There are some times in your life when you just wonder about other people's lives. It's hard to wrap your mind around the thought that you are just one person – one soul – and there are billions of more around the world. What is it like to be them? Are their lives filled with joy? Pain? Emptiness? Its things like that that make you stop and think once in a while.
People like Edward Cullen.
I've known that boy since seventh grade, but I have yet spoken to him. He just seemed so mysterious and quiet, he always kept to himself. I have never seen the boy talk in the five years I've known him. There was no doubt about it that he was extremely attractive, in a different, bad boy, rebel kind of way. But he just...wasn't there.
It's known widely around the school that the Cullen's aren't his real parents. I've heard several rumors that they were killed by an axe murderer when Edward was real young. There was also another rumor that Edward killed his own parents after a psychotic break, but that is hard to believe.
The worst rumor that I've heard is probably the belief that Edward witnessed his own parents' murder in the middle of the night.
Just thinking about having to watch Charlie, Renée, or even Phil get murdered in front of my eyes sent shivers down my spine. I do not ever want to think of that happening to us.
Anyways, Edward was put into foster care for whatever reason and the Cullen's found him. That family already consisted of Alice, Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper, and they were all a grade ahead of the rest of us. One winter day, Edward showed up at school with the rest of them. No one knew where he came from, and no one had the nerve to ask any of the rest of the family who he was – they were already social outcasts. So, life just continued.
I had a lot of classes with him over the years, but we never said one word to each other. All he would do is sit in the back of the room with his hood up and his pencil in his hand, drawing music systems and making his own musical compositions.
"Elizabeth Dances" was the name of the only composition I had to opportunity to glance at over his shoulder. It was so complex that I almost had a hard time understanding it on paper.
He really was a beautiful man. He had this bronze colored hair that went all over his head messily – almost like he never brushed his hair and he constantly ran his hands through it. His eyes were a striking emerald color that was outlined by dark circles. His jaw bones were well-defined. His plump lips were a soft ruby color. He was just all around gorgeous.
It was for those reasons why I always end up staring at him in government class. He sits directly on the other side of the room facing towards me, and I always stare at his face as he concentrates on a composition or a drawing or his government terms and people. And it was for those reasons why I constantly scold myself whenever he catches me gazing at him.
Today wasn't any different.
Mr. Adams kept going on about the controversy of Roe vs. Wade and I couldn't keep my eyes off of Edward. There was just this sense of danger that surrounded him, and I felt the urge to always be closer to him. Call me masochistic, but I wanted to be around this dangerous man.
But who am I to say? Edward could be the nicest, most sincere man in the world. Just misunderstood.
"If you're done staring at Mr. Cullen, I would like for you to answer the question, Miss Swan."
My face went red right after Mr. Adams finished his sentence. Edward looked up and met my prying gaze with his curious one. I immediately looked away and over to Jessica, who was sitting in the seat next to me, snickering behind her hand.
"1973," she whispered as she leaned over her desk and into the aisle, closer to mine.
I repeated the answer she told me aloud. Mr. Adams gave me a look before nodding and going back to talking about what he was saying before. I heard a tear from my left and saw Jessica pulling a sheet of paper out of her notebook. She scribbled something down furiously on it and then threw it onto my desk.
I rolled my eyes in her direction, but opened it anyways.
Why the hell were you looking at that kid?
I furrowed my eyebrows as I read it. I looked over to her, but she was purposely avoiding eye contact and was staring down at her notebook. I picked up my pen and scrawled down my response underneath hers before throwing it back.
His name's Edward. I was just daydreaming.
Before I knew it, the paper landed back in front of my face.
Daydreaming about him? He saw you looking at him. You're probably on his hit list now.
Do you even know him, Jess?
Word gets around, Bells. He murdered his parents. He's a freak.
I crumpled the note and threw it in my purse just as the bell rang. Not even waiting for Jessica to put her stuff together and follow me, I was walking out of the door and towards the cafeteria.
I met up with Angela at our usual table and sat down with my lunch tray. Angela was already sitting in her chair, nodding absentmindedly to whatever comic book Ben was jabbering about today. She looked up when I slammed my tray down on the table, the apple and carton of milk shooting about two inches into the air.
"Hey...Bella?" Angela greeted in a confused tone.
I side glanced to where Jessica was sitting with Mike, Lauren, Eric, and Tyler. They were all watching Edward eat alone at his own table. I glowered in their general direction and turned back to face Angela. "Jessica is such a bitch."
