The following is an account written by an impartial third party, documenting a particularly significant moment in history. It is a report that has been pieced together from eyewitness testimonies, journals, emails and text message fragments floating through cyberspace and individual accounts, meticulously researched and sourced to ensure 100% accuracy.
What follows is the story of two individuals finding each other, and is completely true.
If you are lucky, you will find love in life. You may get married, have children, settle down into a very comfortable life.
If you are very lucky, there may come a time when you meet your soulmate - your other half. And f you are lucky enough to have this happen to you, hopefully something, or certain someones, will let you know when this has happened.
As green met brown, their eyes locking in an embrace far more intimate than a hug, both people felt a tug in their chest, near the vicinity of their heart.
This is because each of them knew, without actively knowing, who they were looking at. Not because they'd met before, or knew of each other through mutual acquaintances, but because they were looking at a reflection of themselves.
They may have also had a little help.
Bella Swan was that girl.
The one who in high school had the large circle of close friends, none of whom managed to get close enough to see the real her.
The smart, pretty girl, who all the guys wanted to ask out, but were far too intimidated to do so.
She was valedictorian, the girl who went to the top college and simply the type of person that thrived among people.
She was the woman that everyone wanted to know, drawing others too her with her magnetic presence. However, she rarely let anyone behind her first wall of defences, preferring to remain slightly enigmatic.
She was lively, and wonderful, and above all, good.
And, of course, she had no clue about any of this.
She found nothing odd about the fact that at all stages in life she had never been sidelined to one clique, but instead had found commonalities with all. She hadn't found it strange that she floated above the groups at school while others were stuck in their roles, defined by the way they dressed or the sport they played. She hadn't noticed that she didn't seem to have a best friend, or even anyone that she connected with on another level, because she had nothing to compare it to.
And the reason that Bella Swan was so different? Special, even?
Bella Swan had an exceptionally large soul.
It has been a matter of debate among scholars of science, theology and life itself for as far back as anyone can remember as to whether humans possess such a thing as a 'soul'.
In fact, they do.
And Bella Swan had a very large one.
This was not something you necessarily noticed about her - indeed, people often aren't consciously aware when an individual is without a soul either. Instead, it was a subconscious feeling about her.
Her magnetic presence drew long stares from strangers, double takes from passers by. In high school, and then in college, she had noticed that she often received a lot of eye contact from the teachers, as they were drawn in by her soulful stare, but she had never attributed it to anything particularly special that she was doing.
And in fact, it wasn't.
It was her soul.
Because she had never connected, she was oblivious to the affections of men, was unaware of the effect she had on people (she thought it was coincidence that wherever she went people soon followed, when in fact it was because they gravitated to be near to her presence) and had never found it particularly odd that she had the strange ability to calm any creature in distress.
She was blind to it all, and it was precisely this that made her so intriguing to one Edward Cullen.
Our story begins the summer before his senior year at college.
At the end of his junior year, instead of making plans to return home for the summer or to go travelling with friends, he had arranged to spend the summer with his uncle in New Haven, less than 200 miles from where he attended Harvard.
If you were to have asked him at the time what made him decide to do this, he honestly couldn't have told you. He would have made something up about wanting to be closer to his uncle, but we know differently.
The truth is, Edward himself didn't know why he wanted to go to New Haven. By all rights he should have been wanting to get out and see the world a little before his senior year, and before joining the real world, but he opted not to.
And the reason for this is that he felt he had to. He had a feeling.
This feeling was fate's way of bringing together two halves of the same whole.
To understand what we mean, you must first understand this: Edward and Bella were always destined to be together. They were literally soul mates, their souls matching in every way that mattered (albeit one larger than the other, but Edward couldn't help that).
They were supposed to have met in college, both of them set on the path for Harvard from an early age. They were supposed to meet in college and carry on course together - no sooner, because they weren't ready for each other, but no later for fear of lost time.
Unfortunately, their fates were intercept by unforeseen circumstances, and Bells attended Yale University instead.
We had a word with her guide later for taking such an ill-timed vacation, but by then it was too late.
Again, he apologises profusely for the inconvenience.
When the time was right, the fates sent Edward a nudge in the right direction, and so it was following this feeling that Edward went to New Haven for the summer.
When he arrives at his uncles house, he is welcomed with a shaky hug, frail hands and arms wrapping gingerly around him.
Did we not mention that Edward's uncle has Parkinsons?
A cruel twist in Carlisle's story, to be sure, but a necessary one. Carlisle has lived his life, his tale has already unfolded.
There is a reason he has been dealt this hand, but unfortunately we do not have time to tell that story today. Briefly, it includes misfortunes such as being shot in Vietnam, the death of his wife and unemployment, but also the fortunes of two healthy children and thirty good years with his wife before her passing.
