AN: As hard as we try, no narrator can truly be omniscient – there are parts of the human psyche that are so carefully hidden that even the own person cannot access. However, despair has a way of arising memories and feelings, bringing to the surface things that were long denied. A man about to willingly step away from life decides to gift his lost love with the only thing he has to offer: the truth of his heart.
Remember those short italicized phrases that opened and closed each and every one of TToUC's chapters? Remember how I told you they were fragments of Jasper's letter to Edward? Well, this is Jasper's letter.
I would love to "hear" your thoughts.
Amongst all the sins I perpetrated against our love, driving you away to the other side of the world is the one I regret the most. For the past ten years, I've been surviving on a diet of memories and fantasies, poor substitutes for the warmth of your body and the beauty of your soul. My existence has been such a vain attempt at denying the most devastating truth of my heart: I miss you.
My mind is a cornucopia of sweet memories and bitter mistakes. I'm haunted by you, consumed by possibilities that never came to pass. Demons of guilt and depression trap me into an inescapable hell of self-imposed penance. In the midst of my despair, only the hope of seeing you again kept from falling over the edge.
And you came back... but not to me. It's too late for us... too late for me to atone for the profanity of hurting my soulmate. I can't erase the past and I can't be in your future... I have become a shell of a person, a sad reminder of the man I used to be. I have nothing to give, nothing to offer... except for the truth of my heart.
The decision to end my miserable existence has freed me from the constraints which kept you from learning the nature of my feelings and the extent of my sins. I'm no longer a peer, a gentleman, an image... I'm a man in love saying goodbye to the owner of my heart. I just want you to know... to understand... Can you bear with this dying man's rant for a bit? As a last favour to a past lover, a former soulmate.
Do you remember the day we met? It was the first time you smiled my smile... the one that used to be only for me. Even as a child, you had an amazing ability to disregard rules and expectations. Your hand was so small, but it firmly held on to mine. It was the pivotal point of my life, the one that changed everything. Oh, it was magical... I wanted to stay with you forever, but even though we weren't old enough to name our feelings, both of us knew that the way we felt wasn't the way we were supposed to feel.
Your beautiful green eyes gleamed with determination while mine held only doubt and confusion. You knew, didn't you? You knew our true nature. You knew and you accepted it. But how, my love? How could you possibly be as wise as that at the tender age of eleven? Why was it so easy for you to embrace our unnatural feelings? Why was it so difficult for me? Even now, as my heart is breaking over you, I can't help but feel wrong and sinful.
There is so much you don't know... Did you know that the memory of you was exquisite agony to my adolescent body? There I was, a lad of thirteen burning with needs I could not name, elicited by someone I could not touch. No, I couldn't touch you, but I could touch myself... and I did. The first time I spent my seed was with your name on my lips, because when your touch branded my skin I discovered desire... Yes, just the memory of your hand against mine was enough to bring me relief from the lust consuming my body. But after the glow of my first orgasm had faded, I ached for the comfort of your arms.
However, the all-consuming need I felt for you made me angry. I blamed you for making me different. And I didn't want to be different... I just wanted to be a good son, a good student, an upstanding peer of the realm. I wanted to be the perfect gentleman and in my naïveté I thought that I could somehow turn myself into the man I wanted to be. The attraction I felt... I was determined to fight it. With all my mighty, I kept you out of my conscious mind. I concentrated on my studies, I made friends... I pretended to be normal. But just as a being of nightmares, you were always there, lurking in the shadows. It was frustrating how willing my mind was to betray me. I didn't know what to do – I felt lonely and scared facing the abysm of the unknown.
Did you know that my Eton mates presented me with a whore on my fifteenth birthday? Did you know that I never touched her? It could have been the demise of my pretence had it not been for the wisdom of the woman who, instead of mocking my lack of enthusiasm, chose to educate me on the ways of desire. No, she didn't arouse me, but my body was burning with remembered fire, the kind only you could ever inspire.
