SM owns Twilight.

AN1: "Perhaps a great love is never returned" is a quote by Dag Hammerskjold.

AN2: Through this short story you will notice that sometimes Bella, when talking about Edward, says "he", other times she says "you". No, I'm not an idiot and it isn't a mistake, it is a recourse to show you when she feels alienated and when she feels closer, respectively. Also, for some parts of this, I felt necessary to change the narrator from first person to third person, since our characters wouldn't have been able to explain their own state of mind.

AN3: Please, take notice that this is an Angst/Drama story, don't hope for a happily ever after, with some stories it is impossible to achieve the fairy tale ending.

1993 – Bella

He walks like he doesn't care. Which is probably true. Such self confidence is dazzling. Unheard of on these rainy desolate shores. All eyes follow this strange lanky boy. Even the unimpressive myopic eyes of the chubby mouse in the corner. My eyes.

If slow motion was possible in the real world, this moment would surely warrant it. Red hair, cut like the latest fashion. Eyes as green as the forest that surrounds us. His skin... your skin makes me cry, strange boy.

Don't see me. See me. The first sparks of puberty. Confusion. Fright. Sadness. It's all because of you. Awaken in such a brutal manner, my new found teenager self is plunged in turmoil. You will be one of them, I'm only me. And it's not enough, never enough...

Days go by and still I watch. Fascinated. The way you move. The way you interact. You are the purest form of royalty. The king of school. Or at least of our grade. Kind. Charismatic. But haughty and proud.

School hierarchy has always been of no consequence to me. I've never really mingled. I have some school-friends. But these friendships only last the school-year. My vacations are devoid of their company.

But ever since you came, I want more. I've tried to go on a diet. I've begged my father for contact lenses. I've convinced my mother to dye my hair blond. But I'm still fat. My father said I'm too young for contacts. And my hair... let's just say that the kindest comment I got for it is "little lyon". So bad.

"Una macaca aun que vestida de oro, macaca se queda" ("A monkey even if covered in gold, a monkey remains"). I should have listened to you, father. It was sage advice.

Convinced it's hopeless I go on as I always have. The perfect student. The perfect daughter. The one who will succeed. The world at my feet. Or so they say. But she gets to have you. Your smiles. Your attention.

She. It's the deepest cut that she gets to be part of your world. My cousine. It' expected. But it still hurts. We are not close. She has high standards, which I don't seem to make. But you do.

From the corners I watch you two get closer and closer. So evenly matched. Such a beautiful sight. So heartbreaking for me. Oh, little mouse don't cry...

Sometimes, when she acknowledges my existence, you look at me. You smile. Just a little. And you take my breath away. And I'm never able to say more than one word. And then you move on to more interesting subjects. Your vassals.

Just like any other court, yours demand entertainment. Outings. Parties. School dances. All part of growing up. All leading to firsts. Dates. Kisses. You kissing her. Heart wrenching. Sinful envy interloping with awe running through my veins. The unkissed one. The one in the corner. Watching, always watching...

1998 – Bella

Happiness. Forever eluding me. Only a feeling of relief seems present. Never see him again. Regret and elation. So contradictory. But it's time to move on to new shores, new challenges. A young bird spreading its wings. A chance to blossom. Or so I hope.

The shell that once protected me has been shed, little by little, over the years. Make no mistake. The better part of it remains. But some light permeated my darkness and on a February afternoon a dark skinned kid two years my junior took the plunge and kissed me. There was no real spark. He wasn't you. He didn't have your passion. But he spared me a look and some attention. It had to be enough. It was all I ever had. He took my mouth, invaded my body and left me the next summer. It didn't bother me. At least he was kind to me while it lasted.

Packing my belongings, for the first time in my life I am truly looking forward to something. It should have been going away to college, but for the sake of honesty I must confess it's about leaving you behind. It hurts like severing a limb. It is also a relief, a chance to breath. You have been the center of my world for too long. It isn't healthy, I know it. That's the reason I'm so excited about discovering who I might become if the shadow of you isn't clouding my vision, disturbing my heart.

