Title: Love's Forgotten Memories
Recipient: Written for calikisses in the Twilight Gift Exchange.
Summary: Emmett bears witness to the aftermath of Edward changing Bella and what's a vampire to do when things aren't going so well for the couple?
Timeline: Set after Eclipse; within the months of June to February in the year after.
I vaguely recall someone telling me that the pain of transformation would be the sharpest memory I have of my human life. They were right. I remember the pain clearly.
I remember the rush of fire that sped through my veins, burning and destroying everything in its path. I remember the agony I felt, the never-ending fatigue I went through. My body had been weary from the strain but no respite was ever in sight. I remember the screaming; my screaming. I had screamed non-stop; begging for my suffering to end. I had begged for my death; not knowing that this was my death.
I had clung onto the pain feverishly. Who knew what worse fate would come upon me if the pain stopped?
I remember the pain clearly. I just can't remember anything else.
"Carlisle, this is not normal. Surely something must have gone wrong!" I said to Carlisle, the both of us hovering outside Bella's room. She had been sitting by the window for a full week now and no one could dissuade her from it.
"I don't – I have no experience handling such a situation," he shook his head and I knew we were in serious trouble now. After all, if Carlisle didn't have the answers, who did?
It had been a total of ten days, 15 hours, seven minutes and three seconds since Bella's change and up to this moment, none amongst us knew what to do. All Bella did every day was just sit by the window and stare out of it. She wouldn't respond to any of us and on the rare occasions when she did, she would always stare blankly at us. No answers, no responses, nothing.
It was like talking to a doll.
And what's worse was that Edward was becoming like her. He stayed by her side no matter what. She wouldn't let him touch her; no, she would cringe upon his touch, so he would just sit an arm's length away and just watch her. He just watched.
It would have been romantic if it weren't so…worrisome.
No one in the family dared to disturb him. Who would, especially after the first time we tried to move him and he nearly tore off my arm? Everyone tried to think of possible reasons as to why Bella would become like this, but nothing came up. Even I, the resident joker, couldn't possibly think of anything funny to help to ease the tension.
"Don't," Rosalie had placed a hand on my arm as she shook her head. Esme had earlier made another comment about Edward not leaving Bella's side and a joke had been about to slip out but Rosalie stopped me. This was not the right time for such behavior.
"Perhaps it was due to her human life," Jasper suggested. We were now all gathered in the living room, discussing the newest development in their situation. It seemed as if Bella had no need whatsoever to hunt. This was impossible for newborns because the moment they awoke from their change, their bloodlust would take over and it would take nothing short of a nuclear bomb to stop them from massacres.
"After all, we brought something from our human lives into this new one. Perhaps she brought something from hers," Jasper continued as his eyebrows furrowed in concentration.
"What could she possibly bring over? Self-control that manifested itself into the lack of need to feed?" Rosalie huffed. She had not been accepting of Bella's decision to join our family; in fact she downright hated Bella for it, though she did not let her feelings show. And this situation was perfect proof that Bella had been wrong.
"Rose…" I placed my hand over hers in a bid to calm her down. Much as I loved my wife, I knew that Edward would be able to hear her thoughts regardless and he didn't need that kind of drama right now.
"She hated blood…" Alice started but failed to continue. We all waited for her; it seemed that these days, Alice was always second-guessing herself. She would always take a longer time to voice her opinion. Jasper mentioned that it was because she blamed herself for this outcome; after all, a powerful psychic like her should have seen Bella becoming a zombie.
"Yes…" I prompted her. What a weird way to leave off your sentence. She hated blood…
"Bella had a problem with blood. She got queasy," Alice stated matter-of-factly, as if this was a fact we all should have known. "Maybe this manifested itself in her new life. She hates blood then, she hates blood now and what better way to express that hate by having no need to feed at all?"
Our family mulled over this new revelation, I did as well. I knew I was usually seen as the big oaf who would charge into any situation half-cocked but that wasn't always true. I had my thinking moments as well and this was one of them. It was entirely possible that Alice was right. Rose had brought over her beauty and I my strength. It wasn't too much of a stretch to believe that Bella brought over her disdain for blood.
