A/N: This is a rather dark O/S and may perhaps trigger tears.
It comes with a warning – Contains dark themes, main character is discussing suicide! No cuss words, no sexual contents.
I wanna thank my fantastic betas Holly Mc and Little Furry Cannibals for Team Jacob and Crescencia for Team Edward. Thank you so much. It was an honor working with you girls.
As always, I own nothing but my keyboard and the computer. I don't own the energy that feeds it – it comes from the power company. Twilight belongs to Mrs. Meyer and thanks God, my brain belongs to me.
- One-Shot -
Rated: Something between PG13 and R
Characters: Bella, Edward, Jacob
My dear reader Jul5857 nominated this one-shot for the Single Shot Awards (Categories: Best Angst/Drama and Best Romance).
I'm not asking you to nominate me. I just want to let you know that you can, if you like.
Nominating happens here: www(dot)thesingleshotawards(dot)blogspot(dot)
Heavy in your Arms
I was a heavy heart to carry
My beloved was weighed down
My arms around his neck
My fingers laced to crown.
I was a heavy heart to carry
My feet dragged across ground
And he took me to the river
Where he slowly let me drown
My love has concrete feet
My love's an iron ball
Wrapped around your ankles
Over the waterfall
I'm so heavy, heavy
Heavy in your arms
I'm so heavy, heavy
So heavy in your arms
And is it worth the wait
All this killing time?
Are you strong enough to stand
Protecting both your heart and mine?
Who is the betrayer?
Who's the killer in the crowd?
The one who creeps in corridors
And doesn't make a sound
This will be my last confession
I love you never felt like any blessing
Whispering like it's a secret
Only to condemn the one who hears it
With a heavy heart
I'm so heavy, heavy in your arms.
Heavy in your arms, Florence and the Machine
If you knew ahead of time that you could have two great loves, but also two heartbreaking lows, would you take it? Or would you rather skip out on the great love entirely?
I had loved only two men in my life.
Edward, the vampire and Jacob, the werewolf.
Edward was my first love and our love had been something special, but Edward had dumped me days after my eighteenth birthday, telling me that I wasn't good enough for him. He said to me, 'It will be as if I never existed'. He was forever existed in my heart, and the Bella I had been vanished entirely.
When I said, 'You can have my soul. I don't want it without you-it's yours already', I meant it and he took my soul with him, my soul, my spirit, and my will to live.
I wanted to die that day Edward left me alone in the woods. Only death wouldn't come. After long, lonely hours in the darkness of the forest Sam Uley finally found me and in his arms he carried me home to Charlie.
Jacob brought me back to life and gave me the happiest years of my life. We ignored the threat of imprinting and when it actually happened, it was unexpected and we fell hard. Once Jacob moved out, it destroyed everything that he had fixed before and he took with him the pieces of my shattered heart.
I never really stopped loving Edward. Never stopped longing to see him again and I never stopped grieving. I had been so determined to spend eternity with him, wanted to become one of his kind. Today I only meekly smile about that.
All through the years, whenever I thought of him a tremendous pain would rip at my heart and create an unbearable throbbing that left me gasping for air. His words had left me broken and with his leaving he inflicted an invisible wound, a wound that never closed, never healed, and never went away.
At some point in my life I understood why Edward had left and why he had wanted me to live my life as it was meant for human people, but I could never forgive the way he left me. . The idea that I wasn't good enough for him haunted me for years. I felt inferior and betrayed. Wisdom of age should make me forgiving, but I would never be able forgive him just as I would never be able to stop loving him.
I was catatonic for months. I breathed and I existed, but I didn't live. Nightmares haunted my sleep, torturing me in the few hours of fitful sleep my body demanded when it was too exhausted to function.
The day I found the two old motorbikes and brought them to La Push for Jacob to fix, was the day I started to live again. Jacob not only fixed the bikes, he fixed me. Jacob, from that time on, was always there for me. My beautiful, strong and caring Jacob. I learned to love him over the years and he loved me back with a fiery passion I indulged in. It was a love that grew from our friendship. It was a slow burning, slumbering fire.
