I was walking down the aisle, holding my bouquet of stargazer lilies. They were my favorite flower. My veil was covering the happy tears that sprang from my eyes as I walked up to Jasper. My smile was blinding to all of the others besides Jasper because his smile was just as blinding as mine. I clumsily tripped over my long white dress, catching myself right away, but a blush washed up to my cheeks a second later.
I heard chuckles all around me but the only one I could focus on was Jasper's soft laugh. It always sounded like bells to me; bells on a crisp Sunday morning. It made me blush even deeper. Only I could trip on my wedding dress walking up to my husband-to-be. Jasper was wearing his military uniform. The thought of him at war always made me weak in the knees but this time it made my heart burst with pride.
I walked toward him proudly now, my steps sure. But the closer I got the farther Jasper seemed to get. He started to fade, his face becoming less clear and I started to walk faster and faster until I realized I was in a flat-out-sprint for the alter. I screamed his name, my tears of joy froze on my face and turned bitter and my voice wouldn't carry. I couldn't scream and my legs wouldn't move any quicker. I screamed.
Isabella woke with a start, panting as hot tears rolled down her flushed cheeks. Her hair was stuck to her cheeks and caught in her mouth. She sat up; her body shaking as memories of the day before constricted around her, digging their tendrils deep into her heart.
Jasper was gone.
Her Jasper, the reason for her life, was gone. Carefully she pushed the soggy strands of hair from her face and walked unsteadily to the bathroom and stared at the girl in the mirror. She looked like hell. She had been waiting for the post man to come for days now. Each night brought new terrors, and each morning brought new hope. She knew she was going to get a letter because she had sent one a few weeks before. Her heart fluttered with happiness as she spotted a man on his horse riding up to their home.
Not caring that she was dressed in nothing but a thin nightgown still sticking to her body from the sweat, sprinted through her house and out the door and down the porches steps barefoot into the snow, unable to hide the stupid grin on her face. When she reached the man she stopped short, stubbing her toe on a sharp rock as she stumbled to a halt at the feet of the man's bay horse.
The man was an was an officer dressed neatly in a blue uniform just like Jasper's. The one she had watched him leave in. The one he was supposed to return in. It was the last time she had ever seen him. Officers only visited soldier's homes for two reasons: to alert the family that the soldier had earned an honor or to alert the family of a death. This man's face was tight and official. This man did not come to share the pride of an honored soldier.
"Ma'am," the officer said as he carefully dismounted his horse. He turned to Isabella and removed his hat, pressing it over his heart. "I'm afraid I have some bad news."
In that moment the world stopped. There was no war. No bloody toes and no nightmares. There was no dead soldiers and no men to come and tell a family that they had lost a son, brother, father, lover. There was only the way it was supposed to be. Where everyone fell in love and everything turned out okay. No one died. No one was left alone . . .
Isabella swayed on her feet, her toe throbbing and her head spinning. She felt sick. She was going to throw up. She hit her knees and felt the gravel bite into her flesh, but it didn't matter. Jasper was gone. What mattered?
The man knelt down beside her and took her hand gingerly. In a gentle voice he told her how Jasper had gone to battle and hadn't come back. They had looked everywhere but they haven't found him and it had been too many nights in the cold. There was no way he could still be alive. Isabella didn't remember how she got back into the house or how her feet had ended up wrapped in thick blankets and her toe bandaged. Maybe the officer had done it, she didn't know. A small sack of Jaspers things lay by her feet. A sheet of paper folded neatly on top; a note from Jasper.
They had to have his funeral without his body. There was to be no proper barrel. Isabella would never, could never, say the proper good-bye and that killed her. They were never going to get married.
"It was just a dream..." She whispered, hugging her arms tight around herself and squeezing her eyes shut, trying to pretend it was Jasper holding her tight.
Isabella had to do the burial tomorrow. Tomorrow was one week away from the day Jasper was supposed to come home, one week before they were going to get married, one week before it was all going to go right, one week before they were to be a family, one week. . . just one week.
Isabella waddled back to their bed and lay down and curled into a ball, hugging her knees to her chest and smothering her face into Jasper's pillow. She inhaled deeply, desperate the draw something of him out of the pillows, desperate for one more whiff of his smell. But it had fading away, just like as he had. Isabella couldn't stop the sobs that wracked her body. They came in waves of agony, slicing deep into her soul and leaving gashes that would never go away she was sure. She punched the pillow and pulled at her hair, she wailed long into the night until her sobs became hiccups because she had no more tears to cry. No more energy to shout and throw things.
She was alone now. She had nothing to live for.
