married. Then he passed also."
She took out a picture and ran her fingers over it. It was of Cynthia with a baby, Marie.
"Momma never gave up hope that she'd find out what happened to Mary Alice. I was named after her, you know. Guess it was only fitting as I seemed to inherit her special gift. Though I suppose it wasn't considered a gift for Mary Alice."
Marie reached over and put the picture in front of Jasper and picked up her tea, the fine china clanking lightly against the plate. Leah sat with her cup in her hand, not yet tasting the liquid, astounded by the story she was hearing.
"When Momma figured out I had 'the sight', we kept it a secret. She told me people wouldn't understand, just like they hadn't with Mary Alice. We kept it a secret. I used Mary Alice's journals to help me. To understand what she went through and how to hide it from everyone."
She sipped her tea and placed the cup down.
"I dreamt of you quite a few times, Mr. Jasper. Same dream - you sitting in that pink chair, holding that there journal."
Marie paused and seemed to catch her breath.
"I believe in all sorts of things. I believe in magic. I believe… well, I'm not so sure. There's something about you, sir. Something that tells me I should trust you even though every bone in my body is telling me I should turn you away. I believe you can make things right with that journal."
A tear cascaded down her weathered, wrinkled cheek. She smiled at Leah who had since put her tea cup, untouched, back on the table. Leah was staring at Jasper and the room was filled with some sort of electrical sadness. The feeling filled the room and enveloped them, like a fleece jacket trying to keep the heat in.
"Mr. Jasper, Mary Alice needs to know there were people who loved her. I'm not quite sure how that can happen now, but I have a feeling you can make this right."
The frail woman stood up, placing the lid on both boxes. "Take these with you."
She turned to walk away, and then stopped with her back to Leah and Jasper. "Tell me you can make it right," she whispered, "please, make it right."
"I will ma'am," Jasper replied, his voice choked with tears the vampire could never shed again. "I will."
"I'm rather tired," Marie said. "Please let yourselves out." She took two steps then stopped. She turned around, tears flowing freely down her face now. "It was truly my pleasure to meet you. Both of you." Then she walked away, closing a door behind her.
Jasper and Leah drove for twenty straight hours. Not a word was spoken, not a sound uttered.
Finally, somewhere along Settlers Grove, Illinois, Jasper found the words he needed to speak.
He stopped the Mustang along the highway and slammed the car door a bit too hard. Leah watched as he paced in front of the car, running his hands through his hair, a trait she's seen nearly all of the Cullen men exhibit.
Leah got out of the car and stood by the fender. "Old Man, you're projecting again. If you're going to inundate me with these emotions you need to talk to me. We'll be home before you know it. You need to get your shit together before we get back."
He stopped and pulled the ends of his hair. "I didn't know what I'd find. Maybe some articles or pictures. I didn't know. I never could have… imagined. Her niece has visions, just like her. Her mother died from her grief. The emotions that were coming off Marie were, I don't know… longing, loss, and love."
Jasper shook his head and looked to the night sky. "They loved her, Leah. How do you leave someone you love in a place like that?" Jasper turned and looked at her. "Did I do the right thing here? I wanted to give her a part of her past, what if this is all too much?"
Leah walked over and grabbed his hands which had found their way back into his hair. "Jasper, stop. You did the right thing. Those journals there, they're who she was. Like Marie said, she needs to know people loved her. You did the right thing."
Jasper reached out and against all natural instinct he grabbed Leah and pulled her into his chest. He grabbed her and hugged her as he sobbed into her shoulder. "Thank you, Leah. Thank you so damn much. I don't think I could have made this journey with anyone else."
"Old Man," Leah whispered, "you're breaking my ribs…" Jasper quickly let her go and she laughed at his quick response. "Don't go getting all mushy on me vampire." She nudged him with her elbow and he pushed her back. "Let's get back on the road. You want me to drive for a while?"
He nodded then walked around and slid into the passenger seat. She moved the seat up manually and adjusted the mirror. "Should I find a western store to perk you up? Those boots are looking kinda ratty."
He laughed. "No thank you. I just want to get home now, if you don't mind."
"Nah. To be honest, you smell. The sooner we can get home the better I am."
They drove straight through, stopping only to take care of Leah's needs. They made it home two days before Christmas and Jasper stopped a mile from the Cullen home.
"I just… I just need a minute," he whispered.
A minute came and went and they sat by the roadside. He slowly reached over and put the car in gear and they drove the last mile.
Alice was on the porch as they pulled up the drive, surely having heard the distinct sound of the Mustang as it came up the road.