Saying goodbye to my family is a merry occasion spoiled only by your peck on my cheek and your hollow words promising to miss someone you had never before bothered to know.

2002 – Bella

Life in college is hard. A lot of work, not enough money, too many thoughts of you. At least I managed to make some friends. Good people who make me feel less awkward, less inadequate. Sometimes they drag me to the preferred diversions of the college kids. When that happens there is no balm to the wounds my soul will unavoidable bear due to the encounter with others of my species. Or what should have been my species.

Sorority parties are the worst, for the beauty of the party-goers is a remainder of my own deficiencies. Alice drags me to one, no matter my protest and my pleas. Of course she disappeared leaving me to my own devices, which are not many or effective for that matter.

I stand on a dark nook observing the crowd, keeping myself company, trying not to cry in loneliness. All necks crane to see the newcomer. Immune to humanity as I seem to be, it catches me of guard the movement I decide to fall with the flock. I look too. There he stands.

Edward. On his arm a beautiful blond. On his lips the crooked smile. On his eyes a coldness that has me shivering in fear. Like a stalker I lurk in the shadows silently following him, soaking on the vision of the man I could never forget. He drinks. He parties. He flirts. He gets dumped by his date. He shrugs like he doesn't mind her little show of indignation and goes seek the favours of another willingly female.

Deep into my heart I wish he would take me to his bed. At least once. Just so I could know how it feels like to be touched by him. Then, when the cold nights of solitude come I could pretend that I was his and he would come back, indulging in the memory of his lovemaking, believing a fairy tale that would never come to pass.

While I daydream in the safety of my dark corner, he gets drunk. Filthy drunk. He is falling and being made fun of. That shouldn't happen. He is above us all, he is something other. I can't walk away from him, not even when I know I should. It would be safer to my already damaged heart, but that same bruised organ demands that I take him home. Braving the scolds directed at me I come to your rescue. There is no glimpse of recognition on your eyes. You don't see me. Even though we are nose to nose. I know you wouldn't remember me, but it still hurts.

Somehow I take you home. Undress you. Try to put you to bed. You are chuckling softly, saying that for now I would have to do. You touch my breasts and lift my skirt and without delay you bend me over the bed and thrust yourself inside my still dry body. It's painful but I don't say a word, because it's you shoving yourself inside of me. Your body possessing mine. You cum and fall asleep. I didn't orgasm but it's okay because it was for you. I know I don't deserve more than the pure joy of having you with me.

We sleep together on the same bed. Another dream come true. The light of a new morning shines on me, bringing back conscience. I look for you, but you are no longer there. You left.

February, 2007 – Bella

Locked into a world of ingénue fantasies, happiness is plausible. A self created prison embellished by silk roses. A delicate web of interlaced lies. A beautiful deceit. A protective shell. Be as it may, it's where I live. Inside my own head.

The world can be a harsh place for someone like me. I've learned what I'm. And mostly I've made my peace with it. It's bearable. Manageable. Except when it's not. Then it hurts...

Unbidden the cruel mind summons the first lesson in self-awareness given by none other than my seven year old cousine. The so called children's innocence would forever be a foreign concept to me. Because of that day. That was the day I was set apart. The day I learned I was different. Therefore to be mocked.

Bad-words and ruthless laughter still reverberate in my ears. Even now. After so many years. It's still a battle, looking myself in the mirror. My worst sin is one I've never committed. Not really. Genetics dictated it.

Sighing I stop my line of thought. No point in dwelling. Not about the past. Or the present. I have everything I need. It's ungrateful to be aspiring to more. The world is filled with so much suffering, so much pain. It's not right to complain. So I don't.

But sometimes, everybody cries. Even the woman who tries not to. And on those days my face bears the marks of my scarred soul. More work for me. More cover up to do. And no relief to show for it.

