I'm going to preface this by one (maybe two) sentence(s). I have no idea what I'm about to embark on, and I'm relying on you all to make sure its good, and that I continue on the good path I had before.
"What, may I ask, are you doing?" Jasper asked. Alice looked at him from her high post near the top of the tree. The way she was looking at him might have been interpreted as loathing, but in truth, it was more of her returning the question "Do you really need to ask?" No one understood Alice, except maybe Edward, and her obsession with human holidays. One would think that Jasper, the two of them having been so close for so long, would know, but there were things even she kept from him.
Sometimes, actually, often times she would disappear during the winter holidays. No one, except for Edward, knew where she would go, or even why. Jasper guessed it had been at least ten years since she had stayed home from Christmas or the New Year.
When she had found out Edward knew what she was doing, she made him swear not to tell anyone, especially Jasper. If he knew, especially him, out of the entire family, he would worry about her, and want to come with her. She always knew this was something she would need to do alone, and she had managed to not think about it long enough for Edward to remain in the dark, but when she would think back on her trip, he had found out. It was always a risk around a mind reader.
But this year she was staying. Not only was she staying, but she was also bringing everyone together. Renesmee was all grown up, and now Jake was actually part of the family. It happened faster than Edward had wanted, but at least twenty years had passed since the whole wedding fiasco between Edward and Bella and now Jacob was the stinky in-law no one wanted around. No one, that is, excepting for Bella and Renesmee.
"I, Jasper, am decorating the tree. We all hardly get together anymore, and its time we get into the Christmas spirit," Alice said, adjusting the garland on the tree. There were at least seven different colors wrapped around the tree, and endless strings of lights. She hadn't even started on the ornaments. The only people not living at home were Renesmee and Jacob, and that's because they were newly weds. Usually, in the Cullen family, the newly weds (the true newly weds, not just another one of Rosalie and Emmett's weddings) spent a few years away from the house. No one knew how it would work out with Renesmee and Jacob, because neither of them were vampires. But they were still family, so they had to tolerate each other, at least in the case of Rosalie and Jacob, everyone else loved the others.
There were just a few days left until Christmas, and Jasper wondered why she hadn't done this earlier, like with the presents. Alice had her reasons, of course. Jasper knew she had her reasons, but he desperately wanted to know what they were. Not because he was jealous that Edward knew, but because he wanted to help her through whatever it was that so clearly haunted her enough for her to leave every December. He had reasoned that it had something to do with her family, her human family.
For Alice, this tree was more than just the Christmas spirit. The last time she had gone to Mississippi, the family had one less member. She hadn't seen it, so it came as a shock to her. She sat out on the street, counting heads, there was on less, no matter how many times she counted. Always one less head than the previous years.
She had driven to the cemetery and had found her family plot. Her empty grave was the first she visited, as she always had, but then she found who she was looking for. It wasn't her closest relative, but the relative of hers whom had most resembled her. Even though they had never met, Alice had become particularly fond of this relative. She didn't even know her name, or why she had been so fond. Alice, upon seeing the gravestone, knew instantly this was one of those odd occurrences she had always heard of in the world. Never before now had she experienced one for herself. She had a moment of disbelief as she looked down at the barely two-month-old gravestone.
Mary Alice Brandon
1982 – 2030
Beloved Daughter, Wife, Mother, and Grand-daughter
Alice sunk to her knees. She had never met this lady, but she felt for her loss. She was kin, and that's a bond nothing can break, even immortality.
So, for Alice, this tree was a tribute to her lost family member. No one knew her thoughts, except for Edward, and she kept her feelings from Jasper. She put on a happy face, and whenever she felt the depths of despair pulling on her heart, she thought of how she would see Renesmee for the first time in nearly five years. That filled her with joy, and that's what Jasper felt. No sadness, no despair, just joy. And that's how she wanted it.
As Alice put the angle on top of the tree, she closed her eyes and felt peace. She couldn't have mourned the loss of her kin, but her own memorial for her was doing just fine. Jasper looked up, and realized that there would always be some things he would never know about Alice until she wanted him to know, and he knew that, in her time, she would share those things with him. He didn't know when, but he knew it would come in time. And he couldn't wait for that day. He knew that it wasn't because she didn't trust him, but rather because she didn't trust herself. Not yet, at least. He would wait, and he would wait patiently, just as she had waited for him. That's the thing he probably loved most about their relationship: the way it mirrored itself in more ways than one. Just as it did now, one always waiting for the other.
Alice descended from her ladder, chipper as ever, kissed Jasper on the cheek, then rushed upstairs and came back down with ten bags of wrapped presents.
As she put them underneath the tree, Jasper realized that they were from everyone. He hadn't been aware of it in the past few weeks, but Alice wasn't the only one who had done shopping in secret. No one bothered wrapping Alice's presents, but everything for everyone else was wrapped. Alice looked at the look Jasper had on his face, and smiled one of his favorite smiles.
"Don't worry, Jazzy, I bought all of your presents to everyone else. You were thinking about them, apparently, I just picked them up," she said with a shrug. He would never let her know, but he knew her feelings about this holiday. She dreaded it. It seemed nothing good happened for her on this holiday, at least for her human half. And he could feel that, but he would never let her know. She was smiling at him, and he smiled back. She wanted everything to be perfect, and he would make everything as perfect as he could for her. He couldn't change the past, and he couldn't help whatever had happened wherever she went when she disappeared during December, but today, this holiday, he could make perfect for her.
"Just as only you could do, darling," he said just as happily. Yes, he thought to himself, everything needed to be perfect. He wasn't, and at times, she wasn't, but this could be. And this would be. Nothing was going to change that, not even Rose and Jacob.
By the way, I might start to venture into the vast and wonderful world of The Hunger Games... something about the Tracker Jacker venom is calling my hands to emit these wonderful words that form in my mind. Anyway, drop a review!