Angela sputtered a bit and her orange juice almost came out of her nose. Ben patted her back weakly. Once Angela calmed down, she turned her incredulous stare to me. "You're just figuring that out now?"
I looked down at the cheap plastic lunch table and sighed. "No, I always knew."
She was silent for a moment. The only noise at our table was Ben muttering to his self about how Robin was 'on the other side of the bush'. Whatever the hell that meant.
"What made you express those feelings?"
I looked over my shoulder again and watched as people walked past Edward's table, saying crude comments and making horrible gestures. But he just ignored them and continued on with his drawing. Like it was an everyday occurrence. Angela followed my line of vision and sighed sadly.
"I feel so bad for him."
I could feel myself rising from my chair before I even thought about it. I set my apple back on my tray and sent Angela a smile before turning to leave. "I'll be back."
I could feel her eyes – as well as Jessica's and her crew's – watching my every move as I approached Edward's solitary table. He didn't look up when I stopped in front of the chair that was across from him. I watched as his artistic hand scribbled over his paper, creating pictures that I couldn't even imagine. Without an invitation, I pulled the chair out and plopped down into it, suddenly feeling very courageous.
His perfect head slowly tilted up so that our eyes connected. And I lost my breath.
"Yes?" he asked, questioning why I'm sitting at his table.
I produced the brightest smile I could assemble and leaned forward. "Hi, I'm Bella Swan, if you didn't already know that from class."
He watched me with one eyebrow raised. He looked genuinely bewildered. "I know who you are, Bella. What are you doing here?" he questioned, glancing behind my shoulder. It took me a minute to get of his stunning voice and the way my name rolled off of his tongue flawlessly.
I turned around to see what he was looking at and found Jessica staring at us, shaking her head in disdain with a small smirk planted on her face. Lauren leaned into her and whispered something in her ear, successfully making Jessica explode out in outrageously loud laughter.
I rolled my eyes as I rotated my head back to face Edward. "I just came over to talk to you. We haven't ever before, and I thought you could use a friend..." I trailed off as his eyes flickered to something dark. I flinched back as he griped his pencil tightly in his hands. I could see the whiteness of his knuckles from the straining skin.
"I don't need friends," he muttered lowly, staring straight into my eyes.
I gulped and licked my lips. "Everyone needs friends, whether they think so or not."
His eyes flickered behind my shoulder again, but quickly, he looked back to me. "What do you want? Money? Homework?"
"What?" I furrowed my eyebrows. And then it dawned on me. "No, no. I'm not here for Jessica. I hate that girl. I just always see you alone and I thought that you would want someone to sit with."
His shoulders visibly relaxed and his grip on his pencil slackened. A small smile spread on his lips as he looked back down at his paper and continued drawing. "Thank you," he whispered softly.
I smiled despite of myself and sat back in my seat. There was a comfortable silence that filled the air as I watch his hand move against the paper elegantly.
"What's your favorite movie?" I asked suddenly, trying to think of a conversation to start.
His pencil stalled and his shoulders shook with repressed laughter. "Probably anything by Wes Craven."
My nose scrunched up with distaste at his answer. "You're a horror fan?"
He shifted his eyes so that he was looking at me. "You're not?"
"Definitely not. What's your favorite show?"
"I don't watch much TV."
"Alright, what's your favorite musical artist?"
I smiled at his answer. "I love them."
Edward just simply nodded and went back to work. He moved his hand so that his sleeve to his hoodie rode up, and what I saw shocked me. Several slits went across his right wrist horizontally. Some were light pink and faded, while some where darker and newer. I looked back up to his eyes when I saw his hand stop moving. He was staring at me, and he caught me staring at his marks. I blinked rapidly, trying to figure out what to say.
Luckily, Edward saved me the trouble.
"I don't think we should really talk anymore, Bella."
I swear to God my heart stopped when he said that but skipped a beat when he uttered my name. "Why not?"
He started cramming his belongings into his backpack and stood up. I stood up with him, pushing my chair back into the aisle.
"It wouldn't be...nice of me to do that to you," he stuttered a bit over his words, but finished with a nod of his head, like he was satisfied at how things were going. His eyes were hollow, dead beyond belief. It looked like just a shadow of a man inside of that glorious body.
"Oh," I mumbled dejectedly. I tightened my grip around the strap of my purse and backed up a little. "Um, here," I pulled out a sheet of paper and quickly wrote down my cell phone number. I thrusted it in his hands with my eyes not meeting his. "If you don't want to, it's fine. But keep this number in case you need anything. I'll be just a phone call away."
