Yes Bella, I am leaving, I don't want you to come with me. This was a mistake, I should never have let it get this far.
My mind could not take this in, I could not understand, what was he saying and more to the point why was he saying this to me. He told me he loved me more than anything in the world so how could he change his mind so easily.
This was way too much, too painful. Maybe I was dreaming, yes that's what it was, a bad dream. I would wake up in a moment and he would be there, his arms would be around me, holding me close, making sure I was safe, loving me as only he could.
I felt a gentle pressure on my forehead and realised that he had kissed me, that was a good sign was it not? I closed my eyes to treasure the feeling, the only problem was that when I opened them he was gone!
Where did he go, I could no longer see him, I could no longer smell his scent, this was not a dream, I realised that it was my reality and the pain was endless.
I ran through the woods, shouting for him, tears blinding my vision making it difficult to see where I was going. I was so desperate to find him but all the time I knew he had gone, he had left me and I felt so alone.
I threw myself on the ground and curled up into a ball, I wanted to die. If I died I would no longer feel the hurt, the pain and the anguish. How could he leave me like this, broken and alone. I must have lain there for hours, in and out of consciousness, waking and dreaming, crying and screaming, the hurt would not leave me, I was lost and in limbo. I did not want to exist in this world anymore, I wanted to be dead.
I was a monster, I hurt people, that's what I did, what I was supposed to do.
There was one person on this earth that I really did not want to hurt, that I wanted to protect and in order to protect her I had to hurt her. I had to cause her pain, the only problem with that was that her pain was also my pain and that was the worst pain of all.
I had to leave her, to make sure she was safe, to make sure she had a chance at a normal and happy life. She deserved that at least. She needed to grow, to learn, to mature, to meet a normal guy, care for him, marry him and have his children and grandchildren. She needed to grow old and happy and have everything I could never give her, everything she deserved and more.
What she didn't need was to live in a world full of monsters who wanted to kill her at every turn. She didn't need to live in a world of darkness, hiding from people, existing as nothing but a soulless being. She was real, human and full of life and vitality and she deserved only the best and I had to give her that chance so I made my decision, probably the most painful decision in the whole of my existence.
I tried to explain to her that day in the woods the reason why I had to leave but I could not be truthful so I had to come up with some sort of story to make her believe. I told her that it was time that my family moved on and that Carlisle no longer looked the age he had professed to be. I told her that I should not have let our relationship progress to the level it had and that it was all a big mistake.
I hid my pain from her because if I did not then she would never have believed me, she would have known. We are all excellent liars but I truly thought she would have seen through the ruse, but to my surprise, and my dismay, she believed me so easily. I should not complain about it really because it is what I wanted but had not truly expected.
I had said my goodbyes, albeit not in a loving or friendly way, but in a ruthless kind of manner. I had the nerve to ask her for a favour and I could see the surprise in her eyes. I would not have been surprised if she had refused my request but I did not give her much chance to do so, instead I pushed on and asked if she would make sure, for Charlie's sake of course, that she would keep herself safe from harm and danger.
I kissed her forehead gently then, I closed my eyes tightly against the pain that such a simple act had caused me. I would never let her know the pain of that moment, if I did I would be lost and I would not leave her, ever.
I turned quickly and was gone. I gone to her house earlier and scribed a note for Charlie in Bella's handwriting, which I had managed to forge perfectly, saying that she had gone for a walk in the woods and would not be long.
I had gone up to her room also and removed the photographs of myself from her album, the CD's and birthday gifts. Cruel I know, but I needed to remove anything that would remind her of me, for her own sake, not mine. I could not remove them completely however, so I hid them under a floorboard. She would never know they were there but a part of me needed to have these things near her for what reason I could not explain.
I had hoped that her memories would become just that, distant, and fade considerably over time and I reassured myself that this would be the case.
After leaving her I did not look back, I did not go to my family either, I could have spoken to Alice and asked her to make sure Bella was okay but I did not want that. I wanted to cut all ties completely so I instructed Alice not to look for Bella at anytime, ever and she promised me although I knew it would be difficult for her as she loved Bella as much as I did.
