So, here's an interesting little two-shot.
This is an ANZAC day fic that I thought of during the ANZAC ceremony our school had.
For those of you who don't know what ANZAC is, here's an explanation:
ANZAC = Australian New Zealand Army Corps
On this day, above all days, we remember those Australian men and women who died or suffered in the great tragedy of war.
On the morning of April 25th, 1915, Australia and New Zealand troops landed under fire at Gallipoli, and it is in this violent campaign that the ANZAC tradition was forged.
The elements of that tradition have inspired and offered an example to all the generations of Australians that have followed.
Each year we show our respect and give thanks to not only to those original Anzac's but to all who died or were disable in their service to this country.
Their hope was for freedom and we remember with pride, their courage, their compassion and their mateship. These men and women served on land and sea and in the air, in many place throughout the world.
Not only do we honour the memory of those Australians who have died in battle but we share the sorrow of those who have lost their dearly loved members of their family.
On this day we remember with sympathy those Australians who suffered as prisoners of war, and those who, because of war, have had their lives shortened or handicapped.
May we and the future generations prove to be worthy of their ultimate sacrifice.
So yeah. If you didn't know before, well then you do now… I'm an Aussie, people!
This video is very important, it's a piece of music that is played during the ceremony as part of the commemoration. Here's the link:
The Last Post - .com/watch?v=gRqMMaCZfHI (YOUTUBE VIDEO)
"Bells, come on!" Emmett called, banging so hard on my bedroom door – on the third floor, the largest and only room on the floor besides a bathroom… which was also mine – that I feared said door would dislodge from its hinges.
I sighed, knowing exactly what he and my other 'siblings' were trying to do. They'd been hedging towards this for a week, yet I had ignored it thinking that they would surely understand and know that I would not be a part of or be able to do anything on the day of this occasion in particular. They usually did. "Emmett, I've already told you that I'm not going. I refuse to do so and you all know why."
It was really started to anger me… their insistence. Sure, it had been a long time since it happened – ninety-seven years to the day, in fact – but that didn't mean that I would suddenly be able to participate in activities that surrounded the occasion. The day they would be celebrating today just so happened to be the worst day of my existence – human or otherwise.
"Come on, Bells!" Emmett whined loudly – as was his way - and I just knew that he would not give up, would not budge. And that aggravated me to no end… after all these years of their understanding, why would they suddenly just stop? How could they do this to me?
And yet, Emmett – the goof-ball he was – continued on in his persuasion. "That new dude – remember, Alice said he was a vampire? – well, he's coming today and we're gonna need you… and your shield… so you can see if your shield picks anything iffy up; we need you there to protect us in case he's some dangerous guy or something."
I growled. The shit – though I was sure that it was not in fact him that had decided to play with my characteristics, but rather Alice the deadly little pixie – was using my protectiveness against me.
And I knew that he – and everyone else – would not give up on this. They wanted me there and would use anything against me until I agreed.
So I decided to make it easier for them.
I got up, leaving the vice that I had been using to calm the pain – even just a little measure of that pain – and dressed myself quickly. This was an important day and it had been decided that all students had to wear something formal for the day. I dressed in a black pencil skirt that had a slit of approximately ten centimetres at the back. I coupled that with a deep blue chemise – my darling's favourite colour on me – that's sleeves were elbow length. It was of a flowing style; not form-fitting and I wore black, small heels.
I flitted over to my jewellery box, opening it and looking down at the precious things that I kept within said box. I got a chain that had a small pendant on it, slipping the pendant off and kissing it before sliding the beautiful rings – which were a symbol of my love and commitment to my darling – onto the chain. My breath hitched as I hooked the necklace around my neck, lifting the rings to my mouth. I closed my eyes, fighting the stinging venom and the tightening of my throat as I kissed each ring before letting them fall to their place over my heart.
"I love you, my darling," I whispered to myself, my eyes still closed.
And then I took a breath, looked over to my beloved's possessions, things that I'd been drowning myself in. They included his diary – something I often read just to be that much closer to him – his uniform, his medals and his clothes. Everything that I had of his was there on that bed, somehow still smelling just a little like him.
