"Why do you think he aged?" Dr. Cullen clicked his pen and looked down at his notepad. It had been a long time since I'd been back here but I had so much I wanted to talk about and he knew me. I was both surprised and grateful when he'd accepted my call and arranged an appointment.
"I think because Emmett and their mother never let him die, not in here, anyway," I touched my chest above my heart. "Does that make sense?"
"I think it does. They didn't want to imagine he was dead, despite the evidence that he could be and so he lived on in their hearts. They let him age, alongside them."
"You always understand me, Dr. Cullen."
He smiled and jotted something in his pad. "Why did he say 'your soul' was all that he needed to help him?"
I pondered on this and finally shook my head in defeat. "I don't know."
"Can I offer a theory?"
"He was lonely, he led you to that cottage and to the well, he showed you his fate and because of your compassion, your kindness, you followed him and eventually found him. How many other people would've ignored what they saw, Isabella?"
"I don't know, how many other people see ghosts, Dr. Cullen?" I smiled and he smiled too.
"You have a good soul, Isabella, and it rescued him."
"I wish it could've saved him."
"You did in other ways."
"I guess," I looked out the window, not wanting to be melancholy. "I'm sorry about the last time I was here," I said quietly.
Dr. Cullen paused, then clicked his pen and placed it on his desk, alongside the notepad. "Why does she stay?" he asked me, his voice just as soft as mine.
I shrugged, "Maybe she needs to hear something from you."
"Like how much I love her?" he asked. "But she knows that."
I looked behind him to see his wife, standing at his shoulder, compassion and sadness evident on her face. I shook my head. "No, maybe she needs to hear that you'll be ok, that she can stop worrying about you now."
She nodded and I dared to glimpse over at him, waiting for the anger again, but Dr. Cullen wasn't mad, he was crying.
I stood and walked to the door but before I could leave he called to me. "Isabella," I turned to face him, hoping I had helped, in some small way at least. "Don't be afraid of who you are, for who you are is beautiful, inside and out."
"But what if it scares other people?"
"You are who you are and if they love you, then they will always love you, no matter what."
"Even if I'm like – the ghost whisperer?" I laughed at my self-given name, unable to think of anything else.
"You're not a ghost whisperer, Isabella, you're better than that. You're a soul collector."