Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight Characters. This story is really long so I'll load ten chapters at a time.

Life is Bitter

1

In the realm of teenagers, what is acceptable narrows to an almost chokehold standard. Even those who profess to be on the fringe, or rebels if you will, do so only in the bounds of their assigned sub social peer group. It is not so much about finding who you are as it is about fitting in and being accepted. It is the age old call of our DNA to procreate.

But what if you truly, absolutely, without fear of consequences didn't care to fit in; if you felt such a pull to be who you are that not even parental disapproval altered your actions. Could you make it through the 'difficult' teenage years without succumbing to the pressure to be someone you are not?

I was willing to try.

My mother, Renee, was the ultimate conformer. She was what most people called a late bloomer. Her social skills hit an all-time high when she was stuck in a small town with a toddler to interfere with her desire to play. The only reasonable thing to do was move to a bigger playground.

She waited patiently for me to get old enough to play with her, but playing was not my thing. I didn't need a boy to tell me lies so I could look in the mirror and see the person I wanted to be instead of the person I was. She drug me to tanning salons so they could spray paint my body in an attempt to fit in with the Arizona norm of tanned, outdoors loving, sun worshipers. I just turned orange.

She eventually found a man who wanted her outside of the bedroom as much as inside. He was younger, with a mommy complex, but had a rockin' body and buddies who saw his conquest of an older woman as some kind of trophy. I couldn't ruin it for her.

Those were her words not mine.

My father, Charlie, was a big fish in a small pond; the Chief of Police for the small town of Forks, Washington. He was angry, angry that he didn't get to make huge life altering arrests. He picked up underage minors drinking at a local fishing hole, the occasional drunk threatening to teach his wife and thing or two with his fists, and kept his eyes out for missing dogs.

Speeders were not even a problem in Forks. With the logging trucks, crawling through town, patience was something everyone learned early. They moved at a constant pace clearing the dense forest as if some hidden Atlantis existed 'out there' to save us all from the monotony that was Forks.

He was angry my mother took me to Phoenix at the age of two. It was easier to stay angry than to admit he missed us. When I came to live with him my senior year he didn't know what to do with all the anger, so he spent most of his time with his girlfriend. He wasn't aware I knew he wasn't really working, even I could see Forks wasn't in need of police protection to such a degree.

Being away from the house equaled being away from me.

School was, what is the correct word… unnecessary. I couldn't stand being taught subjective facts about people long dead, who educators deem relevant only because of manufactured curriculums. I happen to know for a fact I will never use calculus or need to know who invented the cotton gin.

I was the new freak, the cop's kid which put me in the same category as the preacher's kid. I wasn't athletic, I couldn't sing or play a band instrument, I wasn't cheerleader quality, and unfortunately didn't do drugs so I couldn't even fit in with the stoners. The entire student body was intent on just ignoring me.

I am a straight A student simply because there are twenty-four hours in a day. Time moves slowly in Forks, but just like everywhere else in the world, it is the bulk of sand in the hour glass, not the single grains, that people concentrated on.

I decided to become a single grain, remove myself from the whole, and drop unnoticed to the other end of the hourglass. Today would be my last day.

It's raining; of course it is… this is Washington. I pulled my old truck into the far end of the school lot so I don't disturb the pecking order of the students with more acceptable vehicles. I put my back pack over my head and made a run for the door, only to end up on my behind with my books scattered everywhere. This day could not get any worse.

I had math first hour and Jessica Stanley made it a point to sit by me. She was on the top rung of the social ladder but needed someone she could talk at who would not interrupt her narcissistic ramblings, and of course cheat off of too.

Towards the end of class the teacher passed out a pop quiz. Jessica scooted her desk closer to mine and I turned to look at her. She smiled and nodded as if we were long lost buddies. I raised my hand and asked to go to the nurse's office. Jessica swallowed hard and narrowed her eyes at me in irritation.

"Can Jessica walk with me, I feel very faint?" I added.

When the door shut behind us I turned to face a jubilant Jessica, "I suggest you study tonight." I walked away leaving her standing there incredulous that I didn't savor every second of her attempt to pull me into her valuable network of worthy friends. I couldn't imagine ever wanting to be a Jessica Stanley.

