Not Enough

Thank you to my superhero beta, batgirl8968 for giving this a quick read through, and to Lilacs46 and perfectlypersuasive for helping me cut my original 180 words down to a 100 word drabble. Clearly, I chose to go another direction because I didn't want to lose the feel of the story, but I thank them immensely nonetheless.

This was a quicky written for the twi-25 picture prompt challenge. I didn't finish my 25, so i picked them apart and kept what I liked.

~*~JPOV~*~

I wake abruptly to the sound of passing sirens on the street below my fourth-floor apartment. Sitting up, I rub the sleep from my eyes and fumble in the dark for my pack of cigarettes. The pillow beside me is empty once again, and I'm both grateful and disappointed for this. It's what I'm used to after all this time, what I've come to expect.

Forlorn.
She's perfect, but she isn't mine to keep. Beautiful, bright, she radiates happiness, a direct contrast to my dreary, dark and bitter existence. The thought of a blossoming flower being cut and placed in some cheap vase in the corner of a dank hotel room floods my mind each time I think of having her to myself.
With my teeth, I pull a Camel from it's pack and flip open my lighter. The faint flicker dully illuminates the deep shadows of the room, confirming how alone I truly am.

No rose barrette; no pink lace panties; no clear, cherry flavored lip gloss. Not a single piece of physical evidence remains to assure me she wasn't a dream, a figment of my sleep deprived imagination, this angel I had longed to touch for so many years.

Taking a deep drag of my cigarette, I lay back down on my cool, lonely sheets.
I can still smell her on my pillow, hear her moans resounding through my memories.
Closing my eyes, I can see her as if she's standing before me. Her tempting lips, firm breasts, the curve of her hips, her long legs clad in fishnets like a sexy gift waiting to be unwrapped.
If I could never touch her again, I would forever remember those legs wrapped around my waist as she cried out my name in ecstasy, "Jasper."
Perhaps some day, if I wait long enough, try hard enough, I can right my ways and be with her completely. One day when the cruel streets release me of my addiction and time sets me free to find the life I once knew.

Will she want me then, the way she doesn't now? Will she allow me to love her the way that he used to? The way that she was meant to be loved? I've waited a long time for her, watching from a distance as she danced in the rain. Never a frown upon her lips nor a tear in her sparkling eyes.

Oh, she has reason to cry, but what good would that do? Who of us by worrying can add a single day to our lives?

Isabella Swan dwells not on the pains and sorrows of yesterday. And though the cancer sucked the life out of her beloved, she knows he is in a better place now; peaceful and happy, waiting for the day they would be reunited, when she would gladly take his hand and walk through eternity with him.

While she waits for time to pass, she befriends me; a chance meeting on the streets of New York after she had left the shelter one night. She volunteers her free time there, and it's just down the street from my building. I had been out on my stoop when she stopped and asked to bum a cigarette. But it was more than just a lighter that sparked in her presence. After just two short hours of conversation, it felt as if I had been brought back to life.

We talk at night, always after the sun has set, either by phone or in company. She tells me these things, shares her past and her feelings as though she's proudly displaying a badge of courage. And so she should. To live through what she has experienced in her short twenty-three years and still smile, still bring such joy to others, she deserves a medal.

I share with her, too. Bits of my past, my lost love, and broken existence. I haven't the hope of an afterlife as she does. I don't expect to see my wife again in eternity. What's done is done. I didn't mean for it to happen, to miss that curve in the road, for Alice to die. I've spent years cursing my very existence for not being able to save her. My hands were stained with the innocent blood of my young bride, and to this day, if I look hard enough, streaks of her faded life still tinge my palms.

I do believe everything happens for a reason, and perhaps she was taken from me so that I could learn what loss was. I seemed to have everything back then, right after we were married: a house, a career, a beautiful wife who loved me despite the flaws everyone else found in my being. Maybe the universe needed to give me that taste of happiness and then steal it away from me so that I would learn to appreciate more the things I had, the people who loved me—to not take it for granted.

I've come to realize over the last three years of late night conversations and dancing in the rain, that Bella is love, too. Bella makes me happy even though I don't deserve to be, and happy feels nice. It's warm and friendly, inviting and welcoming, secure and safe. Bella is all of these things, even when she doesn't necessarily mean to be.

She's beautiful, both inside and out, never letting a day go by without radiating life and joy to those around her, leaving a trail of smiling souls and warmed hearts in her wake.

Perhaps my spot of sunshine was taken from me so that I could one day find my true place with Bella. I know how I feel about her, how I've felt about her for years. She will hear nothing of love or forever though, only need and now. And if that is all I can offer her, I will gladly comply and silently hope that one day I might be good enough to fill the hole that's left in her beautiful heart.