And then you were at Eton and once again your sweet face blinded my eyes. Suddenly, you were no longer a fantasy or a memory... You, the only one who ever saw me for who I truly am... Right there, in the crowded courtyard, I surrendered...and your eyes unlocked the doors I firmly held closed. I knew that my dreams of normalcy would never come to pass, so I buried who I thought I was and became just Jasper.
I didn't know exactly who Jasper was... hell, I still don't know, but I didn't care because words were unnecessary before the sight of you. That's the thing I used to love about us: we had no use for words – we just knew. Our communication belonged to a different level of existence, one that not many are ready to experience. But you were... and you were kind enough to take me with you. You took the lead and showed me sweetness... without you I would have never found the courage to experience the things I did... to be true to myself, even if only for a little while.
Our time at Eton is one of my fondest memories, did you know that? We were so innocent... our love so pure... I felt safe because within your embrace I found my place in this world. But we weren't free to love. Eyes followed us everywhere and we had to pretend. Disengaging our hands was letting go of my heart... every time we jumped apart because someone was approaching I was reminded of the precariousness of our situation. I felt trapped – only our surreptitious encounters allowed me to breathe again.
Oh, your nightly visits... having you within my arms was heaven. The first night you came to me... that night you said you would always be Edward to me. Not a lord, not a surname... your Christian name, the one meant only for the intimacy of your most cherished friends, family... meant for your spouse, for me. Having you so close... it was pleasure tainted with fear. Fear of the desire I felt, of discovery, of losing you, of keeping you. I accepted us and rejected us at the same time because... it was desire tampered by reason – the reason that seemed to have evaded you, though I doubt you had any to start with. You never feared, so I believe you never considered... Were you that reckless?
Or were you wise enough to know that we couldn't escape ourselves? I oscillate between two contradictory opinions, but I will never know, will I? I wish you had told me, I wish I had asked. Deep inside I know that you have always been wise beyond your years, it's just that... Why didn't you feel the same fear that twisted my guts? The one that never left me? A part of me needs to believe that you are the one who was wrong, because that is the only way to salvage my self-respect, or at least part of it.
Yes, you were wise, but not wise enough to spare me from the truth of your betrayal. Why didn't you wait for me? You knew, you understood... You told me that you always knew we were meant to be, so why did you give yourself to another? Your lewdness was the first stain to our story. I came to you clean, why did you come to me tainted? You gave yourself to a stable boy, a servant... and you claimed to have been in love with me all along. How could I possibly believe that?
Back then I didn't understand the trappings of desire. I just wanted to escape, but there was no sanctuary from the sound of your voice. Anger made me want to harm you, make you feel the rage I felt, make you jealous. It was retribution at its lowest form, but I couldn't help myself. Encouraging James was foolishly hurting myself by trying to hurt you. And in the chaos that followed my failed revenge I needed your strength to hold myself together. Love prevailed and we learned the value of forgiveness... two repentant boys soothing each other's hurts.
There were no more lies between us, no secrets or lingering bitterness. Love was real and paradise seemed attainable. Like a prayer, I told you of my love, opening myself to you. I held nothing back and you responded in kind. We shared stolen pieces of an idyllic existence – it was beautiful, perfect, transitory. The winter that followed was for love... we behaved like two courageous youths grasping love with all their mighty. But even then there was an ache within my chest, a foreboding feeling of missing what was still mine.
The pain of rejection was still a bit far into the future. By the lake where we first touched, we said our vows of eternal love. Did you truly mean them? Or were you already planning the second blow to my heart? Innocence still guided my actions and my only wish, to satisfy your desire. And I did many, many times. I could never have guessed the pride and pleasure I felt knowing that there was a part of me forever living in you.
Back at Eton, we were once again faced with the challenges of living a double life. I feared for you and me, for our safety. Once again I was proven right, for you were in constant danger. Why did you decide to suffer alone? Why didn't you tell me about the other boy's advances? I would have fought for you, protected you... You were mine to love and to keep safe. Why didn't you let me? Even though fearless you were not stupid, you should have known better than to seek comfort in that woman's arms. I can't even remember her name, but I still resent the jealousy she elicited, the fact that having her was the natural way, I was the aberration.
