ENTRY FOR "Born This Way Contest"

Title: Once A Year

Pairing: Marcus/Edward

Author(s): Jay's World

Rating: T

Total Word Count: 1493

Beta: Rose Masen Cullen

Summary: Once a year, he goes to the place where so many lives ended, and mourns the loss of one particular. Year after year, until he notices others are doing the same.

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor have I ever wished for ownership of, Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga. No copyright infringement intended.

This received Honorable Mentions in the contest! Thank you!

oOo

One year.

That's how long it's been.

It doesn't feel long.

Just a second ago you were sitting next to me, smiling.

Hugging me; saying goodbye.

That word still gives me the chills.

My friends are annoying me.

They´re not really my friends though.

They used to be yours.

You introduced them to me.

We hit it off, because of you.

But you´re not around anymore.

I saw some lilacs today and bought them.

You loved those; it made you special.

I loved you more because of it.

You always loved the strangest things.

Like me.

Do you, still?

My parents called.

They´re worried.

I couldn´t care less about what they think.

I used to obsess about you, though.

Your opinion mattered to me.

Even when I seemed indifferent.

I´m drunk right now.

It´s your birthday.

I´d forgotten until your gift came.

I ordered it last year.

You wanted that painting we saw in Italy.

You´re not here to see it.

oOo

Year two.

Two-double-oh-three.

We´d be married this spring.

You loved the spring.

Not too cool, not too warm.

You liked the in-between,

I watch the lights on the sky.

Two, illuminating.

It brings tears to my eyes.

The chick next to me looks at me weird.

I don´t care.

I can´t see anyone but you.

Last night, I fucked this guy.

I faked it, left without a word.

His face was all wrong.

All fake moans and green eyes.

You would just make an "o" and moan softly.

You were real.

Business is going okay,

Wall Street isn´t the same though.

Stocks can eat me, but without it I won´t eat.

You hated the numbers.

You never understood.

You never pretended.

I got a promotion.

No one but me knows.

I don´t have anyone to tell.

I´ve pushed them all away from me.

Without you it doesn´t seem important.

Nothing matters without you

oOo

I come during the day.

Ground Zero.

It´s crowded, a few people weeping.

I just stare.

This is not the place for me.

I pass out drunk before dark.

Something weird happened today,

You´d laugh.

Snorting and grinning and teeth.

A guy asked me for a blowjob.

"I'll give you fifty dollars; quick, in the alley!"

Apparently I´m a male hooker.

Your sister called me.

She´s getting married.

This guy named Emmett,

He sounds nice.

Decent; you´d approve.

You won´t see your baby sister getting hitched.

Blue eyes.

Crystal.

Or sapphires.

You called them sea-y.

I miss your eyes.

I didn´t look into them nearly enough.

This summer is slow.

Your sister is beautiful.

Your opposite, but still.

Blonde, green-eyed, bride.

Emmett´s cool.

I wish he really was my brother.

oOo

Year four.

Four years?

I can´t believe it.

Neither does the guys next to me, it seems.

Tears in his eyes.

Like me, he tries to hide it.

I see him again,

The guy.

Blue pin-striped suit.

Red hair.

Kinda handsome, if you like gingers.

Those comments always made you smile.

Stock broker.

Like me.

Loner.

Like me.

Lost someone.

Like me.

I have a secret Santa this year.

Perfume.

I smell bad?

I make a joke of it over lunch.

Red head smiles.

Kind of a nice smile.

The Village is quiet.

Always is on Sunday mornings.

You liked to sleep in.

I never do anymore.

I try to run off my grief.

I see him jogging...doing the same thing?

oOo

He comes up next to me.

"Loved one?"

"Yes. You?"

"Something like that."

"Want to grab a beer?"

"After you."

I know the lights are behind me.

They're reflected in his eyes.

Green.

Yours were blue.

Why am I looking at his eyes?

Why do I think he's doing the same?

Hammered.

Pounding.

"Dude, wake up."

I open my eyes to see his.

So close.

Lying next to me?

"I swear, I thought you had raped me."

"Don't be an ass; I don't do necrophilia."

"Some response is always good."

We laugh.

He has a nice smile.

