Sorry it took so long.
Twilight belongs (to all of us) to Stephanie Meyer.
These words are mine.
Moment in Time: Part2: Bella
The doorknob is cold, so cold and unwelcoming. Not outside freezing February cold. Cold like no one has touched it, like no one lives here. She opens the door, and the air is still and stale and cold. Like no one has breathed it. Like there is no life inside. She drops her bags beside the door and walks over to the desk, setting down her keys. There is four days' worth of mail to go through. She makes her way to the sofa, looking around, spinning, her heart, her head. Nothing here belongs to her. There is nothing familiar to welcome her home.
She thinks…she thinks if she tries hard enough, she thinks if she squeezes her eyes closed tight enough, she will remember something. Something from before, something besides his eyes, something besides the sound of his heart breaking.
She doesn't remember how she got home. Whether she'd taken a cab or the train, she has no idea. She doesn't remember opening the front door, placing her keys on the desk, or dropping her bags on the floor. She doesn't remember the sense or the smell of this place where she lives. It has a foreign, unfamiliar scent that makes her feel even more detached than she already is. She is lightheaded and heavyhearted. Not real, like nothing is. She looks around, like a ghost caught between two worlds. She's either going to float away or maybe throw up. She's not sure. Reaching for the sofa, she sinks, hard, like a stone. Everything looks the same, but nothing feels right.
Pulling the phone out of her pocket, she can hardly bear to look. There are no new messages, no texts or missed calls. She knows already. There won't be anything but the sound of his heart. Her heart broken, only pieces left behind to be scattered or stepped on and ground into dust until nothing is left. Of her. Of him. Nothing , everything.
How long she's been sitting…how long she's not sure. It occurs to her that she should call him and let him know she's home. She sinks further into the sofa, not wanting to face this new reality that's not really new at all even though everything's different. She's not ready to hear his voice.
She texts him. I'm back.
She waits for his reply as she sits and stares at nothing.
The buzz of her phone reminds her where she is.
Welcome home B. I'll be late tonight, working a double. See you in the morning. But nothing feels right, nothing feels. She feels nothing but lost.
Then she remembers. Everything.
At least she has time now, hours until he is back. Hours to get used to everything that is new but really isn't. If she can. If she can't…She hasn't gotten that far. She looks at the floor. There are only crumbs and a pile of dust. She wonders if those are the pieces of their heart. She's careful not to step on them. Just in case.
Still wrapped in his hoodie, she holds it tightly around her body, as if it will protect her from this reality. His scent is still alive in its fibers, the fuel she needs to keep her heart beating, keep her breathing. She savors it. It's exhilarating and calming, familiar and it hurts; it fills her and holds her intact ...it is him.
All she wants to feel is this pain. This pain will hold her together until she can do it herself.
It was real. He belonged to her, in her heart. It's where he lives, where she keeps the love he gave her, in her heart. Each pump, each beat sends it flowing through her. It's so real, she can feel it, him.
She sits, looking at a pile of mail on the desk where she dropped her keys, the plants dried out and in need of water, the dishes still in the sink as if nothing has been touched since she's been gone; as if no one else lived here. She wishes that were true.
She will live in her heart, everything she needs is there. This is not her home.
She drags the suitcase into the bedroom and shoves it into the corner. Splashing her face with cold water in the bathroom, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Her eyes are red, so red and puffy. So red and angry so red and sad. She crawls into bed. The cotton is scratchy and the room full of hazy light filtering in through the blinds. She buries her nose in his hoodie that still smells so sweetly of him ignoring the stale odor, the unfamiliar smell of the house. She closes her eyes and she dreams heavy, lost in another world. The only world where she wants to be.
She doesn't remember how she got into bed, wrapped up in him, her boots still on. She doesn't remember falling asleep. Her dreams — dark colors, dark sounds and silence. She has no idea what time it is.
She dreams of his touch, the way his fingers coaxed her, his eyes and how they held her, his breath, his taste. His lips whispering sweet songs and promises. The sound of his heart and how it beat for her. His voice, his words. Their truth. It's no longer dark.
The sun is just starting to rise when he climbs into bed. She can feel his weight behind her as the mattress dips. He smells of beer and his clothes are heavy with smoke. She tries not to move. She stills her breath, her body, not to let him know that she is even aware of his presence.
He pulls the blanket around her and nestles into her. His breath is hot against her skin and she freezes. No. She feels the panic rise up from her belly. This is wrong. She needs to get out.
She doesn't know how to do this. She needs to do this, now.