Striving to look my best, I get ready for the day. Unlike most women there's no pleasure or sense of self appreciation involved on the task. It's just another part of a routine. A inescapable demand of living in society.

Plastering a fake smile upon my face I leave for the day. To play a part on the desolate plot that life seems to be. Doing the same work. Telling the same stories. Laughing at the same jokes. A life lived on replay.

Nights are always the same. Escaping into a world never meant to the likes of me. That's where lies the beauty of the written word. Anyone can be perfect. Anyone can be free. Anyone can be happy.

On the odd nights, when my human nature demands to be heard, an awkward attempt at human interaction takes place on the virtual realm. Even then the lines don't seem to flow. The art of conversation is lost on me.

Sincerity compels me to say my humanity is debatable. Everything that seems to be defined as human is lacking in me. Or is buried so deep inside that is unreachable. But, of course, that's just a theory. One of many.

A hollow existence for a vacant being. Whatever is inside of me is better left unexplored. On the rare occasions it threatens to spill to the conscious mind the feeling is overbearing. A fire that devours the last shreds of sanity.

No dreams, no plans. An existence carefully designed for a quick departure. To another place. Another dimension. To nothing. The destination is not relevant. Just the prospect of changes. Of a non existence.

No between, since there are no extremes. No black, no white. Gray. Except for the color. The one little smudge on a landscape of gray. So tiny. Long forgotten. Forever remembered. The last nagging want that refuses to die. The only one who can shake the safe world I've created.

The name escapes the confines of the high walls built to protect secrets better left untold. Unexplored. The burning for something not meant to be. Don't go there. There's not another place to go since he stands before her eyes, greeting her with a friendly smile.


April, 2007 – Bella

Floating on a haze of unprecedented happiness I smile and sing. The bleak life I had once resigned myself to has been painted with startling color of vibrant energy, sweeping away the sadness of twenty seven years hiding from the world. Darkness and routine no longer suit me, I'm now a creature of lightness all due to the man who has been paying attention to me, talking to me, taking me out. Me. The plump mouse. Bella.

It doesn't matter that you never tried anything romantic between us, besotted fool that I'm everything is an excuse to maintain the illusion of involvement. And you feed me dreams by talking to me, paying attention to my opinions, looking into my eyes and smiling your secretive smile. People don't understand your fascination with me. Neither do I. But I don't question. I just thank any God that may exist for the present he has sent me.

There is never any mention to that night. When you took me. I prefer not to mention it. And I'm sure you don't remember it was me. It's my dirty little secret, one I intend to keep forever. You are finally seeing me and I'm not eager to bring to light a reminder of how beneath you I am. I will cling to my illusions.

However, when we meet, you are restless and irritated snapping at me for no apparent reason. It is cruel and unfair, however I just take it, quietly accepting to be your punch bag. Whatever you need of me I'm willingly to give. The subsequent meetings go the same way, however I notice a change on your eyes, they are no longer friendly, they are cold and unfeeling like the night I took you to my bed.

Your words are so cutting that I can't help but shed a few tears. I'm out of my seat and ready to walk away, but you grasp my wrist and ask me to stay. And you share your darkest secret. The reason behind the tense set of your shoulders. It shocks me. Bewilders me. However when you ask that I indulge your need for domination, I agree. Because it's you and I will always give you everything I can. Anything you need.

July, 2007 – Bella

For the first time the floor to ceiling windows are wide opened. The shades lifted. The soft sun light gives an ethereal air to this otherwise dark dungeon. A breeze is orchestrating the enthralling dance of the baby blue curtains. It's so beautiful I almost forget this room serves a purpose far removed from any fairy tale. It's a room of pain. My pain.

I sigh. No use in dwelling on these emotions. I need to get into that place. The sub place. Where my mind disconnects from my body and I stop over thinking. Or thinking. At all. It's a place where I'm devoid of emotions. Emotions are dangerous. Once one starts feeling, it's impossible to stop. Uncontrollable. And I don't need that.