"We could all be wrong," Esme pointed. "She hasn't expressed any need to hunt yet. This doesn't mean she won't want to hunt in the next week or so."
Carlisle nodded, supporting his wife. "Esme's right. We need to monitor the situation. Perhaps it's just fear that's keeping Bella away from us. Transformation can be a drastic change to the mental psyche. She just needs time to adjust."
We agreed on Carlisle's decision but deep down, I doubted him. It was rare for that to happen but how could I not as I watched my brother fall apart and my new sister unresponsive to anything?
How much more time would they need? What if it'd take all the time we can give, and that meant an eternity?
When I first awoke from the fires, it took a while for me to orient myself. I found myself alone on a bed and a man seated beside it. He seemed relieved the moment he saw me open my eyes but instead, all I felt was alarm. Who was this man? And where was I?
"Bella, can you hear me? Bella, are you all right?"
So my name was Bella. That was a start. I had a name. I remained silent though. How was I to know that the man didn't mean me any harm? I knew no one, had no memories; he was a stranger to me.
"Bella, please… Say something," the beautiful creature pleaded. Even a stranger, I could tell that this man was exquisitely gorgeous. He seemed almost unreal, like he was going to disappear any minute from now. But his voice… I recognized his voice. He was the voice I heard as I fought through the fires. It had been my anchor, my lifeline.
A burning sensation at the back of my throat brought me back from staring at his face. It was a different kind of fire, but not unlike the one I had just come out of. It was scratching at my throat, digging and burrowing, desperate to be released. I didn't know what this thirst was; what I was supposed to be craving for. This couldn't be normal. It couldn't be.
But surprisingly, I found it easy to ignore the fire. If I concentrated, I could all but pretend that it wasn't there. It was just an annoying tingling now; something easily forgotten.
"Carlisle!" The angel called out and immediately, another man entered the room. He was beautiful too, but not like my angel. He was older, more refined and less… tortured. Yes, he had a different facial expression as he tried to examine me. I cringed from their touches. Who were they to me that I should let them touch me?
More people were coming into the room now. Two blondes, a short girl and a well-muscled man. Another woman came in too, and her face was full of motherly worry. I wondered if she was my angel's mother. Perhaps my mother?
"Bella, do you know where you are right now?" The man named Carlisle asked me. I hesitated at my answer. Would I get the question right or wrong?
"I don't know you people. What have you done to me?"
"All right, that's it. You're going hunting and we will drag you out of the house if we have to," Esme had decided that she wasn't going to watch her two children wallow in any more suffering. While she couldn't do anything for Bella, she sure as hell wasn't going to let Edward go on in his path of self-destruction.
He hadn't gone hunting for almost 3 weeks now and already, it was showing. His eyes were pitch black and though it wasn't as if he needed to take precautions anymore, feeding was something essential to us. Just because we didn't need to didn't necessarily mean we shouldn't have to.
"Get away from me!" Edward growled as Rosalie and I approached him. I placed an arm on his shoulder, meaning to just steer him away from Bella but he over-reacted. As usual. He flinched away from my grip and when I tried it again, he grabbed hold of my arm tightly. I knew he was going to try and tear it off again so I got him into a chokehold and held him down firmly. Rosalie made sure that Bella wasn't too near to us but it didn't matter. She didn't so much as look at us.
"Make sure he goes hunting," Esme pleaded as Rosalie and I lead him out of the room. Jasper had joined us now and together, we half dragged, half shoved a struggling Edward out of the house. He was beyond madness now; lashing and pulling away from us. He roared and growled and it took all of us to keep him from running away.
It wasn't like we wanted to keep him away from Bella. It's just that Carlisle and Esme were right; Edward needed to feed and they wanted to try and get Bella talking without him around.
We continued running through the forest, the blanket of snow whirling under our feet. Edward continued to struggle against us but even now, his attempts were growing weaker. I could understand that. After all, who wouldn't be weak after changing your wife into a vampire and finding out that she no longer remembers you and now, you're too fucked up and depressed to even move from your seat beside her?
I mean, if it were me, I'd be fucked up, too.
