AN: Today, June 8th, is the one year anniversary of my very first fic, Parachute! I've wanted to write this Outtake of Esme's for a while now, but some lovely ladies on Facebook gave me the inspiration that I needed to write it earlier today.
So, happy anniversary to Parachute and I hope you guys enjoy the outtake! =)
I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels
Calling All Angels by Train
June 22, 1984
This had been the longest day in the history of time. I stretched and cracked my back as I stood up in my small cubicle at Mann & Perkins Designs. I'd been working here for the past two years, helping to pay our bills as my husband made his way through medical school. We barely saw each other because of our schedules and things were tight at the moment, but someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, we'd look back and know it was all worth it.
I grabbed my purse and rushed down to my little car, hoping to get home before Carlisle and start dinner. The traffic on Kennedy was light, so I made it home within twenty minutes, which was a good half an hour before Car would be home. As I struggled with my keys to our two bedroom apartment, I could hear the phone ringing off the hook. Just as the door swung open, the answering machine clicked on.
Hi! You've reached Esme and Carlisle! We're not here to pick up the phone, but leave a message and we'll call you back!
"Hello, Ms. Platt. This is Georgiana at Rockford Memorial Hospital. We're trying to contact you-"
"Hello?" I answered breathlessly, cutting off the machine and picking up the phone.
"Oh!" a surprised voice squeaked. "Hello, I'm trying to reach Esme Platt, is she available?"
"I am- I mean, that's me. I'm Esme Platt, well, Esme Cullen now that I'm married." Taking a deep breath, I attempted to calm my nerves. Carlisle was at Northwestern, not in Rockford, almost two hours away. There was nothing to worry about. "I'm sorry, I'm rambling. How may I help you, ma'am?"
The woman on the other end of the line chuckled. "It's quite all right, Ms. Platt, I mean Mrs. Cullen." She sighed and the mood quickly sombered.
"I'm so sorry, dear, but I'm calling to inform you that Mr. and Mrs. Edward Masen were killed in an accident yesterday evening. You were listed as Mrs. Masen's next of kin and it took us a little while to track you down."
Confusion immediately washed over me. I'd never heard of anyone named Masen. When I told Georgiana as much, the other woman was just as confused.
"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Cullen, but you're listed as Elizabeth Masen's daughter."
All at once, the breath left my lungs and I collapsed to my knees. "Was," I started, then had to stop to swallow the lump in my throat. "Was her maiden name Parker?"
"Why, yes it was! Do you know her after all?"
"Yes," I replied in a whisper. "She's the biological mother who gave me up for adoption. I've never met her, so I don't know why she'd list me as her next of kin."
"Oh my," the woman murmured. "This complicates things," she sighed.
"Why? What does it complicate?" Confusion was not an emotion that I was on good terms with.
"Mrs. Masen was nine months pregnant. The doctors were able to save the baby's life, but both of his parents didn't make it, unfortunately. Since you are the only next of kin listed, we needed to contact you about the baby's future."
"Me? How can I decide about his future? I know nothing about him."
Anxiety began to creep up my spine. Were these people crazy? This kid was not my responsibility.
"Well, we normally don't talk so frankly over the phone about these types of matters, but I know you're far away and this is coming as a shock to you, Mrs. Cullen. Your options are pretty cut and dried. You can either choose to take custody of the baby or sign away your rights. Either way, we'd need you to come here to the hospital."
My heart began to ache for this little boy who'd just lost his whole family in one fell swoop. "What happens to him if I sign him over?"
"He'll be placed in Child Services and put into foster care until an adoption can be arranged."
I plopped down on the couch, running a hand through my hair.
"I'll need to discuss this with my husband when he gets home, but since tomorrow is Saturday, we'll be able to take the drive over tomorrow. Is that okay? Can I give you our decision then?"
"Of course, Mrs. Cullen. I know this isn't a decision you can make lightly."
"Okay, I'll be there tomorrow."
"Have a good evening, ma'am."
"Thank you, good bye."
I reached over and hung the phone up on its base, sitting on the table next to out couch.
"So, where are we taking a ride to tomorrow, Es?"
Glancing over to the door, my handsome husband stood by the door, looking exhausted, yet happy to see me as always. Guilt immediately racked me from all sides. I felt bad for that little boy—my brother—but there was no way we could juggle a baby right now. Noticing my distress, Carlisle quickly made his way over and sat down next to me, taking me into his arms.
"Oh, Essy," he murmured. "What's wrong, baby?"