I was raging like a bull, hurting like a rabbit... As usual I chose to lash out instead of talking. I succeeded, didn't I? In breaking you, wounding you... like I was wounded. But I came to my senses and accepted your innocence. Contrite, I went to you and at that moment only hope sustained my steps. You were so generous... again I should have known better. All forgiven, nothing forgotten, right? I believe that episode was the catalyst for your later actions.
However, before my dream crumbled to pieces, we were consumed by the embers of desire. The heart thumped as my body throbbed the first time you surrendered your body to me. Through unspoken words placed on unmoving lips, we silently stated our love and devotion. As I entered your body, you allowed me into the unfathomable depths of your soul. Overwhelmed and overjoyed my eyes welled with tears of an unnamed emotion. For many years said emotion remained unnamed, only now, as I relive the past and peel away the layers of denial protecting the truth, can I recognize those tears for what they were: the lament of a boy who knew that happiness is ephemeral.
The menace of reality loomed on the horizon, like weeds spoiling the most perfect garden, but I only cared about how the pale night of moonlight bathed your naked skin. Those stolen moments of bliss when our bodies connected filled me with the overwhelming joy of a well loved man... there you were mine, only mine. Sharing has never crossed my mind – I've always been a possessive lover. I loved to have all of your attention, all of your smiles, all of your affection... It was almost like I could sense that I wouldn't be allowed to keep you forever.
The only gift I ever asked for was you, with me, forever. But my prayers would be left answered, wouldn't day? For you succumbed to a ghost haunting the living. I clang to you, like an infant does to his favourite toy. Do you know why? Do you even care that I had what can only be described as a premonition and a memory? A memory of your first betrayal, a premonition of your incoming treachery.
I never had the nerve to ask before, but why did you do it? Even after forgiving you, I never truly understood the reason for your deceit. Was it an action born out of fear? Were you scared of our looming separation? Did you think I wanted it? Or worst, that I knew about it, but failed to tell you? I did the only thing I could have done: I surrendered myself to the inevitable. But you had plans of your own, didn't you?
You brought him to my home... Right underneath my nose and didn't even bother to prepare me... I had to find out for myself. The sight of your former lover was like a poison blackening my vision. Did you know how hard I fought to control myself? But keeping my shortcomings from hurting you was my sole purpose, so I endured. And you rewarded me by showering me with attention and love, but it was a brief respite from the dramatic play waiting for its leading actors and nothing more. Were your attentions a diversion technique? Were you already tainting our love by lying with him? I never knew... Do I want to know? It doesn't matter now because I will never know the answer.
Why, Edward? What did your betrayal mean to you? Was it an unorthodox solution to an unnatural problem, namely me? Was it a moment of weakness? No, it doesn't matter because it hurt all the same. You had the arms of a saviour, mind of a tormentor... while you embraced me you plotted a way to meet him, didn't you? Why didn't you just talk to me? That's what hurts the most: knowing that while I bared my soul to you, you were thinking of another or at least of a way to get rid of me. Yes, I've entertained the possibility that you wanted me to see you with him... Was that it? Were you exacting your revenge on me? That would have been irrational, it wasn't my fault... didn't you know that? I didn't want to be sent away.
Seeing you engaged in an act of lust and deceit was the catalyst to my descent to the lowest pits of debauchery. Yes, the death of my innocence rests on your shoulders, but what I truly mourn is the loss of my dreams of romance and my hope for a happy ending. By forsaking our love you erased the path of our fate and replaced it with a nightmare of hurt and separation. We could have been beautiful... Oh, so beautiful...
Choices were made and lives were altered. By choosing to be the villain instead of accepting the role of a victim I forced you to behold the monster born out of the ashes of your former lover. But there was so much heartbreak on your deceitful eyes... Why Edward? Why did you care? Hadn't you just welcomed another man into your body? Was it because she was a woman? I did to you what you did to me, but the pain written all over your face when you saw me with her made me feel guilty. Your face turned red with... anger? jealousy? shame? There you stood, scarlet as the deep end of a heaven turned hell while I was perversely satisfied by the pain I was causing you.