Undressing. Never a comfortable task for me. But I manage. After all he's seen it before. I fold my clothes carefully and put them on the assigned place. On the exact order that is required. Taking a shower is the next step. My grooming is still ok. Blow dry my hair. Straighten it. No makeup is required.

Back to the blue room. Blue in so many senses. There the blue velvet cushion waits for me. Kneel. Straight back. Sitting on my heels. Legs opened to the width of my shoulders. Bowed head. Lowered eyes. Hands resting on my thighs. Palms up. My body falls easily into this position. It's mechanic.

Like a statue I stay. It seems it's a long time before he comes. But I can't really tell. It could be a feel minutes. Or hours. Time doesn't exist here. Even that falls victim to his command. No one, nothing could defy him. Here he is God. And like a God he shall be obeyed. My sour prince charming.

I feel his presence. Still hidden from my eyes, he watches. My skin prickles. It's the same. But different. Something changed. Suddenly the air is oppressive. I can't really explain. But I sense it. Breath in, breath out. Foreboding. In the corners of my mind I recognize this. Something primal arises. Fight or flight.

I stay. He is circling me. Like a predator. And what a willingly prey I'm. A foolish little lamb about to be slaughtered. My heart rate picks up. My breathing is erratic. My cheeks are aflame. His presence is menacing like never before. Fear. In this moment I'm truly afraid of this man.

His loaded voice calls for me. The way he utters my name gives me no hope. Today is one of those days. Today I'm going to be hurt. Badly. The only variable is the target. My body or my mind. Maybe both. I'm at his mercy. And my lord is not a merciful man.

"My pet is looking delectable today". His words unnerve me. Never one to waste words. There is always a deeper meaning. I try not to fret. Easier said than done. Every word is a threat. Veiled. And because of that all the more scary. It's always the unseen that scares the most. Of course he knows that much. And uses it. Against me.

"On your feet". Standing up without the aid of my hands is daring. Always conscious of my body's limitations, I do it slowly. Too much so. He calls me on it. Mocking my lack of grace he taunts me. Humiliation is an art he has perfected to the point of a master piece. Nobody does it better.

"Swans are put to shame by you". It hurts. As usual. But somehow his words lack the venom they usually carry. There is something lighthearted about his demeanor. If I didn't know it any better I'd say my master is happy. Pleased. I wonder what's the cause for such unexpected present.

In my line of view, the ropes. There are no words. The last time... Better not reminisce. The severe pain after circulation was restored is not something I wish to revisit. But it seems I will be taken there again. My master knows of my apprehension. And it's a powerful tool on his skilled hands.

"If you wish to safeword it's your last chance pet". It can only mean one thing: the ball gag. Not something I appreciate either. I feel like I'm suffocating. Choking. No amount of air is ever enough when I have it on my mouth. But it helps keeping all of my sounds in. The ones wich are stubborn enough to evade my control.

"You may answer". There is no choice to be made. Not really. Not when my master skims my ear with his nose, whispering this words in a husky, breathy, sexy voice. Pleasurable promises linger in the awake of his words. I know better. Yet, I'm helpless to stop the compelling spell of the command hidden beneath the question.

"No safewords necessary, Master". It makes him smile. Even though I can't see it, I know it's there. He is pleased and that's all that matters. I'm serving my purpose. And that knowledge is compelling. Maybe he will keep me for a little more time. One day, I might even be enough. Worthy.

I'm calm. Collected. Nothing to do with security. I owe it to my own ignorance. He's unsuspecting to my lack of attention. His debriefing meetings, somewhere I try my acting skills. I fake attention, understanding and acceptance. If I was to really listen I doubt I would ever agree to any of his "scenes".

He approaches. There is never much touching. Or kissing. Not even the first time. Like my skin could harm. I feel his breath on the top of my head. My body shivers. In fear. In anticipation for something that can never be. But I dare hope for. Still. Never mine. But always so close I could almost grasp it. Grasp him.