I felt his slender fingers brush against mine when he grabbed the note. I watched his face as he stared down at the numbers as if they were extraterrestrial hieroglyphics. Half of his mouth curled up in a dazzling smile. "Thank you, again. I'll be sure to keep it."
And that was the end of that.
My mind was in a haze that whole weekend.
I cooked for Charlie, did all of my homework, talking with Angela on the phone for a little, cleaned, and went to my dentist appointment. It was classic weekend stuff. But I couldn't help but feel like something was missing.
Edward never texted me or called me after that Friday I gave him my number. I found myself watching my phone all of Saturday, just thinking that maybe he'd give in and give me a call. But that wish was moot.
On Sunday, I went out with Angela, Ben, and a girl in my physics class named Katie to see a movie. That was the usual Sunday business.
What wasn't usual was the message I got late that night right as I was trying to go to bed.
It was from an unknown number, and it wasn't in my phone. I glanced at my screen curiously, before I finally opened it.
I just wanted to thank you for being there for me on Friday. It meant a lot to me that you would do that. All I ask is for one favor, alright? Live your life without a worry. I'll see you later. – Edward.
And I went to bed, fretting over what that cryptic message meant.
Monday morning was hell, as usual. Trying to get out of bed at six o'clock was a crapshoot. It took me thirty minutes to get out of bed fully. And by the time I was dressed and nice looking, I was ten minutes late for school. So that morning, I had to skip out on breakfast. I could already tell it would be a bad day.
First period was already started when I arrived at school. After going to the office to get a late slip, I slowly made my way to physics class. Opening the door, I found my seat in the back that was next to Angela's.
When I sat down, Angela turned around. My eyes popped open wide when I saw the state she was in. Her eyes were red and swollen, mascara running down her face. Her cheeks were blotchy from rubbing them so many times. She was sniffling and holding a tissue to her nose.
"Oh my God, Ang," I whispered, trying not to disrupt class. "What's wrong?"
"You didn't hear?" she whispered back in the same volume. I shook my head, perplexed. "I would have thought Charlie told you."
"I didn't see him this morning...Angela, what's going on?"
"It's Edward," she answered monotonously and let a cry escape her mouth. "He killed himself last night."
"What?" I asked disbelievingly. Angela nodded and let a few tears run down her face. "No," I whimpered and shook my head back and forth. Tears were beginning to well up in my eyes and I couldn't stop them from breaking free and falling. I put a hand over my mouth to try and stop the noises that were coming out of my mouth, but it was futile. Several classmates turned to look at me in the back of the room. No one looked nearly as sad as Angela – and I – did. Sure, some looked perturbed and upset, but it was different.
Mr. Banner sighed in the front of the room and set down his copy of some how to manual that he was reading. "Miss Swan, would you like to go see the school psychiatrist?"
I shook my head robustly as I tried to see through my blurred vision. "May I just u-use the restroom, please?" I hiccupped, falling apart at the seams.
Before he could even answer my request, I was out of my seat and running towards the door. I could hear Angela running after me, trying to get me to slow down so she could walk with me. But I didn't stop until I was inside that bathroom. And when I did make it inside, I fell to the ground and wrapped my arms around my legs.
"How did you find out?" I managed to ask Angela as she sat down next to me.
"Lauren's mom is a nurse at the hospital. She was there when they brought him in. and then Alice and Emmett came in this morning to talk to the principal. Tyler overheard them talking."
"Oh God," I moaned and rested my head in my hands. I then dared to ask the question that I dreaded. "How?"
Angela let out a sob and wrapped her arm around my shoulder. "Mrs. Cullen found him hanging in his room. He was already passed on by the time she cut got him down."
"Oh, Edward," I cried and rested my forehead against my knees. "I just talked to him last Friday. He texted me last night!" I yelled into my legs, suddenly feeling a surge of anger swarm through my body. "He said he'd see me later," I whispered brokenly and tightened my grip around my legs. "He knew all along. That's why he didn't want to be my friend. He had a plan. And I could have stopped him."
Angela was shaking her head before I could finish my self-destructive rant. "No, honey. No one can change a man's mind. There was nothing you could have done about it. Edward was harassed, and he had a breaking point. It wasn't your fault; you tried to be a friend to him. It was everyone else's fault that pushed him to the brink."