We knew Edward would simply run back to the house if we were to release him so after Rosalie managed to find a mountain lion, she snapped its neck and brought it back to us. The blood leaking out of the lion's wounds was too much for Edward, so when Jasper and I finally released him, he went straight for it. He was like I had never seen him before. He attacked the lion like a starving man on a Christmas turkey.
Though, I couldn't be sure. It's been a while since I had a proper turkey.
While Edward was draining the lion, the others took the opportunity to hunt as well. I held myself back, considering it was just a day since my last hunt. There wasn't much variety here, only deer and the occasional mountain lion. But I had chanced upon a bear after finishing off a herd of deer yesterday. Too full to even think about hunting but unwilling to just let the bear go, I killed it and went to hide its body. I had been hoping to have it for myself on my next round of feeding but seeing how Edward was just devouring the lion, I decided to let him have it. His needwas certainly graver than mine.
I went and found its body and just as Edward was about done with his lion, I tossed the bear towards him. He went at it like a piñata. It was pretty scary, even for a big guy like me.
But the scarier part was that I almost couldn't recognize my brother anymore. I know we could no longer change physically, but it seemed like he had more dark circles around his eyes and his cheeks were shrunken in. He was becoming thinner and his hair was messier than usual. He looked simply out of sorts and it was worrying, even for me, the carefree, ever-jovial jokester.
It was a while before Edward finished off the bear; it was a huge ass bear. By then, Rosalie and Jasper had returned as well and I could see it in their eyes that they were seeing the same things I did. We could no longer recognize our brother.
Draining those precious few last drops of blood, Edward wiped his mouth with his sleeve and looked up at us. I was pretty sure he was reading our minds, now that he had regained his sanity. Seeing how concerned we were for him, he finally let us in on what was worrying him the most.
"What if she never remembers me? What if she leaves? What then?"
I knew it was time for me to come up with something. This was my family being torn apart, for fuck's sake.
They said that they were vampires and I was one of them too.
I had guessed as much. I couldn't possibly be human and have a sort of thirst that water won't sate. They were pale and their skin was as hard as granite. Mine was the same. They had funny-looking eyes. Mine were red but Carlisle said that the color would fade over time if I hunted animals.
Hunted animals? Does that make me a predator of sorts?
My angel, he said his name was Edward; he was sad all of the time now. While we did not speak much, I felt a strange sense of obligation towards him. Every time he asked me a question, I'd be afraid to answer it, for fear of getting it wrong. It seemed that all of my answers were wrong these days.
No, I didn't remember who he was. No, I wasn't hungry. Yes, I'd like to get out of the house now please. No, I wanted to be left alone.
To make matters even worse, his family was now fighting because of me. For some strange reason, Edward wanted to be with me all the time. He always sat beside me, by the window and while I didn't let him touch me, it was still comforting to have him there.
It was like, even if the whole world should cease to exist, he'd still be there by my side. Just sitting; waiting.
Esme – his mother; the one whom I had mistaken for my own – she was getting increasingly worried about Edward. So was I. He kept asking me if I was hungry, never stopping to think perhaps he was getting hungry himself.
It was a great relief to see his siblings dragging him out of the house to "hunt". I chose not to respond to any of the commotions happening around me. I still wasn't sure of anything; of my life before becoming a vampire, who these people were to me. They could mean to harm me but deep down, I knew they wouldn't. They would have done it a long time ago, not now when I'm so strong and powerful. I picked up a vase earlier and it crumbled into powder right before my eyes. Carlisle said that it was normal for newborns.
Much as I wanted to believe everything that they were telling me, I just couldn't bring myself to do so. I could no longer trust myself; how could I possibly trust others now?
While Edward was out, they tried to get the little one to talk to me. Alice, they said her name was. She seemed nice enough. I didn't respond to her, of course, but that didn't matter. She simply took her place beside me and started telling me about her own life.
How she had woken up one day and found herself a vampire. How she had no recollection of her human past and was that something I felt I could relate to? Of course, I could relate to that, but then she told me it was because she had been kept in an asylum but I hadn't been in one. Where had my memories gone to then?
She went on to tell me how normal it was to not have my human memories intact after my transformation. That she had done research before and had even met with several vampires who recalled nothing from their previous life.