Now that many years have passed, I wonder if everything was what it seemed to be. Was there something other than lust compelling your hideous actions? An ulterior motive? I will forever be foolishly trapped by my own ignorance, because, despite everything, I will always doubt: a part of me is constantly wondering if any truth ever escaped your lips. Because I was desperately needing a friend to help me understand the loss of my soulmate's love I ended up falling into the clutches of the man whose deceitful personality eventually trapped me into an impossible bargain.
In his arms, I cried all the sorrow of my heart. With him I learned how to be a libertine... Anything to distract me from loving you because I couldn't take it anymore. Loving you was too painful and losing myself to the sins of the flesh, too tempting. But not everything was about forgetting you. A good portion of my choices were dictated by the need to make you understand the depth of my rejection... of you, of what we shared.
The day I flaunted my mistress before your hurt eyes was a desperate attempt at proving that I was over you... but I wasn't. Deep inside I wanted to harm you because then I would know that you still cared. And you did... your heartbreak plain to the eyes, but impossible to understand. After so much time we still loved each other. Why did you hurt me? Why did I hurt you? Why did you let me lead that kind of life? There were so many things tainting my innocence, completing the work you had started.
Though cautioned by you, I was unprepared to the darkness that descended into my existence. Like a serpent insinuating itself into my life, came a devil in lady's clothes. She took me to the lion's den were iniquity left a deep scar in my wary soul. Illuminating my darkness with your wisdom wasn't enough, for they were words of advice given by a scorned lover. In the aftermath of our encounter at the opera house I was left unsettled by a sense of impending tragedy...
Prescience or inference, I will never know which, but I was aware of the malevolence lingering in the air. I should have listened to the bells ringing in my mind, but everything ceased to exist but the bliss of taking and being taken. Thus started an obsession that would culminate with my marriage to the daughter of a monster: with a rape of the soul and a degradation of the body that I could no longer feel as my own.
Terrified of the man I had become, I came to you in despair. In your eyes there were no lies or deceit, just the never ending love you used to feel. Had you felt it all along? Were you mine, truly mine even after you betrayed me? I wanted to know, to tell you the truth I still do, because coming back to you, despite everything you had done made me realize that I was still yours, so yours.
However, we were not the same... I had changed so much that I could barely recognize myself on the mirror – the man staring back at me was a dissipated version of the boy I used to be. At that moment I stood at a crossroads: needing to be something other, losing what I was... I was nothing but memories and prospects – a being with without a present. I wasn't ready to trust you again... to let my love shine. I needed to regain my sense of self worth. You had to let me go, I had to let myself go, but did you ever truly understand why? I think not... then, why did you let me go?
I wish you had stopped me, but at the same time I'm glad you didn't. A young bird far from the nest is forced to learn how to spread its wings and learn to fly. Being stripped from the privileges of my station and having to face fear made me grow into a man. The things that had been so dear to me lost their meaning... pride was not on the forefront of my mind. So, I waited... I eagerly waited for a letter from you. For years you remained silent and it broke my heart. I wondered if you had forgotten me, moved on...
But then it came... desperate pleas for what had already been given. I had already forgiven your misstep, or at least decided that it wasn't enough to keep me from you. No, I could never forget your betrayal, but I could choose to let go of my pride and came back to you. Major Whitlock was going home, but before our reunion could take place, I had some other obstacles to conquer.
On a dingy, uncomfortable bed, my mauled body trembled anew with the force of fear of never seeing you again. There, I started to understand that I was partially responsible for our separation. I should have talked to you, fought for us...done everything I could to keep you with me. Inside my chest, hope for a happy reunion started to bloom and I started to believe that redemption was within my reach.
Faith guided me back to my heart – to you, my love. The memory of you was showing me the path long forgotten... the one towards truth and honesty. My next step was pouring my heart on a letter much shorter than this one, but just as emotional. Beyond the words you saw the feelings unwritten – you understood the depth of my promise.