"Welcome back B." His voice thick, his voice strange, strangled, unfamiliar, unknown, unwanted.
She rolls over, prepared to say anything. Unprepared for what she sees.
Wake up eyes. These eyes she wakes up to are not the clear ones she dreamed of. Instead they are not wanting, seeing only her. These eyes see nothing. They are full of nothing.
It's wrong. He doesn't fit anymore and she can't bear his touch.
She tries to move, to get up, to get out, but his grasp around her is tight and his eyes are sleepy and unfocused.
She tries again. "Hey, I don't feel well, let me up, please."
He moves closer, holds her tighter.
"Please, let me go. I'm gonna throw up."
His release is instant and she's in the bathroom before her stomach erupts and the emptiness comes pouring out of her. Over and over and nothing comes out because nothing is left inside. It's all she has left for him. She turns on the shower so he can't hear the heavy tears and gasping sobs. She forces herself into the shower. The water is hotsharp. The pain feels good and it allows her to focus on heartbreak and letting go.
Just let go.
She thought she would give it time. But she knows. She knew before she left, before her heart was full of someone else that it was time, that it was over. Now she needs time to find a way out.
By the time the water runs cold and her eyes are dry and her skin is red, he is asleep. She watches him toss and rumble in the blankets. There is no twinge in her belly, no tingle. There is nothing. She knows his hands will never touch her again, her heart will never feel full of him. It's not his fault, not hers really either. It just is and it's time to move on.
Her practicality surprises her. She feels detached. She is alone and numb. Between everything she felt a few hours ago and nothing. She needs time to sink and settle. She needs to be alone.
She dresses quickly.
She leaves him a note.
Even the gloves covering her hands don't prevent the cold from seeping in. She rests her head on the steering wheel of her car. It shakes as others speed by. She had been driving for at least an hour before she realized she wasn't going anywhere but away. She has nowhere to go. She has no plan. She just knows she wants out and away. She closes her eyes and wishes for an answer.
She slams the car door hard and walks through the parking lot with purpose. It's filled with cars and cars and piles of snow. All these cars belong to people who work here. She knows how big this company is that she works for.
How big. She could go anywhere. She could be anywhere but here.
Her body vibrates with the possibility that there may be an answer.
She pulls the door open hard, and a vacuum of heat sucks her into the building. Pulling off her gloves, her scarf, and her coat she walks through the lobby and she realizes what a mess she is, but right now she doesn't care. She's like a machine, her intention clear.
The elevator doors close behind her and she turns to press the button to the floor where her office is. Ten. She can't. She's pressed ten twice and each time he was waiting for her on the other side. He won't be there now or maybe even ever again. She sucks in all the air her lungs can handle, holds it, and slowly breathes it out. She will not let herself fall apart, not anymore, not now, not yet.
Besides, this has nothing to do with Edward. She's taking charge of her life, making changes that need to be made. She should have made them long ago. She knows it's time.
She also knows, deep in her heart, the bottom of her heart, this has everything to do with Edward.
The bell rings and the doors slide open. She stares at the tiled floor and the beige walls with no pictures.
She blinks her eyes to focus.
"Bella, what are you doing here? "
She blinks her eyes as the elevator doors slide closed.
She closes her eyes.
Other people. She's been so wrapped up in her head and her heart that she hasn't even considered the fact that other people actually exist.
The doors slide open.
"Are you okay? Bella, come here."
A warm hand pulls her out of the elevator. Warm eyes question her.
She forgot she'd have to talk to other people.
"Alice." She doesn't know how.
"Bella, look at me."
She does for a long time. She finally smiles, a little, and nods.
"My office?" A warm shoulder wraps around her leads her down the hall.
She's in shock sitting in her car, the parking lot almost empty. It's dark and cold and starting to snow. She wipes the tears from her cheeks and slowly makes her way back. Back to the house and to him to take care of unfinished business.
She didn't fall apart. She explained everything, almost everything, to Alice. They decided some time off would be good while the company looked for a new placement for her. She could easily transfer to another state, another country if she wanted. Alice said they'd do their best for her. Alice was a good friend, a good boss. She hopes she gets to see her again someday.
Pulling into the driveway, the house is dark. She assumes he's at work or out with his buddies. He could be sitting there waiting for her in the dark. That would be like him. Not knowing what to expect, she opens the door slowly. It's quiet. Too quiet. So quiet, she can feel the tension of him sitting in the chair, in the dark. His body hums but not to her. His hum fills the room, her ears, her head. She wants to make it stop. Now.
