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~.:*:.~

Dear Carlisle,

The first day of two thousand eleven has come and gone. I've spent most of it alone with my thoughts, going over the last few months, and the last few days, in particular. I've come to a simple understanding: I've hated you for being so careless. How could you let yourself be taken from us like that? Protecting that silly newborn instead of your own family? I've wanted to crush every item in this room in disgust several times over at your arrogance and irresponsibility that day in the clearing.

It feels so freeing to write those words, even more so to actually let myself feel them, but as I am me, I also feel guilty for it, so I'm doing the only thing I can: I'm forgiving you, Carlisle. How can I possibly move forward hating you when I know you only did what you thought best? That defined you, didn't it? You always did what you thought best. Even your few random acts of selfishness gave you, and me, the love of an eternal family. Your decision in nineteen eighteen gave me the chance for life with Bella so many years later. The years I suffered alone in misery were wiped away once I was able to truly call Bella mine for the rest of time. You gave that precious gift to me. I would never have loved like this had it not been for you and I know I will never be able to repay you.

I have not allowed myself to truly grieve your loss, to truly let you go for many reasons. I believe the most pressing reason of all was that I could not bear to think of your soul writhing in eternal damnation, but what if... what if I was wrong? What if when we are changed, we do not lose our souls, that they continue to be bound to us while we are on this plane of existence? What if our acts as vampires do have some effect on the state of our souls when we no longer? What if you were right all along? If one chooses to believe this, then there is no doubt that you are not in agony, Father. No, you are most certainly in a realm beyond the reach of Hell's fires. That's what I'm doing; I'm choosing to have faith. To believe.

You will never truly be gone from our lives, but I know it is time. Time to let you rest. Rest in Peace, Father.

Your son,

Edward

I capped my pen and closed the journal, placing it in the top drawer of my desk. I rose from my chair and walked from the room. I heard my family in the living room playing RISK and smiled at the thoughts of treachery and deception that were flying about. Cheaters, the lot of them. Maybe the Volturi did have something to worry about if we Cullens set our minds on world domination.

Please come down and play with us, Sweetheart.

Hearing Bella's thoughts, those she choose to share with me at least, were the most glorious things I'd ever heard. Each one would be treasured.

"I will soon; I just need to do one more thing," I said to her.

Take your time. I love you.

Hearing those words would never grow old.

"I love you. So much."

"Aww, I love you too, Eddiekins," Emmett said in a high-pitched voice. A resounding smack and shout of pain came soon after.

"Nice one, Bella," Rose said while raising her hand for a high-five from my wife.

The more things changed, the more they stayed the same. I shook my head and walked down the hall to where Carlisle's ashes rested below his father's cross, and as I did, a snowy owl flew past and landed on a branch just outside the giant window where the wood was mounted. I was met with the brilliant, golden yellow of the owl's eyes. It watched me for a few minutes and then blinked. It turned its head away, spread its wings and soared into the night. I watched it fly away for as long as I could. I looked back, and I couldn't help but smile. I gently touched my fingers to the lid of Carlisle's urn and gazed up at the ancient wooden cross, letting my earliest memories after my change wash over me like a flood. I let the love Carlisle showed me during all my failures and triumphs over the years fill me and felt venom coat my eyes.

Carlisle, I vow to be a better husband, son and brother and to live a life worthy of being your son. I will take the lessons you shared with me and do the best with what I was given. I will honor you.

I leaned down and placed my lips gently on the lid where my fingers had just been resting and said all that was left to say.

"Goodbye."

~.:*:.~

I know all your life you wondered about that step we all take alone. How far does a spirit travel on a journey?
You must surely be near heaven and it it thrills me to the bone to know Daddy knows
the great unknown.
-Rick Springfield - April 24, 1981

~.:*:.~

A/N: Thank you for reading and reviewing/favoriting. Thank you to wolvesandvamps for being the most patient buyer on the planet. I hope this did your prompt some justice. And to Jess... you're the best. xo.

Also, Rick Springfield! Thanks, Algie.