1950

February 14th

Edward was sat next to a large window with stained glass adorning the top, gazing sightlessly out of it. He looked across the lawn, at Esme happily pruning a rosebush, with Carlisle watching her. Edward sighed, and threw the book he'd been holding roughly onto the topmost nesting table in front of him. He glanced briefly at the title, unaware as he had been as to what he'd been pretending to read. Nineteen Eighty-Four gazed back at him. He scoffed. Big Brother indeed. People would never allow anyone to watch their every move.

He knew today was going to be difficult. Valentine's Day had been hard for him every year (being the only unattached one in a house full of happy couples), and this year didn't stand to be any different. Watching Carlisle and Esme made it a little harder- the adoration etched clearly across his features was actually a little painful to watch. It highlighted an intense loneliness that he'd felt almost from the moment that Carlisle had found Esme. Carlisle had hoped it would get better once he brought Rosalie in to the family- he'd been wrong. She hadn't exactly made things worse, but once she found Emmett the loneliness returned with vigour. He wondered vaguely where the two of them were. He'd been trying desperately to block out their thoughts (disgusting as they could be) and he was not about to start listening in again now. He walked out of the library to hear Rosalie singing her way down the stairs.

"I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair, I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair, I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair and send him on his way…" Edward closed his eyes in exasperation. He was never, ever going to forgive Rogers or Hammerstein for that particular song. Emmett was trailing behind her. Edward smirked at the murderous expression on his face. He waited for Rosalie to be out of earshot, and then went over to Edward.

"Carlisle wouldn't mind if we killed the idiots that wrote that song, right? He has got to be as sick of it now as we are. He'd forgive us, I know it…" Emmett's mind was shouting- plotting the "accidental" murders of the two songwriters. Edward laughed.

"Tempting. Very tempting. However, you're forgetting one crucial detail- she already knows the song. Nothing we can do will change that." Emmett opened his mouth and closed it a few times, then sighed and pouted slightly in defeat. Edward laughed again, his mood lightened a little.

He followed the two of them downstairs, trying to think of something to do. Almost automatically, he drifted over to their white baby-grand piano in the parlour. He eyed it with the barest hint of distaste. He would never let Esme know he didn't like it, however he found it an eyesore. He couldn't imagine anybody actually wanting a white piano. The pitch was perfect, of course- it was a Steinway, after all- but the colour was truly ghastly. She'd had Carlisle call in a favour to get a white model made specifically for their house (moreover, specifically for Edward), so he daren't tell her. The sound was the important part anyway, even if the instrument itself was garish. He opened up the (matching) stool and withdrew some yellowing, handwritten leaves of paper. Looking at the slight disintegration of the paper, Edward thought that perhaps now was the time to search for a printed copy.

This particular piece was a favourite of his (the first of Chopin's Nocturnes) and of Carlisle's. He'd worked as a doctor in Paris from 1838 to around 1845; and towards the end had taken care of an ailing Chopin. Chopin could not afford to pay him, so Carlisle had accepted instead a handwritten copy of the opus 9 Nocturnes. Carlisle himself didn't play, but he could not allow the composer to die, and he would not allow Carlisle to treat him without payment. Edward rolled his eyes. Carlisle had met a great number of famous people during his time, and Edward couldn't help but feel extremely envious.

He spread the music out- not that he needed it, but it felt right having it there all the same- and sat down to play. Concentrating though he was on the sound of the music filling the room, he heard Esme's ecstatic thoughts drift in from the garden. She loved to hear him play. He'd been working on a composition to dedicate to her and Carlisle, but he wanted to practice when neither was around- and this was not at all often.

He finished the piece happily, in the best mood he had been for weeks. He gathered up the music and put it in the stool, and was just wondering about what to play next when Rosalie and Emmett walked past the doorway on their way upstairs.

"If a man don't understand you, if you fly on separate beams, waste no time…" Edward rolled his eyes, his mood sour again- not just because Rosalie reminded him of that irritating tune, but because he heard the tone of Emmett's thoughts and concluded he wanted to get out of the house, immediately.

He walked briskly out into the garden and was confronted with the image of Esme and Carlisle kissing passionately. Moving as silently as he could, he left the garden and headed for the street, unsure of where he wanted to go, but knowing almost anywhere was better than where he'd just left. He sighed. His intense dislike of Valentine's Day was bubbling inside him. That, and Rogers and Hammerstein were very good at writing songs you couldn't get out of your head, no matter how hard you tried.