I went to Rio and decided that I would make sure that Victoria stayed away from Bella, I would track her and kill her. So I made my plans and spent my days and nights looking for her. I travelled everywhere she went for months on end, all to no avail. I was no tracker, yes I was fast and yes I could smell her scent but tracking was definitely not my forte. Sadly I never caught her but that did not mean I would not do so some day. I vowed I would catch up with her sometime and her days were numbered.
I contacted my family regularly as a matter of decency, Carlisle and Esme would no doubt worry about their "first born son" so it was only my duty to let them know I was safe. None of my family had been happy with my decision which I could understand.
Esme because she felt that she was losing yet another "son", Carlisle because he wanted to keep his family together, Rosalie because she was just selfish and wanted "her" family to remain together and resented Bella for causing this, Emmett because he missed the games we played, Jasper because he did not like seeing Alice unhappy and Alice who was so angry with me I could hardly speak to her.
Most of them understood how I felt and respected my decision although they may not agree about what I was doing but as I said, most of them understood.
I missed my love so much, I wondered almost every second of every day if she was safe. I thought about her all the time, how many times had she fallen or cut herself, how many bruises did she have. She was so clumsy but it was a trait that I found so endearing about her, that's what made her "my Bella". She was such a loving creature, so beautiful and so easy to be with. I missed all the questions she would ask me. I say this as though I had never asked her a question since the day I met her. I recalled the day I had bombarded her with question after question about herself. I knew everything about her and it was everything that I loved about her.
I would never in my existence ever stop loving her, I would as my punishment, love her for all eternity and she would never know now.
I have been sitting here in an attic for hours now, surrounded by rats, one hundred and forty seven of them to be precise, all scuttling around looking for food and none of them successful in their efforts. Each one of them totally oblivious to the monster that sat amongst them, not that I would venture to eat such horrid creatures, even if I did they would not sate me for long. I had not hunted for days, weeks even, but then I no longer cared or for that matter wanted to. My mind was full of my Bella, where was she, what was she doing now, did she sleep at night, was she happy. I would never find out the answers to any of these questions now, I had given up the right to find out.
Maybe I was not the selfish monster I thought I was, maybe there was a little good inside of me, if this was true then it was well hidden. I scoffed at the thought, and laughed out loud so much so that the rats surrounding me all scuttled under the floorboards once again. Yes, I could even frighten the horrid little rats in the belfry if I wanted to.
Bella always said I had a soul but I seriously doubted that, monsters did not have souls and I was certainly a monster.
Not only did I truly miss my Bella but I missed my family too, I had done then an injustice. We had not been separated in years and I because of my own selfish needs caused them pain too, I did not deserve them. I know they all loved me and I them but I could not be around them causing them yet more pain. They deserved better than that.
My mind turned back to Bella once again, wondering how she was, if she was well, if she had been ill. The thought of her being ill made me tremble. I could not bear the thought of illness racking her tiny fragile body. I thought for a second that perhaps I could go back just for an hour, just to make sure she was okay and she was not suffering. If I did I could not let her see me, not that she would want me now anyway as I had destroyed her love for me. Yes, I could do that, I could go and check on her, just to make sure she was safe and happy, without me.
I had made up my mind, I was going to go back to Forks to check on her, just once, then I would return to my pathetic existence, maybe I would return to my family, I would think on that but for now I was going to see my Bella.
Alice Cullen was in the library sitting in front of her laptop doing some on-line retail therapy. She thought to herself "I need to re-stock the family wardrobes for the winter". She busied herself with her on-line purchases. This was one of her most favourite past times, she had a few similar past times most of which included fashion and beauty of some description.
Today she had opted to stay at home, the entire family were at home, well all apart from her beloved brother Edward, they all knew where he was, off hunting Victoria
Jasper was sitting nearby reading one of his favourite books, this particular one was a very very old book with leather bindings. It must have been hundreds of years old and was the true story of the story of how American Independence came about.
