Don't own it. Once again, this was a repost of a story I wrote in 2009. I figured some editing could do its body good. I hope those of you who read it for the first time enjoyed it, and thank you especially to those of you who came back to read it again. I treasure every pm or review that I have received. Maybe someday I will find it in me to write another Bella and Edward story, but until then...I'll be seeing you.
"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." -Chuck Palahniuk.
On Christmas Eve, 2006, Bella Marie Swan went to the store to pick up some coffee for Charlie and her to have when they went on an ice fishing trip to Canada.
Instead, she died - due to a black truck that lost control on the ice. Go figure; I really had prolonged the inevitable. Or...at least according to the local news and the town of Forks she died. There was a tombstone placed right next to her mother's.
I'm standing in front of it right now. Funny, how we think life can be summed up in a small line of curved, grated stone. Odd, that sometimes the Happily Ever After can only take place with the greatest of sacrifices set in motion.
And once not long ago, I would have thought she was crazy for choosing the path that she did. But not now. Bella had given up everything, absolutely everything, to be with me. You could say that death had worked backwards for the both of us. I'm done thinking that she has no soul now, that I have no soul. Maybe the entire reason why I always felt that way was because I just hadn't found it yet.
And then she appeared with it, one seemingly insignificant day in Biology at Forks High School. . .the rainiest town in the continental United States.
The rainiest town. . .
We had been counting on that rain for our entire lives, letting it lead us through channels. . .and the path of stars. I'm done fating fate - I no longer want to. It had led me to her and allowed me to be reborn.
Suddenly next to me, Charlie Swan stares solemnly at both the headstones before letting out a deep sigh. He wipes a tear from his cheek and turns to me. "Well, she's in a better place now. With her mom. . .the way it should be."
I look at him seriously, I'm not about to allow Charlie to condemn himself the way I once had.
"Bella told me she always felt more comfortable around you."
He raises an eyebrow but remains quiet.
"She loved you both, but for different reasons. She used to say that you were the one she could identify with - who she felt understood her more. "
And it's true, on so many levels. . .for so many reasons. Charlie had even been the one she inherited her quiet mind from - and upon her change, she had once again shocked everyone by not revealing anything. Instead, she gained a rather interesting ability - one that Carlisle isn't sure hadn't been a direct result of her illness. She can show people their greatest fears. Though, it doesn't work on me.
I have overcome my greatest fear: the idea of losing her.
For that, I don't take Charlie for granted in the slightest.
I watch the two most important men in my life walk away from the small mark on the ground from a tall tree branch in the woods. But the world will never know anything about that shy 19 year old girl who left the presence of her father too early.
And when I look toward the clouds as I feel the raindrops start to moisten the top of my head and shoulders, the fiery sting hits my eyes. It's not fair that I hadn't gotten to spend more time with Charlie, it's not fair that he'll be alone in that house, it's not fair that he'll spend a lifetime wondering. I had at least wanted to spare him the pain of thinking I was lost or that I killed myself after a relapse.
But as I told Edward once, life isn't fair.
Though, I learned more to that theory than most people give due. Life may not be fair, but it's also what you make of it. Charlie climbs into my trusty old truck and nods to Edward before starting it up to drive away in the late evening. Twilight, actually.
Gracefully Edward makes his way back over to me, climbing through dozens of branches that look more like hands intertwining us in a net. The moon is starting to shine bright from the edge of a cloud - lighting the small watery diamonds around us. I can't tell which is rain and which is skin because now, my skin glitters a bit too.
He doesn't say anything, merely grabbing my hand in his instead and squeezing it gently.
We hop down, taking off into the darkest part of the forest. This time I run with him instead of hanging on his back. I can hear the slosh of water and moss together below my feet and think about all the footprints left behind.
Like crude remains, they'll wash away with the rain.