I sniffed and whipped my eyes furiously. "I could have done something. I could have tried harder to get him to talk to me. I saw what he did to himself, Ang. I should have known!"
Angela did say anything else in the rest of the fifteen minutes that we were in the bathroom. A couple of girls came in during our crying session, but quickly walked out when they heard the hysterical cries coming out of my mouth. Once we both heard the bell ring, we pulled ourselves off of the ground and walked arm-in-arm together to my government class. Once we were at the door, Angela gave me a tight hug before jogging off to the direction of her class.
I took my seat in my usual spot and kept my head down as the teacher began talking about the Articles of Confederation. Jessica coughed purposely from next to me and pinched my arm. I reluctantly turned to look at her hideous, heinous face. "What?" I snapped harshly.
She simply raised an eyebrow. "You're not seriously whining over this Edward thing, are you? It's not like he was anything special."
"He was everything special, Jessica!" I exploded, feeling my face go red with anger instead of embarrassment this time. The class stopped talking and turned to look at me. "He was creative, and smart, and handsome, and funny, but you and you bimbo jock friends didn't go past his exterior to see what was really on the inside. You and your friends killed him, Jessica. And I hope you go to hell."
Her mouth was open by the time the last sentence left my mouth. Was that a dumb thing to say? Yes, without a doubt. Do I regret it? Not one bit.
With a huff, I turned back around in my seat and crossed my arms over my chest. When I looked straight ahead, I felt a pang in my chest when I saw Edward's empty desk. With an exhaled shaky breath, I set my head down on my desk and let the tears flow.
Three days later
I don't think I'll ever be the same again. Having that fifteen minute encounter with Edward changed my life. And I'm just starting to figure out if it was for the good, or for the bad.
Life continued on at Forks High School – at least for everyone except me. I was the one that took it the hardest. I was the one who actually mourned for him. The only one, actually. With the exception of Angela and Ben. There was a tiny memorial service for Edward yesterday, but only about twenty-five people showed up. and that included his family of six.
It was extremely difficult to face them during the memorial. I have never met any of them in my life, but once I walking into the gymnasium doors, I was assaulted by the family. They knew I was Bella. And they knew what I had done for him his last day on Earth.
Looking at Mrs. Cullen was the hardest. She was as white as a ghost when I met her – there was a dead look in her eye as she smiled dully and shook my hand. Carlisle had to practically push her to her seat. But I can understand where she's coming from. I would never want to imagine the visual imagery of finding your son hanging in his closet.
In English class, we were told to write a piece of art that was inspired by someone who inspired you. It didn't take me long at all to figure out who I would write about. All that I needed was to find the correct words to put down all of my feelings.
But when it was time to present them in front of the class, I knew that I had got everything just right.
I made my way to the front of the room when Mr. Mason called my name off of the list. People were giving me weird looks on my journey up there – ever since I stood up for Edward in government class, no one has looked at me without giving me a strange look.
When Mr. Mason motioned for me to go on, I cleared my throat and looked down at my paper.
I heard these special words:
Live your life without a worry;
Keep your head held high,
And don't look so dreary.
Follow the path,
I'll show you the way;
Just take my hand,
I won't let you fade away.
So many times I wish I had,
A moment just to find the real you.
But fate came into play,
And I just never ever really knew.
The wind still blows,
The fires still flame,
But without you on this ground,
It will never be the same.
My words got caught in my throat a little, and I choked on a sob. I raised the paper closer to my face with my shaky hands so I could see the words I wrote on the notebook paper more clear.
You told me to live,
Be happy and be free.
But how could I do that,
When you can't do it with me?
Writing this for you,
Just seems so wrong.
But I know what to call it,
It'll be Edward's Song.
So take this under your wing,
Soar high and live free.
For you're in a better place now,
That's all that matters to me.
There was a moment of silence before the whole room thundered with applause. People were clapping so loudly that I almost had a hard time hearing Mr. Mason try to calm everyone down and send me back to my seat.
Once I was sitting down in my seat, Angela patted me on the back and sent a huge smile towards me. I fell back in my chair and let out a huge breath of air. I looked up at the ceiling and smiled.
"Thank you, Edward."
Guys. I felt the need to write this one-shot because of the outbreak of teen suicides due to bullying. It is not a laughing matter, and it is a serious issue. And I just recently witnessed it in my school. So please, if you see someone being bullied, stick up for them. Because if you don't, you don't know what could happen to that person in the long run.
That poem is all me, so sorry if it's not amazing. I suck at poetry.
Feedback would be fabulous.