I headed to my next class and sat outside the door, finally determining I wouldn't attend second or third hour, I went to my truck. I pulled out my art book and drew absent mindedly.

Fourth hour was English; I totally ignored the teacher and read my old copy of Jude the Obscure. I could relate to Jude, a misfit born into the wrong circumstances. But unlike Jude I wasn't held back by my desire to become more than I was. I didn't let my feelings for someone else hold me back.

When the bell rang I headed to the cafeteria. I had my own table where I sat with my back to the room of desperation. Lunch was a societal minefield. It was where teenagers fought for dominance, preening and molding, hoping their mating calls would be answered by someone acceptable, and pushing down the desires of the unacceptable back into the recesses of the room. It was something too disgusting to watch.

I picked at my food, cafeteria slop, equally divided by the asinine, antiquated food pyramid for our health and well-being. I would give anything for a pop tart right now.

When the crowd began noisily exiting the large room I let out a loud sigh. Biology was next and it was tortuous, not due to the subject matter, but due to a certain hateful young man, Edward Cullen.

He was gorgeous and made my body react in ways that made me want to shape shift into a rabbit or something else that mated constantly. He was the rare exception to the rule, girls find a personality more attractive than great looks. I was angry that I even considered attending biology today. I guess it was my hormones desiring one last lustful look.

He was already at our table when I entered the room. Without even looking up he began scooting to the far edge, away from my chair. Jerk..., glorious, beautiful, infuriating, jerk.

I wasn't intimidated today; I sat loudly into my chair and turned to look at him. His face turned slowly and I could see the beginning of a scowl forming. I let my own face screw up into a disgusted glower.

"We have a lab today," he spat and then quickly turned his eyes away from my stare.

"I suppose you are going to do it all yourself, as usual."

He simply nodded.

"Then, bye," I retorted as I stood to leave.

"Sit down, Miss Swan," Mr. Banner instructed.

I sat harshly and folded my hands over my chest in anger. I heard Edward let out a deep breath he must have been holding as he pushed the paper towards me.

"Oh lucky me, I get to be your scribe," I hissed at him.

"There is nothing I would like more than to do the assignment by myself, so feel free to do your own work," he spoke severely under his breath.

I grabbed the paper he offered and began filling out the questions. Luckily it was a lab I had done in Phoenix so I wasn't completely clueless. Edward raised his hand for another paper and began doing his own work. We both kept our heads down and scribbled furiously as if we were in some sort of exclusive race.

He won.

After finishing his paper he stood and gathered his books and stormed from the room. I finished not too far behind him and left also.

Art was next and it was the only class I truly enjoyed. But it was art theory today and I wasn't about to sit and watch the movie version of The Girl with the Pearl Earring. Vermeer would role over in his grave at the bastardization of his piece of work. Last was P.E.; the public school systems answer to the McDonald's dollar menu. I headed home.

I decided to cook up everything in the house. I could at least do Charlie the favor of having decent meals to unthaw. When I was almost finished filling the freezer the police cruiser pulled up outside. Dad nodded towards me, my 'I'm home' greeting and went upstairs to change. On the way up he hung his holster on the coat rack, just as I hoped he would.

"I'm going bowling and grab a few beers with Billy and Harry," he mumbled.

The criminal element of Forks must be taking a day off. Without waiting for a response he headed out the front door.

I took a bath, then washed my dirty laundry and folded it into my drawers. It was almost midnight when I heard my dad come home and head right to his room. Within minutes I could hear his loud snoring. I threw on a thick sweatshirt and tiptoed down the stairs.

So here I am, sitting in the woods in the middle of the night with my father's service revolver in my hand. I have no regrets and I doubt I will be anything more than a small article in the back pages of the Fork's newspaper. Just an inconsequential grain of sand.

I placed the gun to my right temple and pulled the trigger.

I didn't hear anything. I didn't feel anything, which gave me a small amount of comfort. I was hoping it would be over quickly without lots of pain. It was cowardly of me, I know, but I was waiting for the sad moaning of lost souls, the hideous dead coming forth out of the shadows to escort me to hell. I waited; listening to my own breathing, hoping beyond hope death wasn't eternal nothingness.

