Disclaimer: I don't own The Twilight Saga. It owns me.
Written for Fandom for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
There is hardly any light in the room. We really need to fix that night lamp. I am writing this with the help of my mobile screen's light. I hope it's legible. I don't want to turn the lights on. You're sleeping so soundly beside me, and that is rare, so I'm cherishing the moment. Your adorable, messy hair is as always allover the place. Some of it is getting in your eyes. You really need a haircut, babe.
I move my hand and push some of your hair off your forehead before touching the stubble on your face. You turn your face into my palm for a few seconds before you relax again and fall back into your deep slumber. It's not often that I catch you sleeping, leave alone sleeping so soundly. You hardly sleep anymore. That's my fault; I'm sorry. You look so tired all day. I bet you would be up by six anyway. Good thing I didn't sleep tonight, huh?
I've been meaning to write this letter for a while now. It's just that I'm hardly left alone these days. Zero privacy. I'm not blaming you; don't, even for a second, think that I don't find your constant hovering endearing. Because it is. Endearing, and sweet, and adorable, and so utterly you. When did I get so lucky?
You're always around, taking care of me. You do a great job of it, too. I don't say that much, because it upsets you; but you have to know. You deserve to know how much I appreciate every little thing. From that glass of water at two in the morning, to the timely meds, to dressing me up when my limbs feel too heavy for me to do it myself, and the meals you specially cook for me. You know I can't cook. I never could. Do you remember that lasagna I'd made on your birthday? Good lord, whatever was I thinking? I had never tasted something so appalling before. And you…you sat there and ate it quietly, telling me how much you appreciated the fact that I tried. I wanted to cry. I never felt as if I deserved someone as kind as you.
You're so beautiful, Edward. No, don't make that face. You are. Inside and out – beautiful through and through. I am not exaggerating every time I call you Angelic. You're selfless and pure and kind hearted, and your spirit for life can't be matched. Nope, not even by me, no matter how much life I try to extract from every day, every precious minute that I get to spend with you.
And there are these constant habits that I keep noticing…Good God how they once used to get on my nerves! And now…now they are what define you. Like sometimes it is so obvious that a song is stuck in your head. You tap a soundless rhythm on every surface your fingers touch. Your brows furrow and you seem to catch yourself, before you start again after a couple of minutes. I'm not even sure you notice it, but your fingers move as if you were playing that tune on the piano.
You don't like your clothes ironed. You always want them rumpled and comfortable. It used to annoy me to no end! Now it's just one more thing I love about you – your carefree, I–don't–give–a–fuck–about–fashion attitude.
When you are working, you want all your things in a mess. You are the exact opposite of what I am. While I would go all OCD on my stuff, your quirk is that you want everything to lie haywire. Your newspaper articles are never arranged date–wise. Some journalist you are (snort)! You just put them in a file randomly and when you need something, you conveniently hand the huge file to me and leave me to sort it out. I should be mad, but I find your flustered self rather amusing. So I help you willingly, shaking my head but smiling at the sheer chaos.
When you kiss me, you make the funniest noise as soon as our mouths connect. It's not a moan; it's not a grunt…almost like a squeak of canvas shoes against a slippery floor. It makes me giggle, and then it's so hard to kiss you because I'm smiling so much. And then it makes you smile so much, but we manage some hot and heavy kissing anyway. I don't think even we have any idea how we manage. We just do. You kiss me so deeply and don't once complain about how bad my mouth tastes. Stupid meds.
When you're angry, you are restless. You. Don't. Sit. Still. At all. Ever. You go sit on the couch, and then decide the floor is better. You sit down on the floor, and then realize you left your notebook and pencils in the bedroom. You go and retrieve those and go sit on the kitchen counter. Then you come to a conclusion that the light isn't right for sketching. And you just have to sketch. That is your stress buster. That is your peace. If you're mad at me, you take it out on the paper – even though you always end up sketching me anyway. If you're mad at the world, at life, at God…you talk to me. A lot. You sound so frustrated and you bounce your knee up and down so fast. You pull at your hair, you rant about how unfair the whole situation is, and then you end up holding me as you weep into my neck. Those are the days when it hurts the most…knowing that you are suffering because of my condition hurts me so much worse than the hand life dealt me.
And when you are upset otherwise…you only need my hand on your back, rubbing soothing circles, and my cheek resting against your heart. That's all. You tell me it makes you feel secure. Truth be told, it makes me feel secure too. Secure that you still need me, despite my rapidly deteriorating physical appearance. It's incredibly selfish of me, but I can't help it. I want you to want me.
And that thing you do to make me smile? You know, the one where you push the corner of my lips up with your fingertips, and do the best "How you doin'?" Joey impersonation. And then you proceed to tell me the most disgusting nun–jokes that Emmett used to tell you when you were a teenager… the whole thing is adorable. It's so precious and sometimes I live for those moments.
Before you fall asleep…just before you fall asleep, you flutter your eyelids and seem to be trying to dispel some illusion. As if you don't want to sleep. Once you were half asleep already when that happened, and I asked you why you kept fighting sleep every single night, even after being so tired. You said, "I want to see you." I told you with the eye–roll that annoys you so much, that you saw me all day, and you would see me again in the morning! You shook your sleepy head and licked your dry lips, before rasping out, "I want to see you as much as I can, while I can."
I brought your head to my chest, and peppered kisses in your hair. You don't know how much I cried that night.