It wasn't the same though as the love I had felt and still felt for Edward…
I am old now. I'm old and withered. Lying in my bed, the bed that Jacob made for us with his own hands and that I refused to give away, I look into the semi-darkness of a fading day and wait for my last breath to come. I have no fear of dying, since I have nothing left to lose.
I hear a soft knock at my door and my granddaughter Alice steps into the room. She switches on the small lamp on my bedside table and sits down on my bed.
She has the same pale skin, the same mahogany hair and even my brown-colored eyes. It fills me with happiness that I can see Jacob in her, too. His genes provided her with a tall and well-defined body. She's a clever girl; will soon be graduating from high school and attending college after that. She makes me proud. She is my sunshine. I love her so much.
"How are you, Gran?" she asks, worried about my condition, quickly making sure that my bedcover and the sheets are straight and smooth, so no folds can disturb me.
"I'm fine, my dear Alice," I say, my voice barely a whisper. I have no strength anymore to speak out loud. I take her hand as she straightens the sheets. "Don't you worry, honey." I pat her hand in a comforting manner and she smiles at me.
"Just call me, Gran, if you need anything. I'm sleeping right over there in the next room, as usual." Alice leaves silently, like she came in. Sometimes she reminds me of another Alice I had known decades ago. This Alice though wouldn't be old as I was. She would still be young and beautiful. Time could not harm her.
I can feel the bitterness rising and I shove it away. I can only take so much… Yes, I'm tired of living. I'm ready to go.
I sigh and try to shift in my bed, but my muscles refuse to work. The pain in my bones increases every day. Still, I don't accept any painkillers. I don't want to spend my last days sedated and drugged up. I know that my time has come and I want to be of a clear mind when my family comes to visit me. Everyone but Jacob has been here today, knowing it would be a final good-bye.
I missed Jacob, but I had let him know through Billy that I don't want him to come. I don't want him to see me like this. I can't stand seeing the pain in his eyes, the guilt, and the regret.
My life with Jacob had been good - until the day he imprinted and left me for this other woman, but the years before were filled with love, understanding and happiness. We almost had a normal human life. He stopped phasing; decided to age with me, right after our first son Billy was born. Jacob had been the proudest dad ever.
We wanted this child, it was a decision made out of pure love. I stopped taking the pill weeks after our wedding. Jacob, with his enhanced senses, knew when I was fertile and the sex we had that day was the most sensual experience I'd ever had in my life. When we made love, it was in the awareness that we were creating life.
Jake supported me during the pregnancy with loving calmness and humor. He bore my morning sickness, my mood swings and the weirdest of appetites, but he was helpless, when at some days sadness almost washed me away.
During the long hours of labor, we worked together as a team. He held my hand and rubbed my back, smiling understandingly as I cursed him over putting me into this situation, and never tiring of listening to my endless tirades. Billy was born in our home into his father's hands, bathed in the light of the morning sun. Not to this day do I forget the sight of our tiny, wet newborn baby resting in Jake's strong arms and the moment when he placed the baby upon my chest.
Life was peaceful, consistently good back then. La Push had become my home. With Billy being born, I was finally fully accepted in the community. Billy was a cute little boy - the image of his father, but with my mahogany hair. He learned fast, especially how to use his charisma to wrap people around his finger.
Memories of Edward didn't haunt me at that time. They had faded into the background. Raising our son kept me busy and didn't leave me much time to think about Edward anyway.
We wanted more kids, but for some reason my body didn't seem to be able to carry a child to full term anymore. We lost two babies in the first weeks of my pregnancies and one when I was 25 weeks along.
Around the time I lost the second baby my "dark" periods as Jacob referred to it started. I suffered from depression so badly that I was sitting for days in my old rocking chair, not speaking, not eating, and not recognizing anything that was going on around me.
As I shed tears over the loss of my babies, the longing for Edward started anew: without that I was able to fight against that yearning. Jacob always nursed me back to health, standing by me unyielding and taking care of Billy when I was not able to do it. I told him to go and to take Billy with him. I told him that I wasn't good enough for him, not good enough for anyone, but he stayed.
Unexpectedly, our marriage only grew stronger because of that. I was grateful for what Jacob did for me and it deepened the love I felt for him. It was a wonder and a blessing, when finally - ten years after Billy's birth - our twin daughters Mia and Sara were born and completed our family.
