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In My Time

Summary:
In My Time by Awsomealice94 Thank you Marauder by Midnight for the banner Isabella Marie Swan and Edward Anthony Mason were just sixteen and seventeen before they met, their destinies never seeming to cross paths. Living in the very outskirts of Chicago, Bella doesn’t want to be married as quickly as society wants. Edward wants to help assist President Wilson by fighting in the World War. Plans seemed to all change when, unexpectedly, with one little spark, a fire seemed to ignite the both of them. Through troubles beyond comprehension, the times of properness and society, influenza on the rise, and abhorrent losses- perhaps even their own deaths, the two of them must concur them all. But can they? A love story to the fullest-but of course, even the best love stories have tragedy and losses nestled inside. (2nd most favorite on the site! Thanks guys! Also-In My Time was on display in Waterstones Bookstore, located in Oxford,United Kingdom for a twilight event)


Notes:
- alright, I have a VERY good feeling about this story, and I am hoping you will too. Disclaimer- I own nothing, I just write fan fic, and I love doing it :)


25. For Better Or For Worse

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4679   Review this Chapter

~Edward Anthony Mason’s Point of View~

Falling in love was a blessing that did so many things to you.

There was always that tight feeling in your throat, not knowing what to say to that other person, your other true half. You end up stuttering, or forgetting what you want to say. Sometimes, you just want to stare into their eyes and feel time freeze. Sometimes, even the strongest words aren’t enough.

There was a feeling of wanting to cry with joy, smile and laugh all at once when you found out that the other person loves you just as much.

After that came the butterflies. They made your heart flutter and hands shake, your stomach churn with excitement whenever you thought of her. Her name would then follow with three other words revolving in your head, just wanting to slip past your lips- I love you. Young but unconditional love was the best kind-because everything was new and yet familiar at the same time. Nothing was complicated-everything fell into place…at least for now.

That was still the type of love Bella and I had. Though it grew stronger every day, if that was even possible. It was easy to be with her, because she loved me even despite my flaws.

I smiled and looked over at the woman that I woke up to every morning. Sleeping just as soundly as I had been, she was radiant as ever. She smiled slightly, and unconsciously put her arm over my chest, pulling her head to rest in the nook of my neck and shoulder.

I listened to what she would have to say. Bella talked while she slept. I didn’t know that at first, but I found out eventually. I thought she was awake the first time she did it, when she said my name. But Bella’s mother told me she had always talked in her sleep since she was smaller. I guess dreams weren’t enough for her to work through everything, and talking was a better way. I didn’t think she knew she was even talking at first, until I mentioned it at dinner one night.

She had blushed hard and admitted it. She asked what I heard, and I couldn’t help but laugh. That may have made her feel even more embarrassed and definitely made her blush a deeper red, but when I told her she was only talking about me she seemed to calm down a bit. I loved it. Knowing that I was the one she was always dreaming about gave me a wonderful feeling, because she was the one I always dreamt about. It also gave me a little insight as to what she was thinking about, since she always seemed to be the hardest to read. I generally knew what people were thinking, either by their expression or motions. Bella was just…different.

“I love you Edward.” she said it louder than normal, and I thought she really was awake. But I looked down and her eyes were still closed, her breathing very slow and even.

“I love you too.” I whispered. I wasn’t going to wake her; we had been to a party last night and didn’t go to bed until the early hours of morning. It was a New Years Eve party held in town, almost like the Fourth of July party they held. Because we now lived in the city and not the outskirts of it, it was a long drive but an even longer night; everyone wanted to know how we were doing.

It was now officially 1918.

I pondered over what this year might entail. I hope it will be a nice year, and a nice difference from the recent month and all of the tragic occurrences it possessed.

Bella and I would, of course, be together. But would there be another…addition to our family? I was a little hesitant about even thinking of having a child…especially so early. But Bella seemed to enjoy being with my little cousin, and maybe she would enjoy being with our own little girl.

I put my arm around her after pulling the covers over her shoulder. I did it slowly, not wanting to wake her. I closed my eyes again and tried to get a few more hours of sleep in before having to wake up. As I was drifting off, I heard Bella say my name again. I knew I would be smiling in my sleep as long as she was next to me.