But you were no longer free to love me. My pride drove you to the arms of the very man responsible for the rift between us. He was older... I'm sure he seduced you, manipulated you. Yes, I laid the blame at his feet. You had a tough decision to make, but as always you came through for me – however difficult, you always chose me and
I've always chosen you, even when I tried to deny it. Do you realize that you weren't alone in your devotion? Can you understand how much you meant to me? How much you still mean to me?
Those early days of our blissful reunion were spent in a safe haven of love rediscovered. We were whole and holy, sanctified in our love. I was in awe of the man you had become, so loving, so caring, so gentle... And you accepted me despite of my scarred body and stained character. I could hardly believe in the good fortune of not only escaping death, but also being given life... Yes, because being with you meant that I was truly alive. Despite my physical limitations, I was truly happy because in your arms the pain faded away.
You became my alpha and my omega, my reason to be. You patiently listened to my confessions, understood my conflicts, forgave my mistakes... more than my lover, my confidant. Despite the painful words that needed to be said we were playful and untroubled, for we were celebrating our love and anticipating a happy future shared with each other.
But perfection could never be maintained, for life didn't stop. Our happiness so easily lost, crushed under the weight of death and responsibility. The loss of your parents was a terrible blow to your delicate heart. Despite my incessant, feverish pray to take away your pain I could see you withering, but the worst part of it all was being forbidden to give what you needed by the moral laws of an hypocritical society. But no common sense was enough to keep me from you... I loved you too much, treasured your well being above everything, even safety.
I felt like a bull ready to kill for my mate... Your raw emotions bringing out the protector in me, clouding my judgement, making me so oblivious to the all seeing eyes of prejudice. Do you remember my father's visit? It was the first sign of trouble. I should have paid closer attention, but I was so consumed by need to protect you, so absorbed by the belief of destined mates that I failed...
Oh, my father... I came to him armed for a war of wills... Did you know that I never truly asked for his forgiveness? He was a loving man, on his own way... Oh, preconception of mine, obscuring the light of love... He loved me you know? Only now can I appreciate how much... How much he had to deny and overcome in order to help me on my darkest hour.
My sole focus your wellbeing... I wasn't ready to deal with my father. My eyes, heart and mind were yours, all yours... I lived only for the sensations... your taste so vivid on my tongue... the impression of your desire on my flesh. For me it was a perfect time, because we lived side by side, companions, partners, lovers... But it wasn't enough, not for you. Did you think I would never realize? I could feel your mind out of my reach... I thought we were each other's rock, but we were not.
The time spent in your country estate was my ideal of delight, but I could see that it wasn't enough to make you happy. I tried to not let it bother me, but it did... so very much. Why couldn't you be pleased? We had each other, we were relatively free to express our love... Why did you feel the need for more? I was so content... but I felt your restlessness tugging at my heart and decided that working hard for your happiness was to be my only commitment.
Even though I was wary of anyone beyond us, I pushed my own feelings aside and re-entered society. Being inside those ballrooms was like a vision of an unwanted future. And I was right, wasn't I? That's where I spent a good portion of the past ten years... Back then, I had made an oath for your everlasting happiness. It was all for you... but you already knew it, didn't you? You were happy, loved, confidant.
However, there was the thrill of temptation menacing the lull of love. Did you truly believe that I wouldn't know? That I wouldn't notice? I could see how much you craved adventure, how much you desired some of the men whose eyes lingered on you. I did it all for you and even that wasn't enough. Don't you see? I felt like an outsider in a world that should have been my own, but I endured. For you! And you lusted after other man! How dared you?
I hated you for not valuing my efforts to please you. The desire to leave you was overwhelming... I had other options. I didn't have to suffer through your indifference or your wondering eyes. Every time I was about to leave you... I don't know, it was like you could sense it, because every time you came to me... My lion, so beautiful and purposeful. An every time I succumbed to your exquisite seduction. It was a vicious circle of abandonment and loving care... It confused me, scared me...