I left the room, walking down the stairs as I ignored the rest of them. It only made it that much harder, seeing the three pairs of happy, alive couples that would have each other for eternity.
I waited outside, trying desperately to just… not hear a thing. I didn't want to hear their loving whispers, their concerned whispers or their love for one another. I did not want any of it… I only wanted my heart, my love.
Something I could not have… ever again.
Emmett was the first to come out and he smiled approvingly at what I was wearing. I frowned and look down, kicking at the pebbles. When he reached me, he wrapped an arm around me but I just could not stomach it and I forced myself away from him and his comfort… for he did not know what I was feeling; not even half of it.
"Come on, Bells," he whispered, sadness colouring his voice.
I frowned to myself, facing the other way. But then I just had to say something, even if it were just a mere whisper. "You all know how hard this day is for me," I said, the venom stinging my eyeballs again. I was expressionless, emotionless but for the pain that saturated everything; every word and every action. I turned to look at Emmett and he was serious, the usual joking child within him nowhere to be seen. "You know how much this hurts," I said, voice breaking on that last word. My voice grew fiercer and fiercer, hysterical and angry all at the same time. "So why? Why are you doing this to me?"
He frowned and I could tell that he himself was nearly crying. I knew I certainly was, in the vampire way. "It's been ninety-seven years, Bells. Ninety-seven years… we just want you to be happy… to move on." He was pleading with me as he looked up, but I could only feel anger and hurt and betrayal – both done to me and me doing to my darling – and endless pain. "Dammit Bells, every vampire has another half – they have a-"
"Don't say it!" I shrieked and he flinched. My eyes were fire with my anger and I looked at him, broken. "Don't you dare say it! There isn't anyone else for me," I said in disgust; the mere thought of finding another to love and be with was sickening to me. It felt as if by doing so I would be committing the blackest of betrayals to my long lost love. "The only one that I could ever love died on this day… ninety seven years ago!"
And with that, I opened the back passenger car door and climbed in, slamming the door shut behind me. I sat there, unable to pull myself away from at least the one hundredth memory since last night…
"Bella, my love," my darling husband, Edward Masen called as he came through the door.
I smiled to myself as I cut up the potatoes and other vegetables we would eat for dinner. "I'm in the kitchen, my love."
Edward entered the room not a few seconds later and he immediately swept me away from the counter, pulling me into his arms. I smiled, giggling happily as he pressed sweet kisses to just about every inch on my face.
When he leaned back, he was smiling dazzlingly at me. I smiled to myself, happy to see him happy as I cupped his cheek. "And what made you greet me like that, dear?"
He chuckled. "I bring good news."
This piqued my interested and I cocked my head to the side, my brows drawing together. He kissed my nose, murmuring something that I barely caught to himself before he took a deep breath. "Bella, darling, I've decided to enlist."
He was smiling, beaming, though I had no idea why. This was not a good idea. Though most Australians wanted to fight for the mother country, it was simply… inconceivable for me to want Edward there. I had heard stories of previous wars… men died and didn't come home.
My hand fell from his face and I turned around and continued to cut the vegetables up, willing myself to remain composed.
I frowned as I threw myself momentarily into the work; momentarily because by then, Edward had seemed to catch that I was not happy. He moved himself so that he was against me and gripped my hands, sliding them off and away from the food and knife. I breathed in deeply, knowing that he was going to want face-to-face eye contact. He did not surprise me, turning me around to face him. He frowned, his lips separated as he cupped my cheek.
"What is wrong?" He asked me softly, still frowning, his good mood now gone. He traced my lip carefully, sweetly and brushed the tears that had begun to fall away. "I thought you would have been happy."
I frowned, "happy?" I whispered, unable to control my reaction. "Edward, surely you understand- intelligent as you are – this is no game; war is no game. Men die fighting Edward… and I will not lose you to that. I could never live my life if I did."
He frowned. "Love, I must fight for-"
"Yes, you must fight for the mother country, I know," I quipped, anger and panic warring within me. I gripped his shirt in my hands, pleading with him. "Please, my darling… surely you understand. I cannot lose you… not to the war… not this young with everything that is waiting for us."