Of course, there is a lot more to a life than simple words can tell, but this is not Carlisle's story. He knows the fates have him in good hands (because they know his certainly don't work anymore).
They walk into the house, allowing Edward to drop his bags. He looks around the house, a place he had been countless times in his youth, though he hadn't visited for a few years. As he looks around the room he takes in a few oddities.
There is a vase of flowers by the window, a new painting hanging on the wall and a fragrance to the room that was never there before.
Edward takes in these decidedly feminine touches and raises an eyebrow at his uncle, asking if someone has a special lady friend they had neglected to inform anyone about.
Carlisle laughs, thinking that the young man still has much too much optimism in him for his own good, and replies with a vague answer.
Unsatisfied with this, Edward presses for more, delighted that his uncle might have someone in his life again. Under pressure, Carlisle give in, telling Edward that he'll meet the young lady later.
This answer leaved Edward puzzled.
After a quick catch up, Edward leaves Carlisle to his TV programme, heading upstairs to get settled in. His unpacking doesn't take very long, and when he is finished he sits on the bed to take in his work.
A moment later he is hit by a feeling of complete rightness.
There are moments in life when you are in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Try as they might, the fates do not control everything that you do, and so when a plan comes out exactly right, this is made known to you by a feeling of calm, a sense of right, that lets you know that you re on track.
This is what Edward was experiencing at the moment.
Feeling a little light-headed from the feeling (the fates were overdoing it a little as they didn't want another cock-up to occur), he heads downstairs to fix himself a sandwich, suddenly feeling ravenous.
The fates did this too, of course.
Instead of turning right at the bottom of the stairs, he turns left and goes to the living room. He asks his uncle if he can make him anything for lunch, but, quite cryptically, Carlisle tells him not to bother, that lunch is coming.
Puzzled, again, Edward leaves to make himself something.
However, just before he can enter the kitchen, the doorbell rings.
Exactly the right place at exactly the right time.
Telling his uncle that he will get it, he walks the six feet to the door and reaches his hand towards the knob.
There are other moments in life, when, though you may not yet know it, momentous and grand things are about to occur. These moments are often those you would, upon hindsight, wish to preserve, perhaps on camera, but are unable to do so at the time.
They say that hindsight has 20/20 vision.
Luckily, the fates have 20/20 vision also.
Also luckily, they recognise these moments for what they are and, unbeknownst to you, they slow the passage of time.
It is only by a few fractions of a second, but it is enough to alert your subconscious to the fact that, hello, something is about to happen.
It means that you take in more, see more, hear, smell, notice more, without even realising it.
There is a reason that people say the first time they saw the person they are now married/engaged to/dating seemed to happen in slow motion.
It's because it most likely was.
And this is what happened to Edward.
He pulls open the door and sees, all in a matter of seconds, bare feet, petite and pretty with blue painted toenails - except for one pinky which was light green. He sees slim legs, bare to the knee with smooth skin going on for miles, a dress which flutters in the slight breeze. He takes in the large, soulful eyes that many before him had fallen into, had coveted, envied. He absorbs her rich, luscious hair, falling in soft curls around her shoulders, framing her heart shaped face perfectly. And then, then his eyes centred upon those pouty, full lips that parted slightly with her exhaling breath.
He took in her expression of surprise before he even registered his own confusion.
Who is she?
Only then did he notice the Tupperware in her hands.
Still, neither of them make a move. Still, neither speak.
The fates sigh, rolling their eyes, before giving each of them a slight nudge.
Stumbling over their words, they each begin talking at once, words tripping ocer each other in their haste to get out.
The fates may have over done it just a little.
They each stop abruptly, and Edward watches are her cheeks flush prettily, making her seem youthful, vibrant.
He registers then that he wants her.
He finally asks her if he can help her. She looks unsure of herself before apologising and asking if Carlisle is in.
Taken aback at the question, Edward stammers out a quick yes and does she want to come in?
She does indeed.
He steps aside to let her in, watching the way she moves into the house and the way that the top of her head would fit directly under his chin if he were to move only a few inches.
He doesn't, choosing to close the door instead.
He turns to tell her of Carlisle's whereabouts, but she is already gone, having set the tub on the hallway table. Dumbly, he follows after her, into the living room.
She enters the room as though she belongs there, and is given a warm greeting by his uncle.
Who is she? Is this the young woman?
A sharp pang hits him in the stomach with this thought, but he is put at ease immediately as he sees nothing but apparent friendship between the two.
Carlisle introduces them, but neither hear a word as they take the opportunity to study each other more intently. After he has finished speaking, Bella smiled warmly at Edward.
