In The End Nothing Matters Anymore
This is death. What we are all sub-consciously waiting for. It's not dramatic. It's not painful. It's not a big production. The final epilogue is actually a very easy read. Lying in bed, completely alone and peaceful. I know it's time. I've had a good run, eighty-seven years in fact.
"I wonder if I'll even know when it's happened." I mused to myself. Some people just go in their sleep but I'm convinced, having experienced the hours before first hand, that they knew. They just wanted to go quietly, without ceremony, no one crying at the bedside. Death with dignity.
I looked at the family portrait on the nightstand as I waited for the reaper to find me. Jacob, my sunshine. We got married on New Years Eve in the exact moment it changed to 2013. They said we'd be dead by then so to mark our survival we got married by 'Elvis' in Las Vegas.
Two years later we had two bundles of what can only be described as trouble, Cady and Will. I felt worried just thinking about them. They were always up to something they shouldn't be. Luckily for them, vampires never returned to Forks so they never had the wolf gene triggered.
Cady is a female version of Jake. Somehow when they were little and he was trying to impart knowledge on Will, Cady would be in the shadows picking up everything while our son would sit there yawning, no doubt thinking about the foreign cartoons he absolutely loved for some reason.
I laughed to myself and felt my heartbeat stutter. Every year at Halloween there would be at least one smart mouthed child that would run up in a black coat and screech at me "I am death, your time has come.". I have to give it to the kids; they were more frightening than the real thing.
"Soon, Jacob." I sighed and looked at his picture. Four years ago he'd gone into a diabetic coma and never recovered enough to be taken off life support. I'd sit there every day for the four months he was out and talk about the afterlife. I made a deal with myself for the two of us. First on the list after death, a twice baked potato in the best restaurant god had to offer. Jake beat me there, we always competed. He even died first, just to smite me.
"Bella?" A voice called out, they must have been yelling. I don't even have my hearing aid on. Stupid things are inserted right into your ear now so I have to use a remote to turn the thing on. I sighed, realising I couldn't even die in peace, and pressed the 'on' button on the remote beside me.
"Yes." I mumbled and opened my eyes. My bedroom door opened and in walked a face I haven't seen in 70 years. Not to be rude, but I really didn't want to see it now either.
"Hey." She smiled. Ridiculous splatter design shirts that everyone wears now and a pair of torn jeans.
"Hello, Alice." I sighed. Even after all these years I could still remember the flawless, unaged face of Alice Cullen.
"Don't sound too pleased." She smiled softly.
"You're about 70 years too late for your goodbye." I muttered and used a bit of my remaining strength to sit up.
"Please don't be like that." she pleaded and invited herself to sit on the bottom of my bed. I'd spent too many years being depressed over their violent exit from my life and now as I was exiting the world she decided to come back and make it the one thing I didn't want it to be. Complicated.
"I'm sorry. I was waiting for someone." I apologised half-heartedly. I felt my eyelids droop and I used a little more of the reserved energy to keep focus.
"I know." she said sadly and dropped her gaze as she turned thoughtful for a minute, "I guess we all lose each other, in the end."
"We all end up alone." I shrugged.
"We've all missed you, for what it's worth." She smiled again for a brief moment, "Even Rosalie. She's very...different, now. She's actually kind of sweet."
"Miracles never cease to occur." I chuckled and coughed at the end. Stupid pollution affected lungs.
"Yeah. He misses you. He remains convinced that this is what's best. Stubborn ass." She laughed a little and rolled her perfect golden eyes.
"Please tell him... thank you. I may have missed out on a life with you but I've got things many only dream of." I requested and looked around the bedroom of my comfortable New Orleans home.
"He'll be very pleased." Alice nodded and smiled wider.
"Thank you for not going back to Washington by the way. You've spared my children from having to become a new wolf pack." I smiled myself this time. Gratitude. Jacob always said it wasn't a life he'd have pursued.