He leaned his forehead against mine. "Oh my love, surely you see that for us to have that future, I must fight. They need strength, my love… they need men who can fight, and I can fight."
A sob ripped itself out of me and I let go of him, walking to the door of the kitchen. I turned halfway to look at him, his face just as pained as mine. "If you must then."
And then I left the room, making my way to our bedroom, lying down amongst the sheets and pillows.
I did not leave the room that night and I was still awake when Edward climbed in after me, curling himself around me.
I cried silent tears to sleep.
"Why are they even doing a service?" I asked sullenly, pulling myself from the car. As soon as I did so, everyone's eyes were on me. For some reason, everyone in this school – especially those of the male specimen – were… interested in me. They found me interesting.
I tried to ignore them as I continued my irrationally rational rant – irrationally rational simply because in my heated anger and generally sullen mood, I found it rational to ask. "This is America we're talking about; Americans weren't involved in ANZAC… most don't even know what it is!"
Rose obviously found this statement amusing, as did her mate and husband, Emmett. "Because the school captain – and her family for that matter; remember they are very important to the school… even if they only moved over from Australia last year – were outraged to find that such an occasion wasn't in the school's events. They've set it up to be the most unorthodox yet traditional occasion of the year." She thought for a moment about what she said, then laughed. "Well, that's what that moron of a father said."
I sighed, closing my eyes. "And remind me just one more time why I have to go?" I asked, still not opening my eyes. I could feel my throat as it tightened, I could feel the venom stinging in my eyes as it formed tears that would never fall. "You know how hard this is for me and I've never had to even go to school on this day… so why now?"
Jasper shrugged, smiling as he came toward me. He wrapped an arm around my shoulder, a sign of comfort that only hid what he was really doing. I could feel the emotions that he was trying to send me – ones that had a much more… calm nature – as they penetrated my only half-activated shield. I didn't even bother fighting it. "I don't know, sis… in fact, none of us do. It was Alice that rallied us to get you here and she wouldn't even tell me. But I know her… if she's willing to put you through this much pain, it has to be for something worth it."
"Speaking of the little pixie," I said, looking around the school parking lot grounds. "Where is she?"
They all shrugged. Emmett was about to say something – and from his expression, I was sure it was going to be something witty – but then, the bell rang.
I groaned; squeezing my eyes shut, I fought against the pain, desperately trying to breathe and compose myself. It wasn't easy, and yet it never had been; breathing and composure had never really come to me since that day on the 25th of April, 1915.
"This ceremony, when is it?" I asked, but I already knew the answer… I was just dreading it.
"Now Bells," Emmett said and I could hear the sympathy in his voice… sympathy I did not want.
I sighed and swallowed, determination fighting for a place among the general discord and pain of my thoughts. "Ok, let's go."
"You sure?" Emmett asked and I glared up at him.
"You were the one who dragged me out of my room," I said, internally adding: and away from my husband's things. Emmett's face fell and I sighed again, immediately feeling sorry for the angry outburst. It wasn't Emmett's fault; it was no one's fault. I was just… too high strung in my emotions. "Besides, if we don't go now, I won't go at all."
Jasper was good to me as we walked in to the gym, the only room big enough for such a ceremony. He knew that I would need his help at the exact same time as not wanting it. A part of me wanted to live in the memories and the pain for a little while, needing the connection to my long lost husband; the love of my life. And besides, having also been in the war – only, he was involved in the Civil War of the 1860's – he knew what the pain and devastation of death could do to someone.
We filed in in silence, my family all helping me as the kept their silence – a symbol of their respect. Over the years, they had seen the photos that we had of my darling Edward and me - we were of a wealthier class, one that could afford the occasional photograph – and they had come to respect him and love him in a way. They knew he was an irrevocable part of me.
Some, however, were not as respectful and reverent and anger filled my being as I eyed them. I could hear them as they chatted happily and animatedly about a date that one of them had been on the night before. They were ignoring everyone around them, giggling as they whispered to each other, thinking no one could see them or hear them.