Edward is too stunned by the melodic timbre of her voice to reply. It is soft yet strong and carries through the air like a far off melody, a song once heard as a child but long since forgotten. He yearns to hear her say more, to have her read to him, hear her laugh - be the one to make her laugh.
When Edward doesn't reply, Bella turns back to Carlisle, unperturbed. She was quite used to not getting a reply from people, though could not understand why it seemed to happen only to her.
She did not realise that it was because she, quite simply, struck people dumb.
Carlisle was grinning toothily at the interaction, well aware of what had just transpired. He returns his attention to Bella, silently willing his nephew to get a grip. Here is a girl who is special - he can see that much - and he hopes his nephew can see it too.
But apparently Edward is still removing his jaw from the floor, so Carlise engages in conversation with Bella, an easy task with one so captivating and enthralling.
Bella is someone who speaks with her hands, an old habit picked up from summers spent in Italy with her grandparents. Another habit picked up from them is her ability to make delicious fresh pasta, among other dishes, with extra often brought around to Carlisle for lunch and dinner.
Bella insists she would bring him breakfast too, if only he would let her, but Carlisle already feels that two meals a day is far too much.
He adores the girl, but she works far too hard.
Edward watches, stunned, as they interact so familiarly, with such ease, that he feels a little left out of the loop. Silently, as he still hasn't uttered a word, he backs out of the room to go to the kitchen, still intent upon that sandwich.
The fates groan with frustration, willing him to forget about the sandwich.
This is proving more difficult than they had imagined.
He was about to peek in the Tupperware tub to see what it was she had brought over, when a light cough alerts him to her presence. She smiles at him as asks him what, exactly, it was he was doing.
Edwards face is plastered with the guilt of having his hand caught in the cookie jar. He can't come up with a reasonable explanation for his snooping, so chooses to say nothing, smiling instead at the girl.
He instead asks her how she knows his uncle.
Seeing the diversion for what it was, but leaving it alone for the minute, Bella walks to the kitchen, taking the tub with her.
Edward has no choice but to follow.
As she sets about warming up the plates of food, she starts to tell Edward the tale of how she met Carlisle. She tells him that she moved next door the second year of college, and met Carlisle that weekend when she tried to meet the neighbours.
Edward laughs at this, knowing that the only other neighbour in the building is crotchety Mrs. Gerber the floor above.
Bella laughs as well, comparing her to the landlady in the Mr. Bean cartoons.
Edward stops laughing as he tries to imprint her laugh in his mind, securing it there forever.
She continues to tell him that they just became friends after that. She had only ever cooked for large groups, and so always made far too much food for just herself and brought the extra over to Carlisle. (Later, when Edward would question his uncle about how they met, Carlisle would voice his suspicions that that was just an excuse, a ruse to get into his house and take care of him, but her let her lie. The fact of the matter was that Carlisle wouldn't have been able to stop Bella if he'd tried, so why not let her feed him awesome Italian food?)
Awesome was Carlisle's choice of vocabulary.
When she is finished talking, Edward looks at her, dumbstruck. Here is a twenty-two year old, same age as he himself, hanging out with a man nearing sixty, for fun.
This he does not comprehend, but as we've already stated, Bella was, above all, inherently good.
It was that extra large soul that did it.
Bella then leaves the room to go serve Carlisle, needing to head back to her own place to get ready to meet some friends. Edward is disappointed, and a little put out, though he doesn't know why.
He does not realise yet that the emotion he is feeling is that of jealousy, of his uncle.
He wants to be closer to Bella, and to know her as well as his uncle seems to.
This unsettling feeling causes Edward to behave quite standoffishly, not acknowledging Bella or even his uncle. When Bella sets down the plate of delicious smelling ravioli in front of him, she comments that he should really try her magic risotto sometime, trying to hint at further plans, but Edward remains stoic.
The fates groan at their subject's stubbornness and will him o do something, anything, to rectify this.
When they took on this project, they hadn't realised that it would need such heavy influence from them. They had though, hey, two soulmates, this'll be easy.
They hadn't realised that Edward was pretty much clueless.
When Bella leaves, and Edward makes no move after her, the fates decide they have had enough. With a monumental push, they force Edward out of his chair and towards the door, and so he follows her outside into the driveway.
However, they have no bearing on what comes out of his mouth.
"Why do you come here?"
She looks at him with surprise, a little confused. "He's my friend."
Edward's face remains sombre.
"I mean, why do you come here?"
The meaning behind his words is clear, and Bella doesn't pretend to be confused.
"If you don't know why I'm here there perhaps you shouldn't be here," she begins to whirl away, but a hand on her arms stops her in her tracks. When she turns to face Edward again, there is a fire in her eyes that betrays a wisdom and passion far beyond her age.
