AN: Here is the prologue that I donated to Fandom4Storms. The rest of this fic has been removed so I can work on it. I didn't want to take the whole thing down because the reviews mean a lot to me.
Home. American soil.
I honestly believed I would not see the day that I returned back to Chicago. There was a time when I thought I would be forever lost, continually trying to find my way. These past months have been brutal, not only for me, but also for the rest of the world included. I've seen death and destruction on a major scale; a scale that you cannot comprehend unless you witness it first-hand. I've lost so many friends and loved ones in such a short period of time.
War is such a waste of life. I cannot believe I was foolish enough to believe the excitement and propaganda.
There is no glory in war.
My thoughts and memories managed to keep me company during my journey, knowing that one day I would fulfil my promise and return to my wife. My Bella.
I believe that she is the reason that I am still alive. She is the reason why I could not give up hope when all hope seemed to be lost to me. I could not let her down.
One of the most important memories I held onto was that of our wedding day. She looked so beautiful walking down the aisle by her father's side. I had never gotten over the thrill of her wanting to be with me for the rest of my life. The day she became my wife was the happiest of my existence.
I find myself standing in front of my childhood home, the home that was left to us when my parents passed away from the Spanish Influenza all those months ago. I notice that there are no longer any flowers growing around the border of the garden and the grass is overgrown.
I choose to ignore this; there are more important things to life than having a perfect garden.
Hastily, I turn the door knob on the front door, but it does not open. I peer through the window to see that the furniture has been covered up with white sheets.
There is no trace of life here.
Where is she?
I practically run to the house next door; her parent's home. If she has not been staying in our home, then that is where she must be, I conclude.
I approach the house with the picket fence that hopefully conceals my beloved.
I know she will be happy to see me. I know I cannot wait to hold her in my arms again.
I am apprehensive, however. Our communication stopped abruptly. I hope she will not be angry with me for this. I did not have a choice at the time. It'll be okay, I tell myself. I will have to make her understand while hiding the harsh realities of war from her.
I stand at the door, take a deep breath to calm my growing nerves, and gently rap my knuckles on the wooden frame.
Mrs. Swan, Isabella's mother, answers the door.
"Oh my," I hear her murmur as she raises a hand to cover her shocked mouth.
"Ma'am," I reply.
She moves aside to let me in.
"I don't believe it," I hear Mr. Swan say as he walks down the stair case. "Edward?"
"Sir," I respond in greeting.
He walks down the last step. I offer him my hand to shake, but instead he pulls me into a tight embrace. When he releases me, I look at him to see a tear in his eye.
I quickly avert my gaze. I do not wish to make him feel uncomfortable in his own home.
"Would you be able to tell me where Isabella is?" I ask. I am eager to see my wife.
"Son, she is currently indisposed," my father-in-law informs me.
"I can wait," I reply. It is all I've been doing up until now anyway. A few more moments makes no difference to me.
I hear a musical laugh coming from the sitting room. I would know that sound anywhere.
I head towards it.
"Edward, wait," my father-in-law tries to stop me.
I should have paid attention to Mr. Swan.
I enter the room, almost bubbling with excitement and longing for my beloved.
Bella looks at me as I make my presence known. The cup she was holding has now fallen to the floor and has smashed to pieces.
"Edward..." she whispers, looking as if she has seen a ghost. I suppose in a way she has.
I notice that we are not alone in this room. Sitting beside my wife is another man, an injured man... my cousin. I can see that he has lost a leg during his time in the war.
We were sent at different times, though we were both eager to be on the front line. He went first, I was sent soon after. We were a part of the same infantry, the 131st Regiment Company, and we were both stationed in the 33rd division. I was sent to replace those that had already lost their lives.
He looks too comfortable sitting next to her. It looks as if I have walked in on something.
"What are you doing here?" I ask curtly.
Bella remains quiet. I can see she is in shock.
I hear the approach of Mr. and Mrs. Swan behind me.
"Edward." Mr. Swan breaks the silence. "She was told you were dead. We all believed it."
Bella's companion finally speaks up.
"Edward? You're alive..."
I turn to face him. I can feel myself becoming increasingly angry.
"What do you think you are doing with my wife?" I demand to be told.
"I am sorry, but we developed feelings towards one another... we are courting, Edward."
I cannot believe it. She wouldn't.
"No, not him," I say as I turn to look at her.
Tears are running down her face. I start to walk over to her to offer her my comfort. However, before I can, he gives her his handkerchief, rendering me unnecessary.
"Son," I turn back to look at my father-in-law. "We appreciate you stopping by, but perhaps Isabella could get in contact with you."
I can see I am no longer wanted.
And with that, the hope I had clung on to was for nought. Perhaps it would have been better for all if I had died on the battle field after all.
What am I to do without my Bella?
I hastily make my retreat.