***

Dear Eddy (okay fine-Dear Edward- since I can picture you getting upset over that name),

Well, I have to admit it-I feel like a loon writing to you. All of these other men are here writing to their girl friends and wives and I’m here writing to….well, you. No offense, Ed-but that disappoints me just a bit.

I’m kidding.

I guess I should just get to it- I miss home. At least back home there wasn’t men screaming, and practically spitting in your face. Unless you’re into the whole shower of spit thing…didn’t think so in the least. But Leo and I both feel good-this is what we wanted to do, and we will stick to it until this Great War ends-for the greatest country there is, USA. We made a promise-and though some days I know the thought of wanting to be someplace else will cross my mind, I will press on. I made a commitment to my country, to myself, and to the men around me.

Boot camp ended, and even though I thought that it was bad, I almost wish it hadn’t stopped. You wouldn’t possibly believe how…horrible it is over here...and I can’t tell you where ‘here is’ except for someplace in Germany. There really isn’t any word to describe it. I have to look at these men in my division every day around me and not know if tomorrow I or they will even be alive. It’s scary…and I will openly say that I’m frightened. But we’ve both made it this far and we’re going to come home, away from all of this, soon.

I don’t want to go into it much-but Edward, I see why all of these men are coming back with their heads in a mess. It would be very hard not to, what with the horrors of trenches, mustard gas, machine guns, cannons…but we do have something pretty cool-tanks. At any rate, according to you, Leo and I were already insane anyway, right?

On to lighter topics…well, okay, not really.

How are you and Bella doing? My mother sent me a letter about Bella’s parents a couple of weeks ago, I think. I’m losing complete track of time-it’s hard not to when you are really only thinking about If you are going to live through the night, let alone the next week. I’m very sorry about her parents-would you tell her that? I guess there is a whole other war happening back home too, what with the influenza.

Leo and I were sent to the same place and all, so we have each other to get through the day (Although, only having Leo is a bit horrifying-I’m kidding, again). I guess it was a good piece of luck. This is hard…really hard. But we’re getting along just fine, I guess. Passing by the hospital I could definitely say we are doing a lot better than some.

Its war, and there isn’t much you can do but hope and fight for it to be over.

We miss you, man. See you soon,

-Collin

(And Leo, if you count him reading this over my shoulder)

I set the tattered piece of paper back on my desk and took a deep breath. They were doing fine-and still had their sense of humor, according to this letter.

I was glad they kept up their promise of writing-I would get very nervous if they stopped. If they were here and heard my thoughts I knew for a fact that they would make some type of joke about how much I was acting like their mothers.

Well at least I wasn’t the one writing to a man and not to a girlfriend. I smiled once and pulled out a piece of paper to write back. Just then I heard something drop in Bella’s library next to me.

My head moved to the right, towards the room. I heard Bella sneeze a few times before she groaned. I got up from my desk quickly and made a sharp right into her room. “Love, are you okay?” I asked, automatic worry setting in, even if it was only on sneezing. Huh…maybe I was acting like a mother.

“I’m fine,” she nodded, picking up her book off of the ground, “I sneezed and dropped the book.” She sniffled and took out her handkerchief.

“Do you feel alright?” I asked her. She shrugged, beginning to nod once before slumping down and shaking her head,

“No, I really don’t.” she said. I rushed to her side and sat down next to her, putting my hand on her forehead gently.

“You’re a little warm.” I murmured, a little panic rising in my voice.

“It’s probably nothing. I just have a stuffed up nose and maybe a slight, very small, fever. It’s probably just a virus that’ll go away by tomorrow.” She waved it off,

“But Bella,” I told her, “Maybe you should rest in bed. Just as an extra precaution.” I insisted. She smiled,

“How about I make a deal with you, because I know how stubborn you can be and I’m going to have to rest no matter how much protesting I give you.” she proposed. I smiled slightly-she was right. I raised one eyebrow and hesitantly answered,

“Okay?” I had no idea what she had in mind as a compromise, but from the way she was looking at me it involved me doing something.

