A/N: Hi everyone! It's time to embark on a new journey! I hope you enjoy this.
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter 1: Breaking Point
"Please don't do this," I begged, but he just wouldn't let it go. I hated this. I hated the look of contempt on his face. Gone were the sweet and endearing looks of the past. They had been replaced by scorn, anger and hurt.
"What did you expect?" he asked firmly. "Did you think that I'd be okay being a widower to your job? That I'd be okay being your occasional sidekick for parties, but then ignored every other minute? You know, I have needs, too."
"Please don't…it's been unusually busy. It won't always be this way, I promise. I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing this for us!" I sobbed, reaching out for him, but he pulled away from my touch.
"No, you're not. If I meant anything to you, you'd have met me halfway. There were plenty of opportunities and yet nothing has changed." He briefly made eye contact, and then looked down at the floor. He was never one for being open about his feelings.
"How can you say that? How can you question my feelings? You know how much you mean to me."
"No, Bella. I don't," he deadpanned.
How had it come to this between us? We'd been through so much together. I was so hurt and confused.
"I wasn't good enough for you?" I didn't want him to answer because I had the distinct feeling that I already knew what he was going to say.
"I loved you once and I'm sorry that it's come down to this, but I don't think we can go back from here. I wouldn't even know where to start. It's just been too long and so much has changed between us. I think once you calm down and think about it, you'll see that this is for the best."
"Don't say that. I don't want you to leave. Please don't leave me. How can you walk out on me after everything we've been through?" The words were barely comprehensible as I sobbed.
"I'm sorry. I have to go."
He turned on his heels, grabbed his bag and left. The door echoed as it slammed in our now empty house, reminding me of my solitude.
I sank to the floor, bringing my knees up to my chest as I laid my head down on them in despair.
I couldn't imagine a future without him. I drove him away. My obsession with my career had driven a wedge between us and that was the last thing I wanted. I did this. I didn't mean to do it, but I had all the same and that thought haunted me.
How had I not seen the distance growing between us? What kind of person was I when I didn't even know that he was so miserable that he had to leave just to feel alive?
I had no sense of time as I sat in the foyer, crying. My life as I knew it was over. I feared that even if he had stayed and talked that I'd never be able to get him back, yet I still clung to that hope.
A knock on the door jolted me. For the briefest of moments, I thought it might be him, telling me that he'd made a mistake. I hoped that he'd come around and realized that he did love me and that we could work through this together.
My hopes were dashed as I flung open the door to see a police officer on my porch. I wiped my eyes, trying to compose myself, despite my shock and disheveled state.
"Can I help you?" I asked, through my sniffles.
"Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry about the late hour, but I'm afraid I have some bad news." He had a hint of a southern accent and his demeanor was calm and professional.
I felt the hair on my neck stand on end as his words sunk in.
"Please come in," I said, standing to the side to allow the officer to pass.
He nodded and walked into the dimly lit foyer, removing his hat politely.
"I'm afraid there's been an accident," he started. My heart sank as he said his next words. "Your husband was driving on Pacific Coast Hwy and was hit by a drunk driver. He was taken to the hospital and they did everything they could to revive him, but his injuries were just too great. I'm very sorry to say that he died."
The air flew from my lungs and it felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't move. I was stunned; praying silently that this was a mistake.
Maybe they have the wrong house. This can't be right.
"No…it's not possible…he was just here…he was fine." The officer gave me a sympathetic look and handed me a card. He explained again about the details of the crash and checked my ID, confirming my identity.
There was no mistake. It was really him.
"I'm sorry, ma'am. This is my contact information if you need anything at all. But for now, I do need to ask you to come with me to identify the body," he said. "I know it's hard, but we need your help, and of course, your permission to release the body."
The body? This was my husband!
I didn't bother to argue with the officer. I was too numb.
"Is there someone you want to call? To be with you?"
"No. There's no one."
The reality of that statement hit me hard and a new wave of tears fell from my eyes.
We arrived at the station and I was shuffled to the morgue through a crowd of criminals and officers. It was all a big blur; fuzzy like it wasn't really happening. I felt like I was watching someone else go through this instead of living it myself. Everything around me was like white noise, it was there in the background but I didn't notice anything, couldn't decipher it, and couldn't feel anything.
The morgue attendant briefly conferred with the officers while I wrapped my arms around my middle in an attempt to crawl into myself and hide from reality.
Together we walked over to a small, elevated, refrigerator-looking door, and the attendant opened it, revealing a sheet-covered body. I gasped, knowing what I was about to see. I'd been around death before, but this was excruciating.
I can't do this.
He pulled back the sheet to reveal my husband's face. He was badly bruised and cut, but there was no mistaking him. His once lively features were still. His face, which only earlier this evening held so much contempt and emotion, was stoic, unfeeling. His skin was ashen, the life it contained no longer there.
I let out a loud wail and rested my cheek on his cold chest.
"I'm so sorry." It was all I could say. "For everything."
He was gone. There would be no chance for reconciliation, as I hoped for earlier. He died harboring horrible thoughts about me. He died because I wasn't a good enough wife to keep him happy. This was my fault and I would never forget that his life ended because of me.
I was so angry. Angry with him for leaving. Angry with the doctors for not saving him. Angry that they hadn't contacted me sooner. Angry with myself for not being able to stop it.
One minute I thought I had it all, and the next everything was gone. That night showed me just how deep my failures ran. In spite of all my planning, all my hard work, everything I thought I knew was a lie. I was helpless to the hands of fate.
A/N: So, what did you think? That would be a tough thing to get over, wouldn't it?
Leave me review to let me know your thoughts. I write for you guys, so it's nice to know if it's resonating.
As usual for me, I'll be giving teasers for reviews!
I can't say enough about all the help I got from my betas. This story has already gone through multiple iterations, and I'm only on the first chapter. So, scsquared and TwiHeart, THANK YOU for talking me down off the ledge and putting up with my neurotic behavior. I love you guys!
Also, thanks to my pre-readers, Sunfeathers, jermak99 and ellierk for making me feel not so nervous!