I decided to try opening my eyes but a blinding light was making it impossible. I didn't need to 'walk to the light' because it was everywhere; I was basking in it unable to shelter my sensitive eyes to its blinding rays. I blinked several times trying to grow accustom to the incredible light when I felt a hand reach out for me causing me to jump. I squinted enough to see it was a woman, but I did not recognize her.

"Are you God?" I asked as she took hold of my hand.

She chuckled lightly and answered, "No, my name is Elizabeth Masen. She pulled me up and I could now see her face more clearly. Her gentle smile calmed me. "I would like to talk to you, Bella."

"How do you know who I am?" I couldn't remember passing through any pearly gates, checking my name in the book of the dead.

"I have been waiting a long time for you." Her eyes suddenly looked very sad. "Bella, I need your help to save my son."

"Who is your son?" I noticed we were now walking. I don't remember moving my feet, but we were walking arm in arm. She was the most beautiful woman I had even seen and I felt warm and safe.

"Edward Cullen."

"Edward?" I asked in astonishment. "He hates me. I think you want someone else to help you." I looked around and couldn't see anything, just beautiful light everywhere. "Where am I?"

"You are with me, dear. There is nothing to fear." She had a musical voice and I wanted to stay with her forever.

"Are you an Angel?" I finally asked.

"Something like that," she laughed as she wrapped her arm around me and I felt….happiness. I didn't recognize it at first because it had been so long since I felt that emotion.

"I am going to tell you many things," she began. "Don't worry about remembering what I say. You will have perfect recall when you need it."

I looked at the ground; at least I think it was the ground. It was just more of the same bright light. "I don't want to go back," I whispered. I couldn't imagine going back after experiencing such peace. It would physically hurt to return to the suffocating green and the gauche plaid of the continental northwest.

She sighed at me as if she understood. "Everything is going to be different, Bella. You are going back to your destiny."

"But I'm dead!" I was desperate to point out any reason to remain here with her. How could I go back if I was already dead and speaking with an Angel? I remembered hearing the story of Lazarus from the Bible as a child. I was pretty sure neither Charlie nor Renee would have a personal relationship with the Son of God.

"Sweetheart," she said kindly. "You have a special mission to fulfill; it is not time for you to come here."

I couldn't help but believe her. She was so beautiful and I wanted to please her, but if I had a destiny, things would definitely have to change. Maybe I was going to become somebody else. Please don't let it be one of the cookie cutter girls I despised so much. I didn't want to fit in and conform to the popular and shallow.

Then, I remembered she needed help with her son, Edward Cullen. Maybe this was hell after all. If my destiny was intertwined with his I would rather go back as an insect, something that would irritate him constantly…..he would just squash me.

"You agreed to this mission long ago, Bella. I have waited for you to reach this point, to come to me, so I could lead you to your path." Her smile was breathtaking and there was no way I could disappoint her. Whatever she needed me to do I was game.

She began to unfold the details of Edward's life…..

I woke up to my alarm blasting some awful techno music. Where was the heavenly choir I was expecting? I gasped when I found myself in my bed, back in my father's house. I looked around the room in a panic for his gun. I ran down the stairs and saw his gun belt still on the hook, gun in the holster.

Was it all a dream? I thought back to what I experienced. It seemed ridiculous in the light of day, like I would really have an assignment to fulfill from a beautiful angel. I guess the only way to tell if it was real would be to do it and see what happened. That would surely tell me if it was all a dream.

I dressed quickly and threw my laptop into my backpack. I parked in my usual spot far from the nicer cars. As I began my trek across the parking lot I noticed the Cullens pull up. I stopped and stared as they got out of their cars.

Just from my observation I could tell there was something otherworldly about them. Why didn't I notice that before? Their movements alone didn't seem natural. I guess when peers are that beautiful you try not to notice them too much.

Alice was tiny but moved like a skilled dancer. She was graceful and elegant in her petite frame. Jasper was the epitome of calm. He seemed perfectly still in contrast to Alice's hyper, bubbly personality.