Rosalie and Emmett were in the television room, Emmett watching a baseball game and Rosalie looking through a beauty magazine, scoffing at how none of the models looked as beautiful as her.
Carlisle was in his study reading up on some research for a new drug trial being conducted at the hospital. Esme was at the other side of the study planning a new décor for their bedroom.
The Cullen household were all silent and all engrossed in their respective tasks. Suddenly Alice froze in her seat. Jasper looked up from his book and noticed the anguish on Alice's face. He put his book aside and reached Alice's side in seconds saying in an urgent voice "Alice, what is wrong, what have you seen?".
Alice did not respond immediately. Naturally the entire Cullen household had heard Jaspers words and they all stopped what they were doing and appeared at the door of the library to find out what was going on. Jasper noticed each of them and put his hand up as though to prevent any of them either speaking or entering the room. He continued to speak softly to Alice, his voice almost a whisper, "Alice, please my love, tell me what you have seen, please?"
Alice had gone rigid in her stance and on hearing the soft words spoken by Jasper she turned slightly and said in a woeful tone "Oh Jasper, its Bella!"
"What about Bella?" asked Jasper again
"She has…..oh Jasper, I think she is dead!". The sorrow and pain in her voice was unmistakeable and she looked to the rest of the Cullens for their reaction.
Jasper meantime had reached over to his wife and put his arms around her in comfort. Alice laid her head on his shoulder and they stood together, none of them speaking, words were not needed as they comforted one another in silence.
It was Esme who spoke first, hear voice breaking in pain "Bella is dead, no that cannot be, please Alice tell us that it is not true?"
Alice lifted her head from Jaspers shoulder to say "I'm not sure Esme, I had a vision of her jumping from a cliff into the water, I did not see her come out of the water, so I think although I am not sure, but I think she drowned". Alice's voice trailed away as though she found it difficult to speak another word.
Carlisle reached towards Esme to comfort her and said "Esme, we are not sure, remember Alice's visions are warnings as to what is about to happen, so it may not have occurred as yet. Jasper, can we get to Forks in time to save her do you think?"
"I am not sure Carlisle, it depends but it is worth a try" replied Jasper.
Emmett who had been silent throughout the conversation said "Well, we'd better be on our way then, we need to save our little sister, can't have her doing that now can we?" as he looked around the room expecting everyone to be in agreement with him.
All were in agreement, all apart from Rosalie. It was common knowledge that there was no love lost between Rosalie and Bella. Firstly because Rosalie could not believe that Edward had preferred Bella, whom she thought was a plain and ordinary girl, to her beauty. Rosalie loved Emmett with all her heart and would not leave him for anything in the world but to be overlooked for a human, Rosalie simply did not understand that at all. Emmett looked at Rosalie sharply and said "Rose, are you not coming with us to help our little sister?"
Rosalie sighed and then said "Emmett you know how I feel about her, why should we all go running back to Forks just because she cant cope anymore, after all it was because of her that we all had to leave in the first place. Why does all of our lives have to revolve around her anyway?". You could tell that Rosalie was angry, more out of selfishness and jealousy than anything else.
"Rosalie, we cannot let an innocent girl die, no matter how you feel, no matter how any of us feel. Bella is in this position because of us, well more because of Edward and as he is not here at present then it is down to us to help her in his absence, so we will all go to Forks and we will all help her in this" said Carlisle in a no-nonsense tone.
Rosalie did not look happy at all although she did not say anything, she would never go against something that Carlisle said, she respected him too much for that.
They all returned to their bedrooms to collect their belongings and make their preparations to return to Forks and help Bella.
Whilst in their bedroom Rosalie began talking to Emmett about how selfish she thought Edward and Bella both were, "Its not that I don't love my brother Emmett, but Edward is always so full of…..Edward" she said through gritted teeth. "I mean, why do we all have to fall into line just because his "ex" girlfriend can't cope without him. Has anyone told him about this, it should be him that's going to Forks to "save" her, why all of us" she said with a petulant look on her face.