Life with you felt like a loving tryst interrupted by reality – heaven and hell, nothing more, nothing less. I was never given the time to truly consider my predicament, for a ghost from an unsettling past re-emerged, turning our routine upside-down... His spectrum hovering over our heads threatened to drive us apart. Guilty and compassionated, you acted like a needy man determined to wake the past. We could no longer pretend to be dancing on clouds, living on dreams, for Emmett's arrest forced the prejudice of our time down our throats.
The shadow of your past obscured our love, for the concern you so obviously felt cut deep at my heart. And I could feel your pain, for your suffering has always been mine to endure. Instead of trying to talk about my own feelings, protecting you in any way I could was the choice I made. As unbelievable as it was, I felt my own feelings hurt by his predicament. The thought that it could have been you tortured my mind with images I'd rather not imagine.
However, my efforts to soothe your pain were left unnoticed. You never stopped to consider how much of a trial seeing you cry over another man was to me. By holding yourself from me, you fed the doubts gnawing at my insides. Did you regret choosing me? Given the choice to turn back time would you have chosen differently? Did you love him? But my heart wasn't important, so I did everything I could to help him.
Your greatest asset, your heart; your biggest flaw, the inability to realize how much I needed reassurance. I'm human, I bleed, I bruise... I needed words of love and your undivided attention. I sacrificed my needs in order to give you what you wanted... It was all for you, to keep your heart from breaking. However, it was a vain effort. In the end I was subjected to the greatest pain, to see you make an impossible decision, one I couldn't take from your hands. I was unable to salvage the situation... a failure turned into a sea of regret.
I wasn't oblivious to the pain tearing you apart. Emmett was important – I knew it and I came to accept it. But wasn't I important too? You were my strength and by choosing to alienate me you made me weak, vulnerable. I felt bad for his plight, I truly did, but I felt sorry for myself too. You cried so much over him and I know part of your heart was buried with him. You were the sole owner of my heart, but yours was divided. Oh, waking dread, asleep agony of having to console you when I need comfort myself.
But you never truly needed me to pick up your pieces. So worried about the broken boy, the rising man was almost lost to me. So lonely in your grief, so scared in my preoccupation... we led separate lives until the day you were ready to accept me back into your life. There was so much perfection in your smile that I was jolted out of my gloomy state. The amazing feeling of belonging to you silenced the question I yearned to ask. So sweet the taste of your lips that I forgot the bitterness of your rejection.
If only you knew that you were already perfection to my eyes, but then you did, didn't you ? That's how you led me on a merry chase. Sex was your weapon, the love I felt for you was your army on a war for supremacy. Oh, you won beautifully, for I was always left burning for your vibrant colours... I was so enchanted by you that I failed to communicate the things I needed by putting aside my sense of self on an effort to please you. You were my master and I was your servant, for you only loved me when I indulged your every whim.
It wasn't right how my heart faltered at the sight of you, how your wish was my command. Distance gave me a little perspective and I found myself dealing with unwanted feelings of rising desire. Unlike you, I didn't feel comfortable with having my heart pulled in opposite directions. I felt low, like a traitor... all the things you should have felt during the Emmett debacle, but never did. I lusted for James, but there was some tenderness as well. A healthy dose of respect and admiration joined the mix adding to my confusion.
A whole new path was opened before me. Loving James would have been so easy... between us there wasn't the pain of betrayal or the knowledge that he would never be completely mine. His love for me shone in his every word, his every action. I felt hope for the future... and a hint of sadness for what could never be. Why did you have to own me so completely? So irrevocably? Too much to feel, to little to do... I was determined to keep my distance from him. But a shock of awareness coursed through me when I felt the warmth of his body against mine, in that moment there was no you, only him. I was so unaware of my own weakness... I felt like such a fraud for almost taking a lover.
So many things you never knew... You never knew how much it hurt me to leave James behind. You never knew how much I sacrificed to be with you. You always assumed you were the victim, the wronged party, because it's so easy for you to hide beneath the cloak of sensitivity. You made mistakes too and most of my mistakes can be traced back to your indifference to your wicked nature. Still, I have always been the one who said I'm sorry... but you never did, did you? My forgiveness has always been your due.