Emmett was a mountain, his arms the size of most people's waists. His size didn't match his features, which were open and friendly. He wore an almost constant smile with two very deep dimples. But his size was so overwhelming it made him unapproachable, or maybe it was the woman on his arm that made him so scary.

Rosalie was tall and absolutely stunning. How could she be my same gender? The genetic pool was a very stingy place from which to swim. She was superior in every way and her demeanor left no doubt that inferior people were not to come near.

Edward was gorgeous, tall, and confident, like he stepped out of GQ. He didn't associate with anyone other than his brothers and sisters. Some kids called him arrogant but I think he is just plain mean. Maybe I should feel special that he took the time to harass me, but since it was my spiritual mission to save him, I would feel a lot better if he was the one feeling special.

I thought I would be nervous today, but I wasn't. Either it was all a dream, and I would go into the woods tonight and do it for real, or this was my destiny and I would stay to face it, regardless of the undesirable subject.

When it came time for biology I arrived early and set up my laptop. I went to the website Elizabeth had requested and made sure Edward could see my screen. Then I waited.

He walked in and noticed me sitting at our table. He scowled at me as usual and moved as far away from me as our small table allowed. I gathered my courage and turned to look at him, "Good morning," I said, trying to sound friendly.

When he finally met my gaze, saying nothing in return, I rolled my eyes and turned away. I could feel his cold stare continue, so I began flipping through the website. When Mr. Banner arrived I closed the computer and stole a sideways glance at Edward. He was still staring at the laptop and I couldn't help the small smile threatening to spread on my face.

We didn't have to work as partners today, to my relief, but I could tell Edward was very agitated. As soon as the bell rang he usually grabbed his stuff and left. Today he hesitated. I began putting my stuff in my backpack when he finally spoke.

"Bella, are you working on a report about life in early 20th century Chicago?"

I feigned a shocked expression and answered. "No, not at all." At least it was the truth.

I grabbed my backpack and left. He remained at his seat for a few seconds and then stormed out in front of me. Why did nobody notice how quickly he moved?

When lunch came around I sat at my usual table, alone, only this time I sat with my back to the rest of the students so my laptop was on display. I opened up a screen about the Spanish influenza outbreak in the early 1900's.

I acted like I was fully engrossed in the subject throughout the entire lunch period. When the bell rang I put my stuff away and turned to see Edward standing by his table. He was staring daggers into me as the rest of his family looked away uncomfortably. I smiled and nodded at him. He turned toward the closest exit to the parking lot and left school for the rest of the day.

When I stopped at my locker I noticed his sister, Alice, looking at me. She acted like she wanted to say something but Jasper pulled on her arm and they left to class.

I can't say I understand how any of this pertains to my destiny but it was enough to convince me Elizabeth Masen was not just a dream. I could hardly wait for school tomorrow.

Today the Cullens were already in the parking lot when I arrived. Edward was standing by his car arguing with his brother Emmett. When I passed them he stopped speaking and turned to glare at me. The words 'pretentious ass' sprang to mind.

I squared my shoulders and refused to be intimidated. I matched his glare until Emmett finally broke into a huge grin, it was contagious and I couldn't help but smile in return. Edward was not amused and I thought I actually heard him growl.

When he arrived in biology he looked directly at my laptop before he sat down. He let out a small gasp and quickly tried to cover it with a cough. I left up the website about the phenomenon of reading other peoples thoughts and pretended to take notes.

Edward sat down and turned to me. "Do you actually believe that stuff?"

This was new, two days in a row Edward spoke to me without the direct instruction from the teacher to do so. It wasn't the friendly conversation most lab partners were able to engage in, but it was something different at least.

I reached out and closed the laptop. "I don't know what you're talking about," I insisted.

We didn't speak again and luckily we didn't have a lab to work on either. When the bell rang I looked at Edward. He opened his mouth, as if to speak, but closed it quickly and left.

Elizabeth you rock! I never felt so powerful in my life.

At lunch I sat the same way as the day before. This time I had information about clairvoyants who could see the future on my screen. When the bell rang all the Cullens were staring at me and appeared to be speaking to each other under their breath.