Leah got out and gave a quick wave to Alice then walked to her car. She stopped before she opened the door. "You did a good thing, Old Man. I'll meet you tomorrow, same time, same place." Then she left.
Alice looked at Jasper with a puzzled expression on her face as Leah's car pulled down the drive way. Jasper pulled the boxes from inside the car and cradled them like the treasure they were. He walked over to Alice and tried to keep his emotions in check.
She walked down the stairs to meet him, halfway. It was always half way with Alice. They'd always meet in the middle.
"Lis," he started, using the nickname only he used. "Darlin'…"
"Jasper," she whispered, as she pushed up on her toes and kissed his lips.
"I'm not sure where to start, darlin'."
She smiled and whispered, "Always at the beginning."
Jasper nodded his head at her, and then reached out for her hand. "I brought you a present." He took her hand and walked her down the river bed, to the rock where Alice liked to go to talk. He took her where she felt comforted then he sat her down. He laid the boxes in the grass and he told her about the journey he and Leah had been on.
When he got to the part about Marie, she gasped and her hand flew up to her mouth. He felt the overwhelming sadness radiate off her. "You met her?" she questioned.
"I did," he replied. "She gave me these, for you." He pulled the boxes over to her. She lifted the lid and looked down at the worn leather journal.
Jasper reached over and ran his hand down the back of her head. "Would you like me to leave you alone, darlin'?"
"No…" she replied.
He watched as she opened the journal and gasped at the picture. She ran her fingers, just as reverently as Marie had, over the writing on the cover page. He felt her happiness and wonder as she turned the page.
They sat for hours, no one disturbing them, as Alice looked through the pages of her youth, the pictures of her family. The boxes were filled with both joys and losses, just like any life would be. She read her own words, the words of her sister and the words of her niece.
And in the end… Jasper felt nothing but love coming from Alice, love for who she was, love for the people she lost, for the people she had and for the man who gave her it all, one more time.
Letters from the personal journal of Mary Alice Brandon.
Diary, June 18, 1914,
I accompanied Momma to the store today. We picked up fabric so we could make Cynthia a new Sunday dress. Momma said I had the best taste of all the girls in the three counties. I always knew what would look nice, she said, so she asked me to pick the fabric.
I love it when Momma and me get to go off on our own. Now don't go thinking I don't love Cynthia to be with us, that just wouldn't be the case, but every now and then it's nice to have Momma to myself.
On the way back, we came across the Lawson family. Matthew Lawson told me how pretty I looked and asked if I'd be attending the end of year ball for school. I told him I wasn't sure if I'd be able to go. He asked if he could accompany me and I told him I'd talk to Daddy to see if I was available.
Momma laughed at me when I told her there was really no need to ask Daddy at all. I have no desire to go with Matthew Lawson or any of the boys around here to a dance or any other social function.
I know who I'm meant to be with and he just hasn't shown up yet.
But I have dreamed of him, my wounded soldier. I know he's out there and I know he'll find me one day and when he does, he'll know I've been waiting for him.
I still dream of him often. I reckon I always will, as long as I can dream.
Signed, Mary Alice Brandon
Diary, November 23, 1915
I'm sorry I've been lacking in writing of late. My head's been a- busting at the seams with these dreams. They're coming all the time now, day and night. I'm not sure what to do about them.
Momma and Daddy are fi t to be tied. When they just came when I was sleeping it wasn't of any consequence but now they see fit to come whenever they choose. Which is most often at the most inopportune times.
I had a dream during Sunday Mass, the whole church just disappeared from my sight. I saw a young boy and he was wandering too close to the creek. James Mathew was his name. I'd seen him a few times around town when I'd been there with either Daddy or Momma but I was not familiar with his family.
He was wandering along the creek and the tides were heavy due to the rain falling earlier that week.
I saw that boy fall into the river and I saw him get swept downstream. He bobbed a few times before he didn't come back up.
I don't know how but next thing I knew the whole congregation was looking at me and I had somehow found myself standing right outside his family's pew.
I felt Momma grab me as I was pulled me out of the church.
Later that night Cynthia told me, while we were in our beds, that I stood right up and walked over to him and told him clear as day. "If you don't stay away from that creek John Mathew, you are going to die".
I guess I understood why Momma pulled me from the church and why Daddy didn't come home until late.
That boy died yesterday. They found him floating belly up in the creek two towns over. He disappeared earlier in the day and his Momma swore I had something to do with it but I was at school that day so it clearly wasn't me who pushed him into the creek.