I so dreaded a confrontation about my feeling for James, but I was determined to be honest with you. However, once again, our lives changed by the kindness of your heart... Why did you have to help Courtenay?Oh, so inconsequent the actions of the brave... or should I simply call you stupid for not taking our security more seriously? Didn't you worry about how it could shed light on the nature of our relationship?
And why didn't you pay attention to the hearts you bruised along the way? Why was your heart so flighty, your affection so easily given and so easily denied? The girl loved you... Even though enraged by her actions I could appreciate the desperate measures that unrequited love seems to elicit. So bitter the heart of the rejected, so blind to the futility of trying to be noticed...
The shock of having you yanked away from my arms... Words cannot describe that kind of pain. Not even being deserted by you hurt as much as the prospect of having to exist in a world where you no longer lived. So fearful the mind of the guilty... You were so ready to embrace your death, to admit defeat. It scared me, it jolted me into action. It was my darkest hour and help came from unexpected quarters.
So strong the heart of the loving... able to overcome a life of inured prejudice. My father looked at me and in his eyes the answer shined through. It was all a game for the dispassionate authorities, one that my father had mastered decades before. Though depending upon the judgement of a questionable man, we were eventually saved by the love I had never believed in.
Behind the scenes a much darker force had plotted the demise of our love. Bemused by the unknown reasons for inexplicable actions I confronted the master puppeteer and was hit by the pain of the betrayed. The man I had once loved and respected as my dearest friend, was overcome by the driving force of anger, unleashing upon me the chilling power of hate. Madness brimming on his eyes, the gates of hell opened and trapped me inside.
That day I sealed our fate by sacrificing my honour to gain your freedom. My marriage to Isabella was arranged as a trade: the servant girl for the protection of my name. Back then, I never intended to uphold my promise... I was ready to face dishonour if only I could keep you with me. I committed one more sin before the end by delivering the ultimate punishment to the weakest villain around us, the only one I could touch.
Tainted, I went to you, but I couldn't bring myself to relate the villainy of the people who had conspired against you. So, you kept on living on the illusion of safety. But your eyes were already opened to the colourless vision of adulthood and because paradise was never ours to take we had to learn how to deal with so many broken dreams. We realized that never daring to reach for the stars was the only way to survive amongst our peers.
Allowing ourselves one more dream before reality we said goodbye to each other and started to lead separate lives. Looking back, I can appreciate the wisdom of your protests for more circumspect behaviour. However, I was so hurt by your words, especially after everything I had done for you that I never stopped to consider how you truly felt about letting me go. Were you happy to be free to visit other men's beds? Did you ever miss me at all?
Absorbed by our relationship problems I was crushed by the loss of the forgotten father who had proved his love for me on the most devastating, undeniable way. The comfort I needed from you never came. Where were you? When you felt the pain of losing your parents I was there for you, every step of the way... but you weren't there for me. You failed me, disappointed me, hurt me... Though offering a poor substitute the arms of my mistress were the only available source of affection for my needy self. Can you blame me for taking from her what you didn't bother to offer me?
As always, I was sadly missing your presence. Though hurt, betrayed and bitter, I was still receptive to your attentions. Feigning the normalcy of the insane, I took you to my bed and into my heart. No apologies were made, but I needed you too much to demand an explanation. Our assignments were few and far in between and I couldn't help but be overjoyed by the fact that you still came to me. But the light of dawn always stole my lover... My only thought "and like that, he is gone, like someone who was never here".
No decisions come without a price, my love. I thought I could survive the fee, but I missed the bigger picture. By acceding to your voiced wishes I betrayed the yearnings of your heart. In hindsight that's as clear as day, but how was I to know the extent of your deceit? You deceived yourself into believing that you could live with the duality of truths untold. And by doing so, you had me believing that I could survive the burden of destroying an innocent woman.