Jasper had to literally hold me back from snapping their necks. They were so obnoxious, not holding even a little composure and reverence for those who had died all those ninety-seven years ago. I looked down, biting my lip, thinking to my beloved.
I am sorry for my actions, my love… it just feels wrong for them to be speaking about such things during a time like this.
Oh, how I wished my Edward could hear me… could love me.
"The new dude's not here yet," Emmett whispered and my head snapped up and around, a growl slipping through my teeth. That willed him back into silence and I swallowed, again look down, ashamed of my erratic behaviour.
Jasper, having felt all of my emotions – as much of a flurry as they were – squeezed my hand before letting it go as he sent some more calming emotions toward me. I welcomed them for a moment before blocking them, needing to feel what I would surely feel during this service.
When we reached our desired seats, we sat down silently. I looked down at my hands, which were now playing with the beloved rings on the chain. Oh, how I longed to have them in their rightful place – on my finger – to show that I was taken and in love and would always be. They hadn't been there since the fifties – I had fought to keep them until at least then – and I missed the feeling of them resting safely on the third finger of my left hand as they should have been… as was intended for them.
And then… the new vampire student walked in the room.
It was strange, the feeling that flooded through me at the smell of his scent. It was somehow familiar yet I had no idea how that was even possible. The only vampire's that I really knew were the ones of my family – both those of the Cullens and those of the Denalis.
I shuddered, waiting for the feeling of guilt that was sure to come over me.
But it never came.
I did not have time to mull over this confusing reaction however, as the ceremony started.
"Hello," Sasha Freeds, the Australian school captain said. Her accent – unlike mine – shone through with every word and I smiled in spite of myself. "And welcome to our first ANZAC Day ceremony for 2012."
I was suddenly pulled into another memory and I choked on my own breath – silently – as it overtook me…
"My love, I must go," Edward said quietly as he held me in my arms. I was clinging to him, terrified of letting him go only to never see him again.
"No," I whispered uselessly; my small cry of protest broke my husband and he gripped me all the harder.
"I love you, my darling," he said and I breathed in and out deeply a few times before looking him in the eyes. He gripped both sides of my face, looking into my eyes and the pain I saw in his nearly killed me. "I loathe seeing you like this."
I sobbed just one, lowly sob at that before shaking my head, trying to free myself from these horrid feelings. "I love you."
He smiled through tears, "I love you."
And then his lips descended upon mine, and for the briefest moment, I allowed myself to experience the heaven. It was only a little glimpse of what we'd had all night; oh yes, my darling had made sweet love to me over and over, assuring me that he would come back… that he would live for me, so that he could experience that with me once again.
But then he stopped kissing me and I whimpered as he leaned his forehead against mine. "You are my home, Bella… where else am I going to go?"
I threw my arms around him one last time, kissing his cheek and squeezing him to me. "Come back home to me."
He leaned back and smiled, "I will, my dear."
And then he walked away… for the last time.
He did not return.
They ran through the traditional beginnings and I listened faithfully, gripping the rings that were on the chain around my neck. My arms had folded under my breasts, making it easier for me to grip the rings just loose enough for them to not disintegrate in my hand.
After the entrance of the flags and such, then the explanation of why ANZAC day was important, Sasha's father took to the microphone.
My breathing stopped.
This part here, this part was the hardest. Because the way that they spoke of those soldiers… those men… it was heartbreaking.
I gripped the rings just a little tighter, closing my eyes as they began. But I knew every word, and so I whispered the words along with Sasha's father.
"They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
By this stage I was barely able to speak, I was in so deep… surrounded my memories that taunted and haunted, making me want to laugh and cry at the same time. I remembered the time we had met, the time we had admitted our love… our first kiss and first time of intimacy on our wedding night. I remembered it all.
And then I whispered those last three words…
"Lest we forget."
The hall fell into silence as Sasha played The Last Post on a school trumpet. My eyes closed, my throat tightening and my shoulders shook with sobs… quiet ones, though they were no less painful.