Besides, I saw him fall in, no one pushed him.
Daddy said I wasn't going back to school tomorrow. He wasn't sure if I'd be going back at all. I really do like school, I hope I can go back soon.
Signed, Mary Alice Brandon
Diary, February 18, 1916
I haven't left the house in nearly a month. Momma stays home with me. Cynthia, too. She tries to play dolls with me but I have no interest in playing such games.
I look out the window and dream about my wounded soldier. In my dreams I feel so loved. In my dreams he never lets anyone point and call me names. In my dreams, I'm happy again.
I can't stop the dreams from coming. Daddy has tried every type of medicine he's been able to find. No matter how retched- tasting or horrible-smelling nothing seems to make them stop.
Daddy lost his job yesterday and no one wants Momma to do their laundry any more.
Sometimes I wish I could just live in my dreams. In my dreams I have a different family and it's a different time. They're all so beautiful and caring. They don't mind the dreams so much, and my soldier's there with them.
If only I could stop the dreams, but I'm afraid, if the dreams stop, will I stop dreaming of him?
Signed, Mary Alice Brandon
Diary, February 22, 1916
This here is Cynthia. Mary Alice isn't here no more. Momma and Daddy took her away yesterday, they said they were going for a quick trip but when they got back Mary Alice wasn't with them.
They didn't tell me where she was.
Momma's still crying and Mary Alice ain't here anymore.
They told me she wasn't coming back.
I miss her awfully.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon
Diary, May 10, 1916
Oh Mary Alice, I wish you were here. I'm so dreadfully lonely without you. Momma hardly ever leaves her room.
Daddy told me I had to take down all the pictures with you in them on accounta they just made Momma sadder. He told me I had to get rid of all your things, especially the pretty green dress you and Momma made, the one she said matched your eyes.
I couldn't get rid of them so I hid them in box I keep under my bed, I'll keep them there until I can give them back to you.
I miss you, Mary Alice.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon
Diary, February 18, 1921
Momma died today, Mary Alice. She died five years to the day they took you away. She never did right herself after they sent you away.
Daddy's tired and old, much older than his days should reflect.
I turned fifteen this year.
Mary Alice, I don't know where you are or if you're okay, but I wish I did. I don't know why, but I know you're not gone like they said you were. I can feel it in my bones.
I hope you found your soldier, Mary Alice, and I hope I see you again someday.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon
Diary, August 19, 1924
I got married today, Mary Alice. It was in a peach dress, just like you told me it would be, and I married Teddy Johnson, just like you said I would.
You always knew these things, Mary Alice.
Since Daddy's gone now, I decided to not have anyone stand up with me. I know you're out there, Mary Alice, I just know you are.
I wish you were here to stand up with me, Mary Alice. I would have been proud to have you by my side.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon - Johnson
Diary, September 14, 1925
Oh, Mary Alice, I had a baby girl today. She's so beautiful. She reminds me of you. Her eyes are green, Mary Alice. People say all babies have blue eyes, but not our Marie.
I named her Marie because it was the closest I could get to Mary without Teddy's parents knowing it was for you.
Mary Alice, she's special. I just know she is. She's so quiet and peaceful.
I wish you were here to see her.
I miss you so, Mary Alice, not a day goes by that I don't think of you.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon - Johnson
Diary, December 24, 1940
Mary Alice, Marie had a dream last night. She dreamt of a man with sandy yellow hair. A true southern gentleman.
She told me he came for you, Mary Alice. She told me he'd set it all right.
Mary Alice, is he your soldier?
She said she saw herself giving him these journals so he could set things right.
Oh Mary Alice, my Marie reminds me so much of you. She looks just like you, same green eyes, same dark as night hair. She insists on keeping her hair short though, and it fits her.
Now she's having dreams, Mary Alice. I'm going to give her your journals. I want her to know you through your own words and not my recollection.
Your words will help her through this, Mary Alice, just like I know in my heart of hearts that if you were here with us, you would help her, too.
I love you, Mary Alice. I hope wherever you are, you know that you are loved.
You are loved.
Signed, Cynthia Jane Brandon - Johnson
A/N: I'd like to thank SiDEADde and Minisinoo for both prompting and giving us such a wonderful relationship to build off of. Anyone who knows me personally knows I think love the unexplored characters of Twilight the best, Emmett, Leah, and even Rosalie. Those are the ones who get me most.
Thank you for taking time to read and please, let me know what you think of it.
Hugs and kisses.