"Life itself is only a vision.
Nothing exists save empty space, and you.
And you are but a thought."
~The Adventures of Mark Twain
They sit alone in the room.
She purses her lips and shifts in her seat. "Do you know what we're doing here?"
He shakes his head absent-mindedly. "No. Do I know you?"
"I don't think so." She stares at the pristine white walls of the room. "But for some reason, I feel like we're going to be together forever. Like we're in love and stuff."
His eyes narrow at her. "Yeah. I feel that way too."
She nods, staring down at her hands. "So we're in love. Or we're supposed to be. We know that much."
"Well, if we're going to be together forever, you should know I'm Edward."
She takes him in. He's gorgeous; his hair is bronze colored, and he is strikingly pale. Everything about him is striking. It seems like he is a product of her wildest dreams. He's utter perfection. But she can't seem to determine his eye color. "I'm Bella." She studies him harder, trying to decipher the conundrum of the color of his eyes. "What color are your eyes?"
He averts his eyes to the blank wall, rubbing his chin that may or may not have stubble on it. "That's yet to be determined."
She scrunches her nose in confusion. "What do you mean? Your eye color is your eye color."
He looks at her with an exasperated expression. "A lot of things about me are subject to change. I get the feeling that sometimes I'm human, sometimes I'm something else entirely. And I guess that determines my eye color."
Bella is perplexed, but for some reason, she doesn't feel surprised. She nods. "And I feel like I'm caught between falling into your arms despite any and all horrible things you may have done, and being a stand up woman of the twenty first century by running away from you."
"If you have any reason to run, and whether I want you to run, is yet to be determined as well."
"Well what things are determined?" She asks.
"I think I'm over-protective of you. Do you fall a lot or something like that?" He asks curiously.
Bella nods, the thought of her being klutzy ringing a bell in her head. "Something like that. I think I attract danger."
"That would explain the urge to protect you from everything ever. Even that dust on your shoulder makes me nervous."
Bella looks to her shoulder, and brushes the non-dust from her person. "That's not dust, it's dandruff."
Edward may or may not have blushed. "Have you tried Head and Shoulders dandruff shampoo?"
Bella rolls her eyes, having been down this road many times. "Yes, but the smell is revolting, especially the medicated kind. And why are you even asking? That's quite invasive."
"You were the one who said we would be together forever. It would have come up eventually."
Edward shifts uncomfortably. "Where's the door to this room anyway?" He and Bella spy one lone white door on the wall behind Edward' chair. It's white like the rest of the room; however, it peculiarly has no knob. "What happens when we have to go to the bathroom or something?"
Bella quirks an eyebrow at him. "You mean the bathroom that you may or may not need to use?"
Edward grins back at her. He doesn't think it would be too hard to fall in love with Bella. Not like he has much as a choice seeming as she's the only other person in this room with no windows and a door with no knob. "True. But you will have to most likely."
Bella sighs. "Yes, eventually." She takes in what Edward is wearing. He's wearing nice dark wash jeans that could pass for casual or nice; he also wears a green button down with the sleeves rolled up, but that can be rolled down for a more formal setting. Bella assesses her own attire. She's wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and converse. "I guess my wardrobe doesn't fluctuate much."
"How fortunate for you."
"Why is this whole room white, anyway? The chairs. The walls and floors. That useless door. It all seems very odd." Bella asks, taking in the whole room. She can't see any light fixture above them. Where was the light coming from then?
"I don't know. It sort of reminds me of a zone of neutrality. Maybe that's where we are." Edward speculates, wondering along with Bella where that darned light fixture is as well.
"Prisoners in a zone of neutrality. How ironic." She comments offhandedly, playing the hem of her band shirt with no band name.
"Or maybe a hospital. It's sterility is similar—"
"—Maybe like a waiting room." She pipes up.
"A waiting room? What could we possibly be waiting for?" Edward proposes, his brow furrowing.
She doesn't respond to the cynicism in his voice. "Waiting to die. Waiting to live. Waiting to go to the bathroom."
"How very poetic of you." He jokes, appreciating how her chocolate locks frame her pale face.
"I think that's one of those…unchangeable traits of mine. A pre-determined trait, if you will." Bella's voice drops, her mind reeling from the realization. "What are some more of your unchangeable qualities?"
Edward sits up a little more, eager to finally gain some sense of the situation he and his Bella are in. "We've already covered protectiveness. I, um, am brooding most of the time I think. I have a thing for brunettes—no, that's not true. I have a thing for you."