She turns on the light next to the sofa and looks at him. She sees him with her eyes wide open into her heart and feels lighter. She smiles inside, knowing what she is doing is right.
He pulls himself up straight from his slouch, never taking his eyes off her. Leaning forward, knees to elbows, knees bouncing, he sits up again. He knows.
"You know, I took the day off to spend with you." He's stoic but his eyes betray him— dark and angry, dark and sad, dark and empty of her.
She's not afraid of him. She's not afraid of anything anymore. "I'm sorry; I wasn't feeling well this morning."
This morning comes crashing back to her and almost knocks her down. She feels sick again. "I left you a note."
"What happened, Bella?"
He asks and she answers.
She talks and he doesn't hear.
He talks about nothing that matters.
She talks and he doesn't understand.
Still, he says nothing that means anything to her at all.
He stands, unmoving, unopen.
She looks him straight and hard without pity. "I'm going home. I don't want you anymore. I have to go."
He stares. Like he didn't see this coming.
"I'm done trying to make you happy." He steps toward her.
'"You never made me happy." She stops and realizes that this is true.
So does he.
He brushes past her.
He slams the door in her face.
And he doesn't come back.
And he doesn't come back.
And she's gone.
She has to pull over somewhere between the middle of flat and where she can see the mountains. It's not the weather and she's not tired, although she should be. She's not sad about leaving and she's not sad about where she's going. She's sad about what's going to happen after that. Because she doesn't know.
She holds her phone. She doesn't know if she should, if he'll ever see this. She doesn't expect an answer.
I don't know how to do this.
She listens to his heart breaking one more time.
She hits send.
Gasping and losing air, she finally lets her life collapse around her on the side of a highway. In the middle of nowhere she opens her heart and empties it of all the pain and sorrow and fear. She lets go of the past and the future leaving her only with now and now is empty, but now is all she can handle and empty is all she wants. Numb, no tingles, no soft touches, no sweet whispers to save her.
A truck speeds by her shaking her awake. The air slowly seeps into her lungs, her face tight and crusted from tears that have dried. Numb.
Pulling into her father's driveway, she realizes she doesn't remember anything about leaving. She barely thought. She barely ate. She drove and she's here, where she grew up. She feels relieved and almost home.
Her father comes out, takes one look at her and shakes his head. He doesn't say a word. He doesn't have to. He wraps her in his arms and takes her inside.
She sits in the kitchen and he makes her hot chocolate like he used to do when she was young and had a nightmare and couldn't go back to sleep. This is a lot like that.
He carries her bags upstairs to her old room. It's dusty but not much has changed except herself and a world within her heart that never existed before.
The shower is soft, hot rain that washes the past week off her skin. She's exhausted in her bones like she may crumble but at least she feels clean. She sleeps long and hard and she doesn't dream of anything at all.
She's been here almost two weeks. She thinks about time and how fast it goes, how little of it there is, how much has happened since she lost track of it.
She sleeps, she eats, and she's almost strong enough to face the decisions she has to make. She wanders the woods like she used to when she was younger. Getting lost, distracted, thinking of nothing and everything without even knowing it.
Sitting by the creek she watches the water pass slowly and gracefully. It's quiet and gentle and it settles her heart.
She feels a buzz next to her hip.
Her heart. She knows it's not him. But she hopes.
She calls Alice the next day to thank her. She's been offered two different jobs. One is across the ocean and the other close to her father. And while far, far away seems so very tempting, her choice is already made. She still needs to be close to familiar, to safe, to home.
She wanders the woods one last time. She leaves in the morning. She's ready to find a new life. She's ready to keep it small, inside herself, until she gets used to the rest of the world outside herself again.
She settles against a tree, the phone in her pocket. It doesn't buzz or ring or vibrate except when Alice calls.
She pulls it out and rubs her thumb across the only message she now has saved. She can't listen to it anymore. She knows it by heart. Her heart.
She can't hold onto his pain anymore. She can't hold on to him. She doesn't want to let go but she knows down deeper than her soul that he will find her when and if he ever can.
"I love you, Edward." She whispers so softly hoping the wind will carry it to wherever he is.
Closing her eyes she takes a deep breath and hits delete.
Thank you to 22bluefic and LovelyBrutal and askthemagiceightball
Sarah, no matter where you are, you are always part of my heart and my words. I could do none of this without you, ever.
Part 3, Edward…coming soon.
Thanks for reading.
Love with all your heart …for Giselle