Our kids grew up learning the Quileute legends just as all kids of the tribe get to know them, but they never got to know about the trueness of their words.
Then, years after the Cullen's were gone their abandoned house suddenly seemed to lure other vampires into coming here.
I supported Jake in his decision to continue phasing. As a father, Jake's instincts to protect and fight were stronger than ever and he finally took over as the Alpha of his pack and stepped up as the Chief of the Quileute tribe.
Even though the wolves were on constant alert, always prepared and determined to not let any vampire pass the wider area around La Push and Forks, vampires didn't stop invading, which kept Jacob from retiring from phasing. Maybe, if those vampires hadn't come here and he hadn't continued phasing, he never would have imprinted. We will never know…
It was no surprise to us, when at the age of eighteen Billy grew into a huge man in a couple of weeks. Secretly, Jacob had waited for it to happen, being convinced that Billy carried the heritage of the Quileute tribe, but Billy never went through the final transformation and never phased wolf. Deep inside, I knew that it was because of me, because I'm not Quileute and Billy had a hard time accepting it when his father's other son, the one he had with his imprint, followed his father's footsteps and was able to phase before he was even sixteen.
Billy had been so angry about it and became so mad at Jake. He got into a heavy fight with Jacob and refused talking to him for weeks. Oh yes, Billy had a temper that put even Jacob to shame.
I startle and lose my trail of thoughts when Alice comes back for our night ritual. She helps me with the toilet, gives me a bath, dresses me into a cozy nightgown and brushes my hair until it's shining. My hair is no longer brown. It turned white when I was forty, the night after Jake told me that he had imprinted.
"Are you in pain, grandma?" Alice asks concerned and I realize that I'm crying. She wipes away the tears, since my arms feel too heavy. My skin is so sensitive tonight that even the softest of her touches hurts.
"I'm fine, Alice," I lie and manage to give her a smile. "I only had a dream." I'm too exhausted to eat and I only want to sleep. Alice leaves me alone again and my eyes close. I slumber deeper into my memories.
I usually went to PTA meetings, since Jacob always felt confined in the school building. Only, this one time I wasn't able go as Charlie had died only a week earlier and I mourned his death. When Jacob came back home after the meeting, he was shattered and glowing simultaneously. While telling me that he had imprinted on a teacher of our kids, only half of his attention was with me - the other part of him was with his imprint already.
Jacob fought the imprint, but it only prolonged the agony and the fear of losing him. Jacob wasted away, longing for a woman he didn't want and knowing that he left not only me but also his kids behind. A year after he imprinted, he finally had to realize that he couldn't fight the imprint anymore and that being away from her was impossible for him. The imprint bond was stronger than the love we had and the wedding vows we had given to each other.
When Jacob left it was worse than anything I had felt after Edward was gone, because he took away everything that was love and warmth in me. The absence of him was palpable as soon as I heard the soft sound of the closing door. It made me crumble to the floor, wailing soundlessly in a deep, hopeless despair.
This time when the depression came, Jacob wasn't here to lead me through it. Lost in myself, I didn't notice that it was my teenage son Billy that tried to put me back together; my teenage son that ran after his father, demanding an answer; my teenage son that took care of his sisters and suddenly had to grow up overnight. The responsibility and love that I felt for my kids finally brought me out from my grief, but the damage was done already. Sara never forgave me that I had just given in to my pain and totally ignored that my kids would have needed me in this situation so much.
When Jacob left, he promised to take care of me and of our kids and I had to give him credit, he never broke that promise. Every day or every other day he came over, helped me with everything concerning the kids and with the house. Putting on a carefree, smiling face when he was with us, I never showed him once how much I was hurting, but after Jacob was gone, nothing was left of me. I was an empty shell.
As the night proceeds and mypain gets almost unbearable, my breathing becomes shallow. I do not fear death. It will relieve me from the pain I feel, emotionally and physically.
