AN: This was my entry in The Never Ever Happily Ever After contest. It was middle of the pack in votes, so I'm happy with that. I'm not very good at writing utter heartbreak, but I sobbed my heart out while writing part of this.
Warning: Character Death
The Never Ever Happily Ever After Contest
Title: A Little Fall of Rain
Characters: Edward & Bella
Disclaimer: "Due to the nature of this contest, you may expect content such as character death,
adultery, abuse, illegal activities including drug use and underage drinking, etc."
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You're here, that's all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow
A Little Fall of Rain ~ Les Miserables
When I was twelve, the Cullens moved into the house across the street. Their daughter, Alice, immediately became my best friend and her older brother, my knight in shining armor. At fourteen, Edward Cullen was my first kiss. At fifteen, he was my first boyfriend. At sixteen, I gave him my virginity. We were soulmates and the closest of friends. Our futures were limitless, as long as we held each other close.
During our Senior year of high school, they found a cyst on one of my ovaries, which turned out to be malignant. I was too sick from chemo to walk down the aisle at graduation, but Edward stayed by my side through it all. He even shaved his beautiful copper hair when mine started to fall out. But in the end, we beat it, together.
Two years after I was pronounced cancer-free, the love of my life got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. My response was so joyous that even the Heavens heard me, loud and clear. We married in a small church in our tiny town and honeymooned in a secluded cabin that his parents owned in Aspen. It was beautiful and tranquil. Not gonna lie, we spent the majority of our time indoors, feeding the flames of our passion and making love all week.
One morning, shortly after we'd graduated from university, I'd woken to find my handsome husband watching me sleep. I covered my mouth and yawned, stretching slightly.
"Why are you watching me sleep, creeper?"
He chuckled and shook his head. "No real reason. I just woke up and you were there, peaceful and beautiful as always."
He reached out and tucked a few strands of hair behind my ear. If there was one thing that Edward Cullen was a pro at, it was making me melt. He was never lacking with compliments and tender words that always made me feel cherished and worthwhile.
I pulled his lips down to mine and kissed him softly.
"The next time I see Carlisle, I need to thank him for sharing his charm with you."
"Really, Bella? I never want to hear my father's name while I'm kissing you in bed again, okay?"
I bit my lip, just the way I knew turned him on and he growled, pouncing on me and tickling my sides. Soon, giggles turned into moans and tickling fingers began sensuously sliding against my skin. With my hands in his hair, he made love to me, fiercely but gently. An hour later, he threw on some clothes and went for his morning jog while I hopped in the shower and got ready for work.
Strangely enough, he hadn't returned by the the time I left, but I thought nothing of it. My happy morning whistling slowly turned to silence and a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach as the day moved on. I was in the middle of a meeting with a client when my secretary poked her head in the door, her face ashen. I jumped up quickly, apologizing to Mrs Danderfield across the table from me and strode over to the door.
"Heidi? What's wrong, sweetie?"
Her eyes were wide and filled with tears. "Mrs. Cullen, your father-in-law is on the phone."
Panic seized my chest and I swallowed thickly. "I'll take it in my office."
I padded quietly into the hall and down to my office. I slowly, hesitantly reached for the phone.
"Carlisle? Is everything alright?" I asked warily, dread rising in my heart.
I knew. Somehow, I knew what he was going to say even before the words left his mouth.
"Bella," his voice responded brokenly, choked with emotion. "There's been an accident."
One week later, we were burying my husband; the only man I'd ever loved in my life. A car had come out of nowhere and struck him from behind, killing him instantly.
Carlisle stayed on the phone with me that day until Alice arrived with her husband, Jasper. I cried in her arms for over an hour, before passing out. The next thing I knew, I was at home, lying in our bed, surrounded by his smell. I reached over and ran my hand across the pillow which still had the indentation of his head on it. A great sob heaved from chest and I felt bile rise in my throat. I barely made it to the bathroom before heaving the meager contents of my stomach into the toilet.
For the next few weeks, my chest ached constantly, as if a piece of my soul had gone missing, which was essentially true. I couldn't sleep, I could barely eat and my entire family was keeping a close eye on me in case I did something rash. Trust me, the thought crossed my mind a time or a hundred. Normally, the darkest of my thoughts would hit me late at night, when I would cry and hold onto his pillow tightly. My world was empty without him. I cursed God and every single deity I could think of for taking him away from me.