Buoyed by newfound poise I walked right past their table staring just like they were, until I got to Rosalie. I quickly looked the other way and hurried out the door.

During art I hid out in the library, today's movie was Rocky. How that related to sculpture was beyond my comprehension. I sat with my lap top open again. I had a site up about the civil war and noticed Alice standing behind me. I was shocked when she came to the other side of my table and sat down.

"Bella, is it?"

"Yes." I was trying not to gawk at her but she was even prettier up close.

"My name is Alice." She extended her hand and I shook it without reacting to her cold skin.

"It's nice to meet you, Alice." I tried to sound totally normal.

"I don't really know too much about you Bella," she smiled. "Can I ask you a few questions?"

"Sure," I stammered. "But I am really not that interesting."

"Oh, I find you extremely interesting," she said as she eyed me suspiciously. "Where are you from?"

"Phoenix." I decided to keep my answers as short as possible.

"How old are you?"

"Eighteen."

"What do you do for fun?" She was beginning to get a little irritated with me.

I was frantically trying to remember what Elizabeth told me about Alice when it hit me.

"I like to draw….um….and I like to shop."

She jumped to her feet and squealed. "I just knew we were going to be great friends. We need to plan a shopping trip as soon as possible."

"Sure," I tried to sound enthusiastic so she wouldn't see through my ruse. There was nothing I would dread more than shopping with a shop-a-holic. I was more of the hunter type than the gatherer type.

Alice looked up to see Edward walk into the library. "Well, Bella I have to run but we will get together soon," she promised.

Edward stood by the door and glared at me after Alice walked away. I went back to my computer and pulled up the next website. It was on how to survive a bear attack.

After school, I walked to my truck and noticed Emmett and Rosalie watching me. Those two were the most intimidating of all. I felt goose bumps down both arms as I walked past them. When I got in the driver's seat I adjusted my mirror and saw Edward standing with them, all still staring in my direction.

I ate dinner alone, as usual, and then went to my room. I was too nervous to watch any television so I decided to draw. I wanted something tangible of my time with Elizabeth Masen, so I decided to sketch her.

I used charcoal and tried to capture everything I could remember about her beautiful face. When I finally got it just right I placed the picture in the pages of my English book. I didn't have any of the Cullens in my English class and sat at a table by myself. I would be able to look at her face all hour if I wanted.

The next day I arrived before any of the Cullens. School dragged by, as everything usually did in Forks. I was shaking as I entered biology. Today would be quite obvious and I wasn't sure how Edward would react.

I opened my laptop and went to a site on Vampirism. I didn't hear him come up behind me. The next thing I knew he was pulling out his chair to sit. I looked over at him and couldn't read his expression at all. He almost looked defeated.

He stared back at me with such a sad expression I didn't know what to do. I hurried and closed my lap top and felt my face turn bright red. Edward lowered his head and started running his hands through his hair.

Mr. Banner brought in a projector with a movie for us to watch. He placed it on our table and asked Edward and me to move. I pulled my chair on the opposite side of the room from where he was, so I could continue to watch him. He persistently had his head down throughout the entire movie.

I was beginning to feel sorry for him. Maybe he was as messed up as his mother thought. I wanted to say something to ease his mind but nothing sounded soothing. It would seem rather creepy if I explained what was going on.

When class ended I had to wait for everyone to clear out before making my way back to my table. Mr. Banner was putting the projector away so Edward and I stood quietly until he moved. Neither of us spoke, or even looked at each other for that matter.

I quickly grabbed my backpack, which was unzipped, and my things flew out all over the floor. I closed my eyes in frustration and exhaled loudly.

Edward bent down to help me pick up my books and reached under the table to retrieve some paper. When I saw his hand I gasped. I tried to grab the paper but he was too quick. He stared down at the face of Elizabeth Masen.

His eyes flashed with rage as he reached out and grabbed me by the arm. "Come with me this instant, Bella," he demanded as he pulled me from the classroom.

"Edward, I promise I will come with you, just stop pulling my arm."

He let up a bit, but continued dragging me toward the parking lot. "Where are we going?" I asked.