Emmett looked at his wife, he loved her more every day, and not just because she was beautiful. Yes she was selfish, weren't we all a good bit selfish but there was nothing he didn't love about her, he loved the fact that she adored each and every one of their family and he understood that when Edward brought Bella into their lives that it was fraught with danger, not only for Bella but for each of them also. Nevertheless, he could not really judge Edward for falling in love, even though it was with a human. He couldn't blame Rosalie either but he wished she could be just a little bit more accepting of the girl.
"Hey there honey, look its not going to be that hard watching out for a little girl like Bella you know, don't get yourself to worked up about it" he said whilst putting his arms around her to comfort her.
Rosalie almost whined in response "Yes Emmett I know that, but tell me this does Edward even know about this, has anyone told him, I don't think so"
Emmett looked down at his wife and replied "I don't think he does Rose, but who would tell him, none of us can contact him so we have to wait until he calls us".
Rosalie looked at Emmett who noticed a mischievous look come into her eyes "Oh no Rose, please tell me you are not thinking of calling him?"
"Why not, give me one good reason Em? Why shouldn't I, after all he is my brother, I have his cell phone number"
"If you do this Rose, Carlisle will be very angry with you, not to mention the rest of the family" said Emmett.
"Oh silly, no they won't be, they will thank me and so will Edward. Anyway, he has a right to know, don't you think?"
"I am staying out of this Rosalie and I think you should too", said Emmett as he turned to leave the room.
Rosalie stood in the middle of their bedroom with a thoughtful look on her face. "mmmmmm, should I phone him, would he want to know what has happened to Bella, if I told him them maybe he would come back to the family and we could all be together again. Yes, I am going to phone him because if she is dead he would want to mourn her. Once he has done that then he would get her out of his system and we could get back on being a family together"
Rosalie made up her mind then to phone Edward, regardless of the consequences. She picked up her own cell and dialled his number, it rang, and rang, and rang and rang. It must have rang around 20 times before it was answered.
I was getting ready to leave the attic and begin my journey to Forks. My cell phone had been ringing incessantly for quite a while now, in total I had counted 20 missed calls. I refused to check it to find out who had been calling me. Whoever it was I did not want to speak to them
The ringing of my phone was really beginning to irritate me now, I pulled it from my pocket and noticed that it had been my sister Rosalie calling me. I thought it was strange that Rosalie was trying to call me, she never called me, I did not want to speak to her so I put my phone back into my pocket.
It rang again, continuously until I could bear the insistent ringing no longer, I slid the phone from my pocket again and snapped it open, I pressed the "answer" button and abruptly said "Hello Rosalie, what is it?"
"Now Edward, that is not a very nice way to speak to your sister, Hello to you too"
"Rose I do not have the time nor the patience for small talk so why are you calling me and why do I have over 30 missed calls from you?"
"Well brother dear you would not have thirty missed calls from me if you had answered on the first ring, but I suppose I should be honoured that you answered at all" replied Rosalie.
"Get on with it Rose, what do you want?" urged Edward.
"Oh dear, if I didn't know any better I would say you had gotten out of the wrong side of the bed Edward!" said Rosalie.
"Rose" said Edward through gritted teeth, obviously beginning to lose his temper.
"Okay okay, I just thought that I would phone you to say that the family are making their way back to Forks, it seems that Bella has or will have an accident and they are going to try and help her. Basically if we don't get there in time she will die so I just thought that you should know about this, after all she was your girlfriend" explained Rosalie.
Edward almost screamed down the phone "Bella, what kind of accident? Is she okay? Tell me Rose, what does Alice say, I told her not to look for her" Edward thundered.
"Calm down Edward, Alice did not look for her, you know how her visions work, she couldn't help it and the accident hasn't happened yet, she is supposed to jump off a cliff into the water and drown" replied Rosalie.
"She is considering suicide?" shouted Edward
"I don't know Edward, I am only passing on the information, anyway we are all headed back to Forks, why don't you join us and once this is all over we can be a family again?" said Rosalie.