"Emmett and Rosalie went back to check on you about eight years after we left and saw you had the twins. They realised who their father was and decided it was best never to go back. You might have known the house was destroyed." she quizzed. I shook my head, no.
"I didn't really put anymore thought into it." I said regrettably.
"I'm glad in a way. You didn't dwell on it forever." She nodded with approval and scooted closer.
"After the big C, you don't sweat the small stuff." I dismissed the notion.
"Where?" she asked with a frown on her fairy pointed features.
"Breast, they chopped them off and problem solved." I mimicked a slicing motion over my chest and noticed that effort was particularly hard.
"I see. Well, I'm here to give you closure if you need it. Questions?" She sat up a little straighter and crossed her legs.
"One." I nodded; there was only one I hadn't answered for myself. The one that plagued me for years, "Did he ever find someone else? Like I did." I braced myself, unsure of what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to be happy but I don't know if I could handle the thought of him with someone else. But in the end, things need to be said.
"No." Alice muttered and hung her head slightly as it shook from side to side, "He'll never love anyone the way he does you."
"That doesn't mean he shouldn't be happy. I loved Jacob differently but it didn't mean it wasn't as much or as strong." I felt an odd sense of relief that he wasn't with somebody else but guilt that he'd be alone, forever.
"He's happy. He's happy you have a life he could never give you. It's a bit of a catch 22 that the only way he could give you a real life was not to be in it. He said he can't come and watch you leave the world, that he'd do something incredibly selfish. If you love someone you have to let them go. That's what's stopping me from just biting you now." She giggled the tinkling laughter I remembered from my youth.
"Please don't." I sighed loudly and nodded, "I'm ready." She nodded too and crawled up next to me. Her pale, silky skin next to my aged, withered skin.
"You'll stay and talk to me a little longer won't you?" she asked and took my hand slowly. Just as cold as I remembered.
"What do you have in mind?" I questioned.
"What happened to Charlie?" she asked and looked at the various pieces of jewelry adorning my arms and fingers.
"Supermarket hold up, he tried to be the hero." I replied with minimal details.
"Six, all girls. Strange if you ask me." I frowned when I thought of all my granddaughters.
"The odds are against it but it happens." Alice nodded as she examined my wedding band, "Out of all the people in the world you could have settled down with you pick the one that makes it almost impossible for me to keep an eye on you."
"What do you mean?" I frowned.
"I couldn't see the wolves in my visions. You married one so he was always with you making it almost impossible to see you." she explained.
"Oh. Sorry." I smiled to myself.
"He thought I was punishing him when I said I didn't know what was happening with you. He thought I was purposely not trying so he'd be forced to go back." She weaved our fingers together and tilted my head to her tiny shoulder as I yawned, "I wasn't though. I thought my head was broken. Like I'd used all my visions up!" She laughed.
"Is that possible?" I yawned again and closed my eyes.
"I doubt it." She shook her head and her dark hair brushed on the top of my head. It wasn't all spiked out any more, it laid softly over her head and parted off to one side.
"I'm glad you're here. I missed you, Alice." I took another rough breath and let it out heavily.
"I missed you too, Bella. You're my best friend, even after all this time, no one will replace your part in my heart." She reached up with her smooth, granite hand and stroked down my forehead to my cheek and down off my chin then took a big sigh of her own.
"Same." I whispered, feeling the last of my strength run out.
I inhaled once again. The sweet cinnamon scent of my best friend.
My heart thumped in my chest as I knew my time had come. Here in a mid summers night with my best friend.
"He said to tell you he loves you." She kissed the top of my head and let her lips linger on my hair.
I could feel the warmth above me and the coldness beside me. Jacob was calling and I was going to answer.
One last sentence to end it all. The one I knew would push me to my husband and set me free.
One more hard breath. One more strained thump. I closed my eyes and with my last breath I replied to my first love.
"I love you too, Edward." I whispered and slipped into my Jacob's arms.