He opened his car door and demanded, "Get in."

I sat as quickly as I could and the next thing I knew he was in the driver's seat. I looked to see if my door was closed since he was just standing next to me a moment earlier.

The tires squealed as he tore out of the parking lot.

"Edward, where are you taking me?" I asked with a shaky voice.

"Don't speak," he insisted. His hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly I thought it was going to snap in two.

He drove out of town and turned onto a narrow winding road. He never let up on the speed and I finally closed my eyes out of fear. I was sure we were going to end up wrapped around a tree.

When the car stopped I opened my eyes just as Edward opened my car door. He reached in and took hold of my arm pulling me like a rag doll out of the car.

"Edward, you're hurting me," I complained.

He finally let go and motioned for me to walk through the front door. I stopped after entering the beautiful home. The décor was exquisite and I stood perfectly still gawking at my surroundings. I felt him put his hand on my back to guide me into the dining room.

He pulled out a chair and gestured for me to sit. As soon as I sat down two people entered the room. I knew who they were, although I had never seen them before. Elizabeth told me about the young doctor who changed her son.

"Edward?" The man spoke looking a little concerned.

Without speaking Edward motioned for them to sit across from me. When they both sat down he slammed the picture of Elizabeth on the table and looked at me. "Explain this to me."

"Edward?" the woman gasped. "Please calm down."

"Carlisle, Esme, I am tired of sitting back, saying nothing, while this…this… child plays with my life. I want answers."

They both looked at the picture and their eyes wandered to a small photograph sitting on a shelf of the same face.

"Bella," the man began speaking to me calmly, "do you know who this is?"

I nodded and said, "Elizabeth Masen."

"How do you know Elizabeth?" he pressed.

"She asked me to help her save Edward."

The woman gasped and covered her mouth. Edward let out a loud roar until Carlisle raised his hand to stop him.

"Elizabeth Masen is dead. She died many years ago," Carlisle stated while giving me a disapproving look.

I took a deep breath. "I know this is going to sound crazy but on Monday night I went into the woods and shot myself in the head." I noticed Edward froze. "I am not afraid to share this with you because as far as I'm concerned I should be dead right now. I am not afraid of any of you either. You won't hurt me."

Edward flinched at those words. Carlisle looked at Esme and then asked, "Why would you be afraid of us, Bella?"

"I know what you are," I stated, trying to sound as brave as I was pretending to be.

"Exactly what do you think you know, Bella?" Edward commanded.

I looked directly into his eyes. I could tell he was very afraid but was trying to remain calm. "You don't have to worry, I won't tell anyone."

"Tell anyone what?" he asked through clenched teeth.

"That you're a vampire."

His eyes widened. "What…a…what makes you think that?"

I rolled my eyes at him and turned back to Carlisle and Esme. "Elizabeth said to tell you that she is not upset with you, Carlisle. She begged you to save her son because she knew there was something different about you. She saw you moving one night at a speed that could not be…human. She thought you were an angel," I added with a smile.

Carlisle sat back in his chair stunned, as if he had been kicked in the chest. I turned to Esme, "Elizabeth said to tell you thank you for loving Edward so much. She said she could not have chosen a better mother for him and she is very grateful."

Esme looked as if she was going to cry but no tears came. I wasn't sure if she was actually able to cry, but I could tell she was someone with a tender heart.

Edward began to shake as he slowly turned towards me. The next thing I knew I was up against the wall about two feet off the floor. Edward was growling ferociously in my face. His eyes were coal black and he looked completely out of his mind.

"EDWARD!" Carlisle's scream shook the windows. "Get control of yourself or leave this room immediately."

Edward instantly let go of my arms and moved across the room. I began rubbing the bruises that were already starting to form as Esme motioned for me to sit again.

"I apologize for Edward." She looked at him disapprovingly. "What did Elizabeth want?" she asked in her beautiful voice.

I looked worriedly at Edward and whispered. "She wants me to go away with him."

At that moment the other Cullens walked into the room. I didn't hear any cars pull up but Alice stepped forward and handed me the key to my truck.