“Will you play the piano for me? Before I fall asleep?” she asked, “if you do, I’ll gladly go to bed without a fuss-I promise. I just haven’t heard you play it in a few days, and I miss the sound.” She explained, her voice even sounding like she was sick. I gave a small laugh,

“Is that all? Of course I will play for you, my dear Bella. All you have to do is ask.” I took her hand and led her downstairs to my piano.

“I actually have something for you to hear.” I began, letting her sit on the piano bench next to me. She looked at me, her eyes questioning. She had heard everything I knew how to play. All except for one song.

“I don’t know how good it is-this is the first time anyone will hear it,” I explained as she nodded her head in encouragement, “I wrote this song-I wrote it for you, actually.” I admitted. I had been writing it and practicing quietly while she was either sleeping or out. I didn’t want her to hear it until I was fully finished with the piece.

She just inspired me to start playing a tune that I never heard, and it led to me writing a song around the tune. I had only written a song once, when I was in fifth grade-and that was only twelve measures at most-not to mention, it was absolutely horrible, and a combination of six notes at the very most.

I was a little nervous about somebody else, especially the woman that it was about, hearing it.

“You wrote a song, for me?” she asked. I smiled slightly and nodded, my hands resting lightly on the piano keys,

“I did.”

“What did you name it?” she asked a smile brighter than ever.

“Bella’s Lullaby.” I told her. She laughed once with delight and threw her arms around me,

“I love it! I would kiss you, but I don’t want you getting sick too.” She pulled back. I tucked a stray hair behind her ear,

“You haven’t even heard the song yet.” I laughed with her.

“I don’t need to, to know that it’s amazing-because you wrote it. But I do want to hear It.” she told me. I smiled and turned back to the black and ivory keys before beginning the song.

I let the notes move softly around the room as I pressed the keys-slower at first, and then gradually faster until it became the right speed. My hands moved over the right keys, pressing down slightly and then moving on to a different note. When I was playing, I hardly noticed I was doing so. I was too wrapped around the sound to realize that I was the one who had written it and was playing. I was too preoccupied with watching my wife who was sitting next to me.

Bella didn’t speak at all as she sat next to me, but I looked over once to see that she was mesmerized by the notes or perhaps how my hands were moving over the keys…maybe even a combination of the two. The melody was sweet and beautiful, and anyone who was listening could tell it was about love and Bella. The sound drifted through our home, warming it and filling it with more color.

I played Bella’s Lullaby until the final note hung in the air. It drifted to a close, gradually getting softer until it could no longer be heard. I turned to see Bella’s mouth open in amazement.

“That was beautiful.” She managed to whisper.

“That is because it was written about a beautiful woman.” I smiled.

“Edward…I…you wrote me a lullaby. And it is the sweetest song I have ever had the pleasure of hearing.” She marveled.

“You really liked it?” I asked her, unsure if it was okay or not.

“Yes, Edward-I really love it, actually. Thank you.” she smiled, and I hugged her to me.

***

I finished humming her lullaby softly, watching her eyes close and her chest rise and fall in deep breaths. I didn’t move until I was sure Bella was asleep, and then I changed the cool cloth on her forehead.

I bit my lip-what was once a cool cloth had turned very warm in a matter of minutes, just from being on her forehead. I felt her head again-it was burning. I walked to our bathroom soundlessly and ran it under cold water again before walking back to our bed and placing it on her head once more.

I had to change it every fifteen minutes, or it became warm-and that defeated its purpose completely.

I didn’t know what else to do.

Bella was very sick-she had a horrible fever and her nose hadn’t cleared up. She started coughing yesterday, and even water didn’t help it. She said she was fine, but I knew Bella. She would say anything to not make me worry. This morning she did say that her chest hurt from the coughing, and that scared me. She never admitted anything hurt unless it was really truly bad.

I was afraid of the worse-that she had caught the influenza. The cold weather didn’t help much, but it was possible. I shook my head as I walked downstairs. I didn’t even want to think of that-it was a thought that I tried to block from my mind.

I wanted Bella to be healthy and strong again, and I was running out of options. She just seemed to be getting worse every day. I knew that I couldn’t nurse her back to health myself. This was out of my area of expertise-I didn’t know what I was doing. But I knew somebody that did. I went downstairs and used our phone. It was very expensive to have one, and very few places did. But I knew the hospital had one. The operator connected me to the hospital and I waited for somebody to answer.

