A/N: Hello friends! If you read my previous fanfic, this may seem quite different to you. This story has actually been completely written for a long time, I'm just changing it to be a fanfic story. It all started with a nightmare I had that I needed to write down to get out of my head, and then it completely got away from me. LOL.

My faithful betas are back with me, torisurfergirl and starpower31, so a big thank you to them for turning this prelude around so fast so I could post it.

I hope you enjoy this prelude, and I will try to post updates weekly from now on.

A New Beginning

Prelude – Loss

"Because I could not stop for Death – he kindly stopped for me. The carriage held but just Ourselves, and immortality."

Emily Dickinson


The rain was hitting my patio hard; the weather mirrored my emotions…dark and sad. I stared out the window, just watching the rain fall and at my lawn that was quickly becoming a lake. The violence of the rain made me shudder, but I didn't look away. For some reason, I just couldn't. Perhaps I thought it would be safer to continue to stare outside rather than take notice of what was going on inside my house.

Jacob would have hated this. Jacob had been my husband for the last ten years, and he was a very simple person. His stomach would have churned if he had seen how many people were walking around our house. But, he was a good and kind man and deserved a memorial.

I thought about all of the things that Jacob and I had been through over the years. We'd had our share of problems, sure, just like any other married couple. But, Jacob was a wonderful father, more than I ever thought possible. He and I had had a great friendship; unfortunately that was all. We were like roommates who had had children together for the last few years of our marriage. I knew that I had loved him, in my own way, but I wasn't in love…or I hadn't been for a long time.

Unfortunately, thinking about Jake like that made me feel guilty. My husband died, and I was thinking about how I hadn't been in love with him for years. Boy, you really are a piece of work, aren't you?

Jacob had wanted so much for his children. He had quit his job shortly after our first child, JJ, had been born. He had always been excited about children, and he wanted his own to have a life free from day-care. Money had been tight, but we got by. Jake was thrilled when I got pregnant with Leah, our second child. I loved my job and wasn't willing to quit, so he had opted to stay home with our kids. He had always said it was better for the kids to grow up being raised by a parent, not by a stranger. Most of the time, it was great, but there were times when I felt guilty that I wasn't staying home with them. Society always dictated that the mom should stay home, not the dad, but our situation was very different.

Finally, I turned my attention away from the rain and back into the house. All three kids looked up at me at the same time, silently begging me to allow them to escape from Alice. They loved her, even if she was overbearing. It was almost comical the way that each of them held the same expression, and I could have laughed, but I didn't. Today I buried my husband of ten years; today was not a day to smile.

The real show was behind me; my best friend Alice fussing over my three children, my dad Charlie talking to my boss, and my friend Rosalie taking charge of the food in the kitchen. My brother, Jasper, greeted people at the door; there was a constant stream of near strangers coming into my home, setting their umbrellas down and shaking hands with him. It was making me extremely uncomfortable—I didn't like that many people in my house.

Jake had refused to even discuss the possibility of him going back to work until our third child, Emily, was in first grade. He had been adamant; so until that time, we struggled on just my paycheck.

JJ (or Jacob Junior) was only nine, and he was taking his father's death the hardest. He was old enough that he would always remember his father and remember his death. I was considering putting him in counseling to make sure that he was dealing with these emotions that he didn't understand. Without wanting to push him, I decided that I would see how he handled everything before making that choice.

Leah was harder to read. She was only five and in Kindergarten. She could understand some of what was going on, but not everything. Her fiery personality and strong opinions kept me constantly in check. For the millionth time since I had found out Jake was gone, I wondered how I was going to handle her. He was much better with her attitude than I was.

Emily was only two and could either be much harder or much easier; harder because she wouldn't remember Jake, or easier because she wouldn't remember his death. It saddened me to know that she would probably not remember how much he loved her. But, at the same time, she wouldn't remember him dying, so I was thankful for that.

Finally gathering my courage, I turned around to survey my living room. People gathered at the tables, serving themselves food from the trays that Rosalie was handing out. My stomach turned at the thought of food, any food. Logically, I knew that I would have to eat eventually, but if I tried right now, I was sure that I wouldn't hold it down for too long.

"Mommy!" Emily cried, running into my arms. She had managed to wiggle out of Alice's hands. Silently, I picked her up and kissed her forehead. She rubbed her eyes and leaned against me, yawning deeply.

Alice walked over to me, holding Leah's hand, with a concerned expression. "She looks tired…do you want me to put her down for a nap?"

"No, I'll do it," my dad said, walking up to Emily and taking her out of my arms. Emily gazed up at her grandfather with huge brown eyes. He tickled her and carried her, laughing, to her room.

"How are you holding up?" Alice asked me, sitting down next to me on the couch.

"Meh. I'm here." I held my breath and looked around our—my— house and realized that this was the beginning of a new life. I saw a scene in my head of JJ sitting at the table doing his homework, Leah running through the halls with her crayons and Emily screaming from her highchair. Things that Jake had helped me with before were all my responsibility now.

The dead feeling inside my chest exploded and tears started pouring down my face. I felt arms wrap around me from both sides as both Alice and Rosalie surrounded me through my pain. The edge of my vision began to fade as the pain overtook me…enveloped me, causing me to fall into nothingness.

A/N: So, what did you think? Hopefully an interesting start anyway? Let me know! I'll do my best to update soon!