I looked accusingly at Edward and took it from her. They all retreated to the doorway of the dining room to watch everything unfold.

"Look," I finally began, "I didn't ask for this. Elizabeth said Edward has lost his humanity. She said he is just existing but not really living….sorry about the pun," I added as my voice fell off.

I turned my attention to Edward. "She is very proud of your control but you have placed that above everything else. She wants you to know you do have a part in the earth's plan…..she didn't tell me what it is, but she did say how you live and the choices you make are important."

Edward began shaking his head back and forth before I could even finish. "Fine, don't believe me, but I shot a bullet through my head and your dead mother sent me back to save you. I think that trumps whatever notions you have about your existence."

My bravado was becoming more real so I continued. "She knows you haven't always been so….controlled. She said to remind you from the ages of two to four you would bite your cousin, Albert, every time you played with him."

Emmett erupted in laughter until Esme gave him a warning look.

"The point is you grew out of it. You learned and matured just like you did in this… life."

I stood up and walked toward Edward. "If you don't believe me go ahead and ask me anything. I will prove it to you."

He looked at Carlisle and then back at me. "How old am I?"

"You were born in 1901 in Chicago. You were an only child because your mother suffered many miscarriages." I now turned to Esme, "She apologizes for Edward being so spoiled and so stubborn, but she did indulge him as a child."

Laughter again broke out in the doorway and this time I saw Rosalie smack Emmett on the back of the head.

"I don't know what it means for me if you refuse to do what she asks, Edward." I waited for him to look at me before I continued. "I don't know if it means I go back to being dead, or if life continues on from this moment. Either way I don't care. It is up to you."

"What does she want me to do?" he asked with a disgusted look on his face.

"You are supposed to go with me to your family's island… alone."

He laughed nervously. "You expect me to believe my dead mother wants her vampire son to take a human to a deserted island alone to learn something about humanity? That is absurd."

He turned to look at Alice. "Sorry," she mouthed. "I can't see you when you are around Bella. She is not only silent to you, but absent to me."

"I'm sorry," I quickly added. "Elizabeth told me I am not subject to any of your powers." I looked at Jasper too. "That is why it has to be me to go with Edward. He needs to be free of any other influences. He has to learn this lesson by himself."

I turned back to Edward. "And she didn't tell me how it would turn out either."

"So, I could just take you to the island, drain you dry and return back the same day?" he asked angrily.

"Yes, you could, but I doubt that would be learning any lesson now would it, Edward."

I began making my way out of the dining room. I was exhausted and wasn't going to stand here and watch Edward's temper tantrums any longer. I stopped when I reached Rosalie, and looked her in the eye while lowering my voice. "I'm sorry for what happened to you. Elizabeth said you didn't deserve that… but it changed your path and gave you a man who adores you above all else. Many women want what you have and will never come close to it."

Her defensive demeanor instantly melted and she wrapped her arm around Emmett. Her eyes fell to my feet as she murmured, "Thank you."

I reached my truck before Edward appeared at my side. I looked at him and waited but he didn't speak. I lifted my palms up showing him I was waiting, but he continued to stare into the forest. I opened the door and climbed into my truck.

"When," he finally asked

"What?" I replied.

"When are we supposed to go?"

"Whenever you are ready, I presume."

He stood there running his hands through his hair. His lips were tight as if he was trying to control his thoughts from spilling out of his mouth. I waited patiently for him to say something. When I realized he wasn't going to speak I sighed loudly.

His head snapped up and he finally looked at me. He opened his mouth and then shut it again as he shook his head back and forth. I wasn't sure if it was meant for me or if he was having a mental conversation with one of the Cullens in the house. He suddenly spoke.

"What are you going to tell your father? I am sure the Chief of Police would not want his daughter running off with a stranger."

"I'm supposedly running away with my boyfriend from Arizona. And you are giving Charlie way too much credit…believe me."

His brow furrowed. "What are you going to tell your boyfriend?"

"Nothing," I smiled. "He doesn't exist."

He looked back into the forest and nodded slightly without another word.

I started my truck and waited to see if he had anything else to say. He was frozen in place with such a distressed look on his face. I put the truck in gear and drove home.