"What on earth do you mean Rose, when this is all over, are you dismissing Bella's life as nothing important, I always knew she was not your favourite person but I did not think you hated her that much" said Edward in an astonished tone.
"No Edward, I don't hate her, not really, its just that I don't understand how she affects us all so much. I mean you left us and her and now just because she is in danger then we all have to go running and anyway, I thought you left because you no longer loved her?"
"Rosalie, I will love her forever, for eternity, you surely must understand that, it is how we all are, you included. I left her to keep her safe, to make sure she had a normal and human life. I wanted her to experience all the things I never had the chance to experience, like getting married, having children, growing old. Things we will never have"
"I understand that Edward, but I also know how much she cares for you and while I do not agree with you being with her then even I cannot deny the love between the two of you. Look, Edward we are wasting time here, Emmett is waiting for me, as are the rest of the family, if you are coming we will meet you there, okay?"
"I will be there Rosalie, I will make sure that Bella is okay, if only this one time" he vowed.
Edward hung up the phone and immediately left the attic and made his way to the airport to get a flight back to Forks as quickly as he could.
Meantime, Rosalie had also ended the call and was saying to herself "what a strange boy he is, one minute he loves her the next he doesn't, then when you ask him, all of a sudden he loves her again. Why does he do this to himself?". She rose and went downstairs and climbed into Emmett's jeep, Alice and Jasper travelled with Carlisle and Esme and they all set off together for Forks.
I don't recall how I got out of the woods that night, for all I cared I could have lain there for the rest of my life and died on the spot. My dad would have been upset, so would my mom and probably Phil. I honestly don't know who else would have cared.
All I know is that someone found me and brought me home because I awoke the next morning in my bed. I had ended up with a really bad cold for the next couple of weeks.
I went about my usual activities after than, if you could call it that, it was more like I went through the motions of being normal. I got up in the morning, washed and dressed, came down and had a bite to eat, well some of the time I had a bite to eat but mostly I didn't bother. I drove to school and went to classes. I did not mingle with any of my "so called" friends much at all and when I got home each day I say in my room staring out of the window.
My routine stayed like that for a few months. I kept having nightmares but could never really say what they were about, all I remember about them was my dad Charlie having to come in and hold me until the screaming stopped.
I got more and more depressed and began to function less and less. One day I got into my truck and decided to go look for the meadow that we had spent so much time in, Edward and I. I could not find it no matter how hard I looked. Maybe it was something that he had just created for my benefit alone because no matter how hard I tried to find the place, I just simply could not do it.
I was driving along a dirt track road when I noticed a waterfall to the left so I stopped the truck. I got out and walked to the edge of the road. When I looked down I could see how high up the road was and I could also see the waves lapping against the large stones below. They looked dangerous, I knew the water was deep down below and wondered what it would be like to swim in it.
Maybe that was the best place for me, the water, a place where I would know no pain ever again. It seemed so appealing to me, the cool water against my skin, the smell of the ocean coming to me making me feel at peace. Yes, this was a place where I would belong.
I took my jacket off and threw it on the boulder beside me and took a few steps back. I was going to take a dive into the water and experience the thrill of a lifetime. The last thrill of my life.
I thought to myself then "Maybe Alice will see me and tell Edward, maybe he will realise what pain I am in. I dismissed the thought just as easily as it came to me because I knew he did not care, he had told me he needed to leave me and if he loved me he would not have left. No, he would not care so why did I think he would?"
I took a few more steps back and began to run to the edge, I approached the edge of the cliff and then I was flying through the air. I soared through the air like a bird, the feeling was amazing, my adrenalin levels soared to new heights, I was exhilarated. I hit the water with what I can only describe as a "thud" and I swam deep below. I flipped under the water and did a somersault. Yes, this is where I belonged.
I broke the surface of the water and shook my hair out, I wiped the water from my eyes and then focused in front of me, it was then that I saw a huge wave come towards me. This was it, this was my time, I was going to give myself up to the waves.
