Author's Note: This was partly inspired by the movie "Brothers". I haven't seen the movie yet, but the preview was great and inspiring. Obviously, as I've written a whole story! I really need reviews. Desperately.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all of these characters.
Prologue: Bella's POV
My two best friends Alice and Rosalie sat on the ledge of the bathtub, one on each side of me. Silent tears were streaming down my face, and they both held my hand. Today was not the day I had planned to do this. But, of course, who really planned on this day to happen?
"Don't cry, sweetie," Rose whispered. "Jacob would hate to see you cry."
I sniffled. "I know," I said, my throat thick with tears. "He would want me to be strong."
"That's right," Alice said, squeezing my hand. "I bet right now he's watching you, trying to somehow tell you that everything is going to be okay. That there is hope for you."
I nodded. "Uh huh. That's so Jake." Although I was responding to them, I couldn't quite comprehend her words. They just didn't sink in. I was numb.
"Bella, if this test is positive, what are you going to do?" Rose asked me gently.
I shrugged. "Not sure. Honestly, Rose, it took me two hours to decide on a dress for today. And even longer to do my hair and makeup."
"You look great," Alice told me. "I bet Jacob thinks you're beautiful. When did he not?"
I kind of liked how Alice was referring to Jacob in the present tense, as if he were really alive. It made me believe that there was a Heaven. How could someone as good as Jacob simply have his life ended? Of course my only love was being rewarded now for his goodness.
"I don't feel beautiful," I sighed. "I feel like a pile of charred bones. Nothing left in me."
Rosalie softly stroked my hair. "Honey, it'll get better."
I ignored that comment, because I didn't agree with it at all. There was no light at the end of this tunnel. I was trapped in this darkness forever.
But I knew I had to face reality. I had to get out of my bathroom and go to my husband's funeral. I had to go listen to everyone's condolences. I had to hear the slow droning of "Taps", bear the gun salute, and I had to hold that dreaded American flag. I had to drop my beloved husband's body into the ground. Never to see those beautiful brown eyes again. Never to run my fingers through that jet black hair again. Never to kiss those perfect lips again.
After today, my life would be sealed away in a coffin.
But of course I couldn't accept that. Because even though Jake was gone, I was still here on Planet Earth. And possibly, quite possibly, I would be responsible for another life.
That's what my head said. But my heart wouldn't listen.
Suddenly, I heard the dinging of the timer, and it brought me back to reality. I drew in a ragged breath. Now was the moment of truth.
"Hand me the test, Alice," I whispered.
Slowly, gently, she handed me the little white stick. I took a deep breath and held it up to read it.