Bella giggles. "Aw, how sweet. If it's any consolation I have a thing for you too." She takes in his attire once more, then hers. "Well, it seems like I'm mostly a T-shirt and jeans sort of gal. And I'm pretty sure I love books and obscure movies that only a small portion of the audience knows of. Like that movie 1408 with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson."
"A movie about being trapped in a room. How appropriate." Edward chuckles to himself.
Bella jumps up and throws her hand over his mouth. "Spoilers!"
"For who? What audience?" He asks frustrated, throwing her hand from his mouth. "Are we performers?"
"Something like that..."
"Actors?" He presses on.
"Not exactly… kind of like… I don't know." She sighs. She watches as Edward pinches the bridge of his nose. "You do that a lot!" She exclaims, pointing at him. He freezes at her suddenly shouting. "The nose pinching! That's your thing. Your signature."
Edward stares at her in awe and switching between gazing at her and his hand. "You're right. That felt very familiar. I guess I'm not so much of a blank slate after all."
"Blank slate." Bella mutters, resting back into the chair. "We're blank slates, Edward. We have a few unalienable traits, but most of what makes up who we are is undecided."
He leans closer to her. "Undecided by whom?"
"Whoever has us in here."
"You mean, like God?"
Bella nibbles on her lip. "I don't know if I'm religious. I think that's one of those undetermined things."
Edward grips the arms of the chair. "Same for me." A flash of anger rockets through him. "You know, I'm really getting sick of all these variables. It seems like there's almost nothing that's my own. I'm just a lump of clay to be molded to the liking of some higher power that may or may not exist. It's pretty disconcerting."
Bella rests a supportive hand over his and gives it a gentle squeeze. "I'm sorry it feels that way. But you are your own person. If you take away all the extra variables, you're an amazing man who I love." She says warmly, intertwining their fingers.
He exhales noisily. "Easy for you to say. You have most of your personality set; you're a gorgeous woman with brunette hair, brown eyes, porcelain skin, a little on the klutzy side, and likes to dress comfortably—"
"—you think I'm gorgeous—?" She interrupts, feeling a bit flattered, but he keeps going without losing steam.
"— Me? I don't even know what I am. Or if I'm a danger to you. Or even if I have the ability to use the bathroom or not!" He rips his hands out of hers and paces the room. He reigns in his agitation, and leans against one of the pristine white walls with one hand and runs his other hand through his hair. He needs to calm down, for Bella's sake. He doesn't want to scare her.
Bella calmly approaches him from behind, and rests her hand against his back. "You run your hand through your hair a lot. You tend to lose your temper easily, but you typically don't let your anger get the better of you for long. Usually if I talk to you, you get better." She smiles warmly and wraps her arms around his torso. "You are a passionate man who loves with every fiber of his being, Edward. The absence of all the extraneous little undecided traits doesn't take that away." He sighs, ashamed.
"It's no wonder why I love you, Bella. You seem to know the right things to say." Edward turns around and leans against the wall, bringing Bella to his chest. She smiles up at him and wraps her arms around his neck.
Without thinking, he leans down and presses a soft kiss to her plump lips; of course, the kiss is spectacular and sets each of their bodies' on fire. It is sweet, tender, hot and passionate all at once and they are both addicted to each other in no time. When they pull away, they rest their foreheads together and Edward runs his fingers through her silky, dandruff-y hair.
"I may or may not be waiting for marriage." Bella whispers. Edward nods in understanding.
They disentangle and move to sit back down in the chairs. After they settle back down, a silence befalls them. She exhales noisily and slumps in her chair. "Not that sitting here with you isn't fun, but I'm starting to wonder if there is any point to this at all, really."
"We should just talk." Edward reasons, getting comfortable in the chair.
"How's the dandruff?"
"Guess what?" Edward says, not meeting her gaze.
"I may or may not want to kill you."
"Okay." Bella says, conflicted on whether to just say 'I'd rather die than stay away from you' and banging desperately against the door.
"And drink your blood."
"Maybe this isn't such a peachy love story after all."
"Is this a love story?"
"Aren't they all? That's one of the unchangeable characteristics."
Edward nods. "That true. But don't worry. Whether I want to kill you is a still irresolute. I can't hurt you here, love."
Bella crosses her legs and leans forward. "You say that, assuming there are other places we could go."
