Prompt: So long, summer 2011

The Twilight Twenty-Five
thetwilight25(dot)com

Prompt: 13
Pen Name: Kiva Johns-Adkins
Pairing/Main Character(s): Bella/Edward
Rating: T

Photo prompts can be viewed here:
thetwilight25(dot)com/round-5/prompts


One day, I woke up with the sun shining brightly through my window, beckoning me out to bathe in its rays.

Something changed while I slept. I changed. My reality changed. My world changed and I slept peacefully through it all. When I awoke the change hung heavy in the air and I knew things would never be the same again. I just wasn't sure why.

I got up, ate breakfast on the deck of the beach house, overlooking Lake Michigan. It was peaceful. I found peace. Peace I had never known and I still didn't know why.

Edward and I had a fight the night before and went to bed angry. I awoke, without him by my side and wasn't disturbed by his absence. Perhaps he went to the store, or for a swim, or for a drive. I think he went out to give me space, to calm down.

As I poured my second glass of coffee I noticed a group of kids lying in a particular spot on the sand, having their pictures taken. I decided I would step onto the beach and investigate. Two small children laughed and giggled as they ran to follow their parents. When they were far enough away, my focus went to the writing in the sand, 'So long, summer, 2011.'

When I saw the words my stomach dropped and the reality that the beautiful summer was over washed over me like the waves that lapped at my feet, erasing the words with each wave.

I stood on the water's edge, with the water coming in and out over my feet, one of the most soothing things in the world. Uncertain of how long I stood at the water's edge, I headed back to the house, knowing wherever Edward had gone, he would soon be back and we would have to deal with our fight from the night before.

As I walked up the steps to the deck, I turned to look where the farewell message had been scrawled in the sand. It was gone, as was summer.

I stepped into my room to change my clothes and noticed something I had earlier missed, an envelope with Bella scrawled on it, laying on Edward's night stand. I sat on the edge of the bed and opened the hand-written letter, enclosed;

Bella,

I am so sorry that our last night together ended in a fight. Perhaps it's because I knew, like the summer was coming to an end, so was our time together. Three months of magic and love and enough memories to last me a life time, but I knew when it began; the day would come when it had to end.

I want you to be free and happy and carefree. I want you to find a love that will never fail you. You deserve all of those things; things I could never give you. I was selfish by taking your summer away from you, so I could have all of the things I longed for, but knew I didn't really deserve. I have secrets, secrets I will take to my grave, and secrets I can't share with you, in order to protect you.

I came here to hide for the summer, to enjoy the last vestiges of freedom for me. But a funny thing happened and you came into my life. You were drowning and, for one reason or another, I was put there to save you and, in doing so, you saved me, at least for the summer.

I spent many nights watching you sleep next to me, after we made love. I was so happy, yet so sad because I knew every moment I shared with you was on borrowed time and soon, there would be no more time for us. I loved you. I love you still. I think I fell in love with you because that was absolutely the last thing on my mind and it took me by surprise. I will always remember the soft feel of your skin against mine, your soft lips, caressing my jaw bone. And the way you smell. The only way I can describe it is you smell like home. And, no matter where I am for the rest of my life, I can close my eyes and feel your touch and breathe you in, taking me back here to you; home.

I only wish I was a better man. The best thing for you would have been if I walked away after I pulled you from the water, but I was selfish. You were so beautiful and sweet and fragile. I wanted to fix you, to take your pain away. I wanted to erase whatever memories made you walk into the water, into your darkness that night. The world needs you, Bella Swan. You were meant to be here. When I saved you, I hope it facilitate you saving hundreds of lives in the future.

I'm not a hero or a knight in shining amour. I have lived a life full of regrets. I have done very bad things. You were the first thing I did right and I don't know why I decided to save you. Something drew me to you and I couldn't walk away. Forgive me, Bella. One day you may find out my secrets, but I hope you don't. I want you to remember what it felt like the first time we made love our bodies sliding off of one another from the heat of unbridled passion. I want you to remember lying with me on the beach, watching the sun rise and set on our summer love.

For three months, you made my pain and torment disappear, but I knew from the beginning that I could not hide from it forever. I hope your pain disappeared with my love and I hope that stays with your love after I am gone. I hope it stays with you forever.

I am so sorry for coming into your life and leaving you so suddenly. Just please know my love for you was true and deep and real. Also, please know I will never be back, ever, so please don't wait for me. Find a love you deserve, one that won't abandon you when you need it most. If there was any way I could stay, I would. I searched my heart and soul to find a way to be with you but it came down to the fact I could never escape my past and that is not something you deserve.

I left two packages on the bathroom sink for you. When you open them both, you will understand why I gave them to you together. One of the gifts belonged to my mother. Aside from you, she was the only other woman I ever loved. She was a good woman who died too young, because my dad was too selfish to walk away. When it's time, you will share it with another strong woman.

I'm sorry for so many things, but I am especially sorry for not being here for you when you need me the most. It pains me more than you know to have to leave, especially now. Please go on to do great and wondrous things. I know you will.

With all of my heart, I will love you forever. Thank you for the summer and for the future I will never be able to destroy.

Love Always and Forever,

Edward Cullen

I nearly collapsed on the bed, sobbing. The pain was palpable. We had only had a fight. I couldn't believe it was enough for him to leave. Instead of collapsing, I made my way to the bathroom and picked up two small boxes, wrapped and tied together. I opened the smallest box first. It was a black velvet ring box. When I opened it there was an antique white gold diamond ring. The engraving inside read: 'To Lizzie, my savior, all my love, E.M.'

I slipped it on my finger and it fit perfectly. Next, I reached over and removed the wrapping on the long box that was left. As I tore the paper I was shocked by what I saw and sat down on the side of the bath tub, shaking. It was a pregnancy test.

September 13, 2036

Chicago Beach

I sat on the front row holding, my husband, Jasper's hand. My daughter, our daughter, Renesmee, was getting married to her high school sweetheart, Jacob Black.

It was so hard to focus on the ceremony. She was gorgeous. But then again, she always had been, since the day she was born, with her daddy's dazzling green eyes.

I met Jasper two years after Renesmee was born and it was love at first sight. I think he fell in love with Renesmee first and she with him, then he with me. We were the Three Musketeers.

I never saw Edward again after that morning when he left me the message on the beach, but gifts would arrive every year on our daughter's birthday and on Mother's Day, but never with a return address. I never knew what it was about him that I couldn't know, but I knew he loved his little girl.

"Bella," Jasper whispered in my ear. "Do you know who that person is that is lurking over by the dunes? Do I need to run him off?"

I casually turned my head to the left to see who he was talking about. I was older and had to scrunch my eyes to focus through my glasses. It was Edward. He had seen me and stepped further into the shadows.

"No," I softly reassured Jasper. "It's okay. It's an old friend."