As I poured out my heart, sharing all of the details from the phone call, he listened attentively and patiently.
"What do you want to do, love?" he replied softly. "It's your choice and I'll support you in whatever you choose."
I rolled my eyes and pulled away in annoyance. "No, Car. This is our decision. We're a partnership; I can't make that kind of a choice without your opinion."
He smiled sadly and gently placed a strand of hair behind my ear. "Essy, it would be difficult, but we'd find a way to manage. I honestly would be fine with whatever decision you make. If you want to bring him home with us, I'll love him like he was my own. If you choose to sign him over to the state, I'll hold your hand."
I blinked back tears and cupped his face. "Why do you always have to be so perfect?"
He kissed me softly. "It's because you bring it out in me, my love. It's easy to be everything for you."
I rested my forehead against his, agony tearing my soul apart. "We can't," I whispered brokenly. "There's—there's just not enough time. Between my job and your schooling, we're already at out limits. A baby would be disastrous."
As I broke down in sobs, he wrapped his arms around me and stroked my back in comfort.
"Ssh, it's okay, baby. It'll all be fine."
"Then why do I feel so bad?"
His chest moved as he laughed slightly. "You have one of the biggest, most compassionate hearts that I've ever come across, Esme. It's one of the things that made me fall in love with you. You wouldn't be you if this wasn't making your heart ache. It's a tough choice, but like I said, I'll be by your side."
"I love you, Car," I whispered, placing my lips against his neck.
"I love you, too, Es."
Carlisle watched me in amusement as I paced back and forth in the waiting room outside of the Rockford NICU.
"Es, calm down. The social worker will be here shortly," he spoke in a soothing voice.
"I know, I know," I replied in agitation. "I just want this to be over with."
A tall African-American woman turned the corner and headed right in our direction. She smiled kindly and held out her hand.
"Mr. and Mrs. Cullen? I'm Elaine Smith, the social worker here at Rockford Memorial."
Carlisle smiled and shook her hand, as my gaze slid over to the sliding doors that separated us from the NICU. Something was pulling me there, like an invisible string.
"Es?" Carlisle called, breaking me out of my thoughts.
"I'm so sorry, yes?"
Ms. Smith smiled. "I was just asking if you'd made your decision?"
"Yes, I-" My voice froze in my throat and I was unable to continue, my entire body being pulled toward that room with all of the tiny babies. I began to wonder if this was some sort of sign.
As if she could sense my dilemma, the social worker motioned towards the doors. "Would you like to meet him first?"
Some unknown emotion flared in my chest and for a fraction of a second, I wanted to turn and run away. Like I somehow knew this was the moment that would change my life. I looked over at my husband for support and he nodded. Nervously playing with my fingers, I followed the woman into the sterile, white room.
I touched his tiny hand with my finger, before gently lifting him from his little basket. I shifted him in my arms and our eyes connected.
There are moments you read about in books, things you think only happen in movies, but when my eyes settled on that small bundle of blue, my world shifted on its axis. Tears fell down my face and I knew—I just knew—that I couldn't walk away from him.
I heard my husband's cheery voice from the doorway and I glanced up, sure that wonder and awe were still splashed across my face.
"I take it we're new parents?" he joked, walking over to glance down at the child in my arms. He reached out and softly stroked the baby's cheek, bringing forth a wide yawn.
"Hello, son," he murmured, wrapping an arm around my waist.
"Son," I repeated, testing the word upon my tongue. Nothing had ever felt more right.
I looked up at Carlisle, my heart ready to burst with love and joy. "What was I thinking, Car? We can do this; we'll give him a good life."
My husband—my rock and biggest supporter—merely smiled and kissed my forehead. "Yes, we will, Esme."
"What should we name him?" I asked, mostly to myself.
"Well, why don't we name him in honor of his father?"
"Edward Anthony Masen Cullen." I whispered. "That's a mouthful, but I think it's perfect for him."
Edward's blue eyes slowly closed, content to fall asleep in my arms.
"This is just a new beginning, Esme."
I looked up at my husband and grinned, happy tears escaping my eyes, and nodded.
"A new beginning with our little angel."
Song used: Calling All Angels by Train
(I mean, really, I just had to use Train here!)
Huge thank to HolletLA for Beta'ing this, as well as SabLuvsLogan & StupidLambTanya for pre-reading! You guys rock my world!
IAmTheAlleyCat made a pretty banner for our outtake as well! h t t p : / / tinyurl . com / 3gorees
(just remove the link spaces)