He is an artist in his element. Bounding me. Surrounding my skin with his beloved ropes he creates an intricate design. My entire body is adorned by his creation. Arms tightly secured behind my back. So they can't reach. I'm merely an object he uses. No will shall be manifested by me. Not even the most basic one. The one to touch.

At his mercy. The way he likes it. Impossible to move. Impossible to speak. No blindfold. Nevertheless, he is behind me. No sense of sight for guidance. Eyes closed. Deep breath. Whatever he has planned I will gladly accept. It's who I've become. Bound. In more than one way.

On my knees. Still hidden from my eyes my master presses my face to the mattress. Roughly. Breathing is hard. My comfort is not his priority. Or even a niggling feeling on the back of his mind. Holding me down he fucks me. Hard. Unrelenting pounding my ass. My pussy remains unattended. No pleasure for me. Only for him. It's not making love. I no longer have such illusions, they have been slaughtered by the reality of my decay into humiliation.

He cums and gets up. Tells me to clean myself and the room. Then I can go home. After all, our routine must be followed.

August, 2007 – Bella

There is hostility in his eyes, disgust on his gestures. His hate for me is pouring from his body like venom, destroying my heart. Yesterday he slept with me. On the same bed. He begged me to. And I did it. Because I can deny him nothing. Now, for whatever reason I have displeased my Master. And I know he will deliver a harsh punishment for my transgression.

He brings a man in. A sub. Like me. He orders me to lie on the bench. Open legs. The sub enters my body while Edward enters the sub's. Edward delivers a hard fuck, so rough I almost feel sorry for the sub. However, he looks at me with such disgust it's hard to cling to any positive feeling towards him.

My Master praises the man's physic, the tightness of his hole, the shape of his nipples. The sub looks triumphant, delighted by Edward's sweetness. And smug. I don't receive a single word. Not even of dissatisfaction. It's all right. I'm used to being ignored.

My Master withdraws from the sub and orders him to get on his knees. He shots his cum all over the sub's delighted face. He never did it to me. He says I never did anything to deserve the honor of having his precious liquid adorning my barely tolerable face.

When they are finished, he tells me to clean up and come back next Saturday afternoon. For a second it seems like he is asking instead of ordering. My foolish heart entertains the notion that maybe he is trying to make me leave him. Maybe he likes me a little too much and is scared of it. My eyes fly up to his face. If there was any uncertainty, it was gone before I could see it. The arrogant arch of his eyebrow lets me know that once again I'm wrong. It was a command.

September, 2007 – Bella

She is beautiful. No escaping this simple truth. Body, face, hair... flawless. Everything I fear, everything I long for. Smart, sassy, sexy. She is not one to be overlooked or ignored. Definitely not a wallflower. Her eyes speak of many pleasures had and given. Experienced. A confidant woman. No fumbling, no asking for reassurances. Just the quiet knowledge of her own value.

A single tear slides down my face. It shouldn't surprise me. I've never been one for control. Over anything. Not even me. Especially not my emotions. Heart on a sleeve. Everything I've ever wanted stands before me. Everything I've ever wanted to be. This perfect picture of my dream improved self puts me in my place. I understand the message. I'm lacking, I'm beneath, I'm not entitled to have these feelings, I'm unwanted.

My eyes betray my instance, they seek him out. His eyes are hers. So absorbed, he doesn't even notice me watching him, watching her. A slow smile creeps up his beautiful face. A genuine one. His eyes twinkle. She pleases him. It's a foreign expression. Never seen before by me. He licks his lips. He is eager to play.

Like a predator he approaches. Slowly. Attentive to every move. Ready to pounce. Out of the corner of her eye she sees him. A mischievous grin lights up her face. He doesn't reprimand. It only makes his smile broader.

"Isn't she lovely, my pet?" He doesn't even look my way. Of course it's rhetorical. I'm not supposed to answer. It's not my place.