The painful choices leading to destruction of love, rest upon my shoulder. But how can I be blamed when I was blindsided by your lies? By my own need to be enjoy a female body? By so many variants that came into play only later on? I was defeated by the powerful players entering the battlefield: the promise of honour and continuance of our love affair. The betrothal contract was the instrument of so many lives destruction...
I had made my peace with you and the future betrayal of my wife. They were truces made over the tears of others, for they were bound to bruise the hearts of everyone around me, including my own. You never knew, my love, how I never meant to marry her, not until you told me that one day I would have to take a wife. You made the choice and then punished me for doing exactly as you said. Do you perceive how unfair that was?
I realize that I should have fought harder for you, for us... but between us stood the unsaid raising a barrier that shouldn't be there... Oh, the ominous flaws of the frightened perpetuated the sin of silence and isolation. Our unvoiced insecurities turned to abysms of repressed anger that not even the bliss of love healed could completely erase.
The years preceding my marriage were spent in a tentative peace, barely maintained by denial of our relationship's impending doom. Yes, I could feel the coldness seeping into your heart and the distaste you had for my bride. Consumed by the beauty of desire, the perfection of love we never truly prepared ourselves to the future and to the strength of love about to be tested by my infatuation with my bride to be. And everything changed before your perceptive eyes, but as usual you failed to inform me.
Yes, I was in love with her, just like you had been in love with Emmett. I never held it against you, why couldn't you have returned the favour? We could have been happy, all of us... you, me, Isabella. Had you stayed I could have loved her forever... I could have loved you forever... I could have had enough love to spare a kind word to my daughter... I wouldn't have become the monster I am.
However, the paths of destiny were erased by your hasty actions, devastating futures of innocent victims of your stupidity and my inability to deny you – everything you wanted, you got it. Yes, it was you who started the chain of events which culminated in my marriage. You wanted that. Why, why punish me for complying with your wishes? Because I cared for her? Were you acting out of jealousy? Or did you just want out of the mess we had created?
Loving was not enough, not for you... You had to have everything your own way. Because I dared to defy you wishes by actually caring about my bride, you saw fit to punish me in the cruellest way. Lost to me by your own will, you knew that I could never manage to find happiness with her... I came do resent her, did you know that? Was that your plan all along? You destroyed me, Isabella... and my poor little child, the one who would have never known love had it not been for Isabella's generous heart.
Yet, I survived on the hope of your return. But the true finale was yet to come... You couldn't allow me to hold on to a shred of dignity, could you? You had to come back and deliver the final blow to my almost nonexistent soul... But despite everything, all the bitterness, the lingering doubts, the resentment... Edward, I miss you... the you, you used to be... the you who loved me...
And that night you stood there looking at me with your beautiful, soulful eyes... and you were no longer mine, but so heartbreakingly you. Knowing the extent of your devotion to your current lover was a nightmare within a nightmare, but as usual, I could deny you nothing. Giving you the closure you so obviously needed, our bittersweet reunion was a silent acceptance of the fate I could no longer avoid. Abandoned by everyone I loved, the love I tried to pour into our dance was a song to say goodbye – my heart's last lament to your mended soul.
Soon, I will be confined to the shrine of the deceased but that's where I want to be. A life without love is a life without meaning, and your return extinguished all hope. This letter isn't an attempt to reach out from the grave and poison your life with guilt, for I forgave your sins even though my own are unforgivable. This is an epistle of love and loss – an emotional outburst of repressed love and unbearable longing.
Like a ray of light you blinded my vision. On my heart and mind it has always been you. Love of my life, master of my soul, I could have continued living if the illusion of your return had not been shattered in that ballroom. But now it is too late to forget the sight of you loving another. I'm sorry for all the hurt I caused you. My last gift to you is our story, told through my eyes, so you can see how loved you were, even if I failed to show it properly. Feel no guilt, for it was my choice. Do not waste yourself on impossible possibilities. Be happy, for me, for you... For all we could have been.
Until we meet again.
AN: Jasper's relationship with Isabella is further explored in The Unbearable Weight of Truths Untold.
This is it... no more Outtakes. This story is my pride and joy - I hope you loved it as much as I do.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!