I faintly heard someone get up and fly out of the room, running so fast that the only person it could possibly be was the new vampire. Listening to the sound of their quick steps, for some strange reason my whole being just needed to go right after them.
I couldn't handle it any longer. It was a sudden choice between fight or flight and I chose flight. I got up from my chair and nearly ran out of the hall.
I leaned against the wall outside, around the corner, and finally… finally… I gave in to sobs, the despair and the pain.
And then the memory… that finally, horrible one… came to me and I could not fight it…
I woke up to a banging on the door.
I startled and looked around me, wondering what time it was. I did not have a watch or clock – my wrist watch had malfunctioned just the week before – and so I had no idea.
The banging did not cease and so I got up, grabbing my robe from the wardrobe, and wrapping it around me. It was a cold night, 25th of April… so close to winter.
I made my way to the door and opened, smiling when I saw soldiers there.
"Hello," I said, smiling.
But they did not smile back, which scared me… it made me feel as if… as if something was wrong.
My smile dropped from my face as I looked between them, their sombre faces simply… following me.
"Ma'am," the one on the left said and I looked up at him carefully. "May we come in, please?"
My mouth opened as I nodded, but nothing came out. I stepped aside and opened the door wider, letting them walk on through the threshold.
I followed them through to the living room. "Please, sit," I said, trying to smile but I felt sick to my core. Something was wrong, I knew it. I just knew it.
They did and there was a very, very uncomfortable silence for a few moments.
Finally, the one that had asked to be let inside spoke again. "Your husband was a great man," he said thoughtfully, almost as if he hadn't meant to say it.
I smiled. "Yes he-" and then I paused, remembering just what he said. And everything stopped. Breathing… smiling… everything was just… gone. I closed my eyes, tears already prickling as my sub-conscious realized what the rest of me would never accept. "Was?"
The other man, who had not spoken, looked up with a sad, sad smile on his face. "Mrs Masen, your husband was…"
And then I was falling… I couldn't breathe, couldn't speak… I could only hear snippets of what he said. Things like:
"… Honourable intentions…"
"Fought and trained his hardest…"
"… Spoke of you fondly"
These were all phrases that made me smile…
Then they said more difficult things to hear…
"There was a tough call…"
"Dangerous… but your husband wanted to do it."
"He was our best runner, we only chose the best runners to go to those sectors…"
"It was an important message…"
"Taken by surprise…"
"… Shots fired from nearly every direction…"
"Last words were of you and how he loved you…"
"He died… I'm sorry for your loss."
The phrase repeated itself over and over like a horrid record player that was broken.
"He died… I'm sorry for your loss."
"He died… I'm sorry for your loss."
"He died… I'm sorry for your loss."
"No!" I shrieked, standing from my chair. I looked desperately at them as they got up and came toward me. My breathing was harsh, my body aching with the pain of what they had just said…
"No, no, no! Edward!" I screamed as they took a hold of me, trying to comfort me.
But their arms were not the ones that wanted.
The arms that I would now never feel wrapped around me again.
"Edward, please!" I screamed, crying hysterically as my knees buckled in the weight of my grief.
I gasped, now sobbing hysterically on the floor as I came out from the memory. It bounced around in my head, torturing me over and over.
But then I was just sucked into other memories… little phrases… not attached to each other.
Just little, detached memories from a life time ago.
"I'm sorry for you loss, dear…"
"He was a great man… so very caring and loving."
"He loved you more than anything…"
If he did then why did he leave me here... alone?
I looked at myself in the mirror before turning to face the doctor, Doctor Carlisle Cullen. "Why did you do this to me?" I cried. "All I wanted was to be with my Edward… why did you take away that chance?"
"Oh Edward," I cried to myself, looking up and wishing to see him there. "I miss you so."
"Bella?" A voice called and I stilled, freezing in place against the wall.
Because I knew that wall… it was the voice of the love that I had lost ninety-seven years ago today.
The only voice that could ever call me Bella and make me melt.
I'll be back soon with the continuation. There will be NO Edward POV. Sorry.
Anyways, give me some love and let me know what you thought/think of this little thing. I quite like it and I definitely cried editing it. :D