He takes her hand. Kisses it. Every single knuckle. Then he turns it and kisses her palm, inhaling deeply. Her scent must please him. He closes his eyes. Savoring it. Almost like he could taste it on his tongue. Synesthesia.

She looks him in the eye. It puzzles me. But he doesn't reprimand. For a long moment they stare. Too lost in each other to mind my presence. It's beautiful to watch their moment. It breaks my heart. He turns to me. Catches me watching. He scowls. My master is not pleased.

"Lower your eyes slut, have you forgotten your place? Do I need to remind you again?" Sneering words meant to cut. And cut they do.

My head bowls of its own volition. My eyes lower to the floor. Tears run down my face. He sees it. He mocks it.

"Tsk, tsk... Is my pet sad? Oh, poor pet... Maybe I should let you watch, maybe you could learn from her. What do you think sweet girl?". His tone sarcastic. His laugh chilling. My blood runs cold. There is no denying. It is meant to hurt.

The beautiful bombshell answers. Without being given permission. That's when it downs on me. She is not a sub. She is a woman he wants. As his equal. As she is. She matters.

"Let her watch, I don't mind". The smile in her voice is deceitful. Too sweet. Too rehearsed. Meant to hide animosity. But it's still there. My pain pleases her. She is that kind of woman. He doesn't notice. Or doesn't care.

"Watch us pet, do not avert your eyes".

He is caressing her cheek. Lovingly. Like she is precious to him. Slowly he lowers his head and nuzzles her neck. Such a tender gesture. One of his hands slides down her back. His other hand cups her head holding her close.

He kisses her. His kiss is gentle. Probing. She sighs. He moans. Her hands are on his shoulders. Pulling him closer. Demanding what she wants. He gives it to her. There is no rush. No roughness. Just sweet exploration.

He is hard. Just from kissing her. Desire. Lust. Bodies grinding. Demanding satisfaction. No need for toys or pain.

Everything is blurry. My tears cloud my sight. Just like my hope once clouded my judgement.

"I want you so much" He says breathlessly. And means it. It's my breaking point...


2010 – An observer of Bella's state of mind

It was fall again. No sunshine to lighten the day, just the dying leaves of shrinking trees swirling in the frigid wind preventing her tears from being shed. She valiantly pushed through for there was no point in stopping. Or coming back, for that matter. Life had changed and not for the best, at least not for her. Never for her, the plump thirty one year old long past her "prime".

Around her, life continued to happen. Sweet nothings whispered on lover's ears, laughter on angelic cherubic faces, the sounds of life moving on forever out of her reach. Just like him. Heart twisting on unwelcomed agony she tried to bury the memories, the dreams, the illusions. But sometimes they were too fierce to be suppressed, too vivid to fade away and on their awake she was left writhing on the unseen pain of the broken hearted. And the damned tears wouldn't even spill from her eyes. No reprieve for Bella.

Before her the future stretched on an unending parade of forced smiles and buried anguish, always seeing what she coveted for herself being freely offered to someone else. No happy endings for the unremarkably ugly, unpleasantly fat and mildly intelligent, for those were destined to the beautiful women she had always secretly detested. For no fault of her own she had been condemned to a lonely existence, on the fringes of happiness, performing a support role on her own life.

Perhaps she should walk away. Another life. Another self. She wondered if it would help or only maximize the pain. Somehow she felt the need to keep him in any capacity she could. Pathetic, she scoffed. But when pathetic is all you know, how do you overcome it to become something you feel you should be, where do you find the strength to be better, stronger, self-reliant, she wondered. Bella wished she knew the answer.

Sighing she sat on the bench facing the lake, watching the swan's ballet parting the water, enchanting their partners, keeping them for life. If only she possessed the same grace, beauty, elegance... anything, any redeeming quality to salvage the disparaging whole that she presented. Not even her half impaired brain could be said to beckon someone to come closer. She had resigned herself to a life with her son and her cats.