Two months after his death, I found out that I was pregnant. After my battle with cancer, we'd given up any hope of having a baby on our own. The thought of bearing his child was too much for me to handle. I broke down in the doctor's office and cried uncontrollably. I must've been in the same spot for almost an hour, before I felt warm arms wrap around me. Edward's mother, Esme, held me tightly and whispered in my ear that everything would be alright. I looked up into her warm green eyes, so much like her son's, and felt something kickstart my heart.
On the drive home, we talked about anything and everything. By the time we arrived back at my in-laws' house, the tightness in my chest loosened. This baby was a miracle and I needed to be strong, for their sake. Edward had left me a piece of himself before he moved on from this world. My anger at God lessened and my curses turned to whispered prayers of thanks. I didn't know how I was going to be able to raise his child without him, but I knew I would and I could. This child would be told every single day of their life how wonderful his or her father had been and how much a blessing they were.
I still cried myself to sleep each night, but I began taking better care of myself. I started pre-natal vitamins and eating healthier. It was easy for me to forget that Esme and Carlisle had lost their son and that Alice had lost her brother. My pain had swallowed me whole and I'd never looked past my own grief to see theirs. This child- this little miracle- effectively ended that. His parents and I became impossibly closer and they even managed to talk me into moving out of our small apartment and into their much larger house.
It may have been a bit morbid, but I moved into Edward's old room, feeling closer to him there. Sometimes, I would sit out in Esme's gardens and look up at the sky, just talking to him about our lives and how much I missed him. At my five month check up, with Esme beside me, we saw my son for the first time on an ultrasound. He was healthy and beautiful, his heart beating strongly.
The doctor's face suddenly turned white and she grimaced.
"What is it?" I asked anxiously. "What's wrong with him?"
She looked at me sadly and shook her head. "Nothing appears to be wrong with the baby, Bella, but-" She broke off and glanced back at the screen again.
"What? What is it? You're freaking me out here."
Her eyes glistened with tears. "I'm so, so sorry, Bella. There's a mass growing on one of your ovaries. It wasn't there the last time I checked you, so it's growing very quickly."
My heart started to beat furiously inside of my chest. "What- what does that mean?"
"It means that we'll run some tests and if they come back positive for cancer, which is a very good possibility considering your history, then we'll have to terminate the pregnancy and get you on chemo immediately. That would be the best course of action."
I didn't even realize that I was shaking until Esme wrapped me up in an embrace, gently rocking me back and forth. Tears streamed hotly down my cheeks and I shook my head.
"No, no, no," I sobbed. "Terminating this pregnancy is not an option. I can't do it. I can't kill my baby. I can't hurt Edward's son."
Dr. Jennings reached out and took my hands. She sighed and nodded. "I knew you'd say that. We'll still do all of the tests, but please think about this, Bella. If the mass is cancerous, it could kill you and the baby both."
"Then that's a chance that I'll have to take."
My entire body ached and my back was throbbing. I tried to roll my way off the couch, which caused Alice to giggle and step over to help me up.
"Here. Let me give you a hand, preggo."
I rolled my eyes and gave my friend a warm smile. EJ was due in two weeks and I was ready for this to be over. The plan was to start chemo a week after he was born and my body could have a chance to start healing. It was risky, but then again this whole situation was precarious. It didn't matter to me, so long as my son was healthy when he was born.
"Allie," I called out to her as she started to walk away.
She turned and gave me a smile. "What's wrong, babe?"
"Nothing, Al. I just- I need-" Tears stung my eyes and I bit my lip in frustration.
"Hey, shh, calm down. It's okay," she soothed me, wrapping her arms around my waist, as much as she could anyway.
"I think I'm in labor," I whispered as a sharp pain hit me square in the lower back.
Her eyes widened in excitement and she started to pull away. I held onto her firmly and looked into her dark blue eyes, which gazed back at me questioningly.
"If something happens, will you take care of my son?"
Her eyes filled with tears and she shook her head. "Don't say things like that, Isabella. Nothings going to happen to you, other than giving birth to this beautiful baby."