"I come here because I want him to know he's not alone. I come here, because I'd imagine he'd like to know that there's someone there. I come here, because that's all anyone would want to know." She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.
When they are open again, the fire is calmed, and the brown goes on for years.
"I come here, because I like to. And I like your uncle."
Edward is apologetic for doubting her for even a second, and she can see that in his eyes. Bella does not understand why he is acting this way, but she knows that he too can feel the instant connection between them.
He just hopes he hasn't blown it yet.
She walks away from him.
"Will I get to see you again?"
Still walking, she turns to face him. "I'll be over tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that." She turns away again.
Of course, this is not what Edward meant, and sensing this, Bella looks over her shoulder.
"Of course, I do live right next door. You could just drop by. Say, around seven?"
On their first date, Edward goes around to Bella's, where she has promised to cook him some of her magic risotto.
As she works over the stove, he pours some wine at her bidding, willing to help in any way. They stand in the kitchen, him in socks, her barefoot, and discuss their favourite books, and Shakespeare versus Dante, and then they talk about college life, and wonder at the fact that they could have met several years earlier, if only Bella had gone to Harvard.
If only, if only, the fates cry.
When the food is ready, they stay in the kitchen and eat, leaning up against the counters with Damien Rice playing in the background. Their conversation moves on to family, and onto Carlisle.
Edward learns that Bella has two uncles in the UK, one with Parkinson's and one with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. He comforts her as she expresses her concern for them, and her regret at living so far away, and then waves off her words of apology.
Edward is in awe.
He, as many have been before him, is captivated by the energy and passion with which Bella speaks. He can feel the emotions he has for something as she does, the feelings running deep within her.
Unwittingly, Bella has made him fall in love with her.
By the end of the night, as they stand in the steamy summer air under her porch light, and kiss each other sweetly goodnight, Edward is sure that he will not ever be able to let her go.
This is his future wife.
The fates dance a joy of relief.
Bella is slightly less sure, but this is only because she is unaccustomed to connecting with someone on such a base level. Her feelings for him stir deep within her, like a cat stretching it's limbs after a long sleep.
She closes her front door that night with a serene smile on her face, absolutely sure of Edward Cullen.
On their second date, Edward tries to take Bella ice-skating, using her confessions of inelegance and clumsiness against her. She pouts as she pulls on the skates, and then tries to dig her feet in before they can get on the ice. Around them, children squeal and do turns that Bella will never have a hope of achieving.
Edward simply wants to skate with her.
He tries to reassure her, but is fruitless in his efforts until he murmurs to her that she can be sure of him, he won't let her go. It is only then that she allows him to lead her onto the ice.
Because this she knows.
That night, their kisses are hotter, more fiery in the sticky heat of the night. They stand at the end of their joined driveways, unwilling to be parted. Reluctantly, their lips leave each other and they step back from each other.
The last parts of their body to separate are their fingertips, as they turn from each other.
This time when Bella closes her front door behind her, Bella knows she is in love.
On their third date, Bella cooks again. This time she makes ravioli, and they sit on the living room floor with their plates in their laps, bathed in candlelight, with Iron & Wine their companions for the night.
As they eat, a static fills the room, intensified by the heat. A droplet of sweat traces a path from under Bella's ear down her neck, to the shoulder. Edward follows this with his eyes, wishing to make the same path with his tongue.
When they are finished eating, their eyes lock in an embrace. They move together so quickly that, in their haste, a glass of water is knocked aside, but neither notice as they join in a heated embrace.
Her legs lock around his waist as she urges him towards the bedroom. He pushed open the door with a force that bangs it against the wall, but neither notice.
They fall together, spiralling, spinning, always together. Lips against lips, hands interlocked. They meld to become one and from there they become divine.
Sure fingers moving over slick flesh, they dance together, engaging in an act as old and natural as time. And yet, it is different, because of who they are.
Hips move together, dancing, advancing, retreating until the need for contact is acute and desperate within each of them, their breaths little more than sharp gasps.
Hot, hard flesh meets slick warmth and they are united, whole. The rush of feeling complete fills them and surges forth as they start their dance anew, slower this time. They have time, no need to rush.
Closer and closer, higher and higher, it becomes impossible to tell where one ends and another begins as they intertwine and move, instinctively, naturally.
The fates avert their eyes, wishing to give them a little privacy.
A light shines from within, and they bask in it as their act nears completion. It brightens and they climb higher and higher, culminating in an explosion that leaves them both spent and gasping.
After, they lie together, still entwined, and as they catch their breath, words of love are murmured where lips meet flesh, seared into the skin where they will wear them like a protective armour for the rest of their days together.
Which, if the fates have anything to say about it - and they usually do - will be for a very, very long time.