Her eyes were puffy from crying, her body sore from convulsing, her lips and throat raw from screaming. She lay in her bed, a heap of broken dreams and lost promises. Then a thought occurred to her. She had forgotten about her letter that was found with Jasper's things. It was on the floor where she had dropped it as she slowly made her way to their room. When she had caught sight of it she stared at it, not sure if she wanted to read it just yet. To read Jaspers last words seemed to hold a terrifying finality for her. Like maybe if she just pretended it didn't exist he would come riding home on his gray gelding. Reading the letter would make it final—would make it real. She whimpered and hiccupped at the thought of that. Either way though, she knew, he was never coming home.
She decided to read it, hoping it would ease the pain in her chest somewhat, but she didn't have real high hopes for that. Crawling out of bed she slowly walked to the piece of paper. With shaky fingers she carefully opened the letter.
My Sweet Angel,
If you are reading this, it means I didn't make it home, and for that I am truly sorry. It kills me to think that I didn't make it home to you, but my angel we will be together again I just know we will. Please don't think different. We will be together I can feel it. Until then, please take care of yourself. Live a happy life; find someone that makes you happy. I won't be angry; I just want you happy. My sweet angel, please know that you're never alone. I'll be in every beat of your heart as you face the unknown. Wherever you fly, this isn't good-bye. My love will follow you, stay with you, angel you're never alone. Please don't be angry with me about my decision of leaving for war, you know I needed to do this.
Live a happy life my sweet angel. I love you more than life its self.
Isabella crushed the letter to her chest, new tears piercing through the exhaustion.
He wanted her to be happy?
How could he even think of something so impossible? She started down the stairs not wanting to be alone anymore; she needed someone to talk to about this. It was too much to handle. She grabbed a cloak and pulled on her boots and bolted for the Cullen's house.
Esme and her husband Carlisle had come to Texas not long after Jasper left with his regiment, and Isabella and Esme had become the best of friends not long after they met. Carlisle and Esme had moved down from the North for a job. Carlisle was the best doctor in town. Isabella knew that better than anyone, since she was a natural born clutz who could trip on a flat stable surface. She visited Carlisle often, it was how she and Esme first met.
Isabella knew that Carlisle and Esme were not from the South because they talked a little different, and that the rest of the town resented them, but she didn't care. They were her friends, and right now they were all she had left. She also noticed they both had eyes like she had never seen before. Both Carlisle and Esme's eyes were a deep ocher color, and they're skin was flawless and pale. They wore long sleeves and pants even in the muggy climate of the south. They barely went out when the sun was out which seemed odd to a lot of people, and when they did they wore hats and clothes that covered every inch of their skin. It was weird, but Isabella didn't judge. To each their own.
Isabella ran as fast as she could to the Cullen's house, her tears freezing to her face. Once Isabella was at their house she knocked on the door as lightly as she could, but they came off as heavy thumps against the wood. When no one came right away she kept pounding on to ornate door until her knuckles were swollen.
Suddenly the door swung open and both Cullens stood in the doorway. Carlisle looked like he was on his way to the clinic. "Isabella dear, what's wrong?" Esme asked, her brows pinched together at the sight of Isabella.
"Jasper's . . . gone . . . he's gone Esme!" Isabella squeaked through her tears. She collapsed against Carlisle, taken over by another round of sobs. Carlisle wrapped his arms around Isabella as she cried into his chest. His face was tight with concern.
Esme's cold heart ached for this girl. She motioned for Carlisle to release Isabella and she pulled the sobbing girl against her chest and ran her fingers through her hair to soothe her cries. She muttered softly and shushed Isabella until her sobs quieted and her body relaxed. Carlisle and Esme exchanged worried glances. They could hear something that no one else could. A tiny fluttering heart in Isabella's womb. Isabella was pregnant. She didn't know hers and Jasper's baby was growing inside of her. Esme pulled Isabella into her and Carlisle's home, and sat her down onto the couch.
"Isabella, breathe . . . please try to calm down. Good, that's it. Breathe, pet. Everything will be alright. Shhh, please calm down, Jasper wouldn't want you to be like this." Esme murmured, still running her fingers through Isabella's frozen hair.
"He wants me to be happy without him!" Isabella wailed. "How can he ask that of me? How can he ask me to just carry on like he never happened? What has he left me to live for other than his ridiculous letter!" Isabella thrust the letter into Esme's face. She hadn't even realized she was still holding it.
Esme gently pried the crumpled piece of paper from Isabella's hand. It took her about a second to read through it. When she finished she raised her eyes to Isabella's, her chest tight with sympathy. "Oh, Bella," she murmured softly. "I am so sorry."
Isabella told Esme how the man came to her house to tell her about Jasper. How there was no body for Isabella to bury tomorrow. How she didn't know where else to go or what to do. As Isabella explained her situation, a pair of eyes was locked on them in the distance. Someone was watching them far from the house in the woods. He was watching them with disgust, an ugly scowl plastered onto his handsome face. How could they be talking together like nothing was wrong? The man snarled at the thought of the other two protecting the young human.