That comforted me. At least I wasn't the only one going through such an occurrence. I was beginning to think of myself as a freak. Surely no other vampire had lost their human memories while transiting from this life to the next?
It was reassuring to hear Alice speak. I liked her voice. It sounded like wind chimes; pretty and melodic. I listened attentively but revealed nothing to imply so. I wanted to keep myself a mystery for the time being, until I could confirm their intentions.
"And so, after I woke up, I just felt this incredible thirst, you know? Sort of like a stranded man thirsting for water. And so, I went off hunting but of course, you're not too worried about that, aren't you? You haven't expressed any thirst whatsoever…" Alice had prattled on.
Thirst… Now that she had mentioned it…
It's funny how life can get. You worry obsessively over a problem and when you finally make a decision about it, you find out that the problem has already been solved and you never had any cause for worry in the first place.
This year for Valentine's Day, I decided to surprise Rosalie and take her on an extended vacation to Paris. Usually, we'd just stay in our room and you know, make wild, passionate love the whole day but I was hoping for something different this year. After all, it's been an eventful year and sex can only occupy so much of our time.
If you'd asked me what my plans were for this year's Valentine's a few months ago, I'd have said something like, "Watch Edward be all emo," but not for the reasons you'd guessed. Every year, before Bella, he'd get all angsty on V-Day and becoming so irritable, he'd mess with Jasper's emotions, who would in turn, project depression onto us. Esme would then always politely ask Edward to go on an extended hunting trip on his own. After all, depression can't be too conducive for passion.
But after he met Bella, he became so much happier. I could tease him and he wouldn't even get mad at me. Not much, anyway. And then he changed her into a vampire last year and all hell broke loose.
Bella lost all of her human memories and couldn't even recognize him. She completely ignored him and didn't respond to any of us. Edward became so depressed; I thought he'd have to spend this year's Valentine's Day alone, which was highly depressing in itself. This year was supposed to be the first year he was going to spend with Bella.
I had actually came up with this great plan of bringing Bella back to Forks to see if it'd trigger any of her human memories. After all, I knew I had to do something and I refused to see my brother indulge in any more self-pity. This wasn't going to be some Valentine's Day where Fate could play some cruel and evil joke.
My brother was going to have his wife back, no matter what.
But Alice beat me to it. She went to have a talk with Bella one day and somehow, something she said triggered the newborn's thirst in Bella and Carlisle and Esme immediately taught her the ropes. We had originally thought that Bella brought her disdain for blood from her human life to her new one but Carlisle then came up with a new theory. He said that her disdain for blood manifested itself into a new power; Bella could control her thirst a lot better than all of us and even when she was thirsty, she never had to feed on more than one animal.
Well, that's no fun at all, is it? The whole point about being a vampire is to wreck havoc on the animal population and get back at the animal that killed you in the first place.
Oh, wait. That's me.
Still, it was amazing that Bella had such a cool power. It was obvious that Jasper was envious of her power but to his credit, he kept it well hidden. After that day, Bella started opening up to us and of course, to Edward. The look on his face when she went to hold his hand, it was like seeing a kid on Christmas morning.
It was beautiful and even Rosalie couldn't complain about that.
It was a slow process naturally but Bella got the hang of it. She relearned our names, likes, dislikes, everything about us and now, she wouldn't forget them again because of her new vampric memory. But I got a huge kick out of it. I mean, she was acting all human again, being shy around us and just keeping to herself. She'd blush if she still had her circulatory system working. I teased her a lot about it and Edward kept smacking my head but I didn't mind. It was good to have my family back.
Bella still didn't remember her human memories but it didn't matter much to her anymore. Carlisle and I – yes, I came up with this theory too – suspected that it was because of her insistence in joining our family. She was willing to give up her human life so easily just to join our family; perhaps that was why her psyche couldn't retain her human memories. She didn't hold on to them as tight as we had to ours.
So in the end, everything worked out just fine. Our family was finally completed and even if Bella never gets her human memories back, that's all right. She can make new memories with us.
Just like how she's going to remember I beat her at arm-wrestling tomorrow.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading and please send me a review. I would love to hear what you thought of my piece.
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