I worry, Edward. I worry too much. And I can't tell you about it because it would worry you even more. I don't want that. Already you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Why should you have to carry my overwhelming emotions? But I worry, regardless. About you, mostly. You are too precious, but too naïve. Who will look out for you when I can't?
I'm scared. I will not deny that. But I'm not scared for me, I'm scared for you. No one knows what will happen to me once I am gone. Everyone has to go someday; I will just go a bit sooner than the majority. You can't protect me from that, you know. No matter how tightly you hold me. Someday it will sneak up on you and Death will steal me away. And I'm not afraid of that. I'm afraid of the pain you will have to go through. Because it will hurt you too much, and there is nothing you or I would be able to do when that happens.
I tried to make it easy on you, you know. I tried distancing myself from you. I needed you too much, and that was precisely why I had to push you away. I didn't want to suck out of you that life about you that I love so much. But you saw right through it, didn't you? Because the more I pulled away, the more you were there…always reminding me that I wasn't alone…that you would never let me go.
You always know when I need to be held, even though I would never say it. You know I don't like feeling so weak and broken, so I never ask for anything. But you know. You always know. You don't hesitate in wrapping your arms around me, and telling me that I am beautiful. I know I'm not, but you make me feel like I am. You hold my head in your hands when I panic, and rest your forehead against mine…grounding me in that moment. You run your fingers over my scalp, even though I have no hair anymore. You kiss me on my forehead and my lack of eyebrows doesn't bother you one bit.
You constantly amaze me, Edward.
You tell me how strong I am, but the truth is, I take my strength from you. You are the strong one. You left everything so you could take care of me. You spend every waking minute in making this as comfortable for me as it can get. It makes me want to kiss you senseless and hold you tight. You have no idea how much it means to me. But it also makes me worry even more. You are with me 24 x 7. How long are you going to survive on our savings, Edward? You will have to work again sometime, baby.
And don't even start with the Romeo and Juliet bullshit! How could you even consider ending your life just because mine is about to end? Fuck, Edward, you just can't say shit like "I can't do this without you, Bella."
No, you can. You can and you will. You will have to. You will have to live for me. You will have to live twice as much and see all those places we wanted to go to but never could. You will have to love again, too. I know you always wanted kids, because yours is a big family and that's all you know. I'm sorry I couldn't give that to you. I wanted it too, but I was just…never ready for it. I kept waiting for the right time. I didn't know my time would be cut short this way.
I can't wear my wedding ring anymore. It's too loose and keeps falling off. You remember how nervous I was the day before our wedding? ! My God, my mom wanted me to calm down so badly that that night after everyone had gone to bed and I couldn't sleep, she actually handed me my confiscated cell phone so I could talk to you. It was silly of me, really, but everyone went on and on about how beautiful the ceremony was going to be and the wedding planner was in complete tornado mode and I just needed a break! I didn't want all this fanfare. It was all superficial. I just wanted to hear your voice and calm down. Your voice always calmed me down...
When I was getting chemo...there were so many nights I couldn't sleep because the pain would be so bad...and you were there with me, in that hospital, lying beside me, wiping my tears and singing me to sleep. Your voice was like a soothing balm. I craved it like a drug those days. Hell, I still crave it.
You lie beside me even now...stirring a little because you can't find me as you reach your hand out to my side of the bed. I will miss this when they shift me to the hospital…which will be soon. We both know that. Every night you reach to me and take my hand while you're still asleep...did you know that? I always wake up first to find your fingers entwined with mine as you snore lightly. I never have the heart to wake you up, so I quietly take my hand from yours as I rush to the bathroom to throw up. And that wakes you up and I feel horrid about it.
Tonight all our family was here. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rose, Jasper, Alice, Charlie, Renée…they all love us. But I know why they were all here suddenly. Because they see it too. They see that I'm slipping away. They see that I'm becoming unfocused more and more, and they just wanted me to see them again while I still remember them. You pretended to be so happy and cheerful that there was a whole family reunion for me. I saw right through it, Edward. I saw how much it hurt you. Besides, you were talking in your sleep tonight. Saying things like "I'll fight God," and "Please, Bella," and "Don't leave me."
I don't want to. And I wish with all my heart that I could stay with you. But I can feel Death clutching me tighter. I can feel my control over my body slipping away. (Just writing this is proving to be a peril, but I'm persistent…like you don't know that.) But your pain is killing me more than my pain ever will. Pretend to be alright all you want. You can't fool me.
I am not writing this to make you cry. No, I don't want that. I am writing this to make you remember. Read this when I'm gone and remember how much I love you. And I will. I always will. Even after I'm gone…my love for you won't die with me, okay? Don't you forget that.
And don't even think that this is a goodbye letter. Fuck, it's not. I'm thirty three. I am old enough to know when to say a goodbye in person. But I'm not saying goodbye at all. Because I won't be gone from your heart.
I am getting tired now. I have been sitting up for over two hours as I write this. You look like you will wake up any minute. You've started your regular grumbling in your sleep. You won't be happy if you see me sitting up and writing.
Ah well, guess I should end this little (!) note then. I love you, Edward. More than I can ever say. You give me life. You give me smiles and laughter and tears of joy and rare sleep. You give me your heart and there is no gift bigger than that.
Please, please don't ever think that you didn't do enough. You did all you could, and more, sweetheart. I will fight with every cancerous cell in my body to stay with you as long as I can. I will fight every spirit after death to make my way back to you…in all my lives to come.
My love is bigger than Life and Death. It will find you anywhere. We will never have a sad ending, Edward. Because our love is just not going to end.
I love you, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen. You are my everything.