When Isabella was finished she was still shaking visibly. Esme brought the girl to her chest and let her cry. Esme couldn't believe Jasper was gone. They had so many plans for their future. It wasn't fair such a kind person end up with such a fate. She worried about Isabella and how she would take his death later on after it had really sank in. Thoughts of her jumping into the frozen river or fashioning a noose haunted her mind. Right now it wasn't so good for Isabella to be alone, especially since she had no idea about the baby. A feeling trickled down Esme's spine. She glanced out the window. It was getting dark outside.
"It must be terrible to be in that house alone, huh?" Esme whispered into Isabella's hair, still staring out the window.
"I think I'll get used to it after a while," Isabella croaked. "But maybe not," she added a second later.
This only reinforced Esme's fears. "Stay with us, Bella. At least until you're better. It's getting dark anyways."
"Oh no Esme, I can't be a bother..." Isabella tried to protest weakly.
"You are not a bother, silly girl. and I would feel much better if you would stay for a few days." Still, the feeling clung to Esme. She wrapped her arms tighter around Isabella. "You'll be safe here."
Isabella was in no mood to argue so she agreed. Isabella was asleep in Esme's arms when Carlisle came home. Esme could tell by the hardness in her husband's eyes that he too had noticed something wrong. He stared at Esme for a long moment and she nodded, confirming his thoughts. Esme laid Isabella down on the couch and moved towards Carlisle. When she reached him they embraced, wrapping their arms tightly around eachother as Esme buried her face in the crook of Carlisle's neck.
"I love you." She whispered.
There was nothing in this world that could remind you how much you loved someone more than watching someone else lose who they had loved. It was a reminder of how cruel this world was, and of how unhesitant it was to give happiness, and then steal it back.
"I love you too, Esme." He kissed her hair.
"When is she going to find out about the baby?" She asked, glancing at the sleeping girl.
"She's a few months along now if we can hear it's heart. She has to have noticed she's been missing her monthly. Morning sickness should be coming along shortly. I'll tell her then."
"I hope nothing happens to the little one. It would kill Isabella if anything happened."
"I know. We will make sure everything goes smoothly."
Esme nodded, kissing her husband.
The Next Day
Isabella woke up feeling sick; she managed to get outside before she doubled over and deposited yesterday's lunch in the clean white snow outside the Cullen's house. She stayed like that for a minute, doubled over in the snow, as yesterday's events swirled around her. Slowly she stood up and looked down the road. She could just barely see the tip of her roof. There was no smoke rising from the chimney. The fire must have gone out. She wondered if it could ever be a home again. If things could ever gain back their normal flow without Jasper present to hold her together. She felt like she was coming unraveled.
"Is everything alright, dear?" Carlisle asked, seeing her standing barefoot in the snow.
"Just a little sick, I think it's just from the crying and...since you know it's..."
Carlisle nodded not making her finish. "If it gets worse let me know."
Isabella nodded and slowly picked her way back to the house.
Today was the funeral.
She walked straight to the bathroom, not bothering with breakfast because she didn't feel like she could keep it down. She splashed cold water onto her face and stared in the mirror. She might as well have gone to war herself. Her eyes were swollen and red-rimmed. The tip of her nose was bright pink and her lips were raw not to mention the searing burn in the back of her throat. Her cheeks were blotchy and tear stained. Her hair stood out in all directions, some matted to her face. All in all she stared into the blood-shot eyes of a terrified looking child. She didn't know who she was today, or would be ever again.
She didn't want to see it. She turned and grabbed a towel and draped it over the mirror. She smiled and her lips cracked. She tasted blood. With sore hands she yanked a brush through her hair and smeared some kohl around her eyes to hide the redness. She slipped on black dress, black shoes, and tied her hair back with a shiny black ribbon. She put on the necklace that Jasper had given her years ago when they had first met. It was a silver heart locket. She would cherish it forever. Rubbing the locket between her thumb and forefinger as she made her way down the stairs, she locked eyes with the Cullens who were waiting at the door. She paused at the last step.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Carlise asked softly. "It's not like they gave you a lot of preparation time."
Isabella simply nodded. She would never be any more prepared to face this than she was now. Jaspers death would never be okay.
Isabella started walking down the icy road, not wanting to take a carriage, looking around the familiar roads and dragging her feet as memories flooded her mind.
Tears rolled down her cheeks, she covered her mouth to quell the sobs. She passed the creek where they had first met and became best friends, passed the bakery where they had their first date, the tree that they had had their first kiss under. When she finally got to the church half the town was already there. They all turned to watch Isabella walk down the aisle, and she couldn't help but think that she should have been dressed in white . . . this should have been her wedding where she was supposed to walk to Jasper to become his wife.