The water cascaded over me and I was dragged deep down into the sea. It was as though I was in a dream, it was all so surreal, maybe I was dead now! Yes that is what it was, I was dead. I liked this, I could stay like this for ever now. I was finally happy.
Suddenly I felt a tight band around my wrists, almost like a manacle. I tried to free myself, to no avail. My ecstasy at being dead had gone now to be replaced by fear. I began to panic whilst all the time the manacles at my wrists pulled at me and before I knew what was happening I was being dragged along and out of the water.
The water had all gone and I was being propelled through the air. "wait, why through the air, was I flying? Surely not!" I travelled at break neck speed, although I did not know where I was or what I was doing. It was all being done for me, almost like an out of body experience.
I heard noises, no wait, voices in the distance. Someone shouting "get me a blanket" then "…..to do CPR". What was happening, I really did not know, nor did I care.
I felt a pressure on my chest and then something or someone blowing air into my lungs. It was painful to breathe, I didn't want to breathe, it hurt way too much. I did not want to open my eyes for fear of what I would see. I could hear voices around me, cool calculated voices, all in control but not in control. All panicking but not panicking. I was confused. So, I thought I would lie wherever I was with my eyes shut, trying not to breathe and not thinking at all. It did not work!
Next I heard "Bella, open your eyes". Whoa, one of the voices knew me, it was the voice of an angel, maybe I was in heaven, I hoped so. The voice spoke again "Bella love, please open your eyes for me?". The voice sounded so sad, almost as if the persons heart was breaking so I decided that I should open my eyes just to see what was going on.
It hurt to open my eyes, but I opened them slowly and squinted at the light. I heard a quick intake of breath and then the voice spoke again "Oh Bella love, thank heavens you are okay" as he leaned down to kiss my forehead.
The voice now had a face and I could not believe whose face it was, it was Edward, my Edward! It was hard to believe he was here, how did he know where to find me, why was he here, I had so many questions for him.
I tentatively raised my left hand to touch his cheek and when I did so he closed his eyes as if in relief. He leaned down and picked me up into his arms and held me tight. "Oh my love, what have I done to you, I am so sorry" he said in a broken voice.
I snuggled into his cold chest and said "I…..I…..d..d..don't und…er…stand, Ed…ward, y..y…you said y..y..you had t..to l..l..eave?"
"Oh Bella, I had to leave because I wanted you to be safe, I wanted you to have the chance at a normal life, I love you, I have always loved you and I will always love you" he vowed.
He lifted me into his arms and settled me into his lap. It was then that I realised that I was in the Cullens house and the voices I had heard were theirs. We were in Edwards bedroom sitting on the black leather couch and he had me wrapped in blankets with his arms around me holding me close. I felt so loved and protected. I also felt that my heart was whole again, somehow healed just by his proximity. I looked up into his eyes and said,
"Edward, I love you, I have loved you from the moment our eyes met and I will love you for all of time. I want to be with you now and forever throughout eternity".
In response he looked into my eyes then leaned down and kissed me passionately on the lips, it was a kiss like no other we had shared and I reciprocated in a way that I have never thought possible.
It was quite a while before either of us came up for air.
Alice was sitting downstairs on the settee with Jasper, they were simply holding hands and looking at one another with love in their eyes.
Emmett and Rose were in their bedroom sharing their love with one another in a way on they knew how to!
Esme and Carlisle were standing at the open window of their bedroom looking out over the view of the forest, their arms wrapped around each other. Each thinking of how lucky they were to have such a wonderful family, all back together, safe and sound and most of all happy.
Alice sat up rigid for a second and then Jasper said "Alice what is it, what's wrong now?"
Alice turned to look at Jasper and laughed at the expression on his face, it was one of worry, it was always one of worry these days, but Alice said "Jasper, its nothing really, we'll if you can call Edward and Bella professing their undying love for one another nothing then…"
And with that Jasper leaned towards his wife and kissed her with a passion that they both shared.