"Places we've been." Edward adds on.
"Yes. So, there is a world outside this room."
"Well clearly; there is a door."
"A door that can't be opened." Bella deadpans.
"There's no such thing as a door that can't be opened."
"Maybe the door isn't even worth opening." Her movements still as she stares off into nothingness. "Maybe there's only empty space. Maybe we are all that there is; maybe all that we are, is a representation of humanity and how the love between two human beings in unlimited and there are few real truths in our race outside of that unconditional love. Irrational as it may be. All else is left up to chance. No, not to chance—up to decision by someone of a higher power. If we exist at all that is. We could merely be transient thoughts of some being. If that being exists at all. " She muses, creating imaginary patterns on the walls.
"Are you proposing that we two are representations of the human race as a whole? But my humanity is not absolute." Edward challenges, nearly kicking himself for encouraging her down this crazy road. But there's not much else to do in this room.
"Maybe not. Maybe we're representations of all conscious creatures. Organisms with enough energy to generate coherent thought. Or perhaps all creatures—humans and others— just have a deep bond that transcends the lines between species." Bella sighs, rubbing her head from all the contemplation of their existence.
"So you're saying the whole point of our existence—if we exist at all—is to be one hilariously elaborate allegory for living creatures?"
"I'm saying, it's a possibility."
"Or maybe we're just two people stuck in a room together who happen to be fated to be together until the end of time." Edward sighs, rubbing his head that may or may not hurt from listening to her speech.
"That is also a possibility."
"You really need to stop leaping off the philosophical deep end."
Bella laughs at herself, snapping back to reality. "Is that one of my unchangeable characteristics?"
"It has to be, right? Otherwise it wouldn't exist." Edward reasons. She sits up, and taps her finger against her chin.
"So, you're saying anything I do here has to be an unchangeable truth about my personality, or I won't be able to do it." She says as a statement. "What if I tried to develop my own characteristics? Just specific to me?"
"Is that possible?" He asks, in awe. He wonders if he can do the same. "Isn't that against the rules?"
"Are there rules here?" She wonders.
"I suppose we can find out."He contemplates. "It kind of feels like we're playing with God here, though."
"A God, that we may or may not believe exists." She corrects.
"Exactly." He agrees.
"Alright!" Bella clasps her hands, ready to think of new personality traits. "My new favorite pass time besides reading is bird watching." Bella looks up at the ceiling, waiting for a strike of lightning or something to strike her down. "Did I do it?"
Edward shakes his head. "No, I think you just identified that willingness to test boundaries is one of your unalterable qualities. And boringness. Really, Bella? Bird watching?" She ignores him.
"But if I hadn't tested the boundaries, would my willingness to test boundaries be an unchangeable trait of mine?" She questions, feeling like she's running around in circles.
"That's irrelevant since you did."
"No, no, no!" Bella shouts, wrapping her arms around her torso, to try to comfort herself. She needs to keep her train of thought. "What if I changed something drastic about myself? Would it have to be a solid truth?"
Edward reaches in front of him and brings her into his arms. He rubs his hand gently up her arm. "Sweetheart, I don't think you can. You are your own person. You can't simply just change a fundamental fact about yourself. Not fully anyway."
She sighs and snuggles closer to him. "So there's really no way out of this." She breathes in his delectable smell. "At least I have you, though."
"At least we have each other, yes." He kisses her head and cradles her there.
She moves to sit back in her own chair, straightening it out to its original position. "Why are we like this? It seems like we're just waiting. Waiting for someone to decide who we are." She stares at the wall, willing images that aren't there to appear.
"Maybe this is the norm. Maybe this happens to everyone. I hope everyone gets paired up with their love, like us." He smiles crookedly at her, sending her heart a flutter.
She smiles back at him, then goes back to staring at the wall. "What if, we are…all people? What if, we're the basis that all people are built upon, and the world is just filled with variations of us?" She murmurs.
"That's awfully narcissistic." He replies teasingly.
She laughs. "Yeah, that was stupid. Not all women like wearing sensible clothes and not all men have such deep conflictions about their own humanity. So, not all people. Some, perhaps."
"If that were true, you'd think that we'd know it."
"Not exactly. Isn't that all the adventure of life? Finding out what the meaning of life is?" She says wistfully.
"If you can call this life." Edward grumbles, resting his head on his hand.
"'I think, therefore I am.'" She responds, smugly.
