WARNING: Character death & angst. This is not going to be fluffy and light. There will not be a HEA. I'm warning now so that you can avoid this fic if you don't want angst.
Also- I know I have other WIPs on the go & by starting this one I am not backing away from any of those. Those who know me know how I work, but I have to write who is talking to me. This is screaming, so I'm writing it to allow space for other projects.
A/N: I own nothing - I have a house, but the bank actually owns it. Characters are all Stephenie Meyers' creations really. I just enjoy torturing them occasionally. Thanks must go to my lovely FE71SH & my ever-supportive (especially in a crisis) fic-wifeys (Gabbysway2 & CorrinaTFF).
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Isabella Marie Michaels (nee Swan).
Of Forks, Washington. Passed away 13th September 2054. Aged 67. Beloved Daughter, Wife and Friend. Devoted Mother of Bailey, Rhys and Carianne. Proud Grand-mother of eight. No flowers as requested.
I clutched the sheet of paper tightly in my hands, unaware of everything else going on around me. I could only concentrate on what was written before me in black and white as I read it again.
"Alice," I croaked out eventually. "Alice, why didn't you warn me."
My eyes searched my surroundings for my once-favourite sister.
I'm sorry. I didn't know. It all happened too suddenly. By the time I saw it... it was too late.
I closed my eyes. "How?" I didn't need to elaborate, she knew what I wanted to know.
It was unexpected. The doctors don't have an answer. They are saying her heart just gave out.
I held back the sob that threatened to escape my lips. My beloved Isabella-my Bella-was gone. I had struggled with my choice to leave her for fifty years, even finding my way back to Forks repeatedly just to see that she was happy. Each time I saw her, she was doing precisely what I had hoped she would do, moving on without me; living a life free from the risk my very existence exposed her too.
"I need to go to the funeral," I whispered to no one in particular.
I could feel the stillness around me, every one of my family had paused the moment the first strangled cry had escaped my lips on seeing the news in print.
Even in the utter quiet, I could hear and feel their grief as sharply as my own. I couldn't escape the waves of pain that ran through me and threatened to immobilise me for eternity. I closed my eyes and remembered the first day I saw Bella. Even after so long, I could recall the exquisite scent that called to me and her shy eyes peeking up at me through a curtain of hair as I stared at her. She had thought I hated her that day, but what I had really been feeling was hatred for the monster that lived in me, the monster that threatened her life every day we were together.
Eventually, Carlisle nodded. "I think enough time has passed to fade the memories of those who knew us. Many will see the resemblance, of course, but not so much that you won't be able to claim a familial link. We won't all be able to go, obviously, but I think two of us should be able to safely return."
I'll go with you, came a chorus from at least three minds. It could have even been all six, but I wasn't paying enough attention to be certain.
I shook my head. "I have to do this alone. I have to say goodbye alone." My first goodbye, when she was just seventeen, had been hard enough. Even then, I had retreated into myself and refused to pretend to function as a normal human. This one would have deadly consequences for me. I couldn't risk exposing my family to that.
Please don't, Alice begged. I can see what you want to do...I'm just begging you not to. For Carlisle. For Esme. For all of us. We need you, Edward. Promise you won't go through with your plan.
I lowered my head in shame. Shame at the hurt I had inflicted on my family already and at the pain I would inflict on them once my mission was complete. "I can't promise that."
Then I'm going with you. Alice's voice was stubborn.
I shook my head minutely. She couldn't come with me. I wouldn't have her separation from Jasper, or worse, her death, on my head. I wouldn't be able to cope with that on top of the guilt I already felt. Guilt at leaving Bella so hurt and broken, for leaving the pieces of her shattered heart behind for someone else to repair.
My mind circled endlessly with shame and despair. If only I had not been so stubborn, would we have had a happy ending? I raised the paper again. Devoted Mother of Bailey, Rhys and Carianne. Proud Grand-mother of eight. I read and re-read that one line; trying to remind myself of the reasons why I had left her. I couldn't offer her that. I could only offer her blood and death; pain. As a human, she was in constant danger around me and my family. If I had granted her wishes and made her what I am, she would have missed out on the love of her family. On life. She would have been forced to endure a half-life, frozen permanently at eighteen.
I put the thoughts out of my head as best as I was able. There was no time for regret, only for goodbyes. I needed to get to Forks. Checking the date again, I realised I would miss the funeral. Instead, I decided to go to her old house and say my final farewell to my one and only love.
A/N:- Well... there's the preface, would love to know what you think. Chapter one shouldn't be very far away :)