“Hello, this is Edward Mason. I was hoping to speak with Dr. Carlisle Cullen.” I told the nurse. It was only a few moments before I heard his voice,

“Dr. Cullen speaking.” He answered.

“Dr. Cullen, its Edward Mason.” I began. A bit of surprise was in his voice,

“Hello, Edward. What seems to be the matter? How is Bella?” he asked.

“She has a fever. She has had this cold for a little over a week now, and things are just getting worse. I really don’t know what to do.” I explained.

“I don’t normally do this, but if it is alright with you, why don’t I come and look at her?” he asked. I breathed a sigh of relief,

“Dr. Cullen that would be very good.” I told him.

“When do you want me?” he asked.

“Any time-as soon as possible.” I urged.

“I’ll be over within the next half hour.” I thanked him and hung up. I sat down and held my head in my hands. If she really did have the influenza what was there to do? I wasn’t going to stand by while my wife died in front of me. She doesn’t have it, though. She can’t catch that cold. By next month this will all seem like just a silly virus that she overcame just fine.

I paced by the front door until I heard Dr. Cullen knocking. I answered it immediately, “Thank you for coming, Dr. Cullen.” I invited him in and took his jacket. It was ice cold-it really must have been freezing outside.

He held his bag and I showed him upstairs to the room I shared with Bella. She was still asleep, and I took the cloth off of her forehead so that Dr. Cullen could see how warm she was. “Do you know her symptoms?” he asked me quietly. He checked her breathing as I was explaining,

“It was sneezing at first, and she had a small fever. After that she couldn’t breathe through her nose and her fever grew worse. She started coughing and this morning she told me it hurt. She doesn’t say things like that unless she really means it, Dr. Cullen.” I explained quickly. I analyzed his expression and watched his face drop once before he controlled it. Oh No. He placed a thermometer in her mouth and checked what her pulse was.

I tried to control the hysteria that was following my panic. He hasn’t said that she has the influenza. It could be just another cold. Bella was going to be okay. I tried to calm myself, with no such luck. He pulled the thermometer out of her mouth and grimaced.

I tried breathing normally, but my hands were shaking as he began to talk. “A normal temperature for humans is 98.6 degrees, and Bella has a 102 fever. From the symptoms you have told me about, I would say that she…she has the influenza.” He began. No. I felt like my whole world was crashing down into a million pieces. No-she couldn’t have it.

“There isn’t much you can do for the fever, but you were doing the right thing by trying to cool her head down. It may go away. The coughing will only get progressively worse, I’m afraid.” I didn’t realize that my eyes were widened in panic and I was staring at one spot in the room before he called me name,

“Edward?” he asked me. I nodded slightly, a tiny twitch of my head. “People don’t always die from this. There are some that have…certain immunity to it. She could overcome this. It’s still in the early stage.” My voice was hallow when I answered,

“How are the chances of her surviving this?” I asked, already knowing the answer. There was no cure as of moment.

“Not high.” He sounded very sad. “If she is getting even worse, I would recommend her coming to the hospital. For now, its better that she isn’t around that many germs-she could get even sicker at this point.” He explained. I nodded that strange twitch again, not being able to do much else.

“Thank you for seeing her, Dr. Cullen.” My voice was still strangely flat and hallow as I talked. I led him down the stairs in an almost zombie state and closed the door behind him. She still had a chance, and the only thing I could do was to try and help her get better while that chance was still alive-while she was still alive.

***

The only thing I could do was to be as determined as ever.

I had nothing else to hold on to but the hope that she would make it through the influenza. But I saw the news reports in the paper. I saw what it could do to people, even Bella’s parents-people that I loved.

I walked into our room, though I hadn’t been sleeping in the bed. I instead slept next to Bella, in a chair. It was easier for me to wake up and make sure she was okay. I blinked a few times, trying to sedate the burning in my red eyes. I hadn’t gotten a perfect night’s sleep in a week.