I thought that fate would be merciful with my family. I thought I was the only one who needed to suffer like I did. Little did I know. Words can't describe the livid fury that I felt when my daughter Sara had her heart broken by the curse of imprinting and her fiancé left her for another woman just like Jacob left me. I assumed that this stressful event would forge Sara and me together, but the opposite happened. She accused me of not warning her, of never telling her the truth about the wolves. Sara wouldn't accept my apology and she wouldn't accept that tribal laws forbid telling the secret to anyone but the wolves themselves and their imprints. Things were never good for her after that. Sara left the reservation as soon as she reached adulthood, only to come back once or twice a year.
A cold breeze from the window wakes me from my slumber. I want to call for Alice, asking her to close it, but then I hear the dim sound of light steps and a whisper.
I can hardly open my heavy eyelids to see who has called my name, but I recognize the voice. It hasn't changed at all.
"Edward?" Maybe I'm hallucinating.
He steps out of the shadow, shock evident in his eyes. I know what he's seeing - the wrinkled face and the weak, skinny, worn-out body of an old woman.
His face instead is beautiful and unchanged. Time has done nothing to him. He would always be seventeen.
"Are you real? Really here, Edward?" I ask him, my old voice trembling in the effort of speaking. Taking in a deep breath, I smell his sweet and still so familiar scent. I find that I still like it.
Edward bends down to me and smiles. "Yes, it's me. I'm here, Bella…" The smile fades and a pained expression appears on his face. He was always good with looking pained.
"So you finally came. I have waited for you for so long…" I reach out, attempting to touch his face, but my hand is too weak and it falls back on the bed.
Carefully, Edward takes a seat on my bed. He takes my hand and brings it to his cheek, just right where I wanted it to be. The coolness is comforting. His cold hand gently holds on to my hand and he leans his face into it. "I love you, Bella. I have always loved you."
I nod while hiding the bitterness that creeps up my spine. Over the years I became a master of keeping a calm face, keeping the turmoil of emotion hidden. Slightly pressing his hand, I eventually whisper, "Would you grant me a wish, Edward? Now, that you are finally here?"
He winces and presses his face against my cheek, inching closer, obviously seeking comfort in my touch. "What is it, Bella? What do you wish?" He is careful, but the hold he has on my hand and his hard icy body pressing against my hips hurt me.
I look into his eyes, which are only inches away from me now and become aware how pitch-black they are. "Your eyes…" I whisper. "You need to feed… You are hungry."
He shrugs his shoulders dismissively, but he moans as if he was in pain. "I'm beyond feeling hungry, Bella. I haven't hunted in months…"
As I look at him closer I see that he's suffering. His features behold an emptiness I never saw when we were still together. His marble skin looks ashen; it has lost its alluring shine. Dark circles under his eyes and his almost white lips prove that he's starving. He isn't looking like my Edward anymore. His haggard appearance reminds me of a vampire made out of the horror movies. Still, I can feel no pity for him. I find myself thinking that it serves him right. I want him to pay for the pain he inflicted on me, for the damage he did with a decision he made over my head, never asking me for my opinion.
Remembering the long discussions I had with Jacob during the last years, I smile. In the beginning Jacob mocked that age had made me crazy in the head, when I first told him I wanted nothing more than to convince Edward to kill me and look him in the eyes before he did it. Then he fought with me, trying to convince me I was wrong, but I argued and explained that it was my only way of getting revenge. In the end he hugged me and tousled my hair, saying whatever plans I had, they were for the birds anyway, since Edward had forgotten about me a long time ago.
"I am tired of living, Edward…" I begin explaining, as I feel myself becoming weaker.
I don't know when it began that I couldn't sleep anymore. You never value sleep enough until the moment when the sleep you long for just doesn't come. What do you do when sleep is taken from you; sleep that would give you black nothingness, merciful oblivion and minutes or hours of relief?
"I see, Bella." Edward embraces and cradles me softly, brushing my hair back. His lips brush over my temple and forehead. I want to shy away from his touch and I tremble, but as soon as his cold lips graze my skin, the familiar and long gone sensation of being kissed rekindles. Some of the love I felt for him still seems left.
"What is your wish?" he asks for a second time, his velvety voice sounding empty and broken.
"End this, Edward," I answer weakly. "Make my life stop."
Edward gasps and buries his face in the crook of my neck, moaning.