"Allie, please. I know you and Jazz have been trying and I know that's a heavy burden to ask, but-"
"Don't," she cut me off. "Don't say that.If something were to happen to you, taking care of my nephew wouldn't be a burden to me at all. It'd be an honor," she finished, tears choking her throat.
The next eight hours were the longest of my life. I was poked and prodded until it felt like there was nothing left to examine. Dr Jennings stood at the portable ultrasound machine and cursed under her breath.
"What is it?" I asked quietly, my throat dry and hoarse.
She looked up at me and shook her head slowly. "Damn it, Bella. It doesn't look good. The baby's fine, but your ovary looks like it's ready to burst. I think our best bet is to go in and remove him by Cesarean."
I swallowed and nodded, fear spiking through my system. I'd come to terms with the possibility that I wouldn't make it through this and made sure all of my affairs were in order, but I was still scared. As much as I'd wanted to curl up and die with Edward eight months ago, EJ had given me a reason to go on and pick myself up off the floor. It was indeed a cruel twist of fate, that I could lose my life now.
Esme came in to sit with me as the doctor made arrangements for an O.R. She swept my sweat-dampened hair from my forehead and fed me ice chips while we waited. She gazed down at me lovingly and my emotions finally broke the surface.
"I'm going to die, Esme," I whispered as tears streamed down my face.
"Hush, no," she replied soothingly, battling tears of her own.
"No, I'm being honest. It's weird, but I can feel it. It's my time. God held me here long enough to bring this baby to life. He's going to do great things, I'm sure of it. I- I wrote him a letter, it's on my bureau at home. Will you make sure that he gets it when he's old enough?"
She covered her mouth and let out a sob, leaning down to rest her head on mine.
"Oh, Bella please. Please hold on. I lost my son; I can't lose you, too."
"Esme, please let him know how much I loved him. Please let him know what a miracle he was. You'll do that for me, right?"
Her tears wet my hair even more than it was before and I could feel her nodding.
"I promise," she replied hoarsely, her voice still choked emotion. "He will be the most beloved child to ever exist. I swear to you, he'll know how wonderful his parents were and how much they loved him."
"Thank you, Esme."
Dr. Jennings walked back into the room, a grim countenance upon her face. She put on a comforting smile and nodded to Bella. "Alrighty then, ready to give birth to this beautiful boy?"
I nodded and hugged Esme tightly. "I love you, Esme. Don't worry too much, the rain will make the flowers grow."
She let out another gut-wrenching sob and squeezed me back. "I love you too, Bella."
An hour later, I heard my son's cry for the first time. A nurse placed him on my chest and I felt my world shift on its axis as I gazed into his perfect little face. I placed a kiss on his forehead.
"I love you, little man. Always know that," I whispered to him, hoping that his soul would feel the undeniable truth of my heart.
I started to feel cold seeping into my limbs as soon as the nurse took him from me to weigh and measure him. I started to shake and my head started to get fuzzy.
"Damn it!" Dr. Jennings called out. "She's bleeding out, I need more suction. Stay with me, Bella. Do you hear me?" she shouted.
It was too late. I could feel myself drifting away. I closed my eyes and let oblivion wash me under the waves. The last conscious thoughts in my mind were prayers for my son and his future.
The Seattle Times
April 12, 2011
Isabella Marie Cullen née Swan, 23, passed away two days ago after giving birth to her first and only child. A former resident of Forks, WA, Mrs. Cullen is survived by her father, Charles Swan and mother, Renee Dwyer, as well as her mother and father-in-law, Esme and Carlisle Cullen. Her husband, Edward Anthony Cullen was killed eight months ago in a tragic car accident.
A private viewing is to be held at Newton's Funeral Home on Thursday evening and the funeral will be held at St Luke's Church at 10 am on Friday, April 15th. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to be made in Isabella's name to the American Cancer Society.
AN: Uh, yeah, I feel like I just can't leave it like this, so I'll be writing a small, happy epilogue about Baby Cullen. Keep an eye out for it!
*snort* It's not much of a wonder why I didn't place at all in this contest. Never ever happily ever afters aren't really my style, lol!