"But you just said we may not exist." He rebuts.
"If we don't exist, life doesn't exist, right? I said that assuming, for argument's sake, that we exist. " She concludes, not willing to let Edward squash her theories. "It would actually be kind of an honor to be what all other life is based on. Speaking in a purely ego-stroking sense."
"On the contrary, I'd feel pretty used." He gripes.
She smirks at him. "So in your mind, we're basically glorified hookers?"
"I may or may not put it so crassly, but yes, in a sense." Edward laughs at Bella's summarization. "Maybe more like faceless mannequins, waiting to be dressed up."
"We're not faceless. We have our own specific traits that pertain to our relationship. So I think we can safely throw out that speculation."
"It was your speculation in the first place, what with being the basis for all humans and whatnot." He points out, watching her eyes. He then stands up. "So if we're not glorified mannequins, what are we?" He turns his back on her, his eyes glued on the door that hasn't moved at all, willing it open to end all this futile deliberation.
"I'm pretty sure we're sentient, but not necessarily on the same level as most creatures. Maybe we're the rulers of their world. Their gods." Bella offers.
"If that were true we would be able to open the door." He points out, not able to take his eyes off the door with no knob. "And again with the narcissism, love." He jokes, but not looking at her. "Well, going back to the mannequin theory, maybe we are blank slates—though, not necessarily for humanity."
"If not for humanity, for what then, Edward?" She asks to his back, not really following his train of thought.
"Maybe we are both thoughts and sentient creatures. Maybe just by being thought of, we are brought to life; just the mere act of imagining someone or something wills it into existence." He mutters, stepping closer to the door without realizing it.
Bella chuckles uneasily. "And you say I'm the one leaping off the philosophical deep end."
He rips his eyes away from the door which has done absolutely nothing to grab his attention. "This is probably all for naught, Bella. We may just be here for the rest of forever. Forced to spend the rest of our existence in this room, with nothing but two chairs and a permanently closed door."
"Going to the bathroom will be awkward." Bella comments offhandedly, trying to lighten the mood. "And besides, something has to happen. Where were we before we came here?"
Edward scrunches his nose in bewilderment. "I don't know. Nowhere? Everywhere?"
She takes a seat back in her chair and settles her nerves. "I'm not worried, Edward. All this talk of if we exist or not, what our purpose is, and what our future holds, is something all people go through. At the end of this endless day, we are both just people. Pure and simple."
He exhales, dispelling himself of all the negative feelings. "You're right. All I need is you. Even if we stay here until the universe rips itself apart, I will still be the luckiest soul out there to have spent my time with you. My other half." He sits back down in his chair, and they both settle back into their original positions.
Her smile is small but genuine. "The soul that you may or may not believe you have."
Edward's returning smile mirrors hers but his eyes are serious and brimming with tears that may or may not be able to exist. "I believe I do, Bella. We do."
The two souls' movements cease as the sound of the knob turning from the other side of door echoes through the now deadly silent room.
Bella's gaze is captured by the doorway and Edward twists in his seat to see it properly. It bathes the room and them with the whitest white light that ever existed, putting the previous white color of the room to shame. This light was no ordinary white—it was the color of creation.
"It's time." She whispers.
They both stand, and grasp each other hands, not looking away from the light. They both walk toward the doorway, the blinding light getting brighter with each step. There is no fear in them.
He stops them just steps away from the brink. "No matter what happens, no matter what we become, I just want you to know, I will always be your Edward." He whispers to her, emotion getting the better of him. He realizes they most likely won't remember their time in the room where they were going (maybe not even when they returned to the room), but in their souls…in their very beings, they'll always know each other. He faces the new world with no trepidation in his heart, knowing his Bella will be there.
Bella gives his hand a supportive squeeze. "And I'll always be your Bella."
The thoughts become animated as they cross the threshold between the dimension of possibility, and existence.
There are about two-hundred thousand Twilight fanfictions, just on this website alone—about two-hundred thousand different Edwards and Bellas.
But in the end, when you take away the complexities of each and every couple, they are just Edward and Bella who love each other unconditionally and irrevocably.
I sat down at midnight, frustrated that I couldn't get my creative juices flowing to write something, and this happened.
Thanks to Rene Descartes for saying such great words.
[and yes, I understand that there is a plethora of non-Bella/Edward fanfictions out there, and that sometimes Bella isn't human, but I made this to represent the majority of fanfictions out there]