A/N: Thanks to Jenny Cullen for beta'ing this in no time at all.
N.B. This should be read after Chapter 18: Loss of Reinvention of Hope
Chapter Music: Flown Away by Lene Marlin
Fly Me Away
:: Aro ::
As I lay in the dim moonlight filtering in through the sunroom, I could feel it coming. I had often wondered if my final moments would be ones of lucidity, or mere passing seconds from this life to the next.
I was thankful that it was this way. I wasn't afraid. I was hopeful. My Sophia would be waiting, and Anthony, too. But I would miss Edward. My grandson. The shining light in my darkness, the guiding hand when I was lost, and the heart to my home.
His silhouette drew my eyes as he sat hunched in the chair by the window, leaning over to one side while a stream of silver light ghosted over his cheek and down his arm. I tried to match my own breathing to the steady rise and fall of his chest, but fell short with a wheeze and a cough. An old book lay across his lap, and I knew then that he had been reading to me before the darkness had fallen outside.
I was so proud of the man he had become and the man I knew he would continue to be, and I knew that Isabella wouldn't let me down. She would make good on her promise. Edward would find happiness with a family of his own. I could see that for him now. This very house full of life and love, as it always had been, and embracing the return of children and a wife, as it should be.
A shallow breath stuttered its way through my chest, and I gripped the blankets weakly, smiling as tears gently slipped from my eyes.
It wouldn't be long now. Edward's life could begin with the end of mine. I was an old, forgetful man, but I wasn't a fool. He deserved his own happiness, as I'd had mine.
I watched my life play out before me, flashes of color within the warmest, beckoning light. Meeting Sophia and falling in love with her sweet temperament. The musical sound of her laughter, and the rich, deep red of her hair in the Texan sun. Our summer wedding in the garden—where her bougainvillea now grew—and the birth of our son the following spring.
My chest ached as, for the first time in years, I saw Anthony grow before my eyes. Time moved so quickly; his first steps becoming Edward's before I could inhale a second breath.
But with the happy memories came the sad ones, too, and while I rejoiced at those of my displaced family, I lamented their deaths just as if I were losing them for the first time.
Anthony and Libby's accident. Edward's grieving. Sophia's never-ending sadness, and her own eventual passing.
I felt my cheeks wet with the pain of loss. There had been too much, and for Edward, there would only be more, but he was strong. He would survive the ache my departure would undoubtedly cause.
The light seemed to dim in the large room, and as it did, I tried to focus on Edward, his hand now clutching the book as if it would keep me here, but my time was fading.
I wasn't scared. I wasn't alone. I never had been.
I may have forgotten, but they never had. Edward had always been here, and the rest of my family had always been waiting.
A/N: I didn't plan on writing this; it came to me as I listened to Swicthfoot one night driving home in the rain. I cried pretty hard the whole time I wrote it. This Aro was pretty close to my heart.
Mojo music: Twenty-four by Switchfoot