After the ending of her disastrous arrangement with Edward, he had gone back to the person he had always belonged to, Or so he said. Her cousin, They had married last summer and now she was expecting their first child. She had just heard their happy announcement. Being in the same family subjected Bella to Edward's presence more times than her sanity could bear.

Sometimes she caught him watching her, almost like he expected her to do something. But she never did. They never talked, just the required greetings. They never stayed on the same room for more than a minute, even when others were present. Bella made sure of that. On the few times her eyes met his. Edward seemed almost disappointed. Bella could only conclude that he wanted her closer. So he could torture and demean her, lowering her to the ranks of worms once again.

And in the name of her sanity she decided that the only way out of her impossible situation was to say goodbye to her family and brave a new city. Her little son would surely enjoy the adventure.

2013 – Bella

Content. Somewhere in between crashing and rising I found balance. My frazzled self recomposed in a cacophony of shattered pieces of all I was. All I wanted to be. From the ashes rose a content woman. Never too happy. Never too sad.

I made myself a better woman. A stronger one. Some would say even a prettier one. I overcame my fears and blossomed into a mature woman. Funny, pretty enough even though still a bit plump, intelligent. I even have a guy who graces my bed from time to time. All in absolute discretion.

And it was all because of him. He made me want to shake out of my stupor, take risks, brave the word. Where there had been wounds only thin scars remained, gentle reminders of all I should never allow myself to become again. My son. The light of my life. The little boy who has so much of me, but not enough to make him as doomed to self-destruction as I had been. For that I will forever be thankful, I wouldn't wish the hell I endured on anyone, let alone my beloved son.

We haven't seen any members of our family, since I made the decision to move away. I left no contact information. No possibility to heartbreak reenter my life. As far as I know, Edward is still married and although I came a long way from the frightened mouse I was, I still am not strong enough to face him without breaking down.

The reality of my life became a far cry from what I had craved as a girl. I am unmarried and a single mother. I love my son to pieces but I wish there was a daddy in the picture. However, Edward is already taken.

My routine is bleak with a few spotlights provided by my son. I won't lie, I still love Edward and wish he could love me back, but destiny had traced a path where he would never walk by my side. However my dreams are mine. And in the cold nights Edward blankets me in the sweet warmth only his onyric self could provide. Within the realms of my imagined paradise I'm not content. I'm truly and irrevocably happy.

2045 – An observer of Edward's last minutes

"Like a fire induced wound your memory braided my skin. The injury is long healed. But the scars will forever hurt. Nevertheless, the pain is welcomed. It is a constant reminder that once upon a time a small part of you belonged to me. I'm forever yours despite your best efforts. Even on your darkest hour, you will always be my hero. Love, Bella".

The final words on Bella's diary had sliced opened a wound he believed had been healed. Edward had always been aware of Bella's fascination with him. More than once he had used it to his advantage. Once he even believed himself in love with her and tried to make her come clean about her feelings. He could never open his heart unless she did it first. His convoluted logic had landed him on an unhappy marriage raising a son that wasn't his own.

Twenty years ago, Bella had died. Against all odds he had attended the funeral, mourned her death. He realized that most of his behavior had made no sense. But he was raised by an abusive father and a cold mother. He never learned how to love. And by trying to do it he had broken the best person he had ever known.

Throwing the little notebook against the wall, he cried, allowing himself to feel all the pain he had grown accustomed to denying. He had a son by the woman he loved and he had been loved by a good woman. Now, the son was grown, the woman was dead and soon the terminal cancer destroying his lungs would steal away his last breath. Edward's only legacy was a lifetime of regret and heartbreak. For himself. For the woman he had so poorly loved.

Little did he know that the notebook had been sent to him by his wife of thirty five years, a bitter woman forever resentful of his devotion to another woman. It was her revenge and she took great satisfaction seeing him die in agony.

AN: Thank you for reading and please consider leaving me your criticisms, complaints or observations. Any review is welcomed and valued.