"Rose…please just shut up."
The words came out desperate, annoyed…and sad. My lifeless heart ached for a moment before I hid it behind my scowl and glanced over at Alice. She was sitting as far away from me as she could on the couch. Her frail knees were pulled to her chest with her arms clasped around them. Her chin was nestled on top of them. She was looking in the direction of the TV but both of us knew we weren't watching it. "You want to run that by me again?" I growled, my nails digging into the upholstery. Alice turned her head to the side, still resting on her knees, and pleaded again just as softly.
I didn't like this. I didn't like not being able to read her. I should have been able to read her like a book; I always could. But now…there was something wrong with her tone. She looked horrendously sad and angry but that wasn't like Alice. So, I pushed her further. "Why?"
She sighed, closing her eyes slowly before opening them again. "Because I can't stand it when you talk like that."
"Oh, you mean when I refer to us as monsters in a world we're not allowed to experience?"
"Well, that, but that's not what I was talking about."
I furrowed my brow at her, growing angrier when she rolled her eyes and gave a somber laugh. "What's so funny, Alice Cullen? I thought you were angry at me!" I shouted, causing it to echo around the vast room. I didn't care; no one else was here to hear it anyway. Alice threw her legs down on the floor again and faced me, glaring.
"I am angry at you!" she returned so violently that it made me jump. Alice didn't get angry. Alice didn't do angry. She may have gotten frustrated a few times but for her to actually yell at anyone was showing some definite rage. Luckily, I kept my composure and even straightened my posture before speaking to her again. However, I left the sarcasm out of my voice. That seemed more appropriate.
"Why are you angry at me, Alice? I can't help if you don't stop being so cryptic." Oops, it slipped out anyway. Dammit. Alice's eyes met mine and I thought I felt tears in my eyes. Her expression was so raw, so pained. Her chest was heaving, struggling to remain calm. I leaned back against the couch, my eyes wide at her reaction. She held my gaze for a good minute before she looked away, placing her hand over her mouth. I hated seeing her like this. Even worse, I hated being the cause. I could be a bitch, everyone knew that. But I could never be so to Alice. What had she ever done except see the good in things and make my miserable existence tolerable? Silently, I slid over to her, wrapping my arm around her back. She didn't relax at my touch, but she didn't pull away either. I waited for a bit and placed my hand on her knee when she refused to look at me.
"Ali…honey, please. I don't like this," I whispered, cupping her cheek and forcing her to look at me. She sighed as I turned her head and I gave a soft smile. She scoffed. I guess I didn't smile all that much but I wastrying. And I could tell that she knew that. She returned a weak smile and shook her head lightly.
"I just…you sit here and talk about how much you hate your life. And I know that you've every right to, Rosalie. You didn't choose this. But then I think about you and Emmett, how happy the two of you are together. And then I look at your face. I see your beauty. And then sometimes, and only sometimes, I see into your soul and I realize how beautiful that is too." She stopped, closing her eyes tightly shut. She was afraid to continue. The arm around her back moved up and down, urging her to go on. She ran a hand through her short hair and sighed again.
"And then I see me. I see my anorexic figure, my wild hair and wide eyes. And I see how plain I am. I close my eyes and try to remember my human life. But I can't. I only know that I was forgotten…left for dead. And I think about Jasper and all of the problems we've been having. And I think to myself, what the hell do you have to complain about?" She broke down then, sobbing into my arms. I wrapped my other arm around her and held her close to me. I had no idea that she felt this way. It's sad to think that seeing as how long we've been together. But never once has she shown real anger at me.
I also had no idea that she and Jasper were having problems. I don't think anyone knew. Shockingly enough to some, I'm very good at reading people. And I hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary lately with anyone. Truth be told, I didn't think that Alice and Jasper couldhave problems. They were made for each other. It was perfect connection, perfect chemistry. If I didn't have Emmett, I would surely be jealous. And sometimes I am. Alice squeezed me tightly and met my eyes again before resting her head on my neck. I could feel her warm breath relaxing on my skin.
"And I know I'm being selfish but doesn't everyone deserve one bout of selfishness now and then when they've done nothing but give all of their life?" she mumbled, her voice quaking. I hushed her softly, resting my head against hers. This went beyond me and my pouting. It went beyond Jasper, though their 'problems' probably instigated it. This was everything. Alice, beautiful, strong, vivacious, was finally crumbling in my arms. We'd all done it at some point. We've all just broken down at the mere fact of what we were, of what we did. When I'd met Alice, I assumed that she'd already had her meltdown. She seemed so exuberant, so ready to live the half life she was given. Alice sniffed and I felt her sigh against my neck. Then she rose and smiled at me before laughing at herself.
"I'm sorry," she whispered in a voice so light no human would have heard. "You know I didn't mean that, Rosalie. I don't think that. I just…" she huffed, clearly annoyed with herself, and ran a hand through her hair. "I just want someone to kiss me and tell me I'm beautiful." I sniffed as well, my chest aching for this woman who had no knowledge of the splendor she created within me, within us. She had to know. She had to know just how much she was worth.
"Alice," I spoke for the first time since her breakdown. She looked up at me and I cupped her face in my hands. Then I slowly leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "You're fascinating," I kissed one of her eyelids, "you're enrapturing," I kissed the other, "you're amazing," I kissed her nose. Then I waited until she opened her eyes. She stared at me, her brow furrowed in confused wanting. Then I smiled genuinely at her and kissed her full lips. It lingered for a moment, both of us feeling what we shouldn't and knowing how much we wanted it. Then I pulled away as she parted her lips in an escaped sigh.
"You're beautiful. And if you didn't know that, you're not the pixie I give you credit for."
Alice laughed then and I watched the shine return to her eyes. And I knew she would be okay.