I notice a lot of stuff like that about him.

I like his friends.

They're better than my old ones.

We fit; us guys.

Two of them are gay as well; a couple.

They asked me to join a threesome.

You would have laughed your ass off and then kept me hidden.

oOo

"Do you miss him?"

"Every day."

"You haven't dated anyone since?"

"Not really."

"Aren't you lonely?"

"You have no idea."

"Do you miss your wife?"

"Never said I had one."

"Then who?"

Pause.

"My boyfriend."

I pause.

"Stop skirting around the fucking bush."

"Huh?"

"Don't act dumb."

"I'm not."

"So me being gay doesn't matter?"

"Why the hell would it?"

"So this is the tradition?"

"Yeah. Lights, drink, pass out."

"For the past six years."

"Yup."

"Dude, you need to date."

There's hope in his eyes when he says that.

He doesn't have a boyfriend.

I wonder if it was the same love I felt for you –

– that he felt for his lover.

He doesn't date.

He said there's no one he likes.

He looked hurt when he said that.

oOo

Office party.

This guy flirts with him.

They leave.

The next day he has a bruised lip.

I want to hunt down the guy.

I want to hurt him.

We spend the entire day together.

Reminiscing.

Fond memories shared with somber looks.

I don't think about you with sadness anymore.

Seven years is a long time.

Is it time?

After your parents divorced, you expressed that love is fickle.

Said it sometimes moves if it must.

Told me you believed love is for all.

He is much the same when we talk.

Talk and talk and talk until we fall asleep.

His arms wrapped loosely around me.

With his confessions in mind, I'm wary.

Would you approve?

Would you understand that I'm lonely?

With the summer's sun, I smile.

Of course you would.

The last thing you said to me was to be happy: "seize the day!"

"Eight years this fall."

"Still feels like yesterday to me."

He tells me he wasn't a boyfriend.

A best friend.

They fought the same morning.

I was lucky enough to part with a kiss.

oOo

This year the day is ours.

And yours.

The lights are cruel reminder of what could've been.

I see them reflecting in his eyes.

So close.

Then lips.

We go out.

Out.

The entire time I'm nervous.

Wondering if you're watching.

Then he takes my hand.

The worry melts away.

First, second, third, fourth.

Bases are covered, and I think I'm in love.

Don't hate me for it, please.

I twiddle his locks around my fingers.

Kiss his sleeping form.

And now he's on my mind before I fall asleep.

"So what are we?"

"What do you want us to be!"

We're fighting.

I'm borderline crying.

So much fighting lately.

He wants more than I'm willing to admit to wanting.

A week since I've talked to him.

Fourth of July is somber and uneventful.

I miss you.

I miss him.

Only one of you is possible.

I have to push you aside for a while.

oOo

I stand alone today.

Watching the twin lights.

But he joins me quickly.

"I've missed you."

"I never really left."

He turns me around and kisses me.

My eyes are locked on his.

His lips on mine.

Hands everywhere.

Nowhere.

Consumed.

"I love you."

"Who was that?"

"My parents."

"Do they know?"

"And fully support."

"About me?"

"They want to meet you."

Dinner goes by amazing.

My parents were a breeze.

I was wary about his.

But they take me in with open arms.

"It's good to see my son settle down."

Are you happy to see me do the same?

The passion doesn't go away.

It didn't with you either.

Love may be fickle, but it's strong.

And never fading.

I love you still, always.

But I love him too.

oOo

Ten years to the date.

We always come back to honor you.

But now I can breathe.

I'm alive.

We hold hands and hearts.

And whisper your names into the wind.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's.

Holidays come and go.

We're still together.

Stronger than ever.

The box is with me at all times.

The question lingering on my lips.

"Yes! Of course!"

It's the happiest day of my life yet.

Consumed by love.

Are you happy for me?

Can you see?

The sky is clear blue.

Black tuxes.

Traditional wedding.

Non-traditional couple.

His smirk is deviant.

I can't wait for tonight.

A honeymoon under a Mexican sun.

I didn't think I'd ever move on.

Every day I've thought of you.

Now…now I breathe.

Now I live.

Now I love.

I think you're happy for me.

Fin