Not to his death.
Isabella couldn't listen what was going on around her. Most of the time she stared at her hands. Her knuckles were bruised. When she felt someone give her a folded flag she held it to her chest like it was her lifeline. Each bullet fired seemed to be aimed directly at her heart. With each shot she winced a little more, with each gunshot her ears rang a little louder, and his death became that much more final. When the ceremony was over everyone came to Isabella offering their condolences, and telling her how amazing Jasper was. Isabella couldn't take it anymore, she felt sick. She walked away from everyone still clutching the coffin flag started whispering.
"Jasper, my love, how could you leave me? You promised that you would come home, you promised! I hate you for leaving me, I hate you!" She sobbed, pressing her tears into the flag.
Isabella felt something tickle her ear and heard: "We'll be together again, my love." It was Jasper's voice, she could have sworn he was right here. She whipped around, but no one was there.
Isabella whipped her head around looking for the source but there was nothing, she squeezed the necklace.
"Jasper?" She whispered hopelessly.
Esme and Carlisle found Isabella on the ground, shivering in the snow and vomiting. Carlisle picked her up with ease and ran back to his home, laying her down on the bed. He left and Esme changed her into some night clothes and left the room to let her rest.
"Carlisle do you think she will get better?" Esme asked, her voice thick with worry. "She's so heart broken."
"She will, just give her time." He glanced into the room where Isabella was sleeping fitfully. "You don't die from a broken heart." He paused, then added: "You only wish you could."
Two days later Carlisle had told Isabella that she was with child and Isabella couldn't be more happy. She had promised to stay healthy and take care of herself. He hadn't left her alone after all! She still had a piece of him, and she would never let anything hurt that. This baby was a living testimony of their love from one another. Isabella moved back to her home once Esme was sure she wasn't going to hurt herself.
It was nice to be home and find solace in the familiar rooms. However, Isabella always had the nagging feeling that she was being watched. The midwife that visited when Carlisle couldn't said she was just paranoid because of the baby. Isabella figured she must be right.
Every night for nine months she dreamed of Jasper, waking up every morning from the same sad dreams, bleeding every night from the same loose seams. Always whispering, "It was just a dream..."
Nine Months Later
Her baby was gone.
Her little Jasper.
Her little baby boy had looked just like him in his few moments of life, the only thing that was Isabella's in him was the color of his hair. As soon as she saw her baby boy she named him Jasper Jr. When she had looked into that little boy's eyes she had seen her future in them, and in those moments she had seen the light in his bright blue eyes dim, his little hand fall away from her finger, and watch as the last breathes left her baby boy forever.
For many days she stared at the wall. He was gone. There went her life. There went her future, her everything, on that day she kissed it all good-bye. He was her life. Isabella couldn't sleep at night, she couldn't eat, couldn't move. She fell very sick after the death of her baby. Carlisle and Esme tried to help her but she didn't want it, she didn't have the desire to live anymore.
Time passed, but the pain remained. It was raining hard outside, the clouds blotted out the blue sky in furls of angry black mist. Thunder boomed in the distance and lightning lit up the sky. Isabella zoned into the storm. It had been a month since the death of her child. She couldn't tak it anymore, she ran towards Jasper's grave sight. Barefoot and barely clothed, her long hair and thin dress clung to her body as she ran. Once she got there she fell skidded to her knees, the gravel tearing the soft skin of her knees and drawing blood.
"I can't take it Jasper, I can't live, I can't be happy. I tried, God I tried! I need you, I need you my love. I can't move on. Everything I love, everything that has made me happy has been taken away from me." She screamed hysterically, pounding her fists against his gravestone.
"Well, pretty little girl, I think I might be able to help you with that." A deep voice murmured into her ear making her shiver. Air colder than winter wind blew against her neck and she shuddered, frozen in place, too exhausted to be frightened, too broken to care who this was or what happened.
She felt lips trail up and down her neck before the person's teeth pierced her skin. Pain like nothing she had ever felt before ripped through her body. It was as if her skin her melting off of her bones. Her blood boiled, her heart pounded, her head throbbed. She wanted to scream, wanted to beg, to run, to get away from this person, but she couldn't. She was paralyzed by it and it seeped into every blood vessel in her body. It burned. It hurt. She was on fire on the inside. Everything around her turned black. Everything disappeared except the pain, oh the pain.
The man pulled away with a dark chuckle, leaving Isabella to die.
Here is my first try of a JasperxBella story. I hope you guys will give me a try and stay with me on this story! The songs for this chapter is Just a Dream by Carrie Underwood and I'm Already There by LoneStar. This was beta'd buy my good friend Taylor. So will you comment? Should I keep going? I want a least 10 comments before I add another chapter, so I know people will read it. Sorry guys, I need reassurance on this one. So press that button and let me know!