Disclaimer: Twilight, and its characters, belong to Stephenie Meyer. I just use them for the purpose of telling this tale.

Warning: This story may contain scenes of self-harm, cutting, suicide, questionable consensual sex, graphic drug use, consensual sex, and lots of angst. Read with extreme caution.

I would not have been able to write this story without my wonderful story team: jointgifts, dinx, Mizzdee, Vampire Extraordinaire, and DivineInspiration. I adore them the most when they point out my mistakes.

I started this story as an exercise in angst writing to get back into that mindset after working on When the Dust Settles for so long. I saw so much potential with this little prologue, I decided it should be a full-lenghted fic. And after months of work, this is the end result. The story you are about to read is not for the faint of heart, so if angst is not your thing, I won't be offended if you click the back button. For everyone else…enjoy the ride. This is going to hurt. A lot.


Prologue

We All Fall Down

~.~.~.~

Ring around a rosy
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes
We all fall down

~.~.~.~

Edward Masen.

That name brings to mind many emotions—love, hate, despair, bliss, pain, comfort. He was everything to me and the bane of my existence all rolled into one. He was a demon from the depths of hell on a mission to steal my soul. He was an angel sent from heaven to be my redemption.

Edward once said that our love was like a powder keg—volatile, but when ignited, would light up the entire night sky.

He always had pretty words for me. It was just too bad he never meant what he said.

Fucking bastard.

It wouldn't be fair for me to place all of the blame on him, though. I wasn't some weak girl that let him steamroll me. Instead, half of all our problems were caused by my thirst for revenge. When he hurt me, I tried to make him hurt worse. It was a never-ending cycle of pain, betrayal, and the need to even the score.

Sitting on the bathroom floor, I looked around the sterile, white space. It was a shame. I had always imagined I'd die in my own bed or in some kind of romanticized, blaze-of-glory type situation. The hurt, pain, and shame that I still carried with me, even after all those years, made that impossible, though.

Edward Motherfucking Masen.

I knew it was cliché, killing myself over a lost love who had probably never loved me back. Bad movies, and even worse songs, had been written about the subject time and time again. But the article in the newspaper I had seen a few days before had broken the locks on the turmoil I'd tried to bury deep, letting the pain consume every part of my soul. I was about to become a statistic, and as I thought about it, I couldn't have given less of a shit.

I picked up the small paring knife lying next to my leg, turning it over and over and wondering what it was really like to slip into oblivion. Did you see your life flash before you in a collage of memories? Did a white light at the end of a long tunnel beckon you? Or was everything we'd ever been told about the journey into the afterlife a pile of lies, and nothing was waiting for you on the other side?

A sob bubbled up in my throat. I was scared, but at the same time, I was determined. It was hard work to keep up a façade of happiness when you were dying on the inside, and the will to keep my wall up just wasn't there anymore. I craved the peace that was promised when you fell into death's embrace.

A strong face with auburn hair and green eyes invaded my mind as my eyelids slid shut. The memories of Edward's smug smile that could get me to agree to any crazy plan he would come up with, and those hands that had explored every inch of my body fluttered through. The I love yous, the you are everything to mes, and the I promise I'll never leave yous echoed in my skull like a pounding headache.

My eyes snapped open, and the tears poured down my face. My emotions switched, and rage colored my vision. I stood up and threw the knife across the room, watching as it clattered on the floor.

Fuck you, Edward.

And fuck me, too.

Turning my head, I saw the girl in the mirror mocking me. She was a shell of the beautiful woman she had once been. Her emaciated form from years of drug abuse and self-destructive behavior stared back at me accusingly. Unable to face the truth of the reflection, I smashed my fist through the glass. A loud shattering sound reverberated through the small space as flesh and bone met the breakable glass over and over again. I pulled away, my chest heaving with hard pants from the exertion of pounding the mirror until it was nothing more than a pile of broken glass. As the shards fell into the standalone basin and onto the floor, I could hear a high-pitched tinkling sound.

I leaned over the sink and noticed my knuckles were coated in red. Raising one of my hands up, I clenched it tightly and watched as the blood flowed slowly from the cuts created in my release of anger. I turned my still-closed fist from side to side, mesmerized by the sight. The funny thing was…I felt no pain. A hysterical laugh escaped me as I realized that I was, for the first time in my life, blissfully numb. All the fears about not being able to handle the pain associated with slitting my wrists vanished. If it hurt at all, I was confident that I could handle it.

My letter to him had already been written, and I had sent it out the previous day. All of my goodbyes had been mailed at the same time. My mother and father, my former best friend, my roommate, and the one person I wished, more than anything, I could make amends with—even though, nothing I could ever do would make up for the pain I'd caused that person.

I looked away from my bloodied hand and shifted my gaze to the shards on the tile. Bending down and picking up a large piece, I decided that I was going to be theatrical and even more cliché by cutting myself with a piece of a mirror to end my life.

It was somehow fitting that I would use a symbol of my former vanity and pride, reducing myself to the joke that everyone I'd ever known had secretly whispered to each other behind my back. If the gossip hounds of Forks could see me, I knew the rumor mill would be working overtime.

I stood back up and walked over to the bathtub, ignoring the slight sting as the tiny splinters of the looking glass embedded themselves into my feet. The crimson trail behind me was hard to miss as I turned and sat down in front of the tub. It was also impossible to deny the sight of the once pristine and immaculately white bathroom had morphed into something much more macabre. Broken glass in various sizes covered half of the floor combined with the bloody footprints, resembling the chaos I felt on the inside.

Maybe now, he will finally see me.

Letting that thought drift away, I placed my left arm, palm side up, on my thigh and tried to will myself to make the first slice. Harsh breaths replaced the eerie quiet of the bathroom as I lifted the sharp glass and pressed it into my skin. As I made the vertical cut, I pushed hard and felt the snap as the tissue gave way. The pain was great, but the lack of emotion I had for anything made it easy to stay on task.

Once the crude, jagged three inch incision was finished, I switched hands and started on the other arm. In my planning, I hadn't expected that I would lose the use of my left hand, making it almost impossible to carve my right wrist. I was only able to open it up a small amount before I dropped the crude, makeshift blade onto the floor. It clattered when it met the tile, and I could feel the blood running down my hands in rivulets as they went slack against the ground.

My head tilted back, and I welcomed the pain while the minutes passed. My life was slowly slipping away; all I could think about was that it had been a success. One goal that I had made for myself had been met. A twisted smile pulled against my lips as the sick sense of pride washed over me. I was not a failure, after all.

My last thought, before my eyes closed and the blackness overtook me, was of him—Edward. I could see his beautiful face clearly, and I let myself bask in daydreams of the one thing I'd always wanted but had never gotten.

Edward…without complications.


If you, or someone you know, are dealing with suicidal thoughts, there are people out there who can help. Check out http:/www(dot)suicidepreventionlifeline(dot)org/

I'm going to try and update every week or, if that doesn't work, every ten days. We'll see how that goes. :) You can find me on Twitter under the name shelikethesound. I talk about my husband, this story, and other miscellaneous things. Until next time, lovelies!