I was exhausted, but I carried a cup of warm tea in my hand for Bella. Her wan face tried to be more animated when she saw me, but I knew she felt miserable. She held a frail hand out for me to stop walking towards her. I froze as she coughed wheezing for breath.

“I’m sorry.” She whispered. I walked towards her again, and helped her sit up so she could drink something. I knew she wasn’t thirsty or hungry, and the thought of eating something seemed repulsing to her, but I had made her every time.

She was thin already, and she was losing weight that she needed to keep. After she was done taking little sips I placed the cup that was too heavy for her to hold on the table. “Do you feel any better?” I asked her.

She looked at me and tried to smile, “Oh, Edward. I wish I did.” She breathed. I held myself together and brushed her cheek gently,

“I wish you did too, love.”

“I’m a little tired, I think-” she began. I shushed her,

“You sleep as much as you need too, sweetheart. I’ll be right here.” I promised her. She nodded once,

“I love you.” the words were almost impossible to hear.

“I love you too, Bella. You have no idea how much I love you.” Once she was asleep, I stopped humming and walked outside quickly. I didn’t know how much time I had until I began to sob.

My mind was spinning and my heart almost stopped as I thought of where she and I would be in four years. Because what I once thought would happen-starting a family and growing old together- seemed to be slowly slipping and fading away-just as Bella was. I was broken. Desperate. Why was this happening? I slumped down against the hallway wall and slowly sank down to the floor, wanting everything to just be alright.

I wiped my eyes, checking to see if Bella was okay before walking downstairs. I couldn’t be expected to keep myself together every moment of the day. A person was only so strong.

Those moments and thoughts of doubt I pushed away from me. I couldn’t think like that. I should remain positive. Bella would pull through this. We would have children some day. We would grow old together. We would spend forever with each other. Any other way would just not do.

I jumped when I heard the phone ring. I walked briskly to it, not knowing why somebody would call. “Edward Mason speaking.” I answered.

“Edward, sweetheart?” it was mother’s voice. She was the first person after I called Dr. Cullen who knew about Bella’s condition.

“Mother?” I asked.

“Edward, I’m at the hospital,” she began, “Your father…he collapsed at the bank.” She explained her voice trembling. My heart stopped,

“How is he? What happened?” I asked her quickly.

“The doctor says he collapsed because he fainted. He’s very sick, dear. He had been coughing this last week, but hasn’t said anything about it. When I asked he just told me that he was fine-that it was just a little tickle in his throat.” She sounded horrible about not doing something about it sooner.

“Mother you couldn’t have known. Did the doctor say anything else?” I asked her quickly. The coughing sounded rather familiar.

“He thinks that your father has that influenza. It’s in its late stages.” She said it as quietly as she could without whispering. I squeezed my eyes shut and bit my lip. Why? Not again. Not somebody else I loved.

“I should come down there-” I began, finally able to talk.

“No. No you stay with Bella, dear. I’m here for your Father. Bella needs you more. I just thought I should tell you.” she explained.

“I…okay. I’m just…” I didn’t even know if there were words to explain how I was feeling at this moment.

“I know, dear. I know. I’ll tell you how things are going here tomorrow-for right now, your father is doing fine.” She said goodbye and I hung up. I had the urge to either throw something at the wall or scream at the top of my lungs. I did neither.

Instead, I opened the front door and grabbed the mail before closing it. I would move on as normal, for it was the only thing I could do. I glanced once outside the window. Could other’s lives still be going on while mine felt frozen and falling apart here? I took the first envelope out of the small pile. It was addressed to me-from the United States Army.

I gasped and tried to open a letter that I was dreading to read with shaky fingers. My first thoughts were Collin and Leo. Were they okay? I read the letter quickly, skimming over the words, my heart pounding.

They were fine.

It was me who wasn’t.

Collin and Leo were right. There was a draft for the army-and I had just been forcefully enlisted.

I looked at the date I would be deported on- it was in two months. I dropped it on the floor, dropping the rest of our mail along with it.

I had a wife who meant the whole world to me and who was very sick upstairs, I had a father who was in the hospital with the same illness but even worse, and now I had to leave home in two months- facing my own certain death as well? I shook my head frantically before dropping to my knees. I held my head in my hands.

Why was this happening?