It leaves me unfazed. "You MUST do this for me!" I demand with all the might I can muster.
"Bella…" Edward is frantic. He kisses me again, on the lips, but this time it hurts.
The pain in my bones and in my skin suddenly strikes and becomes unbearable. I'm afraid of losing my mind over this, afraid that my heart would stop beating before I would get what I want of him. I want to scream at him, forcing a reaction out of him, but I hurt so much and I start weeping "Do it! Edward, I have no time left. It shall be to you to end my life, since you refused to give me eternity."
He winces again and he breaks away from me. I can see the hurt, the guilt and the sorrow in his eyes. He is not even trying to keep his pain from me.
I want to tell Edward that we were meant to be together, that he made a huge mistake when leaving me, but my lips are like glue. After all, his leaving gave me my kids and grandkids – and Jacob, who in the end left me too.
Jacob. My Jacob. My eyes fill with new tears. This time I weep for the husband that was taken from me, because of a bond that was unbreakable.
Suddenly I'm being lifted. Edward moves swiftly and at first, I'm not aware what he is doing. My old brain can't keep up with his speed. He's picked me up into his arms. "Hold on tight, spider-monkey," he says, smiling sadly, and jumps out of the window.
"Where are you going?" I ask him, when we touch the ground. I'm surprised that I don't faint. No one has jumped out of a window with me in their arms in… ages.
His marble arms hold me tightly to his chest. "Where it started once, there it shall end," he answers cryptically, but I don't understand the meaning of his words. I'm old; my brain doesn't work so well anymore. Where is he bringing me?
He doesn't run for long and when he stops, my weak eyes try to adjust to the darkness. I'm grateful when the sky opens up and the moonshine enlightens the place where we are standing. My vision becomes clear and I realize that we are in our meadow.
A sob breaks free from my throat and the words I never wanted to tell him escape my lips, "Edward, I never stopped loving you all these years… You shouldn't have left me."
He falls on his knees, right in the middle of the meadow, and cradles me in his arms. "You were my life, Bella, but I couldn't take yours away. I gave you a life that you couldn't live with me. You lived it with Jacob. He was the better man for you. You deserved to be happy with him."
I meekly sigh at his words. What did he know? He only wanted to do good when he left, but he had killed me, killed my spirit, without even laying hands on me.
I can feel my heart slowing down. It skips beats and the effort to make it beat again weakens my body more and more. "Edward. Do it. Now! My time is up."
For the last time, I watch his face and look into his black eyes. "Does my blood still sing to you?" I ask and I can barely hear my own words anymore.
"Yes," Edward admits and he breathes me in. "Bella…"
I encourage him, not willing to wait any longer. "Don't hold back, Edward. Just take it," I say, tilting my neck backwards, exposing myself to him.
His vampire nature breaks to the surface. The many months of starving seem to have its toll on him. He snarls instinctively at my open invitation and lifts me up, bringing my throat close to his mouth. He inhales again, moving his lips over my throat, my cheeks and finally my lips, slightly caressing me. He returns to my throat and lingers there for minutes. His scent becomes stronger. It's tantalizing. I'm getting dizzy and time loses meaning.
I feel when he is ready. His body tenses and his left hand moves down, steadying my back. The other hand one slowly weaves into my hair. He bends my neck and exposes my throat even more.
I let my eyes drift, taking in the heaven and the moon and the woods that surround us. I want to die with open eyes.
Then I see him standing only a few feet apart from us; still so glorious, big and beautiful.
My Jacob has come. My heart beats up into a frantic beat. Will he rip me out of Edward's arms and destroy the one chance I have of revenge? The only chance I would ever have to avenge the pain I've suffered because of Edward?
Jacob's eyes are warm and full of love. He is standing perfectly still, avoiding alerting Edward. "Good-bye, Bells," he whispers and I come to realize that it had been him who had finally brought Edward back to me, that he gave me this as his last gift, telling me without words how much he had always loved me, but also how aware he always was that he never had been able to take the place of Edward, and that he understood.
"I am sorry." I whisper before Edward's teeth break my skin and my life flowed into him.
A loud, mournful howl fills the night and then everything fades away.